College Football Update Bowl Predictions

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The regular season has drawn to a close and bowl season is upon us. While each of the bowl eligible teams only has one game left for the year, there is still plenty of football left to be played, 41 games to be exact. These 41 games feature some high octane matchups with blue blood programs, along with a chance for some of the relatively unknown schools getting a chance to play on national television. These matchups provide some exciting games and celebrate all each team has accomplished throughout the year. In this article I, along with fellow Talon writers Zach Kontenakos, Will Tipton, and the editor of the paper Ms. Hurt, have made our predictions for all 41 bowl games. After the CFP Championship game has ended and one team is crowned the 2018 national champion, the scores will be tallied and we shall see which of the four of us will come out on top. Make sure to check back throughout bowl season for updates on game scores and the prediction competition.

Celebration Bowl: Grambling Tigers vs. North Carolina A&T Aggies

My Pick:  North Carolina A&T Zach’s Pick: North Carolina A&T Will’s Pick: Grambling Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Grambling

Result: Grambling 14 North Carolina A&T 21

The Celebration Bowl features two relatively unknown teams that have combined for only one loss on the year. Both teams come in with momentum as the Aggies have not lost a game this season and the Tigers were only defeated once. This loss came in their season opener to Tulane.

R+L Carriers Bowl New Orleans Bowl: Troy Trojans vs. North Texas Green Wave

My Pick: Troy Zach’s Pick: Troy Will’s Pick: Troy Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Troy

Result: Troy 50 North Texas 30

Troy made a name for themselves with a shocking upset over LSU to highlight a solid season. They come into this game boasting a 10-2 record and look to take down the 9-4 Green Wave.

Autonation Cure Bowl: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Georgia State Panthers

My Pick: Western Kentucky Zach’s Pick: Georgia State Will’s Pick: Western Kentucky Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Georgia State

Result: Western Kentucky 17 Georgia State 27

This bowl features two 6 win teams that are clashing after mediocre seasons against less then stellar competition. Both teams have barely earned bowl eligibility and look to cap off their seasons with a bowl victory.

Las Vegas Bowl: #25 Boise State Broncos vs. Oregon Ducks

My Pick: Boise State Zach’s Pick: Boise State Will’s Pick: Boise State Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Oregon

Result: Boise State 38 Oregon 28

The Mountain West champion Boise State Broncos take on the Ducks in what should be the most exciting game of the first day of bowl season. Boise State is the clear favorite, but the Oregon offense has had some huge games, including dropping 69 points on Oregon State. This game could turn into an offensive shootout, which is always interesting to watch.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Marshall Thundering Herd vs. Colorado State Rams

My Pick: Colorado State Zach’s Pick: Marshall Will’s Pick: Colorado State Ms. Hurts Pick: Marshall

Result: Colorado State 28 Marshall 31

This battle of two 7-5 teams could go down to the wire, but it does not look like it will be a great game of football solely based on the level of talent of each team. The more interesting part of this game will be figuring out which team is which, given their almost identical colorways.

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves

My Pick: Middle Tennessee State Zach’s Pick: Arkansas State Will’s Pick: Arkansas State Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Middle Tennessee State

Result: Middle Tennessee State 35 Arkansas State 30

The nightcap of the opening day of bowl season pits Middle Tennessee against Arkansas State. The Blue Raiders will look to upset Arkansas State on prime time as both relatively unknown schools get an opportunity to play in on national television.

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl: Akron Zips vs. Florida Atlantic Owls

My Pick: Florida Atlantic Zach’s Pick: Florida Atlantic Will’s pick: Florida Atlantic Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Florida Atlantic

Result: Akron 3 Florida Atlantic 50

Former Alabama coordinator and controversial head coach Lane Kiffin seeks to end his first season at Florida Atlantic with a bowl win over the Akron Zips. This game gives fans an opportunity to see the stellar job Kiffin has done with the program in only one year and give athletic directors around a country a chance to evaluate Kiffin as a future candidate for another head coaching job at a larger school.

DXL Frisco Bowl: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. SMU Mustangs

My Pick: SMU Zach’s Pick: SMU Will’s Pick: SMU Ms. Hurt’s Pick: SMU

Result: Louisiana Tech 51 SMU 10

The underrated passing attack of the Mustangs has propelled them into this bowl after a solid season. This overlooked receiving corp led by Trey Quinn, a transfer from LSU, will look to showcase their skills on the national stage and could be  huge factor in deciding this game.

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl: Temple Owls vs. Florida International Golden Panthers

My Pick: Temple Zach’s Pick: Florida International Will’s Pick: Florida International Ms. Hurts Pick: Florida International

Result: Temple 28 Florida International 3

While Florida International comes in with an 8-4 record as opposed to Temple’s record of 6-6, the Owls come in with confidence after blowing out Tulsa to secure their bowl eligibility. This game could come down to the wire and possibly be one of the best matchups of lower tier programs this year.

Bahamas Bowl: UAB Blazers vs. Ohio Bobcats

My Pick: UAB Zach’s Pick: Ohio Will’s Pick: Ohio Ms. Hurt’s Pick: UAB

Result: UAB 6 Ohio 41

In 2014 UAB made the executive decision to cut the football program. In only the second season after reinstatement they find themselves playing in the Bahamas Bowl. This game gives fans a chance to see how far this program has come and why the UAB football program looks like it is here to stay for a long time.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Wyoming Cowboys

My Pick: Central Michigan Zach’s Pick: Wyoming Will’s Pick: Wyoming Ms. Hurts Pick: Wyoming

Result: Central Michigan 14 Wyoming 37

The famous Idaho Potato Bowl is the most interesting thing to happen in Idaho since potatoes. That being said, this game does not have a really interesting plotline to entice even the most ardent of college football fans. With the one major NFL prospect Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen unlikely to play, this would probably be a good time to run up to the grocery store and restock on snacks for the rest of bowl season.

Birmingham Bowl: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. #23 South Florida Bulls

My Pick: South Florida Zach’s Pick: South Florida Will’s Pick: South Florida Ms. Hurt’s Pick: South Florida

Result: Texas Tech 34 South Florida 38

Quarterback Quinton Flowers and the Bulls have had an incredible season that has been overshadowed by their biggest rival, who pulled off an undefeated season (UCF). Flowers and his teammates will look to show that they are a force to be reckoned with and that UCF is not the only team from the state of Florida in the American conference that deserves the country’s attention.

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: San Diego State Aztecs vs. Army Black Knights

My Pick: San Diego State Zach’s Pick: San Diego State Will’s Pick: San Diego State Ms. Hurt’s Pick: San Diego State

Result: San Diego State 35 Army 42

Heisman candidate Rashaad Penny will be featured in this matchup and hopes to lead his Aztecs to a victory in his last game before heading off the the NFL. He will be the main headline in this game because of the talent differential between these two programs. Army will look to compete, but Penny should be able to run all over them.

Dollar General Bowl: Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Toledo Rockets

My Pick: Toledo Zach’s Pick: Toledo Will’s Pick: Toledo Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Toledo

Result: Appalachian State 34 Toledo 0

Both of these teams have had solid seasons and flown relatively under the radar. They will look to end their season on a high note, but this game does not have the feeling of becoming a classic.

Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State Bulldogs vs. Houston Cougars

My Pick: Fresno State Zach’s Pick: Houston Will’s Pick: Fresno State Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Fresno State

Result: Fresno State 33 Houston 27

The Hawaii Bowl in the only game played on Christmas Eve this year and could be a nice present for college football fans. Both of these programs have had some stellar seasons in their past and have outfitted solid teams this season. This looks to be a competitive game and be one of the more underrated bowl games of the year.

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl: Utah Utes vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

My Pick: Utah Zach’s Pick: West Virginia Will’s Pick: West Virginia Ms. Hurt’s Pick: West Virginia

Result: Utah 30 West Virginia 14

The gunslinging transfer from Florida Will Grier will not be active for this game, giving the Utes a chance to pull of an upset to end the year after a 6-6 season. Without Grier in uniform, the Mountaineers will have to find another source of offensive production to win the game.

Quick Lane Bowl: Duke Blue Devils vs. Northern Illinois Huskies

My Pick: Northern Illinois Zach’s Pick: Northern Illinois Will’s Pick: Duke Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Duke

Result: Duke 36 Northern Illinois 14

While Duke’s basketball team boasts incredible talents in Grayson Allen and Marvin Bagley, their football team does not have that luxury. The Blue Devils barely clinched bowl eligibility and are matched up against a solid Huskies team that is coming off a nice season. NIU will look to run away with this early, but if Duke can hang around they could make  push for the game late and send the Huskies home with their tail in between their legs.

Cactus Bowl: Kansas State Wildcats vs. UCLA Bruins

My Pick: UCLA Zach’s Pick: UCLA Will’s Pick: Kansas State Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Kansas State

Result: Kansas State 35 UCLA 17

Both of these teams had high hopes on the season, but came up well short of their lofty goals. Quarterback Josh Rosen of UCLA will look to boost his draft resume against the Wildcats. Rosen is projected to be drafted early on this year and could be the first quarterback off of the board and this game is his last opportunity to impress the organizations looking for a franchise quarterback that he is the best in the class.

Walk-on’s Independent Bowl: Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs. Florida State Seminoles

My Pick: Florida State Zach’s Pick: Florida State Will’s Pick: Florida State Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Florida State

Result: Southern Mississippi 13 Florida State 42

Florida State opened up the season ranked #3. Now they find themselves barely bowl eligible in the Independent Bowl matched up against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. This is a brutal placement considering they were considered a preseason favorite to possibly win the championship. The Seminoles come out with what little pride they have left and take on the Golden Eagles in an attempt to end this disastrous season with a win.

New Era Pinstripes Bowl: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Boston College Eagles

My Pick: Iowa Zach’s Pick: Boston College Will’s Pick: Iowa Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Iowa

Result: Iowa 27 Boston College 20

Yankee Stadium will feature the incredible offensive heroics of Aaron Judge and newly acquired Giancarlo Stanton all next MLB season, but the next game played there will feature on of the best defensive players in the country. Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson has been a star for this defense and will look to stifle the passing attack of Boston College.

Foster Farms Bowl: Arizona Wildcats vs. Purdue Boilermakers

My Pick: Arizona Zach’s Pick: Arizona Will’s Pick: Arizona Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Arizona

Result: Arizona 35 Purdue 38

One of the most underappreciated stars of this season has been sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate for the Arizona Wildcats. While his passing statistics look mediocre at best at first glance, (1289 passing yards 9 TD’s and 8 INT’s) his rushing stats are incredible. He rushed for over 1300 yards and 12 TD’s all while averaging 10.2 yards per carry. He is a dark horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy next season and will have a chance to showcase his abilities against Purdue.

Academy Sports and Outdoors Texas Bowl: Texas Longhorns vs. Missouri Tigers

My Pick: Missouri Zach’s Pick: Texas Will’s Pick: Texas Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Texas

Result: Texas 33 Missouri 16

First year head coach Tom Herman is hyped up to be the savior of Texas football and is expected to return the Longhorns back to their winning ways. While some fans still yearn for the days of Colt McCoy and national title hopes, Herman has given many hope for the future. As seen by this year the turn around will not be immediate, but Herman has made some clear strides in the right direction. This game will test Herman’s ability to rally the troops at the end of the season and a big win would reassure fans that the university made the right hire.

Military Bowl: Virginia Cavaliers vs. Navy Midshipmen

My Pick: Virginia Zach’s Pick: Virginia Will’s Pick: Navy Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Navy

Result: Virginia 7 Navy 49

The Military Bowl will pit two 6-6 teams against each other to battle it out for the pride of having a record above .500. While both teams will be motivated and fired up for pride’s sake, that is about all that matters in this game. With a lack of drama or high-level draft prospects, this game could be one of the more forgettable games of this years bowl season.

Camping World Bowl: #22 Virginia Tech Hokies vs. #19 Oklahoma State Cowboys

My Pick: Oklahoma State Zach’s Pick: Oklahoma State Will’s Pick: Oklahoma State Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Virginia Tech

Result: Virginia Tech 21 Oklahoma State 30

Quarterback Mason Rudolph and runningback Justice Hill lead the electric offense of the Cowboys against the Hokies staunch defense. With so many good games this bowl season, this is one of the most intriguing. This game could come down to a few clutch plays by either team and should be an entertaining one. The Camping World Bowl could conceivably be the best bowl game of the year.

Valero Alamo Bowl: #13 Stanford Cardinal vs. #15 TCU Horned Frogs

My Pick: TCU Zach’s Pick: Stanford Will’s Pick: TCU Ms. Hurt’s Pick: TCU

Result: Stanford 37 TCU 39

Another matchup of two talented ranked opponents will happen in the Valero Alamo Bowl. The Cardinal will face of against the Horned Frogs in a battle of two powerhouse programs that have had stellar seasons. The game could come down to TCU quarterback Kenny Hill’s ability to perform in the clutch as this game looks like it should be close.

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: #18 Washington State Cougars vs. #16 Michigan State Spartans

My Pick: Washington State Zach’s Pick: Michigan State Will’s Pick: Michigan State Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Michigan State

Result: Washington State 17 Michigan State 42

The Holiday bowl will pit Washington State’s star quarterback Luke Falk against the big uglies featured on Michigan State’s defense. This game looks to be a battle at the line and the x-factor will be the offensive line of Washington State. If they can hold that line and give Falk some time in the pocket, the Cougars should come away victorious. If they cannot, the Spartans will feast with a ton of sacks and come away with a win to end the season.

Belk Bowl: Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Texas A&M Aggies

My Pick: Texas A&M Zach’s Pick:Texas A&M Will’s Pick: Texas A&M Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Wake Forest

Result: Wake Forest 55 Texas A&M 52

It is difficult to find what was good about Texas A&M’s season. The university clearly agreed as head coach Kevin Sumlin is out the door and former Florida State head coach Jimbo Fischer will be taking over. This game will give the young guys that will be coming back next year a chance to impress their new coach and step up as the leaders for the next year. Wake will look to get a big win against an SEC opponent after a solid season for a program that seems to be trending in the right direction.

Hyundai Sun Bowl: #24 NC State Wolfpack vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

My Pick: NC State Zach’s Pick: NC State Will’s Pick: NC State Ms. Hurt’s Pick: NC State

Result: NC State 52 Arizona State 31

This game is all about one player, NC  State defensive end Bradley Chubb. The senior end that has terrorized opposing offenses all year long will look t0 boost his draft resume even more with a solid performance in the Sun Bowl. Chubb stands to make alot of money this coming draft and is a possible candidate for the first overall pick, depending on which team owns it. This game is all about him and he should be enough to give the Wolfpack a win.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Kentucky Wildcats vs. #21 Northwestern Wildcats

My Pick: Northwestern Zach’s Pick: Northwestern Will’s Pick: Northwestern Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Northwestern

Result: Kentucky 23 Northwestern 24

Not all Wildcats are created equal. This bowl game should prove that as the talent disparity between Northwestern and Kentucky seems to be too great to overcome. Kentucky fans cannot be too upset however considering the state of their basketball program, but they might want to catch a basketball game because this game could get ugly.

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl: New Mexico State Aggies vs. Utah State Aggies

My Pick: Utah State Zach’s Pick: New Mexico State Will’s Pick: New Mexico State Ms Hurt’s Pick: Utah State

Result: New Mexico State 26 Utah State 20

Another battle of the same mascots, the Aggies of New Mexico State will take on the Aggies of Utah State in the Arizona Bowl. This is also another battle of 6-6 teams and could be a close game, but it is lacking in talent and intrigue. This game seems like one that will be forgotten as soon as the next game kicks off.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: #8 USC Trojans vs. #5 Ohio State Buckeyes

My Pick: Ohio State Zach’s Pick: USC Will’s Pick: Ohio State Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Ohio State

Result: USC 7 Ohio State 24

Ohio State fans may feel gypped by the playoff committee by being excluded from the top four despite winning the conference, they did get blown out by Iowa. For this reason they are lucky to even be in the Cotton Bowl and will face off against top quarterback prospect Sam Darnold of USC.  Darnold will look to make his case to be not only the first quarterback taken, but also be given the honor and financial benefits that come along with being selected first in the NFL draft. Ohio State’s JT Barrett and JK Dobbins will try to keep pace with the passing attack of USC and this game could become a shootout. The Cotton Bowl has hosted some incredible games and this one is poised to keep up that legacy.

Taxslayer Bowl: Louisville Cardinals vs. #23 Mississippi State Bulldogs

My Pick: Louisville Zach’s Pick: Mississippi State Will’s Pick: Louisville Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Louisville

Result: Louisville 27 Mississippi 31

Former Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson looks to end his season with a bowl win against a ranked SEC opponent, something that he could not do last year in the Outback Bowl. This time he will face Mississippi State who will be without their unquestioned leader, quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald suffered a gruesome leg injury in the Egg Bowl against rival Ole Miss a few weeks ago and will not be able to play. Without Fitzgerald the Bulldogs looked lost against Ole Miss and they have their work cut out for them if they want to come away from the Taxslayer Bowl with a win.

Autozone Liberty Bowl: Iowa State Cyclones vs. #20 Memphis Tigers

My Pick: Memphis Zach’s Pick: Iowa State Will’s Pick: Memphis Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Memphis

Result: Iowa State 21 Memphis 20

Memphis is another American conference team that has had a stellar season and ended the season ranked in the top 25. They suffered only two losses on the year, both of which came against undefeated UCF. They will take on Iowa State in their home stadium at the Liberty Bowl and looked poised to come away victorious. This game will depend on Iowa State’s inconsistent play. They have huge wins against Oklahoma and TCU, but they also have losses to Texas ans Kansas State. The game could be close or a blowout, but the consistent play of Memphis combined with their home-field advantage should give Memphis the edge.

Playstation Fiesta Bowl: #11 Washington Huskies vs. #9 Penn State Nittany Lions

My Pick: Washington Zach’s Pick: Penn State Will’s Pick: Penn State Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Penn State

Result: Washington 28 Penn State 35

This game features several big time NFL prospects who will look to impress during this game. While both teams have several play makers, but this game will come down to the two clear offensive leaders of the teams, quarterback Jake Browning for Washington and running back Saquon Barkley for Penn State. These big time NFL prospects will look to mot only boost their draft stock, but to also cap off their college careers with a Fiesta Bowl victory.

Capital One Orange Bowl: #6 Wisconsin Badgers vs. #10 Miami Hurricanes

My Pick: Wisconsin Zach’s Pick: Wisconsin Will’s Pick: Wisconsin Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Wisconsin

Result: Wisconsin 34 Miami 24

Had championship weekend gone a little differently, this matchup could have been a CFP semifinal game, but as it stands these two teams will face off in the Orange Bowl. Mark Richt and the Miami Hurricanes will look to rebound after a blowout loss to Clemson and Wisconsin will look to notch their thirteenth win of the season. This battle of the runner-up’s in an intriguing matchup and could be one of the best bowl games of the year.

Outback Bowl: Michigan Wolverines vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

My Pick: Michigan Zach’s Pick: Michigan Will’s Pick: Michigan Ms. Hurt’s Pick: South Carolina

Result: Michigan 19 South Carolina 26

The last time Michigan and South Carolina met in the Outback Bowl Jadeveon Clowney sent Michigan’s running back’s helmet flying in what was widely considered the play of that season. Years later, Clowney is now a Texan and South Carolina does not have nearly as much talent as they did then. The outspoken head coach of Michigan Jim Harbaugh will be fighting for his job in this game after a disappointing season and attempt to give the university a reason to give him another year to lead the Wolverines.

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl: #12 UCF Knights vs. #7 Auburn Tigers

My Pick: Auburn Zach’s Pick: Auburn Will’s Pick: Auburn Ms. Hurt’s Pick: UCF

Result: UCF 34 Auburn 27

Undefeated UCF will put it’s record on the line against the team that took down two teams ranked number one. Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson will be a big factor in this game and if Jarrett Stidham can get the passing game going, Auburn will be able to put up tons of points against the Knights. UCF will try to prove that their undefeated schedule should have earned them a place in the top four by beating a top tier SEC program, but they have a tough task ahead of them.

Citrus Bowl: #14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. #17 LSU Tigers

My Pick: LSU Zach’s Pick: Notre Dame Will’s Pick: LSU Ms. Hurt’s Pick: LSU

Result: Notre Dame 21 LSU 17

The 2014 Music City Bowl came down to a game-winning field goal to lift the Fighting Irish over the Tigers of LSU. 3 years later they meet again, this time in the Citrus Bowl. Top NFL prospects will be featured on both sides of the ball for the Tigers, headlined by running back Derrius Guice and outside linebacker Arden Key. These Tigers will look to be go out with a win, but standing in their way is Notre Dame. Led by running back Josh Adams, the Fighting Irish will come out with  vengeance, seeking to send the Tigers back to Baton Rouge with another loss. This game features one of the most interesting matchups of NFL prospects, with Arden Key lining up against Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey for most of the game. This individual matchup is one of several factors that could make this Citrus Bowl one for the ages.

Rose Bowl: #3 Georgia Bulldogs vs. #2 Oklahoma Sooners

My Pick: Oklahoma Zach’s Pick: Oklahoma Will’s Pick: Oklahoma Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Oklahoma

Result: Georgia 54 Oklahoma 48

The long awaited College Football Playoff will kick off in Pasadena, where the Georgia Bulldogs will face off against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Rose Bowl. With the winner advancing to the national championship game, the stakes could not be higher for both of these teams. Fresh off of winning the Heisman Trophy, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield leads the offensive attack for Oklahoma after their incredible season, marred only by a singular loss to Iowa State. The Sooners will look to put up points in a hurry and stifle the Dawg’s stellar defense early. Linebacker Roquan Smith will lead the Dawg’s defense hoping to send the cocky Heisman winner and the rest of his team home early. True freshman quarterback Jake Fromm will look to prove that a 19 year old can lead a national championship team, and he should have enough time in the pocket to do so given the offensive lone and halfbacks he has been blessed with. This game will come down to whether the Dawg’s defense can stop Baker Mayfield from running up the score and if the Georgia offense is able to keep up. Running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel will be essential to the offense for Georgia to come away with a victory, while Oklahoma’s hopes rest on the load-mouthed quarterback that they have relied on all season.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: #4 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #1 Clemson Tigers

My Pick: Alabama Zach’s Pick: Clemson Will’s Pick: Clemson Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Clemson

Result: Alabama 24 Clemson 6

The Sugar Bowl features a rematch of the last two national championships and fans can only hope that part three will be as exciting as the first two. The Clemson Tigers have had a great season that is blemished by a singular embarrassing loss to Syracuse. They have objectively the best defensive line in the country headlined by star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. This line will look to feast against a battered Alabama offensive line that has been plagued by injuries. On the offensive side of the ball, the Tigers are talented, but inexperienced. They will have to rely on first year quarterback Kelly Bryant and true freshman running back Travis Etienne to give them the offensive firepower to match up against Alabama’s defense. That defense will be led by arguably the best defensive player in college football, winner of the Jim Thorpe and Chuck Bednerick awards, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is the clear leader of this years installment of Alabama’s famed defense and will need to be a factor in both defending the pass and the run for the Tide to slow down Clemson’s offense. The Alabama offense features several players that took snaps in last years national championship. The combination of quarterback Jalen Hurts, running backs Damien Harris and Bo Scarborough, and wide receiver Calvin Ridley will look to get their revenge against the Tigers. Other young talents will look to make their own legacy as a member of the Tide, such as highly touted recruit Najee Harris. Nick Satan will bring out his Tide against Dabo Sweeney for third year in a row and this game has all the makings of being just as exciting as the last two.

National Championship Game Predictions

My Pick: Alabama over Oklahoma


Zach’s Pick: Clemson Over Oklahoma


Will’s Pick: Clemson over Oklahoma

Ms. Hurt’s Pick: Clemson over Oklahoma

Result: Alabama 26 Georgia 23

Final Competition Scores

Nate Shirley (Me)- 19

Zach Kontenakos- 21

Will Tipton- 22

Ms. Hurt- 24

Congratulations to Ms. Hurt on winning the 2017-2018 Capital One Bowl Mania AMHS Newspaper Challenge.

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