Written by Cole Locascio
New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Rutgers vs. Notre Dame
First off -- football should never be played in a baseball park, okay? The logistics of it just don't fit -- at all. Last night's game in AT&T Park out in San Francisco forced both teams to share the same sideline. This is football, not hockey.
Prediction: Notre Dame W 24-19
Belk Bowl - Cincinnati vs. North Carolina
Oh, goody! A bowl game named after a department store. And who said that there are too many bowl games? Coach Tommy Tubbs coaches the Bearcats -- that's about all I can tell you for this preview.
Prediction: Cincinnati W 31-23
Russell Athletic Bowl - Miami vs. Louisville
Does anyone actually wear Russell's gear since Auburn dropped them in 2005? No? That's what I thought. Can you believe that Louisville only has one loss? I surely can't. Teddy Bridgewater might be the most overrated quarterback in college football. For a guy who is/was supposed to be the #1 quarterback drafted, he sure does throw some wobbly passes.
Prediction: Miami W 34-27
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - Kansas State vs. Michigan
The key to this one will lie with Michigan's offensive production without star quarterback, Devin Gardner. The Wolverines gave Ohio State quite a scare in week 14, as they lit up the scoreboard for 41 points in a one-point loss. Kansas State, on a similar note, suffered a shaky start to their year, as the Wildcats limped through a 2-4 record before finally leveling out their play to finish out with a 5-1 record to end the second half of the season. I think the loss of their starting quarterback will prove too much, as Michigan loses in a close one to a red hot Kansas State team.
Prediction: Kansas State W 31-27
Armed Forces Bowl - Middle Tennessee vs. Navy
*Insert decent Armed Forces team* *Insert decent team with 9-10 wins against cupcake teams* There. That just about sums up this bowl game. With a month to prepare, I expect Middle Tennessee to shut the triple-option down.
Prediction: Middle Tennessee W 26-19
Music City Bowl - Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech
Like Navy, Georgia Tech's triple-option offense can be fairly simple to stop with a little bit of preparation. Basic assignment football should do the trick against the Jackets, as the talented Rebel defensive line will give Paul Johnson fits. Remember what Iowa did to Georgia Tech in the '09 Orange Bowl? Expect a similar result this year in Nashville.
Prediction: Ole Miss W 35-24
Alamo Bowl - Oregon vs. Texas
According to my "sources", Nick Saban is not, not going to stay at Alabama. See what I did there? On a serious note, Oregon should handle this game from start to finish. With all the hype that will surround Mack Brown's final game, I'll admit that it'd be quite a sight to see an upset at the Alamo. Don't count on it, though... it won't happen.
Prediction: Oregon W 38-27
Holiday Bowl - Arizona State vs. Texas Tech
The attractive, uh, I mean... young Kliff Kingsbury is the definition of a new age coach -- too bad his offense is a bit dated. Everyone knows the air raid is so 2008. After a hot 7-0 record to start the season, Texas Tech has suffered five straight losses. Don't expect that trend to change on Monday, because the Sun Devils are on fire this season. Frankly, I'm shocked that this is even a matchup, because Arizona State, with their strong pass defense, should win handily.
Prediction: Arizona State W 34-21
AdvoCare V100 Bowl - Arizona vs. Boston College
Run, run, run. Two of the best running backs in the country, Andre Williams and Ka'Deem Carey, will face off, head to head, in this matchup on Tuesday. One of the few teams to give Florida State fits on defense this season was Boston College with their superb rushing attack, but watch out for Arizona's spark that triggered toward the latter part of the season. The Wildcats are still flying high from their upset win against Oregon a few weeks back, while Boston College has maintained their steady, one-dimensional offensive attack with Andre Williams in the backfield. I feel like the more complete team, Arizona, will win this one in a back-and-forth match.
Prediction: Arizona W 38-34
Sun Bowl - Virginia Tech vs. UCLA
I cringe when I watch Virginia Tech's offense. Scot Loeffler (yes, that one) is in control of the play-calling up there. Luckily for the Hokies, they have a very underrated defense holding their opponents to 17.4 points per game, good enough for eighth best in the nation. The bad news? Their opponent is UCLA this time. The Bruins are averaging 448 yards per game, and with dual-threat quarterback, Brett Hundley, under center, it spells trouble for the Hokies' defensive ends. The key for a Virginia Tech win? Contain the QB, and force him to make mistakes in the pocket instead.
Prediction: UCLA W 28-24
Liberty Bowl - Rice vs. Mississippi State
The cowbells snuck their way into a bowl game when Bo "Sunshine" Wallace watched the Egg Bowl slip away from his very own hands when he fumbled the football on his way to a sure touchdown run in overtime. Wait, who's Mississippi State playing? Rice? Is this baseball, because that would be a whole lot more believable. Rice is coming off of a remarkable 10-win season (in the Conference USA), but the SEC will prove too much for the forgotten team in Texas, as the "clangas" will roll on to victory.
Prediction: Mississippi State W 37-17
Chick-Fil-A Bowl - Duke vs. Texas A&M
The last game of the New Year should be a real snoozer. I just picked up a ticket on StubHub for $22 -- a lower level seat, nonetheless. Johnny Manziel will shred the Blue Devil defense in what should be his last game starting in the college ranks. Don't worry, Duke could keep it close for a while, and should be able to put up some points due to that pathetic Aggie defense.
Prediction: Texas A&M W 38-23
Stay tuned for my New Year's Bowl Predictions next week....