Tailgate Pick ‘Em Bowl Week 2 Predictions Including Washington State vs Iowa State

Spread the love

College football’s bowl season rolls on with the second batch of non New Year’s Six bowl games including Washington State vs Iowa State in a battle of PAC-12 vs the BIG-12. Later this week we’ll take a look at the New Year’s Six games including the two College Football Playoff semifinals.

Marquee Bowls

First Responder Bowl: Boston College (7-5) vs #25 Boise State (10-3) (Wednesday at 1:30) Line: Boise State by 2.5

Steen Kirby: Boise State has been remarkably good for so long, 7 of their 9 seasons this decade have ended with 10 wins or more, and with a win they would once again finish in the AP post season top 25. Boston College lost three games down the stretch after winning three straight prior to that to become bowl eligible. Momentum is just not on their side here. Boise State 35, Boston College 20

John Bava: This matchup at the Cotton Bowl pits teams who endured rough endings to the season. Boston College is in the midst of a three-game losing streak after rising to as high as 17th in the rankings. Meanwhile, Boise State suffered its first-ever defeat on the famed blue turf at the hands of Fresno State in the Mountain West Championship Game.

Among the players to watch is Broncos senior quarterback Brett Rypien who’s one of nine quarterbacks in FBS with at least 30 touchdown passes. The Eagles do struggle defending the pass, ranking 10th among ACC teams in pass defense. Their hope on offense is getting talented running back AJ Dillon going. His 110.8 yards per game ranks 12th in FBS. However, Boise might have the tools to keep him in check, ranking top 25 nationally against the run.

Yesh Ginsburg: Boise State is a solid team, but its last game against a team with P5 lines–Oklahoma State earlier this season–was not pretty. Boston College is very physical and will cause the Broncos serious issues. Still, I think that Brett Rypien will ball out in his final game and leave Boise with something to remember, as well as a chance at an NFL future. Boise State 42, Boston College 24

Mike Loveall: Boise State just keeps rolling on. You can talk about UCF all you want, but what Boise State has done for the past two decades is completely underrated. BC is too one dimensional and is dealing with injuries. Broncos roll in Dallas. Boise State 24, Boston College 17

Lukas Weese: Boise State 31, Boston College 28

Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota (6-6) vs Georgia Tech (7-5) (Wednesday at 5:15) Line: Georgia Tech by 5.5

Steen: Regardless of how Yellow Jacket fans feel about the Paul Johnson era, it comes to a close with Temple coach Geoff Collins set to take the reins next season. Tech won 4 consecutive ACC games to reach bowl eligibility after an 0-3 start in ACC play, a tremendous show of resilience. Minnesota has credible wins over Fresno State, Wisconsin, and Purdue though, and despite their 6-6 record seem to be headed in the right direction. With time to prepare against the option I’ll take the Gophers. Minnesota 24, Georgia Tech 21

John: Both these sides have to feel pretty good about themselves heading into this matchup. Georgia Tech won six of its last eight games and was somewhat respectable in the regular season finale against in-state rival Georgia. Minnesota achieved bowl eligibility for the first time under P.J. Fleck in emphatic fashion, blowing out Wisconsin to win Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the first time since 2003.

The Yellow Jackets are saying goodbye to Paul Johnson who’s coaching his final game with the program. He’ll leave with 82 wins and a .582 winning percentage, both the fourth-most in program history behind legendary names like John Heisman, William Alexander, and Bobby Dodd. Behind the always hard to prepare for triple option spearheaded by TaQuon Marshall who’s the ACC’s leading rusher among quarterbacks, the Jackets send Johnson out on a high note. Georgia Tech 37, Minnesota 24

Yesh: Can Paul Johnson sail off into the sunset, or will P.J. Fleck be rowing the boat? Minnesota is slowly improving under Fleck–though it’s hard to understand why it started out so much worse under him than it was before he left. The Golden Gophers will be prepared well for the triple option, but you just can’t bet against Paul Johnson in his final game. Georgia Tech 38, Minnesota 34

Mike: In a bowl game that matches up two the powerhouse programs of the 1930s, Georgia Tech will try to send Paul Johnson into retirement with a W. The Fightin’ Flecks, led by the polar opposite of Johnson, PJ Fleck, will try to survive the Flexbone Triple Option. With time to prepare and tape to study, look for the Gophers to be good to go. Minnesota 30, Georgia Tech 27

Lukas: Georgia Tech 28, Minnesota 17

Pinstripe Bowl: Miami (7-5) vs Wisconsin (7-5) (Thursday at 5:15) Line: Miami by 3.5

Steen: Miami looks to be in program turmoil yet again, while Wisconsin has had their worst season in some time. Both sets of fans are really ready for this year to end but they have one more game to play in New York. With Wisconsin playing a new QB in this game I’ll take Miami to edge it. Miami 27, Wisconsin 21

John: This is a rematch of last year’s Orange Bowl which Wisconsin won by a 34-24 scoreline. It completed a magnificent 13-1 season for the Badgers and saw them achieve a number seven ranking in the final AP poll. The Hurricanes finished ranked 13th. So 2018 certainly qualifies as a step back for both programs. They both come into this game at historic Yankee Stadium unranked and sporting 7-5 records.

The Badgers regular starter at quarterback, Alex Hornibrook, will not play in this game due to a concussion. It will facilitate head coach Paul Chryst burning the redshirt on freshman Jack Coan who will get the start in the Bronx. That means the quarterback play in this game isn’t expected to be at the highest level, with Miami signal caller N’Kosi Perry averaging just 108.9 passing yards per game. Expect plenty of ground and pound between Jonathan Taylor of the Badgers and Miami’s Travis Homer. Miami 27, Wisconsin 20

Yesh: These two have met in bowl games twice in the last ten years. Wisconsin won both meetings, even with the media narrative against them both times. Each of these teams are in free-fall and are terribly positioned compared to where they were a year ago. Motivation might be hard to come by, but the winner will get a much-needed boost headed into 2019. Wisconsin 21, Miami 20

Mike: What a difference a year makes. After meeting in last year’s Orange Bowl with three combined losses, these teams go to New York with two hands of Ls. Wisconsin just hasn’t gotten in sync all season. While Miami has issues, they’ve got a lot of talent. This might come down to which team is less unmotivated. And which team is ready for the weather. Miami 24, Wisconsin 21

Camping World Bowl: #16 West Virginia (8-3) vs #20 Syracuse (9-3) (Friday at 5:15) Line: West Virginia by 1.5

Steen: West Virginia will be without some of their stars for this game, and despite posting a strong 8-3 record they lost their final two games to crash out of BIG 12 title contention, those losses were by a combined 7 points. Syracuse didn’t beat any top teams this year but 2 of their 3 losses were by a narrow margin and they showed signs of become a credible ACC program again under Dino Babers. I like a motivated Cuse team to get the win in a shootout. Syracuse 49, West Virginia 42

John: This year’s Camping World Bowl is the 61st meeting between these two former Big East rivals. It’s the second straight time the two have met in a bowl as they also played in the Pinstripe Bowl back in 2012. That was West Virginia’s first year in the Big XII and Syracuse’s last in the Big East as the conference dissolved from a football standpoint afterward. It’s just the third time they’ve clashed when both teams were ranked and the first since 1992.

Anyone hoping Will Grier would close his college career by participating in his team’s bowl game will be disappointed as he’s skipping it to focus on preparation for the NFL Draft. That gives the Orange the advantage at quarterback via dual-threat sensation Eric Dungey. The senior is fourth among ACC quarterbacks in rushing yards and is tied for the FBS lead with 15 touchdowns on the ground. Dino Babers has this program riding high as evidenced by them making their first bowl appearance since 2013. And his side should prevail against an undermanned Mountaineer squad. Syracuse 34, West Virginia 27

Yesh: West Virginia without Will Grier is still better than Syracuse. Ignore the final two games of the season. This Mountaineers defense is very good, and should cause Eric Dungey enough problems to win. Dino Babers is doing great things at Syracuse, but this season won’t end on a high note. West Virginia 38, Syracuse 28

Mike: West Virginia will be without several key players, including Will Grier and their offensive coordinator. This is the prototypical bowl game for the new exhibition bowl season, with players skipping games and teams just showing up for the swag. An old rekindled, and the Orange come through. Syracuse 31, West Virginia 26

Lukas: Syracuse 38, West Virginia 17

Alamo Bowl: #24 Iowa State (8-4) vs #13 Washington State (10-2) (Friday at 9:00) Line: Washington State by 3.5

Steen: A big game for both teams who have historically been in the shadow of their in-state big brother (Iowa and Washington). Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and Washington State’s Mike Leach have their programs winning again and ranked in the top 25, and even then, both teams wanted more coming up short in their conference title races. Washington State is the better team and should prevail in what looks to be a great game. Washington State 42, Iowa State 31

John: This is the first-ever meeting between these two programs. Iowa State comes into the game on a two-game winning streak and came within a late-season loss against Texas from making an appearance in the Big XII title game. Washington State also came tantalizingly close to playing for a conference title but was shut down offensively by Washington in the Apple Cup.

These teams have rather contrasting identities on offense. Mike Leach’s air raid system puts up gargantuan passing numbers and this year’s no different with Gardner Minshew leading the nation in pass yardage per game. And, perhaps counterintuitively, Iowa State runs the ball effectively despite ranking last in the Big XII in rushing yardage. The reason is that they boast an immensely talented running back in David Montgomery who was one of four players in the conference to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing. He accounts for a whopping 73.2 percent of their ground game. The Cyclones can defend the pass fairly well so that could give them a chance in this one. Iowa State 31, Washington State 27

Yesh: Don’t judge Iowa State by its record. The defense is salty and plays very hard. The offense–when led by Brock Purdy–is one of the better ones in the country. Wazzu might have been in the Playoff race late, but this season will end with back-to-back losses. Iowa State 41, Washington State 34

Mike: The Cougars suffered from Conference affiliation with the CFP committee. Washington State’s offense will carry the day. Washington State 38, Iowa State 24

Lukas: Washington State 35, Iowa State 28

Other Bowls

Cheez-It Bowl: Cal (7-5) vs TCU (6-6) Line: Cal by 1

Steen: Cal would have a better record if a couple of their games had gone the other direction while TCU has struggled offensively in what has been a disappointing season. I don’t trust the PAC-12 in bowl games though so I’ll take the Horned Frogs. TCU 17, Cal 10

John: TCU needed to win their final two games to get bowl eligible and that’s exactly what they did. They’re fairly stout defensively and should be able to handle a Cal side which ranked dead last among Pac-12 teams in total offense. TCU 30, Cal 24

Yesh: This game should be a decent one, even if nothing noteworthy happens. TCU 21, Cal 17

Mike: Cal puts a merciful end to TCU’s disappointing season. Cal 34, TCU 25

Lukas: Cal 23, TCU 20

Independence Bowl: Temple (8-4) vs Duke (7-5) Line: Temple by 4

Steen: Despite a shocking loss to Villanova in the opening game of the season, the Owls have been good with an 8-4 record that included wins over all but UCF in terms of their AAC opponents. Duke got blown out their last two games of the year and though they started 5-1 they have gotten worse as the season wore on. Temple should win. Temple 35, Duke 21

John: Temple is riding pretty high heading into their bowl matchup with Duke in Shreveport, having won six of their last seven games. The Blue Devils, on the other hand, dropped their last two games by a combined score of 94-13. Advantage Owls. Temple 41, Duke 23

Yesh: Temple is the better team, but Duke has better depth. Temple 31, Duke 28

Mike: Don’t ever count out Duke with time to prepare. Duke 24, Temple 20

Lukas: Temple 27, Duke 20

Texas Bowl: Baylor (6-6) vs Vanderbilt (6-6) Line: Vanderbilt by 4.5

Steen: Baylor is slowly rebuilding their program after scandal while Vandy achieved their goal by reaching a bowl out of the SEC. This is a tough game to read but Baylor is playing closer to home. Baylor 35, Vanderbilt 28

John: Ke’Shawn Vaughn was one of six SEC running backs to rush for more than 1,000 yards this season. He could have a field day against a Baylor defense that ranks 80th nationally against the run. Vanderbilt 27, Baylor 17

Yesh: Derek Mason is doing a solid job at Vanderbilt, but Matt Rhule is changing everything about Baylor. Baylor 28, Vanderbilt 24

Yesh: Vanderbilt brings a balanced offense and solid defense into Houston. Vanderbilt 24, Baylor 17

Lukas: Vanderbilt 31, Baylor 21

Music City Bowl: Purdue (6-6) vs Auburn (7-5) Line: Auburn by 4

Steen: Auburn has been disappointing, especially considering what the other in-state FBS schools in the state (UAB, Troy, and Alabama) have accomplished this season. That said, the Tigers still have credible wins against Washington and Texas A&M, while Purdue upset both Iowa and Ohio State, and scored a win over BC in order to reach a bowl. I like what Jeff Brohm is building in Indiana and he should motivate his team to a win. Purdue 38, Auburn 31

John: Auburn looks like the better team on paper but Purdue might be more motivated. The Boilermakers also boast one of the top freshman wide receivers in Rondale Moore. Look for them to pull off the upset. Purdue 34, Auburn 31

Yesh: I have no idea what will happen here. I’m guessing Auburn comes out flatter, but literally anything can happen. Purdue 29, Auburn 28

Mike: I don’t trust Auburn at all, especially in the bowl season. Purdue 33, Auburn 26

Lukas: Auburn 17, Purdue 13

Belk Bowl: South Carolina (7-5) vs Virginia (7-5) Line: South Carolina by 5.5

Steen: It was another ho-hum season for Carolina while Virginia started strong but struggled down the stretch. The Cavaliers should be more motivated for this game though and their defense will find a way to win. Virginia 24, South Carolina 20

John: South Carolina’s Jake Bentley quietly had one of the better seasons for a quarterback in the SEC, finishing second in the conference with 27 touchdowns. But he also threw 12 interceptions and that could be an issue against a Virginia side that finished with 17 picks this year. Virginia 34, South Carolina 27

Yesh: South Carolina has more talent, but I love what Bronco Mendenhall is doing at Virginia. Virginia 31, South Carolina 30

Mike: A Gamecocks bowl win would go a long way to salvage a disappointing season. South Carolina 38, Virginia 23

Lukas: South Carolina 24, Virginia 21

Arizona Bowl: Arkansas State (8-4) vs Nevada (7-5) Line: Arkansas State by 1.5

Steen: It was a quietly impressive year for both these teams, despite claiming no major scalps they both made a bowl and were one of the better teams in their respective conference. Arkansas State finished the year with four straight wins, while Nevada won four of their last five to become bowl eligible. I’ll take a slightly better Red Wolves team. Arkansas State 42, Nevada 35

John: This is a fairly intriguing quarterback matchup with Arkansas State’s Justice Hansen and Nevada’s Ty Gangi both finishing with over 3,000 yards passing. Expect a bit of a shootout with the Wolfpack prevailing over the Red Wolves. Nevada 44, Arkansas State 38

Yesh: Arkansas State was decent in the Sun Belt, but this is a down year. Nevada has some surprising talent. Nevada 31, Arkansas State 30

Mike: This could be the highest scoring game of the week. Nevada 42, Arkansas State 38

Lukas: Nevada 28, Arkansas State 24