It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I’m not talking about Christmas, especially depending on the first 8 days of results. Don’t have to return presents because of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, folks. Bowl season is upon us! Bowls are great whether you are working and keeping an eye on the games, or you are relaxing at home with your family trying to justify why you need to be watching a football game on a Tuesday afternoon between 6-6 G5 teams.
Every bowl is good no matter what national college football writers say. The Big 12 is in a tough spot with this slate of games. We’re underdogs in a lot of these games. While we’re going off current lines, my advice is to pay very close attention to who is playing and who is not. There will be opt-outs. There will probably be COVID issues. Don’t bet huge sums on these games. Don’t bet them until close to kickoff. And most importantly, have fun with it. It’s the last college football we’ll get for 9 months. Let’s go!
SBNation has partnered with Draft Kings, so all opening lines for this article are provided through them. You can check out the current lines right here.
Kickoff: Dec 28th, 5:45pm | TV: ESPN | The Line: Mississippi State -8
Texas Tech did great work to make bowl season and has momentum with the new coach. I can see the guys trying to impress the new guy during practices and the game. But the bigger factor at play here is the Mike Leach revenge game. His Tech tenure ended under ... dubious circumstances. Miss St is also the better team so I’ll take them to run it up a bit if they can.
Pick: Mississippi State -8
Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Minnesota (8-4) vs West Virginia (6-6)
Kickoff: Dec 28th, 9:15pm | TV: ESPN | The Line: Minnesota -3.5
West Virginia is happy to make the bowl trip, but they haven’t been great all year. It was an absolute slog to make the game. Minnesota is coming off a huge win against Wisconsin to end the regular season. They’re feeling great. They’ll run the ball every single play and win by a touchdown.
Pick: Minnesota -3.5
Cheez-It Bowl: #19 Clemson (9-3) vs Iowa State (7-5)
Kickoff: Dec 29th, 4:45pm | TV: ESPN | The Line: Iowa State -1.5
One last time for the guys. Breece Hall’s status is up in the air as of this writing, but the rest of Iowa State’s seniors are expecting to play. There’s a lot of pride in this program. Clemson has new coordinators calling a game for the first time. Let’s put our money on the continuity of the Cyclones. Bonus: take the under. This game has 17-13 written all over it.
Pick: Iowa State -1.5
Valero Alamo Bowl: #14 Oregon (10-3) vs #16 Oklahoma (10-2)
Kickoff: Dec 29th, 8:15pm | TV: ESPN | The Line: Oklahoma -4.5
We might as well call this the interim coach bowl. I 1000% trust Bob Stoops to rally the troops for one game. Caleb Williams is going to play as far as I can tell. Our best comp here is Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin. Ready for some stats? Barry coached two bowl games after retiring, the 2013 Rose Bowl and 2015 Outback Bowl. Ready for a stat? Wisconsin covered the spread in both of those bowls. Oregon on the other hand is in shambles. Any bit of physicality will shut this team down. Kayvon Thibodeaux has already opted out. They might be the least motivated team in bowl season.
Pick: Oklahoma -4.5
Kickoff: Jan 1st, 12:00pm | TV: ESPN | The Line: Notre Dame -2
I’ve liked this Oklahoma State for awhile, but the first game with Marcus Freeman as HC is too much to overcome. Okie State is without DC Jim Knowles and will have a bit of a letdown after finishing a half-yard away from a playoff bid.
Kickoff: Jan 1st, 7:45pm | TV: ESPN | The Line: Pick ‘Em
Baylor has done great things this year, and kept Dave Aranda as a result. This is a program on the way up. It’s not enough to handle Lane and Matt Corral. That player has meant more to his team and program than anyone this year. He’s playing, and that makes the Rebels the play.
Kickoff: Jan 4th, 8:00pm | TV: ESPN | The Line: Kansas State -1
LSU might be starting a walk on at QB? They’ve already sent the best interim coach of all time packing? Skylar Thompson should be playing his swan song at Kansas State. They’ve handled these SEC teams in bowl games before. Purple Kitties in a romp.
Pick: Kansas State -1
CFP SEMIFINALS PICKS
Alabama -13.5 vs Cincinnati
We love Cincinnati around these parts. This counts as a Big 12 playoff appearance. And in the vein of a Big 12 team in the playoff, they’re going to get crushed by the #1 seed from the SEC. As much as we all want it to happen, sadly Cincy just doesn’t have what it takes to keep up. They can put up a good showing and still lose by 3 touchdowns. That’s how Alabama works. The Tide will roll.
Michigan +8.5 vs Georgia
Give me Michigan anything outside of a touchdown. In my heart of hearts, I’d love Michigan to win this game outright, but my head says the public is all over Michigan and Georgia wins like 24-10. I don’t think the Wolverines can line up and run the ball like they did against Ohio State. With that being said, the SEC Invitational blowouts on New Years Eve sounds terrible. I think Michigan can at least keep this close. Go Blue.
PROP OF THE WEEK FOR TEXA$ FANS
Urban Meyer’s next professional job?
College Head Coach -150
Member of Congress +110
Columbus, OH Bar Owner +150
Professor of Leadership +250
NFL Head Coach +800
SEASON RECORD: 47-45-1 (-2.5 units)