College Football Bowl Predictions 2012: Surging Teams Set to Win Winter Battles

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2012

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 03:  Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers drops back to pass against the TCU Horned Frogs during the game on November 3, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Three prolific quarterbacks are set to lead surging college football teams to postseason glory this December.

Derek Carr, David Fales and Geno Smith have all torched opposing defenses this season and will continue to light up secondaries like Christmas trees this December. With bowl season in full swing and a slate of marquee matchups coming up fast, let's not waste any more time.

Here are my predictions for surging teams set to earn mighty bowl wins this holiday season.


Fresno State Bulldogs

Fresno State has won five straight games following a quiet 4-3 start to the season. The surging Bulldogs will take on SMU in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve—a matchup they will have a mighty advantage in.

The Mustangs have been wildly inconsistent this season, failing to win more than two games in a row all year long. SMU also only boasts a plus-2.5 scoring differential through 12 games, ranks 65th in total defense and is only 95th in total offense. Had SMU not won its season finale, it wouldn't even be eligible for a bowl game this December.

Derek Carr and the Bulldogs' potent aerial attack will take center stage in this Christmas Eve showdown. The junior has thrown for more than 3,700 yards and 36 touchdowns this season, and he leads the country's 12th-ranked passing offense.

Fresno State also ranks 12th in scoring offense, posting a little more than 40 points per game this season. SMU will score points, but it won't be able to keep up with a hotter Fresno State squad.


San Jose State Spartans

Much like Fresno State, San Jose State is in the midst of an impressive winning streak and boasts one of college football's most fearsome passing attacks. The Spartans, who rank 11th in the nation in passing offense this season, will take on Bowling Green in the Military Bowl on Thursday.

The Falcons do possess a quality secondary, but they will be hard-pressed to slow David Fales and company this December.

Fales will have a 1,000-yard receiver to throw to in Noel Grigsby, along with three other stud pass catchers in Ryan Otten, Chandler Jones and Jabari Carr. The four have combined for more than 3,000 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns.

The Spartans have won six in a row and are racking up 77 more total yards and 12 more points per game than Bowling Green in 2012. Therefore, you can expect San Jose State to both outgain and outscore the Falcons in this winter bowl clash.


West Virginia Mountaineers

Geno Smith and the Mountaineers enter their New Era Pinstripe Bowl matchup against Syracuse having won two in a row. Granted, West Virginia's two wins have come against Iowa State and Kansas, but they outscored the two 90-34.

While the Orange have won three in a row coming into their Dec. 29 showdown, they lack the offensive firepower to keep up with the Mountaineers on the scoreboard outside the Carrier Dome.

West Virginia possesses the nation's sixth-best passing attack and seventh-highest scoring offense thanks to the brilliance of quarterback Geno Smith, who has thrown for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in 2012.

The Mountaineers are scoring nearly 42 points per game this season, 45 per game over their last two wins and are poised to outscore the Orange at Yankee Stadium this winter. Syracuse ranks 65th in the country in pass defense, which should prove costly in this matchup.

Smith will have a variety of weapons to choose from, including Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin and Andrew Buie, who have each accounted for well over 1,000 total yards this season.


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