More College Bowl Mania
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IT’S COLLEGE BOWL-MANIA AS WE GET YOU THE DEC.30-31 BOWL GAMES
(WITH ALL THE JANUARY BOWL TILTS ON TAP FOR TOMORROW’S COLUMN!)
Folks, today and tomorrow our Jim Sez columns will get you quick-hitter comments regarding all 20 College Bowl games played between December 30th thru the BCS Championship Game on January 6th and keep in mind we’ll hit the “re-wind button” and get you more in-depth College Bowl write-ups as we head into all the individual games and so that means it’s a true Bowl Mania blitz going on here the next couple of weeks – and plenty to say about NFL Week 16 action too, so don’t miss out!
COLLEGE BOWLS – Here’s a look at the 8 bowl games Monday, Dec. 30th and Tuesday, Dec. 31st:
MONDAY, DEC. 30
ARMED FORCES BOWL – at Fort Worth, TX
NAVY (8-4) vs. MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE (8-4) – 11:45 a.m. ET, ESPN
Now that Navy has “beat Army” for a 12th consecutive year you wonder if the Midshipmen will be full-speed-ahead for this morning-time bowl game but do keep in mind the Mids have lost back-to-back bowl tilts by a combined 65 points … double-ugh! If QB Keenan Reynolds (29 rushing TDs to set an FBS single-season record for quarterbacks) can shake/rattle/roll against the country’s 80th-ranked rush defense than Navy will win its first bowl game since 2009.
MUSIC CITY BOWL – at Nashville, TN
OLE MISS (7-5) vs. GEORGIA TECH (7-5) – 3:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
No matter how you slice it the Ole Miss Rebels didn’t quite live up to preseason expectations as many in-the-know folks believed this club could be a dark horse threat to win the SEC West … nope! Now, a Rebels squad that needs QB Bo Wallace (3,090 yards passing with 17 TDs) to make all the right decisions here also needs to slow down GT’s option attack starring QB Vad Lee who figures to throw more than you think in this matchup.
Who wants to be here more? Three-point fav Ole Miss has better talent but may not care as much, we’ll see.
ALAMO BOWL – at San Antonio, TX
TEXAS (8-4) vs. OREGON (10-2) – 6:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Mack Brown Farewell Tour ends here amidst talk these days that the long-time Texas head coach might just land in Nebraska – we think that’s a good fit – but here the ‘Horns have their work cut out for ‘em against an Oregon squad that really packs a punch (the Ducks scored 42-or-more points on nine different occasions this season) and is in a foul mood because this is their first non-BCS bowl since 2008. If Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (3,412 yards passing with 30 TDs) gets into a real neat rhythm here, than the two-TD favorites could have a run-away-and-hide party at Brown’s expense.
HOLIDAY BOWL – at San Diego, CA
TEXAS TECH (7-5) vs. ARIZONA STATE (10-3) – 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Talk about a tale of two seasons for the Texas Tech Red Raiders who rolled into late October with a 7-0 SU (straight-up) and 5-2 ATS (against the spread) mark and then disintegrated while playing higher-level Big 12 foes – losses to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Baylor and Texas basically ruined the year for rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury and somebody’s gonna have to tell us why T-Tech still was handed a nifty Holiday Bowl berth! The Techsters’ pass attack ranked second in the land while averaging a haughty 392 yards per game but remember frosh QB Baker Mayfield has announced he is transferring and so the whole bonanza here falls on fellow frosh Davis Webb who threw for 2,315 yards and 16 TDs. Arizona State is in a something-to-prove mode after getting whacked 44-14 versus Stanford in the Pac-12 title game and did you know the Sun Devils were out-yarded 517-to-311 in that bash?
My handicappers and bloggers have everything all mapped out and you can get the upcoming College Football Bowl Games beginning with Saturday’s Four (4) games including Fresno State vs. USC in the Las Vegas Bowl plus all the NFL Week 16 games too when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network – make sure you’re all aboard for the week/weekend action here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
Plus don’t forget all the daily/nightly action on the hardwood as there’s NBA and NCAA Hoops action all winter long right here with Jim Hurley!
TUESDAY, DEC. 31
INDEPENDENCE BOWL – at Shreveport, LA
BOSTON COLLEGE (7-5) vs. ARIZONA (7-5) – 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
No doubt the numero uno story of this game is how does BC running back Andre Williams fare after making his banquet tour that included a spot as one of this year’s six Heisman Trophy finalists? Williams – who rushed for 2,102 yards and 17 TDs for an Eagles’ crew that earned solid wins against Virginia Tech and Maryland – may need his team’s passing game to bail ‘em out here and note Boston College ranked a lowly 110th in the land in pass offense (just 150.5 ypg) – what’s it gonna be QB Chase Rettig? Meanwhile, Arizona – a solid 7 ½-point favorite here – relies on RB Ka’Deem Carey (1,716 yards rushing and 17 TDs) to spark this Pac-12 club that last year came from way, way back to nip Nevada 49-48 in the New Mexico Bowl … remember that one?
SUN BOWL – at El Paso, TX
VIRGINIA TECH (8-4) vs. UCLA (9-3) – 2 p.m. ET, CBS
Just to put something in perspective here: The last time that Virginia Tech didn’t appear in a post-season bowl game was in 1992 and so all hail 27th-year head coach Frank Beamer for keeping this program “relevant” for the past two-plus decades but gotta say the Hokies may be in over their heads here against a UCLA team that has gotten a major late-season surge from LB-turned-RB Myles Jack who has scored 7 TDs and is a short-yardage star. Still, if the Bruins wish to cover this TD-or-so price tag than QB Brett Hundley (2,845 yards passing and 585 yards rushing) must be a major factor who gets big third-down conversions with his legs. Did you know the Bruins have won only one bowl game in the past seven years (see 30-21 win/cover against Temple in the frosty Eagle Bank Bowl in D.C. back in 2009)?
LIBERTY BOWL – at Memphis, TN
RICE (9-3) vs. MISS STATE (6-6) – 4 p.m. ET, ESPN
The star-crossed career of Miss State QB Tyler Russell came to an end when he underwent shoulder surgery last week – Russell threw for just 875 yards and 5 TDs this year for a Bulldogs bunch that was held to 21 points or less on six different occasions – and so now expect frosh Damian Williams to get the most snaps here as Dan Mullen’s crew looks to win its third bowl game the past four years (also defeated Michigan in the 2010 season Gator Bowl and Wake Forest in the 2011 Music City Bowl). Rice, meanwhile, comes into this clash ranked 16th nationally in rushing offense (240.2 ypg) with RB Charles Ross (1,252 yards rushing with 14 TDs) the heartbeat of this attack – can he raise his level against SEC competition here?
CHICK FIL-A-BOWL – at Atlanta, GA
DUKE (10-3) vs. TEXAS A&M (8-4) – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Spend New Year’s Eve with two of the better stories in the College Football world – last year’s Heisman Trophy-winning QB Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M fame and the Duke Blue Devils who cashed seven consecutive plays till that fateful 45-7 loss to Florida State in the recent ACC Championship Game.
Yes, Duke boss-man David Cutcliffe received our Jim Sez Coach of the Year vote weeks ago and now the Blue Devils shoot for their first bowl win since – get this – 1960 when that team bested Arkansas 7-6 in the Cotton Bowl. In fact, the Dookies are just 3-6 SU in its bowl history and the Durham gang is 12 ½-point underdogs here against “Johnny Football” who may wish to do some special things in what figures to be his farewell to college football.
For you dweeby stat folks, Manziel enters this game having thrown for 3,732 yards and 32 TDs in 2013.
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