Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year indeed!

A 5-1 record on the first day of 2008 brings me one step closer to .500 for the Bowl season

Yesterday's Bowl results:

-Outback Bowl (UT -1 1/2)
Tennessee 21, Wisconsin 17 MY PICK: Tennessee 31, Wisconsin 24
The Vols hung on at RayJay after questionable late-game decision-making by the Badgers coaches cost them a shot at the win

-Cotton Bowl (MIZZ - 3 1/2)
Missouri 38, Arkansas 7 MY PICK: Mizzou 45, Hogs 38
The Tigers, behind 281 rush yds and 4 TDs from Tony Temple, proved they should have been in a BCS bowl with a thorough dismantling of Darren McFadden and the hapless Hogs

-Gator Bowl (TTU - 6)
Texas Tech 31, Virginia 28 MY PICK: Tech 27, UVA 24
The Cavs somehow blew a 28-14 4th quarter lead when they allowed 17 points in the final 3:30; Tech's Graham Harrell threw for 407 yards on 69 attempts

-Capitol One Bowl (UF -10)
Michigan 41, Florida 35 MY PICK: Florida 34, Michigan 31
Lloyd Carr went out with a bang as the departing Michigan coach out-tricked his Florida counterpart, and the Wolverines held Heisman winner Tim Tebow to a mere 211 toal yards

-Rose Bowl (USC -14)
USC 49, Illinois 17 MY PICK: USC 35, Illinois 20
A close game in the middle of the second quarter turned into a rout when an Illini fumble at the goal line in a 21-10 game led to 28 unanswered points for the Trojans, highlighted by John David Booty's 3 TDs and freshman Joe McKnight's 170 all-purpose yards

-Sugar Bowl (UGA -8)
Georgia 41, Hawaii 17 MY PICK: Georgia 36, Hawaii 34
The Dawgs, like USC before them, laid thier claim to the "best team in the land" title as they absolutely gashed the previously undefeated but obviously untested Rainbow Warriors. The swarming Georgia D sacked Heisman finalist Colt Brennan 8 times and made him look like another system QB on his way to being an footnote in the record books

My Record for the day: 5-1


Now I don't like to brag, and far be it for me to pat myself on the back, but... 'bout some love for my near-perfect day of picking that brought me back from
prognosticating purgatory and put me squarely on the brink of respectability, with a chance to even my record tonight and potentially...wait for it...FINISH THE BOWL SEASON WITH A RECORD ABOVE .500!!!

Ow, my friggin' arm hurts now!

Forgive me for getting a bit carried away, but for anyone who has followed my selections over the past two seasons (and for the select few, for my entire life) know that last season I was so bad that the records have since been destroyed, but this year started out even worse.

As in 1-5, 2-6, 8-13 bad.

Suddenly, just as odd occurrences such as a Dick Clark robotronic puppet with the voice of a chain smoker appearing on New years Rockin Eve and a hockey game being televised on national television on New Years Day were happening, I went and did the unthinkable:

I went 8-4 over the two-day, 12 bowl extravaganza that spanned the holiday, including a spectacular 5-1 showing yesterday, with only the hapless Hawaii Rainbow "Warriors" running what could have been a perfect start to the new year for me.

Mele Kalikimaka my ass, muthafuckers!

What's that you say? A monkey grinding Ron Zook's organ could have gone 5-1 with the games that went on yesterday? I say maybe so, but I don't give a flying fig what the other experts do, as long as I can hold my head high knowing that my meaningless picks on this obscure blog that haven't cost me a cent could have helped some schlub looking for gambling advice almost break even after 11 days and 27 games.

Redemption song, indeed.

So now it's put up or shut up time. Five bowl games left, and I need to go 3-2 to break even. Can it be done? Sure. What will it get me? A years worth of self satisfaction. And you can't put a price tag on that.

Bowl on.

Tonight's Game:

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
(11-2) vs. West Virginia (10-2)
Glendale 8:00 FOX
Line: Oklahoma - 7 1/2

A few weeks ago this one looked like a terrific matchup. Both West Virginia and Oklahoma were on the cusp of being title contenders, needing victories in their final games to lock up a potential Championship Game bid.

Then the world came crashing down on the Mountaineers. First they gagged against lowly Pittsburgh, losing 13-9 at home to the 4-7 Panthers, and then lost coach Rich Rodriguez to Michigan just days later.

Oklahoma didn't seem to have it as bad as they routed then-Number 1 Missouri 38-17 in the Big 12 Championship game on December 1st, a victory that many thought would have vaulted them into the BCS title game against the Buckeyes on Jan 7.

Too bad the BCS powers that be didn't believe it, as not only did the Sooners get snubbed in favor of fellow 2-loss team LSU, but adding insult to insult, are now forced to travel back to the Fiesta in Glendale, the scene of last January's embarrassing but historic loss to upstart Boise State, 43-42.

Talk about getting the shaft.

So which slighted team will be more motivated to pull this one off? The team that ended this season with a humiliating defeat and then saw its coach high-tail it for another school, or the one that thought it should be playing for all the chips, but is instead left holding another stale bag of Tostitos?

Of course the key to stopping the Mountaineers is containing electric runners Pat White and Steve Slaton, a feat that has been accomplished by lesser defenses than OU's (namely USF's, twice.) With White, the run-first QB, being banged up more than an 86 Hyundai lately, and Slaton seemingly having one foot into his NFL career already, the bulk of the WVU offense might be on speedy freshman Noel devine, and don't expect him to carry the load against the swarming Sooners.

That would mean that Oklahoma, led by solid QB Sam Bradford (2800+ yards, 34 TDs), will need to score enough points not only to overcome whatever West Virginia puts up, but at least a touchdown more in order to cover the number. Hmmmm. But for a team in the top 10 in the nation in scoring and defense, that shouldn't be a problem.

My guess is that the Sooners take a page from Mizzou, USC and Georgia and use a lesser bowl game (yes, I'm talking to you, Rose Bowl Committee) to prove that they, not any of the other contenders, are the best team in the land. That means the flashy yet underachieving Mountaineers will have to add yet another disappointment to their season.

Cheer up, Morgantowners. Maybe Rodriguez will pull a Billy Donovan.

MY PICK: Oklahoma 37, WVU 21

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