Welcome back to Don’t Call It A Picks Competition, our weekly column where Matt, Bob and Harry pick five college football games against the spread and make appalling jokes at pretty much everyone’s expense. As always, you’re invited to pick with us in the comment section, and we’ll post the standings each week.

 

Well folks, despite being the only one of the three of us working this week while Matt and Bob enjoy their vacations, it’s fallen on me to do the work for the final column of the year because why change how things work around here now?

We’re entering the home stretch of bowl games and the celebrate, we’re doing a massive 10-pick finale to the fourth season of DCIAPC. To remind everyone of the stakes, each of us won one of the first three seasons, so this year is for the college years championship! The winner of this season (me) will be able to hold it over the heads of the other competitors (Matt and Bob) for the rest of all of their lives. I really wouldn’t want to not finish in first!

Speaking of the standings, here they are:

 

Season Last Week Time We Did This
Harry 38-33 (.535) 2-3
Matt 30-41 (.423) 2-3
Bob 30-41 (.423) 1-4

And the splits:

We All Agree 10-12
Bob Alone 5-4
Harry Alone 13-3 (And that’s how you win DCIAPC, folks!)
Matt Alone 8-6

 

Unless something absolutely ridiculous happens, your overall winner for correct picks this season including the three of us will be Lee, so props to him. (Lee wins DCIAPC? 2016 JUST COULDN’T GO AWAY WITHOUT KICKING US IN THE TEETH ONE LAST TIME!) But we crown our winner by win percentage, and that’s far from settled, with Bernie and Sam both mathematically alive.

Win Percentage Season Record Last Week
Lee .592 42-29 3-2
Bernie .574 31-23 1-4
Sam .558 29-23
Jacob .526 37-33 2-3
Drew .500 28-28 2-3
Julian .459 28-33 2-3
Mike .426 26-35 0-5
Creed .424 28-38 1-4

Remember to leave your picks in the comments!

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Here are the games this week. All kickoffs are listed in the eastern time zone because I put in the effort to write this and I will choose the most convenient time zone based on my desktop clock. If Matt and Bob have a problem with this, then I’ll [tasteless Ben Roethlisberger joke redacted].

I listed the games in chronological order, aside from the playoff, which I listed last. That means you have to READ THE WHOLE THING (or more likely, scroll down the bottom of the page) to get our picks on those two games. MWAHAHAHAHA

DECEMBER 30

Sun Bowl (2, CBS)

#18 Stanford (-2.5) vs. North Carolina

Harry: As Bob explains in further detail below, UNC has proven more this year than Stanford has and the Cardinal will take the field with their best player in street clothes. I’d take UNC straight up and I’ll happily pocket a couple points. UNC +2.5

Matt: As I write this, I’m sitting in the middle of a Five Guys in what appears to be a place called Shoreham, Michigan. UNC +2.5

Bob: Stanford’s offense is only slightly above average even with Christian McCaffrey, who will not be playing in this game due to being a terrible person. Stanford also hasn’t actually done much against any good teams this year (except beating USC back when USC had no idea what they were doing), while North Carolina has beaten Florida State and Miami on the road as well as a good Pittsburgh team. UNC +2.5

Music City Bowl (3:30, ESPN)

Nebraska vs. #21 Tennessee (-6.5)

Harry: Tennessee is ranked and nearly a touchdown favorite against pretty much anyone, let alone against a solid Nebraska team?!?!?! You can’t even use the “Well, it’s a home game in Nashville” defense of this line because Nebraska’s fan base travels the best of anyone in the nation and they’ll be represented. Nebraska +6.5

Matt: To my left are your typical boxes of peanuts and various food magazine awards, framed and hung on the walls. Nebraska +6.5

Bob: Almost a touchdown in a bowl game against a weird Tennessee team that hasn’t had an impressive result in months? Whether Tommy Armstrong plays or not, I like the Huskers and the points here. Nebraska +6.5

Orange Bowl (8, ESPN)

#11 Florida State vs. #6 Michigan (-7)

Harry: Florida State is pretty good and certainly earned a place in the New Year’s Six, but Michigan is unquestionably the second best team in the country and laying no more than a single touchdown with them is a no-brainer. Michigan -7

Matt: To my right is a group of mostly unremarkable people (not unlike myself, I should note) eating their various lunches. FSU +7

Bob: This is a delicious matchup, pitting the second best team in the country against a talented Florida State team that was a few plays away from being in the Playoff conversation. I really don’t feel comfortable either way on this pick – I think Michigan is an outstanding football team, but I also think Florida State is better than many are giving it credit. Michigan also had a discouraging last few weeks of the season, even considering their outplaying of Ohio State in Columbus. Still, I’m going to trust Michigan’s insane defense to stifle Dalvin Cook and come away with a touchdown-plus win, and I think Michigan’s offense should perform better with Wilton Speight having more than one functioning upper extremity. Michigan -7

DECEMBER 31

Citrus Bowl (11 AM, ABC)

#20 LSU (-3.5) vs. #13 Louisville

Harry: We’re all agreeing on an unfortunate number of picks early on. Louisville +3.5

Matt: “Lizstomania” by Phoenix plays on the restaurant speakers. I approve. Louisville +3.5 [ED Harry: Good selection, Shoreham, Michigan Five Guys.]

Bob: Easy pick, especially with other terrible person Leonard Fournette not playing. Louisville +3.5

JANUARY 1

Outback Bowl (1, ABC)

#17 Florida (-3) vs. Iowa

Harry: Has anyone seen Florida play recently? How are they a favorite against a solid Iowa team? Iowa +3

Matt: I spilled some ketchup on my right index finger. Iowa +3

Bob: Iowa has quietly had a pretty good year, and I actually think they’re better than the SEC East champion. Iowa +3

Cotton Bowl Classic (1, ESPN)

#15 Western Michigan vs. #8 Wisconsin (-8.5)

Harry: *whispers from behind a large concrete barrier manufactured by the WORKING CLASS WHITES (political buzzword!) who call Kalamazoo, Michigan home*

Is anyone else getting tired of P.J. Fleck’s row the boat shtick? Wisconsin -8.5

Matt: Went to go get some napkins. Apparently they don’t have napkins available for customers to take out on the eating area. Only the ones they give you in the bag with your food. Wisconsin -8.5

Bob: This is my most confident pick in my bowl pool. In the only matchup of two teams I have seen in person this year, I will confidently declare Wisconsin the far better team. I discussed this a few weeks ago on here, but I’ll quickly repeat: Congratulations to Western Michigan for going undefeated, but that does not mean they are a very good football team. I look forward to Western Michigan winning because nothing in life makes sense. Wisconsin -8.5

Rose Bowl (5, ESPN)

#9 USC (-7) vs. #5 Penn State

Harry: No one wants to play USC right now, but the only team just as hot as the Trojans is Penn State. That said, USC’s signature win on the road at Washington was far more dominant and convincing than Penn State’s fluky home win over Ohio State. The Trojans are the better team here and I’ll lay a touchdown. USC -7

Matt: What happens if you need more than four napkins? Penn State +7

Bob: This looks to be a great matchup, and I would probably pick USC to win, but this spread is too steep. Penn State +7

Sugar Bowl (8:30, ESPN)

#14 Auburn vs. #7 Oklahoma (-3)

Harry: We’re agreeing so much that I might just have to relitigate Hillary Clinton’s email scandal in the playoff picks. Oklahoma -3

Matt: Got a Five Guys milkshake for the first time. Good Oreo crumb/shake ratio. Little heavy on the malt. A nice blend. 6.9/10 Oklahoma -3

Bob: I am surprised to see the spread this narrow, especially with Oklahoma boasting the top offense in the nation. Auburn has been a little under the radar this year, but Oklahoma looks to be the decidedly better team. Oklahoma -3

THE PLAYOFF

Peach Bowl (3, ESPN)

#4 Washington vs. #1 Alabama (-13.5)

Harry: Well, Matt has spared you all from that potenial discussion. I’ll happily take all these points. I can already hear the people saying that time and time again, Alabama faced a big spread and covered it with ease this year. Well, I can’t believe I’m saying I’m saying this, but THIS ISN’T THE SEC ANYMORE, FOLKS. Washington is a legitimately great team and I think they have a chance to put a real scare into the Tide. Washington +13.5

Matt: ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIIIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDEEEEEEEE Bama -13.5

Bob: I’ve seen 15 and 16 floating around on this game, so it looks like some of the money has unfortunately swung in Washington’s direction. As it always happens with Alabama games, the spread is way too large to reasonably take, but Alabama will win and cover it anyway. I do think Washington has an actual shot at this one, and I’ll grab the points. Washington +13.5

Fiesta Bowl (7, ESPN)

#3 Ohio State (-3) vs. #2 Clemson

Harry: Clemson deserves their playoff spot by virtue of their 12-1 record, but they are far from dominant. They’ve had close calls against Troy, NC State and Virginia Tech and lost to Pittsburgh (a team that has lost to both Northwestern and Miami this year!) at home. Ohio State -3

Matt: If you were waiting for an interesting twist to my story, I regret to inform you that there is none. Ohio State -3

Bob: I have been saying that this game is basically a coin flip, which should cause me to take the points here either way. However, thinking about it more, Ohio State has the better results, more talent, and a better coaching staff. I’ll go six for six on Big Ten teams on these picks. Ohio State -3

Remember to leave your picks in the comments! Happy New Year!

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