"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

COLLEGE WEEK 15 PICKS - CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND RECAP

I'm limping into the playoffs, having to overcome a dismal 6 - 6 week to end the regular season. It's hard to believe that the top six teams in the College Football Playoffs rankings all won, yet the committee saw fit to make significant changes in the rankings, moving Ohio State ahead of TCU. A four team format, while an improvement over the BCS two-team championship model, is awkward in that it almost guarantees that four conferences get represented and one gets left out. Come on guys, let's move to eight teams.

Last Week:     6 - 6     .500
Overall:       238 -92   .708

Thursday:

UCF (8 - 3) 27 @ East Carolina (8 - 3) 31: No. ECU made a great comeback, scoring 21 straight points to take a late lead, only to have the Knights steal it from them and claim part of a three way tie for the American Athletic Conference title. My pick would have looked pretty good if the Pirates had held onto their 30 - 26 lead. Oh well... UCF 32 - 30

Friday:

Pac-12 Championship in Santa Clara, CA

(7) Arizona (10 - 2) 30 vs. (2) Oregon (11 - 1) 41:Correct. The Ducks made this one look surprisingly easy, smacking down the only team to defeat them this season. They now head into their playoff match-up with number 3 Florida State on a roll. Oregon 51 - 13.

MAC Championship in Detroit, MI

N. Illinois (10 - 2) 42 vs. Bowling Green (7 - 5) 24: Correct. I didn't expect this one to be close and it definitely wasn't.  Northern Illinois 51 - 17.


Saturday:

Conference USA Championship

La. Tech (8 - 4) 45 @ Marshall (11 - 1) 42: No. Another late loss by a team I'd picked to win. Even with the victory, the Thundering Herd definitely have no place in anyone's top 25. Marshall 26 - 23.

SEC Championship in Atlanta, GA

(1) Alabama (11 - 1) 27 vs. (16) Missouri (10 - 2) 17: Correct. This one went pretty much as expected, except the Tide was able to score more points than I thought they would. They'll have their hands full with a red-hot Ohio State team in the playoffs.

ACC Championship in Charlotte, NC

(4) Florida State (12 - 0) 27 vs. (11) Ga. Tech (10 - 2) 31: No. Why would week 15 be any different than the rest of the season? The 'Noles held on for a win and a playoff spot. Can they afford to get behind to Oregon and still survive in the national semifinal? I would think not, but no one has stopped them in over two years,, so who's to say they can't do it again? Florida State

Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis, IN

(13) Wisconsin (10 -2) 27 vs. (5) Ohio State (11 - 1) 24: No. Man did I ever whiff on this one. Of course, I was hardly alone. I'm just wondering how the Buckeyes light up the Badgers' supposed staunch defense for 59 points AND stifle the nation's leading rusher. To say I'm skeptical would be an understatement. Ohio State 59 - 0.

Mountain West Conference Championship:

Fresno State (6 - 6) 23 @ Boise State (10 - 2) 34: Correct. Boise played their way into a major bowl game, once again playing in all blue uniforms on a blue playing surface. There just seems to be an unfair advantage to that. Boise State 28 - 14.

(9) Kansas State (9 - 2) 37 @ (6) Baylor (10 - 1) 31: No. I have to give Baylor credit. They had a terrific season and were just a win at West Virginia away from a probable number one or two seed and a spot in the playoffs. Baylor 38 - 27.

Iowa State (2 - 9) 17 @ (3) TCU (10 - 1) 52: Correct. Not much of game, no remarkable upset, unless you count TCU getting jumped in the rankings by Ohio State. TCU 55 - 3.

Oklahoma State (5 - 6) 24 @ (20) Oklahoma (8 - 3) 35: No. Bedlam is a good word for this rivalry. No one can say for sure that this game didn't help Florida State's cause, with three non-conference wins over bowl eligible teams. Oklahoma State 38 -35 OT.

Houston (7 - 4) 20 @ Cincinnati (8 - 3) 23: Correct. This game was a little higher scoring than I thought, but the Bearcats were still able to secure a share of the American Athletic Conference crown.  Cincinnati 38 - 31.