2019-01-01 16:56

Almost done.

Sorry for being late, but this time of the bowl season is always the most demanding one while the family also has some additional demands.


Mon. Dec. 31
Cincinnati vs Virginia Tech

A close game, but Cincinnati did made it in the 4th quarter to secure the win.
This was a very interesting game, which shows that Cincinnati and VT do need some additional effort to get back into the top of their division, but do play good football, if wanted.
Cincinnati 35 - Virginia Tech 31 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 18-10

Mon. Dec. 31
Stanford vs Pittsburgh

Very close game, very view points.
Stanford was 3 points behind at the half, but held Pitt scoreless in the 4th and scored the game winning TD.
Not the convincing game I expected from them, but on the other hand is Pitt a good defense team, so maybe they were lucky to get that second TD.
Stanford 14 - Pittsburgh 13 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 19-10

Mon. Dec. 31
Michigan State vs Oregon

If a game ends 7-6, it says everything I guess.
Michigan did held Oregon scoreless for 3 quarters, but were unable to prevent the game winning TD in the 4th quarter.
With the game tied at zero at the half, this was not a game for offense lovers.
Michigan State 6 - Oregon 7 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 20-10

Mon. Dec. 31
#23 Missouri vs Oklahoma State

Nothing can be done in case of picking a winner when a team just stops playing smart, even if that's only 1 quarter.
Missouri did lead 16-14 at the half.
Then did OSU play a great 3rd quarter and Mizzou did play ... not.
Down 35-19 did then Missouri decide to give a comeback a try and failed.
I think by this win did OSU save a bit the season, while Missouri did show that they are not that mature as you might think they are.
#23 Missouri 33 - Oklahoma State 38 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 20-11

Mon. Dec. 31
#22 Northwestern vs #17 Utah

And nothing can be done, if a team stops playing at all.
The Utes did lead 20-3 at the half.
Then after just that short break they did stop playing and gave Northwestern the ball, whenever possible.
The Utes did lose 5 turnovers and got tones of points against themselves by that.
Northwestern did not win this game, Utah did lose it by playing stupid.
That was a real disappointment.
#22 Northwestern 31 - #17 Utah 20 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 20-12

Mon. Dec. 31
NC State vs #19 Texas A&M

At least the Aggies came to play and did show that kind of game I did expect of them.
They did stomp the Wolfpack and did win by 39 points.
Their running game was unstoppable, 236 yards had their best rusher, including 3 TD.
Impressive and a good sign for the SEC.
NC State 13 - #19 Texas A&M 52 -> Jacks BOWL Score: 21-12

Well, now to the last few bowl games, excluding the National Championship final.


Tues. Jan. 1
#18 Mississippi State vs Iowa

@Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Fla.
This is played since 1986 and is fielded at the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the South Florida Bulls.
Another SEC vs Big 10 Bowl and each team gets around 3.500.000$.
The 8-4 Bulldogs had a good season under their new HC while the 8-4 Hawkeyes had worse season than last year and did lose 3 in a row late in the season.
It's no wonder that MSU is favored by 7.0 points here.
I think this will only become a good game if Iowa plays 100% and MSU doesn't get their running game going.
Iowas defense is very good and 2/3 of MSUs offense is based on running, so the Hawkeyes can stop that, they have a chance.
Unfortunately the offense of Iowa is no good at all, so they need to get better in this area to win.
Overall I just don't see that happening, but bowls are good for surprises, so don't miss it.
Bulldogs win.

Tues. Jan. 1
#11 LSU vs #8 UCF

@University of Phoenix Stadium - Glendale, AZ
The Bowl is played since 1971 and belongs also to the CFP-Bowls.
This season it features the at-large vs best non-power5-at-large matchup.
The payout is part if the CFP-system.
UCF wanted to be part of the playoffs and did not make it despite the longest unbeaten winning streak in FBS by 25 games.
Their problem was always their strength of schedule and likely also a bit of marketing.
Claiming National Championship last year did for sure not help, when they won against Auburn in the bowl, but finished way behind the playoff champion and were not ranked high enough by the coaches or AP.
They got to #8 this season and will now face #11 LSU who did lose only to Alabama, Florida and a wild game against Texas A&M.
LSU is 7.0 point favorite and that's likely a gift.
But don't underestimate UCF, they can play football.
My thoughts on this here is, that LSU will play good football and that their talent will outweighs UCFs over time.
I think UCF will lose higher than the 7.0 points, but will not stop playing and will stay in the game until late 3rd or starting of 4th quarter.
Tigers win.

Tues. Jan. 1
#14 Kentucky vs #12 Penn State

@Camping World Stadium - Orlando, FL
Since 1946 played, under different names. Thanks to whomever, we have the Citrus Bowl back since 3 seasons.
It is still played in the stadium formally named after the bowl in Orlando, Florida.
Should have been a SEC against Big 10 Bowl and they got that right this season.
Each team gets around 4.250.000$.
This looks like pity-bowl, with Cinderella Kentucky (9-3) gets the shot against unlucky Penn State (9-3).
Both teams did have good games, but also lost the crucial ones, so we get 2 teams unlucky in some way.
The difference is, Kentucky is not used to win SO many games, while Penn States expectations where much higher.
Now both teams do meet in Florida.
It's OK I guess that Vegas give Penn State a line of -5.5, since they really did play a tough schedule.
But Kentucky did also play some tough games.
Best win was against Florida, I guess, while Penn State did win best against Wisconsin or Iowa.
My take here is preparation, where I give PSU the nod, and motivation, where I think is Kentucky a bit ahead.
I expect a close game.
If Penn State can control the clock, the win is theirs.
If Kentucky can compensate some talent deficits with joy and trickery, they will win.
I believe that the Lions are more likely to win here, so ....
Nittany Lions win.

Tues. Jan. 1
#9 Washington vs #6 Ohio State

@Rose Bowl - Pasadena, CA
The mother of all Bowls is played since 1902!
It was permanently installed in 1916 and is played since then.
It was the Big Ten Champion vs. the PAC12 Champion, but with the CFP-System it's either a semi-finale, like this season or just a bowl game fielding a BIG10 team vs. a PAC12 team.
The payout is part of the CFP-system.
This year we have a regular game and really the BIG10 champ vs the PAC12 Champ.
For me this has just one major factor, it's Urban Meyers last game as Ohio State HC.
He will leave after the game and for sure will the players play the best they can to win here.
Washington was not THAT convincing this season and did miss out in the playoff conversation, thanks to their losses.
No wonder the line is now -6.5 OSU.
I think they, the Buckeyes, will beat that and we will see a rout.
Just my take.
Buckeyes win.

Tues. Jan. 1
#15 Texas vs #5 Georgia

@Mercedes-Benz Superdome - New Orleans, LA
This bowl was established 1935 and is played since then.
The payout is part of the CFP-system and it's a regular game this season.
Overall this is a no-brainer for me.
Georgia is a strong team and does face the BIG12-Championship loser.
Sure Georgia did also lose their championship game, but that was against Alabama, that team which did beat big time the BIG12 champ.
Georgia lost only by 7.
No wonder UGA is a 11.5 point favorite here, which is a friendly line from my point of view.
I say, they will dismantle Texas.
Bulldogs win.

Don't forget your pick!

'Til next time

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