Saturday bowl preview

December 16, 2016

Bowl season to kick off this weekend … If it feels like the college football season just ended and its way too early for bowl games IT IS. However, that ain’t stoppin’ the powers that run the college game and the 40-plus game bowl schedule that will culminate in the CFP national championship game on January 9th gets underway with a slate of 5 games tomorrow. And while the opening series of bowl games usually don’t involve much more than 7-5 or 6-6 teams from non-power 5 conferences who aren’t doing much more than filling up ESPN’s programming schedule, the opening day of this year’s bowl schedule actually features a couple of potentially pretty good games between 9-plus win teams. Indeed, both Houston and San Diego State, who will face-off in tomorrow’s Las Vegas Bowl (3:30 PM ET; ABC), both had aspirations of getting the non-power 5 slot in the big dance deep into the season. As an added bonus, both teams have some terrific players including QB Greg Ward of Houston and dynamic SD State RB Donnel Pumphrey, the nation’s second-leading rusher this fall who headline the list of draft prospects who will be on the field in tomorrow’s bowl openers. Here’s a quick preview of who to watch in Saturday’s bowl games with an eye to the 2017 draft.