2016 Bowl Preview

What a season it has been! This bowl season has the potential to be just as good. There are some very interesting matchups this postseason starting out on day one. There are 41 bowl games, so let’s dive in.

*All times Eastern

How I fared in the regular season: 63-26

How I fared in bowls: 25-15

December 17:
New Mexico Bowl: UTSA vs. New Mexico; New Mexico has been a pretty strong team this season. The Lobos are averaging more than 360 rush yards per game while UTSA is giving up less than 160 per game. The Roadrunners had to win their last game to become bowl eligible and New Mexico finished their regular season by beating Wyoming by 21 points. I think UNM is going to be too much for UTSA. This is also a home game for the Lobos. I am picking New Mexico. 2pm on ESPN
Final: New Mexico 23 UTSA 20

Las Vegas Bowl: Houston vs. San Diego State; I am extremely excited for this game. It will be interesting to see how Houston plays without Tom Herman. San Diego State finished the season by beating Wyoming to win the Mountain West. Houston has wins over Oklahoma and Louisville this season, but I don’t think they are going to be mentally up for this one the way SDSU will. This is also a much closer game for the Aztecs. This has potential to be one of the better games of the bowl season. I am picking San Diego State. 3:30pm on ABC
Final: San Diego State 34 Houston 10

Camellia Bowl: Toledo vs. Appalachian State; What a matchup. There are two great teams and that makes it hard to pick this one. Toledo lost their last game to Western Michigan. Appalachian State’s only conference loss came to Troy. Both of these teams are capable of scoring a lot of points and I think that is going to lead to an exciting bowl game. Toledo QB Logan Woodside threw 43 TDs this season (most in FBS) to just 9 INTs. App State picked off 20 passes this season. It should be interesting to see who comes out on top. I am picking Appalachian State. 5:30pm on ESPN
Final: Appalachian State 31 Toledo 28

Cure Bowl: UCF vs. Arkansas State; Arkansas State started off the season 0-4, including a loss to FCS Central Arkansas. Then they went 7-1 in conference play. UCF went 0-12 last season, so going to a bowl this year is a huge accomplishment. The Knights lost their last two games, but to good teams. I think Arkansas State is on a roll, but they have really struggled with non-conference opponents. It’ll be interesting to see if their recent success will continue. I am picking Arkansas State. 5:30pm on CBSSN
Final: Arkansas State 31 UCF 13

New Orleans Bowl: Southern Miss vs. ULL; This should be a high scoring game. Both teams have big offensive contributors, but the Golden Eagles seem to have a little more firepower. Defense will probably be the key to this game. The team that can capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes will win this game. I am picking Southern Miss. 9pm on ESPN
Final: Southern Miss 28 ULL 21

December 19:
Miami Beach Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Tulsa; Tulsa has been great this season and that is thanks in large part to QB Dane Evans. The Golden Hurricane has scored an absurd number of points this season. But they have also given up a ton of points. CMU struggled in the second half of their season, winning just one of their final 5 games. They have had trouble with good offenses, so I don’t have much faith in the Chippewas in this one. I am picking Tulsa. 2:30pm on ESPN
Final: Tulsa 55 Central Michigan 10

December 20:
Boca Raton Bowl: Memphis vs. Western Kentucky; Western Kentucky scores a lot of points. The Hilltoppers scored at least 44 points in all but 3 games (two of which were against SEC teams and the other was a win). Memphis also likes to score, so don’t expect too much defense in this game. The over/under is 79 points on this one, and if I bet, I’d take the over. This one should be exciting. I am picking Western Kentucky. 7pm on ESPN
Final: Western Kentucky 51 Memphis 31

December 21:
Poinsettia Bowl: BYU vs. Wyoming; I haven’t seen too much of BYU this season. They haven’t looked great against strong teams. Wyoming has had a very impressive season. And, as much as I love the Mountain West, I am going against them in this one. I do think it is going to be a very close game. Tanner Mangum is expected to start for the Cougars due to Taysom Hill’s injury. BYU should definitely be on upset alert. I am picking BYU. 9pm on ESPN
Final: BYU 24 Wyoming 21

December 22:
Potato Bowl: Idaho vs. Colorado State; Idaho is about to move to the FCS, but here they are going to a bowl. The Vandals had a very good offense this season and their defense wasn’t too bad either. Colorado State was close in almost all of their losses. In their final game of the regular season they beat San Diego State 63-31. SDSU was a very good team this season so scoring 63 on them is huge. I just think CSU is going to be too much for Idaho. I am picking Colorado State. 7pm on ESPN
Final: Idaho 61 Colorado State 50

December 23:
Bahamas Bowl: Old Dominion vs. Eastern Michigan; This is Old Dominion’s first ever bowl game as an FBS team. After starting the season 1-2, the Monarchs finished up 8-1, with the loss coming to Western Kentucky. Eastern Michigan started off strong but ended the regular season 3-3. This game is in the Bahamas, so mentality will be a big factor in this one. I think ODU has the upper hand because this is their first bowl. I do think this one will be competitive. I am picking Old Dominion. 1pm on ESPN
Final: Old Dominion 24 Eastern Michigan 20

Armed Forces Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. 25Navy; This has the potential to be another very high scoring bowl game. Navy dropped their final two games. The Midshipmen’s streak of 14 straight wins over Army was snapped this year. They also lost their starting QB in the AAC Champ game. I think these injuries are going to be too much to overcome. I don’t think they will be able to score enough points to beat Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs also lost their final two regular season games. They score a lot of points, and their defense isn’t awful. It’s actually pretty decent (except against WKU). I am picking Louisiana Tech. 4:30pm on ESPN
Final: Louisiana Tech 48 25Navy 45

Dollar General Bowl: Ohio vs. Troy; Troy has been very good this season. Until losing to Arkansas State late in the season, their only loss was by 6 at Clemson. Many of their games were close but they found ways to win. Ohio has had a very strong defense this season. I think this will be a close one. The Bobcats are going to need their defense to be strong to win this one and Troy will have to limit their mistakes. I am picking Troy. 8pm on ESPN
Final: Troy 28 Ohio 23

December 24:
Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. Middle Tennessee; Hawaii has looked pretty good this season, but they had a couple tough stretches. They have struggled against teams with good offenses. Unfortunately, MTSU has a pretty good offense. Hawaii does have home field advantage. That may or may not make much of a difference. The Blue Raiders do have to travel a long way for this one. It’ll be interesting to see if they can overcome the jetlag and having to play on Christmas Eve so far from home. I am picking Middle Tennessee. 8pm on ESPN
Final: Hawaii 52 Middle Tennessee 35

December 26:
St. Petersburg Bowl: Miami (OH) vs. Mississippi State; Miami (OH) is the first ever FBS team to start the season 0-6 and finish 6-6. They will face a 5-7 Mississippi State team in this game. The Bulldogs struggled without Dak Prescott this season (p.s. thanks, State, it’s actually fun to be a Cowboys fan right now). I saw this team in person at the end of the season and their offense looked pretty good but their defense was not good at all. Miami (OH)’s defense has been pretty tough this season, including holding WKU to just 31 points early in the season. Mississippi State finished off their regular season with a huge win in the Egg Bowl. I just think they are going to be too much for the Redhawks. I am picking Mississippi State. 11am on ESPN
Final: Mississippi State 17 Miami (OH) 16

Quick Lane Bowl: Maryland vs. Boston College; Honestly, neither of these teams are that great. They are both 6-6 and needed to win their last game to get to that record. I think Maryland has the better offense in this game, but I think points will come at a premium in this game. I don’t think it’ll be all that exciting of a game. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong. I am picking Maryland. 2:30pm on ESPN
Final: Boston College 36 Maryland 30

Independence Bowl: NC State vs. Vanderbilt; Vanderbilt had a strong season this year and finally found some offense in the final two games of the season. The Wolf Pack started off 4-1 but only won two of their final 7 games. I think Vandy will finish strong in this game and have a lot of momentum going into the offseason. Both teams beat their rivals to get to bowl eligibility in the final weekend of the season. I think this will be a good game. I am picking Vanderbilt. 5pm on ESPN2
Final: NC State 41 Vanderbilt 17

December 27:
Heart of Dallas Bowl: Army vs. North Texas; This game is a rematch from earlier in the season. North Texas won that won 35-18. Army finished their season with a huge win over Navy. North Texas is 5-7 and in a bowl thanks to their high APR score. UNT gave up a lot of points in their final 5 games of the season. Army hasn’t been known for their scoring ability this season, but their defense has been decent. I think Army will still be up from their huge win over Navy and will win a close one against North Texas. I am picking Army. 12pm on ESPN
Final: Army 38 North Texas 31 OT

Military Bowl: 24Temple vs. Wake Forest; Wake Forest started the season 4-0 but ended up at 6-6. Temple started off slow but rattled off 7 straight wins to finish the season including a win over Navy in the AAC championship game. The Owls looked very good in their final game and I don’t think Wake Forest is going to be able to stop them for four quarters. I am picking Temple. 3:30pm on ESPN
Final: Wake Forest 34 24Temple 26

Holiday Bowl: Minnesota vs. Washington State; Minnesota ended their bowl boycott and will be playing in this one. I think Washington State is the better team in this game. The Cougars lost their first game to FCS Eastern Washington and their second game to Boise State and then won 8 straight before dropping their last two to Colorado and Washington. I just don’t think Minnesota can stop Luke Falk or the strong running game of Wazzu. I also think Minnesota has had too many distractions. I am picking Washington State. 7pm on ESPN
Final: Minnesota 17 Washington State 12

Cactus Bowl: Boise State vs. Baylor; Baylor started the season 6-0 and then lost their next 6 to end up at .500. Boise State had another strong season, losing only two games. Their games were much closer than they have been in recent seasons. It will be interesting to see if either of these teams really want to be in this game. Baylor probably just wants this season to be over and Boise State didn’t make it to the MWC Championship game. I don’t think Baylor can overcome all of the issues they’ve had this season but I do think this will be a close one, at least for most of the game. I am picking Boise State. 10:15pm on ESPN
Final: Baylor 31 Boise State 12

December 28:
Pinstripe Bowl: 23Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern; This could be a very high scoring game. Pittsburgh has scored a lot of points this season and has wins over two of the final top 5 teams (Penn State and Clemson). I don’t think the Wildcats will be able to outscore Pitt. The Panther defense hasn’t been good so I think this one will be relatively close. I am picking Pittsburgh. 2pm on ESPN
Final: Northwestern 31 23Pittsburgh 24

Russell Athletic Bowl: 16West Virginia vs. Miami (FL); West Virginia’s only two losses came to Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. The Mountaineers also had a pretty stout defense this season. Miami won their first 4, lost their next 4, and won their final 4. Miami’s defense has also been good, allowing 30+ points only twice this season. I don’t think they will be able to hold WVU under that mark, but I do think this game will at least be competitive in the first half. I am picking West Virginia. 5:30pm on ESPN
Final: Miami 31 16West Virginia 14

Foster Farms Bowl: Indiana vs. 19Utah; I think Utah was overranked this season. They lost their last two games of the season (to Oregon and Colorado) and never really looked all that dominant. Indiana had to beat Purdue in their final game to become bowl eligible. They were able to, but only by 2 points. Utah is the better team in this game but I don’t know how excited they are going to be for this game. The Utes should be on upset alert. I am picking Utah. 8:30pm on FOX
Final: 19Utah 26 Indiana 24

Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Kansas State; This is an interesting matchup. Texas A&M had a strong offensive showing in their final game (a loss to LSU). Trevor Knight played even though it was thought he was out for the season. Kansas State won their final 3 games and looked good. The A&M defense will need to do a lot better than they did in their final game where they gave up 54 points. I think this will be a close and hard fought game. I am picking Texas A&M. 9pm on ESPN
Final: Kansas State 33 Texas A&M 28

December 29:
Birmingham Bowl: South Florida vs. South Carolina; I am surprised South Carolina made it to a bowl game this season. I don’t think they will be able to get above .500 though. USF has been very good over the past few seasons. USF scores a lot of points and they have a heck of a QB in Quinton Flowers. I just think they will be too much for this SCAR team. I am picking South Florida. 2pm on ESPN
Final: South Florida 46 South Carolina 39 OT

Belk Bowl: Arkansas vs. 22Virginia Tech; The Razorbacks did not finish the season like they wanted to. Despite leading Missouri 24-7 at the half, they lost 24-28 (to the only SEC East team not going to a bowl). The Hogs have followed every loss with a win this season so I am hoping that trend continues. Virginia Tech was in the game with Clemson. That worries me. If the Hokie defense could not show up that would be great. This game has potential to be a shootout. I just hope my Hogs can come out on top in my last game as an undergrad at UofA. I am picking Arkansas. 5:30 on ESPN
Final: 22Virginia Tech 35 Arkansas 24

Alamo Bowl: 12Oklahoma State vs. 10Colorado; I’m not going to lie: I’ve been a Pac 12 hater this season. I just don’t think they are nearly as good as some of their rankings. I don’t mean to say that I think Colorado isn’t a good team. They are. But I think they are going to get a rude awakening in this game. They have struggled against teams with strong offenses. Oklahoma State has 3* losses and most of their games have been close. I’m interested to see how the Colorado defense looks against a Big 12 offense. I don’t think they can hold them enough. I am picking Oklahoma State. 9pm on ESPN
Final: 12Oklahoma State 38 10Colorado 8

December 30:
Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs. TCU; This is a hard game to pick because neither team has been consistent this season. Georgia was able to beat Auburn but lost to Georgia Tech. TCU beat Baylor by 40 but only scored 6 in their final game against Kansas State. I basically picked Georgia because they are in the SEC. QB Kenny Hill is expected to play in this game, but Georgia has had a pretty good defense. Even Vegas doesn’t have a favorite in this one. I am picking Georgia. 12pm on ESPN
Final: Georgia 31 TCU 23

Sun Bowl: 18Stanford vs. North Carolina; Christian McCaffrey will not be playing in this game in order to start preparing for his pro career. Personally, I’m ok with him sitting out because he has been dinged up all season and is the majority of the Stanford offense and would have a significantly higher chance than most other players of getting hurt. I’m still bummed though. Elijah Hood will also be sitting, but for medical reasons and he plans to return next season. I find it hard to go against Stanford’s defense. It will be interesting to see how (and if) Stanford’s offense does without their star. The Cardinal are also riding a 5-game winning streak while UNC dropped their last game to NC State. I am picking Stanford. 2pm on CBS
Final: 18Stanford 25 North Carolina 23

Music City Bowl: Nebraska vs. 21Tennessee; Nebraska started their season with 7 straight wins but lost 3 of their final 5 games. Tennessee had a three-game losing skid in the middle of the season that caused all kinds of issues. They won their next 3, but lost to Vanderbilt to end the regular season. The winner of this game will be the team that wants to be in this game. QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. might not play for the Huskers, which would be a huge blow. Tennessee might just want this season to be over and might not show up. I think Josh Dobbs will have a good final game as a Vol and will carry his team in this bowl. UT also doesn’t have very far to travel for the game. I am picking Tennessee. 3:30 on ESPN
Final: 21Tennessee 38 Nebraska 24

Arizona Bowl: South Alabama vs. Air Force; At least this game doesn’t pit two teams from the Mountain West against each other this season. Now, I am pretty sure the Falcons will win this game, but the Jags upset SDSU earlier this season. Air Force won their last 5 games, including beating Boise State at the end of the season. South Alabama needed a win in their final game to become bowl eligible. Hopefully I’ll be able to find the stream of this game. I am picking Air Force. 5:30pm on ASN(?)
Final: Air Force 45 South Alabama 21

Orange Bowl: 6Michigan vs. 11Florida State; The first of the New Year’s Six games should be a good one. Michigan had a great season and was, in my opinion, a couple bad calls away from beating Ohio State. Both their offense and defense were very strong this season and they had a Heisman finalist in Jabrill Peppers. Florida State wasn’t as strong this season as they have been in the past, but they were still pretty darn good. Except for their 43-point loss to Louisville, the Seminoles lost two games by a combined 5 points. They also beat Miami and Florida this season. RB Dalvin Cook had another great season and freshman QB Deondre Francois threw for over 3,000 yards. This should be a really good game. I am picking Michigan. 8pm on ESPN
Final: 11Florida State 33 6Michigan 32

December 31:
Citrus Bowl: 20LSU vs. 13Louisville; Can both of these teams lose? That would make me very happy. Both of these offenses are impressive. Louisville lost their final two games of the season at Houston and against Kentucky. LSU somehow lost to Florida even though they had the ball at the UF 1 as time expired. The Tigers then put on an offensive show against A&M on Thanksgiving, scoring 54 points. Even though Leonard Fournette isn’t playing in this game, I think LSU has a slight edge. (I also think Guice is the better RB anyway.) This should be a fun one if you like offense. I am picking LSU. 11am on ABC
Final: 20LSU 29 13Louisville 9

TaxSlayer Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky; Kentucky capped off their regular season with a huge win over Louisville. Georgia Tech also beat their in-state rival when they upset Georgia by one point. I think this will be a close game. Georgia Tech’s defense has been pretty good this year and that might cause some problems for the Wildcats. A lower scoring game favors the Yellow Jackets, but I think UK will be playing with a lot of fire in them after their big win. I am picking Kentucky. 11am on ESPN
Final: Georgia Tech 33 Kentucky 18

Peach Bowl (CFP Semifinal): 4Washington vs. 1Alabama; The first playoff game isn’t expected to be close. The Tide are big favorites over Washington. I do think that ‘Bama will win this game big, but they better not overlook the Huskies. Jake Browning is one of the better QBs in the country (and in my opinion, should’ve been a Heisman finalist) and Alabama has struggled with teams who can throw the ball. I mean, Arkansas scored 30 points and Austin Allen threw for 400 yards. But that was early on. Since giving up 30 to the Hogs, the most points allowed by that awesome ‘Bama defense has been 16 to Florida. Washington’s only loss came to USC, a team that got stomped by the Tide (after a USC player literally stomped on an Alabama player). Alabama is just too good. I think they will get it done on offense and defense. I am picking Alabama. 3pm on ESPN
Final: 1Alabama 24 4Washington 7

Fiesta Bowl (CFP Semifinal): 3Ohio State vs. 2Clemson; This was one of the hardest bowl games for me to pick. Both teams have been great this season. But as much as I hate to type this, I think Ohio State is the better all around team. Clemson’s offense can match up with the best of them and is led by one of the best players in the country in Deshaun Watson. Clemson’s defense, on the other hand, has struggled against good offenses. Ohio State has a good offense. The Buckeyes also have a very strong defense. I expect this one to come down to the wire. I also think Clemson and Ohio State are the two teams most likely to upset ‘Bama. I can’t wait for this one. I am picking Ohio State. 7pm on ESPN
Final: 2Clemson 31 3Ohio State 0

January 2:
Cotton Bowl: 15Western Michigan vs. 8Wisconsin; This is a major trap game for the Badgers. After blowing their lead and losing to Penn State in the Big 10 Champ game, they lost their Rose Bowl bid. They also have to play a non-Power 5 team. Now, before you get angry with me, I don’t mean that as a knock on Western Michigan. I think WMU is a great team, but they don’t play the same competition as a Power 5 (although they do have more Big 10 wins than 3 Big 10 teams). PJ Fleck has the Broncos rowing their boats with all their might. This game is huge for WMU and they should come in hot. This will be the best defense the Broncos have faced, and that is why I’m not picking them. But I am rooting for them. #RTB I am picking Wisconsin. 1pm on ESPN
Final: 8Wisconsin 24 15Western Michigan 16

Outback Bowl: 17Florida vs. Iowa; This might be the bowl game I’m least excited for. Iowa finished their season with wins over Michigan and Nebraska, but they just haven’t been that exciting of a team. Florida got pounded in their final two games against Florida State and Alabama. I expect this to be a defensive battle, but I also think this will be a pretty sloppy game. I just hope UF can get the win for the SEC. I am picking Florida. 1pm on ABC
Final: 17Florida 30 Iowa 3

Rose Bowl: 9USC vs. 5Penn State; What a Rose Bowl matchup. Both of these teams finished the season playing their best football. Penn State pulled off a major comeback in the Big 10 Championship game to beat Wisconsin. USC was the only team to beat Washington this season and was arguably the best Pac12 team at the end of the season. I expect both teams to come in wanting to win this game. I think it will be a little chippy too. I just don’t feel comfortable picking against the Nittany Lions at this point. They look very good and you can tell they really believe. I am picking Penn State. 5pm on ESPN
Final: 9USC 52 5Penn State 49

Sugar Bowl: 14Auburn vs. 7Oklahoma; Both of these teams started slow. Auburn began the year 1-2 (one loss was just by 6 to Clemson), but then rattled off 6 straight wins. The Tigers then lost two of their last 3, including a terrible offensive performance against Georgia. Oklahoma also started 1-2, with their two losses coming against Houston and Ohio State. They won all 9 of their Big 12 games. OU can put up a ton of points, but they have a very hard time stopping other teams. Auburn will need to get their offense going like they did against Arkansas if they want to win this game. I don’t think that will happen. Auburn’s defense has been good, but I don’t think it is good enough to beat the Sooners. I’m not going to pick against Baler Mayfield in this one. I am picking Oklahoma. 8:30pm on ESPN
Final: 7Oklahoma 35 14Auburn 19

January 9:
National Championship: 2Clemson vs. 1Alabama; For the first time ever, we have a rematch for the National Championship. Last year’s title game was one of the best I’ve seen, so I am overjoyed to get the chance to see this one in person. (I am sitting in the airport waiting to board my flight to Tampa as I am writing this.) The biggest story of the week has been offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin “parting ways” with Alabama. Steve Sarkesian will be calling the plays for the Tide against Clemson. Saban was extremely upset with how his offense played against Washington. Although Bama’s defense has been awesome this season, the offense will need to score to beat the Tigers. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson has turned the ball over a few times this season, and that could really hurt him in this game. He was picked off twice against Ohio State but the Buckeyes couldn’t convert. Bama converts. Quickly. This should be another great game. I am picking Alabama. 8pm on ESPN

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in 2016 Season, Football

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

CFP Top 25

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Alabama
4. Penn State

5. Clemson
6. Georgia
7. Oregon
8. Utah
9. Oklahoma
10. Florida
11. Auburn
12. Baylor
13. Wisconsin
14. Michigan
15. Notre Dame
16. Kansas State
17. Minnesota
18. Iowa
19. Wake Forest
20. Cincinnati
21. Memphis
22. Boise State
23. Oklahoma State
24. Navy
25. SMU

AP Top 25

1. LSU (9-0,5-0)
2. Ohio State (9-0,6-0)
3. Clemson (10-0,7-0)
4. Alabama (8-1,5-1)
5. Georgia (8-1,5-1)
6. Oregon (8-1,5-1)
7. Minnesota (9-0,6-0)
8. Utah (8-1,5-1)
9. Penn State (8-1,5-1)
10. Oklahoma (8-1,5-1)
11. Florida (8-2,5-2)
12. Baylor (9-0,6-0)
13. Auburn (7-2,4-2)
14. Michigan (7-2,4-2)
15. Wisconsin (7-2,4-2)
16. Notre Dame (7-2)
17. Cincinnati (8-1,5-0)
18. Memphis (8-1,4-1)
19. Boise State (8-1,5-0)
20. SMU (9-1,5-1)
21. Navy (7-1,5-1)
*22. Texas (6-3,4-2)
23. Iowa (6-3,3-3)
*24. Indiana (7-2,4-2)
*25. Oklahoma State (6-3,3-3)

Dropped Out: 20Kansas State (6-3,3-3), 22Wake Forest (7-2,3-2), 24San Diego State (7-2,4-2)

*New Team

Follow Sports Opinions of a College Girl on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: