Sid’s 2014 Bowl Predictions
December 25, 2014
Now in its 20th year, here are Sid’s annual College Football Bowl Game predictions. Regular readers likely remember both the sarcasm and the sometimes stunning accuracy of these picks over the years. This year, I am starting with the games after Christmas until New Year’s Day. Then I will pick the National Champion. Want a hint—the winning school will come from a program west of the Mississippi.
Dec. 26, Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech, Dallas, TX...Got to go with the Big Ten here. Illinois rarely plays any football in the month of December, so it will be happy to be in any Bowl game. Louisiana Tech will not have the size and speed to keep up with the Big Ten opponent.
Dec. 26, Quick Lane Bowl, Rutgers vs. North Carolina, Detroit, MI...Few teams enter the bowl season with a lower level of momentum than the Tar Heels. Rutgers is not that good but it has not taken much lately to beat the Heels.
Dec. 26, Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, NC State vs. UCF, St. Petersburg, FL...Pretty even matchup here. I do like the way the Wolfpack overachieved this season. Will take UCF though as it is almost a home game for them.
Dec. 27, Military Bowl, Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech, Annapolis, MD...Leaning toward the Hokies in this one. They had a disappointing season even though they did beat Ohio State early. The Bearcats were good about five or six years ago, but have been regressing since.
Dec. 27, Hyundai Sun Bowl, Arizona State vs. Duke, El Paso, TX...Would love to take Duke here. Just can’t do it. The Blue Devils played their best football months ago and Arizona State may very well be the best team Duke sees this season.
Dec. 27, Duck Commander Independence Bowl, Miami vs. South Carolina, Shreveport, LA...Have to go with Miami here. It is almost like Steve Spurrier lost interest in this Gamecock
team once they lost a few early games.
Dec. 27, New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Boston College vs. Penn State, Bronx, NY...Normally this would be a great matchup. Not this year though as I do not view either as a Bowl-caliber team in 2014. Will go with Penn State though. Rooting for the players to overcome the current stain on the Penn State program. Remember, the players had nothing to do with the scandal.
Dec. 27, National University Holiday Bowl, Nebraska vs. USC, San Diego, CA...Two big name programs. Both still trying to capture past glory days. Nebraska fired its coach. Makes me think the Trojans will come out on top.
Dec. 29, Autozone Liberty Bowl, Texas A&M vs. West Virginia, Memphis, TN...Lots of points in this one. First one to 45 wins and that will be the Aggies of Texas A&M.
Dec. 29, Russell Athletic Bowl, Oklahoma vs. Clemson, Orlando, FL...Tough matchup for Clemson. The Sooners may be bored with this lower-level bowl game. The Tigers are still hungry so I think I will go with them in a upset.
Dec. 29, AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl, Arkansas vs. Texas, Houston, TX...Never thought I would ever see V100 in the name of a Bowl game. Anyway, Arkansas got better and better as the year progressed in the tough SEC. I will go with the Razorbacks.
Dec. 30, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Notre Dame vs. LSU Nashville, TN...Speaking of Bowl game names, have you ever seen one this long. LSU will win big here. The Irish totally fell apart once it got cold outside. And it got cold quite some time ago in northern Indiana.
Dec. 30, Belk Bowl, Georgia vs. Louisville, Charlotte, NC...There we go, a short Bowl game name. Charlotte has a nice matchup this year. Georgia’s high power running game against one of the best defenses in the nation. Will take Georgia here as the Bulldogs will eventually wear Louisville down.
Dec. 30, Foster Farms Bowl, Maryland vs. Stanford, Santa Clara, CA...Stanford is down a bit this year. But it will enjoy playing Maryland, a school that would finish near the bottom in the PAC-10. Stanford will win by double figures.
Dec. 31, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Ole Miss vs. TCU, Atlanta, GA...I really like this game. Will be one of the top five games of the season. TCU should pull away late in its attempt to show the country that it should have been in the playoffs.
Dec. 31, VIZIO Fiesta Bowl, Boise State vs. Arizona, Glendale, AZ...Home game for the tenth ranked Arizona squad. Boise State is not quite as good this season as it has been in past. I like Arizona big in this one.
Dec. 31, Capital One Orange Bowl, Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech, Miami Gardens, FL...The Yellow Jackets should have beaten Florida State in the ACC Title Game. I think they will pull off the upset against the higher ranked SEC school.
Jan. 1, Outback Bowl, Auburn vs. Wisconsin, Tampa, FL...SEC will rebound in this one. How good can it be at Wisconsin these days? The coach left town for Oregon State, a program that watches Bowl Games on TV. Ohio State put 50+ on the board against the Badgers a few weeks back. Auburn may go higher.
Jan. 1, Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Michigan State vs. Baylor, Dallas, TX...Another intriguing matchup. Baylor’s offense vs. Michigan State defense. I like Baylor to avenge the fact that they were fifth ranked and missed the playoffs by one spot.
Jan. 1, Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, Missouri vs. Minnesota Orlando, FL...Not sure either school deserves a Jan. 1 bowl date. Missouri will give the SEC another bowl win here.
Jan. 1, Rose Bowl, (College Football Playoff Semifinal), No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 Florida State, Pasadena, CA...It’s a shame that the first playoff game in NCAA Division I history will be a blowout, Oregon will advance with a convincing victory.
Jan. 1, Allstate Sugar Bowl, (College Football Playoff Semifinal), No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State, New Orleans, LA. Ohio State lobbied hard to break into the playoffs late. After Alabama takes care of them, the only thing the Buckeyes will enjoy is the financial windfall. Bama by 14 points.
Jan. 12, College Football Playoff National Championship, Arlington, TX. We get to see a classic between Alabama and Oregon. This year, I like the Ducks in a close one.