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Bowl Predictions – New Orleans, New Mexico, and Humanitarian Bowls

The bowl season is finally here! For the college football nut like me tomorrow will begin what is close to a month of fun even if the teams playing in the games come from the MAC, WAC, Sun Belt Conference and Mountain West Conference. Here is my quick take on each of the three bowl games being played over the weekend. Feel free to share your predictions in the comment field as well.

BYU (6-6) vs. UTEP (6-6)


BYU’s season did not quite go as well as they had planned, and the mediocre season could not have come at a worse time. The Cougars are preparing to leave the Mountain West Conference starting next year and the hope in Provo was that the Cougars would take the Mountain West Conference title with them. The only problem was that they were not as good as they were last year after losing some key players, most notably quarterback Max Hall and tight end Dennis Pitta.

That said, the Cougars should still be the better team when compared to the UTEP Miners. I’ll take BYU in the first bowl game of the season.

Northern Illinois (10-3) vs. Fresno State (8-4)


Just as soon as poeple were starting to hop on the Northern Illinois band wagon this season, the Huskies were upset in the MAC Championship game by Miami of Ohio. Then their head coach Jerry Kill, jumped to Minnesota. Their next head coach, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren, is still with the Badgers hoping to leave the Badgers with a Rose Bowl victory. I still like Northern Illinois here even if they have to fly to Boise to play on the blue turf against a Fresno State team that is looking to wash away a painful memory of lsing 51-0 on the same field earlier this season.

Not sure about you guys, but I am going with Northern Illinois in the second bowl game of the bowl season.

Ohio (8-4) vs. Troy (7-5)


Ohio is looking for their first bowl victory in program history. History will be aginst them when they face Troy in the New Orleans Bowl. Ohio’s offense is too streaky to rely on and Boo Jackson may have the school record for most touchdown passes but having watched him as many times as I have I just don’t see him being a difference maker in favor of Ohio. Look for Phil Bates to get a significant amount of playing time to give the Bobcats a spark, but I think Troy’s passing game will cause problems for Ohio. I’m going with the Troy Trojans in their third New Orleans Bowl appearance.

Share your picks for these games in the comments section!

About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
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