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Forecaster Frank's Bowl Preview Week 1

Note I will do my Bowl preview in multiple parts, with that week’s bowls as well as their watchability.

Utah State 37 North Texas 24

Once again bowl season kicks off in Albuquerque with the now sponsor-less New Mexico Bowl. Utah State comes in as the favorite after a 10-2 season in the Mountain West Conference. However, the Aggies will be in New Mexico without their coach as Matt Wells left to coach Texas Tech. North Texas had a solid season in Conference USA, winning nine games. Both teams have fine quarterbacks, but I see the Aggies Jordan Love having the edge.

Watchability factor: A decent bowl game as both teams deserve to be in a bowl, but not a must-see, especially with two NFL games on the same day. The game deserves a better venue, but it is a good way to start the 40-game onslaught.

Louisiana 41 Tulane 24
Its an all Bayou matchup in Orlando as Louisiana-Lafayette takes on Tulane it the Cure Bowl. Both teams come in with six losses, with the Ragin’ Cajuns having lost the inaugural Sun Belt Championship Game. The Green Wave is a surprise bowl season player, as they were expected to be among the worst in the American Conference. In the end, this game looks good for Louisiana to win behind their solid running game led by Trey Ragas.

Watchability factor: None, this is one of those bowls that should not exist with Orlando having more than one and a 6-6 team that does not belong anywhere near bowl season.

Fresno State 26 Arizona State 17

Herm Edwards did a great job in his first year at Arizona State, leading the Sun Devils to a 7-5 record, Fresno State meanwhile had one of the finest seasons in school history going 11-2 and beating Boise State in the snow on the blue turf in the Mountain West Championship. The Bulldogs are a legitimate Top 25 team 11-2 with one of the best coaches in the country Jeff Tedford. A solid defense and an offense that makes few mistakes were keys for Fresno all season and will help them in Las Vegas.

Watchability factor: This game is wasted on the first day of bowl season. Las Vegas with a new stadium coming with the Raiders in 2020, is a potential great bowl venue and could be a future championship site. The Mountain West is a solid conference and Arizona State has some pro talent with a notable coach. If you were to watch one bowl on Saturday this is it. This is one that should be played closer to New Years’ Day.

Georgia Southern 31 Eastern Michigan 20

Eastern Michigan lobbied heavily to get invited to a bowl after a 7-5 season in the MAC, that is all you need to know. Georgia Southern was one of the top teams in the Sun Belt at 9-3. In a battle of Eagles, look for Georgia Southern to get the advantage as EMU will have a difficult time handling their option attack led by quarterback Shai Werts.

Watchability factor: Awful, totally unwatchable total forgettable and a bowl that clearly does not belong. Really who would want to go to a bowl game in Montgomery, Alabama? This is without a doubt a waste of time and energy and not even worth betting on.

Appalachian State 27 Middle Tennessee State 23

When you are a team like Appalachian State, success brings new opportunities to their head coach. This means for the Mountaineers they will be looking for a new coach after Scott Satterfield left for his Alma Matter Louisville after winning the Sun Belt Conference. Mark Ivey will lead App State in the New Orleans Bowl as they seek to finish off a strong season. Middle Tennessee is trying to rebound after losing the Conference USA Championship. Look for Jalin Moore to have a big game on the ground as App State gets the win.

Watchability factor: Not terrible, but with an NFL game on at the same time, it is hard to call this one a can’t miss bowl game. The game features two teams that played in conference championship games, with Appalachian State, winning the inaugural Sun Belt title game.