One Bold Prediction for Every College Football Bowl Game
One Bold Prediction for Every College Football Bowl Game
College football bowl season is now less than two weeks away. While it's the most wonderful time of the year for football fans, it also brings a variety of matchups that are both alluring and amusing. Many will focus on the mouthwatering BCS Championship Game between the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles and second-ranked Auburn Tigers, but there are things to look at in each of the 35 games to be played during bowl season.
The bowls begin on Saturday, December 21. From there, the 35 games arrive fast and furious over the next 16 days. As always, New Year's Day is the highlight of bowl season with six major games on tap featuring four of the top 10 teams in the country. Two of them, the fourth-ranked Michigan State Spartans and the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal, meet in the Rose Bowl.
When adding in the four games to be played on New Year's Eve, football fans can feast on 10 games in a 36-hour span. But from the opening kickoff of the first bowl at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on December 21 when the Washington State Cougars battle the Colorado State Rams in the New Mexico Bowl, there is plenty to watch for. How will the six finalists for the Heisman Trophy do in their bowls? Which team will pull the biggest upset? What highly-regarded team will disappoint in their bowl game?
What follows is a tour through the entire bowl season, including one bold prediction for each game.
35. New Mexico Bowl: Washington State Will Throw the Ball 60 Times
Given weeks to prepare, Washington State head coach Mike Leach won't mess around against Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl. WSU quarterback Connor Halliday (656 pass attempt this season) will throw the ball 60 times, at least, in this game.
34. Las Vegas Bowl: Fresno State's Derek Carr Will Throw for 375 Yards
No longer simply David Carr's little brother, Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr will put on an aerial show against USC in the Las Vegas Bowl, throwing at for at least 375 yards.
33. Idaho Potato Bowl: Buffalo Will Upset San Diego State to Finish 9-4
Contrary to popular belief, there has been good football in Buffalo this fall. It's just been played by the University of Buffalo Bulls, who will upset San Diego State in the Idaho Potato Bowl to finish the season 9-4.
32. New Orleans Bowl: UL-Lafayette RB Alonzo Harris Reaches Two Milestones
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns running back needs 132 rushing yards and two touchdowns to finish the season with 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns. He'll get both against state-rival Tulane in the New Orleans Bowl.
31. Beef O' Brady's Bowl: East Carolina & Ohio Will Combine for 90+ Points
The East Carolina Pirates have earned a 9-3 record by outscoring teams left and right, scoring at least 50 points six times this season. The Ohio Bobcats will have to keep up to have any chance, so this game will feature at least 90 points.
30. Hawaii Bowl: Oregon State QB Sean Mannion Will Throw Four TD Passes
Despite a five-game losing streak, Oregon State Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion has still put up great numbers this season. Against Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl, Mannion will throw four touchdown passes to give him 40 for the season.
29. Little Caesar's Bowl: Bowling Green Defense Will Dominate Pittsburgh
Much like it did to Northern Illinois in last week's MAC Championship Game, Bowling Green's defense will rule in the Little Caesar's Bowl (Defense! Defense!), holding Pittsburgh to 17 points or less.
28. Poinsettia Bowl: Angry Jordan Lynch Will Go Off on Utah State
Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch will run for at least 250 yards against Utah State in the Poinsettia Bowl and produce at least 443 yards of total offense, giving him 5,000 for the season.
27. Military Bowl: Marshall Will Post 500 Total Yards Against Maryland
Marshall will have no trouble hitting its offensive averages against Maryland in the Military Bowl. The Thundering Herd are in the top 25 in the nation in rushing and passing, and they will surpass 500 yards of total offense against the Terrapins.
26. Texas Bowl: Syracuse & Minnesota Will Lock Horns in a Defensive Struggle
Neither participant in the Texas Bowl scores a lot, but both teams play decent defense. This bowl game will feature fewer than 40 total points.
25. Fight Hunger Bowl: BYU Will Run for at Least 225 Yards
BYU is one of the top rushing teams in the nation, and that will be on display in the Fight Hunger Bowl as the Cougars rush for at least 225 yards against the Washington Huskies.
24. Pinstripe Bowl: Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees Will Throw 3 TD Passes in Win
Much-maligned Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees will have the signature day of his career in the Pinstripe Bowl, throwing for three touchdowns and leading the Fighting Irish past Rutgers.
23. Belk Bowl: Cincinnati Bearcats Will Score 10th Win of Season
After a stinging overtime loss to rival Louisville, the Cincinnati Bearcats will bounce back to soundly defeat ACC foe North Carolina in the Belk Bowl to give the Bearcats a 10-win season.
22. Russell Athletic Bowl: Bridgewater Will Burn His Hometown Team
Miami native Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville's junior quarterback, will cap off what will be a 12-1 season with a his best game of the year against his hometown school as Louisville takes out Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
21. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Kansas State Defense Will Stuff Michigan's Ground Game
Kansas State's defense will rise up in the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl, bankrupting Michigan's ground game and leaving the Wolverines short of 100 rushing yards in the game.
20. Armed Forces Bowl: Navy Will Run Wild vs. Middle Tennessee
Navy, masters of the option attack, will have no problems running the ball against Middle Tennessee. Watch the Midshipmen roll up at least 400 yards rushing on the Blue Raiders in the Armed Forces Bowl.
19. Music City Bowl: Georgia Tech to Hand Mississippi Another Tough Loss
In an up-and-down year for the Mississippi Rebels, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will provide the final heartbreak. GT will beat Ole Miss to leave the Rebels at a disappointing 7-6 with three straight losses to end the season.
18. Alamo Bowl: Oregon to Run Circles Around Disjointed Texas
Oregon has as many offensive weapons as any team in the country. No one really knows who will be coaching Texas in the Alamo Bowl. Preparation advantage goes to the Ducks who will blow out the Longhorns by at least 21 points.
17. Holiday Bowl: Arizona State Will Drop 50 on Texas Tech
While Arizona State and Texas Tech both have high-scoring offenses, the Red Raiders are in a five-game losing streak and have given up almost 49 points per game in that stretch. Arizona State will add to the misery, scoring at least 50 on the Red Raiders in the Holiday Bowl.
16. Advocare V100 Bowl: BC's Andre Williams Will Shake Off Injury, Run for 150 Yards
Star Boston College Eagles running back and Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams was injured in BC's regular-season finale, a loss to the Syracuse Orange, but he is recovering and will run for at least 150 yards against Arizona in the Advocare V100 Bowl. That would give Williams more than 2,250 yards rushing for the season.
15. Sun Bowl: UCLA Two-Way Star Myles Jack Will Dominate
UCLA Bruins linebacker/running back Myles Jack has been a key to the Bruins' success this season at both positions. With time to work him in offensive schemes for the Sun Bowl vs. Virginia Tech, Jack will run for two touchdowns and get a sack.
14. Liberty Bowl: Rice Will Finish an Excellent Season With a Win
The Rice Owls have been one of the better teams in the country this season that no one has talked about. The Conference USA champions will knock off a pedestrian Mississippi State Bulldogs squad in the Liberty Bowl. That win have Rice ending the season 11-3.
13. Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Johnny Manziel Goes Out with a Bang
In what will be his final college game, Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel will slam the door on Duke's dream season by throwing for 400 yards and five touchdowns in an easy Aggies win.
12. Gator Bowl: Nebraska Cornhuskers Will Surprise Georgia Bulldogs
With senior quarterback Aaron Murray out injured for the Georgia Bulldogs, the Nebraska Cornhuskers get the edge and will win a Gator Bowl battle of teams that disappointed this season compared to their preseason expectations.
11. Heart of Dallas Bowl: Stingy North Texas Will Bankrupt UNLV
A New Year's Day bowl game between the North Texas Mean Green and UNLV Runnin' Rebels really is every fans' dream come true. But North Texas means business, allowing only 18.1 points per game. The Mean Green will stifle UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, holding the Rebels to 14 points or less.
10. Outback Bowl: LSU Will Get Revenge on Iowa in Final Minute
LSU will get long-awaited revenge on the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Outback Bowl, scoring a touchdown in the final 30 seconds to win. Iowa beat LSU in the 2005 Capital One Bowl on a last-second touchdown pass.
9. Capital One Bowl: Jadeveon Clowney Will Dominate Wisconsin
After what many might call a disappointing season for South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney, any questions about his talent or work ethic will vanish in the Capital One Bowl as he gets two sacks and forces a key turnover that allows the Gamecocks to defeat Wisconsin.
8. Rose Bowl: Michigan State to Prevail in Defensive Slugfest
Smash-mouth football will be on display for all to see in the Rose Bowl between the Michigan State Spartans and the Stanford Cardinal. Michigan State's defense held five conference opponents to fewer than 10 points this season, and they will prevail in a 14-10 battle in the Rose Bowl over Stanford.
7. Fiesta Bowl: Quarterback Battle to Headline UCF-Baylor Matchup
Two of college football's best quarterbacks meet in the Fiesta Bowl as Blake Bortles' Central Florida Knights and Bryce Petty's Baylor Bears do battle. Baylor has posted great numbers, but Bortles is clutch and will keep UCF in what should be an excellent Fiesta Bowl highlighted by 700+ passing yards.
6. Sugar Bowl: Nick Saban Will Rally Alabama Past Oklahoma
Uncertainty hasn't often been a word that could be used with the Alabama Crimson Tide football program in recent years. Rumors of head coach Nick Saban's departure for Texas will only get him more focused on crushing Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Look for Alabama to win by at least 24 points.
5. Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State to Prevail in Battle of Old Big-8 Rivals
Two angry teams who both lost games that could have secured conference championships meet in the Cotton Bowl where Oklahoma State will feast on a suddenly horrible Missouri defense and win this battle of storied Big- 8 rivals.
4. Orange Bowl: No Coach Punches Between Ohio State and Clemson
Clemson vs. Ohio State is famous for OSU head coach Woody Hayes punching a Tigers player during the 1978 Gator Bowl. The bold prediction here is that both Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer will keep their fists to themselves, hopefully.
3. Compass Bowl: Houston To Upset SEC Foe Vanderbilt
The Houston Cougars have both a better offense and a better defense than their SEC opponents Vanderbilt in the Compass Bowl. The Cougars can score on passes from anywhere on the field and will surprise the Commodores with a 29-24 victory to finish 9-4.
2. Godaddy.com Bowl: Ball State WR Willie Snead Will Score 3 TDs
Ball State Cardinals wide receiver finished the regular season with 97 catches for 1,429 yards and 14 touchdowns. In the Godaddy.com Bowl vs. Arkansas State, Snead will have a huge day, catching nine passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns in Ball State's 11th win of the season.
1. BCS Title Game: Tre Mason Will Lead Auburn Tigers to the National Championship
While most will pick the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles to win the BCS title game, Auburn's rushing attack, led by Tre Mason, has the opportunity to dominate the contest. Fresh off a 300-yard effort rushing vs. Missouri, Mason will run for at least 150 yards in the final to help the Tigers to a 34-31 upset win over the Seminoles and the national championship.
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