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Our final picks of the college football season will start with Cal vs. Illinois in today's Redbox Bowl and run through the Jan. 13 College Football Playoff championship showdown between defending champ Clemson and favored LSU.

Against all reason, I staged a miracle rally over the past week and have climbed into the season lead against Jake Curtis, albeit by just one game. Plenty of time to screw that up.

Enjoy the games and Happy New Year!

All picks against the spread

Lines taken from (opening lines used)

Last week: Jeff 10-3, Jake 7-6,

Season: Jeff 62-59, Jake 61-60


Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

At Nashville, Tenn.

Mississippi State (minus-4 ½) vs. Louisville
Jake: The SEC seems to do well in bowl games. Pick: Mississippi State

Jeff: Going with Muhammad Ali’s hometown team. Pick: Louisville

Redbox Bowl

At Santa Clara

Cal (minus-6 ½) vs. Illinois

Jake: Bears have been playing well lately. Pick: Cal

Jeff: A pair of often-offensively challenged teams. But one of them has been better on offense lately and a bit better on defense all year. Pick: Cal

Capital One Orange Bowl

At Miami Gardens, Fla.

Florida (minus 14 ½) vs. Virginia

Jake: That’s a big spread, but Virginia lost by 45 points to Clemson. Pick: Florida

Jeff: Virginia plays football? Pick: Florida


Belk Bowl

At Charlotte, N.C.

Virginia Tech (minus-2½) vs. Kentucky

Jake: Kentucky’s 32-point win over Louisville in the regular-season finale is impressive. Pick: Kentucky

Jeff: The Wildcats have won three in a row, scoring a total of 133 points. Pick: Kentucky

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl

At El Paso, Texas

Arizona State (minus-4 ½) vs. Florida State

Jake: Mediocre teams from mediocre conferences. ASU’s win over Oregon tips the balance. Pick: Arizona State

Jeff: Remember when Florida State was elite? They were 6-6 this season. Pick: Arizona State

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
At Memphis, Tenn.

Navy (minus-2 ½) vs. Kansas State

Jake: If Navy gets ahead, it can roll, but that’s a big if. Pick: Navy

Jeff: Navy has won eight of nine. Pick: Navy 

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
At Tucson, Ariz.

Wyoming (minus-7) vs. Georgia State

Jake: If you are watching this game, you better get a life. Pick: Georgia State

Jeff: Oh, boy. Pick: Georgia State

Valero Alamo Bowl
At San Antonio, Texas

Utah (minus-7) vs. Texas

Jake: I have soured on Utah after its loss to Oregon. Pick: Texas

Jeff: Still like the Utes’ defense. Pick: Utah


Vrbo Citrus Bowl

At Orlando, Fal.

Alabama (minus-7) vs. Michigan

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Jake: Even without Tua, the Tide is too much for Michigan. Pick: Alabama

Jeff: For Jim Harbaugh, facing ‘Bama will be like playing Ohio State. Pick: Alabama

Outback Bowl
At Tampa, Fla.

Auburn (minus-7) vs. Minnesota

Jake: Auburn played a tougher schedule, and is on an upswing. Pick: Auburn.

Jeff: Hard to pick against a team that beat Oregon, Texas A&M and Alabama. Pick: Auburn

Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual

At Pasadena, Calif.

Wisconsin (minus-3) vs. Oregon

Jake: Oregon is pretty good against the run, and that is key in this game. Pick: Oregon

Jeff: The Ducks are determined to show they belong with the big kids. And the Pac-12 needs this one. Pick: Oregon

Allstate Sugar Bowl
At New Orleans, La.

Georgia (minus-5 ½) vs. Baylor

Jake: Baylor has a knack for staying close against good teams and bad teams. But the talent gap is too wide this time. Pick: Georgia

Jeff: Tempting to go with Baylor here, but Georgia was 11-1 with a double-overtime loss before losing to LSU in the SEC title game. Pick: Georgia


TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl

At Birmingham, Ala.,

Cincinnati (minus-7 ½) vs. Boston College

Jake: Boston College just isn’t very good. Pick: Cincinnati

Jeff: BC is proof that 6-6 shouldn’t get you a bowl game. The Eagles lost to Kansas by 24 points. At home. Pick: Cincinnati

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

At Jacksonville, Fla.

Tennessee (minus-2) vs. Indiana

Jake: The Vols have won five in a row and may believe they’re pretty good. Pick: Tennessee

Jeff: Indiana is 0-4 against Top-25 teams and unbeaten against everyone else. Same can’t be said for the Volunteers. Pick: Indiana


Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

At Boise, Idaho

Ohio (minus-8) vs. Nevada

Jake: Nevada’s loss to UNLV and its 71-point loss to Oregon lead me to go with the Mid-American Conference. Pick: Ohio

Jeff: The Oregon game was bad enough, but Nevada also lost to Hawaii by 51 points, and the Wolf Pack didn’t even get to go to the islands. Pick: Ohio


Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
At Forth Worth, Texas

Tulane (minus-7) vs. Southern Mississippi

Jake: Tulane lost five of its last six games, so I don’t think it can beat anyone by more than seven points. Pick: Southern Miss

Jeff: I won’t me watching this game. Bet you won’t either. Pick: Tulane

Monday, Jan. 6

LendingTree Bowl

At Mobile, Ala.

Louisiana (minus-14) vs. Miami (Ohio)

Jake: Two of Louisiana’s losses were to Appalachian State, the other was against Mississippi State. All three were pretty close. Pick: Louisiana

Jeff: Miami won six of its final seven games. That’s enough ton convince me the Redhawks will cover. Pick Miami

Monday, January 13

National championship game

At New Orleans

LSU (minus-5½) vs. Clemson

Jake: You pick against Clemson at your peril, but the Tigers have been awfully impressive. Pick: LSU

Jeff: Clemson has won 29 in a row and is getting 5½ points? But LSU, with its young Joe Montana playing quarterback, is irresistible. Pick: LSU