Fourth and inches…(bowl season midway report—Dec. 30, 2008)

By Todd Erickson  |   Wednesday, December 31, 2008  |  Comments( 2 )

College Football
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Eleven days, 17 bowl games, and close to 3,000 pounds of prime rib consumed (thanks to the Lawry’s Beef Bowl with Penn State and USC at the pre-Rose Bowl Game activities and Texas Tech and Mississippi at the pre-Cotton Bowl events).

So far, my prediction record stands at a modest 10-7 at the midway point.

Eagle Bank Bowl prediction: Wake Forest 27, Navy 20
Deacons gain revenge for upset loss to Navy back in September.
Final score: Wake Forest 29, Navy 19

New Mexico Bowl: Colorado State 31, Fresno State 28
Gartrand Johnson runs wild (27 carries, 285 yards, two TDs)
Final score: Colorado State 40, Fresno State 35

St. Petersburg Bowl: South Florida 38, Memphis 24
The Bulls win a home bowl game that was never close after the first quarter.
Final score: South Florida 41, Memphis 14

Las Vegas Bowl: BYU 27, Arizona 24
Cougar turnovers and 76 penalty yards stifle Cougars’ shot at third straight bowl game victory over Pac-10 opponent.
Final score: Arizona 31, BYU 21

New Orleans Bowl: Troy 28, Southern Miss 27
Golden Eagles overcomes 10-point deficit to win in overtime.
Final score: Southern Miss 30, Troy 27 OT

Poinsettia Bowl: TCU 23, Boise State 16
This game wasn’t as close as the score indicates. TCU held Boise State to 205 yards below its per-game average and compiled 180 more yards than Broncos’ average defensive yields.
Final score: TCU 17, Boise State 16

Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii 30, Notre Dame 28
Fighting Irish win first bowl game in 15 years in blowout.
Final score: Notre Dame 49, Hawaii 21

Motor City Bowl: Central Michigan 30, Florida Atlantic 20
This is one of the most surprising results in bowl games so far.
Final score: Florida Atlantic 24, Central Michigan 21

Meineke Bowl: West Virginia 34, North Carolina 24
Mountaineer star QB Pat White wins his fourth straight bowl game and third consecutive MVP award in a nail-biter.
Final score: West Virginia 31, North Carolina 30

Champs Sports Bowl: Florida State 20, Wisconsin 14
Seminoles deliver important bowl game win to Bobby Bowden—and a shocking punctuation mark to Wisconsin’s disappointing season.
Final score: Florida State 42, Wisconsin 13

Emerald Bowl: California 28, Miami 23
Hurricanes still struggling to regain former identity as perennial top 10 contenders. Cal sends message to 2009 opponents.
Final score: California 24, Miami 17

Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech 24, Northern Illinois 22
One of this year’s most irrelevant bowl games…Northern Illinois finishes below .500 with a 6-7 mark.
Final score: Louisiana Tech 17, Northern Illinois 10 Bowl: North Carolina State 21, Rutgers 20
Rutgers overcomes nine-point halftime deficit with 23 points in second half.
Final score: Rutgers 29, North Carolina State 23

Alamo Bowl: Missouri 38, Northwestern 28
Already ranks as one of the best games of the bowl season. Wildcats would have won this game were it not for a missed extra point.
Final score: Missouri 30, Northwestern 23 OT

Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl: Nevada 27, Maryland 24
The WAC remains winless at 0-4 this bowl season; what’s with Boise State keeping its logo on the playing surface for the bowl game? Title sponsor Roady’s should receive a refund.
Final score: Maryland 42, Nevada 35

Holiday Bowl: Oklahoma State 35, Oregon 23
Pac-10 looking mighty fine with 3-0 bowl game record. Duck offense rolls all over the Cowboys in second half with 35 points.
Final score: Oregon 42, Oklahoma State 31

Texas Bowl: Rice 31, Western Michigan 27
Owl QB Chase Clement puts on an offensive clinic (30 of 44 for 307 yards, three TD passes; 72 yards rushing, one TD and a scoring reception).
Final score: Rice 38 Western Michigan 14

Conference bowl game standings
Pac-10 3-0
Big East 3-0
SEC 0-0
MWC 2-1
C-USA 2-1
ACC 3-3
Big XII 1-1
Sun Belt 1-1
Big Ten 0-2
MAC 0-3
WAC 0-4

In case you missed my predictions from a couple weeks ago, here’s the final 17 games of the bowl game season (top three best games remaining in bold):

Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force 27, Houston 24
Sun Bowl: Oregon State 24, Pittsburgh 21
Music City Bowl: Boston College 28, Vanderbilt 24
Insight Bowl: Kansas 33, Minnesota 17
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Georgia Tech 23, LSU 21
Outback Bowl: Iowa 24, South Carolina 20
Capital One Bowl: Georgia 31, Michigan State 23
Gator Bowl: Nebraska 20, Clemson 14
Rose Bowl: Penn State 20, USC 17
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech 24, Cincinnati 23
Cotton Bowl: Texas Tech 33, Mississippi 24
Liberty Bowl: Kentucky 23, East Carolina 21
Sugar Bowl: Alabama 31, Utah 24
International Bowl: Connecticut 27, Buffalo 17
Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State 28, Texas 27
GMAC Bowl: Tulsa 41, Ball State 38
BCS National Championship: Florida 41, Oklahoma 38 in OT

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About Todd Erickson

Todd Erickson is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and pens the RealFootball365 Top 25 college football power rankings and "Fourth and inches..." weekly columns from August thru January. He is currently working on the second edition of Road to the Rose Bowl...
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