2016 Hawai’i Bowl Preview

December 24, 2016

Mele Kalikimaka from Hawai’i!

The annual bowl game on the island of Oahu will have the college football spotlight all to itself on Christmas Eve once again, as the Bahamas Bowl was moved up a day this season.

For years I have enjoyed the Hawai’i Bowl as much as any on the bowl schedule, simply because of the opportunity to watch the game with family around before Christmas.

Hopefully everyone also has a chance to relax during the holidays and spend time with family and friends. As Around The Corn takes a break on Christmas Day, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I’ll be back again on December 26 as the bowl season begins to ramp up with multiple bowl games all of next week.

For now, let’s take a look at the bowl game being played on December 24.

Hawai’i Bowl

Hawaii vs. Middle Tennessee State (Saturday, 8 PM ET – ESPN)

The Rainbow Warriors are making their first bowl appearance in six years, but will be looking for a bowl victory for the first time in 10 years. Although Hawaii comes in as the underdog against Conference USA foe Middle Tennessee State, this appears to be the type of game that the 6-7 squad is capable of winning. Statistics won’t help explain why, however. The Blue Raiders have a potent offense (Hawaii does not), a capable defense (Hawaii is ranked worse in total yards allowed per contest) and a solid quarterback in sophomore Brent Stockstill.

However, funny things happen when a group of 18 to 22 year old young men go to Hawaii for a bowl game. The beach and extracurricular activities put on by the game are often too much for the visiting team when the Rainbow Warriors play in this game. From 2002-2006, Hawaii played in its own bowl game four times, going 3-1 in those games. This year’s squad likely doesn’t have the firepower to score in the 50s, but it would not be surprising at all if the Rainbow Warriors look like the more focused team in this one.

My Pick: 27-23 Hawaii

Bowl Mania Confidence Points: 5

If you’d like to share your opinion on Around The Corn for any of the upcoming bowls, shoot me an email with your thoughts and prediction to kbecks@aroundthecorn.com. You can also like Around The Corn’s Facebook page or send me a tweet @KBecks_ATC. As long as you send your thoughts at least two days before the game is to be played, I can assure you that your thoughts will show up in an article.

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