Louisville Football: Bold Predictions For Every ACC Team's Bowl Game
We take a look at all of the bowl games that ACC teams will be playing in and if Louisville football can take down the LSU Tigers.
Bowl season is upon us, as the Louisville football team is only a couple weeks away from taking on LSU in the Citrus Bowl down in Orlando, Florida. There are many negative things surrounding the program right now, but let’s take a few minutes to forget about all of that and just enjoy the bowl games.
There are a surprising number of teams that Louisville played this season that are playing in a bowl game, however, that apparently means that the Cards didn’t have a tough schedule.
Isn’t that right College Football Playoff committee? In their defense, Louisville didn’t deserve to be there, but they had a better schedule than anyone gave them credit for.
With that being said, let’s take a look at Boston College’s match-up in the Quick Lane Bowl:
Oct 7, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Darius Wade (4) runs out onto the field prior to a game against Clemson at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Quick Lane Bowl
Maryland (6-6, 3-6 Big Ten) vs. Boston College (6-6, 2-6 ACC)
Dec. 26 – 2:30 p.m., ESPN
Ford Field, Detroit
Average Line: Maryland , -1.5
I am going to lean towards the Eagles in this contest in the Quick Lane Bowl. Boston College ended the season with two huge wins over UCONN and and Wake Forest, becoming bowl-eligible for the first time in years.
This game is going to come down to defense and that is where Boston College has the clear edge over the Terrapins. Maryland is one of the worst defenses in the Big Ten, while the Eagles are the best total defense in the ACC.
The Eagles are going to bring in their seventh win of the season after a close win over Maryland.
Nov 26, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores players celebrate after a win over Tennessee Volunteers at Vanderbilt Stadium. Vanderbilt won 45-34. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Camping World Independence Bowl
NC State (6-6, 3-5 ACC) vs. Vanderbilt (6-6, 3-5 SEC)
Dec. 26 – 5 p.m., ESPN2
Independence Stadium, Shreveport, La.
Average Line: NC State, -4
For the second game in-a-row, I am going to side with the underdog. Vanderbilt finished the 2016 season very strong, while beating Ole Miss and #17 Tennessee to improve from 4-6 to 6-6 in the final two weeks.
The problem with both of these teams is that neither of them can play offense. Vanderbilt and NC State rank in the bottom half of their respective conferences in total offense at the end of the 2016 season.
At the end of the day, I am going to stay with the team that finished the season better.
Dec 3, 2016; Annapolis, MD, USA; Temple Owls defensive back Nate Hairston (15) runs on the field with the American Athletic Conference football championship sign after defeating Navy Midshipmen 34-10 during the quarter at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
No. 24 Temple (10-3, 7-1 AAC) vs. Wake Forest (6-6, 3-5 ACC)
Dec. 27 – 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Md.
Average Line: Temple, -13
This was a pretty easy emotional decision to make. Wake Forest is going to lose and no, it’s not because Temple “stole” their playbook. The Owls have been on a roll to end the season, whereas Wake Forest couldn’t even beat Boston College in the last week.
I think the biggest difference between these two teams are on offense. Wake Forest is second to last in the ACC in total offense, but Temple is putting up at least 32 points per game this year.
Unless Wake Forest recruited more talented offensive players over the winter break, then there’s no way their offense gets going against Temple.
Nov 26, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers running back James Conner (24) stiff arms Syracuse Orange defensive back Rodney Williams (6) on a carry during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. PITT won 76-61. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
No. 23 Pittsburgh (8-4, 5-3 ACC) vs. Northwestern (6-6, 5-4 Big Ten)
Dec. 28 – 2 p.m., ESPN
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.
Average Line: Pitt, -5.5
This is going to be a better game than most people think. While Northwestern isn’t a name that initially makes us think of good football, they have been able to play solid football this season. The Wildcats have wins over Iowa, Michigan State and one close loss to Ohio State on the road.
With that being said, the Pittsburgh Panthers are going to win this game. They have proven their ability to win the big game, which will come in handy in this New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
Not to mention, Panthers’ running back James Connor will be looking to have a huge game against Northwestern, as this will be his last game in a Pittsburgh uniform.
Nov 19, 2016; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers students cheer prior to their game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
Russell Athletic Bowl
No. 16 West Virginia (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) vs. Miami (8-4, 5-3 ACC)
5:30 p.m., ESPN
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
Average Line: Miami, -3
This is also going to be a great game to watch, but I am going with the Big 12 school in this Russell Athletic Bowl. Miami has been able to have a good year, but I don’t think they can keep up with the Mountaineers’ offense in this one.
West Virginia had an opportunity to win their conference this year, but losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State derailed their chances.
Look for West Virginia to reclaim their status as a top fifteen football team whenever they weather the storm from the Hurricanes later this month.
Dec 3, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Jerod Evans (4) runs the ball in for a touchdown against the Clemson Tigers during the second half of the ACC Championship college football game at Camping World Stadium. Clemson Tigers defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 42-35. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Arkansas (7-5, 3-5 SEC) vs. No. 22 Virginia Tech (9-4, 6-2 ACC)
Dec. 29 – 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
Average Line: Virginia Tech, -7
I expect to see Virginia Tech roll in this SEC vs. ACC contest. The Hokies just gave the Clemson Tigers all they could handle in the conference championship game, therefore I don’t think that the Razorbacks will be much of a test.
Arkansas has had a decent season, but they have been pretty average across the board. They are in the middle of the pack in both total offense and total defense in the SEC, which is probably why they had a losing record in conference play.
Do you know which team didn’t have a losing record against their regular slate of opponents?
That’s right, Virginia Tech.
November 5, 2016; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal running back Christian McCaffrey (5) leads the team out of the tunnel before the game against the Oregon State Beavers at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Hyundai Sun Bowl
No. 18 Stanford (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12) vs. North Carolina (8-4, 5-3 ACC)
Dec. 30 – 2 p.m., CBS
Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas
Average Line: Stanford, -3.5
This is going to be an interesting game between two programs that didn’t quite live up to expectations in 2016. Stanford has been able to get the train back on the tracks late in the season, whereas North Carolina just lost to Duke and NC State a few weeks ago.
The tipping point in this game will be who can move the chains and keep the other team’s offense off of the field.
The Tar Heels have a very good quarterback in Mitch Trubisky, but I think it will be Stanford’s highly ranked rushing attack that will be the difference.
Nov 26, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Michigan Wolverines band members arrive before the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Capital One Orange Bowl
No. 6 Michigan (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) vs. No. 11 Florida State (9-3, 5-3 ACC)
Dec. 30 – 8 p.m., ESPN
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla.
It hurts to even write about this game, knowing that the Louisville football team won’t be taking the field. Actually, the team the destroyed in September will be playing in their place. I guess head-to-head match-ups don’t mean as much as everyone has been telling us.
With that being said, the Seminoles have been playing great football as of late. They were able to weather an early season disaster to make a New Year’s Six Bowl.
However, Michigan’s defense is going to be the difference. Jabrill Peppers is one of the best defensive backs in the entire country and he will be a headache for Deondre Francois in the Orange Bowl.
Nov 24, 2016; College Station, TX, USA; LSU Tigers running back Derrius Guice (5) rushes for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
No. 20 LSU (7-4, 5-3 SEC) vs. No. 13 Louisville (9-3, 7-1 ACC)
Dec. 31 – 11 a.m., ABC
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
Average Line: LSU, -3.5
Sorry everyone, I am not too confident that Louisville will be able to get the job done in Orlando on December 31st. The Tigers’ front seven on defense is going to be a match-up nightmare for the Cardinals’ offensive line. If Houston’s D-line could shut down Louisville, then we should expect the same from LSU.
There are just so many unfortunate distractions going on right now with the Cards that I don’t know if they can overcome them. This is still a younger football team and James Hearns will probably not be playing either because of getting shot last weekend.
With that being said, we’ve seen many Louisville teams rise to the occasion and pull off the stunning upset before.
Let’s hope that the Cards’ offensive line is ready to go once the ball is kicked off in Camping World Stadium last this month.
Nov 19, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Clinton Lynch (22) celebrates a touchdown with offensive lineman Eason Fromayan (79) against the Virginia Cavaliers in the third quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Georgia TechYellow Jackets
Georgia Tech (8-4, 4-4 ACC) vs. Kentucky (7-5, 4-4 SEC)
Dec. 31 – 11 a.m., ESPN
EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
Average Line: Georgia Tech, -3.5
The Kentucky Wildcats and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will be playing in a game between two programs that live off of running the football. Georgia Tech has the best rushing offense in the ACC, whereas Kentucky has the third best rushing attack in the SEC.
Whoever can stay on the field will win this game on December 31st.
Both defenses aren’t going to be the best you have ever seen, but as we saw against Louisville, the Cats can be very opportunistic.
However, I think the experienced coaching of Georgia Tech will be the biggest difference. Look for the Yellow Jackets to gain some big yards on the ground in their win over Kentucky.
Nov 26, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) celebrates his touchdown with teammate Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Billy Price (54) during the first overtime against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
College Football Playoff semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
No. 3 Ohio State (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten) vs. No. 2 Clemson (12-1, 7-1 ACC)
Dec. 31 – 7 p.m., ESPN
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Average Line: Ohio State, -3.5
The biggest game that any ACC team will be playing this postseason will be the last game that any team from the conference plays. That’s right, Ohio State is going to assert their dominance over the Clemson Tigers and end Deshaun Watson’s NCAA career one week too soon.
There is a reason that the Buckeyes have been hanging around the top five all season long. It’s because they have solid quarterback play and because they have the fourth ranked total defense in America.
Not to mention, they are only giving up 14.2 points per game. That’s simply insane.
Clemson has played too many close game against low-level competition this season and I don’t expect them to turn it on against Ohio State in Glendale, Arizona.
Buckeyes win and will move on to play Alabama in the National Championship.
All betting information/lines via oddsshark.com
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