Bowl Predictions; Picks for Every 2011-2012 College Football Bowl Game, NCAAF Schedule

by on June 11th, 2013
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Gildan New Mexico Bowl- Temple(8-4) vs. Wyoming(8-4)
December 17, 2 p.m.
Prediction: Temple 20, Wyoming 10
Reasons: Temple is 7th in the nation in rushing with Bernard Pierce, and 3rd in points allowed, giving up only 13.8 ppg. Wyoming has had a great season, but Temple’s ability to control the pace of the game and run at will should prove too much for Wyoming.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl- Ohio(9-4) vs. Utah State (7-5)
December 17, 5:30 p.m.
Prediction: Utah State 31, Ohio 28
Reasons: The once 2-5 Utah State Aggies have won five in a row and gave Auburn and BYU a run for their money this season, losing by 4 and 3 points respectively. Utah State is 6th in the nation in rushing and this team is hot enough to overtake Ohio, who has been breaking down late in games, including blowing a 20 point lead in the MAC Championship Game.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl- San Diego State(8-4) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette(8-4)
December 17, 9:00 p.m.
Prediction: San Diego State 35, Louisiana-Lafayette 28
Reasons: SDSU has played higher quality opponents (Michigan, TCU, Boise State) and has won four or their last five games, while Louisiana-Lafayette has lost their last two games.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl- Florida International vs. Marshall
December 20, 8:00 p.m.
Prediction: FIU 28, Marshall 10
Reasons: A 6-6 Marshall team should not make a bowl game. FIU has a solid defensive unit and in their last four games have only given up 12.75 ppg. Take FIU.

S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl- TCU (10-2) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-4)
December 21, 8:00 p.m.
Prediction: TCU 44, Louisiana Tech 27
Reasons: TCU deserves a much better game than this, but they will have to settle with dominating Louisiana Tech in a 3rd tier bowl game.

MAACO Las Vegas Bowl- Arizona State(6-6) vs. Boise State (11-1)
December 22, 8:00 PM
Prediction: Boise State 48, Arizona State 17
Reasons: Arizona State has lost four straight games to less than average teams while Boise State should be in the BCS.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl- Nevada(7-5) vs. Southern Miss(11-2)
December 24, 8:00 p.m.
Prediction: Southern Miss 42, Nevada 31
Reasons: Southern Miss ended Houston’s BCS hopes this year like Nevada ended Boise’s hopes just a year ago. This should be an exciting high scoring contest that favors Southern Miss. Southern Miss beat Houston who leads the nation in scoring, so handling Nevada’s offense should not be a problem.

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl- Missouri(7-5) vs. North Carolina(7-5)
December 26, 5:00 p.m.
Prediction: Missouri 27, North Carolina 14
Reasons: North Carolina has lost 4 of their last 6 while Missouri is hot, winning their last three games. Missouri has a good rushing attack and should control this game throughout.

Little Caesars Bowl- Western Michigan(7-5) vs. Purdue(6-6)
December 27, 4:30 p.m.
Prediction: Western Michigan 35, Purdue 27
Reasons: Not many people know about WMU’s passing attack. WMU is 7th in the nation in passing, and 18th in scoring. In their last 7 games, Western is averaging 43 ppg. Purdue doesn’t do any one thing that well, and should fall victim to the Broncos, who basically have a home game at Ford Field in Detroit.

Belk Bowl- Louisville(7-5) vs. NC State(7-5)
December 27, 8:00 p.m.
Prediction: Louisville 24, NC State 23
Reasons: Louisville has won five of their last six games and has just found a way to get the job done. NC State has been one of the most inconsistent teams in the nation. The Wolfpack upset Clemson a few weeks back, but I would not take them against Louisville. If you are using confidence points in a bowl pick’em pool, don’t rely on this game no matter which team you pick, this could go either way.

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman- Toledo(8-4) vs. Air Force(7-5)
December 28, 4:30 p.m.
Prediction: Toledo 41, Air Force 28
Reasons: Toledo may be the most dangerous 8-4 team in the country. The Rockets only lost one game in their division which kept them out of the MAC Championship game. The game they lost was a 63-60 shootout against Northern Illinois. Their other losses came against Boise State, Ohio State, and an overtime loss against Syracuse. Toledo is 8th in the nation in scoring and will face the 2nd best rushing team in Air Force. Air Force has won 4 of their last 5 games, but will not be able to keep pace with Toledo in this game.

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl- California(7-5) vs. Texas(7-5)
December 28, 8:00 p.m.
Prediction: California 28, Texas 20
Reasons: I am going against common sense on this one. California has been playing very good ball the last few weeks including a 3-point loss to Stanford. Texas has lost three of their last four games, the only win coming against 6-6 Texas A&M. This is another game I would not put much confidence in, but I like California.

Champs Sports Bowl- Florida State(8-4) vs. Notre Dame(8-4)
December 29, 5:30 p.m.
Prediction: Notre Dame 14, Florida State 10
Reasons: Florida State has a dominant defense, but their troubles on offense against better than average defenses makes them vulnerable. I like Notre Dame in a tight game against a good defense, which they have won this year (Boston College 16-14, Pittsburgh 15-12).

Valero Alamo Bowl- Washington(7-5) vs. Baylor(9-3)
December 29, 9:00 p.m.
Prediction: Baylor 42, Washington 24
Reasons: Robert Griffin the 3rd, do I need any other reasons? Baylor has won five straight while Washington has lost three out of their last four. Big win for Baylor.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl- BYU(9-3) vs. Tulsa(8-4)
December 30, 12:00 p.m.
Prediction: BYU 45, Tulsa 35
Reasons: Very intriguing match-up with Tulsa winning 7 straight before losing to Houston, and BYU winning 8 of their last 9 games. BYU is the better team overall and should come out of the Armed Forces Bowl with a victory. BYU puts up points no matter who is starting at quarterback and while using an array of running backs and wide receivers.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl- Rutgers(8-4) vs. Iowa State(6-6)
December 30, 3:20 p.m.
Prediction: Cold, very very cold. Why play a bowl game in New York on December 30th? Very tough game to pick, going with Iowa State 17, Rutgers 14.
Reasons: Rutgers basically has a home game in New York, but Iowa State has played a much higher level of competition and has a signature win over Oklahoma State.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl- Mississippi State(6-6) vs. Wake Forest(6-6)
December 30, 6:40 p.m.
Prediction: Mississippi State 20, Wake Forest 7
Reasons: Mississippi State was 2-6 in the SEC this year, but Wake Forest lost 41-7 to Vanderbilt and has lost four of their last five games. Mississippi State does have a solid defense and should be able to control the game.

Insight Bowl- Iowa (7-5) vs. Oklahoma (9-3)
December 30, 10:00 p.m.
Prediction: Oklahoma 41, Iowa 10
Reasons: Terrible bowl match-up, Oklahoma deserves a much better opponent. Oklahoma should score at will against Iowa.

Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl- Texas A&M(6-6) vs. Northwestern(6-6)
December 31, 12:00 p.m.
Prediction: Northwestern 35, Texas A&M 32
Reasons: Both teams have had up and down years, but Northwestern is the hotter team coming into this match-up. I like Northwestern to pull out the victory against the Aggies in Texas on the strength of Dan Persa at quarterback.

Hyundai Sun Bowl- Georgia Tech(8-4) vs. Utah(7-5)
December 31, 2:00 p.m.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 28, Utah 17
Reasons: Utah has managed to make a decent season out of a terrible start in the Pac-12, but still finished under .500 in the division. Georgia Tech has struggled after a 6-0 start, but still managed a huge upset against Clemson, and with their 3rd ranked rushing attack, they should be able to tire out Utah’s strong defense.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl- Cincinnati(9-3) vs. Vanderbilt(6-6)
December 31, 3:30 p.m.
Prediction: Cincinnati 32, Vanderbilt 13
Reasons: Cincinnati has been consistent on both sides of the ball and were a late touchdown away from earning a BCS berth, but lost to West Virginia, giving them the tie breaker in the Big East. Vanderbilt is not a good team, take the Bearcats.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl- Illinois(6-6) vs. UCLA(6-7)
December 31, 3:30 p.m.
Prediction: UCLA 18, Illinois 12
Reasons: Neither team is worth watching, and neither team should be in a bowl game. Illinois has lost 6 straight games, while both teams have lost their coaches. UCLA is the least miserable of the two teams, but don’t get too confident on either team in this game.

Chick-fil-A Bowl- Virginia(8-4) vs. Auburn(7-5)
December 31, 7:30 p.m.
Prediction: Auburn 27, Virginia 14
Reasons: Virginia had a four game winning streak going into their season finale against Virginia Tech, which they lost 38-0 at home. Auburn has lost four of their last eight games, but all four of those were against top 15 teams including #1 LSU, and #2 Alabama. Auburn will rely on running backs Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb to overcome Virginia’s strength on defense.

TicketCity Bowl- Houston(12-1) vs. Penn State(9-3)
January 2, 12:00 p.m.
Prediction: Houston 28, Penn State 13
Reasons: The 5th ranked defense in opponents ppg (Penn State) will face off against the top ranked scoring offense in Houston with 50.8 ppg. Penn State has their minds on things other than football and recently suffered a 45-7 loss to Wisconsin with a berth in the Big 10 Championship Game on the line. Houston should out duel the Penn State defense in the TicketCity Bowl.

Outback Bowl- Michigan State vs. Georgia
January 2, 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: MSU 35, Georgia 31
Reasons: *NOTE: I am a Michigan State fan, take this prediction with prejudice. I am basing this prediction on Michigan State’s performance against Wisconsin, who I believe is better than Georgia. Both teams can put up points, but I think Michigan State’s defense is better at coming up with key stops when the game is on the line. MSU was 9th in least points allowed per game.

Capital One Bowl- Nebraska(9-3) vs. South Carolina(10-2)
January 2, 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: South Carolina 24, Nebraska 14
Reasons: Seeing what South Carolina’s defense did to Clemson, they shouldn’t have a problem with Taylor Martinez and the Nebraska offense. The Gamecocks are the better team and should come away with the win. Gator Bowl- Ohio State(6-6) vs. Florida(6-6)
January 2, 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: Ohio State 24, Florida 10
Reasons: Big names, terrible years for both. Florida has not beaten a good team all year (I do not consider Vanderbilt a good team). Ohio State has wins against Wisconsin, Illinois and Toledo, which is more than Florida can say. I like Ohio State in this one.

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio- Wisconsin(11-2) vs. Oregon(11-2)
January 2, 5:00 p.m.
Prediction: Oregon 45, Wisconsin 38
Reasons: Despite giving up an average of only 17 points per game, Wisconsin gave up 39 points to Michigan State. Expect a lot of scoring in this one and for the Ducks to come out on top.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl- Stanford(11-1) vs. Oklahoma State(11-1)
January 2, 8:30 p.m.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 52, Stanford 35
Reasons: Oklahoma State’s offense style reminds me of Oregon, who destroyed Stanford. Andrew Luck is brilliant, but I honestly don’t think he will keep up with the Cowboys in this match-up.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Michigan(10-2) vs. Virginia Tech(11-2)
January 3, 8:30 p.m.
Prediction: Michigan 28, Virginia Tech 20
Reasons: I recently changed my pick from Michigan to Virginia Tech. After looking over schedules and statistics, Michigan should win this game even with hick-ups over Michigan State and Iowa. U of M should be able to keep the Virginia Tech defense guessing.

Discover Orange Bowl- West Virginia(9-3) vs. Clemson(10-3)
January 4, 8:30 p.m.
Prediction: Clemson 42, West Virginia 31
Reasons: Tajh Boyd has had an incredible season for the Clemson Tigers who just knocked off Virginia Tech 38-10. West Virginia still has great weapons, but they will be out-gunned by Clemson.

AT&T Cotton Bowl- Kansas State(10-2) vs. Arkansas(10-2)
January 6, 8:00 p.m.
Prediction: Arkansas 24, Kansas State 17
Reasons: A very exciting match-up for two teams that both were snubbed by the BCS. Tyler Wilson will lead Arkansas in this matchup of two high powered teams. Both teams will try to limit mistakes, expect a lower than predicted final score in this game, I like Arkansas overall even though Kansas State can beat anyone on any given day, they have not been able to close out big games against top opponents.

BBVA Compass Bowl- SMU(7-5) vs. Pittsburgh(6-6)
January 7, 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 21, SMU 17
Reasons: Pittsburgh plays in a better conference and has been playing much better comparatively over the last give weeks. Even in their losses, Pittsburgh has been very competitive this year. Bowl- Arkansas State(10-2) vs. Northern Illinois(10-3)
January 8, 9:00 p.m.
Prediction: Northern Illinois 35, Arkansas State 31
Reasons: People would probably watch the girls than the game, but it should actually be a decent game. Arkansas State has won 9 straight games after starting 1-2 against solid opponents. Being in the Sun Belt Conference should be considered, but the Red Wolves are 17th in passing, 18th in scoring, and 15th in points allowed. Northern Illinois is 9th in passing and 13th in scoring. The Huskies have scored 40 or more points in 9 games this season. Northern Illinois has a tougher conference schedule and has defeated three bowl teams, go with the Huskies in this one.

Allstate BCS National Championship Game- LSU(13-0) (-1, -115) vs. Alabama(11-1)
January 9, 8:30 p.m.
Prediction: Alabama 20, LSU 17
Reasons: Alabama will have a second chance against LSU, and this time it’s for the National Championship. Heisman hopeful Trent Richardson will attempt to improve on his performance in the first meeting, 89 yards on 23 carries and 5 receptions for 80 yards. Both teams have weapons on offense and special teams, but are much better on defense. Both teams had two turnovers and at times were completely incapable of moving the ball on the opposing defense. Expect a great game with several key plays. This game could go either way, but I do like Alabama with Richardson and their defense leading the way.

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