It’s one of the most exciting times of the year, which are the holidays of course. For sports fans, we have the NFL season winding down with the playoffs around the corner and we have the college bowl season. My final college football prediction which was almost three weeks ago saw me finish with a 4-1 record. Coming into the bowl games, my record is 53-22 and my overall winning percentage jumps from 70% to 70.7%. My bowl predictions will start on the day before New Year’s Eve. Hopefully I can finish the year above my goal of 70% for the first time EVER. With that being said, let’s get started!!
I’ll kick things off with the Auto Zone Liberty Bowl in Memphis. The Georgia Bulldogs will take on the TCU Horned Frogs as both teams try to build momentum heading into the offseason. Georgia finished the season losing to their in-state Rival, Georgia Tech. With a really good, upcoming class and Nick Chubb returning for his senior season, Georgia should return to prominence next year. The TCU Horned Frogs finished the season losing two of their final three games with almost no offense. Can the Horned Frogs control the physical lines of the Bulldogs to pull off the win? I think Georgia should come away with their 8th win of the season.
Georgia Win 34-21
We head to El Paso, Texas as the 18th ranked Stanford Cardinal face the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The big news coming from Stanford is that their All-World RB Christian McCaffrey will sit out of this game to prepare for the NFL Draft. Stanford comes into this game on a five game winning streak, but of course that was with McCaffrey. Can Stanford mount enough offense against the Tar Heels? North Carolina could’ve finished with a much better season before losing two of their final three games. Mitch Trubisky is widely considered to be the best QB in the upcoming draft, so this could be a showcase game for him. With that being said, I think the Tar Heels will edge out this tough Stanford team.
North Carolina Win 30-20
We head to Nashville for the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. The Nebraska Cornhuskers take on the 21st ranked Tennessee Volunteers. Nebraska started the season with a 7-0 record and a top-10 ranking. They finished the season losing three of their final five games with two of those games against Ohio State and Wisconsin. The Cornhuskers could be without QB Tommy Armstrong for this game. Tennessee is looking to finish this crazy season with their ninth win. They had so much potential at the start of the season, but lost three in a row after starting the season 5-0. I think the Volunteers will beat the Cornhuskers in this one.
Tennessee Win 33-21
This game will take place in the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The 6th ranked Michigan Wolverines face the 11th ranked Florida State Seminoles in the Capital One Orange Bowl. This game could be the most exciting outside of the college playoff games. Michigan comes into this game with one of the best defenses in the country and the most versatile player in the country. Can they contain Dalvin Cook? Florida State wants to finish the season on a high note and send Cook to the NFL with a win. Can the Seminoles offensive line stand up against the stout defensive line of the Wolverines? This should be a good game and I think Michigan will come out the victor.
Michigan Win 27-24
This game takes place in Orlando as the 20th ranked LSU Tigers face the 13th ranked Louisville Cardinal in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. LSU will be without Leonard Fournette as he’ll sit out the game in preparation of the upcoming NFL Draft. The Tigers still have a great RB in Derrius Guice, who led the team in rushing with over 1200 yards. LSU still possess one of the better defenses in the country also. The Louisville Tigers are led by the most exciting player in the country and Heisman winner, Lamar Jackson. Louisville comes into this game on a two game losing streak, so they’re looking for some redemption. Can they pull off the win against this tough Tigers team? I think LSU will leave with the win against Louisville.
LSU Win 31-21
We head to Jacksonville for the TaxSlayer Bowl between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Kentucky Wildcats. Georgia Tech finished their season with an 8-4 record with wins over Virginia Tech and Georgia this year. The offense of the Yellow Jackets should be an issue for the Wildcats defense in this game. Can Georgia Tech defeat another SEC school in this game? It seems like the Wildcats program could be on the rise with a pretty good recruiting class coming in and a big win over Louisville in their last game. Can this defense keep up with the explosive Yellow Jackets offense? I think Georgia Tech will be leaving with the win over Kentucky.
Georgia Tech Win 31-24
We head to Tampa, Florida for the Outback Bowl between the 17th ranked Florida Gators and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Florida comes into this game loser of two games in a row against Florida State and Alabama. The Gators are hoping their defense step up because their offense has been nonexistent their last five games. They come into this game averaging 13 points a game in those games. Iowa come into this game on a 3-game winning streak, which include wins over Michigan and Nebraska. They have relied on their stout defense during that streak, can they continue that play against the Gators? I think Florida will rebound and pull off the close win over the Hawkeyes.
Florida Win 23-16
We head to Texas for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl between the 15th ranked Western Michigan Broncos and the 8th ranked Wisconsin Badgers. Western Michigan comes into this game undefeated and some are saying they don’t belong. Honestly, having watched them play quite a few times this year, I beg to disagree. The Broncos biggest win of the year came on the road against Northwestern. Can they withstand the tough Badgers team? If you know me personally, then you know I’ve been on the Wisconsin bandwagon all season. This game will be better than expected, but I think the Badgers will pull away in the end.
Wisconsin Win 33-23
This is the granddaddy of them all, which is the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual. The 9th ranked USC Trojans face the 5th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. USC is arguably one of the hottest teams in the country and have been called the best three loss team in the nation. They have won 8 games in a row after losing three of their first four games. Can they continue this dominance against the Nittany Lions? Some think Penn State should be playing in the playoffs since they’re the only team to beat Ohio State this year. Can the Nittany Lions travel to the West Coast and go back home with the win? I think the Trojans will beat the Nittany Lions in a very close game.
USC Win 29-27
We head to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans for the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The 14th ranked Auburn Tigers will take on the 7th ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Auburn has one of the best defenses in the country as their front four is as good as anyone else’s. The Auburn offenses definitely have their share of issues and this could spell trouble for them. Can they keep pace with Oklahoma? On the other hand, the offense of the Sooners has one of the most explosive in the country. Can Baker Mayfield and the Sooner offense stay as potent against Auburn? I think Oklahoma will come out as the victor against Auburn in this one.
Oklahoma Win 38-24
This is the first of the college playoff games with it taking place at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide face the 4th ranked Washington Huskies in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. Let’s be real, Alabama has been the best and most dominant team in the country all year. They can dominate on all three phases of the game and their defense can score at will also. Alabama have at least five or six players on defense that’s projected to be drafted in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. The Washington Huskies have been dominant to an extent throughout the year also. The USC Trojans is the only blemish on their record and they also can dominate teams on both sides of the ball. This game could be a close one, but I think the Tide will win and advance to the championship game on January 9th.
Alabama Win 40-24
The other game in the college football playoffs take place University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The 2nd ranked Clemson Tigers will take on the 3rd ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. Clemson comes into this game with one of, if not the most potent offense in the country. They’re hoping to get back to the National Championship game like they did last year. With the Ohio State Buckeyes, they have one of the youngest teams in the country. Urban Meyer is one of the best big game coaches in the nation. I think they two teams mirror one another and this could be one of the best games of the entire bowl season. Despite being the underdog in this game, I think Clemson and Deshaun Watson will find a way to win the game in the end.
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What did you think about my picks? Do you see an upset happening in one of those games? What game are you looking forward to the most? Who do you have playing in the title game? Head to the comments section below and give me some feedback. Oh yeah, I’ll do a separate article for the championship after these games are finished.