Friday Forecast: Bowl Season Gets Underway
Photo Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Friday Forecast: Bowl Season Gets Underway

December 20, 2019

Friday Forecast returned this season, and we’ve got only one slate left to pick: the bowl schedule. We’re breaking the bowls up into weeks.

Here's how everyone’s doing against the spread heading into the first week of bowl picks.

  1. Jacob Padilla: 53-38
  2. Erin Sorensen: 46-45
  3. Brandon Vogel: 44-47
  4. Greg Smith: 42-49
  5. Derek Peterson: 41-50

Bahamas Bowl – Buffalo vs. Charlotte (BUFF –6.5, O/U 52.0) 

BV: Two coaches I like quite a bit. Lance Leipold has done a good job at building some consistency at Buffalo, while Will Healy has had a really promising start to his still-young career, including this year at Charlotte. I think the 49ers will hang around based on enthusiasm alone, but the Bulls get the outright win. PICK: Buffalo 34, Charlotte 31 

ES: I wish Nebraska could go to the Bahamas Bowl. That’s not the point here, but I just thought I’d point it out. As for this game, I think Buffalo wins. I think Charlotte covers. I remain jealous of both either way. PICK: Buffalo 34, Charlotte 30 

JP: Charlotte scored more points against Clemson (10) than Syracuse, Boson College, Wake Forest and South Carolina, so I guess that’s an accomplishment. PICK: Buffalo 35, Charlotte 30 

GS: Let’s start the day in a crazy way. PICK: Charlotte 35, Buffalo 30 

DP: Charlotte should be able to make some moves here in the passing game to keep things close for a while, but Buffalo’s defense and run-stopping ability gets it the win. PICK: Buffalo 31, Charlotte 24 

Frisco Bowl – Utah State vs. Kent State (USU –6.5, O/U 68.0) 

BV: Kent State coach Sean Lewis, a one-time assistant at Nebraska-Omaha, is one to keep an eye on going forward. After going 2-10 in Year 1, the Golden Flashes put together a nice 6-6 year. Utah State’s just better at this point. PICK: Utah State 38, Kent State 28 

ES: Utah State quarterback Jordan Love has said he’ll forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL Draft. That means he has one more game to really show off for NFL scouts. I think he’s going to. PICK: Utah State 37, Kent State 27 

JP: Jordan Love took a big step back this season, but this is his last college game and I expect him to end it with a bang. PICK: Utah State 35, Kent State 24 

GS: Utah State has always been a program that I have respect for from afar. That’s not a great reason to pick them but the Jordan Love storyline is. PICK: Utah State 31, Kent State 21 

DP: Has Jordan Love been mentioned? PICK: Utah State 38, Kent State 30 

New Mexico Bowl – Central Michigan vs. San Diego State (SDSU –3.5, O/U 41.0) 

BV: San Diego takes a grinder’s approach year round. That tends to be a good thing in the weird world of bowl games. PICK: San Diego State 24, Central Michigan 17 

ES: I like Central Michigan here. San Diego State makes me nervous, but I’ll just trust my gut. PICK: Central Michigan 24, San Diego State 21 

JP: I’ve been told by an Aztec fan to take the Chippewas against the spread in a close game, so that’s what I’m going to do. PICK: San Diego State 27, Central Michigan 24 

GS: I like San Diego State here but in low scoring affair. PICK: San Diego State 17, Central Michigan 10 

DP: Close, but no backdoor cover here. PICK: San Diego State 24, Central Michigan 20 

Cure Bowl – Liberty vs. Georgia Southern (GASO –4.5, O/U 58.0) 

BV: Liberty should be . . . fired up for the first bowl game in program history. It will get the Flames the cover, but not the win. PICK: Georgia Southern 28, Liberty 27 

ES: I can already tell as I get through this list that I’m going to lose steam explaining why I’m picking how I’m picking. PICK: Liberty 27, Georgia Southern 24 

JP: Liberty Liberty Liii-berty, Liii-berty. PICK: Liberty 31, Georgia Southern 27 

GS: Georgia Southern should have beaten Minnesota. Therefore, I am picking them to beat Liberty. Makes sense right? PICK: Georgia Southern 31, Liberty 24 

DP: I like Liberty here. PICK: Liberty 31, Georgia Southern 30 

Boca Raton Bowl – SMU vs. FAU (SMU –3.0, O/U 69.5) 

BV: I like that SMU got its 10 wins against an AAC schedule. I like that SMU still has its head coach. PICK: SMU 42, FAU 31 

ES: Yeah, the head coach thing might be a big play here. You are missed, Lane. PICK: SMU 37, FAU 27 

JP: RIP to the Lane Kiffin era at FAU. Gone too soon. PICK SMU 42, FAU 35 

GS: I do like that SMU still has its head coach. I also think they are on a pretty good trajectory right now at SMU. PICK: SMU 40, FAU 31 

DP: SMU won 10 games against an AAC schedule and its reward is the Boca Raton Bowl. I don’t think those guys will want to be there, and I think that’ll have more of an impact than Lane Kiffin’s departure. FAU players will want to prove their success wasn’t just Lane. PICK: FAU 42, SMU 31 

Camellia Bowl – FIU vs. Arkansas State (ARST –2.5, O/U 61.0) 

BV: FIU is coming off two pretty strong outings—the win over Miami and a close loss to a good Marshall team. But Arkansas State just kind of keeps chugging along. PICK: Arkansas State 34, FIU 24 

ES: I like FIU here. While Arkansas State just keeps going, I think FIU has the talent to slow the Red Wolves down. PICK: FIU 37, Arkansas State 34 

JP: Coin flip game No. 1. PICK: Arkansas State 31, FIU 28 

GS: Give me the Red Wolves to win, FIU gets the sneaky cover. here. PICK: Arkansas State 30, FIU 28 

DP: Give me Arkansas State. PICK: Arkansas State 33, FIU 28 

Las Vegas Bowl – No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington (WASH –3.5, O/U 49.5) 

BV: Love that the bowl gods did the purely sensible thing and gave us this matchup for Chris Petersen’s farewell game. Gotta take the Huskies with those circumstances, right? PICK: Washington 31, Boise State 21 

ES: There are so many bowl games. Give me the Huskies, I guess. PICK: Washington 27, Boise State 21 

JP: Like Brandon, I’ll roll with the narrative here and take Chris Petersen to go out with a win. PICK: Washington 28, Boise State 24 

GS: It makes sense that Washington wins this game. They’ll get it done but not cover. PICK: Washington 24, Boise State 21 

DP: The program that jumpstarted Chris Petersen’s career ruins Petersen’s swan song at the program he left them for. Thank you, Bowl Selector People. PICK: Boise State 28, Washington 23 

New Orleans Bowl – No. 20 Appalachian State vs. UAB (APP –16.5, O/U 47.5) 

BV: App State probably got a boost for this game by hiring from within, and I think that’ll be enough for the Mountaineers to win. (They’re really talented for a Sun Belt squad.) That said, UAB is strong, too, and this line feels way too high. PICK: Appalachian State 34, UAB 24 

ES: I want to take App State to cover, but this spread is really something. I just can’t do it. PICK: Appalachian State 37, UAB 21 

JP: The last time Brandon picked against his beloved Mountaineers to cover a spread, I went the opposite way and it worked out for me. So I’ll try that again. PICK: Appalachian State 38, UAB 21 

GS: It’s tough to pick Brandon’s squad here but I’m going to do it. At least someone has faith in them. PICK: Appalachian State 35, UAB 14 

DP: Give me the Appies. PICK: Appalachian State 31, UAB 13 

Gasparilla Bowl – UCF vs. Marshall (UCF –17.0, O/U 61.5) 

BV: Another AAC v. C-USA matchup. Another win for the AAC. PICK: UCF 42, Marshall 21 

ES: I like UCF to win and cover here. PICK: UCF 42, Marshall 17 

JP: Adrian Killins and Gabe Davis have both declared for the NFL. Josh Heupel wouldn’t confirm on Thursday whether or not they’re playing, but “no” seems more likely. Killins is part of a very balanced running attack son they should be fine there, but Davis is their best receiver by a good margin. Marshall has been pretty good defensively this season outside of a few slip-ups. However, after stating all that, I’m still taking the Knights. PICK: UCF 42, Marshall 24 

GS: There is a lot to overcome for Marshall here. PICK: UCF 50, Marshall 21 

DP: I was going to talk about Marshall’s defense and UCF’s missing pieces, but Jacob did that already. He just went the opposite direction. PICK: UCF 34, Marshall 24 

Hawai’i Bowl – Hawai'i vs. BYU (BYU –2.0, O/U 64.0) 

BV: Does Hawai’i ever get tired of playing a home game for its bowl game? BYU will do well here. PICK: BYU 31, Hawai’i 24 

ES: If I can’t go to the Bahamas Bowl, I’ll take the Hawai’i Bowl. Always jealous. PICK: BYU 28, Hawai’i 24 

JP: Coin flip game No. 2. PICK: BYU 34, Hawai’i 27 

GS: I am sensing a theme on the bowl games Erin would like to attend. PICK: BYU 31, Hawai’i 28  

DP: Take the team that’s favored. PICK: BYU 42, Hawai’i 37 

Independence Bowl – Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (MIA –6.0, O/U 49.5) 

BV: Miami’s better than its record indicates and way undervalued here. PICK: Miami 38, Louisiana Tech 24 

ES: I’ll take Miami, despite everything I had to read on a random Periscope chat on signing day. PICK: Miami 34, Louisiana Tech 24 

JP: I’m here for Miami dysfunction and a loss here would be pretty funny. PICK: Louisiana Tech 31, Miami 28 

GS: I needed a shower after those Periscope comments but I also think Miami is a little undervalued here. PICK Miami 34, Louisiana Tech 24 

DP: Miami gets its second bowl win in the last decade. Yay Miami. PICK: Miami 33, Louisiana Tech 20 

Quick Lane Bowl – Pitt vs. Eastern Michigan (PITT –10.5, O/U 49.0) 

BV: This one . . . this one is probably not going to be a ton of fun. Can you call this a de facto home game for Eastern Michigan? I’ll take the Eagles to get under the number. Barely. PICK: Pittsburgh 31, Eastern Michigan 23 

ES: Pitt will win. I’m just not so sure on the cover. PICK: Pittsburgh 28, Eastern Michigan 20 

JP: Coin flip game No. 3. PICK: Pittsburgh 31, Eastern Michigan 24 

GS: Seems like a lot of points for Pittsburgh to cover. PICK: Pittsburgh 28, Eastern Michigan 20 

DP: One of the best uniforms in college football wins, which means we all win. PICK: Pitt 31, Eastern Michigan 17 

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