NCAA College Football Bowl Week 2 Picks - Early Games

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NCAA College Football Bowl Week 2 Early Games

All times Eastern

Click here for late games.

NCAA Bowl Picks Week 1: Rick: 7-3; Coin: 7-3
Cumulative: Rick: 114-102-2; Coin: 116-100-2

Thursday, December 26

Walk On's Independence Bowl
4:00 pm Louisiana Tech vs. Miami (FL) (-6, 50) - This could be a very large mismatch, and not in favor of the big conference Hurricanes, who finished 6-6 on the season, losing their final two games to Florida International and Duke. Notably, Duke finished up 5-7.

Hailing from Conference-USA, Louisiana Tech lost its season opener to Texas before ringing up eight straight victories. Two road losses - Marshall and UAB - were without their starting QB, Jmar Smith. He returned for the season finale and registered a 41-27 win over UTSA. The Bulldogs went 6-2 in conference and 9-3 overall. They were second in scoring and their defense was solid. They could rout the Hurricanes.

Coin Flip: Louisiana Tech

Prediction: Bulldogs 34 Hurricanes 20

Quick Lane Bowl
8:00 pm Pittsburgh (-11 1/2, 49) vs. Eastern Michigan - From the MAC comes Eastern Michigan, a team that finished at the very bottom of the standings in the West division with a 3-5 conference record but a 6-6 record overall. The Eagles sport a sputtering offense and on-and-off defense. Against any small conference team, they might do OK, but Pitt comes out of the ACC with a 4-4 record in conference games and a 7-5 mark overall.

Pitt's defense is one of the best in the East (21.8 ppg), but grew lackadaisical late in the season. The Panthers lost their last two games, 28-0, at Virginia Tech and 26-19, to Boston College. Only UCF scored more than 30 against Pitt, and the Panthers won that game, 35-34.

Kenny Pickett has plenty experience at QB and the extra time off should allow the Panthers to heal up some injuries and focus.

Coin Flip: Eastern Michigan

Prediction: Panthers 31 Eagles 14

Friday, December 27

Military Bowl
12:00 pm North Carolina (-4 1/2, 53) vs. Temple - Both teams are battle-tested through conference play and should provide an excellent match-up. North Carolina was 6-6 overall and 4-4 in the ACC, while the Owls went 8-4 with a 5-3 mark in the AAC.

Temple lost to the better teams in the conference - UCF, SMU, Cincinnati - and shouldn't be dismissed. The AAC continues to develop into a competitive, tough conference. The Tar Heels may be better than their record indicates. Of their six losses, a 21-20 defeat by Clemson, a 34-31 loss to Appalachian State, a 38-31 loss to Virginia, and a 34-27 OT loss at Pitt. They finished the season hammering Mercer, 56-7, and NC State, 41-10.

Coin Flip: North Carolina

Prediction: Tar Heels 34 Temple 20

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
3:20 pm Michigan State (-3 1/2, 50) vs. Wake Forest - Here's a nice, un-friendly meeting of Big Ten and ACC, where Wake has offensive weapons galore and the Spartans counter with stingy defense. The Demon Deacons were 7-1 before stumbling to a 1-3 finish and a 4-4 conference mark, but 8-4 overall.

Michigan State lost five straight mid-season, to Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Illinois and Michigan, all but the Illinois loss quite decisive. They beat conference punching bags, Rutgers and Maryland to get to 6-6 (4-5 Big Ten). Their offense is pathetic and the defense good enough to beat bad teams, but not good ones.

Coin Flip: Michigan State

Prediction: Demon Deacons 31 Spartans 21

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