NCAAF Bowl Game Predictions

Kyle Laska, News Editor

BCS National Championship: #1 Florida State vs #2 Auburn

   For Florida State, success was much more predictable than Auburn’s. The team has an absolutely dominant defense. The Seminoles rank 1st in points allowed, and have shut down teams like Miami and Clemson. However, for all the dominance they have on defense, it is matched with their offense. Freshman QB and Heisman Trophy-winner Jameis Winston is the best player in college football. His versatility as a runner and a passer have put his team in the best position possible. Winston was accused of sexual assault earlier this season, and the case was dismissed due to lack of evidence. However, Winston never let this deter him from greatness. He continued his season, and led the nation’s 2nd highest scoring offense. The team will look to attack the Auburn Tigers early and often. Auburn’s miracle season will come to an end in the biggest game of the year. The Tigers look to continue their season that has left fans in awe, from the Georgia dropped interception to the Alabama missed field goal. Both plays were last-second plays that gave Auburn victories, and will surely be remembered throughout the years. From SEC worst to SEC best is a huge turnaround and Gus Malzahn deserves all the credit. The AP Head Coach of the year took the team and turned it into and SEC powerhouse once again. At 12-1 they have the best chance to end Florida State’s winning streak. Their defense is decent and can prove to be a bit of a road block to the FSU offense. Although it hasn’t shown it can shut down offenses, the defense has proven they can keep their offense in the game. At QB, the speedy Nick Marshall will look to continue his success. However, most of the credit should go to Heisman-finalist, RB Tre Mason. Mason has torched defenses for 22 TD’s this year, and looks to put the team on his back against the Seminoles.

FINAL SCORE: Florida State 38 Auburn 34

GoDaddy: Arkansas State vs. Ball State

   Ball State (10-2) comes into this game with one of the nations best passing attacks. Led by Keith Wenning, the offense will be a problem for Arkansas State’s defense. Wenning has targeted Willie Snead and Jordan Williams all year long as they both are 1,000 yard receivers and double digit touchdown catches. This passing heavy offense will dictate the tempo of this game. Arkansas State (7-5) is the opposite in terms of offensive schemes. They are a run heavy offense with a dual threat quarterback.

FINAL SCORE: Ball State 38 Arkansas State 27

*Ball State will ride Keith Wenning’s arm to victory against this overrated Arkansas State team

BBVA Compass: Vanderbilt vs. Houston

   The Vanderbilt Commodores come into this matchup at 8-4. Led by one of the nation’s top receivers, Jordan Matthews, the team looks to feed him the ball as much as possible. Matthews’ impressive 6’3”, 200 lb. frame is attractive to draft scouts, and is a main reason the team is playing in this game. Houston, however, fell at the end of the season, losing 3 out of their last 4. Led by QB John O’Korn, the Cougars look to finish strong and get into next year on a high note.

FINAL SCORE: Vanderbilt 28 Houston 21

*Vanderbilt is hot, and Houston isn’t. Vanderbilt will make this 5 straight wins, leaning on Jordan Matthews

AT&T Cotton: #13 Oklahoma State vs. #9 Missouri

   Missouri at 11-2 will try to rebound after an embarrassing defeat at the hand of Auburn in the SEC Championship game. Their defense will try to do the same. The defense had been stellar the whole year up to that point and will try their hand now at a more pass oriented offense in Oklahoma State. James Franklin the dual threat quarterback will try to keep Missouri in the game and hopefully create chances with his feet and arm. His play will dictate the game as the Senior would like to end his career with a win. Oklahoma State at 10-2 will try to ride their defense to victory like they have all season. The best defense in the BIG 12 will look to score defensive points as Oklahoma States offense will have trouble scoring. Clint Chelf is an inexperienced senior won the starting job early in the year and has even played well as late but has not played a defense like Missouri’s.

FINAL SCORE: Oklahoma State 30 Missouri 24

*Oklahoma State has the defense to win big games, and this is a game where they can shine

 

Discover Orange: #12 Clemson vs. #7 Ohio State

   Ohio State comes into this game disappointed in themselves for losing in the Big Ten Championship game. But they still are one of the most talented teams in the country at 12-1. Their defense is is one of the best  in the country. Even if they have not played the best of teams this season they are still impressive. The Braxton Miller and the Carlos Hyde running combo is lethal and will create havoc against the Clemson defense. Clemson comes in this game 10-2. They are in the same bread basket as Ohio State since they lost to the hardest teams they played. Tahj Boyd will look to up his draft stock in his last game as a Tiger and there is nobody better to throw to than Sammy Watkins. The speedy receiver will be used in as many plays as Clemson can have for him. He will be the difference maker of the game and if he plays well the Tigers should win.

FINAL SCORE: Clemson 31 Ohio State 23

*Clemson’s offense is too much to handle, even for a top defense

Allstate Sugar: #11 Oklahoma vs. #3 Alabama

    Alabama will come into this game at 11-1 with a heavy heart after their devastating defeat to Auburn. After their dynasty ended they will try to get up for this game. Aj Mccarron, the undisputed leader of Alabama, will try to rally the troops and bring the Sugar Bowl home. Like every other Alabama defense in the past few years their defense is one of the best in the nations and will provide a good amount of turnovers. The best part of Alabama though is their ground and pound mentality with T. J. Yeldon. He will provide the clock run-off Alabama will use to close out this game. Oklahoma’s season seemed lost after a surprise defeat against Texas but they rebounded to finish 10-2. Blake Bell in his first year as a starter proved to be unimpressive. His goal line carries went down and proved that he could not be a college football starter. But Brennan Clay picked up the offensive slack to at least provide Oklahoma with some offensive stars. Their defense will have to become the offense if they want to win this game

FINAL SCORE: Alabama 38 Oklahoma 20

*The nation’s top team for almost the whole year will let out frustration over missing the National Championship against the Sooners

 

Tostitos Fiesta: #15 UCF vs. #6 Baylor

   Baylor another surprise team rode their offense all the way to this BCS game. A team that used to only be in the picture because of RGIII now is making a name for themselves after winning the Big 12 and finishing 11-1. Bryce Petty astounded college football with his accuracy and lack of turnovers. He was even considered for the Heisman before their blowout loss to Oklahoma State. Lache Seastrunk provided Bryce Petty with great speed and running ability at the running back position. The speedy 5’10” running back was the perfect fit to an up-tempo offense. Central Florida came as an underdog in the New American Conference after coming from Conference USA. UFC cat 11-1 won the automatic BCS big by beating Louisville earlier in the year. Their quarterback Bryan Bortles led the charge and has now become a sought after quarterback in the upcoming NFL draft.

FINAL SCORE: Baylor 55 UCF 27

*Baylor is a premier team and there is no doubt that will show that off against Central Florida

Rose Bowl: #5 Stanford vs. #4 Michigan State

    For the Stanford Cardinal, it is time to be thankful for getting into this game. Stanford has proven that they are a top team again and again by beating teams like UCLA and Oregon. However, the Cardinal have two losses on the year, both coming to unranked teams. QB Kevin Hogan has been average this year, throwing for 20 TD’s. He has shown that he is able to run the offense efficiently. RB Tyler Gaffney has been fantastic, rushing for over 1600 yards and 20 Td’s.  The defense is where Stanford makes its mark, ranking 10th in the nation in points allowed. For Michigan State, the Spartans have proven that they are elite. With only one loss coming to Notre Dame in a tight one, the Spartans have put faith in QB Connor Cook to lead them to a Rose Bowl win. For the Spartans, defense is also their strong suit. Ranking 4th in the nation in points allowed, the Spartans know they can stop anyone they need to. These teams are even, and that will show in this ball game.

FINAL SCORE: Stanford 28 Michigan State 27

*Head Coach David Shaw should have Stanford ready to attack, and Kevin Hogan will do his best to pick apart the stingy Spartan defense

 

Outback: Iowa vs. #14 LSU

   The Iowa Hawkeyes should be ecstatic to be playing in this game. The team finished 8-4 after losing every ranked team they played. However, the Hawkeyes did defeat the Michigan Wolverines and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The team is led by their strong defense, which is 11th in the nation in points allowed. The defense should be nervous for the matchup, as they play a tough LSU offense. LSU has been a top team for years. This year, although they aren’t playing for BCS, they still had a good season. Senior QB and probable first-round draft pick, Zach Mettenberger won’t be playing in this game, as he tore his ACL. The team will depend on the WR duo of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham to keep the offense rolling. The defense, which has done admirably this year, will face a favorable matchup against the Hawkeye offense.

FINAL SCORE: LSU 30 Iowa 17

*Iowa shouldn’t be in this game, and that will show when LSU is able to control every aspect of the game

Capital One: #19 Wisconsin vs. #8 South Carolina

   For the Wisconsin Badgers, the only word to describe the season is crazy.  The Badgers were expected to do well, but somewhere in the range of 8-4. The team went to Arizona St. in week 2, and lost 32-30 after an officiating error caused 10 seconds to run off the clock at the end of the game, preventing the Badgers from kicking a field goal. However, they bounced back and finished 9-3 with losses to Ohio St. and Penn St. The Badgers are led by their powerhouse combo of running backs. Senior James White and Sophomore Melvin Gordon took the Badgers to a potential BCS game, before losing their last game against the Nittany Lions. LB Chris Borland took home 1st team All-American honors, and should be ready to attack in his final collegiate game. For the Gamecocks, South carolina is ready to say goodbye to one of their best players in the University’s history. DE Jadeveon Clowney for the past few years was sure-to-be the #1 overall pick in the draft. However, that is in jeopardy after a subpar season. The Gamecocks bring in the 14th best defense in the nation, in terms of points allowed. The Badgers have the 8th best. This game will be tight, but look for the battle between defense and running backs to decide it.

FINAL SCORE: Wisconsin 24 South Carolina 23

*With two running backs over 1300 yards on the season, the Badgers should be able to upset the stingy D-line of South Carolina

Heart of Dallas: UNLV vs. North Texas

   The rebels of UNLV come into this game at 7-5 with an average offense and an average defense. The Mean Green of North Texas come into this game at 8-4 with an average offense and a good defense.  These two teams are similar in record and competition, and the only thing separating the teams is the fact that North Texas boasts a better defense. Expect this matchup to be tight all game long.

FINAL SCORE: North Texas 17 UNLV 14

*RB Brandin Byrd  has been good for North Texas, and he should be the difference maker in this game

 

TaxSlayer.com Gator: Nebraska vs. #23 Georgia

   In what has been an up and down ride for the Cornhuskers since joining the Big 10, Nebraska now finds themselves under achieving their goals again. The Cornhuskers finished 8-4, but 5-3 in the Big 10.Their only non-conference loss came against UCLA in a beatdown. Head coach Bo Pelini has made headlines for his very public remarks on his own job security, but he has been backed up by the athletic director. RB Ameer Abdullah has been underrated this year, rushing for 1568 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. The Husker’s defense has been average, but they will need to step up their run defense for this game. The Georgia Bulldogs come into this game without their best player. Senior QB Aaron Murray misses this game with a torn ACL. The QB has thrown for over 3000 yards this year, and has led the Bulldogs’ offense for 4 years. However, the team will have to depend on someone else. RB Todd Gurley has come back from injury and will look to carry the ball, and the offense, against the Nebraska defense.

FINAL SCORE: Georgia 27 Nebraska 23

*Nebraska should play well, but Todd Gurley will be too much. Bo Pelini may be searching for a job.

 

Chick-fil-A: #22 Duke vs. #20 Texas A&M

    Both of these teams had relatively surprising seasons but at different ends of the spectrum. Duke coming from the dust rose up to make an appearance in the ACC Championship game and finishing 10-3. While there were high expectations for Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M but finished a measly 8-4. Duke once a football laughing stock is on the rise mostly due to the magnificent play of their star wide receiver Jamison Crowder. He should have a field day against the lackluster Aggie defense. Texas A&M had national championship aspirations but earl losses ruined their season. Johnny Manziel proved that he could become a better pocket-passer while still tearing defenses to shred with his elusiveness. Mike Evans their 6’5” receiver towers over any defensive secondary. The combination of these two future first round draft picks will provide an offensive outburst.

FINAL SCORE: Texas A&M 45 Duke 31

*Johnny Manziel will run circles around Duke, showing off the athleticism that gave him a Heisman trophy last year

 

AutoZone Liberty: Rice vs. Mississippi State

   In a matchup of SEC vs C-USA, it is no surprise that people would expect an easy victory for the SEC. Well, in this case, that’s an accurate guess. The Rice Owls, C-USA members, went 10-3 on the season playing almost all non-bowl eligible teams. The Owls rank 16th in rushing yards and are led by RB Charles Ross. Mississippi State, however, is 6-6 on the year and has lost all 6 to ranked teams. Two losses came to Auburn and Alabama, which are ranked #2 and #3 in the nation, respectively. The tough SEC hurt their record, but does not mean they aren’t a solid team.

FINAL SCORE: Mississippi State 24 Rice 10

*The SEC is the best conference in football, and playing a team like Rice is just what the Bulldogs need to finish their season

 

Hyundai Sun: Virginia Tech vs. #17 UCLA

   QB Logan Thomas, in his final year, had extremely high hopes. The playmaker hoped to lead his team to a BCS game and go out on a high note. However, the Hokies dreams were crushed. Virginia Tech was unable to defeat Alabama on opening night, and suffered back-to-back losses to Duke and Boston College. Thomas amassed over 3200 total yards, and the team has put together a solid season. The Hokies also bring in one of the top defenses, which is 8th in the nation in points allowed. The UCLA Bruins also had BCS hopes. Sophomore QB Brett Hundley was a heisman hopeful coming into the season. After he graduates or declares for the draft, Hundley is a solid bet to go in the first round. The team started strong before they suffered back-to-back losses against Stanford and Oregon. The Bruins look to finish the season strong with high hopes for next year.

FINAL SCORE: UCLA 24 Virginia Tech 23

*QB Brett Hundley will outplay Logan Thomas and give the Hokie defense problems all game

 

AdvoCare V100: Arizona vs. Boston College

   After many matchups surrounding quarterback play, it is nice for a change of pace. That change will come here, as the Arizona Wildcats take on the Boston College Eagles. This matchup features a battle of the heavyweights: Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey vs Boston College RB Andre Williams. Carey, who ran for 1716 yards and 17 touchdowns, leads an offensive attack that pounced on the Oregon Ducks. The Wildcats, however, have not defeated any other ranked teams, struggling in these matchups. Williams, who ran for 2102 yards and 17 touchdowns, was a Heisman finalist, and leads the Eagles attack. While Williams has been the nation’s top back, the team has not been great against tough competition. 0-2 against ranked teams, the Eagles only quality wins came against Virginia Tech and Maryland. The teams should battle closely, but with both running backs being so dominant, this game should come down to which defense can contain the run the best.

FINAL SCORE: Boston College 28 Arizona 24

*Arizona has been playing well late, but Senior RB Andre Williams seems like too much to handle in his final collegiate game

 

National University Holiday: #16 Arizona State vs. Texas Tech

   In what should be a shootout, the Arizona State Sun Devils go up against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Arizona State, has been a good surprise, as they have defeated quality opponents in Washington and UCLA. However, two losses to Stanford on the year hurt the Sun Devils, as they hope to bounce back behind their offensive attack. QB Taylor Kelly has amassed over 3500 passing yards, and leads the nation’s 28th best passing attack. On the other side of the ball, the cinderella story of the first half of the year, Texas Tech, looks to regroup from starting 7-0 and finishing 7-5. Five straight losses, with three to ranked teams, hurt the Red Raiders and their BCS hopes after WR Jace Amaro has had a great season with 98 receptions for 1240 yards. Texas Tech also has the 2nd best passing attack in the nation behind their 2-QB system of Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb.

FINAL SCORE: Arizona State 35 Texas Tech 30

*Arizona State comes in hot, which should help, but the teams wins against tough opponents give them the advantage

 

Valero Alamo: #10 Oregon vs. Texas

   In what seemed to be a sure-bet for a national championship game appearance, the Oregon Ducks now find themselves in the Alamo Bowl after suffering a late season loss to #5 Stanford and a blowout loss against Arizona. The Ducks, however, hit the jackpot when QB Marcus Mariota decided to return next year to lead the Pac-12 favorites. The Ducks have, arguably, the most versatile and dangerous offense in the nation. On the defensive side of the ball, Oregon once again proves that is an elite team. They are 25th in the nation points allowed, and have stopped offenses like Washington and UCLA. Texas has also had a disappointing season. After starting 1-2, the Longhorns started to gain some ground, but inconsistency from QB Case McCoy and their defense, never allowed for success. Given a chance at the conference title against Baylor, Texas was dismantled, and head coach Mack Brown resigned after 16 seasons. The near future looks dim for the Longhorns who were once an FBS powerhouse.

FINAL SCORE: Oregon 48 Texas 17

*This is as unfair a matchup as there is in the bowl games, and Oregon should have a nice vacation against the Longhorns

 

Franklin American Mortgage Music City: Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech

   Ole Miss did about as well as could be expected. Finishing 7-5 and playing four top-10 teams is pretty reasonable. In fact, thanks to junior QB Bo Wallace and the strength of their defense, the Rebels actually won against LSU, and lost a tight matchup against Texas A&M.  The rebels have a balance of offense and defense, ranking around the top-50 in each category. The Yellow Jackets also finished 7-5, even though it was in a weaker SEC conference. Georgia Tech’s triple option offense has allowed for the nation’s 4th best rushing offense, making it difficult for opposing defenses to stop the run.

FINAL SCORE: Ole Miss 31 Georgia Tech 27

*Bo Wallace gained experience in the tough SEC, and the the stingy defense led by DE Robert Nkemdiche should handle the run

 

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces: Middle Tennessee vs. Navy

   Middle Tennessee, 25th ranked rushing offense in the league, isn’t going to jump out as a premier threat, but they should definitely receive some notice. They have seven players rushing for over 100 yards, and the team has won five straight, all against terrible football teams, however. Navy also has shown strides of success after dismantling Army in their much anticipated game. QB Keenan Reynolds provides a huge advantage to the Midshipmen, as he leads the team in rushing and passing.

FINAL SCORE:  Navy 35 Middle Tennessee 24

* Keenan Reynolds will have a big day on the ground rushing, as the defense should be able to hold its own against the rushing attack of the Blue Raiders

 

Buffalo Wild Wings: Michigan vs. Kansas State

   For what has been a disappointment for the Michigan Wolverines, the season now looks to take a brighter turn in the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl. The Wolverines, led by QB Devin Gardner, a premier rushing and passing threat, lost five of their last seven after starting 5-0. Michigan looks to finish strong, with a highly touted group of recruits coming in. Kansas State has a similar record at 7-5. WR Tyler Lockett has had a good season so far, and he looks to continue his success with Jake Waters at QB. Kansas State went 5-1 to end the season.

FINAL SCORE: Michigan 31 Kansas State 30

*Kansas State comes in hot, but the threat of Devin Gardner might be too much for the Wildcats to handle

Russell Athletic: Miami vs. #18 Louisville

   Possibly the most underrated bowl game, Miami vs Louisville should be a great matchup to watch. The Louisville Cardinals are led by probable #1 overall draft pick, QB Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater’s combination of mobility and accuracy are unmatched in this year’s draft class, and Bridgwater should expect to go high come April. On the other side of the ball, Louisville’s defense is 3rd-best in the nation in least points allowed. The Cardinals come in with a record of 11-1, after a disappointing loss to Central Florida, which held them out of a BCS bowl, and even national championship consideration. The Miami Hurricanes have also had a very successful season. Starting 7-0, before finishing 9-3, the Hurricanes bring a powerful offensive attack behind senior QB Stephen Morris. Morris has the potential to be a big time player, but has struggled throughout his career at points. The Hurricanes are playing in their first bowl game in 2 years, after an NCAA investigation sidelined them.

FINAL SCORE: Louisville 40 Miami 33

*Teddy Bridgewater will end his collegiate career strong, and so will the Louisville defense

Belk Bowl: Cincinnati vs. North Carolina

   The Bearcats of Cincinnati come into this game at 9-3, while the Tar Heels of North Carolina come in at 6-6. However, this game is much tighter than it appears. The Bearcats almost had a better bowl game, but an overtime loss to Louisville at the end of the year hurt their standings. They are led by versatile QB Brendon Kay, who is in his sixth year at Cincinnati. The Bearcats struggled against good teams, and even lost to the non-bowl eligible Illinois Fighting Illini by 28. North Carolina, however, comes in on a hot streak. The Tar Heels come in winning 5 of their last 6 against good teams like Boston College and Pittsburgh. Their loss came in a 2-point defeat against the #24 Duke Blue Devils. They look for a big game from highly-touted TE Eric Ebron, who could be the top tight end going in the NFL draft this year.

FINAL SCORE: Cincinatti 27 North Carolina 24

*North Carolina has played well as of late, but Kay’s veteran leadership should take the Bearcats to victory

 

New Era Pinstripe: Rutgers vs. #25 Notre Dame

   After a disappointing result following a season in which the Fighting Irish went to the BCS National Championship, the Irish find themselves playing in NYC, in a game against Rutgers. Led by Lake Forest High School graduate, QB Tommy Rees, the Irish look to end their season on a high note, and look toward getting back suspended QB Everett Golson, who had a tremendous season, en route to a disappointing final game against Alabama. The Irish look for stability on the d-line from Stephon Tuitt, who could be playing his last game of college ball, as he could be headed for the NFL. For Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights barely became bowl eligible, as their 6-6 record was just good enough. The team has struggled throughout the year, especially after playing some better teams.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 31 Rutgers 13

*Rutgers is not a good enough team to play a solid Notre Dame team, and that will show in this game

Fight Hunger: BYU vs. Washington

   In what should be a fun game to watch, QB Taysom Hill leads the BYU Cougars into this matchup. The Sophomore leads the team in both rushing and passing, while the defense ranks 23rd in points scored. Washington, on the other hand, lost an important piece to their puzzle after head coach Steve Sarkisian left for USC. However, they also gained a huge piece in new-hire Chris Peterson from Boise St. The Huskies do have QB Keith Price and RB Bishop Sankey. The two lead a potent offensive charge that is tough to stop.

FINAL SCORE: Washington 45 BYU 42

*In what could be one of the best matchups of bowl games, watch for Price to outplay Hill in a Huskies win

Texas Bowl: Syracuse vs. Minnesota

   The Syracuse Orange have not stepped up against big teams. In 3 matchups against ranked teams, the Orange are 0-3, while allowing at least 48 points in each game. The defense has been dismal, while the offense is held together by a solid rushing attack. The Golden Gophers of Minnesota, however, have a solid defense, ranking 27th in scoring defense. This matchup should be based on the battle between the Orange’s rushing attack and the Gopher’s front seven.

FINAL SCORE: Minnesota 21 Syracuse 9

*Minnesota’s defense kept them afloat in the Big 10, which should be good enough against Syracuse

Military Bowl: Marshall vs. Maryland

   The Marshall Herd look to improve upon their 9-4 record. QB Rakeem Cato should have a nice night due to his running and passing versatility. Maryland looks to build off of a 7-5 record behind their dual-QB CJ Brown. Injuries have hurt the Terrapins, but they look to finish the season strong.

FINAL SCORE: Marshall 24 Maryland 14

*Neither team should be too impressive, but Rakeem Cato should be good enough to get a win

S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia: Utah State vs. #24 Northern Illinois

   Northern Illinois, which was one win away from a BCS bowl game, lost to Bowling Green to keep them from the dream. However, the Huskies have Heisman-finalist, and arguably the most valuable weapon in college football in Jordan Lynch. Lynch has twice broken the record for most rushing yards by a player in NCAA football history (He broke his own record against Western Michigan late in the year). The Aggies of Utah State look to play defense a lot, as they hide behind their 7th ranked scoring defense.

FINAL SCORE: Northern Illinois 35 Utah State 20

*Jordan Lynch should say goodbye to college football with a big win and some big stats

 

Little Caesars Pizza: Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green

   In what seems to be a lopsided matchup, the Bowling Green Falcons carry their 10-3 record against the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Falcons defense is 5th in the nation in points allowed, which allowed for them to defeat the once-undefeated Northern Illinois Huskies. The Panthers, on the other hand, come in at 6-6 after beating Notre Dame late in the season. They will hope for strong play from QB Tom Savage.

FINAL SCORE: Bowling Green 21 Pittsburgh 10

*Bowling Green’s defense should be enough to keep the struggling Panthers in check

 

Sheraton Hawaii: Boise State vs. Oregon State

   The Broncos of Boise State suffered their biggest loss of the season when head coach Chris Peterson left to take a job at the University of Washington. Peterson has led the program valiantly through success, but will now lean on RB Jay Ajayi who has run for 17 touchdowns this year. The Beavers of Oregon State will put all faith in the nation’s third-best passer Sean Mannion who has thrown for 4403 yards and 36 touchdowns.

FINAL SCORE: Oregon State 38 Boise State 28

*Sean Mannion will prove to be too much for the Peterson-less Broncos in the end

 

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg: East Carolina vs. Ohio

   The East Carolina Pirates hold one of the top offenses in the nation. They are led by QB Shane Carden who has had a terrific season, throwing for 32 touchdowns. The Ohio Bobcats return to another bowl game, after winning one in each of the last two years. Ohio tied for 4th in the conference with Buffalo.

FINAL SCORE: East Carolina 52 Ohio 28

*A QB as successful as Carden is invaluable in this type of game, as Carden should show up against Ohio

 

R+L Carriers New Orleans: Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

   The Green Wave of Tulane sit with an advantage as the game will be played in the Superdome in New Orleans. Tulane plays home games there, and went 5-1 during the regular season. The Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette come in on a two-game losing streak, yet did win their conference this year.

FINAL SCORE: Louisiana-Lafayette 21 Tulane 13

*Tulane owns one of the worst offenses in the FBS, which obviously won’t help them in the bowl game

 

Famous Idaho Potato:  Buffalo vs. San Diego State

   Buffalo vs San Diego State should not be a thrilling matchup. However, it is an even matchup. The Buffalo Bulls are led by QB Joe Licata, who has been noticeable with a 21-7 touchdown-interception ratio. For the San Diego State Aztecs, Quinn Kaehler is at the QB position, passing for 2796 yards this year. The matchup should be tight, with both teams being middle-of-the-pack teams.

FINAL SCORE: San Diego State 35 Buffalo 21

*San Diego State is hot as of late and that should continue against the Bills

 

Royal Purple Las Vegas: #21 Fresno State vs. USC

   Fresno State barely missed out on a BCS bowl game after losing to San Jose State in their finale. Nonetheless, the nation’s top QB Derek Carr leads the 11-1 Bulldogs against the Trojans of USC. USC, who fired head coach Lane Kiffin early in the season, also lost interim coach Ed Orgeron after Orgeron quit following USC’s hiring of new coach Steve Sarkisian. The Trojans are led by their high-scoring defense, which ranks 21st in the nation.

FINAL SCORE: Fresno State 28 USC 27

*Derek Carr will prove to be too much as the Trojans deal with their 3rd head coach this year

 

Gildan New Mexico: Washington State vs. Colorado State

   The Colorado State Rams are led by RB Kapri Bibbs, whose 28 touchdowns lead the FBS this year. On the other side, the Washington State Cougars are led by their QB Connor Halliday, who heads the nation’s fourth-best passing attack. The game should be primarily offensive, with both teams boasting great offenses in front of lackluster defenses.

FINAL SCORE: Colorado State 41 Washington State 40

*Kapri Bibbs shows his value and runs all over the barely-bowl eligible Cougars