Last week we saw some big games, and some big game that didn't go exactly as planned. In the top two games of the week our Miners got blown out in Provo by 21, and the Memphis Tigers got handled by no. 9 Georgetown by 17. Those weren't very good showings by a couple of the better teams in C-USA. Hopefully, this week things get a little better. Here are the games of the week.
5.) CFB: Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Army (6-6) vs. SMU (7-6) December 30th 12:00 p.m. et
SMU was fairly inconsistent all season, as they never won more than two games in a row. They did play tough in games against Texas Tech, and TCU, but couldn't really come up with a signature win. They did lose at Navy by 7 which could be somewhat of a precursor for this one. Army finished 6-6, and didn't have a win to hang their hat on, but all of their losses were to bowl teams, with the exception of Temple. Temple finished 8-4 on the season, but was snubbed during bowl selection.
OUTLOOK: It might be different on a neutral field, but in Dallas the Mustangs win, 27-17
4.) MBB: UTEP (9-3) vs. Air Force (7-3) December 29th 9:30 p.m. et
This one is the championship game of the Sun Bowl Invitational Tournament. UTEP is coming off its worst defeat of the season, an 89-68 drubbing in Provo, UT. The Miners started out hot, but just couldn't keep pace, and the Cougars ran away with it. Hopefully, they're ready to get things together again on the home court. Air Force enters the tournament at 7-3, but is coming off a 74-63 loss at Northern Arizona. The Falcons play Sam Houston State in the opening round, while UTEP plays Western New Mexico.
OUTLOOK: The Miners should really hand it to their opponents in this tourney, UTEP wins, 81-66.
3.) MBB: East Carolina (7-5) @ Clemson (9-4) December 29th 7:00 p.m. et
The Pirates enter at 7-5, and have lost 3 games in a row. They are in the middle of a tough 5 game road trip, and they still have to go to Memphis before its over. ECU has lost its last two games by a total of 3 points. They lost at Coastal Carolina by 1, and at George Washington by 2. Clemson is 9-4, but has lost all of its big games on its non-conference schedule including Old Dominion, Michigan, South Carolina, and Florida St.
OUTLOOK: The Pirates have a chance, but Clemson should take it at home, 69-64.
2.) CFB: East Carolina (6-6) vs. Maryland (8-4) December 29th 2:30 p.m. et
ECU is one of the highest scoring teams in the nation at 38.2 ppg (12th), but they are also one of the worst teams in points against at 43.4 ppg (118th). The Pirates had games where they put up 54, 51, 49, and 44, but they also had games in which they gave up 76, 62, 49 3 times, 43, and 42 twice. Maryland was sitting at 6-2 with four games remaining, and a chance to win the ACC, but dropped 2 of its last 4 to finish at 8-4. The Terps had one of the best turnaround stories in the country, but they also fired their coach after the 8-4 campaign.
OUTLOOK: Maryland outlast ECU in a shootout, 45-38.
1.) CFB: Autozone Liberty Bowl Georgia (6-6) vs. Central Florida (10-3) December 31st 3:30 p.m. et
UCF played solid football all season long, and it culminated in a Conference USA championship. They did lose games at home vs NC State, and on the road at Kansas State, but did play a well in conference finishing with a 7-1 mark. The Knights reached the 10 win mark, and cracked the top 25 in the final week of the season. Georgia was without star wideout AJ Green for about the first half of the season, and started out 2-4. They reversed that in the second half of the season finishing 4-2, which included an OT loss to Florida, and another loss at Auburn.
OUTLOOK: Too much AJ Green, Georgia takes it 34-21.
CBB: Furman (8-2) @ No. 19 Central Florida (11-0) December 29th 7:00 p.m. et
We should see the Knights improve to 12-0 after this one, but this is not a team to look past. Furman is coming off a big win over South Carolina 91-75.
OUTLOOK: UCF keeps on rolling, 77-65.
CBB: Lipscomb (7-3) @ No. 21 Memphis (9-2) December 30th 8:00 p.m. et
Another team not to look past. Two of their three losses were on the road vs. ranked opponents and they lost by less than 15.
OUTLOOK: Memphis gets another scare at home, but wins 72-66.