(19) Auburn (8-4) vs (18) Wisconsin (10-3)
Outback Bowl, Tampa, FL, Raymond James Stadium, Thu., Jan. 1, 12:00 p.m. ET
Two of the country’s best rushing teams are set to face off in Tampa. Auburn and Wisconsin are 12th and 4th respectively for the highest averaged yards rushed this season. Though Wisconsin’s defense on average performed better than Auburn I’ll have to pick Auburn to take the match as Wisconsin has twice faced teams ranked in the top 25 at neutral locations and lost both times. Auburn 42 – Wisconsin 31.
(8) Michigan State (10-2) vs (5) Baylor (11-1)
Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Arlington, TX, AT&T Stadium, Thu., Jan. 1, 12:30 p.m. ET
In what is considered by the over/under, 70 points, to be one of the highest scoring games of this bowl season the Spartans of Michigan State are set to face the Baylor Bears. The Spartans have averaged the 7th most points per game while Baylor is numero uno scoring an average 48.8 points per game. Michigan St. 45 – Baylor 42.
(25) Minnesota (8-4) vs (16) Missouri (10-3)
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL, Florida Citrus Bowl, Thu., Jan. 1, 1:00 p.m. ET
With two of the staunchest defenses coming into the Citrus Bowl the big question for this game will be which defense is going to mess up and allow a big play? In this series Minnesota has averaged 14.6 points per game and Missouri has averaged 15.1. These two teams have faced each other eight times since 1943 with Missouri going 4-3-1. Minnesota 17 – Missouri 27.
(2) Oregon vs (3) Florida State
Rose Bowl Game, Pasadena, CA, Rose Bowl, Thu., Jan. 1, 5:00 p.m. ET
In the first playoff game the Ducks of Oregon face the only unconquered and unbeaten team left in the nation, the Seminoles of Florida State. The Ducks are ranked 29th in points allowed and FSU is ranked 30th. Oregon does have FSU’s number where they’re ranked in points scored per game, 3rd over all while FSU is ranked 29th. I expect FSU’s defense to step up in this game and manage to find a way to win the game like they have in every other game this season, Oregon 42 – FSU 45.
(1) Alabama (12-1) vs (4) Ohio State (12-1)
Allstate Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, LA, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Thu., Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. ET
The second playoff game is shaping up to be an interesting match. The Crimson Tide’s defense is coming in with the 4th best average for points allowed in the country with 16.6 per game while Ohio State is averaging the 4th highest points scored per game at 45.2. Something’s gotta give between the two. All time Alabama is 3-0 against Ohio State with the last win coming in 1995. Alabama 42 – Ohio State 20.
Houston (7-5) vs Pittsburgh (6-6)
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth, TX, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fri., Jan. 2, 12:00 p.m. ET
With two teams that didn’t find as much success as they would’ve liked to expect this game to be a long drawn out match between the rushing prowess of Pitt and the strong defense of Houston. The all time series between the two are tied at one apiece, I expect the Panthers to take the win. Houston 21 – Pittsburgh 31.
Iowa (7-5) vs Tennessee (6-6)
TaxSlayer Bowl, Jacksonville, FL, EverBank Field Fri., Jan. 2, 3:20 p.m. ET
The mediocrity of post New Year bowl games continues with two teams that are barely over .500. Having only played each other twice, both in the 80’s, the series is tied up. I expect Tennessee to take the win, Iowa 27 – Tennessee 32.
(11) Kansas State (9-3) vs (14) UCLA (9-3)
Valero Alamo Bowl, San Antonio, TX, Alamodome, Fri., Jan. 2, 6:45 p.m. ET
In what should be the most interesting game of the day, I’m going against Vegas and picking UCLA to win. This past season Kansas State went 1-3 against top 25 teams while UCLA went 3-1. Kansas State 27 – UCLA 35.
Washington (8-5) vs Oklahoma State (6-6)
TicketCity Cactus Bowl, Tempe, AZ, Sun Devil Stadium, Fri., Jan. 2, 10:15 p.m. ET
Two teams who haven’t had great success against ranked teams this season, a combined 1-10, are set to face off. Washington comes in with a balanced offense averaging 194.8 passing and 195.3 rushing. Oklahoma State had more success passing than rushing with an average 235.7 yards per game. Going Washington 27 – Oklahoma State 17.
East Carolina (8-4) vs Florida (6-5)
Birmingham Bowl, Birmingham, AL, Legion Field, Sat., Jan. 3, 1:00 p.m. ET
With disappointing seasons for both teams there is one last chance for them to make amends. ECU had a couple of fewer losses than last season and though Florida has more wins than last season they still hoped to end their season better than 6-5. ECU 24 – UF 38.
Toledo (8-4) vs Arkansas State (7-5)
GoDaddy Bowl, Mobile, AL, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Sun., Jan. 4, 9:00 p.m. ET
With the final bowl game before the final playoff game we get to see the Toledo Rockets and the Arkansas State Red Wolves face off. Though not terribly good expect to see a shootout on the ground with both teams averaging over 229 yards per game. Toledo also happens to be the all time series winner 2-0 and I expect this trend to continue. Toledo 42 – Arkansas State 35.
(3) Florida State vs (1) Alabama
Semifinal Winner vs. Semifinal Winner, College Football Championship Game, Arlington, TX, AT&T Stadium, Mon., Jan. 12, 8:30 p.m. ET
There’s nothing much to be said here. FSU started their season in this stadium against Oklahoma St. and it seems fitting that it should end here as well. I expect FSU to lose this game in every way possible but to still manage a victory by the end of the 4th quarter. FSU 27 – Alabama 24.
What do you think of my predictions? Who do you have in the final game in Texas?
(Slider image credit: bkd-tv.net)
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