Breaking news, rankings, predictions and analysis all in one place.

Bowl Picks 2019: Bahamas Bowl-New Orleans Bowl (Dec.20-21)

Benny LeMay, Charlotte (Bahamas Bowl)
Bahamas Bowl (December 20th)
(7-5) Buffalo Bulls vs. (7-5) Charlotte 49ers
Both of these teams ended 2019 on a high note, as Buffalo has won five of six entering, and the 49ers five consecutive. For Charlotte, they're not only having to extend the win streak, but come out victorious in their first ever FBS postseason berth. They'll have to contain Group of Five Heisman Winner Jarrett Patterson, who finished the regular season with 1,626 yards and 17 touchdowns. Charlotte is able to counter with their own 1,000-yard back, Benny LeMay, and a methodical offense. I actually like the Niners here; they have the momentum and the defense is able to create turnovers. I don't think Buffalo has the vertical passing game to get the job done.
Charlotte, 27 Buffalo, 20

Frisco Bowl (December 20th)
(7-5) Utah State Aggies vs. (6-6) Kent State Golden Flashes
This bowl got a lot more interesting earlier this week when three Utah State players were charged with possession of a controlled substance, including QB Jordan Love. It remains to be seen what impact that will have on this game, particularly for Love, who already planning to go pro. Kent State has a mediocre offense, but we'll have to see what edition of the Aggie defense we'll get. The group has been solid for much of the 2019 campaign, but allowed 56 points to Boise State a few weeks ago.
Utah State, 30 Kent State, 21

New Mexico Bowl (December 21st)
(8-5) Central Michigan Chippewas vs. (9-3) San Diego State
San Diego State enters this one as a 3.5 point favorite, based mainly on the respect Rocky Long has garnered leading the Aztecs. They're guided this year by a terrific defense, allowing just 12.8 points per game. No team has eclipsed 31 against SDSU, and they've allowed just seven across their last three. That presents a stiff challenge for Central Michigan head coach Jim McElwain and OC Charlie Frye. The Chippewas can do some unique things offensively, and have a veteran quarterback in Quentin Dormady. This is still going to be a challenge even going up against an Aztec offense that has struggled to create big plays.
San Diego State, 21 Central Michigan, 17

Cure Bowl (December 21st)
(7-5) Liberty Flames vs. (6-6) Georgia Southern Eagles
This is another opportunity for a program to get their first ever victory, as Liberty completed the FBS transition just this year. Former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze has developed an explosive offense with the Flames, but 6-6 Georgia Southern is no slouch. Liberty has an absolute gunslinger at QB in Stephen Calvert (3,393 yards, 26 TD) and a Biletnikoff Award contender in Antonio Gandy-Golden (1,333 yards, nine TD). The Eagles nearly upset 10-2 Minnesota earlier this season, and were the only team to take down Appalachian State this fall. Their triple-option is hard to replicate in practice, and I thin Liberty has a tough time with it.
Georgia Southern, 28 Liberty, 24

Boca Raton Bowl (December 21st)
(10-2) SMU Mustangs vs. (10-3) Florida Atlantic Owls
Even with the home-field advantage working in their favor, the Owls will be without Lane Kiffin, who left for Ole Miss. Florida Atlantic will still be able to throw some things at the Mustangs, with former Oklahoma transfer Chris Robison behind center and one of the country's premier tight ends, Harrison Bryant. But will it be able to keep up with the Mustangs over the course of sixty minutes? SMU can hit you everywhere on offense, with Texas transfer Shane Buechele the one pulling the strings at quarterback. I like them to cap off a resurgent year with a victory.
SMU, 44 Florida Atlantic, 34

Camellia Bowl
(6-6) Florida International Panthers vs. (7-5) Arkansas State Red Wolves
Winners of four of their last five games, Arkansas State rolls into Montgomery, Alabama, with significant momentum. The Red Wolves are headed by a vertical passing attack centered around getting the ball to Omar Bayless, who finished off second in FBS in receiving yards, with 1,473. They also have two important supporting pieces in Jonathan Adams Jr. and Kirk Merrritt, who both finished the regular season with over 700 yards. FIU barely snuck into a bowl at 6-6, but beat Miami early into November, proving they can knock off some of the big boys. They have a strong defense, but I'm not sure if the offense can keep up with the Red Wolves.
Arkansas State, 35 FIU, 26

Las Vegas Bowl
(7-5) Washington Huskies vs. (12-1) Boise State Broncos
This going to be one of the most fascinating early bowl games on the docket, as Washington head coach Chris Petersen coaches his final collegiate game against the school that got him established, Boise State. His Huskies have been incredibly streaky all season, particularly quarterback Jacob Eason and the secondary. They do have the talent advantage, but there is a reason this Broncos team came within three points of an undefeated season. They feature a balanced offense, along with a defense headlined by linebacker Curtis Weaver (13.5 sacks on the year). I think the motivation will be high on both sides, but I trust what I'm getting from Boise State a little more.
Boise State, 30 Washington, 27

New Orleans Bowl
(12-1) Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. (9-4) UAB Blazers
Speaking of teams that came awfully close to an undefeated season, Appalachian State was flawless beyond a three-point heartbreaker to Georgia Southern. That success ended up with head coach Eli Drinkwitz taking the Missouri job, although new head man Shawn Clark will ensure some continuity with the program, as he has been with the Mountaineers since 2016. App. State will still look awfully similar under him as they did under Drinkwitz, with a dominant ground attack. Junior Darrynton Evans has 1,323 yards on the campaign, and he'll give UAB some real troubles. The Blazers do have a defense that can keep them competitive, but their offense has struggled down the stretch. They'll have a tough time overcoming the Mountaineers' advantage in talent, especially coming off a 43-point loss in the C-USA Championship Game.
Appalachian State, 37 UAB, 24

No comments:

Theme images by LUGO. Powered by Blogger.