My picks on college football games through the regular season and conference championship week are 101-68.
Cure Bowl: Tulane vs Louisiana
This game could go either way. Tulane has the better defense, especially when it comes to stopping the run, but Louisiana has a much better offense, lead by running back Trey Ragas. The way these two teams match up is really interesting because the Louisiana running game matched up with the Tulane rush defense is strength on strength.
The Louisiana defense isn’t a strength for them, but neither is the Tulane offense, so I think that will come down to a wash and the winner of this game will likely come down to how well the Ragin’ Cajuns can run the ball. To me, the Louisiana offense is just more explosive and that will lead them to a win.
New Mexico Bowl: Utah State vs North Texas
In my opinion, this is the best bowl game during the Saturday slate. Both of these teams have explosive offenses, but actually have pretty good defenses to pair with them, but the most entertaining part of this game will be the quarterbacks. Both Jordan Love for Utah State and Mason Fine for North Texas are phenomenal players and are guys that you probably haven’t seen a ton of.
Utah State will have an interim coach for this one after Matt Wells left to take the head coaching job at Texas Tech and I think because of that, the Aggies will come out fired up, plus I think they are a little bit more efficient on offense. This game should be really fun.
Pick: Utah State
Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona State vs (21) Fresno State
I’m leaning heavily towards Fresno State in this one because they gained a lot of momentum when they went on the road and beat Boise State to win the Mountain West title, plus it’s a big deal that N’Keal Harry is going to sit out this game after declaring for the draft. Harry is one of the bigger game-changers in college football and if he were playing I would be really split on this game, but as it is, I think Fresno State will be more fired up to be in this game.
Arizona State will have to try and slow down the game and rely on the running game, which is something they are good at because Eno Benjamin is a very good running back who ran for 1,524 yards this season, but ultimately I think Fresno State gets the win and Marcus McMaryion will play really well.
Pick: Fresno State
Camellia Bowl: Georgia Southern vs Eastern Michigan
This game has low-scoring written all over it. Yes, Georgia Southern averages 31 points per game, but the Eastern Michigan defense is holding teams to 22 points per game this season and their offense is only averaging 27.5 points per game, while Georgia Southern is only giving up 21.6 points per game.
Neither team has any really explosive players on offense and along those lines, Georgia Southern is only averaging about 83 yards per game through the air this season. Now Georgia Southern does run the ball pretty well and Eastern Michigan doesn’t stop the run as well as they stop the pass and I think that’ll make the difference.
Pick: Georgia Southern
New Orleans Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs Appalachian State
Appalachian State has been dominant this season, outscoring opponents by over 20 points per game on their way to a 10-2 season and a Sun Belt title. In this game they will have to contend with Brent Stockstill and a very good Middle Tennessee passing game, and that’ll be interesting because Appalachian State is only giving up 148 yards per game through the air and only 15.7 points per game.
Middle Tennessee should be able to do some things on offense against Appalachian State, but the Mountaineers are just a more well-rounded team and I think this will be a close game for a while, but Appalachian State will pull away.
Pick: Appalachian State