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Belk Bowl Staff Picks

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

republicofcincinnati: I don't know much about the Tarheels, except that they won 5 of their last 6 against middle of the pack ACC teams (& ODU) and had a 4-3 record at home...certainly not enough to judge them simply based upon their schedule, as most other bowl Belk Bowl predictions that I've read have done in regards to the Bearcats.

With a few weeks rest, Brendon Kay should be firing on all cylinders, in what is most likely his final football game. I expect other seniors to bring it as well - Deven Drane, Blake Annen, Greg Blair, Arryn Chenault, Jordan Stepp, Jordan Luallen, Anthony McClung and others - in their last game in the red & black.

Just going on a gut feeling here, but I like our odds of returning to Cincinnati with a win on Sunday.

Bearcats - 33 (season average) Tarheels - 32 (season average)

bearcatlair: UC seems to play well in bowl games, except for the Florida game when they didn't have their coaches. I think UC 35, UNC 24

Justin Post: I think the Tar Heels' offense will sputter thanks in part to the Bearcats D, but also because of the loss of their offensive coordinator. For some reason, though, I think the Bearcats also come out a little flat. The last I saw, Vegas has the Tar Heels by a touchdown, and I think that's a little high. Not trying to be a contrarian just for fun; my gut says the 'Cats lose a close one: 24-22

Matt Dumont: The Bearcats have done well in bowls since the Sugar Bowl. I think the UC players just know how to prepare for a game that has them waiting a month. I expect the same thing in the Belk Bowl. Last year, Duke jumped out to a quick lead, leaving UC to dig out of the hole they created for themselves. I think we'll see the opposite this year. I think UC will go up by a couple scores, only to see the Tar Heels get back into the game. In the end, the Bearcats win a close one 27-24, with a couple turnovers by the defense being the difference.

Matt Opper: North Carolina is a worrying team for a variety of reasons, the improvement of their offense since Marquis Williams took over the job, the play of Kareem Martin and Tre Boston on defense, Ryan Switzer in the return game. But this is a really young North Carolina team and the Bearcats will have a healthy Brendon Kay for the first time all season. I think that winds up being the difference. UC 42 UNC 38

Jeff Gentil: This is why bowl season is fun. I honestly still have no idea how good UC is. 12 games in and I haven't the slightest clue if they're good, great, or just ok. Same thing holds true with North Carolina. They really haven't beaten anyone but they battled Duke in a tight game so they have to be pretty good, right? Well, this is a stab in the dark so let's just go with the heart and say the Bearcats pull out another tight one 34-31 and Tony Miliano rides into the sunset after making his final field goal - a 52 yarder at the horn. And Tommy Tuberville leaves to coach Central Michigan.