The following is what I printed in the last article, explaining my methodology. Skip this paragraph:
We here at OTE have our own thoughts on the Big Ten games, and we’ll get to picking those in due time. In the meantime, though, there are plenty of other bowl games, good and bad, to keep us entertained!
But how to pick those games?
It’s no secret I was about the pinnacle of average when it came to my straight-up picks this year, and hey, does anyone really care about my breakdown of the Navy rushing attack or how Tulsa spreads the ball around?
I don’t, at least.
So I had to think: How would I pick the non-B1G games, especially in the early matchups?
Then it occurred to me: Since this is a Big Ten blog, it only seems fair that my picks and my rooting interests should be for the B1Gger team. As such, the crack OTE squad of me, BigRedTwice, and ZuzuRU came up with the Big
Last Week: 3-2
Correct: New Mexico, San Diego State, Southern Miss
Wrong: Toledo, Central Florida
With that said, let’s get to picking the games for a big week of bowl games.
Miami Beach Bowl
Central Michigan vs. Tulsa (-12.5)
1:30pm || ESPN || Marlins Stadium, Miami, FL
This formula means I’m counting on the MAC to have a great bowl season, and...I’m going to get let down, aren’t I? I do take solace in knowing that John Bonamengo is a helluva coach and the Golden Hurricane have relied on some late-game comebacks to get to their 9-3 record, but I’m not optimistic for this pick.
Interestingly, Central Michigan’s Fermentation Science program partners with local breweries, including the nearby Mountain Town Brewing Co. I’ll leave it to our Michigan commentariat to let me know if this place is worth it or not.
Verdict: WHOOPS (Tulsa, 55-10)
Boca Raton Bowl
Memphis vs. Western Kentucky (-5)
6pm || ESPN || FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FL
I feel much better about this pick, even if this isn’t a very B1G game—neither team is going to run all that much, but there’ll be a lot of points to go around. Also, how about those punting averages? We could get some punting porn, live from the future home of Lane Kiffin.
Verdict: NAILED IT (WKU, 51-31)
San Diego County Credit Union Excessively-Long Name Poinsettia Bowl
BYU (-9) vs. Wyoming
8pm || ESPN || Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
I’m over the BYU high-wire act, and it would appear the B1G Five Factors are over it, too. Wyoming dominates this one by basically every metric I can see, especially in the brewing and running departments. (Wyoming even sings the "Beer Song" shared by our...acquaintances in Iowa City.)
After its disappointing but close loss in the Mountain West championship game, can Craig Bohl’s Wyoming squad handle the return of Tanner Mangum? The sophomore gunslinger (who the BYU website actually shows as having done his mission in Antofogasta, Chile, which is both cool and amusing that they include that on their player pages) has thrown for 25 TDs and 10 INTs in his time replacing Taysom Hill.
Does Wyoming have anything left on the offensive or defensive lines to fight off a physical Cougars club in the trenches? The Cowboys are 113th in the nation in rushing defense and 123rd in passing efficiency defense, are second-worst in the nation in team sacks, under 1/gm, and 99th nationally in sacks allowed.
We’ll have to see, but BYU has been baaaaad in its last three bowls, and I don’t know if the Poinsettia Bowl is that much of a prize anymore for the Cougars. Either way, we're taking our rugged friends in the brown and gold from the High Plains. FIRE UP, COWBOY JOE!
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Idaho vs. Colorado State (-13.5)
6pm || ESPN || Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID
Unsurprisingly, all Idaho’s got going for it is that it’s colder than Ft. Collins. And man, does Ft. Collins beat Moscow in my favorite category, breweries. Complete with its own Fermentation Science and Tech department, CSU is within about a mile of Black Bottle, Equinox, Maxline, Coopersmith’s, and Horse & Dragon; oh, and New Belgium and Odell, who you may have heard of.
Were that not enough, I’m told Colorado State is just better. So expect a drunken shit-kicking.
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl
Eastern Michigan vs. Old Dominion (-4)
12pm || ESPN || Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas
I’m still very upset that this is the Bahamas Bowl we got stuck with. It should’ve been Tulsa-Toledo. They screwed this one up, and this is what we get as a result.
I don’t know. This better be a high-scoring mess of a game, because I have no interest in picking this matchup. Old Dominion is stunningly bad punting the ball, though Norfolk is still decent on breweries. I’ll let our Detroit-area friends tell us about Ann Arbor Brewing Co.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Louisiana Tech (-6) vs. #25 Navy
3:30pm || ESPN || Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
Louisiana is still enjoying the red-state Prohibition-era lifestyle, I see, as you’re going to have to head to Monroe if you want on-site craft brews in Ruston, whereas you just need to leave the Naval Academy, hold your nose as you head past St. John’s, and belly-up at Chesapeake Brewing Co.
While the oddsmakers don’t care for the Middies without Will Worth, they can still control the clock against the Bulldogs and hope to win another shootout. I don’t like my odds in this one, but never fight the power of the Big Ten.
Dollar General Bowl
Ohio vs. Troy (-4)
7pm || ESPN || Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
I’m starting to think this ranking system was a bad idea. Can I interest you all in some basketball previews?
Hawai’i vs. Middle Tennessee State
7pm || ESPN || Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI
...shit. Come onnnnn, Wahine!
Win or lose, here’s your place to talk about the week’s bowl games. Usual rules apply, let’s enjoy BYU-Wyo, Memphis-WKU, and whatever the rest of these crap games are!