Fiesta Bowl Preview

Boise State gets the opportunity to play in a big name bowl game after being the highest ranked team from outside the power five conferences.  The Broncos play the Arizona Wildcats who won the Pac-12 South.

The handicap for this game is similar to the Utah-Colorado State bowl game. Arizona is the Pac-12 team who played very tough schedule and have impressive wins at Oregon, at Utah and against Arizona State. Boise State played in the Mountain West, a conference struggling this bowl season. The Broncos opened the season with a loss to Ole Miss and also lost at Air Force in conference play before ending the season on a eight-game win streak.

This line has dropped since it opened, which makes me like Arizona even more. Some would argue that they ended their season in disappointment by losing to Oregon in the Pac-12 title game. However, there was no shame in losing that game and Arizona will still be motivated to finish the season strong close to home.

Pick: Arizona (-3) over Boise State

Las Vegas Bowl Pick

Utah and Colorado State meet in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon in a battle between two former Mountain West rivals. Now Utah is in the Pac-12 and back in a bowl game after a two-year absence. The Utes finished 8-4 overall and 5-4 in a challenging conference slate. Colorado finished 10-2 but only played five teams that reached a bowl game.

The Utah offense is led by quarterback Travis Wilson and running back Devontae Booker. I think Booker will able to run on the Colorado State defense. Rams head coach Jim McElwain won’t be on the sideline because he took the Florida job. I don’t think McElwain’s absence will make much of a difference but I’m going to pick Utah in this game.

Utah played a tougher schedule and I like to pick teams from a power conferences when they are playing a “mid-major”. The talent level might not be much of a difference here but I think the Utes are a more motivated team in this spot after being left out of postseason play for two seasons.

Pick: Utah (-2.5) over Colorado State

Colorado State vs Colorado Pick

An early rivalry game in Denver as Colorado and Colorado State meet at a neutral site. The Buffaloes won this meeting last year on the opening weekend of the season. Colorado State started slowly last season but ended strong in large part to the running of Kapri Bibbs. The running back departed but quarterback Garrett Grayson is still at school. Colorado lost a big offensive weapon of their own in wide receiver Paul Richardson.

I think these schools are equally matched. Because Colorado is a slight favorite on a neutral site, I’ll take revenge-minded Colorado State against the spread.

Pick: Colorado State (+3) over Colorado