January 1 College Bowl Picks: Outback, Cotton, and Citrus Bowls


Happy new year, everybody. It’s time for more college football, and the January 1 college bowl picks. These involve the non-playoff games to take place on New Year’s Day: the Outback Bowl, Cotton Bowl, and Citrus Bowl.

Short and to-the-point seems to be working for us, as does the George Costanza Opposite Rule. We will continue to defy logic and pick the opposite team in hopes of being correct, just as George successfully did the inverse of everything expected of him socially and culturally. Clearly, we are not taking this very seriously.

Let’s have some fun, I suppose.

January 1 College Bowl Picks: Outback Bowl

Auburn (-6.5) vs. Wisconsin | Tampa, FL | 12pm ET (ESPN2)

Barry Alvarez is coming out of retirement more times than Brett Favre or Celine Dion. We already look forward to him coaching Wisconsin in the 2017 Citrus Bowl.

In this game, the Badgers face last year’s runners-up, the Auburn Tigers. Auburn soared into consideration through the midpoint of the season, and then they stumbled against Mississippi State. Then things got better again by beating Ole Miss, but A&M and Georgia set them back, and Alabama finished them off.

As for Wisconsin, they may have more wins, but their last game was a 59-0 disaster at the hands of Ohio State.

The conventional wisdom of the college football punditry would hold that eight wins in the SEC is better than ten wins in the Big Ten. Auburn did play a tough schedule.

Costanza Rule Opposite Pick: Wisconsin

January 1 College Bowl Picks: Cotton Bowl

Michigan State vs. Baylor (-2.5) | Arlington, TX | 12:30pm ET (ESPN)

Baylor is bringing the offense (48.8 points per game) while Michigan State is bringing both offense and defense (43.1, 19.9 respectively).

The Bears ended on a five-game win streak, and if it were not for their loss at West Virginia, they would probably be in the playoff right now. They have mashed up some of the best defenses around, but will Michigan State be any different? Sparty is capable of keeping up with Connor Cook, but Baylor might have just too much in their favor offensively.

Costanza Rule Opposite Pick: Michigan State

January 1 College Bowl Picks: Citrus Bowl

Missouri (-4.5) vs. Minnesota | Orlando, FL | 1pm ET (ABC)

Boston College Eagles
Boston College Eagles /

Boston College Eagles

Missouri won another ten games in the SEC this season, claiming the SEC East title in back-to-back seasons. Here, they face an overachieving Minnesota team that lost three of its last five games.

Neither one of these teams has a particularly great offense — Missouri’s passing game is below average and Minnesota’s is downright terrible, but the Gophers do have a talented rusher in David Cobb.

Both teams have had success defensively, winning those games when teams are scoring in the 20s and 30s. That’s the sort of game both these teams want this one to be, and that is probably what they will get.

Missouri is the higher-ranked team that had a slightly better season, which is giving them the edge here.

Costanza Rule Opposite Pick: Minnesota