Just wait until the 12/27 edition of MC&J when there are 22 bowls on tap that week. You ever seen a grown man cry? Well come find me when I'm back in NY over Christmas and trying to write that weekly preview. Kidding!
At least MC&J goes into the bowl season with some momentum. The final week of the college football regular season yielded the best week yet. The lone loss on the week was by Rutgers, but hitting the exact score on Stanford/UCLA and missing the exact score on Texas/Kansas State by 2 points made up for that. Hopefully that momentum carries over to some of the early bowl games so you can put some extra presents under the Christmas tree.
Last week ATS: 7-1
Season ATS: 49-35 (21-23 National, 28-12 B1G)
Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Nevada v. Arizona (-10) - 1:00 PM EST - ESPN
The bowl season begins with two of the nation's top four rushers going against two very poor defenses. The biggest question in this game is if the first of thirty-five bowl games this year will be able to hit 100 points. Arizona's Ka'Deem Casey, who has run for 1,757 yards this year must be licking his chops when thinking of facing Nevada's rushing defense, which surrendered 213.2 yards per game. Not to be outdone, Nevada's Stephon Jefferson has rushed for 1,703 yards this season. Awaiting Jefferson is a defense that gave up 189.8 yards per game on the ground this year. Add quarterbacks Cody Fajardo and Matt Scott and the defenses really have no shot in this one. I think Arizona wins this one but I'm not comfortable with giving 10 points with such a bad defense in what should be a shootout.
Arizona 49 Nevada 45
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Toledo v. #18 Utah State (-10.5) - 4:30 PM EST - ESPN
For the 2nd year in a row, Utah State will face a team from Ohio in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Utah State's 2 losses on the season were by a combined 5 points to BYU and Wisconsin, while Toledo's 3 defeats were each by 7 points. Toledo should get the nation's 12th leading rusher, David Fluellen, and quarterback Terrence Owens back for this game after both missed Toledo's last game against Akron. Fluellen will have his work cut out for him as Utah State's rushing defense is only allowing 111 yards per game. Utah State lost last year's bowl with 13 seconds left against Ohio but I think they will make sure they aren't in the same position this year.
Utah State 38 Toledo 24
Since there are only 2 bowl games this week, I'm going to give you the 5 bowl games I'm most excited and least excited for this year.
B-Leez's top 5 bowl games:
1) Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State v. Oregon - 1/3/13: We finally get the matchup that was supposed to happen earlier this year, and for a week it was looking like we would get in the BCSNCG. Old-school Bill Snyder v. new-school Chip Kelly. Should be lots of fun.
2) Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M v. Oklahoma - 1/4/13: Former Big-12 foes get together at Jerryworld as Johnny Heisman probably can't wait to face that Oklahoma defense. Already expecting to see many shots of angry Bob Stoops as Manziel works his magic against the Sooners. Also, since the game is on Fox, get ready to get very familiar with the bands of both schools.
3) Outback Bowl: Michigan v. South Carolina - 1/1/13: I'm already predicting that I'll be pounding aspirin and trying other hangover remedies, but what would really kick the new year off right would be watching Jadeveon Clowney wreck havoc on Taylor Lewan and the rest of the Michigan offense.
4) Rose Bowl: Stanford v. Wisconsin - 1/1/13: Before last week I wouldn't have had this game in my top 5, but now that Bert has shuffled off to Arkansas I'm actually looking forward to seeing what Barry Alvarez gets out of the Badgers. With all the running in this game, the Rose Bowl might rival a National League baseball game in how quickly it gets played.
5) Holiday Bowl: UCLA v. Baylor - 12/27/12: Baylor is involved so I'm counting on the Holiday Bowl having all the silliness of the Washington/Baylor Alamo Bowl last year. If both teams don't score at least 40 I will have a disappoint.
B-Leez's 5 worst bowl games:
1) Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl: Ball State v. UCF - 12/21/12: Everything about this bowl just sounds awful. Beef 'O' Brady's, Tampa, Ball State, and UCF. Maybe I'll just start pre-gaming for Kansas/Ohio State the next day a little early.
2) BBVA Compass Bowl: Pitt v. Ole Miss - 1/5/13: I can't stand when bowls like this are mixed in after the BCS games. Put these bowls in mid-December where they really belong. Pitt is here for the 3rd straight year, but at least they'll have a coach!
3) Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue v. Oklahoma State - 1/1/13: RIP Purdue.
4) Armed Forces Bowl: Rice v. Air Force - 12/29/12: This wouldn't be on my worst list if we could somehow get Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen in this game. WOOOOOOOO!
5) Little Caesars Bowl: Western Kentucky v. Central Michigan - 12/26/12: I would rather you throw a $5 "Hot-n-Ready" at my face than sit through this whole game.