The Campus Game
Bowl Picks 2008-2009
Welcome to the annual Campus Game Bowl Bonanza.
Throughout the bowl season, analysis and predictions will be posted for all 34 major college bowl games.
Let's start with games through Christmas Eve.
* All times Eastern
Eagle Bank Bowl
Navy (8-4) vs. Wake Forest (8-4)
RFK Stadium, Washington D.C.
Dec. 20 at 11:00 AM ESPN
This is a rematch of a game Navy won at Wake by a touchdown in September. The top threat for the Middies is RB Shun White who averages over 8 yards per tote. Wake is one of a record ten ACC teams going bowling this season and many of the matchups look favorable, including this one as a mild upset.
Professor’s Pick: Wake Forest
New Mexico Bowl
Colorado State (6-6) vs. Fresno State (7-5)
University Stadium, Albuquerque
Dec. 20 at 2:30 ESPN
Many felt Fresno would be a potential BCS-Buster at the start of the season, but injuries and a challenging road schedule bit the Bulldogs. The CSU Rams are bowling for the first time since 2005. Expect plenty of offense, but Fresno (featuring my favorite name in college football – TE Bear Pascoe) should outscore the Rams for the victory.
Professor’s Pick: Fresno State
MagicJack St. Petersburg Bowl
Memphis (6-6) vs. South Florida (7-5)
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
Dec. 20 at 4:30 ESPN2
For a second straight season the USF Bulls stumbled late after moving into the national top ten rankings. QB Matt Grothe is streaky but will make enough plays to handle the Tigers from Beale Street.
Professor’s Pick: South Florida
Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl
BYU (10-2) vs. Arizona (7-5)
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas
Dec. 20 at 8:00 ESPN
Mike Stoops finally got Arizona to a bowl game (and is now rumored as a finalist for the Iowa State job – unsure why that would be a better place than Tuscon) … the Wildcats first trip since 1998. BYU faltered in the only two big games the Cougars played (blowout losses to TCU and Utah). Still, I like their offense to win a fourth straight bowl.
Professor’s Picks: BYU
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Troy (8-4) vs. Southern Miss (6-6)
Superdome, New Orleans
Dec. 21 at 8:15 ESPN
Troy’s most memorable game of the season came in Louisiana when the Trojans took a 31-3 lead over LSU before the Bengal Tigers stormed back for the 40-31 victory. Troy still posted a fine season in winning the Sun Belt outright after sharing the title the last two years. USM looked horrible early in the season, falling to 2-6 at one point, before the Eagles turned golden and finished with four straight wins. TB Damion Fletcher is one of the nation’s best, but I’m going with Troy in a close, exciting win.
Professor’s Pick: Troy
Boise State (12-0) vs. TCU (10-2)
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
Dec. 23 at 8:00 ESPN
A premier pairing of offensive explosiveness (Boise) and defensive toughness (TCU). The Boise Brocos missed out on the BCS bowls when Utah outpolled them to get in the Sugar Bowl, and the Fiesta decided Ohio State would outdraw them. The Broncs won by an average of 27 points and might need every trick in their vast playbook to run over the Horned Frogs. TCU lost only twice (at Oklahoma and at Utah), both games on the road and both to teams headed to the big BCS bowls. Make time to enjoy this one.
Professor’s Pick: Boise State
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Notre Dame (6-6) vs. Hawaii (7-6)
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu
Dec. 24 at 8:00 ESPN
Everyone knows the Irish have not won a bowl since 1993, and this one is certainly no gimme. Hawaii played Orange Bowl-bound Cincinnati to the wire in the season finale, and the Warriors were in a BCS game themselves last season. ND has gotten progressively worse offensively, although the size and speed of the Irish should allow them to control the Hawaii lines. Expect a close one and the Irish to break the streak.
Professor’s Pick: Notre Dame