College football’s six bowls: What to look for


Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Alabama lines up for a crucial play against Auburn. This year they got past the Tigers with ease and look to continue success in the College Football Playoff.

Another year, another college football season has come to pass. This year, we enjoyed our annual influx of great games and saw the separation of contenders from pretenders. The College Football Playoff has taken form and the rest of the New Year’s Six Bowls have followed suit. Here’s what to look for in each one and, most importantly, who wins the game:

Goodyear Cotton Bowl (CFP Semifinal #1)

(2) Clemson v (3) Notre Dame

This year the Cotton Bowl pins two undefeated powerhouse schools against each other for berth in the championship game. Clemson has been known this season for domination on both sides of the ball but particularly in their offense. During the regular season, they had multiple games with over 70 points. Notre Dame is less flashy, but they find ways to win. As a non-conference team, the Fighting Irish have won all the big games on their schedule including wins against Michigan, Syracuse and Northwestern.

Predicted Winner: Clemson

The Tigers’ offense will be too much for the Irish to handle. A dominant second half will give Clemson the win by two or more touchdowns.

Capital One Orange Bowl (CFP Semifinal #2)

(1) Alabama v (4) Oklahoma

Prediction Winner: Alabama

On Selection Sunday, I was highly in favor of Georgia being let in over Oklahoma. The Bulldogs were less deserving but clearly the better team. That said, the Sooners will have the chance to do what the Bulldogs couldn’t: finish off ‘Bama. Alabama has one of the best college football teams  ever seen and they were seemingly exposed for the majority of the SEC Championship game. Oklahoma will be looking to mimic the style of play Georgia used. These two teams both have high powered offense so defense will play a big factor in this game, which makes every inch and every stop big.

In the Big 12, defense is usually not a big factor; therefore, the Sooner defense will be unable to stop Alabama and on the flip side, Oklahoma won’t be used to playing a defense as good as Alabama.

National Championship game:

Predicted Winner: Clemson over Alabama

Two great defenses and two great offenses makes for one great matchup. Look for a high scoring game in this one. The more productive offense will take care of game.

New Year’s Six Predictions:

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

(10) Florida v (7) Michigan

Predicted Winner: Florida

This is not an error, the committee just really seems to like this matchup. As Florida and Michigan look to square off again for the third time in the past three years, this matchup should be different. For Florida this game is revenge for the past two meetings and it may come this year. With key Michigan players out and a new and improved Gator offense under Dan Mullen, the Wolverines are looking like Gator bait.

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

(8) UCF v (11) LSU

Predicted Winner: LSU

This matchup is likely the most intriguing of the bunch as these are two teams that rarely ever meet. UCF staged an impressive comeback in the American Conference Championship, but without their starting QB it’s hard to see them pull off another miracle against LSU. Give me the Tigers in this one.

The Rose Bowl Game

(6) Ohio State v (9) Washington

Predicted Winner: Ohio State

The Buckeyes staged an impressive year despite their loss to Purdue. The 12-1 Big Ten Champions were left out of the playoff this year and the Rose Bowl can be the Buckeyes’ big redemption game. With an offense that put up 62 points against Michigan, an overwhelmed Washington team will be the least of the Buckeyes’ worries.

Allstate Sugar Bowl

(5) Georgia v (15) Texas

Predicted Winner: Georgia

Georgia was looking very impressive in their SEC Championship game with Alabama until the Tide managed a miraculous comeback. After being left out of the CFP, the Dawgs have everything to play for in the Sugar Bowl. With a team that is certainly talented enough to be in the playoff, Texas looks to be the next target of a Bulldog bashing. I’ve got Georgia big.

This bowl season has presented us with some great games that will hopefully live up to the hype. It is always a great end to the season when top teams battle it out.

“I’m most looking forward to the Orange Bowl matchup between Alabama and Oklahoma because it will provide a very dynamic and interesting game,” junior Owen Porter said. “The matchup is between two of the best teams in college football so I will see the talent of both teams going head to head in a likely very close game.”

With that, bowl season is officially upon us. Whether it be the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl or the College Football Playoff National Championship, enjoy what all of the games have to offer. It’s time to go bowling!