Record of 4-1 in week one of bowls, which brings the record to 52-40-1 on the season. Much better slate moving forward.
Cactus Bowl: Boise State (-7) vs. Baylor
Although there is a new coach to impress, Baylor’s players would like to end this season as possible. Boise State saves its best against the power five and expect the Broncos to win big over the mostly disinterested Bears.
Foster Farms Bowl: #19 Utah (-5.5) vs. Indiana
This line is suspicious. Indiana sneaks into a bowl against weak Big Ten opponents, while Utah is a top-20 team against a strong schedule. The Utes boast one of the best running games in the PAC 12 and will gash the Hoosiers.
Alamo Bowl: #12 Oklahoma State (+3) vs. #10 Colorado
The Buffaloes are the most improved team in D1 this year, but the Cowboys will be the best offense CU has faced all year.
Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs. TCU, Pick ’em
Georgia’s strength in the trenches on both sides of the ball will be the difference. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill saves his worst for his best opponents.
Music City Bowl: #21 Tennessee vs. Nebraska, Over 59
If it weren’t for a giant gag against in-state rival Vanderbilt in the season finale, the Vols would be playing in the Sugar Bowl. That being said, neither one of these teams have a strong defense and both boast competent quarterbacks with a litany of weapons on offense.
Sun Bowl: #18 Stanford (-2.5) vs. North Carolina
The Sun Bowl is one of the oldest bowls on the docket and it is also the epitome of bowl season in the fact that success in this bowl is so strongly predicated on a team’s desire to play in El Paso when the weather is often snowy and blustery. Stanford’s ground game travels better than UNC’s passing attack.
Orange Bowl: #6 Michigan vs. #11 Florida State (+6.5)
The Seminoles’ athletes on the outside will be too much for the Wolverines to contend with – a bit of an upgrade from the wide outs from Maryland, Rutgers, and Indiana that Michigan is used to facing.
Taxslayer Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky (+3.5), over 62
The Wildcats are in their first bowl in a few years and while defending the triple option will provide its own set of obstacles, the Yellow Jackets’ secondary will be tested by the UK passing attack. Expect a high scoring affair in Jacksonville.
Peach Bowl: #1 Alabama (-14) vs. #4 Washington
Roll Tide – enough said.
Fiesta Bowl: #2 Clemson (+3) vs. #3 Ohio State
Clemson started the season slow, which caused them to fly under the radar compared to the other elite teams in the country. DeShaun Watson will assert himself as the best quarterback in the country and the Tigers defense will harass J.T. Barrett all game.
Outback Bowl: #17 Florida (-3) vs. Iowa, Under 40
These two teams possess the two worst offenses in all of bowl season. This will be the ugliest bowl, but the SEC athletes will be the difference.
Cotton Bowl: #8 Wisconsin vs. #15 Western Michigan, Under 53
Similar offensive ineptitude will be on display in the Cotton Bowl. Hard to bet the line, but the under is a lock.
Rose Bowl: #9 USC (-6.5) vs. #5 Penn State
Penn State’s path to the Rose Bowl is littered with a cream puff nonconference schedule, a fluke win over Ohio State, and a who’s who of the worst teams in the Big Ten. USC will overwhelm Penn State and will win big. Sam Darnold becomes a household name after this game,
Sugar Bowl: #7 Oklahoma vs. #14 Auburn (+3), Over 64
Hard to trust Big Game Bob, but the last time the Sooners were in the Sugar Bowl they upset a heavily-favored Alabama squad. While Auburn’s defense has been a surprise this year, neither defense strikes fear in the heart of the offenses. Auburn will run all over Oklahoma in a high-scoring affair in the bayou.