Bowling Time

December 28, 2015


Both of these teams had Final Four aspirations in November but BAYLOR lost its top 2 QBs and UNC had to face Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. But this still looks like a very attractive match-up to watch which probably deserves to be played on January 1. ART & KENDAL BRILES have a lot of confidence in their current starting QB even if no one else does. CHRIS JOHNSON/6’5/235/#13 is looking to be this season’s CARDALE JONES. He had been moved to WR because of RUSSELL/STIDHAM ahead of him, but he brings a nice combination of run/pass ability. Here’s the other good news for Baylor fans; they face a UNC Defense that ranked 77th in FBS. Even without their top RB & WR the Bears should have plenty of ammunition to score points on that UNC D. KD CANNON & JAY LEE still offer good targets for JOHNSON and forgotten Sr. RB/DEVIN CHAFIN has picked up the slack in the running game. It may require a couple of takeaways by the Tar Heel Defense to slow down Baylor’s O. It appears as though the UNC attack should be able to move the ball against Baylor’s 56th ranked Defense. The UNC Offense ranked 20th overall and is equally adept at the running and passing game with dual threat QB DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS/QB and star Soph RB/ELIJAH HOOD/#34, who gained 1345 yds rushing for 17 TD. WILLIAMS, by the way, accounted for 32 TD, 21 passing & 11 more rushing. A solid match-up for you to concentrate on is BAYLOR’s DL featuring OAKMAN, PALMER & BILLINGS, against the solid UNC OL and RB/HOOD. This may sound crazy but I’ll take BAYLOR with JOHNSON at the helm to win in a shootout. Bet the over folks, because the weather should be warm and the field will be dry. Prospects to watch:

BAYLOR                                                                     NORTH CAROLINA
#2 SHAWN OAKMAN/DE 6’9/280                       #10 JEFF SCHOETTMER//LB 6’2/235
#4 JAY LEE/WR 6’3/215                                          #12 MARQUISE WILLIAMS/QB 6’2/220
#28 DEVIN CHAFIN/RB 6’0/225                          #14 QUINSHAD DAVIS/WR 6’4/210
#58 SPENCER DRANGO/T 6’5/310                      #42 SHAKEEL RASHAD/OLB 6’2/245
#69 PAT COLBERT/T 6’6/305                                #78 LANDON TURNER/OG 6’4/325
#75 ANDREW BILLINGS/DT 6’1/310 JR             #98 JUSTIN THOMASON/DT 6’4/290
#92 JAMAL PALMER/DE/LB 6’3/240


Sort of an irony that the Texas bowl will be played in -well – Texas with presumably Texas Tech as the presumptive home team, but its likely that LSU, from just down the road, has the majority of fans. The Tigers also have the majority of prospects for the 2016 draft including junior CB Tre’Davious White and massive G/T Vadal Alexander, both of whom could get some late first round interest this coming April. LSU could also have a bunch of other second-day picks including OLB Deion Jones, FS Jalen Mills, along with juniors Jerald Hawkins, the other bookend OT, MLB Kentrell Brothers and C Ethan Pocic. Of course, the LSU player that just about every NFL would like to get their hands on is star sophomore RB Leonard Fournette, who had almost 2,000 yards from scrimmage this fall including over 1,700 on the ground as he averaged 6.4 yards a pop and scored 18 times. Fournette though won’t be draft eligible until 2017. Texas Tech also has a pretty good OT in veteran LT Le’raven Clark, who could be a steal in the middle rounds, while RB Dwayne Washington and OLB Pete Robertson have later round credentials. Prospects to watch:

LSU                                                                                TEXAS TECH
RB Leonard Fournette, #7, 6-0, 230                            OT Le’Raven Clark, #62, 6-5, 320
TE Dillon Gordon, #85, 6-3, 310                                   RB DeAndre Washington, #21, 5-8, 200
OT Vadal Alexander, #74, 6-5, 330                               OLB Pete Robertson, #10, 6-2, 240
OT Jerald Hawkins, #65, 6-5, 305, JR                         DE Brandon Jackson, #9, 6-3, 270
C Ethan Pocic, #77, 6-4, 310                                           LB Micah Awe, #18, 6-0, 225
LB Kentrell Beckwith, #52, 6-1, 255
LB Deion Jones, #45, 6-0, 230
CB Tre’davious White, #16, 5-10, 195
FS Jalen Mills, #28, 6-0, 200
P Jamie Keehn, #38, 6-3, 235


I have held my tongue and pen for over a week now, but this game exemplifies how the NCAA has prostituted the Bowl Game process for a few more dollars. Both of these teams play in the Mountain West Conference, and even the Conference Commissioner complained about the match-up as a Bowl Game. Perhaps the best news is most of you won’t even be able to find it on your TV menu because as of press time it’s only being broadcast on the Arizona Sports Network basically on cable in the state of Arizona. There is no practical reason for this game to exist. Come on NCAA, wise up and contract the Bowl schedule… please. The biggest news for this game is that you may get a chance to watch one of the top WR Draft prospects in RASHARD HIGGINS/WR/#82 of the Rams. The team switched to a predominately running attack this season under new HC MIKE BOBO, and yet HIGGINS still managed to catch 66 balls for 933 yards and 8 TD. I can’t see him going back for his senior season under the new coaching regime and philosophy. Prospects to watch:

COLORADO STATE                                                 NEVADA
#16 TRENT MATTHEWS/S 6’3/210                          #6 DON JACKSON/RB 5’10/210
#31 CORY JAMES/OLB 6’1/240                                 #8 IAN SEAU/E/OLB 6’2/255
#82 RASHAD HIGGINS/WR 6’2/190 JR               #49 JORDAN DOBRICH/LB 6’2/235
#86 KIVON CARTWRIGHT/TE 6’4/245                 #94 LENNY JONES/DE/ER 6’3/270
#90 JOE KAWULOK/DE 6’6/260

BONUS COVERAGE: The 4th game today – well actually the first – is the Armed Forces Bowl (2 PM ET; ESPN) in Fort Worth between California (7-5) and Air Force (8-5) probably features the fewest number of draft prospects of any of the day’s games. Hwever, it also has the top prospect today in Cal junior QB Jared Goff (#16, 6-4, 210) who has top 5-10 potential for this spring’s draft. Goff has a couple of very good skill weapons to work with in big-play junior WR Kenny Lawlor (#4, 6-1, 195) and tough RB Daniel Glasco (#2, 5-11, 210). Cal OG Jordan Rigsbee (#73, 6-3, 305) is also a good one. Meanwhile, the Air Force isn’t going to have anyone drafted, but DE Alex Hanson (#87, 6-3, 260) could possibly get some free agent consideration.