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Nebraska Football

Friday Forecast: It's Time for the College Football Playoff

December 27, 2019
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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 second week of bowl picks.

  1. Jacob Padilla: 59-44
  2. Erin Sorensen: 51-52
  3. Brandon Vogel: 51-52
  4. Derek Peterson: 46-57
  5. Greg Smith: 45-58

The Military Bowl — North Carolina vs. Temple (UNC –6.0, O/U 53.5) 

BV: All six of the Tarheels’ losses came by a touchdown or less. Normally, I’d consider that a good thing but in this case I’m reading it as a coaching inefficiency. PICK: Temple 24, North Carolina 20 

ES: Fun fact: This is the first time North Carolina and Temple have ever met on a football field. You’re welcome. Tell that to the people you watch this game with. PICK: North Carolina 24, Temple 21 

GS: There is something endearing about the Mack Brown resurgence. PICK: North Carolina 28, Temple 20 

JP: North Carolina only losing by one to Clemson ended up being one of the strangest results of the season. PICK: Temple 28, North Carolina 24 

DP: Fun season for Mack Brown’s first go-around in Chapel Hill. Gas tank might be running on empty. PICK: Temple 28, North Carolina 23

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl — Michigan State vs. Wake Forest (MSU –4.0, O/U 50.0) 

BV: I don’t have a strong lean here one way or the other. Michigan State has been something of a mess. Wake Forest started strong, then faded. Who does this game mean more to? That’s often the key in games like this. PICK: Wake Forest 27, Michigan State 24 

ES: Wake Forest’s injury list makes me a little nervous, so I’ll probably give Michigan State the edge here. I don’t feel great either way though. PICK: Michigan State 21, Wake Forest 14 

GS: No idea which Michigan State team will show up. PICK: Wake Forest 21, Michigan State 10 

JP: Michigan State barely beat Maryland its last time out. Wake Forest will be without its top receiver and its quarterback could be limited. I don’t like either team in this game. PICK: Michigan State 24, Wake Forest 21 

DP: Wake is the better team. PICK: Wake Forest 31, Michigan State 17

No. 25 Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M (TAMU –5.5, O/U 54.0) 

BV: In terms of ripe storylines, Texas A&M looking strong in a bowl game after going 7-5 against a brutal schedule seems like it’s right there for the picking. Oklahoma State should be able to force the “looking strong” issue, but ultimately the Cowboys come up a little short. PICK: Texas A&M 35, Oklahoma State 31 

ES: Yeah, I don’t really know what to make of this. PICK: Texas A&M 38, Oklahoma State 30 

GS: Texas A&M is actually better than the record indicates. PICK: Texas A&M 35, Oklahoma State 24 

JP: Give me the Cowboys because they have Chuba Hubbard and Chuba Hubbard is an awesome name. PICK: Oklahoma State 31, Texas A&M 28 

DP: Oklahoma State outright because of Chuba Hubbard, and if I’m wrong, I’m blaming the brodie. PICK: Oklahoma State 26, Texas A&M 23

No. 22 USC vs. No. 16 Iowa (IOWA –2.5, O/U 52.5) 

BV: This is one of the more intriguing games of the whole bowl slate. Iowa is the steadier of the two, USC has more upside. Perhaps. PICK: Iowa 31, USC 30 

ES: I guess I’ll give you this one, Hawkeyes. PICK: Iowa 24, USC 21 

GS: Talk about a tough choice. PICK: USC 28, Iowa 24 

JP: Iowa wins on a late field goal. PICK: Iowa 27, USC 24  

DP: Pour one out for Clay Helton. PICK: USC 34, Iowa 30 

Air Force vs. Washington State (AFA –2.5, O/U 69.0) 

BV: Air Raid, meet Option. Air Force has been impressive this season, but I’m not totally sure the Falcons should be favored here. If Air Force can dictate the game, fine, but Washington State can put up points quickly. Which team scores first here might be pretty big. PICK: Washington State 35, Air Force 30 

ES: There are a lot of bowl games, which is not a problem until you’re trying to make picks against the spread for all of them. Anyway, this should be a fun one between these two teams. I think things could get wild. PICK: Washington State 30, Air Force 27 

GS: I can’t bring myself to think Air Force should be favored here. PICK: Washington State 31, Air Force 30 

JP: A team called Air Force that avoids putting the ball in the air as much as possible playing against a team that airs it out as much as anyone and finds running distasteful. This should be fun. PICK: Washington State 35, Air Force 28 

DP: Cool, another one of those where everyone else picks one way so I go the other way hoping to make up ground and end up losing ground in the process. PICK: Air Force 23, Washington State 17

No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 LSU (LSU –13.5, O/U 75.5) 

BV: I felt a lot better about taking Oklahoma to cover here before the suspensions, but I’m going to stick with Sooners. A big rushing day from Jalen Hurts is probably a requirement. PICK: LSU 38, Oklahoma 31 

ES: That’s quite the line for LSU, but I get it because of Joe Burrow. So let’s just roll with it, shall we? PICK: LSU 45, Oklahoma 31 

GS: This line is just too high for me. OU has too much offensive punch to get blown out. I think. PICK: LSU 50, Oklahoma 42 

JP: This is a tough line, but Oklahoma being without two defensive starters against the Heisman Trophy winner is tough as well. PICK: LSU 42, Oklahoma 31 

DP: Just don’t feel good about this one. PICK: LSU 41, Oklahoma 27

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 2 Ohio State (CLEM –2.0, O/U 63.0) 

BV: A potentially gimpy Justin Fields is worrisome, as is Clemson’s recent form. Throw in the Tigers’ familiarity with the Playoff and you get, I guess, Clemson as the favorite despite Ohio State being more dominant for longer this season. This game should be excellent. PICK: Ohio State 37, Clemson 35 

ES: I want to pick the B1G team here, but I don’t think I can. Sorry, Buckeyes. PICK: Clemson 42, Ohio State 35 

GS: Ohio State is the best team in the country. They make a statement. PICK: Ohio State 49, Clemson 28 

JP: Ohio State is probably the most complete team in the country. PICK: Ohio State 38, Clemson 31 

DP: I don’t think I’ve ever done this much flip-flopping ahead of a game in my life. I think Ohio State is, when healthy, the best, most complete football team in the country. But Justin Fields’ status has me worried and Clemson turning into the Death Star once again at a perfect time also has me worried. I can’t believe I’m changing my mind here. PICK: Clemson 33, Ohio State 27 

No. 17 Memphis vs. No. 10 Penn State (PSU –7.0, O/U 60.5) 

BV: The Tigers put up a fight for their “new” coach, but Penn State’s too talented overall. PICK: Penn State 42, Memphis 38 

ES: I’ll take the B1G team here. PICK: Penn State 31, Memphis 21 

GS: Tough spot for Memphis and Penn State is pretty good. PICK: Penn State 38, Memphis 28 

JP: Penn State is a tough opponent for a team playing without its coach. PICK: Penn State 35, Memphis 27 

DP: Roar. Pick: Penn State 36, Memphis 24 

No. 15 Notre Dame vs. Iowa State (ND –3.5, O/U 54.5) 

BV: Looking forward to this one as it feels like a pretty even matchup. The Cyclones have been a little bit snake-bit this season. Bowl game feels like just the time to get one back. PICK: Iowa State 24, Notre Dame 21 

ES: I think this one goes to Notre Dame, but Iowa State will put up a fight along the way. PICK: Notre Dame 40, Iowa State 27 

GS: This should be a fun matchup. Iowa State has the coaching advantage. PICK: Iowa State 24, Notre Dame 17 

JP: Iowa State went 0-4 against ranked opponents during the regular season, but each of those was a one-score game. Then the Cyclones went and lost to Kansas State by 10. Weird. PICK: Notre Dame 24, Iowa State 21 

DP: I like Matt Campbell a lot. Just not enough. PICK: Notre Dame 27, Iowa State 21

No. 9 Florida vs. No. 24 Virginia (FLA –14.5, O/U 54.5) 

BV: Gators have too much bite, particularly on defense. PICK: Florida 35, Virginia 14 

ES: What a line. PICK: Florida 34, Virginia 21 

GS: I think I’d take Florida even if the line were higher. PICK: Florida 42, Virginia 10 

JP: Gimme the Gators. PICK: Florida 35, Virginia 17 

DP: Make it an almost-clean sweep. PICK: Florida 34, Virginia 13

Western Kentucky vs. Western Michigan (WKU –3.0, O/U 53.5) 

BV: Hilltoppers end up on top. Barely. PICK: Western Kentucky 24, Western Michigan 21 

ES: Ah, the battle of the Westerns. What to do, what to do? Well, I like the Western Kentucky mascot. PICK: Western Kentucky 35, Western Michigan 31 

GS: I’m going opposite of Erin in the battle of the Westerns. PICK: Western Michigan 38, Western Kentucky 30 

JP: IDK. PICK: Western Kentucky 27, Western Michigan 21 

DP: I let The Puppy pick this one. PICK: Western Kentucky 37, Western Michigan 30

Mississippi State vs. Louisville (MSST –4.0, O/U 63.0) 

BV: Backup QB for the Bulldogs because the starter got hurt in a practice “altercation”? Nothing about that seems like what you want going into a game. PICK: Louisville 30, Mississippi State 24 

ES: I’m just flipping a coin at this point. PICK: Louisville 28, Mississippi State 24 

GS: There is no way I can pick against State after eating at Bulldog Burger today in the shadow of their football stadium. It was delicious by the way. PICK: Mississippi State 28, Louisville 21 

JP: The starting quarterback breaking his face would normally steer me the other way, but I don’t think Tommy Stevens is much of a drop-off from Garrett Shrader. PICK: Mississippi State 27, Louisville 21 

DP: The dude who broke the starting quarterback’s face is getting to play in this one. That’s suboptimal. Former G5 coaches named Scott FTW. PICK: Louisville 33, Mississippi State 24 

 Cal vs. Illinois (CAL –6.5, O/U 43.0) 

BV: I don’t know why, but something tells me this game has high silliness potential. Cal feels a little overvalued. PICK: Illinois 28, Cal 27 

ES: It’s been over 1,800 days since Illinois’ last bowl game. That’s fun. PICK: Cal 28, Illinois 24 

GS: If you like defense, you will like this game. PICK: Cal 10, Illinois 6 

JP: I’ll pick Illinois to cover out of respect for Lovie’s beard. PICK: Cal 17, Illinois 14 

DP: Screw it. PICK: Cal 17, Illinois 7

Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky (VT –2.5, O/U 47.5) 

BV: I’m just here for one more magical Lynn Bowden Jr. performance. PICK: Kentucky 27, Virginia Tech 24 

ES: Where’s my coin? PICK: Virginia Tech 24, Kentucky 21 

GS: Let’s go ACC in this battle. PICK: Virginia Tech 21, Kentucky 17 

JP: Lynn Bowden Jr. is a terrific football player, but I’ll still take the team that isn’t playing a wide receiver at quarterback. PICK: Virginia Tech 28, Kentucky 21 

DP: Puppy Pick No. 2. PICK: Virginia Tech 24, Kentucky 20

Florida State vs. Arizona State (ASU –4.0, O/U 54.0) 

BV: Herm! (That’s my analysis for this one.) PICK: Arizona State 31, Florida State 24 

ES: I thought I was done with my picks, and then I saw this one. PICK: Arizona State 35, Florida State 30 

GS: Big day for Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels. PICK: Arizona State 42, Florida State 21 

JP: What Greg said. PICK: Arizona State 35, Florida State 24 

DP: I was also just going to type Herm. PICK: Arizona State 30, Florida State 24

No. 23 Navy vs. Kansas State (NAVY –2.5, O/U 52.0) 

BV: This one should be smash-y and that’ll be fun. If you haven’t had the chance to watch Navy QB Malcolm Perry yet this year, be sure this gets in your rotation. PICK: Navy 38, Kansas State 35 

ES: I think you have to take Kansas State here. Or you don’t. It’s your life. PICK: Kansas State 24, Navy 21 

GS: I like Kansas State’s coaching staff and think they’ll have something cooked up for the bowl game. Upset city. PICK: Kansas State 24, Navy 17 

JP: Let’s get wild. PICK: Kansas State 28, Navy 20 

DP: This is either going to be the most boring game of bowl season or the most entertaining. No in between. PICK: Navy 27, Kansas State 24 

Wyoming vs. Georgia State (WYO –7.0, O/U 48.0) 

BV: Cowboys and Craig Bohl. Georgia State’s a nice story, but Wyoming’s just steady. I like steady in the bizarro world of bowl games. PICK: Wyoming 27, Georgia State 17 

ES: I could flip a coin on this one. Instead, I’m going to go with the program that I actually follow on Twitter. Let’s go, Wyo! PICK: Wyoming 30, Georgia State 20 

GS: I don’t have a strong feeling here either way so let’s go chalk. PICK: Wyoming 31, Georgia State 21 

JP: Hard to pick against Craig Bohl in a bowl game. PICK: Wyoming 31, Georgia State 20 

DP: Puppy Pick No. 3. PICK: Wyoming 30, Georgia State 17

No. 11 Utah vs. Texas (UTAH –7.0, O/U 55.0) 

BV: Utes gone wild. PICK: Utah 35, Texas 24 

ES: Horns down. PICK: Utah 28, Texas 20 

GS: Texas is still not back. PICK: Utah 30, Texas 20 

JP: What Erin and Greg said. PICK: Utah 28, Texas 20 

DP: The reports will fly after this one. PICK: Utah 27, Texas 17

No. 18 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Auburn (AUB –7.0, O/U 53.5) 

BV: I will very reluctantly take the Gophers to cover. Having not faced Ohio State during the season, Minnesota hasn’t seen a d-line like this. But I could see a sleepy Auburn team to start the game. PICK: Auburn 34, Minnesota 30 

ES: I don’t think Auburn loses, but I also don’t think Auburn covers. PICK: Auburn 38, Minnesota 34 

GS: War eagle. PICK: Auburn 41, Minnesota 20 

JP: Row, row, row your boat, straight to the bottom of the lake. PICK: Auburn 31, Minnesota 20 

DP: I might be the only PJ Fleck fan in the Midwest, so it won’t be received well for me to say I feel bad such a magical season is going to go to waste, but, yeah, it’s going to go to waste. PICK: Auburn 34, Minnesota 21

No. 14 Michigan vs. No. 13 Alabama (ALA –7.0, O/U 58.0) 

BV: Look, if Alabama wants to come out and show no interest in this game just to build up the offseason Michigan narrative, I’d be here for it. Unfortunately, Nick Saban is not capable of such indifference or mercy. PICK: Alabama 38, Michigan 24 

ES: Can you believe this is the first time Alabama isn’t in the College Football Playoff? Even if the Tide has no interest in this game, you can’t trust Michigan. Jim Harbaugh will only break your heart. PICK: Alabama 30, Michigan 21 

GS: Talk about a low-key fascinating game for me. Does Alabama want to be here? Can Michigan beat a good team? I’ll go with Saban versus Harbaugh. PICK: Alabama 31, Michigan 23 

JP: I’ll take Saban over Harbaugh. Even if the Crimson Tide players have little interest in being in this game, Saban will make sure they take care of business. PICK: Alabama 38, Michigan 27 

DP: Lol. PICK: Alabama 45, Michigan 17 

No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin (WIS –3.0, O/U 52.0) 

BV: Again, given the choice between two good choices I’ll go with the less volatile of the two. PICK: Wisconsin 31, Oregon 27 

ES: I don’t know what to make of Oregon at this point. Could the Ducks win? Sure. Will they? Who the heck knows. PICK: Wisconsin 21, Oregon 14 

GS: Oregon is tough for me to figure out. I’ve spent most of the season thinking they are overrated. I think the Badgers defense will lead the way here. PICK: Wisconsin 21, Oregon 10 

JP: It sounds like Mycah Pittman is going to play in the game, which is a big boost for Oregon’s offense. Still, as good as Oregon’s defensive front has been, I think Jonathan Taylor has one last big game before riding off into the NFL Draft sunset. PICK: Wisconsin 28, Oregon 21 

DP: I really wanted to see Oregon in the Playoff. A Rose Bowl is a good consolation, I think, for Mario Cristobal. PICK: Oregon 31, Wisconsin 27 

No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor (UGA –6.0, O/U 41.5) 

BV: How Georgia plays seems well-suited to Baylor’s strengths (and weaknesses) at this point. Still, too much talent for the Bears. PICK: Georgia 31, Baylor 21 

ES: Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica. We’ll see if Derek notices this one. PICK: Baylor 27, Georgia 24 

GS: I don’t like the spot Georgia is in here. Not a lot to play for versus a team looking to prove something. PICK: Baylor 24, Georgia 20 

JP: I haven’t flipped a coin before now so I might as well go that route with this one. PICK: Georgia 28, Baylor 24 

DP: Georgia gets exposed. PICK: Baylor 28, Georgia 17

Boston College vs. No. 21 Cincy (CIN –7.0, O/U 55.5) 

BV: Forgot Boston College made a bowl game. Cincinnati has been strong all year. This is one of my favorite picks on the board. PICK: Cincinnati 42, Boston College 30 

ES: Cincinatti, why not. PICK: Cincinnati 35, Boston College 30 

GS: Cincy kept its coach. PICK: Cincinnati 38, Boston College 21 

JP: Wait, BC made a bowl game? PICK: Cincinnati 35, Boston College 17 

DP:  Identity theft is not a joke, Erin. Millions of families suffer every year. PICK: Cincinnati 37, Boston College 24

Indiana vs. Tennessee (TENN –1.5, O/U 52.0) 

BV: Tennessee closed strongly, but Indiana was good start-to-finish. PICK: Indiana 35, Tennessee 31 

ES: I want Indiana to win, but I don’t think the Hoosiers will. PICK: Tennessee 30, Indiana 27 

GS: Tom Allen forever. PICK: Indiana 31, Tennessee 21 

JP: Chris Berman voice: “Whop!” PICK: Indiana 28, Tennessee 24 

DP: Nine-Windiana LIVES. PICK: Indiana 27, Tennessee 23

 
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