With 22 bowl games over the next 7 days it'll be hard to find a time where there isn't any college football on, but live it up while you can since sadly we don't have much of it left this year.
Last Week ATS: 3-3
Season ATS: 54-38 (26-26 National, 28-12 B1G)
Military Bowl: #24 San Jose St. (-7.5) v. Bowling Green - 12/27 3 PM EST - ESPN
Both these teams have turned around dramatically from where they were in 2010, when they combined for 3 wins between them. I was originally liked Bowling Green in this one, but after looking into it more I think their defensive stats might have been boosted by a weak schedule. I think the Falcons will have a hard time keeping pace with David Fales and the rest of the San Jose State's offense.
San Jose State 31 Bowling Green 17
Belk Bowl: Cincinnati (-9) v. Duke - 12/27 6:30 PM EST - ESPN
I hate trying to pick this game. I'm probably better off just flipping a coin rather than spending as much time as I have looking at it. After going 6-2 to start the season, Duke finished 0-4, allowing at least 42 points in each during the 4-game losing streak. Who knows how Cincinnati will respond after Butch Jones left to become Tennessee's head coach. I'll begrudingly take Cincinnati just because Duke has given up a billion rushing yards the last 4 games, and George Winn has rushed for 1,200 yards on the season.
Cincinnati 33 Duke 20
Holiday Bowl: Baylor v. #17 UCLA (-3) - 12/27 9:45 PM EST - ESPN
I'm pretty sure the score is already 21-21 and the game hasn't even started yet. Baylor's Nick Florence and Terrance Williams against UCLA's Brett Hundley and Johnathan Franklin should result in the scoreboard in San Diego getting a workout. I gotta go with UCLA with this one since their defense isn't a total dumpster fire.
UCLA 48 Baylor 41
Independence Bowl: Ohio v. Louisiana-Monroe (-7) - 12/28 2 PM EST - ESPN
Good ol' Shreveport, one of the most majestic college football bowl games settings....wait, I should have used that to describe San Diego in the last bowl game preview. My bad. Ohio really fell off after a 7-0 start to the season, losing 4 of their last 5. The Warhawks are pretty bad against the pass but Ohio isn't a team that is gonna light you up through the air. This is essentially a home game for Louisiana-Monroe and I'll roll with that.
Louisiana-Monroe 34 Ohio 21
Russell Athletic Bowl: Rutgers v. Virginia Tech (-2.5) - 12/28 5:30 PM EST - ESPN
Virginia Tech needed a win in their regular season finale against Virginia to become bowl-eligible while Rutgers lost their last 2 games to miss out on the Big East's BCS berth. The Hokies have a little better offense but I could see Rutgers capitalizing off a number of turnovers. Rutgers is tied with Mississippi State for longest active bowl win streak at 5 games, so because of that give me the points.
Rutgers 23 Virginia Tech 16
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Minnesota v. Texas Tech (-13) - 12/28 9 PM EST - ESPN
I wasn't very impressed with Minnesota this year. They squeaked into a bowl game by beating weak competition, and got handled when they played decent teams. Sure the Gophers' pass D was ranked among the nation's best, but that was because they faced teams that were more geared towards the run. I feel like Texas Tech will be able to sling it and will want to make a good impression on new coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Texas Tech 52 Minnesota 20
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Rice v. Air Force (-3) - 12/29 11:45 AM EST - ESPN
This is another game where I really don't have a solid feel for. Both teams can run the ball but also can't stop the run. The Owls can at least pass the ball a little if needed. Rice finished the season strong and I could see some of that momentum carrying over to this game, while Air Force lost 3 of 4. I'm probably horrible for picking against Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl, but like I said I got no real idea on this one.
Rice 34 Air Force 30
Pinstripe Bowl: West Virginia (-3.5) v. Syracuse - 12/29 3:15 PM EST - ESPN
Former Big East foes face off at Yankee Stadium in what should be a track meet. Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib must be thrilled that he gets to go up against one of the nation's worst passing defenses in the country. Wondering if the cold temperatures that are expected in the Bronx might slow down WVU just a little. The Orange played well down the stretch and should be able to keep up with WVU behind Nassib's arm.
Syracuse 45 West Virginia 42
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Navy v. Arizona State (-14.5) - 12/29 4 PM EST - ESPN2
Since Keenan Robinson took over at QB late in the Air Force game, Navy has gone 7-1. Arizona State started the season strong but limped to the finish.. The Sun Devils run D is suspect and I feel that Navy should have some success on the ground which will run clock and at least keep this game within 2 TDs.
Arizona State 38 Navy 28
Alamo Bowl: Texas v. #15 Oregon State (-3.5) - 12/29 6:45 PM EST - ESPN
Both these teams have questions at QB coming into the game. Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz have both started a number of games this year as the Beavers have had injuries at the QB position throughout the season. Vaz has already been announced as starter for the bowl game. David Ash started the first 11 games of the season before Case McCoy started the last game. Ash will return to the starter role in this game. With these teams seeming similar to me, I'll take the points with Texas playing in San Antonio.
Texas 27 Oregon State 24
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: TCU (-3) v. Michigan State - 12/29 10:15 PM EST - ESPN
We might get overtime in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, but will we really want it in this one? This game has all the makings of one of the lowest scoring bowl games this year. Aside from the Notre Dame loss, the games Sparty has lost have been close. Expect a billion carries from Le'Veon Bell in this game. I feel better about Sparty's chances in a tight game.
Michigan State 16 TCU 13
Music City Bowl: North Carolina State v. Vanderbilt (-7.5) - 12/31 12 PM EST - ESPN
For the first time since 1955 Vandy has won 6 straight games. Now they get to try and add to one of their best seasons in school history with a bowl game win in Nashville. This matchup will see one of the ACC's best QB's going up against the nation's best passing defenses. I don't know if Vandy is quite ready to be more than a touchdown favorite in a bowl quite yet.
Vanderbilt 23 N.C. State 20
Sun Bowl: USC (-9.5) v. Georgia Tech - 12/31 2 PM EST - CBS
The Trojans started the season #1 and are now playing a team with a losing record on New Year's Eve in El Paso. This will be defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's last game in that position, and his going away present is to try and prepare for the triple option. Even though USC says they are excited to be here I'm not buying it. They may win but it won't be a blowout.
USC 37 Georgia Tech 31
Liberty Bowl: Iowa State (-1) v. Tulsa - 12/31 3:30 PM EST - ESPN
The Liberty Bowl gives us a rematch of a week 1 rematch, which Iowa State won 38-23. Since then QB Steele Jantz has been replaced by redshirt freshman QB Sam Robinson. All Big-12 linebacker Jake Knott's status is up in air for this game due to injury. Tulsa has finished the season strong and has revenge on their mind. It is hard to beat a team twice in a season, so I'll go Tulsa here.
Tulsa 28 Iowa State 20
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: #9 LSU (-5) v. #14 Clemson - 12/31 7:30 PM EST - ESPN
Big style contrast here with Clemson's high speed offense against LSU's tough D. The only losses for LSU on the season were to the #2 and #3 teams in the country. I just can't bring myself to back a Dabo coached team in a big game. I think LSU's D will be able to shut down Clemson just like South Carolina did.
LSU 27 Clemson 17
Gator Bowl: Mississippi State (-1.5) v. #21 Northwestern - 1/1 12 PM EST - ESPN2
Northwestern will be trying to secure their first bowl win since 1949 as they go up against Cowbell U, and I think they have a good shot to get it. Mississippi State started the season 7-0 but they really played nobody in that stretch. The Bulldogs should get a heavy dose of Venric Mark, who has rushed for 1300 yards and 11 TDs on the season. Northwestern has been a covering machine this year, going 11-1 ATS.
Northwestern 31 Mississippi State 28
Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue v. Oklahoma State (-16.5) - 1/1 12 PM EST - ESPNU
WR coach Patrick Higgins will keep the heading coach spot warm in the bowl game for Darrell Hazell. Higgins and company will have to figure out how to stop RB Joseph Randle and the rest of the Okie State offense. Purdue QB Robert Mavre has played well in his last 3 games, but they were against Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa so I would be wary of putting a lot of stocking in that.I'm not fond of giving almost 17 points in a bowl game but I just can't see Purdue keeping up.
Oklahoma State 48 Purdue 27
Capital One Bowl: #6 Georgia (-10) v. #23 Nebraska - 1/1 1 PM EST - ABC
Not sure which team will suffer a hangover from their last game more in this one. Georgia was a few yards away from playing in the BCSNCG if they could have scored against Alabama, and I'm pretty sure Wisconsin just scored again on Nebraska a couple minutes ago. I'm hoping that Nebraska can run the ball as effectively as Alabama did against Georgia. I'm already anticipating shenanigans in a coaching matchup of Bo Pelini and Mark Richt.
Georgia 41 Nebraska 34
Outback Bowl: #11 South Carolina (-6) v. #19 Michigan - 1/1 1 PM EST - ESPN
It doesn't matter if Denard Robinson or Devin Gardner is under center for the Wolverines, Jadeveon Clowney is going to be in the Michigan QB's earhole all afternoon. Having said that, I hate to admit I think this will be a close game. Michigan has a strong pass D and South Carolina doesn't have a very dynamic offense, especially after losing Marcus Lattimore. Giving 6 points in this matchup is just a little too rich for my tastes, but I still hope Michigan loses.
South Carolina 21 Michigan 17
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin v. #8 Stanford (-6.5) - 1/1 5 PM EST - ESPN
This rematch of the 2000 Rose Bowl gives us Montee Ball and Wisconsin's rushing attack against Stanford's 3rd ranked rushing D. Wisconsin will be trying to avoid losing their 3rd straight Rose Bowl, but at least Barry Alvarez is coaching this game for the Badgers to add a little extra intrigue! Even though the Badgers lost 5 games and technically shouldn't even be here, their biggest loss on the season was only by 7 points to the Buckeyes. It seems like all David Shaw's teams have done since he took over for Jim Harbaugh is win. While I think Stanford wins, they'll have to work for it.
Stanford 20 Wisconsin 17
Orange Bowl: #16 Northern Illinois v. #13 Florida State (-13.5) - 1/1 8:30 PM EST - ESPN
I'll be honest, after hearing Kirk Herbstreit throw a hissy fit about Northern Illinois getting this BCS bid I want to see the Huskies pull the upset in this one. Do I actually think they are going to win? No. Florida State's defense is just too good and has too much speed for Northern Illinois to be able to pull the upset. Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch has accounted for 43 TDs this, so Florida State can't sleep on Northern Illinois in this one. If I can't take Northern Illinois to win this game I'll at least take them to cover.
Florida State 35 Northern Illinois 27
Sugar Bowl: #22 Louisville v. #4 Florida (-13.5) - 1/2 8:30 PM EST - ESPN
The month between games for Louisville couldn't have come at a better time from QB Teddy Bridgewater, who is recovering from a broken wrist on his non-throwing hand suffered in the UConn game. You know that Charlie Strong will have the Cardinals prepared for this game especially since he is going against the school he worked at before becoming Louisville's head coach. The Gator offense doesn't make me want to lay almost 2 TDs in this game. I think Bridgewater can do just enough to keep Louisville within 14 points.
Florida 24 Louisville 14