Quick Takes on Bowl Game Motivation

Quick Takes on Bowl Game Motivation

Quick Takes on Bowl Game Motivation Part I
By Andrew Lange

It's bowl season and that means motivation becomes a big factor in our handicap. One thing bettors must realize is a lot can happen from now until game day. Teams off disappointing regular seasons have plenty of time to lick their wounds whereas the excitement of reaching the postseason for others can easily wear off. Let's have a little fun and try and forecast the current state of mind of these bowl bound squads. Part I today, Part II tomorrow.

Nevada vs. Arizona - Rich Rod has to be pleased to be bowling in his first year. And Nevada – who somehow owns the weaker defense in this matchup – is no doubt excited it doesn't have to play in the Military Bowl in DC. Edge: Arizona

Toledo vs. Utah State - Win the WAC, get shipped to the Potato Bowl...yippee! Finished tied for second in the MAC West, get shipped to the Potato Bowl...yippee! Edge: None

BYU vs. San Diego State - BYU has been locked into the Poinsettia Bowl for nearly a month. SDSU played in this same bowl back in 2010 and beat Navy 35-14. Edge: None

Ball State vs. Central Florida - Lose the C-USA Championship on a bogus call, get to stay in state, and avoid playing in Memphis? Sounds like a great deal. Ball State has yet to win a bowl game. Edge: None

East Carolina vs. UL-Lafayette - The Ragin Cajuns beat San Diego State in last year's New Orleans Bowl. Be interested to see if they can duplicate the 42K that was in attendance. Edge: None

Washington vs. Boise State - With the exception of BYU, there isn't a college football team alive that doesn't get at least somewhat excited to play in Vegas. Edge: None

SMU vs. Fresno State - Thanks to Tulsa tanking the last game of the regular season, SMU gets rewarded with a trip to Junes Jones' old stomping grounds on the Island. Edge: None

Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky - The Hilltoppers have never been to the postseason so unless Willie Taggart bails two days before the game, motivation and focus shouldn't be an issue. Interesting tid-bit about Central Michigan: According to the Sagarin Ratings, the Chippewas are 120th – 10 spots below UT-Martin. Edge: Western Kentucky

Bowling Green vs. San Jose State - Not exactly an ideal trip for San Jose State having to go cross country two days after Christmas in what is inevitably going to be sub-freezing temps and some type of snow/sleet hybrid. Edge: None

Cincinnati vs. Duke - Duke in the postseason! Duke in the postseason! Fun fact: Since clinching a postseason berth back on October 20th, Duke hasn't won a game and was outscored by an average of 25.5 ppg. Clearly a case of saving it for the games that count. Edge: Duke

Baylor vs. UCLA - How is this total ONLY 78? Edge: Whoever can force a punt or has the ball last.

Ohio vs. UL-Monroe - So not only does Ohio lose four of its last five after starting the season 7-0 but they get sent to Shreveport to play a Sun Belt squad? Yikes. Edge: UL-Monroe

Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech - Rutgers choked vs. Louisville and are no doubt spending much of their prep time trying to recruit a quarterback who can complete a forward pass. Virginia Tech did luck out by getting a warm weather bowl but the Hokies haven't looked motivated since their second half comeback against Duke. Edge: None

Minnesota vs. Texas Tech - Biggest scam of the season was pulled by none other than Tommy T and the Red Raiders. They held their first four opponents to 43 points and yet finished 92nd in scoring defense at 31.8 ppg. Too bad Minnesota topped 17 points only once over its last nine games. Edge: None

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