Making picks for the college bowl season

December 14, 2012 

The joy of the college football bowl season is upon us again (just one more year after this one with the BCS, so there will be real joy then). Let’s take a look at each bowl game and who will pull out an all-important bowl win (actually just the final one is really important).

New Mexico Bowl, Nevada vs. Arizona: The Pistol vs. The Spread. The Wolf Pack get a big win for their program over a Pac-12 team. … Nevada 35-34.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Toledo vs. Utah State: The Rockets had an eight-game winning streak in the middle of the season, while the Aggies have won six straight going into the bowl. … Utah 38-27.

Poinsettia Bowl, San Diego State vs. BYU: The Aztecs haven’t lost since Oct. 6. … San Diego State 27-14.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, Ball State vs. UCF: A 10-win season is out there for the winning team. … Ball State 20-17.

New Orleans Bowl, East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette: Both teams won their final three games of the regular season. … Louisiana-Lafayette 17-14.

Las Vegas Bowl, Boise State vs. Washington: The Broncos have won a lot of big games through the years. Does this count? … Boise State 48-30.

Hawaii Bowl, SMU vs. Fresno State: Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr has thrown 36 touchdown passes and just five interceptions. … Fresno State 40-30.

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers make their first bowl appearance without their head coach; Willie Taggart left for South Florida and was replaced by Bobby Petrino. … Western Kentucky 28-25.

Military Bowl, Bowling Green vs. San Jose State: Mike MacIntyre has left behind the Spartans’ program to take over at Colorado. … San Jose State 35-23.

Belk Bowl, Duke vs. Cincinnati: The Blue Devils take advantage of a rare bowl trip. … Duke 31-30.

Holiday Bowl, Baylor vs. UCLA: The Bears have had a solid season after seeing Robert Griffin III jump to the NFL. … Baylor 44-35.

Independence Bowl, Louisiana-Monroe vs. Ohio: The Warhawks beat Arkansas and should have knocked off Auburn and Baylor, as well. … Louisiana-Monroe 36-30.

Russell Athletic Bowl, Virginia Tech vs. Rutgers: Virginia Tech is right up there with Southern Cal for most disappointing team of the season. … Virginia Tech 26-22.

Meineke Car Care Bowl, Minnesota vs. Texas Tech: Tommy Tuberville jumped ship after a short stint in Lubbock. … Texas Tech 37-21.

Armed Forces Bowl, Rice vs. Air Force: The Owls won five of their final six games. … Rice 31-29.

Fight Hunger Bowl, Arizona State vs. Navy: The Midshipmen are making their ninth bowl trip in 10 years. … Arizona State 36-24.

Pinstripe Bowl, Syracuse vs. West Virginia: The two former Big East rivals meet for the 60th time. … West Virginia 41-29.

Alamo Bowl, Texas vs. Oregon State: The Beavers won six more games than they did last season, tying the largest improvement in FBS play. … Oregon State 39-36.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Michigan State vs. TCU: Both teams struggled this season after winning 11 games last year. ... TCU 29-20.

Music City Bowl, Vanderbilt vs. N.C. State: James Franklin got a new contract from Vandy for an eight-win season. N.C. State fired Tom O’Brien for a seven-win season. … Vanderbilt 20-19.

Sun Bowl, Georgia Tech vs. Southern Cal: The Yellow Jackets can get to .500 with a win over the nation’s most disappointing team. … Georgia Tech 42-34.

Liberty Bowl, Iowa State vs. Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane are going after an 11th win and a victory over a Big 12 team. … Tulsa 35-25.

Chick-fil-A Bowl, LSU (10-2) vs. Clemson (10-2): Clemson’s Tigers started their season with a win over an SEC bunch of Tigers (Auburn). … Clemson 34-28.

Heart of Dallas Bowl, Purdue vs. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys were 6-1 at home and only 1-4 away from home. … Oklahoma State 45-29.

Gator Bowl, Mississippi State vs. Northwestern: How can anyone other than Bulldogs fans cheer against the gritty, gutty Wildcats? … Northwestern 28-20.

Capital One Bowl, Georgia vs. Nebraska: The Bulldogs will have plenty of time to rebound from their heartbreaking loss in the SEC championship game. … Georgia 28, Nebraska 10.

Outback Bowl, South Carolina vs. Michigan: The Gamecocks’ dominant defense will be dominant yet again. … South Carolina 24-3.

Rose Bowl, Stanford vs. Wisconsin: Both teams like to play power, smash-mouth football. The Cardinal just do it better. … Stanford 23-7.

Orange Bowl, Northern Illinois vs. Florida State: The key is if the Seminoles will be focused and ready to play. They will be. … Florida State 30-14.

Sugar Bowl, Florida vs. Louisville: The Gators complete their stunning turnaround season with a blowout and a top-five ranking. … Florida 27-6.

Fiesta Bowl, Kansas State vs. Oregon: Possibly the best bowl game of the season. … Oregon 38-35.

Cotton Bowl, Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma: An old-Big 12 matchup will turn into an old-fashioned shootout. … Texas A&M 41-35.

BBVA Compass Bowl, Pittsburgh vs. Mississippi: Hugh Freeze has done a tremendous job in his first season with the Rebels. … Mississippi 23-21. Bowl, Kent State vs. Arkansas State: How does this bowl get in this slot? … Kent State 34-30.

BCS National Championship, Notre Dame vs. Alabama: This will be the most-watched college game in history. … Alabama 20-13.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or

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