Sid’s Bowl Picks

The annual tradition continues. I will attempt, once again, to accurately pick the winners of the remaining College Football Bowl Games beginning tonight. You may find that my research and reasons for my winners unconventional, but my selections are truly who I feel will win the matchup. 

Thursday, Dec. 20  

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl Marshall vs. South Florida…8pm ET, ESPN…Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida…..This is basically a home game for South Florida and I see them taking care of business, while Marshall will just be satisfied with getting out of West Virginia in December. I wonder if the players gifts will include a model tractor, and did you know that a Gasparilla is a pirate? 

Friday, Dec. 21  

Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl FIU vs. Toledo…12:30pm ET, ESPN…Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas…..Speaking of getting out of the cold, Toledo will love this trip. Like myself, Toledo’s players likely did not even know there was a football stadium in the Bahamas. The Mid American Conference usually fares well in Bowl Games. Give me Toledo.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Western Michigan vs. BYU…4pm ET, ESPN…Lyle Smith Field at Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho…Western Michigan has to be envious of Toledo heading to the Bahamas while they partake in potatoes at the pregame banquet in Idaho. I have to go against the Mid-American Conference this time as BYU is simply the better team.

Saturday, Dec. 22

Jared Birmingham Bowl Memphis vs. Wake Forest…Noon ET, ESPN…Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama….I think this could be a rough Bowl season for the ACC. Memphis has too much offense for Wake Forest and will win going away. I spoke of player gift bags earlier. I wonder what Bowl Sponsor, Jared, is going to put in the bags. So will the player’s girlfriends once they learn ‘he went to Jared’s.’ 

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl  Houston vs. Army…3:30pm ET, ESPN…Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas….This is one of the better teams Army has fielded in recent years. Houston is down a bit and I can see Army pulling of an upset in a fitting venue. 

Dollar General Bowl Buffalo vs. Troy…7pm ET, ESPN…Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama…Will this game actually make a profit? Will anyone watch? I will pick Buffalo on the fact that they rarely play football in December and will play hard now that they are on the national scene. And I have to ask once again. I wonder what Dollar General will put in the player’s gift bags.   

SoFi Hawai’i Bowl Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii…10:30pm ET, ESPN …Aloha Stadium. Honolulu…Hawaii is always in the Bowl Game it seems and I have always wondered what the players think about staying home for a Bowl Game. They usually end up winning and will again. Did you know that SoFi is an online personal finance company that provides student loan refinancing? 

Wednesday, Dec. 26 

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl  Boston College vs. Boise State…1:30pm ET, ESPN…Cotton Bowl, Dallas…This is another trap game for the ACC. Boston College likely will not be ready for Boise State’s fast paced offense. Give me Boise in a close one. 

Quick Lane Bowl Minnesota vs. Georgia Tech…5:15pm ET, ESPN, Ford Field, Detroit…The ACC rebounds in this one. The Yellow Jackets prolific ground game will run all over Minnesota, who could only muster a 3-6 record in Big Ten Play. Good thing the Golden Gophers scheduled well with their conference games to become bowl eligible. 

Cheez-It Bowl  California vs. TCU…9pm ET, ESPN, Chase Field, Phoenix…The Big 12 is another conference that I see struggling this Bowl season. Cal finished the season well and will leave Phoenix with a Bowl victory. 

Thursday, Dec. 27 

Walk-On’s Independence Bowl Temple vs. Duke…1:30pm ET, ESPN…Independence Stadium | Tickets, Shreveport, Louisiana…The ACC will fall again. Duke lost its final two games by a combined score of 94-13 while Temple has won six of their last seven games. The Owl players will also be showing off for a new coach, as Geoff Collins left the program to take over at Georgia Tech. I like Temple in a close one.  Another did you know. Did you know that Walk-On’s is a bar? 

New Era Pinstripe Bowl Miami vs. Wisconsin…5:15pm ET, ESPN…Yankee Stadium, New York…Both teams had disappointing campaigns after beginning the season highly ranked. Still, they are two proud programs that will likely give us a good game in an interesting venue at Yankee Stadium. Wisconsin in a tight one. 

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Baylor vs. Vanderbilt…9pm ET, ESPN…NRG Stadium, Houston….Tradition and legacy tell us this is a matchup between opposites. One could envision Baylor partying the nights away in Houston while Vanderbilt studies for final exams. I think Vandy will do the SEC proud and take care of business. 

Friday, Dec. 28 

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Purdue vs. Auburn…1:30pm ET, ESPN…Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee….First of all, this is one of the longest Bowl Game names out there. And, according to reports coming out of Auburn,  it is a game that they are not all that happy about. Evidently, the Tigers feel they deserve better. Not a great attitude to carry into a matchup against a young Purdue team that was good enough to blow Ohio State out. Upset alert, Boilermakers by a touchdown.   

Camping World Bowl West Virginia vs. Syracuse…5:15pm ET, ESPN…Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida….The scoreboard will get a workout in this matchup. Both teams are capable of scoring over 50 points and both defenses are equally capable of giving up over 50 points. The team who kicks the most field goals will lose. Touchdowns win games and West Virginia will win this one, as the ACC will fall again. 

Valero Alamo Bowl Iowa State vs. Washington State…9pm ET, ESPN…Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas….As opposed to the Camping World Bowl matchup I just discussed, points will be at a premium in this game. Both teams have turned in outstanding defensive performances this season. Washington State has the most offense, however, and will come out on top. 

Saturday, Dec. 29 

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Florida vs. Michigan…Noon ET, ESPN…Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta…Finally, an intriguing matchup between two top ten programs. Michigan has to have a chip on its shoulders after being embarrassed by rival Ohio State. The Wolverines beat the Gators the last time they met in a Bowl Game and will again in 2018. 

Belk Bowl South Carolina vs. Virginia…Noon ET, ABC…Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina…This could be a good one in Charlotte between two schools close in proximity to the Queen City. I see it as a toss-up and that is when I lean toward the tougher conference. Therefore, I will go with the SEC and South Carolina. 

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl  Arkansas State vs. Nevada…1:15pm ET, CBSSN…Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona…I am not sure who will watch this game, as it is not on a major network, and it is up against the two previous games I just mentioned. I think I will go with Arkansas State due to the fact that the game is being played at 11:15 am Nevada time. Surely the Wolfpack will get off to a slow start. 

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame…4 ET, ESPN…AT&T Stadium. Arlington, Texas…Notre Dame’s debut in the Playoffs will be a wakeup call. The Irish have not faced a team like Clemson in quite some time. The Tigers will dominate both the defensive and offensive fronts en route to a double digit win. 

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Oklahoma…8pm ET, ESPN…Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida….Oklahoma squeezed into the playoffs and will bow out rather quickly. The Sooners admit that it has little defense and that they will outscore you. Trouble is, Alabama has a lot of defense and will slow Oklahoma down. Meanwhile, the only thing that will stop the Crimson Tide’s offense is the end zone. Bama wins big and will again face Clemson in the Championship Game. 

Monday, Dec. 31 

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech…Noon ET, ESPN…Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland…The decline of Virginia Tech continues. The Hokies have not seen a major bowl in quite some time. I have to go with Cincinnati. I have to. After all, Virginia lost to William and Mary this season. 

Hyundai Sun Bowl Stanford vs. Pitt…2 pm ET, CBS, Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX. Pitt somehow made its way to the ACC Title game before losing big to Clemson. Stanford is another tough test, one that the Panthers will not be able to pass. Stanford wins and the ACC loses another bowl game. 

Redbox Bowl Michigan State vs. Oregon…3pm ET, Fox…Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA…Defense used to win games back in the day. Not anymore. This matchup features Michigan State’s defense against Oregon’s offense. Trust me on this one. The offense (Oregon) will come out on top. 

AutoZone Liberty Bowl Missouri vs. Oklahoma State…3:45pm ET, ESPN…Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN…Another contest that will approach 100 total points scored. Both teams will travel well to nearby Memphis. This will be a good one and Missouri will eventually be left singing the Blues. Get it? Memphis? The Blues? 

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl Northwestern vs. Utah…7pm ET, FS1…SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, CA…Both teams made it to their conferences’ title game. Both fell and are now looking toward finishing on a high note. Northwestern over-achieved all year. I think it has one good effort left and will win a close one. 

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl NC State vs. Texas A&M…7:30pm ET, ESPN…TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida…I am still getting used to seeing Slayer and Gator in the same bowl name. NC State struggled down the stretch and will fail in its effort to bail the ACC out of a dismal bowl season. 

Tuesday, Jan. 1  

Outback Bowl Mississippi State vs. Iowa…Noon ET, ESPN2…Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida…Remember back when only the best teams played on New Year’s Day. I know I am dating myself, but what are these two programs doing playing on the first day of the year. Mississippi State has seen and beaten teams better than Iowa and will do so again. 

VRBO Citrus Bowl Kentucky vs. Penn State…1pm ET, ABC…Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida…This should be an entertaining game. Kentucky is finally playing in a relatively major bowl. Penn State took a step back this season but still has a solid program. I like Kentucky in an upset. 

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl No. 11 LSU vs. No. 8 UCF…1pm ET, ESPN…State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona…LSU must feel like it drew the short straw. The Tigers have to play the school no one wants to play. Central Florida has not lost a game in two years. True, they have not played anyone. Until now. LSU is going to have to score at least 30 points to beat UCF. Trouble is, they are not capable of doing so. UCF’s win streak continues, as does its quest for respect. 

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual No. 9 Washington vs. No. 6 Ohio State…5pm ET, ESPN…Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA. Urban Meyer says his team can beat Washington. This is one statement made by the outgoing Buckeyes coach that I can believe. Ohio State wins big. 

Allstate Sugar Bowl No. 15 Texas vs. No. 5 Georgia…8:45pm ET, ESPN…Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans….Georgia will win this matchup between SEC and Big 12 much like Alabama beat Oklahoma. I like the Bulldogs by three touchdowns.   

Monday, Jan. 7, 2019 

National Championship Game, teams to be determined, 8pm, ESPN, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA….I have Alabama and Clemson. Another rematch. The difference this time will be that Clemson has a freshman quarterback. I just do not see Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide getting beat by a freshman quarterback. Alabama in a classic.