By Brad Carroll
It might not have the same ring as Monday Night Football, but college football will feature Monday Afternoon Football a few days before Christmas, as the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl takes place. BYU, which had College Football Playoff hopes coming into the season, takes on Memphis, which was co-champions of the American Athletic Conference.
BYU's high hopes this season came to a crashing halt when quarterback Taysom Hill, a Heisman candidate, broke his leg against Utah State in the fifth game of the season. The Cougars ended up losing that game and the next three followed, against Central Florida, Nevada and Boise State. The talk of an undefeated season was gone as soon as Hill went down with an injury.
[New Orleans Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, Idaho Potato Bowl, Camellia Bowl picks against the spread here]
BYU finally got the season back on track later in the year, finishing with four straight wins, including the regular season finale against California. The Cougars average 36.2 points per game on offense and allow 25.3 points on defense and have found an identity without their star quarterback.
Memphis has won seven straight games and has big wins on their resume against Cincinnati, South Florida and Tulane. Memphis lost three games this season, by seven to UCLA, 21 to Ole Miss and four to Houston, so the Tigers have been competitive all season. The Tigers have the 30th best offense in the country and boast the fifth best defense, allowing just 17.1 points per game.
Miami Beach Bowl
Miami, 2 p.m., ESPN
BYU (8-4) vs. Memphis (9-3)
The Spread: BYU +1; Memphis -1
Brad's Score: Memphis 27, BYU 24
Craig's Score: Memphis 30, BYU 24
Glenn's Score: BYU 48, Memphis 27 (upset pick)
Matt's Score: BYU 56, Memphis 35 (upset pick)