Are you ready for the most exciting time of the year? Some of you will have the chance to root for your team in their bowl game this season, but you should be excited for (almost) every bowl game this season! It seems like every year there are a bunch of matchups where it is a guaranteed blow out, and there are a bunch of games that nobody cares about. This year does have a few of those on the menu, but I actually have to give some congrats to the bowl committees that made some very intriguing bowls. In fact the three most intriguing bowls to me (Insight, Cotton, Ticket City) aren't even BCS Bowls. Today we have a preview for the second slate of games which includes a few snoozers, but also a few games that are top notch.

INDEPENDENCE BOWL
 
MISSOURI V NORTH CAROLINA
SPREAD: MIZZOU -3.5

I honestly don't know if this is a great matchup or if this is a complete snooze fest of a game. You have a game between a team with a pretty good defense and a pretty good offense, but again it is hard to be excited about this game. I think that the Tar Heels can however pull the upset because of their passing offense which is very underrated.

NORTH CAROLINA WINS (UPSETS)


LITTLE CEASARS BOWL
 
PURDUE V WESTERN MICHIGAN
SPREAD: PURDUE -2.5

This is a more interesting game then I think is given credit. It will either be an exciting blowout put together by one of the best offenses in college, or it will be a close game strung together by Danny Hope's Boilermakers. The Broncos lost five games this season, but all of them were on the road with four of the losses being to bowl teams, and the home crowd is why I am taking them to win this game.

WESTERN MICHIGAN WINS (UPSETS)

BELK BOWL
 
LOUISVILLE V NC STATE
SPREAD: NC STATE -1.5

Every year when I do predictions before the season I try to find a few teams that could overachieve in their conferences. This year I came very close to being (about) the only person in the world to pick the Cardinals as the Big East champs. Coach Charlie Strong is one of the best in college and has been able to do so much with his young team in almost no time. At the same time NC State is a deceptive team that is a lot better at scoring then their offensive yardage would dictate. I'm taking the Cards here though because of coaching alone.

LOUISVILLE WINS (UPSETS)
 

MILITARY BOWL
 
TOLEDO V AIR FORCE
SPREAD: TOLEDO -2.5

If this game is able to highlight both the offenses of the two teams then it could come down to the last seconds in a shootout, but how often is it that elite offense together do that? Toledo has a lethal passing attack and a run game that is just as nasty, while Air Force averages over 300 yards per game rushing. Together the two teams could put together a memorable bowl, and I am going with my gut to take Toledo's more balanced attack.

TOLEDO WINS (COVERS)
 

HOLIDAY BOWL
 
CALIFORNIA V TEXAS
SPREAD: TEXAS -3.5

To say it simply, I believe Vegas linemakers overvalued the way that Texas finished the season in this one. The Longhorn's defense is talented enough to blank the Bears in a game that is often known for offense. 

TEXAS WINS (COVERS)
 

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
 
FLORIDA STATE V NOTRE DAME
SPREAD: FLORIDA -2.5

I know a lot of people are expecting a great game here, but just because two historic teams are facing off, the fact remains that they were both WAY overvalued in the preseason because of their history. The Irish are better statistically offensively, while the Seminoles are better defensively. I do like the Seminoles here though as they are a team that lost games close with some injuries while the Irish lost games with too many question marks on offense.

FLORIDA STATE WINS (COVERS)
  


ALAMO BOWL
 
WASHINGTON V BAYLOR
SPREAD: BAYLOR -9.5

Baylor wins big. Oh, you want more? How about the Heisman Trophy winning Robert Griffin III trying to show his talents to NFL Scouts against a team from only the 4th (or 5th) strongest conference. How about it being a home game. How about the fact that Washington's defense stinks and that they beat only three bowl teams this year. Could Washington win? Sure, but only if Baylor gives it to them.

BAYLOR WINS

ARMED FORCES BOWL
 
BYU V TULSA
SPREAD: BYU -2.5

This is another game that a lot of people have as one of the best of the season, but I just don't see it. BYU is an above average team with wins over nobody, while Tulsa is an ok team that lost only to top-10 teams. I don't see BYU as a top-10 team, and I don't see them winning this game as easily as some predict.

TULSA WINS (UPSETS)
 

PINSTRIPE BOWL
 
RUTGERS V IOWA STATE
SPREAD: RUTGERS -1.5

As a native Iowan I am very jealous of the Cyclones who get to travel to one of the neatest bowl games in college. Unfortunately the stadium might be more interesting than the game. Rutgers has the passing potential to blow out the Cyclones, while the Clones have the rushing potential to keep the game close and to run out the clock. One thing I do know though is that Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads is an emotional leader that could coach his team to a win.

IOWA STATE WINS (UPSETS)
 

MUSIC CITY BOWL
 
MISSISSIPPI STATE V WAKE FOREST
SPREAD: MISSISSIPPI STATE -6.5

I contemplated just putting the letters S.E.C for text, but I think Vick Ballard's rushing force and Mississippi State's strong defense will be able to cakewalk through this game.

MS STATE WINS

INSIGHT BOWL
 
IOWA V OKLAHOMA
SPREAD: OKLAHOMA -14.5

Living about 2 miles from Kinnick Stadium has taught me something special about Iowa Football, and that is that they play to the level of their competition. This means a lot of good things for a game where Oklahoma is favored by 2+ scores. Historically Iowa has been given much tougher competition (Texas, Florida in recent memory) in bowl games, and annually it comes down to the wire. Factor in some Oklahoma injuries and you have a formula for upset. I still think Oklahoma wins, but 14+ points is a silly spread. 

Oklahoma Wins (Iowa Covers)

CAR CARE BOWL
 
TEXAS A&M V NORTHWESTERN
SPREAD: TAMU -9.5

This is a strange matchup. Northwestern is a team that pulls upsets and close games out all the time, but they also will lose some random games in the process too. Texas A&M is about the most inconsistent team in football, and if they bring their offense to the party then they will crush Northwestern. I'm taking the purple power rangers to cover this one and even pull off the upset.

Northwestern WINS (UPSETS)
 

SUN BOWL
 
GEORGIA TECH V UTAH
SPREAD: GEORGIA TECH -3.5

Every single part of my gut wants to underwrite Utah in this game to Georgia Tech's fierce offense, but this is just the kind of game that each and every year we see an upset in by a decent defense. I'm taking Tech here, but only because Utah's offense is so poor.

GEORGIA TECH WINS
 

LIBERTY BOWL
 
CINCINNATI V VANDERBILT
SPREAD: VANDY -2.5

Cincinnati fans are not happy about being underdogs despite having three more wins and a better offense, but Vanderbilt is essentially playing a home game. Vandy also has the SEC benefit which makes you wonder how this game really will go. I'm going Vandy because I think their offense is a little underrated given the SEC schedule, and because they have a lot of talent on the field that Cinci doesn't. 

VANDERBILT WINS

FIGHT HUNGER BOWL
 
ILLINOIS V UCLA
SPREAD: ILLINOIS -2.5

What a terrible game. Two bad teams facing off with little talent, and no coaching. On a side note, how the heck does a school decide to fire the coach right before they face off in the PAC 12 Championship? If UCLA had pulled the upset and gotten in the Rose Bowl then why would a coach not keep his job? It is so stupid that I am taking Illinois to win the game over it.

ILLINOIS WINS

THE ARTIST FORMALLY KNOWN AS THE PEACH BOWL
 
VIRGINIA V AUBURN
SPREAD: AUBURN -1.5

I absolutely hate that this isn't called the Peach Bowl anymore, and I just won't call it by it's advertised name. That is of course mostly true because for the right amount of money you could change the name of this site to chick-fil-a-draftmaven.com. A lot of people are taking the Cavaliers as a team to upset the defending champs before the new year, but I just don't see it. Auburn is still worthy of being called a top-25 team, and I think they will be leaning on this game to push for a big recruit class.

AUBURN WINS