Maybe your bowl game contest entries are looking bleak because of Louisiana-Lafayette and Ohio. I’m here to help.
Advocare Independence Bowl: North Carolina (7-5) vs. Missouri (7-5) @ 5 PM ET on ESPN
NFL prospects?: UNC’s DE Quinton Coples and OLB Zach Brown are both early-to-mid 1st round talents. Mizzou TE Michael Egnew and DE Jacquies Smith are mid-to-late prospects.
Pick: The Big 12 was bangin’ this year. Missouri 38, North Carolina 28.
Little Caesar’s Bowl: Western Michigan (7-5) vs. Purdue (6-6) @ 4:30 PM ET on ESPN
NFL prospects?: Fast, physical Western Michigan WR Jordan White will be off the board by the end of the 2nd round. Purdue redshirt junior DT Kawann Short.
Pick: I’m going with the team with the better QB and the supreme weapon (White). Western Michigan 49, Purdue 31.
Belk Bowl: Louisville (7-5) vs. NC State (7-5) @ 8 PM ET on ESPN
NFL prospects?: NC State ILB Audie Cole will be drafted while TE George Bryan might get drafted. Louisville RB Victor Anderson is a late-round prospect.
Pick: Cardinals QB Teddy Bridgewater will avoid interceptions (NC State was best in FBS with 24) and they will rally behind CB Anthony Conner whose career ended earlier this season with a neck injury. Louisville 17, NC State 10.
Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman: Toledo (8-4) vs. Air Force (7-5) @ 4:30 PM ET on ESPN
NFL prospects?: None.
Pick: Tough game to pick, but Toledo’s new head coach Matt Campbell will have a diverse attack and they’ll just need to hold the scary Falcons triple-option to field goals a few times to scrape away a victory. Toledo 49, Air Force 38.
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: California (7-5) vs. Texas (7-5) @ 8 PM ET on ESPN
NFL prospects?: Texas’s defense has a lot of 2nd-to-6th round prospects, headed by 6-4, 260-lb. junior DE Alex Okafor. Cal SS Sean Cattouse is a mid-round player. P Brian Anger is likely to get drafted, too.
Pick: 4-5 in the Big 12 is better than 4-5 in the Pac 12, bar none. Mac Brown retirement rumors will inspire a huge effort in the Longhorns. Brown is 8-4 in bowl games and former Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin, co-offensive coordinator for Texas, will capitalize on the extra time to prepare. Texas 32, California 10.
Champs Sports Bowl: Florida State (8-4) vs. Notre Dame (8-4) at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN
NFL prospects?: Florida State has two players who will get looks in the first two rounds, even if there are a handful of runs on QB, WR: OT’s Zebri Sanders and Andrew Datko. Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd is a slam dunk first-rounder with great size and speed.
Pick: Brian Kelly has openly criticized the guys on the team he didn’t recruit. The ‘Noles have too much speed. Florida State 49, Notre Dame 28.
Valero Alamo Bowl: Washington (7-5) vs. Baylor (9-3) at 9 PM ET on ESPN
NFL prospects?: RGIII could be the best player in the whole draft. His receiver, Kendall Wright, could go in the first round, too. The Huskies have a lot of early-round prospects, too: RB Chris Polk, WR Jermaine Kearse, OG OG Senio Kelemete and DT Alameda Ta’amu.
Pick: The game is indoors, at the Alamodome. Baylor 63, Washington 30.
I’ll leave you with Angry Brian Kelly.
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