The College Tailgate’s Bowl Pick ‘Em Special

With the graduation of Peter Fiorentino, a darkness fell across the land. Jamey Schilling was left without an opponent for his annual College Football Bowl Selection Article. Schilling searched far and wide for a worthy competitor to fill Fiorentino’s shoes, but came up empty. That is, until columnist Brad Dickson stepped in. Seemingly at the last possible moment, like the Bat Signal above a foggy Gotham City, hope was instilled in The College Tailgate’s readers. This year, Dickson and Schilling will battle, and settle once and for all who’s better at picking choices involving a 50/50 success rate. It’s exciting, it’s seasonal, it’s The College Tailgate’s Bowl Pick ‘Em Special!

Tally, as of January 1:

Brad: 19/41

Jamey: 22/41

Bowl Game Teams Playing Brad’s Pick Reasoning Jamey’s Pick Reasoning
AFR Celebration Bowl

(Dec. 17)

North Carolina Central vs. Grambling State North Carolina Central My pick is based mostly on Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow. Am I doing this right?


Grambling Grambling sounds just enough like ‘gambling’ to make me feel that picking them is the safe bet.
Gildan New Mexico Bowl

(Dec. 17)

UTSA vs. New Mexico New Mexico


I only have one rule: never pick against a team whose name is part of the bowl name.


New Mexico Ahh, the illustrious New Mexico Bowl, almost as highly touted as the Camellia Bowl. The Lobos win with home field advantage.
Las Vegas Bowl

(Dec. 17)

Houston vs. San Diego State Houston I chose Houston for two reasons. A). It’s a solid program and B). I had no idea San Diego State had a team.


San Diego State SDSU’s running back Donnel Pumphrey sounds like an autogenerated name from an NCAA football video game, which makes sense because he put up video game like numbers this year.
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl

(Dec. 17)

Appalachian State vs. Toledo Toledo I chose Toledo mostly because I’m trying to bring back the expression “Holy Toledo!” Your readers are too young to have heard of this.


Toledo I watched Toledo play countless, meaningless, Wednesday night games when I should have been doing homework. They seem good…I think?
AutoNation Cure Bowl

(Dec. 17)

UCF vs. Arkansas State Arkansas State It’s because of games like this that football will eventually be banned. UCF Go Golden Knights! Oh… not UCF, the new NHL expansion team Golden Knights.

Ahh the Golden Knights, the NHL’s new powerhouse. Oh…and UCF, I guess.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

(Dec. 17)

Southern Miss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Louisiana-Lafayette Louisiana-Lafayette by 13. Is that specific enough?  Louisiana-Lafayette Before taking the field, Lafayette will shred hot chocolate pouches of Southern Miss’ distant cousin, Swiss Miss, as intimidation.
Miami Beach Bowl

(Dec. 19)

Central Michigan vs. Tulsa Tulsa If Marquette ever starts a football program it could probably defeat either of these teams its first year. Central Michigan Both these teams are to college football, what getting underwear for Christmas is to a 12-year-old.
Marmot Boca Raton Bowl

(Dec. 20)

Western Kentucky vs. Memphis Memphis Elvis is buried in Memphis. ‘nuff said.


Western Kentucky Western Kentucky has a red blob of a mascot named Big Red. As a Nebraska fan, “Go (other) Big Red!”
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

(Dec. 21)

BYU vs. Wyoming Wyoming Have you noticed that nothing spoils the romance of bowl season more than seeing “Credit Union” in the title of a game? BYU Navy will wi… wait…why isn’t Navy here? Navy’s always in the Poinsettia Bowl.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

(Dec. 22)

Idaho vs. Colorado State Idaho See my earlier pick under Gildan New Mexico for explanation.  Idaho I have Idaho’s state flag in my apartment. I don’t know why, but I do.

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl

(Dec. 23)

Eastern Michigan vs. Old Dominion Eastern Michigan Old Dominion was in my Bottom 10 earlier this season.  Old Dominion Old Dominion is in Virginia. I was born in Virginia. That’s good enough for me.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

(Dec. 23)

Navy vs. Louisiana Tech Louisiana Tech I think this will be a one-sided affair won by Louisiana Tech in a rout. Oh, wait, I thought that read “Old Navy.” Well, I’m sticking with Tech. Navy I never pick against Navy during Bowl Season, and I don’t plan on starting this year. It’s still weird that they’re not in the Poinsettia Bowl…
Dollar General Bowl

(Dec. 23)

Troy vs. Ohio Troy I can’t wait until the 99 Cent Only Store sponsors a bowl. Ohio God, I’d hate to see the gift basket for this game…
Hawai’i Bowl

(Dec. 24)

Hawai’i vs. Middle Tennessee State Hawai’i Why are half these teams playing at home? Middle Tennessee State The Hawai’i Bowl, or as I call it, the “I’m watching this as my family gets ready for midnight mass Bowl.”
St. Petersburg Bowl

(Dec. 26)

Mississippi State vs. Miami (OH) Mississippi State St. Petersburg Bowl? I think it’s impressive that a city in Russia already hosts a bowl only a few weeks after Trump got elected.


Mississippi State A mediocre SEC team against a mediocre MAC team? Give me the mediocre SEC team any day of the week.

Mississippi State has fallen off a bit since they were the hosts of College Gameday in 2014.

Quick Lane Bowl

(Dec. 26)

Maryland vs. Boston College Maryland I don’t feel any pressure whatsoever here since there’s a 99 percent chance I’ll never even hear who wins this game. Boston College BC is a Jesuit school, so they’ll ensure that this game is Jesu-lit.
Camping World Independence Bowl

(Dec. 26)

NC State vs. Vanderbilt NC State How cool would it be if the teams at the Camping World Bowl were forced to stay in Winnebagos? Vanderbilt Fun fact, before their baseball team won the College World Series in 2014, Vandy’s only national title was in women’s bowling.
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl

(Dec. 27)

Army vs. North Texas Army Is someone actually going to keep score or is this like T-ball? Army My “never pick against Navy” rule also applies to the other service academies.

After a victory over Navy, the Army fans are ready for bowl season.

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman

(Dec. 27)

Temple vs. Wake Forest Temple We should make captured war criminals watch replays of this game until they talk.  Temple None of these teams are even sort of related to the military, why are they in this bowl?
National Funding Holiday Bowl

(Dec. 27)

Minnesota vs. Washington State Washington State I write for a newspaper that covers the Big Ten so out of loyalty I should pick the Big Ten school. I’m going with Washington State.


Washington State


Washington State only throws the ball, and completely disregards defense, I respect that.
Motel 6 Cactus Bowl

(Dec. 27)

Baylor vs. Boise State Baylor I had no idea the NCAA rules enforcers would be so draconian as to send Baylor to the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl. Boise State Given the prickly situation of the Baylor Scandal, it’s appropriate they ended up in the Cactus Bowl.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl

(Dec. 28)

Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern Pittsburgh I pick Pitt strictly due to the uniforms.


Northwestern I pick Northwestern strictly because my roommate Ryan likes them.
Russell Athletic Bowl

(Dec. 28)

Miami vs. West Virginia Miami The Miami program has a history of corruption. I can’t root against that. West Virginia I like Nebraska and Notre Dame. Both teams hate Miami. As a result, I can’t pick Miami.
Foster Farms Bowl

(Dec. 28)

Indiana vs. Utah Utah Utah is in the top 20 and Indiana barely cracked the top 20 teams in the Big Ten. Utah Like everyone else at Indiana, I’m guessing the Hoosier football team has turned their attention to basketball season as well.

Utah is a force to be reckoned with in bowl games. They’re never afraid to involve some trickery.

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl

(Dec. 28)

Texas A&M vs. Kansas State Kansas State K-State coach Bill Snyder is 102 and it would feel rude to choose against him around the holidays.


Texas A&M AdvoCare? More like WhoCares! Amirite? *crickets chirp* I’ll see myself out.
Birmingham Bowl

(Dec. 29)

South Carolina vs. South Florida Tie Two predictions:  the game will end in a rare tie, and, nobody will care. The Birmingham Bowl concession stand Fans will need something to take their mind off the trashy football being played in front of them, and overpriced nachos are just the answer.
Belk Bowl

(Dec. 29)

Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech Arkansas “Sooo-ieee!” and “Belk!” are both noises made by people summoning pigs. Virginia Tech If a Hokie can survive Thanksgiving, it can certainly survive a fight against a hog.
Valero Alamo Bowl

(Dec. 29)

Oklahoma State vs. Colorado


Colorado This is a rare matchup between a team in a state where recreational marijuana is legal and a state where possession is punishable by death. Colorado There’s more to do in Colorado than just ski and smoke weed! There’s… well… um… okay, I got nothing.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl

(Dec. 30)

Georgia vs. TCU TCU I’m anti-Uga.


Georgia I’m only picking Georgia because their running back’s last name is  Chubb, which the third grade sense of humor in me finds hysterical.
Hyundai Sun Bowl

(Dec. 30)

Stanford vs. North Carolina Stanford I like the guy dressed as a tree. Not sure if he’s some kind of mascot or just a weirdo. North Carolina I worked a Miley Cyrus concert where she was grinding on a tree that looked similar to the Stanford Tree mascot. You’ll have to forgive me if my opinion of tree mascots dwindled after that.
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

(Dec. 30)

Nebraska vs. Tennessee Nebraska Tell your parents to take out a second mortgage (from Franklin American) and bet it on the Huskers. Nebraska After your parents bet on the Huskers, tell them to invest in duct tape and WD-40, because that’s what’ll be needed to keep Husker QB Tommy Armstrong in one piece after all his injuries.
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl

(Dec. 30)

Air Force vs South Alabama Air Force Personal opinion: only military academy teams should carry the American flag into stadiums before games. You lose to Wake Forest by 40 you’re not allowed to do that.


Air Force My friend from Alabama told me South Alabama does the cheer “South in your mouth” at games, and I’ve not had any respect for the school since.
Capital One Orange Bowl

(Dec. 30)

Florida State vs. Michigan Michigan I pick Michigan because the coach is a lunatic like Woody Hayes, Gregg Popovich, Bill Belichick, Bo Pelini – well, I should’ve stopped on “Belichick.” Michigan At one point in my life I told someone “khakis are like sweatpants to me,” so I can’t pick against Harbaugh.

Jim Harbaugh, the “Khaki Master” himself.

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

(Dec. 31)

Louisville vs. LSU Louisville Louisville was in the national title hunt about 20 minutes ago.


Louisville It’s hard to win football games when your quarterback is awful at throwing the football. *cough cough LSU*
TaxSlayer Bowl

(Dec. 31)

Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky Kentucky Why did I choose Kentucky? Rock beats scissors. Or – does it?


Georgia Tech With a bee mascot, Georgia Tech has a certain buzz to them.
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl

(Dec. 31)

Alabama vs. Washington Alabama Incidentally I’d also pick the Alabama scout team to beat Washington. Alabama Besides scout teams, there’s also sufficient evidence to support that Alabama would beat Washington in basketball, hockey, soccer, and underwater basket weaving as well.
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

(Dec. 31)

Clemson vs. Ohio State Ohio State Power + speed + coach who’d run over his own grandma to win. Clemson Dabo Swinney annoys me, but somehow he’s delivered Clemson to two straight CFP berths. Good for him.
Outback Bowl

(Jan. 2)

Florida vs. Iowa Iowa If Kirk Ferentz’ team wins he probably gets, like, a million-dollar bonus so there’s motivation. Florida Remember when Iowa got blown out in their bowl game last year? I do.
 Goodyear Cotton Bowl

(Jan 2)

Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin Western Michigan This is a lot like that movie “Rudy” if he ended up in a bowl named for a tire company. Wisconsin Marquette played in the first ever Cotton Bowl. That’s not a lie, Google it. It’s irrelevant, but it’s true.
Rose Bowl

(Jan. 2)

Penn State vs. USC Penn State The Nittany Lions are playing PO’d and that’s always fun around Christmas. Penn State USC’s big win of the year was against an awful Notre Dame team, that’s the football equivalent of Brock Lesnar beating up a 2nd grader.
Allstate Sugar Bowl

(Jan 2)

Auburn vs. Oklahoma Oklahoma I’m pretty sure four or five Sooners could beat Usain Bolt in a foot race. Oklahoma “At 8-4, we’re not quite sure why we’re here either.”

-Auburn, probably

National Championship

(Jan. 9)

Bama/Wash. Vs. Clemson/OSU Alabama Did I mention this is the most writing I’ve ever done without getting paid? Alabama Did we mention we’re working on a compensation package that includes two meal swipes, a College Tailgate T-Shirt, and an old issue of the Marquette Tribune?


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