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NCAA College Football 2015-16 Bowl Week 1 Picks

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Fearless Rick's 2015-16 College Football Bowl Week 1 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | December 19-23

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Saturday, December 19

Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Arizona (-9, 65 1/2) vs. New Mexico, University Stadium, Albuquerque, NM, 2:00 pm, ESPN - The Lobos are being taken a bit lightly here according to the Las Vegas line-makers. New Mexico has won three of its last four, including a win at Boise State (31-24) and another over Air Force (47-35).

ItŐs obvious that the Lobos - who finished 5-3 in the Mountain West conference - can score at will but their defense leaves something to be desired (allowing 27 ppg.).

6-6 Arizona finished just 3-6 in the PAC-12, their defense falling apart late in the season as the Wildcats lost four of their last five. This is like a home game for New Mexico and their players are probably looking to put on a good show.

Prediction: Lobos 38 Wildcats 30

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, BYU vs. Utah (-2 1/2, 54), Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV, 3:30 pm, ABC - Since BYU is one of just three independents they were not followed closely, especially after consecutive road losses to UCLA and Michigan in late September.

However, since then, the Cougars went 7-1 to finish the season with a very respectable 9-3 mark. The Cougar defense ranks 31st nationally, allowing 21.8 ppg. Their schedule was not the strongest, but the team has been increasingly hammering the opposition as the season progress.

Utah flamed out in the PAC-12 after an 8-1 start, losing to Arizona and UCLA before ending the season with a 20-14 win over Colorado. The Utes have trouble scoring, where the Cougars do not. An early BYU lead will be hard to overcome.

Prediction: Cougars 31 Utes 20

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Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Ohio vs. Appalachian State (-7 1/2, 54), Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, AL, 5:30 pm, ESPN - Appalachian Stte finished second in the Sun Belt to 8-0 Arkansas State, with a 7-1 conference record and scores 37.2 points per game (18th). The Mountaineers are in their second year as a Sun Belt representative and this is their first bowl game in Division 1-A.

They may have found the perfect opponent to showcase their offense in Ohio. The Bobcats allowed 152 points in three consecutive losses to Western Michigan, Buffalo, and Bowling Green en route to a 5-3 record in the MAC. Despite the somewhat low O/U here, this could become a TD festival as most of the talent on both teams is on offense.

Prediction: Mountaineers 48 Bobcats 37

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AutoNation Cure Bowl, San Jose State (-3, 56) vs. Georgia State, Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando, FL, 7:00 pm, CBSSN - This bowl may be aptly named, because both the Spartans of 5-7 San Jose State and the 6-6 Georgia State Panthers need a cure for inconsistency.

While this is a MWC vs. Sun Belt affair, Georgia State may have the upper hand, having finished the regular season with four straight wins and their two losses prior to that (48-34 to Arkansas State and 23-21 to LA-Lafayette) were not too bad. They seem to have turned a corner late in the year. That should translate to a winning effort led by a vigorous defense.

Prediction: Panthers 24 Spartans 19

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Arkansas State vs. Louisiana Tech (-2, 67 1/2), Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA, 9:00 pm, ESPN - This should be an exciting game to close out Saturday night, as Arkansas State, champions of the Sun Belt, meet the 8-4 Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech.

Not to be taken lightly, the Bulldogs won seven of eight before dropping their final game, 58-24, to powerhouse Southern Miss.

The Red Wolves rolled through their conference slate without a loss, but lopsided losses to USC and Toledo early in the season may tell more about this team than their 9-3 record. Defense is optional here as the Red Wolves were 10th in scoring nationally, the Bulldogs tied for 19th.

Prediction: Bulldogs 45 Red Wolves 36

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2015, 2016, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.



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