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The Goldin Guarantees: Bowl Games 12/26-12/30

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Part two of our breakdown of all the bowl games this season

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back! So, you finished Christmas and now ESPN gives you their gift. Some decent games with big schools to tie you over until New Years Eve and New Years day. These games should be pretty fun to watch.

12/26

Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl-Illinois vs Louisiana Tech (-6, o/u 58) @ The Cotton Bowl (Dallas) 1:00 (ESPN)

A company founded and headquartered in Georgia sponsors a bowl in Texas. Yep, that sounds about right. I would be exponentially more interested in this game if Zaxby's gave a way free food depending on the winners like the Outback bowl does. Or if the trophy was a big bowl of Zax Sauce. That's what makes it. Man, I want some Zaxby's now. Oh, yeah, the actual game. Illinois is a mess that scraped together 6 wins. La Tech is the CUSA West champ and gave Marshall a run for their money. I like the Dogs in this one. The Goldin Guarantee: La Tech 31 Illinois 24

Quick Lane Bowl- Rutgers vs North Carolina (-3, o/u 66.5) @ Ford Field (Detroit) 4:30 (ESPN)

Carolina can put some points on the board, but closed out the year getting stomped by NC State. Marquise Williams threw for over 2000 yards and ran for over 700. Rutgers finished with a 3-5 record in their first year in the Big 10. This would be a bad loss for the ACC if the Tar Heels couldn't get it done. The Goldin Guarantee: UNC 34 Rutgers 28

Bitcoin St Petersburg Bowl- NC State vs UCF (-1.5, o/u 49.5) @ Tropicana Field (St Petersburg) 8:00 (ESPN)

The Knights take on a NC State squad that didn't have a big win during the year, but looked impressive in their final game against UNC. UCF's defense is the 9th best in points allowed, while NC State's offense has looked less than impressive at times this year. The Goldin Guarantee: UCF 27 NC State 9

12/27

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Gruman- Cincinnati (-3, o/u 51) vs Virginia Tech @ Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Annapolis, MD) 1:00 (ESPN)

The Hokies limp into Annapolis with a 6-6 record in a season that started with so much promise. The Hokies beat Ohio State (yep, the one that's in the playoffs) in Columbus, and followed that up by dropping a home contest to East Carolina. The low point was their 6-3 overtime loss to Wake Forest, which was dubbed one of the worst games in recent history, yet would've been branded a "classic defensive struggle" had these been two SEC teams. The Hokies finished the year by winning their 10th in a row over Virginia. Both teams are 1-2 against common opponents, as Cincy defeated ECU but lost to Ohio State and Miami. The Hokies also lost to Miami. The Goldin Guarantee: VT 28 Cincy 27

Hyundai Sun Bowl- Duke vs Arizona State (-7.5, o/u 65) @ Sun Bowl (El Paso, TX) 2:00 (CBS)

A battle of the devils out in El Paso features the 15th ranked Arizona State squad against a 9-3 Duke team that barely missed out on a second straight ACC Championship Game appearance. The Sun Devils had some solid wins against some top 25 teams, and will have more of a home field advantage being closer than Duke. The Goldin Guarantee: Arizona St 27 Duke 20

Duck Commander Independence Bowl- Miami (-3.5, o/u 61) vs South Carolina @ Independence Stadium (Shreveport, LA) 3:30 (ABC)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Remember when Sakerlina was ranked #9 to start this season? There a long way from that as they stumble into the Duck Dynasty Bowl. The Chickens are still reeling from 35-17 as they take on the U in Shreveport. The Canes finished on a three-game skid to end up with a 6-6 record. This one will be ugly, and there probably won't be too much defense. The Goldin Guarantee: Miami 41 South Carolina 38

New Era Pinstripe Bowl- Boston College (-2.5, o/u 40) vs Penn State @ Yankee Stadium (New York) 4:30 (ESPN)

A team from Boston takes on a blue and white team with a big national following in Yankee Stadium. No, the Red Sox aren't playing the Yankees, it's Boston College and Penn State. This should be a low scoring, defensive slugfest, as both these teams have great scoring defenses. The Goldin Guarantee: BC 17 Penn St 13

National University Holiday Bowl- Nebraska vs USC (-7, o/u 62) @ Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego) 8:00 (ESPN)

Ameer Abdullah leads to Huskers in a battle against the Trojans in a bowl game that has produced some classics. Cody Kessler leads SoCal's attack against the Blackshirts, that have given up some points this year. Expect Nebraska to give USC all they can handle, and maybe pull out the upset. The Goldin Guarante: Nebraska 34 USC 30

12/29

Autozone Liberty Bowl- Texas A&M vs West Virginia (-3.5, o/u 67) @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (Memphis) 2:00 (ESPN)

Two evenly matched teams line up in Memphis to start us off on this Monday. Both teams finished with a 7-5 record, but the Mountaineers notched 5 conference wins while the Aggies only could muster 3 wins in SEC play. Both have losses to Alabama, although A&M's 59-0 beatdown was much worse than WVU's 10 point loss to the Tide in Atlanta. West Virginia ruined Baylor's perfect season and playoff chances, while A&M knocked off Auburn. The Aggies have looked great at times, but have stumbled at other times. The Goldin Guarantee: West Virginia 42 Texac A&M 28

Russell Athletic Bowl-Oklahoma (-3.5, o/u 53) vs Clemson @ Florida Citrus Bowl (Orlando) 5:30 (ESPN)

Coach V leads his shutdown defense into a matchup with his old school, the Sooners. Sadly, Deshaun Watson will not be playing due to surgery on his ACL, so we will get to see the final start for Cole Stoudt. It'll be interesting to see if new OC's Tony Elliot and Jeff Scott employ a similar offense that an injured Watson ran agains South Carolina for Stoudt, with plenty of Wayne Gallman and Artavis Scott. OU is favored, but Clemson's defense can handle anything the Sooners throw our way. The Goldin Guarantee: Clemson 24 Oklahoma 14

Advocare V100 Texas Bowl- Arkansas (-5, o/u 45.5) vs Texas @ NRG Stadium (Houston) 9:00 (ESPN)

An old Southwest Conference matchup takes place in a game that sounds like something from a "King of the Hill" episode. Hank's excited to sit with Mr. Strickland in the corporate box to watch Texas until he learns Charlie Strong is a charcoal man. "Mack Brown may have recruited Johnny Manziel to be a defensive back, but he always recruited propane to grill his burgers." Anyway, Arkansas made a habit this year of slugging it out with good teams but finding a way to lose. while Texas stumbled to 6-6 in Charlie Strong's first year. The Goldin Guarantee: Arkansas 24 Texas 19

12/30

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl- Notre Dame vs LSU (-7.5, o/u 52.5) @ LP Field (Nashville) 3:00 (ESPN)

Two historic programs square off in Nashvegas on New Years Eve Eve. The #23 Bayou Bengals hope to hand to stomp the Irish like Alabama did in the Championship game a few years back. Honestly, Nashville will be pretty fun between LSU fans, who always have a good time, and Notre Dame, who brings plenty of fans. This one may actually be a sellout. The Goldin Guarantee: LSU 36 Notre Dame 28

Belk Bowl- Georgia (-7, o/u 56.5) vs Louisville @ Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte) 6:30 (ESPN)

People laugh about this bowl, but this is actually a really good game. People also laugh about shopping at Belk, but look at me, I got a polo shirt, PFG shorts, and a nice jacket for less than $60, so who's the real winner here? Nick Chubb leads the Dawgs against L'Ville's stout defense. I'm excited to get to watch this one. The Goldin Guarantee: UGA 26 Louisville 20

Foster Farms Bowl- Maryland vs Stanford (-14, o/u 48) @ Levi's Stadium (Santa Clara, CA) 10:00 (ESPN)

A nice late night Pac 12 vs ACC, er, Big 10 matchup. That's still weird to say. The 7-5 Terps against the 7-5 Cardinal isn't exactly the most exciting game, but it'll do. Stanford finished their year with an upset of UCLA, while the Terps crawled to a 4-4 record in their first year of Big 10 play. The Goldin Guarantee: Stanford 31 Maryland 16