NEW MEXICO BOWL Dec. 19
Fresno State vs. Wyoming
The Bulldogs’ rushing game will shred the Cowboy defense, but Wyoming should find a way to prevail.

Result: The Cowpokes got me off to a great start by pulling off the upset in two overtimes, 35-28. They did a nice job mitigating FSU’s rushing attack, holding them to 197 yards rushing—144 from standout RB Ryan Matthews. The Bulldogs were averaging 231 per game.

ST. PETERSBURG BOWL Dec. 19
Rutgers vs. UCF
The Scarlet Knights will simply out-joust the Knights in Saint Pete.

Result: Rutgers took a 9-point lead to the locker room at halftime and kept extending it thru all 4Qs. Final score: 45-24.

NEW ORLEANS BOWL Dec. 20
Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee
The Blue Raiders have been on a roll the last half of the season and will continue rolling right over Southern Miss in the Big Easy.

Result: I was feeling like a genius after this game. Blue Raider QB Dwight Dasher racked up 363 total yards and accounted for four touchdowns as Middle Tennessee State overcame a 3-point halftime deficit to win convincingly, 42-32.

LAS VEGAS BOWL Dec. 22
BYU vs. Oregon State
This has all the makings of a high scoring shootout but the Beavers will persistently gnaw away at the Cougar defense for the win.

Result: I really didn’t expect the Cougar defense to play as well as they did. The Beavers picked up 13 of their points in garbage time. Final score: Cougars 44 Beavers 20. Final score of BYU vs two Pac-10 Oregon teams in two Las Vegas Bowl matchups? BYU 82 State of Oregon 28

POINSETTIA BOWL Dec. 23
Utah vs. California
The Utes have won 8 bowl games in a row. Despite a freshman QB, they’ll make this their ninth straight.

Result: The Utes have this bowl game thing down pat. They struggled early, but ultimately put the Bears away, 37-27, to claim their ninth consecutive bowl game victory.

At this point, I was feeling mighty slick, with a 4-1 mark after the first five games…it gets pretty ugly from this point forward thru the Holiday Bowl…

HAWAII BOWL Dec. 24
SMU vs. Nevada
The Wolf Pack rushing attack will ensure that June Jones does not enjoy a victorious homecoming.

Result: I thought Nevada’s rushing attack would chew up the Mustangs, but Holy Cow, June Jones felt right at home back in Hawaii and SMU totally humiliated the WAC’s numero dos team, 45-10. It was downright embarrassing for the Wolf Pack.

LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL Dec. 26
Marshall vs. Ohio University
These teams used to be Mid-American Conference rivals. Just a hunch, but I’ll pick the team coached by Frank Solich in this one.

Result: Ohio almost pulled this one off, losing 21-17. They held the Thundering Herd scoreless the entire second half.

MEINEKE CAR CARE Dec. 26
North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh
In a battle of Jekyll & Hyde-like teams, this will be a de facto home game for the Tar Heels. UNC will prevail.

Result: Wrongo again. But, it was really close. The Tarheels had a 1-point lead with 56 ticks on the clock when Pitt’s Dan Hutchins chipped in a 33-yard FG to give the Panthers a 19-17 win.

EMERALD BOWL Dec. 26
Boston College vs. USC
The Trojans are a dysfunctional mess at the moment, but they’re still talented and functional enough to ground the Eagles.

Result: Pete Carroll is a pretty reliable bet in a bowl game. His freshman QB, Matt Barkley made it really tough, though. He threw for 350 yards and 2 TDs, but he was picked off twice and almost a third time. The Trojans escaped the San Francisco Giants’ sandbox with the Pac-10’s first win, 24-13.

MUSIC CITY BOWL Dec. 27
Clemson vs. Kentucky
This game looks like a toss-up on paper. Clemson will prove they aren’t just paper tigers.

Result: CJ Spiller had 172 all-purpose yards to pace Clemson to a 21-13 win over Kentucky. At this point, I’m 6-4 in my picks and feeling like the toughest bowl game picks are behind me. Little did I know…

INDEPENDENCE BOWL Dec. 28
Texas A&M vs. Georgia
Georgia fired DC Willie Martinez and two other coaches and Mark Richt hopes to contain Aggie QB Jerod Johnson? Good luck.

Result: Jerod Johnson took care of his part with 362 yards passing, 2 TD tosses, 51 yards rushing and 2 INTs. Brandon Boylen’s 81-yard TD kickoff return in the second quarter ignited Dawg Nation into a frenzy and it was a bloodbath after that. 44-20, Dawgs.

EAGLEBANK BOWL Dec. 29
Temple vs. UCLA
UCLA has the talent but Temple has the motivation. Owls win this one by a hoot.

Result: Temple dominated the first three quarters of the game, but the Bruins wouldn’t cave in. UCLA scored 13 final frame points while shutting down the Owl offense the entire second half. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win—a desperately needed one, at that. UCLA 30 Temple 21

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL Dec. 29
Miami vs. Wisconsin
The Badgers have a history of winning as an underdog in bowl games. Not this one.

Result: I was going to cast my lot for the Badgers; instead, I fell prey to all that talk about Miami’s speed. Wisconsin did a nice job getting good penetration in the backfield to pressure Jacory Harris and upset his rhythm. The Hurricanes covered their onside kick perfectly with about a minute and half on the clock but couldn’t move the rock. Wisconsin 20 Miami 14

HUMANITARIAN BOWL Dec. 30
Idaho vs. Bowling Green
Neither team wants to play on a clown carpet in freezing weather, especially Idaho. But with the Broncos away, the Vandals will play.

Result: Bowling Green made more of a game out of this match-up than they probably should have. Idaho pulled this one off with just 8 seconds remaining, 43-42, when they decided to go for 2 points rather than sending the contest into OT with an extra point attempt.

HOLIDAY BOWL Dec. 30
Nebraska vs. Arizona
Question: Can Nebraska turn in another defensive gem like they did vs Texas in the Big 12 title game? Answer: Yes. Question: Will it be enough to beat the Wildcats? Answer: Yes.

Result: The Cornhuskers pitched their first bowl shutout in the history of Nebraska football, 33-0. So far, it was the most dominating performance of the bowl season—AZ had just 109 total yards–a Holiday Bowl record they will want to forget asap. I am a big fan of Wildcat QB Nick Foles, but he turned in an absolutely pitiful performance (6-20, 28 yards, 1 int).

After 15 bowl games in 12 days, my record stands at 8-7.

That ties me with Jerry Ahern and Jason King, while Tom Dienhart, Mike Huguenin and Olin Buchanan are all 7-8.

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ARMED FORCES BOWL Dec. 31
Houston vs. Air Force
Houston’s air attack and the Falcons’ ground game will gouge each other’s defenses silly in this contest. Case Keenum is the difference.

SUN BOWL Dec. 31
Oklahoma vs. Stanford
If any team can stop Toby Gerhart this season, the Sooners can. But they won’t.

TEXAS BOWL Dec. 31
Navy vs. Missouri
Navy has impressed me this year, but Missouri has a very strong rushing defense and will win this one.

INSIGHT BOWL Dec. 31
Minnesota vs. Iowa State
If Eric Decker is healthy and can play, the Golden Gophers will win.

CHICK-FIL-A BOWL Dec. 31
Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee
These two teams are evenly matched. Flip a coin. I did and the Vols won.

OUTBACK BOWL Jan. 1
Northwestern vs. Auburn
This is one of two matchups this bowl season featuring Wildcats and Tigers. Northwestern will finally break their bowl jinx this time around.

CAPITAL ONE BOWL Jan. 1
Penn State vs. LSU
JoePa’s teams are usually well prepared for their bowl games. They will struggle with LSU, but they’ll also find a way to pull this one out.

GATOR BOWL Jan. 1
Florida State vs. West Virginia
If the Seminoles can’t get up for this game and win it for Bobby then then I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.

ROSE BOWL Jan. 1
Ohio State vs. Oregon
The Buckeyes have a good defense, but they haven’t seen a scoring machine like the Ducks this year. Oregon finally wins on New Year’s Day in Pasadena.

SUGAR BOWL Jan. 1
Florida vs. Cincinnati
The Gators have too much pride and too much talent to lose two games in a row.

INTERNATIONAL BOWL Jan. 2
South Florida vs. Northern Illinois
This game should’ve been played early in December. The Bulls will trample the Huskies.

PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL Jan. 2
Connecticut vs. South Carolina
Huskies are no match for the Gamecocks in this one.

COTTON BOWL Jan. 2
Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss
Look for Jevan Snead to get his act together in front of the home state crowd. Dexter McCluster will be a key for the Rebs, too.

LIBERTY BOWL Jan. 2
East Carolina vs. Arkansas
The Pirates might have beaten Case Keenum in the C-USA title game, but they won’t defeat Ryan Mallett and the Razorbacks.

ALAMO BOWL Jan. 2
Michigan State vs. Texas Tech
The Red Raiders passing attack will be too much for the suspension-depleted Spartans.

FIESTA BOWL Jan. 4
Boise State vs. TCU
I think the Horned Frogs are good enough to be playing in the national championship game. Following that logic, they will hand Boise State their first loss in this battle of unbeatens.

ORANGE BOWL Jan. 5
Iowa vs. Georgia Tech
Iowa’s sturdy defense will be severely tested by the Yellow Jackets’ potent offense. Go with the O in this contest.

GMAC BOWL Jan. 6
Troy vs. Central Michigan
Dn LeFevour will be the deciding factor for the Chippewas in this match-up with Troy.

BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME Jan. 7
Alabama vs. Texas
Colt McCoy has all the motivation in the world to win this game, but Alabama’s defense will make sure that doesn’t happen.