College Football Bowl Report No. 3This is our third article looking at the college football bowl games. This time, we'll take a look at the nine games played between Dec. 29 and 31. Naturally, not every game is worth playing, but we'll try to come up with a side or a total in each game.
The college football power ratings are up-to-date and West Virginia and Texas both come up as plays.
Fight Hunger Bowl: Arizona State is favored by 14 and the total is 56. No question ASU is the better team and has better athletes, but I can't resist taking two touchdowns against a Pac-12 team.
Pinstripe Bowl: I would normally be all over West Virginia in this spot, but you have to wonder how much of a letdown this is for the Mountaineers. Five weeks into the season, Geno Smith was the Heisman front-runner and West Virginia was penciled in as a BCS team. Several months later they're playing in a minor bowl game in Syracuse's home state. Will still give West Virginia a nod, but nothing more.
Alamo Bowl: Once again I'll go against the Pac-12 and take Texas+3.5. Unlike the Armed Forces Bowl, where Rice won't have much, if any, home field advantage, you have to give the Longhorns a bit of a edge here, playing 90 minutes from home and there will be plenty of Texas fans at the game.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: TCU is favored by 3 over Michigan State and the total is 40.5. Neither team has much to get excited about offensively, so a low-scoring game wouldn't be a big surprise. That seems like the type of game Michigan State plays best in, so will also lean to the Spartans.
Music City Bowl: This is essentially a home game for Vanderbilt, which is now favored by 7.5 and a total of 51.5. This is a tough game to call and don't really want to lay 7.5 with an inexperienced bowl team like the Commodores. NC State's passing game could keep them in range to get the backdoor cover. Will side with NC State is what is close to a coin flip.
Sun Bowl: USC is favored by 9.5 over Georgia Tech and the total is 64. The Trojans were the No. 1 team in the country entering the season, so you have to wonder how much they'll be up for this game against a 6-7 team. The Trojans have the athletes to stop the triple option, but can't bring myself to lay what could be double digits by game time with a Pac-12 team.
Liberty Bowl: An interesting match-up with Tulsa and Iowa State sees the Cyclones favored by one and a total of 51. Iowa State won an earlier meeting between the two, 38-23, and Tulsa will be looking for some revenge. I expect the Hurricanes' defense to play better and will lean to the under.
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: This was once known as the Peach Bowl, but it's amazing what a little bit of money can do. Still, it's a good game between LSU and Clemson. LSU is favored by 5.5 and the total is 59. There are plenty of people on LSU and they could very well be the right side, but I'll give a slight lean to Clemson and Tajh Boyd to get the cover.