It’s the day before THE day, with the New Year’s Six cranking up the Orange and Fiesta in two huge games for the Big Ten. Here are the final thoughts and investment advice on the Orange, Fiesta, TaxSlayer and Liberty bowls.
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Orange, Fiesta, TaxSlayer and Liberty Bowls Final Thoughts & Investment Advice
Alright Big Ten, this is it. There’s still Michigan to go, but when it comes to national love and affection, Wisconsin and Penn State need to take care of business as the favorites in the Orange and Fiesta, respectively.
But the TaxSlayer should be interesting and the Liberty a bit of a fight, too. But really, it’s all about the big boys up top on Saturday.
For all the games, this is all just for spits, giggles, and entertainment purposes only. However, just in case you dabble …
Is this all that hard? Mississippi State doesn’t have its head coach, it doesn’t have its star quarterback, and the other team has Lamar Jackson.
The Bulldogs have enough defense and enough athletes to pull this off – Louisville just isn’t that great at playing college football this year, at least when No. 8 isn’t being Lamar Jackson – but after last year’s embarrassing clunker to LSU, and with this almost certainly being Jackson’s last game, there’s no need to overthink this.
If you pick Louisville to win and cover the seven, and it doesn’t work out, you still weren’t wrong in your logic. If you’re picking Mississippi State, you’re picking on a guess.
It might not be the firefight you might think. The MSU defense really is good enough to keep this from getting out of hand, so the seven isn’t that crazy. The 63, though, might be a wee bit high. Just be careful.
– TaxSlayer Bowl Preview
What about the Big 12 so far has pointed toward anything other than an Iowa State win over Memphis? West Virginia didn’t have Will Grier against Utah, but TCU came up with a great comeback, Oklahoma State pulled out a great win, and Kansas State took down UCLA.
However, the Texas Tech loss to USF is a wee bit of a concern. Memphis is better than South Florida, and Iowa State is just okay – even with the magical wins over TCU and Oklahoma.
The key is whether or not the Iowa State offense really can keep up. The receiver weapons are there, the defense has had time to prepare, and as always, when in doubt, go with the Power Five talent over the Group of Five – especially when the GOFer can’t play a lick of D.
But this is a recency effect pick. WKU 51-31 over MU in the 2016 Boca Raton, Auburn 31-10 over the other Tigers in the 2015 Birmingham. Memphis is 1-4 in bowl games since 2007.
Assume the over the 66 point total; tread lightly on Iowa State winning outright.
– AutoZone Liberty Bowl Preview
Call the Orange the Validation Bowl. It might be in Miami, the crowd might be pro-Hurricane, and the defense is in place to force Alex Hornibrook to royally screw up, but … nah.
It’s not going to be all that hot – the weather should be perfect – and the rested Badger offensive line should be the difference to offset the Miami home field advantage.
This really and truly is a good enough Badger team to have done some damage in the College Football Playoff had it made its way in, but don’t expect splash.
Expect ultra-conseravtive throughout in a business-like win.
It’s this simple – Miami can’t win this without being at least a +2 in turnover margin. It won’t be, the UW D will slow down a pedestrian Hurricane O. The 4.5 won’t be a problem for the Badgers, and while the under on the 45 is the call, be careful.
– Orange Bowl Preview
Sort of like the Orange Bowl, in the Fiesta, the Big Ten team is simply better. This isn’t the Washington team of last year, and it still hasn’t shown it can beat anyone who’s all that great.
This is Saquon Barkley’s last college game – yeah, it is, despite the narrative otherwise – and Trace McSorley will come through when UW D shuts down No. 26.
Washington might be inspired, and it might crank up the D to another level, but again, don’t overthink today – Penn State is the better team. Giving away two won’t be any sort of an issue.
– Fiesta Bowl Preview
And Finally …
This smells and feels like a trap, but Baker Mayfield supposedly not feeling all that well matters. I’m not a fan of overreacting to little nuggets of news, but if you liked Georgia anyway – and I do – then, while you can, like the -2 even more in the Rose.