Hawaii Bowl: Boise State vs. Oregon State
Schedule analysis: Boise State (8-4) was an outstanding home team this year. They were 6-0 on their home turf but played a weak schedule. UT Martin, Air Force, Southern Miss, Nevada, Wyoming and New Mexico all had losing records this season. Boise State won on the road at Utah State, but that was the week after the Aggies lost star quarterback Chuckie Keeton with a season-ending injury. They also defeated Colorado State on the road. The Broncos started the season with a loss to Washington and dropped conference games to Fresno State, BYU and San Diego State. Oregon State were upset by Eastern Washington in their opener and rebounded to win their next six including a road tilt at San Diego State. Then the tough part of Oregon State’s schedule occurred and they lost their last five to Stanford, USC, Arizona State, Washington and Oregon. The Oregon loss was 36-35 in Eugene and the Beavers should’ve won. They put a maximum effort into the rivalry game and fell short.
Miles from stadium: Both schools are very far from Hawaii.
Motivation: Leaving the cold northwest for Hawaii on Christmas Eve is a nice bonus for the players and any fans who are traveling. As for the game, Boise State’s longtime coach Chris Petersen left to take the Washington job. An interim coach will lead the Broncos in this game and they already hired former offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin to take the job. It will be interesting to see how Oregon State responds after their loss to Oregon, but the game happened over three weeks ago so they should’ve had plenty of time to forget that defeat.
Pick: Oregon State -3
With two average teams like this, it’s hard to take the team giving points. However, I think the Boise State coaching change will mean a lot and Oregon State will take advantage.