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Confidence Picks - Late December Bowls
Notre Dame LB Manti' Teo
Notre Dame LB Manti' Teo
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 13, 2011


Who's going to win each bowl game? According to the CFN Confidence Picks (picks with 1 for the least confident selection and 35 for the most confident).


    

2011-2012 Bowls

Confidence Picks 
 





 


Here are the picks from the CFN writers, along with Clucko the Chicken. Put down two feed dishes, one representing one team and one representing another and whichever dish the chicken goes to first is the team that's going to win. You'll do just as well. (Really, the pick is a coin flip. Don't laugh; Clucko won a 2000 Bowl Pool among 24 entrants.) 

Here's the drill for the bowls. Everyone makes their picks, and then assigns a number from most to least confident both against the spread and straight up. A 35 means most confident with the pick, 1 is least confident - Clucko's confidence picks were taken out of a hat to represent the element of random chance. The number next to the final pick is an overall confidence score of the picks added up. For example, for Temple picked to beat Wyoming, it's 10+4+1-27-29+26-31+30 = 14. The higher the number, the more confident the overall pick.

* means pick to win, but not cover the spread.

Confidence Picks With Comments
Just the confidence picks | BCS Bowls | Non-BCS January Bowls
Dec. 30 & 31 Bowls | Late December Bowls | Pre-Christmas Bowls
 
Advocare V100 Independence Bowl 
December 26, 2011  Shreveport, LA, 5:00 pm ESPN 
Missouri -4 vs. North Carolina   O/U: 53
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
MO(26) MO (24) MO (27) MO (16) MO (16) MO(20) NC (6) MO (11) MO(134)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
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Missouri is one of the flakiest and most underacheiving bowl programs around, but it'll come out roaring against a North Carolina team that would have problems even with Larry Fedora ready to roll. 

By Richard Cirminiello 
Missouri QB James Franklin, a budding star, versus the veteran defensive talent of North Carolina will be one of the underrated matchups of the postseason.

By Matt Zemek
Both programs can really use a win in this game. Missouri and North Carolina have been treading water the past three seasons. LITTLE CAESARS: What is this, a mid-September MAC-versus-Big Ten game, played in December

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
I thought the SEC no longer has a tie-in to the Independence Bowl. Well, it wouldn’t be fair to the SEC’s newest member to accept them without experiencing Shreveport one last time.

By Russ Mitchell
One team heading to the SEC beating another team about to lose its in-state rival to the SEC. What? You mean you didn't know?

By Terry Johnson
The Missouri-North Carolina game is an excellent matchup between two teams that simply had a down year. However, both teams still have plenty of NFL-caliber talent. The matchup between Missouri’s rushing offense and UNC’s defense will be fun to watch.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
One of the better non-BCS matchups. An underachieving Carolina squad against the wide open attack of Missouri. Set the DVR.
 
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl 
December 27, 2011  Detroit, MI, 4:30 pm ESPN
Western Michigan vs. Purdue -2.5  O/U: 60 
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
PU (14) WM (8) WM (6) WM (4) PU (17) WM(14) WM (5) WM (21) WM (27)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
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Western Michigan WR Jordan White is worth the price of admission. Remember, Greg Jennings went to WMU. It might sound crazy to think this, but does the Big Ten team have the talent to keep up the pace with the MAC team? Take the over.

By Richard Cirminiello 
The Boilermakers will struggle with the offensive firepower of Western Michigan, which will arrive highly motivated to knock off a team from the Big Ten.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Western Michigan boasts the nation’s No. 23 offense, and MACtion is a guilty pleasure. You should give it a chance too,

By Russ Mitchell
7-5 Western Mich v. 6-6 Purdue. I love CFB. I mean, I looooove college football, with cherries on top. But I'm letting an intern watch this one.

By Terry Johnson
How will Purdue’s passing defense - which ranks towards the bottom of the Big Ten - do against the Bronco offense that throws for 328 yards per game?

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Don’t think for a minute that Western Michigan can’t play with Purdue. There should be a lot of points scored in this one.
 
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Belk Bowl 
December 27, 2011  Charlotte, NC, 8:00 pm ESPN
Louisville vs. NC State -2.5  O/U: 45.5
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
UL (1) UL (9) UL (7) NC* (1) UL (25) NC(8) NC (17) UL (31) UL (49)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

Flip a coin ... nice in-depth analysis, huh? Louisville has the defense to keep the game low scoring, and I'm going against my belief that the veteran quarterback always beats the underclassman, but State is too hit-or-miss. Go under. Way under. Like 17-14 one way or another.

By Richard Cirminiello 
Financial issues aside, this is a better fit for Louisville than the Orange Bowl trip that it nearly procured. Facing NC State provides a much better chance to pick up a tailwind heading into the offseason.

By Matt Zemek
Pick the overachiever (Louisville) over the underachiever (N.C. State) every time in bowl games as long as the talent differential isn’t too substantial.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Louisville barely missed a BCS bid out of the Big East, and has to settle for a trip to Charlotte to play the hot N.C. State offense. That’s gotta hurt.

By Russ Mitchell
Two 7-5 squads, both of whom turned their seasons around and closed out strong - particularly Louisville. This game is intriguing, past the fact that most people in America have no idea what a Belk is. (For those of you living outside the south, a Belk should not be confused from a belch. Belk is a modern southern style outfitter; Modern and Style being two words not often orbiting my personal space.)

By Terry Johnson
Keep an eye on the battle between the Wolfpack offense and the Cardinal defense, as the winner of that struggle will win the game.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Which NC State team will show up? Look for a home crowd to help out the cause for the Wolfpack.
 
Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman
December 28, 2011  Washington, DC, 4:30 pm ESPN
 Toledo -3 vs. Air Force  O/U: 71
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
AF (22) AF (2) TO (8) TO (25) AF (1) AF(9) TO (20) AF (22) AF (3)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

Toledo's coaching turmoil will be the difference. The offense will explode against an Air Force defense that can't stop anyone, but Tim Jefferson and the Falcon ground game will roll for 300 yards.

By Richard Cirminiello 
Study in contrasts. Toledo wants to air it out, while Air Force will be content to pound it out 50 times between the tackles.

By Matt Zemek
This should actually be a fun game. Air Force has struggled all year long, and so Toledo will have a great chance if it can avoid untimely mistakes.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Two big offenses in this one, with Toledo (No. 8) facing off against Air Force (No. 19). If nothing else, it’ll be fun.

By Russ Mitchell
If the Air Force owes money after meeting its ticket obligations for this game, does that mean that I, along with Joe Taxpayer, am footing the bill? If so, I want a program. Ride the Rockets.

By Terry Johnson
Even though Air Force and Toledo utilize completely different schemes, neither of them has had any trouble moving the sticks this season, averaging 5.8 and 5.1 yards per carry, respectively.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Contrasting styles in this one big time. You know what Air Force brings, and we’ll see if the extra time to prepare helps an offensive minded Toledo squad.
 

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl 
December 28, 2011 San Diego, CA, 8:00 pm ESPN
California vs. Texas -3.5  O/U: 48    8:00 PM 
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
CA (2) TX (31) TX (33) TX* (3) TX (2) TX (21) TX (2) TX (17) TX (101)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

Did Texas peak with the Texas A&M win? It sure looked that way against Baylor. Very quietly, Cal has been great in bowls under Jeff Tedford winning four of the last five.
 
By Richard Cirminiello 
Forget the venue. This is a huge game for Texas, which needs to use December to get all of its youngsters heading in the right direction prior to 2012.

By Matt Zemek
Mack Brown can’t politick his way out of this one; he can’t just appeal to voters the way he did when Texas fought past Cal in the polls to claim the 2005 Rose Bowl at-large berth. Fortunately for Mack, Cal doesn’t have the quarterback it did in the 2004 season.   

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
After the 2009 title game appearance, the last two seasons have been a big disappointment in Austin. Case McCoy has come on of late, so expect him and the Longhorns to try and establish some momentum going into the offseason.

By Russ Mitchell
Still no Houston sighting...you think the Cougars are bitter about Va Tech getting into...forget it. 7-5 Texas, sixth place in a 10 team Big 12, and fresh off an absolute butt whipping by Baylor, plays 7-5 Cal. Both teams are sub .500 in conference. Katy bar the door...

By Terry Johnson
How will Isi Sofele fare against a Longhorn defense that pedestrian 3.3 yards per carry?

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Of course the big story in this one is if the Mack Brown rumors are true or not. On the field, it’s two teams that have fallen off a bit. A win could act as a catapult to getting back.

Champs Sports Bowl
December 29, 2011 Orlando, FL, 5:30 pm ESPN
Florida State -3 vs. Notre Dame  O/U: 48
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
ND (33) FS (14) FS (26) FS (30) FS (26) FS(11) ND (30) ND (15) FS (29)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

Both teams are going to be much, MUCH better next year. Notre Dame is going to get far more out of its offense with Brian Kelly doing a far better job in preparation. The Florida State offensive - in every sense of the word - performance against Florida is too fresh.
 
By Richard Cirminiello 
The Disappointment Bowl. Neither program lived up to its advanced billing in 2011.

By Matt Zemek
Last year, Notre Dame played Miami in a bowl. Now Florida State. Will Notre Dame draw Florida next year in a bowl game?

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
These two teams are big disappointments, but the tradition involved in this one can’t be ignored. Can the Seminole offense get going against the Irish? It has to happen at some point right? RIGHT???

By Russ Mitchell
A Field of (Unrealized) Dreams

By Terry Johnson
Florida State renews its rivalry with Notre Dame, in what promises to be a very physical contest. With both defenses playing so well over the past few weeks, the offense that makes the most plays will win.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Let’s call this the pre-season overrated bowl. Still, two great traditions that should provide some entertaining moments with huge followings. It’ll get TVs turned on.
 

Valero Alamo Bowl
December 29, 2011 San Antonio, TX, 9:00 pm ESPN
Washington vs. Baylor -9    O/U: 78.5
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
UW (3) BU* (18) BU (32) BU* (10) BU (27) BU (34) BU (28) BU (23) BU (113)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

Baylor might have the Heisman winner and RGIII and company might be looking to make amends for last year's miserable Texas Bowl loss to Illinois, but UW's Chris Polk will be the star running for 200 yards and the Husky win.

By Richard Cirminiello 
Washington will have almost four weeks to prepare for Robert Griffin III and his underrated supporting cast. It won’t be nearly enough time.

By Matt Zemek
Get your calculators ready when Baylor plays Washington in a dome.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Will we be watching the Heisman Trophy winner in this one? Robert Griffin III finishing off his sizzling junior season in front of the home state crowd should be fun to watch.

By Russ Mitchell
Baylor and RGIII have the second best offense in the nation, to go with the fifth best passing offense and the sixth best scoring offense. Washington's pass efficiency defense is 79th in the nation, and passing defense is 116th. AND the game's in Texas. I don't have a single ex that lives there...in case you're wondering. Texas, not Washington.

By Terry Johnson
Expect a QB dual between Heisman Trophy candidate Robert Griffin III and Washington sophomore Keith Price, who has quietly emerged as the Pac 12’s top signal callers.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Baylor might be the hottest team in the land but is probably a bit disappointed with its place on the bowl docket. How will the post season award tour effect RG III?