|Monday, December 31, 2012 11:14 AM|
Not a bad week for us.
LSU: LSU may not be the best offense but the defense is right there among the nation’s best. Clemson got their tails kicked last year in a bowl game, though last year West Virginia went hog-wild on them offensively. This one will be a different makeup but same ending; Clemson with an “L”.
GEORGIA: Georgia lost their starting noseguard — a projected first-rounder; those don’t grow on trees. Still, this is not a banner year for Big Ten and the embarrassment of Cornhuskers last game — a blowout loss in Big Ten title game — doesn’t leave much in the way of confidence. Dawgs rule.
STANFORD: Read above. The Big Ten fell a lot this fall among the nation’s power conferences and the Cardinal run defense is a load. Expect a head-knocker but Stanford prevails.
FLORIDA: Why did I pick this one? I figure Gators will win in a rout, though with this pick and my paranoia about teams “knowing” I pick them — if you get my drift!! — that means it will be closer.
KANSAS STATE: Both teams have been off quite a spell. The later bowl games tend to be less explosive because it’s hard to maintain the timing in practice. I like K-State, especially with a pretty good defense under Bill Snyder.
GREEN BAY: All-Day has the Eric Dickerson goal in mind but Packers are starting to heal up on defense — they will FORCE Ponder to beat them! — and that offense — outside of when they play Giants — is putting it together at the right time. Green Bay puts up big numbers in big win.
CHICAGO: Megatron will get his for Lions. However, Lions are not the “feel-good” story they were and Bears are fighting for playoff lives. I think that is enough for them to eke out a win.
NY GIANTS: Giants have stunk it up totally lately. I still pick them not because they are overwhelming but because Iggles are even in worse shape and will bid adieu to Andy Reid as coach Sunday night. Don’t worry; he will be coaching somewhere because he is too good but they do need a different “voice.”
INDIANAPOLIS: The return of Chuck Pagano on the sideline has to be an incredibly emotional lift for back-from-the-dead Colts. Texans are not closing as they had hoped and methinks that trend continues in OilDome.
LSU: It’s the Tigers vs Tigers in the Georgia Dome. LSU sports one of the nation’s best defenses, while Clemson has relied heavily on its top-flight offense. One will have to give; I like the Tigers to come away with the win.....LSU Tigers.
Georgia: Both coming off painful losses in huge games; the Bulldogs came five yards short of playing Notre Dame for the National Championship; while Nebraska endured an ugly loss in the Big Ten title game and missed out on a Rose Bowl berth. I like the Bulldogs to come away with the win.
Stanford: Stanford rolls into the Rose Bowl with an impressive November that included five consecutive wins over ranked teams, including then-No. 2 Oregon. Wisconsin, playing in its third consecutive Rose Bowl, arrives as the first 5-loss team to play in the Granddaddy, one that actually finished third in the Big Ten Leaders Division. The Badgers are only here because Ohio State and Penn State aren’t eligible due to NCAA sanctions. The Badgers are there by default and Stanford will make the Badgers look like they don’t belong there; the Cardinal win big.
Florida: Louisville is a clear underdog in the Sugar Bowl but the Cardinals can already claim one major victory over an SEC team this postseason. The Gators should have no problems against the Cardinals.
Oregon: This is probably the best game, even better than the National Championship game. These teams were on a collision course to be in that title game until they both tripped up late in the season. I would have picked K State before they were throttled in their one week as the number one team. The Ducks lost a game in overtime to Stanford. I like Oregon to come away with the victory.
Washington: Another game where the division is on the line; it’s going to come down to who wants it more and I think the Redskins do.
Green Bay: Green Bay is already in and are playing well; they take it to the Vikings in tuning up for the playoffs.
Chicago: The Bears’ playoff hope are still alive; they should have no problems against the again-struggling Lions.
N.Y. Giants: Both teams are in tailspins but the Eagles more so. This could be Andy Reid’s last game as the Eagles head coach; the Giants send him out on a losing note.
Indianapolis: How about those Colts? The worst team in the NFL last year is this season’s feel-good story. They have been “Chuckstrong” and with their head coach back on the sidelines this week, they can and will head into the playoffs with a win,
LSU: Chicken in a bowl, roasted, barbequed, strips, wings – I’ll take it any way they want to serve it!!! Les Miles is one of the premier coaches in the country and has LSU in contention for championships year in and year out. The Chick fil-A-Bowl pits strength against strength as one of the nation’s best offenses (Clemson) faces one of the top defenses (LSU) at the Georgia Dome. Clemson’s Tajh Boyd is a real talent but LSU’s defense is as good as it gets. LSU has compiled a 9-1 record at the Georgia Dome and is 5-0 in this bowl, outscoring the opposition 78-6 in its last two appearances. Going with the Tigers!
Georgia: The Bulldogs came up five yards short against Alabama that kept them away from playing in the National Championship Game. The Cornhuskers got totally embarrassed in the Big Ten title game keeping them out of the Rose Bowl. Hence, it comes down to who wants this game more after their seasons were crushed in the conference title games. SEC vs. Big Ten – not a great history! Nebraska has a great trio in QB Taylor Martinez and running backs Rex Burkhead and Ameer Abdullah; however, they’re up against another great SEC defense anchored by SEC defensive player of the year Jarvis Jones. Sorry Big 10 – going with Bulldogs!
Stanford: Wow! You’re one of the best coaches in the Big Ten (Bret Bielema) and qualify to play in the Rose Bowl and you depart to go to Arkansas and the SEC – GOOD LUCK WITH THAT BRET – and you thought you struggled with recruiting against Urban in the Big 10. I’ve really loved watching the Cardinals play this year and have been real impressed with their head coach, David Shaw. I’m a big fan of the Badger’s Montee Ball but I just feel the Cardinal’s overall performance on both sides of the ball will prevail in this one. Sorry again, BIG 10 – going with the Cardinals!
Florida: The fourth-ranked Gators look for their fifth straight win in a BCS bowl against the Cardinals. Louisville has the Big East offensive player of the year in Teddy Bridgewater but will have to see if he has fully recovered from a broken wrist and a sore ankle that kept out of the last game against Rutgers. Complicating things further, Teddy will have to face a Gators defense unlike anything he has seen in a long time, ranking third nationally in points allowed (12.9 per game) and given up five passing touchdowns while making 19 interceptions. Going with the Gators!
Oregon: I love everything about this team (Ducks)! Their uniforms, offensive play calls, Coach Chip Kelly and the colors green and gold (Editor’s note: I wonder why???). The Ducks have arguably the most talented group of linebackers in the country. Collin Klein is good but remember he lost to Baylor 52-24 and the Ducks’ defense is as good, if not a lot better, than Baylor was this year. Can you smell what the Duck is cookin???? Going with the Ducks!
Bengals and THE JUNGLE!
Green Bay: The Packers have won 12 straight against NFC North opponents, have won four in a row and 10 of the last 11. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 5,927 yards, 49 TDs and just 8 INTs in 20 career games indoors. And this guy sat for how many years behind Bret Favre? The Vikings’ all-world RB Adrian Peterson is only 102 yards away from 2,000 for the season and 208 away from breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. A CLASS ACT but going with the Packers!
Detroit: I must confess, not really interested in this game. Both teams came into the year with high expectations, especially the Bears. My hat is off to the Lions’ All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson for what he’s accomplished over the years playing for a subpar team for most of his career. My thoughts – catch the game for a half, slip over to Greektown or MGM and see what’s going on and go to the Red wings game (OH, that’s right, is the NHL ever going to play again)???? Going with the Lions!
N.Y. Giants: Talk about disappointing seasons. A ton of talent that will be sitting on the sidelines this year as the playoffs start. I would really like to see the Eagles win, especially for Andy Reid, but I’m going with the Giants. Four quarters of play and then – who’s the next head coach of the Eagles, what will they do with Michael Vick, what changes will be demanded in the Meadowlands???? (EN: Stay tuned!!)
Indianapolis: What a great year for the Colts and rookie Andrew Luck. The Colts will welcome back to the sidelines their head coach, Chuck Pagano. A second beating of Indianapolis can still clinch big things for the Texans – specifically home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs. Though the Colts have slumped statistically as of late, Luck and the Colts have still shown a knack for rising to emotional occasions and finding myriad ways to win games they’d appeared to have no business claiming. With Pagano returning to the fold this week, I’m going with the Colts!