The Bowl Season continues this morning with a full slate of games. First up will be Army and SMU in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, followed by Kansas State and Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. To start out the two night games, North Carolina will face Tennessee in the Franklin American Music City Bowl. And to finish the long day, Nebraska and Washington will face off in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl.
Below I will break down each game, and reveal my picks at the end. Along with my picks, I will post the favorite and flip a coin for each game. Whichever method has the most points at the end of Bowl Season, I will use for next year's games.
Armed Forces Bowl, Army Black Knights (6-6) vs SMU Mustangs (7-6, 6-2 in the C-USA), 9:00 AM on ESPN, from Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas.
Why You Should Watch: To see Army dual-threat quarterback Trent Steelman.
Breakdown: Army won out in three of the five categories I use for picking bowl games, and they were by far the three most important. The Black Knights have fewer turnovers, penalty yards, and will be more motivated then SMU. The Mustangs won in SOS and record in their last three games.
Still, I'm not very confident in Army. Their six wins were not impressive, and this is a true road game for the Black Knights as Gerald J. Ford Stadium is SMU's home field. I'm taking Army, but only with four confidence points.
Pinstripe Bowl, Kansas State Wildcats (7-5, 3-5 in the Big 12) vs Syracuse Orange (7-5, 4-3 in the Big East), 12:20 PM on ESPN, from Yankee Stadium in The Bronx.
Why You Should Watch: To see the second ever college football game at the new Yankee Stadium.
Breakdown: Kansas State won out in SOS, Turnovers, and Penalties, while the teams were even in their last three games and motivation. Unless Cuse running back Delone Carter absolutely goes off, I like Kansas State to win this one with 19 confidence points.
Music City and Holiday Bowl previews after the break
Music City Bowl, North Carolina Tar Heels (7-5, 4-4 in the ACC) vs Tennessee Volunteers (6-6, 3-5 in the SEC), 3:40 PM on ESPN, from LP Field in Nashville.
Why You Should Watch: To see the Volunteers forced into playing North Carolina, after UT bought out of a 2011 game against the Tar Heels.
Breakdown: The Volunteers won out in SOS, last three games, and Penalties, while the teams were even in Turnovers and motivation. I'm only taking UT with 9 confidence points though, because it seems that every year when I pick against the Tar Heels, UNC proves me wrong.
Holiday Bowl, Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-3, 6-2 in the Big 12) vs Washington Huskies (6-6, 5-4 in the Pac-10), 7:00 PM on ESPN, from Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
Why You Should Watch: To see a second Pac-10 team in as many nights, and to see if the Huskies can give Nebraska a good game. These two teams met on September 18th in Seattle, where Nebraska demolished Washington 56-21.
It will also be Washington quarterback Jake Locker's final game, finishing up a great career for the Dawgs.
Breakdown: Despite winning all five categories, I can't go with Washington in this one. That 56-21 score above is the main reason, but besides for Quarterback, Nebraska is more talented at every position.
If UW is to pull the upset, they will need career games out of their top two offensive players, Jake Locker and Chris Polk. But even if they do put out career best numbers, I can't see Nebraska losing this game.
Armed Forces Pinstripe Music City Holiday Current Total to Date
Odds SMU Kansas State North Carolina Nebraska 9
Coin Army Syracuse North Carolina Nebraska 8
Connor Army (4) Kansas State (19) Tennessee (9) Nebraska (33) 7 (140)