"Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat ... It's all been wrong." - George Costanza
After a 5-7-1 start to bowl season, I'm starting to get nervous. In my article tomorrow, I want to pick Miami, but if performance doesn’t improve today, I might have to try George's opposite approach. If you see me eating a chicken salad sandwich on rye and sipping tea nervously, you'll know I've reached full desperation.
The Hurricanes' football program has palpable momentum. A bowl win against a strong West Virginia team would help Mark Richt and the coaching staff close well in early February. If you haven't already, it's not too late to grab tickets and make your presence felt in Orlando.
St. Petersburg Bowl
MISSISSIPPI STATE -14 vs Miami Ohio - 11am
We need more bowl games that kick off before noon. Mississippi State is just 5-7, but QB Nick Fitzgerald improved significantly as the season progressed. His top target, WR Fred Ross, will be a matchup nightmare for the RedHawks to deal with. Miami Ohio started 0-6, before winning an improbable six straight. That being said, the combined records of the six teams the RedHawks beat was 26-46. Mississippi State has better talent at every position and should pull away in the second half.
Quick Lane Bowl
MARYLAND -2.5 vs Boston College - 230pm
Out of 40 bowl games, this one might be the least exciting. The two 6-6 teams spent Christmas in Detroit, missing out on the 70's and sunny weather we've been enjoying this week in Florida. Boston College has an elite defense, but averaged just 19 points per game, near rock bottom nationally. When healthy, Maryland QB Perry Hills has shown flashes throughout his career. Look for the Terps to win an ugly low-scoring game on a late field goal.
Camping World Independence Bowl
VANDERBILT +6 vs NC State - 5pm
Derek Mason had my favorite quote of bowl season this week - “You can get spoiled coming down here to Shreveport.” Vanderbilt closed the season with two impressive home wins over Ole Miss and Tennessee. QB Kyle Shurmur has emerged as a quality player and RB Ralph Webb is always dangerous. Vandy LB Zach Cunningham will help neutralize NCST’s best player, RB Matt Dayes. NCST might sneak out a win, but this game will be close and relatively low scoring. It’s unusual in college football, but I trust the Commodores.