Bowl Final Thoughts, Predictions & Advice: Miami Beach, Boca Raton, Poinsettia, Famous Idaho Potato
Check out the final thoughts, a few predictions, and some investment advice for the Miami Beach, Boca Raton, Poinsettia and Famous Idaho Potato bowls – because you have to.
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Game Previews & Predictions
– Miami Beach, Tulsa vs. Central Michigan, Dec. 19, 2:30, ESPN
– SDCCU Poinsettia, BYU vs. Wyoming, Dec. 21, 9:00, ESPN
– Famous Idaho Potato: Colorado State vs. Idaho, Dec. 22, 7:00, ESPN
– Popeyes Bahamas: Old Dominion vs. Eastern Michigan, Dec. 23, 1:00, ESPN
Time out on the bowl season … I said, TIME OUT.
It was a bloodbath of a Saturday – I went 1-4 against the spread after crushing it throughout the regular season – and now I’ll try to make it up to you.
It was ugly all the way around, from the silly (my ATS record), to the misguided (the Minnesota boycott taking center stage), to the goofy (WakeLeaks fallout), to the perplexing (the media’s delusional Donnel Pumphrey-is-NCAA-leading-rusher narrative erroneously forced on America – #NotMyNCAALeadingRusher), overshadowing an otherwise wonderful day of games.
I take solace in that 1) I’ve been HORRIBLE at figuring out the Sun Belt all season long against the spread, and that’s my flimsy excuse for whiffing on all three games, and 2) the utter randomness of Clucko the Chicken going 5-0 ATS – it’s literally a coin-flip – on the way to a roaring start in the CFN Confidence Pool Picks showed just how weird the first big day of bowl games was.
I’m done whining now. Sort of. I’m being held hostage by the Disney World experience, so I’m not of sound mind, body, or spirit. My moral compass is pointed right at the overweight people who aren’t eating things green and leafy – fine, let those without the football season five pounds added on cast the first churro – getting in my way.
This is all just for spits, giggles, and entertainment purposes only. However, just in case you dabble …
I’ve been saying for the last few weeks that Central Michigan’s Cooper Rush might be that sort of mid-round Dak Prescott type who’s taken on the cheap but rises up and starts next year. After the was Dak hit Tampa Bay, and with the rookie season he’s having, forget that. However, Rush just might be good enough to bomb the Chippewas into the Miami Beach Bowl against Tulsa.
But Central Michigan has been SO mediocre, and Tulsa so balanced and explosive. The Golden Hurricane offense has way too many weapons for the Chippewas to keep up the pace.
Even so, Christmas might be coming early with a 69-point over/under. And I’m not really joking, Tulsa could hit 69 on its own.
Speaking of totals, yeah, 79 might seem like a whole bunch between Memphis and WKU in the Boca Raton Bowl, but it’s not. The only way these two don’t combine for more than 80 is if the Hilltoppers are exposed for not beating anyone other than Louisiana Tech and the offense stops working.
Bowl games have more of a risk element than the regular season because of the time off, so it’s easy to try to make up known variables. I’m well aware of how amateur hour this comes across, but I’m scarred by Houston’s performance against San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl. What’s the one big thing that always seems to screw teams up? Interim head coaches – and Major Applewhite wasn’t even that. Screw around with the head coaching situation, and bowl teams will play differently.
We all might look back ten years from now at the 2016 Boca Raton Bowl and wonder how easy it was for Memphis to roar past the +6 spread against WKU.
BYU plays close games. Wyoming plays close games. So even if it doesn’t seem to make much sense in an X-and-O way, BYU as a 10-point favorite is utterly ridiculous.
However, all year long, whenever I’ve said that it’s the wrong play, but do it anyway, it’s almost always the wrong play.
But, again, these two play tight games. Eight Wyoming games this year were decided a touchdown or less. Before the schedule got light and breezy, seven of the first eight BYU games were decided by seven points or fewer. One of these teams could get painfully exposed.
It seems insane now, compared to what it looked like to start the season, but BYU only ended up playing four teams that finished the regular season with a winning record. Who’d have thought that Arizona, UCLA, Michigan State and Cincinnati would all be relative lightweights, and Mississippi State would be 5-7?
You did watch the bowl games on Saturday, right? San Diego State looked awfully good against Houston, and New Mexico beat UTSA. The Mountain West has started 2-0, and you’re spotting a jacked-up-to-be-there Wyoming team ten points? Okay.
I’m well aware of how much emotion and want-to plays a part in the bowl season. If Arkansas State can rolled through UCF in a Knight home bowl game, and New Mexico can get by UTSA in a home date bowl game, too, then Colorado State can deal with Idaho playing in Idaho.
Idaho winning would be a great narrative, but few teams are rolling into the bowl season hotter than Colorado State. 13.5 is a mighty big matzoh ball just sitting there, but it’ll be okay. The Rams won four of their last five games in blowouts. No, really, it’ll be fine. Go have some nog.
AND FINALLY … It’s teasing you, America. As good as Alabama is, and as suspect as Washington is, 15 is a massive, massive number considering the talent on the Huskie D, the quarterback, the head coach, and the no-one-believes-in-us factor.
Like the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl pick of BYU winning, but not covering, even if Washington +15 doesn’t work out, it’s still the right call – if that makes any sense.