Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Vindy's Picks 2014-15 Bowl Predictions Part II
PRESIDENT RUES PROGNOSTICATOR’S EARLY OPT-OUTWASHINGTON, District of Columbia (TMZ)…After addressing Sony’s initial decision to scuttle the cinematic-release of “The Interview”, President Obama said he was also taken aback that the Weber Kid did not consult him prior to pulling the plug on the full-blown version of Vindy’s Picks for the year in September following two poor weeks to start the season! The Commander-in-Chief noted that it set a bad precedent to let a couple of sub-par outings dictate the season’s prediction-efforts as at least a handful of readers, including the First Family, eagerly-anticipated the weekly top 25 forecast and considered those selections in-depth before making their own NCAA pigskin wagers! Ironically, Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin joined Obama in solidarity on this topic!
Bust out the bowl of Witch-hazel nuts, cue-up Little Janitor-in-a-Drummer Boy on the Victrola and figure out which presents under the tree contain the “I Am Groot” plush toy, the highly-coveted Fisher-Price Tickle Me Olaf LEGO set and…
THE WEBER KID’S 2014-15 BOWL PREDICTIONS (PART II)
(An essential part of every Stovetop Stocking Stuffer!)
DEC. 26HEART OF DALLAS BOWL (@ Dallas, TX)
Illinois +6 over Louisiana Tech: Certainly a more-intriguing contest than last year’s North Texas-UNLV match-up in this venue. We respect Weeziana Tech, who opened the year playing four of first five on the road, winning two, but the Bulldogs step-up in class just a bit and face a perhaps-underrated Illini team that was competitive in throughout the year other than blowout losses at Nebraska and Ohio State. Tech hung with Marshall most of the way in a 26-23 CUSA Championship game loss, but also shows outright defeats by I-AA Northwestern State and Old Dominion. Big Tenderizer got no love from the lines-makers, with all nine B10 bowlers tabbed as underdogs. We see this as one of the best chances for the conference to notch a straight-up win…Illinois 34 LT 31DEC. 27
PINSTRIPE BOWL (@ Bronx, NY)Boston College -3 over Penn State: Hanging our head in shame, we confess this was the first post-season bowl-wager we made when the initial lines came out and had BC at -2 ½. Lions’ Christian Hackenberg got praise early-on about perhaps being the best quarterback in the Big Tentacle conference, but a promising 4-0 start fizzled to a 6-6 finish and a 2-5-1 ATS record over the final 8. Steve Addazio improved the Eagles by 8 ppg on offense and 1 ppg on D in his rookie season last year as head coach, and this year helped his club go 3-1 SU/2-1 ATS in non-conference play, including a home-win over USC. BC also took CFP #3-seed Florida State to the brink before dropping a 20-17 decision. Our only concern with this choice is the recent bulletin-board material tweeted by BC, directly addressing the bowl game’s hardware and noting it would soon make a home in the trophy case on campus in Chestnut Hill …Eagles 17 Nittany Lions 10
Boston College-Alma Mater “under” 40: There are reasons that this is the lowest over/under of all 38 bowls. With a few notable exceptions, neither offense has been able to consistently drive the ball down the field without gettin’ help from ride-sharin’ company Uber! Meanwhile, Penn State boasts the nation’s best rush D (allowing 84.8 ypg and 12 rushing touchdowns allowed). Eagles just two spots lower at #3 (95.5 ypg and 14 ground scores). Neither squad has been jumpin’ out to big leads early and forcing opponents to abandon the run. Lions went 8-4 “under” the total in the regular season. BC allowed 30 or more four times, but averaged just north of 14 ppg in the other seven games. Factor in the cold weather at Yankee Stadium and again, we call…BC 17 PSU 10HOLIDAY BOWL (@ San Diego, CA)
#25 Nebraska +7 over #24 Southern Cal: Despite loss of their head coach (as we noted last week), who’s now drawin’ up X’s and O’s for Grimace and da’ Hamburglar , Huskers have enough on offense with RB Ameer Abdullah (4th best rusher in the Big Tentative Conference) , dual-threat QB Tommy Armstrong (#13 rushing yards in the B10) and 700+ receiving yards from WR Kenny Bell (an option that will help keep Trojans’ D honest) to keep this one close enough or even to allow NU to post third 10-win season in five years. USC will feature WR Nelson Agholor, who has 97 catches for over 1200 yards (#10 in the nation), but gave up 30 sacks. The offenses will face defenses that excel against each other’s strengths, so both sides will need to reduce penalties, with both teams averaging almost 9 hankies a game. Three of Southern Cal’s four SU defeats came on the road. Corncobs struggled to 1-2 finish, going to OT to beat Iowa and avoid a three-game swoon, but have knocked off 15 of its last 19 non-conference opponents…Troy 28 Big Dread 24DEC. 31
FIESTA BOWL (@ Glendale, AZ)#12 Arizona -3 ½ over #21 Boise State: These ain’t yer Daddy’s Broncos. They pummeled their way through a Mountain Jest Conference on a down-year and this much lines-maker love is the result of historical results (see 2009 Fiesta Bowl win over then-#3 TCU). The ‘Cats went into Eugene in early October to hand Mallards only defeat on the year, but paid the price in revenge-game for Pac-12 title. AZ also shoulda’ beaten USC, but ended pre-conference title game season on 4-0 SU run, including a demolition of Utah in Salt Lake. Broncos opened the year with a 22-point loss to Ole Miss and later fell to Air Force by two touchdowns. State’s best win on the slate might be 37-24 victory over Colorado State…Arizona 31 Boise State 24
ORANGE BOWL (@ Miami Gardens, FL)#10 Georgia Tech +7 over #7 Mississippi State: We think this one’s a matter of motivation. While the Orange Bowl ain’t a bad consolation prize, it ain’t the playoff spot the Bulldogs had been eye-ballin’ all year until the loss in the Egg Bowl, forcing them to watch SEC West rival ‘Bama play for the big one…again! Bees will use nation’s second-best rushing game to try and keep the ball outta’ Dak Prescott’s hands. State lit-up the weaker defenses on the schedule to reach its first 10-win season since 1999, but was held to 20 points or less in three of final five games. Tech narrowly-missed the ACC title, losing by 2 vs. Florida State. Bees, 13-6-1 ATS in last 20 facing non-conference clubs, went money-makin’ 9-3 ATS overall this this season, took out one SEC team in the road-win over Joja’ and are drooling at the prospect of making it two!...MSU 31 GT 28
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKSBTW, Mickey’s D’s is currently removing eight items from its menu, so it appears Coach is already dismissing the slackers! Meanwhile, not to be outdone, Burger King has brought back the YumBo Pelini sandwich!
Santa’s makin’ a list…and hip-checkin’ it twice!Yes, Vindy is the kinda’ person you should give underwear to this Christmas!
Utah WR Kaelin Clay, who infamously dropped the ball before breaking the plane on what woulda’ been a TD reception vs. Oregon, did not score in the Utes’ rout of Colorado State in the Las Vegas Bowl, but had he found himself again with a clear path to pay-dirt, Clay planned to secure the ball across the goal line, out the back of the end zone, into the tunnel and up the stairs to the Mezzanine-level of Sam Boyd Stadium before relinquishing possession!Vindy doesn’t always watch the New Orleans Bowl, but when he does, it’s played in increments of French quarters!
Johnny Manziel was spotted cuddlin’ with a TCU student in July. Apparently a Horned Frog has found her prince?! Nevermind the blasphemy of a former-Aggie canoodling with someone from a different in-state school…fast-forward to December and unfortunately, the Browns can’t say likewise following Manziel’s recent starts for Cleveland.As Texas gets ready to take on Arkansas in the December 29 Texas Bowl following another disappointing season at 6-6 (lowest win-loss record since 2010’s 5-7), in Charlie Strong’s first year at the helm, we note the state name was misspelled in da’ Longhorns media guide as “texsasports.com”, the Steers went 0-fer-da’ NFL Draft in April…the first goose-egg since 1937… and the Lone Star State decided to stop requiring Algebra II in its high school curriculums. Thank goodness! Understanding X’s and O’s is tough enough without having to solve for X first!
Wunderdog Sports Picks notes that since 2006, conference title game runners-up have finished 20-2 “under” the total when playing their post-season match in December. Potential 2014 qualifiers in this category: Bowling Green (finished “over” 53 in its minor upset win 33-28 against South Alabama), Fresno State (59, vs. Rice), Weeziana Tech (58, vs. Illinois), Arizona (68, vs. Boise State) and Joja’ Tech (61, vs. Mississippi State).Don’t touch that dial-up Internet…we’ll be back before the ball drops in Times Square (at least on the West Coast!) with our calls on some of the January contests…and more “hash”!