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FTRS Picks: Bowl Season Part 1

A postseason we actually get to enjoy

Syndication: El Paso Times Alberto Silva Fernandez/El Paso Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s Bowl Season so that means a fresh start to your picks. Everyone is back to 0-0 and we have plenty of new matchups to see play out. Lets take a look at what the offseason has in store for us.

Bowls are always tougher to analyze for a number of reasons. Some players sit out to stay healthy for the draft, Some teams party a little too hard instead of prepping, some teams travel better than the teams that don’t travel at all... There’s plenty that factors in so while I will provide my thoughts you may want to do some additional research before making your picks. You can also flip a coin, that seems to be an effective method of making picks currently.

Keep a lookout for the next Bowl Pick Article to release on approximately December 22nd.


Myrtle Beach Bowl at Brooks Stadium in Conway, SC:
Georgia Southern Eagles v Ohio Bobcats (-3.0)

Logan: Ohio has won the majority of their games this season off the back of their talented defense. While the Bobcats have a decent offense, the defense is really where they make their money. Georgia Southern’s offense has gotten worse as the season has progressed. I think its fair to say Ohio wins this game.

Logan’s pick: Ohio

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at Caesars Superdome
in New Orleans, LA:
Jacksonville State Gamecocks (-3.0) v Louisiana Ragin Cajuns

Logan: These teams seem to have something in common if you look at the stats. When the run game works they win, when the run game falters they lose. Jacksonville State has a better defense, and a significantly better turnover ratio, so I’ll go with the Gamecocks.

Logan’s pick: Jacksonville State

Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl at FBC Mortgage Stadium
in Orlando, FL:
Miami of Ohio RedHawks v App State Mountaineers (-4.5)

Logan: App State has a high powered offense whereas the RedHawks win by being immovable on defense. Miami of Ohio just won the MAC championship by upsetting a high powered offense in Toledo. I will take Miami of Ohio since they have consistently proven people wrong this year, so being the underdog will work in their favor.

Logan’s pick: Miami of Ohio

Isleta New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium in
Albuquerque, NM:
New Mexico State Aggies (-3.0) v Fresno State Bulldogs

Logan: Looking at the stats I was thinking that these teams were clones of each other. Fresno State has more talent in theory, but after a slow start to the season nothing has seemed to stop New Mexico State (other than Liberty). I think I’ll take the Aggies.

Logan’s pick: New Mexico State

Starco Brands LA Bowl at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA:
UCLA Bruins (-1.5) v Boise State Broncos

Logan: UCLA has reversed the normal trend and become a defense focused team this year. Boise State’s backbone on offense is the run game. If UCLA can shut down the run game then UCLA should win pretty easy. That said, UCLA should have shut down the run game against Cal and that did not happen... I think I’ll take Boise State to surprise the Bruins.

Logan’s pick: Boise State

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl at
Independence Stadium in Shreveport, LA:
Cal Bears v Texas Tech Red Raiders (-3.0)

Logan: This should be a shootout. Both teams have staked their claim on being able to score points and getting some lucky turnovers. I think this will be a fun game for people to watch, which would be nice because I don’t think much else is happening in Shreveport. I will take Cal to upset Texas Tech as it seems the Bears have been on a hot streak to end the season.

Logan’s pick: Cal

Famous Toastery Bowl at Jerry Richardson Stadium in
Charlotte, NC:
Western Kentucky Hill Toppers v Old Dominion Monarchs (-1.0)

Logan: I don’t know much about ODU and all I know about WKU is that they seem to love throwing the ball. Looking at a comparison game, both teams played Liberty and WKU kept things closer in the matchup. I will pick Western Kentucky based on that and the fact that they should be a more talented team than the Monarchs.

Logan’s pick: WKU

Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX:
UTSA Road Runners (-8.5) v Marshall Thundering Herd

Logan: Good offensive contrast between these two teams. UTSA passes the ball like crazy while Marshall runs the ball like crazy. UTSA has really figured things out as the season went on, and their star QB is looking to go out with a bang. Despite the large spread I do think UTSA can cover those points. I’ll pick the Road Runners here.

Logan’s pick: UTSA Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Stadium in
Boca Raton, FL:
South Florida Bulls v Syracuse Orange (-3.5)

Logan: Is anyone else kind of happy Syracuse made a bowl game after we beat them? I kind of wanted them to still make it for some reason. Good on USF too as I know many people were writing them off this year. Shrader is back at QB for Syracuse and the Orange are a different type of team with him at the helm. I think Syracuse can win this one.

Logan’s pick: Syracuse

Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl at
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL:
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets v UCF Golden Knights (-4.5)

Logan: It should be pretty evident who I am picking in this matchup. I think the struggle, as most people will be aware by the time this comes out, is that UCF has a great run game and we have one of the worst run defenses in the country. We have some time to prepare so I think this game could be interesting as long as our offense stays hot. Georgia Tech wins.

Logan’s pick: GT

76 Birmingham Bowl at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, AL:
Troy Trojans (-6.5) v Duke Blue Devils

Logan: I am so glad Duke went to Birmingham instead of us, Birmingham is not a fun place to be and I feel like most people know that. Troy has it going on regardless of which side of the ball you want to discuss. Duke might have slightly more talent, but the Blue Devils consistently struggle to score regardless of the opponent. I think Troy runs away with this one.

Logan’s pick: Troy

Camelia Bowl at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, AL:
Arkansas State Red Wolves (-1.0) v Northern Illinois Huskies

Logan: Most of Arkansas State’s losses this year have been to talented opponents who were in the running for conference championships at their respective levels (hope the Red Wolves got paid a fair bit to play those guys). Northern Illinois has a similar record but does not have the same strength of schedule as Arkansas State. Couple that with a shorter travel time for the Red Wolves, and I think Arkansas State wins this game.

Logan’s pick: Arkansas State

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, TX
James Madison Dukes (-3.0) v Air Force Falcons

Logan: Air Force just fell apart at the end of the season. I was not watching most of their games, but I assume injuries may have played a factor with that. This game means a lot to James Madison given this is their first bowl game ever. I think James Madison has the recipe for a game where they dominate the Falcons. I’ll take the Dukes.

Logan’s pick: James Madison

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, ID:
Georgia State Panthers (-2.5) v Utah State Aggies

Logan: Speaking of falling apart, Georgia State lost their last 5 games on the season. Utah State has overcome some intense overtime games to play their way into this bowl game. I think Utah State will find a way to win this game... in overtime possibly.

Logan’s pick: Utah State

68 Ventures Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, AL:
South Alabama Jaguars (-15.0) v Eastern Michigan Eagles

Logan: It’s such a big spread... I mean I think everyone is expecting South Alabama to win on paper, but this is a massive spread. Do I dare take Eastern Michigan? I think I have to go with South Alabama based on their offense being so powerful.

Logan’s pick: South Alabama

SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in
Las Vegas, NV:
Utah Utes (-7.5) v NorthWestern Wildcats

Logan: NorthWestern has had a wild season from start to finish, given what they went through in the offseason I don’t think most people expected the Wildcats to make a bowl game. Utah has been struggling a bit down the stretch, they haven’t looked bad but they haven’t looked great either. I think NorthWestern makes for the better story, so I’ll take them to at least cover against Utah.

Logan’s pick: NorthWestern

Easy Post Hawai’i Bowl at Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex in Honolulu, HI:
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers v San Jose State Spartans (-8.0)

Logan: The spread on this game has gotten larger and larger in San Jose State’s favor. The Aztec’s have certainly been putting up some big numbers on offense even since the start of the season. While the Chanticleers have had a more up and down season, they are still talented on defense. I think Coastal Carolina covers, but San Jose State still wins by a touchdown.

Logan’s pick: Coastal Carolina

Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit, MI:
Bowling Green Falcons v Minnesota Golden Gophers (-3.5)

Logan: Minnesota wins games on defense, and their defense was not great to end the season. Bowling Green hasn’t been lights out, but the offense and defense has shown up in close games. I think Bowling Green should win this one as long as the Falcons can avoid turning the ball over.

Logan’s pick: Bowling Green

SERVPRO First Responders Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, TX:
Texas State Bobcats (-4.0) v Rice Owls

Logan: Offense, Offense, Offense. There should be so much offense in this game. Both Texas State and Rice have had great QBs and Running Backs show out this year. I will take Rice as they have played tougher opponents, but I could see this one going either way.

Logan’s pick: Rice

Guaranteed Rate Bowl at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ:
Kansas Jayhawks (-12.0) v UNLV Rebels

Logan: I actually think UNLV can cover this spread if they can avoid turning the ball over. Other than turnovers both these teams seem pretty similar. I will take UNLV to cover in this matchup.

Logan’s pick: UNLV

Military Bowl Presented by at
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD:
Virginia Tech Hokies (-8.0) v Tulane Green Wave

Logan: I feel like some of these power 5 teams are getting a larger spread purely on the fact that they are power 5 schools. If VT can contain the Tulane offense then I think VT should win this game pretty easily, but Tulane has a darn good offense. Tulane should at least cover in this matchup.

Logan’s pick: Tulane

Duke’s Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC:
North Carolina Tar Heels v West Virginia Mountaineers (-3.5)

Logan: If Drake Maye plays then I favor UNC, if Drake Maye does not play then I favor West Virginia. So There is a lot riding on that decision. As of my writing there has not been a decision made on that front. I guess I will take UNC until I am told otherwise.

Logan’s pick: UNC

DIRECTTV Holiday Bowl at Petco Park in San Diego, CA:
#15 Louisville Cardinals (-7.5) v USC Trojans

Logan: Caleb Williams has already announced that he is not playing, and without him at the helm USC is just not the same team. Despite a lackluster performance in the ACC Championship I do think Louisville wins this game handily.

Logan’s pick: Louisville

TaxAct Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX:
Texas A&M Aggies (-3.0) v #20 Oklahoma State Cowboys

Logan: Speculating on Texas A&M this season has been a weak point for me. The Aggies always seem to prove me wrong no matter how I pick their games to go. Initially I was going to pick Oklahoma State because of their great running game, but given my track record I will go with Texas A&M against my initial impulse.

Logan’s pick: Texas A&M

Wasabi Fenway Bowl at Fenway Park in Boston, MA:
#24 SMU Mustangs (-11.0) v Boston College Eagles

Logan: Boston College doesn’t have to go anywhere for this game huh? I think the spread is probably fair for a future ACC matchup. SMU has been consistent this year and I expect them to keep riding high to end the season.

Logan’s pick: SMU

Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY:
Rutgers Scarlet Knights v Miami Hurricanes (-2.5)

Logan: As much as I like what Rutgers did this season, I think Miami simply has too much talent for them to win. I think Miami should take this one pretty easy, despite being so far from home and in such cold weather.

Logan’s pick: Miami

Pop-Tarts Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL:
#18 NC State Wolfpack v #25 Kansas State Wildcats (-3.5)

Logan: For those of you who haven’t paid attention, NC State has done a great job pulling impressive upsets against opponents. NC State has a fantastic defense which I expect to cause problems for Kansas State. We’ll see how the scoring goes, but I think NC state should cover in this game.

Logan’s pick: NC State

Valero Alamo Bowl at Alamodome in San Antonio, TX:
#14 Arizona Wildcats (-2.5) v #12 Oklahoma Sooners

Logan: Arizona is so hot right now. I think I’m picking Arizona just because that is how the stocks are trending. Let’s go Wildcats.

Logan’s pick: Arizona