>Thursday Earlier Lunch: ‘Tis the Season: First Bowl Week of 2010/11

Posted: December 16, 2010 in college football, ncaafb
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By Dylan Davis

 

Another college football regular season has come and gone, and it’s time for the strangest, biggest, craziest postseason out of any sport in America. The college bowl system is debated year after year, but amidst all of that, there are great games and crazy plays throughout. This year promises to be no different as there are many intriguing games and possibly the best batch of BCS matchups ever. Without further ado, here are my predictions for the first week of bowl action along with the swag that each player receives from each bowl game.

New Mexico: BYU vs. UTEP

Who will win: BYU. And it won’t be close. BYU was able to squeak out a close win over fellow bowl team Washington in the first week of the season and also beat 8-4 San Diego State in October. UTEP, on the other hand, only managed six victories over teams with a combined 15 wins. When it comes to bowl games, it starts to matter the quality of schedule and who you were able to beat. I don’t care that you can beat Cupcake State by 57 points. Great, if you want to make a bowl you should be slaughtering teams like New Mexico and New Mexico State. BYU was actually able to get W’s against bowl teams, which pushes them over the top.

Swag: Gift Suite, Oakley Sunglasses, Oakley beanie, New Era Cap, Oakley backpack, pen with box, and Christmas ornament. Players will make good use of the sunglasses, beanie, and hat so friends and family don’t recognize them and realize they’re playing in a bowl game in New Mexico.

 

Humanitarian: Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State

57767772Who will win: Northern Illinois in a squeaker. Fresno State has gone 2-2 in its previous four games, but those two wins were by a combined 5 points against Idaho and Illinois at home. Before that, they were shellacked by a shocking score of 51-0 at Boise. The Bulldogs peaked at the wrong time, and even though they may have more talent than Northern Illinois, they won’t be able to pull out the win. The Huskies are going in the complete opposite direction as they won nine games in a row before finally dropping their final game to MAC champ Miami (OH) by five points. I expect these trends to continue in Boise.

Swag: Sony Gift Suite, New Era skullcap, waterproof parka, winter gloves, hand warmers, Ogio Fugitive backpack, Big Game souvenir football. I have no idea why a bowl game in Boise between a WAC team and a MAC team would want a ball commemorating the Cal-Stanford game.

 

New Orleans: Ohio vs. Troy

Who will win: Ohio, and I won’t watch a second of this game. Ohio beat MAC champ Miami (OH) by three touchdowns and 8-4 Temple on the road, but neither of these teams are very impressive in any way. I can just never pick a Sun Belt team to win any game.

Swag: iPod touch and Balfour ring. Balfour is a company that specializes in class rings for high schools and has made some Super Bowl rings. This leads me to believe that the ring will commemorate the bowl game itself, which means that those iPod touches will be a lot more popular this year for the players.

 

St. Petersburg: Southern Mississippi vs. Louisville

Who will win: Southern Mississippi in a shootout. USM lost two games by a single point and another by six. The Golden Eagles were blown out by South Carolina, but Louisville is nowhere near the talent of the Gamecocks. The Cardinals have only scored 40 points twice the entire season, while Brett Favre’s alma mater has hit that mark seven times in their last 8 games. Normally you would have to give Louisville credit because they play in a BCS conference, but the Big East this year wasn’t much better than Conference USA.

Swag: Xbox 360, Oakley sunglasses, Oakley backpack, and mini-helmet. That mini-helmet is possibly one of the worst gifts of the bowl season and will probably be turned into a bong by at least 15 players.

 

D067601025.JPGLas Vegas: Utah vs. Boise State

Who will win: Boise State, in one of the best non-BCS bowls. This game is an interesting test case to see how well Chris Peterson can keep his troops focused after a devastating loss to Nevada that kept them out of a BCS bowl. Boise obviously has more talent than the Utes, but will the players care about the Las Vegas bowl after gearing up for the Rose Bowl all season? I think that if the Utes had a stronger defense, they could pull the upset, but Boise’s defense is way too strong and Kellen Moore can light up any defense in the country. One problem I have with this game is the fact that two of the best non-BCS are playing each other. I realize that all the bowls have conference tie-ins, but this is the third year in a row that a Boise with one loss or less hasn’t been able to showcase their talents against a big team. This is no knock on Utah who has been very impressive the entire season, but if Boise beats up on Utah it doesn’t carry the same weight as if they had beaten up on Michigan State or LSU. Maybe next year, Boise.

Swag: Gift Suite. What? They’re in Las Vegas; you think they need more gadgets and clothes than the teams relegated to St. Petersburg, Boise, or New Mexico? Please.

 

As with Will, I had finals and work this week, so sorry for the short article. Join back next week for a recap of the first five bowls and previews of next week’s games along with the definitive Sack Lunch All-American team. Have a great weekend.

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