Posts Tagged ‘bowl matchups’

2012-13 Bowl Game Schedule & Matchups, Free Picks & Previews

January 1st, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2012-13 Bowl Game Schedule & Matchups, Free Picks & Previews
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The final 2012 BCS Rankings are out, as is the bowl game schedule for the 2012-13 season, and here at Bankroll Sports, we are analyzing the 35 bowl games and how everything shook out for the 70 teams that are going to be involved with bowl bashes this year, leading all the way up to the BCS Championship Game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Arizona Wildcats
Gildan New Mexico Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 15th, 1:00 ET
Gildan New Mexico Bowl Location: University Stadium, Albuquerque, NM
Gildan New Mexico Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Gildan New Mexico Bowl Odds: Arizona -8 (73)
Closing Gildan New Mexico Bowl Lines: Arizona -8.5 (79)

Click Here for our 2012 New Mexico Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Gildan New Mexico Bowl Preview: The New Mexico Bowl has to be thrilled with this one, and it should be a heck of a start to the bowl season this year. Nevada and Arizona both have fantastic offenses, and they should combine for a heck of a lot of points. The Wolf Pack finished 7-5 this year, and they challenged a lot of the solid teams out of the Mountain West on the campaign. Arizona was ranked in the Top 25 once upon a time, but it finished 7-5 and stayed competitive in the Pac-12 South for the mass majority of the campaign. The Wolf Pack have only won one bowl game in their last six tries coming into this one, while the Wildcats have been slaughtered in each of their last two bowl games. Head Coach Rich Rodriguez was pummeled in his last bowl game when he was coaching for Michigan as well.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl Recap: What a game we had here at the New Mexico Bowl! We thought that we were going to see a show on the ground by two of the top rushing teams in the nation, and we weren’t disappointed. Not only RB Ka’Deem Carey and RB Stefphon Jefferson reached triple digits rushing, but QB Cody Fajardo did as well. The Pack jumped out to a 21-0 lead that saw Arizona defenders brawling on their own sidelines. That seemed to spark the rest of the team though, as the Wildcats clawed backed to 21-21. It wasn’t the last big deficit that they had to overcome, though. It was 45-28 at the end of the third quarter as well. Arizona scored two TDs in the final 50 seconds of the game, including recovering an onside kick to put together the comeback to avoid the upset. WR Austin Hill had 175 yards and two TDs, while QB Matt Scott threw for 382 yards and three scores in the victory.

2012 New Mexico Bowl Result: Arizona 49 – Nevada 48

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Toledo Rockets vs. Utah State Aggies
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 15th, 4:30 ET
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Location: Bronco Stadium, Boise, ID
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Odds: Utah State -8 (59)
Closing Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Lines: Utah State -10 (59.5)

Click Here for our 2012 Idaho Potato Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Preview: Toledo was one of the many teams out of the MAC that stole a bowl bid from the big time conferences this year. The Rockets didn’t end up getting into the MAC Championship Game this year, but they have had a heck of a year, going 9-3 with just two conference losses. Utah State accepted the bowl bid to the Potato Bowl early, and this is going to mark the second straight year that the Aggies have paid a visit to the Smurf Turf. They were beaten by Ohio last year 24-23 in a remarkable game. The team has just one bowl win ever, a 1993 victory in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Famous Idaho Bowl Recap: For three quarters, Toledo did a nice job keeping the Potato Bowl a close game. However, in a span of just 3:01, RB Kerwynn Williams put up three rushing touchdowns. There were a pair of rushing TDs that went for at least 60 yards on the day for the Aggies, while the Rockets, in the end, never scored an offensive touchdown. You wouldn’t think that Utah State would have put up 582 yards by looking at the way that the game was going, but Williams had 235 yards on the ground, and QB Chuckie Keeton had 92 yards of his own. QB Austin Dantin had a terrible game for the Rockets, throwing for just 132 yards with two picks. It should have been a much closer game than it was, but after looking at the final stats, it’s tough to argue with that final margin.

2012 Idaho Potato Bowl Result: Utah State 41 – Toledo 15

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: BYU Cougars vs. San Diego State Aztecs
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Date/Time: Thursday, December 20th, 8:00 ET
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Odds: BYU -2.5 (52)
Closing San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Lines: BYU -3 (46)

Click Here for our 2012 Poinsettia Bowl Game Odds Analysis

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Preview: The Cougars really haven’t had much to be excited about this season, as they have really known from the get go that they are going to come here to the Poinsettia Bowl. On the same token, there isn’t a lot for San Diego State to be excited about, staying here at home for a bowl game this year. Still, in a year in which the Aztecs truly were supposed to struggle, they got 17 TDs out of RB Adam Muema and ended up finishing with a share of the Mountain West title. The Aztecs have won their last seven games, covering the college football spreads in six of the seven. The Cougs have only beaten two bowl eligible teams all season long, but they did beat San Diego State in the most recent meeting of these teams, a 24-21 victory in 2010 when these teams still shared the MWC together before the BYU left the conference for independence.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Recap: Sloppy offensive play highlighted the entire night in San Diego, and unless you really like your defense, this wasn’t a game that you were probably all that interested in. There were a total of eight blunders on the night, and neither team reached 300 yards of offense. The BYU defense was absolutely as good as advertised, especially in the second half. The Aztecs led 6-3 at intermission, and matters stayed that way into the fourth. In that final stanza though, the Cougs returned both a fumble and an interception for a touchdown to seal the game. QB Riley Nelson was only able to throw two passes and run the ball once with his bad back, and he threw one of the six total INTs between the two teams on the day. Both QB James Lark and QB Adam Dingwell, neither of which figured to be leading their team at any point at the outset of this season, were terrible. RB Adam Muema was probably the offensive star of the game with 103 rushing yards on 26 carries, though RB Jamaal Williams did have the game’s only offensive score. WR Cody Hoffman led all receivers on both sides with 10 catches for 114 yards.

2012 Poinsettia Bowl Result: BYU 23 – San Diego State 6

Beef ‘O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl: UCF Knights vs. Ball State Cardinals
Beef ‘O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl Date/Time: Friday, December 21st, 7:30 ET
Beef ‘O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
Beef ‘O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Beef ‘O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl Odds: UCF -7 (60)
Closing Beef ‘O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl Lines: UCF -7 (60)

Click Here for our 2012 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Beef ‘O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl Preview: UCF had a chance to win Conference USA this year, but losing in overtime took the team from the Liberty Bowl down to the St. Petersburg Bowl. This is the final time that the Knights will play in a game under the C-USA banner, knowing that it is off to the Big East after this. Ball State is going to be thrilled to be coming to a bowl game with a chance to win 10 games this year. The Cardinals have never won a bowl game before, while UCF only has one bowl win, and these two teams between them only have nine bowl games between them. These two used to share the MAC together, and Ball State holds a 2-1 all-time record against the Knights.

Beef ‘O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl Recap: The first half was all the Knights needed to win their second bowl game in school history. It was a sweet ending to what has been a bitter season for UCF, knowing that the team failed to win Conference USA, and it knows that it is going on bowl probation next year in all likelihood. It was a great game for QB Blake Bortles who threw for three TDs and 272 yards in one of the best games of his career. He also had a rushing score to boot that helped put the game away in a 28-7 first half. Ball State never got closer than 18 points again in the game. The Ball State defense allowed 494 total yards, and it allowed three rushers to get at least 50 yards on the ground, including Bortles, who led the team with 80 yards. QB Keith Wenning did throw for 217 yards and two TDs without a pick, but he was sacked four times. RB Jahwan Edwards led the way with 89 rushing yards, but he was largely ineffective. WR Willie Snead had both of the Ball State touchdowns, but he was outshined by RB Latavius Murray, who had six catches for 33 yards and two TDs and 71 yards and a score on the ground.

2012 Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl Result: UCF 38 – Ball State 17

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns vs. East Carolina Pirates
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 22nd, 12:00 ET
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Location: Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Odds: Louisiana Lafayette -4.5 (67)
Closing R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Lines: Louisiana Lafayette -6.5 (70)

Click Here for our 2012 New Orleans Bowl Game Odds Analysis

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Preview: Louisiana Lafayette has to be happy to be back here at the New Orleans Bowl for the second straight year. The team was able to win its first every bowl game last year in this venue, and now, it is going to be back with a chance to do it for the second straight year. The Cajuns won eight games, but perhaps their most notable game came when they were beaten by the Florida Gators in a game that could have been had over the SEC reps. Meanwhile, East Carolina made very few mistakes in Conference USA this year, but the one loss that the team had to UCF on the road took it out of the C-USA title game. It’s a nice consolation prize to be in a bowl game that is relatively close to home. These two teams haven’t met since 1990, a win for the Cajuns over the Pirates.

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Recap: The ‘total’ ended up moving all over the place in the final 36 hours on the New Orleans Bowl odds, but in the end, all of the action that moved the line up to 70 proved to be the winning formula. Louisiana Lafayette looked great out of the blocks up 28-7, but the lead was short lived. Just over a quarter later, the Pirates had stormed back to tie the game up at 31-31, but from there, QB Terrance Broadway took over and made sure that the Cajuns would be safe to win their second straight New Orleans Bowl, their second bowl title ever in school history. Broadway finished out the afternoon with 316 yards and a TD with a pick, but perhaps more important were his 108 yards on the ground. The Sun Belt reps rushed for 267 yards and four scores on the day. In defeat, RB Reggie Bullock rushed for two TDs for the Pirates, while QB Shane Carden had two TDs passing and a pick. The Ragin’ Cajuns might have allowed 421 total yards of offense, but they did hold WR Justin Hardy down to just 59 yards on five receptions.

2012 New Orleans Bowl Result: Louisiana Lafayette 43 – East Carolina 34

MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Washington Huskies vs. Boise State Broncos
MAACO Las Vegas Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 22nd, 3:30 ET
MAACO Las Vegas Bowl Location: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
MAACO Las Vegas Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening MAACO Las Vegas Bowl Odds: Boise State -7.5 (46)
Closing MAACO Las Vegas Bowl Lines: Boise State -4 (44)

Click Here for our 2012 Las Vegas Bowl Game Odds Analysis

MAACO Las Vegas Bowl Preview: Washington has been one of these teams that has been stuck in the middle of the Pac-12 over the course of the last few years, but that’s a huge step up from where Head Coach Steve Sarkisian took this team over. The Huskies are coming off of a year in which they played an absolutely brutal schedule, but that last loss to Washington State in the Apple Cup was probably a bad omen for this game. Boise State was close to being in the BCS this year, but with two losses, it was just too difficult to get the Broncos the big time pay day. The men from the Smurf Turf are coming back to Sin City for the third straight year, and they have already beaten both Utah and Arizona State in those campaigns. These two teams met in Seattle in 2007, a game that the Huskies won 24-10.

MAACO Las Vegas Bowl Recap: K Michael Frisina atoned for his mistake in a big way with 1:22 left in Las Vegas Bowl to give the Broncos yet another bowl victory under Head Coach Chris Petersen. Frisina missed an extra point in the first quarter that proved to be a cause for concern for the whole game. The Broncos ended up missing a two-point conversion in the second quarterthat made the lead 18-3 instead of 20-3, and they ultimately ended up down a point in the fourth until late on. This looked like a relatively low scoring game with just 54 points, but both teams eclipsed the 400+ yard mark on the afternoon in Sin City. QB Keith Price threw for jsut 242 yards and a TD with two picks, but RB Bishop Sankey was the star in defeat with 205 yards and a score on the ground. QB Joe Southwick threw for 264 yards and two scores, while WR Chris Potter also threw a touchdown pass on a trick play. Freshman TE Holden Huff was the unlikeliest of heroes. He had just 15 receptions and 215 yards the whole season long prior to the Las Vegas Bowl, but he had both of Southwick’s passing touchdowns come his way.

2012 Las Vegas Bowl Result: Boise State 28 – Washington 26

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State Bulldogs vs. SMU Mustangs
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Date/Time: Monday, December 24th, 8:00 ET
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Odds: Fresno State -11.5 (62)
Closing Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Lines: Fresno State -13 (62.5)

Click Here for our 2012 Hawaii Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Preview: Fresno State is going to take the relatively short trek out to the Big Island for the Hawaii Bowl this year, and it is going to be taking on an SMU team that has to be thrilled just to be in a bowl game. QB Derek Carr had a fantastic season for the Bulldogs, and he has a chance to lead this team to a 10-win season if this bowl game could be won. The Mustangs only just barely got into a bowl game by winning the very last game of the season. SMU is forever going to be tied to Hawaii as well, as Head Coach June Jones coached the Warriors to the BCS in his previous job. The hometown crowd might be biased in favor of the Mustangs. These two teams have actually played against each other six times from 1999 through 2004, and the Bulldogs won the final five meetings of these two teams before the series came to an end.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl Recap: The first big upset of the season came on the Big Island, where the Mustangs always looked like the better of the two teams against Fresno State in spite of the fact that they were certainly the lesser of the two teams all season long. Head Coach June Jones was absolutely the better prepared coach for this one, and it showed from the opening kickoff to the final whistle in a bloody game for the MWC reps. A pair of field goals, a pair of rushing touchdowns, and a safety in the second quarter was really all that the Mustangs needed to produce on the day to win, as they took a 22-0 lead into the locker room. Fresno State made it a little interesting early in the third, but in the end, a pair of QB Derek Carr pick sixes ended any chance of coming back in the game. Carr and the Fresno State offense turned the ball over four times and was hit for a safety, and RB Robbie Rouse uncharacteristically only had 13 carries for 22 yards. Carr threw for 362 yards, while WR Davante Adams had 13 catches, 144 yards, and a TD. However, this one was all about SMU. The team rushed for 169 yards and two TDs in total, and that more than made up for the fact that QB Garrett Gilbert only threw for 212 yards and had a pair of picks.

2012 Hawaii Bowl Result: SMU 43 – Fresno State 10

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Date/Time: Wednesday, December 26th, 7:30 ET
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Odds: Western Kentucky -6 (57)
Closing Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Lines: Western Kentucky -6 (55.5)

Click Here for our 2012 Little Caesars Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Preview: It has to be incredibly shocking to see even one of Central Michigan or Western Kentucky in a bowl game this year. The Chippewas were absolutely shocked to get a call from the Little Caesars Bowl, as they finished just 6-6 in the MAC. They owe a fruit basket to all of the teams that made themselves ineligible and were banned from bowl games this year, as they needed every single last one of them to get into a bowl game. Western Kentucky is super thrilled to be in its first bowl game ever, though it is probably lucky to be here with both Middle Tennessee State and Louisiana Tech left behind. Central Michigan has only played in six bowl games in its history, but the last two both came against Sun Belt teams, Florida Atlantic in the Motor City Bowl and Troy in the GMAC Bowl.

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Recap: The Hilltoppers had never been to a bowl game before, but they did ultimately stand a chance to win the game by going for it on 4th and 2 from inside the Central Michigan 20 yard line. A field goal would have tied it, but the team went for the win instead and paid the ultimate price by failing on fourth down, falling short of their first ever triumph in a bowl. Instead, it was QB Ryan Radcliff, who threw for three TDs that was celebrating for the Chippies, as he threw for 253 yards and three scores. RB Zurlon Tipton rushed for 101 yards, while both WR Andrew Flory (3/105/2) and WR Cody Wilson (10/101/1) had huge days. RB Antonio Andrews was held down to just 184 all-purpose yards, which was a brutal disappointment considering how big of a year he had had prior to that point.

2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Result: Central Michigan 24 – Western Kentucky 21

Military Bowl: Bowling Green Falcons vs. San Jose State Spartans
Military Bowl Date/Time: Thursday, December 27th, 3:00 ET
Military Bowl Location: RFK Stadium, Washington, DC
Military Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Military Bowl Odds: San Jose State -8 (49.5)
Closing Military Bowl Lines: San Jose State -7 (46)

Click Here for our 2012 Military Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Military Bowl Preview: San Jose State finished ranked in the Top 25 in the BCS this year, and the team is going to be rewarded with a trip to the Military Bowl thanks to the fact that the WAC didn’t have much in the way of bowl tie-ins this year. The Falcons knew that they were going to come out of the MAC this year to get to a bowl, and they took the contingency spot to come to DC. This is a great defensive team that should be tested in a big way by a great San Jose State team that averaged 35.2 points per game this year. The Spartans are playing in just their second bowl game since 1990, and the last time we saw them in a bowl, they beat New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl 20-12.

Military Bowl Recap: It took a furious comeback in the dying moments of the game, but the Spartans were able to come back from deficits of 13-10 and 20-19 in the second half to beat Bowling Green in an odd Military Bowl. A game that was supposed to revolve around two defenses did only end up with 49 points on the board, but there was only one turnover a side, and SJSU put up some massive numbers in the passing game. There was no doubt that QB David Fales was the hero of the show, as he went 33-of-43 for 395 yards with two scores. QB Matt Schilz was frustrating as he has been for most of the year for the Falcons, but the defense kept them in the game. The final two drives for the Spartans though, ended in 10 points, and that proved to be the difference in the game.

2012 Military Bowl Result: San Jose State 29 – Bowling Green 20

Belk Bowl: Duke Blue Devils vs. Cincinnati Bearcats
Belk Bowl Date/Time: Thursday, December 27th, 6:30 ET
Belk Bowl Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Belk Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Belk Bowl Odds: Cincinnati -10.5 (58)
Closing Belk Bowl Lines: Cincinnati -9 (62)

Click Here for our 2012 Belk Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Belk Bowl Preview: It’s truly remarkable to see the Dookies here in a bowl game this year, as they haven’t been in a bowl game since 1995. They haven’t won a bowl game since the 1960 Cotton Bowl either. Not only is this a bowl game for Head Coach David Cutcliffe and company, but it’s a de facto home game as well against a Cincinnati team that was clearly never more than third best this year in the Big East. The Bearcats did their job to get to a bowl game, but they were never really serious contenders to get into the BCS, and they were always worse than both Louisville and Rutgers this year. UC won the Liberty Bowl last year, but this is the first time that it is going to be playing in the Belk Bowl in this, the team’s first ever game against Duke.

Belk Bowl Recap: Right out of the gates, the Blue Devils jumped out to a 16-0 lead on the Bearcats, but they just weren’t able to hold off what proved to be a significantly better team in the end out of the Big East. Cincinnati went on a 48-18 run to end the game, including scoring 27 in a row in a stretch from the end of the first quarter through the middle of the third. Duke scored once on special teams with a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, and the sealing score came when Nick Temple raced a QB Sean Renfree pick 55 yards the other way for a touchdown. QB Brendon Kay threw for 332 yards and four TDs, but no pass was more important than his 83-yard touchdown strike with 1:06 left in the game to TE Travis Kelce to take the lead. It was a huge offensive day all around for both teams. Duke had 560 yards of offense, led by Renfree’s 358 yards, while UC had a 300+ yard passer, a 100+ yard rusher, and two 100+ yard receivers. The Blue Devils were ultimately killed by losing the turnover battle 4-0. The quest for the team’s first bowl win in a generation rages on, though Duke definitely didn’t embarrass itself and was incredibly unlucky not to cover.

2012 Belk Bowl Result: Cincinnati 48 – Duke 34

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: UCLA Bruins vs. Baylor Bears
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Date/Time: Thursday, December 27th, 9:45 ET
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Odds: Baylor -1 (74.5)
Closing Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Lines: UCLA -3 (82)

Click Here for our 2012 Holiday Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Preview: If you like your quarterbacks, this is the game for you. One of the top veteran signal callers out of the Big XII, QB Nick Florence, is going to be squaring off with one of the best freshmen quarterbacks in the whole country, QB Brett Hundley. UCLA played in the Pac-12 Championship Game for the second straight season this year, but the team finished at 9-4 this year, significantly better than last year’s 6-7 team that had to file a waiver just to play in a bowl. Baylor was an underdog to get to a bowl game for most of the year, but the squad pulled off the upset over Kansas State to change the course of the season. Ultimately, the Bears won their final three games of the year, and they have been appropriately rewarded by moving up the Big XII bowl ladder in a big way to get to the Holiday Bowl.

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Recap: It was a game that was supposed to be all about its offense, but in the end, someone forgot to tell the Bruins that that was the case. Baylor did everything that it needed to do, putting up 49 points, including 35 points that were scored in just about a quarter and a half’s worth of game time. The Bruins didn’t turn the ball over and actually went +3 in the turnover department, or matters would have been much, much worse. QB Brett Hundley had inflated numbers, as he threw for 329 yards and three scores, most of which came in garbage time. QB Nick Florence only threw the ball a shocking 13 times for 188 yards with two TDs and no picks, but that didn’t stop RB Lache Seastrunk and RB Glasco Martin from combining to carry the ball 37 times for 236 yards and four scores. The key was the Baylor defense though, which held RB Johnathan Frankoin to just 34 yards on 14 carries and had a total of six sacks on the day.

2012 Holiday Bowl Result: Baylor 49 – UCLA 26

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: Louisiana Monroe Warhawks vs. Ohio Bobcats
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl Date/Time: Friday, December 28th, 2:00 ET
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl Location: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl Odds: Louisiana Monroe -6 (59)
Closing AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl Lines: Louisiana Monroe -6.5 (59)

Click Here for our 2012 Independence Bowl Game Odds Analysis

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl Preview: One team once beat a Top 10 team in the country. The other team was ranked in the BCS and was once considered a potential BCS buster. Neither one really finished the year on great terms though, as Louisiana Monroe slumped to a 2-2 mark in its final three games, and Ohio dropped its final three games. This is the first time that the Warhawks are going to be playing in a bowl game. The Bobcats won their first ever bowl game last year when they knocked off Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, though they are still just 1-5 all-time in bowl games.

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl Recap: It was a day where the Bobcats were supposed to get some vengeance, and they got just that in the form of a huge victory over the Warhawks in what felt like a bit of a home game for the Sun Belt reps. ULM had just 313 total yards of offense and turned it over three times, all on QB Kolton Browning picks. RB Beau Blankenship was the star of the game with four touchdowns, though QB Tyler Tettleton also threw for 332 yards and two scores. Both WR Chase Cochran and WR Tyler Futrell had huge days, combining for 285 receiving yards on just eight receptions. Blankenship finished the afternoon with right at 100 rushing yards to propel the team to a huge victory to validate its spot in a bowl game this year.

2012 Independence Bowl Result: Ohio 45 – Louisiana Monroe 14


Russell Athletic Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Russell Athletic Bowl Date/Time: Friday, December 28th, 5:30 ET
Russell Athletic Bowl Location: Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL
Russell Athletic Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Russell Athletic Bowl Odds: Pick ‘Em (43)
Closing Russell Athletic Bowl Lines: Virginia Tech -1 (42)

Click Here for our 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Russell Athletic Bowl Preview: The Russell Athletic Bowl is going to bring together two programs that used to play against each other in the Big East. Virginia Tech really struggled this year just to get to six wins, but it was able to scratch and claw just to get into a bowl game when push finally came to shove by beating Virginia. Rutgers has to be disappointed to be here and not in the Sugar Bowl, but losing at home to Louisville was a punishable task that cost the university quite a bit of money and stature. Still, it was a great year for the Scarlet Knights, and the chance to win 10 games is still there. After going to just one bowl game in 1978 in its history, Rutgers is now playing in a bowl for the seventh time in the last eight years. The club has won five bowl games in a row. These former rivals have played each other 14 times, and the Hokies are 11-3 in those games, including winning all 11 meetings since 1993. The last nine of those all resulted in wins of 16 points or greater.

Russell Athletic Bowl Recap: Though it was the first overtime game of the bowl season, it certainly wasn’t the prettiest game of the year. It took over three quarters to get the first offensive touchdown on the board, and the 21-yard pass from QB Logan Thomas to WR Corey Fuller turned out to be the only TD either side scored on the day with their offense. Rutgers started the game with a defensive score on the first snap of the game, but it managed just a field goal for the rest of the game. The two quarterbacks only combined to go 32-of-79 for 322 yards with a TD and three picks, and they were sacked a combined seven times. Neither team reached 200 yards of offense, and the rain in the Sunshine State didn’t help matters out any either. Virginia Tech had a total of four yards rushing, but it did score the final 10 points of regulation, and it got the only points of the extra frame as well. Two missed field goals by K Nick Borgese, including the one from 42 yards out in overtime that could have tied it, really came back to bite the Scarlet Knights in the backside.

2012 Russell Athletic Bowl Result: Virginia Tech 13 – Rutgers 10 (OT)

Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl Date/Time: Friday, December 28th, 9:00 ET
Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl Location: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl Odds: Texas Tech -13 (57)
Closing Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl Lines: Texas Tech -13 (55)

Click Here for our 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas Odds Analysis

Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl Preview: It’s going to be a de facto home game for the Red Raiders on December 28th, knowing that they don’t have to travel all that far to get to Reliant Stadium. It has been a great year for Head Coach Tommy Tuberville, who is bringing his team to a bowl game this year in a campaign that saved his job for at least a year to come. Minnesota came out of the blocks at 4-0, but it really didn’t play much in the way of competition out of conference. Going 2-6 in the weakened Big Ten wasn’t great, but it was good enough to get the Gophers to the Meineke Car Care Bowl. These two teams played against each other in a fantastic Insight Bowl in 2006, a game that the Red Raiders won 44-41.

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas Recap: Few figured that the Golden Gophers were going to be able to put up a fight with the Red Raiders in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, but that’s exactly what ended up happening in a game that was close the whole way. Neither team ever led by more than seven points, and neither team ever scored more than 14 in a row. Minnesota took a 31-24 lead on QB Philip Nelson’s second TD pass of the game early in the fourth, but a TD pass from QB Seth Doege to WR Eric Ward from 35 yards away tied the game. Minnesota had a chance to win it, but Nelson showed his freshman mistakes by throwing the pick that set up Texas Tech for the game winning field goal as tie expired. It was a game effort from the Gophers, who absolutely exceeded their expectations by accounting for 373 yards and 31 points, but it wasn’t enough. Doege only threw for 271 yards with a TD and two picks. WR Darrin Moore had 11 catches for 84 yards in a relatively quiet offensive game on all accounts.

2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas Result: Texas Tech 34 – Minnesota 31

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Rice Owls vs. Air Force Falcons
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 29th, 11:45 ET
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Odds: Rice -1 (61)
Closing Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Lines: Rice -1 (60.5)

Click Here for our 2012 Armed Forces Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Preview: It took all the way to the last game of the season, but the Owls made it to a bowl game this year in relatively shocking fashion. They won their final four games of the campaign to do it, and they covered five of their final six after a brutal start to the season. Still, there was only one win against a bowl eligible team, which doesn’t help matters in this game any. Of course, Air Force wasn’t exactly a fantastic 6-6 team in the Mountain West either. The club failed to cover its final four games, and it really more or less just limped to the finish line after a strong start to the season. You have to go back to 1998 to find the last time that these two played against each other, a game that the Falcons won 22-16.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Recap: It was interesting to see how the bowl game betting lines shifted at the end of the week to give Rice the edge once again, and all of the late action got it right. Air Force scored a couple of touchdowns early on, but in the end, the triple option was totally stymied and was held down to just 166 total rushing yards. The Falcons managed just 12 first downs on the day and 214 yards with three turnovers and no points in the second half. Rice turned the ball over three times as well, but it converted 10 times on third down and finished with 503 yards of offense. With QB Taylor McHargue on the bench, QB Driphus Jackson came in and went 15-of-21 for 264 yards with two scores and no picks. WR Jordan Taylor finished up the day with nine catches, 153 yards, and three scores.

2012 Armed Forces Bowl Result: Rice 33 – Air Force 14

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Syracuse Orange vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
New Era Pinstripe Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 29th, 3:15 ET
New Era Pinstripe Bowl Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
New Era Pinstripe Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening New Era Pinstripe Bowl Odds: West Virginia -4 (68)
Closing New Era Pinstripe Bowl Lines: West Virginia -4 (70)

Click Here for our 2012 Pinstripe Bowl Game Odds Analysis

New Era Pinstripe Bowl Preview: The Orange knew that they were going to be in the Pinstripe Bowl if they could have just figured out how to get to six wins this year. They got the job done by taking down Louisville on Senior Day at home, and now, they are going to get yet another de facto home game. West Virginia started off a 5-0 this year and was considered a team that could have contended for the BCS National Championship, but it lost its next five games to fall clear out of the Top 25. QB Geno Smith and QB Ryan Nassib are both NFL prospects at the quarterback position, so this game will be monitored closely by NFL scouts. These teams have met 59 times thanks to West Virginia’s old affiliations to the Big East. The Mountaineers are just 27-32 in those games, and the Orange pulled off upsets in each of the last two meetings between these clubs. Prior to that though, the Mountaineers had won eight in a row from 2002-2009.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl Recap: Head Coach Doug Marrone should be proud of his defense, which came up with the best effort that you’ll see in any bowl game this year. The Orange held once of the most potent offenses in America down to just 285 yards, sacked QB Geno Smith three times, and forced not just one, but two safeties. The Orange were the dominating team from the get go, and all of the damage came on the ground thanks to the fact that it was a snowy day in the Bronx. The two quarterbacks only combined to throw for 331 yards, but RB Prince-Tyson Gulley and RB Jerome Smith were monsters for the ‘Cuse. Gulley had 208 yards on 25 carries with two scores, and he was the top receiver on the team with five catches, 56 yards and a TD. Not to be outdone, RB Jerome Smith had 30 carries for 157 yards. This ended up being a one-sided romp from the start, and if you take out the 7/126/2 for WR Stedman Bailey, the rest of the Mountaineers just had nothing going on.

2012 Pinstripe Bowl Result: Syracuse 38 – West Virginia 14

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Navy Midshipmen vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 29th, 4:00 ET
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Location: AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN2
Opening Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Odds: Arizona State -14.5 (57)
Closing Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Lines: Arizona State -13 (54.5)

Click Here for our 2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Preview: The Middies are going to be going to San Francisco to take on the Sun Devils in San Francisco. The Midshipmen have been a dominating independent team for years and years, and this season has been no exception in spite of the fact that the club started off the year by getting thrashed by Notre Dame in Dublin. Arizona State probably kept itself here in the Pac-12 bowl ladder when it beat Arizona. The Sun Devils are going to bring a respectable offense to this game in San Fran.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Recap: It was 21-0 at the end of the first quarter, and that was about all she wrote for the Middies in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. A pair of late touchdowns by Navy at least made the final score a bit more respectable, but there is no doubting that this was the biggest romp and the most lopsided game that you’ll see in the bowl campaign. Navy had 350 yards of offense, much of which came in the fourth quarter when the game was totally out of hand. Arizona State had 36 first downs and 648 yards, and it only faced seven third downs the entire game. RB Gee Gee Greene did have 112 yards on the ground and a kick return for a TD, but the rest of the notable stats belonged to the Sun Devils. QB Taylor Kelly had a virtually perfect game, throwing for 268 yards and TD on 17-of-19 passing. He also rushed for 81 yards and a TD. RB Cameron Marshall scored twice and had 58 rushing yards, while RB Marion Grice led all rushers with 159 yards and two TDs. WR Rashad Ross was the top receiver on the day for ASU, catching four passes for 139 yards and three TDs.

2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Result: Arizona State 62 – Navy 28

Valero Alamo Bowl: Texas Longhorns vs. Oregon State Beavers
Valero Alamo Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 29th, 6:45 ET
Valero Alamo Bowl Location: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Valero Alamo Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Valero Alamo Bowl Odds: Oregon State -1.5 (60)
Closing Valero Alamo Bowl Lines: Oregon State -3 (56.5)

Click Here for our 2012 Alamo Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Valero Alamo Bowl Preview: It was great to see Oregon State playing in the Alamo Bowl after a year in which the team really played tremendous football. Texas was a potential BCS team, but in the end, the squad was not just beaten, but slaughtered by the best teams in the Big XII (Kansas State and Oklahoma), and that really took the team out of the Cotton Bowl as well, dropping it here to the Alamo Bowl. The Beavers and Longhorns have met twice before, but you have to go back to 1980 and 1987 to find those meetings. Texas won both games by huge margins, outscoring the Beavs by a 48-8 margin on average. OSU had won five straight bowl games until it lost to BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl in 2009. This is the first bowl game the team has been since that point, and it came just in the nick of time for Head Coach Mike Riley, who was on one of the hotter seats in America at the outset of the campaign.

Valero Alamo Bowl Recap: A 20-10 lead at halftime and a 27-17 lead at the end of the third quarter just wasn’t enough for the Beavers, who ultimately put together an abysmal fourth quarter to get downed by the Longhorns in San Antonio. UT fans are going to look back at the game that QB David Ash had and pick it apart, but in the end, he threw for 241 yards and two scores, and he rushed for a touchdown as well. All three of his TDs came in the second half with the team trailing. Hats off to the Texas defense as well, which held a solid Oregon State offense to 297 yards and forced three turnovers. The 27 points allowed really isn’t indicative of how well the unit played. WR Marquise Goodwin had four catches for 68 yards and a TD, and he had a 64 yard run for a score as well for the Horns. A 36-yard touchdown catch with 2:53 remaining in the game sealed the deal for Texas.

2012 Alamo Bowl Result: Texas 31 – Oregon State 27

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: TCU Horned Frogs vs. Michigan State Spartans
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, December 29th, 10:15 ET
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Location: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Odds: TCU -1 (42.5)
Closing Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Lines: TCU -2 (40)

Click Here for our 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Preview: The Horned Frogs are awfully deserving of a great bowl bid here in their first season in the Big XII, and they were definitely the right choice here for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Michigan State was one of the last teams chosen in the Big Ten this year, and that’s only because the team just barely survived to wrap up the season at 6-6 after being ranked in the preseason Top 15. Believe it or not, these two teams have met once before, but it has been almost 70 years since then. The Spartans won 26-19 way back in 1953.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Recap: TCU was out in front of Michigan State for virtually the entire game. The club took a 13-0 lead into the locker room and deep into the third quarter before Head Coach Mark Dantonio elected to bench QB Andrew Maxwell, who had thrown for just 28 yards at the time, in favor of freshman QB Connon Cook. In doing so, Dantonio knows that he created a heck of a quarterback quandary going into the offseason. Cook only went 4-of-11 for 47 yards, but he also threw the TD pass to WR Aaron Burbridge that helped turn the game around. A bad turnover on special teams set Michigan State up again halfway through the fourth, and RB Le’Veon Bell made his mark by scoring to give MSU its first lead. Freshman K Jaden Oberkrom kicked a 53-yard field goal with just a few minutes remaining to give the Frogs back the lead, but in the end, K Dan Conroy booted a 47-yard field goal to take the game back for Sparty. The offensive numbers were ugly in this game, as the two teams combined for just over 500 yards of offense and just a total of 26 first downs. WR Josh Boyce had five catches for 91 yards for the Horned Frogs. Bell was the star of the show for the Spartans, as he had 145 yards on 32 carries.

2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Result: Michigan State 17 – TCU 16

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Vanderbilt Commodores
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Date/Time: Monday, December 31st, 12:00 ET
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Location: LP Field, Nashville, TN
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Odds: Vanderbilt -5.5 (52)
Closing Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Lines: Vanderbilt -7 (52.5)

Click Here for our 2012 Music City Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Preview: Vandy was hoping that it could get into one of the premier bowl games in the SEC this year, but the truth of the matter is that the university has to be thrilled to keep the team basically at home. The Commodores have been remarkable under Head Coach James Franklin, who now figures to be a hot coaching commodity for some of the biggest jobs open in the country. The Dores have only played in five bowl games before in their history, and one of those bowl wins was back in 2008 at none other than the Music City Bowl. This is the first time that the team has ever played in a bowl game in back to back years. The Wolfpack have won back to back bowl games, but after a 7-5 season, they are going to be going into battle in this one with an interim coach after Head Coach Tom O’Brien was canned at the end of the regular season. The Commodores won 7-0 when these teams met in 1946, but that is the only meeting that these teams have ever had.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Recap: It might have been New Year’s Eve 2012, but the Commodores were partying like it was 1955 on Monday, as they won just their third bowl game ever and their second in over five decades. Statistically speaking, it’s really tough to tell who won this game. NC State had 424 yards against the 225 of the Commodores, and the Wolfpack went 13-of-19 on third downs against just 3-of-14 for Vanderbilt. However, three fourth down converions on four attempts for the Dores and five NC State turnovers proved to be the great equalizer in this game. QB Mike Glennon was picked off three times, ruining his day in which he threw for 383 yards against a stellar defense. RB Zac Stacy rushed for 107 yards, and he was one of the three Commodores that rushed for a touchdown on the day. WR Tobias Palmer had an excellent day in defeat for NC State, but his 173 return yards, including a 94-yard touchdown, and 111 yards on eight receptions just weren’t nearly enough to sink Vanderbilt’s ship.

2012 Music City Bowl Result: Vanderbilt 38 – NC State 24

Hyundai Sun Bowl: USC Trojans vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Hyundai Sun Bowl Date/Time: Monday, December 31st, 2:00 ET
Hyundai Sun Bowl Location: Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX
Hyundai Sun Bowl Television Coverage: CBS
Opening Hyundai Sun Bowl Odds: USC -10 (64.5)
Closing Hyundai Sun Bowl Lines: USC -7.5 (63)

Click Here for our 2012 Sun Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Hyundai Sun Bowl Preview: USC was a preseason Top 5 team, and it was considered to be one of the National Championship contenders, so it is definitely disappointing to see it in the Sun Bowl this year. The Trojans are going to be up for a challenge to get ready for the triple option offense of the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech got a waiver from the NCAA to be in a bowl game in spite of the fact that it finished 6-7 this year after losing in the closing moments to Florida State in the ACC Championship Game. The Men of Troy have taken on the Ramblin’ Wreck three times before, but there hasn’t been a meeting since 1973. USC holds a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series. The Trojans have won seven of their last eight bowl games, but they haven’t been to a bowl since 2009 when the beat up Boston College 24-13.

Hyundai Sun Bowl Recap: There is definitely trouble in paradise right now for the Men of Troy. The Trojans just didn’t show up to the Sun Bowl, and even though they were 7.5-point favorites, they were destroyed 21-7 and were really never in this game. QB Max Wittek might have a bright future in LA, but this was his second straight terrible game to start his career. The frosh threw for just 107 yards on 14-of-37 passing with a TD and three picks, while RB Silas Redd was really the only notable member of the offense, rushing for 88 yards on 17 carries. In total, an offense that was touted as one of the best in the country this year, with at least five or six players that are going to be starting on Sundays really soon, put up just 10 first downs and 205 total yards, and the unit turned the ball over three times. Hats off to the Jackets though, who literally ran the Trojans over. Four different rushers had at least 46 yards on the ground, and the team rumbled for 294 yards with the triple option. In the end, Head Coach Lane Kiffin has to be on one of the hottest seats in America at the moment, and he has a lot of explaining to do, losing to a team that came into this one as a mediocre (at best) 6-7 team out of the supposedly inferior ACC. However, this was a real lesson in what happens when you don’t show up to play in a bowl game.

2012 Sun Bowl Result: Georgia Tech 21 – USC 7

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Iowa State Cyclones vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Date/Time: Monday, December 31st, 3:30 ET
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Location: Liberty Bowl, Memphis, TN
AutoZone Liberty Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening AutoZone Liberty Bowl Odds: Tulsa -3 (52.5)
Closing AutoZone Liberty Bowl Lines: Tulsa -2 (50.5)

Click Here for our 2012 Liberty Bowl Game Odds Analysis

AutoZone Liberty Bowl Preview: Nothing like the Hurricane and the Cyclones playing against each other! Iowa State fell out of the Big XII bowl ladder, but it was able to get into the spot vacated by an SEC team here at the Liberty Bowl not all that far away from home. Tulsa won Conference USA by beating UCF not just once, but twice at home, and it is going to be back in the Liberty Bowl for the first time since 2005. The Golden Hurricane have won three of their last four bowl games, and they have scored at least 45 points in all three of those wins. These two teams aren’t separated by all that many miles relatively speaking, but they have only met once before, and that was way back in 1961, a game that was won by the Cyclones 27-6.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl Recap: As typically is the case in these rematch games, vengeance has been had. Tulsa was beaten right at the outset of the year by Iowa State, and at least after one quarter when the Golden Hurricane were down 17-7, it looked like the Liberty Bowl would be much of the same. However, the Conference USA reps put on a dominating show in the second half to walk away with a 31-17 triumph thanks to a yeoman’s effort by this defense. Tulsa allowed jsut 10 offensive points for the whole game, and QB Sam Richardson ended up getting benched for the Cyclones after a miserable day at the office. ISU had just two third down conversions, nine first downs in total, 268 yards, and three turnovers. Meanwhile, Tulsa just kept doing its job offensively. RB Trey Watts had 149 yards, RB Ja’Terian Douglas had 79 yards on just eight carries, QB Cody Green had 58 yards and a score, and Alex Singleton found the end zone three times. Watts not only led the team in rushing, but in receptions (4 for 17 yards) and in the return game (83 yards). Revenge had to be sweet for sure for the Golden Hurricane, who capped off a stellar 11-win season with a Liberty Bowl victory.

2012 Liberty Bowl Result: Tulsa 31 – Iowa State 17

Just Bet Sports

Chick-fil-A Bowl: LSU Tigers vs. Clemson Tigers
Chick-fil-A Bowl Date/Time: Monday, December 31st, 7:30 ET
Chick-fil-A Bowl Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Chick-fil-A Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Chick-fil-A Bowl Odds: LSU -3.5 (57)
Closing Chick-fil-A Bowl Lines: LSU -6 (58)

Click Here for our 2012 Chick-Fil-A Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Chick-fil-A Bowl Preview: Clemson’s season started with a game here at the Georgia Dome against an SEC West team named the Tigers, and it is going to end that way as well. This Tiger Tale though, is going to be against LSU, a significantly tougher team to tame than Auburn turned out to be. The Bayou Bengals probably would have been in the Sugar Bowl had Florida lost to Florida State at the end of the year, but alas, that didn’t happen, and both of the Sunshine State bowl games and the Cotton Bowl passed on them. It should be great to see QB Tajh Boyd and this very talented Clemson offense go against the talented LSU defense. These two teams met in the 1959 Sugar Bowl, a 7-0 win for LSU, and the 1996 Peach Bowl, a 10-7 win for LSU. This is the fifth time that the Bayou Bengals are going to be playing in the Chick-fil-A Bowl/Peach Bowl, and they have gone 5-0 in those games. Clemson meanwhile, has been here at the Georgia Dome for a bowl seven times, going just 2-5 in those outings.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl Recap: All of the backers of the big teams had to be scratching their head all the way into 2013. LSU really never looked like the definitively better of the two teams in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, and it ultimately paid the price by getting beaten at the gun. Both quarterbacks were under duress all day long, as there were 11 sacks in this game. However, LSU’s offense, for the second straight year in a bowl game, came up incredibly flat. Yes, the unit put up 24 points, but a lot of that came thanks to the remarkable game of RB Jeremy Hill, who had 124 yards and two TDs. Beyond that though, the rest of this offense managed just 75 total yards, and the team had only nine first downs. Clemson had 32 first downs and 445 yards, but it still found itself in big trouble in the fourth quarter, behind 24-13 to the Bayou Bengals. Alas, it was the purple and orange clad Tigers that had the last laugh. A QB Tajh Boyd touchdown pass with 3:30 to play put the team in a position to tie the game, but they failed to convert the two-point try, leaving them with very little time to get the ball back and do something with it. Alas, the defense got the job done, put the ball back in Boyd’s hands, and he orchestrated one of the biggest drives that Clemson has had in quite some time. He converted on a 4th and 16 play against one of the best defenses in America to set up K Chandler Catanzaro from 37-yards away to win the game as the final buzzer sounded in the final game of 2012. Catanzaro would have been the goat of the game had that field goal sailed wide though, as he missed an extra point in the second quarter that the Tigers ended up chasing for the rest of the game. An emotional Head Coach Dabo Swinney couldn’t have been happier with the way that his team played in the fourth quarter.

2012 Chick-Fil-A Bowl Result: Clemson 25 – LSU 24 Gator Bowl: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Gator Bowl Date/Time: Tuesday, January 1st, 12:00 ET Gator Bowl Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL Gator Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN2
Opening Gator Bowl Odds: Mississippi State -2 (52)
Closing Gator Bowl Lines: Northwestern -1.5 (55)

Click Here for our 2013 Gator Bowl Game Odds Analysis Gator Bowl Preview: In a year where so many teams in the Big Ten were down, Northwestern was a pleasant surprise, as the team finished with nine wins and has the opportunity to win 10 games for the first time since 1995 and just the third time in school history. The Wildcats haven’t won a bowl game since the 1949 Rose Bowl, though they have been to nine bowl games since 1996 and have lost all nine. Mississippi State started the campaign at 7-0 and really looked like it was going to challenge for the SEC West crown. However, it was beaten and beaten by three or more scores in four of its final five games of the year. These two teams have never played against each other before, but it isn’t the first time that MSU has played in the Gator Bowl. The Bulldogs beat the snot out of Michigan 52-14 here in Jacksonville two years ago. They have now won five straight bowl games dating back to 1999. Gator Bowl Recap: The poor Big Ten has just one bowl win thus far this year, and it came from Northwestern. The Wildcats never trailed against the SEC reps, and they played a huge game defensively that included allowing just 298 yards. Northwestern also forced four turnovers, most notably the pick by Quentin Williams that was returned 29 yards for a touchdown to set the tone of the game. Sure, the passing game for the Wildcats was bad, as neither QB Trevor Siemian nor QB Kain Colter was really able to do all that much. However, Colter rushed for 86 yards, and three different men rumbled for touchdowns in the victory. MSU shot itself in the foot by converting just 1-of-11 third downs on the day, and QB Tyler Russell was just terrible, completing 42.9 percent of his passes for an average of 4.0 yards per pass attempt with two TDS and four picks.

2013 Gator Bowl Result: Northwestern 34 – Mississippi State 20

Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Heart of Dallas Bowl Date/Time: Tuesday, January 1st, 12:00 ET
Heart of Dallas Bowl Location: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX
Heart of Dallas Bowl Television Coverage: ESPNU
Opening Heart of Dallas Bowl Odds: Oklahoma State -17.5 (69)
Closing Heart of Dallas Bowl Lines: Oklahoma State -18 (68)

Click Here for our 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Heart of Dallas Bowl Preview: We are a bit surprised that the Heart of Dallas Bowl didn’t take a team from the Lone Star State to this bowl game, but Oklahoma State is definitely going to be a great team to bring to the Cotton Bowl. Purdue just barely made it into a bowl game this year at 6-6, but the win over Indiana was good enough to get the job done. The 1997 Alamo Bowl was the only time that these clubs have met in the past, a 33-20 win for the Boilermakers. Purdue is hoping to claim its second straight bowl win. The Cowboys have won two seasons of bowl games in a row, including last year’s Fiesta Bowl in overtime over Stanford.

Heart of Dallas Bowl Recap: If there’s a bowl game that you just knew was going to be a romp, this was the one. Purdue never really looked like it had a shot in this one, and it was down 45-7 before it scored a couple of times to at least make this one look a bit more respectable. What’s worse for the Boilermakers is that they could have been killed by a lot more if not for a pair of 21-yard field goals that were settled for by the Cowboys. QB Robert Marve went the distance for the Boilers, throwing for 213 yards and two scores against two picks. Okie State might have had five different guys throw a pass and had eight different players record at least one carry, but that didn’t stop the club from dropping a whopping 528 yards of total offense. Five turnovers were what really did Purdue in, and the team was fortunate not to lose more fumbles, knowing that six were put on the ground and only three of those ended up being lost.

2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl Result: Oklahoma State 58 – Purdue 14

Outback Bowl: Michigan Wolverines vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Outback Bowl Date/Time: Tuesday, January 1st, 1:00 ET
Outback Bowl Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
Outback Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Outback Bowl Odds: South Carolina -4.5 (48)
Closing Outback Bowl Lines: South Carolnia -5.5 (47.5)

Click Here for our 2013 Outback Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Outback Bowl Preview: The Gamecocks have slipped into the Sunshine State for a bowl game this year, and that’s a great reward for Head Coach Steve Spurrier and his team after a 10-2 regular season. South Carolina was clearly the third best team in the SEC East this year, but the squad might be one of the best seven or eight teams in America. Michigan played a brutal schedule, including losing to both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in America, Notre Dame and Alabama. Head Coach Brady Hoke has done a remarkable job with this team this year, though the squad probably took a bit of a step backwards after losing four games. Michigan and South Carolina haven’t played each other since 1985, and both teams are 1-1 against the other in games played in the 80s.

Outback Bowl Recap: A failed two-point conversion with 20 seconds left in the game was all that kept South Carolina from covering the final number in the Outback Bowl. QB Dylan Thompson came in off of the bench to throw a 32-yard touchdown pass to WR Bruce Ellington late on to avoid blowing what was twice a double digit lead to the Wolverines. Thompson and QB Connor Shaw were remarkable in this one, as they combined to throw for 341 yards and four TDs with no picks. Shaw also rushed for 96 yards, which was a good thing considering the fact that RB Kenny Miles was the only running back to touch the ball for the Gamecocks, and he had five carries for just one yard with a lost fumble. The Wolverines did their share of fighting in this one, as QB Devin Gardner threw three touchdown passes, two of which went to WR Jeremy Gallon. Gallon had a big time day, catching nine balls for 145 yards and those two TDS, but he wasn’t the most effective receiver on the field. WR Ace Sanders had nine catches, 92 yards, and two TDs through the air, and he had a punt return for a touchdown that opened up the scoring. The final straw was that beautiful throw to Ellington though, and that was the one that made all the difference in the Outback Bowl. If you haven’t seen the DE Jadeveon Clowney hit on RB Vincent Smith, just go ahead and Google “Jadeveon Clowney hit” right now to see what might have been the defensive play of the year already.

2013 Outback Bowl Result: South Carolina

Capital One Bowl: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Capital One Bowl Date/Time: Tuesday, January 1st, 1:00 ET
Capital One Bowl Location: Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL
Capital One Bowl Television Coverage: ABC
Opening Capital One Bowl Odds: Georgia -8.5 (57)
Closing Capital One Bowl Lines: Georgia -9.5 (62)

Click Here for our 2013 Capital One Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Capital One Bowl Preview: Georgia has been bouncing all over the place in the Sunshine State over the course of the last few years, as the team went from the Outback Bowl last year to the Capital One Bowl this year. It’s a great reward for QB Aaron Murray and the gang, but there isn’t a doubt that there is still a lingering doubt as to what could have been had the last drive of the SEC Championship Game ended differently. Nebraska too, has to be wondering what could have been had it showed up in the Big Ten Championship Game, but after literally getting run over by Wisconsin in Indianapolis, there is no doubt that the team is lucky to even be considered the second best team out of the Big Ten. These two storied programs have met once before in a bowl game, the 1969 Sun Bowl, a game that was won 45-6 by the Children of the Corn.

Capital One Bowl Recap: Nebraska put up as good of a fight as any team did this year from the Big Ten in a bowl game, but it just wasn’t enough. The Outback Bowl ended up being a shootout from the start, and there ended up being over 1,000 yards of total offense and nearly 50 first downs in the game. In the end though, this is just QB Aaron Murray’s world, and we’re just playing in it. Murray might have made himself a frontrunner for next year’s Heisman Trophy by throwing for 428 yards and five touchdowns, including throwing TDs on three straight drives to take what was an eight-point Nebraska game and turn it into what looked like a one-sided romp. All five TDs covered at least 24 yards through the air, and as a result, both WR Chris Conley and WR Tavarres King ended up with over 100 yards receiving in spite of the fact that the two only cmbined for six catches. RB Rex Burkhead had 177 total yards of offense with two touchdowns in defeat, but QB Taylor Martinez tossed two picks as well that proved to be deflating. In the end, the SEC ruled supreme in the Sunshine State in a bowl game, and that just isn’t a surprise to anyone that has been watching college football for the past several years.

2013 Outback Bowl Result: Georgia 45 – Nebraska 31

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin Badgers vs. Stanford Cardinal
Rose Bowl Date/Time: Tuesday, January 1st, 5:00 ET
Rose Bowl Location: Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, CA
Rose Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Rose Bowl Odds: Stanford -6.5 (48.5)
Closing Rose Bowl Lines: Stanford -4 (46)

Click Here for our 2013 Rose Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Rose Bowl Preview: Had you told anyone that the Badgers were going to be back in the Rose Bowl for the third straight season a month into the season, they would have told you that you were crazy. However, Wisky was never beaten by more than seven points this year, and its last three losses all came in overtime. The last two wins the team has had featured 62 and 70 points. Stanford has just two blemishes all year, one of which came against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a game that really could have been won. Meanwhile, the team finished out the year with seven straight wins, and it went 5-2 ATS in those games. The Badgers haven’t won the Rose Bowl since 2000, and ironically, that day, it knocked off none other than this Stanford team 17-9. The Cardinal haven’t won the Rose Bowl since 1972.

Rose Bowl Recap: The 2013 Rose Bowl proved to be just about everything that we figured it was going to be. Both defenses played tremendously well in the game, and a late pick thrown by senior QB Curt Phillips proved to be the difference for the Cardinal in their victory over the Badgers. We do give Wisconsin a lot of credit, though. In the blink of an eye, it was down 14-0 to the Cardinal before coming back and getting it as close as three points going into the third quarter. The game remained close through the middle of the fourth quarter when a K Jordan Williamson field goal upped the lead to six for Head Coach David Shaw and the gang. That was the final tally in what amounted to be the lowest scoring half of football we have seen in the bowl season this year. RB Montee Ball led a rushing attack that accounted for 228 yards against one of the best rush defenses in the nation, but Stanford countered by getting 88 yards and a score out of RB Stepfan Taylor. This was the third straight year that the Badgers paid a visit to the Rose Bowl, but for the third straight time, they ended up coming out on the wrong end of the proceedings.

2013 Rose Bowl Result: Stanford 20 – Wisconsin 14

Discover Orange Bowl: Florida State Seminoles vs. Northern Illinois Huskies
Discover Orange Bowl Date/Time: Tuesday, January 1st, 8:30 ET
Discover Orange Bowl Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL
Discover Orange Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Discover Orange Bowl Odds: Florida State -14 (59.5)
Closing Discover Orange Bowl Lines: Florida State -14.5 (58)

Click Here for our 2013 Orange Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Discover Orange Bowl Preview: The BCS has officially been busted. The Huskies have finished in the Top 16, and they are now the first team from the MAC to get into the BCS. QB Jordan Lynch is going to be on display in this game against a Florida State defense that is clearly the most talented that he has faced all year long. Florida State found a way to win the ACC in spite of the fact that it really didn’t play all that well down the stretch, including losing to Florida and barely escaping Georgia Tech. FSU hasn’t played a team from the MAC since beating Western Michigan in 2006. NIU hasn’t played an ACC team since losing 20-0 to Maryland in 2004. The Huskies do have wins over the Terps along with Wake Forest in recent memory, though.

Discover Orange Bowl Recap: The little guys just weren’t able to stick around with the big boys on the big time stage this time around, as the Seminoles, playing the role of Goliath, crushed Northern Illinois, playing the role of David in Miami. FB Lonnie Pryor was the hero of the day for the Seminoles. He started the game by rumbling for a 60-yard touchdown, and he capped the game once and for all with a 37-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. QB EJ Manuel went 26-of-38 for 285 yards in the final game of his collegiate career, as he led this offense to 530 yards against the MAC reps. If not for eight penalties for nearly a football field’s worth of yards, the Noles probably would have put more on the board in this one. Give the Huskies credit though, as they tried everything that they could to get this game, including pulling out the onside kick and a fake punt to try to keep the Noles off of their game. A lot of it worked, but it just didn’t translate to points. In the end, QB Jordan Lynch only threw for 175 yards and 4.3 yards per pass attempt, and he rushed for only 44 yards on 23 carries. The Huskies, one of the most prolific rushing teams in the MAC, had just 271 total yards of offense, and 35 of that came on a fake punt. Matters were close in the third quarter when the lone NIU touchdown got it within seven, but in the end, the Seminoles tacked on a pair of late touchdowns to put away the Orange Bowl and win their third straight bowl game under the direction of Head Coach Jimbo Fisher.

2013 Orange Bowl Result: Florida State 31 – Northern Illinois 10

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Florida Gators vs. Louisville Cardinals
Allstate Sugar Bowl Date/Time: Wednesday, January 2nd, 8:30 ET
Allstate Sugar Bowl Location: Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Allstate Sugar Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Allstate Sugar Bowl Odds: Florida -15 (47)
Closing Allstate Sugar Bowl Lines: Florida -14 (47)

Click Here for our 2013 Sugar Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Allstate Sugar Bowl Preview: Head Coach Charlie Strong might not be staying at Louisville long term, but he is going to have a heck of a game to look forward to this year. The Cardinals didn’t play well down the stretch, but they did win the de facto Big East Championship Game against Rutgers on the road to make it here to the BCS. And, thanks to Northern Illinois, Louisville moved up in the BCS bowl ladder to get to the Sugar Bowl, where the Gators are going to be waiting. Florida is the second team out of the SEC to get to a bowl game this year, and if not for the loss to Georgia, the Gators would have played for the SEC Championship instead of just coming here to the Bayou. UF beat Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl a few years back in the final game for QB Tim Tebow. The Cardinals are playing in the BCS for the second time, and they won the 2007 Orange Bowl against Wake Forest 24-13.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Recap: We had ourselves a good ol’ fashioned butt kicking in the Sugar Bowl, but it wasn’t the Gators that was supplying the boot for the backside. A DB Terell Floyd pick six on the opening play of the game set the tone for a dominating performance by the Louisville defense. The Cards held UF down to just 286 total yards of offense, and they forced three turnovers on the day. many of those yards came right at the end of the game as well when matters were out of reach. The Cardinals really didn’t get much in the way of resistence, as they were up at least 10 points for the final 52+ minutse of the game, including being up 24-3 and 33-10 before the Gators tacked on a pair of TDs. The offense for UF struggled as it has all year long, but the defense this time around wasn’t able to bail it out. QB Teddy Bridgewater threw for 266 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the day. Keep in mind too, that Louisivlle missed an extra point and a pair of field goals, or this could have been far worse. It was a sweet victory for Head Coach Charlie Strong, who eschewed a chance to go to the SEC to coach this year to stay at Louisville, where he ultimately beat his old team. It was a huge win for the Big East, which ended up with a very respectable bowl season when it was said and done with.

2013 Sugar Bowl Result: Louisville 33 – Florida 23

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oregon Ducks vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Date/Time: Thursday, January 3rd, 8:30 ET
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Odds: Oregon -8 (79)
Closing Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Lines: Oregon -8 (74)

Click Here for our 2013 Fiesta Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Preview: It wasn’t all that long ago that Oregon and Kansas State were supposed to play for the BCS National Championship. Alas, in a span of just a few minutes of each other, both teams were handed their only loss of the season. The Ducks didn’t even get a chance to go on to win their conference with their loss, as they ultimately finished second in the Pac-12 North. Kansas State at least finished off the Big XII title. This is going to be the first time that these two schools have ever faced off against one another, and it comes on a huge stage in the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona, where the Ducks should have a bit of a home field advantage.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Recap: Before a single snap was taken in what was slated to be an offensive shootout, the Ducks were up 8-0, as they returned a kick for a touchdown and converted on a fake two-point conversion. Kansas State never got closer than within five points of the Quack Attack. It was a frustrating day for Heisman Trophy finalist, QB Collin Klein, who finished his career with the Cats by throwing for just 151 yards with a TD and two picks to go with just 30 rushing yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile on the other side of things, QB Marcus Mariota threw for 166 yards with two TDs, and he rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown as well. RB Kenjon Barner had 143 yards on 31 carries. Barner also caught a TD pass. WR De’Anthony Thomas had the opening kick return for a score, and he caught four passes for 60 yards and a TD. The game didn’t ultimately feature as much offense as it could have, as there were just 668 total yards in the game. When Head Coach Chip Kelly got the Gatorade bath, one has to wonder if that was the last time that we will ever see him on the collegiate sidelines again.

2013 Fiesta Bowl Result: Oregon 35 – Kansas State 17

AT&T Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M Aggies vs. Oklahoma Sooners
AT&T Cotton Bowl Date/Time: Friday, January 4th, 8:00 ET
AT&T Cotton Bowl Location: Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX
AT&T Cotton Bowl Television Coverage: FOX
Opening AT&T Cotton Bowl Odds: Texas A&M -3 (72)
Current AT&T Cotton Bowl Lines: Texas A&M -3 (72.5)

Click Here for our 2013 Cotton Bowl Game Odds Analysis

Cotton Bowl Preview: Johnny Football is headed to the Cotton Bowl. We think that it is admirable that the Cotton Bowl committee elected to take the Aggies instead of LSU to this bowl game, and obviously, having the Heisman Trophy winner really helped A&M’s cause. This was the surprise team of the year, and winning 10 games in the regular season and the first year for the team in the SEC was a real shock. Oklahoma also went 10-2 this year, but it has to get up for this game after arguably getting screwed out of the BCS when Northern Illinois finished ranked in the Top 16 in the BCS. Obviously, these two teams know all about each other, as they used to share the Big XII with one another. They met for the first time way back in 1903 and last met last year as conference foes. Oklahoma leads the all-time series 19-10, including winning eight of the last nine. The Sooners have only played in the Cotton Bowl once before, winning 10-3 over Arkansas. Meanwhile, A&M has played here in Dallas a whopping 12 times. However, the Aggies have lost six Cotton Bowls in a row dating back to 1991, and the team only has a 4-8 record in this bowl game.

Cotton Bowl Recap: The Johnny Football Heisman Campaign 2013 officially kicked off in style at the Cotton Bowl, where QB Johnny Manziel absolutely dominated a hapless Oklahoma defense. Manziel threw for 287 yards and two TDs and rushed for 229 yards and two more scores, essentially putting the team on his back for the full game to continue to grow his legend in just his freshman year. QB Landry Jones completed 35-of-48 passing, but he had just 278 yards with a TD and a pick against a game Texas A&M defenses. The second half of this game was truly pathetic for the Sooners, who were shut out to show for their work. The Aggies finished up the day with 633 yards and 28 first downs, and they both rushed and passed the ball for over 300 yards. Not only did Manziel star, but he had three receivers that had at least 80 yards. Oklahoma didn’t have a single receiver with even 70.

2013 Cotton Bowl Result: Texas A&M 41 – Oklahoma 13

BBVA Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Ole Miss Rebels
BBVA Compass Bowl Date/Time: Saturday, January 5th, 1:00 ET
BBVA Compass Bowl Location: Legion Field, Birmingham, AL
BBVA Compass Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening BBVA Compass Bowl Odds: Ole Miss -2 (51.5)
Closing BBVA Compass Bowl Lines: Ole Miss -4.5 (54)

Click Here for our 2013 Compass Bowl Game Odds Analysis

BBVA Compass Bowl Preview: Ole Miss and Pittsburgh both needed to win their final game of the year to get into a bowl game this year, and both were able to get the job done. The Rebels at least played in the ridiculously tough SEC, and they played against Texas out of conference play for good measure. Pittsburgh lost to an FCS team (Youngstown State), and it was very lucky just to get here out of the weakened Big East. This is actually the third straight year that the Panthers have come to Legion Field for their bowl game. They lost to SMU last year but beat Kentucky two years ago. Ole Miss is going to be in a bowl game for the first time since the 2009 Cotton Bowl, and the club has won four bowl games in a row dating back to 2002.

BBVA Compass Bowl Recap: You just got the feeling from the get go that one of these teams wanted to be here in the Compass Bowl, and one had no desire whatsoever to do anything in preparation for this game. A pair of TD passes by QB Bo Wallace in the first quarter was the start of a great day for the sophomore, who ended the day with 151 yards and three scores. He did toss two picks, showing a bit of immaturity trying to force some throws at times, but there was never really a doubt as to which team was winning this game. RB I’Tavius Mathers finished off matters with a 62-yard touchdown run halfway through the fourth quarter to give Ole Miss a 28-point lead that would never be threatened again. U-Pitt finished up its season at a disappointing 6-7, and it had just 17 first downs and 266 yards of offense, 70 yards of which came on the final drive of the game when the game was totally out of reach.

2013 BBVA Compass Bowl Result: Ole Miss 38 – Pittsburgh 17 Bowl: Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves Bowl Date/Time: Sunday, January 6th, 9:00 ET Bowl Location: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Bowl Odds: Pick ‘Em (62)
Current Bowl Lines: Arkansas State -3 (64) Bowl Preview: Kent State and Arkansas State combined to win 20 games this year, and for the second straight year, the Bowl is going to be a great game between two of the better mid-major teams in America. The Red Wolves won the Sun Belt this year in the first year for Head Coach Gus Malzahn, while Kent State played in the MAC Championship Game and only just missed out on a spot in the BCS. The Red Wolves lost this game last year to Northern Illinois 38-20, and they have never won a bowl game before. The Golden Flashes have only played in one bowl game before, the 1972 Tangerine Bowl, a game that was lost to the University of Tampa. Bowl Recap: In a game that featured a pair of teams that were losing their coaches, Arkansas State prevailed 17-13 in a sloppy Bowl on Sunday night. Though there was only one turnover in the game, there were also just 634 total yards of offense in the game and 19 first downs a side. Kent State did the job on the ground, rushing for 193 yards and an average of 5.4 yards per carry, but in the end, it was the Arkansas State defense that shut down QB Spencer Keith that made the difference. The offense lacked for the Red Wolves, as QB Ryan Aplin threw for just 213 yards and a TD in his final game, but it was enough to get Arkansas State its first ever bowl victory. The game was finally sealed with just a minute left in the proceedings, as Keith scrambled for just five yards when he needed eight to continue the game, just 20 yards away from the end zone that would have won it.

2013 Bowl Result: Arkansas State 17 – Kent State 13

Discover BCS National Championship Game: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Discover BCS National Championship Game Date/Time: Monday, January 7th, 8:30 ET
Discover BCS National Championship Game Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL
Discover BCS National Championship Game Television Coverage: ESPN
Opening Discover BCS National Championship Game Odds: Alabama -10.5 (40)
Closing Discover BCS National Championship Game Lines: Alabama -10 (39.5)

Click Here for our 2013 BCS National Championship Game Odds Analysis

Click Here for our 2013 National Championship Keys to the Game

Discover BCS National Championship Game Preview: The computers may as well have been thrown out this year, as there was no doubt that the Crimson Tide and the Fighting Irish were the best two teams in America this year. Notre Dame was the only undefeated team in the land that was eligible to play for all of the marbles, while Alabama made it here by winning the SEC. There will be plenty of discussion for this game over the course of the next month and change, but it is clear that this is going to be a great defensive showdown between two of the best defenses that the country had to offer all year long.

Discover BCS National Championship Game Recap: It was all Alabama from the get go in this one, as the game was 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and 35-0 early in the second half before Notre Dame finally got itself on the scoreboard. The stats for this game were just as lopsided as the final score turned out to be. The Tide rolled to 532 yards of total offense, while Notre Dame had just 302 yards, many of which came in the final drives of the game after matters were totally out of hand. Aside from having his girlfriend showcased by Brent Musberger, QB AJ McCarron threw for 264 yards and four TDs. WR Amari Cooper had six grabs for 105 yards and two TDs, but the real production came on the ground. RB Eddie Lacy rushed 20 times for 140 yards and a score, while RB TJ Yeldon had 21 carries, 108 yards, and a touchdown to boot. Notre Dame only managed a total of 32 yards on the ground, well over 150 yards off of its average this year, and the defense was dominated for the first time all season long. This one was never close, as the Tide rolled to their 15th National Championship and their third title over the course of their last four seasons.

2013 BCS National Championship Game Result: Alabama 42 – Notre Dame 14

2010-11 Bowl Game Matchups, Free Picks & Previews

January 11th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2010-11 Bowl Game Matchups, Free Picks & Previews

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The final 2010 BCS Rankings are out, as are all of the bowl games for the 2010-11 season, and here at Bankroll Sports, we are analyzing the 35 bowl games and how everything shook out for the 70 teams that are going to be involved with bowl bashes this year, leading all the way up to the BCS Championship Game between the Oregon Ducks and the Auburn Tigers.

New Mexico Bowl: UTEP Miners vs. BYU Cougars
Game Time: Saturday, December 18th, 2:00 ET
Opening New Mexico Bowl Odds: BYU -11.5
Closing New Mexico Bowl Lines: BYU -10.5
The Buzz: The Miners are probably the least deserving of all of the bowl teams this year, as they clearly ended the season as a real downer team. BYU was on a roll before losing the Holy War. Still, they’re a deserving entrant into the New Mexico Bowl out of the MWC as a .500 club. Watch out for QB Jake Heaps to make a big time impact.
Final Wrap: The Cougs came out in this one and dominated from start to finish. The Miners just looked like a totally overmatched team and never had a shot at beating the New Mexico Bowl odds. A late TD made the score look somewhat more respectable… sort of. BYU 52 – UTEP 24
Click Here for our New Mexico Bowl Preview

Humanitarian Bowl: Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
Game Time: Saturday, December 18th, 5:30 ET
Opening Humanitarian Bowl Odds: Northern Illinois -3
Closing Humanitarian Bowl Lines: Northern Illinois -1.5
The Buzz: This is going to be the first game for the Huskies without Head Coach Jerry Kill, as he has left Northern Illinois to go to the Big Ten with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. It was awfully upsetting to lose out on the MAC Championship, but at least this was a nice consolation prize. Fresno State was one of the better teams in the WAC this year that you probably didn’t hear a lot about, but it has already beaten the Illinois Fighting Illini, a team that these Huskies already lost to.
Final Wrap: We were wrong in this one about the Huskies, as they came out with gusto and played very well, especially offensively. Harnish and Spann were the real deal against a solid Fresno State team. The Bulldogs just never got anything going, and Hill and company finished the year with a bitter defeat. Northern Illinois 40 – Fresno State 17
Click Here for our Humanitarian Bowl Preview

New Orleans Bowl: Ohio Bobcats vs. Troy Trojans
Game Time: Saturday, December 18th, 8:00 ET
Opening New Orleans Bowl Odds: Troy -1.5
Closing New Orleans Bowl Lines: Troy -2
The Buzz: The Bobcats were probably the last team that made it to a bowl game this year, as the Temple Owls were left behind in spite of the fact that they won eight games. The Trojans were a power once again in the Sun Belt this year, but they weren’t good enough to win the conference. They’ll look for another bowl win here in the Bayou in December. This line came off the board on Wednesday, December 15th when news broke that QB Boo Jackson was probably out of the game due to academic ineligibility.
Final Wrap: Jackson ended up playing in this game regardless, as he had his academic issues working out. However, a 24-0 second quarter for the Trojans really put the game away and made the point moot. Robinson threw for 387 yards and four scores, while Troy racked up 600+ yards of offense in a game that was never really in doubt. Troy 48 – Ohio 21
Click Here for our New Orleans Bowl Preview

Beef O’Brady’s Bowl: Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs. Louisville Cardinals
Game Time: Tuesday, December 21st, 8:00 ET
Opening Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Odds: Louisville -3.5
Closing Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Lines: Louisville -2
The Buzz: It’s great to see Louisville playing in a bowl game after seeing it get crippled by team after team in the Big East for years in the Steve Kragthorpe era. Head Coach Charlie Strong will count on RB Bilal Powell to take down the Golden Eagles, who came up just short of winning the Conference USA East Division. This isn’t a team to mess with, though. Just ask the UCF Knights, who were beaten by SMS on their home turf.
Final Wrap: Southern Miss was able to open up a 14-0 lead, but we give a lot of credit to Coach Strong for leading his troops back from a ton of bad spots to pull off a dramatic victory at the gun in the most thrilling bowl game of the year to date. The MVP of the game might have been QB Justin Burke, who was forced into action due to the injury to QB Adam Froman, and his two TDs and no picks were key to winning this game. The Beef O’Brady’s line ended up in a dead middle for the books, though the ‘Ville covered the closing number. Louisville 31 – Southern Mississippi 28
Click Here for our Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Bowl Preview

MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Utah Utes vs. Boise State Broncos
Game Time: Wednesday, December 22nd, 8:00 ET
Opening Las Vegas Bowl Odds: Boise State -17
Closing Las Vegas Bowl Lines: Boise State -15.5
The Buzz: What a matchup we have here! The Utes and Broncos were both Top 10 teams for quite some time this year, and they are clearly the top two teams from mid-major conferences this season. Utah is going to be counting on QB Terrence Cain to beat the Broncos, who are going to count on a probable Heisman Trophy finalist, QB Kellen Moore. The only question is whether Boise State is going to be up for this one, since it clearly doesn’t have the luster of any of the BCS bowl games.
Final Wrap: The Broncos really didn’t look like they were going to be ready for this game, but they were in a position to challenge this number, but when push came to shove, QB Kellen Moore was able to rally his troops and put together a fantastic performance. Boise State might be back in a great position next year after a dominating defense took care of business against the Utes. Boise State 26 – Utah 3
Click Here for our Las Vegas Bowl Preview

Poinsettia Bowl: Navy Midshipmen vs. San Diego State Aztecs
Game Time: Thursday, December 23rd, 8:00 ET
Opening Poinsettia Bowl Odds: San Diego State -5.5
Closing Poinsettia Bowl Lines: San Diego State -3
The Buzz: This seems like the perfect match made in heaven for this bowl game, as the home team, the Aztecs, are taking on a Navy team that will travel to anywhere in the country. The offensive firepower of these two teams is phenomenal, as San Diego State and QB Ryan Lindley will be taking on QB Ricky Dobbs and that patented triple option offense of the Naval Academy. This should be a great one at Qualcomm Stadium.
Final Wrap: Rain really hassled the field conditions at Qualcomm Stadium, and though the thought was there that this would only hamper the host Aztecs, this was totally a different story. Navy really never got anything going offensively, while RB Ronnie Hillman was able to run for 228 yards and three TDs as a part of a 555 yard effort to help sink Navy. San Diego State 35 – Navy 14
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Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii Warriors vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Game Time: Friday, December 24th, 8:00 ET
Opening Hawaii Bowl Odds: Hawaii -12
Closing Hawaii Bowl Lines: Hawaii -10
The Buzz: Two of the best mid-major teams that you probably haven’t heard a lot about duke it out on the Big Island. Obviously, the Warriors are going to be at a huge advantage here due to the fact that they are the home team and are used to this type of environment. QB Bryant Moniz has 5,000 passing yards for the season in his sights, but QB GJ Kinne and the Golden Hurricane aren’t going to go down without a fight. The winner of this one probably finishes the year with a Top 25 ranking.
Final Wrap: Everyone really thought that QB Bryant Moniz and company were just going to roll all over the Tulsa offense, and though there were a ton of yards to speak of, five picks combined were really killer to the effort. Give Tulsa a ton of credit for going into Aloha Stadium and coming out with a tremendous victory on a day in which it was a severe underdog. Every time Hawaii got close, the Golden Hurricane pulled away. Moniz reached his 5,000 yards for the year, but it was a bad day to be a Warrior. Tulsa 62 – Hawaii 35
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Little Caesars Bowl: Florida International Golden Panthers vs. Toledo Rockets
Game Time: Sunday, December 26th, 8:30 ET
Opening Little Caesars Bowl Odds: Toledo -2
Closing Little Caesars Bowl Lines: Florida International -2
The Buzz: The Rockets are going to be led into battle by a freshman quarterback in this one, as QB Austin Dantin could be back after missing the end of the regular season with a shoulder injury. FIU won the Sun Belt this year and is playing in its first bowl game in school history. QB Wesley Carroll has this type of experience with the Mississippi State Bulldogs, but this is his first chance to really take a team into battle in a big time duel that is very winnable.
Final Wrap: Give both of these teams all of the credit in the world, as they really did go all out to win this one. Scoring a TD for Toledo at the end prompted the Rockets to go for two to take a one point lead with less than two minutes to play, but FIU wouldn’t be denied, marching right now the field to kick the game winning field goal as time expired. It was the first bowl win in the first bowl appearance in the history of the Golden Panthers. The oddsmakers were killed in this one, as all of the late action was on Florida International. The end result was a push, but many on the Golden Panthers proved to be triumphant. Florida International 34 – Toledo 32
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Independence Bowl: Air Force Falcons vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Game Time: Monday, December 27th, 5:00 ET
Opening Independence Bowl Odds: Air Force -2.5
Closing Independence Bowl Lines: Air Force -3
The Buzz: If you like running the football, this one is for you! Both of these triple option offenses have their injury woes right now. RB Jared Tew isn’t going to be playing for Air Force, while QB Josh Nesbitt is out for the slumping Yellow Jackets. These two teams were also nightmares for college football betting fans all year, but one will reign supreme in the Independence Bowl.
Final Wrap: Turnovers really killed Georgia Tech in this defensive showdown. Neither one of these offenses proved to be that much better than the other, but both teams sustained some tremendously long drives over the course of the game. Georgia Tech fumbled inside the Air Force 5 yard line after a drive that ate over half the third quarter, and then proceeded to lose two punts via muffs. A pick on the final drive of the game ended any hope that the Ramblin’ Wreck had of a comeback. The Falcons did a lot more throwing the football than they probably figured upon, but in the end, their one TD and two field goals were enough to best the boys from the ACC. Air Force 14 – Georgia Tech 7
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Champs Sports Bowl: West Virginia Mountaineers vs. NC State Wolfpack
Game Time: Tuesday, December 28th, 6:30 ET
Opening Champs Sports Bowl Odds: West Virginia -2.5
Closing Champs Sports Bowl Lines: West Virginia -3
The Buzz: Two teams that were probably good enough to be BCS teams from their respective conferences, and this is going to be a great matchup between two of the best teams from solid conferences. The Mountaineers have a fantastic defense and will look to use this unit to get the job done against QB Russell Wilson and the Wolfpack, who came up just shy of winning the ACC Atlantic Division.
Final Wrap: This was supposed to be a game in which the West Virginia defense shined, but instead, it was just another showing as to why the ACC was a superior conference to the Big East on the season. QB Russell Wilson and company didn’t have to do all that much, as the Mountaineers just never got anything going offensive down in the Sunshine State. NC State 23 – West Virginia 7
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Insight Bowl: Missouri Tigers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Game Time: Tuesday, December 28th, 10:00 ET
Opening Insight Bowl Odds: Missouri -1
Closing Insight Bowl Lines: Missouri -3
The Buzz: These two teams have to feel like they got hosed just a bit, as both were solid Top 10 teams once upon a time this season. The Tigers won ten games and nearly won the Big XII North, and this is going to be a great challenge for QB Blaine Gabbert. Meanwhile, QB Ricky Stanzi knows that this is the end of the road on a great career, but his team has really fallen flat in recent weeks and was knocked from the Top 10 clear out of the Top 25. Iowa is currently off the board in this one due to the fact that there could be as many as a dozen players suspended for the Insight Bowl, including leading rusher RB Adam Robinson.
Final Wrap: This turned out to be one of the most exciting bowl games of the season to date, as the Insight Bowl provided us with some great offense, some stellar defense, and a timely finish. A pick six by Micah Hyde made the difference with less than six minutes to play for the Hawkeyes, who overcame over 500 yards of offense from the Tigers on the day to come away with the victory to snap a three game losing skid at the end of the season. Iowa 27 – Missouri 24
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Military Bowl: Maryland Terrapins vs. East Carolina Pirates
Game Time: Wednesday, December 29th, 2:30 ET
Opening Military Bowl Odds: Maryland -7.5
Closing Military Bowl Lines: Maryland -7.5
The Buzz: This is a great prize for the Terps, who get to play right around their home for a bowl game a year after finishing near the gutter in the ACC. HC Ralph Friedgen would really rather play in one of the elite ACC bowls, but this is going to be a great battle nonetheless. The Pirates have one of the most dynamic players in the game in QB Dominique Davis, but this defense is going to be tested in a big way, just as they were by most of Conference USA. Friedgen was forced out of this job and will likely be replaced by former Texas Tech Red Raiders mastermind, Mike Leach once this game is over with.
Final Wrap: There was certainly some animosity at the end of this one, as Maryland tried to run up the score to give it 50+ points as a gift to Friedgen for his departure from the school. The Terps really did dominate this one from the get go though, as it was clear that there were no answers for RB Da’Rel Scott, who rushed for 200 yards, or RB DJ Adams, who had four TDs on the ground. Maryland 51 – East Carolina 20
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Texas Bowl: Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Baylor Bears
Game Time: Wednesday, December 29th, 6:00 ET
Opening Texas Bowl Odds: Baylor -1.5
Current Texas Bowl Lines: Illinois -2.5
The Buzz: The Bears are getting to play right near their home, which will play right into the hands of QB Robert Griffin and company. Griffin is clearly going to be the man of the hour in this one, but QB Nathan Scheelhaase and RB Mikel LeShoure could be in for great games as well. This should be a great duel in the Lone Star State between two teams that are certainly up and coming in the country.
Final Wrap: Baylor was able to move the ball, but it just couldn’t put the pigskin in the end zone. ‘Over’ bettors probably deserved better, knowing that there were nearly 1,000 yards of offense between these two teams. In the end though, QB Nathan Scheelhaase was virtually perfect, and he and RB Mikel LeShoure really led the Illini well in a dominating win at the Texas Bowl. Illinois 38 – Baylor 14
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Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Arizona Wildcats
Game Time: Wednesday, December 29th, 9:15 ET
Opening Alamo Bowl Odds: Oklahokma State -6
Closing Alamo Bowl Lines: Oklahoma State -4.5
The Buzz: Both of these teams were Top 25 caliber squads for most of the season. QB Nick Foles was hurt for a portion of the season, but he should still have a field day against an Okie State defense that was suspect at times. It’s a shame that the Cowboys couldn’t win Bedlam and the Big XII South, and the punishment was dropping all the way to the Alamo Bowl. QB Brandon Weeden, RB Kendall Hunter, and WR Justin Blackmon make up one of the best offensive trios in the country.
Final Wrap: There was no stopping Blackmon and the Pokes on offense in this one. The game started off ominously for the Wildcats when they botched a punt and gave the ball right back to Okie State after stopping it three and out on the first possession of the game. The Cowboys made no mistakes and never looked back, as they were in front of this spread the rest of the way and were never challenged. This marks the second straight year in which UA was crushed in a bowl game by a Big XII foe after losing 33-0 last year against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Holiday Bowl. Oklahoma State 36 – Arizona 10
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Armed Forces Bowl: Army Black Knights vs. SMU Mustangs
Game Time: Thursday, December 30th, 12:00 ET
Opening Armed Forces Bowl Odds: SMU -7
Closing Armed Forces Bowl Lines: SMU -7.5
The Buzz: The Black Knights are going to a bowl game for the first time since 1996, and you know that there will be a strong black and gold contingent on hand for this one. Head Coach June Jones did a great job with SMU this year and nearly was able to win Conference USA. Though QB Kyle Padron would much rather be playing in the Liberty Bowl this year, this is a nice consolation prize for a team that is clearly on the rise.
Final Wrap: Army won its first bowl game in 25 years on SMU’s home turf thanks to a vicious defense that pitched a shutout in the first half and forced three turnovers. Still, at the end, the Mustangs could’ve won with a field goal, but the 47 yard boot sailed wide to seal their fate to finish at .500.
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Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas State Wildcats vs. Syracuse Orange
Game Time: Thursday, December 30th, 3:15 ET
Opening Pinstripe Bowl Odds: Kansas State -2.5
Closing Pinstripe Bowl Lines: Syracuse -1
The Buzz: The first annual Pinstripe Bowl isn’t going to be the greatest game of the year, but it could certainly be an entertaining one. You know that the Orange faithful are going to be out in droves for this one, as this is their first bowl game since the team was legitimate relevant. K-State struggled down the stretch after briefly hitting the Top 25, and RB Daniel Thomas is going to be leaned upon heavily to slow down a Syracuse defense that had some fantastic games in the Big East this year.
Final Wrap: It was arguably the best game of the season when these two teams hooked up, proving once again why we, the college football betting fans, absolutely love bowl games. These two teams went back to forth all game long, as neither team led by more than eight points the entire way. When push came to shove, a failed fake field goal attempt put the Wildcats in a hole, but they had a chance to tie the game. However, a personal foul call that was incredibly questionable took the two point conversion back to the 18 yard line. QB Carson Coffman failed on the convert, and the Cats never got the ball back.
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Music City Bowl: North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Tennesseee Volunteers
Game Time: Thursday, December 30th, 6:45 ET
Opening Music City Bowl Odds: North Carolina -2.5
Closing Music City Bowl Lines: Tennessee -1
The Buzz: These two teams probably underachieved for most of the season, as the Tar Heels and Volunteers really had some big time expectations. UNC really has fought well this year without a big chunk of its defense, and it will be happy to be here playing in Nashville on a season which could have ended in a disaster. The Vols won their final four games of the season to become bowl eligible, which was a great accomplishment in the SEC for Head Coach Derek Dooley and company.
Final Wrap: You will never see a crazier ending to a game than we saw in the Music City Bowl. Tennessee had this game won until the very end. Forget about the officiating and the questionable calls in the last 30 seconds. The bottom line for the Vols is that they shouldn’t have allowed North Carolina to march 60 yards with no timeouts, no questions asked. This was the first OT game of the year, and the argument could be made that UT really should have gone for two in the overtime when it had the chance. Instead, North Carolina got an INT in the second possession in the extra frame and put it away with a game winning field goal to give both ‘under’ bettors and Tennessee backers a horrendously difficult beat.
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Holiday Bowl: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Washington Huskies
Game Time: Thursday, December 30th, 10:00 ET
Opening Holiday Bowl Odds: Nebraska -13.5
Current Holiday Bowl Lines: Nebraska -11.5
The Buzz: The Cornhuskers will be representing the Big XII one last time at the Holiday Bowl, when they take on the Huskies. One of the best, young QBs in the nation, QB Taylor Martinez will take on one of the best veterans, QB Jake Locker. This is the first time the great Locker is going to be playing in a bowl game, and it should be a great swan song for a man that is going to be one of the top draft picks this year.
Final Wrap: We knew the way this line plummeted down the stretch boded well for the Huskies. They got a tremendous amount of revenge for that loss in the regular season and essentially dominated the Huskers the same way that they were dominated back in Seattle earlier this year. QB Jake Locker went out a winner in his first bowl game, giving Head Coach Steve Sarkisian the biggest coaching win of his career.
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Meineke Car Care Bowl: South Florida Bulls vs. Clemson Tigers
Game Time: Friday, December 31st, 12:00 ET
Opening Meineke Car Care Bowl Odds: Clemson -5
Closing Meineke Car Care Bowl Lines: Clemson -4.5
The Buzz: This isn’t the sexiest game of the year by any means, but there are certainly some real stars that can shine in this one. QB BJ Daniels has led his team to a bowl game once again as a sophomore, but he is going to have a tough test trying to keep up with RB Andre Ellington and the Clemson offense.
Final Wrap: South Florida really took the “bull” by the horns in this one, as they used a great game from QB BJ Daniels to dominate this one in a lot greater fashion than the final score suggests. The Tigers really didn’t get anything going in this one until right at the very end, when it scored a pair of TDs and made things awfully interesting the final two minutes. Still, this was a game in which South Florida really never had a question about losing. South Florida 31 – Clemson 26
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Sun Bowl: Miami Hurricanes vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Game Time: Friday, December 31st, 2:00 ET
Opening Sun Bowl Odds: Miami -3.5
Closing Sun Bowl Lines: Miami -2.5
The Buzz: It will be interesting to see how the Hurricanes react to life without Head Coach Randy Shannon, as this quite often is a situation where a team rallies around its new skipper. The Fighting Irish won their last three games of the season to get into this bowl game, and QB Tommy Rees has done really well in relief of the injured QB Dayne Crist.
Final Wrap: It was an absolutely awful day for QB Jacory Harris, who was picked off three times on consecutive drives and was benched in the second quarter in favor of the banged up QB Stephen Morris. Still, the Hurricanes fought their hardest to at least make this game reasonable. In the end though, there was too much Tommy Rees and too much WR Michael Floyd for Miami to stop. Notre Dame led this sucker wire to wire and dominated the Sun Bowl. Notre Dame 33 – Miami 17
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Liberty Bowl: UCF Knights vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Game Time: Friday, December 31st, 3:30 ET
Opening Liberty Bowl Odds: Georgia -7.5
Closing Liberty Bowl Lines: Georgia -6
The Buzz: The Knights are out to really claim a big time scalp here, as the Bulldogs were one of the better teams in the SEC East down the stretch this season. UCF won Conference USA with ease and was really the best team that the conference had to offer us this year. UGA got very, very lucky with a freshman QB in Aaron Murray and having WR AJ Green suspended for the first four games of the season just to be in this spot. We figure that Head Coach Mark Richt needs to beat the Knights to keep his job, and even that might not be assured.
Final Wrap: It wasn’t the prettiest work of art in the world, but the Knights nailed down their first bowl win in school history on RB Latavius Murray’s TD run in the fourth quarter, the only touchdown of the game. Georgia’s offense never really got involved in the game, and Head Coach Mark Richt is inevitably going to find himself having to answer a ton of questions after finishing under .500 for the first time in a decade and a half. UCF 10 – Georgia 6
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Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Florida State Seminoles vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Game Time: Friday, December 31st, 7:30 ET
Opening Chick-Fil-A Bowl Odds: South Carolina -3
Closing Chick-Fil-A Bowl Lines: South Carolina -2
The Buzz: The runner up in the ACC Championship Game earned a great trip to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl this year in Atlanta, and though the Noles probably should be taking on a lesser SEC foe, the Bulldogs are the team that they are facing. Head Coach Steve Spurrier is familiar with Florida State coming on the schedule against the Florida Gators every year. This is the first time the Ol’ Ball Coach will face the team that terrorized him for years in the Sunshine State.
Final Wrap: DB Greg Reid made a real case to be one of the best cover men and kick/punt retuners in the nation in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, as he paced the Noles to a relatively easy victory over South Carolina. The Gamecocks lost RB Marcus Lattimore on the first drive of the game and never really recovered. They also never led on the night. QB Christian Ponder didn’t make it out of the first quarter in the final game in his career, but QB EJ Manuel played well in a game that featured a ton of defense. In the end though, FSU got the best of its old nemesis for the first bowl win for Head Coach Jimbo Fisher. Florida State 26 – South Carolina 17
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Ticket City Bowl: Northwestern Wildcats vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Game Time: Saturday, January 1st, 12:00 ET
Opening Ticket City Bowl Odds: Texas Tech -9.5
Closing Ticket City Bowl Lines: Texas Tech -7.5
The Buzz: The Wildcats have really slumped during the end of the season since QB Dan Persa was injured for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. Truth be told, they’re probably lucky to be playing in a bowl game after such a terrible end of the year. Texas Tech has played well at times, though the Big XII really took its toll on the Red Raiders all season long. This could be a real shootout in the Lone Star State.
Final Wrap: The Red Raiders were flying high offensively from the get go, and the Wildcats just never really had enough going on defense to really make this a game again. Texas Tech was the rightful winner in this one, as QB Taylor Potts and his offense were just never stopped on a consistent basis. Give Northwestern some credit for getting so many points on the board even with so many pieces to the puzzle out on offense, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to claim the first Ticket City Bowl. Texas Tech 45 – Northwestern 38
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Outback Bowl: Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Florida Gators
Game Time: Saturday, January 1st, 1:00 ET
Opening Outback Bowl Odds: Florida -7
Closing Outback Bowl Lines: Florida -7
The Buzz: The Gators moved up on the SEC bowl ladder this year to stay in the state of Florida, but they are a very suspect team for this game. Penn State got to this point by using a pair of quarterbacks, but the ball right now belongs to QB Matt McGloin. These two storied programs have a lot to prove on New Year’s Day, and it should be a good one at Raymond James Stadium. The stunning news of Head Coach Urban Meyer’s departure from Florida has sent shockwaves through this game, as it will mark the end of an era in Gainesville. New Head Coach Will Muschamp will be looking on intently in Tampa Bay in this one as he prepares to take over his first major college program.
Final Wrap: The Nittany Lions really deserved better in this game, as they were in front of this number the entire way until QB Matt McGloin threw a pick six with less than two minutes to play. Florida had a great day offensively, using three different men to take snaps, and though the Penn State defense was admirable on the day, the pick six and a blocked punt returned for a TD were too much to overcome. Florida 37 – Penn State 24
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Capital One Bowl: Michigan State Spartans vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Game Time: Saturday, January 1st, 1:00 ET
Opening Capital One Bowl Odds: Alabama -11
Closing Capital One Bowl Lines: Alabama -7.5
The Buzz: The Spartans were the odd team out in this mess known as the three teams stuck atop the Big Ten at 11-1, and though Head Coach Mark Dantonio didn’t take his team to the BCS, he did bring it to the Capital One Bowl, where it will face a stern challenge from the defending National Champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide. This was a very uncharacteristic three loss season for the Tide, who hope to rebound from a bad loss to the Auburn Tigers in the Iron Bowl with a ‘W’ on New Year’s Day.
Final Wrap: There was a ton of late movement on the Spartans in this one, but my, was it not warranted! This game was absolutely a romp from square one, and there was nothing that a physically dominated Michigan State team could do about it. This was the biggest beat down of the bowl season for good reason, as the defending champs made a huge statement for the start of next season. Alabama 49 – Michigan State 7
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Gator Bowl: Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Michigan Wolverines
Game Time: Saturday, January 1st, 1:30 ET
Opening Gator Bowl Odds: Mississippi State -6
Closing Gator Bowl Lines: Mississippi State -3
The Buzz: Head Coach Dan Mullen had a great season this year, taking the Bulldogs to eight wins in the toughest conference and the toughest division in America. The Wolverines are going to be in question during this whole time leading up to this bowl game, as it is going to be very questionable whether Head Coach Rich Rodriguez has done enough to keep his job. QB Denard Robinson was one of the most dynamic players in the entire country this year, and he will be on display against a tough, tough ‘D’ in this one.
Final Wrap: It was the worst day in a bowl game in the history of Michigan football, and we can’t help but wonder if this was the last time that we will see Head Coach Rich Rodriguez on the sidelines in maize and blue. QB Chris Relf had a coming out party, while the defense for the Bulldogs flexed their muscles against QB Denard Robinson and the Big Blue offense. The second quarter blew this game open, but the second half is what will probably get Rodriguez dismissed. Mississippi State 52 – Michigan 14
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Rose Bowl: TCU Horned Frogs vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Game Time: Saturday, January 1st, 4:30 ET
Opening Rose Bowl Odds: TCU -3
Closing Rose Bowl Lines: TCU -3.5
The Buzz: This is the chance for the little giants to really make a big time difference in a huge game. Bringing the Horned Frogs to Pasadena certainly breaks tradition, but it is a deserving spot for the 12-0 mid majors to be. The Badgers had a great season in the Big Ten this year, and they really could make a statement in a big way if they win this game and slay the best small team in the nation. The rushing trio of RBs John Clay, James White, and Montee Ball could all end up with 1,000 yards if this game is a blowout in favor of the Badgers.
Final Wrap: It was the case of a little man beating up the big boys on New Year’s Day, as the Horned Frogs took the best shot that the Badgers had to offer and picked up the win in the Rose Bowl. The final stand came on a two point conversion play in which the Horned Frogs came up with the stop, which marked the biggest win in the history of the program. Wisky got its cover on the Rose Bowl odds, but no one in Fort Worth really cares. TCU 21 – Wisconsin 19
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Fiesta Bowl: Connecticut Huskies vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Game Time: Saturday, January 1st, 8:00 ET
Opening Fiesta Bowl Odds: Oklahoma -17
Closing Fiesta Bowl Lines: Oklahoma -14.5
The Buzz: The Huskies are playing in their first BCS bowl game ever, but this is going to be a very, very difficult task indeed. They’ll be facing one of the best offenses in the country, and a unit that is going to have a full month to prepare for the worst that a Big East defense can present. Yikes. RB Jordan Todman is going to have to be huge for UConn in this one if it plans on making any noise whatsoever. The Sooners will deploy all of their best weapons in this one, including QB Landry Jones, RB DeMarco Murray, and WR Ryan Broyles.
Final Wrap: It was a bad night for the Huskies, who ultimately ended up getting trounced by the Sooners and lost their head coach all in one swoop. It appears as though it is Head Coach Randy Edsall that is going to the Maryland Terrapins and not Mike Leach. For Oklahoma, coming out and dominating against the Big East champs really did set aside all of the lousy play in this location in the past. Oklahoma 48 – Connecticut 20
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Orange Bowl: Stanford Cardinal vs. Virginia Tech Hokies
Game Time: Monday, January 3rd, 8:00 ET
Opening Orange Bowl Odds: Stanford -3
Closing Orange Bowl Lines: Stanford -3.5
The Buzz: The Cardinal deservedly ended up in the BCS, but they were probably treated awfully poorly by the BCS bowl committees, as they have to travel all the way across the country and already have their share of problems trying to fill games in their own stadium. Virginia Tech was a lock to play here after winning the ACC, and the Hokies are going to try to send out QB Tyrod Taylor, the ACC’s Player of the Year and the school’s winningest starting quarterback, out with a bang.
Final Wrap: If this really was the last time that we saw both QB Andrew Luck and Head Coach Jim Harbaugh in Stanford colors, it was certainly a sight to remember. A huge second half poured it on for the Cardinal to take down the ACC champs, though there is really nothing for Head Coach Frank Beamer to hang his head about. The Pac-10 clearly had its best showing of the bowl season to date. Stanford 40 – Virginia Tech 12
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Sugar Bowl: Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Game Time: Tuesday, January 4th, 8:00 ET
Opening Sugar Bowl Odds: Ohio State -3
Closing Sugar Bowl Lines: Ohio State -3
The Buzz: The Buckeyes have to feel a bit slighted by the fact that they aren’t going to Pasadena this year, but the bottom line is that they were beaten the Wisconsin Badgers and get what they deserve for it. Arkansas made a huge run through the SEC West at the end of the season, and it owes a thank you card to the Alabama Crimson Tide for blowing that 24-0 lead against the Auburn Tigers to become the SEC’s No. 2 team. Still, QB Ryan Mallett and company deserved a BCS bid after winning ten games in the rough and tumble SEC.
Final Wrap: On a day in which the Buckeyes really thought they were going to be running away with the Sugar Bowl title, Arkansas really fought valiently, and had it picked up a blocked punt and potentially returned it for a TD instead of just falling on the ball, this might have been a different scenario. In what amounted to be one of the best bowl games of the season though, it was QB Terrelle Pryor, potentially making his last appearance as a Buckeye, who really shined, as he got it done with his legs and his arm, making the difference in a narrow escape from the Bayou. Ohio State 31 – Arkansas 26
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Game Time: Thursday, January 6th, 8:00 ET
Opening Bowl Odds: Miami -2
Closing Bowl Lines: Middle Tennessee State -1.5
The Buzz: The Blue Raiders found their way into a bowl game in spite of the fact that they got off to a horrifying start to the season that included QB Dwight Dasher getting suspended for the first month of the campaign. Miami was the shocking winner of the MAC this year, pulling off the upset as 18.5 point underdogs. Hopefully, the late bowl start time can give enough time for QB Zac Dysert to get back into the lineup.
Final Wrap: QB Dwight Dasher and RB Phillip Tanner both had some great gains on the ground in this one, but there was just no making up for some dumb mistakes and some huge plays by the Redhawks. There was never a doubt that Miami was the better team in this game, and though this was one that really did stay close for a long period of time, QB Austin Boucher was able to generate enough offense in the end to post a relatively easy victory. Miami 35 – Middle Tennessee State 21
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Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M Aggies vs. LSU Tigers
Game Time: Friday, January 7th, 8:00 ET
Opening Cotton Bowl Odds: LSU -2
Closing Cotton Bowl Lines: LSU -1
The Buzz: The Aggies and Tigers are playing in one of the annual classics that never gets ignored. The Cotton Bowl is a fantastic game every single year, and this won’t be an exception. QB Ryan Tannehill was great down the stretch, as Texas A&M won a number of games that it didn’t seem like it had a chance in, and the end result was a well deserved stay-cation in the Lone Star State.
Final Wrap: The LSU defense really excelled in this one, especially down the stretch. The Tigers got a solid game from RB Steven Ridley, who became academically eligible for the game and ended up rumbling for 105 yards and a TD. Little known RB Spencer Ware accounted for 102 yards, while QB Jordan Jefferson, who was much maligned this season, went the entire way under center, throwing for 158 yards and three TDs and rushing for 67 yards and a score to boot. LSU 41 – Texas A&M 24
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BBVA Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Kentucky Wildcats
Game Time: Saturday, January 8th, 12:00 ET
Opening BBVA Compass Bowl Odds: Pittsburgh -3
Closing BBVA Compass Bowl Lines: Pittsburgh -4.5
The Buzz: The Wildcats know that they barely snuck into a bowl game this year with six wins out of the SEC, but it’s still good to see Head Coach Joker Phillips bringing his team to a bowl in his first season in charge in Lexington. Pittsburgh was one of the biggest disappointments of the year, as it had no business ever blowing the Big East title. RB Dion Lewis and RB Ray Graham are going to be the keys to victory should the Panthers earn it in this bowl game.
Final Wrap: In the end the, the loss of suspended QB Mike Hartline really did prove to be too much for UK to overcome. The Cats never really got great play out of their offense, and the defense couldn’t stop either of the U-Pitt running backs consistently enough to make a big difference. Contrary to popular belief, the Panthers really did look like a squad that wanted to be here in Alabama, and they were easily the better team for the majority of the game. Pittsburgh 27 – Kentucky 10
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Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Boston College Eagles vs. Nevada Wolf Pack
Game Time: Sunday, January 9th, 9:00 ET
Opening Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Odds: Nevada -9.5
Closing Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Lines: Nevada -7.5
The Buzz: Two of the hottest teams in the country hook up in San Fran. The WAC champs, the Wolf Pack, are surprising entrants into this game, but it is absolutely deserving after erasing a three score deficit against the Boise State Broncos at home. BC looks like a renewed squad under the direction of QB Chase Rettig. The defense has a lot of work to do to be able to figure out how to stop the Pistol attack.
Final Wrap: The Wolf Pack seniors that worked so hard to get to this point finished out the season with flying colors, though they weren’t quite good enough offensively on this day to beat the college football odds. The Eagles were great on defense, but Rettig looked lost under center, and he just wasn’t able to capitalize on opportunities given to him. In the end, Nevada was clearly the better team, but BC was a viable option and the winning one for NCAA football picks. Nevada 20 – Boston College 13
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BCS National Championship: Oregon Ducks vs. Auburn Tigers
Game Time: Monday, January 10th, 8:30 ET
Opening BCS National Championship Odds: Auburn -3
Closing BCS National Championship Lines: Oregon -1
The Buzz: The Ducks and Tigers were two of the best teams all season long, and they were the only two teams from major college football that were able to run the table. They are both deserving candidates in this game, and two of the best players in the nation are going to be on display as well. Probable Heisman Trophy winner, QB Cam Newton is going to be squaring off against probable Heisman Trophy runner up RB LaMichael James. This should be an up and down affair in which both of these teams should be lighting up the scoreboard at will.
Final Wrap: It was supposed to be an offensive showcase. We saw plenty of thrills and spills, and there were plenty of yards, but in a game where both teams were expected to hit 40 points, it took a Wes Byrum field goal as time expired to get to 40 points in total between the two teams. RB Michael Dyer’s ridiculous 37 yard run on the closing drive of the game set up the winner, and it gave the Tigers their first title in the Gene Chizik era. Auburn 22 – Oregon 19
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