It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The time you hang mistletoe on your belt and go to strip clubs. Also, it’s college football bowl season, and that means the three G’s are in full effect, great games, games that nobody gives a damn about, and gambling.
For those new to the concept of the Sexy Six, Bryan and myself, K.M., picked the top 6 college football games each week, straight up, against the spread, and even a predicted total. Did we win? Hell yes we won. I went 1-5 ATS in the last week of the season, but still finished 37-23 straight up and 32-27-1 against the number. Bryan was on hot fire to end the year, and a “strong for most but slightly down from the absolute destruction he wrecked on college football in the couple week’s prior” last week allowed him to pass me at 38-22 straight up, and creep very close to my ATS total, going 31-28-1 against the number.
We both beat Vegas, we both called some great upsets, we proved we dominate college football, so you’d naturally assume we’d quit while we were up and call it a winning year, right? Hell no! We teamed up to pick our 13 favorite Bowl Games of the year, gave each one of us a wild card game, and are going to do a 3 part, 15 game “Sexy Six” style comprehensive Bowl Game preview – The Fabulous Fifteen.
Yes, this is our Christmas gift to Earth, we take so much from the planet by hogging all it’s awesome, we decided to give for a change.
And that’s not all! We got 2 more presents in store! First off, we will pick all 15 games in the style of the ESPN Bowl Mania – confidence points on the winners. We will also compile the confidence points picks of top ESPN experts, and laugh at them when we destroy them. That’s gift one!
Gift two is we found the guy that gave this blog a stupid generic title and was smart enough to let Bryan and I take over and get out of our way, Seth, and told him to go ahead and try to do what we do, and that we’d even go first, because he can’t do as well as we can even if he sees what we are doing. Plus, we have to go first, cause when Bryan and K.M agree on a side against the spread, we call that a Hot Holiday Hook-Ups (18-14-1 this year!). Seth will show up later, then Bryan and I will use his failure to shine further light on our expertise to teach you all a special holiday lesson.
What is that lesson? It’s very simple. When somebody tells you that you can’t do something, believe them. None of you can do what it is we do. It takes an exceptional talent to overcome the challenges that life puts forward. You simply do not beat Vegas over a season on the biggest games of the year, unless you are amazing. We are. Most everyone else simply isn’t. Argue if you want to. Agree if you feel us. Ignore us at your own peril. Here comes part 1 of the of our Fabulous Fifteen- the 15th to 11th best bowl games of the bowl season – so says us!
15. Champ Sports Bowl- in Orlando, FL- West Virginia (-3) vs. North Carolina St. (K.M’s wild card pick)- December 28th (6:30 ESPN)
K.M.: This was my wild card, because I wanted to bet against Bill Stewart. For a while I was afraid he got himself fired. Thankfully, he did, but not for this season, he gets a full lame duck year like he is the President of the United State of Coal. So my ability to bet NCSU was not only preserved, but at some point lately, I even got NCSU to move from +2.5 to +3, so now I get a full field goal in this game. Awesome! Reason #1 I like NCSU – Tom O’Brien wins 9 games like every year. But reason #2 is WVU actually is pretty average on offense, winning games with D. They only allowed 13 touchdowns all year. Granted, they played in the Big East, which I think is so weak that Villanova left I-AA to join the Big East because I-AA was too hard. NCSU has put up points on a few legit defenses, they should just outscore the ‘Neers with little problem. 28 takes this one. The Wolfpack get 28.
Prediction: North Carolina St. 28, West Virginia 20
Confidence Points: 7
Bryan : Defense will be the name of the game in this one as both teams enter with pretty solid defenses, though West Virginia at 3rd in the nation ranks much higher than the 34th ranked Wolfpack defense. Both teams have to be a little disappointed to be here at this point when both had the chance to be playing in bigger games. NCST missed out on an ACCCG spot with an end of the season loss at Maryland. Even losing to VT would have likely netted them a better game. West Virginia’s loss to Uconn gave the Huskies the tie-breaker and Big East title keeping the Mountaineers from potentially another BCS Bowl. NCST will look to counter the ground game of West Virginia led by dynamic RB Noel Devine. The Wolfpack, ranked 11th in the country against the run have come up big on run defense against some of the best running teams they’ve played, even holding GT to about 100 yards under its season average. So Geno Smith will be asked to make plays through the air for the Mountaineers, something he’s done pretty well at all year when called upon with nearly a 4/1 TD:INT ratio. Obviously for the Wolfpack the offense revoles around their talented junior signal-caller, Russell Wilson, who started the season scortching hot but has cooled off quite a bit in the 2nd half of the season. Possessing a great arm, he has a little Jay Cutler in him with the throws he feels he can make and because of that saw a season with 14 INT this year. If he’s making good decisions, NCST is a potent offensive team who can score. Intersting stat: West Virginia’s season high for points allowed this year is 20 to LSU back in late September. They don’t give up much so their offense doesn’t have to do a ton. If they can find a way to penetrate this stiff NCST run D, they could win this game with little effort. But not many teams have been able to do that all year.
Prediction: NCST 20 West Virginia 14
Confidence Points: 7
Holiday Hot Hook-Up: NCSU and the points
Seth: Seriously does anyone give a damn about this game? Give me WV and the points. WV 31 NCST 24
14. Independence Bowl- in Shreveport, LA- Air Force (-3) vs. Georgia Tech (Bryan’s wild card pick)
Bryan : If you don’t like this game, blame me. But I’m highly intrigued by the two best running teams in CFB, both triple-option teams going head to head. If you like passing, don’t tune into this one. Paul Johnson is widely regarded as the master of the triple-option offense for regularly having his team highly ranked in rushing offense, regardless of where he’s running it. Georgia Tech has been miserable all year at defending the run, ranking 72nd, while Air Force, in a giving mood all season apparently has ranked 91st against the run. So in other words, both teams are great running the ball, and neither can stop the run? Wow. Smells like points galore to me. I’m not going to overreact to the secondary on either team because when teams can run all over you, why should either have a bad statistical secondary? So how do you determine who wins here? Well, Georgia Tech put up a stinker in their BCS Bowl last year against Iowa in the Orange Bowl so I expect a ton of energy and pride from their sidelines in this one. Air Force has had a solid season and is probably jacked up to show off their offense against Georgia Tech’s. Neither team really won any impressive games this year. Air Force’s best win was probably Navy. Georgia Tech’s was UNC. Both lost to pretty much all of the top teams in their leagues. I’m going to take the ACC athletes over the Mountain West ones. Unless your TCU than I’m just not buying you very much this year. Not to mention Paul Johnson beat Air Force 4 out of 5 times when he was the coach at Navy so I like those odds.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 36 Air Force 30
Confidence Points: 4
K.M.: Do you hate passing the ball? Me too, because my favorite team lets Jacory Harris do it, so it’s a terrible thing that gives me a heart attack every time it’s attempted. No, seriously, Jacory gives me 40 heart attacks a game. I am a strong man for it. Anyway, hell with that weak forward pass noise, Air Force and Georgia Tech think the forward pass is for Clyde’s. Joshua Nesbitt does a pretty good job of running the Georgia Tech triple option attack. His arm is all kinds of broken. He’s not playing…if he does, great, cause as stated, he has a broken frickin’ arm. Tevin Washington is worse at the option, but a better passer. Who cares? Not like GT has any receivers that can catch. GT wide receivers play the position I played in high school, wide decoy. I think I caught 3 balls my entire high school career, 1 for a TD, one for a concussion. That would make me the all time leading receiver of Paul Johnson recruits. Sweet. Point is, bet Air Force. And laugh to the pay window.
Prediction: Air Force 38, Georgia Tech 17 (yes, you read that right)
Confidence Points: 10
Seth: WooHoo! Whenever I make my dynasty on NCAA Football I make my team run the triple option b/c it is fun. So this game is near and dear to my heart. Not really, I just needed to fill space.
AF 38 GT 28
UPDATE: Air Force wins 14-7. K.M and Seth hit this. I feel good about calling GT in this one. Their punt team cost me an upset with two huge fumbles as well as a fumble on the goal line by their QB. I need VT to come through for me in a few weeks. Early lead for my colleague and the CEO.
13. Insight Bowl – in Tempe, AZ – Mizzou (-1) vs. Iowa (note: Iowa suspensions may change this line, but see our predictions, Bryan and K.M. couldn’t care less)
K.M.: I hate this game. For reals. Not the gambling part, just the game itself. I hate these teams. I hate the matchup. I don’t want to watch this. Iowa’s entire offense, last I checked, is suspended for smoking copious amounts of weed and getting high off nitrous baloons. Mizzou, last I checked, is very weak sauce. Anyway, let’s get this over with. Mizzou is 10-2. Iowa is 7-5. Iowa is kicking guys off their team left and right. Mizzou is not. And Mizzou is only a 1 point favorite. Why? Because they are a giant trap and Iowa clearly at least cares about this game, due to the fact they are throwing players off the team and whatnot. Take the team that isn’t a Big 12 team, because the Big 12 is pathetic, and cash it.
Prediction: Iowa 21, Mizzou 17
Confidence Points: 3
Bryan : Last time I talked about a Missouri team who didn’t do any one thing really well, they beat Oklahoma at home. So I’m hesitant to go that route again. On the flip side you have an Iowa team who it seems stopped playing good football after their dismantling of Michigan St. at home. They finished 1-3 down the stretch with their only win being over an Indiana team who won one Big Ten game and even that game they needed a late drop. So to recap briefly I’m not very high on either team. I think Mizzou is severely overrated but they have to feel good about the season they had while Iowa has to be wondering where they took a wrong turn. Mizzou is going to look to spread Iowa out and attack them through the air since they don’t have anywhere near a rushing attack to beat the 6th ranked rush D of Iowa and dynamic DE Adrian Clayborn who is going to be a early round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Iowa will counter with Ricky Stanzi, a highly efficient QB who rarely turns the ball over, though it did plague him in some late season games, such as against Northwestern. Iowa has scored 17 or more points in every game this season, and some of those were against much better defenses than the one they will play in Missouri. The only thing that makes me hesitant to take Iowa is their mindset. Have they packed it in for this season? Does the suspension of WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos give them another excuse to not give their best. I hope not. Kirk Ferentz is a top-notch coach who I’m counting on my confidence points to get a W, not just for him and the Iowa program, but also for me. And really, isn’t that the most important? Take the point with Iowa. It’s basically a pick’em though and I still like Ricky Stanzi and the strong defense of the Hawkeyes over a Missouri team who is far too overhyped for a team with a mediocre resume’ and no real strength.
Prediction: Iowa 30 Missouri 21
Confidence Points: 6
Holiday Hot Hook-Up: Iowa and the points
Seth: This game is being played at my alma mater, and honestly I don’t care other than the fact that I have a friend that has brothers that went to Iowa and they always go to the games when they are in town. So that should be fun.
Iowa 28 Mizzou 17
12. Fiesta Bowl – in Glendale, AZ – Oklahoma (-17) vs. UConn
Bryan : Yep, its a BCS Bowl, and yes it’s still only the 12th best bowl game this year. Oklahoma can’t really do it again can they? Losers of 5 straight BCS bowls, Oklahoma hasn’t been this much of a “lock” since the Fiesta Bowl against Boise St. “Big Game Bob” has a team filled with offensive talent this year led by QB Landry Jones who heads the 4th ranked passing offense in all of college football with 35 TD’s and just under 4300 yards on the season. Against a mediocre Uconn defense who has not played a team this offensively talented all season, they should put up points in bunches. DeMarco Murray, Ryan Broyles, and Kenny Stills have to be licking their chops against the Huskies defense that has a tendency for giving up big numbers and comes in ranked only 41st against the pass, despite playing in a league where there’s very few elite passing offenses. Obviously, everyone in the country knows (or should know by now), that Uconn will feature a heavy dose of RB Jordan Todman who inexplicably was left off the Doak Walkers list for the nation’s top RB’s despite 1574 yards and 14 TD’s. It’s going to take a huge game from him to both put points on the board for Uconn as well as keep the Oklahoma offense off the field. With a passing attack that ranks 110th out of 120 D-1 football teams, if Uconn falls behind, the floodgates could open. Everywhere you look people are taking Oklahoma, and though its contrary to intelligent logic, I’d rather look like a fool with thousands of people than to try to be the smart guy who has 10’000 people asking me “What the **** were you thinking?” Pick Oklahoma. I’d even lay the 17 points. Oklahoma should win this game by a wide margin.
Prediction: Oklahoma 48 Uconn 14
Confidence Points: 15
K.M.: Last I heard, UConn has sold 9 tickets to the biggest game they will ever play in the history of football on earth. 9. That is a total fact. Ok, no it’s not. But it’s about the truth. Word has it UConn is going to somehow lose money playing in this game due to not being able to sell tickets and having to guarantee hotel rooms and whatnot. That’s impressive. My friend asked me why they wouldn’t just sell the tickets they don’t want to Oklahoma fans? And I guess that Okalhoma fans probably don’t want tickets to this crapfest either. So this is a game between two champions of terrible conferences, with two apathetic fan bases, and the line is -17? I’m going to take the dog out of principal. Plus Big Game Bob can always choke one away, which means in this game he has to pull away late or lets UConn make a pretend comeback. Don’t act like you want more analysis then this. You know you aren’t watching this game, just like I’m not. Just bet it and turn it on if it’s close to the spread late. Oklahoma wins, that is not in doubt, but by over 17? Why would they care enough to do that when nobody cares about this game?
Prediction: Oklahoma 35, UConn 22
Confidence Points: 14
Seth: You know I went to the Oklahoma v WV game a couple of years ago, sat in the Oklahoma section. They are some of the dumbest fans you will ever meet, proclaiming the greatness of Bob Stoops, and how their program gets no respect ever. It hurts my head, so maybe I am not the best person to listen to in this game, but I don’t see how they lose.
OU 42 UCONN 21
11. Las Vegas Bowl – in Las Vegas, NV – Boise State (-17) vs. Utah
K.M.: Utah is trash and heading to the Pac-10 with Colorado (HA!). Boise State needs to win a bowl game by a ton and try to convince people that they are worthy of the BCS in years they can actually make 30 yard field goals (TOO SOON? HAHAHA!). Anyway, take the team with the really good coach that likes running it up over the team that got smacked by any half-real team they played this year to cover with ease, and take the time this game is on to catch up on your TiVo shows you’ve missed over the holiday season. Because this game will suck. Really, how am I supposed to write about this game when Utah went out and got destroyed by TCU the way they did, and act like Utah is going to make a game out of this one. I just can’t fathom that happening. I don’t see one thing Utah does better then Boise, I don’t see how Boise isn’t motivated for this game given their love of beating up bad teams, if Boise dials it in, then perhaps Utah stays close to them by default, but with Kellen Moore coming back next season, this game will be like a 2011 first coaches poll exhibition for them, I see them running it up to get that high ranking that will leave these fail monkeys in prime position to fail again next season. And if you don’t buy that Boise will care about this game in regards to next year, think of how many arguments for Boise you heard this season that were predicated on what they did in 2009. You think that won’t change next year? I see it continuing, myself, and that’s why I see blowout.
Prediction: Boise State 52, Utah 17
Confidence Points: 15
Bryan : The first of our “Fabulous Fifteen” to kickoff this bowl season, you have two Non-AQ schools who saw their BCS dreams come to a crashing halt with tough losses, Boise on a devastating OT loss to Nevada in a game where their kicker missed two chipshots, Utah in a decapitation at home to TCU. That’s the biggest thing about College Football. Unlike other “postseasons”, there are games that mean nothing to teams. That’s what we have here. Boise is without question the better team. Utah was exposed as a mediocre bunch with their end of the season slide. But does Boise care? I would like to think so. After all, I would think there has to be some pride here in a Non-AQ way. Offensively Boise is complete. Though its hard to tell if thats a product of the WAC or their talent. I lean towards the latter. Kellen Moore has two very gifted WR’s in Titus Young and Austin Pettis whom he can air it out to as well as RB Doug Martin who compliments them out of the backfield as a 1000+ yard rusher. Can Utah stop them? Statistically you would think they’d stand a chance with the 20th ranked defense in the nation, but if you actually look at their games (and this is why I always have stated stats can be overrated if not taken in context), you’ll see that most of their strong defensive games have come against creampuffs and otherwise they’ve give up points pretty regularly. Utah is no slouch offensively and has punched some teams in the mouth this year. Jordan Wynn will have to stay away from turnovers against a Boise D who tied for 18th nationally in turnover margin. Ball control will also be huge for Utah. Nevada was effectively able to keep long sustained drives that resulted in TD’s and then get the stops to keep a tired Boise defense on the field for large portions of the game. As the commentators mentioned during the broadcast, it wasn’t common this year for Boise defenders to still be playing competitive football in the 4th. Utah’s got to be able to stay close though to give them a chance, and though I’ve given them the blueprint to do so, I don’t think they have the horses to knock Boise off. So take Boise, but I’m going to roll the dice here and say a below-averaged energy Boise team won’t lay the 17 points.
Prediction: Boise St. 36 Utah 23
Confidence Points: 14
Seth: Poor Boise St can’t ever catch a break. They are so mistreated. So I feel even worse for Utah who they will take it out on.
BSU 45 Utah 21
UPDATE: Boise State wins 26-3. Utes look much like the team me and K.M called frauds well before they were blown out to TCU. Boise finishes another great season, and most importantly doesn’t interfere with the BCS games which me and K.M said they didn’t belong in. We’re all winners after this one.
Confidence Points Scoreboard:
Given our 15 game slate, we are putting out 120 total confidence points between us. All ESPN experts we use will of course have the games we could care less about taken out and they will end up with a slate just like we have. We will keep track of the scoring here, and put our picks in white font underneath this, so you can avoid the spoilers if you want, or you can make keep us honest and keep up with us, whatever, we don’t care.
Bryan: 14/120 (max: 116) (at risk in this section: 46 points)
Keith: 25/120 (max: 120) (at risk in this section: 48 points)
Seth: 21/120 (max:120) (at risk in this section: 45 points)
ESPN college draft expert Todd McShay: 22/120 (max: 120) (at risk in this section: 51 points)
10- Air Force
3- Florida State
2- Texas A&M
ESPN College Football analyst Will Harris: 22/120 (max: 120) (at risk in this section: 48 points)
12- Boise St.
11- South Carolina
10- Air Force
9- Oklahoma St.
5- Ohio St.
1- Notre Dame
ESPN Fantasy Expert: “The talented Mr. Roto” Matthew Barry: 13/120 (max: 109) (at risk in this section: 58 points)
12- Oklahoma St.
11- Georgia Tech
10- West Virginia
6- South Carolina
1- Ohio St.
13- Oklahoma St.
8- South Carolina
4- Georgia Tech
2- Virginia Tech
15 – Boise
14 – Oklahoma
12 -Okie St
11 – Florida
10 – AF
9 – Stanford
8 – LSU
7 – The U
6 – NCSU
5 – Oregon
4 – Wisconsin
3 – Iowa
1 – Florida St.
Bryan: 1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS
K.M: 2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS
Seth: 2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS