Friday December 27
MILITARY BOWL - PRES. BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN - 2:30 PM ESPN
Marshall vs Maryland
Location: Annapolis, Maryland / Navy-USMC Memorial Stadium
- The Thundering Herd come in as the C-USA runners up after a resounding loss to Rice and Maryland plays its last bowl game as a member of the ACC. Marshall has do everything, utility back/tight end in Gator Hoskins (No, his name is really Gator, you got to love bowl season for all the cool names). Maryland is still a young team, with a majority of their roster made up of freshmen and sophomores. The Terps have an electric playmaker in sophomore wide receiver Stefon Diggs. He is arguably their best player regardless of position and should be poised for a standout junior campaign in 2014.
Texas Bowl - 6 PM ESPN
Syracuse vs Minnesota
Location: Houston, Texas / Reliant Stadium
- ACC debutant versus the nation's most heartwarming story. Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill returned from short leave of absence from his medical condition (seizures) to inspire the Golden Gophers. He has been "coaching" from his suite but could possibly return to the field for this game. Mr. Kill has a history of on field seizures and the latest one forced him to take a well deserved rest. To a man, everyone who encounters Mr. Kill says he is the nicest guy you'll ever meet without hesitation. This game will be a battle of the running back. Syracuse junior Jerome Brown has already declared for the draft and is seen as a big boy in between the tackles type of runner. On the other end, junior David Cobb is returning home to Texas and is undecided on going pro or not. Cobb isn't your typical plodding B1G back and has a deceptive gear on him.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl - 9:30 PM ESPN
BYU vs Washington
Location: San Francisco, CA / AT&T Park (home of the Giants)
- Another bowl game in a beisbol stadium! The unique feature about this game is that both teams will share the same sideline due to the configurations of AT&T Park. The game next year will be moved to the new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara. Washington just recently hired former Boise State HC Chris Petersen to take over for the departed (to USC) Steve Sarkisian. There will be draft prospects aplenty in this game on both sides. BYU is led by sophomore QB Taysom Hill, leads them in both passing and rushing. Hill intrigues me as a potential option for the 2015 class, should it come to that. Assisting Hill is senior receiver Cody Hoffman. He has the prototypical build of a number one caliber receiver (6'4 210). Defensively for the Cougars, they are led by senior DE/LB Kyle Van Noy, who is a bigger freak athlete than Lions rookie and ex teammate Ezekial Ansah. BYU has been battle tested against the likes of Texas (W), Georgia Tech (W), Wisconsin (L), and Notre Dame (L). Washington has a trio of strong weapons on offense to support beleaguered Jake Locker heir QB Keith Price. All three happen to be juniors and very likely candidates to turn pro. RB Bishop Sankey might be the best of three. He's one of the top running back prospects in this year's class. TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is the top tight end in the class but there are several off the field questions with him that might hurt his stock. Whoever ends up drafting him will need a strong support system in place ala Josh Hamilton's arrangements with the Rangers/Angels. WR Kasen Williams needs a good game if he is considering going pro this year. Also, how motivated will the Huskies be after losing Sarkisian? The specter of NCAA improprieties also looms (allegedly). There have been accusations that Huskies assistant and ace west coast recruiter Tosh Lupoi (who was favored for the USC DC job before you know what hit the fan) allegedly paid for a recruit's online tutoring program.
Random side note: Blewitt is the funniest name for a kicker ever. However, Pittsburgh's kicker did not live up to his last name so #GOACC?