Bones’s Bowl Preview 2011: Week One (slightly late edition)

As is my misguided custom, the time has arrived once more for me to predict college football’s postseason games.

So there’s 35 bowls and only one that matters. It’s not the most pleasant of postseasons, but hey, at least we get more college football, much of it consisting of teams we haven’t gotten to see all season. The only problem is, some of those teams have stayed under the radar for a freakin’ reason.

Let’s put that another way: I’m posting this late, as the 2nd of the 35 bowls is already rolling. So the first 3 games won’t be on this list because it’d be stupid for me to write a “prediction” about something that’s already happened/is happening. Now, ask yourself, if I hadn’t admitted to skipping the first three, would you have noticed? If you answered “yes,” then why aren’t you a writer on our blog?

OK, enough intro, let’s get to the rambling!

December 20, 2011

Beef ‘o’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg

Florida International vs. Marshall

Breakdown: If you need proof that there’s too many dang bowls, look no further. FIU at least has the record to deserve a bowl game (an 8-4 record compared to Marshall’s 6-6) but I don’t think that anyone outside of Huntington and Miami is clamoring for tickets. Admittedly, FIU is in a bowl, unlike another school from Miami I could mention…

Enough rambling, though, let’s analyze the matchup. FIU is a team whose only salient statistical characteristic is their scoring defense, which is 16th in the country. That’s better than Marshall, which has no salient statistical category. Some might argue that’s because Marshall is in a better conference. I’m gonna argue it’s because they’re a mediocre team.

Should I watch this? Not really. Get some last second Christmas shopping done.

Blogger’s Pick: Florida International. Defense uber alles.

December 21, 2011

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

#18 TCU vs. Louisiana Tech

Breakdown: Using the final BCS standings as our measuring stick, this is the first of seven bowls matching an unranked team with a ranked one. Because, y’know, that’s the purpose of the bowl system, to give us the sort of matchups we all got sick of in September. I digress. It’s been a down year for TCU, but they do have a critical win over Boise State that locked the Broncos out of the BCS. TCU’s two losses were very close games, and the result is that they get locked in what has typically been a bowl given as cold comfort to its participants. Louisiana Tech started out extraordinarily slow and worked their way to a respectable 8-4 season.

Should I watch this game? Yeah, sure. Louisiana Tech has the potential to pull off an exciting upset, or TCU could win by 40. Might as well watch and find out.

Blogger’s Pick: Louisiana State won the WAC the year after Boise State finally moved out. TCU beat Boise State. I’m going with the latter. TCU wins in a bloodbath.

December 22, 2011

MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

Arizona State vs. #7 Boise State

Breakdown: More than the BCS ever will be, this right here is proof of college football elitism. Boise State is a one loss team from a minor conference that stumbled once against their only realistic competition for the conference title. Arizona State is a team from a major conference that hasn’t won a game since October 29, and hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record since October 8. And they’re in the same bowl. Yeah, you have fun unraveling that. ASU’s offense is probably on par with Boise’s, when you consider their quality of competition, but the Arizona State defense has been pretty porous. Oh, and ASU fired their coach well before this game. That won’t help.

Should I watch this game? Yeah, it’s Kellen Moore’s last. Watch it and applaud what might be the last game for one of the best “little guy” QB’s ever.

Blogger’s Pick: I hope their placement here made Boise mad: Broncos win in a runaway.

December 24, 2011

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

Nevada vs. #21 Southern Miss

Breakdown: Nevada opened up with a slew of 3 tough teams in their first four games. Aaaaaand they lost all 3 to open the season 1-3. Then they won 5 straight, then lost 2 of their last 3 before smashing Idaho in the season finale. Southern Miss was simply “the other” team in Conference USA behind Houston, until they met the Cougars in the C-USA championship and beat them. Southern Miss is well-rounded, pairing their high scoring with good defense. Nevada runs out of the pistol, leading to middling scoring stats, but shortening the game. This actually has potential to be a pretty good ball game.

Should I watch this game? Yes. Should be close, and this may be the most interesting matchup of the first bowl week. Don’t stay up too late, mind you, or Santa will skip your house.

Blogger’s pick: When in doubt, pick the team with a better defense. Southern Miss takes the win.

That’s all for week one! Come back later to mock the foolishness of these picks!