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Fearless Rick's 2012-13 College Football Bowl Week 1 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | Decmeber 15-21, 2012

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Saturday, December 15 1:00 pm
Gildan New Mexico Bowl Albuquerque, NM ESPN
Nevada vs. Arizona (-10, 76)
- Our college bowl extravaganza kicks off in New Mexico, a site nearby both of these schools, but largely offering no advantage to either side.

The Wolf Pack of Nevada finished up at 7-5 out of the Mountain West conference, but, after a 6-1 start (their lone defeat a one-point loss to South Florida), Nevada went 1-4 down the stretch, though their last game, a 27-21 loss at home to Boise State was a solid effort against a strong opponent.

The Wildcats come in with the same 7-5 record, but they went 4-5 in the PAC-12 and won four of their last six, including a 39-36 win over USC, just prior to being demolished by UCLA the following week (November 3), 66-10.

Against ranked opponents, Arizona was 2-3, with losses to Oregon, Oregon State and Stanford. In addition to beating USC, the Wildcats knocked off Oklahoma State back in early September.

Conversely, Nevada played no ranked teams until their last regular season game, which resulted in a 27-21 loss at home to Boise State (then #20).

While the teams appear evenly matched statistically, the quality of opposition gives Arizona the upper hand. Also, Nevada's recent spate of losing efforts indicates the team lost focus late in the season.

Tough to see Nevada winning this game, so take the Wildcats and hope they run it up on the Wolf Pack to cover the line.

Prediction: Wildcats 48 Wolf Pack 31


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Saturday, December 15 4:30 pm
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Boise, Idaho ESPN
Toledo vs. Utah State (-10, 58)
- Tough game to watch, as it will be played on Boise State's blue artificial turf, but a strong edge is given to the Aggies, who finished up 10-2 and tied for the WAC title with San Jose State.

Toledo, perennial bridesmaids in the MAC, finished tied for second with Ball State in the West division at 6-2 and a respectable 9-3 overall.

The Aggies two losses came by a total of just five points, losing, 16-14, at Wisconsin in September and 6-3 at BYU on October 5. Since then Utah State has rammed ahead for six straight wins, including a huge, 48-41, win over then 20th-ranked Louisiana Tech and finished up the regular season with a rollicking, 45-9, win over Idaho.

Possessing an aggressive defense, the Aggies allowed more than 20 points only twice - in the Louisiana Tech and San Jose State wins.

Toledo, an offensive juggernaut at times (456.1 yards per game), will be competitive, even though their defense is somewhat on the soft side. All three of the Rockets' losses were by exactly seven points and the only ranked team they played (Cincinnati, #21 on Oct. 20) resulted in a 29-23 victory.

Contrasting styles indicate a closer game than the line suggests and it's unlikely that Utah State will be able to contain the Rockets offense for the entire 60 minutes. If Toledo comes in with motivation, they could upset, but they almost certainly will keep this one close.

Prediction: Rockets 34 Aggies 29

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2012, 2013, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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