2012 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 13

Why is it that baseball, which I like but not THAT much, and basketball, which is okay but not really special, both have seasons that seem to drag on for eons, while football, which I adore, is seemingly over in the blink of an eye?? Don’t worry fellow fans…we haven’t reached the end of the road just yet, but on the collegiate level the conference title games are here and potential bowl matchups are already being pondered. In the NFL crunch time is fast approaching, with some teams already facing must win scenarios to remain in the playoff conversation. Here at The Manofesto your humble Potentate of Profundity has had two straight 4-3 weeks, which brings my overall record up to 36-53-1. I’d have to have a stunningly strong finish to get to .500, but one never knows, right?? I think we’ll go with a strictly college lineup this week since it’s the last hurrah for them and we’re going to be restricted to just the NFL going forward.

 

 

 

 

Louisville            at      Rutgers (-3)

The Big East doesn’t have a title game. Hell, they barely have a conference. At any rate, this game will serve as a de facto championship contest, as the winner will get the automatic BCS berth, likely to face the ACC champion in The Orange Bowl. Just for kicks…and because I picked them to finish 20th in my pre-season Top 25…I’ll pick the upset here and go with Louisville.

 

 

Boise St. (-8.5)  at      Nevada

Ahhh…Boise St…remember them?? After being “BCS Busters” the past few years they have largely been forgotten about in 2012 despite having a stellar 9-2 record. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack have compiled a solid yet unimpressive 7-4 season. I don’t think this’ll be much of a game, and it will certainly get lost in the shuffle amidst all the conference championship games on the schedule. The good news for both of these teams is that they will be going bowling…Nevada has already accepted a bid to the December 15th New Mexico Bowl, while the Broncos might be heading to Vegas a week later. As for this game, Boise is the pick.

 

 

Central Florida  at      Tulsa

This contest is all even according to the folks in Vegas, and it is the Conference USA championship game, which means it is slightly less important than the Big East game and in a tight race with explosive diarrhea & anything starring a Wayans brother on the interest scale. That being said, I did pick the 9-3 Knights to finish 16th in my pre-season poll, so I suppose I shall stick with that and pick Central Florida to get the win.

 

 

UCLA        at      Stanford (-9)

Didn’t these two teams just play each other?? Yes…yes they did. Stanford smoked the Bruins 35-17 just a few days ago in Pasadena, and now this game will determine who will get to return to Pasadena in January to represent the Pac 12 in The Rose Bowl. This time the two combatants meet on Stanford’s home turf in Palo Alto. Of course it isn’t as if Bruin fans can’t take a short plane ride to see the game, although the 400 mile jaunt may be a bit of a trek in a car. Anyway, I see no reason to believe that the result will be any different this time, especially with a trip to the beloved Granddaddy of All Bowl Games on the line. Stanford should win by a comfortable margin.

 

 

Alabama (-7.5)   vs.    Georgia

Not only is this the vaunted SEC title game, but the victor is assured a spot in the national championship to face Notre Dame. Of course every football fan in the country, and especially all the media types & TV suits at ESPN are already having nocturnal emissions in anticipation of a ‘Bama-ND matchup, but the Tide must get by the Bulldogs first. I must admit that I left the Bulldogs out of my pre-season poll because I figured that someone in the SEC would have to get squeezed out. I incorrectly chose Tennessee & Arkansas to have good seasons, which of course they did not. Instead it is Georgia who stands in the way of the greatest game in the history of any sport with a ball (if you believe the talking heads). Interestingly enough this is…technically…a neutral site game being played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. I have a feeling this could end up being a really fun contest. I will stop short of picking an outright upset, but I do sincerely believe that if Alabama wins it will not be by more than a touchdown, so Georgia is the pick.

 

 

Texas        at      Kansas St. (-10.5)

The Wildcats were in line to play for the national title until inexplicably stumbling against a very average Baylor club a couple of weeks ago. They can still make it to the BCS (likely the Fiesta Bowl) with a win here, but the 8-3 Longhorns will have a lot to say about that. Also at stake is K-State QB Collin Klein’s last chance to impress Heisman voters. There’s been a big push in the last few weeks for Texas A&M signal caller Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, but Klein could get the nod with a strong performance in this game. The Longhorns might get a bid to the Cotton Bowl with a win. Regardless of who ultimately comes out on top I don’t think it’ll be a double digit victory, so Texas is the pick.

 

 

Wisconsin                   vs.    Nebraska (-2.5)

This is the Big Ten championship game and will be played on a neutral field at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis. The Badgers are 7-5 and actually finished 3rd in their division, but because no one at their school molested little boys or traded merchandise for tattoos & lied about it they get the opportunity to play for the title and represent the conference in The Rose Bowl. These two teams played one another at the end of September in Lincoln, with the Cornhuskers eeking out a 3 point win. The Badgers come into the contest limping a bit, having lost their last two games to Tattoo U. & Pedophile St. There is no logical reason in the world to pick Wisconsin, and for once I will actually go with the prevailing logic and pick Nebraska.

 

 

 

 

2010-11 College Football Bowl Prognostications

College football bowl season has arrived and it is a fascinating dichotomy. On one hand there are far too many bowl games, the season drags on way too long, and rewarding average teams for their mediocrity is just silly. On the other hand, it provides us with about three weeks of nearly non-stop football, and that cannot be considered a bad thing. I must warn my dear readers not to bet any money based on these picks, not only because The Manofesto doesn’t condone gambling but because my choices last year were so bad that I have blocked the atrocity of the final numbers from my brain. Nevertheless, the time has come to get back on the horse and give it another whirl. Enjoy.



New Mexico Bowl

BYU vs. UTEP

12/18…2pm…ESPN

Two 6-6 teams meet in a bowl named after a place…a double whammy of awful. I’ll take BYU in a laugher.


Humanitarian Bowl

Northern Illinois vs. Fresno St.

12/18…5:30 pm…ESPN

Northern Illinois won 10 games this season, but when you’re in the MAC that doesn’t mean much more than ending up in a lower tier bowl in Boise, Idaho. On top of that the Huskies are in the midst of a coaching change after their head man bolted for Minnesota. Fresno St. is always fun to watch and I give them the slight edge in what should be a high scoring affair decided by less than a touchdown.


New Orleans Bowl

Ohio vs. Troy

12/18…9pm…ESPN

The question I have is will anyone be watching this game?? I’ll take the Bobcats in a snoozefest.


St. Petersburg Bowl

Southern Miss. vs. Louisville

12/21…8pm…ESPN

Louisville uses the current inane rules to squeak into the postseason at 6-6, which theoretically would make them an underdog to the 8-4 Golden Eagles, but I’m not buying it. I like Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong, who I believe will get his team back to its winning ways sooner rather than later. This contest may serve as a springboard. Louisville wins easily.


Las Vegas Bowl

Utah vs. Boise St.

12/22…8pm…ESPN

The most disappointed team in America has to be Boise St., who fell just a 3 point OT loss to Nevada short of being undefeated. It is unlikely that the Broncos would have been playing for the national title anyway, but they almost certainly would have had a date with one of the big boys in a BCS bowl had they achieved perfection. Utah ain’t no slouch either. The Utes won 10 games and will be moving to The Pac 10 next season. I’m looking forward to this game and believe it will be really entertaining. Most pundits will undoubtedly favor Boise St., thinking that they will be angry about falling short of their goal and take that frustration out on their opponents. That may very well be the case. But it is also quite possible that disappointment will outweigh anger and open up the door for an upset. I have a vibe that the latter will be the case, so I’m picking Utah.


Poinsettia Bowl

Navy vs. San Diego St.

12/23…8pm…ESPN

A bowl named after the quintessential Christmas flower and played on Christmas Eve Eve. I can dig that. It is pretty much a home game for the Aztecs, but I’m picking the Midshipmen.


Hawaii Bowl

Hawaii vs. Tulsa

12/24 …8pm…ESPN

This is another game where one of the participants is playing a home game, which sort of defeats the purpose of a bowl game in my opinion. This time I will take the home team, as I feel like Hawaii is a better team who is more battle tested.


Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl

Florida International vs. Toledo

12/26…8:30pm…ESPN

Formerly known as the Motor City Bowl, this is the game that rewards two teams’ success with a trip to Detroit in December. Florida International is another 6-6 team that probably shouldn’t be playing a postseason game. Why should they be playing while 8-4 Temple stays home for the holidays?? Anyway, most fans will probably be watching the Philly/Minnesota NFL game on the night after Christmas and skip this yawner, which I think will be won by Toledo.


Independence Bowl

Air Force vs. Georgia Tech

12/27…5pm…ESPN2

Again I ask…6-6 Georgia Tech goes bowling while Temple’s Owls watch on TV?? It’s just not right. I’ll take Air Force in a competitive game.


Champs Sports Bowl

West Virginia vs. NC State

12/28…6:30pm…ESPN

WVU is one of my favorite teams, so I won’t pick against them. However, from as objective a point of view as I can muster the Mountaineers should win with good defense.


Insight Bowl

Missouri vs. Iowa

12/28…10pm…ESPN

Iowa looked to be in the BCS hunt early on but took quite a tumble at the end of the season, losing their final three games. Missouri is always better than people think they are. I love a west coast late night bowl game, although I’ll miss the later half of this one since it’s a work night. That’s unfortunate, because I think it’ll be quite a good game that the Hawkeyes win late in the 4th quarter.


Military Bowl

East Carolina vs. Maryland

12/29…2:30pm…ESPN

Formerly known as the EagleBank Bowl and played in Washington DC, so this is almost a home game for the Terrapins. I have a certain level of affection for East Carolina and hope they end up in The Big East someday, but this year they’re just another undeserving 6-6 team. Still, I think this will be a more than decent contest. I suppose I’ll take Maryland in a coin flip.


Texas Bowl

Illinois vs. Baylor

12/29…6pm…ESPN

I don’t have an issue with Texas. My best friend lives there and likes it just fine. But bowls should not be named after places. It’s just so damn pretentious, pedestrian, and uncreative. Despite Illinois being yet another annoying 6-6 bowl participant and this game being close enough to a home game for Baylor I will pick the Illini for the win.


Alamo Bowl

Oklahoma St. vs. Arizona

12/29…9:15pm…ESPN

Oklahoma St. hung 65 points on an opponent twice this season, and scored in the 40-55 point range in most of their other games. Mountaineer fans are excited that the Cowboys offensive coordinator is heading east to run West Virginia’s underachieving offense next year and take over as head coach in 2012. Meanwhile, Arizona limped to a 7-5 finish by losing their final four games. This late night contest is also on a work night for me, so I am bummed to be missing the 2nd half of what will probably be a high scoring shootout. I am going to place the over/under at about 75 and take the over, with Oklahoma St. prevailing.


Armed Forces Bowl

Army vs. SMU

12/30…Noon…ESPN

It’s nice to see the once dead Mustangs program back and successful. Unfortunately I think their second straight postseason appearance will end like the first…with a loss.


Pinstripe Bowl

Kansas St. vs. Syracuse

12/30…3:20pm…ESPN

Big East fans know the ‘Cuse is back. Maybe not all the way back, but definitely on the cusp. Yankee Stadium may not be the sun bathed paradise most players and fans desire for a bowl game, but it’s atleast cooler than Detroit or Idaho. I’ll take a the Orangemen in a low scoring affair.


Music City Bowl

North Carolina vs. Tennessee

12/30…6:40pm…ESPN

UNC had much higher expectations coming into 2010, and the Volunteers have seemingly been spinning their wheels for several years. This game could be used as a launch pad for future success, and since I suspect that these teams cover a lot of the same recruiting territory I am sure it is being taken seriously. Tennessee is riding a four game winning streak and seems to have the momentum, so that’s the pick.


Holiday Bowl

Nebraska vs. Washington

12/30…10pm…ESPN

This, thankfully, is a late night game I will be able to watch since I am off that night. It is also a rare bowl rematch of two teams that met in the regular season, a game which the Cornhuskers dominated. Washington QB Jake Locker will be a top 10 NFL draft choice this spring, yet his Huskies could only muster a 6-6 record. Meanwhile, Nebraska, one of college football’s historically elite programs, is a ten game winner and only a narrow loss to Oklahoma in The Big 12 (or however many teams they have) championship game kept them out of the BCS mix. They’ll head to The Big 10 (or however many teams they have) next season and I think they’ll do so on the heels of an impressive victory.


Meineke Bowl

South Florida vs. Clemson

12/31…Noon…ESPN

Beating the ACC whenever the opportunity arises is a big deal for The Big East. The latter is constantly maligned for being a weak conference undeserving of a seat at the big table, while the ACC is given a pass even though it isn’t any more impressive, just bigger. Both teams have been inconsistent and unpredictable this season, so that makes this game difficult to get a handle on. I’ll take the Bulls in a squeaker.


Sun Bowl

Notre Dame vs. Miami

12/31…2pm…CBS

This would be an awesome matchup…if it were 1988. Unfortunately for these teams Lou Holtz and Jimmy Johnson aren’t walking through the door. Neither is Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon, or I guess I should say former head coach. Shannon was fired a few weeks ago despite the program seeming to be on the doorstep of reclaiming its former glory. I guess the powers-that-be don’t really care that his players were graduating and the team’s thugnacious reputation has improved. Maybe the folks in charge at “The U” prefer their players to be members of Future Inmates of America. The Irish, meanwhile, improved from 6-6 in 2009 under former coach Charlie Weis to 7-5 under new coach Brian Kelly. Big leap, huh?? Anyway, I detest both these teams and wish they’d both lose, but someone’s got to win. Because of the upheaval a coaching change brings I cannot in good conscience pick Miami, so I will reluctantly take Notre Dame. I have to go throw up now.


Liberty Bowl

Georgia vs. Central Florida

12/31…3:30pm…ESPN

This season was a huge disappointment for the 6-6 Georgia Bulldogs. Conversely it was a great 10 win, Conference USA winning season for the UCF Knights. UCF is 0-3 in bowl games since moving up to Division 1-A in 1996. I say that losing streak ends here as the Knights surprise the Bulldogs.


Chick-fil-A Bowl

South Carolina vs. Florida St.

12/31…7:30pm…ESPN

This is the poster child for how far into the abyss college football has fallen. Formerly known…for four decades…as the Peach Bowl, it became corporately sponsored and then eventually the sponsor just decided to screw tradition and name the game after the company. I detest such idiocy. However, it is still a good football game and the 2010 contest should be a dandy. Because Steve Spurrier is a better, more experienced coach at this point than Jimbo Fisher I have to give the nod to the Gamecocks.


TicketCity Bowl

Northwestern vs. Texas Tech

New Year’s Day…Noon…ESPNU

Nothing speaks of the relative importance of a game than the fact that it can be viewed on ESPNU. I guess Versus couldn’t come up with the cash. I mean really…this is a New Year’s Day game. CBS, ABC, and Fox all have only one bowl game this season, and NBC has none. It’s just so different from the way things were not all that long ago, and I am not sure ESPN’s dominance is such a positive thing. Also, this game is being played in the old Cotton Bowl stadium but is NOT the Cotton Bowl or a replacement for it. It’s just another new bowl game, as if there weren’t enough already. At any rate, a matchup of two 7-5 teams doesn’t look all that appetizing on paper, but I think this may turn out to be a more than decent game, with Northwestern winning in front of a hostile crowd.


Outback Bowl

Florida vs. Penn State

New Year’s Day…1pm…ABC

Yes ladies & gentlemen, Joe Paterno is still coaching at Penn St. Now whether or not he is still alive is debatable. I think it is quite possible that the folks in Happy Valley have been pulling off some sort of Weekend at Bernie’s thing with the corpse of JoePa since the mid-90’s. One thing is for sure though…the Nittany Lions just keep on winning. They haven’t been in the national title mix for a few years, but they had won atleast 9 games for five straight seasons until this year’s 7-5 finish. This will be the swan song…for now…for outgoing Gators coach Urban Meyer, a middle aged, metrosexual, angst-ridden Dick Vermeil wannabe. If there is any justice Paterno’s boys will unload heretofore unseen offensive firepower on their opponents and show that sticking around is almost always better than slinking away like a pansy-ass milquetoast.


Capital One Bowl

Alabama vs. Michigan State

New Year’s Day…1pm…ESPN

This may be the best game on the postseason schedule other than the championship. Both teams were in the thick of the title hunt, with the Spartans falling just short of being undefeated by way of a loss to Iowa. I bet they are really kicking themselves for that loss now since the Hawkeyes proved to be vastly overrated. I’m not really sure what happened to the Crimson Tide, as they came into this season as defending national champions with 8 returning starters on offense, including the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, RB Mark Ingram. Losses to Auburn, LSU, and South Carolina derailed the opportunity for a repeat. I have high expectations that this one will be a heavyweight fight and highly entertaining, and in a flip of the coin I’ll take Michigan State for the victory.


Gator Bowl

Mississippi St. vs. Michigan

New Year’s Day…1:30pm…ESPN2

What has happened to the Gator Bowl?? It used to be a 2nd tier New Year’s Day game, but even though it is still being played on January 1st I’m not sure it deserves the respect of being considered 2nd tier. How does a 7-5 Michigan team…with “impressive” victories over UMass, Bowling Green, and Indiana…get an opportunity to play in January and get the big pay day?? It is mind boggling. I am unabashedly rooting for the Bulldogs and I hope they hang 60 points on that dirtbag Fraudriguez.


Rose Bowl

Wisconsin vs. TCU

New Year’s Day…5pm…ESPN

They call it The Grandaddy, and this year the Rose Bowl lives up to the hype. TCU gets the opportunity to prove they belong on the big stage against a legitimate opponent, but unfortunately I think they will have to do that by means of a moral victory. Wisconsin wins, but if it is a fun, competitive, close game then TCU still gets the respect of fans and talking heads alike. If the game is a blowout then the Horned Frogs will have to wait until they join The Big East to get back their mojo.


Fiesta Bowl

Connecticut vs. Oklahoma `

New Year’s Day…8:30pm…ESPN

Oklahoma vs. a Big East team in the Fiesta Bowl. That brings back memories. Can the Huskies shock the Sooners ala the Mountaineers in 2008 (not to mention Boise St. upsetting Oklahoma as well in the 2007 game)?? I would very much like to think it is possible, but on an intellectual level I just can’t pull the trigger on such a pick. The Sooners win, but it will be more of a battle than most expect.


Orange Bowl

Stanford vs. Virginia Tech

1/3…8:30pm…ESPN

Stanford proves that a successful athletic program and high academic standards can go hand-in-hand. This will probably be the last collegiate game for Cardinal QB Andrew Luck, who is likely to enter the NFL Draft and become a first round pick, and I think he’ll go out a winner.


Sugar Bowl

Ohio State vs. Arkansas

1/4…8:30pm…ESPN

The Buckeyes were #1 until a mid-season misstep against Wisconsin. The Razorbacks are another team with a highly regarded quarterback, Ryan Mallett, who will be playing on Sundays next fall. Look for a great game decided by turnovers and special teams, with Arkansas prevailing.


GoDaddy.com Bowl

Middle Tennessee vs. Miami, OH

1/6…8pm…ESPN

This is where things go awry and begin to get silly. First of all, I hate the name GoDaddy.com. I think it’s a website building/domain name company, but I’m not sure. What I do know is that they use sex to sell their product. Don’t misunderstand…I am a red blooded American male and certainly no prude. I just think their advertising is cheap, unimaginative, and unnecessary. Secondly, this game is being played on January 6. Not only has the college football season begun to drag on far too long past what used to be a New Year’s Day finish, but now we are getting crappy games featuring lower level teams playing way too deep into the new year. It is unappealing and unacceptable. But it is still football so fans, including me, will watch. Miami’s coach just got hired for the same gig at Pitt, so that might be the deciding factor in Middle Tennessee’s second consecutive bowl win.


Cotton Bowl

LSU vs. Texas A&M

1/7…8pm…FOX

Isn’t Dallas, TX special?? We already looked at the game being played in the old Cotton Bowl stadium, but this is the traditional Cotton Bowl game. It used to be an important New Year’s Day game for over a half century, but for some reason it has seemingly lost a degree of importance. This go round the game has been moved to the Dallas Cowboys’ shiny new billion dollar mega-stadium, and the matchup itself is interesting. LSU’s games are rarely boring, and somehow they usually find a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, except for losses to #1 Auburn and Arkansas. I’ll pick the Tigers to pull out one more heart stopping win.


Compass Bowl

Pitt vs. Kentucky `

1/8…Noon…ESPN

If the NCAA had any sense of humor this game would feature two directional schools. Kentucky, at 6-6, has no business doing anything in January except returning Christmas gifts. Pitt is nominally better at 7-5, but they are another team who just fired their coach so they’ll have an interim guy leading the charge until the new coach takes over. I’m going to take the upset here with the Wildcats winning a low scoring, prosaic affair.


Fight Hunger Bowl

Nevada vs. Boston College

1/9…9pm…ESPN

This is the old Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, a game Boston College has played in often enough that California charges the team property taxes. Nevada got everyone’s attention by taking down Boise State, and I think they’ll keep it by winning big.


National Championship Game

Oregon vs. Auburn

January 10, 2011 – ESPN

Finally, the big one. I am not a fan of the BCS and have always advocated a playoff, but I will admit that more often than not the system works the way it is meant to when it comes to the championship game. This game is a great example, as most fans will agree Auburn and Oregon are undoubtedly the best two teams in the country. I am not convinced that Auburn QB and Heisman winner Cam Newton didn’t know anything about his father’s nefarious activities involving trying to get money for his kid to play ball, but the NCAA cleared the young man and Auburn has never been implicated at all anyway, so I will just let that mess go. On the field this has the potential to be an instant classic, and I am looking forward to an exciting, fast paced, high scoring game. Newton receiving most of the attention…both good and bad…might be a huge positive for the Ducks, and wouldn’t it be ironic if a game in which everyone is trumpeting full throttle offense is decided by a few key defensive plays?? After much thought and consideration I am picking Oregon to win the title in a 34-27 type of contest.