Monday, December 30, 2019
LEAGUE NEARLY YANKS POST-SEASON OPPORTUNITY FROM DIVISION-WINNER
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (UPI)…”Embarrassed” by the overall-play of the four teams that make-up the group-in-question, the NFL planned to revoke the playoff berth from an 8-8 NFC East winner had the Eagles been upset by the 4-12 Giants and the Dallas Cowboys getting the victory over then 3-12 Washington required just to reach .500 and “earn” a division-title. The league was prepared, instead, to award the spot to the NCAA 13-1 Ohio State Buckeyes, fresh-off a tough six-point defeat by defending-champion Clemson in a semi-final game of the College Football Playoffs.
We fell short again at 2-3 for the second-stanza of our bowl-predictions, putting us at 5-5 (.500) so far, but at least cashed a ticket with the Pilots’ (-2 ½) 31-21 win over Wazzou in the Cheez-Its Bowl!
Seriously-outta' steam, we’re leavin’ da’ transition of da’ Picks to a new decade in da’ hands of...
THE WEBER KID’S 2019-20 BOWL PREDICTIONS FORECAST: DA’ HAT-TRICK
(Providing more-suspense than the final unveiling of da’ Face-Masked Singer!)
TUES. DEC. 31
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL (@ Memphis, TN)
#21 Navy vs. Kansas State (“over 52 ½”): Again, ironically as one of the least experienced squads in FBS-ball, Middies tallied just their 3rd DD-win season in 10 years and can equal 2015’s eleven-win outing if they can best K-State here. Sailors have improved average points-per-game scored nearly two-touchdowns from 2019’s 25-ppg, while points-allowed was all over da’ board this season (ranging from seven to fitty-two!). Ensigns should’ve gone 8-3 “over” but blocked FG by Army kept the contest “under”. Having played two-weeks more recently than the Wildcats should help Annapolis get up to game-speed a bit more readily than KSU. Purple Persians, whose current players have not faced an option-team, were streaky...winning three non-conference games, dropping back-to-back B12 games; beating TCU, Oklahoma in 48-41 track-meet and Kansas on the road, losing at Texas and surprisingly vs. the Mounted Ears of West Virginia as 14-point chalk, then defeating Texas Tech and Iowa State. ‘Cats scored a minimum of 24 in all but three games. If it comes down to a final kick, advantage Kansas State (#8 nationally at 18/20 [90%] on FGs; Middies went a “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure”-worthy 10/14)...USN 38 Felines 27
WED. JAN. 1
VRBO CITRUS BOWL (@ Orlando, FL)
#9 (tie) Alabama vs. #17 Michigan (“under 58 ½”): With Tide playing in post-season with less-than-a-National Title at-stake for first-time in five-years, motivation will favor the Wolverines. We almost settled on Big Blew +7, but master-manipulator Nick Saban will undoubtedly find a way to extract the DD-victory. In that same-vein, Michigan has gone 0-3SU/ATS in each of the past three-year’s bowls, all as chalk, thus our selection on a total. Michigan, rolling until regular-schedule finale vs. Da' Buckeyes after downer at Beaver Stadium, went 8-4 “over” yet offer eight-tilts below this number and the O floundered against the better-defenses it faced (10 vs. Iowa, 21 in Happy Valley and 27 vs. OSU [8 of those came early in the final-period with Buckeyes up-comfortably en route to the money-line win). Pachyderms essentially-fielded the traditional air-tight defense, allowing 18.8 ppg, down-a-smidge in comparison to 2018’s 18 ppg. No-shame in giving-up 46 to LSU. We’ll consider 48 at Auburn as an anomaly. Omitting those two matches, Tide-Pods let the opposition acquire a stingy-13.2 on-average, while themselves illuminating the bulbs for less-than-35 this year... never...Rolodex, Tide 30 The Marvelous Mrs. Maizel & Blue 17
ROSE BOWL PRESENTED BY NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL (@ Pasadena, CA)
#11 Wisconsin vs. #7 Oregon: Mallards former OC Marcus Arroyo will soon touch-down [as opposed to touchdown) at McCarron Airport as head coach of the Rebels (interesting-hire, but UNLV needs more help on the defensive-side!). A major bowl, but not one with playoff-implications and we ain’t juiced about any of the four sides-or-totals options, so we’ll pass. Not fer official-record, win or lose, but with a shotgun-formation to our head, we’d lean toward “under 51 ½”.
ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL (@ New Orleans, LA)
#5 Georgia (-5 ½) over #8 Baylor (41 ½): Bulldogs got pasted by LSU (who hasn’t???!!!) in SEC Championship game, but other than 20-17 loss vs. the Pugilistic Poultry, have been excellent winning the close-ones...23-17 vs. Our Lady, 21-14 at Auburn and 19-13 vs. A&M (all-ranked at the time the contests occurred). Joja’ has been hit-hard by the usual array of suspensions and injuries, including its top-rusher. Both Baylor quarterbacks are banged-up too and Coach Rhule is reportedly in talks with pro teams, notably Carolina. Congrats to the Ursines for grabbing almost as many triumphs this season (11 heading-into this match) as the three previous years combined (15), but Bears, with our backing, had Oklahoma on the ropes in both contests of 2019 and failed...twice! In addition, BU’s periodic breakdowns on defense have us leery about going with the “under 41 ½”...Athens 29 Waco Kids 19
THURS. JAN. 2
TICKETSMARTER BIRMINGHAM BOWL (@ Birmingham, AL)
#23 Cincinnati (-7 ½) over Boston College: Be advised...we changed this call from our initial selection of “over 55 ½” (see our Best Bets below!). Outside a completely-forgivable fall at Columbus, Bearkats ran the table until losses in consecutive weeks at AAC-Champ Memphis. They did beat MAC-winner Miami-Ohio and took 6 of 10 triumphs by double-digits (we do, however, acknowledge curious 3-point victories at ECU and at South Florida). ‘Kats can give HC Luke Fickell his second 11-win season in his third-year at the helm. WKRP (raise yer hand if know that reference!) was reasonable on defense at 21.7 ppg, while denting the scoreboard for 29 ppg. Gilded Iggles prolly don’t deserve to be here, with two of their minimum-required half-dozen qualifying-dubyas coming vs. FCS Richmond and at 2-10 Rutgers. BC generously-conceded 31.7 ppg to its opponents (less than a point-better than conference bottom-feeder Joja’ Teck (2-6 ACC/3-9 overall) while assailing the abacus for 30.9 per match...Cincy 37 Birds 24
MON. JAN. 6
LENDINGTREE BOWL (@ Mobile, AL)
Miami-Ohio (+14) over Louisiana-Lafayette: UPSET PICK OF DA’ WEEK...Ragin’ Cajuns haven’t won or covered a bowl since 2014’s 16-3 vs. Reno. Lafayette is experienced on offense, yet young on the stop-squad. Redhawks, meanwhile, are well-stocked on both sides of the ball and tallied 0-3SU/ATS in non-conference chances, but those were across da‘line-of-scrimmage from ranked-teams Iowa, Cincinnati and Ohio State. Anticipated in da’ pre-season to have another mediocre-campaign, Aviary did go 7-2 in MAC-contests (6-3 ATS), topping fellow-bowlers Kent State and Ohio on the conference-tarmac before takin’ da’ conference-crown, getting almost a full-TD! UL-L did take-out Ohio U. by close-to-three-touchdowns in September, but subsequently-bested no-one of note after that, going 3-2 ATS as two-TD-faves or more and scrapin’-past rival Weeziana-Corn-Row 31-30 laying 19. A win-on-da'-scoreboard might just get the Redhawks a change-of-residence to Hardrock Stadium in Miami Gardens... Miami-OMG 31 UL-Lafayette 28
BETWEEN THE HASHMARKS
BTW, adding insult-to-injury, the Buckeyes would’ve gotten a first-round bye and home-field advantage for at least one game thereafter!
With Miami’s 14-0 loss in our predicted-upset by Weeziana Tech, we’ve decided that da’ U in “Da’ U” stands fer “under-achiever”!
Back in April, Nick Saban had his hip replaced. In fact, given his recruiting-prowess, Coach has several-strings of hip-replacements at his disposal!
Venues applying for certification as part of next-year’s post-season glut...the Duluth-Trading Naked-Underwear Bowl, the VIPoo Bowl, the Amazon Fresh-Grocery Bowl and of course, the ever-popular Popeyes’ Chicken-Sammich Bowl (featuring fist-fights as customers jockey for position in the lines fer said-vendor's concession-stands!) ! Do we hear the Disney Baby Yoda Bowl Presented by Net-Flix???!!!
If the last installment of the Star Wars saga meets an FCS conference in the western U.S., would the film-title be “Star Wars: The Rise of the Big Sky-Walker"?!!!
Circa Christmas Eve, Lamar Jackson gifted each member of his offensive-line a pretty-snazzy ROLEX wrist-watch. Given that the Ravens’ quarterback sports a nifty 36-6 pass-TD-to-INT ratio, an NFL 4th-best 66.1% completion rate and a league third-lowest 23 sacks, we woulda’ offered “Thank you fer protectin’-da’-pocket-watches"!!!
If NFL RB Marshawn Lynch meets “Da’ Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, would we hear...”...”And he, he himself, carved da’ roast-Beast-Mode"???!!!
Takin’ a few Pittsburgh Steeler creative-liberties with a line from winter-holiday-classic “It’s A Wonderful Life”...”Every time a Le’Veon Bell rings, an angel gets its wings”!
Wish We Had It Back: Yep...we called it as such...Iowa-USC “under 52”, which culminated in Birds 49 Centurions 24.
Black Shirt: Goes to USAF Kadin Remsberg, who layed-out across da’ End-Zone cone to register late Air Force- touchdown (his fourth of the match), culminating in Flyboys’-win and cover against ‘da Wazzou Coogs! Kudos to Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts fer a similar-stretch near da’ cone into the EZ late 3Q vs. LSU, sending the total “over 76” with about 19-minutes to-play. Honorable-mention to the ACC officiating-crew that missed or ignored several first-quarter instances of Bengals’ O-lineman illegally-downfield on LSU pass-plays!
Vindy’s Bowl Predictions Part III Best Bets: Part II: 0-2 (with Orange Bowl results pending) Season: 30-24 (.556, again ahead of Florida-Virginia outcome)
Navy –2 ½ over Kansas State, Utah-Texas “under 55”, Cincinnati-Boston College “over 55 ½”, Sudden Mist +7 over Tulane
We’ll be back one-last time...ahead of January 13th...with a bowl-recap, our thoughts on da’ National Championship melee and lotsa’ left-over hash!!!!!