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Football

CF Picks: Bowl Season

It has come down to this…a season that has left you hanging on the edge of your seat each and every week as you have waited for the staff picks to be unveiled. You have put your money on the line with all of this wisdom and likely come out somewhere in the red, maybe with broken knee caps. Sorry about that!

But, never fear…bowl season is about redemption. Whether you’re 40-46 on the season and forcing everyone to pick 15 bowl games so you have some shot of not finishing in dead last of a meaningless pick ’em contest or if you’re a proud and tradition rich football school like Nebraska, headed to a bowl game with an impressive 5-7 record to compliment all the nut kicks you took this season.

THIS, is what it’s all about; competing on the gridiron for supremacy in games with titles such as "Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl", or the "Marmot Boca Raton Bowl", or the "Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl", or even the "Pride of Des Moines Lumberyard Bowl"…(okay, that last one may be fabricated).

Fifteen bowl games to pick; ONE TRUE CHAMPION.

Without further ado, the standings for which this epic battle starts from:

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CF Columnist, Brent Blum

Pittsburgh vs Navy (-3.5) – This is an actual home game for Navy. I still have nightmares of the time Iowa State had to go to Boise to play Boise State in a bowl game. Not cool. Navy 31 Pitt 21.

Nebraska vs UCLA (-6.5) – Something tells me Nebraska will actually want to play in this game and UCLA won’t. Huskers cover. UCLA 27 Nebraska 24.

Baylor (-2.5) vs North Carolina – The last time Gene Chizik played Baylor, true freshman Robert Griffin III led the Bears to a 38-10 win over Iowa State. It was one of only 4 wins for Baylor that year. Baylor 37 North Carolina 31.

Texas Tech vs LSU (-7) – Texas Tech still can’t stop the run. That’s not a good sign against LSU. LSU 34 Texas Tech 20.

Wisconsin vs USC (-3) – Wisconsin can’t score. USC 27 Wisconsin 17.

Houston vs Florida State (-7) – The best part about Tom Herman getting fitted for a grill is it was done by Paul Wall! I haven’t heard about Paul Wall since 2005, when he and Nelly had the famous and aptly named song Grillz which featured this poetry, “I put a Bill in your mouth like Hillary Rodham.” Florida State 31 Houston 27

Michigan St vs Alabama (-9.5) – Alabama is too good right now. Alabama 30 Michigan State 18.

Oklahoma (-3.5) vs Clemson – This is arguably the Big 12’s most important game in a decade. The conference needs this one. Oklahoma 35 Clemson 31.

Tennessee (-8.5) vs Northwestern – The unranked team is an 8.5 point favorite over the nation’s 12th best team for good reason. Tennessee 28 Northwestern 10.

Notre Dame vs Ohio State (-6.5) – Angry Ohio State. Ohio State 37 Notre Dame 21.

Iowa vs Stanford (-6.5) – This is the first game all year Iowa will play a team ranked in top 50 of both scoring offense and defense. Stanford 34 Iowa 16.

Mississippi (-7) vs Oklahoma St. – Oklahoma State puts up a fight. Ole Miss 34 Oklahoma State 30.

Kansas State vs Arkansas (-11.5) – There are roughly 20 Taco Bells in Memphis, so Bill Snyder should eat well.  Arkansas 27 K-State 21.

TCU vs Oregon (Pick) – Another good reputation game for the Big 12 and I think they handle it well. TCU 34 Oregon 29.

West Virginia vs Arizona St. (Pick) – Arizona State 30 West Virginia 28. 

CF Senior Columnist, Rob Gray

Pittsburgh vs Navy (-3.5) – Panthers lost three of five games down the stretch after a 6-1 start. I like the Midshipmen’s triple option to thrive in this one. Navy covers.

Nebraska vs UCLA (-6.5) – LIke underachievers? Underwhelmers? Bad records? This is the bowl for you. Somehow, Nebraska wins.

Baylor (-2.5) vs North Carolina – A Baylor team with its third-string quarterback against Gene Chizik’s steel (powder blue) Carolina curtain? Hate to say it, but that worries me. Bears by a field goal, though I may regret it. So a cover.

Texas Tech vs LSU (-7) – That wretched Red Raiders defense against Leonard Fournette? Not sure the Bayou Bengals will attempt 10 passes. Won’t need to. LSU rolls. Les Miles dances.

Wisconsin vs USC (-3) – Wisky’s down this year but the Trojans are downright bizarre. I’ll grant them a win and a cover, since the players seem fired up that the interim head coach tag has been removed from Clay Helton. They seem to love that dude.

Houston vs Florida State (-7) – Tom Herman, Mensa Warrior, will not — I REPEAT, will not — lose be a touchdown to an OK Seminoles team. Cougars go down in a nail-biter, or steal a narrow win.

Michigan St vs Alabama (-9.5) – I don’t think the Spartans have the firepower to hang with the Crimson Tide, but I do think their rush defense is solid enough to hold Derrick Henry down for a while. A good one for three quarters, then ‘Bama wins by 10-plus.

Oklahoma (-3.5) vs Clemson – The Sooners’ Phoenix-like rise from the ashes of the Texas loss has been spectacular and I expect the rise to continue. Down goes Clemson — by a touchdown.

Tennessee (-8.5) vs Northwestern – Bowl season generally means a time to lost for the Wildcats. The trend continues when matchup against the solid Vols, who win by two touchdowns. 

Notre Dame vs Ohio State (-6.5) – DeShone Kizer will shine in this one, but on the Buckeyes’ side, Ezekiel Elliott will be tough to contain in his final college game. Wild card: Urban. I like Ohio State to win, but not cover.

Iowa vs Stanford (-6.5) – Iowa’s first Rose Bowl since 1991 and Lord knows Hawkeye fans will descend on SoCal in droves. The Hawks’ combo of strong run game and stout defense means a tight game should be expected. I Like Iowa to win outright by a field goal or less. Don’t see a Cardinal cover at all.

Mississippi (-7) vs Oklahoma St. – Once upon a time, Ole Miss beat ‘Bama like a drum. That team’s in tact, healthy and primed to roll. The Rebels score like a Big 12 team (40 points per game), but are fueled by the run. They’ve rushed for 27 touchdowns while allowing seven. That’s beyond solid. Cowboys hang in early behind passing game, but Ole Miss runs away with this one.

Kansas State vs Arkansas (-11.5) – From a strictly coaching standpoint, it’s hard to not root for the Wildcats for sentimental reasons. Bill Snyder’s not only a great coach, but a good man. Bielema? He’s Bielema. Sadly, though, I think the Hogs will wear down Snyder’s boys and win by 10, so no cover.

TCU vs Oregon (Pick) – The Horned Frogs will be healthier than they’ve been all season. Expect a beatdown of the Ducks. I see Trevone Boykin running and passing at will (though Josh Doctson may not be able to return for a curtain call). TCU by 17-plus.

West Virginia vs Arizona St. (Pick) – Dana Holgorson saved his job by embracing a decidedly non-Big 12 brand of football: Smashmouth runs. The Sun Devils have been better against the run than against the pass, but they’re defense has been blah overall. Give me the Mountaineers by 10. 

The enCYCLONEpedia Guy, Kirk Haaland

Pittsburgh vs Navy (-3.5) – Navy

Nebraska vs UCLA (-6.5) – Bruins

Baylor (-2.5) vs North Carolina – Baylor…I hope.

Texas Tech vs LSU (-7) – Les Miles

Wisconsin vs USC (-3) – In a weird turn of events, Wisky.

Houston vs Florida State (-7) – Seminoles.

Michigan St vs Alabama (-9.5) – Bama covers late.

Oklahoma (-3.5) vs Clemson – BOOMER

Tennessee (-8.5) vs Northwestern – Tennesee.

Notre Dame vs Ohio State (-6.5) – Buckeyes

Iowa vs Stanford (-6.5) – Cardinal

Mississippi (-7) vs Oklahoma St. – Cowboys

Kansas State vs Arkansas (-11.5) – Hogs.

TCU vs Oregon (Pick) – Healthy Boykin? TCU.

West Virginia vs Arizona St. (Pick) – ASU.

CF Multimedia Machine, Jared Stansbury

Pittsburgh vs Navy (-3.5) – Navy will be feeling good after Ken Niumatalolo decided to stay with the Midshipmen and not jump ship (Get it?). This one stays close but Navy covers in the end. 

Nebraska vs UCLA (-6.5) – I’m going to hate myself for this but I’ve got a feeling. Nebraska covers and wins. 

Baylor (-2.5) vs North Carolina – I like North Carolina. I like Baylor, too. Give me the Tar Heels. 

Texas Tech vs LSU (-7) – LSU rolls and Leonard Fournette doesn’t stop running until next season.

Wisconsin vs USC (-3) – I’ll take USC

Houston vs Florida State (-7) – Tom Herman has shinier teeth but Jimbo Fisher has the better football team. Dalvin Cook runs wild and the Seminoles cover easily. 

Michigan St vs Alabama (-9.5) – Roll damn Tide. 

Oklahoma (-3.5) vs Clemson – Oklahoma is going to win the national championship. 

Tennessee (-8.5) vs Northwestern – Northwestern has been underrated all year long. I’ll take the underdog to win. 

Notre Dame vs Ohio State (-6.5) – Ohio State by all the points. 

Iowa vs Stanford (-6.5) – I have a bad feeling about this one. Stanford covers. 

Mississippi (-7) vs Oklahoma St. – I’ll take the Cowboys to win. 

Kansas State vs Arkansas (-11.5) – K-State covers. Hogs win. 

TCU vs Oregon (Pick) – Ducks win the best game of the bowl season. 

West Virginia vs Arizona St. (Pick) – I’ll take West Virginia. 

CF Contributor, Jeff Woody

Pittsburgh vs Navy (-3.5) – There are very few teams that I have a level of confidence in to be ready for anything. Navy is one of those teams, and Keenan Reynolds is one of the best decision makers in the country.

Nebraska vs UCLA (-6.5) – Huskers. There’s no way UCLA is amped up to play a 5-7 team. There’s also no way Tommy plays worse than he did in the end of the season, so that’s good.

Baylor (-2.5) vs North Carolina – Heels. In a 114 – 108 game, North Carolina pulls it out by recording the first tackle of the contest to end the game.

Texas Tech vs LSU (-7) – Tigers. I wanna say that Tech wants to be there more, but that all doesn’t matter if Leonard Fournette runs for 350 yards, which is no way an exaggeration of what’s possible.

Wisconsin vs USC (-3) – USC has more to gain, and I think they’re a better team.

Houston vs Florida State (-7) – COOGS. I will always pull for a Kenith Pope team. 

Michigan St vs Alabama (-9.5) – I think Michigan State at minimum covers. Bama is not as good as people give them credit for, and if you can keep Henry to only (only) 130 on the ground on (only) 37 carries, you win that game.

Oklahoma (-3.5) vs Clemson – 100% Boomer Sooner. They get the chance to get back at Clemson who beat them like a drum in the bowl game last year, and it’s a chance to get to the national championship. 

Tennessee (-8.5) vs Northwestern – Volunteers. I like their orange color.

Notre Dame vs Ohio State (-6.5) – Irish. I honestly have no idea. I think both of these teams feel like this is a drop-down spot, so neither is going to love being there. 

Iowa vs Stanford (-6.5) – Hawks. Just because they have points. I think Stanford wins, but 6.5 is a lot.

Mississippi (-7) vs Oklahoma St. – Cowboys. In the "who cares" New Year’s 6 bowl, OSU gets the Rebels without Nkemdiche.

Kansas State vs Arkansas (-11.5) – BILL SNYDER DOESN’T LOSE BY DOUBLE DIGITS IN BOWL GAMES, DAMNIT.

TCU vs Oregon (Pick) – Frogs. TCU will be healthy for the first time since fall camp. Oregon is clicking, but Boykin is an animal when he’s healthy.

West Virginia vs Arizona St. (Pick) – West Virginia. They played up to get to a bowl game. Arizona State played themselves out of EVERYTHING. 

CF Publisher, Chris Willilams

Pittsburgh vs Navy (-3.5) – Pitt 

Nebraska vs UCLA (-6.5) – UCLA

Baylor (-2.5) vs North Carolina – North Carolina 

Texas Tech vs LSU (-7) – LSU

Wisconsin vs USC (-3) – USC

Houston vs Florida State (-7) – Houston 

Michigan St vs Alabama (-9.5) – Michigan State 

Oklahoma (-3.5) vs Clemson – Oklahoma 

Tennessee (-8.5) vs Northwestern – Tennessee 

Notre Dame vs Ohio State (-6.5) – Ohio State  

Iowa vs Stanford (-6.5) – Stanford 

Mississippi (-7) vs Oklahoma St. – Mississippi 

Kansas State vs Arkansas (-11.5) – Arkansas

TCU vs Oregon (Pick) – TCU 

West Virginia vs Arizona St. (Pick) – West Virginia 

CF Director of Sales, Adam Gray

Pittsburgh vs Navy (-3.5) – Pitt

Nebraska vs UCLA (-6.5) – UCLA

Baylor (-2.5) vs North Carolina –  North Carolina 

Texas Tech vs LSU (-7) – LSU

Wisconsin vs USC (-3) – Wisconsin 

Houston vs Florida State (-7) – Florida State

Michigan St vs Alabama (-9.5) – Alabama

Oklahoma (-3.5) vs Clemson – Clemson

Tennessee (-8.5) vs Northwestern – Tennessee

Notre Dame vs Ohio State (-6.5) – Ohio State 

Iowa vs Stanford (-6.5) – Iowa

Mississippi (-7) vs Oklahoma St. – Mississippi 

Kansas State vs Arkansas (-11.5) – Kansas State

TCU vs Oregon (Pick) – TCU 

West Virginia vs Arizona St. (Pick) – West Virginia 

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