2018 College Football Bowl Game Picks

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Cooper Lockett and Brendan Lee, Sports Editor and Staff Writer

Outback bowl: Michigan vs South Carolina — South Carolina and Michigan will play a rematch of the 2013 Outback bowl when Jadeveon Clowney laid the wood on Michigan running back Vincent Smith. Jake Bentley has played well at times but struggled against good defenses, which Michigan has. Michigan has faced struggles offensively all year due to an injury at quarterback. While South Carolina boasts a solid receiving core and a good defense, their woeful offensive line will lead them to lose the game in the trenches against Michigan’s talented pash rush. This will be a low scoring defensive game.
Michigan, 17-14

Cotton Bowl: Ohio State vs USC — A matchup of two of the most iconic schools in college football, the Buckeyes and the Trojans, both champions of their respective conferences will meet in Dallas for the Cotton Bowl. Ohio State will be reeling with fury after being left out of the CFB playoff and will look to prove they were worthy, while USC’s Sam Darnold will look to increase his NFL draft stock for next year. Both teams come in with a chip on their shoulder, Sam Darnold will play a great game, but Ohio State’s defense will prevail at the end.
Ohio State, 34-31

Peach Bowl: UCF vs Auburn — Undefeated Central Florida will meet with SEC West champions Auburn in Atlanta for the Peach Bowl. UCF has statistically the best offense in the country. However, they haven’t played a team anywhere close to Auburn’s level this season. Normally I’d pick Auburn no problem, but Auburn doesn’t want to be in this game. They had their sights set on the playoff after beating Alabama in the Iron Bowl, but their disappointment in the SEC title game leaves them emotionally spent. Auburn won’t be motivated for this game, while UCF will be licking its chops for their chance to beat a team with Auburn’s reputation and prove themselves as a top tier team. Auburn won’t show up to play, and this one will get ugly for the SEC team.
UCF 45-10 Auburn

Orange Bowl: Miami vs Wisconsin — The ACC and BIG 10 runner ups will clash for the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in South Beach. Both of these teams were overrated for most of the season and both played relatively weak schedules. Miami has literal home field advantage and will be looking to break out the turnover chain a few more times after getting beat down 38-3 by Clemson in the ACC title game. Wisconsin’s playoff bid ended in the BIG 10 championship against Ohio State. Miami’s defensive secondary is one of the strongest units in the country and home field will play into Miami’s hands as the Chain Gang will beat the Badgers
Miami, 24-21

Rose Bowl: Georgia vs Oklahoma — The first of the playoff semifinals will be a duel between the best quarterback in the country and one of the best defenses in the country. Baker Mayfield and his offense will face a huge challenge against the Bulldogs’ defense, but the Sooners have enough talent to score points. On the other side of the ball, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel should be able to carve up Oklahoma’s mediocre defense. This one will be very high scoring but the bulldogs defense makes a stop in the clutch and sends Georgia to Atlanta.
Georgia, 45-42

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs Clemson — For the third time in three years the Tigers and the Tide will clash in the postseason. The first two were instant classics and this one is shaping up to be another one. Clemson and Alabama both wield tremendous defenses. Alabama has shown weakness at the linebacker position but have a tremendous secondary lead by all SEC cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick. Clemson’s defensive front seven, led by Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence, has recorded 41 sacks this year including 11 in the week two game against Auburn.
On offense Kelly Bryant has been inaccurate at times but has looked better as the season has progressed. The Tigers boast tremendous big play ability with freshman running back Travis Etienne. For Alabama, Jalen Hurts has improved steadily in the passing game and is one of the most dangerous dual threat quarterbacks in the country. Clemson has better depth with four viable running backs and six viable receivers that they can rotate to keep fresh legs on the field. This game is a toss up on paper, but the Tigers can stay fresh longer.
Clemson, 28-27