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Rocky Top Locks Bowl Edition: Part 3 of 3

IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN [twelve minutes of synth]

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

As you saw from the last "locks" recap of the regular season, I_S took the regular season title by a comfortable margin after finishing the last two weeks out on a 9-2-1 tear.  But as we did last season, we're treating bowl season as a separate competition and starting over with a clean slate.


Yeah, you read that right. Every single game. Here's how we're doing this: every game, each of us is either playing the line, the over/under, or a (even money) prop bet.

We're breaking this out into three posts because a single post with 38 bowl picks would be ginormous and unruly.  Here's how we're breaking it out:

We haven't decided what to do about the national championship game.  We could either update part 3 to include it, or do a separate post wrapping up the results, including our picks for the final game, and using that as a championship game thread.  We'll, figure it out.

Current Standings

  • KidB:  [will update at some point on the 1st]
  • Chris: [will update at some point on the 1st]
  • I_S: [will update at some point on the 1st]

A Humble Request

Join in the fun by putting your own picks in the comments.  It's more fun when everybody plays.

The Games In Question:

The rest of them, duh. Process of elimination is a wonderful thing.

Outback Bowl
Auburn vs. Wisconsin
Tampa, Fla.
Raymond James Stadium
Jan. 1
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Baylor
Arlington, Texas
AT&T Stadium
Jan. 1
12:30 p.m.
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Missouri vs. Minnesota
Orlando, Fla.
Florida Citrus Bowl
Jan. 1
1 p.m.
Rose Bowl Game Presented By Northwestern Mutual
College Football Playoff Semifinal

No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 Florida State
Pasadena, Calif.
Rose Bowl
Jan. 1
5 p.m.
Allstate Sugar Bowl
College Football Playoff Semifinal

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio State
New Orleans
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Jan. 1
8:30 p.m.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Houston vs. Pittsburgh
Fort Worth, Texas
Amon G. Carter Stadium
Jan. 2
TaxSlayer Bowl
Iowa vs. Tennessee
Jacksonville, Fla.
EverBank Field
Jan. 2
3:20 p.m.
Valero Alamo Bowl
Kansas State vs. UCLA
San Antonio
Jan. 2
6:45 p.m.
TicketCity Cactus Bowl
Washington vs. Oklahoma State
Tempe, Ariz.
Sun Devil Stadium
Jan. 2
10:15 p.m.
Birmingham Bowl
East Carolina vs. Florida
Birmingham, Ala.
Legion Field
Jan. 3
GoDaddy Bowl
Toledo vs. Arkansas State
Mobile, Ala.
Ladd-Peebles Stadium
Jan. 4
9 p.m.
College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T
Arlington, Texas
AT&T Stadium
Jan. 12
8:30 p.m.

And, now, finally...the picks:

I_S' "Milos Does Win SOME Tournaments" Picks

Auburn/Wisconsin over 63.5. Neither of these teams were overly consistent this year, and it's hard to make a prediction on who is more excited for this game, but both of them seem to be good at allowing points.

Baylor -2.5 over Michigan State. Mark Dantonio is a good coach, but Sparty hasn't exactly been exemplary against the high-powered offenses on their schedule this year.

Missouri -4.5 over Minnesota. Missouri is just better. And they're not at home. As long as Minnesota doesn't come out in cream and crimson, the Tigers should win.

Oregon -7.5 over Florida State. Just not a believer in the Seminoles this year. They haven't played anybody good all season and have still come close to losing on numerous occasions. Maybe it was playing down to their competition, but I think it's not being elite.

Alabama -8.5 over Ohio State. Give Saban time to plan for a game he cares about, and he wins. Also, Ohio State vs SEC.

Pittsburgh -3 over Houston. ???

Tennessee -4 over Iowa. I haven't had much luck playing the motivation angle in bowl season so far this year, but it's often a big factor, and I think Tennessee has the edge in this one.

Kansas State +2 over UCLA. Bill Snyder is a wizard.

Washington -6.5 over Oklahoma State.

East Carolina +7.5 over Florida. I've gone with talent over motivation once before in bowl season, and it led to losing a cover by five touchdowns, so I'll go with motivation over talent this time. Because that worked so well with Louisville, Maryland, West Virginia. . . .

Arkansas State +3.5 over Toledo. It hasn't always worked this season, but still. . . fade the MAC.

KidB's "Free Money (for real this time)" Picks

K State 
Arky State

Chris's "Bread AND Circuses" Picks

Auburn (-6.5) v. Wisconsin - Fading the team without a head coach: seems legit enough to keep up with it.

Michigan State (+2.5) v. Baylor - Figure we're getting either a wildly pissed-off Baylor looking to make a mark or a totally depressed Baylor that'll lose by 30, then add in some of the bowl prep disparities we saw last year and sure, I'll take the points.

Missouri (-4.5) v. Minnesota - Fittingly, a Missouri team nobody's understood all year ends up favored right in the "yeah, we have no idea" Vegas zone. (Of course, this means they're winning this game 28-24.)

Florida State (+9) v. Oregon - This is exactly the kind of line that Florida State is designed to frustrate, since they haven't done anything good the last two months of the season. On the flipside, we're never getting Alabama-Oregon, so might as well just accept it.

Alabama (-9) v. Ohio State - But that won't be Alabama's fault.

Houston (+3) v. Pittsburgh - flipping a coin, taking the points, plus since Virginia Tech won there's always got to be the random ACC dud.

Iowa (+3.5) v. Tennessee - This is exactly the kind of game Iowa was designed to lose 20-17, and Iowa has far more experience playing ugly, unwatchable football than this Tennessee squad does.

Kansas State (+1.5) v. UCLA - Weird line; basically everyone's betting against UCLA. Normally that's a sign to swing the other direction and back them, but I don't trust UCLA at all.

Washington (-6) v. Oklahoma State - I also don't trust an Oklahoma State team that never figured themselves out, and Chris Peterson seems to have righted Washington late.

Florida (-6.5) v. East Carolina - This is going to be hilarious when a now-liberated Florida offense goes for 580 total yards, everyone gets excited, and nobody remembers ECU doesn't have a defense.

Arkansas State (+4) v. Toledo - Sure, I'll fade the MAC one last time.

Your turn.  Go!