Forecaster Frank's Bowl Picks Part 4

2018 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

 Boston College 20 Boise State 16

Boston College ended the regular season on a three-game skid, as their offense has been sputtering since they ran into Clemson. The Broncos offense has been inconsistent, but their defense has been strong throughout the season. Boise State fell short in the Mountain West Conference Championship Game, as they managed just 16 points against Fresno State. The Broncos will need to get a good game out of Brett Rypien if they are to win, but it is hard to see the Eagles soar after the way they finished the season.

Watchability factor: It’s the day after Christmas and there is not much to do besides watching a bowl game, but these two teams do not generate a lot of excitement as both offenses have shown a tendency to go into slumps. However, if you are home why not turn this one on.

2018 Quick Lane Bowl

Georgia Tech 37 Minnesota 17

After a long successful career, Georgia Tech Coach Paul Johnson is riding off into the sunset. From his days leading Navy to his time at Georgia Tech, Johnson has been a guru with the triple option. Minnesota needed to beat Wisconsin at the end of the season just to get their sixth win and become eligible for a bowl game. The Gophers defense has been soft all season, leading to a change in defensive coordinators. It is hard to see them being able to stop the triple options, especially facing an inspired Yellow Jackets team.

Watchability factor: If you are a fan of Paul Johnson and his triple-option offense this is a game you don’t want to miss since it will be his swan song. Otherwise, a 6-6 team against a 7-5 team hardly makes an interesting matchup since neither team has star power.

2018 Cheez-It Bowl


TCU 17 California 10

This will likely be one of the lower scoring bowl games, as both teams are led by defensive minded coaches. Gary Patterson coach of TCU has been highly successful in bowl season, with a career record of 10-6. The Bears meanwhile come in at 7-5 with one of the weakest offenses in the NCAA. Look for the Horned Frogs to get Ross Bowers in a box all game and win the turnover battle.

Watchability factor: If you are a fan of Paul Johnson and his triple-option offense this is a game you don’t want to miss since it will be his swan song. Otherwise, a 6-6 team against a 7-5 team hardly makes an interesting matchup since neither team has star power.

2018 Walk On’s Independence Bowl


Temple 38 Duke 13

Ed Foley will be leading the Owls into battle after Geoff Collins resigned to take over for Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech. Foley will be auditioning to keep the job fulltime. At 7-5, Temple had another successful season, leading Collins to get the job in Atlanta. Duke also finished 7-5 but was playing terrible football at the season’s end, losing their last two games by a combined score of 94-13. Temple, meanwhile, closed the regular season with six wins in their last seven games. Add the Blue Devils poor bowl track record, and I think the Temple Owls are a wise choice.

Watchability factor: Is the ball round? Is the playing surface made of wood? If the answer to both questions is no, then the game is not worthy of watching. Duke is a basketball school that has never excelled in football. Temple has also done better on the hardwood, though in recent years has shown improvement in football. Either way, this game is not worth much thought.

2018 Pinstripe Bowl


Miami 24 Wisconsin 13

When the season began both of these teams were in the Top Ten with dreams of being a factor in the College Football Playoff. However, Miami and Wisconsin had what has to be considered disappointing seasons as they each posted records of 7-5. For both teams, it was offensive shortcomings that often led to their troubles. The Hurricanes defense was good at creating turnovers but often gave up big plays as well, while the Badgers came up short in every big game they played. There may be slightly more talent on the Miami roster, which will lead to a victory in the Bronx.

Watchability factor: These are both programs with rich pedigrees, playing in the Big Apple. While both failed to live up to expectations, they do bring an it factor, that should make for an interesting game.

2018 Academy Sports & Outdoor Texas Bowl


Vanderbilt 30 Baylor 20

Both teams needed to win their final games to get to 6-6 to earn the right to play in a bowl game. The Commodores are the better team just by judging who they played. Earlier in the year, they gave Notre Dame a scare in South Bend. Baylor meanwhile was expected to finish ninth in the Big XII at the beginning of the season, as they try to put their troubled past behind them. Vanderbilt is led by Kyle Shurmur, who has at times shown pro potential, especially down the stretch as the Commodores needed wins over Ole Miss and Tennessee in their last two games.

Watchability factor: I firmly believe the worst part of having 40 bowls games is the fact that it allows teams that are 6-6 to play in bowl season. There should never be a six-loss team in a bowl game. If they were to ever reduce the bowl games and make it great again, teams like Baylor and Vandy will not be anywhere near a bowl game. That is why this game is a class one stinker, that should be ignored.


2018 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl


Auburn 30 Purdue 17

It was a bit of a down year for Auburn who posted a record of 7-5. However, as they do every year the Tigers played one of the hardest schedules in the NCAA, having to go against the SEC West gauntlet that included LSU and Alabama. Add in games against Georgia and Washington and you can understand how a young team would not post a better record. Purdue was 6-6 and had just one game where it all clicked and that was when the trounced Ohio State. Take that game away and it was a bad season. Hard to see Purdue beating an SEC team in SEC country, especially one as talented as Auburn.

Watchability factor: Auburn was a young team that suffered against a hard schedule, but these players will grow and will make the Tigers a stronger team in the next few seasons. Unless Purdue finds that magic from their win over Ohio State, it is hard to imagine this one being very compelling, especially after they were just another 6-6 team that should not have this opportunity except of the watered-down bowl games.

2018 Camping World Bowl


Syracuse 37 West Virginia 24

A potentially great bowl matchup is getting flushed by the meaningless of the bowl season as West Virginia quarterback Will Grier has decided to skip the Camping World Bowl to focus on preparing for the NFL Draft. To me this is a total joke, I rather see what a quarterback can do in a game than what he can do at a workout. It was a great season for the Orange as they posted a record of 9-3, with two of their three losses coming against teams that will play in the College Football Playoff. Without Grier, it is hard to see the Mountaineers were able to climb over Syracuse.

Watchability factor: There seems to be something so wrong about this new trend of skipping a bowl game. I think at the root of it, is how getting into a bowl game has become a watered-down accomplishment with the ridiculous amount of bowl games that are played. This game is especially hurt without Will Grier, making it hard to watch.

2018 Valero Alamo Bowl


Washington State 41 Iowa State 24

Washington State was a top ten team and had a chance of making its case for the College Football Playoff before its mighty stumble in the snow against Washington in the battle for the Apple Cup. Iowa State meanwhile finished the season strong, winning seven of their last eight games. Gardner Webb at times looked worthy of Heisman consideration while passing the Cougars to a 10-2 record. Look for the man with the stache to have a big day in the Alamodome was Wazzu runs circles around the cyclones.

Watchability factor: Gardner Webb and Washington State were a fun team to watch all season. They had a great record that was spoiled by their arch-rivals from Seattle. A bowl win will help soothe that pain. This one is compelling enough and both teams had strong seasons to make this a bowl game that is nearing can’t miss status.