Luke, these are my bowl picks; 2015 - 2016 biased bowl picks, 2nd edition

The games so far have been quite competitive and entertaining - here's hoping the sequels are just as good...

December 26th

St Petersburg Bowl
Connecticut Huskies (6 - 6) vs Marshall Thundering Herd (9 - 3)
St Petersburg, FL / Tropicana Field
11:00 am - ESPN

Despite the 6-6 record, Connecticut did have a marquee win this season; beating Houston was huge for the program, and, arguably, the playoff committee. But these are biased picks, remember, and for this match-up I have to dig a little deeper, like into other sports and stadium cheers. So I’ll go against the basketball school and for the “We Are!” team. Herd.

Hyundai Sun Bowl
Miami Hurricanes (8 - 4) vs Washington State Cougars (8 - 4)
El Paso, TX / Sun Bowl
2:00 pm - CBS

I have spent the last 4 years struggling to come to terms with disappointment and disillusion, and realizing that sometimes bad jobs happen to good people. But hey here’s silver lining for you - we no longer have to root for the hurricanes! In the beginning of the season I would have had a bit of a dilemma when picking a team - but now I have no hesitation in picking Wazzu - Swing your gosh-darn sword. Cougars.

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
Washington Huskies (6 - 6) vs Southern Miss Golden Eagles (9 - 4)
Dallas, TX / Cotton Bowl
2:20 pm - ESPN

I wish I knew how to type out the indecisive noises I am currently making. The Huskies were a bit Jekyll and Hyde this year - and ended with two strong wins. And yet I find myself leaning toward the mid-major contestant. Golden Eagles.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Duke Blue Devils (7 - 5) vs Indiana Hoosiers (6 - 6)
Bronx, NY / Yankee Stadium
3:30 pm - ABC

This is a “basketball” match-up - when you have to look twice at the sports ticker to figure out it’s a football game. Indiana is easily the B1G’s (if not FBS’) *so close!* team of the year. They took the top teams to the wire and played solid football in the process. Easy, albeit a B1G, choice: Hoosiers.

Camping World Independence Bowl
Virginia Tech Hokies (6 - 6) vs Tulsa Golden Hurricane (6 - 6)
Shreveport, LA / Independence Stadium
5:45 pm - ESPN

The Golden Hurricane as a mascot still befuddles and amuses me; similar to the Zips, I have some questions. Questions that I will save for another day. Va Tech is the sentimental favorite here - and with it being Beamer’s last game ever - suppose I should pick the Hokies.

Foster Farms Bowl
Nebraska Cornhuskers (5 - 7) vs UCLA Bruins (8 - 4)
Santa Clara, CA / Levi’s Stadium
9:15 pm - ESPN

Can not get used to the fact that the 5 - 7 teams are in the bowls this season; it just seems wrong. That said, the Huskers are a very good 5 - 7 team, and they ended the season playing quite well. No strong bias against *YouClugh*, but I will say that their uniforms have been (mostly) icky this year. Let’s go - Huskers.

December 28th

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman
Navy Midshipmen (9 - 2) vs Pitt Panthers (8 - 4)
Annapolis, MD / Jack Stephens Field at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
2:30 pm - ESPN

Hahahahahahahahahaaaahhhhaaaaaa - There would already be so many reasons to pick Navy, do I even have to State the obvious? Do I? Ship on Pitt - should be sufficient. Midshipmen.

Quick Lane Bowl
Minnesota Golden Gophers (5 - 7) vs Central Michigan Chippewas (7 - 5)
Detroit, MI / Ford Field
5:00 pm - ESPN2

The B1G’s 5 - 7 game is strong this year. I love saying “chip chip chippewa” when discussing Central Michigan - but I have to pick Minnesota. A bowl win would/will be a good end to a very emotional season. Gophers.

December 29th

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
California Golden Bears (7 - 5) vs Air Force Falcons (8 - 5)
Fort Worth, TX / Amon G Carter Stadium
2:00 pm - ESPN

For some strange reason I’m having a tough time picking a team for this one. But look, military academy, in a military bowl game = military pick. Falcons.

Russell Athletic Bowl
North Carolina Tar Heels (11 - 2) vs Baylor Bears (10 - 2)
Orlando, FL / Orlando Citrus Bowl
5:30 pm - ESPN

I have a loooooooooong standing bias against the tar heels - even if they have had a good year. Baylor has had a terrible time with injuries - hopefully one of their quarterbacks will be healthy enough to play in the game - but no matter - Baylor gets my pick. Bears.

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
Colorado State Rams (7 - 5) vs Nevada Wolf Pack (6 - 6)
Tucson, AZ / Arizona Stadium
7:30 pm - ASN (Campusinsiders.com)

The brand new Arizona Bowl is 41st bowl game and the first “digitally focused” ... ever. The game will be streamed live on Campusinsiders.com for the national audience. One has to wonder if this isn’t the future of sports broadcasting. Regarding these two teams, I’ll utilize a super fancy high-tech criterion focused methodology - Nevada wears blue. Wolf Pack.

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl
Texas Tech Red Raiders (7 - 5) vs LSU Tigers (8 - 3)
Houston, TX / NRG Stadium
9:00 pm - ESPN

My goodness - what a match-up. It was not that long ago that *Le Sou* were in the midst of playoff talk - only devolve into a thwarted *Coup de Les* and a December bowl game. The Red Raiders have had a very competitive season - scoring a lot of points along the way. I could type some more about defensive strategies, positional depth, and turf science but you already know I’m going to pick Kingsbury, errrr, the Red Raiders.

December 30th

Birmingham Bowl
Auburn Tigers (6 - 6) vs Memphis Tigers (9 - 3)
Birmingham, AL / Legion Field
12:00 pm - ESPN

“Tiger, tiger, burning bright. In the forest of the night...” or noon. Two teams of tigers - each sporting (primarily) blue uniforms. I seem to be in a mid-major mood this year. Picking the Tigers. Memphis Tigers, that is.

Belk Bowl
Mississippi State Bulldogs (8 - 4) vs NC State Wolfpack (7 - 5)
Charlotte, NC / Bank of America Stadium
3:30 pm - ESPN

Everyone knows I’m a big fan of moooooarrrr cowbell - but I find the *clanga* more of a thunka than the melodious peal of the traditional (ie the one my dad rang) cowbell. Plus, NC State is my favorite triangle school. Wolfpack.

Franklin American Mortgage Music
City Bowl Texas A&M Aggies (8 - 4) vs Louisville Cardinals (7 - 5)
Nashville, TN / Nissan Stadium
7:00 pm - ESPN

I have to dig deep to find some bias in this one. Interestingly, any pro or con bias I might have is for A&M. My dad was a fan of the “12th Man” tradition and I’ve always liked Reveille; on the other hand... Jackie Sherrill. But, I think that the good outweighs the negative on this one - Aggies.

National University Holiday Bowl
Wisconsin Badgers (9 - 3) vs USC Trojans (8 - 5)
San Diego, CA / Qualcomm Stadium
10:30 pm - ESPN

This is a tale of two seasons. I don’t think many teams have had a quieter year than Wiscy; they’ve posted a decent record, but without much notation. While, true to form, the Trojans, on and off the field, have been headline/message board fodder; they’ve weathered some major and emotional distractions. Still, gotta go B1G. Badgers.

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