Join Date: Dec 2004
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| | College Football Bowls Saturday Dec 20
2008 College Football Bowls Saturday, December 20, 2008
Eagle Bowl, Navy vs. Wake Forest 11:00 AM (ET) ESPN
Navy won 24-17 at Wake Forest Sept 27, outrushing Deacons 292-43, with six takeaways (+4); they've had only two weeks since Army win, which is really their Super Bowl. Middies covered their last four bowls, scoring 35.3 ppg (2-2 SU, losses by 1-3 pts). Navy shut out their last two opponents, Northern Illinois/Army.
Nine of Wake Forest's 12 games were against bowl teams (4-5); Deacs are 2-1 in last three bowls, allowing just 17 ppg, they have a junior QB who has made 35 career starts, they lost last three road games, while the Middies won their last four away from home. Atlantic Conference teams are 20-11 vs spread in non-conference games, 12-8 when favored.
Both teams have +16 turnover ratios; while Wake lost to Navy this yeat they crushed Middies 44-24 LY- they didn't play Paul Johson's Georgia Tech team, but they've had three weeks to get ready for first Eagle Bowl which should be a pretty good game, played fairly close to Annapolis, so Middies should have whatever crowd edge there is.
New Mexico Bowl, Colorado St. vs. Fresno St. 2:30 PM (ET) ESPN
Fresno State had disappointing year, losing 61-10 at Boise State in last game; they're 1-10 vs spread in last 11 games, covering one of eight as a favorite. Bulldogs are 1-5 vs bowl teams this season, beating Rutgers on road in September, losing by 3 points each to Wisconsin/Hawai'i and La Tech, by 13 to Nevada, by 51 at Boise.
Colorado State is coached by former NFL assistant Fairchild; they're 6-6 playing one I-AA team, 3-4 vs spread as underdog. Rams are 1-4 vs the bowl teams they played, beating Houston by a FG, losing to TCU by 6, 35 to Cal, 33 to Utah, a FG to BYU. CSU was 2-4 on road, with wins vs sadsack San Diego State, Wyoming. This is a shaky bowl team.
Fresno allowed 28+ points in eight of last ten games; they had -7 ratio in turnovers their last four games, despite having senior QB. Fresno is 4-1 in last five bowls, with underdog covering all five, and an average total of 62.3 in last three. WAC teams are just 10-21 vs spread out of conference Since Colorado State is Mountain West team, would guess locals would pull for them, but Fresno usually travels well, should have lot of fans.
Senior QB and coach Hill would make me lean towards Fresno State.
St. Petersburg Bowl, South Florida vs. Memphis 4:30 PM (ET) ESPN2
South Florida has 20 mile trip from its campus to The Trop, which has never hosted a football game before, far as I know; Bulls are 2-9 vs the spread in last 11 games on carpet. USF is in bowl for fourth year in row, having played three one-sided (0-14/24-7/21-56) games last three years. Bulls lost four of last five games; they're 3-6-1 vs spread as favorite this season. USF threw 11 INTs in last five games, scoring average of 12.5 ppg in last four. Big East teams are 12-17 vs spread out of conference.
Memphis is 2-2 in bowls under West, allowing 42.3 ppg in its last three bowl appearances; Tigers won three of last four games, are 1-3 vs bowl teams, losing by 17 to Ole Miss, 7 vs Rice, 20 to East Carolina- the win was by 6 over Southern Miss. C-USA teams are 13-16 vs spread in their non-league games, 7-8 as dog on road. Memphis had extra week to ready for this game- they lost 35-28 to Louisville in its only game vs Big East.
Memphis is 6-0 when it rushes for 192+ yards, 0-6 when they do not-- most rushing yards South Florida allowed was 146 (Pitt), with UConn, West Virginia both gaining 139. Favorites of 12+ points in non-Jan 1st bowls covered just two of 11 tries since 1996. USF is a disappointment this season, but Memphis allowed 26+ points in six of last seven games and has gone thru several QBs this year because of injuries. It is rarely good to play double digits in bowl, but there is difference in class here.
Las Vegas Bowl, BYU vs. Arizona 8:00 PM (ET) ESPN
BYU is in this bowl for fourth year in row, winning last two years, 38-8 and 17-16; Cougars are 10-2, but their two losses were by 32-7/48-24 vs TCU, Utah, two of the four bowl teams they faced (also beat Air Force by 14, Colorado State by 3). BYU beat Washington, UCLA, two of the lesser Pac-10 teams; they were +9 in turnovers the first six games, then -7 the last six games, going 4-2 after a 6-0 start. BYU got drilled in both games they were an underdog this season.
Arizona is in bowl for first time in decade, so they're excited, but they've also had just two weeks since their big second half vs rival Arizona State clinched their winning season. Wildcats are 1-4 vs bowl teams, losing to New Mexico of MWC and both Oregon schools- they beat Cal Bears by 15. Maybe the most impressive game Arizona played was 17-10 loss at home to USC. Pac-10 favorites are 11-5 vs spread out of conference this season., 1-3 away from home.
Underdog covered three of last four Las Vegas Bowls; MWC teams are 4-3 against the Pac-10 in this game, 6-3 overall in this bowl. Arizona held five of its 12 opponents under 50% passing; they have a senior QB who finally got Wildcats into a bowl. Think Arizona is the right side here.