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BEST OF THE BOWLS

SI PICKS THE TOP FIVE NONPLAYOFF BOWLS OF 2016--17
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5. Pinstripe Bowl(Northwestern 31, Pittsburgh 24)

Injuries to RB James Conner, QB Nathan Peterman and guard Dorian Johnson declawed the Panthers' offense, and Northwestern took advantage by feeding tailback Justin Jackson (224 yards, three TDs) in an entertaining clash at Yankee Stadium.

4. Camellia Bowl(Appalachian State 31, Toledo 28)

The score was tied at the end of each of the first three quarters. In the fourth, Mountaineers kicker Michael Rubino nailed a 39-yard field goal with 5:14 remaining while the Rockets' Jameson Vest missed a 30-yarder with 1:48 left—the difference in a matchup between two of the best Group of Five squads.

3. Sun Bowl(Stanford 25, North Carolina 23)

Cardinal RB Christian McCaffrey decided to skip this meeting of preseason Top 25 teams to focus on his NFL draft preparation, so DE Solomon Thomas (right) stole the show with seven tackles, a sack and a game-sealing stop on the Tar Heels' last-minute two-point conversion attempt.

2. Orange Bowl(Florida State 33, Michigan 32)

With 36 seconds remaining, Seminoles QB Deondre Francois connected with WR Nyqwan Murray on a 12-yard touchdown, capping a drive set up by Keith Gavin's 66-yard kickoff return. Michigan had rallied from 12 points down in the fourth quarter; in the final 5:22, the teams combined for 23 points.

1. Rose Bowl(USC 52, Penn State 49)

Matt Boermeester drilled a 46-yard field goal as time expired to cap the Trojans' comeback from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit. The teams compiled 101 points and 1,040 yards of offense led by Nittany Lions RB Saquon Barkley (194 yards rushing, three TDs) and USC QB Sam Darnold (453 passing yards and five TDs).