It’s about that time of the year. When everyone and their brother (and their brother’s girlfriend…and their brother’s girlfriend’s former roommate’s hairstylist’s next-door neighbour) is throwing in their picks for the bowl games. Now this is not nearly as rampant as March Madness pools which drop productivity through the floor but you still see a lot of them. I am no different. Whether I actually gamble on the bowl games is always the question (still on the fence this year). So here we go with my bowl picks. I will also throw in my confidence in the pick considering these confidence pools are gaining in importance over the straight-up bowl pool.
|Date||Bowl||Team #1||Team #2||CONFIDENCE|
|December 20, 2014||New Mexico Bowl||UTEP||Utah State*||38|
|December 27, 2014||Sun Bowl||Duke||Arizona State*||37|
|December 30, 2014||Music City Bowl||Notre Dame||LSU*||36|
|December 30, 2014||Foster Farms Bowl||Maryland||Stanford*||35|
|December 20, 2014||Camellia Bowl||Bowling Green||South Alabama*||34|
|December 27, 2014||Holiday Bowl||Nebraska||USC*||33|
|January 1, 2015||Citrus Bowl||Minnesota||Missouri*||32|
|January 1, 2015||Outback Bowl||Auburn*||Wisconsin||31|
|January 1, 2015||Sugar Bowl||Alabama*||Ohio State||30|
|January 2, 2015||Cactus Bowl||Oklahoma State||Washington*||29|
|December 20, 2014||New Orleans Bowl||Nevada||Louisiana-Lafayette*||28|
|December 22, 2014||Miami Beach Bowl||BYU||Memphis*||27|
|December 24, 2014||Hawaii Bowl||Rice*||Fresno State||26|
|December 26, 2014||Heart of Dallas Bowl||Illinois||Louisiana Tech*||25|
|December 27, 2014||Independence Bowl||Miami*||South Carolina||24|
|December 31, 2014||Orange Bowl||Georgia Tech||Mississippi State*||23|
|December 20, 2014||Idaho Potato Bowl||Air Force*||Western Michigan||22|
|December 26, 2014||Bitcoin Bowl||NC State||UCF*||21|
|December 27, 2014||Military Bowl||Virginia Tech||Cincinnati*||20|
|December 29, 2014||Liberty Bowl||Texas A&M*||West Virginia||19|
|December 31, 2014||Peach Bowl||TCU*||Ole Miss||18|
|January 1, 2015||Cotton Bowl||Baylor||Michigan State*||17|
|January 2, 2015||Armed Forces Bowl||Pittsburgh*||Houston||16|
|December 26, 2014||Quick Lane Bowl||North Carolina*||Rutgers||15|
|December 29, 2014||Russell Athletic Bowl||Clemson||Oklahoma*||14|
|December 29, 2014||Texas Bowl||Arkansas||Texas*||13|
|December 30, 2014||Belk Bowl||Louisville*||Georgia||12|
|December 31, 2014||Fiesta Bowl||Arizona||Boise State*||11|
|January 1, 2015||Rose Bowl||Oregon*||Florida State||10|
|January 2, 2015||Alamo Bowl||Kansas State*||UCLA||9|
|December 20, 2014||Las Vegas Bowl||Utah||Colorado State*||8|
|December 27, 2014||Pinstripe Bowl||Boston College||Penn State*||7|
|January 2, 2015||TaxSlayer Bowl||Iowa*||Tennessee||6|
|January 3, 2015||Birmingham Bowl||East Carolina*||Florida||5|
|January 4, 2015||GoDaddy Bowl||Toledo||Arkansas State*||4|
|December 23, 2014||Boca Raton Bowl||Marshall*||Northern Illinois||3|
|December 23, 2014||Poinsettia Bowl||Navy*||San Diego State||2|
|December 24, 2014||Bahamas Bowl||Western Kentucky*||Central Michigan||1|
I guess a bit of explanation is needed, at least for some of my picks:
- My most confident pick is Utah State over UTEP. The Aggies could probably beat almost every team in the American conference and most of the under-.500 teams from the Power Five conferences so I have to wonder what they will do to a UTEP team that is bowling this year because of how terrible Conference USA is (just so you know, this season I consider C-USA the worst of the FBS conferences…yes, even below the Sun Belt and the MAC).
- My least confident pick is Western Kentucky over Central Michigan. To be honest I believe this is basically a pick’em game so picking either team will be fine. Neither should dominate the other. All this means that chances are one team will beat the other by at least 30.
- I find it interesting that almost everyone is picking Marshall in the Boca Bowl. Last time I checked, Northern Illinois were the champions of the MAC, a better conference than C-USA this season, which Marshall barely won over a Louisiana Tech team who is barely favoured over Illinois. College Football Transitive Property to the rescue!
- I am also mystified at the love thrown Navy’s way. They looked absolutely pedestrian against Army (and in about half their games this season). I know San Diego State isn’t as good as they have been but I can’t see Navy destroying the Aztecs, especially considering SDSU is playing at home in this one.
- Other games I would consider locks if I was one of those greasy TV sports-gambling personalities: Arizona State over Duke, Stanford over Maryland, and LSU over Notre Dame. I suspect each of these games will be essentially over by the 12-minute mark of the third quarter.
- A friend of mine was discussing our ProLine tickets for the NFL games this past weekend (again, a good week but not good enough damn it!). He used the word parlay twice. My guess is he puts down a lot more money than I do when it comes to gambling on football. He also mentioned his disdain for the college game saying the NCAA is messed up. I agreed while also lauding the near-perfect citizens employed in the NFL. I don’t know if he picked up on the sarcasm. This has nothing to do with the bowl games, I just thought it was interesting.
- I have much more confidence in Alabama mopping the floor with tOSU than Oregon beating Florida State. For some reason I think back to all the games where FSU didn’t show up until about 25 minutes into the game. That could very well happen again at the Rose Bowl.
So there you go. I am so looking forward to this. I am hoping to live-tweet as much as I can. As of right now, the days I expect to live-tweet games are Dec. 20th, 23rd, 24th, 29th, and Jan. 1st. Again, this is the holiday season so I do have my kids fairly often over the holidays (thankfully). I plan to watch all the bowl games in their entirety and expect some very late nights but if a game is on my PVR and one team is up by 40 midway through the fourth, I won’t watch the rest. Even I have my limitations.
We are four days away people! Get ready. And remember, as one reader mentioned, come a month from now we won’t have college football to watch until late August. So cherish the games (or at least be happy there is college football to watch right now) and watch as much as you can/want over the next almost-four weeks.