The College Football Bowl Season started TWO weeks ago but the most important Bowl games will take place THIS weekend. BOTH College Football Playoff games will take place this week as well as the REST of the New Year’s Six Bowls starting TONIGHT. There are only a HANDFUL of games left in the College Football season, so we have to CHERISH all the remaining games.
For Part 1 of the Bowl Mania picks, I picked FIVE games, but did not finish as great as I would have liked in them. I WILL be picking the National Championship game so after this week, there is only ONE game left for me to pick this season. This week I will be picking all of the New Year’s Six games as well as the Texas A&M game which kicks off in a couple of hours, to make up the SEVEN pack for this week. As always, I have the recap of last week’s picks FOLLOWED by this week’s picks.
Bowl Mania Part 1 Recap-
Lock of the Week 1- My Pick- Oregon outright, Actual- Boise State outright
Lock of the Week 2- My Pick- Florida State outright, Actual- Florida State outright
Upset of the Week 1- My Pick- West Virginia Outright, Actual- Utah outright
Upset of the Week 2, My Pick- Texas outright, Actual- Texas outright
National Marquee game- My Pick- TCU outright, Actual- TCU won but did not cover
Record for Part 1 of Bowl Mania- 2-3, Overall Record after Part 1 of Bowl Mania- 38-43
The games for this week are Texas A&M vs Wake Forest, USC vs Ohio State, Washington vs Penn State, Miami vs Wisconsin, UCF vs Auburn, Oklahoma vs Georgia, AND Clemson vs Alabama.
Game 1- Friday Afternoon, Belk Bowl, Texas A&M vs Wake Forest (Charlotte, NC) (Line- Wake Forest -3.5)
This is the first game for the Aggies after FIRING their head coach Kevin Sumlin. Jimbo Fisher was HIRED to replace Sumlin, but he will NOT be coaching this game. Interim head coach Jeff Banks will be leading the Aggies against Wake Forest, who finished the season at 7-5 just like the Aggies. Wake Forest is the BETTER team right now and that will show on the build today and they should be able to WIN this game and COVER the spread. The Aggies should use this game to see which players are going to FIT in the system of Jimbo Fisher for next season.
Game 2- Friday Night, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, USC vs Ohio State (Arlington, TX) (Line- Ohio State -7.5)
This is a rare game between TWO Power Five Conference Champions that did NOT make the College Football Playoff. BOTH teams are going to take this game seriously to TRY and show that the committee made a BAD decision by leaving them out. I do NOT think the actual game is going to be close and I would be shocked if USC does not WIN this game. Sam Darnold is playing in his last game for the Trojans before going to the NFL and he will like to IMPROVE his draft stock by WINNING tonight.
Ohio State has had a DISAPPOINTING season, but they are still YOUNG at some of the KEY positions, so they can use tonight as a way to get some EXPERIENCE on the BIG stage for the YOUNG players and they can use that to go to the Playoff next season. I would have probably picked USC in this game if they were the FAVORITES in this game, but INSTEAD they are the UNDERDOGS, so I going to JUMP on this line and pick the Trojans to WIN outright.
Game 3- Saturday Afternoon, PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Washington vs Penn State (Glendale, AZ) (Line- Penn State -2.5)
BOTH teams in this game tomorrow are going to LOOK BACK to this season as, “What Could Have Been?” BOTH teams had DISAPPOINTING losses this season, which kept them OUT of the Playoff, if they had WON a couple of more games, then they would have been IN. Luckily for BOTH teams, they get a chance to play in the New Year’s Six games despite NOT even WINNING their divisions in their respective conferences.
Penn State is the better team among these TWO teams and they will have the BEST player in the game on their sideline in Saquon Barkley, who has had a ROUGH end to the season. Early this season, Barkley was going to be a CONTENDER for the Heisman Trophy, but he was NOT even ONE of the FINALISTS for the trophy. He will RUN all over Washington in his last game for the Nittany Lions before going to the NFL and will help Penn State COVER the spread EASILY.
Game 4- Saturday Night, Capital One Orange Bowl, Miami vs Wisconsin (Miami Gardens, FL) (Line- Wisconsin -4.5)
BOTH these teams had a chance to play in the College Football Playoff with a WIN on Championship Weekend, but NEITHER team got the WIN and are now OUT of the Playoff. This game is a HOME game for Miami, as they play their HOME games at Hard Rock Stadium, which is the site for this game tomorrow night. Even though this is a HOME game for Miami, I expect MORE Wisconsin fans at this game, because Big Ten fans travel to see their teams play around the country.
The Wisconsin defense is going to be TOUGH to handle for Miami, but the real question in this game is the Wisconsin offense against the TURNOVER Chain of Miami. Wisconsin could NOT do much offensively against Ohio State in the Big Ten Title game and I think that will continue in this game if they continue to rely on quarterback Alex Hornibrook. The Badgers need to just RUN the ball, the WHOLE game and they will WIN this game EASILY.
I think the Badgers’ defense will be able to stop the Hurricanes and help Wisconsin WIN the Orange Bowl and COVER the spread.
Game 5- Monday Afternoon, Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, UCF vs Auburn (Atlanta) (Line- Auburn -9.5)
UCF goes into this game thinking that they DESERVED to be IN the Playoff, but were LEFT OUT because they are not in the Power Five. The Knights will come looking to finish this season UNDEFEATED in the last game of head coach Scott Frost, who will be the head coach at Nebraska next season. The Knights will keep this game CLOSE and make things difficult for Auburn.
The Tigers played THREE of the College Football Playoff teams this season and went 2-1 in those games. The Tigers would have been IN the Playoff if not for a BLOW OUT LOSS to Georgia in the SEC Championship game. The Tigers will finish THIRD in the FINAL AP Poll if they are able to WIN this game and I do think they will find a way to WIN this game. UCF is trying to get a PERFECT season, so I think the Knights will keep it close and NOT allow Auburn to COVER.
Game 6- Monday Late Afternoon, Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, Oklahoma vs Georgia (Pasadena, CA) (Line- Georgia-2.5)
This is the Granddaddy of them ALL between TWO teams that TRADITIONALLY do NOT play in the Rose Bowl. This is the first Semifinal of the College Football Playoff game between the #2 and #3 Seeds. Oklahoma is the HIGHER seed in this game, but Georgia is the FAVORITE in Vegas.
BOTH teams match up really WELL in this game and it is going to be really FUN to watch for ALL Football fans on New Year’s Day. I think that Heisman Trophy Winner Baker Mayfield will make ENOUGH plays on this BIG stage to lead the Sooners to WIN in this game and go to the National Championship game. Georgia is one of the YOUNGEST teams in the country and I expect them to be back in the Playoff next season.
Game 7- Monday Night, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Clemson vs Alabama (New Orleans) (Line- Alabama -2.5)
For the THIRD year in a row, these TWO teams will face off in the College Football Playoff. The TWO teams split the last TWO meetings, but this is the FIRST time that they are NOT playing in the National Championship game. Clemson had a GREAT season this year after WINNING the National Championship over Alabama last season and has the BETTER roster in this game.
Alabama is looking to END its “short” Championship DROUGHT and play in the National Championship Game for the THIRD straight season. Head Coach Nick Saban simply does NOT LOSE to the SAME team TWICE in a row and he will have his some TRICKS up his SLEEVE on Monday Night to led the Crimson Tide to WIN this game. Clemson is the HIGHER ranked team in this match up, but they are the UNDERDOG, which tells us Vegas knows something we do not, and we all know that you CANNOT make MONEY betting AGAINST Alabama.
My picks for Part TWO of Bowl Mania are Wake Forest, USC, Penn State, Wisconsin, UCF, Oklahoma, AND Alabama. Check back next week to see my pick for the National Championship game on January 8th.