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College Bowl Game Picks: TicketCity, Outback, Gator And Capital One Bowls

We've got a nice slate of college football games to ring in the new year, and the TicketCity Bowl is the first to get us underway. 

The TicketCity Bowl is held in the Cotton Bowl and pits Northwestern (7-5, 3-5 Big 10) against Texas Tech (7-5, 3-5 Big 12). The Wildcats will be looking for their first bowl win since 1949 - when they won the Rose Bowl. The Wildcats, as their record indicates, were mediocre across the board. Texas Tech, meanwhile, boasts the eighth-best passing game in the FBS - which is why I'll take the Red Raiders to win the TicketCity Bowl.

The Outback Bowl is the most intriguing non-BCS bowl game of the day - featuring the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Michigan State Spartans, both of which were BCS hopefuls late in the season. Michigan State went 11-1 while Alabama went 9-3 - but I'll take the Crimson Tide and Saban's defense to beat the Spartans. 

Gator and Capital One Bowl picks after the jump.

Urban Meyer says goodbye to the FBS coaching world (for now) in the Outback Bowl which features the Florida Gators and Penn State Nittany Lions. Both teams were down this year - going 7-5  and 4-4 within their own conferences. I'll take Penn State to ruin Meyer's going away party in the Outback Bowl.

The Gator Bowl pits Mississippi State against Michigan. The Bulldogs had the 16th-best running game in the country this year - and I'll take them to beat Tom Brady's alma mater soundly in the Gator Bowl.

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