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BON Bowl Preview Extravaganza

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Just because Texas isn’t bowling doesn’t mean we can’t get excited for bowl season.

The College Football Champion will be decided in Indy this season
Indianapolis Recorder

Bowl season is back upon us, and though the Texas Longhorns won’t be playing, that doesn’t mean there won’t be games or storylines to follow over the next three weeks in college football.

While the rest of the sports world faces lockouts and closures due to COVID and human greed (cough cough MLB) the college football world, for better or worse, will power on with a chock full slate of games. In total, 44 bowl games await us this winter, and Burnt Orange Nation is here to preview them all with a little help from Draftkings.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

Boca Raton Bowl (Boca Raton, Florida)

Appalachian State (-3.5) vs. Western Kentucky

Saturday, Dec 18th | 11:00 AM CT | ESPN

A classic offense vs. defense game awaits in Boca Raton. The Western Kentucky offense has been lighting up scoreboards all season, while App St has been winning with defense en-route to six straight wins and a Sun Belt Championship game appearance. While App State is more balanced, WKU boasts the nation’s second best offense in the country, averaging 43 points per game and 528 yards per game. WKU should be able to keep this game close, and I actually like them to win here outright over a solid Mountaineers team.

PICK: Western Kentucky (+3.5)

Celebration Bowl (Atlanta, Georgia)

Jackson State vs. South Carolina State

Saturday, Dec 18th | 11:00 AM CT | ABC

This year’s Celebration Bowl features a bit more star power than years’ past, with Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders manning the sidelines. Jackson State had a massive off-field victory flipping the nation’s number one ranked recruit from Florida State earlier this week. They cap off their Signing Day win with a Celebration Bowl win as well.

PICK: Jackson State

Deion Sanders looks to keep Jackson State’s winning ways rolling in the Celebration Bowl

New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Fresno State (-11.5) vs UTEP

Saturday, Dec 18th | 1:15 PM CT | ESPN

UTEP had just their second winning season since 2005, and get rewarded with a close-to-home bowl game in New Mexico against a very good Fresno State team. While the Miners experienced one of their best years in decades, the Bulldogs enter bowl season in a weird state. After falling just one game shy of the Mountain West title game, Fresno State boasts a resume that includes wins against UCLA and San Diego State, but lost their head coach Kalen DeBoer to Washington. Fresno is the better team, but UTEP should be really fired up for this game and should keep it within double digits.

PICK: UTEP (+11.5)

Independence Bowl (Shreveport, Louisiana)

13 BYU (-6.6) vs. UAB

Saturday, Dec 18th | 2:30 PM CT | ABC

The first ranked team to play in bowl season, BYU will finish a 10-2 season with a visit to Louisiana. In juries have piled up for the Cougars this season, and that can give an 8-4 UAB Blazers team a chance to hang in this game. UAB had the top defense in Conference USA, and this opportunity would be a great way for a rebuilding program to make a statement vs a ranked team. But BYU’s playmakers, though banged up, are still too much for UAB to handle.

PICK: BYU (-6.5)

Lending Tree Bowl (Mobile, Alabama)

Eastern Michigan vs. Liberty (-10)

Saturday, Dec 18th | 4:45 PM CT | ESPN

Liberty has one of the top QB prospects in the country, Malik Willis, leading the way for a team that has shown flashes of great play mixed with mistakes and errors, highlighting a disappointing, inconsistent season for the Flames. Eastern Michigan is fine, and Liberty enters this game on a skid, having been outscored 100-44 in the last three weeks of play. However, if Liberty can play close to 60 minutes of good football, they are the much, much better team and should handle EMU with ease.

PICK: Liberty (-10)

Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl (Los Angeles, California)

Oregon State (-7) vs. Utah State

Saturday, Dec 18th | 4:45 PM CT | ESPN

In one of the... weirdest Bowl games I’ve ever seen created, the first ever “Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl” will feature two teams ending their best seasons in recent memory. In one corner, Oregon State is playing in their first bowl game since 2013. In the other, Utah State won the Mountain West Championship, looking for its first bowl win since 2014. This game has potential for being a close, hard fought game, but the edge Oregon State has in the trenches should drive them to victory.

PICK: Oregon St (-7)

New Orleans Bowl (New Orleans, Louisiana)

23 Louisiana (-4) vs. Marshall

Saturday, Dec 18th | 4:45 PM CT | ESPN

Fresh off a Sun Belt Championship, it’s hard to remember that this Louisiana team looked outmatched and helpless against Texas in the opening week of the season. Since then, they’ve rattled off twelve straight victories. But Marshall is no slouch either. Marshall boasts an impressive defense, particularly upfront, and should be able to slow down Louisiana’s rushing attack. Louisiana should win this game, but it’ll be a nail biter throughout.

PICK: Marshall (+4)

Myrtle Beach Bowl (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)

Tulsa (-9.5) vs. Old Dominion

Monday, Dec 20th | 2:30 PM CT | ESPN

Tulsa and Old Dominion both won their final games of the season just to make it to this bowl game. Despite the identical 6-6 records, Tulsa is on another level than ODU. They fought Cincinnati to the wire earlier in the season, and their rushing attack that racked up over 200 yards per game on the ground over their final five should be plenty effective against a suspect defense at ODU. Add in that Old Dominion has one of the worst turnover rates in the country - don’t expect a close one here.

PICK: Tulsa (-9.5)

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise, Idaho)

Kent State vs. Wyoming (-3.5)

Tuesday, Dec 21st | 2:30 PM CT | ESPN

For a moment, Wyoming looked like they may compete for the Mountain West crown. After starting 4-0, the Cowboys slumbered their way to a 2-6 finish. The Cowboys rely on their tough defense, and limit their mistakes, but they don’t score many points. Meanwhile, Kent State, went 7-5 this year, in part to the eight-best total offense in the NCAA. RB Marquez Cooper amassed over 1,000 yards rushing and 11 TDs on the ground to lead the nation’s fourth-best rushing game. But, in an opposite fashion to Wyoming, this defense stinks. Kent State ranked bottom 15 in nearly every defensive metric this year. They make even mediocre offenses look great, and it should give the Cowboys a slight edge in this game.

PICK: Wyoming (-3.5)

Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas)

24 San Diego State vs. UTSA (-1)

Tuesday, Dec 21st | 6:30 PM CT | ESPN

One of the best early-bowl games is the Frisco Bowl, featuring Conference USA Champ UTSA and Mountain West runner-up San Diego State. San Diego State was the best MWC team all season, but a Covid outbreak kept 20 players out of their loss against Utah State. Meanwhile, UTSA nearly pulled off an undefeated season, losing just once en-route to a program best 12-1 Championship year. Running back Sincere McCormick will skip this game to focus on the upcoming NFL Draft, which definitely hurts this Roadrunners team. But head coach Jeff Traylor has built an incredibly balanced offense that pairs well with an above-average defense. This should be a good, close, low scoring game between two of the better Group of Five teams.

PICK: UTSA (-1)

Star RB Sincere McCormick will forego the Frisco Bowl for the NFL Draft

Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas)

Missouri vs. Army (-3.5)

Wednesday, Dec 22nd | 7:00 PM CT | ESPN

Army lost their biggest game of the season last week against Navy, but will regroup in order to take on Mizzou in the Armed Forces Bowl. Army has been impressive for most of the year, with 8 wins, a top-20 defense, and an option-style offense that ranks ninth in 3rd down conversions and second in rushing yards per game. Meanwhile, Mizzou went 6-6 in the SEC East. The Tigers allow nearly 35 points per game and over 400 yards per game. Pair that with a team that is just 1-4 outside of Columbia and 3-12 against the spread in their last 15 games, and this game spells trouble for Mizzou.

PICK: Army (-3.5)

Frisco Football Classic (Frisco, Texas)

Miami (OH) (-3) vs. North Texas

Thursday, Dec 23rd | 2:30 PM CT | ESPN

Miami got it done this year as a balanced team, with an offense and defensive combo that won’t wow you on paper but got the job done to get the Redhawks into a bowl. UNT meanwhile, has a clear identity - running the ball. Only Air Force and Army averaged more rushing yards per game than UNT. The Mean Green also went 1-6 to start the year before winning five straight, including a 22 point win over then undefeated UTSA. And although Miami is favored, this is essentially a home game for UNT, and Miami is just 1-6 on the road this season.

PICK: North Texas (+3)

Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Florida)

Florida (-6.5) vs. UCF

Thursday, Dec 23rd | 6:00 PM CT | ESPN

An all-Florida affair awaits as Florida takes on Central Florida in Tampa, Florida. Head coach Gus Malzahn was fairly successful in his first year at UCF, going 8-4 with a top-40 ranked offense averaging nearly 190 yards rushing per game. Meanwhile, Florida fell well short of expectations, and was one of the most disappointing teams in the country this year. Florida boasts a potent offense but many of their stars will be unavailable for this game.

PICK: UCF (+6.5)

Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu, Hawai’i)

Memphis (-7.5) vs. Hawai’i

Friday, Dec 24th | 7:00 PM CT | ESPN

Finishing 6-6, Memphis is bowl-eligible for the eighth consecutive season. The Tigers had a good offense, but an equally not-so-good defense. Meanwhile, Hawai’i is also a poor defensive team, and had several key offensive players (including starting QB Chevan Cordeiro and RB Dae Dae Hunter) enter the transfer portal at season’s end. Even against a bad Memphis defense, it’s tough to imagine a high-flying Hawaiian offense without its starting QB or RB.

PICK: Memphis (-7.5)

Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Alabama)

Ball State vs. Georgia State (-4.5)

Saturday, Dec 25th | 2:30 PM CT | ESPN

After starting 1-4, Georgia State went 6-1 to finish the season and is rewarded with a Camellia Bowl bid. The Panthers nearly won at Auburn early in the season, and managed an upset over Coastal Carolina. Ball State also overcame a slow start at 1-3 to make this bowl. However, the Cardinals are a weak offensive team and aren’t good enough defensively to hang with a GSU team that has shown it can play with the big boys.

PICK: Georgia State (-4.5)

Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit, Michigan)

Nevada vs. Western Michigan (-6)

Monday, Dec 27th | 10:00 AM CT | ESPN

Nevada enters this game without its head coach, Jay Norvell, after he took the Colorado State job. They also won’t have star starting QB Carson Strong following his decision to opt out. Western Michigan can be painfully inconsistent, but there’s also far too much uncertainty with Nevada going into this game.

PICK: Western Michigan (-6)

Military Bowl (Annapolis, Maryland)

Boston College (-3) vs. East Carolina

Monday, Dec 27th | 1:30 PM CT | ESPN

A tough as nails BC defense powered the Eagles to a bowl berth, despite what was the ACC’s least productive offense making up the other half of the team. Meanwhile, ECU took Cincinnati head on, and also boasts one of the better defenses in the NCAA. The Pirates only need a few drives from their offense to beat BC, with the Eagles failing to score 17 points in six of their last eight games.

PICK: East Carolina (+3)

Birmingham Bowl (Birmingham, Alabama)

20 Houston vs. Auburn (-3)

Tuesday, Dec 28th | 11:00 AM CT | ESPN

Both teams enter this game coming off their low points on the season. Auburn enters having blown a late game lead to Alabama in an instant-classic Iron Bowl, whereas Houston got pummeled by Cincinnati for their second loss of the year. Both teams will feature two of the best corner backs in the country, with Houston’s Marcus Jones and Auburn’s Roger McCreary putting together highlight tapes for their draft day profiles this year. Auburn will have an obvious home field advantage, and the better talent on paper in what should be a close game.

PICK: Auburn (-3)

First Responder Bowl (Dallas, Texas)

Air Force vs. Louisville (-1.5)

Tuesday, Dec 28th | 2:15 PM CT | ESPN

The consistency of Air Force, a team that relies on their potent run game led by RB Brad Roberts, meets a wildly inconsistent Louisville team. L’ville’s QB Malik Cunningham was stellar in 2021, with over 3,700 yards of offense that helped the Cardinals achieve a 14th-best offense in the country. But at times this Cardinals team has been very disappointing. If the Cards put an entire game together, they should handle Air Force.

PICK: Louisville (-1.5)

Liberty Bowl (Memphis, Tennessee)

Texas Tech vs. Mississippi State (-8)

Tuesday, Dec 28th | 5:45 PM CT | ESPN

Mike Leach squares off against his old team in the Liberty Bowl. With him will be QB Will Rogers, who, like most Leach QBs, put up incredible stat lines leading the Bulldogs to a 7-5 season. Texas Tech over-achieved to make this bowl game, and they’ll have trouble slowing down Miss State.

PICK: Mississippi State (-8)

The Liberty Bowl may mean a little extra this year to Miss St head coach Mike Leach

Holiday Bowl (San Diego, California)

18 NC State (-1) vs. UCLA

Tuesday, Dec 28th | 7:00 PM CT | FOX

UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson is one of the more gifted athletes in college football. The senior QB will be the leader for Chip Kelly’s team making its first bowl appearance under Kelly. Meanwhile, NC State will vie for their 10th win this season. The NC State defense, which was among the best in the ACC, will go toe-to-toe with Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense.

PICK: UCLA (+1)

Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Phoenix, Arizona)

Minnesota (-4) vs .West Virginia

Tuesday, Dec 28th | 9:15 PM CT | ESPN

West Virginia muscled their way to a bowl game at 6-6. QB Jarret Doege averaged just 242 passing yards per game, and he’ll go up against a Minnesota defense that allows just 18 points per game and 180 total yards. This should be a low scoring affair but on paper Minnesota is the better team.

PICK: Minnesota (-4)

Fenway Bowl (Boston, Massachusetts)

Virginia (-2) vs. SMU

Wednesday, Dec 29th | 10:00 AM CT | ESPN

Two flashy QBs headline this matchup, with SMU QB Tanner Mordecai and UVA QB Brennan Armstrong the focal points of their offenses. Mordecai threw for over 3,600 yards and 39 touchdowns, while Armstrong led the country in yards per game at 427 and was second in total yards at 4,700. However, Mordecai will be without his head coach Sonny Dykes and his top receiving target Reggie Roberson, who declared for the NFL Draft.

PICK: Virginia (-2)

Pinstripe Bowl (New York, New York)

Virginia Tech vs. Maryland (-1)

Wednesday, Dec 29th | 1:15 PM CT | ESPN

These two teams differ in plenty of ways. Maryland relies on Taulia Tagovailoa, who has thrown for 3,595 yards and 24 TDs. Virginia Tech utilizes their ground game, with RB Raheem Blackshear leading the way. Coming off a win over arch-rival Virginia to become bowl eligible, look for VT to keep up its momentum.

PICK: Virginia Tech (+1)

Cheez-It Bowl (Orlando, Florida)

19 Clemson vs. Iowa State (-1.5)

Wednesday, Dec 29th | 4:45 PM CT | ESPN

Clemson disappointed this season, as did Iowa State. Both schools entered the 2021 season ranked in the top 10, and find themselves playing in the Cheez-It bowl. While both schools rely on good defense to carry inconsistent QB play on offense, look for senior QB Brock Purdy in his final game to be the edge over the Tigers.

PICK: Iowa State (-1.5)

Alamo Bowl (San Antonio, Texas)

14 Oregon vs. 16 Oklahoma (-4.5)

Wednesday, Dec 29th | 8:15 PM CT | ESPN

Similar to the Cheez-It Bowl, both these schools will begrudgingly play in the Alamo Bowl. Neither team will have their head coach that started the season with them, as both Lincoln Riley and Mario Cristobal left for new jobs. QB Caleb Williams has been up and down for the Sooners, but the Sooners boast more talent on paper and should win this game.

PICK: Oklahoma (-4.5)

Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Charlotte, North Carolina)

North Carolina (-9) vs. South Carolina

Thursday, Dec 30th | 10:30 AM CT | ESPN

North Carolina entered the season with lofty expectations, but couldn’t replicate last year in 2021. QB Sam Howard may have lost a bit of his stellar draft stock, but he still played well in carrying a Tar Heels team to a decent bowl game. Meanwhile, head coach Shane Beamer is looking for a winning record in his first season at USC. Though the spread is a touchdown, expect a close scoring game in Charlotte.

PICK: South Carolina (+9)

Music City Bowl (Nashville, Tennessee)

Tennessee (-4.5) vs. Purdue

Thursday, Dec 30th | 2:00 PM CT | ESPN

Both Tennessee and Purdue had shining moments this year, with wins against ranked teams and each school earning a bowl invite. QB Hendon Hooker has shown flashes of great play from time to time this year, and if he can limit turnovers should propel a Volunteers team to an eight win season likely in front of a home crowd.

PICK: Tennessee (-4.5)

Peach Bowl (Atlanta, Georgia)

10 Michigan State (-3) vs. 12 Pittsburgh

Thursday, Dec 30th | 6:00 PM CT | ESPN

Pitt QB Kenny Pickett finished as a Heisman candidate, and leads a Pitt team coming off their first ACC Championship. Michigan State also had an incredible season, including a win over CFP bound Michigan. In what should be a fantastic Peach Bowl, look for the Heisman QB to be the edge in this one.

PICK: Pittsburgh (+3)

Las Vegas Bowl (Atlanta, Georgia)

Wisconsin (-7) vs. Arizona State

Thursday, Dec 30th | 9:30 PM CT | ESPN

An up-and-down Wisconsin team faces an Arizona State team that was at one point ranked in the top 25. Wisconsin RB Braelon Allen is the latest in the line of great Badger running backs, with over 1,100 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on the season. However, Arizona State should be able to keep this game close if QB Jayden Daniels can limit his mistakes.

PICK: Arizona State (+7)

Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Florida)

17 Wake Forest vs. 25 Texas A&M (-4)

Friday, Dec 31st | 10:00 AM CT | ESPN

An incredible season from Wake Forest that no one saw coming, head coach Dave Clawson got the most out of a Demon Deacons squad, earning the runner-up ACC title. Meanwhile, a Texas A&M team loaded with talent has battled injuries and an SEC schedule to an 8-4 season, including a win over Alabama. QB Haynes King will get the start in his first game in nearly three months, and the Aggies dominance on defense should hold any kind of Wake comeback at bay.

PICK: Texas A&M (-4)

Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas)

Washington State vs. Miami (FL) (-2.5)

Friday, Dec 31st | 11:00 AM CT | CBS

With both schools featuring interim head coaches, each school is probably looking at 2022 and beyond rather than the Sun Bowl. Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke has blossomed into one of the better surprises of the season. After taking over for an injured D’Eriq King, Van Dyke ended the season by throwing for over 300 yards and three TDs in each of his last six games.

PICK: Miami (FL) (-2.5)

Arizona Bowl (Tucson, Arizona)

Central Michigan vs. Boise State (-8)

Friday, Dec 31st | 1:00 PM CT | BarstoolSports.com

A down year for Boise State pits them against a Central Michigan team featuring a laundry list of offensive playmakers. The Chippewa offense is one of the more underrated bunches in all of college football, and they’ll need them to go toe to toe against a Boise State team with its fair share of offensive weapons.

PICK: Central Michigan (+8)

Cotton Bowl (Arlington, Texas)

1 Alabama (-13.5) vs. 4 Cincinnati

Friday, Dec 31st | 2:30 PM CT | ESPN

The first CFP game features David vs. Goliath as Alabama takes on Cincinnati. Cincy nearly beat Georgia in the Peach Bowl last season, and hasn’t lost a game since then, going 13-0 this year. However, Alabama looks to be rounding into form, with Heisman-winning QB Bryce Young leading the Tide over the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game. While Alabama are heavy favorites and should win, don’t be surprised to see this Cincy team fight tooth and nail with Alabama and keep this a close game.

PICK: Cincinnati (+13.5)

Cincy head coach Luke Fickell and QB Desmond Ridder have already broken through to the College Football Playoff - but can they knock off Alabama?

Orange Bowl (Miami, Florida)

2 Michigan vs. 3 Georgia (-8.5)

Friday, Dec 31st | 6:30 PM CT | ESPN

Michigan finally got the scarlet and gray monkey off its back with a win over Ohio State to clinch a spot in the Big 10 Championship game, where they easily handled Iowa to win the Big 10. The Wolverines have an impressive resume to go with those two wins, and they feature possibly the best player in the country right now in Aidan Hutchinson. On the other side, Georgia fell flat against Alabama at the SEC Championship game, but otherwise ran the season wire to wire as the number one ranked team in the College Football Playoff rankings. For as great as Georgia’s defense looked this season, a 7.5 point spread is much to generous against a Michigan team that’s looked just as good and is seemingly rounding into form.

PICK: Michigan (+8.5)

Outback Bowl (Tampa, Florida)

21 Arkansas vs. Penn State (-2.5)

Saturday, Jan 1st | 11:00 AM CT | ESPN2

Arkansas and Penn State both had relatively up-and-down seasons, with each team starting their seasons on opposite ends of the spectrum. Arkansas wasn’t expected to seriously compete for anything this year, but a statement win against then-top 10 Texas team catapulted their season. Penn State meanwhile began the season highly ranked and won an earlier victory over Wisconsin before faltering down the stretch in Big 10 play. In what’s a pretty balanced matchup on paper, the Razorbacks seem to have the edge, having won four of their last five games.

PICK: Arkansas (+2.5)

Citrus Bowl (Orlando, Florida)

15 Iowa vs. 22 Kentucky (-3)

Saturday, Jan 1st | 12:00 PM CT | ABC

Another SEC vs Big 10 New Year’s Day matchup, Iowa brings one of the staunchest defenses in the country into a game against Kentucky’s threatening rushing attack. The Wildcats have been streaky all year, getting out to a 6-0 start before losing three in a row, then winning their last three to finish 9-3. Meanwhile, Iowa’s offense has been putrid. As good as Iowa is on defense, the Wildcats rushing should be good enough to help them control the game and wear out the Hawkeye defense.

PICK: Kentucky (-3)

Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Arizona)

5 Notre Dame (-2) vs. 9 Oklahoma State

Saturday, Jan 1st | 12:00 PM CT | ESPN

After narrowly missing the Playoff, Notre Dame ushers in a new era with head coach Marcus Freeman making his head coaching debut. The Irish only blemish on their season is a loss at home to Playoff invitee Cincinnati. Oklahoma State also comes to this game having just narrowly missed the Playoffs - potentially just a foot away from beating Baylor and jumping the Bearcats in the rankings. The Cowboys’ success will come down to the play of QB Spencer Sanders, who has struggled against top tier defenses. Notre Dame’s D should be enough to cause havoc for the Pokes offense.

PICK: Notre Dame (-2)

Rose Bowl (Pasadena, California)

6 Ohio State (-6.5) vs. 11 Utah

Saturday, Jan 1st | 4:00 PM CT | ESPN

Ohio State’s consolation prize for losing to Michigan is an invite to the Rose Bowl, where they take on Pac 12 Champ Utah. OSU has one of the best offenses in the nation, featuring QB CJ Stroud and a bevy of offensive weapons. Utah features a team that has rallied around each other following the early season death of teammate Aaron Lowe just a year after Ty Jordan was also killed in a shooting. The Utes got off to a 1-2 start, but since that point have gone 9-1, beating Oregon twice in the process. A win in the Rose Bowl could be just the exclamation point on a remarkable season.

PICK: Utah (+6.5)

Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, Louisiana)

7 Baylor (pk) vs. 8 Ole Miss

Saturday, Jan 1st | 7:45 PM CT | ESPN

In one of the closest projected matchups, Baylor’s gritty defense and conservative offense challenges the high-flying Ole Miss offense and their athletic, risk-taking defense. QB Matt Corral looks to wrap up his NCAA career with one last win, and the top-rated QB prospect in this upcoming NFL Draft is sure to put up stats, even against Baylor. Baylor has punched well above their weight this season, and they have a legitimately good defense and are led by one of the most underrated coaches in the country in Dave Aranda. But Ole Miss just has too much on offense and should put up enough points to overmatch the Bears.

PICK: Ole Miss (pk)

Top QB prospect Matt Corral could be the difference in the Sugar Bowl

Texas Bowl (Houston, Texas)

Kansas State (-2.5) vs. LSU

Saturday, Jan 4th | 8:00 PM CT | ESPN

LSU and K-State meet in this Purple-covered bowl game to close out two of the more turbulent seasons in college football this year. LSU fired championship-winning coach Ed Orgeron on Oct 17th, and will be without him after he coached the last five games of the regular season. With starting QB Max Johnson in the transfer portal, LSU is down to just one scholarship QB on its roster, although, he may not even play, since doing so would burn a year of eligibility. Meanwhile, Kansas State has had its own share of QB problems, with their team having gone through multiple players at starter as the Wildcats fought through injuries and poor play. Now, former K-State legend Collin Klein is calling plays for the Wildcat offense. Given how much unknown there is at LSU surrounding key positions, look for K-State to take this game.

PICK: Kansas State (-2.5)

National Championship Game (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Monday, Jan 10th | 7:00 PM CT | ESPN

The winners of the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl will face off for the National Championship. While there’s a good chance it’s a rematch of the SEC title game, Michigan and Cincinnati can easily play spoiler and some new flair to a predominately SEC-heavy game.