College Football Bowl Predictions 2012: Locks for New Year's Weekend

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College Football Bowl Predictions 2012: Locks for New Year's Weekend
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With the 2012 college football bowl season in full swing, it’s time to analyze and break down the locks for the wild weekend of action before New Year’s Day.

The bowl schedule is full of amazing matchups, but the following games are the most high profile of them all.

With that said, we’re going to help predict which teams are locks to win on the grandest stages.

Friday, Dec. 28

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Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech

While the Virginia Tech Hokies come into this game with a two-game winning streak, a 6-6 season has set the table for the much more talented Rutgers Scarlet Knights team to dominate on the national stage.

As much as the Hokies boast a well-balanced offense that can throw big passes or break off big runs, Rutgers’ fifth-ranked defense is ready for a challenge. While the Scarlet Knights have lost two in a row, they will find vengeance against Virginia Tech.

Expect a close game until a defensive play for Rutgers breaks the game open and the Knights start to pour it on.

Prediction: Rutgers 34, Virginia Tech 14

Saturday, Dec. 29

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No. 23 Texas vs. No. 13 Oregon State

While this is one of the best games of the entire year on paper, it will not be as close as most think it should be; the Texas Longhorns will lose big to the Oregon State Beavers.

The Longhorns proved throughout the season that they fold against the best competition on the schedule, and the Beavers are one of the best teams Texas has played this season.

Add in the fact that the Oregon State defense is ranked 22nd in the nation—giving up just 19.8 points per game—and Mack Brown and the Longhorns are in serious trouble.

The Beavers win big.

Prediction: Oregon State 33, Texas 17

Monday, Dec. 31

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No. 8 LSU vs. No. 14 Clemson

While this will be the closest game of all the New Year’s locks, it will be the LSU Tigers that beat the Clemson Tigers in an excellent ACC versus SEC battle between top-15 teams.

Clemson’s offense has been amazing, but the stellar play of the defensive unit from LSU—11th in the nation allowing just 16.9 points per game—will stifle any of the assaults on the ground or through the air from Tajh Boyd.

LSU’s offensive unit has been awful this season, but a strong running attack and a porous run defense for Clemson is setting up for the Bayou Bengals to control the clock and the tempo of the game. Les Miles walks away with another bowl victory.

Prediction: LSU 31, Clemson 21

Check back for more on the NCAA Football as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s College Football page to get your fill of college football.

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