The Rambler’s own Connor Van Hove and Joe McCafferty break down all 35 bowl games this season. Games begin this Saturday, Dec. 21, and the bowl season culminates with the BCS national championship game on Jan. 6, 2014. Agree? Disagree? Compete against The Rambler staffers and others by making your selections in the first ever Cathedral Prep College Bowl Mania Contest.
Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Colorado State vs. Washington State
Washington State is led behind QB Connor Halliday who holds nations fourth rated passing attack with 4,187 yards and 28 touchdowns, and this is exactly why Washington State will win.
Pick: Washington state 38, Colorado State 35
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: Fresno State vs. USC
Fresno St. is led by QB Derek Carr, who leads the FBS with 4,866 yards and 48 touchdowns. USC had a rough start to the year, firing head coach Lane Kiffin five games into the season. USC overcame obstacles and finished with the 21st ranked scoring defense. However, USC’s defense will not be enough to stop the Fresno State passing attack.
Pick: Fresno State 31, USC 17
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Buffalo vs. San Diego State
San Diego State started out 0-3 then won 7 of the next 8. Buffalo does not have the defense to stop the streaking San Diego State team.
Pick: SDSU 30, Buffalo 21
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Louisiana-Lafayette is coming off of two losses to two mediocre teams. Tulane, on the other hand, plays their home games in the Superdome where they went 5-1 despite having one of the worst offenses in FBS.
Pick: Tulane 27, Louisiana-Lafayette 21
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg: East Carolina vs. Ohio
East Carolina is ranked 10th nationally in scoring with 40.4 points a game. They are led by QB Shane Carden who has thrown for 3,866 and 32 touchdowns. Ohio had a late three-game losing streak, and I don’t think QB Tyler Tettleton will be able to lead them to a third straight bowl win.
Pick: East Carolina 38, Ohio 21
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Boise State vs. Oregon State
Boise State is making its 12th straight bowl appearance. Oregon State made it to the postseason despite losing their last give games. Oregon State still has the nation’s third best passing attack with QB Sean Mannion.
Pick: Oregon state 28, Boise State 24
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green
Bowling Green has the nation’s fifths best defense in terms of scoring per game by just allowing 14.8. Pittsburgh has late season wins over Notre Dame and Syracuse which allowed them to make the bowl.
Pick: Pittsburgh 24, Bowling Green 21
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Utah State vs. Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois was hoping for a BCS bowl bid. However, they lost the Mid-America title game. Northern Illinois is led by Heisman finalist Jordan Lynch. Utah State is ranked 7th nationally in scoring defense at 17.3 points per game.
Pick: Northern Illinois 28, Utah State 17
Northrop Grumman Military Bowl: Marshall vs. Maryland
Marshall fell to Rice in the Conference USA title game giving them a much better matchup with Maryland. However, dual-threat QB C.J. Brown is hard to contain with 2,583 yards of total offense and 23 total touchdowns.
Pick: Maryland 28, Marshall 21
Texas Bowl: Minnesota vs. Syracuse
Minnesota is looking for its first bowl win since beating Alabama in 04. Their defense kept them in many games despite an inconsistent offense. Syracuse offense is ranked 104th in passing and 99th in scoring and I don’t believe they will be able to keep up with Minnesota.
Pick: Minnesota 24, Syracuse 7
Fight Hunger Bowl: BYU vs. Washington
BYU won seven out of 9 games from the start of October. Washington will not be coached by their coach from all season and not their coach for next season.
Pick: BYU 37, Washington 34
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Rutgers
Notre Dame had a tough season after their embarrassment in last year’s national title game. Rutgers did not qualify for a bowl until they beat South Florida.
Pick: Notre Dame 35, Rutgers 20
Belk Bowl: Cincinnati vs. North Carolina
Cincinnati had a solid season out of sixth year QB Brendon Kay and a good defense. UNC rebounded after a 1-5 start to win five straight and become bowl eligible.
Pick: UNC 27, Cincinnati 24
Russell Athletic Bowl: Louisville vs. Miami (Fla.)
Louisville was hoping to hop into National Championship discussion if it wasn’t for one late season loss. Miami started 7-0 but then lost three straight. Teddy Bridgewater and his offense will be too much for Miami to handle.
Pick. Louisville 28, Miami 17
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan vs. Kansas State
Michigan had a rough start to the season then almost beat Ohio State in a thriller. Kansas State was 2-4 before winning 5 of 6 down the stretch.
Pick: Michigan 31, Kansas State 28
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Navy
Navy’s third best rushing offense in the nation (320.1 yards per game) will be too much for Middle Tennessee’s defense.
Pick: Navy 35, Middle Tennessee 21
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss
Georgia Tech is now in a bowl for 17th straight year. Ole Miss lost its last two games of the season.
Pick: Georgia Tech 30, Ole Mss 27
Valero Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs. Texas
Texas was 1-2 before winning its first 6 conference games. Oregon had a late season melt down which kept them for reaching the BCS for the fifth straight year.
Pick: Oregon 40, Texas 21
National University Holiday Bowl: Arizona State vs. Texas Tech
Texas Tech started out this year strong but skidded out towards the end due to stiff competition but first year coach Kliff Kingsbury can take away a success from this year. Arizona State is kind of disappointed to be in this game after being shellacked by Stanford in the PAC-12 championship game. However, Taylor Kelly and crew should take care of business in San Diego.
Pick: Arizona State 48, Texas Tech 34
AdvoCare V100 Bowl: Arizona vs. Boston College
This bowl features quite possibly the two best running backs in the entire country in Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey and Boston College’s Heisman Trophy finalist, running back Andre Williams. Look for a lot of ground game in this one.
Pick: Arizona 23, Boston College 13
Hyundai Sun Bowl: UCLA vs. Virginia Tech
Brett Hundley and the Bruins look to avenge an up and down season against the disappointing Hokie team led by Logan Thomas. Virginia Tech is very capable of pulling an upset but looking for the Bruins to handle them fairly easily.
Pick: UCLA 31, Virginia Tech 14
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Rice
Now before you start going on about how this is disrespectful to the SEC dominance, Mississippi State really has not done anything warranting themselves of a win here. Rice has played tough all season long and has a very efficient running game. Look for the Owls to pull the “upset” here.
Pick: Rice 26, Mississippi State 20
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Duke
This could quite possibly be Johnny Football’s last college football game with the growing speculation that he will turn pro. Duke is coming off the most impressive season ever for the football program. That being said, Texas A&M should roll in this one.
Pick: Texas A&M 52, Duke 28
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl: Georgia vs. Nebraska
Although Georgia’s once promising season has been decimated by injuries, the Dawgs still have fight in them. Nebraska is a mess of a program right now with the weekly explosions by Bo Pelini becoming more and more of a distraction. Georgia. BIG.
Pick: Georgia 34, Nebraska 7
Heart of Dallas Bowl: North Texas vs. UNLV
This is a matchup of two good, up and coming football teams. I think I am going to have to give the upper hand here to North Texas since this game is being played in Texas.
Pick: North Texas 20, UNLV 17
Capital One Bowl: Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
This is the premier non-BCS bowl matchup. This game displays a notoriously hard-nose football team in Wisconsin against another tough, physical football team in South Carolina. With Jadeveon Clowney most certainly going to the draft, look for him to have a big game.
Pick: South Carolina 24, Wisconsin 20
Outback Bowl: Iowa vs. LSU
With Zach Mettenberger tearing his ACL in his last game against Arkansas, the Tigers will be leaning on quarterback Anthony Jennings to pick up the slack. The Hawkeyes have been up and down all season, but for the most part have held a pretty steady offense.
Pick: LSU 27, Iowa 17
Rose Bowl Game: Michigan State vs. Stanford
In the 100th anniversary of the Rose Bowl Game, you have two conference champions going to battle in Pasadena. Michigan State earned their way in here by winning nine straight games and earning the Big Ten Championship. Stanford has done the same, and if not for two upset losses, they could be in the National Championship.
Pick: Stanford 17, Michigan State 13
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. UCF
This matchup fixes the champions of the Big 12 against the newly formed American Athletic Conference champions Central Florida. This game is probably the biggest mismatch in the entire bowl season. Baylor is going to slaughter the Golden Knights
Pick: Baylor 56, UCF 21
Allstate Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
This year’s Sugar Bowl matchup features the mighty Crimson Tide and the Sooners. Alabama does not want to be in this game. That is simply just a fact. Look for the Sooners to pull off this legendary upset.
Pick: Oklahoma 27, Alabama 21
AT&T Cotton Bowl: Missouri vs. Oklahoma State
This game features two conference runner ups in the SEC and Big 12 respectively. Missouri has dealt with a multitude of injuries to string up one of the most impressive seasons in school history. Oklahoma State’s firepower at the offensive level has led them to this prestigious bowl. Look for this to be one of the closer bowl games.
Pick: Missouri 31, Oklahoma State 28
Discover Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Ohio State
Ohio State’s dreams were crushed by Sparty when they took the L in the Big Ten championship. Better than Clemson, however, whose National Title hopes were crushed early in the season after getting humbled by Florida State. There is a lot of offensive generals in this game so look for it to be high scoring.
Pick: Ohio State 45, Clemson 31
BBVA Compass Bowl: Houston vs. Vanderbilt
This game should be one that is highly watched but will go under the radar. With James Franklin possibly coaching his last game at Vandy because of him becoming a hot commodity, look for the Cougars and Deontay Greenberry to pull the upset
Pick: Houston 34, Vanderbilt 20
GoDaddy Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Ball State
This game features two good football teams. After Ball State nearly upset Northern Illinois, they fell off just a bit. Look for them to regroup in this matchup here.
Pick: Ball State 21, Arkansas State 13
BCS National Championship: Florida State vs. Auburn
With the season coming down to this game here, I do not think they could have picked a better matchup. Florida State’s combination of proficient offensive play and stout defensive play makes them a matchup nightmare for any team. Auburn, however, has Lady Luck on their side by winning two games in the last second of the game. Tre Mason also boasts the Tiger running offense which happens to be one of the best in the country. This should be an awesome game.
Pick: Florida State 37, Auburn 34