It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I’m not talking about the holiday that has taken a good chunk of money out of your pocket either.
It’s bowl season for Underdogs Against the Spread which means we are here to put some of that cash back where it belongs.
It’s been a couple weeks since the end of the regular season and conference champions have been decided. All eyes now move to bowl games that can help us look ahead to next season. It is a terrific opportunity for many of these Group of Five programs to make an impression around the nation. Several do not get the attention that they probably should. At least for one day, they get a chance to shine on a national stage. It is a perfect chance for several G5 teams to take down a Power Five opponent. That is a huge motivation factor when these games are relatively meaningless.
The question is who is hype for these games and who will sleepwalk through them?
We’ve seen time and time again that teams fail to show up during bowl season for various reasons. There are schools that lose talent to the NFL. Some seem to struggle to get up for what they might feel is a lesser opponent. Others just straight up party to hard the night before and it shows on the field.
Let’s hope the latter doesn’t happen to any of the G5 and they close this season out with a bang. Here are your winners for the final time of the 2019 season.
2019 Record: 38-34-3
*All lines are according to Bovada and are accurate at the time this article is published
New Mexico Bowl
The Chippewas were one of college football’s greatest turnarounds after winning just one game last season. Jim McElwain brought them to the MAC Championship game in his first season on the job. San Diego State has been a model of consistency in the G5 and their defense just swallows up opposing offenses. CMU will struggle to score giving us a comfortable Aztecs win.
Liberty Flames (+7) vs. Georgia Southern Eagles
These two programs are still relatively new to this whole bowl thing. This will be the first bowl game for Liberty and Georgia Southern has only been in the FBS since 2014. Liberty got to this point with a relatively easy schedule, but there is no denying that they are capable of putting up points. The Eagles can take over games with their rushing attack, but they’ll get behind early and won’t keep up with Liberty.
Boca Raton Bowl
Things were UGLY for Sonny Dykes in his first bowl game at SMU, but the similarities are why you take this pick. Chad Morris left the team for Arkansas after the regular season and the Mustangs were awful in the bowl game as a result. FAU finds themselves in a identical situation as Lane Kiffin left for Ole Miss just after their conference championship game. This is basically a home game for the Owls, but SMU will take this one with ease.
We all know that Wazzu head coach Mike Leach loves to chuck it at least 50-60 times a game. His quarterback Anthony Gordon threw four or more touchdowns in six games this season, including a whopping nine against UCLA. Air Force’s option make them difficult to stop on offense as well, and unlike what we saw from last week’s Army-Navy game, they do have passing elements in their game plan. The end result should be a boatload of points that should go well over the total.
Everything said about FAU and their coach on the way out can be applied to Boston College as well. Steve Addazio was fired by BC, and what is more troubling star running back AJ Dillon will not play in the bowl game as he will enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Cincinnati has a shot to win 11 games in consecutive seasons for only the second time on program history.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
The Bobcats are a perennial bowl team under Frank Solich as they have made it into a postseason game in 11 of 14 seasons at the helm. But Nevada is no slouch either, having played in a bowl game in 12 of the last 15 years. This is the Wolfpack’s third appearance in the Potato Bowl, and the first two haven’t gone according the plan with a loss in each game. The third time will be the charm.
Thanks for following along this season! It’s been a fun ride at UATS Can’t wait to do it again next year. Let me know what you think of these picks in the comments below or via Twitter. SHOW ME THE MONEY!!