Miss State and Wake Forest meet for the first time in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City in Nashville, TN at 6:40pm ET. Both teams were fence riders as far as being selected for a bowl. The Demon Deacons began their season strong in the ACC conference until mid season when things went downhill after their win over Florida State. They will have to face a strong Bulldog defense with running back Vick Ballard and lineman Fletcher Cox being the two big threats for this afternoon’s game.
The Iowa State Cyclones and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights meet each other at the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in Bronx, NY at 3:20pm ET. Unlike Iowa State, Rutgers’ opponents rarely broke the Top 25 rankings. The Scarlet Knights only faced one ranked team losing then to #25 West Virginia. The Cyclones ended their season with a stunning upset over Oklahoma State. Whoa! What a nice way to end the season but will the rush of adrenaline linger long enough to carry over for another victory? Better keep your eyes peeled for Jawan Jamison and stand out receiver Mohamed Sanu.
The fact that BYU and Tulsa were once in the Western Athletic Conference, they are far from strangers and meet each other in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Dallas, Texas at 12:00pm ET. This is BYU’s first season as an Independent Football Program.
Both BYU and Tulsa are equipped with high powered running game offenses. Tulsa’s only four losses were to top 10 teams (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Boise State and Houston). Statistically, Tulsa has the edge on offense. Hard to identify an underdog here but I’m thinking Tulsa may have this one. Player picks to watch for: BYU’s Riley Nelson and JJ Di Luigi, and Tulsa’s GJ Kinne, Trey Watts, and Willie Carter.
The Washington Huskies and #12 Baylor Bears square off tonight in San Antonio, Texas at 9pm ET. This will be an exciting game to watch as all eyes will be on Robert Griffin, this year’s Heisman trophy winner. Possibly the fastest QB in college football, an Olympic Trial participant at the age of 17, and having graduated high school and college early, Griffin is the most interesting player in college football. The Huskies will have their hands full tonight that’s for sure. Can they overcome the hype that surrounds Baylor and their Heisman winner and put on a good show? I don’t foresee an upset here.
Florida State and Notre Dame match up this evening in Orlando, Florida at 5:30pm ET. My player-to-watch-for picks are Michael Floyd of the Fighting Irish for his keen sense and remarkable ability to be there for a Rees or Hendrix Hail Mary, up for grabs, turf-and-surf sprint down the field, and then there’s Devonta Freeman for the Seminoles. Since becoming a starter for the offense, Freeman has shown tremendous improvement game by game. Watch for his quick thinking in changing directions once planting his feet in the ground for the big burst that follows.
Florida State and Notre Dame fair evenly matched in both offense and defense however my pick in this low scoring event will be FSU by 3.