ACC, College Bowls, Group of Five, Mountain West, Power Five

2018 First Responder Bowl Boston College v Boise State

2018 First Responder Bowl Boston College v  Boise State

Five Minutes Spare College Football

2018 First Responder Bowl ACC v MW

The 2018 First Responder Bowl this year is a classic clash of a very good Group of Five Team in the Mountain West’s Boise State Broncos up against a middling Power Five team, Boston College who after a bright start ended the season with 3 losses to finish a disappointing 7-5. The normal tie-ins would have had this as a Big-10 v C-USA match up but neither conference had a bowl-eligible member spare so we are treated to what should be an intriguing game and yet another chance for the Group of Five to show they deserve better treatment by the CFP.  Boise State finished 10-3 and are currently No 25 in the CFP rankings – one of only three teams from the Group of Five conferences to be ranked this year.

Results wise Boise lost narrowly in the Mountain West Conference Final to Fresno State in overtime, a team they beat earlier in the season and this form was nicely franked when Fresno went on to beat PAC-12 Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl. That was a nice win over a Power Five team and one who had a chance to make the Conference final right up until their narrow 2 point loss at Oregon. On that form line alone one would have Boise as favourites. The Broncos other losses were against Big 12 team Oklahoma State and a 19-13 surprise loss to San Diego State in a game where QB Brett Rypien had a rare off-day throwing two first-half interceptions (he only had 7 all year) before being replaced. Ok, San Diego State hardly franked the form with their capitulation in the Frisco Bowl, however, that is probably best put down to “one of those games”.

When it comes to wins, one has to be impressed with their beat down on Troy – who took the Dollar General Bowl, all be it not as easy as the score would suggest, and they followed this with seven consecutive regular-season wins including victories against BYU, Fresno and Utah State – who have all went on to pick up nice Bowl wins this season. They are narrow 1.5 point favourites at the time of typing.

Boston College has had a middling season but despite this, they are making their fifth consecutive bowl appearance. They only have one win in those but have been competitive them. This season they started well but the ACC Atlantic was a strong division this season and 4th place was no disgrace. They have had four nice wins against Miami, Virginia Tech, Wake & Temple, but finished with three consecutive losses although to be fair none of which were shocks and both Clemson & Syracuse have been ranked in the CFP (Clemson are on their way to The playoffs again). They are going to compete here, however, going into a bowl on a losing streak is never good for morale.

Overall this once again comes down to whether Boise’s wins against Group of Five Teams are better than Bostons losses to Power Five ones, and overall we are just going to side with Boise – who are no strangers to upsetting Power Five teams.

Our prediction is for Boise to edge this one 28-27

For those who like to keep track of these things, we are 8-6 so far in our predictions.

Image Credit squarelogo/Shutterstock

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