Got those right.
TCU proved its mettle, its playoff worthiness, and that Texas isn’t quite as Longhorn Strong as it shall be in the seasons just ahead.
Clemson won the not so cleverly monikered Battle of the Palmetto State. And, contrary to rumor and innuendo, heard only in my mind and nowhere else, The Ol’ Ball Coach isn’t retiring just yet to a life on the links. In fact, as if to circumvent the gossip only I have perpetrated based on no information whatsoever, Steve Spurrier issued this statement, “I’m in, I’m in . . . We’ve got a lot of good players on the way.”
Ouch, the guy never passes up a chance to stick the needle in.
So, I got those two wrong.
3/5 on the weekend means 41-29 on the year, guaranteeing the kid another successful campaign, regardless of this final weekend’s outcomes, far exceeding .500 on the year.
But, before the bowls begin, a final lineup of conference championships and one zesty, very meaningful regular season finale in the Big 12.
The envelopes please:
Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green (MAC Championship). First a shout out to this feisty conference, which has provided pigskin junkies with midweek games for the last several seasons. You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes, you just might get what you need. For that, we shall be eternally grateful. While playing on Wednesday would be totally appropriate here, The World Wide Leader has opted to give this championship tussle a spot on its Friday night schedule. The Huskies from DeKalb have dominated the MAC for the last three seasons, going 43-5 in the last six years of league play. They were led to their fourth straight title game appearance a year ago by Heisman hopeful Jordan Lynch. But, were bashed there by Bowling Green, 27-47. Again, the 10-2 (including a W over Northwestern) Huskies appear superior to this year’s foe, despite the graduation of their star QB. Which opponent happens to be, yes, Bowling Green. The Falcons have lost their last two, while NI is coming in on a six game winning streak. Besides having Uncle Mo on its side, Northern has revenge on its mind. Huskies mush to the title in Motown.
Oregon vs. Arizona (PAC 12 Championship). Such is the pigskin planet’s infatuation with my beloved Quack, Phil Knight University is a 13 1/2 point favorite. Despite the fact that the singular blemish on its 11-1 record was an L to Rich Rod’s Wildcats. In Eugene. And that Arizona bashed Oregon last season, 42-16. So, the question becomes, do the underdogs have Uni University’s number? Has clever Rodriguez discovered some secret formula as of late to beat the Ducks, who have dominated the league? (Other than Stanford’s The Cardinal, who have won the Northern Division the two campaigns before this one.) Both teams have a hum goin’. Zona’s won 4 in a row, the Ducks, seven. But, Marcus Mariota shall not be denied. Quack.
Wisconsin vs. Ohio State (Big Ten Championship). I have a loyal reader, who calls himself Wildcat. Who, however, has been peppering me with messages about Wisconsin the last several weeks. (Not much to be boasting about these days, when it comes to UK Wildcat football.) The Badgers are the team “nobody wants to play,” he claims. Indeed, checking the record books, the fellows from Madison have won 7 in a row, after a loss to, uh, Northwestern. Two of the Ws tend to impress, over Minnesota and Nebraska, then mentored by now former coach Bo Pellini, who was fired after winning nine games every year in Lincoln. Plus, at a school known for its running backs, one Melvin Gordon has toted to pigskin for 2260 yards this campaign, including that 400+ game, which was the most ever gained in a single game. Until a week later. The Buckeyes are down to their third QB. Which raises this question: Is Buckeye Cardale Jones as up to his task as Kyle Bolin was, when the Cardinal came in and smote Kentucky last Saturday? My guess is Wildcat shall morph into Badger Billy Saturday, doing the Elroy Hirsch dance after Wisconsin prevails.
Florida State vs. Georgia Tech (ACC Championship). Has there ever been a team on the cusp of finishing its second undefeated, untied season in a row so maligned and under appreciated? If so, tell me. Granted the Seminoles have been less imposing than Dominatrix Jacqueline hovering over a willing victim on the rack in her parlor. But, they have not lost once during the Infamous Jameis Winston era. There is something to be said for, you know, winning . . . Every . . . Single . . . Game. After a mid-season meltdown on Tobacco Road, the Ramblin’ Wreck have conquered five opponents in a row, including Top 25 foes the last couple weeks, Clemson and Georgia. Tech coach Paul Johnson has deservedly won ACC COY honors. Triple Option Tech actually passes the ball a bit this year. To some effect. These teams haven’t battled since Florida State squeaked by GT in this title game, season before last, 21-15. The score might be just as close this time out. The Seminoles will look less than stellar, especially early on. But they know how to win, and shall do so yet again.
Kansas State @ Baylor. The Big 12 prides itself on having a total round robin, during the season, and no made-for-TV title game. But, were the league divided into divisions, and playing a championship game this weekend, it would be these Bears versus these Wildcats. Except, of course, at a neutral site, instead of Waco. Reports are that Baylor star, QB Bryce Petty, has fully recovered from his recent concussion — Imagine our surprise — and shall be calling signals this weekend. At least the ones he can comprehend. Baylor, with but that single blemish to the Mountaineers, is close enough to a playoff spot, it can taste the beignets at Cafe du Monde amid the aroma of fetidness in the French Quarter, where it would probably play. If a step slower than Art Briles’ guys, Bill Snyder’s teams don’t make many mistakes. They play with discipline and without panache, giving no quarter. Will it be enough to dash Baylor’s dreams? No. Baylor will win its third in a row over Purple Pride.
— Seedy K