The Return of Bowlstradamus: Breaking down the First 20 Bowl Games

“OH MY GOD, IT’S BOWLSTRADAMUS’ MUSIC!”

I’m baaaaaaaack. At first, I was going to do a whole blog with all 40 games, but I decided to stagger it. Here’s everything from tomorrow until the day after Christmas, aka the bowls no one really cares about but every bowl needs love and every bowl needs to be bet on.

So degenerate you degenerates. It’s the moooooost wonderful tiiiiiiiiimmmmeeee of the yeaaarrrrrrrr

Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl: North Carolina A&T vs. Alcorn State
Saturday, Dec. 19 (ABC, noon)

This game is going to be lit. Lots of raw talent on the field. It’s the bowl between the HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).

I have never watched either of these teams play football. But Alcorn State is looking for back-to-back 10 win seasons, and is Donald Driver’s alma mater. Also, Alcorn sounds like acorn. Should be a great game for us degenerates.

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The bet: Literally could not find a line for this game. Probably a good thing, because if we have people betting this game, how are we supposed to elect the next president?

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Arizona vs. New Mexico
Saturday, Dec. 19 (ESPN, 2 p.m. ET)

The Wildcats had a disappointing season, but that’s because they played the vast majority of their games without starting quarterback Anu Solomon and defensive end Scooby Wright. Wright was one of the best defensive players in the country last season, and I’d expect Arizona to roll.

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The bet: Arizona -8. I think this is one of those games you expect the Lobos to come out and cover, but I just don’t see it. Play it safe here. Plenty of room for adventure down the road.

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: BYU vs. Utah
Saturday, Dec. 19 (ABC, 3:30 ET)

Las Vegas. Sin city. Plenty of temptation for a young college student. But those Mormons from BYU will stay cooped up in their hotel rooms while the Utes are out trying to chase some desert tail. BYU gains an edge on the field, but will leave with ultimately no good stories about their college careers, so jokes on them.

Also, trash talking before big games hardly works. I like the enthusiasm, but it’s going to be tough to play with a hangover/STI.

The bet: BYU +3. I like this bet a lot. Even if BYU doesn’t come out on top, it’ll be close.

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Ohio vs. Appalachian State
Saturday, Dec. 19 (ESPN, 5:30 p.m.)

Did some research on Raycom. Website says it’s owned by its employees. That’s dedication. App State all day. Any team that embarrases Michigan is a lifelong friend of mine. Roll (Appalachian) State!

The bet: App -7.5. Ohio STINKS at sports.

AutoNation Cure Bowl: San Jose State vs. Georgia State
Saturday, Dec. 19 (CBSSN, 7 p.m.)

What a preposterous bowl. Is it even televised? Georgia State is a great story though. Finished the season strong to go 6-6 and qualify. SJSU is only there because of APR scores, they finished 5-7. Georgia State rides the hot hand from their basketball team in March.

The bet: Georgia State +3. Not sure how this bet is real.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Louisiana Tech
Saturday, Dec. 19 (ESPN, 9 p.m.)

All I know is that LA Tech has players and Ark St. doesn’t. Jeff Driskell (former Florida quarterback) and running back Kenneth Dixon lead the offense. Should be a shootout in the Superdome.

The bet: Louisiana Tech +2. Players make plays. Players win games.

Miami Beach Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. South Florida
Monday, Dec. 21 (ESPN, 2:30 p.m.)

Western Kentucky came out on top last year in the Bahamas Bowl on one of the wildest endings ever. This insane Hail Mary, but then stopped the offense on the two-point conversion and still won.

So this will be another wild one, because history repeats itself (that’s a Baca trademark, btw) during Bowl Season. I also really like WKU’s up-tempo offense.

The bet: Western Kentucky -3.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Akron vs. Utah St.
Tuesday, Dec. 22 (ESPN, 3:30 p.m.)

Akron’s first FBS Bowl Appearance in a decade. Their nickname is the Zips. GET OUT. GET OUT. Absolutely no way. Chuckie Keeton is also a real quarterback, so I like Utah St. a lot in this one.

The bet: Utah St. -7.

Marmot Boca Raton Bowl: Toledo vs. Temple
Tuesday, Dec. 22 (ESPN, 7 p.m.)

The “T-squared” bowl. Short names beginning with T’s. I love it man. Temple coming off a loss in the AAC Championship Game, and Toledo’s former head coach Matt Campbell jumped ship for Iowa State. I’m going to rock Toledo here, not really buying into Temple although they played a few tough games as well. Toledo comes in motivated and wins.

The bet: Toledo +1.5. This isn’t a confident one though. Feel free to bet against Bowlstradamus here.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Boise St. vs. Northern Illinois
Wednesday, Dec. 23 (ESPN, 4:30 p.m.)

The MAC is literally the worst conference ever so never pick them, sorry NIU. Also, Boise was sneaky good this year, just fell off a little toward the end with losses to New Mexico and Air Force. I expect Boise to squeak by here.

For old times sake:

The bet: NIU +8.5. I think Boise still pulls it off but NIU covers.

GoDaddy Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Georgia Southern
Wednesday, Dec. 23 (ESPN, 8 p.m.)

Remember how I said to never pick the MAC? We’ll allow exceptions. Love BGSU here. Partially because Georgia Southern is an abomination. But Matt Johnson is a stud under center, and they’ll try and pull out this win for former coach Dino Babers who took the Syracuse job.

Great bowl name though. Always a good one.

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The bet: BGSU -8. Not the best line to bet, but I’m fairly confident.

Bahamas Bowl: Middle Tennessee State vs. Western Michigan
Thursday, Dec. 24 (ESPN, noon)

Another great bowl. Always a delight in its illustrious two-year history. Seriously, though. Playing a game in the Bahamas for Christmas sounds awesome.

Western Michigan, huh? Let’s check the scouting report:
MAC School? Check. Has never won a bowl game? Yup! They’ll for sure win this one … NOT. That’s full use of the Baca method and it’s never failed before (that’s not backed up by data).

The bet: Middle Tenn. St. +3.5.

Hawai’i Bowl: Cincinnati vs. San Diego St.
Thursday, Dec. 24 (ESPN, 8 p.m.)

No Gunner Kiel for Cincinnati is bad news for the Bearcats. San Diego State is also PIPING hot right now, winners of nine in a row. They’re also slaughtering teams in the process — they aren’t nailbiters. It’ll be a good test for the Aztecs, but they should come out on top.

The bet: San Diego State +1.5.

St. Petersburg Bowl: Marshall vs. UCONN
Saturday, Dec. 26 (ESPN, 11a.m.)

Don’t think I’ve cared about a bowl less. Care more about the bowl of cereal I try to eat before my 9:30 a.m. lecture. So, here’s what I got. Marshall has a McConaghy movie. UCONN doesn’t. Advantage Marshall. Ballgame Marshall.

The bet: Complete shot in the dark. But let’s roll. UCONN+4.5.

Sun Bowl: Miami vs. Washington State
Saturday, Dec. 26 (CBS, 2 p.m.)

Last time I checked, Miami was dead. Fired their coach, had that fake win at Duke, complete rebuild mode. Wazzu coming off a solid year and will get the job done.

The bet: Washington State -3.

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Washington
Saturday, Dec. 26 (ESPN, 2:20 p.m.)

Washington is such a confusing and inconsistent team I gotta go with Southern Miss here. Plus, I think Southern Miss will come in with more of a chip on its shoulder.

The bet: Southern Miss+8.5. I like this bet, a lot.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Indiana vs. Duke
Saturday, Dec. 26 (ABC, 3:30 p.m.)

I love this bowl because it somehow puts schools that are good at basketball against each other except their football teams are mediocre. Duke was looking good but since that weird Miami game has fallen off. Indiana looked decent at times this season. Big Ten guy has gotta stay Big Ten though. Indiana finds a way.

The bet: Indiana -2. Don’t like it, love it.

Camping World Independence Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Tulsa
Saturday, Dec. 26 (ESPN, 5:45 p.m.)

Frank Beamer’s last game as head coach. Send the Hall of Famer out on a win. It’s happening, probably the most sure I am about a game this bowl season. Win it for Frank. Win it for Grover.

The bet: Tech -13.5. Lock the key, throw it away. LOCK IT UP and maybe even bet your house that your parents still own on it.

Foster Farms Bowl: UCLA vs. Nebraska
Saturday, Dec. 26 (ESPN, 9:15 p.m.)

Nebraska, your 5-7 record,

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Yeah, you lost a ton of close games but my goodness. UCLA wasn’t the powerhouse it was supposed to be, but it should still take down the Cornhuskers with relative ease.

In other words, this is just a bowl game for two bad programs who had bad years and will be a great game to fall asleep to the day after Christmas.

The bet: UCLA -7, yup.

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