December 22 College Bowl Picks: Miami Beach Bowl Pick


Only one week to go until we know the fate of Boston College football in their bowl game. Meanwhile, it’s been kind of a rough opening day of bowls on Saturday for our against-the-spread picking, but we roll on in our full treatment of 2014 bowl season by offering our Miami Beach Bowl pick.

Boston College Eagles
Boston College Eagles /

Boston College Eagles

To answer your first question, yes, there is evidently a Miami Beach Bowl. This is its inaugural game, being played in Marlins Park down in Miami. Note how this is in Miami, not Miami Beach, but close enough. With any luck, that hideous dolphin-thingy will not get cranking in the outfield each time a team scores a touchdown.

Given the teams involved, that could present an issue. These are two high-scoring teams involved. More on that in a moment.

There are several tie-ins here, including Conference USA for the Memphis Tigers, but as an independent, the BYU Cougars landed here as well.

Who has the edge in this bowl game tomorrow afternoon?

College Bowls: Miami Beach Bowl Pick

Memphis (-2) vs. BYU | Miami, FL | 2pm ET (ESPN)

The Cougars are without their quarterback, Taysom Hill, who went down earlier in the season with a major leg injury. Putting Christian Stewart in his place has proven just fine for BYU, as he has thrown 22 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. He has helped lead his team to four wins in a row, including a season-ending victory over Cal in which Stewart tossed five touchdowns on 433 total pass yards.

Memphis has an average pass defense in terms of yardage, allowing 218 yards per game, but their quarterback rating against is in the top ten nationally.

As for the Memphis offense, it can score, too. The Tigers average just shy of 35 points per game, led by quarterback Paxton Lynch’s efforts, but their defense has been the big winner. They allow just 17 points per game.

Memphis has won six in a row and are one of the great stories of this college football season. BYU has been a little more pedestrian in that department. You can’t say Memphis hasn’t faced anybody, either, because they got UCLA and Ole Miss, losing the former by a touchdown and holding Ole Miss to 24 points in a 24-3 loss.

Logic would suggest that the Tigers will be able to disrupt BYU’s pass offense just enough to stay out in front when the score goes final.

Memphis -2