Mitch’s Must Watch Bowl Games: Part 2
Last week was part 1 of the first set of bowl games and their watchabilty score, this week is the second part or second set of games from December 27-30. Let’s take a look at the 15 games during this four-day stretch to see what games are a must-watch and what games you should avoid. The watchability rating scale is 0-3, 0 means don’t even waste your time watching, 1 is considered not entertaining and probably shouldn’t waste your time watching, 2 is the game is intriguing and worth watching, and 3 is can’t miss a game.
Also, there is still time to join the Saturday Sports Report bowl mania just click on the link and join in on the fun! https://fantasy.espn.com/games/college-football-bowl-mania-2021/group?id=93fe9a6a-100e-45b0-8f29-c1bdddea08b9&joining=true
Western Michigan vs Nevada: Quick Lane Bowl, December 27, 11:00 am start time- Location Detroit Michigan
Western Michigan comes into this game at 7-5 they average about 30 points per game, which is good for 49th in the country. They are a team that relies on the run game as they average just over 200 yards per game on the ground and are 25th in the country for rushing yards per game.
Nevada comes into the game at 8-4 and has an offense that scores the 15th most points per game in the country they rely more on the passing attack as their quarterback Carson Strong has thrown for over 4,000 yards and 36 passing touchdowns.
It will be interesting to see if Western Michigan’s rushing attack can keep Nevada off the field and control the time of possession and keep Strong off the field as much as possible.
Overall, this is not that exciting of a game and probably will just tune in and out of it myself.
Boston College vs East Carolina: Military Bowl, December 27, 2:30 pm start time- Location Annapolis Maryland
Boston College is coming into this game with a 6-6 record and East Carolina has a 7-5 record coming into this game. Both teams have very similar stats and seem to be evenly matched.
This game should be a tight one all the way through but the reality is both teams are not the most exciting programs to watch. At least it’s a chance to watch former Byrnes standout Rahjaii Harris.
Auburn vs Houston: TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl, December 28, 12:00 pm start time- Location Birmingham Alabama
Auburn is coming into this game at 6-6 and will be without Bo Nix who broke his ankle ending his season a couple of weeks back. Auburn without Nix lost to South Carolina but had Alabama on the ropes then let them off the hook. Auburn looked like they were on the verge of having a really strong season but the injury to Nix really put a damper on that.
Houston is coming off a loss to Cincinnati in the AAC championship game but still has an 11-2 record. I look for Houston to win this game fairly easily therefore the game outlook being a blowout hurts the watchability score.
Air Force vs Louisville: SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, December 28, 3:15 start time- Location Dallas Texas
Air Force is 9-3 on the season as offensively they put up 31 points per game but defensively they have been lights out all year long allowing just 19 points per game and ranked 5th in yards allowed in the country.
Louisville is coming into this game with a 6-6 record and scoring 31 points per game as well offensively but the difference here is defense, as the Cardinals have not been as sharp as the Falcons defensively this year as they are allowing 27 points per game this year.
Overall this is another matchup that isn’t that exciting.
Texas Tech vs Mississippi state: AutoZone Liberty Bowl, December 28, 6:45 pm start time- Location Memphis Tennessee
Mike Leach will be coaching against Texas Tech where he coached from 2000-2009 and Mississippi State is coming into this game with a 7-5 record. Leach still claims that Texas Tech owes him 2.5 million dollars from being fired so I know he wants to beat the breaks off of the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech comes into this game with a 6-6 record and they score around 30 points per game but the Bulldogs defense only allows 25 points per game.
The fact that Leach is facing his former team where things didn’t end in the greatest way helps make this matchup more exciting but I do feel the Bulldogs are the better team and will win this game by double digits.
Watchabilty – 2
UCLA vs NC State: SDCCU Holiday Bowl December 28, 8:00 pm start time- Location San Diego California
UCLA had a nice season going 8-4 while putting up 36 points per game, which is good enough for 16th in the country. The Bruins are led by their tailback Zach Charbonnet, who rushed for 1,137 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The Bruins will take on NC State who also had a strong season going 9-3. NC State scores 33 points per game which is 32 in the nation and only allows 19 points which is 18th best in the nation.
I feel the difference here is in the defense as NC state has a better one than UCLA but this should be a fun game to watch between two teams that had strong seasons this could be the best game of the day
West Virginia vs Minnesota: Guaranteed Rate Bowl, December 28, 10:15 pm start time- Location Phoenix Arizona
West Virginia had a mediocre season as they were just 6-6. Their offense scores around 27 points per game while giving up 24 points per game.
Minnesota had a much better year this year than last year as they are heading into this game with an 8-4 record. Minnesota averages 26 points per game but has been strong defensively only allowing 18 points per game.
I think Minnesota defense is the difference in this game of getting them the win but I see this game being very close. Being a late start for us on the east coast this game is worth watching a little bit of but probably not worth staying up late to watch the whole thing.
Virginia vs SMU: Wasabi Fenway Bowl, December 29, 11:00 am start time- Location Boston Massachusetts
Virignia enters this game at 6-6 with an offense that can score the football as they average the 22nd most points in the country this year putting up nearly 35 points per game. Their problem is they give up a butt load of points giving up 32 points per game.
SMU comes into this game with an 8-4 record and also has an offense that can put up some points scoring 38 points per game and only giving up 28 points per game.
I look for SMU to win this game but I think it will be high scoring, so if you like high scoring this game will be for you.
Virginia Tech vs Maryland: New Era Pinstripe Bowl, December 29, 2:15 pm start time- Location Bronx New York
This game features two 6-6 teams the Virginia Tech Hokies are not an explosive offense averaging just around 25 points per game which is 92 in the country but they are solid defensively giving up just around 23 points per game, which is 42 seconds in the country.
Maryland’s offense with Taulia Tagovailoa under center scored just 27 points per game which is 75th in the country while defensively they struggle mightily giving up 32 points per game.
I think both these teams are evenly matched its not the most exciting game but not the worst either.
Clemson vs Iowa State: Cheez-It Bowl, December 29, 5:45 pm start time- Location Orlando Florida
Clemson did not have the season that many were expecting as they are coming into this game 9-3 record. The Tigers lost the best defensive coordinator in the country as Brent Venables is now the head coach of Oklahoma sooner, and they lost their offensive coordinator Tony Elliot. This is a team that is used to playing in the playoffs the question is are they motivated by blowing in a regular bowl game it will be interesting to see how the Tigers play in this one.
Iowa State is 7-5 on the year and was also extremely disappointing as their quarterback Brock Purdy came into the season as a possible Heisman candidate and didn’t live up to the height.
Both teams will look to finish on a high note as Clemson did look like the team that many expected them to be in the final few weeks of the season, the question for me is again will the Tigers be motivated playing in a regular bowl game.
Oregon vs Oklahoma: Valero Alamo Bowl, December 29, 9:15 start time- Location San Antonio Texas
Two premier football programs facing off in this game, but both teams had disappointing finishes to their season especially Oregon who got beat up twice in a span of three weeks against Utah.
Both teams have lost their coach as Oregon’s Mario Cristobal went to the University of Miami and Oklahoma lost Lincoln Riley to Southern Cal. Both teams are 10 wins teams this year and will look to finish off their season with a victory.
Despite both teams’ recent struggles and departures, I look for this game to be exciting as both teams are filled with talent and even though it’s a fairly late start for us here on the east coast, it should be worth watching.
North Carolina vs South Carolina: Duke’s Mayo Bowl, December 30, 11:30 am start time- Location Charlotte NC
The Gamecocks to be bowl eligible is an impressive accomplishment this team won 2 games a year ago. They had a first-year head coach with Shane Beamer and he has no established quarterback on the roster but yet he helped lead this team to a bowl game, the 6-6 record may not impress you but it was really a tremendous job done by Beamer and his staff
North Carolina had themselves a very disappointing season at 6-6 they were upset the very first week of the season and suffered several other tough losses. I figured they would have Sam Howell opt-out of this game but he is playing as he prepares for his NFL future.
I think the Gamecocks had a strong year but I think Howell has himself a big day is a difference in this game.
Tennessee vs Purdue: TransPerfect Music City Bowl, December 30, 3:00 pm start time- Location Nashville Tennessee
Tennessee is 7-5 coming into this game and one thing they can do for sure is score the football. They average 39 points per game which is the 9th best in the country. Defensively they give up 28 points per game so they are a defense that will give up points.
Purdue is 8-4 and came into this game averaging 28 points per game offensively which is 74th in the country. But the Boilermakers are strong defensively only allowing just 21 points, which is 22nd in the country.
So you got a high power offense that Tennessee has and a strong defense that has makes this a fun matchup
Michigan St vs Pitt: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, December 30, 7:00 pm start time- Location Atlanta Georgia
Pittsburgh comes into this game with an 11-2 record and are the ACC champs. They are explosive on offense scoring 43 points a game which is 3rd best in the country. They aren’t horrible either on defense giving up only 23 points which is 43rd in the country.
Michigan St comes into the game with a 10-2 record and had a disappointing end to their season in the terms they had a chance to make the college football playoffs after beating Michigan but they last the next week to Purdue and then were dismantled by Ohio State. Mich St scores around 31 points per game and give up 27 points per game.
This game would be worth watching if Kenny Pickett was playing he is skipping the game to prepare for the NFL draft. Without the Heisman Candidate who knows how Pitt going to look and it makes this game less appealing
Wisconsin vs Arizona State University: SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl, December 30, 10:30 pm start time- Location Las Vegas
Wisconsin is 8-4 on the season they came into the season with big hype but didn’t live up to it. They do struggle at times to find offense as they are ranked 86 in the country in scoring points and defensively is their bread and butter as they only allow 16 points per game which is the six best in the country.
Arizona State is also 8-4 as they score 30 a game while allowing 21. So we got two teams that can struggle on offense but have good defenses. If you like defense this game is for you, but with it being a late start time I’ll probably pass on this one and you probably should too.