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Weekly Bowl Preview and BSD Challenge I: Dec. 16-20

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Welcome to bowl season!

Akron v Penn State Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Saturday, Dec. 16

Celebration Bowl
Grambling St. (11-1) vs. North Carolina A&T (11-0)

You probably didn’t read much about either team this season, but this should be an incredibly entertaining game between teams with a combined 22-1 record. Plus you’re running out of opportunities to kick off your Saturday college football fest at noon.
Prediction: Grambling St.- 35, North Carlina A&T- 34

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Troy (10-2) vs. North Texas (9-4)
1 p.m./ESPN

Troy’s claim to fame this season was its massive upset against LSU. But the Trojans have a legitimately tough defense, which will look to shut down a North Texas squad that knows how to light up a scoreboard. A conflict of styles indeed, but look for Troy to come out on top.
Prediction: Troy- 28, North Texas-20

AutoNation Cure Bowl
Georgia St. (6-5) vs. Western Kentucky (6-6)
2:30 p.m./CBSSN

Penn State’s week three opponent put together a solid season, as Georgia State found its way to six wins and bowl eligibility. Western Kentucky also finished with six wins, despite a 5-2 start. Both teams come in with little momentum, so it will likely come down to whoever is more excited to be there.
Prediction: Georgia State- 20, Western Kentucky-17

Las Vegas Bowl
(25)Boise St. (10-3) vs Oregon (7-5)
3:30 P.M./ABC

The Las Vegas Bowl is typically the first game of the bowl season that features a match-up that you would want to sit down and watch during the regular season. Both teams have fallen off since being national title contenders in the past decade. Oregon is now on the other side of beatdowns from top-quality opponents (the Ducks were crushed by Penn State’s Fiesta Bowl opponent, Washington, 38-3 toward the end of the year), while Boise State can rack up wins in the Mountain West but are no longer seen as giant-killers.
Prediction: Boise St.- 31, Oregon- 28

Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Colorado St. (7-5) vs Marshall (7-5)
4:30 p.m./ESPN
This is another match-up of teams who had once promising seasons hat ended with a thud. Colorado State lost three of four to end the season, while Marshall dropped four of five so it’s difficult to figure out if either team will come out motivated. Either way, the Colorado State offense against a stingy Marshall defense should be an entertaining match-up.
Prediction: Colorado State-38, Marshall- 28

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Middle Tennessee (6-6) vs. Arkansas St. (7-4)
8 p.m./ESPN
Despite its prime time slot, this is one you could probably skip and not miss much. Arkansas State can light up a scoreboard, and could easily run away with this one with a fast start.
Prediction: Arkansas State-45, Middle Tennessee-31

Tuesday, Dec. 19

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl
Florida Atlantic vs Akron (7-6)
7 p.m./ESPN

Penn State’s week one opponent managed to put together a 7-5 regular season and win its division. However, they don’t seem to be much of a match-up for red-hot Florida Atlantic, who are on a nine-game win streak that allowed them to cruise to a Conference USA championship. It’s the only game of the day, which is unfortunate as it may be out of hand before halftime.
Prediction: Florida Atlantic-48, Akron-24

Wednesday, Dec. 20

DXL Frisco Bowl
Louisiana Tech (6-6) vs. SMU (7-5)
8 p.m./ESPN

Louisiana Tech comes into this one with the momentum. The Ragin’ Cajuns won its final two games of the season to reach bowl eligibility, while SMU dropped three of its final four after a 6-2 start. They also lost their head coach, Chad Morris, who will now look to rebuild an Arkansas program. SMU looked more impressive against quality opponents, but the intangibles may be in Louisiana Tech’s favor.
Prediction: SMU-35, Louisiana Tech-30

BSD Bowl Challenge

Your favorite masthead is back after an exhilarating regular season that went down to the very last week before a victor was chosen! We’ll be here through the entire postseason in all its glory, bringing you the very best in bowl prognostications. For the first week of action, two games had unanimous verdicts:

  • Troy over North Texas
  • Colorado State over Marshall

That gives us five other games to talk about!

Most of the staff like Georgia State over the Hilltoppers in the Autonation Cure Bowl, though Aaron and Clay think Western Kentucky has what it takes. Everyone but Tim picked Boise State to pluck the Ducks, while only Jared and Clay felt adventurous enough to pick the Blue Raiders over the Red Wolves.

Though we played Akron 12 times so far this season, and came away with a 10-2 record, the Zips still find themselves bowl eligible - and only Dena thinks they can beat FAU in the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl. I love sponsorships. Lastly, only Clay was feeling plucky enough to pick Louisiana Tech over SMU in the DXL Frisco Bowl.

So what say you, dear reader? Did the masthead get it right?