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The Jeff Falconio Blog

5 under the radar bowls to watch

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The bowl watching kicks in again on Thursday with a number of low-profile games.  Here are five more (along with 5 non-BCS bowls) worth watching:


MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Washington vs Boise State, December 22

Boise State comes in ranked 15th in the coaches poll while Washington claimed victories over two teams ranked in the top 10 at the time of the game.  If defense is your thing you'll like this one.  BSU gives up just 14.9 points per game while Washington yields just under 24 points per game.

Military Bowl: San Jose State vs Bowling Green, December 27

Two teams that were hot down the stretch but took different paths to get to the postseason.  San Jose State's wide open passing attack is the 11th best in the nation while Bowling Green's stingy secondary ranks 7th in pass defense.  Vintage strength against strength.

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: Ohio vs Louisiana-Monroe December 28

Ohio was in the middle of a dream season before a nightmarish finish to the year that saw the Bobcats drop four of their last five.  Louisiana-Monroe also started strong with an early upset of Arkansas followed by near upsets over Auburn and Baylor.  There's plenty of untapped promise here, especially among two key individuals: Ohio's Beau Blankenship (finished 9th nationally in rushing yards) and ULM's Brent Leonard (6th most receptions in the country.)

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan State vs TCU December 29

If there was a poll based on effort these two teams might be ranked #1 and #2.  Yes, Michigan State lost five conference games but they did so by a combined margin of 13 points.  TCU was involved in two wildly entertaining multiple-overtime games, beat Texas on the road, and held their own against Kansas State and Oklahoma.  Sure these two teams can be offensively challenged but they make up for it with solid defense. Bowl: Arkansas State vs Kent State January 6

Kent State came so close to being a BCS buster but the double overtime loss to Northern Illinois ended their chances.  Arkansas State's claim to fame is that they outscored Oregon 31-7 over the final 33 minutes of the season opener, albeit after being behind 50-3.  At the very least these two teams love to score as they both average around 35 points per game.

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