You can see my predictions for all the games right here, but you can only get my commentary for the first set below. So let’s go. As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
- Utah vs. Navy, San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (Dec. 20, 9:00, ESPN): And it’s the opening salvo of bowl season, replete with an absurdly long sponsor’s name. Navy scores a lot of points has demonstrated repeatedly they don’t score a lot of points. They’re also minus a coach and going against a very solid Utah team that’s beaten some big boys this year. In the end, I think Navy will get the ball often enough and triple option their way down the field to victory.
- Florida Atlantic vs. Memphis, R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 21, 8:00, ESPN2): It looked like Troy was going to roll their way into New Orleans, but FAU pulled out the win a few weekends ago and thus earn the bid. That said, Troy probably stood a chance here, FAU, probably not such much. Memphis rolls.
- Southern Mississippi vs. Cincinnati, papajohns.com Bowl (Dec. 22, 1:00, ESPN2): I think I’ve ranted before about how stupid this bowl’s name is, so we’ll move on. For whatever reason, USM fired their long-time coach Jeff Bower after the season. All things considered, Cincy had a pretty good season and got shafted by the Big East bowl tie-ins. I like the Bearcats here.
- New Mexico vs. Nevada, New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 22, 4:30, ESPN): Nevada isn’t a bad team by any means, but this is essentially a home game for New Mexico, so based pretty much on that I like them here.
- Brigham Young vs. California-Los Angeles, Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 22, 8:00, ESPN): BYU is the best team you’ve never heard of this year. UCLA isn’t. The Fightin’ Mormons, with the lack of anything else to do in Las Vegas, will be ready and should roll.
- East Carolina vs. Boise State, Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 23, 8:30, ESPN): So, Boise State wanted a bowl in a warm weather environment. What they didn’t count on was that their fans would feel downright spurned that they didn’t want to stay home and play in front of them. Long story short, they’ve sold a few hundred tickets (at least the last time I checked). That said, they should still win.
That does it for now. Join me next week as I predict the real start of bowl season and take you all the way up to the Independence Bowl.