American Athletic Conference Bowl Grades
American Athletic Bowl Grade: B
It was all or nothing, but the league went 4-3 with two wins – Navy over Kansas State in the Liberty and Cincinnati over Boston College in the Birmingham – over Power Five programs. However, two of the league’s stars – champion Memphis in the Cotton against Penn State, and SMU in the Boca Raton against Florida Atlantic – didn’t get it done, and Temple was miserable in the Military loss to North Carolina.
Cincinnati Bowl Grade: A
Final Score: Cincinnati 38, Boston College 6
Line: Cincinnati -7.5, o/u: 55
The Bearcats came out hot right away. never let the Eagles get in the game, and won in a walk. Considering how Boise State got rolled by Washington and Memphis gave up a bazillion points to Penn State. UC carried the Group of Five flag.
Memphis Bowl Grade: B-
Final Score: Penn State 53, Memphis 39
Line: Penn State -6.5, o/u: 60.5
– 5 Thoughts on the Cotton Bowl
As the Group of Five representative in the New Year’s Six game, you don’t get a participation trophy and orange slices for a decent performance – UCF set the bar higher. Yeah, the coaching change might have been a bit of a factor, but no one will remember that in a 14-point loss while allowing almost 400 rushing yards.
Navy Bowl Grade: A
Final Score: Navy 20, Kansas State 17
Line: Navy -2.5, o/u: 53
Kansas State had the Big 12 talent, the coaching, and the makeup to handle what was coming. Even so, there was no stopping Malcolm Perry, and the Group of Five team beat the Power Five program that should’ve been able to power away to a win, and didn’t.
SMU Bowl Grade: D
Final Score: Florida Atlantic 52, SMU 28
Line: SMU -3, o/u: 70.5
– Boca Raton Bowl 5 Things That Matter
This was a team that ripped through the first half of the season and was worthy of the national spotlight in a primetime game, and it get rimrocked by a Conference USA team that lost its head coach. It was an embarrassing 45-14 early in the fourth.
Temple Bowl Grade: D-
Final Score: North Carolina 55, Temple 13
Line: North Carolina -6, o/u: 57
– 5 Thoughts on the Military Bowl
Head coach Rod Carey might have a hard time in bowl games, but Temple is far better than 55-13 to a mediocre ACC team. The Owls were never in it, didn’t have any defensive answers, and couldn’t figure out anything that worked offensively.
Tulane Bowl Grade: B
Final Score: Tulane 30, Southern Miss 13
Line: Tulane -7.5, o/u: 56.5
The only reason it’s not an A is because of the slow start. Tulane was the definition of bowl sluggish out of the gate, but it all kicked in after injuries in the USM backfield turned it into a laugher. The Green Wave turned it on with an impressive third quarter to roll.
UCF Bowl Grade: A
Final Score: UCF 48, Marshall 25
Line: UCF -15.5, o/u: 59.5
– 5 Thoughts on the Gasparilla Bowl
21-0 after the first quarter. Any questions about whether or not UCF would care about a mediocre bowl game after living the last two years in the New Year’s Six were answered right away. Marshall has been a fantastic bowl team under head coach Doc Holliday, and it got blown out.