College Football Bowl Predictions From WhatIfSports.com image

Bowl Predictions

BtB previews all 32 Bowls
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
December 7th, 2007

We simulated all 32 college football bowls 1,001 times to find the likely winners and average scores from each game. Results and example boxscores from all 32 games are below. Using the same methodology last season, we accurately predicted the winner of 88% of the bowls straight-up and 80% of them against-the-spread. If you would like to play these games yourselves, all of these teams are available through the site's free college football SimMatchup tool.

Poinsettia Bowl
Utah 30 - Navy 27
Highlight: Brian Johnson hits Bradon Godfrey for a 15 yard touchdown to win the game late in the fourth quarter.
Player of the Game: Darrell Mack, RB, Utah (138 rushing yards)

New Orleans Bowl
FAU 38 - Memphis 24
Highlight: Two 100 yard rushers and a 300 yard passer lead Florida Atlantic's balanced offense over a porous Memphis defense.
Player of the Game: Rusty Smith, QB, FAU (318 passing yards, 3 TDs, 54 rushing yards)

Papajohns.com Bowl
Cincinnati 34 - Southern Miss 18
Highlight: Brian Kelly's Bearcats cruise to victory in the biggest lock of all of these simulated games.
Player of the Game: Ben Mauk, QB, UC (237 passing yards, 2 TDs, 38 rushing yards, 1 TD)

New Mexico Bowl
Nevada 30 - New Mexico 23
Highlight: Nevada standouts Luke Lippincott and Colin Kaepernick connect on a 73 yard score to break a 23-all tie and win the game late in the fourth quarter.
Player of the Game: Luke Lippincott, RB, Nevada (210 total yards, 2 TDs)

Las Vegas Bowl
BYU 31 - UCLA 20
Highlight: The UCLA defense struggles mightily against another Mountain West offense as the Cougars roll in Vegas.
Player of the Game: Harvey Unga, RB, BYU (165 total yards, 3 TDs)

Hawaii Bowl
Boise State 30 - East Carolina 20
Highlight: There are no hook-and-ladders, marriage proposals or Statue of Liberty plays as Boise State starts slow, yet scores 13 unanswered, second half points to claim another bowl victory.
Player of the Game: Ian Johnson, RB, Boise State (243 total yards, 1 TD)

Motor City Bowl
Purdue 34 - Central Michigan 26
Highlight: The final score is closer than most may have thought, but a balanced offensive attack keeps Purdue in control of this game the whole way.
Player of the Game: Kory Sheets, RB, Purdue (186 total yards, 3 TDs)

Holiday Bowl
Arizona State 30 - Texas 23
Highlight: Fittingly, the first overtime game occurs in the notoriously dramatic Holiday Bowl. A pass interference call sets up the Sun Devils touchdown in the first OT. Colt McCoy and Texas fail to answer.
Player of the Game: Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas (220 rushing yards, 1 TD in the loss)

Texas Bowl
TCU 24 - Houston 21
Highlight: In a game that is as close on paper as any bowl, third-string TCU running back runs it in from three yards to go on top for good in the fourth quarter.
Player of the Game: Anthony Alridge, RB, Houston (149 rushing yards, 2 TDs in the loss)

Champs Sports Bowl
Boston College 21 - Michigan State 19
Highlight: Boston College holds on to victory as MSU misses three field goals, any of which could have won the game.
Player of the Game: Andre Callender, RB, BC (84 total yards, 3 TDs)

Emerald Bowl
Oregon State 24 - Maryland 13
Highlight: Oregon State, one of the nation's leaders in rush defense, holds Maryland to just 1.4 yards-per-carry in the win.
Player of the Game: Yvenson Bernard, RB, Oregon State (142 rushing yards, 1 TD)

Meineke Car Care Bowl
UConn 17 - Wake Forest 10
Highlight: Donald Brown runs in a nine yard touchdown to win the lowest scoring bowl of the simulated games late in the fourth quarter.
Player of the Game: Andre Dixon, RB, UConn (166 total yards, 1 TD)

Liberty Bowl
UCF 24 - Mississippi State 10
Highlight: As many hoped, UCF's Kevin Smith goes off for 243 rushing yards, ending the season with 2,691 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns.
Player of the Game: Kevin Smith, RB, UCF (273 total yards, 3 TDs)

Alamo Bowl
Penn State 29 - Texas A&M 17
Highlight: What a difference a little coaching experience makes.
Player of the Game: Anthony Morelli, QB, Penn State (247 passing yards, 3 TDs)

Independence Bowl
Alabama 17 - Colorado 16
Highlight: The most dramatic ending to any bowl thus far, Leigh Tiffin hits a 28 yard field goal as time expires to secure Nick Saban's first bowl win at Alabama.
Player of the Game: Terry Grant, RB, Alabama (132 total yards, 1 TD)

Armed Forces Bowl
Air Force 33 - Cal 14
Highlight: Chad Hall and the Air Force ground attack run all over the Cal defense.
Player of the Game: Chad Hall, RB, Air Force (163 rushing yards, 2 TDs)

Sun Bowl
USF 24 - Oregon 14
Highlight: What a strange year for Pac-10 teams; an hour after Cal is blown out by Air Force, Oregon goes down by 10 to USF.
Player of the Game: Matt Grothe, QB, USF (94 passing yards, 1 TD, 48 rushing yards)

Humanitarian Bowl
Georgia Tech 34 - Fresno State 23
Highlight: Even without Chan Gailey, Georgia Tech's talented defense shuts Fresno State down, holding the Bulldogs without a point until late in the third quarter.
Player of the Game: Tashard Choice, RB, Georgia Tech (171 rushing yards, 3 TDs)

Music City Bowl
Kentucky 37 - Florida State 27
Highlight: Former Heisman frontrunner Andre Woodson ends his career on a high note with a huge outing.
Player of the Game: Andre Woodson, QB, Kentucky (274 passing yards, 4 TDs)

Chick-fil-a Bowl
Clemson 24 - Auburn 10
Highlight: Clemson may be the best team that no one is talking about. James Davis and CJ Spiller do their parts on the ground, while Cullen Harper is as efficient through the air as ever.
Player of the Game: Cullen Harper, QB, Clemson (248 rushing yards, 1 TD, 23 rushing yards, 1 TD)

Insight Bowl
Oklahoma State 41 - Indiana 37
Highlight: This double-OT thriller features 1,037 total offensive yards and very little defense.
Player of the Game: Zac Robinson, QB, Oklahoma State (302 passing yards, 4 TDs, 57 rushing yards)

Outback Bowl
Wisconsin 42 - Tennessee 38
Highlight: In another high-scoring thriller involving a Big Ten team, a healthy P.J. Hill scores from 24 yards out in the first overtime to give Wisconsin a third straight bowl victory over the SEC.
Player of the Game: P.J. Hill, RB, Wisconsin (199 total yards, 3 TDs)

Cotton Bowl
Missouri 28 - Arkansas 25
Highlight: Turnovers lead to Missouri's win in this game of contrasting styles and tons of speed on both sides of the ball.
Player of the Game: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas (224 total yards, 2 TDs in the loss)

Gator Bowl
Texas Tech 30 - Virginia 23
Highlight: Graham Harrell lights the Wahoo secondary up for 400-plus yards in another matchup of very different teams.
Player of the Game: Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech (432 passing yards, 3 TDs)

Capitol One Bowl
Florida 34 - Michigan 13
Highlight: Tim Tebow gets most of the glory, but this Florida offense is loaded with weapons. Michigan learns that first hand in the blowout.
Player of the Game: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida (182 total yards, 3 TDs)

International Bowl
Rutgers 42 - Ball State 34
Highlight: BSU hangs with Rutgers, but the Scarlet Knights' do not quite find a way to lose this game as they did often throughout the regular season.
Player of the Game: Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers (276 total yards, 3 TDs)

GMAC Bowl
Tulsa 42 - Bowling Green 24
Highlight: Todd Graham's jump from Rice to Tulsa after just one season pays off with an impressive bowl win over Bowling Green. Three-year starting quarterback Paul Smith does not hurt either.
Player of the Game: Paul Smith, QB, Tulsa (276 passing yards, 3 TDs, 22 rushing yards, 1 TD)

Rose Bowl
USC 27 - Illinois 10
Highlight: The Rose Bowl opted to retain "tradition" with a Big Ten-Pac-10 matchup. That may have been a bad decision. The Illini are at least a year away. USC appears to be the deepest and most talented team in the country.
Player of the Game: Stafon Johnson, RB, USC (145 rushing yards, 1 TD)

Sugar Bowl
Georgia 38 - Hawaii 33
Highlight: Yes, Colt Brennan gets his 400-plus yards and four touchdowns, but Knowshon Moreno is the real deal. With 180 yards rushing and 79 receiving, he firmly puts his name in the 2008 Heisman conversation as the Dawgs end Hawaii's bid at an undefeated season.
Player of the Game: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia (259 total yards, 1 TD)

Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma 36 - West Virginia 20
Highlight: Pat White's health does not matter either way as Oklahoma is too deep and too gifted for the Mountaineers in every facet of the game.
Player of the Game: Allen Patrick, RB, Oklahoma (215 total yards, 4 TDs)

Orange Bowl
Virginia Tech 20 - Kansas 13
Highlight: In an epic battle of defense versus offense, defense wins. Virginia Tech sacks Todd Reesing six times, including three times by freshman backup free safety Davon Morgan, en route to a narrow victory in the high-profile bowl game.
Player of the Game: Davon Morgan, FS, Virginia Tech (3 sacks)

BCS Championship
LSU 23 - Ohio State 21
Highlight: The bevy of talented and versatile Tiger running backs and wide receivers is just too much for Ohio State to handle as LSU slides past the Buckeyes to claim the BCS National Championship.
Player of the Game: Jacob Hester, RB, LSU (123 rushing yards, 2 TDs)

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