Easy Pick'ems: Bowl Edition

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MONDAY, DECEMBER 31
Iowa State (-1) v. Tulsa

If you disdain rematches, this one is designed to bring sadness as we already played the game once this year – a two touchdown triumph by the Cyclones. Tulsa turned around and won the Conference USA title, but failed to show up against the better teams on its schedule. The Golden Hurricane also lost to an awful Arkansas team and a mediocre to decent SMU squad this year as well. Iowa State kicked off its season with a 38-23 win over Tulsa, and should be good for another win. Prediction: Iowa State 30, Tulsa 25

TUESDAY, JANUARY 1
Heart of Texas Bowl: Oklahoma State (-17) v. Purdue

The second of two games where a Big 12 team crushing a Big 10 is pretty much guaranteed, the one concern people have expressed over this game is the possibility of Oklahoma State playing disinterested football and failing to be as prepared as Purdue. The Boilermakers are the final 6-6 team from the Big 10 to be matched against a superior Big 12 opponent. The worst statistic about their record: Purdue went 3-5 in conference, and those three wins came against teams that combined for four conference wins. Oklahoma State has the talent to be a top 15 team. Even with a line of 17 points, they should still probably easily excede it. Prediction: Oklahoma State 45, Purdue 21

THURSDAY, JANUARY 3
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: #5 K-State v. #4 Oregon (-9)

While The Jug promises more previews to this game as January 3 approaches, here’s one interesting statistic to ponder: Oregon has converted 70 percent of its fourth down attempts, while the second best conversion percentage in the Pac 12 is UCLA at 57 percent. Sounds pretty good. K-State averages 71. The difference: Oregon has converted 19 on the year, K-State only five. Prediction: K-State 45, Oregon 41

FRIDAY, JANUARY 4
AT&T Cotton Bowl: #11 Oklahoma v. #9 Texas A&M (-4.5)

Oklahoma felt it deserved a place in a BCS game, and they have a decent argument given the inclusion of Louisville and Northern Illinois in the BCS match ups. However, the Cotton Bowl is the best non-BCS game every year and their match up with Big 12 expatriate Texas A&M has the makings of a thriller. Oklahoma’s Landry Jones was among the early Heisman candidates, but fell off early after Collin Klein and company went down to Norman and forced two turnovers by Jones. In the end, it was A&M’s ‘Johnny Football’ that came home with the trophy. Oklahoma gave up the second fewest passing yards in the conference, and should be able to handle anything Manziel throws their way. Expect one big return of at least 40 yards by the Sooners in this game. And an upset. And a classic. Prediction: Oklahoma 34, Texas A&M 31

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