HomeTown Lenders Bahamas Bowl-Frisco Bowl: Week One of College Football Bowl Season


Nassau, Bahamas plays host to the first bowl game of the postseason

Trevor Butler, Sports Editor

Conference Championships are in the books, the playoff has been decided, Caleb Williams has taken home the Heisman (USC’s 8th) and Army took down Navy in their annual matchup. Now that everything’s wrapped up, it’s time for college kids to enjoy themselves a vacation and a bowl game. Bowl season kicks off on the beaches of the Bahamas, and week one of the postseason ends at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. 

December 16 

Miami (Ohio) vs UAB- HomeTown Lenders Bahamas Bowl (8:30 AM, Nassau, Bahamas) 

One of the most beloved bowl games by players and fans alike, Miami won their way to the Bahamas with an 18-17 Red Bird Rivalry win over Ball State. The Redhawks will take on the recently revived UAB program, with the Blazers program folding in 2014 but returning in 2017. Both squads come into the bowl at 6-6, with each seeking their second bowl win in a row. The Blazers head to the Bahamas averaging 30.6 points per game, while the Redhawks average 20.3. The Blazers offense is statistically better than the Redhawks, and I think UAB will win. 

Prediction: UAB 34, Miami (OH) 10 

#24 Troy vs #25 UTSA- Cure Bowl (12 PM, Orlando, Florida) 

The first big-time matchup of bowl season takes place in Orlando, where two ranked teams go head-to-head in the Cure Bowl. Jeff Traylor’s UTSA team is back in bowl season for the third year in a row, as they look for their first postseason win ever. The Roadrunners come in at 11-2, led by senior QB Frank Harris. UTSA shines on the offensive side of the football, averaging 38.7 PPG, while Troy does the opposite, possessing a shutdown defense that only gives up 17.5 PPG. I think the Roadrunners will be able to put up more than Troy’s season average, but the Trojans will stick around and make it interesting.  

Prediction: UTSA 27, Troy 21 

December 17 

Cincinnati vs Louisville- Wasabi Fenway Bowl (8:00 AM, Boston, Massachusetts) 

Both the Bearcats and Cardinals ship up to Boston with coaching changes looming. Cincy Head Coach Luke Fickell is departing the program for Wisconsin in 2023, and taking his job is Scott Satterfield. Scott Satterfield is hired from Louisville. The Cardinals have their replacement in former Purdue HC Jeff Brohm, but it will be an emotional switching of the sidelines for Satterfield. Louisville is a two-point favorite, but both teams are quite evenly matched on both sides of the ball.  

Prediction: Louisville 20, Cincinnati 17 

Florida vs #14 Oregon State- SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl (11:30 AM, Las Vegas, Nevada) 

Our first power five matchup of bowl season pits the struggling Florida Gators against the red-hot Oregon State Beavers. Oregon State heads to Sin City riding a three-game win streak, including a win over their in-state rival Oregon Ducks. Florida has dropped back-to-back on the road, with losses to Vanderbilt and Florida State. The Beavers come in as ten-point favorites, and their play on both sides of the ball should bode well in Vegas. 

Prediction: Oregon State 34, Florida 17 

Washington State vs Fresno State- Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl (12:30 PM, Los Angeles, California) 

Since losing on October 8, Jake Haener and Fresno State have been on a tear. They’ve won eight in a row, including getting revenge on Boise State en route to a Mountain West championship. Now the Bulldogs will look to secure a double-digit win season with a victory over WSU. The Cougs will look to get themselves a bowl victory after falling to Central Michigan in a wild Sun Bowl in 2021. FPI likes WSU to take the win, but Fresno comes in as a four-point favorite. 

Prediction: Fresno State 27, WSU 23 

Rice vs Southern Miss- LendingTree Bowl (2:45 PM, Mobile, Alabama) 

Rice was granted a bowl game based off academic achievement, and they’ll look to grab a sixth win in style against Southern Miss. The bird battle between the Owls and Golden Eagles should feature a lot of offense, as both teams put up yards and give up yards in bunches. Southern Miss won their way bowling with a victory in the final week of the season over UL-Monroe, and they’ll look to keep the good times rolling in Mobile. After two down years, USM will look to secure their best record since 2019 with a win, while Rice can finish the year with their best record since 2014 with a victory in Alabama. USM’s offense will be a key, if they can come out slinging, they’ll be in a very good spot. 

Prediction: Southern Miss 30, Rice 20 

SMU vs BYU- New Mexico Bowl (4:30 Pm, Albuquerque, New Mexico) 

Here’s where it really gets good. Offense lovers will rejoice at the electric offense being trotted out in the New Mexico Bowl. Both offenses put up a lot of points, with SMU being involved in a 77-63 shootout with Houston just weeks ago, which they won. Both defenses also tend to surrender a lot of yardage, meaning points certainly won’t be at a premium in this matchup. Expect to see Tanner Mordecai and Jaren Hall throw the rock a lot, with both QB’s throwing over 3,000 yards on the season. 

Prediction: SMU 42, BYU 38 

North Texas vs Boise State- Frisco Bowl presented by SERVPRO (6:15 PM, Frisco, Texas) 

The Frisco Bowl is a home game for North Texas in all but the name. Located just 34 minutes from the home of the Mean Green in Denton, Frisco’s Toyota Stadium will host the local favorites as they take on Boise State. Though the Mean Green will have the support behind them, the Broncos are the favorite in the opening weekend nightcap. They come in having won three of their last five, only dropping the previously mentioned Mountain West championship to Fresno State. North Texas, much like their opponent, has also won three of their last five, dropping the Conference USA title to UTSA. Look to see North Texas’ high flying offense lock horns with Boise State’s strong defense. UNT averages 33.9 PPG, while Boise State only gives up 18.5.  

Prediction: Boise State 21, North Texas 13