There are six college football games left to our 2015 season, and after today there will only be two -- both of which will result in national championships. It's been a long, hard road to get here, but we're finally on the bell lap of season three of FEPO.
Yesterday was a mixed bag, with the day starting just fine and ending just horribly. As a result, I am now at 90-84-2 (.518) and Luke is 81-93-2 (.466) on the season. I need a clean sweep here to comforably feel like I've broken even thanks to the proverbial vigorish. Luke still doesn't want to talk about it.
And with that, the final six picks of the season, For Entertainment Purposes Only.
|11:00 AM, Saturday, Jan 2, 2016
TAXSLAYER (GATOR) BOWL
EverBank Field, Jacksonville FL
7-5, 4-4 B10
9-3, 5-3 SEC
JM: Stupidest Gator Bowl ever. Georgia, we'll remind you, fired their head coach not because Georgia hasn't played good football but because Mark Richt just can't win the SEC. Dawgs cover.
LT: Well, Georgia couldn't even win the SEC East, which should theoretically have been much easier than winning the SEC. That being said, it was absolutely ridiculous to fire him. And yet, Jon seems to think that won't really have an affect on the game. Maybe it won't, but I tend to think the Bulldogs will lose just a little bit in this one, enough for Penn St. to eke out a cover.
|2:20 PM, Saturday, Jan 2, 2016
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL
Liberty Bowl, Memphis TN
6-6, 3-6 B12
7-5, 5-3 SEC
JM: Sigh. I'm going to regret this, but K-State has played well against teams like Arkansas, and K-State has crushed the spread against every team demonstrably better than K-State except for Oklahoma. So while I figure we're all going to be sad and disappointed after this one's all over, in the end I think K-State probably manages to cover. I mean, would it surprise anyone at all to lose this game by two points when we're expecting to get housed?
LT: Yeah, I'm not picking against K-State. 'Cats cover. See some of you in Memphis, perhaps?
|5:45 PM, Saturday, Jan 2, 2016
VALERO ALAMO BOWL
Alamodome, San Antonio TX
9-3, 7-2 P12
|PK||(11) Texas Christian
JM: Our purple brothers may not forgive me for this, but it's pretty simple. Oregon is healthy. TCU is not. These aren't the Mariota Ducks, but they're still pretty good. So is TCU, but the injuries... I just can't pick the Frogs in good conscience, as much as I'd like to. Ducks win.
LT: Jon wrote his part even before Boykin got arrested. If this wasn't obvious before, is really is now. Oregon covers.
|9:15 PM, Saturday, Jan 2, 2016
MOTEL 6 CACTUS BOWL
Chase Field, Phoenix AZ
7-5, 4-5 B12
6-6, 4-5 P12
JM: West Virginia's only WTF moment of the entire season was losing to K-State, which was in and of itself not entirely surprising considering the game was in Manhattan and the Mountaineers are still looking for their first Big 12 win over K-State. They lost, badly, against three of the Big 12's four bullies, along with losing to Oklahoma State in overtime. Arizona State really hasn't done anything except disappoint people, and the Big 12 -- for whatever reason -- has had a big advantage over Pac-12 opposition in bowl games west of the Rockies. Mountaineers win.
LT: I'm still very skeptical of the Pac-12 and Arizona State has done absolutely nothing to impress me. Meanwhile, Holgo is smart enough to put together a solid offensive gameplan against a weak Sun Devils defense. WVU covers.
|Saturday, Jan 9, 2016
NCAA DIVISION I FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Toyota Stadium, Frisco TX
|(3) North Dakota State
12-2, 7-1 MVFC
|-3.5||(1) Jacksonville State
12-1, 8-0 OVC
JM: There was one FCS team which gave Jacksonville State fits this year, and they did it twice. The Gamecocks opened the season with a 23-20 win over Tennessee-Chattanooga, then met them again in the playoffs and needed overtime to advance. Everyone else? Jax crushed. Yes, that's partially a reflection of their schedule, as the Ohio Valley is not exactly the SEC. But in the quarter- and semifinals of the FCS playoffs, Jacksonville State opened a can of whoop on two really good teams.
North Dakota State, on the other hand... they're still the Bison. Make no mistake there. But they lost to South Dakota, who once again finished with a losing record. They lost that thrilling season opener to Montana, which we can't really hold against them. What they did not do was whip everyone else. The Bison survived a 31-28 nightmare at home against Northern Iowa. They only beat 3-8 Southern Illinois by six, albeit on the road. They only won by a field goal at 5-6 Youngstown State.
What I'm getting at here is that one of these teams may not be as good as their record, but the other absolutely is not. And with the Bison actually being favored in this game, I'm going to take the Gamecocks to cover. This one should be close.
LT: I haven't paid a lot of attention this year, but both of these teams have a history of grinding down teams with dominant running games. Presumably, that's what they'll be going for this game, and then someone's going to have to come up with a few clutch plays. I'm not betting against the reigning champs. NDSU covers.
|Monday, Jan 11, 2016
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
PRESENTED BY AT&T
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale AZ
13-1, 7-1 SEC
14-0, 8-0 ACC
JM: The team we just saw dismantle Michigan State is not losing to Clemson. But then, as I noted when picking Oklahoma to beat Clemson, one game doesn't matter. But then again, I was proven wrong there, wasn't I?
Seriously, this is going to be a brutal struggle. I believe that Bama will win. But I think it's going to be a close game because of both team's stout defensive units and periodically -- but not consistently -- explosive offenses, and as a result I can't support a seven-point spread. In addition, you have to remember that Alabama's Achilles is a dual-threat quarterback who can scramble, run on purpose, and throw dimes. Bama may win, but Clemson covers.
LT: Jon is giving way too much credit to a Clemson defense that gave up 30+ points to NC State, UNC and (gasp!) South Carolina. That's why I believe that while the Tigers will score some points because Deshaun Watson is in fact quite good, it won't be enough to stop Derrick Henry and the Crimson Tide from bulldozing their way to a big win. As much as I hate to say it, Bama covers.
Next: There is no next. That's it. We're done. Car's parked and we're outta here. See you in August.