The college football bowl season is upon us, starting today in fact, and there are some good match ups and some that leave a bit to be desired. Nothing unusual there...
The BartenderCabbie System is 97-53 straight up this season and with that being said, on to the predictions.......
1. Nola Bowl: This one is a pretty good match up between the Cajuns and the Wolfpack of Nevada. This game has become a regular stop for Louisiana and they have been quite successful here. Nevada brings a pretty darn good team and I would go with them for the win.
2. New Mexico Bowl: Utah State vs UTEP for this one. These particular Aggies of Utah are one of those teams that the "big boys" in college ball are (or should be) a little leery of facing. They are the better of the two and will win here.
3. Las Vegas Bowl: The Utes are likely a deeper team than the Rams of CSU but look for the team from Colorado to pull off a minor upset.
4. Idaho Potato Bowl: This bowl on the blue field is not very interesting this year. Air Force is the better of the two and will find themselves victorious over WMU.
5. Camellia Bowl: The what? South Alabama vs Bowling Green? Too many bowl games to be sure. I would go with South Alabama here for no real good reason.
6. Miami Beach Bowl: Now this should be a good game. Memphis is under rated and well coached and BYU got derailed a bit early with the loss of their stellar QB. Both good teams and I would go with the Tigers for the win.
7. Boca Raton Bowl: If you happen to be in the Miami area for the prior game you may as well stick around and catch this one between Marshall and NIU. The Herd may be thinking this is a consolation game of sorts after being talked about for most of the season as a team that might get a "New Years" bowl. WKU spoiled that for them. They will have to guard against a "let down" performance. NIU is the best of the MAC, although they have had better squads in the recent past. Go with Marshall for the win here.
8. Poinsettia Bowl: SDSU vs the Midshipmen might be an interesting match up. Navy has relinquished (for this year) the title of "best of the service schools" and SDSU can be pretty good. This is a toss up and I will go with SDSU for the win.
9. Bahamas Bowl: OK. This one between CMU and WKU could be decent. Both teams are under the radar for the most part and also both are pretty darn good squads for their respective conferences. Go with the Hilltoppers in a close one.
10. Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs Rice? Will anyone show up? Rice has trouble getting asses in the seats at home even when they have a pretty good season (which has become par for the course of late). That being said, the Owls are likely the marginally better team and will come away with a victory. Rice needs to find a way to keep their coaching staff intact.
11. Heart of Dallas Bowl: Illinois and Louisiana Tech square off in what would likely be a toss up. The Bulldogs are slightly under rated perhaps and Illinois is Illinois. Well the did reach a bowl game (of sorts)......Go with the Louisiana team in what some would consider a minor upset.
12. Quick Lane Bowl: Rutgers vs NC may or may not be worth watching. Early in the season some folk picked the Tar Heels to be a team worth watching. They were not. Other folks said that there was no way Rutgers could compete in the "powerful" Big Ten. They can. What does all this mean? Not much other than it might be a decent game. Go with the team from NJ in a close one.
13. St. Petersburg Bowl: UCF is not the team they were last year but still a dangerous team to most anyone on a good day. There is not much to NC State frankly. Yes they did give FSU fits but then so did just about everyone else. I would go with the team from Orlando here.
14. Military Bowl: Cincy vs Virginia Tech is another one of those bowl games that just should not be played. Go with the team from Ohio.
15. Sun Bowl: Arizona State vs Duke could be good. Duke has had another excellent season (as far as Blue Devil football goes) and the Sun Devils are among the best of the rest in the PAC 12. Both teams are well coached (although the HC at ASU is a blithering ass and the Duke HC is a class guy), and both have pretty good squads. I will go out on a limb and pick Duke.
16. Independence Bowl: A bit more was expected out of Spurrier's squad and frankly some folks thought Miami might again begin to be a team to take seriously on the national level. This consolation game in Shreveport will be good as both teams will be out to prove they matter. Go with South Carolina in what may be one of the best games of the bowl season.
17. Pinstripe Bowl: BC vs PSU......Ho Hum. Go with BC in an upset of sorts.
18. Holiday Bowl: This game between USC and the Huskers could be good. Nebraska likely has more talent but USC will come out on top.
19. Liberty Bowl: This game in Memphis between the Mountaineers and the Aggies will be one to watch. The Aggies are in rebuild mode and WVU is among the best of the rest in the Big Twelve. Go with WVU in a close one.
20. Russell Athletic Bowl: Oklahoma should have in theory been a contender for the "big game at the end." The Sooners weren't even serious contenders in their conference. Coaching problem likely....On the other hand, Clemson does not have the coaching issue. They just don't have the talent the Sooners do. Might not matter. Go with Clemson.
21. Texas Bowl: A good one here. Arkansas is much better than their record and frankly the Longhorns are a bit lucky to be here. The Hogs smash mouth brand of football may (or may not) ultimately work well in the SEC but it should be enough to win over this year's Longhorn squad. Go with Arkansas.
22. Music City Bowl: Well Nashville is a nice town although it can get a little chilly this time of year. LSU should be able to beat a Notre Dame team that proved to be over rated after all. Unless of course Miles makes some sort of boneheaded call that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. He is known to do such.....
23. Belk Bowl: Louisville vs Georgia is not a real interesting match up. Both teams are probably pretty even and I will toss the coin and predict that the Bulldog defense will let them down again. Go with Louisville.
24. Foster Farms Bowl: The what? Maryland vs Stanford? Go with the team from California.
25. Chick Fil-A Bowl: TCU (and Baylor) along with the rest of the Big XXII are not happy about being left out of the college football "playoff" festivities. TCU will have to guard against a let down against an Ole Miss team that is very very dangerous. TCU is quicker and better but this may (or may not) be a close one. Go with the Frogs.
26. Fiesta Bowl: When will we see a real playoff in the ranks of "big time" college ball? Guess never. Boise State, had they remained undefeated (like Marshall nearly did) still would not have been considered for entry into the elite. What a scam. Anyway this game is a home game for the Arizona team and they are the better team and will win. Not that the Broncos did not have a commendable season........
27. Orange Bowl: Mississippi State vs Georgia Tech may be good. The Bulldogs are the better team and Georgia Tech has been playing above their talent level. Go with the team from Mississippi.
28. Outback Bowl: Wisconsin was completely embarrassed in their last outing. They are a better team than that. Auburn fell off a bit but is still marginally the better squad. Go with the Tigers.
29. Cotton Bowl: Baylor (and TCU) are better than the fourth team selected for the "playoff" and the Bears will have to guard against feeling like this is a consolation game. The Cotton is one of the premier bowl games and this will be more or less a home game for the Bears. They should be able to beat the Spartans but MSU comes in as a good, well coached football team. Go with Baylor.
30. Citrus Bowl: Missouri again proved they can compete in the SEC and the Gophers have had a pretty darn good season. The Tigers are better but MN. is scrappy. Go with the Gophers in a minor upset.
31. Rose Bowl: Are the Ducks a better team than FSU? I would say yes. Quicker. Let us be honest, FSU has had an awful lot of lucky breaks this year. Not to say they aren't a good football team. They are. The Ducks are just better and will prove it on the field.
32. Sugar Bowl: Alabama is not quite as powerful as they have been in the recent past. Still they are certainly a top four squad. Ohio State is back and no mistake although they should perhaps have not been the fourth team selected. They can prove the doubters wrong in New Orleans though. NOLA is SEC territory to be sure but the Buckeyes may have a surprise in store. I would still go with the Tide in a close one. Long and short is I predict Alabama and Oregon will vie for the "national title" after the Sugar and Rose are in the books.
33. Armed Forces Bowl: Houston has fired their head coach for some reason or other. He has done a pretty commendable job down in Cougar country......Pitt is Pitt and I predict that the Coogs will come away with a victory here.
34. Taxslayer Bowl: Iowa vs Tennessee is uninteresting. I will go with the Vols.
35. Alamo Bowl: KSU vs UCLA may or may not be good. KSU is the better team and no mistake. Look for a Wildcat win.
36. Cactus Bowl: There are far too many bowls. Washington vs Oklahoma State? Toss a coin and go with the Cowboys.
37. Birmingham Bowl: Well at least a lot of money will come to town. Die hard Florida fans will make the trip and the North Carolina ain't that far away. Go with ECU. On another note, it is a shame that UAB disbanded their football program. College sports is a business after all. What? You thought it a mere game?
38. Go Daddy Bowl: This one would be interesting if Danica Patrick did a pole dance at halftime. Other than that the Arkansas State/Toledo match up is just not something most are interested in. For the first time in a few years though the ASU squad is not the best team in Arkansas. Each of the last three Indians errr Red Wolves coaches have moved on to success. I, for one, still miss Big Tom as HC up Toledo way. Flip the coin here and go with Toledo for the victory.
39. FCS Championship: Whoever wins today (Sat 20 Dec) will find themselves fodder for a very very good ND State team. I predict that the game will be between the Bison and New Hampshire but the Bison should win whoever they meet.
Well who will be in the big game at the end to decide the "Division I National Championship?" I am going to say it will be between the Tide and the Ducks and will go out on a limb and predict the Ducks to be the ultimate number one. We will see..............
Have a good holiday season and enjoy the games...