Predicting College Football’s Bowl Season + This Week’s Best CFB Bets

One of my favorite times of the year, well not just the holidays, but it’s college football bowl season! Instead of picking each and every game on the blog, I set up a different kind of postseason predictions challenge. Ten questions, some multi-part, that answers just about everything I’d want to know about the bowls.

Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 7.18.16 PM

For this exercise, I’m happy to be joined by our regular CFB guest pickers, Jon Bell (@koshercoach on Twitter) and “Bear Down” Steve Malina (@stevenmalina) as well as the co-hosts of Wildcat Country on 1580 the Fanatic, Jeff Dean (@thedean1580) and Shane Dale (@ShaneDaleABC15). See our predictions below:

1. Predict the score of the Foster Farms Bowl, Arizona vs. Purdue.
Eric: Arizona 47-35
Jon: Arizona 41-38
Steve: Arizona 38-30
Jeff: Arizona 44-38
Shane: Arizona 30-27

No surprise that everyone took the Wildcats though only Shane has the total staying under the Vegas line of 65.5 points.

2. Predict the score of the Sun Bowl, Arizona State vs. North Carolina State.
Eric: ASU 27-24
Jon: NC State 31-24
Steve: NC State 34-31
Jeff: ASU 31-30
Shane: ASU 38-35

I can’t believe that the-more-anti-ASU-than-I-am Jeff picked ASU! That’s the most shocking prediction we have in this blog entry!

3. How many bowl games will the Pac-12 win (out of nine)?
Eric: 3
Jon: 5
Steve: 5
Jeff: 6
Shane: 6

Looks like I’ll either be a genius or eat crow with my 3-6 conference record prediction.

4. How many rushing yards will Arizona QB Khalil Tate have in the Foster Farms Bowl?
Eric: 166
Jon: 206
Steve: 122
Jeff: 177
Shane: 68

Shane once again being the outlier…does he not think Tate will last the whole game?

5. Predict the winner of these four College Football Playoff games…

Fiesta Bowl (Washington vs. Penn State):
Eric: Penn State
Jon: Penn State
Steve: Penn State
Jeff: Penn State
Shane: Penn State

Orange Bowl (Wisconsin vs. Miami):
Eric: Miami
Jon: Wisconsin
Steve: Wisconsin
Jeff: Wisconsin
Shane: Wisconsin

Cotton Bowl (USC vs. Ohio State):
Eric: Ohio State
Jon: Ohio State
Steve: Ohio State
Jeff: USC
Shane: Ohio State

Peach Bowl (Auburn vs. UCF):
Eric: Auburn
Jon: Central Florida
Steve: Auburn
Jeff: Auburn
Shane: Central Florida

I’m not confident in my Miami pick (as you’ll see with my Bowl Confidence picks later in this column) but I’m also surprised to see a USC over OSU selection and TWO UCF over Auburn prognostications.

6. Who is the biggest underdog (by point spread) that will win a bowl game outright?
Eric: Boise State +7.5 vs. Oregon (Las Vegas Bowl)
Jon: Central Florida +9.5 vs. Auburn (Peach Bowl)
Steve: Southern Miss +15.5 vs. Florida State (Independence Bowl)
Jeff: Kentucky +7.5 vs. Northwestern (Music City Bowl)
Shane: Central Florida +9.5 vs. Auburn (Peach Bowl)

Steve is picking the ultimate in crazy upsets…a clearly inferior team (Southern Miss) with a ton of motivation vs. Florida State, who likely has no desire to want to play in Shreveport’s Independence Bowl.

7. Who is your 5-star lock against the spread?
Eric: Toledo -7.5 vs. Appalachian State (Dollar General Bowl)
Jon: Penn State -2.5 vs. Washington (Fiesta Bowl)
Steve: Oregon -7.5 vs. Boise State (Las Vegas Bowl)
Jeff: Boise State +7.5 vs. Oregon (Las Vegas Bowl)
Shane: Memphis -3.5 vs. Iowa State (Liberty Bowl)

Steve and Jeff going head-to-head on the Boise State-Oregon game right off the bat!

8. Name the highest scoring bowl game:
Eric: Sun Bowl, Arizona vs. Purdue
Jon: Birmingham Bowl, Texas Tech vs. South Florida
Steve: DXL Frisco Bowl, SMU vs. Louisiana Tech
Jeff: Texas Bowl, Missouri vs. Texas
Shane: Cactus Bowl, UCLA vs. Kansas State

All of the other games would’ve been in consideration for me…I like where our panel’s heads are at!

9. Who will win the semifinal matchups?:

Sugar Bowl (Clemson vs. Alabama):
Eric: Clemson
Jon: Alabama
Steve: Alabama
Jeff: Clemson
Shane: Clemson

Rose Bowl (Oklahoma vs. Georgia):

Eric: Oklahoma
Jon: Oklahoma
Steve: Oklahoma
Jeff: Oklahoma
Shane: Georgia

Honestly I would’ve thought that Georgia would’ve been picked more often than just once. They have a speed advantage over OU but if the Sooners can slow the Dawgs rushing attack, UGA is in deep trouble.

10. Predict the national champion:

Eric: Clemson
Jon: Alabama
Steve: Alabama
Jeff: Oklahoma
Shane: Georgia

How ’bout this…all four teams are represented among the five pickers!?

Some of you are in bowl pick’em leagues where you must rank each winner with confidence points. Below are my picks. If you’re looking to just pick straight winners, join the FREE Fanatic Bowl Challenge.

EC’s Bowl Confidence picks (not including the Celebration Bowl):
(Team Winners + Point Values, 40 being the most confident, 1 being the least confident)
Florida Atlantic – 40
Auburn – 39
Ohio – 38
Michigan – 37
Toledo – 36
Louisville – 35
Arizona – 34
Florida State – 33
Utah – 32
LSU – 31
Troy – 30
Arkansas State – 29
San Diego State – 28
Western Kentucky – 27
Penn State – 26
Colorado State – 25
Oklahoma State – 24
Michigan State – 23
Kansas State – 22
Ohio State – 21
TCU – 20
Duke – 19
New Mexico State – 18
Wyoming – 17
South Florida – 16
Virginia – 15
Memphis – 14
Iowa – 13
Fresno State – 12
Clemson (semifinal) – 11
Wake Forest – 10
Clemson (championship) – 9
Oklahoma – 8
Northwestern – 7
Texas – 6
Louisiana Tech – 5
Arizona State – 4
Florida International – 3
Miami FL – 2
Boise State – 1

College Football Bowl Season – Week 1 Best Bets

Regular Season: 39-35-1
Boise State +7.5 vs. Oregon
Arkansas State -3.5 vs. Middle Tennessee
Georgia State / Western Kentucky Over 52.5 Total Points
Troy / North Texas Under 62.5 Total Points
Louisiana Tech +5 vs. SMU

Enjoy the bowl season!

To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @eacohen83.


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