Bowl Final Thoughts, Predictions & Advice: Armed Forces, Dollar General, Hawaii, St. Petersburg
Check out the final thoughts, a few predictions, and some investment advice for the Armed Forces, Dollar General, Hawaii & St. Petersburg bowls – because you have to.
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Game Previews & Predictions
– Armed Forces, Louisiana Tech vs. Navy, Dec. 23, 1:00, ESPN
– Dollar General: Ohio vs. Troy, Dec. 23, 8:00, ESPN
– Hawaii, Middle Tennessee vs. Hawaii, Dec. 24, 8:00, ESPN
– St. Petersburg, Miss State vs. Miami Univ., Dec. 26, 11:00 am, ESPN
Everything is starting to turn around.
You know how this goes. All it takes is one big pick – like taking BYU to win, but Wyoming to cover in something like the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl to give the false sense of security that knowledge and analysis can sometimes offset the randomness of the bowl games.
Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And now I sense the regression to the mean coming in the CFN Confidence Pool Picks before the big bowls start kicking in.
Soon, the big boys and the good matchups will start coming at us fast and furious, but first, we have a few more appetizers – and they should be good ones.
This is all just for spits, giggles, and entertainment purposes only. However, just in case you dabble …
I’m legitimately excited to watch Old Dominion play Eastern Michigan in the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl. But I’ve been dealing with Disney World for the better part of the last few days. Portuguese cock fighting would appeal to me right now.
I don’t like it, but I can’t change what’s going to happen. I’m not ecstatic that I’m so hard on the Monarchs beating the Eagles – I like this Eastern Michigan team, with its solid defensive front and okay offense. Money don’t care about plucky – Old Dominion -4.5 might be your Christmas present.
Again, this always comes with the caveat that bowl games sometimes defy all logic and reason, and you can’t always go by what happened in the regular season and apply it to bowl games – some teams enjoy the bowl life a little too much – but Old Dominion is too rock solid in too many areas. If it plays like it did during the regular season, don’t you worry about a thing.
Central Michigan, Toledo. What about the MAC so far has given you reason to think the league is about to do something positive?
Western Kentucky, Southern Miss, and UTSA, while it lost, looked solid against New Mexico. Conference USA has been a little bit of alright. Speaking of which …
The chatter is way too loud right now about Louisiana Tech rolling over Navy in your Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl – and for good reason. However, Navy opened up as a five-point favorite, and now Louisiana Tech is -6.5. It makes sense, since Navy isn’t the same team after losing QB Will Worth, and the team was exposed in the American Athletic Conference championship and against Army. But be really, really careful here. Navy’s offense is the ultimate wild card. You just never know if that thing is going to overcome all the other issues.
Always go with your first answer. I’m sticking with my Louisiana Tech pick and not wavering, though. That Navy secondary is about to be ripped to pieces by the Bulldog attack. The Midshipmen will run like it normally does, but the Bulldog passing game will be on full display.
Houston, UCF, Memphis. Yeah, Tulsa was great against a bad Central Michigan team, but what about the American Athletic Conference so far has given you reason to think the league is about to do something positive?
I know, you wouldn’t normally watch Ohio vs. Troy if it was wrapped in bacon. But Troy is a rising program and Ohio was the second-best team in the MAC. It should be entertaining.
Again, what about Toledo and Central Michigan gives you reason to think the MAC might come up with something special? Troy, at its best, is probably better than Arkansas State and Appalachian State, and it’s definitely better than Louisiana-Lafayette. Ohio is a good, sound team, but the Trojans are about to make the Sun Belt a good storyline of the early part of the bowl season.
Ask UCF and Louisiana-Lafayette how much a close-to-home bowl matters, but the Dollar General being played in Mobile should matter more than a little bit for Troy. What’ll matter more is a quick-tempo attack that Ohio won’t have much of an answer for.
You’re going to have to survive on just one bowl game in about 36 hours hours. You’re going to be around family talking about stuff on Christmas Eve, and, if you’re in a particular ring of Hell, you’re going to be singing things. Yes, demand that the Hawaii Bowl is on in the background, and if anyone complains, look them dead in the face, and tell them 1) the other option is to turn on MSNBC or Fox News, whichever is the opposite of their dopey political leaning, or 2) you will tell them, in detail, about your fantasy football team/golf game/latest doctor appointment/all of the above.
Put your foot down on the gas and drive right through it. Of course Hawaii will be inspired at home. Of course the program will be jacked at a whole other level to be back in a bowl game. Of course teams tend to get all melty when they hit the Honolulu life for a few days before playing football. Screw it. I don’t care of starting quarterback Brent Stockstill is ready to be Brent Stockstill or not, Middle Tennessee is far, far better than Hawaii.
So, basically, if Conference USA sucks over the next few days, I’m hosed. I hate relying on Conference USA for my happiness.
AND FINALLY … gut feeling, the Fiesta Bowl line is going to go up quickly. People are going to start hammering Ohio State. If you can get in at Buckeyes -3, and if you’re wavering, just remember, it’s Urban Meyer in the College Football Playoff. It’ll be okay.
Merry Christmas. Enjoy yourself way too much, unless Conference USA goes into the tank. And then enjoy yourself more.