Friday, December 28, 2007

Back to normal: another Bowl, another loss

Yesterday's result
Pac Life Holiday Bowl:
Texas 52, Az St 34 MY PICK: ASU 31, Texas 25

MY Bowl Season record: 2-6

The thing about my predictions is, when I miss, I MISS.

Not only did the Sun Devils get throttled by an uncharacteristically hungry Longhorn team, but the fact that Texas overcame one of the wackiest plays in recent bowl history and still won going away made the loss all the more painful-and perplexing.

Leading 21-0 after a first quarter blitzkrieg that saw ASU cough up the ball twice and look as hapless as the Miami Dolphins, Texas was the victim of one of the strangest plays in bowl history when an assistant coach--who just happened to be head coach Mack Brown's stepson-- touched a live Sun Devil fumble that ended up giving the ball to ASU, which then subsequently scored on the ensuing play to put ASU back in the game, 21-7.

Too bad for Devils fans that belated Christmas present didn't pay long term dividends, as Texas, behind QB Colt McCoy's 258 all-purpose yards and RB Jamaal Charles' 161 yards on the ground, routed the hapless Sun Devils in another high-scoring Holiday Bowl.

Which ended up dropping my Bowl Season record to a dismal 2-7.

Alas I've basically given up all hope of even sniffing .500 this postseason, and I've nearly decided to use the old gambler's trick of going with the opposite team that I think is going to win just so I can salvage some sort of dignity this year--or at the very least have a legitimate excuse why I suck so bad at prognosticating football games.

No matter the horrendous record, I will soldier on, and with three games on tap tonight, I still see the glass as half full, although an 0-3 tonight could force me into another 2 month semi-retirement. But I will say this: my predictions are gong to be a lot shorter from here on out.

Champs Sports Bowl
Boston College (10-3) vs. Michigan St (7-5)
5:ooPM ESPN, Orlando
Line: BC -5

Call this one the after work special. About the time everyone who isn't on vacation is cutting out for the weekend, these two schools will be squaring off for the first time in what should be another entertaining bowl game.

BC had a terrific season, climbing all the way to the taboo Number 2 ranking, led by probable top-10 NFL draft pick, QB Matt Ryan. despite the disappointment of falling to a lower-tier bowl, the Eagles should have enough offense to overcome a lackluster Spartan squad, which is just happy to be bowling after a disappointing campaign under first-year coach Mark Dantonio.

Look for Ryan to light up the porous (27PPG) MSU defense, and the Eagles to roll in their first bowl game since 1993.

MY PICK: BC 28, MSU 19

Texas Bowl
TCU (7-5) vs. Houston (8-4)
8PM NFL Network, Houston
Line: TCU - 6 1/2

looks like this game is living up to its name as two home state squads square off in a game for bragging rights in the Lone Star state.

TCU was supposed to have a big year, but early season losses to Air Force and Wyoming put a halt to any BCS dreams. Houston, meanwhile, was a pleasant surprise, finishing in the top three in C-USA in scoring, rushing yards and passing yards per game. Running back Anthony Aldridge is a beast, rushing for a near-school record 1568yards and 14 TDs, and with the Cougars scoring 36 PPG, the Horned Frogs #16 rated defense will have their work cut out for them if they want to salvage what could have been a special season.

MY PICK: Houston 27, TCU 21

Emerald Bowl
Maryland (6-6) vs. Oregon St (8-4)
830PM EST San Francisco ESPN
Line: OSU -4 1/2

In one of the many 'who cares?" bowls of the season, OSU's power running game should be too much for a weak Terrapin defense, and combined with a solid Beaver rushing defense (2nd in the NCAA), that should be enough to propel Oregon State to the win.

MY PICK: OSU 31, Maryland 21


Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 Bowl Season: Hooray! I'm on a roll

Thanks to Central Michigan's late comeback I have started a new winning streak- 1 in a row!

Last Night's Results:
Motor City Bowl
Purdue 51, Cent. Mich 48 MY PICK: Purdue 38, CMU 35


Ah, finally, after five straight losses I get to drink the sweet nectar of victory.

Who cares if the Boilermakers spoiled a 28-point 3rd quarter comeback and a late, game-tying touchdown by the Chippewas when they kicked a game-winning field goal with no time left on the clock--I still predicted a game correctly, right down to the three point differential.

I nearly had to take the day off today to recover from my shock.

Purdue QB Curtis Painter threw for an astounding 546 yards--the 4th highest total in Bowl history-- and the two clubs combined for a staggering 99 points in regulation in what was another exciting post-season contest following this season of upheaval and unbelievable results.

The most unbelievable aspect being that I finally got off the schneid to inch my record ever so close to respectability.

The big question is, will I be able to creep towards .500 before the slew of weekend games begins tomorrow by correctly calling tonight's Holiday Bowl, traditionally one of the highest scoring, wild & woolliest affairs of the bowl season?

I'm not sure, but I'm gonna give it a shot. Wish me luck.

Tonight's Game:
Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
(9-3) vs. Arizona St. (10-2)
San Diego, 8PM ESPN
Line: Texas - 2 1/2

Might as well call this one the Consolation Bowl.

Both of these clubs had national championship aspirations for this 2007 season-- Texas when it was ranked as high as #4 coming into the season, and ASU when the Sun Devils climbed all the way to that #4 perch after starting the year 8-0, only to come crashing down to earth following losses to Oregon and USC in November.

To make matters worse, ASU still had a BCS berth in its sights until that 20-point drilling the Trojans gave them at home on Thanksgiving night.

Yeah, thanks for fucking up our whole season, SC.

But both squads have no one to blame but themselves for ending up in the annual pointfest that is the Pac Life Holiday Bowl. Texas and ASU are loaded with talent, including both quarterbacks (Rudy Carpenter for ASU, Colt McCoy for Texas), Longhorns RB Jamaal Charles and Sun Devils safety Troy Nolan, who led the Pac-10 with 6 INTs this season.

Problem is, Texas was plagued by inconsistent play from McCoy (21 TDs but 18 picks) and an ineffective defense (25 PA/game.) While the Longhorns are taking a major step backwards by winding up back in San Diego after a couple of recent trips to BCS bowls, including that Rose Bowl championship game with Vince Young a few years ago, ASU is just happy to be improving under nomadic coach Dennis Erickson.

That spells trouble for Texas, who could be disinterested in winning a lower-level bowl after tasting championship glory.

MY PICK: Arizona State 31, Texas 25


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bowling for Dollars? Hardly

My knack for picking almost every game wrong is catapulting me into near legendary status, cementing my legacy as the World's Worst Gambler.

Recent Bowl Results: Bowl:
Cincy 31, So. Miss 21 MY PICK: Cincy 38, So. Miss 24
-New Mexico Bowl:
New Mexico 23, Nevada 0 MY PICK: Nevada 35, New Mexico 28
-Las Vegas Bowl:
BYU 17, UCLA 16 MY PICK: BYU 44, UCLA 21
-Hawaii Bowl:
East Carolina 41, Boise St. 38 MY PICK: Boise St


Ah, it's nice to see that as the years go by, some things never change. Britney is still going to be batshit crazy; George Bush will be a bumbling idiot; American Karaoke will continue to draw gazillions of viewers despite being and absolutely unwatchable piece of claptrap garbage...

...and I will be picking football game outcomes about as well as Pam Anderson picks spouses.

Six games into the 2007 Bowl Season and my record speaks for itself. It says "I SUCK WORSE THAN THE NEW 'ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS' MOVIE!" How bad is it? I Lost a game that I didn't even post about and never publicly stated who I thought would win.

That would be the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, which I didn't get to post about due to the insanity that is the pre-Christmas craze. But I had penciled it in on my bowl sheet as an easy Boise win, only to have the Broncos get demolished early, come back late, then lose in agonizing fashion on a last-second, hideous-looking kick by the Pirates, handing Boise its second heartbreaking loss on the Big Island in exactly one month.

So my record stands at a Miami Dolphins-esque 1-5 after six bowls, and with the onslaught of games about to begin over the next week, I could just go into hiding (again) and claim the holiday hysteria caused me to forgo the rest of the predicting for the year.

But what fun would that be? For you guys, that is?

Instead I will press on, buoyed by the knowledge that even though I am hanging my propensity for awful predictions out on a line for all to see, at least it gives my readers plenty of fodder, as well as reason to believe that no matter how bad your bowl sheet is looking, it can't be any worse than mine.

You're welcome.

On to the next wave of embarrassment!

Motor City Bowl
Central Michigan
(8-5) vs. Purdue (7-5)
7:30PM ESPN, Detroit
Line: Purdue -8 1/2

On paper this one looks like a high-scoring thriller, with both the Chippewas(easily one of the best nicknames in D1) and Boilermakers (easily one of the worst)averaging about 33 PPG, with each team possessing one of the most prolific passers in college football today.

Central Michigan's sophomore sensation Dan Lefevour threw for 3360 yards with 23 TDs and 13 INTs and also ran for over 1000 yards and 17 more scores, joining Vince Young as the only two QBs to pass for over 3000 yards and rush for over 1000 in one season.
In short, he's a freaking stud.

But Purdue has it's own stud QB in Curtis Painter. The senior also threw for 3300 yards, with 26 TDs and only 9 picks all season. Although he doesn't run like Lefevour, his veteran leadership and deep receiving corps make him just as dangerous as the double-threat Chippewa.

Purdue won the first meeting between these teams, 45-22, back in September, but since then Central has been on a roll, winning 7 of 10 games, although the news that head coach Butch Jones could be heading back to West Virginia to take over for his former mentor Rich Rodriguez could be a distraction for the club.

Purdue has had somewhat of a disappointing season, losing 5 of its last 7 games after jumping out to a 5-0 start. But Joe Tiller has guided this club to bowl games in 10 of 11 seasons, and he will be sure to have his team fired up to prevent any kind of revenge factor from sinking the Boilermakers in this one.

So who will win? The logical choice would be Purdue, with the focused coach, senior signal caller and Big 10-tested team, but we all know I never pick based on logic. I say the Chipps do let revenge guide them, and that combined with the home field advantage and the "win one for the departing coach" mindset will guide them to compete in what should be a high-scoring, close affair.

MY PICK: Purdue 37, Central Michigan 34