It has been another incredible year in College Football, and we now find ourselves creeping into the meaningful bowl games to finish off the season.
In the following, I'll break down the games that should provide the most amount of entertainment, regardless of which team is your alma mater or favorite.
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsietta Bowl:
Boise State vs. TCU (- 3): Very interesting matchup. Especially for Boise State fans that are still clamoring for some respect. Three out of the last five years, Boise State has run their regular season slate undefeated. Yet they have only garnered a single BCS bowl bid during that run.
Not only that, but they now find themselves facing a two-loss non-BCS school...and they are three-point underdogs. Even Rodney Dangerfield gets more respect than the Smurf Turf crew...
Breaking this game down, it is hard not think that this will be a fairly defensive bowl game. TCU has one of the most unheralded front fours in all of College Football, and Boise State may be fielding the best defensive unit that they have ever had. It should also be noted that one of the most alarming statistics coming into this game is Time of Possession.
TCU ranks No. 1 overall in the country in this category, averaging 35:05 minutes per game. Boise State ranks a mediocre 83rd, at 29:13 minutes per game. More importantly, this will be the best defense that Boise has faced all year. And a defense that has a penchant for stopping the run and getting in the face of opposing QBs. This could prove to be very troubling for the sensational first year starter, and redshirt freshman QB, Kellen Moore.
If Ian Johnson and Jeremy Avery are unable to gain much success running the football, look for Moore to have Horned Frogs hitting him from every angle during the game. I very much expect this to happen. TCU is just the more physical team, and Gary Patterson is one of the most unheralded game planners and game managers in all the country. Even moreso than his counterpart from Boise State, Chris Petersen.
In a game pitting two of best 'under the radar' teams in the country, look for the more physical team to pull this one out and cover the number at hand at the same time. Take TCU, and lay the three in the slightest of covers...TCU 27 -- Boise State 23.
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl:
Notre Dame vs. Hawaii (+ 1 1/2): The 6-6 middling Domers will take their show on the road to play home team Hawaii in the....Hawaii Bowl.
The most notable fact coming into this bowl game is that Notre Dame now holds the longest bowl game losing streak, at nine, in College Football bowl game history. They also hold the distinct title in which 89 other current FBS schools have earned a bowl victory since their last bowl win that came on January 1st, 1994.
EIGHTY NINE. Let that one sink in a bit. That means, of the current 120 FBS schools, only 31 other teams have not won a bowl game since 1994. That includes first year FBS entrant Western Kentucky. Of the current BCS schools, only five have not won a bowl game since Notre Dame won their last: Baylor, Duke, Indiana, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt. Yes, folks, that is the depths of the basement to which the once proud and distinguished Notre Dame football program has fallen.
There may not be a team or coach with more pressure on them to win a bowl game than Charlie Weis and Notre Dame during this Bowl Season. And they find themselves on the island facing one of the best home field advantages in all of College Football.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that 95 percent of the general public will be rooting against Notre Dame, and a good majority of them will be tuning in to watch the train wreck that they so very much want to see.
However, I'm going to go against the public, and call for the proverbial 2,500 pound gorilla to be taken off of the back of both Charlie Weis and Notre Dame football. Look for the Irish to make a business trip to the big island, and pull out a victory over the hometown Warriors...Notre Dame 31 -- Hawaii 19.