December 27 College Bowl Picks: Military, Sun, Independence, and Holiday Bowls

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Nov 1, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya (15) throws a pass against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

December 27 College Bowl Picks: Independence Bowl

Miami (-3.5) vs. South Carolina | Shreveport, LA | 3:30pm ET (ABC)

Boston College fans should be familiar with this bowl. Thankfully, we have all moved on from Shreveport, but Miami and South Carolina have no choice.

In a way, this is one of the most depressing bowl games out of the whole lot. Both teams went 6-6 on the season, and both teams expected way more. In the preseason, South Carolina was ranked ninth in the nation, and Miami was picked to win the ACC Coastal by the media. The Gamecocks and Hurricanes were supposed to contend to win their conferences, but neither came even close to happening.

I would not be surprised to see the results reflecting the collective disappointment of both teams.

Otherwise, the pitfall for Miami here is that they enter this game on a three-game losing streak, while South Carolina was only ever hot this season for a brief period in September — and no, beating South Alabama to get bowl-eligible is not a big deal. Well, maybe for this Gamecocks team it is.

Miami’s quarterback, Brad Kaaya, has been a pleasant surprise this year as a freshman. In his first year, he threw 25 touchdown passes and will eclipse 3,000 yards in the bowl game. South Carolina was led by Dylan Thompson with 24 touchdown passes, but almost 3,300 yards already.

South Carolina would appear to have the better offense and worse defense. Kaaya and the ‘Canes have wrecked the lesser defenses they have faced, meaning they should be able to keep up with whatever the Head Ball Coach can throw at them on offense. Give Miami the edge here in what could be a high-scoring game.

Miami -3.5

Next: Holiday Bowl