College football bowl season rolls on Christmas Eve with a primetime matchup in Hawaii for the 2017 Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu between the Fresno State Bulldogs and Houston Cougars.
Fresno State enters the game at 9-4, while the Cougars are 7-4 on the year.
This season, the Bulldogs have had an incredible turnaround under head coach Jeff Tedford, going from 1-11 a season ago to knocking on the door of a 10-win season.
Fresno State’s eight-win difference from last year enter today’s game at Aloha Stadium is the largest increase in the FBS this season. Capping off the 2017 campaign with another win would be the icing on the cake for Tedford’s rapidly improving program.
Houston, meanwhile, is in its first season under head coach Major Applewhite, who is coaching in his first bowl game.
How can you tune in to the 2017 Hawaii Bowl between Fresno State and Houston? All of the information you need to catch the action from the opening kickoff can be seen below:
Date: Sunday, Dec. 24
Start Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Venue: Aloha Stadium
TV Info: ESPN
Though it may not be one of the most anticipated bowls each year, the Hawaii Bowl is undisputedly one of the most scenic. Aloha Stadiums is always primed for the Christmas Eve matchup, and this year, two teams that closed the 2017 season strong will meet in what could wind up being one of the best Hawaii Bowls in recent memory.
Date: Sunday, Dec. 24 | Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Aloha Stadium — Halawa, Hawaii
TV: ESPN | Live stream: Watch ESPN, Watch ESPN apps
Fresno State: Though Fresno State lost the Mountain West title game to Boise State — a team it beat just one week earlier — that came on the back of a four-game winning streak that saw it close the campaign 8-4. Jeff Tedford’s name is starting to be mentioned with bigger jobs, but he did not get scooped up this cycle. The Bulldogs have not won a bowl game since 2007, and they will be looking for the big win while making their third appearance in the Hawaii Bowl since 2012.
Houston: The departure of Tom Herman and some star playmakers hit Houston hard this season as it finished 7-4 and appeared inconsistent — beating South Florida on the road and then losing to Tulane a few weeks later, as an example. The Cougars are 84th nationally in total defense and may be vulnerable against a Bulldogs team that has proven capable of putting up points this season.
Fresno State is 10-2-1 ATS this season with an 11-1 ATS mark against the last 12 teams it has faced with winning records. Those marks are so impressive, but with the spread being so close, the question is whether the Bulldogs are simply going to win this game. To me, there’s little question that will be the case. Fresno State is allowing just 17 points per game and has already been to Hawaii this season. Houston is middle-of-the-road defensively and apt to letting up big plays.