2017 Bahamas Bowl and Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Preview

December 21, 2017

I’m sorry, Florida International fans.

My kiss of death has once again brought back luck upon a sport team that I predicted would win a game.

Quarterback Alex McGough would have been on the football field for more than just a series had I not chosen FIU to win the Gasparilla Bowl. Sorry to you as well, Alex. I know that this was a homecoming for you in your final collegiate football game.

In Bowl Mania news, Money_Rolls has retaken the lead in the Von Hugendong group. Somewhat surprisingly given my 3-5 overall record, I’m far from out of the running for the top spot.

Enough about me, though. Day five of College Football Hanukkah is the first to feature more than one matchup since the bowl season kicked off last Saturday. Let’s take a look at the games.

Bahamas Bowl

UAB vs. Ohio (Friday, 12:30 PM ET – ESPN)

It’s really worthless to dive too deeply into the Xs and Os of these two teams. The Bahamas Bowl is different than nearly every other bowl game in that this is an absolute vacation for the players on both squads. It would be nearly impossible for either team to be 100 percent focused on the game, which makes the job of the coaching staff extremely difficult. The dirty secret is, though, that even the coaching staff can’t help but enjoy the atmosphere a bit. So that being said, the intangibles will come into play in a major way.

The players at UAB know that nothing is guaranteed. A year ago, there was no football program at the school. But the program’s return after a two-year hiatus, the team set a school record for number of wins at the FBS level and is going bowling for the first time since 2004. This is a rare case for the Bahamas Bowl, but I think the Blazers are just excited to be playing in this game as they are to be visiting the island. As for Ohio, I wouldn’t be able to say that with the same confidence. The Bobcats finished the regular season by dropping its final two games, making one wonder if they knew where they’d be headed by doing so. Frank Solich is a terrific head coach, but I’m unsure even he could have kept his team focused enough to come out of the gate strong. I’ve got the Blazers capturing their first bowl victory in school history for 5 points.

My Pick: 24-20 UAB

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Central Michigan vs. Wyoming (Friday, 4 PM ET – ESPN)

He’s been hurt and generally less than impressive this season, but in this game much of the country will get one of their first looks at who may still be one of the top quarterbacks off the board in next year’s NFL Draft. At 6’5″, 240 pounds, Allen has blossomed into the prototypical NFL quarterback build and has shown the ability to make the throws that will earn him a job at the next level.  However, injuries have kept him from being at 100 percent for most of the year and potentially for this game. Although he is battling a lingering shoulder injury, Allen is slated to start in what should be his final game at the collegiate level.

Central Michigan should come into this game feeling pretty good about its chances to stifle Allen and the Wyoming offense, though. The Chips boast the MAC’s top passing defense and are aggressive up front, racking up 32 sacks this season. If the defense can contain Allen, then Central Michigan could end up having the top quarterback performance in this game. Senior Shane Morris is no slouch, throwing for 26 touchdowns and over 2,900 yards in the regular season. Morris has thrown 13 interceptions, however, and the Wyoming defense leads the Mountain West with 16 interceptions on the year. The quarterbacks are the stars of these two teams, but it’s the defensive play that should dictate who wins this game. I’ll take the one that has the most experience on the blue turf for 26 points in Bowl Mania.

My Pick: 30-27 Wyoming

If you have interest in offering your insight for any of the bowl games this season, shoot me an email at kbecks@aroundthecorn.com or reach out on one of ATC’s social media sites (Facebook, Twitter). I’d be happy to accommodate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *