Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cram Session - Week 14

Thursday, December 1

Philadelphia (4-7) at Seattle (4-7), Philadelphia favored by 3

Well I feel foolish for picking the Eagles to make the Super Bowl. Philadelphia surprised everyone by beating the Giants and then were leading the Patriots 10-0. Thoughts of perhaps resurrecting their season had to be returning. But then Tom Brady took over the game and the Patriots destroyed Philadelphia. The Eagles are now just playing out the string, while Andy Reid might be coaching to save his job. Vince Young will make his third straight start as Michael Vick misses yet another game. They probably should just shut Vick down for the season, its not like it really matters or anything. The Eagles will also be without Jeremy Maclin, Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie, and possibly LeSean McCoy. Most teams would be hurt by their best player being out, but Reid doesn't understand that McCoy is his best player so he probably won't notice. The Seahawks couldn't beat the sorry Redskins at home, which is the only reason I think the Eagles win this snorefest.

Prediction: Philadelphia 23, Seattle 19

Top 10 - Friday, December 2

Pac-12 Championship Game: UCLA (6-6, 5-4) at #9 Oregon (10-2, 8-1)

What an exciting start to a new era of conference championships in the Pac-12! I know sarcasm doesn't always come through on the Internet, so yes, I am being sarcastic. Due to NCAA sanctions against USC, the second place team from the Pac-12 South, UCLA get's to play for the Pac-12 championship. Even better, when they lose and drop to 6-7, they have been granted a waiver that will allow them to play in a bowl game despite having a losing record. The Bruins might be motivated to play for outgoing coach Rick Neuheisel but any motivation they had playing for him when he was the coach obviously wasn't enough, so why would it be any different now? This one will get ugly in a hurry, but I do think the Bruins will at least put up some points, unlike their embarrassing 50-0 loss to USC last weekend. The Ducks had national title aspirations to start the season but a Rose Bowl trip isn't bad consolation.

Prediction: Oregon 45, UCLA 17

Saturday, December 3

SEC Championship Game: #1 LSU (12-0, 8-0) vs. #14 Georgia (10-2, 7-1) in Atlanta, Georgia

LSU is in the rare position where even if they lose this game they likely will play for the national title. I am not on the playoff train like a lot of people are but if the BCS ends up pitting LSU and Alabama, with neither having won their conference title, that is something that will make me go hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Thankfully, odds of that happening are slim as only one team has given the Tigers fits this year, and they won't be playing them until January. Georgia is hot, winners of 10 straight but they also feasted on an easier schedule that allowed them to avoid LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas. The Tigers will be tested on defense as they try to contain Bulldogs QB Aaron Murray and RB Isaiah Crowell. They have passed every test they have faced thus far and I expect Saturday to be no different. They will keep winning with the formula of lots of defense, just enough offense, and the Honey Badger Tyrann Mathieu, taking over the game.

Prediction: LSU 28, Georgia 14

#10 Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2) at #3 Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1)

The Big 12 lost its championship game when the conference shrunk to 10 but ended up with one to close the season as the Sooners travel to Stillwater for Bedlam. The winner of this game wins the Big 12 and heads to a BCS bowl. The Cowboys have a slight chance at reaching the BCS Championship if they can beat the Sooners impressively. This game is a toss up as both teams have high powered offenses and shaky defenses. The Sooners have owned the series in recent history but this is the year I think the Cowboys change the tide. I got burned on this last week when I picked Virginia over the Hokies using the law of averages rule. But I think this game is different. The Sooners have not shown the ability to slow down high powered offenses, so I expect Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon to have big games. The key for the Cowboys will be avoiding the turnovers that plagued them in the loss to Iowa State. The Sooners will miss Ryan Broyles in this game, with his absence being felt on the last drive of the game when Landry Jones will fail to lead the comeback.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 35, Oklahoma 34

ACC Championship Game: #5 Virginia Tech (11-1, 7-1) vs. #20 Clemson (9-3, 6-2) in Charlotte, North Carolina

Hokie graduate Eileen Jarvis doesn't want me to do this, but I think the Hokies will win another ACC championship this weekend. I picked Tech to lose to both Georgia Tech and Virginia and we all know how those turned out. She is worried that with me picking Tech this weekend, it will cause them to be upset by Clemson. The Tigers throttled Virginia Tech in their first meeting but both teams have taken vastly different directions since then. The Hokies have been unbeaten, while Clemson is on a two game losing streak, and were routed in each loss. Each team has their share of star position players, with Tech led by QB Logan Thomas and ACC Player of the Year, RB David Wilson. Clemson has QB Tajh Boyd, RB Andre Ellington, and WR Sammy Watkins. However, in this game it will be the Hokies defense that carries the day. They feel very slighted after not having a single defensive player named to first team all ACC. I expect them to force Clemson into multiple turnovers and Wilson to have a huge game running the ball.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 27, Clemson 20

Conference USA Championship Game: #24 Southern Mississippi (10-2, 6-2) at #6 Houston (12-0, 8-0)

I thought the Cougars were primed to be upset going on the road to Tulsa last weekend. For the first half it looked like I might be right, but then Case Keenum went off like he always does and the Cougars cruised. Now they try to win the Conference USA Championship and in all likelihood earn a shot to prove they can compete with the best in a BCS bowl. If Brett Favre were able to come back and quarterback Southern Miss I might be tempted to pick them, but alas, he used up his eligibility.

Prediction: Houston 37, Southern Mississippi 24

New Mexico (1-10, 1-5) at #7 Boise State (10-1, 5-1)

New Mexico sucks, Boise State is good, Boise cruises to victory, fin.

Prediction: Boise State 55, New Mexico 13

Last Week: 7-2
Overall: 111-18

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