First off, Merry Christmas everyone! Time for week 2 of college football's bowl season and the quality of games picks up considerably. I will be closely watching Notre Dame take on Hawaii in the appropriately named Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve. Some other big name teams that will be in action this week include Miami, California, Florida State, Wisconsin, etc. Plus, the best game of the week is tonight in the Poinsettia Bowl as #9 and undefeated Boise State faces their toughest challenge of the season against #11 TCU.
Poinsettia Bowl - December 23
#9 Boise State (12-0) vs. #11 TCU (10-2)
Boise State finished undefeated in the regular season for the second time in three seasons. Two years ago they famously shocked Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. No BCS bowl for the Broncos this time around but a win over a 10 win TCU team would certainly legitimize Boise State as a great team. TCU's losses came to #1 Oklahoma and unbeaten Utah so they will be providing a stern test. Sorry Boise but I don't think you guys are as good as your record indicates, the undefeated dream ends now.
Prediction: TCU 28, Boise State 26
Hawaii Bowl - December 24
Hawaii (7-6) vs. Notre Dame (6-6)
If Notre Dame is ever going to end their bowl losing streak of 15 years this is the time to do it. Notre Dame has usually been outmatched in their bowl games as they have been invited to some bowls that they only really received invitations for because of name recognition. However, this year they are in a lousy bowl and they are playing a team they should certainly be better then. They will be essentially playing a road game but that still will be no excuse for a loss. I'm biased but I believe the streak finally ends here, and I get to experience a Notre Dame bowl win for the first time in 15 years.
Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Hawaii 20
Motor City Bowl - December 26
Florida Atlantic (6-6) at Central Michigan (8-4)
Florida Atlantic recovered from a 1-5 start to earn bowl eligibility. If these teams don't combine for at least 70 points I will be shocked. The name value may not be much but if you like shootouts this should be a fun game to watch.
Prediction: Central Michigan 48, Florida Atlantic 31
Meineke Car Care Bowl - December 27
West Virginia (8-4) vs. North Carolina (8-4)
This should be another good game. Both teams spent various parts of the season in the Top 25, plus this is Mountaineers QB Pat White's last game. I think White will go out in style.
Prediction: West Virginia 27, North Carolina 19
Champs Sports Bowl - December 27
Wisconsin (7-5) vs. Florida State (8-4)
Wisconsin had Rose Bowl aspirations at the beginning of the year but a poor start squelched those dreams. They recovered at the end of the season and come into this game winners of 3 straight. Apparently the Seminoles kept everything on the up and up this exam year and won't be missing a third of their team like last year. I expect a close one with the Seminoles winning with a late field goal.
Prediction: Florida State 20, Wisconsin 17
Emerald Bowl - December 27
Miami (7-5) vs. California (8-4)
Miami fans sure talked a lot of trash when they were 7-3 and ranked. There was no room on the bandwagon, yada yada yada. Well Miami stinks again and I look forward to them getting stomped by the Golden Bears in this one.
Prediction: California 35, Miami 17
Independence Bowl - December 28
Northern Illinois (6-6) vs. Louisiana Tech (7-5)
The once somewhat mighty Independence Bowl has definitely fallen. Northern Illinois is bowling after winning just 2 games last year., while Louisiana Tech comes into the game having won 4 of their last 5 games.
Prediction: Louisiana Tech 35, Northern Illinois 27
Papajohns.com Bowl - December 29
North Carolina State (6-6) vs. Rutgers (7-5)
This game should really be called the Recovery Bowl. NC State was 2-6 but is bowling after winning their final 4 games. Rutgers started 1-5, but has caught fire winning 6 in a row. Something will have to give. I believe in the Scarlet Knights more than I do in the Wolfpack.
Prediction: Rutgers 38, North Carolina State 34
Alamo Bowl - December 29
#21 Missouri (9-4) vs. #23 Northwestern (9-3)
Missouri comes into this game losers of 2 straight to end what has to be considered a disappointing regular season. Northwestern exceeded all expectations and is thrilled to be in this game. I could certainly see the Wildcats winning but I think Tigers QB Chase Daniel is going to will the Tigers to victory.
Prediction: Missouri 41, Northwestern 27
Last Week: 2-3