Sugar Bowl Preview and Pick

Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Alabama 

Schedule analysis: Oklahoma (10-2) snuck into a BCS spot with victory at Oklahoma State. The highlight of their non conference slate was a revenge victory at Notre Dame. The Sooners at close calls at home to TCU and Texas Tech. Oklahoma’s two losses came to Texas 36-20 at the Cotton Bowl and at Baylor 41-12 on a Thursday night. They ended strong with a 10-point victory at Kansas State before their win in Stillwater. Alabama (11-1) ended the season with heartbreak. The Crimson Tide were defeated by Auburn in a crazy finish that every sports fan knows about. Other than the loss they played a relatively easy schedule for SEC standards. Their SEC East crossovers were against Kentucky and Tennessee. They won early in the year at Texas A&M and defeated LSU at home. Continue reading

Bowl Previews and Picks: New Years Day Games

Gator Bowl: Nebraska vs. Georgia 

Schedule analysis: Nebraska was a very disappointing 8-4 this season. They held off Wyoming in their opener and lost to UCLA at home. The Cornhuskers defeated lowly Illinois and Purdue to start conference play. They were upset at Minnesota after a bye week and needed a Hail Mary at home to win against struggling Northwestern. In the their last four games, they won their roads games against Michigan and Penn State in overtime, and lost their homes games against Michigan State and Iowa. Georgia (8-4) was plagued by injuries and a tough schedule. They started the season with a loss at Clemson. The Bulldogs then beat South Carolina, North Texas and LSU at home to cap off a brutal September. Injuries continued to pile up in an overtime win at Tennessee. The Bulldogs lost in consecutive weeks to Missouri and Vanderbilt before a bye week. They closed the season winning four of their last five games. The one loss was a Auburn on a miracle play for the Tigers. They won their last game of the season against Georgia Tech in double overtime without quarterback Aaron Murray, who is out for the season with an ACL tear. Continue reading

Bowl Previews and Picks: December 31 Games

AdvoCare V100 Bowl: Arizona vs. Boston College 

Schedule analysis: Arizona (7-5) ended the season losing three of their last four but it could’ve been worse. They shocked Oregon 42-16 in the second to last game of the season. Their losses in that span were against UCLA, Washington State and at Arizona State. The Wildcats started Pac-12 play with losses at Washington and USC. They won three straight games against Utah, Colorado and California, who were the only Pac-12 teams not to make a bowl game. Boston College (7-5) ended the season winning four of their last five including victories against Virginia Tech and at Maryland. Their losses came against bowl-bound USC, Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina and Syracuse. Continue reading

Bowl Previews and Picks: December 30 Games

Armed Forces Bowl: Middle Tennessee vs. Navy

Schedule analysis: Middle Tennessee (8-4) ended the season on a five-game win streak. They defeated Marshall 51-49 on the last second touchdown pass. After that game they won their next four against UAB, FIU, Southern Miss and UTEP. Those four teams combined for six total wins in 2013. The Blue Raiders losses were against North Carolina, BYU, East Carolina and North Texas. Navy (8-4) also ended their season on a four-game win streak. Hawaii and Army weren’t the toughest opponents to beat but they picked up wins against South Alabama and San Jose State, who both finished 6-6. The Midshipmen started the season with a win at Indiana and beat Pittsburgh. They lost to Western Kentucky, Duke, Toledo and Notre Dame. Continue reading

NFL Picks: Week 17

I’m going into the last of the season with a 120-108-11 overall record against the spread. There are several games this week with playoff implications and some games that have no impact on the postseason. Most of the games that aren’t important or with players resting starters for the playoffs will be one-star picks this week.

Three-star

Ravens +7 over Bengals

Jets +6 over Dolphins

Cowboys +7 over Eagles

Two-star

Falcons +6 over Panthers

Giants -3.5 over Redskins Continue reading

Bowls Previews and Picks: December 28 Games

Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Notre Dame

Schedule analysis: Rutgers (6-6) followed a 52-51 overtime loss on the opening Thursday night of the season with four straight wins against opponents that finished with a 13-35 record (Norfolk State, Eastern Michigan, Arkansas, SMU in overtime). Rutgers lost by double-digits in their five AAC losses against Louisville, Houston, Cincinnati, UCF and UConn. The Scarlet Knights were able to gain bowl eligibility with wins over Temple and South Florida, who each finished 2-10. Rutgers six wins this season were against teams that finished a combined 17-55. Notre Dame (8-4) had a disappointing season. They had a few impressive wins against Michigan State, Arizona State and USC. However, they didn’t look great in victories against lesser competition such as the Purdue and Navy games. Notre Dame lost to Michigan early on before people knew that the Wolverines weren’t a great team. They also lost to Oklahoma and dropped road games at Pittsburgh and Stanford.  Continue reading

Bowl Previews and Picks: December 27 Games

Military Bowl: Marshall vs. Maryland 

Schedule analysis: Marshal (9-4) split their four non conference games. They routed Miami (OH) and Gardner-Webb early and lost at Ohio and at Virginia Tech in triple overtime in a game they should’ve won. The rest of Marshall’s schedule wasn’t very strong because they played in Conference USA. They defeated 7-5 UTSA and lost 51-49 to 8-4 Middle Tennessee. Their most impressive showing was a 59-28 victory over East Carolina to send them to the Conference USA championship game. They had a let down in the championship game the next week against Rice in a 41-24 loss. Maryland (7-5) played in the better conference but didn’t have many strong wins. Their non conference wins came against FIU, Old Dominion, UConn and West Virginia. Then they lost 63-0 to Florida State. Two out of Maryland’s three ACC wins came against Virginia and NC State. Both those teams didn’t win a game in the ACC. The Terrapins other victory was at inconsistent Virginia Tech in overtime. Maryland also lost to Clemson, Syracuse, Boston College and Wake Forest. They played the last five games of the season without leading receiver Stefon Diggs.  Continue reading

Bowl Preview and Picks: December 26 Games

Little Caesars Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green

Schedule analysis: Pittsburgh (6-6) played nine bowl-bound teams this season. They started their first season in a new conference with a promising 4-2 record. The losses came on Labor Day to Florida State and at Virginia Tech in October. The Panthers defeated New Mexico, ACC Coast champs Duke, Virginia and Old Dominion. The second part of their season was struggle for the Panthers. They defeated two bowl teams in Notre Dame and Syracuse, but lost to Navy, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Miami. One of Pittsburgh’s most impressive wins was against Duke but that was early in the season before the Blue Devils started playing their best football. The win against Notre Dame was a revenge game for the Panthers and the Fightin’ Irish proved to be a very inconsistent team this season. After starting the season 5-3, Bowling Green (10-3) ended the season on fire. The routed Miami (OH), Ohio and Eastern Michigan before beating Buffalo by 17 on the road. Their reward was a date with undefeated Northern Illinois in MAC Championship. The Falcons dominated Northern Illinois 47-27 at Ford Field. Continue reading

Hawaii Bowl Preview and Pick

Hawaii Bowl: Boise State vs. Oregon State 

Schedule analysis: Boise State (8-4) was an outstanding home team this year. They were 6-0 on their home turf but played a weak schedule. UT Martin, Air Force, Southern Miss, Nevada, Wyoming and New Mexico all had losing records this season. Boise State won on the road at Utah State, but that was the week after the Aggies lost star quarterback Chuckie Keeton with a season-ending injury. They also defeated Colorado State on the road. The Broncos started the season with a loss to Washington and dropped conference games to Fresno State, BYU and San Diego State. Oregon State were upset by Eastern Washington in their opener and rebounded to win their next six including a road tilt at San Diego State. Then the tough part of Oregon State’s schedule occurred and they lost their last five to Stanford, USC, Arizona State, Washington and Oregon. The Oregon loss was 36-35 in Eugene and the Beavers should’ve won. They put a maximum effort into the rivalry game and fell short.  Continue reading