Bowl season is here, and all 288 games will be broadcast right here on ESPN 106.7.
Unless you’re a total degenerate, you probably don’t know very much about most of the teams that will be in action.
Fear not. Partially because I love bowl season, and mostly because I have no desire to do a postmortem of the 2017 SEC Championship (in fact, let’s never speak of that game ever again), this week’s edition of BTG is going to be all about the bowls.
Let’s dive right in.
Troy (-7) vs. North Texas in the NEW ORLEANS BOWL: Troy brought back every single player who recorded a yard of offense from last season and the team thrived, finishing 10-2 and winning the Sun Belt. North Texas struggled to slow down FAU last week and they’ll struggle to slow down Troy. PECK’S PICK: TROY -7
Western Kentucky (-6) vs. Georgia State in the CURE BOWL: The Hilltoppers stumbled down the stretch, losing three of their last five games of the season by double-digits, but they’ve got a good quarterback and a ridiculous-looking mascot. PECK’S PICK: WKU -6
Oregon (-7.5) vs Boise State in the LAS VEGAS BOWL: This is one of the most compelling matchups on the slate. Boise won eight of its last nine games, but Oregon’s gigantic quarterback Justin Herbert is hard to stop. Boise’s defense should keep the game close. PECK’S PICK: BOISE +7.5
Colorado State (-5.5) vs Marshall in the NEW MEXICO BOWL: Nothing rewards kids after a grueling season like a mid-December trip to tropical Albuquerque. State’s got a pretty good offense, I know nothing about Marshall, let’s move on. PECK’S PICK: CSU -5.5
Arkansas State (-3.5) vs MTSU in the CAMELIA BOWL: MTSU’s offense heated up towards the end of the season, but Arkansas State has a better situation at quarterback and should find a way to win. PECK’S PICK: ARKANSAS STATE -3.5
Florida Atlantic (-22) vs Akron in the BOCA RATON BOWL: Look for Lane Kiffin to cap off a spectacular first season as the head coach of the Owls with a resounding victory in the team’s hometown. PECK’S PICK: FAU -22
SMU (-5) vs Louisiana Tech in the FRISCO BOWL: Chad Morris just took the Arkansas job, but the components of his high-powered offense will be in place. Louisiana Tech, led by Skip Holtz, should be up to the challenge. PECK’S PICK: LT +5
Temple (-7) vs FIU in the GASPARILLA BOWL: I’m not sure about either school, so I’m taking the team from Florida. PECK’S PICK: FIU +7
Ohio (-7.5) vs UAB in the BAHAMAS BOWL: Not a bad deal for UAB, right? They went from not playing any football to playing football in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, they’re playing a team that didn’t take two years off. PECK’S PICK: OHIO -7.5
Wyoming (-7.5) vs Central Michigan in the POTATO BOWL: Wyoming QB Josh Allen is expected to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, so go with him I guess? PECK’S PICK: WYOMING -7.5
USF (-2.5) vs Texas Tech in the BIRMINGHAM BOWL: I like USF, even though I’m certain that the Tampa kids don’t appreciate a December trip to Birmingham. I’ve been to Lubbock, so I’m sure Texas Tech gets to appreciate taking a trip anywhere. PECK’S PICK: USF -2.5
San Diego State (-6.5) vs Army in the ARMED FORCES BOWL: Rashad Penny, San Diego State’s star running back, is the player to watch in this game. Army just notched a huge win against Navy, so a letdown against SDSU is understandable. PECK’S PICK: SDSU -6.5
Toledo (-8) vs Appalachian State in the DOLLAR GENERAL BOWL: They should play this game inside an actual Dollar General. PECK’S PICK: TOLEDO -8
Houston (-2) vs Fresno State in the HAWAII BOWL: Fresno State got things rolling once they entered conference play. Seriously, there are so many of these games. PECK’S PICK: FRESNO STATE +2
Utah (-7) vs West Virginia in the HEART OF DALLAS BOWL: Finally, some teams I’ve definitely seen this year. Utah lost a lot of close games this year, while WVU will be without quarterback Will Grier, so I like the Utes in a fun one. PECK’S PICK: UTAH -7
Duke (-5) vs NIU in the QUICK LANE BOWL: As a kid, I remember getting so excited for the Quick Lane Bowl. Truly a tradition unlike any other. Wikipedia tells me it’s played in Detroit. PECK’S PICK: NIU +5
Kansas State (-2.5) vs UCLA in the CACTUS BOWL: This is the one they play on the baseball field in Phoenix. Unfortunately, they no longer cover the field with actual cacti to add a challenge for both teams. PECK’S PICK: UCLA +2.5
Come back next week for PART TWO!