Bowl season is upon once again. Where did the 2016 regular season go? It seems just like yesterday that Cal and Hawaii teed it up in Australia.
Lets first discuss the football version of the Final Four..I think they got it right with the four teams they chose but I want to go on record to say an 8-team play off is the perfect amount of teams that should be involved. Add Oklahoma, Penn St., Michigan, and Western Michigan and you have a fantastic little version of March Madness. I hope the powers that be figure out that the right number is eight , not four. And do so sooner rather than later. Also, I wish they wouldn’t have given Alabama what is essentially a home game. Reminds me of the treatment Duke gets in hoops where they always wind up playing their first two games in the state of North Carolina. Alabama is a two to five favorite to snare the crystal but don’t be in a rush just yet as my gut tells me this won’t be a cake walk.
The craziness starts on the 17th of this month when NC Central and Grambling start the bowl season in the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta. There will be plenty of good spots to find some winners. Between now and then there will be coaching changes, injuries, and a host of suspensions. Two of the most important handicapping components for these 40 odd bowl games is current form and motivation. Some teams are tickled pink to be in their bowl game and some are just gonna go through the motions and not prepare as well as they should have. I like to zero in on the latter and bet against teams that are just not focused on that particular opponent. For the most part it’s a big favorite who is disgruntled they are in an inferior bowl game against a seemingly inferior squad. Bowl season is a tricky proposition with lots of factors to weigh, a giant chess game you could say. Looking forward to the challenge and quite confident it will be a winning exercise.
For my “Free Play” this bowl season, right now I am on The Washington Huskies getting 16.5 vs. the aforementioned Alabama Crimson Tide.
So many Bowl games to pick and choose from but here in Las Vegas we look at them all as a chance to have an advantage. There are some intriguing match ups as there are every Bowl Season. The Play-Off picture, based on the way the Top Four were ranked going into the Final week of play is correct. Washington flat out deserves to be there despite their home loss to USC a few weeks ago. Their demolition of Colorado was a clincher. I would’ve liked to see them ranked 3rd and have a shot at Ohio State or Clemson as I feel they are best equipped to give Bama the best tussle. Most disagree and think Ohio State is that team but I think the Big Ten is very overrated. Clemson on the other hand is a good team but has been fortunate not to have multiple losses. The loss to Pitt at home was one that caught up to them as they should’ve lost earlier at home to NC State in a game they were outplayed in down the stretch.
The Rose Bowl, known as The Grand Daddy of them all in an extra special match up for me being an SC fan since I was a kid. I was born in Pennsylvania and a lot of my buddies growing up were big Penn State fans. I look forward to that game the most next to Washington – Alabama.
Here in Las Vegas, The Las Vegas Bowl was hoping to get a ( 5-7 ) Mississippi State team but instead hit a home run with the Houston Cougars – San Diego State match-up on December 17th. A chance to see home boy & stud RB Donnell Pumphrey of the Aztecs and talented duel threat QB for the Cougs in Greg Ward Jr. Wisconsin better get refocused after the Penn State loss or Western Michigan can take them down. On December 30th, the Michigan Wolverines play Florida State and I think the Noles and Dalvin Cook will be a tough test for a team feeling slighted by the play-off Committee. So many others with style contrasts as well like Wazzu-Minnesota and North Carolina – Stanford. It will also be our last chance to see Christian McCaffery in a Cardinal uniform and I’ll take The Cardinal -3.5 as my Bowl Game “Free Play.”
Things like this is what truly makes not only Bowl season but College Football as a whole, the greatest sport in the World for many of us here in the States!