I mentioned this in the previous post, but now I have the video to share with you.
The folks at the New York Yankees and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl sent along a couple photos of the beginning stages of the preparation for the football field for next week’s bowl game between Syracuse and Kansas State. It’s not much but here’s a look at the end zones.
By the way, the traditional mayor bet between the mayors of Manhattan, Kansas and Syracuse, New York took place this week as well. The folks of Syracuse have put up some genuine Syracuse sausages and Syracuse Pale Ale while Manhattan is putting up some hickory smoked ribs and an assortment of local brews, Oasis Pale Ale and Buffalo Sweat.
I’ll be covering the game live next week form the press box, so be sure to check back for more updates. I’ll also be covering the Military Bowl in Washington D.C. the day before.
As I expected, Boise State blew by Utah in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Wednesday evening, winning 26-3 in a game that was a little more sloppy than I expected in terms of ball control. Both teams turned the ball over and Kellen Moore missed a couple of passes that should probably be blamed on wide receivers not bringing the ball in, but Utah had an even worse offensive night. With the Broncos victory over the Utes the changing of the guard in the Mountain West Conference has officially taken place and I improved to 5-0 in my bowl predictions.
Now it’s going to start getting tricky.
Contrasting offenses may each be hampered by flooded playing surface. San Diego has experienced an unusual amount of rainfall in recent days and the field at Qualcomm Stadium has been flooded by a reported ten inches of rain. San Diego averages 10 inches of rain per year, just for your reference. Officials still believe there will be enough time to pump the flood water out of the stadium and have the field in a playable condition in time for the scheduled kick off but I honestly am not sure the field will be in a greta condition no matter what they do to the surface.
Navy, who always relies on the running game, may have a difficulty in getting any solid traction. Not even Ricky Dobbs may be able to do any significant damage against San Diego State, who tends to do well against the run. The Aztecs though take to the air to move the ball when they are on offense but don’t expect too many deep passes in this game if the receivers fail to move quickly on a spongy field.
So who has the advantage here? I still think Navy has the better chance to win this game but given the uncertainty surrounding the playing conditions I am finding it hard to go against San Diego State. Does a swamp for a football field benefit the running game or the passing game more? I’ll stick with Navy, but in a close one.
Louisville did me proud last night in defeating Southern Mississippi, especially since they started slowly. With the Cardinals winning I improved to 4-0 in the bowl season in my official picks. Tonight will be one of the games I feel particularly confident in and judging by the betting lines I do not appear to be the only one. Can I improve to 5-0 with my MAACO Bowl Las Vegas pick?
I believe that Boise State is one of those schools that could still hang with even the top teams in college football this season. I am not going to say they would beat Oregon or Auburn but I would think they would keep it close. Despite a second half collapse against WAC rival Nevada over the Thanksgiving weekend I still feel that Boise State is a BCS caliber team. It just so happens they fell to the MAACO Bowl thanks to the cluttered BCS standings that are filled with powerful one loss teams like Wisconsin and Arkansas and Ohio State. If Michigan State is not in a BCS game, then there was no way Boise State would make one.
Which is exactly why I am picking the Broncos to win soundly tonight. Utah fell flat in their two big games of the year against TCU and at Notre Dame and they are without their starting quarterback. Oh yeah, the defense has been underwhelming as well. Bad news for the Utes, who must slow down one of the top offenses in college football.
Boise State, big.
Talking coaching news and top bowl games.
After not being able to join the Josh Pacheco Show on ESPN Radio in Hawaii last week due to my traveling to the Nike Football Media Summit in Dallas, I was more than happy to get a chance to join the show yesterday.
We talked about the Ralph Friedgen situation at Maryland and whether or not Mike Leach is the best fit to take over the Terrapins. I state that I do not see it working out long term because of the personality clash I envision developing in College Park. Pacheco also asked for the bowl game I am most looking forward to this week. Without a doubt it is the game that will be played tonight, the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas between Boise State and Utah. You can read my preview for the game that was posted this morning and check back later today for my official prediction as I try to improve my bowl prediction record to 5-0 this bowl season.
If you did not get a chance to listen to my quick appearance live I have included the audio from the show for you right here, thanks to Josh Pacheco for allowing me to share the audio clip.