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Picking the minor bowls:

Having to do research to pick all of these games would be obnoxious.  I’m using only what I know about the teams on the surface, so my picks could end up being quite awful.  A reminder to all readers, my updated record can be found on the right-hand on the screen.  Don’t be offended by my frank analysis, it’s simply college football dialysis.

Gliden New Mexico Bowl: Arizona (7-5) versus Nevada (7-5)

The Wildcats lost to mostly good teams and Arizona State.  Nevada lost to mostly good teams and South Florida.  It’s going to be a tight game, but here’s what I’m throwing out there:

Line: Arizona gives 10; O/U: 73; My Pick: Arizona 43 over Nevada 31

Famous Idaho Potato: Utah State (10-2) versus Toledo (9-3)

Two of three losses by Toledo?  Arizona and BCS bound Northern Illinois.  The Rockets also beat a good Cincy team.  Utah State is actually a great team.  #TeamChuckie

Line: Utah State gives 10; O/U: 59; My Pick: Utah State 31 beats Toledo 27

Poinsettia: BYU (7-5) versus San Diego State (9-3)

BYU has the nation’s fifth best scoring defense?  Anyway, this game is in San Diego.

Line: BYU gives 2.5 ;O/U: 52; My Pick: San Diego State 27 beats BYU 20

Beef O’Brady’s: Ball State (9-3) versus UCF (9-4)

Central Florida went to C-USA championship game and Ball State didn’t go to the MAC Championship game…all I know.

Line: UCF gives 7.5; O/U: 60; My Pick: Ball State beats Central Florida 34-33

R+L Carrier’s: East Carolina (8-4) versus Lafayette (8-4)

Did these teams play any other D-1 schools?  I think Lafayette played Florida and lost by like 7 or 8?

Line: Lafayette gives 4.5; O/U: 67; My Pick: Lafayette beats East Carolina 48-10

MAACO: Boise State (10-2) versus Washington (7-5)

Picking against Boise in bowl game?  Never wise.  Washington lost to Washington State….

Line: Boise State gives 7.5; O/U: 46; My Pick: Boise State beats Washington 42-38 in OT!

Hawaii: SMU (6-6) versus Fresno State (9-3)

Ummmm…doesn’t June Jones coach SMU?

Line: Fresno gives 11.5; O/U: 62; My Pick: SMU beats Fresno State 31-22

Little Caesar’s Pizza Western Kentucky (7-5) versus Central Michigan (6-6)

I have a friend that goes to Central Michigan….no allegiance to Western Kentucky

Line: WKU gives 6; O/U: 57; My Pick: Central Michigan beats WKU 17-13

Military: San Jose State (10-2) versus Bowling Green (8-4)

The Spartans are awesome this year!  Don’t doubt because they are ready to beat down BGSU.

Line: SJSU gives 7.5; O/U: 49.5; My Pick: San Jose State beats Bowling Green 49-20

Belk:? Cincinnati (9-3) versus Duke (6-6)

I’m originally from Cincinnati…

Line: Cincy gives 11; O/U: 56.5; My Pick: Cincinnati beats Duke 30-20

Holiday: Baylor (7-5) versus UCLA (9-4)

The Bruins made the Pac-12 Championship game…but in the south this year that means almost as little as it did last year.  Baylor is awesome and will score so many points…they’ll at least cover the spread

Line: UCLA gives 10; O/U: 78; My Pick: UCLA beats Baylor 66-63 in 2OT!

Independence: Ohio (8-4) versus UL Monroe (8-4)

UL Monroe became one of my darlings after beatin Arkansas and nearly topping Auburn (neither victory looks too great now)…but I am from Ohio…

Line: UL Monroe gives 6; O/U: 59; My Pick: Ohio beats UL Monroe 21-20

Russel Athletic: Rutgers (9-3) versus Va-Tech (6-6)

Usually I am a Va-Tech proponent and often see them winning the ACC Coastal.  Luckily my college football preview didn’t happen this year or I’d look like an ass.  Rutgers was mashed by Kent State and isn’t playing its best ball.

Line: Virginia Tech gives 1; O/U 43; My Pick: Va-Tech beats Rutgers 20-10

Texas Bowl?: Minnesota (6-6) versus Texas Tech (7-5)

The Red Raiders are a good ball club.  They looked great against West Virginia earlier this season and have competed against the best of the Big-12.  Minnesota was the undefeated longer than all Big Ten teams not Ohio State and Northwestern…

Line: Texas Tech gives 13; O/U: 57; My Pick: Texas Tech beats Minnesota 35-17

Armed Forces: Rice (6-6) versus Air Force (6-6)

Air Force runs the option and Rice probably isn’t very good.

Line: Rice gives 1; O/U 59; My Pick: Air Force beats Rice 23-14

Pinstripe: West Virginia (7-5) versus Syracuse (7-5)

West Virginia gets to face an old Big East foe.  They rocked the Cuse like a hurricane last year, but the Orange looked impressive in conference play…but they’re in the Big East…

Line: West Virginia gives 3.5; O/U: 67; My Pick: West Virginia beats Syracuse 56-31

Fight Hunger: Navy (7-4*) versus Arizona State (7-5)

Navy gets an asterisk because it hasn’t played Army up to this point.  Navy runs the triple-option and Arizona State is an air raid.  Like seriously though?

Line: No line; O/U: 55; My Pick: Arizona State beats Navy 31-21

Alamo Bowl: Oregon State (9-3) versus Texas (8-4)

One of the potentially better bowl games this year, the Horns have looked awesome, but if David Ash is looking on will they be the same?  Beavers have been fantastic on the road and this is a basically a road affair.

Line: Oregon State gives 1; O/U: 60; My Pick: Oregon State beats Texas 17-13

BW3’s: TCU (7-5) versus Michigan State (6-6)

MSU is way better than 6-6…we think here, but obviously the facts are facts and Sparty has played bad football this year.  Th Horned Frogs have looked good (namely against Texas/Oklahoma/West Virginia) and bad (Iowa State/Kansas/Oklahoma State).

Line: TCU gives 1; O/U: 42.5; My Pick: Michigan State beats TCU 19-14

Music City: North Carolina State (7-5) versus Vanderbilt (8-4)

Was the last time Vandy went to a bowl game when Cutler was there?  5-3 in the SEC makes me a believer.

Line: Vandy gives 5; O/U:52; My Pick: Vanderbilt beats NC State 31-10

Sun: Georgia Tech (6-7) versus USC (7-5)

The Ramblin’ Wreck is below .500 and despite having little motivation, USC should at least want to send Barkley out a winner.

Line: Southern Cal gives 10.5; O/U: 66; My Pick: USC beats Ga-Tech 45-23

Liberty: Iowa State (6-6) versus Tulas (10-3)

Two of my favorite upset picks…Tulsa is 10-3?  They might actually have a pretty strong team.  They won their conference!

Line: Tulsa gives 3; O/U: 52.5; My Pick: Tulsa beats Iowa State 28-20

Chick-fil-A: Louisiana State (10-2) versus Clemson (10-2)

How is the Chick-fil-A bowl so awesome every year?  I blame the excess of SEC excellence and the perennial one-BCS-bowler from the ACC.  Remember Clemson in the Orange Bowl last year?  Tajh is my boy, but it was ugly.

Line: LSU gives 3; O/U: 57; My Pick: LSU beats Clemson 24-20

Heart of Dallas: Purdue (6-6) versus Oklahoma State (7-5)

The Cowboys aren’t a bad team and I think Purdue is.  Purdue allowed OSU back-up Kenny Guiton to lead a 4th Quarter comeback.

Line: Oklahoma State gives 17.5; O/U: 69; My Pick: Oklahoma State beats Purdue 50-21

Gator: Mississippi State (8-4) versus Northwestern (9-3)

Both teams have looked really good at points this year.  It’s always hard to pick against the SEC, but Mississippi State hasn’t looked good against good teams…only awful teams.

Line: Mississippi State gives 2; O/U: 52; My Pick: Northwestern beats Mississippi State 28-17

Capital One: Georgia (11-2) versus Nebraska (10-3)

More coming on my opinion on Georgia being in this bowl later.  Nebraska was womped by Wisconsin.  You have to question the Bulldogs mentality when they were 3 yards short of the BCS Title game.

Line: Georgia gives 8.5; O/U: 57; My Pick: Georgia beats Nebraska 48-20

Outback: Michigan (8-4) versus South Carolina (10-2)

I don’t know who decided the Big Ten and SEC should play so many games against each other.  The Big ten must hate it.  This may be the SEC’s 5th best club going up against possibly the Big Ten’s 3rd and the Wolverines are not in a good way.

Line: South Carolina gives 4.5; O/U: 48; My Pick: South Carolina beats Michigan 35-17

Cotton: Oklahoma (10-2) versus Texas A&M (10-2)

This game is better than most of the BCS bowls.  Two great teams playing who in most years could have been BCS bound.  Oklahoma looked bad against the two best teams they played this year.  A&M?  They beat Bama,

Line: Texas A&M gives 3; O/U: 70; My Pick: Texas A&M beats Oklahoma 56-49 in OT

Compass: Ole Miss (6-6) versus Pittsburgh (6-6)

Honestly Pitt has looked awful at times this year.  I haven’t seen Ole Miss in action, but they only beat Mississippi State, Auburn, and Arkansas in conference this year.

Line: Ole Miss gives 2; O/U: 51.5: My Pick: Ole Miss beats Pittsburgh 28-27

GoDaddy.com: Arkansas State (9-3) versus Kent State (11-2)

Kent State would be in a BCS bowl had they beaten Northern Illinois.  The Red Wolves win a lot when I simulate in NCAA’13; although, I’ve never had them face the Golden Flash.

Line: no line; O/U: 62; My Pick: Kent State beats Arkansas State 31-27

There you have it folks.  Now you know.  All Lines and O/U’s taken from this website: http://www.vegasinsider.com/college-football/odds/las-vegas/?s=2473

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2012: Welcome to the Forum of BCS Advocates (FBA)

Welcome back to the Forum of BCS advocates…it’s still just myself sitting here in my world of love for the BCS system, but eventually someone may join me on planet “What the fuck is he thinking?”.  While loneliness is nothing to be proud of, my one man regime is proudly laughing at the world today as college football prepares to unveil its bundle of joy in just two short years.  Why am I so joyous when the BCS seems to once again be panicking with all these damnable one-loss teams eager to get to say “Why didn’t I go to the National Championship Game?  I would’ve won!”…simply because 2012 proves how obnoxiously futile a 4-team playoff really is.  Imagine a 4-team playoff…it would most likely end with Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, and….Oregon?  Kansas State?  At least the Wildcats may represent the champions of their conference.  Wait, Florida did not even make it to the SEC Championship Game!  Clearly we need a new team there!  LSU?  I mean the Tigers have two losses and since Georgia (hypothetically) lost to Bama, so do the dawgs!  Do we dare place a 2-loss SEC team ahead of a 1-loss SEC team (even a Georgia team that went to the championship and also beat Florida on neutral turf this year)?  Could Stanford make it to the 4-team playoff assuming they beat UCLA?  I mean the Cardinal only lost to Washington and Notre Dame (in OT in South Bend) and would be the Pac-12 Champs….see what I’m getting at here, people?  You complain for eons about how terrible the BCS system is, but honestly there is no end to the incessant grumbling by teams about being snubbed.  Hell, the NCAA tournament has 64….wait….68 teams and programs are still grumbling year-after-year about not earning an invitation to the world’s longest and most entertaining dance.  What makes people assume a playoff will end the controversy which the current BCS system produces?  All the 4-team playoff has accomplished is make the decisions and games toward the end of the year less meaningful and less perilous for those playing.  People want a larger tournament, so let’s say 8 teams by 2016.  That means Georgia could lose the SEC title game and still earn a spot in the playoff.  The Bulldogs were slaughtered by South Carolina in Columbia; however, they would most likely earn the berth over the Gamecocks.  People don’t seem to appreciate how awesome the parody created by the BCS system is.  The argument for a playoff is so standard that it sometimes creeps into my nightmares and I resort to insomnia rather than listen to the drivel which is sputtered by the masses.  “It’s not fair!  My team went 11-1 and all!  Why didn’t we get the opportunity?”  The fact of the matter is, as I have already talked about, the BCS makes the college football regular season more important than the any other regular season in sports.  Imagine if an NFL team had to go undefeated to play in the Super Bowl?  Imagine if a baseball team could not allow a hitter to “bat out of a slump” because losing too many games would result in no championship opportunity?  I know a BCS-esque system in professional sports is mularky and impossible to consider with the revenue success of present playoff systems (The almighty dollar!), but knowing the Forum will one day be reduced to a “Remember the good ‘ol days?” rather than the proud and undeniably entertained faction of today brings more tears to my eyes than Mufasa’s death in the Lion King…okay exaggeration, but it hits home!  Soon, people may respect us here in the Forum.  It is a day which I seethe in anticipation, but not to mutter “I told you so”.  I only wish for people to recall how fruitfully intriguing the BCS made the regular season.  It will be a day when someone is watching their favorite team play when they’re 11-0 and not even sweat because, “Hey, we have a berth in the 8-team playoff pretty much locked up”.  While teams of the opposing side regard the upset as nothing more than a moral victory, more bittersweet than this transient life we are already forced to undertake.  We here at the Forum are toasting another year of BCS-caused drama.  As the rest of the world tearfully cheers the arrival of a true college football playoff system; we only soak in the remaining days of college football having a regular season like no other.  The lights flicker in the Forum, because the electric bill doesn’t cross our minds too often.  So are the troubles knowing only two years remain on one’s lifetime.  Be proud of your 4-team playoff, but when your team is ranked #5, please don’t email the Forum, because it will no longer subsist.

The Most Important “Rivalry Week” Ever

There is no such thing as an unimportant game when it comes to college football’s most outstanding rivalries.  This  season, “Rivalry Week” will add the final chapter to the 2012 season and has rendered the entirety of the 2012 season irrelevant.  It no longer matters that Notre Dame throttled Oklahoma in Norman in week 8.  Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M is a non-factor.  Ohio State can ignore the 11-0 start to the Urban Meyer era.  Georgia, Florida, Oregon, and Florida State can forget about their one defeats.  There is only one game which matters for each of these teams and it is against their rivals.

#19 Michigan at Ohio State…”The Game”

What does this game matter to the nation at large?  Very little.  No National Title implications and not even a BCS Bowl to be affected.  “The Game”, however, still has extreme value for the Michigan and Ohio State faithful…not to mention a large chunk of the nation which are inflicted with excitement for what has been voted as North America’s best sports rivalry.  No matter what the records of the teams or the consequences of the result, Ohio State and Michigan garners national attention.  Perhaps the most interesting storyline is the possibility of Ohio State being the nation’s only undefeated team in 2012.  While a #1 ranking in the AP poll is nearly impossible, the Bucks could cause a raucous when the culminates should a 12-0 mark be accomplished.  Also, it would cap a terrific start to the Urban Meyer era as the coach would take his position as the alpha male of the Big Ten before his compatriots could blink.  Nonetheless, just as badly as Ohio State wants to have all these ends be met, Michigan wants nothing more than to make it 2 in a row against the Buckeyes who dominated the early 2000’s.  Michigan had the last laugh with a BCS victory last year in the Sugar Bowl, but this year the Wolverines won’t be sniffing BCS competition.  Beating its hated rival is the only motivation for the “Team Up North”, but as we saw with the staggering Buckeyes last year, that can be enough motivation to make the game awfully close.

#5 Oregon at #15 Oregon State…”The Civil War”

The beavers have flown under the radar better than many teams in recent history.  The beavers have only lost to two opponents, but those two Pac-12 losses cost them any hope of a berth in the Pac-12 Championship and thus have left the beavers completely disregarded by the media.  Oregon State defeated Wisconsin and Arizona in Corvallis and traveled to So. Cal and was victorious against Pac-12 South champ UCLA.  Now, the beavers have the opportunity to perhaps squeeze a surprise BCS bid out of the season and/or spoil the season for their most hated rival.  One of college footballs least respected in-state clashes, the “Civil War”was first played in 1894 and is the nation’s seventh oldest rivalry.  Oregon has won the last 4 meetings, but Oregon State is undefeated this season at home.  It’s no gimme for the Ducks, and a loss costs them a BCS opportunity.  Oregon needs uber help to sneak into the BCS National Title game, but have to first take care of its own business.  Oregon’s 10-1 record is null and void.  Its season comes down to playing its oldest rival and a team with more than enough motivation to not only bolster its own BCS hopes (as slim as they may be), but also ruin what just a week ago appeared to be a Championship year for Oregon.

#4 Florida at #10 Florida State…

You’re probably wondering, but no this game has no nickname which is a shame.  Only being played since 1958, the rivalry picked up steam with the rise of the Florida State program in the early Bobby Bowden years and became a college football fixture with the match ups between the coaching legends Bowden and Steve Spurrier.  Since the ever memorable “Swindle in the Swamp” during the 2003 season, the games have lost the jazz which fueled the rivalry in the 1990’s.  Florida dominated from 2004-2009 and two bad Florida teams in 2010 and 2011 allowed the Seminoles to exact revenge.  This season, National Title hopes are on the line for both schools.  While Florida State is ranked behind quite a number of teams, a win should catapult the one loss club ahead of two loss teams Texas A&M, Stanford, and LSU.  Jumping Kansas State, a loser to sub-.500 Baylor, is no stretch.  Florida would drop below the Seminoles after a FSU win.  Eventually, Georgia or Alabama would have to lose.  All Florida State would need, if they win, is an upset of either Georgia or Bama this week and the other winning the SEC title game, or a USC upset of Notre Dame….too far-fetched?  Not in the least.  The Gators, on the other hand, have a fantastic chance of slipping, undeservingly, into the title game.  After the SEC title game, Florida would be BCS #3 at the lowest.  A loss by two of the three teams ranked ahead of them (Georgia, Bama, Notre Dame) launches Florida into the title game…of course they need to take care of business in Tallahassee.  Awesome to see the higher ranked teams having to prove themselves on the road in hostile environments.

Georgia Tech at #3 Georgia…”Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate”

I love the name of this rivalry, it nearly brings a tear to my eye to see something so masterfully crafted as a great rivalry name.  This year, “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” will mean a little more than it’s recent nonchalant battles.  Georgia has won 10 of the 11 games since current head coach Mark Richt first donned his headset.  While Ga-Tech is not exactly a considered one of the nation’s finest teams this year, expect the Bulldogs to have quite a nasty time with the Yellow Jackets.  Ga-Tech has the 16th best scoring offense and whenever the triple-option is involved there is no questioning that the outcome of the game is…well…questionable.  Since taking over, Paul Johnson’s option attack has kept the Yellow Jackets as one of the top notch rushing teams in college football.  Johnson is 40-23 since arriving to coach the Ramblin’ Wreck.  He has been to a BCS contest and already won the ACC Coastal 3 times (2008, 2009, 2012).  Don’t expect Georgia to roll (but of course don’t be surprised if they do).  The triple option can be a gigantic asset or a huge detriment to an effort.  Big plays are realistic on every snap….but so is a turnover.  Georgia Tech has nothing to lost (the only chance of making a BCS game rests in the ACC Championship game against Florida State) and should play with reckless abandon versus its hated rival.

Auburn at #2 Alabama…”The Iron Bowl”

It’s been an embarrassing year for Gene Chizik and Auburn.  The Tigers are an abysmal 3-8 and have not won a single SEC game.  Just to state a fact, Auburn has never gone 0-8 in SEC play, but it will take a win against what people have called the best team in the country since Bama’s rampage against Michigan week 1.  Even the Tide’s loss to Johnny Football hasn’t slowed people’s talk of how much better Bama is than the competition featured in this year’s college football.  It’s hard to imagine Auburn was the Nation’s best team just two seasons ago.  What’s left for a team that needed overtime to beat UL Monroe and has only defeated New Mexico State and Alabama A&M?  How about terminating Alabama’s National Title chances and knocking the Tide from a BCS bowl altogether?  All the Tigers would need (assuming a win) is a Florida victory against Florida State and Bama would be on the outside looking in.  Bama would concede the SEC Championship bid to LSU or Texas A&M if those two pigskin competitors won.  It’s the only way for Auburn to have anything to hang its hat on.  The Tigers have been the laughing stock of the SEC.  They took that title away from Arkansas when they were defeated 24-7 by the Hogs who had started the year 1-4.  Alabama may have the least likely chance of losing of every team on this list (based on Auburn’s track record this season and the skill on the field), but never sleep on a rival.

#1 Notre Dame at Southern California…

It’s doubtful anyone expected USC to be unranked when they met Notre Dame this season.  The only bigger surprise is Notre Dame’s #1 standing in the BCS.  Usually the Irish can find only critics when it comes to strength of schedule, but this season the Golden Domers went balls to the walls and formulated one of the nation’s toughest slates.  Certainly the sweep of the rivals Michigan and Michigan State looks less impressive than preseason expectations, but wins in Norman Oklahoma and at home against Stanford are the true crowning achievements for the Irish.  Notre Dame mauled the Sooners in what looked to be one of the most over-hyped games this season.  Ironically, the Sooners were favored in the game by more than a single touchdown.  If there is one worry Notre must have when they face USC, its the Irish’s 80th ranked offense.  To think of a Brian Kelly coached team having to rely on defense seems a bit ridiculous, but with the #1 scoring defense in the country the Irish rest heavily on the defensive unit.  Should-be Heisman front-runner Manti Te’o is the unquestioned emotional, physical, and mental leader of this top unit.  It looked to be a bout made in heaven with likely top overall pick Matt Barkley facing Notre Dame’s defense, but Barkley has been ruled out and redshirt freshman Max Wittek will get the start.  Wittek guaranteed a win earlier in the week.  Honestly, it was a no lose prediction by the freshman.  Some may say it will motivate the Notre Dame defense to get more aggressive toward the QB, but if Notre Dame thinks too much about silencing Wittek, it may forget about Silas Redd, Marquise Lee, and the rest of USC dominant play makers.  While USC is a disappointing 7-4, Notre Dame would be foolish to assume itself the better team when the players take the field Saturday.  USC was ranked preseason #1 for a reason: because the Trojans are wickedly talented and have the ability to beat anyone.

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