December 22, 2008

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (Qualcomm Stadium San Diego December 23, 2008 8pm ESPN)

Bowl Tie Ins: Mountain West vs. Pac 10 (WAC if no Pac 10 team available)

Dan: TCU -2.5

Finally! A decent game! Two mid-major powers from the year square off. Offense v. Defense. Unfortunately, it does not include the blue field often viewed in Boise State’s bowl games. However, this is the only game from the start of the games until West Virginia v. North Carolina that anyone (other than masochistic Notre Dame fans) should bother watching. TCU has one hell of a defense, but Boise State is used to playing in big Bowl Games (even if this one is on December 23rd). I think TCU will actually hang with Boise State most of the game, but Boise will get just a couple the extra score when it counts and pull away late.

Boise State 31 TCU 27

Matt: Boise State (+2.5)

Besides the Championship, Rose and Fiesta Bowls, this might actually be the one I am looking forward to the most. It’s not very often that you get #9 vs. #11 playing in a December 23rd bowl game. I know the competition hasn’t been great, but you have to be impressed with what both these teams have done. Boise beat Fresno by 50, won at a good Nevada team (I’m telling you Irish fans, Nevada is beating ND in the opener next year. I can’t wait for Vegas to set the line at ND -9), and won at Oregon. Meanwhile, TCU has two losses, but they came against Oklahoma (held them to 35) and the slugfest against Utah that denied them a BCS berth. Both of these coaches are excellent, with both probably deserving of a step up in the near future. Gary Patterson is a defensive genius and Peterson appears to be a young star rising, and if you believe what you hear, he was the brains behind the Dan Hawkins Boise teams. I think Boise scores just enough points to win a close one.

Boise State 20 TCU 13

Mike: TCU (-2.5)

Boise State may be undefeated, but TCU is the better team. By the way, I am firmly on the Gary Patterson bandwagon. Patterson is an incredible defensive coach who has elevated TCU to unprecedented levels of success. He would have been a perfect fit at Auburn, but that ship has sailed.

TCU 24 Boise State 17

Doug: Boise +2.5

What a matchup! Probably the best non-BCS bowl game of the year if you really think about it. And having it on a Tuesday night is a perfect move for ESPN. Two legit top 15ish teams playing with no other sports competition on the television dial. I’m excited about this game.

The only thing that is sort of annoying to me about this game is that people are using it as some sort of crusade for a large scale college football playoff. Why?? I’m all for a college football playoff, but why is there a need for 16 teams?? Do we really need TCU in a playoff?? They already played one of the top 5 teams in the country and got their doors blown off 35-10. There is no need for them to be involved in a playoff. They’ve already proven that they are not one of the elite teams in America.

I have morphed into a playoff guy over the years because of the absolute disgrace that has become college football scheduling and the jury-rigged schedules that ease paths to the BCS (which is really the biggest problem in all of college football these days), but that doesn’t mean I want some 16 (or even 8 team) blowout. When you are talking about 8 or 16 teams, those teams have already been beaten convincingly by someone better than them in their conference. Cincy got plowed by OU, TCU got plowed by OU, Ohio State got plowed by USC, Oklahoma State is the fourth best team in their league, Georgia Tech didn’t even win the ACC, etc. We don’t need to see any of those teams in a playoff.

I think 4 teams is enough. This year, give me Florida, OU, USC, and Texas. We don’t need anyone else in a playoff this year. Texas Tech?? No way. You don’t lose by 50 or whatever and get into the national title discussion. Penn State?? Please. They are going to get rolled by USC in the bowl game and didn’t prove anything with their schedule. And if Utah doesn’t get in, boo hoo. You play in the freaking Mountain West and barely beat a TCU team at home that got plowed by OU. You aren’t the best team in America. If the Mountain West someday starts dominating people and beating big time schools in bowl games and nonconference games, then maybe you can work your way into a four team playoff.

As for the game, I’m a believer in TCU, but there’s something magical about Boise State football. They are like the Gonzaga of college football. Boise knows how to act on the big stage, and I don’t see any reason why that would stop now. All Boise does is win. TCU is a good team and a good program, but Boise will find a way like they always do.

Boise State 34 TCU 31

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