Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl A De Facto Road Game? And The Big Finish

Brian: Nevada athletic director Cary Groth expects the school to send over 20,000 fans to next month's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. As of Monday, bowl executive director Gary Cavalli said that over 34,000 tickets have been sold for the game, and that the game might actually sell out. AT&T Park's capacity is 40,184 for football (last year's BC-USC game against USC officially drew 40,121). Now there's no way that BC is bringing nearly as many fans as Nevada-Reno, especially with a campus that is just a four hour drive from San Francisco.

Now playing a virtual road bowl game is nothing new for BC. Over the past few seasons, BC has played USC in California, Vanderbilt in Nashville, Navy and UNC in Charlotte, Boise State on the blue turf and Toledo in Detroit. I would say the Eagles are used to playing on a bowl team's home turf. Will the predominantly pro-Wolf Pack crowd be a factor this year in BC's bowl game? Your thoughts?

Jeff: Well, we're 4-2 in the games you mentioned so some might say no, it is not a factor. But if you consider that we're undefeated in other bowl games the last 12 years, I would say it absolutely is a factor. BC has been a better home team than road team in recent memory as most football teams are. There really aren't any bowl games that BC would ever be the "home team" in but naturally a true neutral site game is better for the Eagles than a road game. Our young QB, Chase Rettig, has not yet won a game against a good team on the road. The Nevada fans will certainly make some noise and we'll see if he handles that well early on or not.

Brian: While the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl looks like it will be close to a sellout, not all bowls games are exactly thriving at the box office.

Maryland is having a hard time drumming up interest for their hometown Military Bowl against East Carolina, with the AP reporting that ECU may actually outdraw the Terps in their own backyard. Facing soft bowl ticket sales, Georgia Tech is offering deeply discounted tickets ($14 for their 14th consecutive bowl game) to travel to Shreveport, Louisiana to watch the Jackets play Air Force.

Even the Hokies are (once again) struggling to sell their ticket allotment to the Orange Bowl, having sold just 6,500 of their 17,500 allotment, with many fans going to the secondary ticket sites like Stubhub.

Of course, having to travel nearly 3,000 miles coast-to-coast for a Sunday night game with work the next morning isn't exactly a recipe for strong bowl ticket sales. But I'm curious. Which non-BCS ACC bowl do you think BC would have done the best on in terms of bowl game ticket sales?

Jeff: I think BC would've done well in most of the East Coast bowls this season. Well, "done well" for BC anyways. BC is riding a five game win streak to finish the season and East coast BC fans missed out on last year's bowl game also in San Francisco. In the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, BC fans would've traveled for a good matchup against an SEC team and the rare opportunity to go to Atlanta. Last time we went to Orlando, we traveled well. Charlotte would've been drivable for a large number of students and alum and the Military Bowl would've done really well being in DC and giving the largest number of students and alumni an easy drive to the game.

We would not have traveled well to the other ACC bowls except for the Sun Bowl for another matchup against Notre Dame (which, of course, would've been very unlikely to happen).

 

Big Finish

Brian: College football guru Phil Steele is assigning just 5 bowl confidence points to Nevada for their Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl matchup against BC. Good news for the Eagles?

Jeff: I think most people give BC a chance in this game but have a tough time pulling the trigger to pick them.

 

Jeff: Whatifsports.com predicts all 35 bowl games, predicting a 37-25 win for the Wolf Pack. Your thoughts?

Brian: Too many points for Nevada. The Eagles D has given up 37 just once this season, and the Wolf Pack play to BC's strength on D. That, and too many points for BC.

 

Brian: BC recruit Christian Suntrup told EA he's not looking around and is committed to BC. That's great news for BC, right?

Jeff: Certainly. I always wonder what's going on behind the scenes when early verbals decommit.

 

Jeff: What bowl matchup are you looking forward to this week and why?

Brian: Pretty weak slate of games. Most looking forward to Boise State's beatdown of Utah, since Utah is headed to a BCS conference and Boise State is headed to Utah's former conference.

 

Brian: Former BC soccer forward Charlie Davies says he's '90 percent' and is looking to return to the field this weekend for Sochaux. Your thoughts?

Jeff: That is very good to hear. It's been a while for him.

 

Jeff: You keep asking me so now I'm asking you. How many games to the Eagles win in ACC play now that they've started 1-0?

Brian: Nine. Are you surprised by this?

 

Brian: Last one. BC basketball on Sunday against Bryant, a transitional D-I team that has gone 2-37 over the last 2 seasons. What are the chances the upstart Bulldogs can pull off the upset?

Jeff: Something only very slightly above zero percent.

 

Bowl Pick'Em Week 1

Picking the first week of the college bowl season ... and a reminder. Last chance to join this year's BC Interruption bowl pick'em.

Brian:

New Mexico Bowl: UTEP +12 vs. BYU
Humanitarian Bowl: Fresno State +1.5 vs. Northern Illinois
New Orleans Bowl: Troy -1.5 vs. Ohio
Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl: Louisville -3 vs. Southern Miss
Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. Boise State -16 
Poinsettia Bowl: Navy vs. San Diego State -5.5

Jeff:

New Mexico Bowl: UTEP vs. BYU -12
Humanitarian Bowl: Fresno State vs. Northern Illinois -1.5
New Orleans Bowl: Troy vs. Ohio +1.5
Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl: Louisville -3 vs. Southern Miss 
Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. Boise State -16 
Poinsettia Bowl: Navy +5.5 vs. San Diego State

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