2016/17 College Football Bowl Game Predictions

In lieu of a podcast, Hunter and I decided to write our bowl picks and, to make it interesting, we decided to put a night of Taco Bell on the line.

Saturday, December 17

Gildan New Mexico Bowl:  UNM vs UTSA

Hunter (0-0): Listen, I want to act like I know everything about both of these teams, but I have no clue. So let’s go with the Lobos. UNM Wins.

Zander (0-0):  In the battle for Blake Shelton’s favor, I am going with a strategy that I think he would espouse while well lubricated in his Voice chair:  Mascots.  In a battle between Lobos and Roadrunners, the latter would have an advantage in a cartoon, but this is the real world.  Wolves eat birds.  UNM wins.

Final:  UNM wins, 23-20.

Las Vegas Bowl presented by Geico:  HOU vs SDSU

Hunter (1-0): Houston lost their head coach to Texas after the season was over. Will that matter in this game? No. Houston Wins.

Zander (1-0):  Houston had their best results in their first and last games of the year while SDSU played an uninspiring schedule and faired well.  I am going for the team with the higher highs.  Houston wins.

Final:  SDSU wins, 34-10.

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl:  APP vs TOL

Hunter (1-1): App State has only been in the FBS for a short while after they found much success in FCS. However, Toledo has a cooler logo to me. So Toledo wins.

Zander (1-1):  Ambiguous early bowl game between teams I have heard of, I guess.  Eenie meenie miney App St. wins.

Final:  APP wins, 31-28.

Autonation Cure Bowl:  UCF vs ARST

Hunter (1-2): Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze previously coached at Arkansas State so I feel like I have to pull for them. Arkansas State wins.

Zander (2-1):  This is essentially a home game for UCF, so I side with the Knights.  UCF wins.

Final:  ARST wins, 31-13.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl:  USM vs ULL

Hunter (2-2): As a Mississippi native, I’m going with USM. Southern Miss wins.

Zander (2-2):  This is essentially a home game for both teams, but you can’t go against the Ragin’ Cajuns without a good reason.  ULL wins.

Final:  USM wins, 28-21.

Monday, December 19

Miami Beach Bowl:  CMU vs TLSA

Hunter (3-2): I mean they both won right? Playing in Miami in the middle of December must be awful… Either way, Tulsa wins.

Zander (2-3):  I think that the Chippewas will be so thrilled to not be swaddled in feet of lake effect snow that they will pull off the upset.  CMU wins.

Final:  TLSA wins, 55-10.

Tuesday, December 20

Boca Raton Bowl:  MEM vs WKU

Hunter (4-2): With family from Memphis and the Tigers being one of only five Ole Miss wins this season, Im pulling for you Memphis. Memphis wins.

Zander (2-4):  I think that Hilltoppers is a much less successful attempt at the Ragin’ Cajun sort of vibe.  I cannot abide by that.  MEM wins.

Final:  WKU wins, 51-31.

Wednesday, December 21

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl:  BYU vs WYO

Hunter (4-3): I just want Wyoming to have something to be happy about for once. Wyoming wins.

Zander (2-5):  A vicious battle with an outrageously long name between Mormons and Cowboys ends in many points.  WYO wins.

Final:  BYU wins, 24-21.

Thursday, December 22

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl:  IDHO vs CSU

Hunter (4-4): Potato? Potato.. Idaho wins.

Zander (2-6):  Did you know that Idaho has Vandals as a mascot?  Interesting choice.  IDHO brings home the potato.

Final:  IDHO wins, 61-50.

Friday, December 23

Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl:  EMU vs ODU

Hunter (5-4): Again, I’m pretty sure both teams won with a sweet location. But Im pulling for EMU in this paradise bowl. EMU wins.

Zander (3-6):  Unlike their fellow Michiganders, EMU will be overwhelmed by their lack of snow and will fall.  ODU wins.

Final:  ODU wins, 24-20.

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl:  LT vs #25 Navy

Hunter (5-5): #KeenanReynoldsForHeisman. Navy Wins.

Zander (4-6):  I am a patriot, so I will not pick against a branch of the armed forces in their own bowl, also they are much better.  Navy wins.

Final:  LT wins, 48-45.

Dollar General Bowl:  OHIO vs TROY

Hunter (5-6): The fact that the players do not get gift cards to Dollar General in their gift bags is disappointing to me. Troy wins.

Zander (4-7):  The Dollar General Bowl.  What an honor.  Bargain talent for a bargain bowl.  Troy wins for no particular reason.

Final:  TROY wins, 28-23.

Saturday, December 24

Hawai’i Bowl:  HAW vs MTSU

Hunter (6-6): MTSU will enjoy vacationing in beautiful Hawai’i. But on the field, they will get killed since Hawai’i plays at home. Hawai’i wins.

Zander (5-7):  I am not sure how MTSU won the lottery this year, but they will likely only enjoy the vacation.  HAW wins.

Final: HAW wins, 52-35.

Monday, December 26

St. Petersburg Bowl:  M-OH vs MSST

Hunter (7-6): Fail State. Miami Ohio wins.

Zander (6-7):  Another team escapes the cold.  Will they prevail?  I doubt it against a SEC team, even if they aren’t the best.  MSST wins.

Final: MSST wins, 17-16.

Quick Lane Bowl:  MD vs BC

Hunter (7-7): This seems like the type of bowl game many will end up napping through to stay awake for the game that follows. I don’t know, this one seems like it will be a snooze fest. Boston College wins.

Zander (6-8):  How did Maryland make it into a bowl game?  Weren’t they winless last year?  Am I confusing them with Rutgers?  Do they belong in the Big Ten?  Questions without answers.  MD wins because I am surprised they are here.

Final: BC wins, 36-30.

Camping World Independence Bowl:  NCST vs VAN

Hunter (7-8): Vanderbilt has been on a tear the last few weeks of the season with wins over Ole Miss and Tennessee. I don’t see that momentum stopping anytime soon. Vandy wins.

Zander (6-9):  The second SEC game.  The second SEC win.  VAN wins.

Final: NCST wins, 41-17.

Tuesday, December 27

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl:  Army vs UNT

Hunter (8-8): Army is coming off of a huge win over Navy. Will they keep it going? Yes. Yes they will. Army wins.

Zander (6-10):  Army will continue to roll after breaking their losing streak against the Midshipmen.  Army wins.

Final: Army wins, 38-31.

Military Bowl Presented by Northrup Grumman:  #24 TEM vs WAKE

Hunter (9-8): Temple wins because their mascot is an Owl. Am I the only one who thinks that is cool? No? Oh well. Temple wins.

Zander (7-10):  I do not really understand why Army is not in this game rather than the Zaxby’s Bowl.  Chaos breeds chaos.  WAKE wins.

Final: WAKE wins, 34-26.

National Funding Holiday Bowl:  MINN vs WSU

Hunter (9-9):  I like the name of this bowl game. It seems like a fitting sponsor for the Holiday Bowl. Minnesota had a coach eat a Dilly Bar during a snowy game. Don’t believe me? Look it up. Like how weird right? Anyways, Minnesota wins.

Zander (8-10):  Minnesota is whatever and Washington St. is also whatever, but I stand firm in my choice.  WSU wins.

Final: MINN wins, 17-12.

Motel 6 Cactus Bowl:  BSU vs BAY

Hunter (10-9): I can’t justify a Baylor pick here. Boise State wins.

Zander (8-11):  Ah.  The “How the Mighty Have Fallen Bowl.”  BAY wins because Boise State doesn’t get to play on a blue surface.

Final:  BAY wins, 31-12.

Wednesday, December 28

New Era Pinstripe Bowl:  #23 PITT vs NW

Hunter (10-10): Pittsburgh’s running back is really, really good. He will have quite the NFL draft audition against Northwestern. Pitt wins.

Zander (9-11):  Oh boy.  The Big Ten has two very unfavorable matches on this day.  PITT wins.

Final: NW wins, 31-24.

Russell Athletic Bowl:  #16 WVU vs MIAMI

Hunter (10-11): West Virginia may have a field day. This one could get scary. WVU wins.

Zander (9-12):  This entire day seems to be a bit lopsided on paper.  WVU wins.

Final: MIAMI wins, 31-14.

Foster Farms Bowl:  IND vs #19 UTAH

Hunter (10-12): See, I hate IU. Im being nice with only that. Go Utes. Utah wins.

Zander (9-13):  Look.  I like IU.  I really do.  They are good at lots of things.  Like basketball.  This game is going to not go well.  UTAH wins.

Final:  UTAH wins, 26-24.

Advocare V100 Texas Bowl:  TA&M vs KSU

Hunter (11-12): SEC. SEC. SEC Texas A&M wins.

Zander (10-13):  Will the SEC keep their wins streak going?  Not if I have a say in the matter.  KSU wins.

Final: KSU wins, 33-28.

Thursday, December 29

Birmingham Bowl:  USF vs SC

Hunter (11-13): #SECbias South Carolina wins.

Zander (11-13):  The forgettable game of this day.  USF wins because I like beef more than chicken.

Final: USF wins in OT, 46-39.

Belk Bowl:  ARK vs #22 VT

Hunter (11-14): People seem to always sleep on Arkansas, I expect the Razorbacks to come out swinging. Arkansas wins.

Zander (12-13):  Another tough match up for the SEC.  VT wins.

Final: VT wins, 35-24.

Valero Alamo Bowl:  #12 OKST vs #10 COLO

Hunter (11-15): In a year the Big 12 would like to forget, Oklahoma State would love to come out and destroy one of the Pac-12 teams that had a chance at the playoff. But it wont happen. Colorado wins.

Zander (13-13):  Finally a game that looks good.  It only took about two weeks of totally necessary games that are not put on by money grubbing organizing organization.  COLO wins.

Final: OKST wins, 38-8.

Friday, December 30

AutoZone Liberty Bowl:  UGA vs TCU

Hunter (11-16): For some reason, I think Zander and I will differ here. Georgia wins.

Zander (13-14):  I may have discovered an anti-SEC slant.  TCU wins.

Final: UGA wins, 31-23.

Hyundai Sun Bowl:  #18 STAN vs UNC

Hunter (12-16): Will McCaffery score on the road? I think so. But I like North Carolina in this one. UNC wins.

Zander (13-15):  This game seems a little uneven at first, but both offenses have had success.  Look for McCaffery to raise his draft stock.  STAN wins.

*Update:  Christian McCaffery will be sitting out this bowl game making one pick way worse.

Final: STAN wins, 25-23.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl:  NEB vs #21 TENN

Hunter (12-17): UT already has a championship according to Butch Jones. Maybe they can add one more trophy to the mix. UT wins.

Zander (14-15):  Tennessee gets to play a home game, but Rocky Top will not win the day.  NEB wins.

Final: TENN wins, 38-24.

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl:  USA vs AFA

Hunter (13-17): South Alabama beat Mississippi State and San Diego State who are both in bowl games and competed well against 4 other Bowl teams. I expect them to be ready for this one. South Alabama wins.

Zander (14-16):  What a downer of a game to put on this day.  It is not even on national television, so I guess I can’t complain.  USA wins because USA.

Final: AFA wins, 45-21.

Capital One Bowl:  #6 MICH vs #11 FSU

Hunter (14-17): Can they both lose? FSU wins.

Zander (14-17):  I fully expect the bespectacled khaki warrior to go nuts and then the game will start and he will get worse.  MICH wins.

Final: FSU wins, 33-32.

Saturday, December 31

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl:  #20 LSU vs #13 LOU

Hunter (15-17): LSU has looked revitalized and ready to prove what they are made of since Coach O took charge of the Tiger. I expect the Tiger’s defense to shut down Lamar Jackson, well as best they can. LSU wins.

Zander (14-18):  The question is whether or not Louisville can regain the composure they had for most of the year and if Jackson can earn his Heisman more convincingly.  LOU wins.

Final: LSU wins, 29-9.

Taxslayer Bowl:  GT vs UK

Hunter (16-17): My only SEC loss. Georgia Tech wins.

Zander (14-19):  Yeah.  No one will be watching this game.  GT wins because there is no reason to ever root for UK.

Final: GT wins, 33-18.

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl – CFP Semifinal:  #4 WASH vs #1 ALA

Hunter (17-17): Washington fans had been holding up “We Want Bama” signs for weeks this season. Be careful what you wish for. Believe it or not, they are undefeated for a reason. Alabama wins.

Zander (15-19):  The games that actually matter begin.  Alabama is so dominant it is pretty boring.  They have oppressed teams all year and ground them into submission.  I do not think that Washington has the explosive talent to break through.  ALA wins.

Final: ALA wins, 24-7.

Playstation Fiesta Bowl – CFP Semifinal:  #3 OSU vs #2 CLEM

Hunter (18-17): This game has all the makings of a classic. Clemson and Ohio State have high powered offenses with underrated defenses. I think Clemson’s Quarterback play in Deshaun Watosn will be too much for OSU to handle. I expect this to be a close one. Clemson wins.

Zander (16-19):  This game is likely to be more even and, therefore, exciting.  Ohio St. missed out on a conference championship, but they were probably the best team in the Big 10 this season.  Clemson has Deshaun Watson to lead a potent offense, but his propensity for interceptions could be exploited by an opportunistic Ohio St. defense.  OSU wins.

Final: CLEM wins, 31-0.

Monday, January 2

Outback Bowl:  #17 FLA vs IOWA

Hunter (19-17): I think we will be hearing this a lot “It’s great, to be, a Florida Gator.” on January 2nd. Florida wins.

Zander (16-20):  In a battle between the Big 10 and the SEC, I would prefer that the B10 wins, so let’s go with that even if there is only a 2% chance of that happening. IOWA wins.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl:  #15 WMU vs #8 WIS

Hunter (20-17): You know what? I’ll bite. Undefeated season baby! Western Michigan wins.

Zander (16-21):  Western Michigan is a good story.  An undefeated team from a nontraditional school.  The problem is that they are now playing real football teams.  WISC wins.

Rose Bowl Game Pres. by Northwestern Mutual:  #9 USC vs #5 PSU

Hunter (20-18): The Rose Bowl always seems to produce some classic matchups and there is nothing more traditional than a USC v Penn State game. Penn State wins.

Zander (17-21):  This should be a pretty good game.  Hopefully it is.  PSU wins because B10.

Allstate Sugar Bowl:  #14 AUB vs #7 OKLA

Hunter: Auburn will have their hands full against Oklahoma’s high powered offense. Let’s hope frat star Baker Mayfield doesn’t pregame too hard. Auburn wins.

Zander:  Another quality game, but I think this one turns into a rout.  OKLA wins.

Monday, December 9

CFP National Championship Game:

Hunter: Clemson v Alabama. I see no way to stop the Tide from Rolling (Thank you Verne Lundquist) over Clemson in this one. Alabama has really only had one close call and that was only from a late surge from Ole Miss to make it a 49-43 game. Apart from the 10-0 win over LSU, Alabama has destroyed some really good teams. Even with a freshman at QB, Alabama wins 35-21

Zander:  #3 OSU vs #1 ALA – Ohio St. was the only team that looked liked they could mount a possible defense against the Crimson Tide and because I would rather not see another Saban title, I am going to say that they will.  OSU 26-21

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