Every week T-Roc will share his thoughts on what is going on in college football, make picks and fire back at your nasty comments. Want to learn more about him, check out his first post or visit his archive.
It’s early afternoon of New Year’s Eve, hours before I’m scheduled to be pummelled with a foot of snow. I think it’s a sign that no matter how many parties are on the go and how scantily-clad the chicks are, I’m meant to stay in tonight.
On top of the Bowl games of the day, Canada takes on the U.S. at hockey’s world junior championship, always a fantastic game. If I can somehow convince the scantily-clad chicks to get drunk in my living room and not my town’s pretentious martini bars (c’mon, guys, this is fucking Nova Scotia… turn down the attitude a little), I’d be the fucking man.
But that’s unlikely to happen. So I’ll have to prove my manhood in other ways… such as making a killing on the final batch of bowl games to make up for my late-December streak of shite.
As always, all numbers are based on Pinnacle.com’s betting lines as of December 31.
Friday, January 2
2 p.m. ET - Cotton Bowl
Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech: Texas Tech -4
The Red Raiders are the best team outside the BCS Bowl games, playing in their home state and facing a school in its first bowl game since Eli Manning was drunkenly boning Oxford’s drunk co-eds with regularity. On the other hand, Mike Leach’s charges haven’t covered the spread as a bowl game favourite since 2003 and Ole Miss proved itself to be a road warrior this year.
I’m with Texas Tech on Friday, despite the Rebs’ earlier road upsets. This is Leach’s best team yet and the mild weather should allow Graham Harrell to unleash the Air Raid on an Ole Miss squad that hasn’t encountered a good aerial attack in months.
5 p.m. ET - Liberty Bowl
East Carolina vs. Kentucky: East Carolina -3
“Give me liberty or give me death”? No thanks, ’cause this kind of liberty sucks. Beyond a late-August win over Louisville, the highlights of Kentucky’s season have been a series of “almosts” against conference foes.
The Wildcats’ offense stunk even before Randall Cobb went on the limp. Going back to last year’s Hawaii Bowl, Skip Holtz’s Pirates have knocked off four highly-favoured opponents. Friday is ECU’s chance to deliver the goods as a favourite.
8:15 p.m. ET - Sugar Bowl
Utah vs. Alabama: Utah +9
The Sugar Bowl? Sweet! While the venue is the same as last year’s Georgia rout over Hawaii, this BCS/non-BCS matchup is more evocative of the Oklahoma/Boise State game from two years ago.
The Utes survived a rockier road in their undefeated run to New Orleans than the Warriors did last year, while long-time No. 1 ‘Bama didn’t end its campaign in a dominant fashion like the Dawgs did a year ago. I’ll likely parlay the under with the Utes here.
Saturday, January 3
Noon ET - International Bowl
Buffalo vs. Connecticut: Buffalo +5
College football comes north of the border… and no one cares. On either side of the border. I’m serious about this. Canadian sports fans will have the World Junior semi-finals on their minds while the American TV audience will largely flock to the NFL playoffs.
Buffalo acquitted itself decently well when visiting BCS-conference foes early in the season prior to winning the MAC. Maybe it’s Turner Gill’s CFL past winning me over, or maybe it’s a Huskies’ defence that looked more vulnerable as the season wore on.
Monday, January 5
8:15 p.m. ET - Fiesta Bowl
Ohio State vs. Texas: Under 53
No shortage of star power in Glendale, as neither school in the Fiesta Bowl has ever lacked in media coverage. Luckily, both the Buckeyes and the ‘Horns come in with points to prove, so I’m expecting a treat on Monday.
The bigger names are on offense, but both defences ended their seasons on air-tight notes. OSU didn’t show an ability to score against elite opponents this year, while Texas hasn’t faced a defence this deep and tough in a long time.
Tuesday, January 6
8 p.m. ET - GMAC Bowl
Tulsa vs. Ball State: Ball State -1 ½
I’ll be back at the daily work grind by the time the GMAC Bowl airs, but there’s no way I’m missing this one. The total is sky-high, but I’m afraid to touch the under, given the potency of both offences.
Ball State had won all its games by at least a touchdown prior to developing the dropsies in the MAC title game. The Golden Hurricane possess the gaudier stats, but playing in C-USA can inflate offensive numbers like a motherfucker.
Thursday, January 8
8:15 p.m. ET - BCS Championship Game
Florida vs. Oklahoma: Florida -3
I’m a little torn over this one, given my preseason call for Oklahoma to walk away with the national crown, thanks largely to its offensive line. Nothing’s happened to the line that disappoints me, but I still can’t back the Sooners for the title.
Most folks OD’d on Tim Tebow media love a long time ago, so I won’t delve too deeply into why I’m backing him. Let’s just say that Tebow has met God’s schedule of prayer, Bible-thumping and charity work and is now owed a favour. What Would Jesus Do? He’d put heavy money on Florida, that’s what.
Record through December 30: 50-56-1 ATS
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