Sid’s annual attempt to predict College Football Bowl Games, the 2019 version, is here. Below are his picks and his reasons for the pick. Traditionally, even with some light-hearted comedy, he manages to do quite well with the picks. Here are the picks starting on Dec. 26th.
Walk-On’s Independence Bowl
4 pm • ESPN
Miami vs. Louisiana Tech
The free fall Miami continues to make is just about complete. Once a national power, the Hurricanes are now reduced to a school that plays Louisiana Tech in December. Even so, I will take Tech in a close one.
Quick Lane Bowl
8 pm • ESPN
Pitt vs. Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan has come a long way, but Pitt should still win. However, it will be embarrassing for the ACC if the Panthers fall.
Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
Noon • ESPN
N. Carolina vs. Temple
Talk about an embarrassment for the ACC if the Heels fall to Temple. And I believe the Owls will pull off the upset. Could be another tough Bowl year for the ACC.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
3:20 pm • ESPN
Wake Forest vs. Michigan State
Most years, this would be an interesting matchup between the ACC and the Big Ten. But both schools struggled and are probably just happy to be in a Bowl Game. I think Wake will be just a bit happier in the end.
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
6:45 pm • ESPN
Okla. State vs. Texas A&M
The scoreboard will be busy in this one. Jimbo Fisher has slowly rebuilt the Aggies program but they will have trouble keeping the Cowboys under 40 points. I will go with Oklahoma State.
SDCCU Holiday Bowl
8 pm • Fox Sports 1
USC vs. Iowa
Both programs struggled at times during the regular season but the Hawkeyes put up some good performances late. USC fans will likely not travel south to San Diego due to being upset the the Trojans kept Clay Helton as head coach. I like Iowa and the Big Ten here.
10:15 pm • ESPN
Air Force vs. Washington State
The “Military” Schools are strong this year and I like Air Force to win big in this matchup. Not sure if the airmen like the sound of Chees-It being the name of the bowl game they are in. Not a very military-type name. Subject change. Can we get any continuity with our Bowl Game names?
Camping World Bowl
Noon • ABC
Iowa State vs. Notre Dame
The Irish had their eyes on a bigger bowl game back in September. But the players will have to settle for camping gear in their gift bags. I see them taking their anger out on Iowa State.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
12:30 pm • ESPN
Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan
In the battle of the Westerns, I will go with Western Michigan. They have recent Bowl history while this is somewhat new territory for Western Kentucky.
Music City Bowl
4 pm • ESPN
Mississippi State vs. Louisville
After winning just a few games in 2018, Louisville is thrilled to be back in a bowl game. They will enjoy the short trip south on I-65 to Nashville. And I think they will pull off an upset while they are at it.
4 pm • Fox
Illinois vs. Cal
Does Red Box still exist? Guess so and I guess they have enough money to sponsor a bowl game. Look for the Big Ten to win this one. The Illini are not used to playing football in late December. Cal is just not that good, so I see Illinois finishing a surprising year on a positive note.
Noon • ESPN
Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky
It seems like the Hokies travel to Charlotte often for this Bowl game. And they travel well. But this is not the same Virginia Tech program that was fun to watch a decade or so ago. I will go with the SEC and take the Wildcats.
Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
2 pm • CBS
Florida State vs. Arizona State
Never in my wildest dreams eating Frosted Flakes as a kid, did I think Tony would headline a Bowl Game. But here we are. This is not a very enticing matchup. Florida State fired it’s coach so their administration does not think much of their program. For that reason, I will take Arizona State.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
3:45 pm • ESPN
Navy vs. Kansas State
As mentioned earlier, the Academy’s are strong this year. Navy should be just fine against a Kansas State program that is not what it used to be.
NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
4:30 pm • CBSSN
Georgia State vs. Wyoming
You may have to search high and low to find this game on your TV setup. CBS Sports Network is not yet widely known or available. But, back to football. I have no knowledge of either program to base my pick on. When in doubt, go with the nicknames. Panther versus a Cowboy. I like the Cowboy so give me Wyoming.
Valero Alamo Bowl
7:30 pm • ESPN
Utah vs. Texas
Now we are getting some entertaining contests. Utah is quietly becoming a national player. Texas is trying to return to that status and are almost there. It should be a close one and I will give the edge to the Longhorns as playing in San Antonio is basically a home game for them.
1 pm • ABC
Auburn vs. Minnesota
The SEC feasts on the Big Ten during Bowl season and this could be another of those games. Auburn destroyed Purdue last year and may do the same this time around against the Golden Gophers.
VRBO Citrus Bowl
1 pm • ESPN
Alabama vs. Michigan
See above. Although the Crimson Tide have a history of not playing well if they are not in the Playoff Bowl games, I see them winning by two or three touchdowns in this one.
Bowl • 3 pm • ESPN
Boston College vs. Cincinnati
Boston College will save face for the ACC and pull out a close one over the Bobcats.
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
7 pm • ESPN
Tennessee vs. Indiana
The popular pick here is Indiana as the Hoosiers put together an uncharacteristically good season. But they did not play much of a schedule. Tennessee, on the other hand, used to have good seasons annually. Not anymore. A true toss up game for me. When in doubt, pick the SEC. Take the Volunteers.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
3:30 pm • ESPN
Ohio vs. Nevada
I am not sure if Ohio is all that thrilled about a Bowl Game in Idaho over a warm weather state. Nevada has a relatively short trip and I believe it will be a successful trip.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
11:30 am • ESPN
Tulane vs. Southern Miss.
Did you know that these two schools used to be rivals who played for the “Old Bell”? It is true though they have not met since 2010. The rivalry between the schools that are 110 miles apart returns. Tulane, at 6-6, is favored so that does not say much for Southern Miss. Tulane will take the Bell home to New Orleans.
Lending Tree Bowl
7:30 pm • ESPN
Louisiana vs. Miami (OH)
Louisiana continues to find itself playing in Bowl Games. Actually, so does Miami. I know that did not tell you much. Truthfully, I know little about either school. Saying that, I will take Miami.
THE PLAYOFF GAMES
Cotton Bowl Classic
Noon • ESPN
Penn State vs. Memphis
Memphis has found itself with the big boys. They may not like what they see. However, they have the offense to keep it close. Still, I will take Penn State as long as they take the game seriously.
8 pm • ESPN
Florida vs. Virginia
The ACC better home Clemson wins a game or two in the playoffs because the conference’s second-best team, Virginia, is going to lose big in this one.
5 pm • ESPN
Wisconsin vs. Oregon
Wisconsin will get the Big Ten a win in this one. Oregon has not faced anyone like Badgers runningback Jonathan Taylor. He and Wisconsin will run their way to a Bowl game victory.
8:45 pm • ESPN
Georgia vs. Baylor
Baylor’s climb to national power is quite a story. And it will continue on a positive note as the Bears will pull off an upset.
Dec. 28 Fiesta Bowl (Playoff Semifinal)
8 pm • ESPN
Ohio State vs. Clemson
On paper, this should be a classic. But that was what we said a few years back when Clemson routed the Buckeyes in a semifinal matchup. I see Clemson winning a tighter game this year.
Peach Bowl (Playoff Semifinal)
4pm • ESPN
LSU vs. Oklahoma
LSU big in this one. No one played as tough as schedule as the Tigers and they won them all. The Sooners are good enough to make the final four most years but not good enough for the SEC’s best.
College Football Playoff Championship
8 pm • ESPN
TBD vs. TBD
Let me start out by saying that it is ridiculous that this game is two weeks after the semifinals. Secondly, I have LSU and Clemson here. Last year’s national champs vs. upstart LSU. Clemson has not played a schedule like LSU but it has been a long long time since Clemson lost a game. For that reason, I will go with them again in this match-up of Tigers.