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College Bowl Game Picks: Armed Forces Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl

Wednesday saw a trio of blowout bowl games. Baylor was overmatched by Mikel Leshoure and the Fighting Illini in the Texas bowl, losing 38-14. Maryland crushed East Carolina 51-20 in the Military Bowl. Capping the blowouts on Wednesday evening, Oklahoma State pasted Arizona 36-10 in the Alamo Bowl.

Thursday features four bowl games - two of them taking place early in the day. The Armed Forces Bowl kicks off at 12 PM EST and pits the Southern Methodist Mustangs against the Army Black Knights. The Mustangs, who went 7-6 in the regular season and 6-2 in Conference USA play, are led by their passing game and quarterback Kyle Padron. SMU's passing game ranked 23rd in the FBS.

Army, by contrast, are powered by their running game, averaging 256 yards per game on the ground - which is 10th in the FBS. The Black Knights average a meager 80.1 passing yards per game, so they are the very definition of one-dimensional with their triple option offense.

Despite the fact that Army will come out fired up for their first bowl game in 14 years, I'll take SMU to defeat Army in the Armed Forces Bowl. Kickoff is slated for 12 PM EST from Gerald Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

Pinstripe Bowl prediction comes after the jump.

The Pinstripe Bowl, as the name suggests, will take place at Yankee Stadium in New York. Syracuse will face off against Kansas State in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl.

Kansas State (7-5, 3-5 in Big 12) are led by senior running back Daniel Thomas, who rushed for 1,495 yards and 16 touchdowns in the regular season for the Wildcats. Kansas State ranked 20th in the FBS in rushing, averaging 206 yards per game. 

Syracuse (7-5, 4-3 in Big East) are anchored by their defense, who allowed only 18.1 points per game - 13th overall in the FBS. The Orange were fairly anemic on offense, ranking 92nd and 88th in passing and rushing respectively. 

I'll take the Wildcats to defeat the Orange in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl. Syracuse simply won't be able to muster enough offense to compete with the Wildcats and Daniel Thomas. 

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.