#6 TCU v. #9 Ole Miss – Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl – 12/31 @ 11:30 am CT on ESPN
Something has to give in this game, as two of the top teams in the nation from the Big 12 and the SEC square off. TCU is coming off of winning a share of the Big 12 title after a big turnaround from a year ago. After a change in offensive coordinators, the Horned Frogs offense really took off this season. The Frogs are second in the country in scoring, averaging 46.8 points per game. The high scoring offense turned Trevone Boykin into a Heisman contender. Boykin can beat teams with his arm and his feet. Ole Miss will be up to the task as they bring their “Shark” defense into the Peach Bowl. The one-time third ranked Rebels have a stingy defense that doesn’t give up many yards or points. On the season, Ole Miss is only allowing 4.6 yards per play and 13.8 points per game. They are the number one team in the nation in points allowed. TCU’s defense is pretty good too, and Ole Miss’ offense hasn’t been the same since they lost Laquon Treadwell. This game is going to be decided by how well Ole Miss plays on both sides of the ball. TCU will score points, how many is up to the Rebels.
Staff Picks – TCU (7 Votes) Ole Miss (0 Votes)
#11 Kansas State v. #14 UCLA – Valero Alamo Bowl – 1/2 @ 5:45 pm CT on ESPN
On paper these teams are very similar. Neither team is averaging more than 36 points a game, and neither team is allowing more than 28 points a game. Both teams are coming off a loss that would have given them a share or a shot at their respective conference titles. UCLA is a young team led by Brett Hundley. They have a lot of talent but have struggled at times due to offensive line play. K-State has been solid on defense and productive on offense, but they have lost to the three best teams they have played in Auburn, TCU and Baylor. They share a common opponent in Texas. UCLA beat UT 20-17 in September, while K-State shut out the Longhorns 23-0 in October. Both offenses have the ability to push the ball down the field. Jake Waters and Brett Hundley have thrown for over 3000 yards and 20 touchdowns. Tyler Lockett also presents UCLA with a lot of problems on offense and special teams. This game looks like it will come down to time of possession and who wins the turnover battle.
Staff Picks – Kansas State (7 Votes) UCLA (0 Votes)
Oklahoma State v. Washington – TicketCity Cactus Bowl – 1/2 @ 9:15 pm CT on ESPN
Oklahoma State squeaked into a bowl game by beating Oklahoma on the legs of a Tyreek Hill punt return at the end of the game to force overtime. Hill is no longer with the team after off the field issues forced Coach Gundy to dismiss him. The Cowboys have had an up and down season. Before the win over OU, OSU had lost five straight games. OU was the only ranked opponent the Cowboys defeated. Washington did not beat a single ranked team this season but still finished with eight wins. Oklahoma State’s inconsistency is due to their revolving door at quarterback. Freshman Mason Rudolph will start his third game against Washington, and he is the third QB the Cowboys have used this season. Without Hill, OSU will be hindered in the passing/running game and special teams. The Cowboys most telling stat is that they give up more points per game then they score. All-American Shaq Thompson, who sees time on both sides of the ball, leads the Huskies. Husky QB Cyler Miles has also had a good year throwing for 16 TD’s and just 3 picks. This game will either be close or a blowout depending on which Oklahoma State team shows up. Can they ride the momentum of their last win, or will they be the inconsistent team they have been most of the year?
Staff Picks – Oklahoma State (4 Votes) Washington (3 Votes)