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NCAAF – 2015-16 Bowl Season Expert Predictions

NCAAF – 2015-16 Bowl Season Expert Predictions

So many bowl games, so little time. It’s truly a Herculean task to have a feel for every single game during bowl season. Thankfully, college football experts know their stuff and are more than willing to impart their knowledge by virtue of who they think will come out on top. With that said, let’s take a look at who some of the top experts have picked for all 40 bowl games this season.

For more great bowl season coverage, check out our predictions for the College Football Playoff here, as well as the top 10 non-CFP bowl games here.

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2015-16 Bowl Season Expert Picks

SB Nation

BOWL GAME Matt Brown Bill Connelly Bud Elliott Spencer Hall Jason Kirk
New Mexico New Mexico Arizona Arizona Arizona New Mexico
Las Vegas Utah Utah Utah Utah BYU
Camellia App State App State App State App State App State
Cure Ga State SJSU SJSU SJSU Ga State
New Orleans Ark State La Tech Ark State Ark State La Tech
Famous Idaho WKU WKU WKU WKU WKU
Potato Utah State Utah State Utah State Utah State Akron
Boca Raton Temple Temple Toledo Temple Temple
Poinsettia NIU Boise St Boise St Boise St Boise St
GoDaddy BGSU BGSU BGSU BGSU Ga Southern
Bahamas W. Michigan W. Michigan W. Michigan W. Michigan W. Michigan
Hawaii SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU SDSU
St. Petersburg Marshall UConn Marshall UConn UConn
Sun WSU Miami Miami WSU Miami
Heart of Dallas Washington Washington Washington Washington Washington
Pinstripe Indiana Indiana Indiana Indiana Indiana
Independence Va Tech Va Tech Va Tech Va Tech Va Tech
Foster Farms UCLA UCLA UCLA UCLA Nebraska
Military Navy Navy Navy Navy Navy
Quick Lane Cent. Michigan Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
Armed Forces Cal Cal Cal Cal Air Force
Russell Athletic UNC Baylor UNC UNC Baylor
Arizona Colorado St Colorado St Colorado St Colorado St Nevada
Texas LSU LSU LSU LSU LSU
Birmingham Memphis Memphis Auburn Memphis Memphis
Belk Miss State Miss State Miss State Miss State Miss State
Music City Texas A&M Texas A&M Texas A&M Louisville Louisville
Holiday USC USC USC USC Wisconsin
Peach Florida St Florida St Florida St Houston Florida St
Orange Oklahoma Clemson Clemson Clemson Clemson
Cotton Alabama Alabama Alabama Alabama Michigan St
Outback Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee N’western Tennessee
Citrus Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan
Fiesta Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Notre Dame Ohio State
Rose Stanford Stanford Stanford Stanford Iowa
Sugar Ole Miss Oklahoma St Ole Miss Ole Miss Oklahoma St
TaxSlayer Georgia Penn State Georgia Penn State Penn State
Liberty Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas
Alamo Oregon Oregon Oregon TCU Oregon
Cactus WVU WVU WVU WVU WVU
National
Champion
Oklahoma Alabama Alabama Clemson Michigan St

[sc:NCAA240banner ]SB Nation polled 10 of its college football experts for the winner of each and every bowl game, but we’ve taken the picks of five of their most prominent staffers. As you study their picks, it won’t take long to discover that Spencer Hall and Jason Kirk have some of the biggest balls of the five.

Hall picked Houston, Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Iowa – who are all underdogs by a touchdown or more – to spring some big bowl upsets. Northwestern and Iowa have very rugged defenses, which should help them to stay close and possibly cover the spread against Tennessee and Stanford, respectively. However, both offenses are also suspect, making it tough to see both teams winning outright.

Meanwhile, Kirk also went out on a limb by picking BYU, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan State to win their bowl games. BYU, Wisconsin and Nebraska are all underdogs against Pac-12 opposition, which goes to show how little faith Kirk has in that conference if he sees all three winning.

Kirk, though, has faith in Michigan State as a massive +10 underdog to bring down mighty Alabama. Not only that, but Kirk also has the Spartans going all the way and winning the national championship.

It would really be something if the Spartans, who are the highest priced playoff team at +650 to win the national title, can pull off that feat. But after enduring so many close calls throughout the season – most notably against Oregon, Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa – Sparty’s luck has to run out at some point.

ESPN

BOWL GAME Adam Rittenberg’s Pick
Cure Bowl: San Jose State vs. Georgia State Georgia State, 38-27
New Mexico Bowl: Arizona vs. New Mexico Arizona, 31-30
Las Vegas Bowl: BYU vs. Utah Utah, 20-17
Camellia Bowl: Ohio vs. Appalachian State Appalachian State, 34-27
New Orleans Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Louisiana Tech Arkansas State, 44-41
Miami Beach Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. South Florida Western Kentucky, 34-28
Potato Bowl: Akron vs. Utah State Utah State, 28-27
Boca Raton Bowl: Toledo vs. Temple Temple, 27-20
Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State vs. Northern Illinois Boise State, 30-21
GoDaddy Bowl: Georgia Southern vs. Bowling Green Bowling Green, 45-42
Bahamas Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan Western Michigan, 35-31
Hawai’i Bowl: San Diego State vs. Cincinnati San Diego State, 31-24
St. Petersburg Bowl: Connecticut vs. Marshall Marshall, 26-20
Hyundai Sun Bowl: Miami vs. Washington State Washington State, 41-30
Heart of Dallas Bowl: Washington vs. Southern Miss Washington, 31-27
Pinstripe Bowl: Indiana vs. Duke Indiana, 41-35
Independence Bowl: Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech Virginia Tech, 28-24
Foster Farms Bowl: UCLA vs. Nebraska UCLA, 45-24
Military Bowl: Pitt at Navy Navy, 31-21
Quick Lane Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Minnesota Central Michigan, 34-27
Armed Forces Bowl: California vs. Air Force Air Force, 38-36
Russell Athletic Bowl: North Carolina vs. Baylor North Carolina, 44-35
Arizona Bowl: Nevada vs. Colorado State Colorado State, 32-28
Texas Bowl: LSU vs. Texas Tech LSU, 38-27
Birmingham Bowl: Auburn vs. Memphis Memphis, 40-33
Belk Bowl: NC State vs. Mississippi State Mississippi State, 37-31
Music City Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Louisville Louisville, 28-20
Holiday Bowl: USC vs. Wisconsin USC, 28-20
Peach Bowl: Houston vs. Florida State Florida State, 31-27
Orange Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Clemson Oklahoma, 34-31
Cotton Bowl : Michigan State vs. Alabama Alabama, 27-20
Outback Bowl: Northwestern vs. Tennessee Tennessee, 24-20
Citrus Bowl: Michigan vs. Florida Michigan, 27-13
Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State Ohio State, 38-31
Rose Bowl Game: Iowa vs. Stanford Stanford, 34-28
Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss Ole Miss, 44-31
Taxslayer Bowl: Penn State vs. Georgia Penn State, 24-20
Liberty Bowl: Kansas State vs. Arkansas Arkansas, 37-21
Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs. TCU Oregon, 45-37
actus Bowl: West Virginia vs. Arizona State Arizona State, 35-31
College Football Playoff National Championship: Alabama vs. Oklahoma Oklahoma, 26-24

ESPN’s college football expert Adam Rittenberg submitted his complete picks for all 41 bowl games (including the national championship), but none of his picks are exactly controversial. Perhaps his most outside-the-box pick was Oklahoma bringing down Clemson, which isn’t exactly an upset considering that the Sooners are actually -4 favorites over the No. 1 seed.

Rittenberg then has the Sooners (+200) going all the way and taking out Alabama in the title game. No team has been able to stop Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry this season, but Rittenberg cites the quarterback play as the deciding factor in this matchup. He sees Baker Mayfield coming up big in the clutch to deliver another national title to Norman.

Bleacher Report

BOWL GAME Ryan McCrystal’s ATS Pick Ben Kercheval’s SU Pick
Arizona (-10) vs. New Mexico Arizona New Mexico
BYU vs. Utah (-3) Utah BYU
Ohio vs. Appalachian St. (-8) Appalachian St. Appalachian St.
San Jose St. (-3.5) vs. Georgia St. Georgia St. Georgia St.
Arkansas St. vs. Louisiana Tech (-2) La. Tech La. Tech
Western Kentucky (-3) vs. USF USF USF
Akron vs. Utah St. (-6.5) Utah St. Utah St.
Toledo vs. Temple (-1) Temple Temple
Boise St. (-7.5) vs. No. Illinois Boise St. Boise St.
Ga. Southern vs. Bowling Green (-7.5) Bowling Green Ga. Southern
Mid. Tennessee vs. W. Michigan (-3) Mid. Tennesssee W. Michigan
San Diego St. vs. Cincinnati (-1.5) San Diego St. San Diego St.
UConn vs. Marshall (-4.5) Marshall Marshall
Miami (FL) vs. Washington St. (-3) Washington St. Miami
Washington (-8.5) vs. Southern Miss Southern Miss Washington
Indiana (-2) vs. Duke Duke Indiana
Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech (-13.5) Tulsa Virginia Tech
UCLA (-7) vs. Nebraska UCLA UCLA
Pittsburgh vs. Navy (-3.5) Navy Navy
Central Michigan vs. Minnesota (-5.5) Central Michigan Central Michigan
California (-7) vs. Air Force Cal Air Force
North Carolina vs. Baylor (-3) Baylor Baylor
Nevada vs. Colorado St. (-3) Nevada Colorado St.
LSU (-7.5) vs. Texas Tech LSU LSU
Auburn (-2.5) vs. Memphis Auburn Memphis
NC State vs. Mississippi St. (-5.5) Mississippi St. North Carolina St.
Texas A&M (-2.5) vs. Louisville Louisville Louisville
USC (-3) vs. Wisconsin USC USC
Houston vs. Florida St. (-7) Florida St. Houston
No. 4 Oklahoma (-4) vs. No. 1 Clemson Clemson Clemson
No. 3 Michigan St. vs. No. 2 Alabama (-10) Michigan State Alabama
Northwestern vs. Tennessee (-8) Tennessee Tennessee
Michigan (-4) vs. Florida Michigan Michigan
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State (-7) Ohio State Ohio State
Stanford (-7) vs. Iowa Iowa Stanford
Oklahoma St. vs. Ole Miss (-7) Oklahoma St. Oklahoma St.
Penn State vs. Georgia (-7) Penn State Georgia
Kansas State vs. Arkansas (-11) Arkansas Arkansas
Oregon vs. TCU (Even) Oregon Oregon
West Virginia vs. Arizona St. (Even) Arizona St. Arizona St.

Bleacher Report featured columnist Ryan McCrystal has peeked into his crystal ball and made his picks for all bowl games against the spread. There are hardly any shocks in his picks, although he does see the two underdogs in both national semifinals – Michigan State (+10) and Clemson (+4) – covering the spread.

It’s pretty safe to say that the Spartans won’t be blowing Alabama out, but Clemson is certainly capable of dealing Oklahoma a sizable defeat. The Tigers didn’t go undefeated for nothing, and with Deshaun Watson, they have one of the few players in the nation that can take over a game single-handedly.

Meanwhile, college football lead writer Ben Kercheval shares the love for Clemson, as he even has the Tigers (+500) going all the way to win the national title over Alabama. The Tide have historically had their troubles with mobile quarterbacks who can extend plays (see: Manziel, Johnny), and Watson has the ability to do the same.

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