Its my favorite time of the year… BOWL WEEK! Even though I want a playoff system I still love Bowl Week. I enjoy watching different conferences compete against each other in a National televised event that everyone will be watching. Most people say they hate it but why?? Don’t you like seeing a classic game like Notre Dame vs Miami in the Sun Bowl? Many are calling it “Catholics vs Criminals ” which was an annual game back in the 80’s and 90’s. Another good smaller bowl this season is a good South Carolina team taking on a motivated Florida State squad. I also like this as an ACC fan it gives my conference a chance to beat the best conference out there right now. Another conference battle is between the Big 10 and the SEC. In total there are 9 SEC teams in bowls (Auburn, Arkansas,Alabama,Florida,South Carolina,Georgia,Tennessee,Mississippi State and Kentucky). They also have two teams participating in BCS games. Arkansas is in the Allstate Sugar Bowl and Auburn who would’ve been in the Sugar Bowl if Cam Newton never transferred is competing for the overall championship against Oregon on January 10th .Another conference with 9 teams in action this bowl season is the ACC(Virginia Tech,Miami,Florida State,Clemson,North Carolina,NC State,Maryland,Georgia Tech and Boston College) which is led by conference champs Virginia Tech who is in the Discover Orange Bowl. If you match the two conferences up head to head clearly the SEC is better at the top. But as you go down to teams like Georgia,Tennessee, Kentucky and even Florida I think that the ACC teams could beat them. Maryland vs Tennessee or Clemson vs Florida…. You’ve gotta admit they would be interesting matchups. But today we are gonna pick the first wave of Bowl games. This weekend there ae 3 bowl games (New Mexico,Humanitarian and New Orleans). These game will feature teams from smaller conferences like the Sun Belt,MAC,Mountain West,C-USA and WAC. The 1st matchup of this bowl season is a battle between the Mountain West and C-USA. Representing the MTN West will be BYU who will be joining the independents next season. UTEP will be carrying the flag for C-USA and will have a home field advantage in New Mexico. The next game on tap is the Humanitarian bowl between Northern Illinois (MAC) and Fresno State (WAC). I saw bits and pieces of the MAC Championship which featured N. Illinois against Miami (Ohio). Even though N.Illinois lost the game they still looked very good,especially RB Chad Spann who rushed for over 1,200 yards this season. Fresno was featured in a big game against Illinois of the Big 10 and won. The player to watch for the Bulldogs is senior QB Ryan Colburn who has thrown for over 2,500 yards this season. The final bowl of the week is in the Big Easy where Troy (Sun Belt) and Ohio (MAC). This game will be close like the other 2 games of the week. The Troy offense is ranked 12th in the nation in Passing Yards with true Freshman QB Corey Robinson who has thrown for over 3,000 yards this season as a Freshman!! For the Bobcats WR Terrence McCrae who leads the team in TD receptions (9) will be a major factor against a weak Troy defensive unit. McCrae is also 6-4 and can jump so we may be seeing him at the next level.
Bowl week 1 picks
New Mexico Bowl: BYU vs UTEP (2:00 P.M. ,ESPN) BYU
Humanitarian Bowl: Northern Illinois vs Fresno State (5:30 P.M. ,ESPN) Northern Illinois
New Orleans Bowl: Troy vs Ohio (9:00 P.M. , ESPN) TROY