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NCAA College Football 2014-15 Bowl Week 4 Picks

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Fearless Rick's 2014-15 College Football Bowl Week 4 - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | January 1-4, 2015

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Citrus Bowl
Minnesota vs. Missouri (-6, 48)
ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC, Orlando, FL, Florida Citrus Bowl, Thu., Jan. 1, 1:00 p.m. ET, ABC - Now we're talking! New Year's Day, and the Golden Gophers play put up or shut up against the Missouri Tigers, who were just a bit short in the SEC championship, losing to Alabama, 42-13, but still finished with a highly respectable 9-3 mark.

The Gophers lost their most-significant games - to Ohio State, Wisconsin and TCU, and will be up against one of the better defensive teams in the country. The Tigers won six straight before their loss in the SEC title game, but will be looking for respect and redemption.

Prediction: Tigers 28 Golden Gophers 14

Outback Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Auburn (-7, 62)
Big Ten vs. SEC, Tampa, FL, Raymond James Stadium, Thu., Jan. 1, 1:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2 - Two really flawed teams here. AD Barry Alvarez will be coaching the Badgers after head coach Gary Anderson accepted a job with Oregon State, and fans in Wisconsin are still trying to get over the 59-0 beating handed to them by Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.

Auburn, 7-1, as of November 1 after a 35-31 win over Ole Miss, lost three of its final four games, upset by Texas A&M, 41-38, hammered by Georgia, 34-7 and out-gunned at Alabama, 55-44. The Tigers, despite an 8-4 mark (as opposed to Wisconsin's 10-3 record) appear to be the better team, though it remains to be seen whether they will prepare properly for this game.

The TD spread may be a bit much to ask from Auburn, but they should manage to pull away from Wisconsin in the latter stages.

Prediction: Tigers 31 Badgers 21

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AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic
Michigan State vs. Baylor (-3, 72)
At-Large vs. At-Large, Arlington, TX, AT&T Stadium, Thu., Jan. 1, 1:00 p.m. ET, ESPN - Two high-quality teams meet in a game that surely would rank as a playoff under an eight-team regimen, but, the 11-1 Bears and 10-2 Spartans will have to settle for less.

Baylor led the nation in offense with 48.8 points per game, and the Spartans were no slouches, scoring 34 or more points in 10 games. Baylor's defense was much improved this season, while the Spartans fell off a bit after an extraordinary 2013 saw many of their stalwart defenders leave for the NFL.

Michigan State's defense has shown better allowing just 28 points in its final three games and the Spartans will be ready to win their fourth straight bowl game.

Prediction: Spartans 35 Bears 28

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Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Pittsburgh (-3, 53 1/2) vs. Houston
ACC vs. AAC, Fort Worth, TX, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fri., Jan. 2, Noon ET, ESPN - Anybody who hasn't had their fill of college football bowl games, will be happy that there's more, this being the first of four Friday games, all televised by ESPN.

Pittsburgh really didn't do badly in the ACC, posting a 4-4 mark in their initial season there, but huge losses to Georgia Tech and Duke exposed the Panthers for the 6-6 team they were. They should be able to take it to the Cougars, who scored exactly as many points as their opponents (29.3 per game), going 7-5 in the American Athletic conference.

Prediction: Panthers 32 Cougars 21

TaxSlayer Bowl
Iowa vs. Tennessee (-3 1/2, 51 1/2)
ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC, Jacksonville, FL, EverBank Field, Fri., Jan. 2, 3:20 p.m. ET, ESPN - Tennessee (6-6) and Iowa (7-5) are better teams than their records indicate and both will probably be even better next season, but in both instances, they played tough schedules and lost some close games., especially Iowa, which lost by three points to Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa State, and by seven to Maryland. Their only real blowout loss was a 51-14 whipping at Minnesota.

The Vols were just 3-5 at the end of October, but won three of their final four games to achieve bowl status, with wins over South Carolina, Kentucky and Vanderbilt. They had two close calls, losing to Florida, 10-9, a week after taking Georgia to the limit in a 35-32 defeat. Tennessee has a better defense and an evolving offense with fresh QB Joshua Dobbs.

Prediction: Volunteers 34 Hawkeyes 21

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2014, 2015, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.



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