Bowl season is finally here! MVP staff writer Steve Maves takes a look at Week 1’s action ranging from Dec. 19th to 24th.
December 19th – 11am (CT)/ABC
AFR Celebration Bowl- Alcorn State (9-3) vs. North Carolina A&T (9-2)
This is the first year for the AFR Celebration Bowl and it features two teams with 9 wins, but Alcorn State has won four games in a row including their conference championship game against Grambling State. Alcorn State also averages over 40 points per game and over 470 yards per game. NC A&T averages just over 31 points per game and 306 yards per game and because of this huge difference between the two I am going to pick
Alcorn State 44 – North Carolina A&T 29
December 19th – 1pm (CT)/ESPN
Gildan New Mexico Bowl – Arizona (6-6) vs. New Mexico (7-5)
There isn’t much to say about these two teams as they have struggled this year, but with the game being played in the Lobos backyard I don’t see Arizona being able to pull off the win. Arizona has pulled off an upset against Utah in double overtime, but other than that they haven’t beaten significant teams. New Mexico hasn’t played very good either but have won some very close games this year against teams like Boise State (31-24), Utah State (14-13), and Hawai’i (28-27). I think because of these close games they will pull off the win
New Mexico 33 – Arizona 20
December 19th – 2:30pm (CT)/ABC
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl – BYU (9-3) vs. #22 Utah (9-3)
These two teams have had some very high ups and very low downs this year. BYU started the season with some impressive wins over Nebraska and Boise State, but was embarrassed by Michigan two weeks later 31-0. The Cougars schedule was very weak the rest of the season with the only tough game they lost was to Missouri on November 14th. Utah on the other hand has played a tough schedule with some good wins over Michigan, California, and Oregon because of this wins Utah has and the game against an in-state rival Utah will win big.
Utah 34 – BYU 22
December 19th – 4:30pm/ESPN
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl – Ohio (8-4) vs. Appalachian State (10-2)
Both of these teams have pretty good records and with Ohio being in a better conference I think the Bobcats will pull off the win over App. State.
Ohio 32 – Appalachian State 17
December 19th – 6pm(CT)/CBSSN
AutoNation Cure Bowl – San Jose State (5-7) vs. Georgia State (6-6)
Many people are calling this game the ultimate “too many bowls bowl” because of the such poor records and I don’t think to many people will show up to this game especially for San Jose State and I don’t think it will be exciting. I feel Georgia State will pull off the win just because of the upsets they had in March Madness last spring.
Georgia State 26 – San Jose State 14
December 19th – 8pm(CT)/ESPN
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Arkansas State (9-3) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-4)
Arkansas State has won 8 games in a row to secure a bowl spot including the last regular season game against Texas State (55-17). The Red Wolves are a very high scoring team and that might give the Bulldogs fits, but Louisiana Tech has had a much tougher schedule and with big wins over North Texas and UTEP. The head basketball coach for the Bulldogs is Eric Konkol who graduated from Amherst high school, as the all-time leading scorer and that is why I think the Bulldogs win this game.
Louisiana Tech 45 – Arkansas State 44 (2 OT)
December 21st – 1:30pm(CT)/ESPN
Miami Beach Bowl – Western Kentucky (11-2) vs. South Florida (8-4)
The records might be deceiving but the South Florida Bulls gave Florida State a run for their money early in the season, but I don’t see the Hilltoppers being beat in this game even with it being in Miami.
Western Kentucky 29 – South Florida 24
December 22nd – 2:30pm(CT)/ESPN
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Akron (7-5) vs. Utah State (6-6)
This should be another nail-bitter between two teams that haven’t really played any good competition this season and in the all famous potato bowl it should come down to who has the most fries in the burner at the end of the game. I think that the Zips will pull off the win in this game, but Utah State will keep it close till the end.
Akron 23 – Utah State 16
December 22nd – 6pm(CT)/ESPN
Marmot Boca Raton Bowl – Toledo (9-2) vs. #24 Temple (10-3)
Both of these teams started out and finished the season very strong. Toledo had big wins over Iowa State and Bowling Green this season and finished the year with a loss to Western Michigan, but that won’t keep their hopes down of winning a bowl game. Temple had one of their most successful seasons in school history with an opening season win over Penn State and lost a close game to Notre Dame and the conference championship to Houston and I think they will pull off the win over Toledo to finish this historic season.
Temple 35 – Toledo 20
December 23rd – 3:30pm(CT)/ESPN
San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl – Boise State (8-4) vs. Northern Illinois State (8-5)
Neither of these two teams had a very strong strength of schedule with the only key win coming for NIU. That win came over Toledo in the middle of the season, both teams did beat UNLV but other than that the games didn’t amount to much. I do see Boise State pulling off the win in this game, however I think it will be a tight nit game coming down to the wire.
Boise State 24 – NIU 21
December 23rd – 7pm (CT)/ESPN
GoDaddy Bowl – Georgia Southern (8-4) vs. Bowling Green (10-3)
I will get to the point early Bowling Green will dominate this game from the start and blow out Georgia Southern. Bowling Green has played excellent all year and showed in their schedule they can play with some of the top teams. Nothing against Georgia Southern but the Falcons will roll.
Bowling Green 45 – Georgia Southern 17
December 24th – 11am(CT)/ESPN
Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl – Middle Tennessee State (7-5) vs. Western Michigan (7-5)
These are two very lucky teams being able to play in the Bahamas but once they get on the field it won’t be all fun and games. MTS has won four games in a row to get to the bowl season and Western Michigan has played and beaten some top teams this year including a good Toledo Rockets team. This should be one of the more competitive games of the week and I think the Western Michigan Broncos fall to Middle Tennessee State.
Blue Raiders 27 – Broncos 23
December 24th – 7pm(CT)/ESPN
Hawai’i Bowl – San Diego State (10-3) vs. Cincinnati (7-5)
Again this will be another beautiful place to play but the Cincinnati Bearcats won’t be having too much fun in Hawai’i this year. The Aztecs have been outplaying everyone they played this year and I don’t see that stopping this game against a poor Bearcats team. The Bearcats had one big win this year and that was over the Miami Hurricanes, but the Aztecs have won 9 games in a row and carry all the momentum going into this game and that is why I think the Aztecs win.
San Diego State 39 – Cincinnati 25
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