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Armed Forces Bowl: Thoughts And Predictions

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Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship has seemed excited and almost giddy in his media interviews leading up to the bowl. Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship has seemed excited and almost giddy in his media interviews leading up to the bowl.
Bobby Lewis has been in Dallas during the past week to get all the latest from TU heading into the game. Bobby Lewis has been in Dallas during the past week to get all the latest from TU heading into the game.

Keith Leventhal and I have been here in Dallas since Wednesday night and have seen some great stuff so far. First, OSU won a thriller on the court against SMU. Today, we spent all morning and afternoon getting a feel for Tulsa's chances in the Armed Forces Bowl.

I've been with the team all season long and have never seen them as dejected as they were after losing to Houston in the season finale. The pain of missing out on the conference championship game has faded. G.J. Kinne and Curnelius Arnick told me today that all they want to do is win this last game at TU. The senior class has only gone out with a loss in the team's final home game twice since 2003. They feel like a win over BYU would make up for that letdown against Houston.

Bill Blankenship was excited today, almost giddy, to be answering bowl game questions. A few reporters asked him what a bowl win would mean for him in his first year as a head coach and he kind of dismissed the question. He would rather focus on the team instead of himself. That's just the kind of guy he is.

BYU's coach thinks the world of Kinne. He knows stopping him will be key. That most exciting part of the press conference was hearing about the trophy. The AFB trophy is 50+ pounds and is made of melted down pieces of actual battlefield vehicles. Part of it is made of a tank. Some of it is made of a helicopter that served our country in Iraq. Pretty cool.

Tulsa will also wear new helmets. They look the same as the regular gold helmets with TULSA script on the sides but they have incorporated camouflage into the lettering. It's really good stuff. Check out my facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/BobbyLewisNewsOn6) or Twitter (@Bobby_L) to see those pictures. They are pretty sweet. The helmets are exactly the same style as the ones TU wore in the Hawaii Bowl last year. That helmet had flowery, tropical trim in the letters.

I expect this to be a REALLY good game. I have no idea who is going to win. BYU won 9 games. They are really good. They lost to TCU, Texas and Utah. The Golden Hurricane and Cougars only lost seven games combined this season to teams with a cumulative record of 70-18. That's pretty good football.

If I had to pick, I'd say Tulsa in a CLOSE one. I just think TU has way to many ways to beat you and Kinne is a wizard out there. There are 20+ guys on the Tulsa roster from Texas and BYU has 5. The crowd will be pro-Tulsa (I think). Give me: Tulsa 21 BYU 18

See you on the sidelines.

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