You’ve Read This Far, So You Get Three Honest Thoughts On The Valero Alamo Bowl
– For all the great things Mike Leach has been able to do, his Washington State teams haven’t been anything great in bowl games. Early on at Texas Tech, he went on an amazing run going 5-1 over a six-year bowl stretch. At Wazzu his Pac-12 team couldn’t stop the Mountain West team in the 2013 New Mexico, losing 48-45.
The 2015 team beat Miami in the Sun, but it clunked to a depleted Minnesota without its head coach in the 2016 Holiday, and the 2017 team got clowned by Michigan State in the Holiday. Speaking of being bad in bowls …
– Bowl games aren’t a regular thing for Iowa State. The Cyclones started out 1-6 in bowls from the 1971 Sun against LSU to the 2002 Humanitarian against Pitt. They went 2-4, losing two straight until Matt Campbell came aboard, coming up with the program’s first bowl win since the 2009 Insight over Minnesota.
The tight battle against Memphis in last year’s Liberty was a bit too much of a fight, but it was a win. Beat Washington State to close out with eight wins in the last nine, and 2018 beats 2017 in terms of win total.
– Arizona State lost to Fresno State in the Las Vegas, and Cal is up against TCU in your 2019 Cheez-It. For a Pac-12 that went 1-8 in bowl games last season, this – the next bowl up in the chain for the conference after those other two – is one the league has to have.
The Big 12 will be on display when TCU plays Cal, and Baylor (vs. Vanderbilt in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas) and West Virginia plays earlier in the day (vs. Syracuse in the Camping World), but the league got a team into the College Football Playoff – the conference isn’t going to be under the microscope. At least, not yet.
Super. So Who’s Going To Win The Valero Alamo Bowl?
Washington State is the better team, it has the better offense, it has the defense that’s good enough to turn the lights out, and …
It’s Mike Leach in a bowl game.
If the Cougars are sharp from the start, they could get up fast and turn the lights out, but Iowa State is used to dealing with offensive firepower. The Cyclones will get their own big plays, the defense won’t miss stops, and they’ll keep Gardner Minshew from turning all of his big yards into points.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Iowa State 26, Washington State 20
Line: Washington State -3.5, o/u: 55
ATS Confidence: 2
5: Being in the bar already
0: Watching ball drop … and then trying to get into the bar
Must See Rating: 4
5: New Year’s Eve: Ministry of Sound, London
1: New Year’s Eve: Times Square, New York