Saturday, January 3, 2009

Not off to a good start

Well with three picks in the books in 2009, I am not off to such a good start. Utah really surprised me last night with how well they played. After discussing the game on the phone with my dad, who attended the game with my mother, I just really feel that Utah had a specific game plan they implemented for Alabama. They had a month to study film, find the holes in their defense and attack.

It appeared that Alabama tried to do the same thing they have been doing all season and without their star Left Tackle, it was a lot more difficult than they thought it would be. Despite only being sacked 14 times all season, John Parker Wilson went down eight times to the Utes defense. When they weren't sacking him, they were putting enough pressure on him to make bad decisions.

With that behind us, it' time to make my 2009 Super Bowl picks.

AFC Wildcard
No. 4 Chargers 27 No. 5 Colts 24
No. 6 Ravens 20 No. 3 Dolphins 6

AFC Divisional Round
No. 6 Ravens 23 No. 1 Titans 13
No. 2 Steelers 31 No. 4 Chargers 17

AFC Championship Game
No. 6 Ravens 19 No. 2 Steelers 16

NFC Wildcard
No. 3 Vikings 20 No. 6 Eagles 17
No. 4 Cardinals 23 No. 5 Falcons 20

NFC Divisonal Round
No. 1 Giants 27 No. 4 Cardinals 10
No. 2 Panthers 34 No. 3 Vikings 14

NFC Championship Game
No. 2 Panthers 20 No. 1 Giants 17

Super Bowl
Baltimore Raven 24 Carolina Panthers 17

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Day Wrap Up

Yesterday, I went 1-1 on my picks both Straight Up and Against the Spread. I underestimated USC but I think I was more rooting against them when I made that pick than actually believing that Penn State could win. Nevertheless, Penn State did score 17 fourth quarter points to almost come back and cover the 8.5 point spread losing by just a 14 point margin, 38-24.

In the nightcap, I was right on. Cincinnatti, a 2.5 point favorite, came out quickly and jumped to 7-0 lead fresh on the heels of the hype of playing in their first BCS bowl game. However, Virigina Tech, the more expeirenced and better team overall, got back into the game and eventually took control pulling away late with a 20-7 victory.

If you are looking to hit 2 out of 3 picks, I believe we are right on track with tonight's pick of Alabama over Utah as a 9 point favorite. Alabama hasn't played in the Sugar Bowl since their 1993 win over Miami to capture their 13th national championship. Surely they will be motivated to be playing in this game after a 16-year absence. The crowd will be mostly Alabama fans who only have to make they short drive over to Louisiana.

Pick: Alabama 31 Utah 10

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year - BCS Picks

Well, Christmas vacation is winding down as we ring in the new year. I've had some nice time off. Watching the kids open presents on Christmas morning and taking Reid for a bike ride in his pajamas was one of the major highlights.
I also had some time to play some golf, visit with family, take Reid to the Children's Museum and spend a day with just Tiffany, no kids. All-in-all, it's been a pretty good week away from the office.

As for the bowl games, I've gotten to watch a couple but honestly, I haven't really been that impressed with the bowl match ups this year. Even the New Year's Day and BCS games aren't "can't-miss games" this year. However, after sporting a 2-0 record picking games against the spread last year on my blog, I decided to put my undefeated record on the line and pick the BCS and Championship games.

Rose Bowl - USC (-8.5) vs. Penn State

Hype: I am probably the only one picking Penn State in this game. The media has once again jumped on the USC bandwagon and will ride it from Pasadena to Miami after the Rose Bowl in an attempt to petition to get USC into the National Championship game.

Match up: Yes, USC does have a great defense. And yes, USC has already routed a good Ohio State team this season that Penn State struggled to defeat. However, because both teams have a good defense, I don't think you will see a lot of points in this game and 8.5 points may be too much for USC to cover.

Motivation: Penn State will probably be more motivated to play in this game than USC. USC has played in this game four years in a row and while Pete Carroll preaches that reaching the Rose Bowl is their goal when they start the season, the players can't be as excited to stay at home for the Rose Bowl than say travel cross-country to Miami for the National Championship game.

Pick: Penn State 17 USC 16

Orange Bowl - Cincinnati (-2.5) vs. Virginia Tech

Hype: This is a 2 out of 5 star game but only because it will be the only bowl game being played
in prime time on New Year's Day. Otherwise, the Big East champion against the ACC champion doesn't register very high on my radar.

Match up: Let's face it, I'm not Kirk Herbstreit or Lee Corso. I don't know much about either of these teams but I think I've watch enough of college football and the bowl games to know that I am not very impressed with either of these conferences overall.

Motivation: Cincinnati which has never played in a BCS game should be the more motivated team. However, don't jump the gun on this one. Virginia Tech was in the same situation last year as they played Kansas, another team making their first appearance in a BCS game. Kansas got the better of them and motivation for last year's Orange Bowl defeat may be on their mind.

Pick: Virginia Tech 21 Cincinnati 19

Orange Bowl - Alabama (-9) vs. Utah

Hype: This bowl game doesn't offer a whole lot of pizaz but is always fun to see how the BCS Cinderalla team will fair against the mighty Goliath.

Match up: Alabama was a couple of plays away from playing in this year's National Championship game and have had a very sucessful season by running the ball, playing excellent defense & winning the field position battle.

Utah was 2-0 against BCS conference teams this year although a 2-point win against a struggling Michgian team and 3-point home win over Oregon State doesn't necessarily make them battle tested. The question will be, can Utah move the ball against the Alabama defense?

Pick: Alabama 31 Utah 10

I'll be picking the Fiesta Bowl and BCS National Championship game later this weekend.