Bowl Breakdown - Part V
January 1, 2014
By Mike Rose
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on Mike Rose's college football bowl selections on VegasInsider.com this season. Click to win!
It's the most wonderful time of the year for college football betting fans, as there are 35 bowl games on tap to break down and find winners in. Today, we're taking a look at some of the best bowl games of the year, continuing with the final six bowl games of the season.
Sugar Bowl - Oklahoma Sooners vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Thursday, January 2nd, 8:30 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Alabama -15
The Crimson Tide have only been beaten in one bowl game in the Nick Saban era, and it happened to come right here on this field against Utah at the Sugar Bowl. That regular season ended with a brutally disappointing loss to Florida in the SEC Championship Game. This one ended in an even more crushing loss to Auburn. Oklahoma beat Okie State in Bedlam to end the regular season, and that's what got it in the BCS, but we have a feeling that this is the worst team to be in the BCS this year, perhaps including UCF. The Sooners have a history of choking big time in games like these.
Cotton Bowl - Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Missouri Tigers
Friday, January 3rd, 7:30 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Missouri -1
We have no doubt that these are two of the best 10 teams in the country this year, as both of these clubs missed out on chances to play in the BCS on the final day of the regular season. The Cowboys, who have dominated in their last three bowl games, lost to Oklahoma in Bedlam and then perhaps got screwed out of an at large bid to the show anyway, while Missouri lost in the wild SEC Championship Game against Auburn, who will go on to play for all of the marbles. These clubs are quite familiar with each other having played against one another in the Big XII for years before Missouri's move, so there could be some bad blood spilling over in Arlington.
Orange Bowl - Clemson Tigers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Friday, January 3rd, 8:30 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Ohio State -2 ½
OSU had to think that it was set to be playing against another team from the ACC this year, but it lost the Big Ten title game and has been relegated to the Orange Bowl. Urban Meyer is a perfect 5-0 SU and ATS in BCS bowl games, while Clemson's only trip to the BCS ended with a brutal loss to West Virginia here in the Orange Bowl. QB Tajh Boyd will want to make amends in his last collegiate game for sure.
BBVA Compass Bowl - Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Houston Cougars
Saturday, January 4th, 1:00 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Vanderbilt -2 ½
Head Coach James Franklin is likely to move on from Vandy at some point around this game, so we aren't sure whether he will or will not be here for the festivities in Birmingham. QB Austyn Carta-Samuels won't be, as he has an injured knee and will turn the ball over to QB Patton Robinette, who will be making his first career start. The Dores have never won back to back bowl games in the program's history, but they have a chance to do so this year. Houston though, made great strides in the first year of playing in the AAC, and though it wasn't as successful as UCF, the year has to be looked upon with high regard for sure.
GoDaddy Bowl - Arkansas State Red Wolves vs. Ball State Cardinals
Sunday, January 5th, 9:00 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Ball State -7 ½
It's becoming an annual tradition for the Red Wolves: Play in the GoDaddy Bowl and replace your head coach all at the same time! This is the third straight season this situation has occurred, and it comes with the worst edition of the ASU team we have seen of these three. It also comes against perhaps the best foe of the three as well, as this Ball State team is no joke. The Cards are looking for their first ever bowl win after going 0-6 SU and ATS prior to that, and that could make this the biggest game in their history.
BCS National Championship Game - Florida State Seminoles vs. Auburn Tigers
Monday, January 6th, 8:30 p.m. ET
Opening Line: Florida State -8 ½
And it all boils down to this. The Noles have perhaps their biggest challenge defensively against an Auburn team which just rolled up over 800 yards combined in consecutive games against Missouri and Alabama, no small feat for sure. The Noles though, have averaged 53 points per game and do just about everything well. Here's the question, though: Have the Seminoles just played no one good and have rolled everyone up, or are they that good? If they're that good, the seven year chokehold the SEC has had on the BCS National Championship is about to go by the wayside.
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