Tailgate Pick ‘Em; Week 2 Bowl Picks Including LSU-Notre Dame

We’re into the heart of the bowl season now as our experts take a look at the rest of the year’s non Group of Six bowl games including some major power 5 clashes between ranked teams. Here is your full preview and predictions for bowl games through New Year’s day.

Tailgate Pick ‘Em; Week 2 Bowl Picks Including LSU-Notre Dame

Marquee Bowls

Camping World Bowl: #19 Oklahoma State vs. #22 Virginia Tech (12/28)
Line: Oklahoma State by 4.5

Steen: Oklahoma State’s 3 losses all came in games they scored more than 30 points, as defense was their fatal flaw this season. Virginia Tech suffered a bad loss to Georgia Tech but otherwise had a solid season. Oklahoma State should score too much though. Oklahoma State 45, Virginia Tech 35

Mike: Justin Fuente’s Hokie team is still very young. And while they’re talented, they aren’t as talented as the team from Stillwater. The Cowboys have one of the best offensive trios in the nation. The Hokies have a good defense, and Bud Foster is one of the great Defensive Coordinators in the game, but the Pokes just have too many weapons. On the flip side, while the Cowboys’ defense isn’t very good, Virginia Tech won’t be able to keep on the scoreboard. Oklahoma State 35, Virginia Tech 27

John: This is just the third all-time meeting between the Cowboys and Hokies and the first since 1972. Both teams came into the season as dark horse conference title contenders before Oklahoma and Clemson reasserted their stranglehold on each league to make the CFP. Mike Gundy has certainly established the Pokes as a perennial contender out of the Big 12. Meanwhile, Justin Fuente hasn’t suffered from the curse of the head coach replacing a legend in Blacksburg.

This is a quintessential strength-against-strength matchup. Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph leads the nation with 4,553 passing yards and is no worse than fifth in yards per pass, touchdown throws and pass efficiency rating. He faces a Virginia Tech defense that finished as one of 12 in FBS that averaged under 310 yards allowed per game. The unit includes defensive backs Greg Stroman and Reggie Floyd who’ve combined for seven interceptions and who have a pick six apiece this year. Still, the Hokies are going to have their hands full in Orlando. Oklahoma State 38, Virginia Tech 27

Brett: Look for Mason Rudolph to do what he’s been doing all year long. He’ll have a big game to close out his storied collegiate career. Oklahoma State 34, Virginia Tech 28

Yesh: Both of these teams are probably very underrated. Oklahoma State has the security of Mike Gundy’s new contract. Fuente is bringing in top recruiting classes at Virginia Tech. Both of these teams had solid years and are on the rise. I think Oklahoma State has a bit more talent at this point, though. Oklahoma State 33, Virginia Tech 30

Alamo Bowl: #15 TCU vs. #13 Stanford (12/28)
Line: TCU by 3

Steen: Only 9 points total separated Stanford from a 1 loss season, and almost certainly a College Football playoff berth. TCU won 10 games but losing to Oklahoma twice took the air out of their tires. Look for Stanford to demonstrate how good they actually are. Stanford 28, TCU 21

Mike: In a match-up of Conference runner-ups, TCU and Stanford make their seasons’ last stand in the Alamo City. TCU has shown that they’re the best defense in the Big 12. But they’ve found success against smaller, faster, more pass-oriented Big 12 opponents. Stanford is not that. Stanford is tough, powerful, and will feature a healthy Bryce Love – also a runner-up this year. The Cardinal, down to the wire.
Stanford 31, TCU 30

John: David Shaw looks to win his fifth bowl game in seven tries as Stanford head coach while leading the Cardinal to 10 or more wins for the seventh time in the past eight seasons. The team nearly won its fourth Pac-12 crown under Shaw before narrowly falling to USC in the conference title game. Still, three league titles since 2012 is pretty impressive considering their previous three came in 1971, 1992, and 1999.

Their success this season came in large part due to the exploits of Bryce Love. The Heisman Trophy finalist finished as one of just eight running backs in FBS to exceed eight yards per carry. But he faces a Horned Frogs defense that proved as stout against the run as any team in college football. Only TCU, Alabama, Wisconsin and Washington conceded fewer than 100 rushing yards per game in 2017. Kenny Hill has the edge at quarterback over Stanford’s K.J. Costello and might be able to make inroads against the Cardinal’s 71st ranked pass defense. TCU 24, Stanford 19

Brett: It’ll be fun to see Bryce Love go against Darius Anderson. Kenny Hill’s experience should also help, I think TCU is able to contain Love just enough. TCU 37, Stanford 24

Yesh: I’m not sure why TCU is favored in this game. Sure, Stanford always plays close, but the Cardinal impressed the entire second half of the season. TCU got absolutely blasted in both games against Oklahoma, and the Iowa State defense slowed the Horned Frogs down as well. I expect Stanford to come through this, probably without too much trouble. Stanford 31, TCU 17

Holiday Bowl: #18 Washington State vs. #16 Michigan State (12/28)
Line: Washington State by 1

Steen: With Mike Leach staying, Washington State should be consistently good in the PAC-12. The Cougs were streaky this season, when they lost, they lost badly. Michigan State won 9 games, including a marquee win over Penn State, but they were never mistaken for genuine BIG 10 contenders. Sparty’s defense should edge it. Michigan State 28, Washington State 21

Mike: Is there any team that’s more up-and-down than Washington State? Their sinusoidal season culminates against Michigan State. The Spartans have struggled down the stretch. So to have the Cougars. This game features two teams that have fallen from previous highs in the polls. With the Mike Leach situation settled in Pullman, look for Luke Falk to have one more big game.
Washington State 38, Michigan State 27

John: Last season turned out to be a massive aberration for Michigan State football. That’s quite evident considering the six-win improvement in 2017 for Mark Dantonio‘s team. The Spartans nabbed a signature win against Penn State and none of their three losses came against a team that finished with a worse record than them this season. On the other side of the field, Mike Leach’s sixth year in Pullman saw Wazzu ranked in the top 10 before faltering down the stretch. For their efforts, the Cougars get a second straight trip to San Diego.

The Spartans own a 5-2 all-time record in this series. But the two teams haven’t met since 1977 and they’ve never played in a bowl before. Washington State’s vaunted pass attack with senior quarterback Luke Falk might be expected to run wild. But MSU boasts playmakers in the secondary, including David Dowell whose five interceptions ranks second in the Big Ten. The Cougars are fairly stingy against the pass themselves, boasting the nation’s eighth best pass defense. Washington State 30, Michigan State 24

Brett: I think Mike Leach is going to open up the playbook fresh off his new extension. Washington State wins comfortably.
Washington State 37. Michigan State 23

Yesh: This should be an amazing contrast of styles. Michigan State is smash-mouth consistent football. Washington State is air raid, though with a criminally underrated defense. This will come down to who makes fewer mistakes, and I think Luke Falk minimizes those in his final college game. Washington State 31, Michigan State 28

Liberty Bowl: #20 Memphis vs. Iowa State (12/30)
Line: Memphis by 4

Steen: Great season for both teams end in Memphis. Iowa State beat eventual BIG 12 finalists Oklahoma and TCU, while Memphis beat everyone except UCF to finish 10-2. The Tigers are a really solid team and should show off their offense against a streaky Cyclone squad. Memphis 42, Iowa State 28

Mike: Two upstarts going at it. Who’d have thought that Memphis and Iowa State would be a featured bowl when the season started? Matt Campbell has the Cyclones with two of the biggest upsets of the season. Mike Norvell has Memphis’ offense in perfect rhythm. With both of these coaches not involved in the December coaching carousel, look for Memphis to race pass a still developing Iowa State program. Memphis 42, Iowa State 34

John: This year’s Liberty Bowl is a meeting between second-year head coaches who have their respective programs on positive trajectories. Iowa State’s Matt Campbell realized a four-win improvement from 2016 and has two signature wins this year. One of them included handing Oklahoma it’s only loss of the season. For Memphis, Mike Norvell helped lead the Tigers to its fourth straight bowl game, the first time in school history they’ve achieved that feat.

In what’s essentially a home game for Memphis, Riley Ferguson will be expected to shine. The senior quarterback is one of four in FBS to average over 330 yards per game and throw for at least 35 touchdowns. But the Tigers aren’t a one-trick pony on offense. They boast a talented running back in Darrell Henderson who currently has 1,154 yards on the ground and is averaging 8.88 yards per carry, the third best mark in the nation. Simply put, the Cyclones are going to have issues containing the bevy of dynamic weapons Memphis possesses on offense. Memphis 34, Iowa State 20

Brett: It should be interesting to see how Memphis responds after the heartbreaking loss to UCF in the AAC championship. Iowa State’s defense was one of the only teams to not get completely embarrassed by Heisman winner Baker Mayfield. They should be able to slow down Memphis and get the win. Iowa State 37, Memphis 30

Yesh: Memphis has two losses on the year, both to UCF. If the Iowa State defense can slow the Tigers down, then the Cyclones should win, but I don’t see that happening. I think Mike Norvell gives Memphis a good year-end ranking and boost heading into 2018. Memphis 31, Iowa State 28

Citrus Bowl: #17 LSU vs. #14 Notre Dame (1/1)
Line: LSU by 3

Steen: Losing to Miami and Stanford ruined Notre Dame’s New Year’s Six bowl slot but they will still play a blue blood program in LSU. The Tigers lost to Troy, but to their credit managed to recover and win 9 games overall. The Tigers are slightly better and should earn their 10th win in this one. LSU 34, Notre Dame 24

Mike: Both of these teams had CFP aspirations at the start of the season. Neither of them got close to fulfilling those. In a rematch of the Music City Bowl from two seasons ago, the Irish put their read option rushing attack up against the power rushing attack of LSU. This game might come down to which QB can be more effective through the air. Say what you will, but Danny Etling has quietly come along this season. And LSU’s defense will have a month to prepare for the Irish. LSU 30, Notre Dame 28

John: No other SEC team has faced Notre Dame more than LSU. This year’s bowl matchup on New Year’s Day 2018 in Orlando is the 12th all-time meeting. It’s the fourth time they’ve played in the postseason, the last of which occurred on December 30, 2014 when the Irish pulled off a 31-28 upset in the Music City Bowl. This time around, despite a higher spot in the final CFP rankings, ND is again an underdog.

Both teams boast dynamic bell cow backs with Notre Dame’s Josh Adams and LSU’s Derrius Guice both averaging over 100 yards per game and combining for 20 touchdowns. Brandon Wimbush adds a dual-threat element under center for the Irish, with his 14 scores on the ground tied for fifth among quarterbacks in the nation. That and their ability to convert on third down more efficiently than the Tigers may put them over the edge in what should be a physical battle. Notre Dame 27, LSU 23

Brett: If Darrius Guice plays i’d expect LSU to win. LSU has too much speed for the more physical Notre Dame team. Brandon Wimbush is just too unpredictable. LSU is coming in winning three straight, closing the season out nicely and turning around what looked like would be a bad season. The tigers only have one loss after the upset loss to Troy, I don’t think Notre Dame has enough to win. LSU 37, Notre Dame 17

Yesh: This rematch of the 2014 Music City Bowl should be just as good a game. The Notre Dame offense against that staunch LSU defense is a compelling matchup. Both teams are incredibly talented, but were heading in opposite directions to end the year. I’ll go with LSU, who has momentum on their side. LSU 31, Notre Dame 30

Other Bowls

Hawai’i Bowl: Fresno State vs. Houston (12/24)
Line: Houston by 3

Steen: Fresno State had a fantastic season that included a win over eventual conference champions Boise State, that said, Houston beat USF and I think they play in a tougher conference. Houston 28, Fresno State 24

Mike: A sneaky good match-up in this game. Two of the best G5 teams in the nation. Houston 31, Fresno State 28

John: Fresno State nearly won the Mountain West in Jeff Tedford‘s first season as head coach and will look to erase a six-game bowl losing streak on the islands against Houston. Fresno State 31, Houston 24

Brett: Houston might struggle on offense with OC Brian Johnson already joining Dan Mullen‘s staff at Florida. Jeff Tedford and Fresno State are having a sneaky good season, look for them to close it out with a win. Fresno State 27, Houston 21

Yesh: Fresno State was more consistent and ended the year better than Houston. That will be the difference. Fresno State 34, Houston 17

Heart of Dallas Bowl: Utah vs. West Virginia (12/26)
Line: Utah by 6.5

Steen: After starting 4-0 Utah really struggled in the back half of the season,West Virginia dropped their final 2 games but even without Justin Crawford and Will Grier, I have a feeling they are a tad bit stronger. West Virginia 35, Utah 28

Mike: West Virginia is sneaky good with loads of talent and a good coaching staff. Don’t underestimate this team. West Virginia 42, Utah 30

John: Utah is 10-1 in bowl games under head coach Kyle Whittingham and they should be able to add to that success against West Virginia who will be without regular starting quarterback Will Grier. Utah 31, West Virginia 20

Brett: I don’t see how WVU wins without quarterback Will Grier. Their offense has enough weapons to keep it close, but that’s about it.
Utah 31, West Virginia 27

Yesh: This is a good matchup, but the line is way too high. West Virginia is good, even without Grier. West Virginia 28, Utah 27

Quick Lane Bowl: Duke vs. Northern Illinois (12/26)
Line: Duke by 5.5

Steen: Duke had to win their last 2 games to become bowl eligible, Northern Illinois beat Nebraska but they have had an otherwise forgettable season. Duke HC David Cutcliffe chose staying at Duke over taking over Tennessee, that decision should pay off. Duke 24, Northern Illinois 14

Mike: David Cutcliffe with a healthy offense and time to scheme? Those are good odds. Duke 35, Northern Illinois 28

John: Blue Devils head coach David Cutcliffe continues to spurn higher profile jobs to remain in Durham. It’s reaped dividends for the program with Duke making its fifth bowl in the past six seasons. Big plays on defense might define this game with the two teams having combined for seven pick sixes. Northern Illinois 24, Duke 20

Brett: After losing five straight in the middle of the year, Duke bounced back nicely winning their final two games. I like their chances to win their second bowl game in program history since 1989. Duke 27, Northern Illinois 17

Yesh: Neither team has really impressed me this year. I think David Cutcliffe is the better coach, so I’ll go with him. Duke 24, Northern Illinois 17

Cactus Bowl: Kansas State vs. UCLA (12/26)
Line: Kansas State by 3

Steen: A massive comeback against Texas A&M got UCLA hyped up for their 2017 but PAC-12 play really did a number on the Bruins, who replaced with Jim Mora with Chip Kelly and are dreaming of 2018 now. Josh Rosen may not enter the draft, but regardless, Kansas State is as steady of a team in college football as any of their rivals. The Wildcats won four of their last five games including beating ranked Oklahoma State and won’t be afraid in this one. Kansas State 24, UCLA 17

Mike: With no Jesse Ertz, the Wildcats might not have enough to keep up with the Bruins. Even if Josh Rosen doesn’t play, UCLA can still clamp down the State offense.
UCLA 35, Kansas State 24

John: Josh Rosen’s status for this game remains up in the air due to a concussion. If he’s unable to go, it certainly give the Wildcats an advantage in a rematch of the 2014 Alamo Bowl, a game won 40-35 by the Bruins. Kansas State 42, UCLA 34

Brett: Kansas State hasn’t been able to stop the other elite quarterbacks they faced this season giving up 42, and 40 to Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph. I wouldn’t be surprised if Josh Rosen put 40 on them as well.
UCLA 41, Kansas State 34

Yesh: UCLA has the better quarterback and has talent, but Kansas State is more consistent. Kansas State 31, UCLA 27

Independence Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Florida State (12/27)
Line: Florida State by 16.5

Steen: With Willie Taggart in and Jimbo Fisher out, energy and fun has been injected back into this Florida State program. Southern Miss had a great conference season in the C-USA but lost both P5 games they played. Florida State has had a horror year but should close it out with a winning record. Florida State 35, Southern Miss 21

Mike: Things are in shambles in Tallahassee right now, and Southern Miss might have the motivational edge – they’ve certainly had the preparation edge. FSU 24, Southern Miss 21

John: Heading into this game, the Seminoles aren’t just dealing with the departure of Jimbo Fisher for Texas A&M. There are also questions about whether or not they’re actually bowl eligible since the NCAA might vacate a win over Delaware State. Nevertheless, they must focus on the task at hand to avoid their first losing season since 1976. Florida State 41, Southern Miss 27

Brett: I don’t think this will be as one sided as most expect. FSU is missing a lot on defense with Derwin James, and Josh Sweat sitting out. It’ll be good experience for true freshman quarterback James Blackman as FSU wins a close one.
Florida State 27, Southern Miss 21

Yesh: There were questions raised about FSU’s bowl eligibility, but the Seminoles are much more talented in this game. Southern Miss deserved better. Florida State 41, Southern Miss 17

Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa vs. Boston College (12/27)
Line: Iowa by 2.5

Steen: Iowa knocked Ohio State out of the college football playoff and simply has more upside than BC. Credit to the Eagles for showing improvement, especially on offense, but Iowa should smother them. Iowa 21, Boston College 14

Mike: Iowa is another team that shouldn’t be trusted in bowl season, but they’re better than Boston College. Give it a whirl. Iowa 31, Boston College 21

John: This year’s game at Yankee Stadium is BC’s fourth bowl appearance in five seasons under Steve Addazio. They face an Iowa team with the nation’s longest tenured coach in Kirk Ferentz and whose upset win over Ohio State kept the Buckeyes out of the CFP. Iowa 34, Boston College 27

Brett: Both teams are pretty similar offensively. You won’t see too many explosive plays, even though Iowa closed out the season scoring 56 on Nebraska. They won’t quite get there, but they’ll get enough to win. Iowa 31, Boston College 23

Yesh: The Hawkeyes have been a massive enigma all year, but if they play like they did against Penn State and Ohio State, this won’t be close. Iowa 37, Boston College 14

Foster Farms Bowl: Arizona vs. Purdue (12/27)
Line: Arizona by 3

Steen: Khalil Tate had a special season for Arizona but Purdue is underrated and they were able to hang onto Jeff Brohm this offseason. Things are looking up for Boiler Up. Purdue 31, Arizona 24

Mike: Two words for you: Khalil. Tate. Arizona 45, Purdue 31

John: First-year head coach Jeff Brohm has engineered one of the more surprising turnarounds in West Lafayette. And Purdue fans are thanking their lucky stars he didn’t bolt for Tennessee. But they might be overwhelmed against Arizona’s potent offense led by dual-threat sensation Khalil Tate. Arizona 45, Purdue 27

Brett: I don’t think Purdue will be able to contain Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate. Ever since taking over as QB for the wildcats he’s put up big numbers and should do so once again. Arizona 35, Purdue 30

Yesh: Everyone is high on Khalil Tate, but the Boilermakers very quietly contained Lamar Jackson way back in Week 1. Purdue 28, Arizona 24

Texas Bowl: Texas vs. Missouri (12/27)
Line: Missouri by 2.5

Steen: Missouri had a great turnaround this season while Texas is missing some key players. Look for the Missouri offense to score 40+ for the 7th straight game. Missouri 42, Texas 28

Mike: Texas may have been a big winner on the recruiting trail this week, but they can’t use that talent on the field. Missouri is one of the hottest teams in the nation. Missouri 38, Texas 27

John: The Longhorns will bring a depleted roster to this game due to injuries and suspensions. That could be good news for a Mizzou team with one of the nation’s hottest quarterbacks in Drew Lock. Missouri 34, Texas 21

Brett: Heading in to bowl season this looked like one of the better games, but the suspensions on the Texas side are starting add up. Missouri should be able to move the ball on them comfortably. Missouri 40, Texas 24

Yesh: Missouri is the most improved team in the country over the course of this year. Missouri 45, Texas 21

Military Bowl: Virginia vs. Navy (12/28)
Line: Navy by 2

Steen: Virginia had a great season but they finished the year in a relative tailspin losing their last three, and five of their last six. Navy is likewise in poor form but their flexbone tends to wear teams out. Navy 21, Virginia 17

Mike: Yes, Virginia has had a month to prepare for the triple option; that doesn’t make any easier to defend. Navy 38, Virginia 34

John: Virginia realized a four-win improvement this year in Bronco Mendenhall‘s second season in charge, but their suspect run defense is in for a challenge against Navy’s vaunted triple option. Navy 34, Virginia 26

Brett: Having extra time to prepare for Navy’s offense normally helps the opponent. Army was able to shut them down, but they should come out strong not wanting to drop four straight to close out the year. Navy wins a close game.
Navy 28, Virginia 27

Yesh: Navy limped to the finish, but this team is too good not to beat Virginia, who also didn’t end the season well. Navy 24, Virginia 21

Belk Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M (12/29)
Line: Wake Forest by 3

Steen: By Wake Forest standards they had a solid season, but Texas A&M (should) be a big step above the Deacs. Especially after splashing the cash on Jimbo Fisher. Look for the Aggies to step up in this one and work out their frustrations. Texas A&M 55, Wake Forest 17

Mike: I usually tend to favor teams without coaching changes and drama, but I think Jimbo starts off his tenure well. Texas A&M 31, Wake Forest 27

John: Kevin Sumlin‘s time in College Station finally ran its course but Aggie fans certainly have reason to be excited with Jimbo Fisher succeeding him. Against Wake Forest, their suspect defense which is tied for 106th in passing touchdowns conceded might struggle against quarterback John Wolford who’s thrown 25 along with just six interceptions. Wake Forest 23, Texas A&M 17

Brett: A lot has taken place since the last time the aggies took the field. It’ll be interesting to see how focused A&M is after hiring new head coach Jimbo Fisher. I think they have too much talent overall and should be enough in this game Texas A&M 34, Wake Forest 30

Yesh: Wake Forest is favored, and it doesn’t surprise me at all. The Demon Deacons very quietly had a very good season under Dave Clawson. Wake Forest 34, Texas A&M 21

Sun Bowl: #24 NC State vs. Arizona State (12/29)
Line: NC State by 6.5

Steen: Arizona State seems to be a bit of a mess right now, and their two wins to close the season out seem quite a long time ago. NC State was on the cusp of being a serious ACC contender this year and just missed the mark in big games. NC State 38, Arizona State 28

Mike: Significant, but not total change over on the staff of Arizona State, but it’s tough to trust the Wolfpack after several disappointments this season. N.C. State 28, Arizona State 27

John: NC State can clinch just its second nine-win season since 2003 against an Arizona State team who parted ways with head coach Todd Graham at the conclusion of the regular season. NC State 24, Arizona State 20

Brett: It’s tough to see how NC State wins if Bradley Chubb doesn’t play. His status is still up in the air, if he plays i’d expect them to win.
NC State 28. Arizona State 23

Yesh: N.C. State didn’t end the year too well, and Arizona State was mediocre all season, aside from a few weeks where they absolutely balled out on defense. N.C. State 34, Arizona State 10

Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs. #23 Northwestern (12/29)
Line: Northwestern by 8

Steen: Overshadowed by Wisconsin all season, Northwestern can make it a 10 win season if they beat Kentucky, a team that didn’t show they were elite by any measure this season. Northwestern should win their 8th straight. Northwestern 42, Kentucky 21

Mike: Always be cautious of Northwestern in bowl season, especially with teams looking to build on momentum. Kentucky 31, Northwestern 20

John: Pat Fitzgerald continues to work wonders in Evanston as he has Northwestern on the cusp of the third ten-win season of his tenure. In this all-Wildcat affair, he faces a Kentucky team that stumbled down the stretch, dropping three of their last four. Northwestern 34, Kentucky 24

Brett: Kentucky got embarrassed their last game against rival Louisville. They haven’t won a bowl game since 2009, I like the matchup for Kentucky. Their speed might throw Northwestern off as they haven’t seen too much in the Big 10.
Kentucky 27, Northwestern 24

Yesh: Northwestern probably deserved a better bowl opponent, but a ten-win season will be well-earned. Northwestern 35, Kentucky 14

Arizona Bowl: New Mexico State vs. Utah State (12/29)
Line: New Mexico State by 4

Steen: This game is basically the national championship for bowl starved NMSU. Their seniors really helped build up the Aggie program and finally got them into a bowl game. Look for them to make another memory in this feel good contest. New Mexico State 37, Utah State 28

Mike: Look for Tyler Rogers and Larry Rose III to exploit a very porous Utah State defense. New Mexico State 42, Utah State 35

John: In one of the feel good stories of this year’s bowls, New Mexico State takes part in its first bowl game since 1960 when it faces Utah State in Tucson. They boast one of the nation’s lesser known gun-slinging quarterbacks in Tyler Rogers whose 347.7 yards per game ranks second nationally. New Mexico State 35, Utah State 28

Brett: New Mexico State’s passing attack has created problems for opponents this year. They average about 350 yards per game in the air, look for that to continue.
New Mexico State 37, Utah State 34

Yesh: New Mexico State hasn’t been to a bowl in over half a century. Picking against them would be cruel. New Mexico State 35, Utah State 30

Taxslayer Bowl: Louisville vs. #23 Mississippi State (12/30)
Line: Louisville by 6.5

Steen: Mississippi State could slip from relevance without Dan Mullen, while Louisville is staring a future without Lamar Jackson right in the face. The Cardinal finished the year strong in a tougher conference, and should have an edge against a team missing one of their best players in QB Nick Fitzgerald. Louisville 31, Mississippi State 28

Mike: The Bulldogs without Nick Fitzgerald or Dan Mullen. Cardinals easy. Louisville 38, Mississippi State 20

John: Louisville continued to get solid play from last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, who led FBS in total offense and finished second among quarterbacks in rushing yards. His Cardinals face a short-handed Mississippi State team who lost their star quarterback Nick Fitzgerald to an injury in their rivalry game against Ole Miss. Louisville 48, Mississippi State 27

Brett: Lamar Jackson is putting up similar numbers to last year’s Heisman season. He’ll close out his collegiate career with another huge game and a win. Louisville 45, Mississippi State 35

Yesh: Louisville laid an egg in the bowl last year. That won’t happen again, in what is likely Lamar Jackson’s final game with the Cardinals. Louisville 42, Mississippi State 24

Outback Bowl: Michigan vs. South Carolina (1/1)
Line: Michigan by 8

Steen: Losses to rivals Georgia and Clemson in big games had to sting the Gamecocks, but Michigan gets too much credit, I’m not sure how they find the offense to win this game. South Carolina 17, Michigan 13

Mike: Maybe the toughest bowl game to call. Take the talent as things in Ann Arbor aren’t as bad as people think. Michigan 28, South Carolina 17

John: The last time these two teams met in Tampa, Jadeveon Clowney delivered one of the most memorable hits in college football history as the Gamecocks prevailed. This time around, the roles might be reversed with Michigan owning a 103-63 edge in tackles for loss this year. Michigan 30, South Carolina 17

Brett: South Carolina looked terrible against Clemson to close out the season. I think they should be able to bounce back and upset Michigan as the wolverines head in to the offseason unsure about Jim Harbough again. South Carolina 24, Michigan 20

Yesh: This line is just too high. This should be a tight game either way, even if there is no Jadeveon Clowney on South Carolina this time. Michigan 28, South Carolina 27



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