It is the most wonderful time of the year. The College Football Bowl season. The College Football Playoff has taken away from the teams who did not make the two semifinals.
It can be slim pickings for a choice of bowl games worth viewing from start to finish.
The Camping World Bowl is worth the hype.
This game I would rank higher than the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl to name a few. It can be that good.
Friday, December 28th, 5:15, ESPN, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
The teams, the Syracuse Orange vs. West Virginia Mountaineers. An ACC vs. Big 12 matchup.
Let’s get into it. Beginning with the Orange.
I can argue the Orange are the second-best team in the ACC. They played like it for most of the season, but they did lose to Pitt and were dismantled by Notre Dame. However, with an aggressive defense that’s great at getting into the backfield, they gave the Clemson Tigers, the best team in the ACC everything it could handle and was stable enough when it had to be.
But the Dino Babers offense is the star, especially when QB Eric Dungey is healthy. But when the veteran quarterback is hurt, you get Notre Dame 36-3.
On the opposite side of the field. The headline big and bold for the Mountaineers. Will Grier, their healthy high-profile quarterback, will skip the bowl game to prepare for the NFL.
Grier became one of the most productive quarterbacks in college football after he transferred from Florida during the 2015 season. Grier was suspended after testing positive for a banned substance and ended up leaving the Gators taking his talents north to Morgantown.
It might have been a disappointing finish with losses to Oklahoma State and Oklahoma to miss out on the Big 12 Championship appearance, but the Mountaineers were one of the most entertaining teams of the season, having up 35 points or more in every game but the funky loss to Iowa State.
This is the showcase moment to end with a bang in a massive game for the Big 12 – it can’t have one of its stars lose, even against a strong Syracuse team.
Grier is out however this be a wild and crazy shootout. With Grier prepping for the NFL, Jack Allison will start for the Mountaineers against the Orange. Allison has thrown just ten passes in 2018. The Syracuse defense can bring the pressure, and West Virginia has some talent on D, but come on. You’re showing up because you want to see Will Grier and Eric Dungey combine for possibly 700 plus passing yards.
Syracuse kept their end of the deal, which may lead them to a win over a West Virginia team who may prove why Grier was a Maxwell Award finalist.