Words can't describe how much I have enjoyed making these weekly picks after being approached to do so by Luke in early October. I knew the writing wouldn't even come close to being as good as DJ's "Presidential Power Parlay" but I figured I would make up for that by just posting winners for you. If MC&J has won you any scratch this year might as well show DJ some love and pick up his book. While being 20 games over .500 is good, I have dreams for even more next year and will spend all offseason getting ready to break the bank in the fall.
Last Week ATS: 13-9 (18-12 in bowls)
Season ATS: 67-47 (34-33 National, 33-14 B1G)
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: #5 Oregon (-8) v. #7 Kansas State - 1/3 8:30 PM EST - ESPN
This was looking like it was going to be a matchup on 1/7 instead of 1/3 for one whole week back in mid-November. This game features Kansas State's 17th ranked rushing defense against Oregon's 2nd ranked rushing offense. You know Oregon watched plenty of film how Baylor dismantled Kansas State and is going to try to do the same. Kansas State had a great season, but I just think Oregon's pace will be a little too much for them. The Ducks finish up Chip Kelly's coaching career at Oregon with at least a double-digit win.
Oregon 45 Kansas State 31
AT&T Cotton Bowl: #10 Texas A&M (-3.5) v. #12 Oklahoma - 1/4 8:00 PM EST - Fox
In the month after winning the Heisman Trophy we have seen Johnny Football everywhere, at a Texans game, Mavs game, on the golf course, etc. While I'm not knocking a college kid's right to have some fun, I'm just wondering how the victory tour has effected his preparation for the Cotton Bowl. Kliff Kingsbury is now gone to Texas Tech so it will be interesting to see how the Aggies respond with the change. With all the spotlight on Manziel, quietly Landry Jones will finish up a great career at Oklahoma. I am not happy about backing Big Game Bob but here we are. I'm a glutton for punishment.
Oklahoma 38 Texas A&M 35
BBVA Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh v. Mississippi (-3.5) - 1/5 1:00 PM EST - ESPN
Pitt is back in Birmingham for the 373rd straight year playing in the BBVA Compass Bowl but at least this year they have the coach they started the season with! I'm sure nobody thought Pitt would be playing in a bowl game at all after losing to Youngstown State to start the season. In looking at this game I was surprised to see that Tino Sunseri only has 2 interceptions while throwing 19 touchdowns. While Bo Wallace can move the ball through the air and on the ground for Ole Miss, I think Pitt might be used to the routine in Birmingham.
Pitt 27 Ole Miss 24
Go Daddy Bowl: #25 Kent State v. Arkansas State (-3.5) - 1/6 9:00 PM EST - ESPN
Both these teams had their coaches take other jobs in December, but Darrell Hazell will be coaching Kent State while Arkansas State has DC John Thompson handling the interim tag in this game for Gus Malzahn. I'm a little worried about Kent State's passing defense against Arkansas State, but I felt the same when the Flashes played Northern Illinois and they nearly beat the Huskies. Kent State creates turnovers and I think they'll create at least 3 in this game. So far the MAC is 2-0 against the Sun Belt in bowls this year, might as well go for the hat trick.
Kent State 42 Arkansas State 38
BCS National Championship Game: #1 Notre Dame v. #2 Alabama (-10) - 1/7 8:00 PM EST - ESPN
I wish there was a way I could not watch this game since I really can't stand either team, but what kind of college football fan would I be if I didn't watch? At least it is more intriguing than last year's Alabama/LSU rematch, but that isn't saying much. The first team to double digits in this game might win it as points will be at a premium in this one. When this matchup first came out I was thinking that Alabama would smack Notre Dame around, but after taking some time I have changed my tune. 10 points is just way too much for me to lay in a game with defenses that are this good. Saban will lead his team to a win because all he does in college football is win championships, but he'll have to sweat a little bit more this one.
Alabama 17 Notre Dame 14