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, K.M and myself, Bryan, 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. K.M 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. I was on hot fire to end the year, and a “strong for most but slightly down from the absolute destruction I wrecked on college football in the couple week’s prior” last week allowed me to pass K.M at 38-22 straight up, and creep very close to his 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 2 of the of our Fabulous Fifteen- the 10th to 6th best bowl games of the bowl season – so says us!
To view our picks and previews to Part 1 of The Fabulous Fifteen, click here. As games are concluded, we will merely issue an update for the game and edit them out of the blog so you don’t have a 20-page novel to read when all 15 games are done.
After 4 of the Top 15 games, Todd McShay is the clubhouse leader with 37 of a possible 120 points. K.M comes in at 34 points, good for second and also has 120 possible points still in play. Will Harris comes in at 29 points for 3rd, while I’m at 27, 4th right now, both of us still having 116 possible points in play as I lost 4 points on GT and Will lost his 4 on Mizzou tonight. The CEO, Seth, comes in at 25 with 115 possible points left, losing 5 on West Virginia. ESPN Fantasy Guru Matthew Barry trails the pack at 22 points, stuck now with only 99 possible points, losing 21 combined on West Virginia and Georgia Tech.
Update Bowl Game #15 Champ Sports Bowl: NCST wins 23-7 over West Virginia. K.M and I hit our first hot hook up of the bowl season getting NCST to cover (and win) the +3 spread they were given. Frankly, it was an ugly game that wasn’t very well-played by either team. West Virginia lost it more than NCST actually won it, but after GT screwed me the same way, I’m not apologizing. K.M has two of those wins now but I’m sure he’s not apologizing either. K.M and Todd McShay now lead the confidence points race with 31 apiece.
UPDATE Bowl Game #14 Independence Bowl: Air Force wins 14-7 over GT. 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.
Update Bowl Game #13 Insight Bowl: Iowa wins 27-24 over Missouri. In what turns out to be the first real good game of our Fabulous Fifteen, Iowa gets a late Pick 6 to steal a win over Mizzou. Makes me and K.M, who called Mizzou as frauds even after their win over Oklahoma look better again. This game was one that Iowa should have been up more at half, then by the end of the game, Iowa really had no business winning. Killer INT by Gabbert after Stanzi threw a couple of big picks of his own. Gabbert has a monster game as does Marcus Coker, filling in for Adam Robinson who was suspended. Will Harris takes his first loss, while Todd McShay stays perfect and takes the lead on K.M.
12. Fiesta Bowl – in Glendale, AZ – Oklahoma (-17) vs. UConn- January 1st (8:30 ET ESPN)
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.
Prediction: OU 42 UCONN 21
UPDATE Game #11 MAACO Bowl: Boise State wins 26-3 over Utah. 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.
10. Sun Bowl- in El Paso, TX- Miami (-3) vs. Notre Dame – December 31st (2 PM ET, CBS)
K.M.: My beloved U, in the middle of a coaching change, have 4 prospects locked up for this year’s recruiting class. What does that have to do with this game? Wait on it, but I wanted to open with this because my anger about the state of my program knows few bounds. Man I hope LSU is good next year. Anyway, these are two teams in their own special kind of turmoil, Miami switching coaches, Notre Dame dealing with a blowback of tragedy and a sexual battery case that wasn’t. Will either team have focus in this one? I think my boys will, and that’s not just the homer in me. Interim coach Jeff Stroutland is a character who seems to understand the situation he’s in, the bittersweet aspect of it, but man, he’s a character who is full of fire and seems to really know he’s got a job to do in regards to getting Miami back on track. Notre Dame and Miami matters on the national stage, even if it’s more Army/Navy at the moment then it is Alabama/Auburn. People are going to watch this thing, it’s CBS, 2 pm, New Year’s Eve. This game is doing ratings, and Miami has a ton to prove. I expect the Canes to try to make a final statement in this game, not just on the season that was and the Shannon era, but for the future, letting all the undecided players out there see a dynamic, player-friendly offense and aggressive defense. Miami is going to put on a facade, and I think this aggressive Miami will serve them well against an opponent who I question their focus. Sheer force of will and a commintment to playing well will win the day in a game that will probably fail to live up to the hype as far as quality of football goes, but still be somewhat entertaining, more so if you want to close your eyes and pretend this is good Miami for a few hours. It’s all about the U? Yea, why the **** not…
Prediction: Miami 30, Notre Dame 20
Confidence Points : 7
Bryan: Well, unlike my colleagues I’m actually going to try and give you some actual reasons to bet with me and K.M and take Miami, as oppose to a bunch of blabber that for you putting financial interests on our picks, demand more from. First off lets get to the first thing. Notre Dame has been without their TE Kyle Rudolph for most of the year, then lost one of their top RB’s Armando Allen, and starting QB Dayne Crist. Has freshman Tommy Rees stepped in and played admirably? Yes. But they haven’t played anyone. Their best win with him was your choice of a Utah team that we here at TSHQ told you were frauds for weeks leading up to the TCU game, and a USC team who had Mitch Mustain starting for them. In other words, like the resume’ test we used in our SSR during the season, Notre Dame has no good wins. They’re down to their backup QB, and aren’t a world-beating defense by any means. Miami, though they have some bad losses, have had moments of excellence this year. Even if Pitt, UNC, and GT aren’t great teams, they’re better than most of ND’s top wins. Jacory Harris is back and the way to rattle him is to get pressure. Notre Dame was middle of the pack in that category while Miami was Top 10 in sacks and has a Top 15 defense. Notre Dame has some play-makers in Michael Floyd, but Miami has Hankerson at WR, a good backfield, and a QB who though erratic, has the big-play ability. I think they’ll be motivated to win for their interim coach and I think Notre Dame doesn’t have the talent of Miami at 100%, nevermind when they’re shorthanded. Take Miami and lay the points.
Prediction: Miami 34 Notre Dame 17
Confidence Points: 11
Hot Holiday Hook Up: Miami laying the points
Seth: Remember when these two teams meeting in a bowl game was a big deal? No, me either. Now Miami has been relevant in the last decade, but Notre Dame, not so much.
Anyways, the most intriguing thing about this matchup is seeing which team is closing in on getting back to relevance first. The U has the talent, and with a new coach in the fold, well I am not sure. I mean he came from Temple, and this is a football game right? So am I supposed to be impressed by this hire? For the Hurricanes, it is about which Jacory Harris shows up? K.M., what is the over/under for Harris turnovers? Take the over.
For Notre Dame, this is about showing progress, as opposed to how they tend to do it with new coaches. I mean I haven’t read any reports on Kelly getting a 30 year $90 million extension because of his first 12 games like Charlie Weis did. The spread looks to be catching on in South Bend, and the defense is stepping up for the Irish.
Prediction: ND 24 The U 20
Confidence Points: 3
9. Outback Bowl- in Tampa, FL- Florida (-7) (-115) vs. Penn St. – January 1st (1 PM ET, ABC)
K.M.: I’m going to keep this really simple. Penn State is a pretty sad team. They aren’t going to crack 20 points on any semi-decent defnese. Florida is going to send Urban Meyer out with a bang and put together a solid game. Sadly for Florida, their offense is pretty pathetic, but you give Meyer time to prepare for a team, and he’s pretty good most the time. I see a low-ish scoring affair, but Florida should never be in doubt in this one. I don’t think this one will be fun or in jeopardy, I’ll lay the 7 with confidence, and I’ll be watching another game, those two statements are absolutes.
Prediction: Florida 27, Penn State 13
Confidence Points: 11
Bryan: Urban’s last game on the Florida sideline gives me a lot of faith in the Gators to send their coach out with a top of the line effort. Only thing is do they have the ability to give him that effort? John Brantley is god awful. And the fact they are out 4 starters now makes me weary, but the ESPN guys don’t get to change their picks so either do we. The Gators to be discrete are dreadful offensively. If they don’t get big plays out of the run game or short-field from a turnover, I’m not sure how much they can move the ball, even against a Nittany Lions D that is pretty average. Matt McGloin has stepped in at the QB spot for Penn St. and has been pretty impressive, keeping them competitive in games against Michigan St. and Ohio St. The only question I have for them offensively, is can they avoid the turnovers against a Florida secondary that has been pretty strong against the pass all year. Florida was beat pretty badly in most of its games vs. top teams. Penn St. was a bit more competitive but still never really had any chances at big upsets. It’s two mediocre teams playing in a New Year’s Day game, not something I’m thrilled about, so go with the team who is looking to send their coach out on a winning note and has the one true strength on either side of the ball for either team with their defense. Take Florida to win, against the spread, it’s a toss-up to me.
Prediction: Florida 24 Penn St. 20
Confidence Points: 12
Seth: Urban Meyer’s farewell game. Or did he already give up? Don’t really know nor do I care cause the Florida offense is absolutely terrible.
But even worse than that is the Penn State’s offense this year. Much like Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno should die on the sideline, so you won’t get anything here about him needing to retire.
This will be a battle of ineptitude, and I see the Florida offense, more specifically the QB’s of Florida will produce more, and lead the Gators to a relatively easy win.
More importantly what this game will do is give more credence to the SEC superiority over the Big 10 and allow for all the SEC “fans” to bark about how great their conference is and by extension how great their team really is. I hate SEC fans.
Prediction: Florida 35 Penn St 17
Confidence Points: 12
Update Bowl Game #8 Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma St. wins 36-10 over Arizona. Todd McShay is the lone man to pick Arizona here. Had to be underlying reasons for that pick. Maybe he just thought Oklahoma St. wouldn’t be into it. Arizona once again has trouble stopping NFL talent at the skill position as Justin Blackmon has a great game with over 100 yards and 2 TD’s. If he and Weeden return next year, you are looking at another great Bedlam game. The rest of the 5 of us pretty much nail this game on the head in regards to the way it would play out. At this point, if you missed our analysis on predicting it, go to this link hereto check that out. Arizona killed themselves with turnovers and penalties. But bottom line, anyone who really watched CFB this year and didn’t have an outside reason for picking Arizona (which McShay must have had), then this was a pretty easy pick as Seth had 11 points on it, K.M 12, and myself 13.
7. Chick-Fil-A Bowl- in Atlanta, GA- South Carolina (-3) vs. Florida St. – December 31st (7:30 PM ET, ESPN)
K.M.: First off, this is the Peach Bowl. I like Chick-Fil-A, I’m not so much a Yankee that I would live in the South and not like Chick-Fil-A, but damnit, get your grubby not-open-on-Sunday paws off of the Peach Bowl. The Peach Bowl is a long standing place where a dissapointed ACC team goes to take it up the butt from a strong SEC team. Not since Miami beat up Charlie Strong’s one game at the helm of Florida has the ACC won this game. But this year, I see the dissapointment on the other foot. South Carolina is coming off a beating in the SECCG, where they got pwned, no other word for it. Florida State took it in the ACCCG, but without their QB. South Carolina has a lot of characters on it’s offense, and I question how well Garcia, Lattimore, and Jeffery will be motivated, as Spurrier hasn’t exactly coached up much bowl success at South Carolina. Plus, the Old Ball Coach sucks against Florida State, that is well documented fact. It’s gonna come down to one thing, can Florida State run the ball on South Carolina or not. And I don’t think South Carolina’s defense is going to care enough to stop the FSU run, because when FSU is on, they run the ball really well, and I think FSU is on in this one. I’ll take the dog straight up here.
Prediction: Florida State 30, South Carolina 24
Confidence Points: 1
Bryan: This is one of the aspects of Bowl Games that I HATE. I’ve seen both of these teams play multiple times this year. There’s no doubt in my mind if these teams played in the middle of October, South Carolina rolls. They’re a better football team. But as K.M said, they were decapitated in the SECCG. Are they really into this? FSU has a pretty good pass rush that could rattle Garcia who is a walking time bomb, constantly seconds from a blowup. The South Carolina defense is actually pretty good against the run, 8th in the nation, and Christian Ponder is no Cam Newton. South Carolina has much more big-play ability to me and Jeffrey should be able to expose a mediocre secondary. I usually buy history like the Spurrier-FSU one K.M mentioned, but FSU is only on the rebound, not back yet. Same reason I liked VT against them in the ACCG. This isn’t the same caliber FSU that built up that history on their side. Ponder hasn’t played in a while and they like to use the run to set up the pass. Lattimore for SC should be able to keep the Seminoles front 7 busy and occupied, opening up the pass game for the Gamecocks. I like the Gamecocks to come to play and move the ball against a Seminoles D, while stopping the run of FSU and putting them in some tough 3rd down situations. Lay the points.
Prediction: South Carolina 27 Florida State 20
Confidence Points: 8
Seth: Steve Spurrier vs Florida St. Ahh the memories. Florida St is not a good enough team to hang with the Gamecocks, and I just don’t see that changing. Remember when Christian Ponder was talked about as being one of the best QB’s in the nation? I laughed at that.
The Old Ball Coach is going to want to prove that the ass beating they took at the hands of Auburn was a fluke, and it will be fun to do against his old rivals, even if BB isn’t on the sideline.
Prediction: SC 28 Fla St. 17
Confidence Points: 10
6. Orange Bowl- in Miami, FL- Stanford (-3.5) vs. Virginia Tech – January 3rd (8:30 PM ET, ABC)
K.M.: I hate Virginia Tech. This is known fact. No team in the national gets more praise for doing less then Virginia Tech does. 10 wins every season, usually against 10 of the 11 worst teams they play, and national hype that makes me want to puke. Did you know this is Frank Beamer’s best coaching job yet? Second place was last year, when the media said the same thing, third place was 2008, when the media said the same thing, and so on, you get the idea. One thing Frank Beamer just cannot do, however, is beat top 5 teams. Stanford, for those unaware, is ranked #4. Frank Beamer is 1-18 all time vs. the top 5. The program as a whole is 2-41 vs. the top 8. They don’t win big games, period. They were probably a better team then Boise State this year, but they lost. Why? Boise was ranked #3. If you have Virginia Tech playing a top ranked team, throw the stats, the matchups, the intangables out the window. Just bet the other team. I did it during the entire last decade. Clearly, I won a lot of money doing that. Trust me on this one.
Prediction: Stanford 38, Virginia Tech 20
Confidence Points: 9
Bryan: Well given that I’m trailing right now, this looks like it could be a huge game for me in my chances to win the confidence challenge. The ONLY person of the 6 to take Virginia Tech, I’ve been lower on Stanford than most all year (as has K.M). I don’t see what others see. Yes, Andrew Luck looks pretty good, (best prospect since Manning?, really Seth?), but who has he impressed against? In my eyes, looking at their resume, they had one big challenge and got stomped. Are they good? Yes. Are they elite? I’d say no. Their defense, though ranked 22nd, hasn’t stopped anyone legit outside maybe Arizona. Oregon hung 52 on them. You can’t sell me any defense that has 52 dropped on it. 35 to USC. They merely dominated a bad conference. Tyrod Taylor has been great for Virginia Tech all year, limiting his turnovers. His mobility is something that Stanford didn’t see much in conference play and I expect him to be just as deadly with his feet as I do with his arm. I think he has the potential to give Stanford all sorts of problems. For VT to win, they MUST stop the run, something they were pretty good at all season. Luck and Stanford won’t give them the game. They’ll have to win it. Stanford is across the country, I’m not sure how strong their fanbase’s presence will be and Harbaugh is already being rumored to be on the 49ers radar. Luck has the draft questions surrounding him. I’ll take the team who has proven to me they can beat good football teams, and has no distractions around them to upset a team who really has no marquee wins and I think is ripe for the taking. Take the points with VT.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 30 Stanford 24
Confidence Points: 2
Seth: Stanford is one of the best teams in the nation, and has the best QB prospect that has been around since probably Peyton Manning was at Tennessee.
The real question about this game is how many people will be in the stands to watch this slaughter. Stanford is too balanced, to talented and to well coached to lose this game.
Prediction: Stanford 35 Virginia 17
Confidence Points: 14
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: 40/120 (max: 116)
Keith: 46/120 (max: 120)
Seth: 36/120 (max:115)
ESPN college draft expert Todd McShay: 37/120 (max: 119)
10- Air Force
3- Florida State
2- Texas A&M
ESPN College Football analyst Will Harris: 38/120 (max: 116)
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: 34/120 (max: 99)
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.
11: Oklahoma St
10: South Carolina
6: Air Force
5: West Virginia
3: Notre Dame
Bryan: 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS
K.M: 5-0 SU, 5-0 ATS
Seth: 4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS
Holiday Hook Ups: 3-0