The Little Big One

December 22, 2010

To many college football fans, the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas between Boise State and Utah is the biggest game of the pre-Christmas bowl games. While I agree with this, I’m not sure that it will be as close as some people are figuring it may be. Thanks to last night’s thriller in St. Petersburg, I think that the award for the closest pre-Christmas bowl may have already been handed out. Also thanks to that bowl, I am now 2-2 in the College Bowl Mania game. Luckily, I didn’t put that many confidence points on either Southern Miss or Fresno State, so I am by no means out of the running. When that time comes, trust me, I’ll be sure to let you all know.

Here is my pick for the December 22nd bowl game.

MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

Boise State vs. Utah

I think that a lot of people are giving Utah much more credit than they are due. The Utes, who started the season 8-0 and came into the showdown against TCU ranked 5th in the nation, didn’t really have to play anyone before facing the Horned Frogs. In fact, their best win prior to that game was against Pittsburgh, who finished the season at 7-5. In consecutive weeks, the Utes scored a total of 10 points (against TCU and Notre Dame) on their way to getting pummeled by both teams. A team that averages over 35 points per game being held to no touchdowns by a Notre Dame defense that gives up 378 yards per game? That tells me that they were beating up on less than quality opponents.

Boise State, on the other hand, is the real deal. Forget the loss to Nevada (who, by the way, is a pretty good team in their own right). That win against Virginia Tech to start the season looks a lot better now that the Hokies are playing in a BCS bowl. The fact that they played three opponents who are still ranked kind of waters down the argument that they didn’t play anyone, too. Finally, Chris Peterson is a very good coach, who will make sure that the Broncos do not suffer from the hangover effect. Although Las Vegas is not where Boise envisioned playing in the post-season, I do not think they are going to give critics any reason to label them as frauds.

Here is possibly the biggest momentum swing; Utah starting quarterback Jordan Wynn will not be playing in this game. If Utah thought it was hard to score points against Notre Dame’s defense, it may be even more difficult for the Utes to find the end zone without the player that threw for seventeen touchdowns on the season. Utah’s best shot may be to use their solid running game to grind it out on the ground and keep the ball away from Kellen Moore & Company. However, that may be just as difficult, as Boise State has the 7th best run defense in the nation.

Don’t get me wrong, I am interested to watch this game. The chance that I could be wrong, that Utah is not a fraud, is there. However, I just don’t think that is the case. Boise State is a disciplined, solid team, who will likely come out firing on all cylinders. I have Boise State for 33 points in the College Bowl Mania game, by far the most confidence points I have put on a team thus far in the bowl season.

Final Score: 34-20 Boise State

– K. Becks

3 Responses to The Little Big One

  1. R. Bates on December 22, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    You are spot on! Boise State got robbed and should be playing in January.

  2. Barry Williams on December 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    K Becks,

    Not to rain on your parade, but you are the most byist blogwriter. “Boise State, on the other hand, is the real deal. Forget the loss to Nevada (who, by the way, is a pretty good team in their own right).” Excuse me but Boise State IS YOUR FAVORITE TEAM! Of course you will be rooting for them and trying to show all their accomplishments. That is all.

    – Barry Williams

    • K. Becks on December 22, 2010 at 5:39 pm


      Utah has too many weaknesses, that have been exposed by a mediocre team in Notre Dame, to beat the Broncos. If Jordan Wynn were playing, I may have held back a little bit, but with him out, I can’t see the Utes actually winning this one.

      The three points against the Irish is unacceptable for a team that averages 35 per game, if they want to call themselves a top team.

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