All 41 matchups are set.
Let the bowl games begin.
The first bowl game of the 2016 season kicks off Saturday, December 17th with the New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico Lobos vs UTSA Roadrunners. The State of Florida from Jacksonville to Miami will be hosting 10 college football bowl games this season.
One that stands out in the city of Miami is the Miami Beach Bowl: Tulsa Golden Hurricane versus the Central Michigan Chippewas at the baseball venue Marlins Park played on Monday, December 19th at 2:30 pm. This is only the third installment with Memphis winning 55-48 over BYU in the inaugural game in 2014.
This year’s teams, Central Michigan out of the Mid-American Conference and Tulsa Golden Hurricane out of the American Athletic Conference, both reached here with one game that raised eyebrows.
Tulsa’s standout performance came October 29th at Memphis, when the Golden Hurricane upset the eventual 8-4 Tigers in impressive fashion, 59-30. Running back James Flanders led the way rushing for 249 yards and five touchdowns.
Flanders led the league with 1,529 yards by a wide margin. He was also second in rushing touchdowns with 17 and all-purpose yards (1,546). The redshirt senior will only look to add icing to a remarkable career.
On the opposite side of the baseball venue, Central Michigan was part of a play that maybe should have never happened moreover counted. A miracle Hail Mary lateral that is YouTube worthy with no time remaining gave the Chippewas a major upset over Oklahoma State in September.
Again, should it have happened? Referees from the MAC and Big 12 conferences acknowledged after the game that Central Michigan was wrongly awarded an untimed down which resulted in the miraculous Hail-and-lateral finish. That one game could be the difference in the Chippewas playing in this bowl or finishing 5-7 overall.
NFL scouts will have an eye on this game with binoculars set on Chippewas quarterback Cooper Rush. Underrated because of playing in the MAC this season, the 6-foot-3 QB has thrown for 3,299 yards and 23 touchdowns. Leading a team with a 6-6 record and nothing to lose with be fun to watch. Rush, an actuarial science major, will not be hesitant to show off his big arm against a Tulsa team playing for a 10-win season.