"The Stack" 12-27-19
The College Football Playoff Semifinals are tomorrow. Who will advance to the National Championship game?
The Stack is back on this Football Friday not with our normal NFL previews & predictions (that comes tomorrow or Sunday), but with picks for today’s and tomorrow’s bowl games. Let’s not waste another moment and get right to “the stack” for today, Friday, December 27th:
Friday’s Bowl Games
Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman (Annapolis, MD)
6-6 North Carolina VS 8-4 Temple Noon ET ESPN
Hey, wait a minute. Neither of the teams playing in the Military Bowl are part a branch of the military. This doesn’t make any sense. Air Force or Navy should be in this game. Either way, Mack Brown did a remarkable job in year one at North Carolina. Temple’s defense is good, but I see Mack picking up the win.
Predicted winner: UNC
Confidence points: 10
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (NYC, NY)
6-6 Michigan State VS 8-4 Wake Forest 3:20 PM ET ESPN
Michigan State’s defense is really good, but their offense is pathetic. Wake Forest has a good offense, but their defense isn’t anything special. Something has to give here. I just don’t know what.
Predicted winner: Michigan State
Confidence points: Low to mid single digits
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston, TX)
8-4 #25 Oklahoma State VS 7-5 Texas A&M 6:45 PM ET ESPN
Texas A&M should be better. Quarterback Kellen Mond is difficult to contain and bring down. Just how motivated are they though to play in this game? You better believe Mike Gundy will have his team ready to play. This game I feel is another toss up.
Predicted winner: Texas A&M
Confidence points: Mid double digits
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl (San Diego, CA)
8-4 #22 USC VS 9-3 #16 Iowa 8 PM ET FS1
There seem to be a lot of people that think Iowa is going to win this game. Their defense is phenomenal, but USC has plenty of good athletes themselves. Iowa and their fans may just be happy to be in southern California. I’ll pick USC in the upset.
Predicted winner: USC
Confidence points: 1
Cheez-It Bowl (Phoenix, AZ)
10-2 Air Force VS 6-6 Washington State 10:15 PM ET ESPN
Washington State’s defense can’t stop anyone. Air Force has a good rushing attack. Ball control will be key in this game. Advantage Air Force.
Predicted winner: Air Force
Confidence points: Mid 20s
Saturday’s Bowl Games
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (Arlington, TX)
12-1 #17 Memphis VS 10-2 #10 Penn State Noon ET ESPN
Memphis represents the non-power five teams this year. They are a very good team offensively, but with head coach Matt Norvell leaving for Florida State, where will their heads be at? Penn State is sound on both sides of the ball and I think they emerge victorious.
Predicted winner: Penn State
Confidence points: Low 20s
Camping World Bowl (Orlando, FL)
10-2 #15 Notre Dame VS 7-5 Iowa State Noon ET ABC
This appears to be quite the mismatch, but motivation again is key. A two loss Notre Dame team playing in the Camping World Bowl? Doesn’t make a lot of sense. If they are ready and motivated to play, they will have no problems with Iowa State. I worry about that though.
Predicted winner: Notre Dame
Confidence points: Mid to upper 30s
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinal) (Atlanta, GA)
12-1 #4 Oklahoma VS 13-0 #1 LSU 4 PM ET ESPN
Jalen Hurts is great. Joe Burrow is better. I do not see Oklahoma’s defense slowing down LSU much even if LSU’s starting running back can’t play. LSU’s defense is playing better and they will go to the championship game.
Predicted winner: LSU
Confidence points: Low to mid 30s
Playstation Fiesta Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinal) (Glendale, AZ)
13-0 #3 Clemson VS 13-0 #2 Ohio State 8 PM ET ESPN
Clemson is the most dangerous #3 seed ever to make the College Football Playoff and it isn’t even close. They are playing with a massive chip on their shoulders. Head coach Dabo Swinney has done a good job of playing the disrespect card with his team even if it isn’t warranted. Chase Young and Justin Fields are great players for Ohio State, but I think they are about to run into a buzzsaw.
Predicted winner: Clemson
Confidence points: Mid 20s
Coming up Saturday or Sunday: NFL Week 17 previews & predictions