It comes earlier every year. The Christmas season is crammed down your throat before you've changed out of your Halloween costume. By the way, this year did you masquerade as a college football coach? So did Western Michigan's P.J. Fleck! Yes, cutting back on P.J. Fleck jokes will be my New Year's resolution.
For those of use who prefer to not live a sixth of our life immersed in the holiday spirit, the Christmas season begins with the first bowl game. So put up the tree, fire up the wassail, visit the loan shark, it's bowl season! Watch Washington State handle Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl, USC refuse to show up against Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl, and then get ready for the day's marquee matchup. All eyes will be on the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. It's San Diego State, Buffalo, the Mountain West Conference, and the MAC. It's got first half onside kicks written all over it! Here's my best shot at predicting the unpredictable, and trying to make some money at the same time. Your Famous Idaho Potato Bowl picks:
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (December 21st, Boise, Idaho)
Buffalo vs. San Diego State (-2)
When it opened up, the line had the Bulls giving two, and I loved it. On the evening of the battle on the smurf turf, the Bulls are getting two, so now it's a must bet. In the initial preview we referenced how the Bulls would be better equipped to handle the Boise weather. Temperature at kick off tomorrow will be 29 degrees, snow is a possibility. Call it a Bulls home game. If it drops below 50 in San Diego they close the city. The Bulls getting two points is the slightly more popular bet, with 51 percent of bettors taking Buffalo. Khalil Mack can play his way into the top five of next year's NFL Draft with his performance Saturday. If he fails to impress, call him 2013's Manti Te'o. Buffalo will score on the Aztecs. The game will be won or lost on how much pressure the Bulls can bring to San Diego State quarterback Quinn Kaehler. Buffalo starts the MAC bowl season off on a high note. Take the Bulls, and the points.
If San Diego State is going to win this game it's going over. In seven wins they averaged 33.5 points. In five losses, just 20.6 The best shot for the Aztecs is taking to the air, and exploiting the Buffalo secondary. The Aztec rushing attack the Bulls should handle without problems. Buffalo has demonstrated they are able to put up big numbers, and while Joe Licata and Alex Neutz are a dynamic tandem in the passing game, expect Branden Oliver to shoulder plenty of the offensive load. We won't see some of the record breaking numbers Oliver put up this season, as San Diego State's rushing defense ranks 21st nationally, but it will be enough to move the chains, and own the time of possession battle. We could hedge out bets by taking Buffalo and betting the over, but that's loser talk. At 50, take the under.