My final regular season tally was 395-324 coming into Bowl season, so I needed to finish about 20-16 in the bowl games to reach my pre-season goal of 55%. Let’s see how that went. Winners against the spread will appear in bold.
Washington State(-4.5) vs. Colorado State: MISS! How in the world did the Leaches blow a 14 piont lead in less than two minutes??!?!! Even a month later, this meltdown still baffles me, and definitely got me off on the wrong foot. I have several select words for the Cougars that I can’t print here. I have been told this is a family site.
Fresno State vs USC(-6.5): MISS! I knew better. I really did. I still stand by my decision that I thought that the Trojans not hiring Orgeron would affect the team in a negative way. Guess not…..
Buffalo vs San Diego State(-1.5): HIT! I really should have made this my lock of the bowls. The Bulls looked overmatched from the beginning, and really had no chance….
Tulane(-1.5) vs Louisiana-Lafayette: MISS! Tulane was the better team by far for the last three quarters, but still couldn’t get out of the early hole that they dug for themselves.
Ohio vs East Carolina(-12.5): HIT! The Pirates made me sweat this one for a little bit. I hate taking lines over ten points, especially in bowl games, but the MAC wasn’t nearly as strong this year as it has been in the last five years or so, and it showed in bowl season.
Boise State vs. Oregon State(-2.5): HIT! More proof that the Broncos would be a slightly above average team in a major conference. That said, Boise had a run of injuries that ruined their season. My question is: how will they do without Peterson? They were able to pick up where they left off after Dan Hawkins committed career suicide and went to Colorado. Can it happen again?
Pittsburgh vs Bowling Green(-4.5): MISS! This one surprised me a bit. After Bowling Green manhandled a previously undefeated Northern Illinois team, I figured they could take down Pitt.
Utah State vs Northern Illinois(-2.5): HIT! I was one of the few to pick the Aggies straight up it seems, and this game did not surprise me one bit. The Utah State defense is better than people think (just ask Colorado State RB Kapri Bibbs), and held the Huskies potent offense to just over 300 total yards. A bitter finale for Jordan Lynch to be sure, but his season will still be talked about as one of the best, despite losing the bowl game.
Marshall(-2.5) vs. Maryland: MISS! That’s what I get for going with the “power conference” team. In fact, the bowl season made the middle of the ACC look surprisingly average.
Syracuse vs Minnesota(-3.5): MISS! This was the first of many black eyes for the Big Ten(12). Not that any of us should be surprised. It is an annual tradition, after all!
BYU vs. Washington(-3.5): HIT! The Huskies are better than they looked during the last part of the season.
Rutgers vs Notre Dame(-13.5): MISS! The halves strike again. What does it say for Rutgers though when they played arguably their best game of the year, and still were never really in the game? What will happen to them in the Big Ten(14) east? This could be their last bowl appearance for quite a while…..
Cincinnati vs North Carolina(-2.5): HIT! I predicted a Carolina blowout, and that is pretty much what this turned into. Home field during bowl games DOES matter, kids!
Miami(FL) vs Louisville(-3.5): MISS! The Hurricanes close out a horrible end of the season with another blowout loss. Teddy Bridgewater helped his draft stock as much as he possibly could have in this one with a good performance on National TV. Oh, and you may have heard, this drubbing of the Tropical Storms got Charlie Strong the Texas job. So call it a win-lose for Louisville since the Cards lose their starting QB and most of the coaching staff…..
Michigan vs. Kansas State(-4.5): HIT! The Wolverines went back to pre-Ohio State form in this one.
Middle Tennessee State vs. Navy(-6.5): HIT! The Middies’ option game looked pretty good in this one.
Mississippi(-3.5) vs. Georgia Tech: HIT! Mississippi had plenty of close losses to really good teams this year. Can you imagine if they had won one or two more of those?
Oregon(-13.5) vs. Texas: MISS! Fine time to show up for a bowl game finally, Ducks. I do admit it was nice seeing Texas lose, even though I picked them. It was worth it!
Arizona State(-13.5) vs. Texas Tech: MISS! This had to be the one game that really surprised me. The Red Raiders lost six straight in conference to close the season. How could I possibly expect them to not get covered the way the Sun Devils were playing, let alone win outright? Kudos to Kliff Kingsbury and his coaching staff for getting the team ready to play in this one.
Arizona(-7.5) vs Boston College: MISS! I will admit that BC hanging around with Florida State, and the season that Andre Williams had heavily influenced my pick, and it probably shouldn’t have. After all, I did watch how the Wildcats dismantled a very good Oregon team…..
Virginia Tech vs. UCLA(-6.5): HIT! I am a bit suprised that the Bruins had their way with the Hokie D the way that they did in this game. I am not surprised that the VT offense got dominated again. I figured UCLA would win by ten or so, but I didn’t see a blowout happening.
Rice vs. Mississippi State(-7.5): HIT! Poor Rice. They win a conference title outright for the first time on 60 years, only to get manhandled in a bowl game. I hope that they don’t let this game get them down, because they really did have a good year.
Duke vs Texas A&M(-11.5): HIT! I was one of the few that gave Duke a chance. It turns out they needed a despicable showing on defense in the second half to blow the lead that they built in the first half. Instead of shocking the world and taking down a SEC heavyweight, the Blue Devils became yet another footnote in the Manziel legend.
Nebraska vs Georgia(-9.5): HIT! I was not surprised that Nebraska won this since Georgia didn’t have Aaron Murray. The part that surprised me was that the Bulldogs fumbled more than Nebraska did. Good thing I resisted the urge to make prop bets on this game…..
UNLV vs North Texas(-6.5): HIT! Location, location, location! That said, I am pretty sure that the Joe Greene’s would have won this anyway with the way they played in this game.
Iowa vs LSU(-7.5): MISS! Next to Michigan State, the Hawkeyes had the best bowl performance by a Big Ten(12) school. They took every body blow LSU had in them, but just couldn’t get over the hump. Man, their offense is awful outside of Wiesman…..
Wisconsin(-1.5) vs. South Carolina: HIT! This was easy money. SC was ranked higher, and belonged to the best conference. Why was Wisconsin favored? Someone flubbed this one up in Vegas.
Stanford(-6.5) vs Michigan State: HIT! Sparty’s win over Ohio State was as impressive as Stanford’s win over Oregon. Stanford played a tougher schedule, so why did I pick Sparty straight up? Simple. Their defense was vastly underrated because they played in an offensively challenged conference. Stanford was dominated by Utah, who did it with a defense that isn’t in the same county as Michigan State. I figured the same would happen here.
Central Florida vs Baylor(-16.5): MISS! I should have known better than this. There were precursors to this. Oklahoma State thumping Baylor. UCF nearly toppling top-ten South Carolina. Just the Fiesta Bowl in general, where the underdogs come to make a name for themselves. UCF and Blake Bortels sure did. The Fiesta Bowl made Ian Johnson a household name a few years back. It did the same for Bortles this year.
Oklahoma vs Alabama(-17.5): HIT! I thought UCF overcoming a 16.5 point dog to win was impressive until I saw my beloved Sooners dominate Alabama. I am still in shock about this game. I can’t believe that we won. I figured we might be able to stay close, but I didn’t see Trevor Knight nearly match his season passing total in one game. I didn’t see Striker making Kuandijo look slow and disrupting almost every play from scrimmage for the Tide. This game definitely gives me high hopes for next year. The fans finally got to see the Trevor Knight that the coaches had been raving about in practices. It was nothing short of miracle that he did it against a solid defensive team. I’m not going to sit here and say Alabama had an elite defense this year. They did not. All you have to do is watch tape of the A&M game to show you how bad their secondary played at times this year. I never in my wildest dreams thought that we could exploit that. Here is a lesson for all of you readers: if your wife offers to buy you a ticket to your teams bowl game for Christmas, take her up on the offer. I sure wish that I had. You never know what will happen. The 2014 Sugar Bowl is proof of that…..
Oklahoma State(-2.5) vs. Missouri: HIT! Looks like the oddsmakers still didn’t believe in Missouri. Even after all that they accomplished this year. I started believing after the South Carolina game. Yes, I know they lost that game in heartbreaking fashion, but just the fact that their defense dominated a good offense for three quarters was enough for me to believe they were a top tier team. That turned out to be an accurate assessment.
Clemson vs Ohio State(-3.5): HIT! I am not a believer in the Clemson defense by any means – if you have read me at all before, you know how I regard Brent Venables – but I am a believe in the Clemson WRs, and in how bad the Ohio State secondary really is. Because of this, I thought more people would jump on the Clemson bandwagon. Too many people much watch ESPN and their incessant overinflation of Ohio State and their already enormous ego…..
Houston vs. Vanderbilt(-2.5): HIT! Powers conferences are usually the safe bet.
Arkansas State vs. Ball State(-7.5): MISS! The Sun Belt had a good showing in bowls here, knocking off an upper tier MAC team.
Florida State(-8.5) vs. Auburn: MISS! The Florida State defense played pretty well, but the thing that I take away from this game was the job that the Auburn defense did against Florida State, and Winston in particular. The Tiger D definitely played well enough to win this game, but they just couldn’t hang on.
So that puts me at 20-15 in the bowl games (good for fourth in my bowl pool at work, but those were straight up picks) and 415-339 for the season. That puts my percentage at…….drum roll please……..55.03%. I made it! I reached my season goal for 2013 at 55 percent! Where do I go from here? I will let you know by the time I post my first odds and predictions for the 2014 season.
Now is the time when most bears and such hibernate, and I guess I am no different. I usually don’t write much during the offseason for various reasons, but you may see me around here from time to time. I usually post my picks for the NCAA tournament, and occassionally a few other blurbs about tourney bound teams as time permits. I guess you will just have to check back and see!