College Football Bowl Predictions Part III (New Year’s Day and Beyond): Auburn-Wisconsin, Kansas State-UCLA, and More

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Nov 22, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Tyler Boyd (23) celebrates after defeating the Syracuse Orange at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl- Fort Worth, Texas

Houston Cougars vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

Line: Pittsburgh by 3

Saturday Blitz Vegas Bowl Prediction: Pittsburgh Wins 21-13

This is quite an odd situation. Both teams are going into this bowl game with interim head coaches. Houston fired Tony Levine, and Paul Chryst has left Pittsburgh for Wisconsin. That potentially makes this a lame duck bowl game. And in a weird way, it completely favors Pittsburgh.

Houston is going into this game with plans to go in a completely different direction after the hire of Tom Herman as head coach, who won’t take over until after the bowl game. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has a very young team trying to build off of what Chryst has built with the future in minds. The result means a much more excited Pitt team than Houston team to play in this bowl game. And Pitt has a physical style of play that will simply be too much for Houston.

ACC Player of the Year and All-American James Conner will absolutely torch the Pitt defense on the ground as this very young team stays on the field all game. Houston’s offense will never get into a rhythm, and the Panthers win a low-scoring battle that sets the tone for the offseason.

Pitt knows where it’s at, even without Chryst. Houston is reversing the course. The results will show in this game.

Next: Taxslayer Bowl Prediction: Tennessee vs. Iowa