2013 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 10

Well, last week wasn’t exactly a banner round in the prognostication arts here at The Manofesto. I went 2-5, while Zach was 1-6. The point spread really bit us in the behind, with neither Penn St. nor Nebraska being able to cover the points despite winning their games, and Miami (FL) & Michigan living up to the low expectations of the oddsmakers in spite of our spirited support. Enough said about that debacle. For the season it looks like this:

Your Humble Potentate of Profundity    =       23-22

Zach          =       19-26

This week gets off to an early start with two big Thursday night college games which is why you are reading this a couple of days earlier than usual. I can actually get myself moving when motivated.

Oklahoma      at         Baylor (-14.5)

oklahomaThere are some who don’t believe in Baylor, who say that they haven’t played anyone good. Fair enough. Their schedule is baylorbackloaded, with Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, & Oklahoma still to go after this game, and certainly their out-of-conference opponents weren’t impressive, so I understand the reluctance to embrace the Bears as a legitimate powerhouse. However, having watched them play a couple of times on TV I tend to lean toward the thought that Baylor is the real deal. The question is are they good enough to destroy Oklahoma like they’ve done everyone else?? The Sooners have been solid, beating everyone except archrival Texas. To be honest if this game were being played in Norman, OK I’d take the underdogs in a heartbeat. Then again if the game were in Norman I doubt Baylor would be favored by more than two TDs. I think one of two things will happen. Either Oklahoma will win and “expose” Baylor, making all the talking heads who’ve expressed doubt about them real proud of themselves. Or Baylor will earn a hard fought victory and gain some measure of respect. One thing that I do not think will occur is Baylor covering 14.5 points. Zach disagrees and thinks Baylor wins this one big.

 

Oregon (-10.5)          at         Stanford

photo.stanfordtreeThis is it. This is Oregon’s big chance to prove that they…not Florida State…deserve the opportunity to lose to Alabama inOregon-Ducks the national title game. This will be a Thursday night prime time game on ESPN with almost the entire college football world watching (or atleast flipping back & forth between this and the Oklahoma-Baylor game on Fox Sports 1). Stanford has flown somewhat under the radar thus far, but they are 7-1 and ranked 6th in the polls. The Ducks are getting a lot of respect from the oddsmakers. One doesn’t see Top 10 teams being double digit home underdogs very often. Not only is a spot in the national title game on the line for Oregon, but with a victory Stanford could secure a spot in the conference championship game and have an opportunity to get to The Rose Bowl. Oregon has been mowing people down with almost as much effectiveness as Baylor, but something tells me this one won’t be quite that easy. I won’t go so far as to predict an outright upset, but I think this is going to be far closer than most are expecting. Zach calls this one of the toughest games he’s picked but is going with the boys in Vegas and taking the Ducks.

 

BYU                at         Wisconsin (-7.5)

In my pre-season Top 25 I had BYU at #25 and left Wisconsin out. That prediction could still come to fruition if the Cougars win out and the WisconsinBadgersBadgers lose this game. Wisconsin ranks 10th in the nation in rushing and has one of the NCAA’s best running backs in Melvin Gordon. And of course they always have a tremendous offensive line. BYU has a rather effective rushing attack themselves. This is going to be an old fashioned ground & pound game, with the lines essentially deciding the contest. I think BYU will hang tough for 3+ quarters, but at the end of the day Wisconsin will control time of possession and get a solid 10 point victory. Zach thinks this’ll be an easy Badger win.

 

LSU                at         Alabama (-12)

lsu_logoI must explain something about myself. I am an underdog kind of guy. Plus I can’t stand the idiotic BCS (no matter how many AlabamaCrimsonTide2times it does seem to work out in the end). Therefore I am the contrarian who is always hoping & praying for an upset that’ll send the whole process into chaos. On top of all that I…like many others…am getting just a bit bored with Alabama’s dominance. So I have been looking forward to this game simply because outside of Texas A&M back in September I felt like the Bayou Bengals were the only team with even a prayer of upsetting the Tide. Oh I suppose maybe Missouri or South Carolina might have a puncher’s chance in the SEC title game, but in reality the only thing standing between ‘Bama and yet another appearance in the national championship game are the LSU Tigers. So…will the upset occur?? Well, I’d feel a lot better about LSU’s chances if the game were being played in Baton Rouge. And I’d certainly like it a whole lot better if they didn’t have two losses on their record. Truthfully I wouldn’t dare put money on an upset, but I am intrigued by the point spread. A year ago ‘Bama went into hostile territory and came away with a 4 point victory. Two years ago LSU went into Tuscaloosa and won a 9-6 snoozefest. My vibe is that we are in for something like that…maybe a 17-10 or 28-17 kind of game. I don’t think Alabama will lose, but I don’t think they’re going to cover the points. Zach thinks this will be a low scoring brawl between two well coached teams. He’s picking the Tide to roll to a two touchdown victory.

 

Cincinnati (-1.5)        at         Baltimore

Baltimore_Ravens2It says a lot about the Bengals that they are favored in a game away from home, even if it is by the slightest of margins. The Cincinnati_Bengals_Helmetdefending Super Bowl champion Ravens are 3-5 and actually behind the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Central. If they are going to make any kind of run at a playoff spot this feels like a must win. I am anything but a Ravens fan but my vibe is that they will realize the urgency and take advantage of the home field. Zach is a fellow Steelers fan and is letting his longstanding disdain for Baltimore cloud his judgment. He’s picking the Bengals even if it would likely put the final nail in Pittsburgh’s coffin.

 

The Return of March Madness!!

Loyal citizens of The Manoverse might know that your humble Potentate of Profundity isn’t a big fan of winter. As a matter of fact, as I write this I am suffering with my annual bout of bronchitis which I’d thought I might actually escape. Alas it arrived with just a few days left in the season. At any rate, I grab onto any bbindicator of brighter, warmer, happier days like Tiger Woods gravitates toward hot, blue-eyed blondes. I thought Groundhog Day provided some hope this year but I have learned that putting one’s faith in a rodent is about as wise as trusting Lindsay Lohan to show up to court on time. At any rate there really is no better or more reliable harbinger of springtime than the annual NCAA Basketball Championship Tournament, aka March Madness. The brackets have been released and the time has come for me to dive in head first with my picks. As usual I need to offer a few reminders about my methods:

    • I do not analyze, study, and stress out about my brackets. I print it out and fill it out on the fly. My picks are based on my knowledge as an average fan, a cursory listen to various talking heads, and on my vibes. My choices have no basis in scientific investigation of any facts or figures.
    • Will there be upsets?? Yes. But don’t go crazy. The first round has 32 games. Out of those there might be a half dozen upsets. The 5/12, 6/11, & 7/10 games are where to look for upsets. #1 seeds never…ever…lose in the first round, and #2 seeds very rarely lose. Atleast one #12 beats a #5 each year…I don’t know why. 8/9 games are pretty much dead even, so a #9 beating a #8 isn’t really that much of an upset.
    • After the first round it’s a free for all, although that 11, 12, 13, or 14 that got thru one game is unlikely to make it much further. Still though, there always seems to be atleast one. The trick is picking the right one.
    • I don’t pick play-in games (or as they now call them the “First Four”).
    • I am usually a sucker for the underdog, but in all honesty power conference teams will beat a small conference team the overwhelming majority of the time. I put major weight on being battle tested. A team that won 25 games during the regular season but did it against mostly weak competition is like blood in the water for a team from a power conference that might have won only 19 or 20 games and rode the bubble into the tournament.
    • I take into consideration where the games are taking place. If a team is playing close to home and has a bunch of fans in the stands that is important. But it’s not that important, so I consider it yet don’t nuts about it.

Although most everybody would probably agree that this has been a crazy & unpredictable year for college basketball and that should translate into a wide open tournament with lots of parity, the truth is that when I completed my brackets I saw a lot more chalk than I assumed I would. I am predicting 10 first round upsets, with four of those being a 9 seed over an 8, which of course isn’t really an upset. I only have one double digit seed making it to The Sweet 16, and my Final Four consists of one #1, two #2s, and a #4 seed. If my vibes are on the right path a lot of folks will be praising the tournament committee for just how accurately they put everything together considering the fickle randomness that has surrounded the entire season.

So without further ado let’s take at peek at each region:

 

 

East

1 Indiana               vs.       16 LIU or JMU

2 Miami, Fla.      vs        15 Pacific

3 Marquette        vs.       14 Davidson

4 Syracuse           vs.       13 Montana

5 UNLV                    vs.       12 California          

6 Butler                   vs.       11 Bucknell

7 Illinois                 vs.       10 Colorado

8 NC St.                     vs.       9 Temple

For some reason Bucknell is getting a lot of love from the “experts”. Now I do recall that they pulled a first round upset over Kansas a few years ago, but that’s all the more reason why the Butler Bulldogs won’t take them lightly and should get thesu win. Having said that, this is the region where I am predicting the most upsets. I have #9 Temple over #8 NC St. (not that big of a deal), #10 Colorado over #7 Illinois, #12 California over #5 UNLV, and the biggest shocker…#14 Davidson beating #3 Marquette. After that it’s all chalk, with Syracuse upending Miami to get to The Final Four.

 

West

1 Gonzaga               vs.       16 Southern

2 Ohio St.                vs.       15 Iona

3 New Mexico       vs.       14 Harvard

4 Kansas St.          vs.       13 Boise St. or LaSalle

5 Wisconsin          vs.       12 Mississippi         

6 Arizona                 vs.       11 Belmont

7 Notre Dame        vs.       10 Iowa St.

8 Pittsburgh           vs.       9 Wichita St.

The first round is unlikely to provide all that much drama, but business should pick up after that. I’ve seen a lot of talking heads predict that Pitt might give Gonzaga a run for their money in the 2nd round, but funnily enough I have the Panthers getting upset right off the bat by Wichita St. The 2nd round should see a osumatchup of #3 New Mexico vs. #6 Arizona, but whereas several of your pundit types seem to have developed a crush on New Mexico…going so far as to prop them as a potential Final Four team…I have the Wildcats getting the upset. In the regional final I have Ohio St. beating Gonzaga to make it to The Final Four.

 

South

1 Kansas                   vs.       16 Western Kentucky

2 Georgetown       vs.       15 Florida Gulf Coast

3 Florida                   vs.       14 Northwestern St.

4 Michigan              vs.       13 South Dakota St.

5 VCU                           vs.       12 Akron     

6 UCLA                       vs.       11 Minnesota

7 San Diego St.       vs.       10 Oklahoma

8 North Carolina   vs.       9 Villanova

This bracket doesn’t seem like all that much fun to me outside of the top heaviness of the four best seeds. However, at the bottom of the bracket I have predicted three mild upsets. #11 Minnesota over #6 UCLA would feel like more of a ballsy choice if everyone else wasn’t picking it as well. #10 Oklahoma over #7 San Diego St. is agtown result of my battle tested philosophy, although I suppose I am showing a lot less respect to the Mountain West Conference than most. #9 Villanova over #8 North Carolina would be a lot more of a marquee game if this was the late 80’s, but in my heart it’s still bigtime. The top four should all make it thru to the regional semis, with Georgetown pulling the mild upset over Kansas to reach The Final Four.

 

Midwest

1 Louisville              vs.       16 NC A&T

2 Duke                         vs.       15 Albany

3 Michigan St.       vs.       14 Valparaiso

4 St. Louis                 vs.       13 New Mexico St.

5 Oklahoma St.       vs.       12 Oregon  

6 Memphis                vs.       11 St. Mary’s

7 Creighton              vs.       10 Cincinnati

8 Colorado                 vs.       9 Missouri

Most “experts” are touting this as the toughest region, but I am only predicting a couple of upsets. I have #9 Missouri over #8 Colorado (again not a real upset), and #12 Oregon over #5 Oklahoma St. Everyone is in almost unanimous agreement LouisvilleBB2009_normalthat Oregon, which won the Pac 12 tournament, was grossly underseeded, and after the 1st round upset I have them pulling off another surprise over #4 St. Louis to reach the Sweet Sixteen. Other than that I have 3 of the top 4 seeds reaching the regional semis, with Louisville upending Michigan St. to reach The Final Four.

 

So my Final Four is Louisville, Ohio St., Georgetown, & Syracuse. There is definitely a Big East flavor to that group, ala 1985 when Georgetown, St. John’s, & Villanova all made it that far. Maybe I am a bit biased since I live in West Virginia and my Mountaineers competed in the Big East for many years, or maybe I’m just a little sentimental since the conference in its traditional form is being blown up. Whatever the case may be, this would be a fantastic Final Four. I picked Louisville to beat Ohio St. and Georgetown to defeat Syracuse. That means that the National Championship Game would pit the Louisville Cardinals versus the Georgetown Hoyas, and I think Louisville wins that battle and cuts down the nets in Atlanta, GA.

 

A Look at the 2012-13 Bowl Season

In 1914 Yale University built a football stadium. It was the first bowl shaped stadium in the country and the prototype for what we take for granted as the typical stadium today. During this time there was only one college football post-season game to decide a national champion. It was played in Pasadena, CA and sponsored by the Roses Association, which had begun a New Year’s Day parade in 1890 and started the football tradition in 1902. By 1923 the game was such a 225px-Yale_Bowl_aerialhuge success that a new & bigger stadium was needed. The builders used the Yale Bowl as a template and called their stadium the Rose Bowl. The game played there became known as the Rose Bowl game. In 1933 some folks in Miami, FL thought that college football could stand to have another post-season game. They decided to capitalize on the popularity of the Rose Bowl by calling their game the Orange Bowl. Soon after the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, the Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX and the Cotton Bowl in Dallas were born. The rest is history. And now you know why bowl games are called bowl games. As always I am here not only to entertain but to educate.

At any rate, I am trying something a bit different this year. I have broken down the plethora of bowl games into three tiers. Tier 3 consists of worthless games for which I can barely muster enough interest to even bother making a pick. Even as a huge football fan I doubt I’ll be watching them, and you probably won’t either. Surely there is a better way to spend one’s time, like self-mutilation or renting Mariah Carey’s Golden Raspberry award winning performance in 2001’s Glitter on DVD. Tier 2 games are largely mediocre and superfluous, but there are some decent matchups that might actually be somewhat entertaining. The Tier 3 games are the crème de la crème, the kings of the hill, the top o’ the heap. Unlike my Pigskin Picks of Profundity I will not be utilizing any point spreads. These are just straight up, win or lose, all or nothing prognostications. It is unlikely that means that’ll I’ll do any better though. As a matter of fact my picks will probably be mostly wrong as usual so as always, please, no wagering. Enjoy, and happy holidays!!

 

 

Tier 3

 

 

Potato Bowl – 12/15

Toledo (9-3) vs. Utah State (10-2)

This used to be known as the Humanitarian Bowl and is played on the famous blue turf in Boise, Idaho, which is the game’s only redeeming quality. I’ll take the Rockets to win convincingly.

 

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl  –  12/21

UCF (9-4) vs. Ball State (9-3)

Beef O’Brady’s is a sports bar franchise in Florida and other southern states. The game itself is played in St. Petersburg (i.e. Tampa), FL. Yeah, I know…no one cares. I think Central Florida wins the game.

 

Las Vegas Bowl – 12/22

Boise State (10-2) vs. Washington (7-5)

Hey, atleast this game has a cool location. The Broncos are making their 3rd straight appearance after a huge Fiesta Bowl win in 2007.  Since they’ve won the past two quite easily I see no reason not to believe they’ll win again.

 

Hawaii Bowl – Christmas Eve

SMU (6-6) vs. Fresno State (9-3)

The game may not hold much interest for the casual fan, but kudos to these two teams for parlaying their mediocrity into a trip to Hawaii for Christmas. Mele Hula Dance 3Kalikimaka indeed. I’ll take the Bulldogs.

 

Little Caesars Bowl – 12/26

Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (6-6)

Congratulations second-rate teams from second-rate conferences…you get to go to Detroit for Christmas!! Seriously…this is about a half step above an NAIA game. When did Western Kentucky upgrade from 1-AA?? I must have missed that. Anyway, I’ll take the Chippewas.

 

Military Bowl – 12/27

Bowling Green (8-4) vs. San Jose State (10-2)

Ummm…shouldn’t one of the military academies be playing in this game?? I assume Army would have been playing here…if they’d managed to attain more than 2 victories. I like the quality of football played in the MAC, so I’ll go with Bowling Green for the win.

 

Belk Bowl – 12/27

Duke (6-6) vs. Cincinnati (9-3)

Belk is a Carolina based department store chain found in the southern U.S. The game itself was formerly known as the Queen City Bowl, the Continental Tire Bowl, and the Meineke Car Care Bowl. It’s a shame the Bearcats couldn’t score a more significant contest after a 9 win season. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils have all the sudden upgraded their football program from comatose to average, so good job. Even considering the fact that coach Butch Jones has bolted for Tennessee I’d be stunned if Cincinnati didn’t win by double digits.

 

Meineke Car Care Bowl – 12/28

Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)

Just because Charlotte’s game is now called the Belk Bowl doesn’t mean the Meineke people are out of the football business. They simply changed their sponsorship to this game in Houston. I am more familiar with Hayden Fox’s fictional Minnesota St. Screaming Eagles than the real life Minnesota Golden Gophers, but I have seen the Red Raiders play a few times this season so that’s the pick.

 

Russell Athletic Bowl – 12/28

Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Rutgers (9-3)

This is the former Blockbuster Bowl, CarQuest Bowl, and MicronPC Bowl. The folks in Orlando change bowl sponsorships more often than Taylor Swift changes boyfriends. At any rate, the big question to me here is what in the world happened to Virginia Tech this year?? From 2004-2011 they won 10 or 11 games every season. They haven’t been this mediocre since a two win season in 1992. Meanwhile, Rutgers is preparing to move to The Big Ten and exiting The Big East on a high note. In any other year the Hokies would be an easy choice, but it seems like the two teams have reversed roles this year, so I’ll take the Scarlet Knights.

 

Armed Forces Bowl – 12/29

Rice (6-6) vs. Air Force (6-6)

It doesn’t get any more mediocre than two 6-6 teams that, if I were in charge, would not even be playing a post-season game. Teams shouldn’t be rewarded for simply breaking even. I honestly know next to nothing about either of these clubs, and I am tempted to pick Rice in honor of my friend The Owl, but I think I’ll go with Air Force.

 

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl  – 12/29

Arizona State (7-5) vs. Navy (7-4)

Hey…atleast these two teams both won 7 games and have winning records, so that’s an improvement, right?? I’d love nothing more than to support our military academies, but in this case I just think that the Sun Devils have played a tougher schedule and shouldn’t have any problems with the Midshipmen.

 

Music City Bowl – New Year’s Eve

North Carolina State (7-5) vs. Vanderbilt (8-4)

I think most people have better things to do on New Year’s Eve than watch these two middle-of-the-road teams play in a middle-of-the-road bowl game. I do like NC St.’s QB Mike Glennon, who a lot of “experts” are saying has a decent shot to be a good NFL quarterback. That’s enough for me to give the Wolfpack the nod.

 

Liberty Bowl – New Year’s Eve

Iowa State (6-6) vs. Tulsa (10-3)

The records are probably a little misleading. Tulsa won 10 games but plays in C-USA. Iowa St. plays in the much tougher Big 12. I’ll take the Cyclones in what I guess would be considered an upset.

 

Sun Bowl – New Year’s Eve

Georgia Tech (6-7) vs. USC (7-5)

Can someone please explain to me why in the world a team with a LOSING record is being allowed to play in a bowl game?? This is especially aggravating when one considers the fact that a 9-3 Louisiana Tech team did not receive any kind of bowl invite and will be home for the holidays. That is insane and it’s just plain wrong. I know this season hasn’t exactly turned out the way the folks at Southern Cal had hoped (they were pre-season #1 in many polls), and the final insult is being forced to play an opponent with such an atrocious record. The only thing that can make this right is the Trojans winning this game in a h-u-g-e way.

 

Compass Bowl – 1/5

Pitt (6-6) vs. Mississippi (6-6)

Let me restate my annual joke about this bowl: Shouldn’t the game pit two directional schools against one another?? Anyway, as a lifelong WV Mountaineer fan compassI cannot in good conscience cheer for the hated Pitt Panthers, which works out just fine since they suck anyway. I’ll take Ole Miss in this one.

 

GoDaddy.com Bowl – 1/6

Kent State (11-2) vs. Arkansas State (9-3)

I hate this bowl game on a multitude of levels, not the least of which is the fact that it usually (and this year is no exception) features two teams that absolutely no one gives a damn about nearly a week after the season should have been over and all anyone is concentrating on is the following day’s National Championship Game. That being said, I suppose the smart play is to pick Kent to win handily.

 

 

 

 

Tier 2

 

Poinsettia Bowl – 12/20

BYU (7-5) vs. San Diego State (9-3)

The Cougars acquitted themselves quite nicely as an independent, with victories over…well, okay…they didn’t actually beat anyone of note, but they did garner 7 victories. The Aztecs defeated both Boise St. and Nevada, which is impressive. However, I am nothing if not loyal, and since I had BYU in my pre-season Top 25 I am going to stick with them here.

 

New Orleans Bowl  –  12/22

Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) vs. East Carolina (8-4)

Here we have two teams that don’t receive much recognition because of the subpar conferences in which they play and the mostly weak schedules they have, but two teams that I guarantee you few schools would want to face as out-of-conference opponents. This should be a high scoring, fun game. Maybe we’ll get really lucky and something wacky will happen like they’ll go into 5 overtimes. The Pirates were another one of my pre-season Top 25 picks that didn’t quite go as well as I’d hoped, but I’ll pick them anyway.

 

New Mexico Bowl – 12/15

Nevada (7-5) vs. Arizona (7-5)

Now this should be a fun game to watch. It seems like both of these teams are better than their records would indicate, they’ve just been inconsistent. I don’t really want to cheer for a team coached by that assclown Rich Fraudriguez, but as much as I like the Wolfpack the Wildcats have a better resume and have been battle tested in a better conference. Arizona is the pick.

 

Holiday Bowl – 12/27

Baylor (7-5) vs. UCLA (9-4)

This is the game that West Virginia fans were hoping the Mountaineers would land in. Instead the powers-that-be chose Baylor. Ah well…c’est la vie. I think the Bruins are clearly the better team, and I’d be surprised if they didn’t win.

 

Independence  Bowl – 12/28

Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) vs. Ohio (8-4)

At first glance this looks like a completely forgettable matchup. However, I have seen both of these teams play a couple of times this season and something tells me this’ll be a really fun game. It isn’t as if these are two teams that just broke even and barely got into the post-season…they are both 8 win teams. I really like what coach Frank Solich has done with the Bobcats, although I am concerned that they come into this contest in the midst of a 3 game losing streak. Conversely, not only are the Warhawks riding a 2 game winning streak, but they have an impressive resume, having played both Auburn & Baylor extremely tough in close losses. It’s a real toss-up, but I’ll go with Ohio U.

 

Pinstripe Bowl – 12/29

Syracuse (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5)

Most Mountaineer fans aren’t the least bit excited about this game. It was bad enough that a potential national championship run and a legitimate Heisman depressioncandidacy for QB Geno Smith were derailed by a 5 game midseason swoon due to an atrocious defense, but once things got back on track rumors had the Eers headed to either the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio or the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Then this game entered the picture and the rumor became a possible revival of The Backyard Brawl against Pitt. Unfortunately Panther fans don’t even bother to fill Heinz Field during the season let alone travel to a bowl game, so now a season once filled with so much promise for WVU ends against Syracuse in New York in December. Most of the time I’d rather receive a Brazilian wax from a blind transvestite than watch any game involving Syracuse. Geno, offensive spark plug Tavon Austin, & WR Stedman Bailey deserved so much better than this. I’ll be disappointed if West Virginia doesn’t hang damn near 100 points on the Orange and win by 50 points.

 

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl – 12/29

Michigan State (6-6) vs. TCU (7-5)

Ehhh…more mediocrity from two teams who have certainly had better years.  This is the old Copper Bowl, which then became the Insight Bowl. It is played in Arizona, which means TCU will probably have more fans there. So I guess I’ll go with the Horned Frogs.

 

Chick-fil-A Bowl – New Year’s Eve

LSU (10-2) vs. Clemson (10-2)

I like Chick-fil-A a lot, but being a traditionalist I would prefer that this game go back to being known as the Peach Bowl.  Anyway, these are two solid teams and we should be treated to a great game. I think LSU is the better club though since they are battle tested in the ultra tough SEC, while Clemson plays in the somewhat less impressive ACC.

 

Heart of Dallas  –  New Year’s Day

Purdue (6-6) vs. Oklahoma State (7-5)

This is the new kid on the bowl block, having first been played in 2011. It was known then as the TicketCity Bowl. When I was a kid New Year’s Day games were reserved for the very best teams. I guess those days are gone. Anyway, I don’t think the Cowboys should have any problem winning this game.

 

Gator Bowl – New Year’s Day

Northwestern (9-3) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)

Two solid teams that were battled tested in good conferences. This might be a real sleeper insofar as it’ll probably be overlooked amid all the other games with bigger names, but it has the potential to steal the show. I’ll go with the Wildcats to get the victory.

 

Sugar Bowl – 1/2

Florida (11-1)  vs.  Louisville (10-2)

This is going to be a better game than most people think, but as much as I like Louisville there is no doubt that the Gators play a much tougher schedule and have a lot more talent. Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong was the leading candidate for the Tennessee coaching position but decided to stay put, which is commendable. I am very tempted to pick an upset, but I just can’t pull the trigger. I don’t think it will be a blowout, but I do expect Florida to win.

 

Orange Bowl – New Year’s Day 

Florida St. (11-2)         vs.  Northern Illinois (12-1)

Lots of talking heads have had their knickers in a twist about this game. They tend to view college football as an exclusive club where the only teams that count are Notre Dame, the SEC, the Big Ten, the Pac 12, and maybe half the teams from the ACC & Big 12. Northern Illinois is looked at as an outsider that doesn’t belong in the club. Are the Seminoles bigger, faster, stronger, and more athletic?? To a large degree yes they are. But I do think that the Huskies deserve a little more respect than they are getting. Having said that, I think Florida St wins & wins big.

 

National Championship Game – 1/7 

Notre Dame (12-0)      vs.    Alabama (12-1)          

99% of football fans in America are beyond excited about this game. For probably the only time in my life I am actually in the 1%. You see, I am an underdog 1-foam-hand-12-szsp2661041-378x386kind of guy. I need a little guy, a lovable loser type to root for. There is no such animal in this matchup. These are two of the elite programs in the history of college football, with something like 27 national championships between them. This is the Tide’s 3rd title game in 4 years. Notre Dame is back on top for the first time since 1988-89. I have searched deeply for something to cheer about here, and the two things that I’ve come up with are…stunningly…in Notre Dame’s favor. First of all, I have been truly impressed with Irish linebacker Manti Te’o. He seems like a genuinely good guy and someone very deserving of his accolades. Secondly, as most citizens of the Manoverse know, I am a big fan of ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning (back to back Sammy Award winner for Best TV Show). Mike Golic’s two sons Mike Jr. & Jake are both seniors for Notre Dame. It doesn’t seem likely that either will follow their father’s or their uncle Bob Golic’s footsteps into the NFL, so this is it for them. Knowing how great it’d be for the Golics to win this game makes me smile ever so slightly, enough to…for probably the first & last time in my life…pull for the Irish.

       

 

 

 

Tier 1

 

Alamo Bowl – 12/29

Texas (8-4) vs. Oregon State (9-3)

I wish West Virginia were playing in this game, but I have to admit that they ended up with quite a good matchup. Both of these teams showed flashes during the season but were just inconsistent. I think this’ll be a shootout with the Beavers coming out on top.

 

Capital One Bowl – New Year’s Day

Georgia (11-2) vs. Nebraska (10-3)

This is the old Tangerine Bowl which then became the Florida Citrus Bowl. I am loathe to comment on a game actually named after a credit card, but I’ll ignore 0the sudden tics I am experiencing a forge ahead. Georgia was THIS close to beating Alabama and making it to the title game, but had an inexplicable brain fart. Nebraska got pasted in the Big Ten championship by Wisconsin and lost out on an opportunity to go to The Rose Bowl. So neither team is playing where they’d really prefer to be playing. This isn’t necessarily a bad consolation prize though, and fans should be the big winners. I think Nebraska is a decent team, but they were exposed on several fronts by Wisconsin. Georgia might have an eye on a pre-season 2013 Top 5 ranking if they win this game, so I’ll go with the Bulldogs.

 

Outback Bowl – New Year’s Day

South Carolina (10-2) vs. Michigan (8-4)

I really thought these teams would have better seasons. I had both in my pre-season top 3. There is no doubt in my mind that this will be an extremely entertaining game to watch, chockfull of big plays and touchdowns. On paper the Gamecocks clearly look like the better team, but the vibes are speaking to me again and saying to pick Michigan. And of course I always listen to The Voices.

 

Cotton Bowl – 1/4

Oklahoma (10-2) vs. Texas A&M (10-2)

The Aggies acquitted themselves quite nicely in their inaugural SEC season, even beating then #1 ‘Bama. Freshman QB Johnny Manziel has taken the college football world by storm. Meanwhile, the Sooners actually had higher hopes. There are very few teams in America for whom a 10 win season is a disappointment, but Oklahoma is one of them. It’ll be interesting to see how Johnny Football does against the Sooner defense. Can he duplicate the results he produced against the Tide?? I’d love to see that, and I think it just might happen. I’m going with A&M in a squeaker.

 

Rose Bowl – New Year’s Day 

Stanford  (11-2)          vs.    Wisconsin  (8-5)

Yikes…has an 8 win team ever played in The Granddaddy?? Thanks to the…indiscretions…at Penn St. & Ohio St. the Badgers got the opportunity to play in the red-roses-photoBig Ten title game and took full advantage by blasting Nebraska. Meanwhile Stanford plugged right along with another stellar season even after losing QB Andrew Luck to the NFL. I suppose Wisconsin can’t be completely discounted given what they accomplished to get here, but I don’t think they can do that two games in a row, especially since their head coach just bolted to Arkansas. Stanford should win easily.

 

Fiesta Bowl – 1/3  

Kansas St. (11-1)       vs.    Oregon (11-1)

This should have been the national championship game. These are two of the most exciting teams on the college football landscape, and if not for the Wildcats shocking stumble against Baylor and Oregon’s overtime loss to Stanford they’d be playing for the big trophy. If the 4 team playoff that begins in a couple of years were already in place one or both teams would almost certainly be in it. Alas, there is no use looking ahead or crying over spilled milk. The winner here will probably finish #2 in the final poll, which is a fine accomplishment. I expect a high scoring affair so if you’re the betting kind the over is probably a safe pick. At the end of the day I think Oregon’s speed will be just a bit too much for K-St., and I expect the Ducks to have the edge in special teams as well. Oregon will win, but it’ll be close and loads of fun.

 

2012 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 12

The football fun starts early this week, with several college & pro games taking place on Thanksgiving & Black Friday. I knew this but still somehow managed to procrastinate until the last minute. Let me seize the opportunity to wish all the citizens of The Manoverse a healthy & happy Thanksgiving filled with family, food, and faith. I’m going to keep it pretty short & sweet today because I have a dinner to go to!! There’s some stuffing & pie with my name on it just waiting to be savored. God bless & enjoy.

 

 

 

Washington       at      Dallas (-3)

Cowboys versus Indians on Thanksgiving. I think we all know how this story goes. The Redskins are a team on the rise while the Cowboys are a dysfunctional joke, but in this one game they’ll get the job done.

 

 

Houston (-3)      at      Detroit

I’m stunned that the Texans are only favored by three points. Yes the Lions have the home field advantage, and they are used to the short week & playing on Thanksgiving. But Houston is clearly the better team and should win easily.

 

 

New England (-7) at   NY Jets

The oddsmakers either know something we don’t or were feeling really generous this week. I suppose a 7 point spread is considered rather large in the NFL, and of course the Jets have the home field. But again, the Patriots are far & away the better team. It makes me cringe to pick New England to win anything, but I just call ‘em as I see ‘em.

 

 

Michigan            at      Ohio St. (-3.5)

The Buckeyes are undefeated, but since they are on probation & ineligible for post-season play this is their bowl game. Michigan is still in the hunt for a possible Big Ten title so they have something to play for. I think home field means a lot more in college than the NFL, so normally I’d be easily persuaded to go with Ohio St., but those pesky (and notoriously inaccurate) vibes are speaking to me. You’d think I would have learned to ignore them by now. Anyway, call it karma, call it justice, call it whatever you want, but a team that has something to play for deserves a victory over a program that cheated & lied, no matter how silly the cheating may have been. Go Wolverines!!

 

 

Florida                at      Florida St. (-7.5)

Even with the home field I am a bit surprised that the Seminoles are getting so much respect from the folks in Vegas. It’s not that Florida St. is bad…that’s not what I mean. It’s more that the Gators are that good, not to mention several spots higher in the polls. Also, this is a rivalry game which means the records don’t mean much. I do think Florida St. gets the upset (if one goes by the rankings), but I foresee a much closer contest. The Gators lose but not by 7 1/2 points.

 

 

Seattle  (-3)        at      Miami

Both the Seahawks and the Dolphins have been much better teams than most anticipated thus far. Sure Miami is only 4-6, but 4 of those losses have been by a total of 14 points, two of them in overtime. They’ve only been dominated twice. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are battling for a possible playoff appearance and are actually still in contention for a division crown. Both clubs have been inconsistent and difficult to figure out, so I just have to go with my vibes on this one and they are leaning toward Miami.

 

 

Atlanta (-1)                   at      Tampa Bay

Until a couple of weeks ago the Falcons were undefeated and making me look like a complete idiot since back in September I predicted they’d go 7-9. I had the same exact negative prediction for the Bucs and they too are proving me wrong by being in the thick of the wild card race. This could be one of the better games on the schedule this weekend, and even the oddsmakers see it as essentially a toss-up. Atlanta is probably the better team, but I’m going with Tampa to get the upset.

 

 

 

 

 

2012 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…Week 1

 

Over a year ago I mentioned that I wanted to do a weekly football pick ‘em type of thing here at The Manofesto. However, both the 2011 college & pro seasons got underway without me implementing the plan, so I decided to wait ‘til next year. Well…the time has come. The most glorious time of the year…football season…is upon us. It really is the only thing that makes summer slipping away more tolerable. My plan at the moment is to pick 7 games each week. Normally it will be a mix of NCAA & NFL games, but since the NFL doesn’t begin its season for another week our initial go round will consist of 7 college games. These games are picked at random by me based purely on what I view as interesting, competitive, and entertaining. I was a little leery of the first week of college football simply because it is traditionally chock full of powerhouse vs. cupcake matchups that are in no way interesting, competitive, or entertaining. Fortunately I was able to choose 7 games that do frost my cupcake and I will be interested to see how it all plays out.

One thing that readers can expect from your humble Potentate of Profundity is accountability. I am not like those twits on ESPN (Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Mark May, etc.) who act like a bunch of know-it-all experts and then conveniently forget to ever mention their picks again when they are proven to be completely wrong. I will keep track of my hits & misses. I will own up to it when I am wrong. This whole thing is just for fun, but I cannot deny that there is some sense of pride on the line as I match wits with the talking heads that get paid big bucks to make these kinds of prognostications. Originally I did not plan to utilize point spreads and just wanted to choose straight up winners, but as I pondered the possibilities I figured out that the point spread adds an element of complexity that makes the process that much more enjoyable. I am well aware that the point spread is also meant to be used for gambling, something that I am not going to promote. I’ve done it before and I am sure that I’ll do it again in the future, but I am also well aware that gambling is one more thing…like alcohol, drugs, food, & sex…that one can easily become addicted to and that has destroyed careers, families, and lives. Remember folks…everything in moderation with God in the driver’s seat, okay?? Now on with the picks!!

 

 

Tennessee  (-3) vs.  N.C. State

I’m a bit surprised that the folks in Vegas are favoring the Vols here. Maybe when I put them in my pre-season Top 25 it wasn’t such a shot in the dark after all?? At any rate, since it is a given that their SEC schedule will be tough that makes it imperative for Tennessee to win their non-conference games if they want to have any shot of fulfilling my prophecy and returning to prominence. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack is usually one of the ACC’s more solid yet unspectacular teams. They don’t get a lot of publicity but they always seem to get the job done and go bowling at season’s end. It is interesting to note that this is a neutral site game being played in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. I’m going with the talent & experienced leadership of UT QB Tyler Bray to pull this one out and cover the spread too.

 

Boise St.  at  Michigan St. (-7)

I had the Broncos just sneaking into my preseason Top 25’s last spot, but that is more a function of the media’s love affair with them combined with the relative ease of their schedule due to playing in the notably unnotable Mountain West. I don’t think former QB Kellen Moore will be easily replaced, which means there might be a bump or two in the road, especially early on. Meanwhile, over in Lansing, the Spartans are also faced with finding a new signal caller since former 3 year starter Kirk Cousins is now backing up Robert Griffin III with the Washington Redskins. That would seem to make this game a wash…and a very tough call. This is an opportunity for Boise St. to open lots of eyes and shut lots of mouths, because I know there are many naysayers like me who still aren’t quite convinced they belong at the big table with the adults. I am usually a sucker for the underdog, but I think that Spartan Stadium will be rockin’ and will give the guys in green the edge. Will they cover?? Good question. The vibes are telling me that this might be decided by a field goal, which means that I like Michigan St. to win, but I’ll take Boise St. & the points.

 

Northwestern (-1.5)  at  Syracuse

Will this game be fun to watch?? Probably not. I hate watching TV games broadcast from the Carrier Dome. I can’t explain it…it just doesn’t feel like a good football atmosphere. It has always seemed like kind of a boring place even when the Orange were a winning team. And since they have been horrible for most of the past decade and the outcome of most games seemed like a foregone conclusion it was even worse. When a lower tier Big 10 team is the opponent…well, that is an excellent recipe for either a lot of channel flipping or a fine afternoon nap. At any rate, I went out on a limb and put Syracuse in my pre-season Top 25 and said that they might win 8 or 9 games. Getting a win here would sure be a nice way to get off on the right foot, and I think they’ll do it. I’m going with the Orangemen to win this game outright.

 

Clemson (-3)  at Auburn

The last time we saw Clemson on a football field they were getting mauled in the Orange Bowl by my WVU Mountaineers 70-33. That kind of defeat will either haunt your dreams or piss you off…maybe both. I do really like junior QB Tahj Boyd and sophomore WR Sammy Watkins, but the question is can the defense stop anybody?? I put Auburn in my pre-season top 25 because it wasn’t that long ago that they were going undefeated & had a Heisman winning quarterback, and even when they “fell off” last year they still won 8 games. This boils down to 2nd tier ACC vs. 2nd tier SEC, and I think we all know where the smart money is in that battle. With this game being played at Jordan-Hare Stadium I have to give the edge to Auburn. I mean really…all they have to do is watch the Orange Bowl film.

 

Iowa (-9)  at  Northern Illinois

On paper a Big 10 vs. MAC matchup usually looks pretty lopsided, and most of the time it is. However, I really like this Northern Illinois team. Their games were rather fun to watch in 2011 and they have been a dominant force in their conference for several years. Iowa, on the other hand, is a hit & miss program. Maybe they’ll win 6 or 7 games and sneak into a forgettable bowl game, or maybe they’ll win 10 or 11 games and compete for the conference title and a spot in the Rose Bowl. They are never really bad, but they are rarely mentioned in the same conversation with elite Big 10 foes Michigan, Ohio St., Wisconsin, and Nebraska. It is interesting to me that this game is being played at Huskie Stadium, which just might be the tipping point. Those fans will know how important defeating a Big 10 opponent would be, and they’ll be ready. I am going to wuss out of picking an outright victory for the underdogs, but I’ll take Northern Illinois and the points.

 

Miami (-2) at  Boston College

Ahhh…a dreaded ACC matchup. The ACC is even more boring to watch than the Big East, the conference these two traitors ditched several years back. I don’t know about all the financial stuff, but on the surface that move has looked like a poor one for both teams, as they have both become lost in the shuffle and gotten far less love from the media than conference darlings Florida St., Georgia Tech, NC State, and Virginia Tech. I remember when Miami…or as I called them, Thug U…was one of the best teams in college football, with coaches like Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson, & Dennis Erickson, and alums who went on to be big NFL stars like Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, Michael Irvin, Jeremy Shockey, Reggie Wayne, Warren Sapp, Ed Reed, and Ray Lewis. They were in the national championship picture for most of the 80’s & 90’s and into the new millennium, but it’s been almost a decade since the Hurricanes were really that good. The Eagles are another hit & miss team. Sometimes they are mediocre, sometimes they can be very good. However, in 2011 they finished 4-8, the worst record for a BC football team since 1998. I don’t have a dog in this particular fight, so I’ll go with the home team and pick Boston College to win.

 

Michigan  at  Alabama (-14)

Last but certainly not least, right?? This is the crown jewel of the first week of the college football season. We all know that the Crimson Tide has been…I’m sorry, I can’t avoid it…on a roll, winning 12 or more games 3 out of the past 4 years and capturing two national championships. During that same time span the Wolverines were suffering thru the Fraudriguez Era, going 15-22 and not at all resembling the traditional powerhouse that had been built by Bo Schembechler and had produced dozens of conference titles, multiple Rose Bowl & other bowl victories, and a plethora of NFL talent such as Tom Brady, Tom Harmon, “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, Anthony Carter, Dan Dierdorf, Braylon Edwards, Larry Foote, Brian Griese, Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson, and Amani Toomer. In 2011 the powers-that-be restored order in Ann Arbor by canning Fraudriguez & hiring Brady Hoke as the new head coach, and the Wolverines went 11-2 and won the Sugar Bowl. There is no doubt that this will be a tough task for Michigan, especially since the game is being played at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Obviously the oddsmakers aren’t giving the ol’ Maize & Blue much of a chance to win. However, I think a 14 point spread is ridiculous. I would be stunned if ‘Bama actually won by that much. I give the Wolverines more than a decent shot to pull out a victory, but I certainly believe that that they will cover the points even if they lose.

 

 

 

 

Winning & Musing…..Volume 5.12

Spring has sprung and we’ve got all kinds of sports goodies in the treat bag!!

 

 

 

I’m glad I was hesitant to jump back on the Tiger Woods bandwagon. His performance at The Masters proved that his head still isn’t right and might be an indication that the old Tiger may never fully re-emerge. Galatians 6:7-10 says “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

 

Congratulations…I guess…to NCAA basketball National Champions the Kentucky Wildcats. Since their coronation had been all but a foregone conclusion most of the season the result was a bit anticlimactic. I suppose no one can blame the folks in Lexington for playing by the rules and taking advantage of the whole one-and-done scenario, but I long for the days when kids had to stick around a few years before jumping to the NBA and there was a lot more parity in the college game.

 

Is anyone really shocked that now former Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino once again has proven himself to be a dirtbag?? Those who are the least bit surprised are naïve. Kudos to the folks in Fayetteville for getting rid of Petrino because he is a dirtbag instead of keeping him because he wins football games.

 

Speaking of dirtbags…

I know the sports media loves new Miami Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen because he is colorful, quotable, entertaining, and controversial. I also know that the Marlins aren’t going to fire Guillen a week into the season. But how idiotic does the manager of a team in MIAMI have to be to say that he loves Fidel Castro?? It is mind boggling to ponder just how stupid that really is. And no matter how contrite Guillen tries to be there is simply no way that one can apologize their way out of a statement like that. He wasn’t misquoted and the declaration was not taken out of context. It’s a shame such a moronic turn of events overshadowed opening weekend and the christening of a brand new Marlins ballpark.

 

Most people would probably agree that the pro basketball lags far behind both the football & baseball in popularity (although still ahead of hockey), and though there are likely a lot of reasons for that I find one particularly disturbing. There are certainly superstar players in each sport, but it seems like only in the NBA can one or two players be of such importance that they dictate how a franchise operates. These elite players are put on such a pedestal that they actually hold the coach’s fate in their hands. We’ve seen two examples of this recently, with the NY Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony forcing coach Mike D’Antoni to resign and the still ongoing drama in Orlando where Dwight Howard seems intent on getting Magic coach Stan Van Gundy canned. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I thought the players were supposed to be subservient to the coach…not the other way around. I know it all comes down to money and the star player is making a whole heck of a lot more than the coach, who is viewed as easily expendable. And I also know that individual players being the main focus of the marketing machine rather than the team as a whole goes back atleast 30 years to the Larry Bird/Magic Johnson era. But I still find it regrettable that these spoiled millionaire crybabies wield such power, especially in cases like Anthony & Howard, who are way overrated in comparison to real legends like Michael Jordan, Dr. J, Bill Russell, and many more.

 

A genuine & hearty congratulations to new Masters champion Bubba Watson. I must admit that I was pulling for my man Phil Mickelson, but Watson seems like a sincerely decent Godly fellow and a good family man who has his priorities straight.

 

 

Saving College Football Part Deux

A quick look in the archives will show that awhile back I put forth a 10 point plan to save college football. Because of recent developments involving radical changes in conference membership now seems like the perfect time to dive back into the issue with a follow-up or two or three.

 

One of the things I proposed was indeed conference realignment. But what I had in mind was NOT what is happening now. What is occurring at the moment is complete chaos fueled simply by greed. I continue to be amazed that these conferences seem to be independent entities over which the NCAA has absolutely no control. I am just a fan and I will not pretend to have command of the ins & outs of the business of big time collegiate athletics. But it seems to me that it shouldn’t be all that complicated.

 

At any rate, what has dawned on me over the course of the past few weeks is that conference realignment is not enough. What I would do is abolish the conferences altogether. College football should be about tradition and rivalries, and an important driving force has always been geography. As a general rule your favorite team’s biggest rivals are likely somewhat close in proximity. Oklahoma-Texas, Pitt-West Virginia, Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan, Florida-Florida State-Miami, Oregon-Oregon State…all geographical rivals. USC-Notre Dame is a notable exception, but I defy anyone to come with a half dozen more. You can’t. There is a reason Washington St.-Maryland or Arkansas-UCLA aren’t rivalries…they are thousands of miles apart. Therefore, what I am proposing is that all current Division 1-A…or FBS or whatever they are calling them now…teams be placed into regions instead of conferences.

 

There would be ten regions, each with 10-13 teams. The ten regional winners would go into a 16 team playoff with and additional six at large teams, but more on that later. Since there is a lot of overlap in some areas of the country, most prominently the southeastern and western United States, there is an opportunity to take into consideration competitive balance in placing teams. For example, Ohio State and Akron may both be in the same state, but no one would argue that they are evenly matched programs. But since there are more than enough teams in the midwest for two overlapping regions this issue can be resolved pretty easily. Each team would play 11 games…7 within their region and 4 against whomever they wish. This accomplishes two things. First, it allows strength of scheduled to become an important factor and gives every team plenty of flexibility to take that into consideration when putting together schedules. Secondly, it allows traditional rivals an opportunity to keep playing. USC and Notre Dame may not be in the same region, but they can still play if the powers-that-be at those two schools deem it proper and feasible. The teams that did not play each other one year within any region would be required to play one another the next season. This would mix things up from year to year, which would certainly keep the game fresh for players, coaches, and fans.

 

As mentioned in the previous post on this topic, three teams…Army, Navy, and Air Force…would remain independent. In an effort to promote those programs every other school would be required to play atleast one of the independents every so many years. I will leave it to people far smarter than me to work out exact details, but you get the drift. So without further adieu, here are the ten regions:

 

Atlantic Coast

Clemson

Duke

East Carolina

Florida Atlantic

Florida International

Georgia

Georgia Tech

North Carolina

North Carolina St.

South Carolina

Wake Forest

 

Southeast

Alabama

Arkansas

Auburn

Central Florida

Florida

Florida St.

Louisiana St.

Miami, Fla.

Mississippi St.

Ole Miss.

South Florida

Tennessee

 

Midsouth

Kentucky

Louisville

Marshall

Memphis

Middle Tennessee St.

Troy

Tulsa

UAB

Vanderbilt

Virginia

Virginia Tech

Western Kentucky

 

Northeast

Boston College

Buffalo

Connecticut

Maryland

Penn St.

Pittsburgh

Rutgers

Syracuse

Temple

West Virginia

 

Gulf Coast

Arkansas State

Louisiana-Lafayette

Louisiana-Monroe

Louisiana Tech

North Texas

Rice

Southern Methodist

Southern Miss.

Texas Christian

Tulane

UTEP

 

Big Sky

Boise St.

Colorado

Colorado St.

Idaho

Kansas

Kansas St.

Minnesota

Nebraska

San Jose St.

Utah

Utah St.

Wyoming

 

Great Lakes

Akron

Ball St.

Bowling Green

Central Michigan

Cincinnati

Eastern Michigan

Kent St.

Miami, OH

Northern Illinois

Ohio U.

Toledo

Western Michigan

 

Midwest

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Iowa St.

Michigan

Michigan St.

Missouri

Northwestern

Notre Dame

Ohio St.

Purdue

Wisconsin

 

Pacific Coast

BYU

California

Hawaii

Nevada

Oregon

Oregon St.

Southern Cal

Stanford

UCLA

UNLV

Washington

Washington St.

 

Southwest

Arizona

Arizona State

Baylor

Fresno State

Houston

New Mexico

New Mexico St.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma St.

San Diego St.

Texas

Texas A&M

Texas Tech

Independent           = Army, Navy, Air Force

 

I am not foolish enough to think that there is a perfect solution, but I think the NCAA can do much better that the current fiasco that we see playing out in the sports pages and on ESPN. When the mood strikes me to next tackle this subject we will go into more detail about how the playoffs and the revised bowl system will work.