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BOWL PREVIEW: GMAC Bowl

I missed the International Bowl, partly out of moral objection -- college football should not be played in Canada -- but also partly by just missing it.

I'll count it against my record -- since I technically didn't get it "right" -- so my record is 18-12 straight up and 7-13 against the score after the KU surprise.


Not the only front-runner upset Thursday.


Now we get to another marginal bowl that has somehow managed to wedge itself between the Orange Bowl and the BCS title game. It is not really a New Year's Day or later bowl, because it doesn't match two teams everyone wants to see play, so I'll go back to the pre-Jan. 1 format for the preview.

Bowl: GMAC, 8 p.m., ESPN

Teams: Bowling Green at Tulsa

Bowling Green's season was... A little bit short. But for a 47-14 loss at mediocre Miami (OH), the Falcons would have played Central Michigan for the MAC title. Other than Miami game and a 38-27 defeat against Ohio, Bowling Green lost to the best teams on its schedule and beat the rest en route to an 8-4 record.

Tulsa's season was... Two nearly identical losses to UCF (44-23, 44-25) make up half the defeats in Tulsa's 9-4 season. One of those losses was in the regular season; the other was in the Conference USA CG. Outside of the Golden Knights, Tulsa was edged by UTEP (48-47) and destroyed by Oklahoma (62-21). The only notable win on the Golden Hurricane's slate was a 55-47 shootout victory against BYU.

Bowling Green impact player: QB Tyler Sheehan, who was 289-of-457 for 3,123 yards, 23 TDs and 11 INTs. While his rushing yardage was minimal, Sheehan also chipped in three scores on the ground. Oh, and he caught two TD passes. Only in the Miami (OH) loss did he not throw at least one TD, and only in losses to BC and Michigan State did he throw more interceptions than TDs. And the only time he completed less than 50 percent of his passes was in the Ohio loss (46.3 percent). As goes Sheehan, so goes Bowling Green.

Tulsa impact player: QB Paul Smith threw for an average of 2,781 the last two seasons. This year, he piled up 4,753 yards and 42 TDs, though his completion rate went down to 60.1 percent (300-of-499). He also threw 19 INTs. And while rushing for fewer yards than he did last year, he also ran for a career-high 12 TDs. He never had fewer than two passing scores, and only once -- in the first UCF loss -- did Smith throw more picks than TDs. He never completed less than half his passes.

Fun Sponsor Fact: Don't know how "fun" it is, but GMAC is a company who can manage to do the impossible -- make college football sound boring.

"Our GMAC Bowl activation continues to grow and provide us with an outstanding opportunity to reach what is very often an entry-level consumer for our varied businesses," said Colleen Haesler, GMAC general director of marketing and advertising. "It's a relationship we value as we showcase our products and services, but it also provides these young consumers with valuable information on how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits."


That's an actual quote from a company press release. No, I have no idea what it means, either.

Prediction: Expect a high-scoring game. The Golden Hurricanes should have just enough firepower to win. Tulsa 49, Bowling Green 42