After the big first Saturday, now the bowl games start to trickle in with three before the big wave comes. Here are the final thoughts and predictions on the Boca Raton, DXL Frisco and Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowls.
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Boca Raton, Frisco, Gasparilla Bowls Final Thoughts & Investment Advice
It was a strange first run of bowl games. What did we learn?
There are lots and lots of turnovers, teams good enough to win a conference championship are probably good enough to win a bowl game, and – as we know – almost nothing about the regular season matters when it comes time to figuring out the bowl games.
And now comes an interesting week of Group of Five on Group of Five action, with Conference USA on center stage – including the Bahamas Bowl on Friday when UAB takes on Ohio.
Florida Atlantic vs. Akron in the Boca Raton, Louisiana Tech vs. SMU in the Frisco, and FIU vs. Temple in the Gasparilla. North Texas lost its bowl game to Troy and WKU went down in the Cure, Marshall took down the New Mexico, and Middle Tennessee rocked the Camellia. This is C-USA’s shot to make a big splash.
For all the games, this is all just for spits, giggles, and entertainment purposes only. However, just in case you dabble …
Florida Atlantic, it’s up to you to absolutely drill Akron. People are going to tune in for the Lane Train factor – wanting to see just how amazing Kiffin’s team really is – but Akron is just funky enough to hang around more than Owl fans might like.
For all of the hype and all of the excitement, will FAU really come out jacked up for a home game? UCF had a bowl game in its house last year and got rolled – the motivation and energy just didn’t appear to be there.
Akron won’t treat this like just another bowl game. It’s a prideful team with just enough fight – the fight that helped them battle back late in the MAC Championship loss to Toledo – to make this respectable.
That 22 is a big number. Of course, hitting the over on the 64 total will be a breeze, but don’t be shocked if the Zips turn out to be really, really pesky.
– Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl PreviewYou’re not going to, but stay away from your 2017 DXL Frisco Bowl.
Here’s the problem – SMU is better than Louisiana Tech.
However, the last two Las Vegas Bowls are still fresh. Last year, Major Applewhite coached his first game as the new Houston head man, and the team got Rickrolled by San Diego State. This year, Oregon didn’t even get off the bus for new head man Mario Cristobal in the loss to Boise State.
No, Louisiana Tech isn’t 2016 SDSU or 2017 Boise State, but with Sonny Dykes diving in right away, this should be interesting. Tech has a decent defense, an offense that’s overdue to wake up – cough, Marshall in the New Mexico, cough – against a Mustang team that doesn’t play a lick of defense.
So far the over is 4-1 in bowl games. That 70 seems a bit high, but do it anyway. And take the better team plus the five close to home – just be careful.
– DXL Frisco Bowl Preview
Warning – I’ve been off on both FIU and Temple all year.
They’ve each showed more offensive pop than expected in some strange times, and they’ve also had a few mystifying performance both good and bad.
They’re both just quirky enough that I’ve fallen in love with FIU giving away seven.
There’s nothing about Temple that makes it an obvious touchdown favorite, especially against a jacked up, Butch Davis-led bowl team. The Golden Panthers are on a nice run coming into this, including rolling up 41 on both Marshall and WKU in wins.
Again … the over. Bigly.
The 56 should be no problem whatsoever for two teams who can each crank up 30 points without a problem, and again, if you’re giving FIU points, you’d be rude not to take them.
– Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl Preview
And Finally …
It’s going to be an interesting narrative after the fact – the early signing period.
The recruiting world has a full-force kick in day on Wednesday, December 20th – on the same day Louisiana Tech and SMU have to go at it – and it lasts until the 22nd.
As much as the bowl games matter, this is more important. However, what’s better as a recruiting tool the rolling on national TV? It’s going to be the big storyline throughout these next few bowls.
And if I don’t see you … Happy Holidays. Seriously.