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December 16th Bowl Game viewing guide, previews, and open thread

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The first 5 of 40 bowl games begin today.

Oregon v Boise State Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Football is back. Today is the first of 40 bowl games (and one final championship bout) until the winter of our discontent begins anew. In honor of these waning weeks, please enjoy our bowl game previews in haiku.

Here are today’s viewing guides, betting lines and open thread. See you in the comments -E

Troy at North Texas (+6.5)

R+l Carriers New Orleans Bowl 1:00 PM ET

ESPN/WatchESPN

Good defense in Plano,

but the Trojans light it up:

Laugh at LSU.

Troy should smoke the Mean Green. I’ve been really pleased with the job the Eagles have done, especially at home and rebuilding a moribund defense. Both teams will probably travel well too, especially UNT. But, on a neutral field, give me the explosive Trojans. Enjoy him while you have him in the Wiregrass: Troy’s Neal Brown will make a lot of money in a year or two. And, yes, now that Alabama made the playoffs, feel free to talk smack to LSU fans again. That transitory loss almost cost the Tide everything. (Read that last sentence aloud, dramatically, like William Shatner.)

Western Kentucky at Georgia State (+6.5)

Autonation Cure Bowl Sat 2:30 PM ET

CBS Sports

The ‘Toppers are young,

But ‘State shed their option, so

No shit through tin horns.

I honestly have no idea how the Panthers won six games: they are in the bottom 30 of every category, including rushing, where they are dead last...and in subjective watchability (insert citation.) Like BYU, they’re not just bad; they’re bad and boring. Western bigly. I bet the Hilltoppers in this game, because I’m a degenerate. But, I’m not actually kinky enough to watch it.

#25 Boise State at Oregon (-6.5)

Las Vegas Bowl 3:30 PM ET

ABC/WatchESPN

The Broncos should win;

As the Ducks miss their Rolls Royce.

Freeman skipped his bowl :(

Oregon has far more talent, but the Broncos are just a better team. BSU has been spottier on the road this season, yet should still thrive against an Oregon defense that may be the least fundamentally-sound one I’ve seen in the P5: and that includes such luminaries as Tennessee, Rutgers, and whatever it is they call that in the Big 12. Even without bowl-skipping sissy-man Royce Freeman (he’s not listening is he?!) Oregon is going to have a billion yards. That aside, I don’t trust the Ducks to make a late stop...hell, or any stop for that matter. On paper, this is the day’s best matchup, despite the fact Oregon is on its third head coach in 12 months and is riddled with injuries and a huge, healthy scratch. HUGE potential for derp here.

Marshall at Colorado State (-3.5)

Gildan New Mexico Bowl 4:30 PM ET

ESPN/WatchESPN

Which Rams team shows up?

They’re better, but up-and-down:

Tho’ tha’ ball, Bobo.

Marshall can be got through the air. The Rams have the far superior talent, but, after a midseason swoon where they were all over the place, it’s really hard to trust them. Let’s operate under the assumption that Good Bobo shows up: if so, Colorado State rolls. If not, the Thundering Herd get to record a close, but decent-looking bowl win in next year’s media guide. The Jimmies and Joes in the Mountain are just an entirely different critter than most of CUSA’s athletes.

Middle Tennessee at Arkansas State (-3.5)

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl 8:00 PM ET

ESPN/WatchESPN

Red Wolves should feast upon

Mitzu’s bloated corpse. They

Even lost to Vandy.

In a normal year, this is a very good game. This is not a normal year. The Red Wolves are still a beast of the Sun Belt, if not a little disappointing this season. But the Blue Raiders have absolutely not lived up to their end of the bargain, including getting destroyed by a woeful Vanderbilt team...at home. A competent, steady game by Arkansas State springboards a better 2018 for the ‘Wolves. That said, the ‘Raiders have come close a time or two, including a one-score loss at Syracuse (who, keep in mind, mollywalloped Clemson in the Carrier Dome.) I still don’t think this is the game MTSU puts it all together though.