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Clayton Picks All the Games Correctly: Week 15 - The Bowl Game Edition

I'm bowl eligible and ready to make you some money. @ClaytonTrutor

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Follow me on twitter @ClaytonTrutor for the correct picks to every important college game and for incisive commentary on all other aspects of the human experience.

Good News: I am bowl eligible. That's not saying much these days, but it is still good news for you, the reader.

I have earned the right to give you the knowledge you will need to become fabulously wealthy this Christmas season.

I cleaned house in the conference championship games. Now on to the bowl season.

To help me continue coming up with A list material, I am enlisting help this week from Reddit's writing prompts. That's my bowl game gift suite. It's no X-Box One like the players on Pitt and Navy are receiving for playing in the Military Bowl. But it's pretty good.

Last Week: 4-4

Season to Date: 123-76

Our Game:

- Hawaii Bowl: Cincinnati vs. San Diego State

Writing Prompt: write the letter that you've always wanted to but never did.

Dear Hawaii,

Approximately one-third of Cincinnati fans are going to fly to the game. One-third are going to take a free, corporate-sponsored boat. They will set sail tomorrow on the H.M.S Fanduel.  One-third of Cincinnati fans are planning to swim.

My superpowers will allow me to walk to the game and to pick the game's winner correctly.


The Miss Cleo of College Football

Final Score: Cincinnati 49, San Diego State 35

Inferior, non-Cincinnati Bowl Games:

New Year's Eve

College Football Playoff, Semifinal #1:

- The Orange Bowl: #4 Oklahoma vs. #1 Clemson

Writing Prompt: A lonely fish arrives in Valhalla

I hosted a College Football Playoff selection-show watch party at the TGI Friday's in Sheyboyan, Wisconsin. I wanted to see if the Bearcats made the Final Four and I wanted to do so in style. Unfortunately, we didn't make the Final Four. Fortunately, a good time was had by all at the Sheyboyan TGI Friday's.  They had half-price any-tizers and complementary MGD. At the last minute, I invited OU 24/7 video man Trevor Rogers to the event. Seating was both alphabetical and tight.  He ended up seated on Kenny Rogers' lap.

Final Score: Oklahoma 38, Clemson 0 #firedabo


College Football Playoff, Semifinal #2:

- The Cotton Bowl: #3 Michigan State vs. #2 Alabama

Writing Prompt: A world where Obesity is considered the Pinnacle of Human Beauty

From what I saw, that world exists on the campus of Michigan State University.

Final Score: Alabama 35, Michigan State 10


Time Machine back to December 19th

- Celebration Bowl: Alcorn State vs. North Carolina A&T

Writing Prompt: Write Guy Fieri's Inaugural Speech

"Today on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drains, a four-year-old in Florida is forced to unplug a toilet with his bare hand. His teacher accused him of using too much of the white stuff. Delicious!"

Final Score: Alcorn State 35, NC A&T 20


- Cure Bowl: San Jose State vs. Georgia State

Writing Prompt: Write a short story about Tom Brady in 12 words

Tom Brady owes his entire adult life to Jets linebacker Mo Lewis.

Final Score: San Jose State 31, Georgia State 29


- Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Arizona vs. New Mexico

Writing Prompt: A tearful goodbye between Alligator and Crocodile

This will be a good game. But not as good as next year's Valentine's Day Bowl, the February 14th tilt scheduled between the 0-12 UCF Knights and the 1-12,475 Washington Generals.

Final Score: Rich Rods 51, New Mexico 30


- @ClaytonTrutor Las Vegas Bowl: BYU vs. Utah

Writing Prompt: What's the nicest thing you've ever done that you never got credit for doing?

It was awfully nice of me to sponsor this game. It was awfully stupid of me to pick two teams from a state whose majority religion abhors the casting of lots to play in a bowl game in Las Vegas.

Final Score: Utah 38, BYU 35


- Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Ohio vs. Appalachian State

Writing Prompt: Write a short story as a young kid might, frequently losing sense of plot and direction

Mamzelle Aurlie possessed a good strong figure, ruddy cheeks, hair that was changing from brown to gray, and a determined eye. She wore a man's hat about the farm, and an old blue army overcoat when it was cold, and sometimes top-boots.

Mamzelle Aurlie had never thought of marrying. She had never been in love. At the age of twenty she had received a proposal, which she had promptly declined, and at the age of fifty she had not yet lived to regret it.

Oh wait, that's the start to Kate Chopin's "Regret."  It fits the prompt though.

Final Score: Ohio 38, Appalachian State 10


R+L Carriers New Orleans BowlArkansas State vs. Louisiana Tech

Writing Prompt: Write Vladimir Putin as a bionic hero

Vladimir Putin is a better man than 49ers coach Jim Tomsula. Tomsula used to show up at my little league games and yell at my dad in the stands when I struck out or missed a fly ball. My father responded by giving Mr. Tomsula a patented Davey Boy Smith delayed suplex off the top of the dugout which he modified into a power-slam and pin-fall on the way down.

Final Score: Louisiana Tech 42, Arkansas State 35


December 21st

Miami Beach BowlWestern Kentucky vs. South Florida

Writing Prompt: "In 1942, Columbus sailed the ocean blue"

The best coaching hire of the last two weeks was the hiring of George O'Leary by me. I have hired him to be my life coach.

Final Score: Western Kentucky 100, South Florida 35


December 22nd

Famous Idaho Potato BowlAkron vs. Utah State

Writing Prompt: A real life whodunit

What do you get Santa Claus for Christmas? I never know what to get him. I know what to get the Reindeer. I always get them a big bag of Jordan almonds.

Final Score: Utah State 42, Akron 40


Marmot Boca Raton BowlToledo vs. Temple

Writing Prompt: You are given the very last pair of socks.

Isn't a marmot some kind of varmint? How can they afford to sponsor a bowl game? To answer your question, I would use my pair of socks to trap as many marmots as possible.

Final Score: Temple 20, Toledo 16


December 23rd

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia BowlBoise State vs. Northern Illinois

Writing Prompt: Describe an America without professional football.

Wait, I thought that was Bernie Sanders' campaign platform.

Final Score: Northern Illinois 45, Boise State 32


GoDaddy BowlGeorgia Southern vs. Bowling Green

Writing Prompt: You have a superpower. You can switch bodies with anyone as long as you get them to consensually French kiss you.

Pucker up, Boris Yeltsin!

Final Score: Bowling Green 56, Georgia Southern 55


Christmas Eve (Non-Cincinnati Division)

Popeyes Bahamas BowlMiddle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan

Writing Prompt: Santa exists, but so many parents disbelieve that he has little to do.

Popeye's Chicken is proof of Santa's existence. Something so wonderful and infinitely complex could not exist in a world without Santa.

Final Score: Kalamazoo 22, Middle Tennessee State 17


December 26th

St. Petersburg BowlConnecticut vs. Marshall

Writing Prompt: Describe your most harrowing trip to the airport.

I've been to Connecticut twice. Once, I flew into Hartford Municipal Airport in my custom chrome Lear Jet named "Rufus" in order to get a hamburger at White Castle for my dog X-Pac. They forgot the onions, but it turns out that was okay, because they're horribly toxic for dogs.  X-Pac (2015-present). Anyway, this Bowl game is taking place in St. Petersburg the day after Christmas. I'll be spending my Boxing Day with my troupe of historical re-enactors.

Coincidentally, we will be reenacting the siege of Leningrad, a.k.a. St. Petersburg, a.k.a Petrograd, a.k.a. Possum Jenkins.

Final Score: UConn 15, Marshall 14


Sun BowlMiami vs. Washington State

Writing Prompt: It was a dark and stormy night...

I feel like both of these teams are out of their element in a warm-weather climate. Washington State has been historically challenged in late-season warm-weather bowl games, and would do much better in a less sunny bowl. The Redhawks have yet to win a bowl game south of Miami, Ohio since Roethlisberger left school early to join the merchant marines.

Furthermore, Washington State alum Craig Ehlo was often referred to as "The Honky Tonk Man of the NBA Central Division." A longtime intercontinental champion, Ehlo was known to smash guitars over people's heads at halftime.

Final Score: Miami 33, Washington State 20


Zaxby's Heart of Dallas BowlWashington vs. Southern Miss

Writing Prompt: You inherited a Greek shipping fortune and have been asked to downsize its 1200 ship fleet.

Let's be honest.  Zaxby's is maybe a third tier chicken choice in any of the markets where they exist.  Usually the first choice is either Popeye's or the Colonel, followed by Arby's which has some chicken sandwiches.  Then Zaxby's is like, five miles down the end of a dirt road that's paved with dirt and I can't land Rufus on gravel because of the potential damage to his air intakes.  Rufus has never been parked at a Zaxby's, and I refuse to take a limo for chicken, because X-Pac gets sick in the car.

Final Score: Washington 31, Southern Miss 28


New Era Pinstripe BowlIndiana vs. Duke

Writing Prompt: You are buying a new suit

I look pretty smart in a pinstriped suit— particularly with my straw boater, my trusty cane, and my three best friends as we perform barbershop and other gang activity in the greater Cincy area.  We frequently sing covers of popular music in a barbershop style.  Our version of Adele's "Hello" is currently trending on Spotify, but we call our version "Maybe you wouldn't be so sad if you had a hobby."  We also spend a fair amount of time writing graffiti, loitering, and liberally interpreting the principle behind "leave a penny, take a penny."

Final Score: Indiana 38, Duke 35


Independence Bowl: Presented by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's Broken Skull Ranch: Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech

Writing Prompt: Everything can be used as a mirror

Frank Beamer's retirement is a great loss for Virginia Tech. But not nearly as big a loss as UConn losing Bob Diaco to Chippendale's. And UConn's loss of Diaco is not nearly as big a loss as ESPN2's being outbid for the Bassmaster Classic by Fox Sports 1.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 30, Tulsa 22


Foster Farms BowlUCLA vs. Nebraska

Writing Prompt: The silent train station

It's a silent train station. The only men there are me and Foster Farms. He was my neighbor growing up. Nice to run into him in a silent train station. We talk about old times. I tell him it's nice to see he is finally getting some recognition with the bowl game being named after him. He was unaware of this. He plans to Tivo it.

Final Score: Nebraska 45, UCLA 20


December 28th

Military Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Navy

Writing Prompt: Something with an unexpected plot twist

I will let Billy Joel do that for me: "Now Paul is a real estate Novelist/ Who never had time for a wife/ And he's talking with Davy, who's still in the Navy/ And probably will be for life."

Final Score: Navy 38, Pittsburgh 28


Quick Lane BowlCentral Michigan vs. Minnesota

Writing Prompt: A noir detective finds himself in an H.P. Lovecraft horror story.

This is the city. Detroit, Michigan. A team with a losing record made it to the Quick Lane Bowl. This team is going to win a bowl game. Even with this win, they will have a losing record. Why will they win? They have award winning kick-holder Peter Mortell. Peter Mortell's laces-out expertise will be just enough to help them win this exciting New Years' Eve-Eve-Eve-Eve matchup.

Final Score: Minnesota 3, Central Michigan 2


December 29th

Armed Forces BowlCalifornia vs. Air Force

Writing Prompt: You wake up tomorrow with the ability to use the force

I am the Miss Cleo of College Football. Who needs the force?

Final Score: Air Force 38, Cal 34


Russell Simmons BowlNorth Carolina vs. Baylor

Writing Prompt: You win $100 million in the lottery and it gets delivered to your house in cash.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery, Russell. Hip-Hop's original impresario throwing down seven-figures to put his name on a bowl game. He heard what I was doing with the Las Vegas Bowl and decided to get in on the act. The minute I won that $100 million lottery, I went out and bought me a bowl game. Russell is just a tourist, man.

Final Score: UNC 24, Baylor 20


I was Standing on a Corner in Winslow, Arizona BowlNevada vs. Colorado State

Writing Prompt: Write Nickelback's induction speech into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.

"I would like to thank the Downtown Athletic Club for inducting this great band. It is an honor to be in such esteemed company. I would like to thank the Nevada and Colorado State football teams for no particular reason. Finally, they have received the credit they always deserved," -Me, delivering the induction speech for Nickelback. The actual members of Nickelback are busy delivering the rock to the people. They don't have time for award shows." - Me.

Final Score: Nevada 34, Colorado State 27


AdvoCare V100 Texas BowlLSU vs. Texas Tech

Writing Prompt: Earth is a sentient being and wakes after a millennia of slumber

I think this is improbable. But I couldn't imagine that anyone thought it was a good idea to fire Les Miles, so anything is possible.

Final Score: LSU 27, Texas Tech 20


December 30th

Birmingham BowlAuburn vs. Memphis

Writing Prompt: "Top Gun" was actually a documentary

Netflix and chill, Hulu and relax, WWE Network and de-stress, or Dailymotion and meditation. Any of these will be better than watching these two sad-sack teams from also-ran conferences slap at each other in merry old England. I can't imagine why the NCAA (or, as I prefer to call them, the N¢AA) think that playing games in Britain will increase the fanbase of college football teams. The Memphis Tigers and the Auburn Also Tigers are two of college footballs least photogenic teams. They could take a lesson in uniform design and unique feline naming from our hometown Bengals. Better to re-watch your brother's dance recital than watch this train wreck.

Final Score: Memphis 38, Auburn 20


Belk BowlNC State vs. Mississippi State

Writing Prompt: Write a short story in 13 words.

I usually wake up in the morning with a big bowl of Belk.

Final Score: Miss State 42, NC State 24


Music City BowlTexas A&M vs. Louisville

Writing Prompt: Write another short story in 13 words.

No Louisville starting quarterback has ever pooped his pants during the Egg Bowl.

Final Score: Louisville 35, Texas A&M 31


Holiday BowlUSC vs. Wisconsin

Writing Prompt: You can never be too skinny or too rich.

No offense, but this is the worst named bowl game yet.  In fact, we're renaming this clunker of a bowl to honor my cats Cristobal and Cristobal II.  This will now be known as the Cristobowl.  Look for Wisconsin to gain an early advantage by hiding inside a giant wooden badger playing against USC's traditional weaknesses.


Final Score: Wisconsin 35, USC 24


December 31st

Chick-fil-A Peach BowlHouston vs. Florida State

Writing Prompt: Write about the Monster under your bed.

The Monster under my bed does not like going to games. "You can see it better on tv," he says. I agree with him. "You don't have to pay for food. You can go to the bathroom whenever you want to," he says. That's true, except for Dak Prescott. Who seems to think it's okay to poop your pants on the field. Good Lord. Next time, wait till you get to the sideline.

Final Score: Houston 42, Florida State 8


January 1st

Outback BowlNorthwestern vs. Tennessee

Writing Prompt: Pitch a Hollywood movie based on a children's game

Let's do a movie based on Stratego starring Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald as one of the scouts, Sir Stewart Wallace as himself, Nathan Wind as Cochise, Volunteers' coach Butch Jones as Bobby "The Rookie," and Alasondro Alegre as "the Chief."

Final Score: Tennessee 28, Northwestern 17


Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus BowlMichigan vs. Florida

Writing Prompt: CD Box sets have been made illegal. What do you do?

In response to Krom's call for all media to be free, I will develop a computer program that will allow me to share music files as if they were tracks on a CD. I will call it Ka'zaa.

Final Score: Florida 31, Michigan 7


- Fire Line Ink Tattoos and Piercings Fiesta BowlOhio State vs. Notre Dame

Writing Prompt: Starting with A, write a story where each word begins with the next letter in the alphabet.

Andy brags Columbus does Easter finest. Man, this is hard. I think Notre Dame is going to get off the bus ready to play. So will Ohio State. Since their bus ride is slightly shorter than the Buckeyes', I think they will win.

Final Score: Notre Dame 45, Ohio State 28


Rose Bowl: Presented by EnronStanford vs. Iowa

Writing Prompt: Conan O'Brien is replaced by Conan the Barbarian. Describe the first show.

The monologue will consist of Conan the Librarian eating twelve pounds of raw steak. The monologue will last for 90 minutes. The God Krom, talking on the role of Andy Richter, tells us to slay the wizard Jerek.

Final Score: Stanford 24, Iowa 7


Sugar Bowl: Presented by Splenda: Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss

Writing Prompt: You get hired by the Illuminati...

Is a meeting of the Illuminati like the Christmas Party hosted by Alex Jones and Meredith Baxter-Birney in Eyes Wide Shut? Other than Gord Kluzak, what former Boston Bruins are known members the Illuminati? Is Eyes Wide Shut a Christmas film? If so, is it the seventh best Christmas film of all time behind It's a Wonderful LifeHoliday InnMiracle on 34th StreetSanta with MusclesChristmas in Connecticut, and Rocky IV?

Final Score: Ole Miss 21, Oklahoma State 17


January 2nd

TaxSlayer BowlPenn State vs. Georgia

Writing Prompt: Describe the ideal New Years' Eve.

This bowl game's title sponsor must be aiming for that large market of New Years' tax filers.  As far as I knew, Merrick and Ned Flanders were the only two New Years' Day tax filers in the Anglo-American world.

Final Score: Georgia 21, Penn State 17


AutoZone Liberty BowlKansas State vs. Arkansas

Writing Prompt: You are holding a party but you don't have any coasters.

You know what screams the abstract notion of individual liberty to me?  AutoZone.  Despite their categorical imperative to "Get in the Zone.  AutoZone," there is still significant room for individual dissent and dissatisfaction.  There's no deterministic calculus that prevents this from becoming the Bond Auto Parts bowl or the National Tire and Battery or the Napa Knowhow Liberty Bowl.  AutoZone purchased sponsorship rights to the name.  It's just that simple.

Final Score: Arkansas 42, Kansas State 21


Valero Alamo BowlOregon vs. TCU

Writing Prompt: the exhibits at the natural history museum turn to life after dark.

Mamie Dwight Eisenhower once said "Madame de Stael once said that anyone who doesn't have a rooting interest in the Oregon/TCU game has no interest in cryptozoology."  Both Oregon and TCU claim fictional creatures as their mascots, as the horned frogs and the ducks are both as mythological as other fantastical beasts like Pretendapotamuses, Neon Pandas, and Cave Sharks.

Final Score: Oregon 48, TCU 39


Motel 6 Cactus Bowl: Presented by Red Roof Inn: West Virginia vs. Arizona State

Writing Prompt: Describe a night at a 39 dollar a night motel.

My ideal night at a Motel 6 involves former West Virginia coach Don Nehlen, former Arizona State coach Dan Devine, basic cable television, a weed-whacker, and five pounds of potato salad.

Final Score: West Virginia 48, Arizona State 42



As should be obvious but apparently is not, this column is a parody and not intended to be taken seriously. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.