If you missed the first round of bowl predictions just click here to catch up on what you missed.
As of the printing of this blog we have had 5 bowl games and so far Ross is 4-1 in his predictions (only missing on NIU/Fresno) and I'm 3-2.
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl (12/27 5pm on ESPN 2)
Air Force (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (6-6)
Kevin's Prediction: AIR FORCE 31 GEORGIA TECH 27
This is a very interesting game as both of these teams present problems for their opponents defense on a weekly basis. Georgia Tech is the #1 rushing attach in the Nation at 327 yards per game and Air Force is #2 at 317. Air Force has a better resume than Georgia Tech does. Air Force beat BYU (35-14), Navy (14-6) and Army (42-22) while Georgia Tech only had one win against a team that finished with a winning record (beat UNC 30-24 and no Georgia Tech fans I'm not counting South Carolina State). From the latest I have read, Joshua Nesbitt will not play in this game. I think that will be the difference but I honestly would not be surprised if either team won this game. This is one to watch as it should be the shortest game of the bowl season due to both teams mashing the ball between the tackles.
Ross's Prediction: AIR FORCE 35, GEORGIA TECH 24
Champs Sports Bowl (12/28 6:30 pm on ESPN)
West Virginia (9-3) vs. North Carolina State (8-4)
Kevin's Prediction: NC STATE 27 WEST VIRGINIA 24
NC State was one of the most surprising teams this year. West Virginia finished 9-3 and didn't lose a game by more than 6 points all year but their season just felt somewhat underwhelming. The big match-up for me in this game is the West Virginia defense (which only gave up 12.8 ppg this year) versus Russell Wilson and NC State's passing attack (which ranked 19th in the Nation this year). My gut says West Virginia but my heart says NC State).
Ross's Prediction: WEST VIRGINIA 28, NC STATE 24
Insight Bowl (12/28 10 pm on ESPN)
Missouri (10-2) vs. Iowa (7-5)
Kevin's Prediction: MISSOURI 27 IOWA 17
The biggest thing that sticks in my mind is how Iowa finished the season. They lost 3 straight games, one to Ohio State, but the other two to Northwestern (a decent team) and Minnesota (an awful team). Iowa is also looking at some key suspensions for the bowl game. I'm not in love with Missouri but I like them in this one.
Ross's Prediction: IOWA 24, MISSOURI 17
Military Bowl (12/29 2:30 pm on ESPN)
East Carolina (6-6) vs. Maryland (8-40
Kevin's Prediction: MARYLAND 38 EAST CAROLINA 27
Was there a more up and down team than East Carolina this year? They beat NC State and Southern Miss but got bombed by the likes of Rice and gave up 76 points to Navy. That is not a team I can pick to win a bowl game. East Carolina gave up a whooping 43.4 points per game this year. There is turmoil in Maryland but I think they win this one for the Fridge.
Ross's Prediction: MARYLAND 37, EAST CAROLINA 24
This is another game where an unsettled coaching situation could produce thoroughly unpredictable results, but I think Maryland sends Friedgen out with a win -- especially since ECU's defense is purely theoretical.
Texas Bowl (12/29 6pm on ESPN)
Illinois (6-6) vs. Baylor (7-5)
Kevin's Prediction: BAYLOR 34 ILLINOIS 24
I refuse to live in a world where I pick a 6-6 Ron Zook coached team to win a bowl game. Baylor was really good offensively this year and Illinois was known to give up some points this year (see also: back-to-back weeks giving up 67 to Michigan and 38 to Minnesota).
Ross's Prediction: BAYLOR 38, ILLINOIS 31
Valero Alamo (12/29 9:15pm on ESPN)
Oklahoma State (10-2) vs. Arizona (7-5)
Kevin's Prediction: OKLAHOMA STATE 38 ARIZONA 28
This is a game that looks fun on paper. Okie State's explosive offense (2nd Nationally in Passing, 29th in Rushing, and 3rd in Scoring) against a pretty good Arizona defense. This would have been a much better match-up if it would have happened early in the year when Arizona was 7-1. Arizona played a tough schedule at the end of the year and fell to Stanford, USC and Oregon. But then they also lost to rival Arizona State. I just can't see them coming back to beat an Okie State team with all those weapons on offense.
Ross's Prediction: OKLAHOMA STATE 34, ARIZONA 24
Armed Forces Bowl (12/30 Noon on ESPN)
Army (6-6) vs. SMU (7-6)
Kevin's Prediction: SMU 28 ARMY 21
The most impressive victory Army had all year was a 45-28 win over 5-7 Kent State. I kid you not. As much as a want to pick Army because this is the "Armed Forces Bowl" I simply can't justify it based on their body of work. SMU isn't exactly a Top 25 team but they did beat East Carolina and Tulsa.
Ross's Prediction: SMU 38, ARMY 24
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (12/30 3:20pm on ESPN)
Kansas State (7-5) vs. Syracuse (7-5)
Kevin's Prediction: SYRACUSE 24 KANSAS STATE 21
Not a real high-profile match-up based on name appeal but I like what Syracuse did this year. They turned around a pitiful program into a team that knocked off a Top 25 opponent (19-14 win over West Virginia). Syracuse had a bunch of cupcakes on their schedule (Akron, Maine and Colgate) and took advantage of some down Big East opponents (Cincy and Rutgers) but I really like their improvement. Kansas State actually played a couple of adequate non-conference foes this year (UCLA and UCF) but folded like a tent once they got into the meat of the Big 12 schedule (losses to Nebraska, Baylor, Okie State, Missouri and Colorado). This one looks like a coin toss to me but I think Syracuse is going to be more up for this game than Kansas State.
Ross's Prediction: SYRACUSE 21, KANSAS STATE 17
Music City Bowl (12/30 6:40pm on ESPN)
North Carolina (7-5) vs. Tennessee (6-6)
Kevin's Prediction: NORTH CAROLINA 27 TENNESSEE 24
If you asked me about this one half-way through the year I would have picked UNC by about 30. I think Tennessee started to find itself at the end of the season when they inserted Tyler Bray into the starting line-up but it could also have been the closing stretch of Memphis, Ole Miss, Vandy and Kentucky that did the trick (these teams had a combined record of 13-34). So before we anoint Tennessee as "back" under Derek Dooley lets see them actually beat somebody.
Ross's Prediction: NORTH CAROLINA 31, TENNESSEE 27
Holiday Bowl (12/30 10pm on ESPN)
Nebraska (10-3) vs. Washington (6-6)
Kevin's Prediction: NEBRASKA 34 WASHINGTON 14
This one looks like a total no-brainer. Assuming Nebraska's offense shows up they shouldn't have much of a problem in this one.
Ross's Prediction: NEBRASKA 38, WASHINGTON 17