In recent years, the only college football bowls that were after the major players on New Year's Day were second and third tier bowls featuring Group of 5 teams.
Not in 2016.
On Jan. 2, four bowl games between Power 5 conference teams will be played, giving us a 10-game slate of outstanding matchups to kick off the new year. With games that good, we are bound to have some outrageous occurrences.
Here are my outrageous college football predictions for the January bowl games.
Florida and Michigan won't score 28 points together
Florida's offense is average at best. Michigan's is not much better. Both defenses are among the best in the land. The biggest plays in this game will come on special teams. The over/under for this one is hovering around 38.5. I'll take the under on that every day of the week and twice on Sunday. If you like defense, this is your game.
Chad Kelly and Mason Rudolph will combine for 10 touchdown passes in the Sugar Bowl
These two quarterbacks like to sling it. The game means nothing. They are playing on turf. These teams aren't here to play football, they're here to party and put on a show. Defense is the last thing on either team's mind. When I say 10 touchdowns, I might even be low-balling it. If you like offense, this is your game.
Iowa routes Stanford in the Rose Bowl
I've watched enough of Stanford this season to know that there is nothing the Cardinal do on either side of the ball that's good enough to hang with an Iowa team that was one length of a football from playing in the College Football Playoff. Stanford allowed nearly 147 yards a game on the ground in a conference known for throwing the ball. You think the Cardinal have a chance at slowing down Iowa's running game? In the meantime, Iowa allowed less than 120 yards per game on the ground. Iowa has a blowout win over Northwestern, the team that dealt Stanford the first of its two losses on the year. The Hawkeyes were able to bottle up Michigan State's skill players, a group that is collectively much more talented than what the Cardinal bring to the table. This one won't be close, and to borrow a slogan from a good friend "Hawks by a million!"
Ohio State blows out Notre Dame
I've seen Notre Dame up close and personal. I remember thinking that any team with both talent at the skill position and a physical style of play would be able to easily dispense of the Fighting Irish. Stanford was physical. Clemson had talent at the skill positions. Both beat the Irish. Ohio State is as talented as Clemson and as physical as Stanford. The Buckeyes also have been reading and listening to pundits talk about their supposed lack of motivation for this game, due to the disappointment of not being able to defend their national title and the fact that so many players are headed to the NFL Draft. Do not underestimate the competitive spirit of an Urban Meyer team. Notre Dame is in trouble.
The SEC goes 0-5 on New Year's Day and Jan. 2
Northwestern is going to punch Tennessee in the mouth with tough defense and a heavy dose of Justin Jackson. Florida, as previously mentioned, is going to struggle to score any points. Ole Miss is going to lose a shootout with Oklahoma State thanks to instability and a lack of any real desire to be in the game. There's no way Bret Bielema out-prepares Bill Snyder and Georgia will be a mess against Penn State, due to its untimely coaching transition. Not a good bowl season for the SEC.