It’s been another wild ride during the 2019 college football season.
There were a few notable ‘firsts’ to happen.
- LSU reached the college football playoff.
- Alabama participating in bowl season in the college football playoff era.
- A quarterback participating in the college football playoff with two different teams (Jalen Hurts- Alabama, Oklahoma).
There are 37 bowl games kicking off this year.
Let’s dive into quick hit predictions for every game.
Bahamas Bowl: Buffalo vs. Charlotte
A pair of 7-5 mid-majors will clash in the Bahamas. For the participants, this is more of a vacation than a game. Charlotte’s defense will be no match for this herd of Bulls.
Prediction: Buffalo 32, Charlotte 27
Frisco Bowl: Utah State vs. Kent State
The Aggies should clobber Kent State, however, in bowl games, it’s hard to gauge how players will show up for an exhibition. Especially if there aren’t many fans in attendance. Kent State will make it exciting in the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Utah State 30, Kent State 29
New Mexico Bowl: Central Michigan vs. San Diego State
On paper, San Diego State should rout the Chippewas. The Aztecs offense, however, has been very underwhelming. Sure they have a great defense, but bowl games are where offenses shine. Central Michigan will win in an upset.
Prediction: Central Michigan 23, San Diego State 20
Cure Bowl: Liberty vs. Georgia Southern
This is a matchup between two recently former FCS programs that have found quick success at the FBS level. The Eagles have more experience in bowl season, and their triple-option rushing attack will be too much for Liberty’s defense that ranks 100th in stopping the run.
Prediction: Georgia Southern 49, Liberty 35
Boca Raton Bowl: SMU at Florida Atlantic
Conference USA Champion Florida Atlantic gets to host their bowl game. Unfortunately for the Owls, their head coach Lane Kiffin has taken a job at Ole Miss. Despite being a better team, the lack of leadership without Kiffin will be too much to overcome.
Prediction: SMU 48, Florida Atlantic 41
Camellia Bowl: Florida International vs. Arkansas State
Florida International already won its bowl game. That was against Miami, where they arguably labeled Florida State and Miami as the two worst FBS teams in the State of Florida for perhaps the first time in history. Arkansas State is going to be the hungrier team.
Prediction: Arkansas State 37, Florida International 34
Las Vegas Bowl: No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington
Former Boise State coach Chris Petersen is coaching his last game for the Huskies. He has done so much for Boise by putting them on the map in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, finishing undefeated in 2008, and winning another Fiesta Bowl in 2010. Peterson will do even more for Boise when he adds another bowl trophy to their locker room. Jokes aside, Boise is too good to lose this game.
Prediction: Boise State 28, Washington 26
New Orleans Bowl: No. 20 Appalachian State vs. UAB
App State might be the best “Group of Five” team in the FBS. Their lone defeat came by three-points against a very tricky triple-option offense by rival Georgia Southern. It’s a shame they won’t be facing a “Power Five” opponent, because they’re 1-0 against the ACC and SEC respectively.
Prediction: Appalachian State 42, UAB 24
Gasparilla Bowl: UCF vs. Marshall
UCF is still a really good team despite losing three games this season. The Knights managed to win nine games despite multiple injuries at quarterback. UCF will buzzsaw Marshall.
Prediction: UCF 40, Marshall 14
Hawaii Bowl: BYU at Hawaii
If you’re gambling this bowl season, this might be one of the games to stay away from. The Hawaii bowl this year is very underrated, as both of these teams have had highlights in 2019. Hawaii will have a slight edge playing at home, and having the more experienced quarterback.
Prediction: Hawaii 17, BYU 10
Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami
It’s been an embarrassing finish to 2019 for the Miami Hurricanes. After losing to neighbor Florida International for the first time in history, the Hurricanes closed the season with a 10-point loss at Duke. Get ready for more embarrassment Miami fans.
Prediction: Louisiana Tech 31, Miami 25
Quick Lane Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan
Pittsburgh is a mismatch for Eastern Michigan. The Panthers should be able to finish a lot of scoring drives in the endzone against the Eagles’ lack of defense.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 39, Eastern Michigan 13
Military Bowl: North Carolina vs. Temple
Don’t let UNC’s 6-6 record fool you. All six losses have come by seven points or less including a one-point overtime loss against Clemson. The Tarheels have fought hard all season long, and will do so one more time in a Military Bowl victory.
Prediction: North Carolina 21, Temple 16
Pinstripe Bowl: Michigan State vs. Wake Forest
A ship listing at sea is the perfect way to describe Michigan State. They aren’t going anywhere, however, their defense has kept them afloat. They have no chance trying to play keep up with Wake Forest.
Prediction: Wake Forest 30, Michigan State 10
Texas Bowl: No. 25 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
Texas A&M may only be 7-5, but their losses are against Clemson, Auburn, Alabama, LSU, and Georgia. The Aggies are still a good team, and will have fun playing against the Oklahoma State defense.
Prediction: Texas A&M 29, Oklahoma State 27
Holiday Bowl: No. 22 USC vs. No. 16 Iowa
USC is not ready for this game. The Trojans haven’t seen a defense as good as Iowa this year, and they will struggle to put up enough points to win despite playing in front of a mostly home crowd.
Prediction: Iowa 25, USC 23
Cheez-It Bowl: Air Force vs. Washington State
Now here’s a game! It may be the “Cheez-It Bowl”, but this game will be anything but cheesy. The nation’s top passing attack vs. a top-3 rushing attack. Expect a lot of points in this one, but Air Force’s defense will make a late quality stop to earn the win.
Prediction: Air Force 40, Washington State 33
Cotton Bowl: No. 17 Memphis vs. No. 10 Penn State
Penn State needs to perform against Memphis better than they did to finish the season against Rutgers. Memphis would light up the Penn State defense, however, their head coach Mike Norvell abandoned his team for Florida State before the biggest game in program history. The Tigers should win, but it’ll be tough to replace the signal-caller.
Prediction: Memphis 28, Penn State 24
Camping World Bowl: No. 15 Notre Dame vs. Iowa State
It’s a safe bet that the Orange Bowl committee would rather Notre Dame over Virginia. Contracts are contracts though. Notre Dame’s defense should burn out any hope the Cyclones may have for winning this game.
Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Iowa State 26
First Responder Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan
Western Kentucky rescued their season after a season-opening loss to FCS Central Arkansas. Whatever they did to turn their season around won’t be enough to overcome Western Michigan.
Prediction: Western Michigan 35, Western Kentucky 28
Music City Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Louisville
The ACC is so bad this year that Louisville managed to finish second in the “tougher” Atlantic Division. Mississippi State is the superior team here.
Prediction: Mississippi State 24, Louisville 17
Redbox Bowl: California vs. Illinois
Is Redbox still a thing? After a hot start to the season by California, they cooled off and lost everything. Illinois in a close upset.
Prediction: Illinois 13, California 10
Orange Bowl: No. 9 Florida vs. No. 24 Virginia
This biggest blowout in Orange Bowl history could be in the making which currently stands at a 37 point West Virginia victory over Clemson (70-33) in 2012. Virginia is only ranked to give the Orange Bowl sponsors something to market. Expect a Florida blowout.
Prediction: Florida 45, Virginia 7
Belk Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky
After a week four home blow out loss against Duke, the Hokies finished the season strong winning six of their last eight. The two losses were a 1-point loss at Notre Dame, and a late collapse against rival Virginia. The Hokies will win this game.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 28, Kentucky 21
Sun Bowl: Florida State vs. Arizona State
Florida State has won only five FBS games, but are in a bowl game nonetheless. Neither school’s star running back will be playing. Expect a sloppy game that FSU will somehow win in the most 2019 FSU fashion.
Prediction: Florida State 17, Arizona State 14
Liberty Bowl: No. 23 Navy vs. Kansas State
Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard racked up 296 yards against K-State. That same defense is about to face the No. 1 rushing attack in college football.
Prediction: Navy 35, Kansas State 24
Arizona Bowl: Wyoming vs. Georgia State
It’s not too often where two teams from the Mountain West and Sun Belt conferences can meet and say they’re undefeated against the SEC. Wyoming’s five losses came by a combined 29 points, and four of five were by less than five points. The Cowboys should win this game.
Prediction: Wyoming 41, Georgia State 38
Alamo Bowl: No. 11 Utah vs. Texas
Utah’s defense let them down in the Pac-12 championship, however, Texas has been ineffective against good defenses this season.
Prediction: Utah 27, Texas 20
Outback Bowl: No. 18 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Auburn
Minnesota’s nonconference schedule consisted of FCS South Dakota State, Fresno State (4-8), and Georgia Southern (7-5). They won by a combined 13 points and will not be prepared for what Auburn can bring to the table.
Prediction: Auburn 40, Minnesota 22
Citrus Bowl: No. 14 Michigan vs. No. 13 Alabama
The only chance Michigan has is if Alabama misses the bus. Bags will be packed by halftime.
Prediction: Alabama 34, Michigan 10
Rose Bowl: No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
Two programs that deserve to be in an expanded playoff. Both have great defenses, and future NFL stars powering their offenses. Oregon’s rushing defense is 10th best in the FBS which may prove big against the Badger running back, and NFL ready Jonathan Taylor. Wisconsin’s defense has been bitten through the air where Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert will be the difference-maker.
Prediction: Oregon 26, Wisconsin 25
Sugar Bowl: No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor
If only this game was for more than a participation trophy. Baylor hasn’t played a great defense yet. Their lack of experience will frustrate their offense in the trenches early. The Bears will storm back after halftime, but it will be too late.
Prediction: Georgia 33, Baylor 31
Birmingham Bowl: Boston College vs. No. 21 Cincinnati
Boston College’s defense is incredibly bad. While they’re in the midst of a coaching change, the lack of leadership will prevent them from getting ready to play against a tough Cincinnati program.
Prediction: Cincinnati 38, Boston College 23
Gator Bowl: Indiana vs. Tennessee
Tennessee finished the season strong by winning its last five games. Having over a month off, however, may revert the team back to its old ways.
Prediction: Indiana 27, Tennessee 24
Potato Bowl: Ohio vs. Nevada
Nevada has been incredibly inconsistent. They’ve been demolished by Oregon, Wyoming, Utah State, and Hawaii, but have beaten San Diego State and Purdue. Ohio has an identity, and will be looking to make up for what has been a disappointing season.
Prediction: Ohio 38, Nevada 21
Armed Forces Bowl: Southern Mississippi vs. Tulane
Tulane slipped down the stretch in what was looking like a good season for the Green Wave. Southern Mississippi won’t be as challenging as the AAC schools Tulane is used to playing.
Prediction: Tulane 45, Southern Mississippi 35
Lendingtree Bowl: Louisiana vs. Miami (Ohio)
2019 may be the weakest year in MAC football history. Not to take away from the successes of what Miami (Ohio) has done this year, but against other FBS conference, the MAC has been horrible. Against Ohio this year Miami was pushed to its limit. Louisiana, however, dispatched the Bobcats halfway through the third quarter.
Prediction: Louisiana 33, Miami (Ohio) 22
Featured Image: NCAA