NCAAF Tuesday: Madwed picks Arizona State vs Florida State in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, and Utah vs Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl
Arizona State -4 over Florida State, Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, 2 PM EST
Both of these teams will be playing without key offensive players, which makes this game a bit of a wild card. While star freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels will be starting, key running back Eno Benjamin and receiver Brandon Aiyuk are sitting out to prepare for the NFL draft. Florida State will be without their top two running backs, including star Cam Akers. Daniels should be a very tough matchup for a Seminoles defense that has been a sieve against high level competition this season. While the Pac-12 did not have a stellar year, it is a deeper conference than the ACC and Arizona State racked up points against stronger defenses than this one. I think Arizona State covers the spread because they have shown that they are capable of playing at a much higher level than Florida State. A disappointing season that saw the Seminoles fire head coach Willie Taggart will end with a losing record.
(11) Utah -7 over Texas, Valero Alamo Bowl, 7:30 PM EST
After yet another preseason in which Texas was declared “back”, the Longhorns disappointed. Some considered them to be a potential top 10 team, but they fell early against LSU and limped to the end with losses against Iowa State and Baylor in two of their last three games. Utah arguably ended their season with even more regrets, but that was a result of narrowly missing the College Football Playoff. A win over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game would have possibly put Utah into the fourth spot over Oklahoma. Instead, the Utes were completely outplayed and it was never close. That shouldn’t completely take away what was Utah’s best season since they entered the conference in 2011. They won all but two games with a combination of tenacious defense and consistent, mistake-free offense. The Longhorns have had trouble stopping teams and fired their offensive coordinator at the end of the season. Texas has superior athletes to Utah, but that’s the case for most of their opponents with little to show for it. I see Utah responding to their disrespectful fall all the way from 5th to 11th and beating Texas by more than a touchdown.
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