Military Bowl – Air Force vs. Toledo 4:30E ESPN
Air Force thought they could be a true contender in the Mountain West Conference. This did not play out as the Falcons (7-5, 5-7 ATS) failed to meet expectations, however they are thrilled to make the trip to play in a bowl that encompasses their mission. What makes Air Force an offensive force is QB Tim Jefferson, as he was ringleader of the No. 19 offense in FBS (459 yards). Jefferson is not your typical option quarterback, a slightly above average runner with a strong accurate arm. The Falcons are fourth in yards per carry in the nation at 5.8 and tailback Asher Clark is their most dangerous runner. The Flyboys run defense could get exposed against Toledo’s rush offense that averages 5.1 YPC. Air Force is 15-5 ATS away from Colorado Springs playing with two weeks or more off.
What this matchup lacks in sex appeal, it makes up for as outstanding viewing potential. Toledo’s (8-4, 7-5 ATS) driving offense scores 42.2 points a game (vs. opponents that allowed 26.5) and has two accurate throwers in Austin Dantin and Terrance Owens. Dantin should be back from injury and looking towards WR Eric Page as the main target (school’s all-time pass catcher). The offensive line only gave up nine sacks all year. The Rockets surrendered 30.9 PPG, but at least is better against the run, a must against the Air Force. Toledo is 8-3 ATS when the listed favorite.
Air Force is 10-10-1 in postseason action and a quality 12-6 ATS. Toledo is 7-4 after the regular season and .500 (3-3 ATS) against the oddsmakers. The favorite has covered all three Military Bowls.
ISS Power Ratings – Toledo by 3
Holiday Bowl – California vs. Texas 8:00E ESPN
In spite of both teams in this bowl encounter having the same records, their emotions have to be completely different. After a 4-0 start; Texas collapsed under the weight of injuries in key positions and having too much youth. The Longhorns limp into San Diego at 7-5 (6-6 ATS), attempting not close the year with three straight losses. Texas will want to pound the ball, rushing 46 times for 210.4 yards a game. They will be most effective if RB’s Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron can play, otherwise, undistinguished backs will try and carry the load. Neither Case McCoy nor David Ash has been an adequate passer, wasting the abilities of play-maker Jaxon Shipley. You better buckle up the chin strap if you plan on running against the Horns, who only allow 3.3 YPC. Texas is 0-6 ATS if they have lost three of last four.
California is feeling spry, finishing 3-1 and 4-0 ATS. The Bears (7-5 SU & ATS) are playing their best ball and TB Isi Sofele is a huge reason why. He averaged 142 yards per game over the final four contests which alleviated some the pressure on QB Zach Maynard, who was extremely proficient the last month of the season. Maynard and Sofele will have to be special against the Longhorns 11th ranked defense. If Cal’s defense plays like it has on the road all year, it could be a long night. What DC Clancy Pendergast has to do is convince his troops it’s a home game, where they only conceded 14.3 PPG compared to 34.5 PPG away. The Bears are just 3-8 ATS in past 11 December experiences.
California is 10-9-1 SU in bowl bashes and 5-7 ATS. Texas has a long bowl history (25-22-2) and is bankroll depleting 5-13 ATS when favored. The Big 12 is sickly 4-10 ATS and the favorite is 3-10 ATS in last 13.
ISS Power Rankings – Texas by 5