The cool crisp air, holiday songs and annual discussion of an NCAA football playoff must mean one thing: It’s time to make some bowl game predictions. Here are my predictions for all of the upcoming bowls this year.
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Temple vs. Wyoming: With Wyoming’s only two conference losses coming from Boise State and TCU, the Cowboys look too strong. Cowboys 27-13.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Ohio vs. Utah State: Utah State almost pulled off the ultimate upset earlier this year against Auburn. That’s good enough reason for me to pick them in this bowl. Aggies 24-17.
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
San Diego State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette: San Diego State has an awesome runner in Ronnie Hillman. Aztecs run wild over the Cajuns, 35-10.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl
Florida International vs. Marshall: Florida International has some close losses this season which helped them become a more mentally tough team overall. Golden Panthers 17-13.
S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
TCU vs. Louisiana Tech: TCU is a powerhouse that ended Boise State’s hope at a national championship and is playing with something to prove. Horned Frogs win big 42-9.
MAACO Las Vegas Bowl
Arizona State vs. Boise State: Boise State had aspirations at making a run at the national championship this year. Unfortunately, that dream was stopped short, and now the Broncos get to play in a much smaller profile bowl game. Broncos annihilate the Sun Devils 56-23.
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Nevada vs. Southern Miss: Southern Miss may have bowl experience, but Nevada has a high-powered, pistol toting offense. Pack in a close one, 27-25.
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl
Missouri vs. North Carolina: Bryn Renner and Dwight Jones will provide all the offense North Carolina needs. Heels 37-31.
Little Caesers Bowl
Western Michigan vs. Purdue: In their first bowl game since 2007, which was at the same bowl against Western Michigan, the Boilermakers are looking to make a statement. It’s déjà vu all over again, Boilermakers 28-24.
Louisville vs. N.C. State: N.C. State showed great perseverance against Maryland, rallying from down 27 to come back and win. The Wolfpack will have an easier time with the Cardinals, 35-20.
Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
Toledo vs. Air Force: Air Force’s experience, discipline and running game will prove too much for the Rockets to handle. Zoomies 35-14.
Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl
California vs. Texas: The Longhorns have a ton of bowl game experience, but Mychal Kendricks and the Golden Bears are on upset alert. Cal 37-35.
Champs Sports Bowl
Florida State vs. Norte Dame: Jimbo Fisher and the ‘Noles have a determination to return Florida State to the powerhouse status it once was. The Irish will be just another stepping-stone on that path. Seminoles 43-29.
Valero Alamo Bowl
Washington vs. Baylor: Robert Griffin III will be a major factor in the victory for Baylor. Bears 42-32.
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
BYU vs. Tulsa: BYU is a more tested team, which will help them win this bowl. Cougars 24-6.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Rutgers vs. Iowa State: Time to go to work for the Scarlet Knights. With a game close to home and a tenacious defense, Rutgers wins easily, 28-7.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Mississippi State vs. Wake Forest: The SEC is the toughest conference in college football. Aside from that, Mississippi State has better all-around athletes than Wake. Bulldogs 42-30.
Iowa vs. Oklahoma: Bob Stoops has a “schooner” load of bowl experience. Coupled with the fact that Iowa bolstered the lowest-ranked defense in the Big Ten this year, the Sooners walk away with this one, 35-17.
Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl
Texas A&M vs. Northwestern: With a competitive schedule in its favor, A&M is battle tested and its athletes should outlast Northwestern’s. Aggies 28-22.
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Georgia Tech vs. Utah: The quarterback position will take center stage in this contest, but the Georgia Tech option game will be running more than the Utes. Yellow Jackets 24-19.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt: Vandy’s defense and tough SEC schedule help the Commodores win this one, 31-28.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Illinois vs. UCLA: Jonathan Brown will lead the Illini defense to a victory by the bay. Fighting Illini, 31-17.
Virginia vs. Auburn: Auburn is too powerful and coming off of its BCS National Title Game a year ago will have its way with Virginia. Tigers 35-21.
Houston vs. Penn State: Case Keenum will shred the Nittany Lions’ defense apart. Cougars 48-23.
Michigan State vs. Georgia: Michigan State’s high-powered offense will prove too much for the Bulldogs to handle. Spartans 35-27.
Capital One Bowl
Nebraska vs. South Carolina: The hog mollies up front for Nebraska will have their way with the Gamecocks’ defensive front. Huskers 32-17.
Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl
Ohio State vs. Florida: With Urban Meyer watching the program he once ran facing off against his future program, he should feel honored to be such an integral part of this game. Meyer’s former team will come away with a victory in the bowl that bears its mascot’s name. Gators 28-27.
Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio
Wisconsin vs. Oregon: Speed is a very dangerous weapon to have, and the Ducks have plenty of team speed to spare. Ducks fly by the Badgers, 42-24.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Stanford vs. Oklahoma State: The old saying is, “Better 'Luck'y than good.” However, in a rare occasion, air beats ground. Cowboys 21-17.
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Michigan vs. Virginia Tech: Denard Robinson engineers a spectacular showing by the Wolverines. Blue wins 34-31.
Discover Orange Bowl
West Virginia vs. Clemson: Clemson is clearly the stronger team in the power game, running game and on the defensive side of the ball. Tigers 24-10.
AT&T Cotton Bowl
Kansas State vs. Arkansas: Clearly not the matchup of the century, but it will be a good game nonetheless. Wildcats edge the Hogs, 37-30.
BBVA Compass Bowl
SMU vs. Pittsburgh: I can’t really pick against June Jones in a bowl game. The Mustangs should pull away late, 31-21.
Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois: The scoreboard may need to be replaced after this one with all the offense Northern Illinois has. Huskies win 63-48.
Allstate BCS National Championship Game
LSU vs. Alabama: The saying is, “It’s hard to beat a team twice.” Well, that may be true, unless you are talking about LSU. Les Miles and his grass eating ways will prove to drive ‘Bama “mad” once again. There'll be a bit more points than the last time these two met. LSU 17-14.
Well, there you have it—every game looked at and closely analyzed. So fill out your prediction sheets, good luck, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.