Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports
Back for the third year and ready to go.
For each of the past two years, I have used a formula to project the outcome of all of the bowl games. Combined, they're 45-25 straight up (.643) and 39-28-3 (.579) against the spread. That's noticeably better than random guessing, and as I understand it, the ATS mark is above the magic 55% threshold for making money. They also are consistent; the straight up marks are 23-12 and 22-13, while the ATS marks are 19-14-2 and 20-14-1.
The normal caveats to any kind of bowl picking apply. Some of these are going to be way off because the method doesn't account for things like coaching changes or motivation and the lack thereof. Some teams are going to flop because they just don't care or because a key coach or two took the first bus out of town. Besides, 19 of these projections are within a field goal of the point spread, so they're not completely unsound. Also keep in mind that Clemson was favored to win the Orange Bowl last year before getting splattered 70-33. Being way off here and there is to be expected.
I (won't) be entering these into the bowl pick 'em group (sign up before it's too late!) with the largest projected margin of victory having the most confidence points going down to the slimmest having the fewest confidence points. See if you can beat the formula. (Note: Yahoo! changed the rules so you can only put one entry in a group. So, find them here instead once the picks lock.) The point spreads below are the consensus from here, as of December 13 when I posted this.
Here goes nothing, and remember, this is for entertainment purposes only.
|New Mexico||Nevada vs. Arizona||Arizona -9.5||Nevada 43-41||Nevada + points|
|Famous Idaho Potato||Toledo vs. Utah State||USU -10.5||Utah St. 32-20||Utah State|
|Poinsettia||BYU vs. SDSU||BYU -2.5||BYU 23-21||SDSU + points|
|St. Petersburg||UCF vs. Ball State||UCF -7||UCF 36-28||UCF|
|New Orleans||ECU vs. LA-Lafayette||ULL -6||ULL 38-31||LA-Lafayette|
|Las Vegas||Washington vs. Boise St.||BSU -5.5||BSU 26-9||Boise St.|
|Hawaii||Fresno St. vs SMU||Fresno -12.5||Fresno 40-21||Fresno St.|
|Little Caesar's||WKU vs. Central Michigan||WKU -5.5||WKU 34-27||WKU|
|Military||SJSU vs. Bowling Green||SJSU -7||SJSU 24-13||San Jose State|
|Belk||Cincinnati vs. Duke||Cincy -7||Cincy 39-21||Cincinnati|
|Holiday||Baylor vs. UCLA||Pick||UCLA 43-41||UCLA|
|Independence||Ohio vs. LA-Monroe||ULM -7||ULM 34-28||Ohio + points|
|Russell Athletic||Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech||VT -2.5||Rutgers 19-14||Rutgers + points|
|Car Care of Texas||Minnesota vs. Texas Tech||TTU -13||TTU 34-24||Minn + points|
|Armed Forces||Rice vs. Air Force||AFA -1||Rice 30-28||Rice + points|
|Pinstripe||West Virginia vs. Syracuse||WVU -4||Syracuse 41-40||Syracuse + points|
|Fight Hunger||Navy vs. Arizona St.||ASU -14.5||ASU 29-21||Navy + points|
|Alamo||Texas vs. Oregon St.||OSU -2||OSU 29.4-26.8||Oregon St.|
|Buffalo Wild Wings||TCU vs. Michigan St.||TCU -2.5||MSU 16-13||MSU + points|
|Music City||NC State vs. Vanderbilt||Vandy -7||VU 25-19||NCSU + points|
|Sun||USC vs. Georgia Tech||USC -10||USC 38-30||GT + points|
|Liberty||Iowa State vs. Tulsa||Pick||Tulsa 25-19||Tulsa|
|Chick-fil-A||LSU vs. Clemson||LSU -4||Clemson 31-30||Clemson + points|
|Gator||Miss St. vs. Northwestern||MSU -2||N'western 27-24||N'western + points|
|Heart of Dallas||Purdue vs. Oklahoma St.||OSU -16.5||OSU 43-30||Purdue + points|
|Capital One||Georgia vs. Nebraska||UGA -10||UGA 37-26||Georgia|
|Outback||South Carolina vs. Michigan||SC -5||SC 24-22||Michigan + points|
|Rose||Wisconsin vs. Stanford||Stanford -6.5||Wisconsin 21-20||Wisconsin + points|
|Orange||NIU vs. Florida St.||FSU -13||FSU 29-28||NIU + points|
|Sugar||Louisville vs. Florida||Florida -13.5||Florida 28-16||Louisville + points|
|Fiesta||Oregon vs. Kansas St.||Oregon -9.5||Oregon 41-32||KSU + points|
|Cotton||Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma||TAMU -4.5||TAMU 38-31||Texas A&M|
|BBVA Compass||Pittsburgh vs. Ole Miss||Miss -3.5||Pitt 28-24||Pittsburgh + points|
|GoDaddy||Kent St. vs. Arkansas St.||ASU -4||ASU 33-32||Kent St. + points|
|BCS NCG||Alabama vs. Notre Dame||Bama -10||Bama 21-12||Notre Dame + points|
Green in the "Projection" column indicates a correct pick straight up; green in the "Pick" column indicates a correct pick against the spread. You can guess what red means.