Or as the Big XII calls it: Saturday. That’s right, everyone, we have seen the last full Saturday of the 2015 season come and go. It’s been a great season, and, though we’re not done yet, I am a little sad. On the bright side, I will be focusing my efforts on college basketball as soon as the bowls are over. It works out well as its about the time conference play starts. That said, I am doing a bowl pick’em this year. Entry fee is $26 ($1 pays the site I’m using). Picks are against the spread and the totals (over/under will be used to break any ties). If you are interested in playing, shoot me an email: gavin[at]benchpointsblog.com.
Alright, enough tidying up! Let’s bet the board.
Alabama -17.5 vs Florida
My heart will, of course, be pulling for the most chaos-inducing upset of the year, but my brain–and wallet–are all-in on a Tide cover here. Here’s the problem, Florida cannot score. They couldn’t score on FSU; hell, they couldn’t move the ball on FSU. The Seminoles have a pretty good defense, but Alabama’s is unequivocally better. This is also Saban’s defense, so spare me the notion that Kirby Smart leaving will create tumult. Florida stands about as good a chance as a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest. Go hard on the Alabama cover.
Iowa +3.5 vs Michigan State
Take the Hawkeyes to win outright if you’re feeling frisky. Iowa gets its first chance to really prove itself against a good, not great, Spartans team. I still think that Iowa is a fraud and that the B1G West is the weakest division in football–yes, worse than the ACC Coastal. That said, I’m big on how Iowa’s strengths matchup with holes in Michigan State’s team. This may be the best championship game of them all. I just can’t lay the points, I’ve watched MSU play too many games to do that.
North Carolina +4.5 vs Clemson
So, South Carolina is abysmal and gave Clemson a run last week. North Carolina has improved vastly since the opening loss on the season. I like Carolina in this game outright, but Clemson is very good. I think it’s close enough to take the points. What I don’t understand is how people say UNC should be out of the playoff if they win. 2 FCS wins? Every team has weak wins. Comparing cupcakes is a pretty ridiculous way to separate playoff teams. Loss to 3-9 S. Carolina? First week, and Oklahoma’s loss might be worse. UNC will have notched a win over the number 1 team AND have won the conference. To leave them out would be a travesty. Take the points and Carolina on the money line. Pray for chaos!
USC +4.5 vs Stanford
I took a cover by the Trojans here because I think they are the best 4-loss team. That’s not a punchline. They’re much better than their record reflects. Meanwhile, Stanford is staring at a letdown game after their emotional win over the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame last Saturday. USC will come out swinging, as Stanford still has a chance to back into the playoff (which is ridiculous, but it is reality). I like the Trojans to win this game outright, so I’m for sure taking the points.
Texas +20.5 vs Baylor (over 67.5)
So, I realize that betting on Texas to do anything on purpose is a bad move. But, I wanted to pick a Big XII game and this seemed fun. Baylor can win by 3+ touchdowns, but the points were attractive. Also, Texas has played well at times this season, and horribly as well. It’s hard to say which Texas team we’ll see. Baylor does not play defense, like, at all. So, the over also looks good to me. Baylor can score in the 50s regularly, and Texas has shown that it can put up points too. Big fan of the over here, less of a fan of the Texas cover. Hey, at least it’s a ton of points, right?
Baylor is going to win by 21 just to ruin it for me.
There are your picks going into championship week. I’m hoping for a mess for the playoff committee, but it probably won’t happen.