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The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

CFB bowl predictions


Celebration Bowl

12 p.m. Dec. 16, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

The top two HBCU teams face off in this battle of FCS powerhouses.

North Carolina A&T (11-0) LH

Key Player: Marquell Cartwright (RB) 

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Cartwright gets plenty of touches in the Aggies offense. His effectiveness running the ball could serve as a bellwether in Saturday’s matchup.


Grambling (11-1) JT, JL

Key Player: De’Arius Christmas (LB)

The SWAC player of the year tallied 77 total tackles and 15.5 tackles for loss.


New Orleans Bowl

1 p.m., Dec. 16, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Troy (10-2)JT, JL

Key Player: Brandon Silvers (QB) 

Silvers will be making his final appearance for the Trojans, a starter since freshman year.


North Texas (9-4) LH

Key Player: Jeffery Williams (RB)

Williams has a knack for the endzone, rushing for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns despite battling injuries late in the season.


Cure Bowl

2:30 p.m. Dec. 16, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL

Western Kentucky (6-6) JT, JL, LH

Key Player: Mike White (QB)

White has excelled this season, throwing for 3,826 yards and 24 touchdowns.


Georgia St. (6-5)

Key Player: Penny Hart (WR)

Hart is the focal point of the Panthers’ aerial attack, with over 1,000 yards receiving on the year.


Las Vegas Bowl

3:30 p.m. Dec. 16, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV

25 Boise State (10-3) JL

Key Player: Leighton Vander Esch (LB)

The Mountain West DPOY will have to come up big bringing down electric Oregon running back Royce Freeman.


Oregon (7-5) JT, LH

Key Player: Royce Freeman (RB)

The Ducks always can rely on Freeman to run over any defense, as he has 1,475 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on the year.


New Mexico Bowl

4:30 p.m. Dec. 16, Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, NM

Marshall (7-5)

Key Player: Chase Hancock (LB)

Hancock does everything for the Herd’s defense, leading the team in tackles and tackles for loss.


Colorado State (7-5) JT, LH, JL

Key Player: Michael Gallup (WR)

Gallup is clearly the no. 1 receiver in the Rams’ offense, with 1,345 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. He also is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the top wide receiver.


Camellia Bowl

8 p.m., Dec 16th, Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, AL

Middle Tennessee (6-6) LH

Key Player: Ty Lee (WR)

Lee is a big play threat who can change the momentum of a game in a matter of seconds.


Arkansas State (7-4) JL, JT

Key Player: Ja’Von Rolland-Jones

Rolland-Jones is a pass-rush machine just one short of breaking the FBS sack record.


Boca Raton Bowl

7 p.m., Dec. 19, FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FL

Akron (7-6)

Key Player: Whoever lines up at quarterback. The Zips have to find one that can be effective, either Kato Nelson or Thomas Woodson.


Florida Atlantic (10-3) JT, JL, LH

Key Player: Devin Singletary (RB)

This guy is incredible. Singletary is the catalyst of the Owls’ offense, with 1,796 yards and 29 touchdowns on the year.


Frisco Bowl

8 p.m., Dec. 20, Toyota Stadium, Frisco, TX

LA Tech (6-6) JT

Key Player: Amik Robertson (DB)

Robertson, a freshman, has been a sensation on defense this year for the Tigers.


SMU (7-5) JL, LH

Key Player: Trey Quinn (WR)

Quinn is the go-to man in 3rd down situations. Look for him to be the Mustangs X-Factor.


Gasparilla Bowl

8 p.m., Dec. 21, Tropicana Field, Tampa, FL

Florida International (8-4) JL, JT

Key Player: Brad Muhammad (CB)

Muhammad leads the team in interceptions and will have to come up clutch preventing Temple QB Frank Nutile.


Temple (6-6) LH

Key Player: Frank Nutile (QB)

Nutile has looked good since leapfrogging Logan Marchi for the starting spot, which he’ll need to continue if he wants to lead Temple to victory in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.


Bahamas Bowl

12:30 p.m., Dec. 22, Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas

UAB (8-4) JL, JT

Key Player: Spencer Brown (RB)

Brown has been reliable for the Blazers all year, with 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns.


Ohio (8-4) LH

Key Player: Nathan Rourke (QB)

Rourke has a combined 36 touchdowns this season, many of which came on the ground as he has 877 rushing yards.


Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

4 p.m., Dec 22, Lyle Smith Field at Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID

Central Michigan (8-4) JT, LH

Key Player: Corey Willis (WR)

Big play threat. Passed Antonio Brown’s school record.


Wyoming (7-5) JL

Key Player: Josh Allen (QB)

Allen is an NFL talent who can prove a lot in this game.


Birmingham Bowl

12 p.m., Dec 23, Legion Field, Birmingham, AL

Texas Tech (6-6) JL

Key Player: Keke Coutee (WR)

Electric wide receiver who is 6th in receiving yards among all FBS players.


South Florida (9-2) JT, LH

Key Player: Quinton Flowers (QB)

Flowers might be the most explosive quarterback in the nation, with 2600 passing yards, 972 rushing yards, and a combined 31 touchdowns.


Armed Forces Bowl

3:30 p.m., Dec. 23, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX

San Diego State (10-2) JT, LH

Key Player: Rashaad Penny (RB) 

Penny is one of the top running backs in the nation, leading in rushing yards and with 19 touchdowns.


Army (9-3) JL

Key Player: Ahmad Bradshaw (QB)

Not really a quarterback, but is super quick and is the nation’s seventh leading rusher.


Dollar General Bowl

7 p.m., Dec. 23, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama

Appalachian State (8-4) LH

Key Player: Taylor Lamb (QB)

Lamb has been a solid leader throughout his years with the program, look for his veteran presence to make an impact.


Toledo (11-2) JL, JT  

Key Player: Logan Woodside (QB)

Woodside is one of the top group of 5 quarterbacks in the country, has 3768 passing yards and 28 touchdowns.


Hawai’i Bowl

8:30 p.m., Dec. 24, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI

Fresno State (9-4) JT, JL

Key Player: Jeffrey Allison (LB)

First-team all conference honoree, made 103 tackles for the Bulldogs defense.


Houston (7-4) LH

Key Player: D’Juan Hines (LB)

Stud senior linebacker who led the Cougars in tackles with 104.


Heart of Dallas Bowl

1:30 p.m., Dec. 26, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX

West Virginia (7-5) JL, LH


Utah (6-6) JT


Quick Lane Bowl

5:15 p.m., Dec. 26, Ford Field, Detroit, MI

Northern Illinois (8-4) JL


Duke (6-6) LH, JT


Cactus Bowl

9 p.m., Dec. 26, Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ

Kansas State (7-5) LH, JT


UCLA (6-6) JL


Independence Bowl

1:30 p.m., Dec. 27, Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA

Southern Miss (8-4) JT


Florida State (6-6) JL, LH


Pinstripe Bowl

5:15 p.m., Dec. 27, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

Iowa (7-5) JL, JT


Boston College (7-5) LH


Foster Farms Bowl

8:30 p.m., Dec. 27, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

Purdue (6-6) JL, LH


Arizona (7-5) JT


Texas Bowl

9 p.m., Dec. 27, NRG Stadium, Houston, TX

Texas (6-6) LH


Missouri (7-5) JT, JL


Military Bowl

1:30 p.m., Dec. 28, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD

Navy (8-4) JT, JL


Virginia (6-6) LH


Camping World Bowl

5:15 p.m., Dec. 28, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL

22 Virginia Tech (9-3)


19 Oklahoma State (9-3) JL, JT, LH


Alamo Bowl*

9 p.m., Dec. 28, Alamodome, San Antonio, TX

13 Stanford (9-4) JT, LH


15 TCU (10-3) JL


Holiday Bowl

9 p.m., Dec. 28, SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, CA

18 Washington State (9-3) JT, LH


16 Michigan State (9-3) JL


Belk Bowl

1 p.m., Dec. 29, Bank of America, Charlotte, NC

Wake Forest (7-5)


Texas A&M (7-5) JL, JT, LH


Sun Bowl

3 p.m., Dec. 29, Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX

24 NC State (8-4) JL, JT, LH


Arizona State (7-5)


Music City Bowl

4:30 p.m., Dec. 29, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN

21 Northwestern (9-3) JL, JT, LH


Kentucky (7-5)


Arizona Bowl

5:30 p.m., Dec. 29, Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ

Utah State (6-6) LH, JL


New Mexico State (6-6) JT


Cotton Bowl*

8:30 p.m., Dec. 29, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

8 USC (11-2)


5 Ohio State (11-2) JL, JT, LH


TaxSlayer Bowl

Noon, Dec. 30, EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL

Louisville (8-4) JT


23 Mississippi State (8-4) JL, LH


Liberty Bowl

12:30 p.m., Dec. 30, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN

Iowa State (7-5) JL, JT


20 Memphis (10-2) LH


Fiesta Bowl*

4 p.m., Dec. 30, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

11 Washington (10-2)


9 Penn State (10-2) JL, JT, LH


Orange Bowl*

8 p.m., Dec. 30, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL

10  Miami (11-2) LH, JT


6 Wisconsin (12-1) JL


Outback Bowl

12 p.m., Jan. 1, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

Michigan (8-4) LH


South Carolina (8-4) JT, JL


Peach Bowl*

12:30 p.m., Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

12 UCF (12-0)


7 Auburn (10-3) JL, JT, LH


Citrus Bowl*

1 p.m., Jan. 1, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL

14 Notre Dame (9-3) JL, JT


17 LSU (9-3) LH


Rose Bowl Playoff**

5 p.m., Jan. 1, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

2 Oklahoma (12-1) LH, JT


3 Georgia (12-1) JL


Sugar Bowl Playoff**

8:45 p.m., Jan. 1, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA

1 Clemson (12-1) JL


4 Alabama (11-1) JT, LH


CFP National Championship***

8 p.m., Jan. 8, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

John: Clemson vs. Georgia, CLEMSON WIN

Logan: Alabama vs. Oklahoma, OKLAHOMA WIN

J.T.: Alabama vs. Oklahoma, ALABAMA WIN

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Logan Hanchett, Editor
Hit a dinger that still has not landed in the 2018 softball "game" against Gothic.
John Law, Editor
Only true athlete on staff. Plans to dominate the Gothic-Optimist softball game.  Holds the Optimist record for most David's Sunflower Seeds unshelled and eaten in one day. Two-time Fantasy Football Champ
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