College Bowl Picture Getting Clearer; Falcons Sitting In Driver’s Seat
Well now that the college football season is nearing an end, the Air Force Falcons finally seem to be getting the media attention they deserve.
When the season started all eyes were focused on Coach Prime’s (Deion Sanders) CU Buffaloes and Air Force received very little press time.
But through the combination of the Buffs losing and the Falcons staying on top, the focus has now shifted. It seemed like it took Air Force to make it to the AP Top 25 and CU to lose to teams like Stanford before the Falcons started to get the credit they deserve.
But regardless, technically all three major college football teams still have a chance at seeing a bowl game (based on the latest game stats, prior to TMJ’s press time). In fact, prospects are still alive for Air Force to qualify for a bigger and more prestigious bowl game than they ever have in the post.
Air Force Records Best Season in Recent History
Many (including myself) thought in the beginning of the season that the Falcons’ success was attributed to them having an easy schedule for 2023. I actually thought that Wyoming and Colorado State had a chance to give them their first loss. But I was definitely wrong, especially when it came to their duel with CSU.
The Rams did play the Falcons well in the first half and the score was tied at 13 at halftime. But then, the Falcons entered the second half with a new-found energy and ended up with a 30-13 victory.
After their victory against my beloved Rams, the Falcons started the 2023 season with an 8-0 record and had earned the AP Rank of Number 17. The victory marked the first time the team has gone 8-0 since 1985 when they started the season 10-0.
Looking at the Falcons’ schedule, I think that their best chance of losing again will come during their last two games of the season. Next week, the Falcons play their final home game against UNLV who is tied in second place in the Mountain West Division and have a 6-2 overall record.
The Falcons then end their season with a road game against Boise State. Even though Boise State hasn’t been too spectacular this season they still are tied in second place in the Mountain West Division with a 3-1 conference record.
However, this week might be the easiest win of the Falcons’ season. Late Saturday night starting at 9 p.m., the Falcons hit the road to challenge Hawaii who is last in their division with a 2-7 overall record and a 0-4 conference record.
Prediction: Falcons 43, Rainbow Warriors 16
CU Needs Two Wins to See a Bowl Game
When the season first started, the CU team received much hype after coming out of the woodworks to beat TCU. But then things started to change as tough teams on the Buffs’ schedule started to overcome Coach Prime and his boys.
However, we all need to remember that CU went 1-11 last year, so the team has quadrupled their wins from last year with the addition of “Prime Time.” And even though the Buffs were sitting at .500 at press time, they still had a chance to be bowl eligible if they win two more games this season.
But two more wins could be tough for the team to come up with. Out of their final four matches, two of them are ranked in the Top 25.
The best chances for the Buffs to win will most likely be this week or next week before they end their season playing Number 18 ranked Utah on the road. Arizona and Washington State are probably the Buffs’ best bet on picking up two more “W”s.
This week, the team plays their last home game against the 5-3 Arizona Wildcats. Arizona is ranked higher than Colorado in the PAC 12 due to having a better conference record, but I think CU will come out on top in this one.
Prediction: Buffaloes 38, Wildcats 34
Colorado State’s Bowl Chances Prove to Be Slim to None
Mid-season, I started to have high hopes that the Rams would be a sleeper team this year. They have played well and surprised many fans with the handful of wins they have picked up.
In other games, the Rams were close but lost by slim margins. CSU does have some easy teams left on their schedule that they could beat, but going to a bowl game is probably not going to happen.
The Rams’ last three games are against teams they could beat. This week they play San Diego State at home, next week they stay home to battle Nevada and then they finish their season on the road against Hawaii.
This week’s battle against San Diego State really could go either way. At press time, the Aztecs were sitting slightly above the Rams in the Mountain West but both teams had the exact same conference (1-3) and overall (3-5) records.
I may be picking with my heart on this one but I believe my Rams will be victorious this weekend.
Prediction: Rams 37, Aztecs 28