Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 12/19/11

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. TCU Horned Frogs

Dec. 21, 8:00 pm ET

Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego, Calif.)

Website: http://www.poinsettiabowl.com/

TV: ESPN

Line: TCU -10

Naturally, you may think No. 15 TCU (10-2, 7-0) – the Mountain West champion – would enter the Poinsettia Bowl versus Louisiana Tech (8-4, 6-1) – the Western Athletic Conference champion – with a debilitated motivation after being shunned by the Bowl Championship Series. However, I proceed with dubiousness.

One bowl, one of four this season matching two conference champions, T.C.U versus Louisiana Tech, both winners of seven in a row, is enough reason for you to tune in.

Making This All Possible

 

San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU) was founded in 1938 and serves all San Diegan’s. The SDCCU has over 221,000 members and 28 branch offices spread over three counties. Some may pose the question: What is a credit union doing serving as a sponsor of a bowl game? Well, its $5 billion in assets makes becoming a bowl sponsor quite alluring.

Get to know: TCU

TCU is making its 27th bowl appearance in school history, and is fresh off a record third consecutive Mountain West championship. As TCU exits the Mountain West without losing a single conference game in the three year championship run (24-0), it hopes to put head coach Gary Patterson in a Dutch category; and no, it has nothing to do with the Netherlands.

With a win versus Louisiana Tech, Patterson will tie Dutch Meyer as TCU’s all-time winningest coach. Meyer was 109-79-13 from 1934-52, including national championships in 1935 and 1938. Patterson and his 108 wins with just 30 losses (a .783 winning percentage), ranks fourth nationally among active FBS head coaches.

TCU – the 28th-ranked offense in the nation – is led by sophomore quarterback Casey Pachall (2,715 yards, 24 TDs – six INTs) and a backfield of sophomore Waymon James (824 yard, six TDs), junior Matthew Tucker (684 yards – 11 TDs) and junior Ed Wesley (649 yards, five TDs). Wide receivers Josh Boyce (932 yards – nine TDs) and Skye Dawson (415 yards – four TDs) are two to watch as well.

On the other side of the ball, the Horned Frogs enter the Poinsettia Bowl as the 32nd-ranked defense nationally.

Get to know: Louisiana Tech

What a difference a year makes; or in Louisiana Tech’s case, a half-year. Either way you look at it, both fit the Bulldogs.

Following a 5-7 mark in Louisiana Tech’s first year under head coach Sonny Dykes, improvement was assumed in 2011. After their first five contests of 2011 though, Bulldogs fans sat with uneasiness with a 1-4 record. Seven victories to end the season- Louisiana’s first streak of such magnitude since the 1970’s- and a W.A.C championship later, all is well in Bulldog land.

Louisiana Tech – the 49th-ranked offense in the nation – is led by junior quarterback Colby Cameron (1,385 yards with 11 TD’s and two INTs), senior running back Lennon Creer (838 yards, nine TDs) who is nursing an ankle injury, freshman running back Hunter Lee (586 yards, four TDs) and junior wide receiver Quinton Patton (1,135 yards, 10 TDs).

You Should Know…

Despite TCU and Louisiana Tech’s campuses being only 289 miles apart, will meet for the very first time in the Poinsettia Bowl.

If You’re Going

If you need me to tell you what to do in San Diego, well, you may be doing it wrong. Nonetheless, let me help you in a method we all adore; paying diddly-squat.

First of all, you may want to head to one of the many beaches in San Diego. With the temperatures in the 60’s on the day of Poinsettia Bowl, a stroll with your mate may be quite the mood-setter, for the bowl of course.

The Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego offers you a 16-block historic view of renovated turn-of-the-century Victorian architecture. There, you can do some shopping if you please but, the view of beautiful San Diego should suffice.

Try Mount Laguna, where you could enjoy the fresh mountain air on a hike, which is only a one-hour scenic drive from San Diego.

From bird watching at the Torrey Pines Reserve, Balboa Park, biking or jogging along Mission Bay Park’s, the sights and sounds will assuredly soothe the soul at the low-low price of zero.

If You’re Watching At Home:

My friends, you should enjoy this bowl game at home, as I will, with one of my favorites brews: Stone Brewing Company.

Gosh, it is so difficult to recommend a brew when Stone Brewing Co. has so many, but let me try.

I love a good stout, and Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout should do the trick. At a 10.5% ABV the alcohol is present but does not get in the way of this magnificent concoction. This stout pours pitch black with strong hints of dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla and then goes down in a whirlwind of complexity.

Not a stout fan? Arrogant Bastard Ale (available in bourbon barrels, aged brandy barrels, with coconut, or double dry hopped), 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale or a Stone IPA should do the trick. For the brave though, try Stone Ruination IPA.

Prediction:

TCU just has too much on both sides in my opinion for Louisiana Tech to pull off the upset. If the Horned Frogs show up as they are capable, this game may get out of hand.

TCU 35, Louisiana Tech 17

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