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College football bowl picks: Boise State will send Washington’s Chris Petersen out with a loss

Boise State players enter the field prior to the start of first half action in the Mountain West championship against Hawaii on Dec. 7 in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 31-10.
Boise State players enter the field prior to the start of first half action in the Mountain West championship against Hawaii on Dec. 7 in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 31-10.
(Loren Orr / Getty Images)

The college football bowl season begins Friday and runs through Jan. 13 when the national championship will be decided in New Orleans. Here are The Times’ picks for the bowls through Dec. 26.

Bahamas Bowl: Buffalo vs. Charlotte, Friday, ESPN, 11 a.m. PST

This is Charlotte’s first bowl game in school history. While the 49ers will be excited to make history and kick off bowl season, the Bulls will get to thaw out from that Western New York winter and should feel lighter on their feet. Buffalo 38-31

Frisco Bowl: Utah State vs. Kent State, Friday, ESPN2, 4:30 p.m. PST

Three Utah State players including star quarterback Jordan Love were cited for marijuana possession. Will Love play in the game in Texas? Even if he doesn’t, the Aggies should still have better talent across the field. Utah State 26-20

New Mexico Bowl: Central Michigan vs. San Diego State, Saturday, ESPN, 11 a.m. PST

Jim McElwain’s Chippewas are recovering from a loss to Miami of Ohio in the Mid-American Conference championship game. San Diego State should be able to run the ball effectively against Central Michigan. San Diego State 24-17

Upland linebacker Justin Flowe and Rancho Cucamonga quarterback CJ Stroud both opted to leave Southern California to attend Oregon and Ohio State over USC and UCLA.
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Cure Bowl: Liberty vs. Georgia Southern, Saturday, CBS Sports Network, 11:30 a.m. PST

Liberty coach Hugh Freeze began his season coaching from the press box in a hospital bed after surgery for a staph infection. He’ll finish it off on the sideline in sunny Orlando, Fla., against a Georgia Southern team that gave Appalachian State its only loss. Georgia Southern 34-28

Boca Raton Bowl: Southern Methodist vs. Florida Atlantic, Saturday, ABC, 12:30 p.m. PST

Lane Kiffin led Florida Atlantic to the Conference USA championship and promptly bolted for Mississippi. The Owls may be playing in their home stadium, but SMU, primed for a big 2020 with quarterback Shane Buechele coming back, has too much talent on the outside. SMU 45-31

Camellia Bowl: Florida International vs. Arkansas State, Saturday, ESPN, 2:30 p.m. PST

Butch Davis’ Florida International team shocked the world by knocking off Miami. Arkansas State has an explosive offense, but given time to prepare, Davis will have the Panthers ready for the Red Wolves. FIU 27-24

Las Vegas Bowl: No. 19 Boise State vs. Washington, Saturday, ABC, 4:30 p.m.

This is the final game for Washington coach Chris Petersen, who announced his resignation at the start of December. Could the Huskies possibly be as focused as a Boise State team coming off a Mountain West championship with a chance to beat a Pac-12 power? Boise State 20-17

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New Orleans Bowl: No. 20 Appalachian State vs. Alabama Birmingham, Saturday, ESPN, 6 p.m. PST

After a Sun Belt championship, Eli Drinkwitz left Appalachian State for Missouri. The Mountaineers promoted offensive line coach Shawn Clark to the head position, and they’ll be out to prove that the program’s culture remains strong. Appalachian State 38-20

Sports gambling: The Pac-12 needs to do better in the bowl season to ever be taken as a serious College Football Playoffs team.

Gasparilla Bowl: Central Florida vs. Marshall, Monday, ESPN, 11:30 a.m. PST

The Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa is going to feel a long way from the Peach Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl, where UCF spent its last two holidays after consecutive unbeaten regular seasons. Still, UCF’s talent should be able to overwhelm Marshall. UCF 45-28

Hawaii Bowl: Brigham Young vs. Hawaii, Tuesday, ESPN, 5 p.m. PST

The Rainbow Warriors began the season by knocking off Arizona and Oregon State. They’ll get another shot at a name program in BYU on their home field and will get just enough defense to beat the Cougars. Hawaii 28-24

Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. Miami, Thursday, ESPN, 1 p.m. PST

Miami’s reward for a disappointing 6-6 campaign in Manny Diaz’s first season? A trip to Shreveport, La., to play Louisiana Tech an hour from the Bulldogs’ campus in Ruston. The Hurricanes will be playing in a road atmosphere the day after Christmas, which is asking a lot for a team that struggled to find motivation all year. Louisiana Tech 24-22

Quick Lane Bowl, Pittsburgh vs. Eastern Michigan, Thursday, ESPN, 5 p.m. PST

This game will be a much bigger deal for Eastern Michigan than it will be for Pitt, but the Panthers should be able to get out of Detroit with a win. Pittsburgh 38-27

Last week: 8-2; Season: 99-51


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