College Football Bowl Picks 2012: Teams on Upset Alert in Remaining Action

Shawn Brubaker@@63brubakerContributor IIDecember 29, 2012

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 17:  Mike Glennon #8 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack drops back to pass against the Clemson Tigers during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

We've already seen SMU hammer the favored Fresno State Bulldogs, Duke challenge the vastly superior Cincinnati Bearcats and Baylor thrash UCLA. Throw the predictions out the window, as upsets have come in spades.

Picking upsets isn't easy; they are upsets for a reason, after all. Still, a few games stick out as having upset potential.

Keep an eye on these games. You might just end up surprised by the result. All odds are courtesy of


New Era Pinstripe Bowl—West Virginia (-4) vs Syracuse

In perhaps the best quarterback matchup this bowl season, Geno Smith and West Virginia will take on Syracuse and Ryan Nassib. 

The oddsmakers like West Virginia in this one, but Syracuse has a great shot to pull the upset. 

Both teams are 7-5, but a look at their losses shows which team is superior.

West Virginia simply laid down for blowout losses to Texas Tech and Kansas State, losing by a combined 104-28 in those two games. In fact, West Virginia lost five straight at one point. While the Moutaineers ended the season on a high note, their tendency to get blown away by top opposition can't be ignored.

Syracuse, on the other hand, was competitive in every game, and they even pulled off some upsets. Syracuse ended Louisville's undefeated season while also handing the SEC's Missouri a loss.

Both quarterbacks will find success in this game, but Syracuse has a more complete team. I'll take the Orange in an upset.


Prediction: Syracuse 38, West Virginia 34


Franklin American Mortgage Music City BowlNorth Carolina State vs Vanderbilt (-7.5)

Going against an SEC team is never easy in a bowl game, but in this case, quarterback Mike Glennon gives North Carolina State an underrated edge.

Glennon is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country, but he is surrounded by average talent. Still, Glennon was enough to key the Wolfpack offense all season, even enough to upset then-No. 3 Florida State.

Vanderbilt, meanwhile, went an impressive 8-4 this season, but they didn't beat any teams of note. Their most impressive win is a 41-18 thrashing of Tennessee, but they also lost to Northwestern and struggled to beat a mediocre Auburn team.

Watching Glennon take on Vanderbilt's 14th-ranked scoring defense will be a treat, but I expect Glennon to win that matchup. Vanderbilt had a great season, but they aren't ready for prime time just yet.


Prediction: NC State 20, Vanderbilt 13