2016 Outback Bowl, Citrus Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl Previews

December 31, 2015
By K. Becks

I’d like to wish an early Happy New Year to everyone, as I won’t be around to post anything until at the earliest late on New Year’s Day.

2015 has been another fantastic year for Around The Corn and me personally, and hopefully the same can be said for all of you reading.

We’ll take a very abbreviated look at the games being played January 1, since I have plans and I’m sure that very few people are going to read this anyway.

I hope that everyone has a very safe and happy evening, and I look forward to providing more coverage next year!

Outback Bowl

#13 Northwestern vs. #23 Tennessee (Friday, 12 PM ET – ESPN2)

Both conferences have looked strong this bowl season, but this is the first head-to-head matchup between the Big Ten and SEC. Northwestern’s offense is as anemic as they come, but in a game that will be tight for its entirety I like the team in purple to make big plays when it counts. I have Northwestern in a tight one for 30 points.

My Pick: 24-20 Northwestern

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

#19 Florida vs. #14 Michigan (Friday, 1 PM ET – ABC)

It’s good to see these teams back in a January bowl game against each other. Both teams get things done on the defensive end, with inconsistency on offense serving as the main reason neither one of these programs could stay inside the Top 10 for any length of time. I have Michigan in a close one for 16 points because Coach Harbaugh likely has been riding his guys all month and will have them prepared to play well.

My Pick: 28-24 Michigan

BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl

#8 Notre Dame vs. #7 Ohio State (Friday, 1 PM ET – ESPN)

There will be future NFL bodies all over the field in this one, which is reason in itself to watch this game. One has to wonder whether Ohio State really wants to be in Glendale, having set its sights on a return trip to the playoff. Although focus may be an issue to start, I believe that Ohio State is a superior football team to Notre Dame this year and will win anyway. It might not be pretty, but I have the Buckeyes for a healthy 39 points.

My Pick: 34-23 Ohio State

Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual

#5 Iowa vs. #6 Stanford (Friday, 5 PM ET – ESPN)

The Granddaddy of Them All did pretty well this year, getting two teams with strong defenses and power running games to square off against each other. Christian McCaffery will make one final audition before likely becoming the early-early favorite for next year’s Heisman Trophy, but Iowa won’t lay down for anyone. I think that the Hawkeyes match up well against the Cardinal here and will assert the Big Ten as superior to the Pac-12 in the game between one of each conference’s best. I have Iowa for 9 points, and Kirk Ferentz for a $9 million raise.

My Pick: 24-21 Iowa

Allstate Sugar Bowl

#12 Mississippi vs. #16 Oklahoma State (Friday, 8:30 PM ET – ESPN)

In what has become somewhat of the “forgotten” New Year’s Six bowls, the Rebels and Cowboys will duel offensively until one defense can no longer stand. Oklahoma State has done well in these type of battles this season, but when Mississippi wants to play well it usually does. I have the Rebels for 33 points in Bowl Mania, but keep in mind that this one is very difficult to call.

My Pick: 41-35 Mississippi

If you’d like to share your opinion on Around The Corn for any of the upcoming bowls, shoot me an email with your thoughts and prediction to kbecks@aroundthecorn.com. You can also like Around The Corn’s Facebook page or send me a tweet @KBecks_ATC. As long as you send your thoughts at least two days before the game is to be played, I can assure you that your thoughts will show up in an article.

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