Bowl season is a very exciting time of the year

Published 8:40 am Friday, December 11, 2015

Like most college football fans, the bowl season is the most intriguing time of the season for me.

Despite apparent mismatches or teams that don’t usually generate much interest from a particular region, college fans are going to tune in simply because it’s college football.

College football is king, especially here in the Deep South. Anyone for hockey? Soccer? Didn’t think so.

As a former sports editor at two newspapers in Mississippi, my claim to fame is winning the last four season-long Pigskin Picks championships. Though I might be a little rusty, I’m going to give it a go and try and pick a few college bowl games from the 40 games that are on tap, particularly the College Football Playoff games and Southeastern conference teams.

I once thought there could never bee too many bowl games. With three 5-7 schools participating in bowl games because there are not enough teams with winning records to go around, I now see I was wrong in that thinking. But no matter, we’ll all tune in when they play.

As for the national championship is concerned, I’m going out on a limb and picking Oklahoma to win it all. Though the 11-1 Sooners are No. 4 in the CFP rankings, I believe they will upset undefeated and No. 1 Clemson in the Orange Bowl semifinal. Oklahoma is favored by four points. Let’s say Oklahoma, 27-24.

The Sooners follow that up by knocking off No. 2 Alabama 24-23 for the championship.

Alabama is a big 10-point favorite over No. 3 Michigan State. Though the Spartans have had the crazy bounces fall their way this season, Lady Luck won’t help Michigan State against Alabama. I’ll say Alabama wins 31-21.

I think No. 5 Iowa and No. 6 Stanford are playing some of their best football as of late. It’s a shame those two teams didn’t get into the playoff mix. Maybe the championships will soon expand to include more top caliber teams.

As for the SEC is concerned, we’ll see if the league is as overrated as many national pundits suggest. I believe the SEC will more than hold its own in the 10 games in which an SEC school is participating.

LSU vs. Texas Tech (Dec. 29, Texas Bowl) — Can the Tigers do any more offensively than hand the ball to Leonard Fournette? LSU’s lack of offensive imagination was exposed in the last three games of the season, which resulted in three losses. I think LSU coach Les Miles will turn quarterback Brandon Harris loose and Harris responds with his best game of the season…LSU 42-17.

Mississippi State vs. North Carolina State (Dec. 30, Belk Bowl) — MSU quarterback Dak Prescott lights up the Wolfpack and ends his college career on a winning note…MSU 37-21.

Auburn vs. Memphis (Dec. 30, Birmingham Bowl — Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch is the best quarterback nobody has heard about. Memphis wins handily…47-17.

Texas A&M vs. Louisville (Dec. 30, Music City Bowl) — A&M didn’t seem to be hitting on all cylinders at the end of the regular season. Louisville is a talented squad…Louisville 24-13.

Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma State (Jan. 1, Sugar Bowl) — Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly finds Laquon Treadwell and his talented bunch of receivers all day…Ole Miss 37-30.

Tennessee vs. Northwestern (Jan. 1, Outback Bowl) — Volunteers stay hot after a slow start…Tennessee 35-27.

Florida vs. Michigan (Jan. 1, Citrus Bowl) Michigan clamps down on UF offense…Michigan 42-17.

Arkansas vs. Kansas State (Jan. 2, Liberty Bowl) — A hot Arkansas squad runs roughshod over an outmanned K-State club…Arkansas 37-21.

Georgia vs. Penn State (Jan. 2, TaxSlayer Bowl) — Penn State nips Georgia….21-20.

USM vs. Washington (Dec. 26, Heart of Dallas Bowl) — Washington 32-12.

Who are you picking?

Randy Hammons is a staff writer with the Daily News. He can be contacted by calling 985-732-2565 or by email at