The San Jose State Spartans enter the bowl season with a 10-2 record. They will try to make it 11 when they come to grips with the Bowling Green Falcons in this year's Military Bowl.


The Spartans can win because…
 

David FalesSimply put, they're the better team, possessing superior talent, balance and resources. When the Spartans lost by a field goal to Stanford in the season opener, a lot of talk focused on a “clearly regressed Stanford team that was going to take some lumps.” Fast forward four months, and it appears that the wrong team was being examined in light of what 2012 would hold. 

Stanford turned out to be a really good team, and so did San Jose State. The Spartans lost to conference champ Utah State, but picked up wins over a good San Diego State team and conference foe Louisiana Tech and out of conference challengers BYU and Navy. 

Led by quarterback David Fales and a ridiculous abundance of talent at wide receiver, the Spartans do their damage through the air. Noel Grigsby and Chandler Jones led the way with a combined 125 catches for 1,791 yards and 19 touchdowns. Kicker Austin Lopez is one of three kickers in the country to attempt 10 or more field goals and hit every one of them. 

Despite a generally mediocre secondary, SJSU safety Bene Benwikere is tied for second in the nation with seven interceptions. With 40 sacks on the season, the Spartans are tied with South Carolina and UCLA for fifth most in the nation. This is a dynamic team, whose offense will have its hands full against Bowling Green's defense, but it’s the SJSU defense that just might win this game against the BGSU offense. 

The Falcons can win because… 

Two reasons: their defense is ready for this challenge and their opponent might be both distracted and a bit downcast. 

First, the Bowling Green defense is going to be primed for this matchup against San Jose State's passing attack. The Falcons weren't just good on defense this season – they were great. Bowling Green, playing in the wide-open Mid-American Conference while also playing non-conference games against Florida and Virginia Tech, allowed an average of just 15.8 points per game. Co-defensive coordinators Mike Elko and Shannon Morrison both got the most out of this defense, making head coach Dave Clawson a very happy man. Bowling Green's defense became very stingy in the MAC. 

At one point, the Falcons allowed a total of three touchdowns in a four-game stretch from October 6th-27th. The only time Bowling Green allowed more than 14 points over the final two months of the season was against Kent State (31 points). Other than that, this team featured a lockdown defense from September 29th and onward. It's not going to be a walk in the park for San Jose State's offense against this defense, which is physical up front and might very well be able to generate the kind of pass rush that can short-circuit the Spartans' high-powered offense.  

The other big reason to pick Bowling Green in this game is that San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre, who led SJSU to a 10-2 regular-season record and a second-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference, has left the Bay Area to become the new head coach at the University of Colorado. As is always the case with pre-bowl coaching changes, one doesn't know how the affected team (San Jose State in this case) will deal with the distractions brought about by this transition. It could be just the thing to help Bowling Green win. 

Outlook & NCAA Football Betting Prediction: 

San Jose State has too many weapons to lose this game outright. However, Bowling Green might very well stay close now that the Spartans will be without MacIntyre, their foremost mentor, for this contest. 

NCAA Football Picks: Bowling Green +7.5 at Legends