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Bowl swag for everyone.
How's bowl season treating everyone so far?
The first installment of our bowl picks featured only 4 games, the last of which will be played tonight. This installment will feature 10 more games that will take us through next Friday.
On the 28th I'll post the mother load of games---18 in all, taking us in to the New Year.
Now for Bowl Week No. 2!
Saturday, December 22nd
*The New Orleans Bowl*
East Carolina (+5.5) at Louisiana-Lafayette
12:00 PM ET
I wouldn't have guessed East Carolina finished 8-4 this season. Their 4 losses did come by an average of over 24 points, so that would suggest to me they aren't very good.
Lafayette has played some good ball this year (they took Florida down to the wire) and they played really well last year in the Super Dome. With an early start time on a Saturday I'll take the Cajuns coming ready to play more so than the Pirates.
*The Las Vegas Bowl*
Washington (+5.5) at Boise State
3:30 PM ET
Remember when Keith Price was a darkhorse Heisman candidate in August? Then he spent most of this season running away from defenders because his offensive line was injured all over the place.
Washington has been incredibly skittish (how long are we going to listen to UW turning the corner?) and they were blown out a couple times and are coming off a terrible loss to Washington State.
I just can't get over how poor Boise's offense has looked this season. I don't trust them to be able to move the ball against a decent Washington defense.
Monday, December 24th
*The Hawaii Bowl*
Fresno State (-12.5) at SMU
8:00 PM ET
Wasn't June Jones supposed to have SMU trending upwards? What happened there?
Tim DeRuyter has done a nice job resurrecting Fresno from their late Pat Hill-era swoon, but holy crap this is a lot of points to be laying down in the usually offensively frisky Hawaii bowl.
Is Fresno really that much better than the Mustangs?
Wednesday, December 26th
*Little Caesars Bowl*
Western Kentucky (-5.5) at Central Michigan
7:30 PM ET
Pick: Central Michigan
There's only so much research I'm going to do for crappy bowl games. In this instance it was quick look at each team's schedules and then taking the points.
Thursday, December 27th
*The Military Bowl*
San Jose State (-7.5) at Bowling Green
3:00 PM ET
Pick: Bowling Green
Tough call here, but don't teams that lose their head coach right before a bowl game typically play really poorly?
I also think Bowling Green quietly had a pretty good season for their expectations. San Jose State had a great season but I think it's unwise to bet on them covering without Mike MacIntyre. Also, what a weird spelling of a last name there, coach.
*The Belk Bowl*
Cincinnati (-7.5) at Duke
6:30 PM ET
Cincinnati lost their coach so why am I picking them, you ask?
That's because Duke's involved and Duke doesn't win bowl games. Yeah maybe they'll keep it close and cover but I'm going to need more than a 6-6 season from the Blue Devils before I start picking them to do so against one of the best Big East teams.
*The Holiday Bowl*
Baylor (PK) at UCLA
9:45 PM ET
Credit Art Briles and his textbook fundamentals for having his Bears playing well down the stretch. They've won 4 out of their last 5---and that includes an upset of then No. 1 Kansas State and a tough loss to Oklahoma.
I'm just not one to think UCLA is mentally tough to regroup after a grueling end to their season and hang with the hyper-drive offense Baylor is going to throw at them.
Friday, December 28th
*The Independence Bowl*
Ohio (+7.5) at Louisiana-Monroe
2:00 PM ET
These two teams were all the rage early in the season. Now...not so much.
Ohio began their season with a win in Happy Valley and raced out to a 7-0 start. There was talk they'd run away with the MAC and sneak their way in to a BCS bowl. Then...the Bobcats lost 4 out of their last 5 games.
Monroe beat Arkansas in game one and nearly beat Auburn and Baylor too. Since then they've had a pretty "meh" season overall.
I'm taking Ohio because I like Tyler Tettleton at quarterback. No other reason.
*Russell Athletic Bowl*
Virginia Tech (-2.5) at Rutgers
5:30 PM ET
This is the Champs Sports Bowl that we played in last year, right? There's nothing like having to hurry home from work on a Friday to watch your team play in its bowl game.
Anyway, pretty solid 1st season without Greg Schiano for Rutgers at 9-3 but they're schedule was so weak and they lost 3 out of their last 5 games once they came up against better competition.
Meanwhile, Va Tech lost 6 games---their most since.......1992!
Something bad happened to the Hokies offense this year. Logan Thomas went 52.6% completions with 14 interceptions, and he led the team in rushing with just 531 yards.
Virginia Tech can't run the ball and they're relying on an athlete whose lost his confidence as a quarterback. I doubt they cover the spread here.
*The Texas Bowl*
Minnesota (+12.5) at Texas Tech
9:00 PM ET
Pick: Texas Tech
Ah, college football. Where you only have to beat UNLV, New Hampshire, Western Michigan, Syracuse, Purdue, and Illinois to gain entrance to a bowl game in which your school will hemorrhage money.
Can you smell the tradition?
I'm taking Kliff the Koach to light up some offensive fireworks against Minny.
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