Monday, December 11th, 2017

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

Published on December 21, 2011 by   ·   1 Comment

poinsettia-bowl-logoThe Poinsettia Bowl is sponsored by the San Diego Credit Union and has been in existence for since 2005 when it was created as the companion to the Holiday Bowl. This bowl game features a team from the Mountain West Conference and the Western Athletic Conference; although both Army and Navy have ties in place to this bowl game as well and the WAC has only sent a team to this bowl game 1 time.

This year’s Poinsettia Bowl features the MWC Texas Christian University Horned Frogs (10-2) against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8-4). Kickoff for this game will be on Wednesday, December 21 at 8:00PM ET. You can watch the game on ESPN or listen to it on the radio on ESPN Radio.

The Poinsettia Bowl was created by the organizers of the Holiday Bowl, which is also held in San Diego. TCU, Utah and Navy have all played in this bowl game multiple times and this will be TCU’s third time playing in this game.


On the surface, the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl seems like a complete mismatch. TCU got hosed by the BCS, along with their rival in-conference Boise State. This is the whole reason that TCU is making the move to the Big 12 and Boise is moving to the Big East. They don’t want to be passed by anymore with the only BCS non-conference AQ going to the highest ranking conference winner that is at least ranked 16th in the BCS final poll. That didn’t happen this year and both of these teams are playing in inferior bowl games.

I have to admit, I haven’t done a great job predicting these games so far, but that’s not going to stop me or slow me down. I am 1-3, but I took the underdog in the wrong game (Wyoming) and got surprised again last night with FIU’s mysterious lack of any offense. I’ll take the SDSU loss because that game went almost exactly like I thought.

RecordsTCU: 10-2; La Tech: 8-4
Key WinsTCU: Boise State 36-35, SDSU 27-14; La Tech: Utah State 24-17, Nevada 24-20
Key LossesTCU: Baylor 50-48, SMU 40-33; La Tech: Houston 35-34, Mississippi State 26-20

TCU started the season with that wild game against Baylor. They also lost to in-state rival SMU in Overtime. Outside of that, they didn’t play anyone in their non-conference schedule. They did go undefeated in what is no doubt the best non-BCS conference, including a huge win at Boise State.

Louisiana Tech had a pretty solid schedule and did not play poorly outside of an egg that they laid against Hawaii. They lost at Southern Miss (11-2) by 2, at home against Houston (12-1) by 1 and at Mississippi State in overtime. Outside of Hawaii, they took care of their conference opponents and go in with a 7 game winning streak.

What this means to me is that La Tech has everything to play for and they have played well against teams of TCU’s caliber. Meanwhile, TCU is relegated to an early bowl game when they probably should have received at at-large BCS bid. I can’t help but think that this may lead to an early let down in this game.

Points For/GameTCU: 41.7; La Tech: 30.6
Points Against/GameTCU: 21.3; La Tech: 22.5
Offensive Yards/GameTCU: 444; La Tech: 397.5

All Louisiana Tech needs is a chance to win in the 4th quarter. TCU hasn’t played many close games this season, outside of the ones previously mentioned. TCU needs to realize early that La Tech isn’t going to be an easy win. If they do this and start out with an early lead, then they should easily beat the 9 1/2 point spread. If TCU is not sharp early, then they will be in a dogfight with these Bulldogs.

The key matchup for this game is going to be the La Tech defense against the TCU running game. If La Tech has more rushing yards then TCU, then they can win. If TCU wins this battle, I don’t see La Tech hanging around. This is especially true for the 4th quarter.


I have this game being closer than many other people think. This game could be a shootout, but I think that both teams will end up around the 30 to 40 point range. My official prediction is that TCU is going to win by 7 with the final score of 34-27.

These next three games should get everyone who is playing in bowl pickem contest a nice boost. These next 3 games coming up feature 3 of my 5 biggest bowl mismatches.

2010 Poinsettia Bowl

Previous Bowl Results

The Mountain West Conference has won the past 4 years in the Poinsettia Bowl and are 4-1 overall. Navy is 1-1 in this game and won the inaugural bowl game played in 2005.


Navy won their last bowl game two years ago, defeating Missouri 35-13 in the 2009 Texas Bowl. They are 7-8-1 in bowl games all time.

San Diego State has not played in a bowl game since the 1998 Las Vegas Bowl, which they lost 20-13 to North Carolina. They are 1-4 overall in bowl games.

Poinsettia Bowl Breakdown

RecordsNavy: 9-3; SD St: 8-4
All Time Bowl RecordNavy: 7-8-1; SD St: 1-4
Key WinsNavy: Notre Dame 35-17, East Carolina 76-35, Army 31-17; SD St: Air Force 27-25
Key LossesNavy: Maryland 17-14, Air Force 14-6; SD St: Missouri 27-24, TCU 40-35, Utah 38-34

One thing that you will notice above is that all of San Diego State’s losses were to bowl eligible teams and the three losses shown above were all to teams ranked in the top 25. They have lost their 4 games by a combined 15 points. Although most of their wins are against the bottom feeders of the Mountain West, this does give them more legitimacy than their 8-4 record would suggest.

Navy inexplicably lost at home to Duke, which is the major blemish on their schedule. Their signature win on the season was a 35-17 beat down of Notre Dame at home, though they also had good wins against Army, SMU and East Carolina.

Points For/GameNavy: 31; SD St: 35
Points Against/GameNavy: 22.3; SD St: 22.8
Offensive Yards/GameNavy: 407; SD St: 448.5

The matchup to watch here is Navy’s running game which is 5th in the country at almost 290 yards a game against the San Diego State passing game which is 11th in the country at almost 300 yards per game. The defenses are very even matched in comparison to one another.

Also, be aware that San Diego State is pretty much getting a home game for this bowl and the Midshipmen are traveling across the country from Maryland. But having played the Army/Navy game two weeks ago, Navy may have an advantage of not being stale to start off the game.


San Diego State is currently a 4 1/2 point favorite over Navy. This is primarily because they are playing in their own backyard. However two thirds of the sports betters out there are taking Navy to beat the spread.

This game has all the makings to be a close one. This very easily could go either way. Neither team made a bowl game last year so neither team should really have an experience factor. With all that being said, I think that the home field advantage for the Aztecs is going to be the deciding factor as they win 24-21.

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Bowl Game Review

A flood in San Diego almost made this game miss its kickoff and it could have been rescheduled, but the game started on time and San Diego State took advantage of its home field advantage to win the Poinsettia Bowl 35-14 over Navy.

2010 Bowl Record – 5-1

Highlights from previous Poinsettia Bowl

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  1. […] also won their bowl game last year in the Poinsettia Bowl against California 37-27. The Utes were 9-3 entering the game against the 8-4 Golden Bears. Utah […]

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