Early Non-BCS  Bowl Game Triage
(Dec. 17 to Dec. 27, 2011)

Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Wyoming Cowboys vs. Temple Owls: Since the Cowboys have had a tendency to win by small margins and blow games by huge ones, Temple will soar to an easy bowl victory if they can turn it into a two possession game.

Famous Idaho Potatoe Bowl, Ohio Bobcats vs. Utah State Aggies: When games look as evenly matched as this one does on paper, prepare for a blowout. The Bobcats finished their season looking way better than Utah, so there's a good reason to go with the Cats.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, San Diego State Aztecs vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns: Probably a nightmare for logo designers, given these long names. Everybody expects a high-scoring game, so prepare for a 20-17 for the Aztecs.

Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, FIU Golden Panthers vs. Marshall Thundering Herd: The Herd with a lot of history under their belt, but also with a rather mediocre season. The Panthers have a pretty good chance of winning it, as it would be their 2nd bowl victory after 2010.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, TCU Horned Frogs vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs: The Frogs had a great season - compared to what they mostly achieve. There isn't much doubt about the Frogs winning it, and if that'd happen, it'd be a surprise.

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin
Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns; Louisiana Monroe Warhawks linebacker R.J. Young (51) lines up for a play in the second half; Louisiana-Lafayette won the game 36-35.

Maaco Bowl Las Vegas, Boise State Broncos vs. Arizona State Sun Devils: Boise State by 14 sounds too good to refuse. Hey, at least they're having a real headcoach and went 11-1 in the WAC, compared to Arizonas 1-5 in the second half of their season.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Southern Miss Gold Eagles: Very evenly matched teams will collide. Because Nevada mostly had the upper hand against equally good teams because of their defense, they might win this one.

Advocare Independence Bowl, Missouri Tigers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels: Again, this might be close one and is hard to call. Going with a gut feeling, the Tigers as a Big 12 Team should come out victorious, if they can establish their run play and take the pressure off their QB, who's walking in the large footsteps of Gabbert.

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Purdue Boilermakers vs. Western Michigan Broncos: Both teams had so-so seasons, both weren't really consistent. Purdue has a slight advantage and might edge the Broncos, when they can exploit the defense on many small yardage plays that wear the Broncos defense down.

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