Bowls of all shapes and sizes should be unilaterally accepted by the college football community.

What’s happening, ladies and gentlemen? In for Harry this week, this is Matt posting what I believe is just the second time all year I’ve taken over the lead-in column for a DCIAPC. Frankly, I just haven’t had too many topics I’d like to discuss. Most of my college football thoughts are Illini-centric, and I know you guys don’t want to read 1,000 words about that god-awful program (which is currently improving! [a little!] {let me have this one!}). Even more important than that, I’m usually pretty lazy and writing 1.5 columns a week for TCR keeps me satiated in terms of #content creation.

Why is this intro so boring and uninteresting? Perhaps because it is well past midnight in my current time zone and I am well past tired. Or perhaps it is because I am a terrible writer. There are myriad possibilities.

Since I feel guilty completely blowing off this intro, let’s talk about bowl games. If you are “that guy” who complains about there being too many bowl games, you are wrong and stupid. In fact, there are too few bowl games. Every team should go to a bowl game.

Think about the advantages of a bowl-bound team. These teams get roughly 15 extra practices to scout and develop their potential future starters, who’ve been stuck on the scout team all year trying to play like opposing teams. Bowl teams have extra recruiting opportunities to bring prospects in and see how the team operates when preparing for a game.

If you hate on the quantity of bowl games, you’re simply hating on fun. The teams want to play them, the bowl sponsors and stadiums want to host them, and the fans of every team involved want to watch them. Believe it or not, you are not obligated to watch Nevada play Louisiana-Lafayette. Just ignore it and watch the best teams play in late December and January if games between lesser teams bother you so much. I’ll continue to enjoy watching the excellent selection of early season bowl games, with contests like Western Kentucky/Central Michigan and Bowling Green/South Alabama.

Similar to the fight against LGBTQ folks (late-night brain tells me we should definitely go there), the allegedly excessive bowl games are easily ignored if you don’t support it. It doesn’t have to be your job to personally condemn and bring down the horrible institution that is the Bitcoin Bowl.

Further, because somebody out there is making this argument as I type, it doesn’t devalue the perk of going to a bowl game if you allow any .500 team to go. There are clear distinctions between the prestige of each bowl game and it’s fairly obvious to anyone who understands college football. A season that ends in the Outback Bowl is better than a season that ends in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. And if you believe that allowing .500 teams to cling to the “We made a bowl game” narrative to argue their success is a major issue, then perhaps you should just take a more nuanced approach to breaking down a team’s successes and failures.

Let other people have their fun in peace, you dumb Scrooges. Nobody cares what you think. Hopefully these words make sense when I read them tomorrow.

Last week’s games:

  • Louisiana Tech (-6) took advantage of Illinois making 400 critical miscues and won by 17.
  • Duke (+7.5) impressively hung in there until the very end with Arizona State, but was unable to pull out a victory in the closing minutes.
  • South Carolina (+3.5) won outright against a Miami team that may have some serious internal issues.
  • Nebraska (+7) played an inspired game against USC, but came up short in the fourth quarter. Frankly, it was amazing they were able to put up 42 points.
  • Clemson (+3) kicked the Oklahoma Sooners off the Empire State Building, ejected spittle (traveling at its terminal velocity) onto their body from the top of the building, walked downstairs and punched them in the nuts, brought out a medieval trebuchet to launch flaming balls of gasoline-covered wax at their corpses, allowed them to decompose for 72-96 hours, collected their remains, put them aboard a North Korean cargo vessel, and then launched torpedoes into the bottom of the ship, sending the entire team to a Communist, watery grave in the East China Sea.

The standings, which I lead because I am the best:

Season Bowl Record
Matt 40-45 5-5
Harry 37-48 4-6
Bob 36-49 5-5

And the splits, which I may have catastrophically miscalculated:

We All Agree  18-28
Matt Alone  6-4
Bob Alone  6-8
Harry Alone  7-8

From Harry last week:

As a reminder, if you want to make sure you don’t miss a post in the future, you can subscribe by email on the top right of this page for just four installments of $89.99. However, if you act now, we’ll waive all four installments and allow to subscribe ABSOLUTELY FREE. Happy Holidays! 

Peanut gallery:

Winning Percentage Season Record Bowl Record
Creed Tucker .538 43-37 5-5
Andrew Hunt .533 24-21
Andrew Kelley .475 19-21
Mike .433 26-34 2-3
Bobby .413 31-44 5-5
Drew .400 22-33 1-4

Here are all six million (all numbers approximate) bowls we’ll be picking this week. Get excited, because I’m excited (even though picking extra games greatly the chances that I do not finish in first place). As usual, all lines come from Pinnacle and game times are eastern. Rankings are from the College Football Playoff Rankings.

Wednesday, December 31st:

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, Atlanta, Georgia

#9 Ole Miss vs. #6 TCU (-3.5), 12:30 PM, ESPN

Ole Miss managed to put together a spirited win over Mississippi State in their final game. Can they stay that motivated against TCU? This one’s a real peach.

Vizio Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, Arizona

#20 Boise State vs. #10 Arizona (-3), 4:00 PM, ESPN

For some reason, I find myself giddily excited for this game. Boise State has as much to prove as they ever have, with the chance to stick it to a Power Five conference team once again in the Fiesta Bowl. Jinkies!

Capital One Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida

#12 Georgia Tech vs. #7 Mississippi State (-7), 8:00 PM, ESPN

I almost got stung by a bee today. This has been a game description.

Thursday, January 1:

Outback Bowl, Tampa, Florida

#19 Auburn (-6.5) vs. #18 Wisconsin, 12:00 PM, ESPN2

This game is taking place in Tampa, so be sure to check out one of the independent tattoo parlors located conveniently outside every entrance to Raymond James Stadium.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Arlington, Texas

#8 Michigan State vs. #5 Baylor (-2.5), 12:30 PM, ESPN

Between Michigan State’s sneakily-good offense and Baylor’s sneakily-good defense, this game’s most interesting match-up may come on the exact opposite side of the ball than what most are expecting.

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida

#25 Minnesota vs. #16 Missouri (-4.5), 1:00 PM, ABC

Jerry Kill is literally a gopher.

BRIEF INTERLUDE — Friday, January 2:

Valero Alamo Bowl, San Antonio, Texas

#14 UCLA (-1.5) vs. #11 Kansas State, 6:45 PM, ESPN

I was a bit surprised to see UCLA favored in this game, but given the Big 12’s performance in bowl games thus far, this spread could be far too low.

CFB PLAYOFF GAMES — Thursday, January 1:

Rose Bowl Game presented by Napswestern Mutual, Pasadena, California

#3 Florida State vs. #2 Oregon (-9), 5:00 PM, ESPN

Jameis Winston and the Semenoles (sic) take on Marcus Mariota and the Ducks in a battle of the soon-to-be top two quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL Draft. Whose cuisine will reign supreme? Nobody gives a shit because Alabama is winning it all anyway and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. Go home and tell your kids you love them because Nick Saban is taking over the world and soon we’ll all be helpless pawns, tirelessly working every day to ensure that no black person enters a predominantly white fraternity and no gay people have the right to marry each other (twice in one column, that’s good for a lifetime ban from Chick-Fil-A). [ED Harry: I swear, I didn’t write those shots at the South. This time.]

Allstate Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, Louisiana

#4 Ohio State vs. #1 Alabama (-9), 8:30 PM, ESPN

I don’t know what to say. Do you like Josh Groban music?

Without further ado, here are the DCIAB crew’s picks for every single important, semi-important, and quasi-important game over the next couple days. Note that most of the pick explanations will be pretty short, due to the sheer number of picks we have to make.

Ole Miss-TCU:

Matt: Even taking into account their win over Mississippi State, I can’t help but think TCU is going to come out and put a number on the Rebels. The Horned Frogs should be quite salty after missing the fourth spot in the CFB Playoff and will come out firing. The only non-outlier way I could see Ole Miss pulling this out is if they get an early two-score lead and grind away the rest of the game. That won’t happen. Texas Christian Jewniversity -3.5

Bob: F/+ loves both of these teams, and I’ve loved TCU all year (the best of the TCU-Baylor-Ohio State triumvirate in my opinion), and I’ll happily take Gary Patterson (big-game experience and a great coach) and Trevone Boykin (awesome) over Hugh Freeze (probably a good coach but no real bowl game experience) and Bo Wallace (not good). TCU -3.5

Harry: I’ve held firm on Ole Miss’s bandwagon in big games all season after they legitimized themselves with a victory over Alabama that only looks more impressive now. This team is damn good and it’s deliciously appealing to me to pick the Rebels and receive more than a field goal at the same time. AND MATT AND BOB BOTH PICKED TCU?!?! Looks like that Jew-hater Santa didn’t skip my house after all. Better late than never Kringle, you antisemitic fuck. REBELS +3.5

Boise State-Arizona:

Matt: In picking this game throughout confidence pools and whatnot, I’ve come to realize that I’m now a complete Boise State homer for no reason at all. I have picked them to win outright at every opportunity and now, faced with the high pressure of DCIAPC, I find myself second-guessing my confidence in the Broncos. They did, after all, lose to Air Force this year (then again, the military schools steal a lot of sneaky wins because of their offensive styles). Still, I’m going to remain true to my word even though I have a bad feeling Arizona wins this game by 20-plus. Boyz II Men State +3

Bob: Boise State is the better team according to F/+, but who gives a fuck about advanced statistics? I find it hard to take a team that lost to Air Force and beat a bunch of scrubs over a team that delivered consistent results and won a stacked PAC-12 South. I can totally envision Rich Rodriguez with a deer-in-the-headlights look as the Broncos roll them, but I like Arizona here. Arizona -3

Harry: Yeah, this one’s pretty easy in my view. Arizona essentially has a home game and I think they’re the better team. I’m aware that Boise State is returning to where the magic first happened, but this is pretty cut-and-dried. It’s astounding to me that the line is this low. I swear I’m not just picking against Matt every game in a desperate attempt to win. Seriously. *Spoiler Alert* IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME CHECK MY NEXT PICK. Arizona -3

Georgia Tech-Mississippi State:

Matt: Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Georgia Tech Yellow Short-Skirt-And-A-Long-Jackets +7

Bob: This one is tough. I see the Bulldog defense just out-athleting the Yellow Jacket option attack (which hasn’t been particularly good or bad in bowl games, as narratives would be tempted to say), with its offense moving the ball comfortably enough to win the game. The spread is pretty large between two perceptively even teams, but I’m going SEC on this one and taking all three favorites on New Year’s Eve. Mississippi State -7

Harry: AN ENTIRE TOUCHDOWN? Why does no one respect Georgia Tech’s offense? Especially going against the sieve that is Mississippi State’s defense, one that managed to allow more than 200 rushing yards to an offense piloted by the aforementioned Bo Wallace, this is a great opportunity to grab the points. GT +7

Auburn-Wisconsin:

Matt: I’ve been working on this post for over 1.5 hours now, and I’m tired of it. Somebody get me off this train. Help. Help. Help. I’m in need of assistance. I’ve made a horrible mistake. Auburn -6.5

Bob: Auburn is as good a four-loss team as I recall ever seeing and should handle Melvin Gordon better than Big Ten teams did. I was shocked the line was this low even before I remembered that Gary Andersen is gone. Auburn -6.5

Harry: USC failed me against Nebraska but I refuse to step off the Betting Against Teams That Just Lost Their Head Coaches bandwagon after just one bad result. Man, I really need to start picking against Matt again to give myself a chance at the crown. Auburn -6.5

Michigan State-Baylor:

Matt: Right now, Art Briles’ right hand is completely rubbed raw from masturbating to film of the Spartans’ defensive performance against Ohio State. Few are talking about it because they were never a strong national title contender, but Michigan State’s defense has taken a significant step back from last year’s squad, particularly in the secondary. Expect Briles and a probably-almost-fully healthy Bryce Petty to take advantage of that and put up some big numbers. This is my most confident bet of the entire bowl season (it’s doomed to fail). Baylor -2.5

Bob: Michigan State’s best win was at home to Nebraska, while Baylor beat TCU. Michigan State struggled against Oregon’s and Ohio State’s high-speed offenses, and Baylor’s is just as lethal. That said, I have a gut feeling that this Michigan State team is strong, and I don’t really trust Baylor, who lost its bowl game last year to UCF and has really not been that overwhelmingly impressive aside from the dumb TCU game. I’m going with my gut here. Michigan State +2.5

Harry: Well shit, I strongly agree with Matt again. This game is another no-brainer. (Naturally, this means I’ll be horribly wrong and Michigan State will win 66-3.) Has anyone actually bothered to check if MSU is any good? They picked up a decent home win by the skin of their teeth against Nebraska and beat…no one else. They were embarrassed by the only two elite teams on their schedule, Oregon and Ohio State. Michigan State is not that good. Baylor -2.5

Minnesota-Missouri:

Matt: As hard as it is for me to say this… deal with it.

Yes, I only picked them so I could insert that video. Minnesota Golden Kills +4.5

Bob: We can’t condescendingly scream “SEC” regarding a Missouri team who played as weak an SEC schedule as possible, but I like its defense to make it tough for Minnesota. I am not too confident about this, but an upper-middle class SEC team only giving up 5 points to an upper-middle class Big Ten team sounds like a good take. Missouri -4.5

Harry: Okay, now I’m going to blindly pick against Matt in a desperate attempt for the crown. Mizzou -4.5

UCLA-Kansas State:

Matt: Kansas State has flown casually under the radar this year since losing to Auburn early on. UCLA has more wild swings from awful to outstanding than any team in the nation. In this one, I think I’ll pick against the team with an offensive line consisting of origami sculptures. Can-Sass State +1.5

Bob: Are you guys even reading anymore? Kansas State’s three losses come to Auburn, TCU, and Baylor, and virtually every result this year has been respectable, while arguably more than half of UCLA’s have been rough. Kansas State +1.5

Harry: UCLA is definitely superior than Kansas State at its best, but who knows if the best version of the Bruins will show up. I certainly hope they do because I’m going to continue to big against Matt here. *Gus Johnson voice*UCLA -1.5  Never mind, Kansas State is the safer pick here and I can actually take it. You can see my final pick for the logic. Fighting Bill Snyders +1.5

Florida State-Oregon:

Matt: I really, really like Oregon to win this game, but I can’t help but feel this is too many points. Florida State isn’t going to roll over and certainly has a better shot at victory than Ohio State. Florida State +9

Bob: We here at DCIAB (and everyone who understands that win-loss records show little) have called Florida State overrated all year, but now I think the public has caught on and over-compensated. I have a strong feeling that Florida State is a historically notable outlier in close games with a phenomenal(-ly underrated right now) quarterback leading a team that plays up and down to opponents at an alarming level. The defending champion on a 29-game winning streak with Jameis Winston at quarterback is getting 9 points against a team missing its best defensive player by far. I’m confident in this one. Florida State +9

Harry: This is simply too many points for me to not agree with Matt here. :/ Florida State +9

Ohio State-Alabama:

Matt: THEM BEE-ONE-GEE PRETENDEERS AIN’T GAWT NUTHIN ON MY CRIMZON TIDE TO GO PAWWWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLL. Alabama -9

Bob: These are the top two teams in F/+, which will probably surprise a lot of people with regard to Ohio State’s ranking. I think Ohio State is very good and can keep it pretty close, and I think too many people are getting caught up in the holy Alabama (whom I have been saying is the best team all year, but still) versus the LOL BIG TEN Ohio State. That said, visions of Alabama finishing off Notre Dame and Michigan in five minutes coupled with the thought of Cardale Jones going up against the Alabama defense frighten me. Stud safety Landon Collins said of Jones, “He’s going to have to do a lot of processing and a lot of thinking. We’re definitely going to confuse him as much as possible.” I’m scared for Jones right now. Alabama -9

Harry: *checks how many games I’ve picked against Matt so far*

*realizes that choosing four games against him as opposed to three actually makes me less likely to tie it up and thus win on the bowl record tiebreaker*

*for those confused, the logic there is simple: because I sit three games back, if I choose three games against him, I need to win all of them; if I choose four games against him, I still need to win all of them because even going 3-1 would only give me a two-game swing; I am less likely go 4-0 than 3-0; thus, I can choose a fifth game against him and hope to go at least 4-1 or change one of my previous picks and hope for 3-0*

*changes the UCLA pick because I would rather try to go 3-0 than bet against Nick Saban matching wits with a young quarterback in his second career start*

Bama -9

 

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