Bowl Mania 2
Jan. 7, 2017
by Chase Gage
So a few of my bowl picks did not go as I had predicted. I would like to formally apologize to those teams who won that I said would not, and also express my disgust with all the losers for making me look bad. My predictions may not have all been right, but there were some things I did get correct. Let’s look back, shall we?
Bowls I missed:
Las Vegas Bowl: I expected much more out of Houston. I apologize to San Diego State for not having more faith in them.
Cure Bowl: Yes, I picked against the school that I currently attend. Yes, this is payback for not believing in my football team. Yes, all my friends have rubbed it in already. My pick may have been wrong, but my logic was not. I said that the Red Wolves offense was too inconsistent. They did not look good at all offensively during the bowl game. In fact, they tied the bowl record for least first downs in a winning effort. Special teams and defense won this game. This is the only game in which I am glad I was wrong.
Hawai’i Bowl: Why did I pick against a team that was playing a bowl game in their home stadium? I apologize for my lapse in judgment.
Independence Bowl: This game wasn’t even close. I guess I fell into the trap of picking the SEC team just because they’re in the SEC. Maybe next year, Vandy.
Military Bowl: I honestly did not think that Wake Forest had a chance in this game. I apologize to the Demon Deacons and congratulate them on their bowl victory. I would also like to thank Temple for making me feel bad about myself for picking them.
Holiday Bowl: Washington State scored a touchdown with 19 seconds left in the game to make it seem like a close game if you only look at the score (17-12), but the Golden Gophers were in control for most of the second half.
Cactus Bowl: Maybe I got caught up in the nostalgia of Boise State bowl games of the late 2000’s. Maybe I underestimated Baylor. Maybe it’s Maybelline. Either way, I missed this one by a long shot.
Pinstripe Bowl: “Pitt is one of the hottest teams in college football (but the New York weather may cool them off a bit).” That part of my prediction sure was right. Pitt only managed 24 points after averaging 58 over their last three games coming into this one. Northwestern overcame their history of bowl woes and are now 2-9 in the post-season.
Russell Athletic Bowl: Miami showed up for this game and earned their first bowl win in ten years. Quarterback Brad Kaaya tossed four touchdowns in the dominate performance by the Hurricanes.
Texas Bowl: I should have known better than to pick against Coach Snyder in the post-season. I should have also known better than to pick Texas A&M in any game after October.
Belk Bowl: I was definitely right about one aspect of this Razorback team: inconsistency. The Razorbacks dominated the first half, taking a 24-0 lead into halftime. Too bad (for the sake of my pick) that the second half counts as well. The Hogs were outscored 35-0 in the second half. I predicted a big game from quarterback Austin Allen, and at halftime, I thought I was going to be right. He ended with 278 yards and two touchdowns but also had three interceptions.
Orange Bowl: Well, with 1:57 remaining in the game, I thought my pick was going to be correct. The Wolverines battled back from a 20-6 deficit to take a 30-27 lead before losing 33-32 at the hands of the Seminoles. I considered this game a toss-up but gave the edge to Michigan. I won’t say this often, but I was wrong. Florida State is the real deal.
Citrus Bowl: I underestimated the LSU defense. It is no surprise that the Cardinals struggled to produce any offense outside of Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. It did come as a surprise, however, that they lacked offense FROM Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Lamar Jackson (obvious emphasis on the “Heisman Trophy winning”). The SEC proved its dominance over Louisville for the second time this season.
Rose Bowl: What a game. I said this one may be a classic, and I believe I hit the nail on the head with that statement. USC came roaring back to win the Rose Bowl after Penn State scored four touchdowns on four consecutive offensive plays (yes, you read that right). Penn State was down 27-14 before scoring 28 unanswered points to go up 42-27. USC then scored a touchdown and converted the two-point try, but Penn State managed to score yet again making the score 49-35 going into the fourth quarter. USC then scored 14 points to tie the game at 49 with just over a minute left in the game. Penn State threw an interception on the next drive which ultimately led to a USC field goal as time expired to win the game 52-49. I may have been wrong, but it was one of the greatest games I have seen in a long time.
So I missed 14 and got 26 correct. That’s 65 percent. If I get some extra credit for getting the playoff games right, that could bring my grade up to a C. Not too bad, right? There is still one more game to be played. Alabama will face off against Clemson in a rematch of the 2016 National Championship Game, just as I predicted.
Check in on Jan. 10 to see if I was right about my pick (Alabama) and what quirky remarks I have about the game. My picks might not have been perfect, but they’re still better than yours were…probably.