Welcome to Bowl Cuts, a column here on The Turf where we give you all the quick hits you need to know ahead of each and every college football bowl game this season! Yes, we know there are a lot of bowl games. And you’re probably only tuning in because the Calgary/Phoenix hockey game is postponed, or because you’re avoiding Spiderman: No Way Home spoilers. But if you’re gonna watch something, you might as well enjoy it to the fullest, right?
So let’s jump right into the exciting annual tradition that is putting two college football teams on national television in a game sponsored by a corporation that pays the schools to appear! That’s right, Bowl Season is here and it’s time to start the fun!
The Bahamas Bowl
Middle Tennesee vs. Toledo
Moneyline: Toledo -10, Over/Under: 50.5
Middle Tennessee finished their year in 3rd place of Conference USA, after a back and forth year that has seen the Blue Raiders go through some big wins and big losses. Going 6-6 on the year, Middle Tennessee was the definition of a boom or bust team. Only a quarter of their games this season were decided by 7 points or less, with some games seeing a team hit 40 points when all was said and done. That’s a crazy thing to see when looking at a team’s schedule. It’s even crazier when you consider the volatility that comes with that stat. But with QB Nick Vattiato still getting his feet wet under center after Chase Cunningham’s leg injury, this could be a rough night for Middle Tennessee.
Toledo, on the opposite side of the ball, comes in with a much better grasp on things as the Rockets finished 3rd in the Mid-Atlantic Conference. The Rockets come into the Bahamas Bowl with an offense that has put up 34.2 points a game and a defense that has held opposing offenses to just 21 points. Both of those statistics are MAC leaders in 2021, and with Middle Tennessee’s volatile play, that could be enough for Toledo to swing this one their way.
All in all, slam the Over at 50.5, and Toledo at -10. Middle Tennessee has an issue with keeping games close, and Toledo has a penchant for putting up points and holding down teams. Toledo blasts Middle Tennessee into the sun.
The Tailgreeter Cure Bowl
Coastal Carolina vs. Northern Illinois
Moneyline: Coastal Carolina -10.5, Over/Under: 63.5
Before diving into this one, just gotta say… “Tailgreeter Cure Bowl” feels like a bowl to raise awareness for Tailgreeter disease and to help raise money to find a cure. Not great, but I suppose you have to work with what you’ve got, right? I mean, what is a Tailgreeter? Well, glad you asked because we looked it up! According to the company themselves, “TAILGREETER is a digital marketplace that aims to make tailgating more accessible to fans all over the world, by having them join local experienced tailgate hosts. We connect existing tailgate hosts with guests who want to experience tailgating but don’t want to go through the hassle of setting one up themselves.”
Cool. But what about the game? This one is gonna be fun.
Northern Illinois finished the season atop the MAC West, finishing with a 9-4 record that included a 6-2 in conference run in 2021. While success is a recent experience, as the Huskies went 0-6 in their shortened 2020 season, playing in a bowl game for the majority of the Huskies is a newer experience. It’s been almost three years since the Huskies appeared in a bowl game, so inexperience could play a factor. A big reason for that success is an offense helmed by quarterback (and this is his real name) Rocky Lombardi, and a slew of offensive weapons at his disposal. Wideouts Trayvon Rudolph and Tyrice Richie have a combined 1397 yards, and running back Jay Ducker passed 1,000 yards this season, while trucking for 5.4 yards per carry. The Huskies can ball.
Unfortunately, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are ballers as well.
Coastal Carolina finished the season 10-2, and those two losses have not sat well with the team. Why? Those two blemishes on a fantastic season came against Georgia State and Appalachian State, with Coastal losing by a combined five points. That’s right, a game-winning field goal and a botched two-point conversion are the reason the Chanticleers are not undefeated.
Also of note, those five points kept Coastal out of the Sun Belt Championship game. So, there’s some baggage coming into this game for them. With an offense that feels almost like it belongs in the NFL, Coastal Carolina has put up video game numbers all season, while their defense has been able to keep the other sideline panicked and retreating. This game presents itself as an opportunity for the Chanticleers to end their season on top, and wipe away two disappointing losses with one loud victory.
The Over/Under at 63.5 feels like a trap, but with Coastal’s offense putting up 49+ points in five games this season, it’s possible bettors can cash in on the over. But we’re a touch wary of it. However, Coastal Carolina at -10 feels correct in all the right ways.
That’s all for the first Bowl Cut of the 2021-22 College Bowl Season! Next up, we’re taking a look at some real interesting sponsorships with the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl, the Cricket Celebration Bowl, and the simply named New Mexico Bowl!
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