As promised, the best bowl week of the season begins to kick into high gear today. Today features three bowl games: the Military Bowl, Texas Bowl and Alamo Bowl.
The Military Bowl pits East Carolina (6-6, 5-3 in Conference USA) against Maryland (8-4, 5-3 in ACC). The East Carolina Pirates are led by their passing game which ranked seventh in the entire FBS with 319.3 per game. Quarterback Dominique Davis passed for 3,699 yards and 36 touchdowns. Davis also rushed for nine touchdowns.
Maryland boasts a pretty balanced offensive attack. The Terrapins ranked 63rd in passing and 94th in rushing yards. Junior wide receiver Torrey Smith has had one of the better years for Maryland this year with 1,045 reception yards and 12 touchdowns.
Despite Maryland playing in a better conference and having a better record, I'll take East Carolina and Dominique Davis to upset the favored Terrapins.
Texas Bowl and Alamo Bowl picks are after the jump.
The Texas Bowl features Baylor (7-5, 4-4 in Big 12) against Illinois (6-6, 4-4 in Big 10). Baylor is led by quarterback Robert Griffin III, who passed for nearly 3,200 yards while throwing 21 touchdowns and also rushing for eight. The Fighting Illini are led by their junior running back Mikel Leshoure, who rushed for over 1,500 yards this year while averaging six yards per carry.
This is the first bowl game for Baylor since 1994 - and it's in the Bears' home state of Texas. I'll take the Bears to come out jazzed up and win the Texas Bowl over Illinois.
The final bowl game of today is the Alamo Bowl, which features No. 14 Oklahoma State (10-2, 6-2 in Big 12) against Arizona (7-5, 4-5 Pac 10). Brandon Weeden leads the Oklahoma State offense which was second in the FBS in passing. Weeden threw for over 4,000 yards this year while passing for 32 touchdowns. The Cowboys ranked third in the FBS in points per game as well, averaging nearly 45 points per game.
The Wildcats of Arizona come into the Alamo Bowl as losers of four straight. Arizona lost to Stanford, USC, Oregon and rival Arizona State to conclude the regular season. The Wildcats boast the ninth best passing offense in the FBS, averaging 310 yards per game through the air.
Oklahoma State is simply the better team. I'll take the Cowboys to win the Alamo Bowl, and win it rather easily.