Monday, September 21, 2009

Not Much has Changed

With 1/4 of the college football season in the books, I decided to take a look back at my pre-season predictions, evaluate and determine what changes I should make. Needless to say, so far, my picks have come out smelling like a rose.

BCS Championship Game

Texas (13-0) vs. Penn State (12-0)

This still seems like the logical match-up. Key games:

Oct. 17 - Texas vs. Oklahoma
Nov. 7 - Penn Sate. vs. Ohio State

Fiesta Bowl

Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Boise State (12-0)

Despite the loss to BYU, I still like Oklahoma to run the table, outside of the Texas game and should still find their way into this game. A close loss to Texas won't drop them too far and the dream match up against Boise State will be too much to pass up.

Boise State will roll into this game undefeated.

Rose Bowl

California (11-1) vs. Ohio State (10-2)

I still like California to win the Pac-10. I predicted it would be a down year for USC this year and California should have what it takes to come out on top. Cal has a legitimate shot at going undefeated but I think they will trip up at least once this season and it could be next week at Oregon. If not, I've got their last game of the season circled; at Washington. Cal is my back up pick for the BCS Title game behind Penn State.

Ohio State should only have to worry about their game at Penn State on Nov. 7. A win could get them back into the BCS Championship Game mix but I don't see them going into Happy Valley and winning there.

Orange Bowl

Miami (11-2) vs. Notre Dame (10-2)

I think Miami will come back down to earth a little in their next two games, at Virginia Tech and vs. Oklahoma. However, I think they have enough to the win a very down, ACC.

As I mentioned in the pre-season, Notre Dame should not have any trouble winning 9 games with this schedule. In fact, they should be a favorite in all of their remaining games, including USC. However, I don't see them winning them all and will probably even lose one that they shouldn't. Regardless, 9 wins gets them to a BCS bowl game.

Sugar Bowl

Florida (12-1) vs. Pittsburgh (10-2)

Florida will not go undefeated this year. They may be the best team in the country but will probably not have a chance to prove it at the end of the season.

If I had a pre-season pick to change, it may be the Big East champ. Before the season started, I don't believe there was a clear, cut choice. However, I believe so far, Cincinnatti has stepped up to be that team. They have become the trendy pick. In fact, College Football News is predicting them to play Florida in the BCS Championship game. I think that is a little over the top but they may indeed be the Big East champ. I'll stick with Pittsburgh for now.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2009-10 College Football Picks

Okay, here we go. I went all out. I even looked up the order of bowl selection and the BCS rules, ha! Enjoy.

1) Florida (11-1, 7-1)
2) Tennessee (9-3, 5-3)
3) Georgia (6-6, 4-4)
4) South Carolina (6-6, 4-4)
5) Vanderbilt (5-7, 2-6)
6) Kentucky (5-7, 1-7)

1) LSU (12-0, 8-0)
2) Ole Miss (10-2, 6-2)
3) Alabama (10-2, 6-2)
4) Arkansas (7-5, 3-5)
5) Auburn (6-6, 2-6)
6) Miss. State (2-10, 0-8)

SEC Championship
Florida revenges their earlier loss to LSU in the SEC Championship Game and makes their case for playing in back-to-back BCS Title Games hoping to become the first 3-time BCS champion.

BCS Championship Game
Texas (13-0) vs. Penn State (12-0) - Let the debate begin. Who is more deserving ... Tim Tebow and the 1 loss Gators or an undefeated Penn State? The Obama led main-stream media cries out to the SEC to “share the wealth” and let a different conference have a chance at winning this year. Penn State’s late-season home win over Ohio State (who had previously knocked off the almighty USC Trojans) is enough to get them in (according to Herbstreit anyway).

Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma (At Large) vs. Boise State (WAC Champ, Top 12 finish) - After Boise State runs the table and finishes in the top 12 of the BCS, the Fiesta Bowl and Fox drool over this potential rematch of the greatest bowl game ever played!

Rose Bowl
California (Pac 10 Champ) vs. Ohio State (At Large) - Ehhhh … the “granddaddy of them all.”

Orange Bowl
Miami (ACC Champ) vs. Notre Dame (At Large - Ugh ... don't get me started. However, the Irish only need 9 wins and to finish ranked in the top 14 and the Orange Bowl snags them up with the first pick. They should … should be able to do that with this year's schedule)

Sugar Bowl
Florida (SEC Champ) vs. Pittsburgh (Big East Champ) - Unfortunately, the Sugar Bowl picks last this year and gets stuck with the Big East Champ.

And the rest of em…

Capital One Bowl – LSU (Capital One has to take SEC runner up unless a team is within one game of said, runner-up. LSU has 2 game lead over the Bummers. Disney bound.)
Cotton Bowl – Alabama (Cotton Bowl takes next highest West team.)
Outback Bowl – Tennessee (Outback Bowl takes next highest East team.)
Chick Fil-A Bowl – Ole Miss (I don't know if Ole Miss has ever played in this game. Heck, have they ever played in a bowl game period?)
Music City Bowl - Georgia (It's not every season that Georgia slips down to the Music City Bowl in the pecking order.)
Liberty Bowl – Auburn (See above. Auburn in the Liberty Bowl = rare.)
Independence Bowl – Arkansas (Arkansas makes more sense than South Carolina from a regional standpoint.)
Papa Bowl – South Carolina (The last SEC slated spot.)

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.