Hello camp family and friends! I can’t believe we are once again enjoying the holidays and the football postseason. Well, at least some of us are! I have gotten off to a pitiful start and the losses just keep rolling in for me. Needless to say, my gut instinct has let me down this year. I won’t give up hope, but it will be difficult to come back from such a pathetic start. Oh, well, it’s still fun to watch a lot of football! Let’s get into some recaps.
Once again Grambling had the privilege of starting of the bowl season. Unfortunately they didn’t come away with the same result as 2016. Both quarterbacks had decent games. NC A&T QB Lamar Raynard overcame two interceptions and snuck it in for the tie-breaking touchdown with just 38 seconds on the clock. It was a tough defensive game and the Aggies had just enough to come out on top.
Temple stepped up the defense, just like they did against LSU, pulling away in the second half against North Texas. Brandon Silvers had an excellent game, throwing for 4 touchdowns while his defense kept the pressure on the opposing offense. They let the game get close, but never really lost control of this one. So far the majority in both games picked correctly.
Next up was Georgia State taking on Western Kentucky. The minority pickers were finally rewarded for taking a risk. In just the eighth year of the program the Panthers took home a bowl victory (they lost their first bowl appearance in 2015). 5 Panthers totaled 6 sacks and kept the Hilltoppers’ QB Mike White under pressure most of the game. Without a consistent running game, Western Kentucky was unable to get into the rhythm they wanted to play with.
Fourth up was another opportunity for the minority gamblers and they were rewarded for picking Broncos. This game had several long yard plays for both teams, which made for a lot of exciting action. Boise gave up two turnovers returned for touchdowns at the end of the first half, but restored their composure to win a game that only looked close on the scoreboard. Oregon was coached by their newly promoted head coach and it was a very lack luster start to his career at the helm.
Continuing the trend, Marshall reward the few. Three big plays gave them enough points to hold off the charging Rams. Under Mike Bobo the Rams have reached three straight bowl games, but they have yet to win one. With a contract extension in his pocket, hopefully Colorado State can fix this next year. Marshall is losing 13 seniors, but they don’t appear to be losing any steam.
The last game for Saturday was an emotional reward for Middle Tennessee. They were able to survive an injury riddled season to make it to the post season and take home a bowl win. Arkansas State never gave up. They fought hard and has a chance to win it in their last possession. A strip sack in the final minute prevented their comeback from happening.
FAU and Akron was possibly the most lopsidedly picked game for our little competition. It may prove to be the most lopsidedly decided game of the postseason. Lane Kiffin’s Owl embarrassed the Akron Zips, who never even had a chance. Can Kiffin continue his success with a win at Oklahoma to start next season?
Louisiana Tech did their best FAU imitation in their destruction of SMU. Six turnovers, two of which were pick-sixes didn’t help SMU’s cause any. They looked completely outmatched the whole game. The defense and offense for the Bulldogs was an incredible mismatch for the Mustangs.
Temple took on a tough FIU team in the next game. Unfortunately, FIU could not show how tough they could be. Starting QB Alex McGough left the game early with a broken collarbone and the Panthers never got their rhythm back. Temple didn’t have the same quality of season as they did in 2016, but they certainly proved they still their winning ways. A strong defense and running game should continue to put wins on the calendar for these Owls.
How the Bahamas became a location for a bowl is certainly curious. I guess somebody thinks football is better played in the heat. Even though the Ohio Bobcats are used to playing in cooler temperatures, they seemed right at home in the tropics. UAB football has a rough history the last few years and it would have been a storybook win for a school that cut football just a few seasons ago. Unfortunately they were no match for Ohio.
Our last game so far was played today between some cowboys and Indians. On paper I thought the Chippewas had a good chance to come out on top of the Cowboys. Unfortunately, I should have sided with history. Wyoming’s QB Josh Allen didn’t need to do much because his defensive teammates were so dominant. Eight turnovers should make it easy for your offense. At the end of the day, the potential top 10 draft pick declared his intensions to skip his senior season and take his powerful arm to the NFL.
So, now that our recaps bring us up to speed, here is how we stand. It wasn’t pretty for me and I don’t think my picks are going to recover enough to make me a competitor this year. Nonetheless, we have a few staffers trying to hold up our end of the fight. With two new pickers, we will likely have a new staff champion.
Sprinkles, Stride, and Scoot: 7-4, Leo and Rambo: 4-7, and
These first few games have been tough on a lot of you, too. There are not many folks ahead of our picks, but there is a lot of football to be played and things tend to change a lot over the course of the bowl season. I hope we continue to see good football and have fun watching these results change over the next few weeks.
1st place: (9-2) Doug Markott
2nd place: (8-3) Justin George, Emma Hickerson, Carolyn Hickerson, Rose Kinard, Kelly Mensinger, and Nella Mitchell
tied with us: (7-4) Nancy Brenneman, Brett Lazansky, Abby Hickerson, Jennifer Lancaster, Sarah Kate Lancaster, Zachary Godfrey, Colin Kiener, Trey Hodges, Dill, Joel Miller, Ashley Kelly, Kelly Buell, and Thomas Benson III
Traditionally I like to poke a little fun at the bottom dwellers. Since I am one of them, I can sympathize with you and will spare naming names, for now. I will say that Trip and I don’t have the worst record, but almost!
More to come soon. Have a wonderful Christmas weekend!