College Bowl Predictions

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The college football bowl season has arrived.  This will be the final year of the BCS before they set up a new four-team playoff for next year.  It appears that the BCS can go out smiling knowing that it got the best two teams in the BCS Championship once again in Auburn and Florida State.  I would say that only Michigan State has a legitimate argument to be there.

I have gone through and picked a straight up winner for every bowl game that you can use in your bowl pools.  I have also listed a couple reasons why I have picked each team, and the spread and total odds on each game.  If you want a more detailed look into each game, then simply click on the name of the bowl. By doing so, you’ll see reasons why you might want to back either side, which will help you make a final decision.

Date Bowl Matchup & Odds Pick (Straight Up)
BCS Bowls
Jan. 1 Rose Stanford -4.5 vs. Michigan State O/U 42.5
Michigan State
Michigan State has the best defense in the country.  It has been underrated all season, and it’s ready to win the Rose Bowl in a very evenly-matched game with Stanford.
Jan. 1 Fiesta Baylor -16.5 vs. UCF O/U 68
The UCF Knights were very fortunate to win a ton of close games this season to get into a BCS bowl.  Baylor won 10 games this season by double-digits.
Jan. 2 Sugar Alabama -14.5 vs. Oklahoma O/U 51.5
Bob Stoops is likely to eat his words when he talked down about SEC defenses in general.  Now, he gets to face and Alabama team that would be favored against anyone in the country, including Florida State.
Jan. 3 Orange Ohio State -2.5 vs. Clemson O/U 67
Clemson was embarrassed in the Orange Bowl two years ago.  It wants to make amends, especially in the final game for senior quarterback Tajh Boyd.  The Buckeyes are actually disappointed to be in the Orange Bowl after losing in the Big Ten Title game, which cost them a shot at a national championship.
Jan. 6 BCS National Championship Game Florida State -8.5 vs. Auburn O/U 65.0
Florida State
Florida State has been the best team in the country all season.  The extra time to prepare for this game clearly favors the Seminoles, who have no weaknesses.  Auburn relies in deception in its running game, and FSU will be prepared for everything the Tigers throw at them.
Non-BCS Bowls
Dec. 21 New Mexico Washington State -4 vs. Colorado State O/U 65
Washington State
Colorado State did not beat one team with a winning record all season.  Washington State has been underrated all year.  The Cougars won on the road at both USC and Arizona to prove what they are capable of, and they play in a much tougher conference.
Dec. 21 Las Vegas USC -6 vs. Fresno State O/U 62
Fresno State
The USC Trojans are in a tough spot here with Ed Orgeron stepping down and a new head coach coming in.  I look for Fresno State to win behind future pro quarterback Derek Carr, who is an absolute stud.
Dec. 21 Famous Idaho Potato Buffalo -2 vs. San Diego State O/U 53
San Diego State
San Diego State has had several close losses against very good teams.  This team is better than its record would indicate.  The MAC has struggled in bowl games in recent years, and Buffalo will be no exception.
Dec. 21 New Orleans Tulane -1.5 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Louisiana-Lafayette will be playing in the New Orleans Bowl for a third straight year.  It cannot be too excited about that, and it would much rather be playing elsewhere.  Tulane, which hasn’t been to a bowl since 2002, is ecstatic to be here in what is essentially a home game for the Green Wave.
Dec. 23 Beef O Brady’s East Carolina -13.5 vs. Ohio O/U 61.5
East Carolina
East Carolina is outgaining teams by an average of 96.6 yards per game this season, while Ohio is getting outgained by 17.6 yards per game.  The Bobcats have lost three of their last four games by 27 or more points coming in.
Dec. 24 Hawaii Oregon State -3 vs. Boise State O/U 65
Oregon State
Chris Peterson has bolted for the Washington job, hanging his players out to dry.  The Broncos were down this season as it is, and I don’t think they can compete with a quality Pac-12 team.  That was evident in their blowout loss to Washington in the season opener.
Dec. 26 Little Caesars Pizza Bowling Green -5.5 vs. Pittsburgh O/U 50
Bowling Green
Bowling Green has been underrated all season.  It hammered previously unbeaten Northern Illinois in the MAC Title game.  Its defense is one of the best in the country, and it will hold a lackluster Pittsburgh offense to a small point total in this one.
Dec. 26 Poinsettia Northern Illinois -1.5 vs. Utah State O/U 58
Northern Illinois
Many believe that Northern Illinois isn’t going to show up after missing out on a BCS bowl.  I’m not buying it, because the Huskies are led by senior quarterback Jordan Lynch, who is a guy of high character.  He’ll will his team to one final victory to end what has been a tremendous college football career.
Dec. 27 Military Marshall -2.5 vs. Maryland O/U 61
Marshall should not be the favorite here.  It continues to get too much respect when it is playing away from home.  Maryland was improved this year and really showed a lot by overcoming some injuries to get to a bowl game.  The ACC is stronger than Conference-USA, thus I give the nod to the Terrapins
Dec. 27 Texas Minnesota -4 vs. Syracuse O/U 47.5
Minnesota rallied around Jerry Kill and put together a tremendous season.  It was right in the thick of the Big Ten Title race up until the last few weeks of the season.  I like the Golden Gophers to cap off a very good season with one final win over Syracuse, which just barely squeaked into a bowl game.
Dec. 27 Fight Hunger Washington -3 vs. BYU O/U 58.5
Steve Sarkisian is leaving Washington for the USC job.  Any time a coach leaves, I’m usually going to look to fade that team.  I think Washington has enough veteran leadership to overcome it, but this BYU team has been underrated all year.  I like the Cougars to pull off the upset behind Taisom Hill.
Dec. 28 Pinstripe Notre Dame -15.5 vs. Rutgers O/U 52.5
Notre Dame
I am concerned that Notre Dame feels it should be going to a better bowl game than the Pinstripe.  However, I cannot ignore how poorly Rutgers played down the stretch.  There’s no question that the Fighting Irish have a huge talent edge in this one, and that should show on the field.
Dec. 28 Belk North Carolina -3 vs. Cincinnati O/U 56.5
North Carolina
The Tar Heels played tremendously down the stretch after an inexplicable start to the season.  I believe they continue that momentum with a win over a Cincinnati team that has to be upset about its loss to Louisville to close out the season, which potentially cost it a shot at a BCS Bowl.
Dec. 28 Russell Athletic Louisville -3 vs. Miami O/U 55.5
The Hurricanes were very unimpressive down the stretch, losing three straight games in blowout fashion.  Louisville was a blown 28-7 lead over UCF away from potentially playing in the BCS Championship game.  The Cardinals are the better team, especially with Miami still playing without its best player in Duke Johnson.
Dec. 28 Buffalo Wild Wings Kansas State -4 vs. Michigan O/U 55.5
Kansas State
I believe this is a very evenly-matched game, but I like Kansas State to get the win in the end.  Michigan is probably going to be deflated from coming up a single point short of upsetting Ohio State to close out the season.  That was the Wolverines’ Super Bowl, if you will.
Dec. 30 Armed Forces Navy -6 vs. Middle Tennessee O/U 56
Middle Tennessee is very poor against the run, giving up 299-plus yards on the ground on three separate occasions this year.  Look for Navy to run it at will and to get the win because of it.
Dec. 30 Music City Ole Miss -3 vs. Georgia Tech O/U 56.5
Ole Miss
I’ll take an SEC team over an ACC team almost every single time, especially when it’s two middle-of-the pack teams.  Ole Miss was much better than its record would indicate this season.  Georgia Tech is coming off a crushing loss to Georgia to end the season.  Having extra time to prepare for a triple-option team like Georgia Tech will favor Ole Miss in this one.
Dec. 30 Alamo Oregon -14 vs. Texas O/U 67
Texas just doesn’t have the offensive firepower to keep up with Oregon in this one.  The Ducks pretty much packed it in down the stretch, yet still managed to beat Utah and Oregon State.  With Marcus Mariota declaring that he will return for his senior season, I look for the Ducks to rally around him and hang a big number on this suspect Texas defense.
Dec. 30 Holiday
Arizona State -14 vs. Texas Tech O/U 69.5
Arizona State
I do believe this game will go down to the wire, but in the end Arizona State is far too talented to lose.  I am concerned it will not be completely up for this game after a loss to Stanford cost it a berth in the Rose Bowl.
Dec. 31 Advocare V100 Arizona -7.5 vs. Boston College O/U 57
The Pac-12 was stronger than the ACC this season.  These are two middle-of-the-pack teams in their respective conferences.  I gotta give the edge to the Pac-12 team.
Dec. 31 Sun UCLA -7 vs. Virginia Tech O/U 47
See Advocare V100 write-up.  UCLA bounced back with a blowout win over USC to close out the season.  This team simply brings it every time they step on the field, and the Sun Bowl should be no exception.  Virginia Tech doesn’t get enough from its offense to hang.
Dec. 31 Liberty Mississippi State -7 vs. Rice O/U 50.5
Mississippi State
I’ll take an SEC team over a Conference-USA team pretty much 100% of the time.  Remember, Mississippi State won its final game of the season in overtime to get to a bowl game, so it wants to make the most of this opportunity.  Rice is simply content with winning a conference championship.
Dec. 31 Chick-Fil-A Texas A&M -12 vs. Duke O/U 73.5
Texas A&M
Johnny Manziel will put on one final show before he goes to the NFL.  Duke has been overrated all season, and while it was a nice story for the Blue Devils this year, I have no doubt it’s going to end badly with back-to-back blowout losses to Florida State and now Texas A&M.
Jan. 1 Gator Georgia -9 vs. Nebraska O/U 60.5
This is a rematch from the 2013 Gator Bowl when Georgia beat Nebraska by 14 points.  There’s no way the Bulldogs can be motivated for a repeat match-up, while the Huskers are looking forward to a shot at revenge.  Aaron Murray threw five touchdown passes in the win last year, but he’s out for the season.
Jan. 1 Heart of Dallas North Texas -6.5 vs. UNLV O/U 54.5
Morth Texas
This will essentially be a home game for North Texas, where they have dominated all season.  The Mean Green are the better team overall, especially defensively.  It was a nice story for both of these teams to make bowl games this year after long droughts, but the edge has to go to North Texas playing in Dallas.
Jan. 1 Capital One Wisconsin -1 vs. South Carolina O/U 51
I look for Wisconsin to come into this game very hungry following a loss to Penn State in the season finale.  Wisconsin is one of the best teams in the country.  It ranks 19th in total offense and 6th in total defense.  South Carolina gets exposed by a better all-around team.
Jan. 1 Outback LSU -7 vs. Iowa O/U 49
No Zach Mettenberger = no chance for the LSU Tigers.  They now have to play a running quarterback against an Iowa team that is one of the best in the country against the run.  I look for the Hawkeyes to pull off the upset, just as they did back in 2005 against LSU.
Jan. 3 Cotton Missouri -1 vs. Oklahoma State O/U 60.5
The Tigers have been one of the best teams in the land all season, but somehow they never got credit for it.  All 11 of their wins came by double-digits, and they were an overtime loss to South Carolina away from a perfect regular season.  Oklahoma State is upset to be playing in this game after losing to Oklahoma in the season finale as a double-digit favorite.  A win would have sent the Cowboys to a BCS bowl.
Jan. 4 Compass Vanderbilt -3 vs. Houston O/U 54
Ole Miss
This is an SEC vs. American Athletic match-up.  I’ll side with the SEC team here in Vanderbilt, which continues to be underrated year in and year out under head coach James Franklin, who could easily have won Coach of the Year in each of his first three seasons here.  The Commodores should roll.
Jan. 5 Ball State -9 vs. Arkansas State O/U 63.5
Ball State
Ball State is one of the most exciting teams in the country behind an offense that puts up 40.1 points and 486.3 yards per game.  Arkansas State lost its head coach for a third consecutive season, leaving the players feeling pretty down and out.  I like the Cardinals to represent the MAC well and to take down the Red Wolves.
About the Author: Jack Jones has been one of the top experts on the site while competing against roughly 80 of the best handicappers in the world each year. He has made most of his money on the hardwood. In fact, he has finished in the Top-5 in college basketball each of the last three seasons (#5 2011-12, #5 2012-13, #3 2013-14). He was also the No. 1 NBA handicapper from 2012-13. As of early April, Jack has compiled an 802-631 basketball run that has seen his $1,000 game players profit $124,030. He was the No. 3 College Football handicapper in 2012-13. While he doesn't have any top finishes in the NFL, he has produced steady profits without killing his clients. Jack also was your No. 7 MLB handicapper in 2009 and backed it up with a No. 8 MLB finish in 2010. No matter the sport, the one thing you can count on with Jack Jones is that he won't leave any stone unturned. You'll know why he is on a game with his detailed analysis, and more times than not, you will come out well ahead against your book. Head on over to Jack's premium pick page to see what he has in store for tonight!
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