College football bowl season is officially underway, and the matchups continue to heat up as the weeks go on. The early bowls have already provided some great games, but the real meat of the season is yet to come. Once New Year’s rolls around, college football fans will be unable to escape their TVs with all the great games.
College football would not be college football without the upsets. Some of the sports biggest upsets have happened in bowl games, such as Boise State upending Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. With how packed this year’s bowl slate is, another such upset could happen again.
With that said, here are our three biggest upset picks for college football bowl season.
3. Valero Alamo Bowl: Washington over Texas
The Alamo Bowl is usually one of the best bowl games each season, and this should be no different. Washington finished the season 10-2 and 12th in College Football Rankings, while Texas finished 8-4 and 20th in the rankings. Despite that, the Huskies are somehow four-point underdogs entering the game.
This line only gets even more confusing when comparing the teams more closely. Washington is a much better offensive team, averaging over 90 yards and five points more per game than Texas. The Longhorns have a very slight advantage on defense, but not enough to swing the balance.
Then, the opt-outs have only further swung the odds in Washington’s favor. The Huskies have only lost one player to the transfer portal, who didn’t even play, while the Longhorns have lost eight. Additionally, Texas has lost three more players due to opt-out, including running back Bijan Robinson and linebacker DeMarvion Overshown.
So, the Longhorns are still the favorite despite finishing with a worse record and ranking, having a significantly worse offense, and missing nearly a dozen players, including their best on both sides of the ball? That doesn’t make any sense. Washington should win this game pretty comfortably.
2. San Diego Credit Union Holiday Bowl: North Carolina over Oregon
This college football game features two teams that got off to great starts, then came crashing down to earth. Oregon started the season 8-1 and looked like a playoff contender, but lost two of its last three games to miss the Pac-12 Championship Game. North Carolina started 9-1, but finished the season ice-cold with losses to Georgia Tech, NC State, and Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
On paper, Oregon has a clear advantage over North Carolina. The Ducks have significantly better stats on both offense and defense, and they have played better competition as well. Both teams have lost a similar number of players to the transfer portal and have one opt-out each, cornerback Christian Gonzalez for Oregon and wide receiver Josh Downs for North Carolina.
So if Oregon has that big advantage, what makes North Carolina the pick here? Well, Drake Maye and the Tar Heels’ passing attack may be able to do some damage against Oregon’s secondary. Maye has not been at his best recently, so he will want to end the season on a high note.
For what it’s worth, Oregon did recently struggle with a pass-heavy offense. The Ducks surrendered over 400 passing yards to Michael Penix Jr. in a 37-34 home loss to Washington on Nov. 12, and that was with Gonzalez playing.
If Maye and the Tar Heels can throw the ball well, they could pull the upset. At the very least, they should cover the generous 14.5-point spread in Oregon’s favor.
1. Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Ohio State over Georgia
This wouldn’t be the biggest upset in terms of spread, but it would easily be the biggest in terms of impact. Georgia is a 6.5-point favorite over Ohio State as of Tuesday. Both teams are pretty similar on paper, but a few other factors go in the Bulldogs’ favor.
For one, this game is in Atlanta, which means it’s basically a home game for Georgia. For two, Ohio State is missing two key players due to opt-outs, wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and running back TreVeyon Henderson. While both have missed much of the season with injury, they are still fantastic players who would greatly help against the Bulldogs.
That said, Ohio State is one of the few college football teams that can match Georgia in terms of talent. The Bulldogs just surrendered 30 points and over 500 passing yards against LSU in the SEC Championship, and a repeat performance could spell trouble. If C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes receivers can exploit that secondary, they will be in great shape.
Georgia is still an incredibly tough team to beat and will not go down easily. However, Ohio State may have the right combination of talent and scheme to pull off the upset.