COVID, COVID, and more COVID. Texas A&M had to pull out of its bowl, prompting the playoff committee to establish protocols in case the big games are affected. If one of the top 4 can’t play, the opponent wins by forfeit. If both teams in one matchup can’t play, it’s a “no contest” and the winner of the other semi-final becomes national champ. If both games are cancelled, or if both teams in the title game withdraw, the national championship will be vacated. Further down the bowl scale, Hawaii cancelled the Hawaii Bowl because of a COVID outbreak within their locker room 2 days before the game.
Please God, make this end!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, yeah, there are more games to predict…
Camellia Bowl, Montgomery AL, Ball State (6-6) vs. Georgia State (7-5) – Don’t know much about Ball State’s team. I did get to see my school lose to Georgia State in September. And there was that near-miss at Auburn. They have an offense that should have yielded a better record than 7-5. Georgia State 23, Ball State 14
Quick Lane Bowl, Detroit, W. Michigan (7-5) vs. Nevada (8-4) – The puns are obvious. Let’s go with the most obvious one, the Bowling Bowl. It’s almost a home game for WMU, but Nevada is a better team. I’ll watch if for no other reason than to count the number of bowling jokes the broadcast team throws around. Nevada 28, WMU 23
Military Bowl, Annapolis MD, ECU (7-5) vs. Boston College (6-6) – One benefit of the migration of the best C-USA teams to the AAC is putting Charlotte and ECU in the same conference once again. Those of us from the other 16 schools in the UNC system trash-talk ECU as the system’s party school. “You’re going to ECU? What will be your major, whiskey or hippie lettuce?” Both these teams can move the ball. Track meet alert. ECU 37, Boston College 31
Birmingham Bowl, Birmingham AL, Houston (11-2) vs. Auburn 6-6) – What do you get when you start out 6-2 and lose your last 4 games, including gagging away a lead at the last second to your archrival? In Auburn’s case, you get a home bowl game. But personnel is a problem. Tank Bigsby, the Auburn #1 running back, has joined the group of players that are running from Bryan Harsin. Already down a starting QB (both to injury and the transfer portal), the uphill battle is steeper. Worse, the opponent is better than all group of 5 teams outside of Cincinnati and maybe UTSA. Not a good matchup for my guys. Houston 34, war eagle 13
First Responder Bowl, University Park TX, Louisville (6-6) vs. Air Force (9-3) – I had to Google Map this place to discover it’s in the Dallas area. In fact, it’s closer to the center of Dallas than Arlington, where the Cowboys and Texas Rangers play. As for the game, it could be another track meet, although Louisville hasn’t done that well in track meets. Air Force is one of the nation’s best running teams. Air Force 38, Lou-EEE-vull 20
Holiday Bowl, San Diego, UCLA (8-4) vs. NC State (9-3) – Two teams that had really good years, but nobody noticed because people were too busy obsessing over conference powers that were struggling. Should be a good game. UCLA 27, NC State 24
Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Texas Tech (6-6) vs. Miss. State (7-5) – These teams have talent but underachieved. Leetch’s “Air Raid” is no more run-focused, and it’s working well late in the year. Jerry Clower U 33, TTU 21
Guaranteed Rate Bowl, Phoenix, Minnesota (8-4) vs. West Virginia (6-6) – Time for the first of the “let’s play a football game in a baseball stadium just cuz” games. Minnesota gave Ohio State everything it could handle back in week 1. WVU has been inconsistent. I’ll go with the Row The Boat Guy. Gophers 27, WVU 21
Fenway Bowl, Boston, Virginia (6-6) vs. SMU (8-4) – “Let’s play a football game in a baseball stadium just cuz” Game Part II. Although SMU got bounced in their last game by an inferior team – and lost their coach to TCU – they are still a lot better than a middling ACC team. SMU 35, Thomas Jefferson U 16
Pinstripe Bowl, New York, Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Maryland (6-6) – “Let’s play a football game in a baseball stadium just cuz” Game Part III. If this was the game in Fenway Park, you would think it was a game that was created out of thin air for no other reason than to give 2 incredibly average teams an extra game. Maryland, at least, has a QB who is the brother of an NFL QB. Maryland 28, VT 17
Cheez-It Bowl, Orlando, Clemson (9-3) vs. Iowa State (7-5) – An orange team gets to play in the bowl sponsored by orange crackers. Only way it could have been more perfect is if Oklahoma State or Tennessee were the opponent. They should be playing on Cheese-It colored turf. Clempson 30, Iowa State 20
Alamo Bowl, San Antonio, Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Oregon (10-3) – Do you remember when Oregon was in prime position to make the CFP? Neither do I, but someone keeps spreading a story that Oregon won at Ohio State and was second in the polls. Oregon has since cratered and lost their coach to Miami. Drink heavily before watching. Oklahoma 41, Oregon 20
Duke’s Mayo Bowl, Charlotte, N. Carolina (6-6) vs. S. Carolina (6-6) – The Wyoming coach was doused with a bucket of fries after winning the Potato Bowl. Word is that the winning coach of this game is getting a bucket of Duke’s Mayo on his head. That alone makes the game worth watching. An idiot writer for CBS Sports ranked this game 34th out of 42, claiming that 2 under-achieving 6-6 teams will not be motivated to play. He’s an idiot because he doesn’t understand that both of these schools like to call themselves “Carolina,” infuriating the other, not to mention the fact that there are about a zillion grads from both schools living in the Charlotte area. I expect a very spirited and close game. Tar Heels 27, Fightin’ Chickens 24
Music City Bowl, Nashville, Purdue (8-4) vs. Tennessee (7-5) – Purdue has been a giant-killer recently. Tennessee would have lost to Kentucky without the help of the refs. Purdue 28, Rocky Medium 20
Las Vegas Bowl, Las Vegas, Wisconsin (8-4) vs. Arizona State (8-4) – Herm Edwards is still one of my favorite coaches, because you never wonder what he’s thinking, because he will always say it. However, ASU hasn’t won any of its critical matchups this year. Wisconsin 26, Sun Devils 17
Peach Bowl, Atlanta, (10) Michigan State (10-2) vs. (12) Pittsburgh (11-2) – So is MSU the team that beat Michigan or the one that lost to Purdue and to Ohio State by 100? Pitt won an incredibly average ACC, but the offense is hard to stop. This one also carries a track meet alert. Pitt 37, MSU 28
Last week’s record: 9-5
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