19 December 2007

NCAAF Picks: Pre-Christmas Bowl Games

The NCAAF bowl season starts tomorrow. Over the next four weeks, 62 teams will be playing glorified exhibition games for the right to say that they are the champion of whatever relatively anonymous bowl invited them. LSU and Ohio State are, to me, the only teams who actually have anything at stake.

That aside, it's good to have college football back after its traditional, awkward midseason hiatus. Odds, as usual, are from USA Today. I won't be counting these picks in my season-long quest to conquer the spread, due to the special nature of the bowl season; I'll be keeping a special tally solely of bowl games. Hopefully I can do better than some of the ESPN and SI pundits I seem to so often denigrate in this (rather one-sided) forum.

Poinsettia Bowl (Dec. 20)
Utah -9 against Navy
I'm a fan of Navy's throwback option attack, but with a replacement head coach whose name I can't pronounce, they'll have trouble against a tough Utes defense.

New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 21)
Florida Atlantic +2.5 against Memphis
When in doubt, go with Howard Schnellenberger. He's earned it.

PapaJohns.com Bowl (Dec. 22)
Cincinnati -11 against Southern Miss
Southern Miss has fired their coach after a "disappointing" 7-5 season. Not a good sign for the bowl game.

New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 22)
Nevada +3 against New Mexico
The last time New Mexico won a bowl game was 1961. They won't break the streak this year.

Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 22)
BYU -5 against UCLA
These two teams played against each other earlier this year. UCLA won, 27-17. But I still think BYU is better - and UCLA is another team dealing with coaching staff drama.

Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 23)
Boise State -10 against East Carolina
The Broncos are, if I'm not mistaken, the faster team; playing in the home of the Rainbow Warriors and June Jones, they'll have a significant advantage in this game, which could turn ugly in a speedy fashion.

Final Regular Season Record: 45-32-1
Bowl Record: 0-0

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