Rob Oller | Time for annual college football bowl game picks

Rob Oller
Rob Oller says tight end Jeremy Ruckert and his Ohio State teammates will beat LSU in the national championship game. [Kyle Robertson/Dispatch]

The people have spoken, and the consensus is that the annual “Incredibly-Clever-Except-When-It’s-Not” college bowl prediction extravaganza should not be impeached. In a close vote, readers demanded that neither the column nor column writer are to be thrown out of the office.

And with that …

BAHAMAS: Buffalo vs. Charlotte. I’ve spent time in both cities. Charlotte has better golf courses. Good enough for me. Charlotte, 35-24.

FRISCO: Utah State vs. Kent State. All the Golden Flashes grads I know — OK, so I only know two — don’t remember their college days, other than their football team used to be good. Emphasis on used to be. Utah State, 31-21.

CELEBRATION: Alcorn State vs. North Carolina A&T. This should be renamed the Relegation Bowl and in the future feature the two worst FBS teams, with the loser dropped to FCS. Alcorn State, 46-41.

NEW MEXICO: Central Michigan vs. San Diego State. I don’t know and I don’t care. San Diego State, 27-17.

CURE: Liberty vs. Georgia Southern. Christians vs. Lions? Nope. Eagles. But the birds still win. Georgia Southern, 48-24.

BOCA RATON: SMU vs. Florida Atlantic. No Lane Kiffin means less offense for FAU. And maybe a less offensive FAU, too? SMU, 35-25.

CAMELLIA: Florida International vs. Arkansas State. Who wants to tell the simple folk from Jonesboro that they’re not playing a Florida school from outside the country? Arkansas State, 24-23.

LAS VEGAS: Boise State vs. Washington. Now we know why Chris Petersen suddenly resigned from the Dub. He wanted to cheer for his former team. Boise State, 37-28.

NEW ORLEANS: Appalachian State vs. UAB. This nonmillennial wasted six hours trying to find App in the Apple store. #okBoomer. Appalachian State, 47-30.

GASPARILLA: Central Florida vs. Marshall. The Knights are one of six Florida schools appearing in bowls. Not sure Marshall would beat any of them. UCF, 42-23.

HAWAII: Hawaii vs. BYU. A mission field on Waikiki Beach? Nice work, Cougars. BYU, 27-24.

INDEPENDENCE: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami. Once upon a time this would have been a shocking upset. Not anymore. Louisiana Tech, 28-24.

QUICK LANE: Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan. Two teams from political battleground states playing for Rust Belt supremacy. Pittsburgh, 34-24.

MILITARY: North Carolina vs. Temple. ACT test question: if Temple is to City of Brotherly Love what North Carolina is to southern hospitality, then Owls are to Tar Heels like … Answer: I have no clue, either. UNC, 28-23.

PINSTRIPE: Michigan State vs. Wake Forest. Forget waking Forest. Someone needs to wake Mark Dantonio. Wake Forest, 23-21.

TEXAS: Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M. It’s been 12 years since Mike Gundy turned 40. Still a man, but the Aggies spank him like a child. Texas A&M, 48-34.

HOLIDAY: Southern California vs. Iowa. Once-mighty Troy now resembles ash-covered Pompeii. As former Hawkeyes coach Hayden Fry — RIP — would say, “You just witnessed an old-fashioned rump kicking.” Iowa, 27-18.

CHEEZ-IT: Air Force vs. Washington State. One game. Two space cadets, including WSU’s coach. Air Force, 35-31.

CAMPING WORLD: Notre Dame vs. Iowa State. Camping? Roughing it for well-heeled Irish fans means settling for a Fairfield Inn instead of the Ritz-Carlton. Notre Dame, 34-27.

COTTON: Penn State vs. Memphis. James Franklin is such a salesman he could convince Dallas bowl reps to change the name to Polyester. Penn State, 37-30.

FIRST RESPONDER: Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan. The first responder to this scene: “Nothing to see here.” Western Michigan, 14-10.

MUSIC CITY: Mississippi State vs. Louisville. Mississippi State once wanted to hire Ryan Day. We can see why. Louisville, 37-34.

REDBOX: California vs. Illinois. The Illini have not won a bowl game since 2011. And still haven’t. Cal, 28-23.

ORANGE: Florida vs. Virginia. Time to be serious for a moment … moment over. Florida, 42-14.

BELK: Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky. It’s become something of tradition to use this space to crack on Kentucky fans, but I’m calling a timeout. No, Big Blue, that doesn’t mean you have to sit in the corner. Virginia Tech, 51-45.

SUN: Florida State vs. Arizona State. Expect a fight to break out early over which state is the better retirement spot. ASU, 37-24.

LIBERTY: Navy vs. Kansas State. Three words for the sailors: Glub, glub, glub. KSU, 34-23.

ARIZONA: Wyoming vs. Georgia State. One more reason there are too many bowls. Wyoming, 48-30.

ALAMO: Utah vs. Texas. “Remember the Alamo, when Davy Crockett flipped Santa Anna the double bird?” — Tom Herman. Utah, 32-27.

CITRUS: Michigan vs. Alabama. Crazy coach vs. crazed coach. Should be a dandy. Alabama, 42-37.

OUTBACK: Minnesota vs. Auburn. Row the pirate boat at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Buccaneers. Minnesota, 38-34.

ROSE: Oregon vs. Wisconsin. Wouldn’t it be cool if the Badgers show up wearing cheesehead helmets? Take that, Ducks uniform divas. Wisconsin, 27-24.

SUGAR: Georgia vs. Baylor. The comedian in me wants to call this the “Justin-Fields-Glad-I-Left-There” bowl. Baylor, 43-38.

BIRMINGHAM: Boston College vs. Cincinnati. Ohio State ties abound. Luke Fickell coached the Buckeyes. So did — and still does — Jeff Hafley, who just signed on with the Eagles. Cincinnati, 24-20.

GATOR: Indiana vs. Tennessee. The Hoosiers last defeated an SEC team not named Kentucky or Missouri in 1979. That ends now. IU, 34-27.

IDAHO POTATO: Ohio vs. Nevada. In honor of Frank Solich’s age, may we present … Ohio, 7-5.

ARMED FORCES: Southern Mississippi vs. Tulane. Tulane is in New Orleans, site of the CFP national championship game. This isn’t that. Tulane, 38-31.

LENDINGTREE: Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Miami (Ohio). RedHawks get their wings clipped. Louisiana-Lafayette, 42-27.

PEACH: LSU vs. Oklahoma. Joe Burrow for president. LSU, 37-27.

FIESTA: Ohio State vs. Clemson. Ryan Day for prime minister. Ohio State, 31-28.

CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: Ohio State vs. LSU. Justin Fields for pope. Buckeyes’ prayers answered. Ohio State, 48-38.


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