By Brad Carroll
College football continues to take over the middle of the week, as four bowl games take place Wednesday and Thursday. The Poinsettia Bowl and GoDaddy Bowl will be played Wednesday, followed by the Bahamas Bowl and Hawai'i Bowl on Christmas Eve.
As we do for every bowl game of the season, we preview, analyze and our college football experts pick each game against the point spread. Check out our Saturday bowl picks here and our Monday and Tuesday bowl picks here. To make it easy on all of us, follow us on Twitter right here for all of our updates and analysis.
Boise State (8-4) vs. Northern Illinois (8-5), San Diego, 4:30 p.m., ESPN
The Spread: Boise State -8.5; Northern Illinois +8.5
Analysis: Boise State and Northern Illinois have been consistent winners, two of the winningest programs in the country over the past several years, but will have to play each other in a down season for both. A down season of eight wins, which each team has, shows how good they have been in recent times. Boise State averages 37.8 points and 488.8 yards per game on offense. Northern Illinois averages 33 points and 426.6 yards per game with the ball. Boise State has a slightly better defense. Boise State has lost two of its last three games, while Northern Illinois has lost two straight. The Broncos have the edge, but the Huskies shouldn't go away quietly.
Brad's Score: Boise State 27, Northern Illinois 23
Craig's Score: Boise State 45, Northern Illinois 31
Glenn's Score: Northern Illinois 42, Boise State 20 (upset pick)
Matt's Score: Boise State 42, Northern Illinois 21
Georgia Southern (8-4) vs. Bowling Green (10-3), Alabama, 8 p.m., ESPN
The Spread: Georgia Southern +7.5; Bowling Green -7.5
Analysis: On paper, this game is a mismatch. Bowling Green averages 43.4 points and 561 yards per game on offense, two huge numbers. On defense, the Falcons allow 26.7 points. It's no wonder Bowling Green already has 10 wins this year. Bowling Green has also won four of its last five games, including a 20-point win over Northern Illinois in the regular season finale. Georgia Southern averages 34.7 points per game on offense and allows 23.3 points per game on defense. Georgia Southern has lost two of its last three, once to Georgia in overtime (yes, the Bulldogs) and a 34-7 wipe-out at the hands of Georgia State. Bowling Green should roll to a big victory.
Brad's Score: Bowling Green 56, Georgia Southern 28
Craig's Score: Bowling Green 35, Georgia Southern 17
Glenn's Score: Bowling Green 28, Georgia Southern 13
Matt's Score: Georgia Southern 21, Bowling Green 13 (upset pick)
Middle Tennessee (7-5) vs. Western Michigan (7-5), Bahamas, 12 p.m., ESPN
The Spread: Middle Tennessee +3; Western Michigan -3
Analysis: Two 7-5 teams that are similar in nearly every way play in the Bahamas Thursday afternoon. The only difference between the two is the roll each come into this matchup on. For Middle Tennessee, it's a positive one, as the Blue Raiders have won four straight, including a triple-overtime win over Marshall that started the stretch. The last two games, Middle Tennessee combined to win 83-14. For Western Michigan, it's the exact opposite, with the Broncos losing two of three. The losses came to Northern Illinois and Bowling Green, while the win was an impressive one, 35-20 at then-No. 24 Toledo. This is Middle Tennessee's chance to prove it belongs on the big stage.
Brad's Score: Middle Tennessee 31, Western Michigan 30 (upset pick)
Craig's Score: Western Michigan 28, Middle Tennessee 24
Glenn's Score: Western Michigan 38, Middle Tennessee 20
Matt's Score: Western Michigan 35, Middle Tennessee 27
San Diego State (10-3) vs. Cincinnati (7-5), Honolulu, 8 p.m., ESPN
The Spread: San Diego State +1; Cincinnati -1
Analysis: San Diego State has had one heck of a season so far, with 10 victories already, and averages 31.4 points per game on offense and allows just 17.2 on defense. The Aztecs have won nine straight games, a far cry from the beginning of the season that had the ledger at 1-3. San Diego State lost three straight, to California, Southern Alabama and Penn State. The Aztecs have been a different team since that losing streak. Cincinnati is a big-name school, and averages 36.1 points per game on offense. The Bearcats allow a whopping 30.3 points per game on defense, however. Cincinnati finished the regular season winning two of four, with the losses coming to South Florida and nationally-ranked Houston. Motivation is used a great deal during bowl season, and in that category, San Diego State should have the edge.
Brad's Score: San Diego State 35, Cincinnati 31 (upset pick)
Craig's Score: San Diego State 34, Cincinnati 24 (upset pick)
Glenn's Score: Cincinnati 28, San Diego State 20
Matt's Score: Cincinnati 42, San Diego State 39