Liberty Bowl – West Virginia Mountaineers vs Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M made all of us scratch our heads this year. A year removed from “Johnny Football” we all thought a new sun had risen in Texas with quarterback Kenny Hill. After Hill found himself benched they turned to Kyle Allen and after starting out 5-0 they finished 7-5. West Virginia is a good team who was dealt a tough hand with their schedule. Quarterback Clint Trickett is questionable, and no disrespect to his fantastic season but his back up Skyler Howard looked tremendous against (albeit) Iowa State. Texas A&M is pass happy and going against a very good pass defense. The pick here is West Virginia -3.
Russell Athletic Bowl – Clemson Tigers vs Oklahoma Sooners
I kind of thought I was the only one who knew Russell Athletic was still around. Good for them they have their own bowl game. It’s amazing they’ve stood the test of time with athletic apparel companies like Nike and Under Armour clearly holding weight in not just college athletics but all areas of sporting. Oh, this game? Both of these teams disappoint their fan bases every year – never take the favorite when it comes to Clemson or Oklahoma. The pick here is Clemson +3 (but I might just take the over at 54).
Texas Bowl – Texas Longhorns vs Arkansas Razorbacks
It was an up and down season for Texas’ first year head coach Charlie Strong, but that was expected. Making any bowl game was a success to be honest and a win in the national spot light in their home state can be huge for recruiting. Arkansas is a team who’s offensive line is massive. They can control games at their own pace and although losing to Missouri was tough, this is a program on the rise. The pick here: Texas +6.
Music City Fiesta Bowl – Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs LSU Tigers
This game has the potential to be very long and sloppy. Coach Brian Kelly of Notre Dame was visibly frustrated towards the end of the season with the play of his defense and the carelessness of his quarterback Everett Golson. LSU has a good running game and doesn’t try throwing the ball at all because they flat out can’t. The pick here is REALLY the under at 52.5
Belk Bowl – Louisville Cardinals vs Georgia Bulldogs
Once again Georgia coach Mark Richt proved that he can recruit and make his team look good on paper – but he can’t win when it matters. On the other side of things Bobby Petrino proved that it doesn’t matter the character of the man, he can flat out coach a winner. No reason why Georgia should be a -7 favorite against a pretty well balanced Louisville team. The pick here is Louisville +7.
Foster Farms San Francisco Bowl – Maryland Terrapins vs Stanford Cardinal
This game is interesting because the Terps think they’re on a program on the come-up, when in truth they are pretty terrible and Stanford is a team that has looked disinterested in playing football for most of this season. Stanford will squeak by in one that – on paper – should be a walk in the park. The pick here is Maryland +14.
Chick-Fil_A Peach Bowl – Ole Miss Rebels vs TCU Horned Frogs
In what should be one of the more exciting match ups of this bowl season. Ole Miss took a shot to the gut after losing to LSU and Auburn and TCU took the massive head shot after getting bumped from the college football playoffs. Both teams are coached well and will play up to the level of it’s competition. As good as TCU’s offense is, this is an Ole Miss defense that has the speed to keep up. Both quarterbacks, TCU’s Trevor Boykin and Ole Miss’ Bo Wallace will have to be careful with the football in what will be one of the most watched bowl games of the year. The pick here is Ole Miss +3.
Fiesta Bowl – Boise State Broncos vs Arizona Wildcats
Arizona really wet the bed against Oregon in the Pac 12 Championship game. Linebacker Scooby Wright is one of those players who is everywhere all the time, and has helped make this Wildcats defense tougher. Boise though can score at will it seems and is back to their home away from home the Fiesta Bowl. The pick here is Boise State +3.5.
Orange Bowl – Georgia Tech Yellowjackets vs Mississippi State Bulldogs
What’s the record for the number of teams called “the bulldogs” in bowl games? Because this year, there’s been a bunch. This game is for those that love smash mouth football. The over/under in total pass attempts should be around 20 combined by both teams. Even when Mississippi was ranked #1 they weren’t blowing people out by 50. The pick here is Georgia Tech +7.
Outback Bowl – Wisconsin Badgers vs Auburn Tigers
Wisconsin is still licking their wounds after being thoroughly embarrassed by Ohio State in the Big 10 championship game. That game made us forget how amazing Melvin Gordon ran the ball this year. Auburn has failed to cover in six of their last seven games and Vegas has the spread shrinking more and more. The pick here is Auburn -6.5.
Cotton Bowl – Michigan State Spartans vs Baylor Bears
The hope here is that neither team comes Arlington, Texas in “let down” mode. Regardless, this will be the game that shows how the committee was correct in keeping out the Baylor Bears and how Michigan State is one of the most balanced teams in college football today. The pick here is Michigan State +3.
Citrus Bowl – Minnesota Golden Gophers vs Missouri Tigers
Missouri has proved that the jump from Big 12 to SEC was nothing for this program but they ultimately can’t wear the SEC crown. . . yet. Minnesota is coming into this one as a considerable underdog for a team that was ranked nationally late in the season. “Respect” for the Gophers and “disappointment” for the Tigers will play the biggest roles in this game. The pick here is Minnesota +5.
Armed Forces Bowl – Pittsburgh Panthers vs Houston Cougars
Nobody knows how the Panthers beat Miami after for the most part having a pretty non-eventful season, but running back James Connor is going to touch the ball about 30 times in this game and help wear down a Cougars team that isn’t like the ones we’ve seen in recent history. The pick here is Pittsburgh -3.
Taxslayer Bowl – Iowa Hawkeyes vs Tennessee Volunteers
Nobody expected coach Butch Jones to have a 10 win season at Tennessee but 6-6 is a disappointment so having the chance to finish above .500 will keep them engaged for all four quarters. The Hawkeyes bring a very experienced bunch to the table, most who will be playing their last game here. The pick here is: Tennessee -3.
Alamo Bowl – UCLA Bruins vs Kansas State Wildcats
This will be the last time for UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley to try to impress on a big stage. As he enters the draft this year he brings along his 29 total touchdowns but all in all a disappointing season for the Bruins. The Bruins are capable of beating good teams, and Kansas State is very well balanced team. Wideout Tyler Lockett of Kansas State will certainly get his against a UCLA defense who’s secondary has been shown out of position time and time again. The pick here is Kansas State (Vegas currently has this game as a “pick ’em.”
Cactus Bowl – Oklahoma State Cowboys vs Washington Huskies
Who knows where Oklahoma State pulled that win against Oklahoma from to end the season. It was the sharpest they’ve looked all season but it took them to play their hated rival to do it. Washington “ain’t got no beef” with the Cowboys but they do bring to the table a very good defense to keep this game close for a while. The pick here is Oklahoma State +5.5.
Birmingham Bowl – East Carolina Pirates vs Florida Gators
Watching the Gators this year was straight torture. Yes they have a good defense but they can’t score at all. Ever. They’ll get a couple of stops against this Pirate offense, but won’t be able to contain them for four quarters. Field position will be key for the Pirates. The pick here is East Carolina +7.
Go Daddy.Com Bowl – Toledo Rockets vs Arkansas State Red Wolves
The best part of any GoDaddy.Com bowl is seeing the numerous adds that feature Danica Patrick all dolled up and looking adorable with other dolled up and adorable females who are appealing to the eye. I won’t even pretend as if I know anything about Toledo and Arkansas State. The pick here is the over at 67.
Rose Bowl (Playoff Semifinal) – Florida State Seminoles vs Oregon Ducks
Last year’s Heisman trophy winning quarterback verses this year’s Heisman trophy quarterback. This can be the game that separates the gap between Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariotta when it comes to the upcoming pro draft. Florida State has been living off second half comebacks this season but try giving Oregon a 14 or 21 point lead and coming back. . . This game ends the reigning champs undefeated streak. The pick here is Oregon -9.5.
Sugar Bowl (Playoff Semifinal) – Ohio State Buckeyes vs Alabama Crimson Tide
The best two coaches in the last 10 years of college football square off as it’s Urban Meyer against Nick Saban. Nick Saban kept his cool throughout the season and has found himself ranked number one in the final polls. Ohio State is one of the few teams that can match up with Alabama both physically and athletically – Urban Meyer may coach in the Big 10 conference, but he’s been recruiting SEC talented players. Having a third string quarterback against a Nick Saban run defense is a tall task to over-come. Whoever wins this game, ultimately becomes the National Champion because these two teams are just better than the teams in the Rose Bowl. The pick here is Ohio State +9.5.