Now that the cheers and tears are over and with all the bowl games and the playoffs out, this is the last of the football schedule we’ll do. It includes all the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference bowl games, along with some of the small conferences we have been following in Florida and rooting for through the year.
I’ll begin with Dec. 19's first bowl game and give my picks all the way up to Jan. 1 for the playoff bowls. My crystal ball, as you know, does not work, so I would be guessing, but I think you’ll have an all-SEC-team game, with Alabama vs. Georgia on Jan. 8 for the national title.
Dec. 19, the Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl: Akron Zips vs. Florida Atlantic Owls. Coach Kiffin of the Owls says, "Look at what a great job I did in one year. Please send me back to the SEC." Owls by 21.
Dec. 21, The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl: Temple Owls vs. Florida International Golden Panthers. The Panthers are a good team but not good enough against the Owls. Owls all over the Panthers by 12.
Dec. 23, the Birmingham Bowl: Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. South Florida Bulls. Sorry folks, no lassos in this game. Bulls by 18
Dec. 23, the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: The San Diego State Aztecs vs. Army Black Knights. Army all the way every day; push up, set up, all the way, we love, we like, we want more of it. Knights by 3.
Dec. 26, the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl: Utah Utes vs. West Virginia Mountaineers. West Virginia is a hot team today and a cold team the following week. For this game they're hot. Mountaineers by 12.
Dec. 26, the Quick Lane Bowl: Duke Blue Devils vs. Northern Illinois Huskies. The Huskies do not do well in this setting. Duke by 21. They have to get the fans not to feed the poppy.
Dec. 27, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Boston College Eagles, this could be a good game Boston College by 7, on a wish.
Dec. 27, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl: Texas Longhorns vs. Missouri Tigers; the Longhorns need this win for a decent season and they do but only by 1 or 2 points.
Dec. 28, the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman: Virginia Cavaliers vs. Navy Midshipman. Navy is strong and determined but so are the Cavaliers. Virginia by 13; okay everyone, put away your swords.
Dec. 28, the Camping World Bowl: No. 22 Virginia Tech Hokies vs. No.19 Oklahoma State Cowboys. Now you're in for a treat here. It's a good game for the Hokies to redeem themselves with a big win by 13.
Dec. 28, the Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 13 Stanford Cardinals vs. No. 15 TCU Horned Frogs. Don’t you just love the color "Purple?" TCU by 6.
Dec. 29, the Belk Bowl: Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Texas A&M Aggies. WF is looking for an upset here, but the new coach is now part of the 12th man. Aggies by 12.
Dec. 29, The Hyundai Sun Bowl: No. 24 North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. Arizona State Sun Devils. This will be a very close game, with the Wolfpack getting a bad sunburn from Arizona. Sun Devils by 3.
Dec. 29, the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Kentucky Wildcats vs. No. 21 Northwestern Wildcats. A lot of cat fur will be flying in this game, and don’t you just love the color "Purple?" Northwestern by 21. No hair balls please!
Dec. 30, the TaxSlayer Bowl: Louisville Cardinals vs. No. 23 Mississippi State Bulldogs. This big game will fill the sets. The Bulldogs have a fight on their hands and win by 6.
Dec. 30, the Capital One Orange Bowl: No. 10 Miami Hurricanes vs. No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers. Talk about getting no respect and very angry. And you know what they say about angry Badgers. What a mess. Badgers by 14.
Jan. 1, the Outback Bowl: Michigan Wolverines vs. South Carolina Gamecocks. How do you get into the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day un-ranked in the top 25? Gamecocks by 3.
Jan. 1, the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl: No. 12 University Central Florida Knight vs. No. 7 Auburn War Eagles: We are always saying, "Give the small conference champion a chance at the big time." In this case we are feeding them to the dogs, so to speak. The Knights put up a good fight but the War Eagles win by 12.
Jan. 1, the Citrus Bowl, presented by Overton’s: No. 14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 17 LSU Tigers. Don’t you just love "Purple?" Tigers by 13.
Jan. 1, the College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl: No. 3 Georgia Dawgs vs. No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners, the Dawgs run all over the field and the Sooners. Georgia by 13.
Jan. 1, the College Football Playoff at the Sugar Bowl: No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 1 Clemson Tigers. "Sweet revenge, sweet revenge, how sweet it is" revenge. Tide by 20.
Jan. 8, the College Football Playoff National Championship at Atlanta, Georgia: Crystal Ball Pick — No. 1 Georgia Dawgs vs. No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide. "Roll Tide Roll" by 3.
Bill Everett is a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He lives in Baker.