Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bowl Previews: This Week's Bowls*

My picks were 2-1 on Saturday, and although I'm tempted to quit while I'm ahead, I've got more picks. These are some weekday bowls starting tonight, and there are actually some very good teams involved. TCU plays tomorrow night, and Boise State plays Thursday night. That's the big dropoff from BCS Bowls for these conferences. Try to convince me that the BCS doesn't violate some sort of anti-trust laws. Anyway, here are the picks (all times are Eastern):

Tonight - 8:00 PM - ESPN
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl - St. Petersburg, FL
Florida International Golden Panthers (-3.5) vs. Marshall Thundering Herd
They might need the biggest marquee in history to fit all those words onto one sign. FIU is one of the few teams headed north to their bowl game. The Golden Panthers were 8-4, and even beat Louisville. Meanwhile, Marshall barely was bowl eligible. The Herd also beat Louisville. Man, Louisville sucks. Marshall will be happy to make the trip and lose with little fight.

FIU -3.5

Wednesday - 8:00 PM - ESPN
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl - San Diego, CA
#18 TCU Horned Frogs (-9.5) vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Speaking of lengthy titles... TCU won 10 games, and only lost to Baylor (50-48) and SMU (in OT). 9th best offense in the country, respectable 30th in defense. Meanwhile, LaTech has mounted a 7 game win streak after starting 1-4. Maybe ESPN should be drooling all over their quarterback just like they did with Tebow. The Bulldogs will put up a fight, but TCU is legitimately good.

TCU -9.5

Thursday - 8:00 PM - ESPN
Maaco Bowl - Las Vegas, NV
Arizona State Sun Devils vs. #7 Boise State Broncos (-14)
Can you understand why BSU wanted to join the Big East so badly? They go 11-1, finish 2nd in their conference to TCU, and they win up playing before Christmas. ASU can score, and their passing offense is 11th best in the country. They have a good QB and a good RB. This game will be interesting until halftime when BSU pulls away.

Boise State -14

We'll have more bowl previews later this week.

B's Beat Habs With One Hand Tied Behind Their Back

The Bruins did not have Milan Lucic. They didn't even play their best. And they still beat the Canadiens.

Despite struggling to break out with the puck, despite some foolish turnovers, despite occasionally taking Montreal's speed for granted, the Bruins prevailed. Things are going well for the B's, and going poorly for the Habs.

And I don't feel the slightest shred of pity. This is a team with a fanbase more concerned about the languages its head coach can fluently speak than about whether or not he can get their team to play. This is a team more concerned with style than substance. This is a team of soccer players on skates and they simply cannot stand toe-to-toe with a focused Bruins team.

Patrice Bergeron deserves at least a nomination for the Selke (awarded to the best defensive forward). He forced the turnover that allowed Seguin and Marchand to score what wound up being the deciding goal. There's no forward I'd rather have on the ice in a tough defensive situation than Patrice Bergeron.

10th divisional win for the Bruins, who now have a 9 point cushion on 2nd place Toronto, with a game in hand.

The Bruins host the Panthers Friday night in a meeting of divisional leaders. The Panthers were the last team to beat the Bruins, so this could be a good test.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo