Mitch Picks The New Mexico Bowl: Colorado State vs Fresno State 12/20/08

Mitch WilsonSenior Writer IDecember 17, 2008

I have been very critical of the amount of bowl games that there are, not because of the amount of football, but because of the records of the participants; today we get a chance to talk about another one of those games.

Before I talk about the bowl games I want to encourage everyone to vote for the Coach of the Year, it is our chance as fans to vote for something that matters. For those who didn't see the story, Joe Paterno signed a contract extension yesterday, for about 3.5. million less than the going rate for a guy of his standing, there is a guy who simply loves the game.

As much as we're trying to avoid it, we still end up back the New Mexico Bowl. The match up of the New Mexico Bowl may be interesting as the game is evenly matched, but I still believe it would be tough to argue that both or even either of these teams are deserving of post season action.

While I don't expect anyone to give this gave a confidence rating in the 30s or even the 20s in my free bowl picking contest, I do think that these are the games that people scream about that could be eliminated if there were to be a playoff in D-1 college football.

While I can't wait for college football to get started again, this is not a game I look forward to or would be watching if it were a full slate of games. With the College Hoops season getting rolling, I'm sure there will plenty of action to flip around the channels and watch as well, I know the guys in the forum will be all over those games as just like football, they have been red hot picking the college hoop games against the spread.

At least there are four games on Saturday the 20th and maybe this one will surprise us as while we know the quality won't be there, the game is pretty even on paper.

The New Mexico Bowl  University Stadium  Albuquerque, NM

Colorado State (6-6) Vs. Fresno State (7-5)

Saturday December 20, 2008  2:30 EST  Line: Fresno State -3


I have been told on more than one occasion that if I don't have anything nice to say I shouldn't say anything at all, that would put me in a tough spot since just about everyone is asking for my analysis and picks on all of the bowl games. If I had to nominate a game as the worst game quality wise with two teams who purely don't belong in the post season the argument begins here.

While we'll see if that distinction gets challenged over the next few weeks as I continue to go over all 34 post season college bowl games, we are going to be hard pressed to find two teams who match up this closely for all of the wrong reasons.

First up are the Fresno State Bulldogs. Fresno State enters this game with a 7-5 overall record but a miserable 2-10 mark against the spread. While after watching them earlier in the season I made the statement that Fresno State wouldn't cover again all season long, they proved me wrong as they manged to eek out a second half cover against San Jose State three games ago.

Fresno State has let opponents off the hook the same way all season long, poor tackling. While I think Pat Hill is generally one of the best coaches in the game, It amazes me that his team is so poor at the fundamentals.

On the other side of the ball is first year Head Coach Steve Fairchild who far exceeded my preseason expectations for the Rams after they finished last season at 3-9 under former Head Coach Sonny Lubick. In many of CSU's losses they played teams close including a 13-7 loss to one of the better non BCS bowl teams, TCU and a 3 point loss to another decent team in BYU.

Here is where I have a problem, CSU finished the season at 6-6 which for starters isn't a winning record, to further this mess, one of those six wins came against 1-AA Sacramento State so if just D-1 wins counted the Rams would have only five wins and not be eligible for post season play.

By allowing 1-AA wins to count towards bowl eligibility we are encouraging even softer scheduling by major conferences so they can get a bigger slice of the Bowl money, as if they don't get enough.

Think about this for a second, there are 34 post season bowl games for D-1 and only 120 teams, more than half of the teams make a bowl game. Let's compare it to college basketball where there are over 340 teams and only 65 teams make the NCAA tournament, I will get back to this another time.

see who Mitch finally picks against the spread