Tuesday, January 8, 2008

December 22nd & 23rd - 4 bowls

the Papajohns.com Bowl
Saturday, December 22nd, 1:00pm
Birmingham, Alabama
(9-3)_____Big East____298.97
Southern Miss
(7-5)_____Conf USA____53.31
WeekOpponentoPtsRes, ScoreWeekOpponentoPtsRes, Score
10@ South Florida316.42W, 38-333@ East Carolina89.72W, 28-21
11Connecticut232.43W, 27-313Arkansas State-63.38W, 16-10
2Oregon State209.72W, 34-312@ Texas-El Paso-110.58W, 56-30
6@ Rutgers146.23W, 28-238@ Marshall-158.83W, 33-24
3@ Miami (Ohio)-62.84W, 47-1010@ Alabama-Birmingham-232.53W, 37-7
5@ San Diego State-84.17W, 52-237Southern Methodist-292.91W, 28-7
13@ Syracuse-156.53W, 52-311Tennessee-Martin-W, 35-13
4Marshall-158.83W, 40-142@ Tennessee349.37L, 19-39
1Southeast Missouri State-W, 59-39Central Florida266.42L, 17-34
12West Virginia364.93L, 23-285@ Boise State229.42L, 16-38
7Louisville106.21L, 24-2811Memphis21.53L, 26-29
8@ Pittsburgh76.94L, 17-246Rice-221.20L, 29-31

The Bearcats have the clear edge in this game - better record, a lot of quality wins, no real bad losses.

Cincinnati had a drop-off in the middle of the season but has since rebounded. Southern Miss has worked their way back up from the red too, but they're much more stop and go.

Intangibles: Southern Miss is the opposite of interim'd for this game - it's Jeff Bower's last one, and you can bet he's going to do everything in his power to show the school's administration what a huge mistake they made in forcing him to resign.

The Line: Southern Miss +11.5

The Story: Cincinnati's skills vs Southern Miss's heart

The Call: Cincinnati wins, but Southern Miss covers the spread

The Result: Cincinnati 31-21 = Right on the money.

the New Mexico Bowl
Saturday, December 22nd, 4:30pm
Albuquerque, New Mexico
New Mexico
(8-4)_____Mtn West____154.27
WeekOpponentoPtsRes, ScoreWeekOpponentoPtsRes, Score
9Air Force233.04W, 34-3114Louisiana Tech-48.56W, 49-10
3@ Arizona69.56W, 29-2710@ New Mexico State-156.16W, 40-38
7@ Wyoming-10.46W, 20-35Nevada-Las Vegas-178.30W, 27-20
8@ San Diego State-84.17W, 20-178@ Utah State-209.20W, 31-28
11Colorado State-109.69W, 26-239Idaho-335.67W, 37-21
2New Mexico State-156.16W, 44-343Nicholls State-W, 52-17
13Nevada-Las Vegas-178.30W, 27-612Hawaii395.58L, 26-28
4Sacramento State-W, 58-07@ Boise State229.42L, 67-69
5Brigham Young341.36L, 24-316Fresno State151.92L, 41-49
12@ Utah213.09L, 10-282@ Northwestern30.45L, 31-36
10@ Texas Christian152.78L, 0-371@ Nebraska29.14L, 10-52
1@ Texas-El Paso-110.58L, 6-1013@ San Jose State-53.89L, 24-27

New Mexico has the edge in how much they've been tested, winning a good game vs Air Force, while Nevada hasn't beaten anyone of note.

Not too much difference in these teams' seasons - both started with a loss but have pulled themselves back up.

Intangibles: The game is basically a home one for New Mexico, which is good because the Lobos only lost one (to BYU) this season at home.

The Line: Nevada +3

The Story: New Mexico's leading rusher Rodney Ferguson and backup rusher Mike Love are both out for the game, and though coach Rocky Long says that plugging in Paul Baker will work just fine, I don't think it's going to be that simple. It might be just enough though.

The Call: New Mexico by 6

The Result: New Mexico 23-0 = Maybe it was that simple - Paul Baker racked up 167 yards rushing. Who knew? (Besides Coach Long, that is.)

the Las Vegas Bowl
Saturday, December 22nd, 8:00pm
Las Vegas, Nevada
(10-2)_____Mtn West____341.36
(6-6)______Pac 10_____117.96
WeekOpponentoPtsRes, ScoreWeekOpponentoPtsRes, Score
4Air Force233.04W, 31-62Brigham Young341.36W, 27-17
13@ Utah213.09W, 17-1013Oregon251.78W, 16-0
5@ New Mexico154.27W, 31-245@ Oregon State209.72W, 40-14
11Texas Christian152.78W, 27-228California87.95W, 30-21
1Arizona69.56W, 20-74Washington-9.10W, 44-31
12Wyoming-10.46W, 35-101@ Stanford-46.40W, 45-17
14San Diego State-84.17W, 48-2714@ Southern California321.57L, 7-24
10@ Colorado State-109.69W, 35-1611Arizona State241.74L, 20-24
7@ Nevada-Las Vegas-178.30W, 24-143@ Utah213.09L, 6-44
8Eastern Washington-W, 42-710@ Arizona69.56L, 27-34
3@ Tulsa164.04L, 47-559@ Washington State31.17L, 7-27
2@ UCLA117.96L, 17-276Notre Dame-135.92L, 6-20

Rematch! The first game went to the Bruins at home in September, which was the best and worst game for each team, respectively. But since then the Cougars have had a bit of a better season. Just a bit.

The chart says it all in terms of seasonal progress.

Intangibles: How will the BYU players and fans react to Vegas? Something's gotta give there...

The Line: UCLA +6

The Story: As is a main storyline for this bowl season, the Bruins are interim'd. Not only that, but the school is still interviewing for a coach, not having already scooped up one for next season as most other schools have. Of course it doesn't just come down to coaches, the Cougar's desire for revenge is big too...

The Call: BYU by 10

The Result: BYU 17-16 = Another solid game. BYU finishes a great season, winning their last 10.

the Hawaii Bowl
Sunday, December 23rd, 8:00pm
Honolulu, Hawaii
East Carolina
(7-5)_____Conf USA____89.72
Boise State
WeekOpponentoPtsRes, ScoreWeekOpponentoPtsRes, Score
6Central Florida266.42W, 52-389@ Fresno State151.92W, 34-21
5@ Houston111.86W, 37-357Nevada54.01W, 69-67
10@ Memphis21.53W, 56-405Southern Mississippi53.31W, 38-16
2North Carolina7.58W, 34-313Wyoming-10.46W, 24-14
7@ Texas-El Paso-110.58W, 45-428@ Louisiana Tech-48.56W, 45-31
13Tulane-144.98W, 35-1210San Jose State-53.89W, 42-7
9Alabama-Birmingham-232.53W, 41-66New Mexico State-156.16W, 58-0
1@ Virginia Tech439.86L, 7-1711@ Utah State-209.20W, 52-0
4@ West Virginia364.93L, 7-4812Idaho-335.67W, 58-14
3Southern Mississippi53.31L, 21-281Weber State-W, 56-7
8North Carolina State34.24L, 20-3413@ Hawaii395.58L, 27-39
11@ Marshall-158.83L, 7-262@ Washington-9.10L, 10-24

Boise State has the lead here, not only having a better record but also having played in Hawaii less than a month ago. The only blemish on the Bronco's record is an somewhat unexplainable loss to Washington in September.

Intangibles: Everyone still remembers what Boise State did to Oklahoma last year in one of the greatest bowl games ever. Will their hearts be in Hawaii this year?

The Line: East Carolina +11

The Story: Can East Carolina score? To have any shot at all they'll need to - their D has given up a ton of points this year.

The Call: Boise State by 14

The Result: East Carolina 41-38 = Well done, Pirates. Boise State's D isn't too shabby, but East Carolina just stepped on the gas from the start.

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