Posted on: December 19, 2009 12:58 pm

Bowl Previews and Picks (The First Weekend)

There are 3 bowls this weekend, two on Saturday and one on Sunday, with five of the six teams being non-bcs teams.  That doesn't mean they can't be entertaining.  So, without further ado, I give you What, Who and Why to watch and my prediction.

Fresno State (8-4) -10.5 vs. Wyoming (6-6)
Sat. Dec 19 at 430 PM on ESPN

Why to Watch:  You are snowed in and Saints-Cowboys doesn't start until later. 

Who to Watch: Fresno: RB Ryan Matthews - He's the nation's second leading rusher with 1664 yards and 17 TD's.  He also added 146 yards and 2 TD's through the air.
Wyoming: WR David Leonard - He was the teams leading receiver with 70 receptions and 645 yards, but only had one touchdown.

What to Watch:  Matthews and the potent Fresno State offense should be able to control the clock and the game.  I believe this may be one of the more lopsided bowl games.  Fresno played a tough schedule and played Boise State close.  This WAC-MWC matchup won't be nearly as important as the Fiesta Bowl, but Matthews is definitely a reason to check this game out. 
Prediction: Bulldogs 42, Cowboys 16

Central Florida (8-4) vs. Rutgers (8-4) -2.5
Sat. Dec 19 at 8 PM on ESPN

Why to Watch: You will be even more snowed in, and you need something to do during commercials of the Saints-Cowboys game.

Who to Watch:  UCF: RB Brynn Harvey - Leads the team in rushing with 1077 yards and 14 TD's on the ground. 
Rutgers: QB Tom Savage - With his top wide receiver unlikely to play, the freshman is going to need to find a way to win.  In games he played well they won.  He threw for 1917 yards and 12 TD's but took 34 sacks on the year.

What to Watch: Savage needs to get the ball in the hands of WR Mohamed Sanu and the other receivers to open lanes for RB Joe Martinek.  With talks of the Big Ten possibly purging someone from the Big East, UCF will be looking to impress the Big East personnel at the game to show they could join and compete in the conference. 

Prediction: Scarlet Knights 23, (Golden) Knights 20

Southern Miss (7-5) -3.5 vs. Middle Tennessee State (9-3)
Sun. Dec 20 at 830 PM on ESPN

Why to Watch: You most likely took Wednesday off, so watch some entertaining offenses while you warm up from all the snow.

Who to Watch:  USM: RB's Damion Fletcher and Tory Harrison - The two combined for 297 carries for 1563 yards and 17 TD's.  They have combined to average nearly 5 yards a carry and will control the clock for USM. 
MTSU: QB Dwight Dasher - I watched this guy play and he is fun to watch.  He single handedly beat Maryland.  He lead the team in passing and rushing.  Combined he had 3580 yards of offense, good for ninth-best in the FBS.  He had 32 total TD's.

What to Watch:  Both teams have high powered offenses and (30th and 31st respectively in total offense) and strong defenses.  It will be a close game, but it should be entertaining.  I think USM has better talent, but Dasher is the great equalizer. 

Prediction: Golden Eagles 30, Blue Raiders 28
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com