New Era Pinstripe Bowl:
Rutgers (6 - 6) 20 vs. Notre Dame (8 - 4) 31: Rutgers, while showing flashes of potential this season, really shouldn't be able to stay with an Irish team that played a pretty tough schedule. I'm usually not a Notre Dame fan, but they beat Arizona State, Michigan State and BYU. For the Spartans, it was their only loss on the way to a Big Ten title. Rutgers defeated Arkansas out of the SEC, but the Razorbacks were winless the rest of the season, somewhat diminishing the accomplishment.
Cincinnati (9 - 3) 24 vs. North Carolina (6 - 6) 27: North Carolina was picked by many to win the Coastal Division of the ACC, but suffered through some injuries and a disappointing season. Cincinnati cruised through what was a fairly soft schedule which didn't include a game against eventual league champion UCF. The Tar Heels, after starting 1 - 4, righted the ship and reeled off five consecutive wins before barely losing to Duke in the finale. These records are deceiving, so I'll take the Heels to prevail in a game where they can make a statement going into next season.
Russell Athletic Bowl:
Miami, FL (9 - 3) 27 vs. (18) Louisville (11 - 1) 30: The Hurricanes can put up some points, but it was their defense that let them down in consecutive games against Florida State, Virginia Tech and Duke. They won their last two games, but still gave up a total of 57 points in the process. Meanwhile, even though the focus of the Cardinals was on QB Teddy Bridgewater, it was their defense that led them within one win of an undefeated season. Even though I would like to stick with the ACC and Miami, I think the Louisville defense will be the difference in this one.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: