This has been a wild college football season, and the unexpected results that characterized the regular season will continue through the bowl games.
The standard has been set high by late-season thrillers like Texas A&M’s victory over Alabama and Stanford’s win over Oregon.
It is abundantly clear from the upsets over the past few months that no team is safe in their bowl matchup.
Here are the favorites that will suffer defeats in their final game of the season.
Note: all lines courtesy of Sports Book
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin (+6.5) over Stanford
Wisconsin is one of the BCS bowl teams that many feel do not deserve to be where they are. In fact, the Badgers are the only one of the 10 participants that did not make the Week 15 BCS standings.
After a disappointing 7-5 regular season, Wisconsin became Nebraska’s opponent in the Big Ten title game largely by default as neither Ohio State nor Penn State were eligible for the postseason. But the Badgers proved that they are still capable of exceptional performances with a 70-31 rout to earn a third-straight trip to Pasadena.
The shocking news that Bret Bielema was leaving Madison to become Arkansas’ next coach certainly shook up the program, but the legendary Barry Alvarez will return to sidelines to lead the team in the Rose Bowl.
The seniors on this team—including star running back Montee Ball—will be desperate to finally win in Southern California, and this team will put together another stellar game to record the most surprising upset of the bowl season.
Alamo Bowl: Texas (+2.5) over Oregon State
Oregon State’s offense has stalled at times this season, and that will happen once again in the team’s final game against Texas.
The Longhorns ended their season on a disappointing two-game skid, but a month off will help the team’s talented offense prepare for a productive day.
Mack Brown will be determined not to let a certain Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback steal all the headlines in Texas, as that may have drastic effects on his ability to recruit in the next few years.
With the right game plan and preparation, there is more than enough potential for the Longhorns to end their season on a high note, and they will upset Oregon State.
Russell Athletic Bowl: Rutgers (+2.5) over Virginia Tech
While the Big East against the ACC is certainly not as exciting of a matchup as it used to be, fans can at least look forward to an upset in this game.
Both of these teams ended their seasons with disappointing results. Rutgers dropped two games in a row to miss out on a Big East title and a trip to a BCS bowl, while Virginia Tech finished with three losses and two narrow victories.
Neither program is hitting its stride at the right time, and Rutgers’ stout, disciplined defense will be the difference in this game.
The Hokies will make crucial mistakes on offense, and the Scarlet Knights’ defense will capitalize on these errors in order to earn a victory.