Now that we're in the fourth installment of our bowl predictions, we're far enough along that (a) almost any of these things would be a National Game of Disinterest during the regular season and (b) we're a little sick of poring over cfbstats.com for talking points. So instead we're going to gossip and cast aspersions. Let us know what you think in the comments.
Texas Bowl (Friday Dec. 27)
Syracuse v. Minnesota (-4.5)
The coolest thing about the Texas Bowl is our Syracuse sister site raising enough money to send a bunch of fans there. I think they'll probably go home disappointed, though. The Orangemen haven't been good since Donovan McNabb, and he already retired from the NFL. The Golden Gophers cover after a surpisingly close first half.
Fight Hunger Bowl (Friday Dec. 27)
BYU v. Washington (-3)
The Fight Hunger Bowl is another feel-good story with an unfortunate ending. Kraft opted not to renew its 3-year sponsorship of the bowl, but during their watch the bowl "donated more than 300,000 meals to Bay Area food banks" and players spent time serving meals at local shelters. That's very cool, and I'd like to think that the players will remember that experience long after others' iPads and Oakleys get thrown out during a move. Oh, also, Bill C. says Washington will cover, and he's way smarter than we are.
New Era Pin Stripe Bowl (Saturday Dec. 28)
Rutgers v. Notre Dame (-15.5)
This game has the second highest spread of any bowl game this season. (Only Baylor is favored by more (-16.5) over Central Florida.) Therefore, you'd expect this to be a pretty easy pick in favor of the Irish, right? To borrow from Grandpa Corso, Not so fast, my friend! Never forget that betting lines are designed to keep equal money on both sides or that Notre Dame fans have the most over-inflated sense of self-worth of any fanbase, which is saying something when you consider that Alabama fans exist. Rutgers, on the other hand, barely has a fanbase at all. I can't say that I've ever met a Rutgers fan, and I live less than an hour away. But we're not just relying on psychology. Rutgers boasts the fourth-best rush defense in the country, allowing less than 100 yards per game on the ground. That means that that Tommy Rees will need to throw the ball, and Tommy Touchdown is kind of an ironic nickname, like Tiny or Bruiser. The Scarlet Knights cover, though I doubt they'll win outright.