2014-12-31 10:06

So now do come the major bowls with the major football programs.

But before we start with the next bowl wave, lets have a look at the last one, the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 4
Monday, December 29, 2:00 PM ET AutoZone LIBERTY BOWL
Texas A&M vs. West Virginia @ Liberty Bowl, MEMPHIS, TN
West Virginias Starting QB of the regular season, Clint Trickett, decided to quit playing Football forever, because he had several concussions during the season.
He even had some, he didn't tell his coaches about.
He was not cleared for the game, but instead of waiting for the next season, which would have been in the NFL or maybe the CFL, he decided to become a coach, now, before his brain takes too much damage.
Bold decision, I know a lot of players who were not able to quit, even if the body was worn down and everybody knew it.
With a new QB did West Virginia play very well in the first quarter, leading 14-20 after a couple of Field Goals, a TD pass and a pick 6.
Texas A&M scored 2 TDs in the first and were able to score 2 more in the second quarter, while WVU did only score once.
So 28 - 27 at the half.
Then did the Aggies come out of the locker room with more energy and outscored the Mountaineers 17 - 3 for a comfortable lead.
After that was A&M held scoreless by the WVU defense, but the offense was not able to score until less than 2 min. to go.
Game over for West Virginia.
A side note on the game, an Aggies graduate assistant did hit 2 different West Virginia players, when they reached the team zone of A&M.
I can't get my head around this.
Why should a coach hit a player of the opposing team?
There was no real motivation to see on the videos, so no trash talk or what ever (which even then would be a no-go, but better understandable.)
He was removed from the sideline by Sumlin, and a day later he is removed from the program. Good.
Texas A&M 45 - West Virginia 37 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 11-8

Monday, December 29, 5:30 PM ET RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL
Oklahoma vs. #17 Clemson @ Florida Citrus Bowl, ORLANDO, FL
This can be described as 'domination'.
Clemson didn't let Oklahoma do anything.
The game was over after the first quarter, even if it didn't looked that way at that moment.
0 - 17 at the start of the second quarter.
0 - 27 at halftime.
Clemson did everything right here, while Oklahoma was once again not very good in a bowl game.
Oklahoma 6 - #17 Clemson 40 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 12-8

Monday, December 29, 9:00 PM ET ADVOCARE V100 TEXAS BOWL
Arkansas vs. Texas @ NRG Stadium, HOUSTON, TX
This one went a bit as expected.
Arkansas was way better in the game than Texas.
I hope for Charlie Strong that he gets the Longhorns into the right direction, because one thing is for sure, the Longhorns nation will not except many 6-7 seasons.
Arkansas on the other side will be interesting to watch next season.
Arkansas 31 - Texas 7 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 13-8

Notre Dame vs. #23 LSU @ LP Field, NASHVILLE, TN
This is one of the worst pick I did so far.
I expected a bloodbath and as far as I know, all experts were on the same trip. (except maybe Lou Holtz, the former Notre Dame coach, who almost every time picks Notre Dame ....)
It was a very entertaining game, with a lot of big plays and a happy ending for Notre Dame, kicking the game winning Field Goal with time expiring.
If THIS is the Irish team for next season, then will be better than this years version.
The new QB was good, he even blocked for his RB and the defense was sharp, with some big plays allowed.
LSU on the other hand looked not that good in the second half, we will see, if Les Miles get the Tigers ready for next season.
Notre Dame 31 - #23 LSU 28 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 13-9

Tuesday, December 30, 6:30 PM ET BELK BOWL
#13 Georgia vs. #21 Louisville @ Bank of America, CHARLOTTE, NC
Louisvilles run defense, which was one of the best in the country, did allow 292 yards on the ground and Nick Chubb alone had 266 yards and 21 scores.
You can't win like this.
And they did not.
There were also other factors, like turnovers, 3rd-down efficiency and passing yards allowed, but basically did Chubb ran over the Cardinals.
#13 Georgia 37 - #21 Louisville 14 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 14-9

Tuesday, December 30, 10:00 PM ET FOSTER FARMS BOWL
Maryland vs. Stanford @ Levi's Stadium, SANTA CLARA, CA
Stanford was very good in this game and Maryland ... not.
End of the 3rd quarter did Stanford lead 7 - 35.
Maryland did win the last quarter, but only by a great kickoff return TD and a TD in garbage time.
Maryland 21 - Stanford 45 -> Jacks Bowl Score: 15-9

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE BOWL GAMES FOR WAVE 5

Wednesday, December 31, 12:30 PM ET CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL
#9 Ole Miss vs. #6 TCU @ Georgia Dome, ATLANTA, GA
Since 1968 is this Bowl played and is now fielded in the home of the Atlanta Falcons.
It's part of the College Football Playoff system, which includes the semifinals and final, but also a list of Bowl for at-large-teams, replacing basically the old BCS-Bowls, only to have a few more Bowls than in the past.
Because of this, the old Peach Bowl naming was reinstated.
The payout will be interesting, since in the past it was 'only' 2.9 mio (SEC team) to 3.9 mio (ACC team), but since all other CFP-Bowls do offer way more money, it probably will mean, the payout was raised here.
This is true for the Peach Bowl and the Cotton Bowl, which was also promoted to CFP-Bowl status.
Great matchup here.
There might be still some people not giving a shit about both teams, but they DID play good football over the season.
In case of Ole Miss they did even win against Alabama, but had not the stamina to win all games of the season and in case of TCU, they did also very good, but lost to Baylor, so they had to share the Big 12 title and were left out of the playoffs.
I'm not expecting a high scoring game here, even both teams did score quite often in the season.
Enjoy the game, it will be probably one of the best.
This is a cointoss pick and I pick ... TCU.

Wednesday, December 31, 4:00 PM ET VIZIO FIESTA BOWL
#20 Boise State vs. #10 Arizona @ University of Phoenix Stadium, GLENDALE, AZ
The Bowl is played since 1971 and belongs also to the CFP-Bowls.
Two at-large-teams will face off and here we have the best ranked NON-Big5-Conference team vs. a PAC 12 team.
Each team gets around 18.000.000$.
Two quite surprising teams, since Boise State had a rough start (lost to Ole Miss and later Air Force) but managed to get into the MWC Final and did win the conference.
They also were lucky that Marshall did lose, since that opened the door for that Bowl spot here.
Arizona did also not start that well, and probably nobody thought after the USC and UCLA losses they will end in the PAC 12 Championship game.
They lost against Oregon in the conference final, that's why they play here and not in the semis.
Honestly, I think Boise got more then they can swallow here.
The Wildcats are very good this season and I think Boise did play good for a MWC-team, but not THAT good to take down the PAC 12 South champ.
I pick the Wildcats.

Wednesday, December 31, 7:30 PM ET CAPITAL ONE ORANGE BOWL
#7 Mississippi State vs. #12 Georgia Tech @ Sun Life Stadium, MIAMI, FL
This is played since 1935 and is fielded at the home of the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes.
It's also a part of the CFP-Bowls, facing off two at-large-teams.
Each team gets around 18.000.000$.
Mississippi State was quite close playing for the SEC Championship and even more, but lost to Alabama (and later against Ole Miss) and fell from the top a bit.
Georgia Tech was able to get into the ACC-Championship game, but lost there against the Seminoles.
It will be a nice matchup, since the Bulldogs do not face off against a triple option offense every day.
But ... find the key to stop it and we will see a boring match.
So .. let's hope for a creative Yellow Jackets team and an open matchup.
I still think the Bulldogs will win here.

Thursday, January 1 2015, 12:00 PM ET OUTBACK BOWL
#19 Auburn vs. #18 Wisconsin @ Raymond James Stadium, TAMPA, FL
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 Ten Bowl and each team gets around 3.500.000$.
Auburn had a rough season after last years national championship game run (which they lost against FSU).
Expectation were high, but Auburn did lose too many games, including the Iron Bowl against Alabama.
They went 8-4 overall and 4-4 in the SEC.
Wisconsin on the other hand went 10-3 overall, with a 7-1 regular season conference record and a loss in the national championship game.
Unfortunately they lost also their second year HC to Oregon State, so an interim coach will guide the team.
If that coaching change wouldn't have happened, I would have had a hard time picking a winner here.
But the way it is now, I don't see a motivated Wisconsin team going into this bowl.
They got really spanked in the championship game (lost 59-0) and lost their coach, I can't blame them.
Auburn did lose their last game in a shootout against Alabama, but I think they will be way more motivated to play here.
I pick Auburn.

Thursday, January 1 2015, 12:30 PM ET GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
#8 Michigan State vs. #5 Baylor* @ AT&T STADIUM, ARLINGTON, TX
This one exists since 1937.
It was named one of the 6 CFP-Bowls and we will have to see, if that also means, the payout was raised.
In the past it was about 3.625.000$, but it is likely it will be more now.
This one is really a good one, even Michigan State did lose their Defense Coordinator (became the HC of Pitt).
Baylor is one of the top offensive teams in the country and Michigan State is one of the top defense teams in the country.
So, we will see which team will have the edge here.
The key to the game might have the Michigan State offense which was also quite good this season, against a not so good Baylor defense, which was almost every time able to keep Baylor in the games.
If Baylor can stop the Spartans offense, this game is over.
If not, it might get very interesting.
Anyway, I pick Baylor as the winner.

Thursday, January 1 2015, 1:00 PM ET BUFFALO WILD WINGS CITRUS BOWL
#16 Missouri vs. #25 Minnesota* @ Florida Citrus Bowl, ORLANDO, FL
Since 1946 played, under different names. Thanks to whomever, we have the Citrus Bowl back, and not a stupid Company named bowl game.
It is still played in the stadium named after the bowl in Orlando, Florida.
SEC against Big Ten, again.
Each team gets around 4.250.000$.
I like the matchup, even if it's not that exciting.
Missouri is the SEC West champ, so the won a few games (10-3), and since they play here and not in the CFP-Semis, it is clear they are not the SEC Champs.
Minnesota had a nice 8-4 season and finished second in their division behind Wisconsin.
Hard to tell, which teams will show up here.
The Missouri team, which lost against Indiana? Or the one, which won against Texas A&M and South Carolina?
The Minnesota team which lost against Illinois? Or the one, which won against Nebraska?
Both teams have some flaws, so I can't see a clear winner here.
Vegas and fans do see Missouri as the favorite here and it's true, it looks like Minnesota has not much to offer here.
But they did play hard on every game and I'm not sold on the Tigers.
I did read one argument which made me rethink my pick.
Missouri has a lot of time to prepare and last season that was enough to win against a good Oklahoma State team.
It's likely they can do this again.
I'm expecting a close game with a Tigers win.

#2 Oregon vs. #3 Florida 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 PAC 12 Champion, but with the CFP-System it can become a Semi-Final facing 2 of the top 4 teams selected by the committee.
And we have a great matchup here.
Each team gets around 18.000.000$.
It's promoted as the former Heisman-winner against the current Heisman-winner.
Jameis Winston won last season and guided FSU to a perfect season, winning the ACC and they have not lost since 29 games.
They were on the edge of losing several times this season, but FSU did made it every time.
Marcus Mariota won the Heisman this season and guided the Ducks to a PAC 12 Championship and they lost only once this season, against Arizona, which they later did beat big time in the PAC 12 Championship game.
For Vegas are the Ducks at -8 at the moment, means, the are expected to win by a big margin.
My first thought was the same, but FSU has a way to find solutions, to grow during a game and win them.
I think there a 3 scenarios of what could happen.
1.) FSU will be way worse than expected and the basically don't belong in that game. They did only beat Clemson and Georgia Tech during the season. So they get beaten by Oregon with a forty-burger to 7 or something like that.
2.) FSU does grow during the game, but this will be not enough this time. They will lose by less than 8 points.
3.) FSU will win by a small margin, the game will be quite open the whole time and the Ducks will just not be able to defend that last scoring drive by Winston.
I think 1. is plausible and 2. is likely. 3. could happen, but I doubt it.
So I pick the Ducks.

Thursday, January 1 2015, 8:30 PM ET ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL
Nick Saban and Urban Meyer do meet again.
Now it's not Alabama vs. Florida, which we had 3 times and Saban did win 2 of those, it's Alabama vs. Ohio State, which did not happen under those conditions before.
Vegas thinks Alabama is way ahead of Ohio State, giving them a -9 spread.
True is, they did play very good, since they lost to Ole Miss beginning of October.
They did came from behind, did beat Mississippi State and all other team to get into the SEC Championship game and won that one also.
They are the #1 ranked team. Not unknown to the Saban lead Crimson Tide.
Saban did win 3 National Titles with Alabama so far and nobody is denying he is on the way for another one.
Ohio State on the other hand did lose to Virginia Tech Start of September and did then win all games, while having to compensate 2 lost starting QBs (one in that VT-loss) and still managed to win the Big 10 Championship game with the 3rd string QB by 59 points and a shutout.
Even if Wisconsin would have one of the softest defense of all teams, which they don't have, the major surprise was the complete shutdown of the Wisconsin offense in that game.
So ... will we see THAT defense?
Will we see a so soft Alabama defense that did give up 44 points against Auburn?
I don't know.
What I know is, that given time a Saban team is very well prepared.
What I know is, that we will see a sharp Ohio State team.
So I expect a fun game to watch and I hope for an offense fire on both sides.
Why do I pick Alabama? Because they are Alabama.
Ohio State will have to earn that respect, Alabama has, and they better start, now.

‘Til next time

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