Tony Gerdeman - Tony's Bowl Tip Sheet #1

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Last updated: 12/14/2012 4:16 PM
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Tony's Bowl Tip Sheet #1
By Tony Gerdeman

Well, so much for figuring out a way for the Buckeyes to end up #1 in the AP poll. Ohio State is now more likely to end up in the Big East than atop the AP poll.

But that doesn't render the Tip Sheet useless. You can still print it out and use it to start fires (provided you already have a fire).

We've broken the Tip Sheet up into three parts this year because there are simply too many games to hammer your brain with right now.

So if you're good, I'll eventually write the other two parts.

Saturday December 15

NevadaGildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, NM)
Teams:  Nevada (7-5) vs. Arizona (7-5)
Time (TV):  1:00 pm (ESPN
Interest:  3.5
Cheer For:  Nevada

Rich Rodriguez has done in one year what it took him three years to do at Michigan – reach a bowl game. Of course, he had a much more talented team this time around, and much better fans. In fact, the higher quality of fans can not be stated enough. Just better people overall. They don't march to a haughty drummer. They aren't preposterous when it comes to their football memories. They don't abuse logic like some unnecessary vigilante bent on avenging accepted truths. Arizona fans are cool with whatever, man. If a coach wants to be "just okay" at football, that's fine. However, a win in this game would make Arizona 8-5 and give them a kickstart towards 2013. After all, the New Mexico Bowl is well known for being the precursor to National Championships (in an alternate dimension). This should be a pretty high-scoring game because duh. The over/under is 77, and for good reason. Both teams are averaging over 500 yards of total offense and allowing over 400 yards on defense. Generally a program like Arizona would look down on a bowl game like this, but they're not really in a position to do so, and I think they're actually looking forward to playing. I'll side with All-American tailback Ka'Deem Carey since he helped Team Awesome to yet another fantasy football championship. Arizona 41 - Nevada 38

ToledoFamous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise, ID)
Teams:  #18 Utah State (10-2) vs. Toledo (9-3)
Time (TV):  4:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  3
Cheer For:  Toledo

We're cheering for Toledo, but it won't do us any good. They don't want to be in Idaho anymore than you do, plus they won't be able to stop Utah State's offense, which will make them want to be there even less. The Aggies lost two games this year, one by two points at Wisconsin and the other by three points at BYU. Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton is not unlike Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch, who threw for 407 yards and rushed for 162 yards against the Rockets. Toledo won't be able to score with the Aggies, who actually have a defense. Utah State 38 - Toledo 24

Thursday December 20

San Diego StatePoinsettia Bowl (San Diego, CA)
Teams:  BYU (7-5) vs. San Diego State (9-3)
Time (TV):  8:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  2
Cheer For:  San Diego State

We're cheering for San Diego State because it's just funny when the Aztecs do better now than they did when Brady Hoke was their head coach. Hoke was 13-12 in two seasons at SDSU. Rocky Long is now 17-8 in his two seasons. A loss in this game would equal Hoke's best season of 9-4. Obviously, Long is winning with the foundation that Hoke built, but that doesn't make it any less interesting. The Aztecs are playing this game in their home stadium, so this should be a comfortable atmosphere for them. San Diego State comes into this game on a seven-game winning streak. However, BYU won't just roll over, they'll have to be coaxed into it like they were by Boise State, Oregon State, Notre Dame, Utah and San Jose State. There's something to be said for losing to five of the best six teams you played this season, but I'm not sure any of it is good. I would like to side with BYU for staying close with quality teams, but how can I not expect them to simply lose like they always do? San Diego State 27 - BYU 24

Friday December 21

Ball StateBeef O'Brady's Bowl (St. Petersburg, FL)
Teams:  UCF (9-4) vs. Ball State (9-3)
Time (TV):  7:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  1
Cheer For:  Ball State

We're cheering for Ball State because it's fun to watch Brady Hoke's other team succeed without him as well. I have to assume Ball State is thrilled to be playing a game in Florida. You have to remember, the state of Indiana this time of year is as boring as Indiana at any other time of year, it's just now there are no crops to stare at. (Staring at crops is the state's national pastime. Butch Carlisle from Rising Sun is the state champ 17 years running. Carlisle watches crops an average of 19 hours per day and one time saw a nine-foot stalk of corn. Once, after his wife put too much sugar in the lemonade, he watched crops for an incredible 32 hours straight. During those 32 hours he frequently complained of having to use the restroom, but he never once left his rocking chair, which they say was carved from a tree that he watched grow up as a child.) UCF 31 - Ball State 30

Saturday December 22

East CarolinaNew Orleans Bowl (New Orleans, LA)
Teams:  East Carolina (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4)
Time (TV):  12:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  1.5
Cheer For:  East Carolina

This is the second year in a row that Louisiana-Lafayette is playing in the New Orleans Bowl. I don't know if that has any impact on this game, I just thought you might like to know that. Was I wrong? If so, I don't care. You don't tell me when I need to tell you, I tell you what you need me to tell you. Got that? We're rooting for East Carolina because Louisiana-Lafayette almost beat Florida, and a loss for the Ragin' Cajuns would make the SEC look worse. We're very petty like that. Louisiana-Lafayette 37 - East Carolina 31

WashingtonMaaco Las Vegas Bowl (Las Vegas, NV)
Teams:  Boise State (10-2) vs. Washington (7-5)
Time (TV):  3:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  3
Cheer For:  Washington

Boise State is trying to avoid its first three-loss season since 2007. Washington would kill for a three-loss season. Seriously. I can picture the AD's press conference afterward: "We felt this was a necessary sacrifice. Holiday Bowl, here we come!" Boise State 28 - Washington 21

Monday December 24

Fresno St.Hawaii Bowl (Honolulu, HI)
Teams:  Fresno State (9-3) vs. SMU (6-6)
Time (TV):  8:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  2.5
Cheer For:  Fresno State

June Jones is heading back to Hawaii, so that's something. I'm just guessing that Jones won't get the same homefield calls that he grew accustomed to when he donned the lei for the home team. Fresno State is a double-digit favorite, so who am I to argue. Fresno State 37 - SMU 24

Wednesday December 26

Central MichiganLittle Caesars Pizza Bowl (Detroit, MI)
Teams:  Central Michigan (6-6) vs. Western Kentucky (7-5)
Time (TV):  7:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  1.5
Cheer For:  Central Michigan

Western Kentucky comes into this game without head coach Willie Taggart, who went to USF a week ago. For Central Michigan, traveling to Detroit is less of a punishment than it is for Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers probably have better players, but they'll be too busy playing with heavy hearts for their lost coach. And playing in fear of the neighborhood won't help much either. Central Michigan 24 - Western Kentucky 20

Thursday December 27

Bowling GreenMilitary Bowl (Washington, DC)
Teams:  #24 San Jose State (10-2) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)
Time (TV):  3:00 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  2
Cheer For:  Bowling Green

We're cheering for Bowling Green because we all had some pretty good times there in high school and college. And because of that one time we had Hungry Howie's and it was like the best thing I had ever eaten. The general rule when picking a bowl game is to take the team who is happy to be there. But who wants to be playing a game in Washington D.C. in late December? Certainly not a team from California, and certainly not a team from Northwest Ohio who would much rather be in Florida like every other Northwest Ohioan. I'll take Bowling Green in this one because at least they're used to the cold. They'll probably go out hunting after the game to celebrate. Bowling Green 26 - San Jose State 24

DukeBelk Bowl (Charlotte, NC)
Teams:  Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Duke (6-6)
Time (TV):  6:30 pm (ESPN)
Interest:  1.5
Cheer For:  Duke

It's hard to imagine Cincinnati giving it their all in this game having lost Butch Jones to Tennessee. Duke gets to play this game in their home state, which means they'll be able to entice a few hundred of their most ardent fans. It has been over 50 years since Duke's last bowl win (1961), and this is going to be their first bowl game since 1995. They should be thrilled to be playing in this game, and they'll get to play another BCS school, so that will excite them as well. I can't believe I'm actually picking Duke in a bowl game. It hasn't been done by any human in nearly 20 years! I feel like an explorer. This must be how Neil Armstrong must have felt when he discovered the moon. Duke 20 - Cincinnati 16

UCLAHoliday Bowl (San Diego, CA)
Teams:  Baylor (7-5) vs. #17 UCLA (9-4)
Time (TV):  9:45 pm (UCLA
Interest:  4
Cheer For:  UCLA

This should be one of the higher-scoring games of the bowl season. The scoreboard at QualComm Stadium should have tickets pouring out of it like a giant Skee-Ball game. Baylor has the top offense in the nation, averaging 579 yards of total offense, and they will move the ball in a variety of ways. Quarterback Nick Florence threw for 4,121 yards this season, and tailback Lache Seastrunk has really come on of late, rushing for 499 yards in his last three games.. Baylor finished the season with wins over Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, scoring 48.3 points per game in the process. UCLA will be able to run the ball well on Baylor, but then that's not saying much. Baylor could show up at an old folks' home and leave with tennis ball scuff marks on their chests from being plowed over by a dozen walkers. As long as UCLA can keep the ball from Baylor, I like their chances. But since Baylor won't be able to stop the Bruins, it will be impossible for UCLA to keep the ball away from Florence and Seastrunk. Because of that, I have to take the Bears. Baylor 52 - UCLA 48

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