College Football Bowl season is here! Three glorious weeks during the winter where 82 of the nation’s top colligate programs play for 42 titles. With 41 Bowl games in play, which college football bowl games are ripe for upsets? Keep reading for my 2016-17 college football bowl game upset picks.
2016-17 College Football Bowl Game Upset Picks
Will Northwestern take down #23 Pittsburgh as a dog in the Pinstripe Bowl? What’s going to happen when underdog #11 Florida State battles #6 Michigan in the Orange Bowl? Who has the upper hand in the 2017 Sugar Bowl when favored #7 Oklahoma battles tough #14 Auburn?
What: Pinstripe Bowl
Who: #23 Pittsburgh vs Northwestern
When: Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 2:00 pm ET
Where: Yankee Stadium, New York, NY
Odds: Northwestern +3
Analysis: Pittsburgh showed flashes of being one of the best teams in the nation during the regular season. They beat 5 Penn State 42 to 39 on Sept. 10. They beat 2 Clemson 43 to 42 on Nov. 12. But in both of those games Pittsburgh faced high-scoring teams whose defenses played well below how they’re capable of playing.
Northwestern has progressed nicely from being a bad team to being a decent team to almost upsetting Ohio State in a 20 to 24 loss and sticking with Wisconsin in a 7 to 21 loss later on in the season. I like how Northwestern has progressed while I believe that Pitt’s only chance of winning this game straight up is by outscoring the Wildcats.
My money is going to be on the team with the better defense. That’s the Northwestern Wildcats.
College Football Bowl Game Upset Pick: Northwestern
What: Orange Bowl
Who: #11 Florida State vs #6 Michigan
When: Friday, Dec. 30 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
Odds: Florida State +7
Analysis: Sure, Michigan barely lost to Ohio State and Penn State won the Big Ten, a team that Michigan beat. But to me, Florida State has a pattern very much like Northwestern’s in the sense that the Seminoles got better as the regular season wore on.
Florida State won 6 out of its final 7 regular season games. The Seminoles only loss was to Clemson 34 to 37. FSU could have won that game. Florida State beat SEC Championship Runner-up Florida 31 to 13 on Nov. 26.
That was a good enough win for me to say that the Seminoles, in what amounts to a home game in the Orange Bowl, is a solid play on both the moneyline and against the spread versus Michigan.
College Football Bowl Game Upset Pick: Florida State
What: Sugar Bowl
Who: #14 Auburn vs #7 Oklahoma
When: Monday, Jan. 2 at 8:30 pm ET
Where: Mercedes-Benz Super Dome, New Orleans, LA
Odds: Auburn +5.5
Analysis: So far, football handicappers are all over the Sooners. I’m confused as to why. Auburn did lose 12 to 30 to Alabama in the Iron Bowl. But there are very few teams that have kept it close against Alabama this season. Auburn’s defense, as the regular season continued, become one of the better units in the entire SEC.
Not only that, but Auburn’s offense improved as well. QB Sean White and defensive backs Joshua Holsey and Jonathan Ford should be healthy for the Sugar Bowl. I’m all over the Tigers at those odds versus the Sooners. I just don’t feel that Oklahoma played against tough enough teams in the Big 12 to stick with Auburn.
Auburn should win straight up.