Were the big games just last Monday?! This week has flown by, but it has been extremely full at the same time. I can’t believe this is Friday and I am just now getting to this, the 2nd-to-last wrap up post for the 2017 bowl picks.
Monday was an awesome day of football, regardless of how you finished or who you root for. Some of those games were nail biters and the football fan was entertained from beginning to end. Just in case you missed it, all five games featured an SEC team.
South Carolina staged a huge comeback against Michigan, giving Coach Harbaugh his first 3-game losing streak as their head coach. The Wolverines had 5 turnovers, one of which was an interception in the end zone that would have given them the lead back with 8 minutes to play. The final interception, with a minute remaining, put the nail in the coffin.
Auburn could not show the same class of football they used to defeat Georgia and Alabama in the regular season when they ran up against the undefeated Knights of UCF. The Knights successfully defended their argument for inclusion in the national title playoffs, finishing a perfect 13-0. Depending on where you side with the playoff selection process, you may agree with UCF’s AD handing out national champs t-shirts, preparing a parade, and hanging National Champion banners on campus. I think it is a little much, but hey, revolutions have been started with less.
I definitely did not have a favorite in the LSU v. Notre Dame game. LSU, for no real reason, has never been that big of a deal to me and I really don’t like entitled programs like ND. That said, you gotta pick one for this competition to work, so I went with the Irish. Their up and coming superstar wide receiver had an awesome game, capped off by an amazing one handed grab to score the game winning touchdown, and stop ND’s 9-game losing streak for games played in January. I am sure both teams will again find themselves high and lofted in the pre-season rankings for next season.
I don’t have enough time to cover the incredible Georgia v. Oklahoma game. It was certainly one most of us will never forget and one of the best ever played at the Rose Bowl. Baker Mayfield was everything we expected him to be and had the Dawgs whipped and whimpering at the half, down 17-31. A faithful fan would still have hope, but most of us watching the game saw a Bulldog team appear to be clearly outmatched. Whatever Kirby said at the half must have been amazing, because we saw a truly different team in the second half. Georgia would stage a comeback and then trade leads with the Sooners, ultimately tying the game with 55 seconds left to play. OVERTIME! Georgia was unable to get in the end zone and settled for a field goal, hoping their defense would hold Oklahoma to the same. Mission accomplished. OVERTIME No.2! This time Oklahoma started with the ball and was again denied the end zone, despite a penalty on the Dawgs that gave them an extra try on 2nd down. Georgia, unbelievably, blocked the field goal, giving them a chance to win the game with a TD or a field goal. Sony Michel redeemed his fumble-turned-touchdown from the 4th quarter and ran a direct snap in for the touchdown. It was absolutely magical. Headed home to Georgia to play for the National Championship, just 70 miles from the university, in the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
I have a lot of family and friends in the Clemson area, so I have a tendency to lean their way. I also cannot stand the arrogance and almost rude fandom I experience with some (not all) of the Tide fans I encounter. That said, I have HUGE respect for Saban and all that he has accomplished. He is an amazing coach and certainly the best of those still in business and arguably the GOAT. With almost a month to let his team heal and get some starters back on defense, I new Saban’s Elephants would be hard to stop. Clemson did a wonderful job retooling from last year, but the youth of their team just couldn’t be ignored in this one. Bama dominated on defense and had an incredible short stretch where they converted back-to-back interceptions into touchdowns in just 4 minutes of the third quarter. If not for those two scores, we could have easily seen a 10-6 final score. Both teams were fairly incompetent against the others defense.
So here we have it. The last game of the year coming up this Monday. Two teams from the Southeastern Conference preparing to stake their claim as the best team for the 2017 season. It will be exciting to watch and I will do my best to keep my nails out of my mouth. As for our competition, it is mostly decided, at least the winner is. Our results before the last game are:
Sprinkles and Stride: 24-16, Leo: 21-20, Scoot: 20-20, Rambo: 18-22, and Trip 17-23
As for you guys, our guests, campers, friends, and family, your results are below. Our winner doesn’t even need to pick the right winner of the final game, she is that far ahead. Congratulations Nancy Brenneman, you had an amazing final stretch and blew away the competition. We will be in touch soon to settle up on your prize.
There are still opportunities for consolation prizes for beating our picks. Monday’s game could shuffle things a bit. Stride picked Oklahoma to win it all, but Sprinkles has a chance to improve to 25 wins. I won’t share her pick yet, so just hope you picked differently and she loses, if you are in need of one more win to best our office champ.
1st place: (30-10) Nancy Brenneman
2nd place: (26-14) Kelly Mensinger and Doug Markott
3rd place: (25-15) Seth Lazansky and Colin Kiener
tied with us: (24-16) Eric Hickerson, Carolyn Hickerson, Jennifer Lancaster, Julia Lancaster, Zachary Godfrey, Lisa, and Buddy Brantly
Best of luck on Monday! I just hope it is a good game, which it is shaping up to be.