Due to New Year’s coming on a Tuesday, we had to hit the printer early so I will not have any selections on the Wild Card games. That may be a good thing starting off 2013.
Before I get to the remainder of the college bowl games I just hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas and we here at GT are looking forward to a very good New(s) Year!
The college bowl season finally comes to a conclusion with the final seven bowl games and this is the way I see them from my rose colored glasses.
We’ll cut to the chase, this is the one most folks are concerned about. Then we’ll discuss the ones leading up to the BCS final.
MONDAY, JAN. 7
BCS Final, Miami Gardens, Fla.
Alabama -10 vs. ND (41½): The big game is here and Irish eyes are smiling as the luck has truly been with them. Beads will be in action all over the country. Both teams are very fortunate to be here. Bama should have two losses and the Irish barely got by lowly Purdue, 20-17, and Michigan, 13-6, somehow beat Stanford 20-13 and BYU 17-14, plus had a very lucky OT win against Pitt. That said, Notre Dame finished the season No. 1 and is now getting 10 points!
This will be a defensive struggle like last year’s game when the Tide shut out LSU 21-0. Bama will somehow get the win but maybe not the cover. Bowl dogs getting 7 or more points with a win percentage of over .900 or more who allow less than 15 points per game have gone a perfect 7-0 both SU and ATS since as far back as I could go. We really must take the points. NOTRE DAME.
Now for a glance at this week’s bowls leading up to the biggie.
Sugar Bowl, New Orleans
Louisville +14 vs. Florida (45½): Talk about strength of schedules; there is no comparison as the Gators played the superior one. The biggest wins for the Cardinals came against North Carolina at home 39-34, at Pittsburgh 45-35, and against Cincy 34-31 in Louisville.
Florida beat Texas A&M 20-17; the same Aggies team that beat Alabama. The Gators also beat LSU 14-6, crushed South Carolina 44-11 and defeated Vanderbilt – all bowl teams. Their only loss was against Georgia 17-9. If Florida comes to play they win by three touchdowns as their defense will control the game. FLORIDA.
Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, Ariz.
Kansas St. +8½ vs. Oregon (77): Both teams can light up the tote. The Ducks scored over 50 in 7 out of their 12 games and over 40 in the others with the exception of their lone loss against Stanford. So who did the Ducks score all those points against – nobody of any interest with the exception of USC. And, the Trojans really weren’t that good.
The Wildcats from Manhattan lost their only game to Baylor in Waco. They beat Oklahoma who is in the Cotton Bowl, Texas Tech who was in the Meinke Car Care Bowl, TCU who was in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and Oklahoma State who is in the Heart Of Texas Bowl. This should be wild and wooly to say the least. The last team with the ball may be the straight up winner. The points are a must-take here. K-STATE.
Cotton Bowl, Arlington, Texas
Texas A&M -5 vs. Okla (71): The Aggies finished strong winning their last four games, including a huge victory over Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Was that game for real or did they just catch the Tide in a perfect storm after their big comeback win against LSU the previous week? The question will be answered in this game.
The Sooners finished their season with five straight wins against some good teams, Iowa St., Baylor, West Virginia, Okie State and TCU. One more bad thing for A&M will be the dreaded Heisman jinx. Bowl teams with Heisman winners have gone 1-11 vs. teams coming off back-to-back wins. I see money line here. OKLAHOMA.
Compass Bowl, Birmingham, Ala.
Pittsburgh +3 vs. Ole Miss (52): The Panthers defense really played well all year and their last three games went under the total. Remember, they had the Irish beat but lost in OT when their kicker missed a game winning field goal. The miss will bring millions into the South Bend coffers. We here at GT hope the people at Notre Dame sent the kicker a nice Christmas gift. Yea, right.
Ole Miss played well all season and was competitive against teams like LSU losing by 6 and A&M losing by 3; so where do we go from here? It looks to be a low scoring game with both teams having first year coaches who would love to come away with a bowl win. I think both teams will play very safe, so we will take the points. PITT/UNDER.
Go Daddy.com at Mobile, Ala.
Arkansas St. -4½ vs. Kent St. (62): I misspent a lot of my youth at Kent as it was at one time the party school. I just loved the way the Golden Flashes played all year and lost in a toughie to Northern Illinos in OT for the MAC championship. Arkansas State was in this same spot last year and took it on the chin from NIU, 38-20, as a short favorite. We will side with the boys from Kent and take the points in what will be a good game. KENT ST.
Here’s hoping for a very Happy “News” Year.
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Contact Richard at [email protected].