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2019 FTRS Bowlstravaganza

40 postseason games previewed at closeout prices!

College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T - Alabama v Clemson
The tiny hater in Dabo’s ear knows the Tigers won’t make it back here.
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Ladies and gentlemen, come one, come all, to the 2019 From the Rumble Seat Bowlstravaganza! The regular season has come and gone, but it’s not too late for you to cash in on these sweet picks! That’s right; 40 bowl games, 40 picks for you, all for the low low price of free!

It’s the holiday season, and the rules are different: no spreads! Bowl season is crazy, with coaches getting hired, fired, and players sitting out; plus, too much could happen between now and the later games, so just pick them all straight up. And, unlike your holiday shopping, there is no deadline: as long as you submit an entry, you’ll get credit for all the games that haven’t yet kicked off. So if you’re too busy with Friendsmas parties this weekend, don’t sweat it! There will still be a maximum of 33 points for you to win.

So, what are you waiting for? There’s no need for me to ramble on any longer, get to picking and I’ll see you in 2020!

Friday, December 20

Bahamas Bowl: Buffalo Bulls vs. Charlotte 49ers

The Bahamas Bowl remains our country’s greatest export (yes, greater than Hollywood movies and “freedom”), and I can’t think of a better way to kick off bowl season. Yes, it’s still sponsored by a village outside of Chicago known for its large industrial park, and I can think of few things more uniquely American than that. This is the first ever bowl game for the nascent 49ers, having been reborn in 2013 and in just its fifth season in FBS. But not to worry, as they have just as many bowl wins as their opponents. (The Bulls still have Lance Leipold, who built a dynasty at D-III Wisconsin-Whitewater, so don’t feel too bad for them.) Some advice for Charlotte fans: first, as far as bowl venues go, this is probably as good as it gets, so enjoy it. Second, sustained success like this for your first year coach will eventually lead him getting poached by a bigger program. Sorry!

Pick: Buffalo

Frisco Bowl: Utah State Aggies vs. Kent State Golden Flashes

Yep, they’re still playing a bowl game in 20,500 seat Toyota Park in Frisco, Texas. I will say the FCS championship game deserves better than this, but it’s probably perfect for a game between okay MAC and Mountain West teams. At this point, you may be asking questions like: why is the Frisco Bowl? What is a Frisco, anyway? Folks, I grew up half an hour south of Frisco and I still could not tell you anything about it. Nor, I will sheepishly admit, do I know much about either of the participating teams. On one hand, this is college football. On the other, it’s the very first day of bowl season and you don’t want to tire yourself out before the really good bowls start. Plus, you’re way behind on your Christmas shopping, aren’t you?

Pick: Utah State

Saturday, December 21

New Mexico Bowl: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. San Diego State Aztecs

Jim McElwain turned the Chippewas from a one win team last year to an eight win team this year, and that’s great, even if they lost the MAC championship. I haven’t seen a second of San Diego State’s nine wins this year, and that’s probably just how Rocky Long likes it. But I don’t want to talk about that, I want to talk about the bowl’s completely fake sponsor. Yes, that’s right, ESPN struck a deal with something called DreamHouse Productions to sponsor the bowl. What was DreamHouse Productions? Well, supposedly they were a movie production company with a 25,000 square foot studio in Albuquerque, but they actually weren’t anything at all! So if you’re ever worried you’re not qualified to do what you’re doing, remember a couple of random yahoos fooled ESPN and almost pulled off one of the biggest cons in college football.

Pick: San Diego State

Cure Bowl: Liberty Flames vs. Georgia Southern Eagles

Hey, look, Hugh Freeze is back in a bowl game! I bet he could have used the Cure Bowl back in August — then he might not have had to coach the season opener from a hospital bed! Remember to tip your servers, everyone. Freeze might be fully ambulatory now, but after this game his whole team might need crutches! Because Georgia Southern runs the triple, and that means cut blocks. Get it??

Pick: Georgia Southern

Boca Raton Bowl: SMU Mustangs vs. FAU Owls

Bad news, everyone: The Lane Train has a new central station in Oxford, and has departed Boca Raton for good. But the Owls got a pair of C-USA conference championships and 10+ win seasons, so they can’t say it was a bad time. What’s probably going to be a bad time is playing an SMU team having its best season since the Pony Express years, and would be ranked if the voters weren’t such cowards. Technically, the Owls have an advantage, as they’ll be playing in their home stadium, but that could be offset by the visiting crowd’s familiarity, as they vacation in Boca Raton a lot. (I’m kidding. The rich people in Dallas vacation in Destin, they’re not messing with Atlantic Ocean bull[Slayer].)

Pick: SMU

Camellia Bowl: FIU Panthers vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves

Good news for all involved: Raycom is finally dead, and thus no longer sponsors the Camellia Bowl. You’re free, Montgomery! FIU beat Miami this year, and that’s all that I remember about them, and that’s fine with them. Arkansas State both scores and allows a lot of points — like, a lot. You don’t need to watch this, but maybe stream it on your phone while you do some holiday shopping.

Pick: FIU

Las Vegas Bowl: #19 Boise State Broncos vs. Washington Huskies

In Chris Petersen’s last game as a head coach (for now), he’ll face the team he helped put on the map. Boise State owes Peterson a lot — he went 92-12 and won five conference championships there — and his tenure there altered the landscape of college football for the better, and although Boise wasn’t the first non-major team to win a major bowl, they’re still the best at it. Will any of that matter once this game kicks off? Nah. If Boise learned anything from Petersen’s time there, it’s not to show weakness to the big teams.

Pick: Boise State

New Orleans Bowl: #20 Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. UAB Blazers

App State back in the New Orleans bowl after winning back-to-back Sun Belt titles, and it’s only fitting the best G5 team plays in the same venue as this year’s national championship. (Are the Mountaineers really the best G5 team? I’m not telling them they aren’t. You can do it.) Will the departure of Eli Drinkwitz hinder them at all? Probably, but given he was only their for a year, that damage is probably minimized. UAB remains one of the best stories in college football, having won their first ever bowl game last year, but getting spanked by FAU in this year’s C-USA championship does not bode well for a bigger, meaner App State.

Pick: App State

Monday, December 23

Gasparilla Bowl: UCF Knights vs. Marshall Thundering Herd

After two straight New Year’s Six bowls, UCF is back in a normie bowl, and it doesn’t get more normie than the GASPARILLA BOWL SPONSORED BY BAD BOY MOWERS. YOU THINK YOU’RE ENOUGH OF A MAN TO RIDE ONE OF THESE MOWERS? THINK AGAIN. Anyway, yes, punishment for the nights is a day-long pirate fest on a Monday against a Marshall team that, I dunno, held Boise to 14 points? Y’all thought getting hit by the Pitt superweapon just meant losing that game, but no one ever talks about the aftereffects.

Pick: UCF

Tuesday, December 24

Hawai’i Bowl: Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors vs. BYU Cougars

If it’s Christmas Eve, it must be time for the Hawai’i Bowl. (Except for last year, but we don’t talk about it.) The Warriors are playing the role of gracious host, as usual, with the caveat that they are actually pretty good this year, having gone 5-3 in Mountain West play and 2-1 in Pac-12 play, so they may be slightly less gracious than usual for the visiting Cougars. Speaking of which, did you know BYU has a satellite campus in Hawai’i? Yep, it’s just across the island from the UH Manoa campus. So I guess technically this game will have huge hometown support for both teams? Anyway, It’s either watching this game or paying attention to that Christmas Eve party full of people you never see otherwise. The choice is yours.

Pick: Hawai’i

Thursday, December 26

Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. Miami (FL) Hurricanes

Five years ago, the Miami Hurricanes blazed new trails as they attended their first ever Independence Bowl. If nothing else, the trip will always be remembered for giving Steve Spurrier one of his final wins as a college football coach. (It won’t be remembered for anything else.) They’re back again to face Louisiana Tech, who agreed to participate after being guaranteed Louisiana-Monroe would not be involved in any way. The Bulldogs are actually pretty good, having gone 9-3 and only losing the C-USA West on a tiebreaker. The Canes aren’t even the best team in Miami, and lost to Georgia Tech. Everyone remembers that, right? Well here’s a reminder, if you forgot.

Pick: Louisiana Tech

Quick Lane Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles

Pitt hasn’t won a bowl game since 2013. That game? The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, in.... Detroit. “So?” you ask, “this is just the same bowl.” But it isn’t, dear reader. For though they take place in the same venue, the transition from the Little Caesars Bowl to the Quick Lane Bowl was more than just a title sponsor change; no, following Pitt’s victory in 2013 the former Motor City Bowl folded entirely, and a new organizing committee established their own bowl. That’s right: a Pitt bowl victory killed a bowl. Dread it. Run from it. The Pitt superweapon still arrives.

Pick: Pitt

Friday, December 27

Military Bowl: North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Temple Owls

He’s Mack y’all, and he’s back y’all, and he’s Mackety Mack and he’s back y’all, and after coming back to UNC he’s got the Tar Heels back in a bowl in year one. Temple has only made nine bowls, ever, but this is their fifth straight, with three different head coaches and one interim coaching twice across all five appearances. One of those appearances was in the 2016 Military Bowl, which, interestingly enough, was the last time the ACC representative in this bowl took home the trophy. That’s right, a streak will be broken at this year’s Military Bowl! Hey, just because you don’t care about it doesn’t mean it’s not a streak.

Pick: Temple

Pinstripe Bowl: Michigan State Spartans vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Remember midseason, when there was serious talk about Wake Forest making the Orange Bowl? That was really weird! But normalcy prevailed and we continue to live in a world where they have never played in one, nope. Michigan State clawed its way here following a brutal 0-5 stretch that included Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and..... uh, Illinois. Michigan State has continued last year’s habit of winning ugly and losing uglier (their point differential in conference play was -60), but postseason Wake Forest likes to score a lot, so expect the Spartans to be pushed out of their comfort zone even more than the New York winter weather already will.

Pick: Wake Forest

Texas Bowl: #25 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Texas A&M Aggies

Fun fact: it’s been illegal for the Texas Bowl to not have a team from Texas since 2013 — that game pitted Syracuse against Minnesota playing to a crowd of 32,000, by far the lowest in its history. So they made sure it couldn’t happen again! Unfortunately, all the Big 12 Texas schools had already been picked, so it was Oklahoma State’s turn. So who to fill the Texas-sized gap? Why, none other than Texas A&M. Definitely not facing one of their biggest nightmares in going up against a former conference opponent, no sir, nope.

Pick: Texas A&M

Holiday Bowl: #22 USC Trojans vs. #16 Iowa Hawkeyes

We’ve made it all the way into December and Clay Helton still has not been fired, so if USC’s gonna do it, they’re running out of time before they do what they always do and have a mid-season firing. On the opposite side of this matchup is a man who is definitely never getting fired: it feels like Kirk Ferentz has been at Iowa for at least fifty years, but it’s actually only been 49. Say, this is a bowl game in southern California featuring a Pac-12 team and a Big Ten team. If you squint, you can almost pretend this is the Rose Bowl instead, and both teams would likely prefer you did.

Pick: Iowa

Cheez-It™ Bowl: Air Force Falcons vs. Washington State Cougars

How do you top last year’s bowl, which featured nine interceptions, a quarterback with drop foot, and this? You basically can’t, but putting a service academy team up against Mike Leach’s air raid certainly isn’t a bad effort. Replace last year’s game’s interceptions with touchdowns — and twice as many — and that’s probably what you can expect this time around. It’ll be entertaining, like last year, but it’ll actually be for the right reasons this time. I hope.

Pick: Air Force

Saturday, December 28

Camping World Bowl: #15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State might be the most heartbreaking college football team this year, because they were just so damn close to breaking through all year. Yeah, they’re 7-5, but three of those five losses were by less than three points — two of those being to Baylor and OU — and only one was by more than a touchdown. And you know what? Notre Dame feels exactly like one of those teams that the Cyclones could lose to by a similar margin. I’m sorry, Iowa State. It’s not fair. It’ll be your year one day.

Pick: Notre Dame

Cotton Bowl: #17 Memphis Tigers vs. #10 Penn State Nittany Lions

For Memphis, this is the peak of the program, right here — definitely better than that 1938 team, which was undefeated at 10-0, sure, but they didn’t play anybody. (No, seriously: Cumberland? Millsaps? Union? Get outta here.) It’s just a damn shame the architect of it all won’t be around for it, as Mike Norvell has been poached by FSU, and it sounds like they won’t be as generous as Nebraska was when they hired Scott Frost away from UCF. Still, they started the decade 1-11 and will finish in the Cotton Bowl, no worse than 12-2. That’s pretty great! And Penn State and James Franklin definitely don’t care about any of that. Sorry.

Pick: Penn State

Peach Bowl: #4 Oklahoma Sooners vs. #1 LSU Tigers

First, congratulations to OU for making their third straight playoff, and the fourth in five years. The Sooners likely aren’t the only team to figure out the best way to win the Big 12 is to simply score more than everyone else — in all of football — but they appear to be the only one to do it successfully. Scoring more than everyone else has worked great for them in Big 12 play, but those playoff results? Not great! And those were with Heisman winning quarterbacks on their team. Now that guy is on the other team, and while OU is used to letting their opponents score a lot, LSU isn’t, and that probably won’t bode well for the sooners.

Pick: LSU

Fiesta Bowl: #3 Clemson Tigers vs. #2 Ohio State

If this semifinal matchup feels familiar, it’s because, it is — the Tigers and Buckeyes’ last meeting, in 2016, was also in the Fiesta Bowl. I probably don’t need to recap what happened that game, but it’s way funnier to remind you all the final score of that game was 31-0, Clemson. Imagine being so much more talented than an Urban Meyer team that you shut them out! That’s the only time it ever happened. The good news for Ohio State is they’re far more talented this time around. The bad news is..... Clemson probably is too! And Dabo Swinney now has a tiny hater living in his ear canal telling him no one thinks his team even deserves to be in the playoff, even though they’re undefeated and (as of this writing) favored by Vegas. It’s going to be very loud and explosion-y, and actually worth your time, unlike the previously mentioned game.

Pick: Clemson

Monday, December 30

First Responder Bowl: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Western Michigan Broncos

Hey man, this isn’t cool. Not only are we not going to resume last year’s bowl, which unfairly robbed Boston College of a win over Boise State after it was canceled after “severe weather” — seriously, who does that? — but now you’ve moved it out of the Cotton Bowl? Can’t believe y’all are going to disrespect the storied history of the TicketCity Bowl like that. But it’s fine, because Big Red has an opportunity to take over Dallas. Western Michigan? They’d just like this game to go better than the last game they played in Texas.

Pick: WMU

Music City Bowl: Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Louisville Cardinals

The Tennessee Volunteers will be traveling just a couple hours across the state to.... Hold on, I’m hearing they’ve been replaced at the last minute by Mississippi State. Look at you, Bulldogs! Went from almost losing the Egg Bowl and firing your coach to the sights and sounds of the bachelorette party capital of the world! Between Louisville’s Tutu Atwell, MSU’s Kylin Hill, and both teams’ defenses (or lack thereof), expect to see a lot of points in this game. As it should be.

Pick: Louisville

RedBox™ Bowl: California Golden Bears vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois Lovie Smith and his beard, and their first bowl birth since [checks notes] Ron Zook himself was coaching the Illini. They’re also coming off an upset loss to Northwestern, allowing the Wildcats to score 29 points — more than anyone other than UMass and UNLV. Cal has Evan Weaver, who’s just 19 tackles away from breaking the single season NCAA record. If you can’t score on Northwestern, his presence should worry you.

Pick: Cal

Orange Bowl: #9 Florida Gators vs. #24 Virginia Cavaliers

It’s been a long time coming for Virginia, but they’re finally in another major bowl game. (Mostly because someone from the ACC had to go, but I digress.) By “another”, I mean their second, ever. 1990 was going so well for them, until they lost to Georgia Tech, but at least the Cavaliers still ended up in the Sugar Bowl.... which they also lost. This is actually their second Orange Bowl invitation, by the way. They were invited to the 1952 Orange Bowl, and they turned it down. It would have been their first bowl, and instead they wouldn’t make one until 1984. Their would-be opponent in that Orange Bowl? Georgia Tech, who would win and claim a national championship. Man, I did not realize how much the Yellow Jackets owe to UVA.

Pick: Florida

Tuesday, December 31

Belk Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Kentucky Wildcats

This is the last year of the Belk Bowl as it currently exists, and I personally choose to believe this is karma with how they teased a Georgia Tech-Auburn matchup they never had any intention of holding. That’s what y’all get for disrespecting Paul Johnson, Belk. I will openly admit here to having not watched basically any Kentucky football this season, so hopefully y’all will go easy on me and answer a simple question I have, which is: which position does Lynn Bowden, Jr. play for the Wildcats, exactly? Because looking at the stat sheet, the answer appears to be..... everything. He leads the team in rushing and receiving yards, and is pretty close to finishing second in passing yards too. You might want to keep an eye on him, Virginia Tech.

Pick: Virginia Tech

Sun Bowl: Florida State Seminoles vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

In breaking sponsorship news, this game is now sponsored by Tony the Tiger. Not Kellogg, not Frosted Flakes, but the breakfast loving apex predator himself. (They really missed a chance to name it the Sun Bowl of Frosted Flakes. It’s gr-r-reat!) Anyway, Florida State was so bad (by their standards, anyway) they fired their coach a month and a half ago, and have actually already named their next coach. They bounced back to get bowl eligible anyway, because sure. I can’t make jokes about Herm Edwards anymore, because after a four game skid his Sun Devils knocked Oregon out of the playoffs and beat Arizona again. Coach forever, Herm.

Pick: Arizona State

Liberty Bowl: #23 Navy Midshipmen vs. Kansas State Wildcats

Remember how bad Navy was last year? Neither do I. The Middies beat Army to snag win number ten and reverse a ten loss season from a year ago. The only thing between them and an eleventh win is the only team anyone in this year’s playoff field list to: the Wildcats of Kansas State. Here’s the thing for Kansas State, though: you’re facing the troops in the Liberty Bowl. Are you really going to stand against them here, of all places?

Pick: Navy

Arizona Bowl: Wyoming Cowboys vs. Georgia State Panthers

Congratulations to Georgia State for being Atlanta’s lone American football representative in postseason play. Craig Bohl has been at Wyoming for an extremely long-feeling six years and these four straight seasons of bowl-eligibility is easily their most successful stretch as residents of the Mountain West. At some point you have to wonder when a bigger name will come calling — it always happens to Wyoming, the program that birthed Dennis Erickson, Pat Dye, and Joe Tiller. By the way, if you’re wondering why these two were paired up, it’s because they both opened the season defeating SEC East opponents. It Just Means More™, y’all.

Pick: Wyoming

Alamo Bowl: #11 Utah Utes vs. Texas Longhorns

Utah was so agonizingly close to making the playoff. All they had to do was beat Oregon in the Pac-12 championship and they were in. Instead, they were upset in front of the hundreds in attendance at Levi’s Stadium. Still, they finished 11-2. Were they rewarded for this effort with an at-large New Year’s Six bowl berth? Nope, they got kicked all the way to the Alamo Bowl to play a 7-5 Texas team. Do you think they’re mad about it? Well, it’s Utah, so they already were regardless of context. Is that bad news for Tom Herman, who would really like to not follow up a Sugar Bowl winning season with a second 7-6 campaign in two years? Yes, it’s bad news for him.

Pick: Utah

Wednesday, January 1

Outback Bowl: #18 Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. #12 Auburn Tigers

PJ Fleck’s row boat sunk just short of the Big Ten championship, but it still got the Gophers to the shores of Tampa, and you know what’s sitting there waiting for him there? That’s right: a pirate ship. It’s just sitting there waiting to be taken, PJ! You don’t even need to row it, because it has sails! You know he’s going to try to commandeer that thing and claim it as the trophy if the Gophers win.

Pick: Auburn

Citrus Bowl: #14 Michigan Wolverines vs. #13 Alabama Crimson Tide

Hold on, this has to be incorrect. Getting confirmation here.....


.... Wow. Okay. That’s Alabama, in a bowl for commoners, after making four straight championship games and every playoff since it started. We’ve seen what happens to these Tide teams after falling short of the playoff/BCS title game, and it’s not pretty, as Utah will all too happily remind us. Michigan and the Fighting Harbaughs are looking for a signature win, and this might be it — because the record books record wins and losses, and nothing more.

Pick: Michigan

Rose Bowl: #6 Oregon Ducks vs. #8 Wisconsin Badgers

You know, I’d ask Wisconsin fans to be honest and admit they haven’t stopped drinking since blowing a 21-7 halftime lead to Ohio State in the Big Ten championship, but these are Wisconsin fans, so that’s probably no different than normal. Plus, they were always going to end up in the Rose Bowl! (Some people said they weren’t, and they have proven to be fools.) Oregon was, too, but they did that by upsetting Utah in the Pac-12 championship, thus keeping the conference out of the playoff for the third straight year. Totally worth it, though, I’m sure. The Badgers carry the heavy burden of having lost three straight Rose Bowls to open the decade, and also, it’s on an even year, so I think Barry Alvarez is coaching them for this game? As for the Ducks, Mario Cristobal got them here in his second season. That’s good news for them.... less so for everyone else in the Pac-12.

Pick: Wisconsin

Sugar Bowl: #5 Georgia Bulldogs vs. #7 Baylor Bears

Having lost the SEC championship, the fifth ranked Georgia Bulldogs head to New Orleans to face a team from Texas that lost the Big 12 championship in the Sugar Bowl. That’s right, not only do the Bulldogs have to relive the nightmare of losing to Texas in last year’s Sugar Bowl, BIG COW has been replaced with BIG BEAR. Will they be similarly unmotivated this year against a Baylor team with something to prove? (And trust me — the Bears blew back to back major bowls earlier this decade and haven’t won one since 1956. They’re looking to prove something.) Whether they do or not, I doubt they’ll participate in the same pregame drama as last year.

Pick: Baylor

Thursday, January 2

Birmingham Bowl: Boston College Eagles vs. #21 Cincinnati Bearcats

Cincinnati was really, actually, legitimately good this year, but they dropped two straight to Memphis, and you know what that does? It puts you in Birmingham. Boston College comes into this game head coach-less, having fired Steve Addazio and indicating they’re finally ready to shed the 7 win ceiling he brought with him. They also never got to finish their bowl game from last year, so really, they should have to play two games this year.

Pick: Cincy

Gator Bowl: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Tennessee Volunteers

(Okay, so it’s Tennessee in the Gator Bowl now? We’re sure? Alright. *ahem*)

Welcome to the 75th Gator Bowl, emanating live from beautiful Jacksonville, Florida, home of the world famous Fireball Chug™. We have confirmed the Tennessee Volunteers are, in fact, playing in this game, and not any other game. Facing them will be THE EIGHT-MAYBE-NINE-WINDIANA HOOSIERS, trying to match a mark they haven’t met since 1967, and only one other time previously. And, you know Tennessee lost back-to-back games to Georgia State and BYU at home to open the season, so that dream should be comfortably in reach, right? ....right?

Pick: Tennessee

Friday, January 3

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Ohio Bobcats vs. Nevada Wolf Pack

I’m sure it’s just due to how the calendar worked this year, but the idea the Bowl formerly known as Humanitarian could be a January bowl game is just incredible. Congratulations, Nevada and Ohio, you made it! If you don’t know anything about this Nevada team, they opened the season with a win over Purdue and finished it with a loss to in-state rival UNLV, whose coach was already fired. That’s the dark part of the MWC you don’t hear about. Now, if you don’t know anything about this Ohio team, congrats: neither do I!

Pick: Ohio

Saturday, January 4

Armed Forces Bowl: Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs. Tulane Green Wave

Oh, hey, Tulane’s here! I may or may not have forgotten about them entirely after their Thursday night comeback over Houston, who ruined a season defining win by going into tank mode immediately after. But they still get to play in a bowl game, against former Conference USA foe Southern Miss, best known this season for playing the role of one of Alabama’s speed bumps. You could watch this game..... or you could watch the FCS championship, kicking off just a little bit later. The choice is yours.

Pick: Tulane

Monday, January 6

LendingTree™ Bowl: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Miami (OH) RedHawks

Congratulations to Miami, who, for winning the MAC, have been rewarded with a bowl game in Mobile, Alabama. The very last bowl game of the year, in fact. This seems like more of a punishment, like it is for Louisiana, who instead of finishing their season in the Superdome are consigned to doing it here. The good news for them is Billy Napier is still their coach, or at least as of the time of this writing. If you’re still watching bowl games more than a week after the semifinals but still a week before the final I’m guessing you owe someone money, in which case, I would lean on the Cajuns to cover.

Pick: Louisiana

Monday, January 13

CFP National Championship game: Peach Bowl winner vs. Fiesta Bowl winner

I can’t believe it either, folks, but it’s true: for the first time in five years, we’re guaranteed an Alabama-less final! On one side, we’ll have a team with CFP titles already under their belt (two for Clemson, one for Ohio State). On the other, either LSU or Oklahoma will add some fresh blood to a system that has only seen five different participants in the championship in five years. The important thing is it won’t be Clemson-Bama V, and that’s fine, because that means we won’t see anyone try a fake field goal. Hopefully.

Pick: LSU

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