All season The Redshirt Diaries platoon has done their daggum best to bring you the inside and out of NCAA college football ... now bowl season is upon us and these same gents aim to put their money where their mouths are -- some big mouths indeed. We present to you the first installment of the 2008-09 Redshirt Diaries Bowl Game picks! We'll start with this weekend's action and update it each time there is a bowl game (which is saying a lot, as it seems they play a mole of them) and keep a running tally along the way of how the guys are doing. Starting off with a bunch of games that you'll only have interest in if:
1. You're an alumnus of one of these schools.
2. There is absolutely nothing else on TV.
3. You have a gambling problem as severe as Phillip Seymour Hoffman's character in Owning Mahoney.
Saturday, Dec. 20
EagleBank Bowl: Navy (8-4) vs. Wake Forest (7-5)
FITTIPALDO: Two strikes against this bowl game. No. 1, I've never heard of it. No. 2, it's a rematch of a game that took place in September. Navy won that one at Wake, so I'll take the Midshipmen to win again. Go with Navy.
ZEISE: Wake Forest committed like 198 turnovers in the first game between these two teams earlier this year -- and still lost by only seven points. By the same token Navy is a much better team now then they were back then as it seems like they have the quarterback position settled.
MUSSELMAN: Navy. This ship soars like an Eagle.
FINDER: Demon Deacons lost to Navy at home in September. Navy quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (yeah, Ii looked it up), who was ailing that game and soon after nearly retired from injuries, is back after shredding Army. Navy wins in Washington, D.C. How could it not?
New Mexico Bowl: Colorado State (6-6) vs. Fresno State (7-5)
- FITTIPALDO: Are Joey Porter and Clark Haggans eligible to play in this game? No? OK, I'll take Fresno State.
- ZEISE: Fresno State coach Pat Hill will play anybody anywhere. I guess that includes going to New Mexico to play a very mediocre team in a game that nobody outside of fans of either team -- and most of them don't care either. But hey, Fresno beat Rutgers, who we're told is the best 7-5 team in the history of college football by the few delusional looney tunes who actually admit to being Scarlet Knights fans, so that must mean something: Pick: Fresno State.
- MUSSELMAN: Fresno State. Bulldogs prove to be Ram tough.
- FINDER: Ol' FSU started September 3-1 with victories over Rutgers and UCLA but a 3-point loss to Wisconsin. Those Bulldogs with the green V on the back of their helmets earn a Victory against their old Western Athletic Conference rival CSU, which headed for the Mountain West a decade ago. Pick: Fresno State.
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Bowl: South Florida (7-5) vs. Memphis (6-6)
- FITTIPALDO: Wow. Another bowl game where the teams are a combined one game over .500. Memphis will jump out to a big lead and then South Florida will win it late with a miraculous comeback. John Calipari makes a special appearance on the Memphis sidelines.
- ZEISE: No team in the country has underachieved more than South Florida. Of course, no team is dumber than the Bulls either and no team has a quarterback more prone to making boneheaded plays than Matt "the killer turnover" Grothe. Still, you'd have to think that since South Florida is playing this close to home against a bad Conference USA team, they'll be able to overcome Grothe's weekly abundance of costly interceptions and/or fumbles as well as the Bulls costly penalties and mistakes.
- MUSSELMAN: No brainer. Tropicana Field down the road from USF campus. South Florida wins.
- FINDER: Lucky USF gets to travel 20 whole miles for their bowl. They need luck, having lost five of their past seven. Memphis went 3-4 in games decided by a touchdown or less -- so this will be ugly and close, but Big East's Bulls prevail. Pick: South Florida.
Las Vegas Bowl: BYU (10-2) vs. Arizona (7-5), 8 p.m.
- FITTIPALDO: Insert Mormons in Vegas joke here. I'll take the over and Arizona.
- ZEISE: I'm sure that the chamber of commerce in "Sin City" is overjoyed to have 20,000 Mormons coming to town. That should be a big boost to the local economy as they will no doubt frequent the casinos, bordellos and other carnal outlets which are so much in abundance here. Or not … As for the game, the good thing about being Mike Stoops is he doesn't have to hear about being a choker in big games like his brother Bob does at Oklahoma. Of course, that's mostly because his teams never play in relevant games for him to lose. Pick: BYU
- MUSSELMAN: The Cougars are a good bet to win. Pick: BYU.
- FINDER: Imagine that juxtaposition: the Mormon school in Vegas, baby. It'll be a shootout, and BYU has more scoring power.
Sunday, Dec. 21
New Orleans Bowl: Troy (8-4) vs. Southern Mississippi (6-6), 8 p.m.
- FITTIPALDO: Brett Favre is the most famous alumnus from Southern Miss. Troy's most famous alumnus is former Pirates and Mets catcher Mackey Sasser...Still waiting for my pick? Sorry, double clutching, double clutching, double clutching ...Troy wins. Whew!
- ZEISE: Troy was the best of the Sun Belt teams. Which is sort of like saying you are the best of the really bad sitcoms that pass themselves off as solid prime time network television these days. Where have you gone, oh Cheers, oh Cosby, oh MASH ... OK, why I am talking about television -- who the heck wants to talk about this stink bomb of a game? Pick: Southern Mississippi.
- MUSSELMAN: These aren’t the real Men of Troy, USC is. But Troy wins anyway.
- FINDER: Southern Miss has won four in a row after losing back-to-back games by less than a touchdown each. Troy? A not bad movie by my former fellow Missouri student (who never did graduate the School of Journalism) Brad Pitt. Take Troy.