Picks for Every Single College Football Bowl Game!



TSB’s leading resident college football and college basketball nerds pick each and every game; often in very snarky fashion. DK=David Kay, PMB= Paul M. Banks

Dec. 18 New Mexico Bowl: BYU vs. UTEP, 2 p.m., ESPN

(DK) BYU.  The only bowl game in which neither team has a winning record.  What a way to start the bowl season!  I got the Mormons.

(PMB) BYU. It’s a good thing Brigham Young has about 20,000,000 descendants, because I can’t imagine anyone not related to him having even the most remote interest in this game. I’m picking the followers of Joseph Smith as well.

uDrove Humanitarian Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
(DK) Northern Illinois.  Hey, I actually know something about Northern Illinois.  Their head coach left for Minnesota and they hired Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren to be their new head man.  He is staying with the Badgers through the Rose Bowl though.  What does that mean for the actually game?  No idea.

(PMB) NIU. This is a very underrated game; and too good to be this early in the cycle. Huskies’ Chad Spann continues legacy of Northern Illinois rushers: Michael “the Burner” Turner, LeShon Johson, Garrett Wolfe etc.

R&L Carriers Bowl: Ohio vs. Troy, 9 p.m., ESPN
(DK) Ohio.  It’s the fourth best team from the MAC taking on a team from the Sun Belt Conference!  Ratings Monster!

(PMB) Ohio. Only because they had a mascot that stalks, plots and attacks other mascots in cold blood. As for the game- YAWN!

Dec. 21
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg: Southern Mississippi vs. Louisville, 8 p.m., ESPN

(DK) Southern Mississippi.  Brett Favre went to Southern Miss so obviously I am picking them.

(PMB) SMU. Reading the full name and match-up for this bowl game is the second most redneck thing I’ve ever done in my life. The first is spending last Christmas in a rural VA triple wide; with spotty cell phone service, no internet and three whole channels. Yes, you can’t pick your family. But you sure can pick (or more importantly not pick) your in-laws.

boise state

Dec. 22
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas: Utah vs. Boise State, 8 p.m., ESPN
(DK) Boise State.  Seriously, how bad do you feel for Boise State’s kicker?  They went from a likely BCS bowl bid to playing on December 22nd.  They win this game by like 80.

(PMB) Boise. Remember when Utah was ranked #4 and undefeated? Or when Boise had legitimate BCS beef? Seems like it was decade ago, but it was actually last month.

Dec. 23
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Navy vs. San Diego State, 8 p.m., ESPN
(DK) Navy.  If you think SDSU has the home field advantage, guess again.  San Diego has the largest Naval base on the West Coast.  I’m going with the Midshipmen and their triple option offense.

(PMB) SDSU Agreed. This is somehow a home game for both teams. Also, the first time all three service academies have reached a bowl in the same year since….you don’t really care do you?

Dec. 24
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. Tulsa, 8 p.m., ESPN

(DK) H-a-w-a-i-i as Ma$e would rap.  The over/under in this game is 73???  I will be politically incorrect and pick the Rainbow Warriors.

(PMB) WHO CARES????!!!!!!

Dec. 26
Little Caesars Bowl: Toledo vs. Florida International, 8:30 p.m.
(DK) Toledo.  I usually end up on the bowl fifteen minutes after I eat Little Ceasars.  Too much info?

(PMB) FIU. Uhm, yeah Dave. ugh. I always thought Papa Johns was White Castle in pizza form. Since we’re getting low-brow, you might ask yourself where does this game rank in the bowl class system?

Low; it makes a NASCAR infield gathering look like the NYC Harvard Club. Trust me- I’ve been to both.

Dec. 27
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: Air Force vs. Georgia Tech, 5 p.m. ESPN2
(DK) Georgia Tech.  Anytime I see the movie Independence Day on TV, it is a must watch.  There are so many quotable lines from that movie.  And Bill Pullman’s motivating speech before they go take out the spaceship… goose bumps.

(PMB) Tech. It is chill-inducing I agree. This game…well not so much. Especially if you’re into passing. This is #1 vs. #2 rushing offenses. Ramblin Wreck have more defense.

Dec. 28
Champs Sports Bowl: West Virginia vs. North Carolina State, 6:30 p.m., ESPN

(DK) N.C. State.  The Mountaineers coaching situation is weird.  Why not just give the boot to your current coach and hire this new dude as head coach now rather than waiting a year?  I’m rolling with Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Syxx (aka the Wolfpack.)

(PMB) WVU. How did Pitt get into the BcS over the Mountaineers? They don’t call it “Big East Bound and Down” for nothing. Also, wasn’t this the game that EVERYONE predicted Notre Dame would go to?

Insight Bowl: Iowa vs. Missouri, 10 p.m., ESPN
(DK) Missouri.  The Hawkeyes crapped the bed big time at the end of the year.  Losing to Minnesota?  Embarrassing.  Add in all the off-the-field issues and transfers, and Mizzou takes this one.  (Wow, more actual football insight.  You’re impressed.  Don’t lie.)

(PMB) Missouri. The only scenario in which I’d be more certain of a Hawkeye loss would be if they were playing Northwestern. There is no way they rise above the drug scandal allegations; and there is no way all those small-minded Iowa fans who devoted half their work week to hating on me (including a message board thread devoted strictly to yours truly on Hawkeye Nation.com) will come back and admit they were wrong after all the lurid details come out and their program gets hit with a SMU in the 1980s like death penalty for their infractions…Just kidding Iowa fans, you and I know that doomsday scenario is never going to happen!

Dec. 29
Military Bowl: East Carolina vs. Maryland, 2:30 p.m., ESPN
(DK) Maryland.  The Military Bowl is presented by Northtrop Grumman.which apparently makes ships for the Air Force.  Thank you google.

(PMB) Maryland. “Fear the Turtle” deserved better than this. How is Army not playing in this game?

Texas Bowl: Illinois vs. Baylor, 6 p.m., ESPN
(DK) Illinois.  Texas Forever!  This would be a great college hoops game.  I’ll pick the Illini so Paul Banks doesn’t suspend me from TSB.

(PMB) Baylor. “Texas Forever, 1-2.” Illini have issues with dual-threat teams (Denard, Pryor, Michigan State, making Adam Weber look like a triple threat QB…somehow) and Bears’ Robert Griffen is as dual threat as they come. Baylor isn’t that great, but Illini would have really benefited from taking on a one-dimensional team instead.


Valero Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Arizona, 9:15 p.m.
(DK) Oklahoma State.  Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure taught me that the Alamo has no basement.  How does that relate to this game?  No idea.

(PMB) OK. St. by a very wide margin. Are there any important life lessons we didn’t learn from that ’80s comedy?

Dec. 30
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. SMU, noon, ESPN
(DK) SMU.  One my good friends had a SMU hoodie that was pretty sweet and since I am all about unique college clothing, I’ll take the Mustangs.

(PMB) SMU. Every year I pick the school from the military-industrial complex who plays in this bowl. Every year I’m wrong. And considering this is at SMU’s home field- got to go the other way.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas State vs. Syracuse, 3:20 p.m., ESPN

(DK) Syracuse.  This would be a really entertaining basketball game if these two teams met.This game is being played at Yankee Stadium, right?  Isn’t the point of a bowl game to go to a warm destination?

(PMB) Cuse. K-State’s run defense is TERRIBLE. And yes, STOP holding bowl games in cold weather places, especially outdoors! And why does New Yankee Stadium charge the media $40 for parking? Why am I surrounded by friggin idiots?

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: North Carolina vs. Tennessee, 6:40 p.m.

(DK) A corrupt football program going against a corrupt basketball program.  I refuse to pick the winner of this game because it is named after a mortgage company and I have a personal vendetta against my mortgage company.

(PMB) Hahaha so true! It’s fitting that the most corrupt industry in America (lending /banking) sponsors. Out of respect to everyone who’s had their lives destroyed by the banking crisis, I will refrain from picking a winner as well.

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: Nebraska vs. Washington, 10 p.m., ESPN
(DK) Nebraska.  Is it me or does Bo Pelini seem like a huge prick?  Huskers end their Big 12 regime with authority by crushing the Huskies.

(PMB) NU. Boy are they pissed right now about how that Big 12 title game ended. UW is the perfect stress ball to find catharsis.

Dec. 31
Meineke Car Care Bowl: South Florida vs. Clemson, noon, ESPN
(DK) Clemson.  My girlfriend says Clemson.  It is safe to say we know the same amount about these two teams so I will agree with her.

(PMB) Clemson. Does anyone ever pick USF to win in either sport ever? Does anyone not laugh at the horrible name of this bowl? I remember the salad days of the “Carquest Bowl.” But every year there are new bowls with even worse names.


Hyundai Sun Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Miami, 2 p.m., CBS
(DK) Miami.  It’s all about the U!  Plus, I hate Notre Dame football.  No real reason why.  Just have never been a fan.

(PMB) Miami.  This is exactly like the 1980s. Except without all the national implications and relevance.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs. Central Florida, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
(DK) Georgia.  I used to work with a girl who went to Georgia so to echo her soft southern accent, “GO DAWGS!”

(PMB) UGA. Geez, is every effing game on ESPN or one of their networks?

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: South Carolina vs. Florida State, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

(DK) South Carolina.  I have never eaten at Chick-Fil-A but I hear it is phenomenal.  I’m going with the Gamecocks because of Lattimore.  STARTING DEFENSE, PLACE AT THE TABLE!  (I know that’s Latimer, but close enough.)


Jan. 1
Ticketcity Bowl: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech, noon, ESPNU

(DK) TT.  No Persa, no chance for the ‘Cats.  Plus, their defense gave up 118 points in their last two games.  That doesn’t sound like a Pat Fitzgerald defense to me.

(PMB) TT. Yes, but Tech has the worst pass defense in the FBS, and I’m not sure how interested their coach is in this game/his school is interested in him. It’s a pretty even-Stephen (Colbert, a NU alum) match on paper. Same exact conference and overall records. Both schools don’t even care to try running the ball, and they each have one good win among their seven. Which is funny because the two teams they beat in those games (Iowa, Missouri) are playing each other in a bowl game as well! Since 1949……


Capital One Bowl: Alabama vs. Michigan State, 1 p.m., ESPN

(DK) Alabama.  I think the Spartans should cry some more about being left out of the BCS.

(PMB) Bama. This is a de facto BCS game. They should have Va Tech and Pitt’s slots. But it’s the BcS, getting screwed is par for the course. And should be expected, because you literally “get what you paid for.” And like Chris Rock famously said “no one goes to Hooters for wings.”

Outback Bowl: Florida vs. Penn State, 1 p.m., ABC
(DK) Florida.  I am sure Joe Paterno has personally prepared a flawless game plan to knock off the Gators.  Wouldn’t you love to sit in a coach’s meeting where JoePa nods off every few minutes or ends it early because Matlock is on?  Gators send Urban Meyer off with a win?

(PMB) Gators. If it means we never hear from/about Urban Meyer again, then sure Go Gators. A small price to pay.

Gator Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Michigan, 1:30 p.m., ESPN2

(DK) Mississippi State.  If the Wolverines do lose, does Rich Rod get fired hours after the game or the next day?

(PMB) MSU. I’m drafting the post right now “Michigan Loses Bowl Game, Fires Rich Rodriguez” I’m setting the timer for New Year’s Day 4:31 pm ET.

TCU football

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. TCU, 4:00 p.m., ESPN

(DK) Wisconsin.  Dropping knowledge; The Badgers have scored 201 points in their last three games and their offensive line outweighs the Horned Frogs’ d-line by about fifty pounds per person.  Ballgame.  Question: Worse Badgers music video… “We Smellin’ Roses” or “Teach Me How to Bucky?”

(PMB) Sconnie. The latter is song awful, haven’t heard the former. It’s an absolute crime neither of these teams can be in a playoff right now. Remember when the old Final Four consisted of a “third place game?” Me neither. It’s before my time, but I’ve read about it, and this game is essentially a football version.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs. UConn, 7:30, ESPN

(DK) Oklahoma.  Yup, UConn was REALLY deserving of playing in a BCS game.  Just like that weird English dude Russell Brand is REALLY deserving of screwing Katy Perry whenever he wants.

(PMB) OK by 90s pts. LOL! Very true, but Katy Perry is still overrated. UConn is a “BCS team” exactly like Mike “The Situation” (I don’t know his last name thank God) is a “published author.”

Jan. 3

Discover Orange Bowl: Stanford vs. Virginia Tech, 7:30, ESPN

(DK) Stanford.  Things I know about these teams: The Hokies have run the table since losing to James Madison.  Stanford’s Andrew Luck is pretty good.  Jim Harbaugh will be coaching an NFL team very shortly.  The Cardinal is one my favorite mascots in college sports.

(PMB) Trees. Yes, you should visit the John Muir National Forest in the bay area. A transcendent experience that will make you appreciate it even more. ACC Football is like my ex: can easily grab your attention at first, hold your attention for a little while, but after it’s over you wonder how all your time got sucked away. And you wouldn’t recommend either one.

Jan. 4

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Ohio State vs. Arkansas, 7:30, ESPN

(DK) The Vest. Fact: this is the only bowl game in which I can name both starting quarterbacks.

(PMB) Ark. Always take the Southern route in Big Ten/SEC challenges. And of course in basketball, do the opposite.

go daddy

Jan. 6
GoDaddy.com Bowl: Middle Tennessee State vs. Miami (OH), 8 p.m., ESPN

(DK) Miami, Ohio.  Danica Patrick could be the naked sideline reporter for this game and I still wouldn’t watch it.  Okay, maybe I would.

(PMB) Throw in the other godaddy girl, the porn star with the giant fake knockers on the other sideline and you have a deal. The pick? Pass!

Jan. 7
AT&T Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Texas A&M, 8 p.m., FOX
(DK) LSU.  FOX should not have the rights to any college football games just like TBS should not be allowed to air any playoff baseball.  Since I know you are wondering, I am leaning very heavily towards continuing my baseball hiatus for the second year.

(PMB) LSU. Big 12 is overrated this year. The SEC not so much. By the way, you did see Les Miles reaction to the ancient reporter who asked him about keyholes and that “sweet young thang, Erin Andrews?”

Jan. 8
BBVA Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky, noon, ESPN
(DK) Pitt.  Another match-up that would be a killer college hoops game.  BBVA is an acronym for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argenteria and is a Spanish banking group.  I guess they have nothing better to do with their money than sponsor a meaningless bowl game.

(PMB) It sucks that Dave Wannstedt, college football’s answer to Schneider from “One Day at a Time,” is already fired and won’t be here. Oh, who do I think is going to win? DON’T CARE!!!!!!!


Jan. 9
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Nevada vs. Boston College, 9 p.m., ESPN

(DK) Nevada.  Why the bowl system is stupid; there is no reason on earth that this game should be played on January 9th.  For the record, I eat my Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with ketchup.  Don’t judge me until you try it.

(PMB) Nev. is a ROUTE! Remember the good old days when you can judge a bowl’s importance by where it resided in the timeline? Ah, those were simpler times!


Jan. 10

Tostitos BCS National Championship: Auburn vs. Oregon, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

(DK) Auburn.  Won’t it be fun to see how long it takes the Tigers to have to forfeit this championship because of Cam Newton’s shadiness?

(PMB) Auburn. Although it will be a shame for Nike that their home University gets rolled in their only national title game appearance in either sport. I’m starting to understand the Nike designs of the OU uniforms now. I get why the Ducks are their “canvas.”

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and former contributor for The Washington Times Communities.  You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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  1. Peter Christian says

    I’m not sure how I got left out of these picks but you can find my bowl picks as the Guest picker for LostLettermen.com, sans snark though.

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