Predictions 101 — Bowls

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It’s time to go bowling!

While our record during the season at Predictions 101 was far better than the .500 mark it takes to qualify for the postseason (unless you’re Georgia Tech at 6-7!?) the stakes are raised as the bowl season has arrived.

From the Alamo to the Sun — and some others with really bizarre names in between — we’ve got you covered here at CollegeFootballTalk.com with a look at all 35 (yikes!) bowl games.

BCS BOWLS
Championship (1/7): No. 2 Alabama 42, No. 1 Notre Dame 14 (WIN)
Fiesta (1/3): No. 5 Oregon 35, No. 7 Kansas State 17 (WIN)
Sugar (1/2): No. 22 Louisville 33, No. 4 Florida 23 (LOSS)
Orange (1/1):
No. 13 Florida State 31, No. 16 Northern Illinois 10 (WIN)
Rose (1/1):
No. 8 Stanford 20, Wisconsin 14 (WIN)

OTHER BOWLS
GoDaddy.com (1/6): Arkansas State 17, No. 25 Kent State 13 (LOSS)
BBVA Compass (1/5): Mississippi 38, Pittsburgh 17 (LOSS)
Cotton (1/4): No. 10 Texas A&M 41, No. 12 Oklahoma 13 (WIN)
Capital One (1/1):
No. 6 Georgia 45, No. 23 Nebraska 31 (WIN)
Outback (1/1): No. 11 South Carolina 33, No. 19 Michigan 28 (WIN)
Gator (1/1): No. 21 Northwestern 34, Mississippi State 20 (WIN)
Heart of Dallas (1/1): Oklahoma State 58, Purdue 14 (WIN)
Chick-fil-A (12/31):  No. 14 Clemson 25, No. 9 LSU 24 (LOSS)
Liberty (12/31): Tulsa 31, Iowa State 17 (WIN)
Sun (12/31): Georgia Tech 21, USC 7 (WIN)
Music City (12/31): Vanderbilt 38, North Carolina State 24 (WIN)
Buffalo Wild Wings (12/29): Michigan State 17, TCU 16 (LOSS)
Alamo (12/29): Texas 31, No. 15 Oregon State 27 (LOSS)
Pinstripe (12/29): Syracuse 38, West Virginia 14 (WIN)
Kraft Fight Hunger (12/29): Arizona State 62, Navy 28 (WIN)
Armed Forces (12/29): Rice 33, Air Force 14 (LOSS)
Meineke Car Care Bowl (12/28): Texas Tech 34, Minnesota 31 (WIN)
Russell Athletic (12/28): Virginia Tech 13, Rutgers 10, OT (WIN)
Independence (12/28): Ohio 45, Louisiana-Monroe (LOSS)
Holiday (12/27): Baylor 49, No. 17 UCLA 26 (LOSS)
Belk (12/27): Cincinnati 48, Duke 34 (WIN)
Military (12/27): No. 24 San Jose State 29, Bowling Green 20 (LOSS)
Little Caesars Pizza (12/26): Central Michigan 24, Western Kentucky 21 (LOSS)
Hawaii (12/24): SMU 43, Fresno State 10 (LOSS)
MAACO Las Vegas (12/22): No. 20 Boise State 28, Washington 26 (WIN)
New Orleans (12/22): Louisiana-Lafayette 43, East Carolina 34 (LOSS)
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s (12/21): Central Florida 38, Ball State 17 (LOSS)
Poinsettia (12/20): BYU 23, San Diego State 6 (WIN)
Famous Idaho Potato (12/15): No. 18 Utah State 41, Toledo 15 (WIN)
New Mexico (12/15): Arizona 49, Nevada 48 (WIN)

Bowl record (overall): 21-14

UConn AD gives Randy Edsall a vote of confidence

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UConn is 6-30 in the 2.0 tenure of Randy Edsall, having gone 3-9 in 2017, 1-11 last year and 2-10 this. The program reportedly also has more than a dozen players in the transfer portal.

Needless to say, it’s not a good time in the annals of Husky football, but it’s also not a good time to make a coaching change. The program is short on cash and in the midst of transitioning from the American to life as an FBS independent, and AD David Benedict has no plans to add another major change on top of that. As he told the AP on Sunday:

“I’m not saying that everyone has to share the same opinion or have the same level of confidence in Coach Edsall that I do, but he has to be given the time to build the program and you can’t do it in three years,” he said. “Ultimately over the next three years, we’ll hopefully see our program become more and more competitive.”

As far as votes of confidence go, this is about the least confident you’ll ever see an AD be when he backs his coach.

But at the same time, it’s also one of the most concrete. Whereas most ADs will commit to backing their coach through the end of that season and the one following at the absolute most, Benedict seems to indicate Edsall will not only be back in 2020, but 2021 and ’22 as well.

LSU opens as double-digit favorites on Oklahoma; Ohio State slight underdog to Clemson

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While definitely subject to change, the initial wagering odds for the degenerates in the reading audience are out.

Earlier Sunday, and in a surprise to absolutely no one, the four semifinalists for the 2019 College Football Playoff were released.  LSU was given the No. 1 seed by the selection committee and will face No. 4 Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl.  No. 2 Ohio State, which came into Championship Saturday ranked first in the country, will square off with No. 3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

According to the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, LSU is a 7/5 favorite to win the 2019 national championship.  Clemson is next at 2/1, while Ohio State sits at 3/1.  Oklahoma, which won its way into the playoffs at the expense of Georgia, is a decided underdog at 16/1.

Speaking of underdogs, the SEC Tigers are currently listed as a 12½-point favorite in their matchup with the Sooners.  Despite being the higher seed, the Buckeyes have opened as a two-point underdog to the ACC Tigers.

The over/under for Ohio State-Clemson opened at 63; for LSU-Oklahoma, it’s at 75.

LSU and Oklahoma have squared off just twice previously, with the most recent matchup coming in 2004.  Clemson and Ohio State have met three times in their collective histories, the most recent meeting coming in the 2016 College Football Playoff — a 31-0 win for the Tigers.

Arkansas confirms hiring of Georgia OL coach Sam Pittman as head coach

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When it came to replacing the fired Chad Morris, Arkansas, as it turned out, didn’t have to look outside of the SEC.

Sunday, with one of its top targets, Lane Kiffin, already having been locked up by SEC West rival Ole Miss, Arkansas reportedly pivoted its attention to Georgia’s Sam Pittman.  A few hours later, the Razorbacks confirmed that Pittman has been hired as the school’s next head football coach.

“Sam Pittman has been an integral part of successful teams that have competed at the highest levels, including for SEC and NCAA Championships,” UA athletic director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement. “As one of the nation’s premier offensive line coaches, he has built a remarkable body of work thanks to his tremendous passion for his student-athletes, including teaching the fundamentals and developing his players on and off the field. Sam instills in his players the motivation, grit and determination required to compete and win. Throughout this process, I heard from many of his former players about the tremendous influence he had on them as a player and as a man.

“Sam knows the Southeastern Conference inside and out and is one of the nation’s best recruiters. His connections throughout football will enable him to build a quality coaching staff. In his previous tenure, Sam and his wife Jamie fell in love with the state of Arkansas and with Razorback fans. They know what a special place this is and are excited for the opportunity to come back to the Home of the Razorbacks.”

The hiring marks a return to Fayetteville for Pittman as he was a member of Bret Bielema‘s first coaching staff in 2013. In 2016, he left for Georgia, where he spent the past four seasons as the Bulldogs’ offensive line coach.  He also served as Kirby Smart‘s associate head coach.

The 58-year-old Pittman will be officially introduced as the Razorbacks’ 34th head coach Monday afternoon.

Mizzou zeroing in on Eli Drinkwitz as next head coach

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Once again, it appears a Power Five program will pilfer a Group of Five school for its next head football coach.

Sunday afternoon, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported that Applachian State’s Eli Drinkwitz “has emerged as a strong candidate” for the vacancy at Missouri.  Subsequent to that, ESPN.com reported that “Drinkwitz has reached an agreement to become Missouri’s next head football coach and a deal is being finalized.”

An official announcement of Drinkwitz becoming the permanent replacement for Barry Odom, who was fired late last month after four seasons at his alma mater, is expected no later than Monday.

The 36-year-old Drinkwitz is in his first season as the head coach of the Mountaineers, his first head-coaching job at any level of football.  App State stands at 12-1 on the season after claiming its second-straight Sun Belt Conference championship Saturday with a win over Louisiana.

Dec. 21, App State will face UAB in the New Orleans Bowl.