Wednesday features four bowls and seven Power Five teams, including the first Big Ten and SEC teams to hit the field this postseason. Alas, the seven Power Five teams have combined for 38 losses and none of the games is all that compelling.
That said, there are some interesting storylines.
• Florida State (6-6) meets Southern Miss in the Independence Bowl, and the Seminoles are trying to avoid their first losing record since 1976, which was Bobby Bowden’s first season at the school.
• Quarterback Drew Lock and Missouri (7-5) take a six-game winning streak into the Texas Bowl against Texas. The Tigers are trying to become just the second Power Five team in college football history (Rutgers, 2008) to register finish with eight victories after starting the season 1-5.
• Arizona (7-5) meets Purdue in the Foster Farms Bowl. (For those wondering, Foster Farms is a poultry company based in Livingston, Calif., which is about 115 miles southeast of San Francisco. The company has been privately owned and operated since 1939.) Arizona features sophomore QB Khalil Tate, who has rushed for 1,353 yards, which is third nationally among quarterbacks.
• Iowa (7-5) is in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium against Boston College. The most noteworthy thing about this game is that the five-loss Hawkeyes blasted Ohio State 55-24, which is the main reason the Buckeyes aren’t in the College Football Playoff.
Here’s a quick look at each of the four games.
Florida State (6-6) vs. Southern Miss (8-4)
WHERE: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, La.
TIME/TV: Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., ESPN
BUZZ: This has been a season from hell for FSU, which hasn’t finished with a losing record in four decades. Interim coach Odell Haggins needs to make sure that his rushing attack gets cranked up. There’s no way FSU wants to depend on freshman QB James Blackman to win the game with his arm, even against a Conference USA opponent. The key to stopping Southern Miss is stifling the run. In their four losses, the Golden Eagles averaged 99.5 rushing yards per game; in their eight wins, the average was 233.6. The key guy for Southern Miss is senior RB Ito Smith, who has rushed for 3,908 yards and 40 TDs in the past three seasons.
OFFICIATING CREW: from the MAC.
LINE: FSU by 16.5.
THE PICK: FSU 31-21.
Boston College (7-5) vs. Iowa (7-5)
WHERE: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.
TIME/TV: Wednesday, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
BUZZ: BC will be without star DE Harold Landry, who is sitting out this game to prepare for the draft. BC’s passing attack is awful, but the Eagles run the ball well with freshman A.J. Dillon and senior Jon Hilliman. BC’s rush defense is awful, which is good news for an Iowa team that relies heavily on its rushing attack. Thing is, while Iowa relies heavily on the run, it often struggles to move the ball on the ground. Senior RB Akrum Wadley needs to get on track if Iowa is to be efficient offensively.
OFFICIATING CREW: from the Pac-12.
LINE: Iowa by 2.5.
THE PICK: Iowa 27-20.
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