Although I do have something to play for, these last couple weeks will have a hollow feel to them. Simply hoping to finish above .500 is the equivalent of Miami (FL) going all out this week to secure a bowl bid. I’m sure the Miami players couldn’t care less about playing in the Burger King Bowl or wherever they’ll end up if they beat BC this week. Likewise, I have no interest in trying to put a good face on finishing a couple games over .500. This season has been a disappointment. I don’t think there is any doubt that parity ruled in college football this season. That certainly is not a good development for gamblers. However, it is a fantastic development for schools like Wake Forest, Arizona, Missouri, Kentucky, and Oregon State among others. There will be a lot of unfamiliar names participating in the 2006 Bowl Season.
Season record to date: 88-85-6
(Home team in CAPS; My picks in Bold)
Boston College -4 MIAMI (FL)
I’ve been going with the “Miami still has sweet athletes to keep the games close” reasoning for the latter part of the season. That has gotten me nothing. So, I’ll try going against Miami. BC is a good team. My only concern is that Miami has a chance to make a bowl game if it wins. I can’t imagine the motivation to just “make any bowl game” is too high right now.
Ohio -4 MIAMI (OH)
I love seeing banished coaches pop up someplace obscure only to have success. You can file Frank Solich’s name under that category. Ohio has been the best team in the MAC this season. Miami (OH) is just uncharacteristically bad this year. But consider that Miami has lost games by 2, 3, 3, and 3 points this season. It hasn’t exactly been uncompetitive.
TEXAS -13 Texas A&M
Texas A&M has lost by 4, 1, and 1 this season. The Aggies are six points from entering the Texas game undefeated. Records aside, Texas should roll in this game.
ARKANSAS PK Lsu
I’ll take Arkansas straight up playing at home. This game should be close though.
Air Force -10 UNLV
Air Force has disappointed after narrowly losing at Tennessee to start the season. UNLV isn’t a good team though so I’ll go with AF putting up a lot of points.
MARYLAND -1 Wake Forest
I have to give credit to Ralph Friedgen for having the Terrapins ready to play this year. But, I think Wake is the better team.
Oklahoma -5 OKLAHOMA STATE
For some inexplicable reason, Oklahoma gets zero respect from the odds-makers. I’ve made a killing off of Sooners games lately considering they are almost always favored by too little. This week is no different. The Sooners are 7-2 in their last nine games ATS (against the spread). I’m sticking with the hot hand.
New Mexico State -6 UTAH STATE
One thing I’ve been certain about all season is that Utah State is really bad. New Mexico State is just bad. The difference between really bad and bad should be at least six points.
Florida -10 FLORIDA STATE
FSU lost to Wake Forest 30-0. That might be the score of the year.
Brigham Young -11 UTAH
BYU has been killing teams too a la Oklahoma. BYU is 9-1-1 ATS this season. That has to be some sort of record. The Cougars should roll.
Cincinnati -4 CONNECTICUT
Only the Big East can have a team destroy the conference’s top team and then have that same team as mere four point favorites over Connecticut. I’ll take Cincinnati to not have a bad hangover from last week’s mauling of Rutgers.
Louisville -12 PITTSBURGH
If anyone has any doubts as to the merits of Pitt’s defense, re-watch the Backyard Brawl.
CLEMSON -5 South Carolina
Clemson kills bad teams and plays in tight games against any team with a pulse (with the exception of Ga. Tech). South Carolina has a pulse.
USC -7.5 Notre Dame
I love it how nobody remembers USC’s near losses to Arizona State, Washington State, and Washington. There is no question that USC is a good team but I would bet a substantial amount of money that Michigan would have its way with USC.
Boise State -3 NEVADA
Boise State has one more hurdle to finish undefeated and earn a bid to a BCS game. Winning at Nevada will be no small feat but I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen.
HAWAII -16 Purdue
When Hawaii is favored by 16 over Purdue, you know the Big Ten isn’t very deep. I just think a mid-tier Big Ten team should be able to hang within 16 points of Hawaii.