Bowl season is officially here, and after a few grueling months of conference play, 80 teams will seek to win their final game of the year.
Let’s take a look at all 40 bowl games that will take place within the month, while predicting winners and scores for each.
*Note: All times Eastern
New Mexico Bowl
New Mexico (8-4) vs. UTSA (6-6)
Dec. 17, 2:00 p.m.
UTSA is a great story, having already reached a bowl game in just its sixth season in school history. But the Aggies score in bunches, and their offense might be too much in this one.
Prediction: New Mexico 41, UTSA 31
Las Vegas Bowl
Houston (9-3) vs. San Diego State (10-3)
Dec. 17, 3:30 p.m.
This early in the bowl slate, Houston-San Diego State is an extremely high-level game. The Cougars have proven they can play with just about anyone, but they’re also prone to lapses. San Diego State has been consistent throughout the season.
Prediction: San Diego State 33, Houston 30
Appalachian State (9-3) vs. Toledo (9-3)
Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m.
Appalachian State almost shocked the world on opening night against Tennessee, and it went on to have an excellent season. But in this battle of two evenly-matched teams, Toledo RB Kareem Hunt will be the best player on the field.
Prediction: Toledo 35, Appalachian State 28
Arkansas State (7-5) vs. UCF (6-6)
Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m.
What a turnaround it’s been, as UCF is coming off an embarrassing 2015 season in which it went winless. The Knights have higher-level wins and are still playing with a chip on their shoulders.
Prediction: UCF 27, Arkansas State 20
New Orleans Bowl
Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6) vs. Southern Mississippi (6-6)
Dec. 17, 9 p.m.
The Golden Eagles are playing under their fifth coach in nine years, and they’re fresh off of a win against Conference USA West division champ Louisiana Tech. Quarterback Nick Mullens can play.
Prediction: Southern Mississippi 38, Louisiana-Lafayette 28
Miami Beach Bowl
Central Michigan (6-6) vs. Tulsa (9-3)
Dec. 19, 2:30 p.m.
That Tulsa offensive attack is fierce. The Golden Hurricanes recently put up 59 points on Memphis, which beat Houston not too long ago. Expect more of the same here.
Prediction: Tulsa 49, Central Michigan 28
Boca Raton Bowl
Western Kentucky (10-3) vs. Memphis (8-4)
Dec. 20, 7:00 p.m.
BACK 2 BACK!
— WKU Football (@WKUFootball) December 3, 2016
This game promises to be high-scoring, fun and competitive. The Hiltoppers have the No. 5 passing offense in the country, though, and the Tigers struggle mightily in the defensive backfield. That gives WKU a distinct edge.
Prediction: Western Kentucky 42, Memphis 34
BYU (8-4) vs. Wyoming (8-5)
Dec. 21, 9:00 p.m.
Tanner Mangum will get the start for the injured Taysom Hill in this one. Wyoming excels in controlling the clock on the ground, and that’s going to be key in neutralizing the fast-paced Cougar attack. Still, BYU simply features more talent on both sides of the ball.
Prediction: BYU 28, Wyoming 27
Colorado State (7-5) vs. Idaho (8-4)
Dec. 22, 7:00 p.m.
Colorado State has undergone a few injuries at the quarterback spot, but Idaho has its inconsistences at that position, too. With that said, CSU is a notch above the level of competition the Vandals are accustomed to facing.
Prediction: Colorado State 37, Idaho 17
Eastern Michigan (7-5) vs. Old Dominion (9-3)
Dec. 23, 1:00 p.m.
— EMU Athletics (@EMUAthletics) November 29, 2016
Eastern Michigan is bowling for the first time in 29 years, and it has a good shot to knock off Old Dominion. But the Monarchs are hot, winning eight of their last nine games. Look for them to carry that momentum into their contest in the Bahamas.
Prediction: Old Dominion 37, Eastern Michigan 30
Armed Forces Bowl
Louisiana Tech (8-5) vs. Navy (9-3)
Dec. 23, 4:30 p.m.
Contrasting styles at their finest. Louisiana Tech is similarly prolific passing the ball as Navy is running it, which should present an intriguing football case study. Expect plenty of scoring regardless of which team wins.
Prediction: Louisiana Tech 45, Navy 42
Dollar General Bowl
Ohio (8-5) vs. Troy (9-3)
Dec. 23, 8:00 p.m.
Troy was ranked in the AP Top 25 at one point this season, but then it lost by 32 to Arkansas State. Ohio has a talented defense, as it almost upset Western Michigan in the MAC Championship game.
Prediction: Troy 31, Ohio 28
Hawaii (6-7) vs. Middle Tennessee (8-4)
Dec. 24, 8:00 p.m.
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Both of these teams have had their ups and downs this season, and don’t expect a lot of defense to be played in this one. Each squad can score but has not been successful in stopping the opposing team. Who’s going to have the ball last?
Prediction: Middle Tennessee 48, Hawaii 41
St. Petersburg Bowl
Miami (OH) (6-6) vs. Mississippi State (5-7)
Dec. 26, 11:00 a.m.
A win over an SEC school would be huge for Miami, but the Bulldogs should be able to overwhelm the RedHawks on both sides of the ball. If Mississippi State gives maximum effort, it should roll.
Prediction: Mississippi State 34, Miami (OH) 14
Quick Lane Bowl
Boston College (6-6) vs. Maryland (6-6)
Dec. 26, 2:30 p.m.
This could be the lowest-scoring bowl game, as both squads struggle offensively but have had success in containing prolific offenses. Whichever team is able to control the line of scrimmage should take this one.
Prediction: Maryland 21, Boston College 16
North Carolina State (6-6) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6)
Dec. 26, 5:00 p.m.
Vanderbilt has been feisty all season long. Each team has a quality upset to boast – the Commodores shocked in-state rival Tennessee, while NC State did the same to North Carolina. These teams are similar from a talent standpoint, so preparation and scheming will be key.
Prediction: North Carolina State 24, Vanderbilt 23
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Army (6-5) vs. North Texas (5-7)
Dec. 27, Noon
Army still has to take on Navy before looking ahead to North Texas, but it has a clear edge over a Mean Green offense that has thrown up some clunkers this season.
Prediction: Army 33, North Texas 17
Temple (10-3) vs. Wake Forest (6-6)
Dec. 27, 3:30 p.m.
It’s how you finish…
— Temple Football (@Temple_FB) December 3, 2016
Matt Rhule is off to Baylor, but this Temple program is so sound in every facet. Wake Forest deserves credit for making a bowl game, but the Owls are just more skilled and have momentum after knocking off Navy.
Prediction: Temple 42, Wake Forest 21
Minnesota (8-4) vs. Washington State (8-4)
Dec. 27, 7:00 p.m.
An eight-win season is certainly a big accomplishment for the Golden Gophers, but their Big Ten West schedule was favorable. Expect Luke Falk to air it out here; 400-500 yards isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Prediction: Washington State 40, Minnesota 28
Baylor (6-6) vs. Boise State (10-2)
Dec. 27, 10:15 p.m.
Baylor is reeling coming into this Cactus Bowl game, and though Boise State recently had an uncharacteristic loss to Air Force, the Broncos are more disciplined and motivated offensively and defensively.
Prediction: Boise State 35, Baylor 20
Northwestern (6-6) vs. Pittsburgh (8-4)
Dec. 28, 2:00 p.m.
Pittsburgh is the team that affected the College Football Playoff picture most that never had a real chance to make the College Football Playoff. The Panthers can be spacy, but they might be even better than their 8-4 record indicates.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 31, Northwestern 24
Russell Athletic Bowl
Miami (Fla.) (8-4) vs. West Virginia (10-2)
Dec. 28, 5:30 p.m.
This is a fun matchup. Brad Kaaya takes a crack at an impressive Mountaineer defense, which boasts a hard-hitting and instinctive secondary. With that said, West Virginia’s biggest edge comes in the trenches on both sides of the ball, but Kaaya may be enough to win it by himself.
Prediction: Miami (Fla.) 35, West Virginia 32
Foster Farms Bowl
Indiana (6-6) vs. Utah (8-4)
Dec. 28, 8:30 p.m.
Utah is the best program in the country that nobody talks about, and perhaps that will give Kyle Whittingham’s program a little extra push in this one. They may not need it. The Utes are losers of three of four, but Indiana has had an even rockier end to the season.
Prediction: Utah 27, Indiana 19
Kansas State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (8-4)
Dec. 28, 9:00 p.m.
Man, Texas A&M fell hard and fast. The Aggies were ranked fourth in the first CFP rankings; now they’re facing Kansas State in the Texas Bowl. Bill Snyder’s squad is so well-coached, but it’s not nearly as talented as A&M. Still, this should be a very competitive game.
Prediction: Texas A&M 37, Kansas State 34
South Carolina (6-6) vs. South Florida (10-2)
Dec. 29, 2:00 p.m.
The Bulls are an impressive 10-2, and even their losses look good. South Florida dropped a decision to Temple, champions of the AAC. South Carolina has had a nice bounce back year, but the Bulls should cruise in this one.
Prediction: South Florida 42, South Carolina 24
Arkansas (7-5) vs. Virginia Tech (9-4)
Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m.
Virginia Tech. Arkansas. @belkbowl
HokieNation – Let’s send these SENIORS out right!!
HARD • SMART • TOUGH pic.twitter.com/LQHYQH4Yz5
— HokiesFB (@HokiesFB) December 4, 2016
Justin Fuente has Virginia Tech well ahead of schedule to become a player in the ACC. Because, well, the Hokies already are. Tech almost knocked off No. 2 Clemson in the conference title game, and this win would serve as great momentum for the Hokies going into the offseason.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 34, Arkansas 23
Colorado (10-3) vs. Oklahoma State (9-3)
Dec. 29, 9:00 p.m.
Two teams that had legitimate Playoff aspirations at various points in the season. Colorado is disappointed it didn’t make the Rose Bowl, but while the Cowboys are more talented on the outside, the Buffs have more offensive diversity.
Prediction: Colorado 28, Oklahoma State 27
Georgia (7-5) vs. TCU (6-6)
Dec. 30, Noon
Neither team played particularly well down the stretch, but this win would mean more for rookie head coach Kirby Smart than it would for grizzled veteran Gary Patterson. The Bulldogs will want this one, and there’s no reason they can’t get it.
Prediction: Georgia 27, TCU 20
North Carolina (8-4) vs. Stanford (9-3)
Dec. 30, 2:00 p.m.
In what could be Christian McCaffrey’s last collegiate game, he’s going to want to go out with a bang, right? UNC is solid offensively, but it’s mediocre in stopping the run. The Cardinal should control the ball, and the game.
Prediction: Stanford 35, North Carolina 31
Music City Bowl
Nebraska (9-3) vs. Tennessee (8-4)
Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m.
Two programs that had high hopes at various points in the season but eventually fell back to Earth. Each had improbable victories and indefensible losses. With all of that said, Josh Dobbs gives the Tennessee offense an edge, and Nebraska hasn’t been the same after its early-season hot streak.
Prediction: Tennessee 27, Nebraska 17
Air Force (9-3) vs. South Alabama (6-6)
Dec. 30, 5:30 p.m.
The Falcons are on a tear, winning five straight games heading into this clash against South Alabama, which has been inconsistent this season. The Jaguars have wins against Mississippi State and San Diego State on the year, but also went 2-6 in the Sun Belt.
Prediction: Air Force 38, South Alabama 21
Florida State (9-3) vs. Michigan (10-2)
Dec. 30, 8:00 p.m.
Talk about a marquee matchup. Deondre Francois will be key here for the Seminoles – Michigan is famously stout defending the run, and even a player like Dalvin Cook might struggle to find holes. Michigan was almost a Playoff team, though, and it has more defensive difference-makers.
Prediction: Michigan 31, Florida State 24
Georgia Tech (8-4) vs. Kentucky (7-5)
Dec. 31, 11:00 a.m.
2016 was a nice rebound year for both Georgia Tech and Kentucky. The triple-option attack became successful once again for the Yellow Jackets, and their identity is much more clear than the Wildcats’. They know what their bread and butter is, and it’s up to UK to stop it.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 26, Kentucky 20
Louisville (9-3) vs. LSU (7-4)
Dec. 31, 11:00 a.m.
— NCAA Football (@NCAAFootball) December 6, 2016
It’s possible that Lamar Jackson is a Heisman Trophy winner by the time this game is played. It’s also possible that LSU will be the best defense he’s faced. The Cardinals have a high-powered offense, but the team is scuffling lately as a whole, and LSU is riding the feel-good vibes of the Ed Orgeron hire going into this matchup.
Prediction: LSU 35, Louisville 28
Alabama (13-0) vs. Washington (12-1)
Dec. 31, 3:00 p.m.
Alabama hasn’t faced a QB as good as Jake Browning this season, but what cause for concern have the Crimson Tide given you this season? None. Until they do, it’s really difficult to pick against a Nick Saban-coached team.
Prediction: Alabama 42, Washington 20
Clemson (12-1) vs. Ohio State (11-1)
Dec. 31, 7 p.m.
Perhaps the most intriguing bowl matchup of all. Two young, hungry defenses. Two veteran, accomplished quarterbacks. Two of the best coaches in the game. Flip a coin, really. Who brings their A-game when it matters most?
Prediction: Clemson 40, Ohio State 37
Florida (8-4) vs. Iowa (8-4)
Jan. 2, 1:00 p.m.
After a disappointing start to the season, Iowa rebounded nicely, scoring a huge home upset win over Michigan. Florida won the SEC East, but its quarterback issues persist. Each team has a good defense, but whichever offense makes less mistakes will win this game.
Prediction: Iowa 23, Florida 17
Western Michigan (13-0) vs. Wisconsin (10-3)
Jan. 2, 1:00 p.m.
The Broncos are one of the best stories in college football, and nobody outside of Madison expected Wisconsin to reach a New Year’s Six bowl this season. Western Michigan hasn’t faced a defense like the one the Badgers boast, and this should be a tight game. In the end, though, Wisconsin has a chance to overpower WMU on both lines.
Prediction: Wisconsin 28, Western Michigan 24
Penn State (11-2) vs. USC (9-3)
Jan. 2, 5:00 p.m.
Big Ten fans everywhere hope Penn State can put forth a better Rose Bowl showing than Iowa did last season. The Nittany Lions likely will, but ever since Sam Darnold took the reins for USC, the Trojans have been one of the top teams in the country. It’s hard to see that changing now.
Prediction: USC 38, Penn State 28
Auburn (8-4) vs. Oklahoma (10-2)
Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m.
Oklahoma has two Heisman finalists on offense, and Auburn is littered with injuries on that side of the ball. The Tiger defense won’t go down quietly, but eventually, Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook should be able to break through for the Big 12 champions.
Prediction: Oklahoma 37, Auburn 29