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Viewers Guide, Picks: Bowls Part 1

The first of 35 college football bowl games will kick off on Saturday.

Boise State QB Kellen Moore goes for Win No. 50

Over the next three weeks, we will share our picks on every one of these bowls. Today, we will look at the first six games through Thursday.

During Week 14 (Championship Game Weekend), I was 9-3 straight-up with losses by Houston (to Southern Miss), Texas (to Baylor) and Virginia Tech (to Clemson). I said Wisconsin would win 34-31 and it was 42-39.

I was 5-7 against-the-spread – just the second week under .500 for the year.

Last Saturday, I picked Navy, a 7-point favorite, to defeat Army 32-19. The Midshipmen won 27-21.

So, for the year I am now 255-72 straight-up and 170-141-4 against-the-spread.

OK, here we go with the first group of bowl game picks through Thursday. We will be back next Friday with the next batch.

* New Mexico Bowl (At Albuquerque): Wyoming (8-4) vs. Temple (8-4, -7), Saturday, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)-- Both teams will be making their second bowl appearance in three years. Wyoming, led by freshman QB Bert Smith, reached eight wins for the first time since 1998. Temple is led by RB Bernard Pierce, the nation’s No. 6 rusher this year. Pierce, a junior, has already declared for the NFL draft. Can he go out on a high note? Temple 34-24

* Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (At Boise): Utah State (7-5, -1) vs. Ohio U. (9-4), Saturday, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN) -- Utah State makes its first bowl appearance since 1997 and will have the decided homefield advantage. OU looks for redemption after blowing a 20-7 lead in a 23-20 loss to Northern Illinois in the MAC title game. The Bobcats have not won 10 games since 1968 and are 0-8 all-time in bowl games. But QB Tyler Tettleton and the Bobcats are gonna (finally) get it done. Ohio U. 31-27

* New Orleans Bowl: Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) vs. San Diego State (8-4, -4 1/2), Saturday, 9 p.m. (ESPN) -- ULL makes its first bowl appearance in 40 years and gets to stay in-state. SDSU makes a second straight bowl appearance for the first time in 44 years. ULL won eight games for the first time since 1993. Sun Belt teams have won four of the last five New Orleans Bowls, including the last two. SDSU RB Ronnie Hillman was third nationally in rushing yards per game. San Diego State 38-31

* Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl (At St. Petersburg, Fla.): Marshall (6-6) vs. Florida International (8-4, -4), Tuesday, 8 p.m. (ESPN) -- Marshall won three of its last four games to become bowl-eligible. FIU won its last three games to merit consideration here. Florida International 36-24

* Poinsettia Bowl (At San Diego): TCU (10-2, -10) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-4), Wednesday, 8 p.m. (ESPN) -- Some thought TCU would get a BCS at-large bid after it won the Mountain West title. But TCU came up two spots short of the No. 16 ranking they needed to qualify. Louisiana Tech won the WAC title. Each team comes in off seven-game winning streaks. TCU won the Poinsettia over Northern Illinois in 2006 and Boise State in 2008. After playing in so many big-time games and bowls, will the Horned Frogs get up for this one? Yeah, they should. TCU 40-27

* MAACO Bowl (At Las Vegas): Boise State (11-1, -13 1/2) vs. Arizona State (6-6), Thursday, 8 p.m. (ESPN)-- You also wonder about Boise State’s motivation. The Broncos finished seventh in the BCS standings, but were snubbed for an at-large berth so that Michigan could play Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. QB Kellen Moore, 49-3 as a starter, will go for his 50th win. ASU stumbled to the finish with four straight losses, causing the firing of veteran coach Dennis Erickson. He will coach his last game here. Boise big. Boise State 50-25

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