Well I hope all of you have learned by now to not put stock in anything I say. This weekend turned everything I thought I knew about this season and turned it on its head. We have two new playoff teams this week and a big shakeup among the other bowls as well.
Sugar Bowl (#1 vs. #4)-Auburn vs. Notre Dame
Notre Dame has already had a championship crack at one team from the Yellowhammer State this decade; why not give them a shot at the other? Everett Golson and company pulled out an impressive win against Stanford on Saturday night bumping themselves from the Orange Bowl into the playoffs. Auburn moved up to number one after an Oregon loss, and an evisceration of LSU.
Rose Bowl (#2 vs. #3)-Florida State vs. Mississippi State
Who’s that making SEC noise? The Mississippi State Bulldogs that’s who! Dak for He15man! State makes the second SEC team in the playoff mix after pulling off a big win at home on Saturday against Texas A&M. One of the two SEC teams currently in the playoff mix will certainly drop out this Saturday though, as they square off in Starkvegas. The same thing I said last week about Florida State still stands, until defeated the defending champions get to stay in the hunt. All of you other playoff hopefuls better hope Jameis decides to jump up on a few more student union tables.
Orange Bowl-Ole Miss vs. Oregon
The Rebels make the third team from the West to be in the New Year’s Six. They are on the cusp of the playoff, and if they win this weekend there is a strong probability that they replace the loser of the Auburn-Mississippi State game. Oregon travels down to Miami where there neon unis will fit right in with the South Beach lifestyle. Plus, let’s face it everybody loves an opportunity for the Oregon offense to face off against an SEC defense.
Fiesta Bowl-Arizona vs. Baylor
The Wildcats get to stay home. Rich Rodriguez’ team beat Oregon on the road on Thursday. They also have a guy named Scooby on their team (pictured below). Baylor comes to town in a #tbt to the BCS days when the Big 12 had Fiesta Bowl ties. These are two high-powered, fast-paced offenses squaring off. I hope no one has motion sickness, because this pace of play can cause seizures.
Cotton Bowl-TCU vs. Michigan State
Good news readers! This sentence is the only time I’ll use the word “Texas” in this week’s Cotton Bowl write-up. The Horned Frogs get to stay close to home, and whereas most of the other New Year’s games are about offense, guys like Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary are gonna love this one. Gary Patterson is one of the first coaches to effectively defend the spread with his patented 4-2-5 defense. Pat Narduzzi is arguably the best defensive coordinator in the country. I’m not big on gambling (as evidenced by my lack of ATS ability week in and week out), but I just might would consider taking the under for the point total on this one.
Peach Bowl-ECU vs. Oklahoma
The Pirates stay in the mix this week, even though they gave up way too many points to SMU. Marshall (my preseason pick to be here) is breathing down their neck though, so they better not slip up. Oklahoma makes the trip over here as the third Big 12 team in the New Year’s Six. The Sooners blew their perfect season on Saturday, but we are all hoping for Trevor Knight’s sake that he didn’t blow his chance with Katy Perry in the process. Anybody else think that Trevor Knight contacted every Facebook friend and Twitter follower he had to try to get Katy Perry’s number after she said to call him?
Teams Who Can Play Their Way In
UCLA can knock Oregon out and take the spot themselves with a win over the Ducks this weekend.
The Crimson Tide was the last team out of the mix this week. They play an Arkansas team that everyone respects now this week. They can replace the loser of the TCU vs. Baylor game in the New Year’s Six with an impressive showing this week.
The Bulldogs are another team with a chance to play-in this week. They play a top-25 team in Missouri, and have a golden opportunity to take control of the topsy-turvy SEC East. They also stand to gain by the fact that TCU and Baylor play each other this week.