Bowl Picks ATS: Winning picks and fun facts to share around the water cooler

Bowl Picks ATS: Winning picks and fun facts to share around the water cooler

If we’re going to be subjected to half-empty stadiums and teams in coaching flux, we might as well learn a little interesting history while we pick the games.

Todd Lisenbee

By Todd Lisenbee

| Dec 15, 2023, 10:00am CST

Todd Lisenbee

By Todd Lisenbee

Dec 15, 2023, 10:00am CST

After a so-so weekend picking NFL games, I decided to head back to the college gridiron this week. In recent years, bowl season has become less and less important. With that in mind, I decided not to bore you with the matchups, but instead a fun fact about each of the schools. So gather around class, we’re going to learn some history and maybe get lucky and land on the right side of some of these lines.

*games are from Saturday, December 16, through Tuesday, December 19.

Last week: 3-4

This year: 83-70

Myrtle Beach Bowl – Georgia Southern (-3.5) vs. Ohio, 10 a.m. Saturday: Georgia Southern is located in Statesboro, Georgia, a city that is thought to have gotten its name because of the belief in the notion of states’ rights. Ohio University’s founder Manasseh Cutler was good friends with Benjamin Franklin. Pick: Ohio +3.5

New Orleans Bowl – Jacksonville State (-2.5) vs. Louisiana, 1:15 p.m. Saturday: Jacksonville State is located in Jacksonville, Alabama (not Florida), which is also the hometown of Confederate soldier John Pelham. Pelham was praised by Robert E. Lee for being “gallant” at the Battle of Fredericksburg. There’s still a statue of Pelham in town and JSU’s official address is 700 Pelham Rd N. Louisiana (formerly known as UL-Lafayette) is where Charles “Peanut” Tillman played his college football. After the great Chicago Bear retired, he joined the FBI in 2018. Pick: Jacksonville State -2.5

Cure Bowl – Miami (OH) vs. Appalachian State (-6.5), 2:30 p.m. Saturday: Miami is located in Oxford, Ohio. It’s the only FBS school completely located in a town called Oxford. Technically, a good chunk of the campus of Ole Miss has its own postal code, known as University, Mississippi. Appalachian State is located in Boone, North Carolina, and is named after the famous explorer Daniel Boone. Daniel’s nephews Jesse and Jonathan were residents of Boone and attended Three Forks Baptist Church, which is still in existence today. Pick: Appalachian State -6.5

New Mexico Bowl – New Mexico State (-3.5) vs. Fresno State, 4:45 p.m. Saturday: The NMSU campus is the home of the Chile Pepper Institute. Founded in 1992, it was responsible for discovering the ghost pepper, which once stood as the world’s hottest pepper. Famous director Sam Peckinpah got his bachelor’s degree from Fresno State. He went on to direct many movies, including “The Wild Bunch” in 1969. He was also once fired from “The Liberace Show” for not adhering to the dress code. Pick: Fresno State +3.5

LA Bowl – UCLA (-4) vs. Boise State, 6:30 p.m. Saturday: UCLA receives the most applications of any university in the world. Each year, it sets a new world record. Also, I got a parking ticket on the campus once and snuck into Pauley Pavilion. Boise, Idaho, was the longtime home and place of death of Robert Adler. Adler escaped the Nazis in 1938 and fled from his home country of Austria. He went on to become vice president of Zenith Electronics and is credited as being a co-inventor of the remote control. Pick: Boise State +4

Independence Bowl – California vs. Texas Tech (-3), 8:15 p.m. Saturday: The Campanile stands on the campus of Cal-Berkeley, and at 307 feet tall is the third-tallest clock tower in the world. The cornerstone at the campus of Texas Tech University was laid on November 1, 1924, in front of a rumored crowd of 20,000 people. One of the speakers at the ceremony that day was a man by the name of Amon Carter, the namesake of the stadium in Fort Worth that TCU calls home. Pick: Texas Tech -3

Famous Toastery Bowl – Western Kentucky vs. Old Dominion (-2.5), 1:30 p.m. Monday: Western Kentucky is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which was the Confederate capital of Kentucky from 1861 until the end of the Civil War. Old Dominion University, located in Norfolk, Virginia, is the alma mater of longtime NBA referee Tony Brothers. Matt Pinto is not a fan of Tony’s work. Pick: Western Kentucky +2.5

Frisco Bowl – UTSA (-13) vs. Marshall, 8 p.m. Tuesday: UTSA is a relatively young university, founded in 1969. Roadrunner was the winner of a student vote in 1977 to be the teams’ mascot. It won in a run-off election with the armadillo. Other nominees included conquistador, vaquero, toro and puma. Marshall is named after John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 until his death in 1835. After his death, it’s said that the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia was rung (although this is disputed) and that was the beginning of the fatal crack to the bell. The last ring of the bell was in 1846 to honor George Washington’s birthday. Pick: UTSA -13

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Todd Lisenbee is the host of The Todd Pod with Todd Lisenbee on the Sellout Crowd network. He has been a producer/talk show host at WWLS, The Sports Animal and 107.7 The Franchise during a Oklahoma broadcasting career that spans to 2002. Todd has broadcast high school basketball, football and soccer play-by-play since 2003 and is currently the voice of the UCO Bronchos, a role he has been in since 2018. He can be reached at @ToddOnSports on Twitter/X or Instagram or via email at [email protected].

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