Bowl Game Breakdown: Non-BCS Edition

New Mexico Bowl

Temple (8-4) vs. Wyoming (8-4)
Where:  Albuquerque, New Mexico
When:  December 17
Why Watch:  Both of these teams were lucky to get a win about three years ago, both teams have coaches on the rise and should make for an entertaining game.  In 2009 Wyoming had one of the better bowl wins beating Fresno State in overtime.  Wyoming coach Dave Christensen is being looked at by Illinois and Kansas, so fans of these teams might want to tune in.
Pick:  Wyoming wins 34-27

Idaho Potato Bowl
Utah State 7-5 vs. Ohio 9-4
Where:  Boise, Idaho
When:  December 17
Why Watch:  College football hasn’t been played in three weeks, why not?
Pick:  Ohio wins 41-31

New Orleans Bowl
(8-4) San Diego State vs. (8-4) Louisiana Lafayette
Where:  New Orleans, Louisiana
When:  December 17
Why Watch:  San Diego States Ronnie Hillman is one of the five best running backs in the country and he’s only a Sophomore.  The Aztec QB, Ryan Lindley, has NFL talent and could be a late round pick even after a bad season.
Pick:  San Diego State wins 38-23

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl
(8-4) Florida International vs. (6-6) Marshall
Where:  St. Petersburg, Florida
When:  December 20
Why Watch:  One player, T.Y. Hilton, he’s this years Devin Hester.  Also watch if you still feel bad for Marshall after Hollywood allowed Mathew McConaughey to represent their school.
Pick:  Florida International wins 27-14

Poinsettia Bowl
#16 (10-2) TCU vs. 8-4 Louisiana Tech
Where:  San Diego, California
When:  December 21
Why Watch:  If you’re a Big 12 fan, watch to see what you’re going up against next year.  It’ll be interesting to see just how many points TCU will put up on Louisiana Tech, they definitely got ripped off on bowl bids.
Pick:  #16 TCU wins 41-27

MAACO Bowl
#8 (11-1) Boise State vs. (6-6) Arizona State
Where:  Las Vegas, Nevada
When:  December 22
Why Watch:  Kellen Moore will show why Boise State should have received a BCS bid.  Both of these teams score a lot of points and both teams have very good NFL caliber QBs.
Pick:  #8 Boise State wins 45-27

Hawaii Bowl
#22 (11-2) Southern Mississippi vs. (7-5) Nevada
Where:  Honolulu, Hawaii
When:  December 24
Why Watch:  To see the beautiful weather, Hawaiian islands and babes in bikinis (keeping my fingers crossed) while sipping hot cocoa and singing Kumbaya to Santa Claus.
Pick:  #22 Southern Mississippi wins 34-20

Independence Bowl
(7-5) Missouri vs. (7-5) North Carolina
Where:  Shreveport, Louisiana
When:  December 26
Why Watch:  Big 12 fans should watch to see how good the Big 12 is when it’s fifth place team dominates an ACC team.  SEC fans should watch to catch a glimpse of their new competition.  Everyone else should watch, because their are quite a few future NFL players in this game on both teams and what better to do to distract you from your mother-in-law’s nagging the day after Christmas?  This would be a great basketball match-up wouldn’t it?
Pick:  Missouri wins 38-24

Little Caesars Bowl
(7-5) Western Michigan vs. (6-6) Purdue
Where:  Detroit, Michigan
When:  December 27
Why Watch:  To see if the Big 10 is as bad as we all think.
Pick:  Western Michigan wins 38-27

Belk Bowl
(7-5) Louisville vs. (7-5) North Carolina State
Where:  Charlotte, North Carolina
When:  December 27
Why Watch:  Does anybody else wonder if a top team in the Big East can compete with a middle of the pack team in the ACC?
Pick:  North Carolina State wins 31-24

Military Bowl
(8-4) Toledo vs. (7-5) Air Force
Where:  Washington D.C.
When:  December 28
Why Watch:  To root for Air Force in the military bowl… time to honor our warriors.
Pick:  Toledo wins 42-35

Holiday Bowl
(7-5) Texas vs. (7-5) California
Where:  San Diego, California
When:  December 28
Why Watch:  Texas vs. California, two of the biggest states.  A classic match-up.  If Texas loses will Mack Brown be fired?
Pick:  Texas wins 24-20

Champs Sports Bowl
#25 (8-4) Florida State vs. (8-4) Notre Dame
Where:  Orlando, Florida
When:  December 29
Why Watch:  Two highly projected teams finish with the same disappointing results… at least one will win a bowl game.
Pick:  #25 Florida State wins 27-20

Alamo Bowl
(7-5) Washington vs. #15 Baylor (9-3)
Where:  San Antonio, Texas
When:  December 29
Why Watch:  Robert Griffin is electrifying, that’s all you need.
Pick:  #15 Baylor wins 45-24

Pinstripe Bowl
(6-6) Iowa State vs. (8-4) Rutgers
Where:  New York City, New York
When:  December 30
Why Watch:  Muhammad Sanu is the best big play WR in college football, if you want to watch spectacular catches being made look no further.
Pick:  Rutgers wins 24-16

Armed Forces Bowl
(9-3) BYU vs. (8-4) Tulsa
Where:  Dallas, Texas
When:  December 30
Why Watch:  BYU has been on fire lately, but this game could be closer than I’m predicting… Tulsa has also been on a tear.  This might be one of the better games of the bowl season.
Pick:  BYU wins 38-27

Music City Bowl
(6-6) Mississippi State vs. (6-6) Wake Forest
Where:  Nashville, Tennessee
When:  December 30
Why Watch:  If you’re a fan of either of these teams or if your bored, if not you might be better off watching Carmelo Anthony’s corn rows grow.
Pick:  Mississippi State wins 20-3

Insight Bowl
#19 (9-3) Oklahoma vs (7-5) Iowa
Where:  Tempe, Arizona
When:  December 30
Why Watch:  This is the only showdown between the Big 12 and the Big 10.  Iowa upset Missouri in this game last year.
Pick:  #19 Oklahoma wins 38-20

Fight Hunger Bowl
(6-6) Illinois vs. (6-7) UCLA
Where:  San Fransisco, California
When:  December 31
Why Watch:  Who wouldn’t want to watch two teams with fired coaches battle it out?
Pick:  Illinois wins 23-13

Liberty Bowl
(9-3) Cincinnati vs. (6-6) Vanderbilt
Where:  Memphis, Tennessee
When:  December 31
Why Watch:  If you like to make close bets.
Pick:  Cincinnati wins 30-27

Sun Bowl
(8-4) Georgia Tech vs. (7-5) Utah
Where:  El Paso, Texas
When:  December 31
Why Watch:  The triple option/hail marry offense is fun to watch.
Pick:  Georgia Tech wins 38-20

Texas Bowl
(6-6) Texas A&M vs. (6-6) Northwestern
Where:  Houston, Texas
When:  December 31
Why Watch:  Now that Sherman is fired let’s watch to see if Texas A&M can hold onto their 20 point leads.
Pick:  Texas A&M wins 45-24

Chick-fil-A Bowl
(8-4) Virginia vs. (7-5) Auburn
Where:  Atlanta, Georgia
When:  December 31
Why Watch:  Virginia and Auburn both have very good defenses, it should make for an interesting game.
Pick:  Auburn wins 23-20

Gator Bowl
(6-6) Ohio State vs. (6-6) Florida
Where:  Jacksonville, Florida
When:  January 2
Why Watch:  Otherwise known as the Urban Meyer Bowl.
Pick:  Ohio State wins 24-20

TicketCity Bowl
#20 (12-1) Houston vs. #24 (9-3) Penn State
Where:  Dallas, Texas
When:  January 2
Why Watch:  It’ll be interesting to see how Houston rebounds from their upset shellacking in the Conference USA Championship.  Let’s find out if this team is for real, we already know Penn State can only beat mediocre teams.
Pick:  #20 Houston wins 38-30

Capital One Bowl
#21 (9-3) Nebraska vs. #10 (10-2) South Carolina
Where:  Orlando, Florida
When:  January 2
Why Watch:  This is a battle of two of the best defenses in college football and will be a battle won in the trenches.  Who has the better lineman, the Big 10 or the SEC?
Pick:  #10 South Carolina wins 16-13

Outback Bowl
#12 (10-3) Michigan State vs. #18 (10-3) Georgia
Where:  Tampa, Florida
When:  January 2
Why Watch:  This is a battle of two teams coming off losses in their conference championship games, who will rebound better?  This is the best game of the year so far.
Pick:  #12 Michigan State wins 34-28


Cotton Bowl
#11 (10-2) Kansas State vs. #7 (10-2) Arkansas
Where:  Arlington, Texas
When:  January 6
Why Watch:  Both of these teams were worthy of making a BCS appearance, but this is the next best thing.  Two opposing offensive strategies, the aggressive Arkansas pass offense vs. the conservative Kansas State option run.
Pick:  #7 Arkansas wins 35-20

BBVA Compass Bowl
(7-5) SMU vs. (6-6) Pittsburgh
Where:  Birmingham, Alabama
When:  January 7
Why Watch:  No reason unless you are a fan of either team.
Pick:  Pittsburgh wins 24-17

GoDaddy.com Bowl
(10-2) Arkansas State vs. (10-3) Northern Illinois
Where:  Mobile, Alabama
When:  January 8
Why Watch:  The battle of two lesser conference champions.  Chandler Harnish, the Northern Illinois QB, is pretty good too.
Pick:  Northern Illinois wins 34-30


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