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Confidence Picks - Dec. 30 & 31st Bowls
Oklahoma LB Travis Lewis
Oklahoma LB Travis Lewis
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

Bell Helicopters Armed Forces Bowl
December 30, 2011 Fort Worth, TX, 12:00 pm ESPN
BYU -3 vs. Tulsa  O/U: 55.5 
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
BY (15) BY (12) TU (9) TU (9) BY (18) BY (31) BY (21) TU (13) BY (66)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
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BYU has become AWESOME in bowl games under Bronco Mendenhall, winning four of its last five. The 55.5 over/under is a gift from the gods. This could be 45-41 without breathing hard.
 
By Richard Cirminiello 
After going into college football’s witness protection program following a 54-10 loss to Utah on Sept. 17, BYU quietly rallied for eight wins in its final nine games.

By Matt Zemek
Tulsa got manhandled by Houston. Will it respond with a tougher, bolder performance against a BYU team whose 9-3 record is not reflective of a well-above-average identity?

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Tulsa’s offense is always fun to watch, and it gets a big time challenge with BYU’s underrated defense.

By Russ Mitchell
You can neither drink nor smoke at Brigham Young - so no one is getting high. This is a bowl sponsored by a helicopter manufacturer. Can there be a bigger omen? Go with Tulsa.

By Terry Johnson
BYU faces Tulsa in a sharp contrast of styles. How will the Cougar run defense (ranked 21st nationally) fare against a Golden Hurricane ground game that averages 5.0 yards per carry?

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Amazingly, all four losses for Tulsa were against top ten teams at the time. BYU should provide the challenge of losing to an unranked team.
 

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
December 30, 2011 Bronx, NY, 3:20 pm ESPN
Rutgers -2 vs. Iowa State  O/U: 44.5
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
RU (21) RU (1) IS (10) IS (2) RU (19) IS (29) IS (9) RU (33) RU (24)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
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I sort of think Rutgers is a whole lot better than anyone gave it credit for this year. Iowa State travels well, but the Scarlet Knights will have the home field advantage.

By Richard Cirminiello 
The second Pinstripe Bowl is feeling fortunate to have landed the local Scarlet Knights along with the team responsible for keeping Oklahoma State out of the BCS National Championship Game.

By Matt Zemek
Who thought the first Pinstripe Bowl between Kansas State and Syracuse would be so exciting? Maybe this game will surprise as well. Iowa State and Rutgers could create fireworks, but one should expect a defensive grinder.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Rutgers playing in front of the New York City crowd is a perfect situation for the Scarlet Knights. One of these days, Rutgers is going to emerge as the “team of the Northeast.” Playing in Yankee Stadium will certainly help.

By Russ Mitchell
Love the idea of CFB in the Bronx late in December...as long as I don't have to cover it. This is another intern game. Iowa State fresh off of handing its conference the dagger of all daggers (if daggers are meant to be lost television money and stature) fly to the cornfields of inner NYC to play the boys from Jersey. Two teams that are either good or very bad; they deserve each other.

By Terry Johnson
Rutgers-Iowa State should be a low scoring affair as both defenses matchup well against their opponent’s offense.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
How do both teams feel about being rewarded for this one? Rutgers takes a bus ride to a bowl game, and Iowa State would probably like to be going into warmer weather.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
December 30, 2011   Nashville, TN, 6:40 pm ESPN
Miss State -6.5 vs. Wake Forest  O/U: 48 
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
MS (32) MS (10) WF (11) MS (28) MS* (20) MS(22) MS* (16) WF (16) MS (31)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
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Mississippi State isn't going to come up with a Michigan-like beatdown, but it's WAY overdue to start producing more on the ground. Wake Forest will put up a fight, but its defensive line doesn't generate any pressure.

By Richard Cirminiello 
Demon Deacons ecstatic to be back in the postseason after skipping the last two years.

By Matt Zemek
This feels like an even matchup. Mississippi State is not fast, and Wake Forest doesn’t handle speed very well.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Mississippi State’s season can only be viewed as a disappointment, and now there are rumors of Dan Mullen looking at other jobs. I don’t think the Bulldogs will be inspired in this one.

By Russ Mitchell
Not exactly where MSU expected to be coming off the New Year's Day bowl thrashing last year of Michigan, and with a fifth year senior QB and senior RB returning. Yet here they are, playing a Wake Forest team that had a solid season and are happy to be bowling again. Thinking the Deacons will hit a flat MSU team square in the mouth.

By Terry Johnson
Can Mississippi State’s success against the pass continue against Wake Forest’s Tanner Price, who’s improvement led the Deacons to their first bowl game since 2008?

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
The Demon Deacons limped to the end of the season but largely overachieved. Mississippi State is a big disappointment. Someone gets a chance to feel good.
 

Insight Bowl  
December 30, 2011 Tempe, AZ, 10:00 pm
Iowa vs. Oklahoma -14  O/U: 58
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
OU (34) OU* (27) OU (31) OU* (13) OU* (24) OU*(25)  OU* (29) IA (34) OU* (19)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
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Iowa always stands on its head in bowl games under Kirk Ferentz, but this isn't the normal Iowa team and this is a national title-level Oklahoma squad looking to make amends for the Oklahoma State disaster. The over/under is starting to move up, but it doesn't matter. Oklahoma could hit the 55-point mark on its own.

By Richard Cirminiello 
Sooners will try to convince themselves that this trip to Arizona is actually for the Fiesta Bowl. It won’t work.

By Matt Zemek
Oklahoma will have three and a half weeks to physically heal. Any questions?

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Oklahoma is a shell of its former self. Something tells me the Sooners just want this season over with.

By Russ Mitchell
Oklahoma began the season with visions of sugar plums and BCS title games dancing in their heads. Now they'll play anyone to get the sour taste of Stillwater out of their mouth. Enter the 7-5 Iowa Hawkeyes, who lost three of their last five and every road game except Purdon't. If this doesn't help Oklahoma's hangover, nothing will.

By Terry Johnson
Can the Hawkeyes pass defense, which ranks dead last in the Big Ten, withstand a Sooners’ aerial attack that throws for 365 yards per game?

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Very intriguing matchup. Both teams have been inconsistent, but if both bring their best to the desert, it should be a fun contrast of styles.
 

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
December 31, 2011 Houston, TX, 12:00 pm ESPN
Texas A&M -10 vs. Northwestern  O/U: 64.5
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
AM (35) AM (15) AM (30) AM* (12) AM (3) AM*(4)  AM* (27) NU (24) AM (58)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
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Texas A&M is four touchdowns more talented than the Wildcats. Northwestern never, ever, ever, ever, EVER wins its bowl game.

By Richard Cirminiello 
If motivation and want-to matter in Houston, Northwestern will rate enough of an edge to help narrow the gap on the Aggies.

By Matt Zemek
Texas A&M has the athletes, and what’s more is that Northwestern is a poor second-half team. That’s the perfect opponent for the Aggies.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
Texas A&M expected a trip to the Cotton Bowl, at worst, before the season. The coaching change coupled with the disappointment will produce a very flat Aggie team.

By Russ Mitchell
Hey, we're almost to New Year's Day - so the games have to be picking up by now. Right? In this corner, the coachless A&M Aggies of Texas, seventh place in the Big 12, fighting the smart kids from Northwestern - who wouldn't even be here if not for a late season win in Lincoln. Huskers, we're holding you responsible for this game. No, we're serious. The game's in Houston - just shocking that A&M was invited.

By Terry Johnson
It'll be a showdown between two of college football’s most underrated QB’s in Northwestern’s Dan Persa and Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill. Expect plenty of points. It'll be worth the watch.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
It’s hard to tell what type of surprises this game will show. Both teams can put up points, but what will the psyche of A&M?
 

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
December 31, 2011 San Francisco, CA, 3:30 pm ESPN 
Illinois -3 vs. UCLA  O/U: 46.5
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
IL (7) IL (7) IL (18) IL (8) IL (21) IL (23) UC (14) UC (6) IL (117)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
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Yeah, everyone wants to dump on this bowl game between two loser programs in the midst of huge changes, but the Illinois running game will finally kick it into gear now that the pressure of the Ron Zook job watch is done.

By Richard Cirminiello 
The Bruins are below .500. The Illini haven’t won a game in two months. Good luck selling tickets, Hunger Bowl staff.

By Matt Zemek
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA! Oh, and another thing: HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! This truly is the feel-good holiday comedy of the year, a long movie you can show to the kids without having to pay for gas, parking, overpriced concession-stand food and beverage, or anything else.   

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
So ... are you interested in coaching this one?

By Terry Johnson
This game should provide plenty of surprises as both teams have made coaching changes. UCLA and Illinois have played great football at times this year, and are capable of beating anyone – if the right team shows up! 

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Somebody has to win. It’s a 6-7 team in UCLA going against a team in Illinois that has lost 6 in a row.


Hyundai Sun Bowl  
December 31, 2011  El Paso, TX, 2:00 pm CBS
Georgia Tech -3.5 vs. Utah  O/U: 50.5 
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
UT (23) UT (3) GT (12) GT (7) GT (4) UT(3) GT (15) GT (1) GT (10)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

Georgia Tech has lost six straight bowl games and Utah won nine in a row before last year's clunker to Boise State. I know Boise State, and Georgia Tech - whose offense gets stopped cold by anyone with a few days to prepare for it - you're no Boise State.

By Richard Cirminiello 
The best tool for stopping Tech’s triple-option is time. The Utes will have it, along with a slew of underrated and disciplined players on defense.

By Matt Zemek
Utah just doesn’t have an offense. As long as Tevin Washington can function, the Jackets should thrive.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
You know what they say about defending the option with more than a week to prepare? Look out, Yellow Jackets.

By Russ Mitchell
GT has the nation's third best rushing offense. Utah has the seventh best run defense. IT'S SHOWTIME! (Neither team is from Texas and neither is known to really travel that well. What's the Sun Bowl thinking? Can't be simply wanting a good match-up...can't be... We'll put the investigate team on it.)

By Terry Johnson
Georgia Tech’s rushing offense, which ranks third in the country, faces a Utah defense that allows less than 100 yards per game, and only 3.0 yards per carry.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Teams that have time to prepare for Georgia Tech generally fare pretty well, but Utah is not the same caliber, even with a decent defense.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
December 31, 2011  Memphis, TN, 3:30 pm ABC   
Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt -2.5  O/U: 49.5 
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
VU (16) VU (33) VU (13) VU (19) VU (6) CI (2) VU (22) CI (3) VU (104)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

The Wake Forest game stands out; Vanderbilt was brilliant with an improving offense over the second half of the season. Don't undersell Cincinnati, though, even with Zach Collaros out for the year.

By Richard Cirminiello 
Two unheralded, yet talented, defenses will square off in Memphis, a relatively short trip for both schools’ fan base.

By Matt Zemek
Vanderbilt will be sky-high for this clash. Cincinnati will have to match the Commodores’ energy from the start; it won’t be easy for the Bearcats to do just that.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
James Franklin has made waves in recruiting and on the field in his inaugural season. A trip to Memphis could only help Vanderbilt’s recruiting.

By Russ Mitchell
Vandy has been one of the more exciting teams to watch this season. It's defense is ranked sixth best in the conference - a conference that has both LSU and Bama. It's fourth best in the SEC against the run. Cincinnati did a great job rebounding from the injury to QB Zach Collaros. This will be an exciting game, and a short trip for both fan bases.

By Terry Johnson
Rushing yards will be hard to come by in this game, as Vanderbilt and Cincinnati only allow 3.4 and 2.6 yards per carry, respectively.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
Vandy got its six wins by beating up on non-conference opponents, and although Cincinnati went 5-2 in the Big East, the SEC has it all over them.

Chick-fil-A Bowl
December 31, 2011 Atlanta, GA, 7:30 pm ESPN
Virginia vs. Auburn -1.5  O/U: 48.5 
Fiu Rich Matt Russ Barrett Terry Phil Clucko PICK
VA (5) AU (28) VA (14) VA (24) AU (5) VA (7) AU (26) AU (5) AU (14)

E-mail Pete Fiutak
#CFBnews & #ColFootballNews

Michael Dyer's suspension is just enough to tip the scales to Virginia. Dyer will be missed, but he doesn't play on the defensive front. The Tigers will get rolled over by the Virginia ground game.

By Richard Cirminiello 
Virginia ecstatic to be here. Auburn? Not so much. Beating the defending champs would be a huge achievement for Mike London’s Cavaliers.

By Matt Zemek
This is one of the weakest Chick-Fil-A Bowl matchups I can remember. This game deserves better.

By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee  
One simple goal for Auburn: Don’t get blown out. That’s been a challenge of late.

By Russ Mitchell
Virginia is one of the surprise teams of 2011. Auburn has surrendered 208 points in its five loses. Fortunately for the Tigers, the Cavs don't exactly light up the scoreboard - at least not offensively, as they're currently rank 88th in that category.

By Terry Johnson
Both Virginia and Auburn need to establish their running game in order to get their offense going. Whichever team runs the ball with the most success will win this game.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
You like Auburn’s chances here as the Cavaliers’ game against Va. Tech showed the world that they are not ready to play with fire just yet.