NCAAF 2015-16 Bowl Predictions #2 (12/26-1/1)

NCAAF 2015-16 Bowl Predictions #2 (12/26-1/1):

Photo credit: ESPN

(Published on 12/25/15)

Welcome to the 2nd edition of the Bowl Predictions for the 2015-16 Season.  Be sure to check our previous prediction blog by clicking the link here before you read through these.  Our current record with these bowl predictions as of Christmas is 6-6.  We were in a much better position last year.  Hopefully, that will all change.  Here are your bowl predictions for this coming week.

(Saturday, December 26th)

St. Petersburg Bowl: UConn vs. Marshall (11:00 AM ESPN)-

UConn got a huge upset victory over a banged up Houston team in order to become bowl eligible.  Marshall is struggling without Rakeem Cato and in the kicking game.  If you want to wake up early for this one, then go ahead.

  • The pick is Marshall.

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Miami (FL) vs. Washington St. (2:00 CBS)-

Washington St. started off the season on a terrible note.  They lost to Portland St.  For the love of all that is holy, they lost to Portland St.  They strung themselves together to an 8-4 year, a Top 25 ranking, and a missed field goal away from beating Stanford.  Miami (FL) had an up and down season as well.  They got blown out by Clemson and then fired their head coach, Al Golden, they had one of the greatest endings in college football with “The Return” against Duke, and they led themselves to an 8-4 record.  The Hyundai Sun Bowl has been known to have some great games.  This one should be one of those.

  • The pick is Miami (FL).

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl: Washington vs. Southern Mississippi (2:20 ESPN)-

To be honest, I thought that Southern Miss had put a post-season ban on themselves.  Then, they showed up in the Conference-USA Championship game.  Washington destroyed Washington St. by 35 to get to this game.  They will ride high on that momentum.  Southern Miss is more trashy than you think.

  • The pick is Washington.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Indiana vs. Duke (3:30 ABC)-

Let us just give a round of applause to Indiana for making it to a bowl game and a round of cries and sadness to Duke for ruining what could have been a great season.  I am picking Indiana solely on the run game with Jordan Howard and Devine Redding, and the passing game with Nate Sudfeld.  Duke really doesn’t have a chance, but this should still be a fun game.

  • The pick is Indiana.

Camping World Independence Bowl: Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech (5:45 ESPN)-

This is going to be Frank Beamer’s last game as the coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies.  Don’t tell me that Virginia Tech won’t just win this one on emotion alone!

  • The pick is Virginia Tech.

Foster Farms Bowl: UCLA vs. Nebraska (9:15 ESPN)-

Nebraska snuck their way into a bowl game because they were smart or something.  The turnover battle will just be too strong for Nebraska to overcome and UCLA takes this one with Josh Rosen at quarterback.

  • The pick is UCLA.

(Monday, December 28th)

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman: Pittsburgh vs. 21 Navy (2:30 ESPN)-

Keenan Reynolds has led his team to a remarkable year.  Their #21 ranking was given to them before their victory over Army, so they are even better than that.  Pittsburgh has had an up and down season this year and the triple option is just going to be too much for them to handle.

  • The pick is Navy.

Quick Lane Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Minnesota (5:00 ESPN2)-

Like Nebraska and San José St., Minnesota snuck their way into a bowl game at a 5-7 record because they were smart.  Central Michigan has given some top teams like Oklahoma St. all they can handle this season and Minnesota will have their hands full in Detroit come this game.

  • The pick is Minnesota.

(Tuesday, December 29th)

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: California vs. Air Force (2:00 ESPN)-

California’s season, just like their basketball season this year had so much promise and then, it didn’t.  Air Force lost in the Mountain West Championship game to San Diego St.  I am picking this game solely on strength of schedule.

  • The pick is California.

Russell Athletic Bowl: 13 North Carolina vs. 22 Baylor (5:30 ESPN)-

This game is going to be fun to watch, as long as Baylor has a quarterback that is healthy.  They can’t have wide receivers be throwing the ball downfield like they did in their loss to Texas.  That will not go well with Marquise Williams and the North Carolina offense.  Baylor will not be able to keep up.

  • The pick is North Carolina.

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl: Nevada vs. Colorado St. (7:30 American Sports Network/Campus Insiders)-

This bowl game is a disaster.  Why the hell are there two teams from the same conference in a bowl game?!  The Mountain West commissioner thinks that it is a travesty and it most certainly is.  This bowl game isn’t even being broadcasted on a network that people have.  It will also be online on a website that most people didn’t even know existed.  This is just sad.  I would love to see how many people will watch this game.  Let this be another lesson to everyone when I say that there are too many damn bowl games.

  • The pick is Colorado St.

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl: 20 LSU vs. Texas Tech (9:00 ESPN)-

Leonard Fournette is going to run through the Texas Tech defense, one of the worst at stopping the run.  That is all that you need to know for this one.

  • The pick is LSU.

(Wednesday, December 30th)

Birmingham Bowl: Auburn vs. Memphis (12:00 ESPN)-

Auburn had a very disappointing season this year.  They didn’t really have anybody to play at quarterback and when that is the case, you don’t really go very far.  We knew there was a problem when they almost lost to potential FCS Champion, Jacksonville St.  Memphis on the other hand was a potential New Year’s Six candidate, but they ended up losing a couple of games after their huge Ole Miss victory.  Paxton Lynch is going to have a lot of scouts looking at him in this game and this one should be very fun, filled with a lot of Auburn fans.

  • The pick is Memphis.

Belk Bowl: NC State vs. Mississippi St. (3:30 ESPN)-

If I had a dollar for every game I watched that NC St. was involved in, I would have $0 and because of that, I have to go with Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs.

  • The pick is Mississippi St.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Louisville (7:00 ESPN)-

Man, didn’t A&M’s season have so much promise?  After they were exposed to Alabama, everything went downhill.  Now, they don’t have a quarterback anymore.

  • The pick is Louisville.

National Funding Holiday Bowl: USC vs. 19 Wisconsin (10:30 ESPN)-

USC had an up and down season to say the least.  I am going to spare you some time and skip to the fact that they won the PAC-12 South.  Wisconsin on the other hand was just a very good, consistent team that lost to two good team in Iowa and Northwestern by a combined 7 points.  Oh what could have been there.  I am going with the Trojans on this one because of the location and because of Cody Kessler’s last game at USC.

  • The pick is USC.

(Thursday, December 31st)

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl: 16 Houston vs. 9 Florida St. (12:00 ESPN)-

Let me just put it this way, Houston should be undefeated.  You can’t argue with that at all.  If it wasn’t for the injury to Greg Ward Jr., this team would be a Top 10 team.  It doesn’t matter now about that because all they need to do is beat Florida St.  That will either make or break their season.  I am mostly excited to see how the Houston defense mashes up against Dalvin Cook.  I am pulling for the Cougars. Fingers crossed.

  • The pick is Houston.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl: 4 Oklahoma vs. 1 Clemson (4:00 ESPN)-

I think that if you just watch ESPN for 2 minutes, you could find out information about this game.

  • The pick is Clemson.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: 3 Michigan St. vs. 2 Alabama (8:00 ESPN)-

What I said about the Orange Bowl reigns true about this one.  However, I will add that Michigan St. needs Connor Cook to play his best football if they have any shot at winning this one.

  • The pick is Michigan St.

(Friday, January 1st)

Outback Bowl: 14 Northwestern vs. Tennessee (12:00 ESPN2)-

Tennessee had a bunch of promise at the beginning of the season and Northwestern didn’t have much at all.  Then a loss to Oklahoma for Tennessee and a win for Northwestern against Stanford changed it all. This one might be in the hands of Tennessee if their offense can get going.

  • The pick is Tennessee.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: 17 Michigan vs. 23 Florida (1:00 ABC)-

Michigan can score.  Florida can’t.  This one will be fun, but remember, Florida can’t score.

  • The pick is Michigan.

BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl: 8 Notre Dame vs. 7 Ohio St. (1:00 ESPN)-

I don’t think that Notre Dame is set for the Ohio St. that showed up for their game against Michigan.  Also, why did Tostitos lose the rights to this game?  What the heck is a BattleFrog anyway?

  • The pick is Ohio St.

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual: 5 Stanford vs. 6 Iowa (5:00 ESPN)-

Iowa and Stanford were both just this close to making it to the College Football Playoff.  This game is going to be a good one for those that like that “Old School” version of football.

  • The pick is Iowa.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: 15 Oklahoma St. vs. 11 Ole Miss (8:30 ESPN)-

Oklahoma St. can’t hang.  End of story.

  • The pick is Ole Miss.

Thanks for reading the second edition of our bowl predictions.  Be sure to tell us what you thought about them in the comment section and also like Power Rankings and More on Facebook and follow us on Twitter: @PowerRank_More for the latest Power Rankings and More news.

Also, be sure to check out the Bowl Week Power Rankings by clicking the link here.

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Matthew "Joneszee" Jones

Core Group leader at Ball State Chi Alpha. I currently do PRAM on the side for fun.

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Ken Conklin

I can’t get very excited about most of these “minor” bowls — they’re more like demitasse cups than a decent cereal bowls. However, I will get into the “real” bowl games (those that actually mean something and involve the best teams). Here are my personal predictions for the “biggies”!

Orange Bowl: 4 Oklahoma vs. 1 Clemson: While Clemson is very, very good, I’m thinking an upset is in the cards and Oklahoma will sooner win than lose.

Cotton Bowl Classic: 3 Michigan St. vs. 2 Alabama (8:00 ESPN)-
Looks to me like the Crimson Tide will rise to the occasion and defeat the Spartans. Thereby, creating an Alabama vs Oklahoma National title game.

Outback Bowl: 14 Northwestern vs. Tennessee (12:00 ESPN2)-
I’ll go with Big Orange even though Northwestern is favored.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: 17 Michigan vs. 23 Florida (1:00 ABC)-
Michigan is my choice here ’cause I like them better!

BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl: 8 Notre Dame vs. 7 Ohio St. I agree “what the heck is a BattleFrog?” Looks like the Buckeyes can beat the Irish.
Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual: 5 Stanford vs. 6 Iowa
Stanford’s the team for this one; the King of Bowl games with a great history.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: 15 Oklahoma St. vs. 11 Ole Miss
Ole Miss will savor the sweetness of the Sugar Bowl.

I know I’m “Old School,” but I liked the days of fewer bowl games and before corporations insisted on adding their names to the bowls!

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