ARTICLE OF THE DAY

Bowl Week
by Kevin Monroe
12/19/05

One of the most exciting weeks of the year is finally here.  Next to March Madness, there is not a more exciting time during the year to watch sports.  Starting on December 20 with the New Orleans Bowl between Southern Miss and Arkansas State and ending with the national championship game on January 4th between Texas and USC.  Every couple of days there will be a football game on. I am so excited. I can hear my wife now…”do we have to watch football again?”  Yes dear, we do.  As a journalist I owe it to my readers to watch each and every game (wink-wink).   Lets take a moment and break down some of the exciting games we will see.

New Orleans Bowl    Southern Miss vs. Arkansas     Dec. 20
Southern Miss, which is led by QB Dustin Almond, stumbled into a bowl bid with a 6-5 record but they shouldn’t have a problem with an Arkansas St. team that lost to Louisiana Monroe, Middle Tenn. St. and Army.  Watch out for Ark. St. running back Antonio Warren who has 3000 career yards, and 8 100-yard rushing games this season.

GMAC Bowl        UTEP vs. Toledo                Dec. 21
This game could be one of the highest scoring bowl games of the year.  Toledo, led by Bruce Bradkowski’s 2100 yards passing and 24 Touchdowns, averages more than 400 total yards per game ranking 17th nationally.  UTEP, who took C-USA’s western division by a storm, is led by Jordan Palmer’s 3300 yards passing and 28 touchdowns will be even harder to stop.  I give the edge to UTEP

Hawaii Bowl        Central Florida vs. Nevada        Dec. 23
Nevada has proven themselves over the last few years.  Central Florida has been overshadowed by its Florida counterparts.  Nevada’s ground game is what has carried them this season, led by B.J. Mitchell who rushed for 1221 yards.  Central Florida went 0-11 last year, but behind new head coach George O’Leary, the Golden Knights have turned things around.  Look for UCF to come away with the win in this one.

The start of bowl week should be exciting and these three games are part of the reason why.  Check back next week and I will evaluate the BCS games..

Kevin Monroe
kevin@downeastsports.com