At the start here, let me go ahead and point out (proudly, it must be said) that my bowl season simply could not be starting out much better. I mean, my picks have been dead-on.
In fact, after the first weekend of bowl action, my record stands at a remarkable (yeah, I said it: remarkable) 5-0.
It just doesn’t get any better than that, dear readers.
Whether or not I can keep up this pace remains to be seen. But I’m going to give it a shot anyway, as I offer my picks and predictions for the next round of 2014-2015 bowl games. Enjoy.
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dec. 26, 1 p.m., ESPN)
Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech: It seems like we say this pretty much every year, but yeah, this is a big bowl season for the Big Ten. But though I’d like to say that I have some level of confidence in the Illini, well, I don’t. Louisiana Tech 28, Illinois 17
Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 26, 4:30 p.m., ESPN)
Rutgers vs. North Carolina: I’d like to say I have some level of confidence in Rutgers, too. Well, I don’t. North Carolina 24, Rutgers 13
BITCOIN St. Petersburg Bowl (Dec. 26, 8 p.m. ESPN)
N.C. State vs. UCF: Remember way back in September, when the 2014 college football season kicked off with that comeback win by Penn State over in beautiful Dubiln, Ireland? Remember who the Nittany Lions beat? Yep, they beat UCF. And given what we saw out of Penn State in the second half of the season this year, you have to wonder how UCF managed to let that opener slip away. Central Florida 34, N.C. State 27
Military Bowl (Dec. 27, 1 p.m., ESPN)
Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech: I am still trying to figure out how in the world this completely average Virginia Tech team went into Columbus and thoroughly beat an Ohio State team that is playing as well as anyone in the country at the moment. Just a staggering result. Cincinnati 23, Virginia Tech 20
Hyundai Sun Bowl (Dec. 27, 2 p.m. CBS)
Arizona State vs. Duke: After the seasons these two teams just had, you have to wonder if both of them were expecting to do a bit better than the Sun Bowl (all due respect to the Sun Bowl, of course). David Cutcliffe continues to amaze with the Blue Devils. And he’ll pull the upset here. Duke 37, Arizona State 34
Duck Commander Independence Bowl (Dec. 27, 3:30 p.m., ABC)
Miami vs. South Carolina: A wonderfully named bowl game that will this season welcome two teams enduring borderline miserable seasons. In a battle of Who Cares Less?, the Ball Coach will, well, outcoach Al Golden. Who simply hasn’t delivered the results I expected him to in Coral Gables. South Carolina 21, Miami 17
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 27, 4:30 p.m., ESPN)
Boston College vs. Penn State: No, it could not be said that either of these teams plays attractive football. And no, it could not be said that this figures to be among the most entertaining bowl games of the season. And yet somehow, it’s already sold out, and tickets are selling in the secondary market at more than $100 a pop. In other words, the Pinstripe Bowl people are pleased. Penn State 17, Boston College 14
National University Holiday Bowl (Dec. 27, 8 p.m., ESPN)
Nebraska vs. USC: A fantastic matchup for one of college football’s most consistently entertaining bowl games. I have no idea how the Huskers will react to the firing of coach Bo Pelini, but I am going to go ahead and assume that the reaction will not be a positive one. USC 38, Nebraska 28