Bowls before Christmas are like nuts before a fancy dinner. You don't really want to eat them, but since they're there you might take a few nibbles if you're feeling hungry. No one expects you to go out of your way to watch these games, but if you're just sitting around at home with nothing better to do, well, we wouldn't blame you for turning on the TV.
I have nothing to substantial to say about these games, so let's take a quick look at what I need to do to catch Jon and get on with the picks. In our last segment, I went a dismal 3-7 to Jon's 6-4, so he holds a nice overall lead at 70-68-2 to 63-75-2. Time to get to work, For Entertainment Purposes Only.
|1:00 PM, Saturday, Dec 19, 2015
GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL
University Stadium, Albuquerque NM
6-6, 3-6 P12
7-5, 5-3 MWC
LT: Well, at least this game features a team you might have seen play this season. The Wildcats ended very poorly, with the notable exception of a 37-30 win vs. then-No. 10 Utah, who we'll talk about later. New Mexico, meanwhile, finished strong with November wins over Boise and Air Force, two of the MWC's best teams. The Lobos' lack of success in nonconference play is somewhat concerning and Arizona probably wins this game, but that line seems a little large. UNM covers.
JM: Yeah, I have to concur. The Lobos didn't play great football, but they were passably decent over the final two months. Plus this is one of those rivalries where one team really hates the other a lot more than the other team hates them. That's a problem if it's something like the seething hatred Tulane feels for LSU. Arizona is not LSU, and New Mexico isn't Tulane. Anymore, anyway. Lobos cover.
|2:30 PM, Saturday, Dec 19, 2015
ROYAL PURPLE LAS VEGAS BOWL
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas NV
|(rv) Brigham Young
9-3, 6-3 P12
LT: Brigham Young began its season with a bang, beating Nebraska and Boise State on hail marys before losing by a point to UCLA. Unfortunately for the Cougars, those wins don't look so good now and they lost to Mizzou in November. Basically, BYU went from 'wow, their best win is Boise' to 'oh, their best win is Boise?' This is a team that gave up two offensive touchdowns to the Tigers, and Utah, despite losing two of its last three and barely beating Colorado, appears to have a competent offense. Utes cover.
JM: And they're saying goodbye to their head coach, whose head may not be entirely in the game -- although with the opponent being Utah, that might be less of a concern. Still, the Utes are simply the better team. On paper this is a mismatch, and the line should be wider. Utah covers.
|4:30 PM, Saturday, Dec 19, 2015
RAYCOM MEDIA CAMELLIA BOWL
Cramton Bowl, Montgomery AL
8-4, 5-3 MAC
10-2, 7-1 SBC
LT: Wow, a 10-2 team. That looks impressive. Until you realize Appalachian State's best win might legitimately be at Georgia State. Yikes. Of course, one of the losses was at Clemson, so that's not bad. Plus, the Mountaineers put up a lot of good numbers this season, which is why they're ranked well ahead of Ohio in most computer rankings and heavily favored. Still, the Bobcats ended their regular season with a win at Northern Illinois, and I just don't think they're losing by more than a touchdown. Ohio covers.
JM: I'm not nearly as impressed with a win over Northern Illinois as one might think, not in 2015. Ohio has been very inconsistent this year, which is not a thing that can be said about Appalachian State. Mountaineers cover.
|6:00 PM, Saturday, Dec 19, 2015
Citrus Bowl, Orlando FL
|San José State
5-7, 4-4 MWC
6-6, 5-3 SBC
LT: I really want to pick against both of these teams on principle. San Jose State because they're 5-7, and Georgia State because they're Georgia State. But the Panthers have actually won more games this year than the past four years combined, so perhaps that's being a bit harsh. Plus, you have to imagine they'll by hyped to play in the school's first bowl game since moving up to FBS. Add to that Georgia State won its last four games while San Jose State won one of its last four, and this one's easy. Panthers cover.
JM: Plus it's a big long trip for the Spartans, while it's just a... well, actually, if they were driving it would be hell for Georgia State. Have you ever driven from Atlanta to Orlando? It takes days. Also, the Spartans have the classiest set of uniforms which have actual colors known to college football.
None of this matters. Georgia State will cover.
|8:00 PM, Saturday, Dec 19, 2015
R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans LA
8-4, 6-2 CUSA
|-2||(rv) Arkansas State
9-3, 8-0 SBC
LT: Obviously, everyone wants to watch Jeff Driskel's last game after his fabulous college career. OK, maybe not, but he really did have a pretty good year, with more than 3,500 yards passing. Arkansas State, meanwhile, rolled through the Sun Belt after losing to Mizzou and getting drilled by USC and Toledo. Defense seems to be a bit of an issue, and Louisiana Tech just has too many weapons, many of whom are seniors likely eager to go out on top. Bulldogs cover.
JM: I mean, I hope K-State is a better team than Arkansas State. Tech covers.
Next: Jon leads the way through the first half of next week, when many of this year's mid-major stars take the stage.