College Football Bowl Game Previews & Predictions

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Friday, January 2 

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl 

Houston vs. Pittsburgh (-3). Both the Cougars and Panthers will change coaches before next season. Houston failed to meet preseason expectations, and head coach Tony Levine was relieved of his duties before the bowl game. He was replaced with current Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, who helped lead the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoffs despite losing two potential Heisman winners at quarterback. Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst left to take the head coaching job at Wisconsin and was replaced with Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. Prediction: Pittsburgh 23, Houston 20. 

TaxSlayer Bowl 

Iowa vs. Tennessee (-3.5). During the middle of the season, it looked like the Volunteers were regressing in Butch Jones’s second season as head coach. Tennessee lost to Florida, Ole Miss, and Alabama in October, and the chances of reaching a bowl game decreased by the week. However, the Vols responded by knocking off South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky in November to get to six wins. A winning season would be a great step forward for this rebuilding Tennessee program. Prediction: Tennessee 31, Iowa 27

Valero Alamo Bowl

Kansas State vs. UCLA (Pick). The Bruins had the talent to compete for the Pac-12 title, but a few disappointing losses knocked them out of the conference championship game. Brett Hundley is a potential first round quarterback if he chooses to enter the NFL draft, but due to a suspect offensive line his numbers have not been spectacular. Kansas State had another successful season under Bill Snyder, although the Wildcats did come up short in the Big 12 race. Prediction: Kansas State 34, UCLA 31

TicketCity Cactus Bowl 

Washington vs. Oklahoma State (+6). Oklahoma State was on the cusp of missing a bowl game, but a last-second comeback victory over rival Oklahoma propelled the Cowboys to a six-win season. Chris Petersen’s first season at Washington didn’t include any bad losses, but it also didn’t include any marquee victories. The Huskies’ best win was over Illinois, which isn’t saying much. Prediction: Oklahoma State 37, Washington 34

Saturday, January 3

Birmingham Bowl

East Carolina vs. Florida (-7). The Gators finished the season at 6-5, which was not enough for Will Muschamp to save his job. Florida ended the year with two frustrating losses to South Carolina and Florida State, and the Gators had chances to win both games. Colorado State coach Jim McElwain replaced Muschamp. East Carolina nearly defeated South Carolina earlier in the year and beat two ACC teams easily earlier in the year. Prediction: East Carolina 33, Florida 28

Sunday, January 4

GoDaddy Bowl

Toledo vs. Arkansas State (+3.5). The Rockets finished 8-4 in the regular season and ended the year with a blowout victory over Eastern Michigan. Arkansas State finished the regular season at 7-5. Prediction: Arkansas State 38, Toledo 34.

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