I finally have my confidence picks complete, so the bowls can go ahead and get started. Here's how I'm rolling, in order of most confidence to least:
35. Pinstripe: Notre Dame over Rutgers
Who really owns NYC: the Scarlet Knights or the Subway Alums? The Fighting Irish are going to show Rutgers who’s boss of the Big Apple.
34. Sugar: Alabama over Oklahoma
Yes, I’d love to see the Sooners pull off the stunner here. No, I don’t think it’s very likely. Like, at all.
33. Holiday: Arizona State over Texas Tech
If you watched the Red Raiders in the second half of the season, this needs no explanation.
32. Fiesta: Baylor over UCF
We all know that George O’Leary will do anything to win, but trickery and subterfuge will only get the Golden Knights so far against a motivated Bears team.
31. Chik-Fil-A: Texas A&M over Duke
The only way the Aggies drop what is likely to be Johnny Football’s swan song is if they’re as overconfident as I am about this one.
30. Alamo: Oregon over Texas
Another swan song in the Lone Star State, this one involving Mack Brown. Unfortunately for him, his team is overmatched. Would take some moxie of McCoy-ian proportions to get a win.
29. St. Petersburg: East Carolina over Ohio
Come to think of it, maybe I like this one even better than the Alamo. Too late now.
28. BCS Championship: Florida State over Auburn
I’ll go ahead and call my shot in the big enchilada. I realize the Tigers finished the season on a roll, but I expect them to get rolled by the ‘Noles.
27. Heart of Dallas: North Texas over UNLV
The Mean Green are looking for payback from the 38-0 pasting UNLV game them in 2000. Also, this game is being played about 45 minutes from the UNT campus.
26. New Mexico: Washington State over Colorado State
The Rams stink against the pass (Defensive Passing S&P+ of 102nd overall). Wazzu chucks it all over the lot.
25. Hawaii: Oregon State over Boise State
I’ll take the team that still has its coach.
24. GoDaddy: Ball State over Arkansas State
23. Orange: Clemson over Ohio State
The Tigers’ high-octane passing game presents a rough matchup for OSU. Have to wonder where the Buckeyes’ heads are at, too, after letting a shot at the title game slip through their mitts.
22. Compass: Houston over Vanderbilt
When critics come after the SEC for its wobbly middle, these Commodores should be Exhibit A.
21. Russell Athletic: Louisville over Miami
Teddy Bridgewater has meant so much to the Cardinals. I can’t see him going out a loser.
20. Cotton: Oklahoma State over Missouri
Wait, why did I do this?
19. Rose: Stanford over Michigan State
Similar teams, except the Cardinal are just better.
18. Outback: Iowa over LSU
The loss of Mettenberger really hurts the Bayou Bengals. After such a lousy 2012 season, I expect the Hawkeyes to be flying high.
17. Capital One: South Carolina over Wisconsin
Wisky is one of those teams that college football nerds loved this year. I disagree, dorks.
16. Gator: Georgia over Nebraska
It wouldn’t shock me if the Bulldogs beat the tar out of NU. Nothing about Cornhusker football seems fun at the moment.
15. Las Vegas: USC over Fresno State
In theory, I should fade the Trojans in light of their coaching situation. It's just that USC’s players are much, much better.
14. Sun: UCLA over Virginia Tech
The Hokies actually scare me a little here, but the Bruins embarrassed themselves in the Holiday Bowl last year. Bounce back.
13. Advocare: Arizona over Boston College
Happy holidays from Shreveport.
12. Fight Hunger: BYU over Washington
From a situational perspective, this sets up great for BYU. Why do I have this so low?
11. Liberty: Mississippi State over Rice
The Bulldogs got worked by Northwestern last season in some blah bowl game. Doubt Dan Mullen lets that happen again, especially seeing as he could find himself on the hot seat to start next season.
10. Music City: Georgia Tech over Ole Miss
Does this season qualify as a disappointment for the Rebels? Back in September, I doubt they had a postseason date in Nashville in mind.
9. Poinsettia: Northern Illinois over Utah State
Same deal for NIU and Jordan Lynch as Louisville and Bridgewater.
8. Armed Forces: Navy over Middle Tennessee State
Navy losing the Armed Forces Bowl just doesn’t seem right.
7. Buffalo Wild Wings: Michigan over Kansas State
I’m sure the ever prudent Bill Snyder respects BW3’s commitment to sit-down dining at modest prices. However, hand-spun wings slathered in signature sauces sounds like a cause that Brady Hoke deems worth dying for.
6. Military: Maryland over Marshall
The ACC is going to miss these Military Bowl wins when the Terrapins are gone.
5. Texas: Minnesota over Syracuse
4. New Orleans: Tulane over Louisiana-Lafayette
Does the fact that this is a de facto home game for the Green Wave matter? Frankly, I just think they will be more excited to be in the game than the Ragin’ Cajuns.
3. Idaho Potato: Buffalo over San Diego State
I’d have to assume qualifying for a bowl matters more to the Bulls, right?
2. Belk: North Carolina over Cincinnati
The Tar Heels don’t have to travel far for this one. Somehow that has to work in their favor.
1. Little Caesars: Pittsburgh over Bowling Green
Coaching change at Bowling Green – best that I can come up with.