College Football Playoff, Bowl Game First Thought Predictions, Analysis For All 44

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Playoff, Bowl Game First Thought Predictions, Analysis For All 44

Bowls College Football Playoff

College Football Playoff, Bowl Game First Thought Predictions, Analysis For All 44


Wasabi Fenway Bowl

Wednesday, December 29
ESPN, 11:00 am
Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Virginia vs SMU

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Be totally shocked if Virginia doesn’t come up with a high-powered day from Brennan Armstrong and the passing game to send off Bronco Mendenhall in style. Sonny Dykes is off to TCU, Rhett Lashlee isn’t taking over yet, and SMU just isn’t all that great – but it’ll put up a whole lot of points.

No Research Bowl Prediction: Virginia 44, SMU 31
Early Bowl Line Guess: Virginia -2.5
Actual Line: SMU -1.5

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Wednesday, December 29
ESPN, 2:15 pm
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Virginia Tech vs Maryland 

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: The Brent Pry era isn’t starting quite yet at Virginia Tech, but future associate head coach JC Price is still around for some continuity as the interim head man. Maryland is a bowl game wild-card – it’s got the offensive pop to open this up, but the Hokies should be able to take the ball away enough to make this a fight.

No Research Bowl Prediction: Maryland 27, Virginia Tech 23
Early Bowl Line Guess: Virginia Tech -2
Actual Line: Virginia Tech -2.5

Cheez-It Bowl

Wednesday, December 29
ESPN, 5:45 pm
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Clemson vs Iowa State 

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: What kind of shape is Clemson in? It lost defensive coordinator Brent Venables to the Oklahoma head coaching gig, the transfer portal is getting a few Tigers, and … the defense is about to rise up and be fantastic against the veteran Cyclones in the first game of the rest of the program’s life.

No Research Bowl Prediction: Clemson 27, Iowa State 17
Early Bowl Line Guess: Clemson -3
Actual Line: Clemson -1.5

Valero Alamo Bowl

Wednesday, December 29
ESPN, 9:15 pm
Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
Oklahoma vs Oregon 

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: No, the Sooners aren’t getting Brent Venables yet for this, but will Oregon have Mario Cristobal or will he be off to Coral Gables? This is truly one of those games to wait on making a call on until the very last second – including on whether or not Caleb Williams might be off to Los Angeles and whether or not all the Oregon future NFL star defensive players finally opt-out – but that’s not why you’re here. Interim Sooner head coach Bob Stoops steps up his game for an evening.

No Research Bowl Prediction: Oklahoma 34, Oregon 23
Early Bowl Line Guess: Oklahoma -3.5
Actual Line: Oklahoma -3.5

Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Thursday, December 30
ESPN, 11:30 am
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
North Carolina vs South Carolina 

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Is Sam Howell going to play a showcase game or will he possibly opt-out? More likely than not he’ll go, but it won’t matter. South Carolina will bring the energy and the defense of a team looking to use this bowl game as a stepping-stone into Year Two under Shane Beamer.

No Research Bowl Prediction: South Carolina 26, North Carolina 20
Early Bowl Line Guess: North Carolina -4.5
Actual Line: North Carolina -7

TransPerfect Music City Bowl

Thursday, December 30
ESPN, 3:00 pm
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
Purdue vs Tennessee 

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Oh LET’S GO. Just check the idea of defense at the door as these two passing games go off in a back-and-forth shootout. It’s a home game for Tennessee, but the Purdue D will step up when it has to in the second half with enough of a pass rush to hold serve.

No Research Bowl Prediction: Purdue 34, Tennessee 30
Early Bowl Line Guess: Tennessee -3.5
Actual Line: Tennessee -2.5

SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl

Thursday, December 30
ESPN, 10:30 pm
Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Wisconsin vs Arizona State 

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: Arizona State will be looking at this as the start of something big for next year with QB Jayden Daniels leading the way, and then the Wisconsin defense will ruin the party. You know exactly what you’re about to get – Braelon Allen, the Badger D, and repeat with both.

No Research Bowl Prediction: Wisconsin 26, Arizona State 13
Early Bowl Line Guess: Wisconsin -5
Actual Line: Wisconsin -7

2021-2022 Bowl First Thoughts 
Dec 17-18: Bahamas, Cure, Boca Raton
New Mexico, Indy, LendingTree, LA
Dec 20-25: Myrtle, Potato, Frisco, AF
Frisco Classic, Gasp, Hawaii, Camellia
Dec 27-28: Quick Lane, Military, Birm
SERVPRO, Liberty, Holiday, Guar Rate
Dec 31-Jan 4 Gator, Sun, Arizona, Texas
NY6 Fiesta, Citrus, Rose, Sugar
CFP Cotton, Orange | CFP NC
Bowl Schedule, Game Times

NEXT: Bowl Game First Thought Predictions, Analysis: December 31-January 4Games


More College Football News