Forty bowl games. Forty-one predictions

The postseason pairings are out, and it's time to break it all down. Forty games. Forty-one predictions.

Ready, set, bowl:

Cure Bowl: San Jose State vs. Georgia State
(Dec. 19, noon, CBS Sports Network)
Tyler Ervin is a stud, but it's tough to envision San Jose State coming across the country and getting a win against a hot Georgia State team led by 4,000-yard passer Nick Arbuckle. Georgia State 38, San Jose State 27

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Arizona vs. New Mexico
(Dec. 19, 2 p.m., ESPN)
Rich Rodriguez is staying with the Wildcats, who hope to get healthier before a "road" game against a surprise New Mexico team. Linebacker Scooby Wright plays and Arizona wins a thriller. Arizona 31, New Mexico 30

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: BYU vs. Utah
(Dec. 19, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)

The Holy War resumes in Sin City of all places, and Utah wins a defensive struggle behind Gionni Paul and others to spoil Bronco Mendenhall's BYU finale. Utah 20, BYU 17

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Ohio vs. Appalachian State
(Dec. 19, 5:30 p.m., ESPN)

Both teams come in playing well, and each has defensive standouts (Ohio linebacker Quentin Poling; Appalachian State cornerback Latrell Gibbs), but the Mountaineers prevail in their first FBS bowl appearance. Appalachian State 34, Ohio 27

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Louisiana Tech
(Dec. 19, 9 p.m., ESPN)

Expect a shootout in the dome, but Arkansas State, which has eclipsed 50 points in its past three games behind 5-foot-11 quarterback dynamo Fredi Knighten, will be the last team standing. Arkansas State 44, Louisiana Tech 41

Miami Beach Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. South Florida
(Dec. 21, 2:30 p.m., ESPN)

Resurgent South Florida should have the crowd edge and boasts a star in running back Marlon Mack, but Brandon Doughty and the Western Kentucky attack will prove too much for the Bulls. Western Kentucky 34, South Florida 28

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Akron vs. Utah State
(Dec. 22, 3:30 p.m., ESPN)

Akron comes in hotter (four-game win streak) and more motivated (first winning season since 2005), but Utah State has Chuckie Keeton back. He won't lose his final game. Utah State 28, Akron 27

Marmot Boca Raton Bowl: Toledo vs. Temple
(Dec. 22, 7 p.m., ESPN)

One of the best early bowl matchups pairs two solid defensive teams, but linebacker Tyler Matakevich and Temple have been tested more down the stretch. Temple 27, Toledo 20

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State vs. Northern Illinois
(Dec. 23, 4:30 p.m., ESPN)

Both teams fell shy of expectations. Boise State's motivation level could be a factor, but Northern Illinois' quarterback injuries extend its bowl losing streak to four games. Boise State 30, Northern Illinois 21

GoDaddy Bowl: Georgia Southern vs. Bowling Green
(Dec. 23, 8 p.m., ESPN)

It's always risky to pick a team with an interim coach, but Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson finds a way to win a high-scoring affair in his final game. Bowling Green 45, Georgia Southern 42

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Western Michigan
(Dec. 24, noon, ESPN)

The real intrigue is whether Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck will row his boat to the Bahamas. Western Michigan's dynamic receivers, Daniel Braverman and Corey Davis, will be the difference. Western Michigan 35, Middle Tennessee 31

Hawai'i Bowl: San Diego State vs. Cincinnati
(Dec. 24, 8 p.m., ESPN)

Cincinnati can put up points, but San Diego State was the far more consistent team down the stretch and Rocky Long's stifling defense proves too much for the Bearcats. San Diego State 31, Cincinnati 24

St. Petersburg Bowl: Connecticut vs. Marshall
(Dec. 26, 11 a.m., ESPN)

Connecticut played a much tougher schedule, but Marshall's significant edge on offense might be too much for Bob Diaco's team to overcome. Marshall 26, Connecticut 20

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Miami vs. Washington State
(Dec. 26, 2 p.m., CBS)
Quarterback Luke Falk's return sparks the Cougars, who pick apart Miami's defense to complete a reviving season with their ninth win. Washington State 41, Miami 30

Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl: Washington vs. Southern Miss
(Dec. 26, 2:20 p.m., ESPN)

Southern Miss quarterback Nick Mullens tests a talented Washington defense, but Jake Browning, Myles Gaskin and a young Huskies team finishes 2015 with a win to set up a potential breakthrough next fall. Washington 31, Southern Miss 27

New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Indiana vs. Duke
(Dec. 26, 3:30 p.m., ABC)

Two basketball schools will play football in a baseball stadium. Indiana's offense, which is led by quarterback Nate Sudfeld and hopes to have running back Jordan Howard healthy, gains the edge against the slumping Blue Devils. Indiana 41, Duke 35

Camping World Independence Bowl: Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech
(Dec. 26, 5:45 p.m., ESPN)

It's Frank Beamer's final game, so despite the long bowl trip and an opponent that can put up points, the Hokies send their legendary coach off as a winner. Virginia Tech 28, Tulsa 24

Foster Farms Bowl: UCLA vs. Nebraska
(Dec. 26, 9:15 p.m., ESPN)

This game is a major mismatch for the second consecutive year, as Josh Rosen and the Bruins will dissect Nebraska's defense and send the Huskers to 5-8 in Mike Riley's first season. UCLA 45, Nebraska 24

Military Bowl presented By Northrop Grumman: Pitt at Navy
(Dec. 28, 2:30 p.m., ESPN)

Pitt deserved a better draw after a strong first season under coach Pat Narduzzi. The Panthers play a virtual road game against an excellent Navy team, and Keenan Reynolds won't lose in his final appearance. Navy 31, Pitt 21

Quick Lane Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Minnesota
(Dec. 28, 5 p.m., ESPN2)
The Chippewas should have a sizable crowd edge as they aim for their eighth win, and they'll get it as talented quarterback Cooper Rush (3,703 pass yards, 25 touchdowns) takes aim at a banged-up Gophers secondary. Central Michigan 34, Minnesota 27

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: California vs. Air Force
(Dec. 29, 2 p.m., ESPN)

Both coaches have been shopping around for new jobs, so motivation could be a question mark, especially for Cal. But Air Force finds a way as Weston Steelhammer picks off Jared Goff in the final minute. Air Force 38, Cal 36

Russell Athletic Bowl: North Carolina vs. Baylor
(Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m., ESPN)

Baylor's quarterback uncertainty makes it tough to go with the Bears in a game in which they'll need to score a lot. Marquise Williams goes out a winner. North Carolina 44, Baylor 35

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl: Nevada vs. Colorado State
(Dec. 29, 7:30 p.m., Campus Insiders)

It doesn't get any sadder than a bowl matchup between teams from the same league. There should be some offensive fireworks, though, and the Rams, led by wide receiver Rashard Higgins, get the victory. Colorado State 32, Nevada 28

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl: LSU vs. Texas Tech
(Dec. 29, 9 p.m., ESPN)

Les Miles is living right again, and running back Leonard Fournette will put up a huge number against Texas Tech's porous defense. LSU 38, Texas Tech 27

Birmingham Bowl: Auburn vs. Memphis
(Dec. 30, noon, ESPN)

Auburn lost its defensive coordinator, and Memphis lost its head coach and likely will lose its quarterback, Paxton Lynch, but only after he shreds the Auburn defense for another win against the SEC West. Memphis 40, Auburn 33

Belk Bowl: NC State vs. Mississippi State
(Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m., ESPN)

Both teams lack signature wins this season, and both have big, talented quarterbacks in Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) and Jacoby Brissett (NC State). After the Egg Bowl clunker, the Bulldogs play inspired in Prescott's final game. Mississippi State 37, NC State 31

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Louisville
(Dec. 30, 7 p.m., ESPN)

Both teams disappointed this season, but Louisville enters playing better football and won't repeat last year's bowl clunker. The Aggies' offense sputters again. Louisville 28, Texas A&M 20

Holiday Bowl: USC vs. Wisconsin
(Dec. 30, 10:30 p.m., ESPN)

Wisconsin's defense will keep it in this one, but the Badgers haven't beaten anyone good and USC has too much firepower with wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster and others. USC 28, Wisconsin 20

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Houston vs. Florida State
(Dec. 31, noon, ESPN)

It will be a more competitive Peach Bowl than last year's, as Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. makes some plays. But Florida State's athleticism on defense and Dalvin Cook's explosive running proves too much. Florida State 31, Houston 27

College Football Playoff semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Clemson
(Dec. 31, 8 p.m., ESPN)

This could be the best game of the postseason as both teams are loaded, but Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield leads another game-winning drive in the final seconds. Oklahoma 34, Clemson 31

College Football Playoff semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Michigan State vs. Alabama
(Dec. 31, 8 p.m., ESPN)

Connor Cook is a big-game quarterback and the time off will help his shoulder heal, but Alabama's success against pro-style teams -- and Nick Saban's against his protégés -- is too powerful to ignore. The Tide roll on behind their defensive line and Derrick Henry. Alabama 27, Michigan State 20

Outback Bowl: Northwestern vs. Tennessee
(Jan. 1, noon, ESPN2)

A rematch of the 1997 Citrus Bowl -- will we see the "SEC!" and "SAT!" chants again? -- won't be quite as lopsided, but Tennessee's edge on offense prevents Northwestern from a team-record 11th victory. Tennessee 24, Northwestern 20

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: Michigan vs. Florida
(Jan. 1, 1 p.m., ABC)

Bowl preparations will give Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock and the defensive line time to heal. The Wolverines complete Jim Harbaugh's first season with a decisive win. Michigan 27, Florida 13

BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
(Jan. 1, 1 p.m., ESPN)

It's an early kickoff for a delicious matchup, and both teams will be ready. Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer makes plays early but Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott takes over late. Ohio State 38, Notre Dame 31

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual: Iowa vs. Stanford
(Jan. 1, 5 p.m., ESPN)

The Rose Bowl becomes Kinnick West as Iowa fans invade for the Hawkeyes' first appearance since 1991. C.J. Beathard keeps Iowa close, but Stanford's Kevin Hogan ends his career the same way he started it, with a Rose Bowl win. Stanford 34, Iowa 28

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss
(Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m., ESPN)

Ole Miss has more balance and more talent. Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and others from the Rebels' decorated 2013 recruiting class show up in what likely will be the final collegiate game for many of them. Ole Miss 44, Oklahoma State 31

Taxslayer Bowl: Penn State vs. Georgia
(Jan. 2, noon, ESPN)

James Franklin made a living on beating weakened SEC East opponents while at Vanderbilt. He'll do the same at Penn State as the Lions outlast Georgia in quarterback Christian Hackenberg's final game. Penn State 24, Georgia 20

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Kansas State vs. Arkansas
(Jan. 2, 3:20 p.m., ESPN)

Kansas State showed impressive fight to reach a bowl, but Arkansas has far more talent and experience. Hogs quarterback Brandon Allen generates big numbers in his farewell performance. Arkansas 37, Kansas State 21

Valero Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs. TCU
(Jan. 2, 6:45 p.m., ESPN)

The potential return of star wide receiver Josh Doctson will boost TCU, but Oregon has been one of the nation's hottest teams with one of the nation's hottest players in quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. Oregon 45, TCU 37

Motel 6 Cactus Bowl: West Virginia vs. Arizona State
(Jan. 2, 10:15 p.m., ESPN)

Let's hope they leave the light on for West Virginia after such a long trip. Arizona State isn't technically at home -- Sun Devil Stadium is 11 miles from Chase Field -- but the Sun Devils will play like it on offense. Arizona State 35, West Virginia 31

College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
(Jan. 11, 8:30 p.m., ESPN)

Alabama won't have any excuses not to get up for this one, while Bob Stoops can scar the SEC again. Quarterback play proves to be the difference as Mayfield and Sterling Shepard connect in the final minute. Oklahoma 26, Alabama 24