Bowl Picks ATS: OU and Arizona have history on the gridiron and the hardwood

Bowl Picks ATS: OU and Arizona have history on the gridiron and the hardwood

As football season merges with basketball season, let’s learn about how the teams matching up in this week’s bowl games are connected in both sports and try to make some money in the process.

Todd Lisenbee

By Todd Lisenbee

| Dec 28, 2023, 11:00am CST

Todd Lisenbee

By Todd Lisenbee

Dec 28, 2023, 11:00am CST

The third and final week of bowl season is here. After giving you random facts about bowl teams the last few weeks, I decided to spend this week celebrating the football/basketball crossover. Here’s some fun facts and series history for all the teams playing in bowl games this week.

Last week: 8-8

This year: 97-80

*Games played between Thursday, December 28 and Monday, January 1.

Fenway Bowl – No. 24 SMU (-9.5) vs. Boston College, 10 a.m. Thursday: This is the second meeting ever between these two teams in football. The only other meeting was a 31-29 win for SMU on October 4, 1986. To say both schools would go opposite directions after that game would be an understatement. Boston College won their next eight games, culminating with a Hall of Fame Bowl win over Georgia to finish at 9-3. Meanwhile, SMU lost four of their last seven to finish at 6-5. Shortly after the season, the football program was given the death penalty. SMU and BC have only played once in men’s basketball and once in women’s basketball. SMU won both of those games. Pick: SMU -9.5

Pinstripe Bowl – Rutgers (-2) vs. Miami, 1:15 p.m. Thursday: Former Big East foes, Miami is 11-0 all time on the gridiron, having beaten Rutgers every year from 1993 to 2003. Miami won the last basketball meeting in 2022. The last win for the Scarlet Knights over the Hurricanes in hoops was in 2018. Former Thunder forward Eugene Omoruyi scored 11 points for Rutgers in the victory. Pick: Miami +2

Pop-Tarts Bowl – No. 18 North Carolina State vs. No. 25 Kansas State (-2), 4:45 p.m. Thursday: It’s the first ever meeting for these two teams in football. The last time Kansas State and NC State played in basketball was in the 1998 NIT. The Wolfpack took down the Wildcats 59-39 in the first round. If a 59-39 game sounds boring to you, be glad you weren’t at NC State’s non-conference tilt with Princeton earlier that season. The Wolfpack were on the wrong end of a 38-36 score on that day. Pick: North Carolina State +2

Alamo Bowl – No. 12 Oklahoma vs. No. 14 Arizona (-3), 8 p.m. Thursday: Just two meetings ever between the teams. OU and UA split a home-and-home series in 1988-89, with OU winning 28-10 in Norman and losing 6-3 in Tucson. Three of the last five Arizona head coaches have also been Oklahoma assistant coaches: Mike Stoops, Kevin Sumlin and Tim Kish. Kish was the interim head coach at Arizona in 2011 before moving on to coach inside linebackers in Norman from 2012-18. In women’s basketball, Arizona eliminated Oklahoma from the 2005 Women’s NCAA Tournament. It was the last game played before the Paris sisters started their dominance in Norman. The Sooners are 5-2 all-time against Arizona in men’s basketball, but 3-0 in the NCAA tournament. The most famous of those wins was Oklahoma’s 86-78 over the Wildcats in the 1988 Final Four. Pick: Arizona -3 — It will be fun to see Jackson Arnold operate, but this game seems gigantic for Arizona’s program.

Gator Bowl – No. 22 Clemson (-4) vs. Kentucky, 11 a.m. Friday: Kentucky leads the all-time series 8-5. The last three meetings have been in bowl games, the last of which was a 2009 Music City Bowl win for Clemson. The final touchdown of Clemson’s win was an 8-yard rushing touchdown for C.J. Spiller. Spiller is now the running backs coach for the Tigers. Kentucky leads the basketball series 12-4. The last game was in 1997. Kentucky won 76-61, thanks in part to 10 points and six rebounds from Thunder legend Nazr Mohammed. Pick: Kentucky +4

Sun Bowl – No. 19 Oregon State vs. No. 16 Notre Dame (-6), 1 p.m. Friday: Only two schools have beaten Notre Dame more than once and never lost to the Irish. Georgia is 3-0 and Oregon State is 2-0. The Beavers beat Notre Dame 38-21 in the 2004 Insight Bowl and 41-9 in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, where current Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Two of them were to Chad Johnson and the other was to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Notre Dame has dominated basketball, however. The Irish are 2-0 in men’s basketball and have gone 5-0 since 2013 against Oregon State in women’s basketball. Pick: Oregon State +6

Liberty Bowl – Memphis vs. Iowa State (-10.5), 2:30 p.m. Friday: The only football game between these schools was six years ago in the 2017 Liberty Bowl. Iowa State won 21-20, thanks in part to 10 receptions for 142 yards and a touchdown for Allen Lazard. The last time the Cyclones and Tigers met in basketball was in November 2021. Iowa State won 78-59. It was one of the 18 games that Emoni Bates played for Memphis before he was deemed ineligible. Bates scored a team-high 12 points in the loss. Pick: Iowa State -10.5

Cotton Bowl – No. 9 Missouri vs. No. 7 Ohio State (-3), 7 p.m. Friday: Ohio State has only lost once in 11 football meetings with Missouri. The Tigers won 22-21 in Columbus to break a 25-game home winning streak for Ohio State on September 25, 1976. 364 days later, Uwe von Schamann’s kick led fellow Big 8 member Oklahoma to a 29-28 win at “The Shoe.” The last basketball meeting was in the 2002 NCAA Tournament second round. 12-seed Missouri upset 4-seed Ohio State 83-67. Missouri, coached by Quin Snyder, went on to lose to Oklahoma in the Elite Eight. Pick: Ohio State -3

Peach Bowl – No. 11 Ole Miss vs. No. 10 Penn State (-4.5), 11 a.m. Saturday: It’s the first ever meeting between the schools in football. Ole Miss has won all four meetings in basketball, including a 72-70 win at Penn State in 2011. It was the first road win over a Big Ten team in Ole Miss program history. Pick: Ole Miss +4.5

Music City Bowl – Auburn (-7) vs. Maryland, 1 p.m. Saturday: Auburn has won two of the last three meetings, but the first game between the schools was a 13-7 win for Maryland. The game was played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama, and Maryland’s coach was Jim Tatum. Tatum coached at OU in 1946 before leaving for Maryland. The assistant that took over for him did a pretty good job. His name was Bud Wilkinson. The two have never played a game in men’s basketball. Pick: Auburn +7

Orange Bowl – No. 6 Georgia (-19) vs. No. 5 Florida State, 3 p.m. Saturday: The teams have played 11 times in football. Georgia has won six and Florida State has won four. The 1984 Citrus Bowl ended in a 17-17 tie. Georgia played Arizona the following year in the 1985 Sun Bowl. That game also ended in a tie, 13-13. Florida State leads the basketball series 19-11, but the series had been dormant until this season. On November 29, Georgia won 68-66 in the first basketball matchup between the schools since 1981. Pick: Florida State +19

Arizona Bowl – Toledo vs. Wyoming (-3), 3:30 p.m. Saturday: The teams split the only two games against each other, with Wyoming winning in Toledo in 2010 and Toledo winning in Laramie in 2012. Toledo has won the only basketball meeting, a 100-79 win at John F. Savage Hall in 1977. I wonder if they got free tacos when the Rockets hit the century mark. Pick: Wyoming -3

ReliaQuest Bowl – Wisconsin vs. No. 13 LSU (-10), 11 a.m. Monday: The last meeting between these teams was a 16-14 upset win for Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. It was the first Division I football game to be played in the historic stadium. Wisconsin will host Notre Dame at Lambeau Field in 2026. Notre Dame is the alma mater of Curly Lambeau. The two teams have never played in men’s or women’s basketball. Pick: Wisconsin +10

Fiesta Bowl – No. 23 Liberty vs. No. 8 Oregon (-17), Noon Monday: Not only have these two teams never played in football or basketball, but this is the first game in Liberty’s short football history against any Pac-12 school. Better late than never. Pick: Oregon -17

Citrus Bowl – No. 17 Iowa vs. No. 21 Tennessee (-6.5), Noon Monday: Tennessee leads the series 2-1. The last game between the two was a 45-28 win for the Volunteers in the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl. That win led to an offseason filled with hope. Hope that came crashing down when Oklahoma won 31-24 in two overtimes in Knoxville the following September. The last basketball matchup was in the second round of the 2019 Men’s NCAA Tournament. Tennessee blew a 25-point lead, but won in overtime to head to the Sweet Sixteen. Pick: Iowa +6.5

CFP Semis (Rose Bowl) – No. 4 Alabama vs. No. 1 Michigan (-1.5), 4 p.m. Monday: Alabama leads the series 3-2. Four of the games have been in bowls. The teams have split those games. The last game between the Tide and Wolverines was the 2020 Citrus Bowl. Bama won 35-16. Jerry Jeudy has 6 catches for 204 yards and a touchdown. Alabama also leads the basketball series, having won two of the three meetings. JaMychal Green led Alabama to a win in the last game between the teams, a 68-66 win for the Tide in 2009. Pick: Alabama +1.5

CFP Semis (Sugar Bowl) – No. 3 Texas (-4.5) vs. No. 2 Washington, 7:45 p.m. Monday: These teams played last season in the Alamo Bowl, a game that Washington won 27-20 in San Antonio. Texas leads the all-time series 3-2, but the schools haven’t played a regular-season game since 1975. In basketball, the schools played two international games in 2015. Washington won the first game in Shanghai and Texas avenged the loss 13 days later in The Bahamas. Pick: Washington +4.5

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Todd Lisenbee is the host of The Todd Pod with Todd Lisenbee on the Sellout Crowd network. He has been a producer/talk show host at WWLS, The Sports Animal and 107.7 The Franchise during a Oklahoma broadcasting career that spans to 2002. Todd has broadcast high school basketball, football and soccer play-by-play since 2003 and is currently the voice of the UCO Bronchos, a role he has been in since 2018. He can be reached at @ToddOnSports on Twitter/X or Instagram or via email at [email protected].

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