Sports

The Times’ college football experts make their picks: It’s near unanimous, Fresno State will beat Arizona State

Fresno State running back Ronnie Rivers (20) celebrates the game winning touchdown against Boise Sta
Fresno State running back Ronnie Rivers celebrates the game-winning touchdown against Boise State in overtime in a game for the Mountain West championship.
(Steve Conner / Associated Press)

With the regular season over, the Los Angeles Times’ college football “experts” move to making their picks for the first week of bowl games. National college football writer David Wharton was the regular-season champion with a record of 100-40, just ahead of deputy sports editor Mike Hiserman (98-42). But this is the playoffs, meaning anyone can win the title. That’s good news for sports editor and Texas graduate Angel Rodriguez (87-53), who is hoping to rally like Vince Young did in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

Ben Bolch

Tulane vs. Louisiana: Louisiana 34-27

North Texas vs. Utah State: Utah State 31-21

Fresno State vs. Arizona State: Fresno State 28-24

Georgia Southern vs. Eastern Michigan: Eastern Michigan 35-28

Middle Tennessee vs. Appalachian State: Appalachian State 42-27

Alabama Birmingham vs. Northern Illinois: Northern Illinois 30-21

San Diego State vs. Ohio: San Diego State 35-21

Marshall vs. South Florida: South Florida 49-24

Mike Hiserman

Tulane vs. Louisiana: Tulane 31-27

North Texas vs. Utah State: Utah State 34-24

Fresno State vs. Arizona State: Fresno State 28-24

Georgia Southern vs. Eastern Michigan: Georgia Southern 25-23

Middle Tennessee vs. Appalachian State: Appalachian State 28-23

Alabama Birmingham vs. Northern Illinois: Alabama Birmingham 23-20

San Diego State vs. Ohio: Ohio 30-24

Marshall vs. South Florida: Marshall 28-26

J. Brady McCollough

Tulane vs. Louisiana: Tulane 24-21

North Texas vs. Utah State: Utah State 31-30

Fresno State vs. Arizona State: Fresno State 27-20

Georgia Southern vs. Eastern Michigan: Georgia Southern 23-21

Middle Tennessee vs. Appalachian State: Appalachian State 28-21

Alabama Birmingham vs. Northern Illinois: Alabama Birmingham 17-14

San Diego State vs. Ohio: Ohio 28-24

Marshall vs. South Florida: Marshall 30-21

Blake Richardson

Tulane vs. Louisiana: Tulane 33-27

North Texas vs. Utah State: North Texas 38-30

Fresno State vs. Arizona State: Fresno State 30-24

Georgia Southern vs. Eastern Michigan: Georgia Southern 27-20

Middle Tennessee vs. Appalachian State: Middle Tennessee 33-24

Alabama Birmingham vs. Northern Illinois: Alabama Birmingham 23-17

San Diego State vs. Ohio: Ohio 26-21

Marshall vs. South Florida: Marshall 36-31

Angel Rodriguez

Tulane vs. Louisiana: Tulane 24-21

North Texas vs. Utah State: Utah State 34-21

Fresno State vs. Arizona State: Arizona State 27-24

Georgia Southern vs. Eastern Michigan: Eastern Michigan 28-24

Middle Tennessee vs. Appalachian State: Appalachian State 41-18

Alabama Birmingham vs. Northern Illinois: Northern Illinois 31-17

San Diego State vs. Ohio: San Diego State 31-20

Marshall vs. South Florida: South Florida 41-28

David Wharton

Tulane vs. Louisiana: Tulane 27-24

North Texas vs. Utah State: Utah State 35-24

Fresno State vs. Arizona State: Fresno State 30-27

Georgia Southern vs. Eastern Michigan: Georgia Southern 24-23

Middle Tennessee vs. Appalachian State: Appalachian State 27-20

Alabama Birmingham vs. Northern Illinois: Alabama Birmingham 21-17

San Diego State vs. Ohio: Ohio 28-23

Marshall vs. South Florida: Marshall 24-21

Expert: last week; season

Bolch: 7-3; 88-52

Hiserman: 9-1; 98-42

McCollough: 7-3; 94-46

Richardson: 7-3; 88-52

Rodriguez: 7-3; 87-53

Wharton: 8-2; 100-40