LSU -3 over Louisville:
I love this game, because this game plan for LSU fits right into my wheelhouse. You have one team who can run the ball against another team who can’t stop the run. LSU rushed for 300 yards against Texas A&M their last time out. they put up 390 on Arkansas. They even rushed for 220 yards against a tough florida defense. So as long as LSU commits to the run, their depth and athleticism will prevail.
And Louisville? yep, you guessed it—i don’t think they can stop the run. I mean, Kentucky, just rushed for 240 yards on these guys. Clemson ran for 220 yards against the Cardinals. I just don’t think that this Louisville team has done much this year other than post a lopsided score on a beat-up Florida State team that was suffering from injuries on the defensive side of the ball.
And ever since Louisville was eliminated from the playoff race, they have quit. They were crushed by an unranked Houston team. Then they were beat by Kentucky which is even worse for them. So this team doesn’t have a lot to play for, their best player will be spending this month traveling the talk show circuit as the next Heisman trophy winner, and I don’t think this team will be fired up to play.
Often times bowl games are decided by who wants to be there and who doesnt—and I think coach O, Derrick Guice, and the LSU tigers will want this one more and win this one easily. Lay the 3 points and pay for your night out on New Years.
AUBURN + 3 over Oklahoma
Big game Bob? I don’t think so. Stoops has lost 3 of his last 4 bowl games, and all three of those losses were by more than 20 points. But when I look at this matchup, I have to ask myself who wants to be there and who doesn’t. Oklahoma had a nice run to win the Big 12, and if it weren’t for an opening day loss to Houston, the Sooners might be in the #4 playoff spot ahead of Washington. And I think they may even have a chip on their shoulder and something to prove to America that they belong in the top 5, but there’s one big problem – they struggle to stop the run. Ohio State rushed for almost 300 yards on these guys. West Virginia almost 400. Not exactly iron curtain material, if you know what I mean..
As for Auburn? This team literally limped into the end of the season and the key for Auburn is Sean Whites health. If Sean White is healthy and can pose a threat to throw the ball, then Auburn is the team we saw mid-season that ran off 6 victories in a row, and will give Oklahoma everything they can handle. But ever since the Vandy game, Auburn’s passing attack has been non-existent and white didn’t even play in the Bama game. So I would take a close look at Sean White’s status before committing to supporting a case for Auburn in this one. I read recently that Gus Malzahn thought that White would be close to 100% for the bowl game, and if that’s the case, then you probably get the Auburn team that is capable of rushing for 400 yards in a game and could pull this one off. And let’s not forget- I just can’t get past that this Oklahoma team gave up almost 400 yards rushing against West Virginia – so I can make the case for Auburn in this one, but it all depends on Sean Whites health.
ALABAMA -14 points over Washington
I live in the West Coast, and I’m here to tell you that this is a dream matchup for the Tide. Somehow Washington snuck into the college football playoff, but let me tell you-they aren’t even the best team in the Pac 12. USC is the best team in the Pac-12 and easily overmatched Washington at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball when these two teams played last. And as we learned in week 1, USC’s athletes aren’t as good as Alabama’s.
I think Alabama will be able to wreak havoc on Washington’s quarterback Jake Browning. If you watched the USC game, Browning never had any time to throw and was running for his life. What do you think is going to happen when Tim Williams, Ryan Anderson, and Jonathan Allen are chasing after him? I think it’s going to be a tough day for Browning, and Washington will have a very difficult time scoring any points against the Tide.
On offense, it’s real simple – Joey Freshwater can tear his play sheet in half for this game and just bring the running plays – even I could coordinate this offensive game plan. Alabama should be able to run the ball on the huskies all day long, control the clock and win this game in what should be a home game in Atlanta for the Tide. The Tide wins big, 42-6.
CLEMSON plus 3 points over Ohio State—Sucker bet alert! I’m not sure what America is looking at in this one, because there’s no way that Ohio State should be favored in this game. This game comes down to quarterback play, and I believe that Deshaun Watson is clearly the better playmaker than JT Barrett. Here’s my problem with Barrett—he’s just not able to deliver the ball down the field. He runs the ball well, but if you look at the numbers, he’s only averaging 7 yards per attempt, and that number was much worse in the 2nd half of the season. So when i look at these two teams, i see Clemson as having more weapons on offense and I like for them to upset Ohio State. I also think Clemson is probably the only team that can play with Alabama so I think things are setting up for a historical rematch in the national championship game.
IOWA plus 3 points over Florida—Dude, has anyone watched the SEC lay an egg so far this bowl season? —Mississippi State got lucky against Miami of Ohio, Vanderbilt was outclassed by NC State, and Texas A&M was overmatched by Kansas State. The SEC East is just not very good this year, but I wish I had their PR agent, because somehow they’re still getting some R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and it’s not deserved. And to make matters worse, they have to go up against a Big 10 opponent that beat Michigan and went toe to toe with Wisconsin. Iowa can stop the run, and i’m just not convinced that Florida ever really found a go to quarterback this year. So i’m taking the team in the better conference, that wants to be there more as well, and taking Iowa plus 3 points in this game.