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Bowl season is upon on us and it is time to join your office pool. The only problem is you don’t watch college football (up until last week I would have said lots of you do … just on Sundays). Never fear, I helped my friend Harrell make $60 in the NCAA tournament pool in 8th grade and I can help you win your pool this year. Unfortunately for you, I will only be giving you my non-BCS bowl picks today so you will have to check in next Thursday for the BCS picks.
(However, all smart gamblers know that the money is made in the smaller obscure games that are not as scrutinized by Vegas)
Navy v. Wake Forest (-3) – December 20
Whenever the line is 3 or lower, Vegas has no idea who is going to win so they just make the more popular team with the public - the favorite. In this case, that team is Wake Forest because most people think the armed forces teams are still terrible. As a result, this game is easy to pick …
Pick: Navy +3
Colorado St. v. Fresno St. (-3) – December 20
This Fresno St. team is not your older brothers Fresno St. team. What does that mean? They are not nearly as good as they have been in the past. Teams (I mean schools) have lowered their academic standards so all the great athletes Fresno St. used to have that could not spell smrt (smart) are able to play at more national schools. More accurately, Dennis Erickson is back at a warm weather school so all the junior college drop outs are going to Arizona St. instead of Fresno St.
Pick: Colorado St. +3
Memphis v. South Florida (-12.5) – December 20
Whenever a team is 400x more athletic than their opponent and they are dedicating a game to a player that died on their team this year, you always take that team no matter how many points they are giving up.
Pick: South Florida -12.5
BYU v. Arizona (-3)
Again, Vegas has no idea what to do with this game so they make Arizona a 3 point favorite because mormons don’t gamble. Furthermore, there is one rule you should always remember – never bet on a team in a bowl game coached by a Stoops. (Hint: you will hear this statement again next week)
Pick: BYU +3
Southern Mississippi v. Troy (-4)
When most people think of Troy, they think of a city in a history book that had a smokin’ hot lady named Helen and a wooden horse. When college football fans think of Troy, they think of them running up the score on teams that have idea how to stop the spread offense.
Pick: Troy -4
Boise St. v. TCU (-2.5)
I would pick Boise St. to beat every team in the country expect for USC, Florida, Texas, OU and Alabama. So when they are getting 2.5 points against TCU, I say lock of the non-BCS bowls.
Pick: Boise St. +2.5
Notre Dame v. Hawaii (-1.5)
Hawaii doesn’t lose in Hawaii and this game is basically a pick’em.
Pick: Hawaii -1.5
Florida Atlantic v. Central Michigan (-7)
Close your eyes. Seriously, close your eyes. If I told you a team from Florida was playing a cold weather team in a dome and the team from Florida is 7 points underdogs, what would you say? Me, too.
Pick: Florida Atlantic +7
West Virginia v. UNC (Pick)
This game is the hardest to pick out of all the non-BCS bowls. On the one hand, you have a West Virginia team that has basically underachieved for the entire season but they are coming off a decent win against South Florida. On the other hand, you have one of the most inconsistent teams in the country that smoked Rutgers and lost to NC State at home. Unlike OU, West Virginia always seems to play well in bowl games.
Pick: West Virginia
Wisconsin v. Florida St. (-5)
Wisconsin should have lost to Cal Poly at home! Again, Wisconsin should have lost to Cal Poly at home!
Pick: Florida St. -5
Miami v. Cal (-7)
Bad News: Cal never beats good teams from other conferences away from home. Good News: they are playing a bad Miami team 10 minutes from campus.
Pick: Cal -7
N. Illinois v. Louisiana Tech (-2)
If in doubt, take the team from the south (and it rhythms)
Pick: Louisiana Tech -2
NC State v. Rutgers (-7)
Beating Louisville by 700 points doesn’t mean you are good. It just means you are mad that they cost you a chance to embarrass yourselves on in a BCS bowl last year. Also, NC State beat UNC at UNC while Rutgers lost by 32 to UNC at home. This pick is easy.
Pick: NC State +7
Northwestern v. Mizzou (-13)
It has to be tough to be a Mizzou fan right about now. Can you imagine having to travel to Kansas City for two straight weekends to watch your team get beat? I would be angry even if my team had won! Northwestern rarely plays well away from home and they are catching a very motivated Mizzou team.
Pick: Mizzou +13
Maryland v. Nevada (-1)
Nevada? Favored? No.
Pick: Maryland +1
W. Michigan v. Rice (-3)
Rice has the greatest scoring duo in the history of college football and the over/under is 72 points which means neither team plays much defense. I will take the top scoring duo in a shootout.
Pick: Rice -3
Oregon v. Oklahoma St. (-3.5)
Oregon played one good game all season and it was two weeks ago. They have been out classed in almost every other tough game. Oklahoma St. lost to Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Texas. They only lose to good teams and they blow everybody else out. Oregon is not a good team.
Pick: Oklahoma St. -3.5
Air Force v. Houston (-2.5)
Do you have the guts to bet against Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl? Either do I.
Pick: Air Force +2.5
Pittsburgh v. Oregon St. (-3)
I have felt like Oregon St. has been skating on thin ice all year and the ice finally broke in the Civil War game. I don’t think they recover against a very good Pittsburgh team that is still trying to recover from their opening weekend loss to Bowling Green
Pick: Pittsburgh +3
Vanderbilt v. Boston College (-4)
Vanderbilt in a bowl game!? See Indiana v. Oklahoma St. for an indication of what happens to teams when their goal is just to make the post season.
Pick: Boston College -4
Minnesota v. Kansas (-10.5)
Vanderbilt = Minnesota = Indiana in 2007
Pick: Kansas -10.5
LSU v. Georgia Tech (-4)
Georgia Tech is well coached and they are playing this game at home. Not even Les Miles can convince his team that this is a big game.
Pick: Georgia Tech -4
South Carolina v. Iowa (-3.5)
Never, ever take a Big Ten school that is favored over an SEC school. It just doesn’t make sense.
Pick: South Carolina +3.5
Nebraska v. Clemson (-3)
Very similar to the Niners, the Clemson Tigers just needed to fire their terrible head coach to start playing well. Nebraska is still a work in progress but they are making progress. Normally, I would take Nebraska in this game but I think Clemson is just too athletic.
Pick: Clemson -3
Michigan State v. Georgia (-7.5)
The Citrus bowl is always worth watching because the SEC does not dominate the game as much as people think. (See Michigan against Florida last year). I think Michigan St. shocks Georgia.
Pick: Michigan St. +7.5
Ole Miss v. Texas Tech (-5.5)
Are Michael Crabtree and Graham Harrell sitting this one out!? How can a former number one team who only lost to Oklahoma be favored by only 5.5!? Lock number 2 of the non-BCS bowls.
Pick: Texas Tech -5.5
Buffalo v. UCONN (-4)
Buffalo avenges the loss by the basketball team and beats UCONN.
Pick: Buffalo +4
Tulsa v. Ball St. (-2.5)
How do you spell overrated? B-A-L-L-S-T-A-T-E
There are your picks for the non-BCS bowl games. Remember, my commission is 10%