Boise State and North Texas battle in the Frisco Bowl on Saturday to finish their 2022 seasons. Just so there isn't any confusion, this is the Frisco in Texas that we're talking about. It is not the Frisco used as a nickname for San Francisco, California, that the locals hate with a passion.
Seriously, the next time you're in San Francisco, keep loudly referring to the city as Frisco and see how long it takes for somebody to hit you over the head with an acoustic guitar.
As for the game, this year's Frisco Bowl is also not to be confused with the Frisco Football Classic. That was a bowl game created specifically for last season played in the same stadium as the Frisco Bowl because there weren't enough bowl games to accommodate the bowl-eligible teams, and it turns out bowls can be manufactured out of thin air. All you need is a place to play and a few hours that need filling on a television network.
So, are you clear? This is the Frisco Bowl being played in Frisco, Texas, not in San Francisco, and not the Frisco Football Classic. Got it? If not, go back and read from the beginning. It isn't that complicated.
How to watch Frisco Bowl live
Date: Saturday, Dec. 17 | Time: 9:15 p.m. ET
Location: Toyota Stadium -- Frisco, Texas
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Boise State vs. North Texas: Need to know
North Texas reached the C-USA title game ... and then fired its coach: It's not often that a team plays for a conference title and then fires its coach after the conference championship, but that's the case at North Texas. The Mean Green finished the regular season with a 6-2 record in Conference USA and played in the game thanks to their tie-breaking win over Western Kentucky. They lost the game 48-27 and fired Seth Littrell shortly afterward. Littrell was at North Texas for seven seasons, but the school felt a change was needed as the program prepares to move from C-USA to the American Athletic Conference. It's already found a replacement in Washington State offensive coordinator and former Incarnate Word coach Eric Morris, who will not coach the Mean Green in this game.
Boise State lost its conference title game, too: Yes, this will be a battle of teams that lost their conference title games. Boise State won the Mountain West's Mountain Division, going 8-0 in conference play and winning by an average of 20.4 points per game, but it wasn't enough. After beating Fresno State 40-20 in Boise in early October, the Bulldogs returned to Boise for the Mountain West Championship Game and got revenge, beating the Broncos 28-16. However, unlike North Texas, the Broncos did not fire their coach afterward.
Two decisions changed Boise's entire season: Following an embarrassing 27-10 loss to UTEP, Broncos coach Andy Avalos fired offensive coordinator Tim Plough and replaced him with old friend, Dirk Koetter. The game also spelled the end for quarterback Hank Bachmeier, who was benched for Taylen Green. The changes worked. The Broncos won seven of their next eight games (the only loss a 31-28 loss to BYU) and the offense that had struggled to start the season took off, averaging 34.3 points per game in that stretch.
Frisco Bowl prediction, picks
It's always difficult to handicap these games considering opt-outs and transfers, but both teams are expected to be near full strength. The Broncos will be without RB George Holani, the team's leader with more than 1,000 yards, due to injury, but backup Ashton Jeanty saw plenty of action during the season. Besides, Green is the most electric player in the game and rushed for 467 yards and eight touchdowns himself. Given the Broncos have the best offensive player in the game, the better defense, and that North Texas will be playing under an interim coach, it feels like a game that Boise should win easily. Prediction: Boise State -10.5
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