Rusty: 5-3 (Championship Week); 89-98-2 (Overall)
Rusty's Hits: Baylor (-9), Louisiana Tech (+12.5), Alabama (-14.5), Ohio State (+4), Fresno State (+20.5)
Rusty's Misses: Arizona (+14.5), Oklahoma (-20), Florida State (-4)
Sean: 3-5 (Championship Week); 95-92-2 (Overall)
Sean's Hits: Oregon (-14.5), Louisiana Tech (+12.5), Georgia Tech (+4)
Sean's Misses: Kansas State (+9), Oklahoma (-20), Missouri (+14.5), Wisconsin (-4), Boise State (-20.5)
Last Week's Picks
Rusty did a nice job on championship week, as he saw through the mystery around Alabama and Ohio State, and foresaw that Boise State would fail to curb-stomp Fresno State.
And now, the bowl field is set, the packs of free swag for the players are being prepared, the holiday-themed-but-still-psych-up-type music is being readied by ESPN for every commercial break.
Sean and Rusty took the last week off making picks. It is tiresome being so close to mediocre. But now, we've got approximately 73 bowl games to pick, and YES: we are going to pick each and every one of them.
To the picks!
Bowl Season Picks
NEW ORLEANS BOWL
Sean Says: Lousiana-Lafayette (+1) over Nevada
Fun fact: the Ragin' Cajuns have won the last three New Orleans Bowls over San Diego State, East Carolina, and Tulane. This is ostensibly a home game for them. GIMME THE CAJUNS.
Rusty Says: Nevada (-1) over Lousiana-Lafayette
NEW MEXICO BOWL
Sean Says: Utah State (-10) over UTEP
Rusty Says: UTEP (+10) over Utah State
LAS VEGAS BOWL
Sean Says: Colorado State (+3.5) over Utah
Even without their prize pig, Coach Jim McElwain, the Rams have some serious talent and are as good as anyone in the West.
Rusty Says: Utah (-3.5) over Colorado State
If you can take a team from Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl, you do it every time.
Sean Says: Western Michigan (+1.5) over Air Force
Rusty Says: Western Michigan (+1.5) over Air Force
Sean Says: South Alabama (-3) over Bowling Green
I have no idea what a "camellia" is, but BGSU is pretty bad at the defense. Plus I would totally take a Jaguar over a Falcon in a fight, so there's that.
Rusty Says: South Alabama (-3) over Bowling Green
MIAMI BEACH BOWL
Sean Says: Memphis (-1.5) over BYU
Memphis has serious coaching talent and can score points. BYU's heads are going to be spinning in Miami, both because of the offensive fireworks and all the stuff that happens in Miami.
Rusty Says: BYU (+1.5) over Memphis
BOCA RATON BOWL
Sean Says: Northern Illinois (+10) over Marshall
I dig me some Marshall. But Northern Illinois is too experienced to get blowed out in this game.
Rusty Says: Northern Illinois (+10) over Marshall
Sean Says: Navy (+3) over San Diego State
Rusty Says: San Diego State (-3) over Navy
Sean Says: Western Kentucky (-3.5) over Central Michigan
Rusty Says: Western Kentucky (-3.5) over Central Michigan
Sean Says: Rice (-2) over Fresno State
Rusty Says: Fresno State (+2) over Rice
HEART OF DALLAS BOWL
Sean Says: Illinois (+6) over Louisiana Tech
So we know for sure that the heart of rock and roll is still beating. The heart of Dallas? We have no way of knowing for sure. But I think Illinois is ready for a bowl win.
Rusty Says: Louisiana Tech (-6) vs. Illinois
QUICK LANE BOWL
Sean Says: North Carolina (-3) over Rutgers
Rusty Says: North Carolina (-3) over Rutgers
ST. PETERSBURG BOWL
Sean Says: UCF (-2) over N.C. State
Every time I pick with or against N.C. State I'm wrong. So, obviously, bet the mortgage on this one.
Rusty Says: UCF (-2) over N.C. State
Sean Says: Cincinnati (-3) over Virginia Tech
#Gunner #Kiel #Y'all.
Rusty Says: Cincinnati (-3) over Virginia Tech
Sean Says: Arizona State (-8) over Duke
Last year, ASU waltzed into the Holiday Bowl as a 14-point favorite vs. Texas Tech. They got shellacked 37-23. You don't think Todd Graham will remind them of that? Duke is quite experienced, but I think ASU is ready to pounce here.
Rusty Says: Duke (+8) over Arizona State
Arizona State could be the king of the south next year and they’ll start off with a win against Duke. The game will be competitive and the Blue Devils will get a backdoor cover.
Sean Says: Miami (-3.5) over South Carolina
Surprised Miami is favored here. Perhaps because they get another several weeks of good practice for their super-talented freshman QB Brad Kaaya. Tempted to side with Vegas here and take the Canes to start their 2015 run on the ACC early.
Rusty Says: South Carolina (+3.5) over Miami
Always take the SEC.
Sean Says: Boston College (-2.5) over Penn State
Penn State hasn't seen a zone option/spread team this year. I think they struggle here.
Rusty Says: Penn State (+2.5) over Boston College
Sean Says: USC (-6.5) over Nebraska
The two best quarterbacks Nebraska has faced this year are Miami's Brad Kaaya and Michigan State's Connor Cook. I think Cody Kessler is better than the lot of them. USC is more talented than their record shows, and will do just fine against the un-interesting offense that Nebraska throws at them. Trojans big.
Rusty Says: USC (-6.5) over Nebraska
Nebraska is without Bo Pelini and is going to take a team with much more firepower than them. This one could get ugly.
Sean Says: Texas A&M (+3.5) over West Virginia
Rusty Says: Texas A&M (+3.5) over West Virginia
RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL
Sean Says: Clemson (-3.5) over Oklahoma
Two straight big-name bowl opponents (LSU, Ohio State); two straight upset wins. Tigers ain't scared, and I don't really know what we'll get from OU.
Rusty Says: Oklahoma (-3.5) over Clemson
The Tigers are playing without their star quarterback and you know how Oklahoma does it when they are playing in games that don’t really matter.
Sean Says: Arkansas (-6) over Texas
Rusty Says: Arkansas (-6) overTexas
It’s a battle of former Southwest Conference teammates and with all the power running it’ll look like the 70s again minus the wishbone. Arkansas is simply a better squad on offense and their defense will stifle the Longhorns.
MUSIC CITY BOWL
Sean Says: LSU (-7.5) over Notre Dame
Rusty Says: LSU (-7.5) over Notre Dame
LSU will eat the two-quarterback system that Notre Dame is planning on using alive.
Sean Says: Louisville (+7) over Georgia
Only because the Belk Bowl gonna Belk. I.E., every Belk Bowl is nutso.
Rusty Says: Georgia (-7) over Louisville
FOSTER FARMS BOWL
Sean Says: Stanford (-14) over Maryland
Will good Stanford O or bad Stanford O show up? Their defense will lock down the Terrapins, but can they score enough points to cover?
Rusty Says: Stanford (-14) over Maryland
Maryland is an awful team and I’m honestly surprised they made a bowl game. Stanford’s offense though needs to show up in order to beat the spread. They might have to score three touchdowns.
Sean Says: Ole Miss (+3.5) over TCU
Dr. Bo is ready to operate in the Georgia Dome. This will be a great game, but Ole Miss pulls it out.
Rusty Says: Ole Miss (+3.5) over TCU
SEC over everything.
Sean Says: Arizona (-3.5) over Boise State
Arizona gets a home game against a team that lost to Air Force. Boise State has been great at home, but they have some weaknesses. If Solomon is at full go, 'Cats cover this one.
Rusty Says: Arizona (-3.5) over Boise State
Arizona is going to ball out so hard in this game. Anu Solomon will be full strength and I doubt that Boise State has the magic it once did.
Sean Says: Georgia Tech (+7) over Mississippi State
Become a small Georgia Tech fan down the stretch this year. Mississippi State is overhyped simply because of their presence in the SEC. They are gonna have a tough time staying disciplined against the insane throwback Tech offense.
Rusty Says: Mississippi State (-7) over Georgia Tech
Sean Says: Auburn (-6.5) over Wisconsin
Stack the box. Make [Wisconsin QB] throw it. Hold MelGor to 150. Win big.
Rusty Says: Auburn (-6.5) over Wisconsin
The Badgers are without Gary Andersen and looked awful trying to defend Ohio State’s spread. The Auburn defense might even play very well against a Big-10 team whose only strength is rushing the ball behind Melvin Gordon.
Sean Says: Michigan State (+3) over Baylor
I just don't think the Big 12 was that great this year. Michigan State's only two losses were to playoff teams. Connor Cook is coming back next year and that boosts Sparty's morale. Sparty keeps it tight.
Rusty Says: Baylor (-3) over Michigan State
This is the most exciting non-playoff game. Michigan State has kind of pooped the bed in their games against top teams and that probably continues as they take on one of the country’s best teams.
Sean Says: Minnesota (+5.5) over Missouri
Two very good defenses and two subpar offenses mean no scoring. Minnesota is better than given credit for and will cover.
Rusty Says: Missouri (-5.5) over Minnesota
The matchup between two paper tigers. Neither team is great and don’t play nearly as well as their records would leave you to believe. When in doubt though, I’m taking the SEC.
Sean Says: Oregon (-9) over Florida State
The Ifo news hurts. But I think the Ducks are improved on defense and will still give Jameis fits (especially if Armstead can play like he did vs. Michigan State). Special teams and defense make the difference here, and Royce Freeman makes his first 2015 Heisman statement against a porous Florida State defense.
Rusty Says: Oregon (-9) over Florida State
I really don’t see this game being that close. I see Oregon getting out to a lead in the first half and then a competitive second half.
Sean Says: Alabama (-9.5) over Ohio State
I think we're falling into an Oklahoma 2013 trap: basing too much of our opinion of OSU on one game. Alabama is clicking on all cylinders right now and can wear out and out-duel Ohio State's defense. Stays close until mid-third quarter and then Alabama pulls ahead.
Rusty Says: Ohio State (+9.5) over Alabama
Ohio State’s defense and rushing attack are going to keep this game close enough. The third-string quarterback gets weeks to prepare but going against a Saban defense isn’t fun for anybody not wearing crimson.
ARMED FORCES BOWL
Sean Says: Pittsburgh (-3) over Houston
Rusty Says: Pittsburgh (-3) over Houston
Sean Says: Tennessee (-3.5) over Iowa
The Surgeon General issued a warning that no one should watch this game.
Rusty Says: Tennessee (-3.5) over Iowa
Sean Says: UCLA (+1) over Kansas State
Been down on UCLA mostly this year, but I want to give them at least some credit in this one. I think this is a favorable matchup for UCLA's personnel.
Rusty Says: Kansas State (-1) over UCLA
Sean Says: Oklahoma State (+5.5) over Washington
Washington has beat who they're supposed to and lost to good teams. I think they lay an egg here.
Rusty Says: Oklahoma State (+5.5) over Washington
How the hell did Washington get three defenders on 1st-team? Did the voters watch all the tape or is everyone else on defense really that bad?
Sean Says: East Carolina (+7) over Florida
Take the points in a shootout. Shane Carden can ball.
Rusty Says: East Carolina (+7) over Florida
Florida will be vomiting all over itself this game. East Carolina can score points and there is no incentive for the Gator players to play well.
Sean Says: Toledo (-3) over Arkansas State
a) Rockets are better than Red Wolves. b) #MACtion.
Rusty Says: Toledo (-3) over Arkansas State
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Sean Says: ?
Rusty Says: ?
Got beef with our picks? Good. Tell us why in the comments.