We’re off! Off from work this week and off to four games in next five days during bowl season. It’s a hectic schedule, but that’s why we are Collegefootballfan.com. We’re loving it. Follow along. It’s going to be great.
On Tuesday, we head to Annapolis for the Military Bowl sponsored by Northrop-Grumman where American Athletic champion Temple (10-3) should most likely defeat Wake Forest (6-6). What intrigues us most about these two teams are the dynamics of their coaching staffs. We are really sorry to see Matt Rhule gone from Temple and now running Baylor. We loved what he’s done with this Temple Owl program. He’s recruited well from Pennsylvania and New Jersey where his players on the field get better every week. He’s a good game coach who has his teams well prepared. However, we think he’s stepping into a situation very similar to his predecessor Al Golden who left TU to go “clean up” the Miami Hurricane program decimated by off the field problems. A northeast guy as opposed to having a background coaching in the great state of Texas, it seems that he has an uphill battle competing with lot of well established recruiters in the Lone Star. No doubt, we think he’s a great hands-on coach, but how well can he recruit the local players? On the other hand, we ‘ve seen him develop his players. Hopefully he will be able to do the same at Baylor. Ed Foley, his TE and special teams coach serves now as the interim Temple HC while former Florida Gator DC Geoff Collins will take over after the bowl season. RBs Jahad Thomas and Ryquell Armstead who both have rushed for 918 yards each this season will give the Owls an effective one-two punch. We also like the Demon Deacon’s HC Dave Clawson who’s had successful stints doing the same at Fordham and at Bowling Green. It’s only his second year at Wake, but we think he’s got things going in the right direction there. We see TU winning by two TDs.
On Wednesday, we trek to the Bronx to see Pitt ( 8-4) take on Northwestern (6-6) at Yankee Stadium, probably the worst football venue we’ve ever watch football in. It was built for baseball no doubt. Pitt under HC Pat Narduzzi, former Michigan State DC, is building momentum. Wins against Clemson and Penn State this year indicated that the Panthers can play with anyone on any given day. RB James Conner overcame health issues and rushed for 1,060 yards and 16 TDs this year. Northwestern under HC Pat Fitzgerald did not have an impressive win among the six they had this year. They came close against Ohio State losing 24-20. We saw the Wildcats humbled in the Outback Bowl last bowl season by Tennessee, 45-7. We hope they put up more of a fight, but we’ll see what happens. We expect the Wildcats to hang in during the first half, but we expect to see the Panthers pull away by about threes cores in the second half.
After we get these two under our belt, we’ll be heading south to Nashville for the American Franklin Home Mortgage Music City Bowl on Friday where Tennessee (8-4) takes on a more formidable Big Ten foe this bowl season in Nebraska (9-3). The next day, we’ll be on our way to Atlanta for our first Chick Fil-A Peach Bowl, our big one this year. In the College Football Playoff, No. 1 Alabama (13-0) plays No. 4 Washington (12-1). Bama HC Nick Saban gives Washington credit as being the toughest team The Crimson Tide will play this year. He’s right about that. Not a lot of people give the Huskies a chance against the rolling Tide. However, we are particularly interested to see what trick plays UW’s HC Chris Peterson will have up his sleeve for this game. When he was at Boise State, he pulled off some big bowl upsets over ton FBS programs with a fired up team and a few surprised on offense to keep his more established foes off balance. Can he work that magic against Saban? We’re sure he’s going to give the a try. Will they work? That may be a different story this bowl season, but the horses he has in QB Jake Browning, RB Myles Gaskin, and WR John Ross may be up for the task. We’ll be there.
Check us out this week. Happy Bowl Season!