There are seven wonderful bowl games before Santa comes to town. Okay, they aren't really wonderful at all really. They all have funny names though (I will get to that in a second) which is the best part of the early bowl season I think. I believe this is how I will be predicting the bowl season as well…in short stages. The pre-Christmas stage, the Pre-New years stage and the Post-New Years stage…three in all, which should nicely break up the 32 games.
Now to the picking…
San Diego County Credit Union Poinesttia Bowl – # 24 TCU vs. Northern Illinois – I must say this is one of my favorite bowl names. Take the town its located in, add a weird sponsor, and then some random flower. Next thing you know you have a weird and wacky bowl title. Six titles in all before the word 'bowl' in this one. Ah but to the game. I must say the bowl season kicks off with a nice matchup. Garrett Wolfe is one of the best running backs in the country but his team is from a weak conference (MAC) and then you have TCU who has a strong 10 – 2 record on the season but they too come from a weaker conference (Mountain West). TCU lost both games in the state of Utah while UNI struggled in the state of Ohio. I don't know what that means for either team in this game but I like the Horned Frogs.
Pioneer Pure Vision Las Vegas Bowl – #20 BYU vs. Oregon – Does anyone find it funny that a Mormon school is going to Vegas? I don't know, maybe that is just me. Anyways, BYU hasn't lost since mid-September and Oregon seems like they haven't won since then. I am taking BYU…but don't be surprised to see the Pac-10 play well in the bowl games. Something tells me they will this year.
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Rice vs. Troy – Yawn. A game that I know no one will tune into unless you go to these two schools. This, like many bowl games are reasons why people complain about the amount of bowl games. Both teams are 7 – 5 on the year and both got beat by Florida State. Though Troy did make that game interesting. So based on that I will go with Troy.
Papajohns.com Bowl – South Florida vs. Eastern Carolina – This game excites me. Two teams that I saw this season against WVU, one beat us and one played us really tight. USF has the potential to be really good for the next couple years and really so does ECU. This is one of the better bowl games that won't get a lot of press since it is a pre-Christmas Bowl game. For South Florida this is a prize for beating WVU at the end of the season. If USF wins this game, I would be shocked if they weren't ranked going into next season. Loads of potential with this team.
New Mexico Bowl – New Mexico vs. San Jose State – A home game for New Mexico, obviously. But I am not sold at all with this 6-6 team. I like San Jose State just a little more even though they are only 8-4. The Lobos may be home but I just cannot pick them. Expect good defense in this game though, two good defensive coordinators at both schools. And another side note, this is SJS first bowl game in 16 years.
Winner: San Jose State
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl – Tulsa vs. Utah – This may be the best bowl name of all time. What was once the Fort Worth Bowl (since the game is played in Fort Worth, TX) is now some Helicopter Bowl. So I will call it the Helicopter Bowl. Other than the name, I really don't care about the game itself. Two teams that really don't excite me at all. I may be going out on a limb but I will go with the Utes.
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl- Hawaii vs. Arizona State – Nothing like going to Hawaii on Christmas Eve for the Sun Devils. How nice is that? You had a sub-par season, yet your reward is a trip to Hawaii. Must be nice. You'd think they would put the Hawaii Bowl as a big time desination for bowl games with bigger teams and all. Instead it is a worthless bowl that just gives one west-coast team a chance to party up their sorry excuse for a season. In the game I will take the home team, Hawaii. A heck of an offense there and I know ASU just doesn't have the firepower to keep up with the Rainbow Warriors.
There you all have it, my Pre-Christmas Bowl picks. I don't have a weird sponsor but it wouldn't hurt since all of these bowl games have bad sponsors. So how about the Epp6.com Pre-Christmas Bowl Picks presented by The West Virginia Team Shop. Eh? Sounds good to me for now. haha