Alright I will level with you. Has bowl season been fantastic? No. There have been a few good games but a few duds as well. Can’t win em all right? The hope is always that the bowl games are relatively close because when they aren’t (or if some sort of record isn’t being set) it can be tough viewing. I will admit there have been some games I haven’t watched all of. Hell, there are some games I have watched maybe a quarter of. Christmas is a busy time and unless it captures my attention I can’t give a ton of time to it. And this is coming from a college football fan whose fandom approaches what some might say is sheer insanity. But enough about my issues (since that is a post that would be way too long). Let’s get to the recap alright?
Bahamas Bowl – Ohio 41 UAB 6 (My pick: UAB 35-31)
UAB had a great season. We have all heard a lot about it. Bill Clark should have got some Coach of the Year consideration. Then the Bahamas Bowl began (on the Friday before Christmas at 12:30 in the afternoon) and all that was forgotten. Ohio won in front of a few thousand fans and it wasn’t even close. Worst part is there were probably still about a million people in the States watching this game live. There’s your reason why bowl season won’t be altered in the near future.
Idaho Potato Bowl – Wyoming 37 Central Michigan 14 (My pick: Wyoming 39-28)
This was one of the worst bowl games of the season according to my very accurate ranking system. And it sure delivered in that regard. Again, a game that starts at 4 in the afternoon on a weekday before Christmas better be a good game. This wasn’t. Craig Bohl sure has done some good things in a short time in Laramie though. They will miss Josh Allen, or as the announcers wanted to make us think, “sure-fire Top 10 pick Josh Allen.” Not saying it won’t happen but man that was pretty much the entire narrative during this one.
Birmingham Bowl – USF 38 Texas Tech 34 (My pick: USF 55-21)
This game was a lot closer than I thought it would be. Good thing because Legion Field only beats Tropicana Field when looking at the worst fields hosting bowl games. Also, close bowl games are fun no? Anyway, Kute Kliff Kingsbury’s trip to the hot seat area starts now.
Armed Forces Bowl – Army 42 San Diego State 35 (My pick: San Diego State 38-21)
Two great bowl games in a row. This is awesome! And I will say, I do love watching option football. Probably because normally with college football we see the Air Raid or RPO or something along those lines. It’s a lot of passing to set up the run. So the scarcity of option football makes it fun to watch. Army played in two straight fun games and it’s nice to see them be successful after so many years of being, well, not.
Dollar General Bowl – Appalachian State 34 Toledo 0 (My pick: Appalachian State 43-40)
Well all good things come to an end. My hope for a three-for-three for great bowl games for the day went down the shitter quickly. App State sure does look good though and will be an early favourite to win the inaugural Sun Belt Championship next season.
Hawaii Bowl – Fresno State 33 Houston 27 (My pick: Fresno State 27-21)
Normally the Hawaii Bowl is good background noise when I finish wrapping presents. This year I had the presents pretty much all wrapped before the game started so I could actually pay attention to it. Good thing too since it was a great game won by one of the most improved teams in college football history. Let’s hope this would continue after a break on Christmas Day.
Heart of Dallas Bowl – Utah 30 West Virginia 14 (My pick: West Virginia 39-33)
Nope it didn’t. Boxing Day started with a lacklustre bowl game played in some FOOTBAW weather in front of not very many fans in the cavernous Cotton Bowl. Just looking at the stadium during the aerial views or shots from the pressbox makes me believe one day the stadium could come crumbling down at any point.
Quick Lane Bowl – Duke 36 Northern Illinois 14 (My pick: Duke 26-20 and attendance <15,000)
I figured this would be closer. It wasn’t. Two-for-two in the crap column so far. The reported attendance was 20,211. Bull and shit.
Cactus Bowl – Kansas State 35 UCLA 17 (My pick: Kansas State 33-28)
Well this wasn’t bad for like two-and-a-half quarters. Still though. A poor set of Boxing Day bowl games. Luckily Canada played their first game of the World Juniors that day as well.
Independence Bowl – Florida State 42 Southern Miss 13 (My pick: Florida State 39-13)
Now that is a close prediction. Other than the first few minutes of the game, where the Noles looked like the shitty middle-of-the-road ACC team they had been all season, Florida State dominated. This was not close. This is how most figured FSU would be this season. Noles fans are hoping with Willie Taggart coming in that things turn around and fast.
Pinstripe Bowl – Iowa 27 Boston College 20 (My pick: Boston College 29-28)
I knew this game would be close. I figured somehow these two teams, who I wouldn’t normally want to watch on their own, would get together and have an exciting game. And they did. Also, Yankee Stadium was a skating rink for this one with horrible footing for the players. Sounds like this has been an issue every year this bowl game has existed. But who gives a shit right? It’s Yankee Stadium! What a cool backdrop. To be honest, the novelty of this game has worn off. But watching football in FOOTBAW weather is usually fun (Heart of Dallas Bowl notwithstanding).
Foster Farms Bowl – Purdue 38 Arizona 35 (My pick: Purdue 44-38)
This, so far, had been a good day for predictions for me. And this game was a ton of fun to watch. Now I am glad FOX picked this game for the main network and the Holiday Bowl to go to FS1. I don’t remember as dominating a performance in a loss as Khalil Tate had. Five touchdowns and the Wildcats still lost. That’s college football for ya!
Texas Bowl – Texas 33 Missouri 16 (My pick: Texas 36-35)
Mizzou’s offense never really woke up and this game turned into a bit of a bore. Going up against one of the best bowl games of the season so far didn’t help. The biggest issue from this game was Tom Herman mocking Drew Lock’s touchdown celebration late in the game. Man people get all upset about nothing in 2017. Who cares about this? Oh that’s right, everyone has to put in their two cents (or more like a nickel in Canada). Gets tiring at times.
Military Bowl – Navy 49 Virginia 7 (My pick: Virginia 27-17)
Wow was I ever wrong about this one. Navy looked like a team that has been to bowl games pretty much every season of the last decade and Virginia looked like a team that hasn’t been to a bowl game in years. It was equal parts Navy being overwhelming to Virginia’s defense and Virginia looking out of place.
Camping World Bowl – Oklahoma State 30 Virginia Tech 21 (My pick: Virginia Tech 41-35)
Well at least I figured this would be a close game and it was…kind of. It was supposed to be the Irresistible Force vs. the Immovable Object. OSU’s highly powerful offense up against Bud Foster’s Lunch Pail Defense. In the end, it was the Fighting Gundys that prevailed. Mason Rudolph also showed why maybe some NFL teams shouldn’t overlook him as, at the very least, a good backup in the draft coming up this spring.
Alamo Bowl – TCU 39 Stanford 37 (My pick: Stanford 26-23)
Well I’m an idiot. Why would I pick against TCU at the Alamo Bowl? Remember two years ago they tied the largest bowl comeback in history. They were down 31-0 to Oregon and ended up winning in triple overtime. This time around they were down 21-3 and came back to win this one by two. The Horned Frogs should just move their home games to San Antonio with this kind of luck.
Holiday Bowl – Michigan State 42 Washington State 17 (My pick: Michigan State 29-23)
You know how happy I am that this game ended up being a blowout? Very. Couldn’t see it do didn’t want it to be good. And it wasn’t. The end.
Alright my second recap is complete. I will have one more bowl recap before the national championship game.
Since this is my last post of 2017, I want to wish everyone a Happy (and safe…and hopefully relatively warm) New Year. Enjoy the college and NFL games everyone and see you all in 2018.