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Teams: BYU vs. Wyoming
Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Poinsettia Bowl Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Poinsettia Bowl on TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
Poinsettia Bowl Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu: BYU -8
College Football Betting Online: San Diego is one of the most desired destinations for teams on the West Coast in the bowl season. Qualcomm Stadium is a beautiful setting, and college football and the bowl committees realized that in 2005 when they expanded from one bowl game played there to two. The newer of the two, the Poinsettia Bowl, is the first to be played this year on Wednesday, December 21, and it'll pit former conference foes, the BYU Cougars up against the runners-up from the Mountain West, the Wyoming Cowboys.
The Poinsettia Bowl isn't a stranger to hosting these independent teams. Navy has played in this game four times, and this is going to be the second time BYU has played here since leaving the Mountain West and taking its independence.
That Poinsettia Bowl in 2012 also happens to be the last time the Cougars won a bowl game. Since that point, they've been beaten by Utah, Memphis and Washington respectively. After starting 1-3, BYU finished up this year by winning seven of its last eight games, the one loss of which was a heartbreaker at the gun at Boise State.
Wyoming won the Mountain Division of the Mountain West and really had a fantastic regular season, including upsets of both of the top dogs in this conference, Boise State and San Diego State. In the conference title game though, the Cowboys weren't quite good enough, losing in the rematch against the Aztecs. Going to San Diego to play against the strongest of the independent teams this year though, isn't exactly a poor consolation prize.
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Preview
It’s not often a bowl game has a team before the regular season begins, but that’s the case with the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. The Brigham Young Cougars have already accepted an offer to participate in the game provided they win enough games to become bowl-eligible and are not selected for the College Football Playoff. They figure to win six games but not enough to make the playoffs, so BYU should have a good chance at competing in the Poinsettia Bowl this season. Their opponent is to be determined, but is expected to be one of the better teams from the Mountain West Conference.
The Poinsettia Bowl was first held back in 1952 and continued for three more years. However, it was then discontinued for a long time before finally getting picked up again in 2005. The game is held at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The payout is $612,500 for each team that participates.
In 2015, the Boise State Broncos routed the Northern Illinois Huskies by a score of 55-7. BYU went up 21-0 after the first quarter and never looked back. The Cougars racked up 654 yards of total offense while Northern Illinois had only 33, a one-sided affair if there ever was one. Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien was named the Offensive MVP, while Broncos defensive end Kamalei Correa earned Defensive MVP honors.
It was Boise State’s first victory in its second appearance at the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. The Texas Christian Horned Frogs have the record for most bowl wins here, capturing three of them in three tries. TCU’s first victory came back in 2006 when it blew out Northern Illinois by a score of 37-7. Next the Horned Frogs defeated Boise State in a 17-16 squeaker, getting a 17-yard touchdown run from Joseph Turner midway through the fourth quarter to take the lead and then holding on for the win. TCU’s most recent victory came in 2011 when it defeated Louisiana Tech by a score of 31-24.
Navy has the most career appearances in the Poinsettia Bowl, making it four times and splitting those decisions. The Midshipmen defeated Colorado State 51-30 in 2005 when the bowl game was brought back, before losing to Utah by three points in 2007 and to San Diego State, 35-14, in 2010. Navy won in its most recent appearance, defeating San Diego State 17-16 in 2014 on a game-winning 24-yard field goal from Austin Grebe with only 1:27 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The offensive MVP of Navy’s 2005 victory was running back Reggie Campbell. TCU quarterback Jeff Ballard won it in 2006, followed by Utah quarterback Brian Johnson in 2007, TCU quarterback Andy Dalton in 2008, Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn in 2009, co-MVPs of San Diego State running back Ronnie Hillman and wideout Vincent Brown in 2010, TCU wide receiver Skye Dawson in 2011, BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman in 2012, Utah State running back Joey DeMartino in 2013 and Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds in 2014. BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy and Correa are among the notable defensive MVPs in the Poinsettia Bowl’s history.
Utah and TCU are the only two teams in this bowl’s history to win two or more games without a loss, but BYU will likely be looking to join them in 2016. While one team is likely set, the other is to be determined. The Mountain West will certainly send a formidable foe, as the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl aims to showcase two competitive teams in 2016 in NCAA football betting.
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