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 vegasinsider.com (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
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
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
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
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
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