College Football Picks Week 15

December 4, 2014
By

Ladies and Gentlemen –

I hope that you all survived last weeks Thanksgiving Upsets without too much indigestion, heartburn or consternation.

Just to clarify, by the term “Thanksgiving Upsets”; I am not in any way referring to your Aunt Jeannie’s “Yam-Spam-Slam Casserole” that she continues to bring to your house every Thanksgiving despite the fact even the dogs run when they get a whiff of the putrid unholy concoction.

We have some big games to discuss, so get your Tums out and let’s get to it…

Weekend Rewind…..

I think it’s important to note, before the flood of emails pour in from disgruntled rivalry fans that ended up either on the wrong side of the rivalry this past week or the ones that are still euphoric in jubilation who want to take a poke at me for not picking them this past week.

If it’s any consolation to either side, I have eaten so much Crow in the past year on my rivalry week picks that I now “Caw-Caw-Caw” before I start a sentence and flap my arms when I walk.

With that being said, I want to apologize to the following teams, fans and alumni:

Clemson: I know, I know

I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t, I’m sorry

And on a personal note, I hope this apology will mean I still get my Christmas cards from my adopted Tiger families in South Carolina.

Ole Miss: I don’t know what the hell suddenly got into you all….

But I missed that one, Congratulations Rebels on winning the Golden Egg Bowl

Arizona: To be perfectly honest, I haven’t seen any Wildcat games all year, primarily because I’m not awake at 0200 on Sunday morning, but congratulations none the less on winning the Bucket of Sand or whatever it’s called.

Delta State: The Fighting Okra got pickled at home last week in their playoff game…

Damn it

Southern California: I know I picked the Golden Gnomes last week….

I am also aware that you beat them by a gazillion points

This just goes to show you that I am not immune to being struck with “Dumbassness”

Georgia: Bad Dawgs………….

Minnesota: Damn it Gophers, you were so close too.

Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers knocked off the undefeated Marshall Thundering Herd last week in a thrilling overtime game in Huntington.

I don’t know where that team has been all year, but now I know why the Kentucky Wildcats don’t want to play them anymore.

As you might imagine “Your Favorite College Football Prognosticator” didn’t fare all that well last week finishing at 27 and 17 or 61% for rivalry week.

That leaves The CFB Wizard at 554 and 158 or 78% for the season.

Maybe some of your Aunt Jeannie’s “Yam-Spam-Slam Casserole” would change my outlook on the prognostications. I understand that one becomes quite introspective when they are having their stomach pumped in the emergency room.

SOUTH GEORGIA FOOTBALL NEWS and VIEWS

Hello from the Heart of SEC Country!!!

It was a great weekend for football down here as we saw some Clean, Ole Fashioned Hate, Civil Wars, Egg Bowls and Iron Bowls cross the screens. But before I delve into the rivalries, I’d like to recognize some of the standouts of the hometown Telfair Trojans.

Among the players on offense who stood out were Fr. Ian Blankenship with over 1100 yds passing and 12 TD’s, So. Tyrone Taylor and Sr Drew Williams carried the load on the ground by combing for almost 1100 yds rushing and 8 TD’s, and Sr. Roy Pound chipped in almost 400 receiving yds and 5 TDs. On defense Sr’s Roy Pound, Gage Harrelson, led the way combining for over 170 tackles, Raymond Freeman recorded 5 sacks, and Sr. Kelvin Clay and So. Zarian Lowe had 2 interceptions apiece. It was a great all around effort by these young men in a season that saw the Big Blue come up just short of a playoff berth. We’re not Valdosta or Camden County or Parkwood or any of those other powerhouse teams, but we are proud and we play with heart. That’s what it’s all about.

Up in Athens, a nightmare scenario was played out. With Missouri having wrapped up the SEC East prior to this game getting underway, you have to wonder if the Pups had their heart in this one. The Cow College came up short in this one after enjoying over a decade of success but you have to give it to the Trade School, who hung in there and hung in there and just wouldn’t go away. It took a miraculous 50 + yard field goal with time expiring to get the Wreck into overtime and after scoring first and missing the extra point they finally got the win on a Hutson Mason I-N-T.

No matter what, I’m proud of the Flagship University of the State of Georgia but wish the Jackets well in their upcoming trip to the ACC Championship game.

Meanwhile, over in the Prettiest Little Stadium in America, the Blue Birds of the ‘Boro aimed to be the newcomers nobody wanted to invite as they captured the Sun Belt Conference Title in their inaugural season in the league. The friendly confines of Paulson Stadium proved to be downright inhospitable as the Raptors knocked off the visiting War Hawks of Monroe, La by a 22-16 score. The visitors held a 13-3 lead midway through the 4th quarter until these Birds got Angry and reeled off a couple of TDs by Matt Breida and L.A. Ramsby to capture the lead for good. What a game it was. I’m sure somewhere up there Erk is smiling….

Things I think:

Georgia – Disappointing loss, but c’mon, fans, we knew going into the season the D was suspect. Plus, Chubb did well in Gurley’s absence, but, he ain’t Gurley. Just remember, this season hasn’t simply been a bunch of “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.”

Georgia Tech – Nice win for the Bees. If Johnson can keep incorporating the passing game and recruit some bigger D linemen, we might need to start worrying about this game every year. But for now, Tech fans are crowing “Welcome to my Nightmare.”

Kentucky – There’s an unwritten rule (AKA: The Miami Rule) which states that if you’re going to show your ass before a game, you’d better win said game. You failed. The “We Are The Champions” pregame theme was quickly replaced by “Another One Bites The Dust.”

Miss State – You’d been living on the edge in a few games this year. The “Rocket Man”, Dak Prescot fell out of orbit.

Ole Miss – You can’t help but cheer for a team that has a quarterback with a good ole’ Southern name like “Bo”. And this Bo-jangles did more than dance.

Auburn – The D was burned like a “Disco Inferno”…… Game wasn’t close enough for a fluke play to save the Plainsmen on this night.

Alabama – 55 points. Amari Cooper was a “Wild Thang” on this night. Congrats on winning the Wild, Wild West.

Florida – “Muschamp’s Last Stand” had the same outcome as the U.S. Army’s last stand at Little Big Horn. A loss.

Tennessee – Losing Jalen Hurd early hurt but you found a way to get it done. A little “Fire on the Mountain” to finish the job.

Vandy – Franklin left the cupboard bare and it showed again Saturday. I think the fans have “Lost That Loving Feeling.”

Missouri – The “Black Magic Woman” pulled it out in the end…. Can’t play like that next week. Congrats on winning the East.

Arkansas – The one that got away.  But you won’t “Fade to Black” this year as you are bowl eligible!

South Carolina – If this game were played in prime time it would have been seen as “The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down.” Ugly. Upstaters gotcha this year Steve.

Rivalries – This time of year, though it marks the last fading moments of the season, is always the best. These games, while months away, are always anticipated from the opening kickoff until rivalry week finally arrives.

Sometimes, if your team is very, very, good, you get the prizes and presents. Sometimes, if your team is very, very bad, you get a little coal stuffed in your stocking to warm yourself until the next rivalry game.

The Georgia/Georgia Tech game had a little bit of everything, taking Georgia fans to the highest of highs but leaving us at the lowest of lows.

Remember the first Leonard-Duran fight back in the day? Hands of Stone vs Sugar Ray. That’s what Alabama-Auburn reminded me of with Bama playing the role of Duran, the hard punching brawler, versus the up and coming Leonard, the practitioner of the sweet sport.

Florida-Florida State brought us a nail-biter which had everyone on the edge of their seats until the bitter end. There were also others that were just as exciting to make this a great weekend of college football. If your team won, congratulations on holding bragging rights for another 365 days.

If you lost, well, as any lifelong Braves fan would say, there’s always next year.

Until next time,
I’m Harley Hanesworth

EMAIL(S) OF THE WEEK

Q: Dear CFB Wizard

We were disappointed last week when you made several disparaging remarks concerning the quality of college football here at Harvard and within the Ivy League.

You should know that we have a long tradition of college football at Harvard and in the Ivy League that includes a number of national championships, all American players and renowned coaches.

Please keep this in mind before you make such misguided remarks in the future

Sincerely –

The Crimson Club – Cambridge, Massachusetts

A: Let’s keep this one simple shall we…..

Yeah, you all have won “some” championships

When everybody played without helmets and there were ten teams in the country playing college football so congratulations on that feat.

But let’s be clear here

Your Mommy and Daddy’s are richer than rich and you attend the most expensive, liberal universities east of California Berkley

Your Mommy and Daddy’s run everything in the country and get elected to every single government position without the benefit of ever having been in the military.

Do you know the last President we had that wasn’t an Ivy Leaguer?

Ronald Reagan

You Ivy League People (Yes, I said you people) in the Government are like raccoons….

What you don’t pee all over, you destroy

You run or own damn near everything in this country….

But you don’t “own” college football; that belongs to the “Big Boys” and that’s a fact

But “IF” any of the “powerhouses” in the Ivy League want to travel to Baton Rouge and stroll into Death Valley on a Saturday night, give them a call.

I hear the Tigers have an opening next year for homecoming

Q: What the heck Mister Wizard!

Coach Gus at Auburn fired Ellis Johnson the Defensive Coordinator!

He has been great for two years and except for a few games this year he has been outstanding, why the heck would Coach Gus fire Ellis Johnson?

War Damn Eagle

Jeremy – Auburn, Alabama

A: Because Bobby Louder told him too…

Q: Dear Mister Wizard

You haven’t reported anything this year on the MAC, what the heck?

Jerome – Toledo, Ohio

A: Jerome you should know that I don’t eat fast food and I certainly don’t eat at McDonalds, if that’s you are ramping up too.

Q: Dear Mr. CFB Wizard

I have read the email Q and A the past several weeks and couldn’t help but notice that you sure are called a lot of bad names on here, everything from racist to a whole bunch of stuff that’s not fit to print and a lot of ugly things in between.

Why don’t you ever strike back at them on this site?

Nadine – Town Creek, Alabama

A: Nadine thank you for the kind email

I have found it easier to take the “High Road” with most people….

There is a lot less traffic there.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS

ARKANSAS: I have to say……

The last ten minutes of last week’s game with Missouri was the dumbest coaching job I have ever seen anywhere at anytime.

And as a side note….

“IF” your quarterback had been throwing darts instead of a football in that game, he would have killed somebody

NEBRASKA: Cornhuskers, I know it was hard to “break-up” with Bo….

But it was time

GEORGIA SOUTHERN: Let me be sure I have this right….

The Eagles of Georgia Southern finished the season at 9 and 3 winning the Sun Belt Conference and the NCAA says they can’t go to a Bowl game because this is their first year of playing in the conference.

Please explain to me how the hell this makes any sense when a bunch of 6 and 6 teams are considered to be “Bowl eligible”

TEXAS: Longhorn fans didn’t fill the stadium against the Horned Frogs last week, are you kidding me? What the hell has gotten into you?

KENTUCKY: Ok, so the head coach gets a raise “and” a contract extension and then proceeds to lose his last seven games in a row. I just wanted you to know….

That sound you hear in the background….

Is the University of Louisville laughing hysterically

SOUTH CAROLINA: For all of Gamecock Coach Steve’s rhetoric about other universities especially “that school up north”, he was all class after the game with Clemson Saturday. Coach Steve had this to say….

“They beat our butts and out coached us in every phase of the game, congratulations to Clemson they are a great team”

Classy, very classy Coach

MICHIGAN: You better be careful (real careful) on the selection of your next coach

I’m just saying….

THE SEC: Is the Southeastern Conference as dominating as it has been in the past?

Last Week….

Georgia lost to Georgia Tech

South Carolina was beaten by Clemson

Kentucky lost to Louisville

Florida lost yet again to Florida State

Think about it….

SEC NETWORK: In the infinite wisdom (I use that term loosely) of the network executives, they decided to have a panel and call-in-show with Paul Finebaum during last week’s Iron Bowl.

Let me say this so there is no misunderstanding

“IF” you watch that Jerry Springer crap and are “calling in” to the program while the Iron Bowl is being played, then you aren’t a REAL fan of either team.

Period

ESPN COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMEDAY: It did my heart good to see “Broadway Joe” Namath as the guest picker on college football game day.

There will never (ever) be another Joe Willie Namath, period.

SPORTS COMMENTATORS: What’s going on with these sports commentators?

Bad enough you all won’t stop spouting ludicrous observations during the game and all the “What If scenarios”

Watch I can do that too, “What if Caesar had a Cessna?”…

”What if Spartacus had a Piper Cub?”

(I can do that all day….)

But now you all are just making rules up as you go……

”a tie goes to the receiver”

What the hell?

I have been watching and following college football for a long time

I never (never) heard that crap before

Then there is……

“With Ohio State’s quarterback situation they may not be included in the playoffs”

I thought this whole business was about “Wins and Losses” when has who plays what position have anything to do with it? So with that logic, a team “may not” make the playoffs with a one loss record and a conference championship because they have a third string quarterback starting?

Well, it’s not like the Buckeyes third string quarterback raped anyone, know what I mean

THE IRON BOWL: There are a lot of people that don’t understand the intensity and the passion of the rivalry of Alabama and Auburn that is culminated in the playing of the Iron Bowl. Let me try and explain it for you….

The Iron Bowl is a lot like life itself

One minute you are up during the four quarters of life and everything goes your way

Everyone loves you and everything you do seems to go right

The next minute adversity comes and you fall behind and are in the fight of your life

This is when you have to dig deep within yourself to display your character and grit

Much like life, the Iron Bowl is a test of will, determination, fight and faith

You see it all in the Iron Bowl, survival, adversity, disappointment, tears and cheers

Sometimes you win and other times you don’t

It’s about the struggle

That’s what the Iron Bowl is; it’s a reflection of life itself.

THE GAMES

Thursday December 4th

Central Florida at East Carolina
This will be a good game to get the week started…
Two good teams with a lot of firepower
It’s going to be a shoot-out
PIRATES 38-34

Friday December 5th

Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois
This game will decide the conference championship for….
The Mid-American Conference (MAC)
Both of these teams are dangerous…
My Black Lab “Doc” and my German Sheppard “Sadie” said….
“Bet on the Dogs in this one”
HUSKIES 41-24

Arizona vs. Oregon
The PAC 12 Championship Game
The Wildcats defeated the Ducks once this year
Will lightening strike twice in the same season?
Not likely….
QUACKERS 41-28

Saturday December 6th

Iowa State at Texas Christian
Not quite sure why this game is on the schedule…
I like to think of it as “filler”
HORNED FROGS 55-10

Indiana State at Chattanooga
This is but one of the games in the second round of the Division 1-A Playoffs
Little known facts….
Chattanooga is the corporate home to “Krystal Hamburgers”, Krispy Kreme Donuts” and is the home of the “Moon Pie”
That’s good enough for me..
MIGHTY MOCS 34-17

Louisiana Tech at Marshall
This game is played for the Conference USA Championship
I said before the season started that the Thundering Herd would win the title
That’s my story and I am sticking to it
WE ARE MARSHALL 34-21

South Dakota State at North Dakota State
Two old foes meet again in the second round of the playoffs…
I don’t know about South Dakota…
But this is how they handle their business in the Bison State
MIGHTY BISON 34-17

Houston at Cincinnati
My chili should be about ready when this game begins…
So I am going with the boys from chili town in this one
(It’s a sign)
BEARKATS 31-24

Montana at Eastern Washington
The Eagles of Washington defeated the Grizzlies earlier in the season…
It’s playoff time, it’s serious
GRIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ 31-28

West Georgia at Valdosta State
Valdosta defeated North Alabama and West Georgia bested the Fighting Okra
This is going to be one heck of a football game
BLAZZZZZZZZZERS 34-31

Southern Methodist at Connecticut
My Poor, Poor Ponies….
Damn it…
HUSKIES 33-14

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma
This is the state championship game of Oklahoma
They call it “The Bedlam Game”
Because “We Hate Your Damn Ass” doesn’t look as good on hats and t shirts
BOOMER SOONERS 34-31

Alabama vs. Missouri
The Southeastern Conference Championship Game
Atlanta, Georgia
The Tide and Mo’s Tigers
It’s going to be a four quarter slug-fest
Don’t leave your seat
CRIMSON TIDE 33-24

Kansas State at Baylor
I am calling “Upset Special” in this one….
Believe it
BILL’S CATS 31-28

Florida State vs. Georgia Tech
The Atlantic Coast Conference Championship
The Yellow Jackets have surprised me all season
This one may be closer than you think…
CRIMINOLES 24-21

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State
The Big Ten Conference Championship
This game will be reminiscent of Big Ten clashes of old..
Defense and Power Football…
It’s going to be a clash of wills
BUCKEYES 24-21

Fresno State at Boise State
This game is for the Mountain West Conference Championship
They could have saved us all a lot of trouble, if they would have awarded the trophy and championship to the Bronco’s “before” the season started. I’m just saying…
BRONCO’S 38-21

Next Week…..

Your Weekly Picks and 2014 Bowl Predictions will out next Thursday along with a Christmas story each week to get you in the mood to enjoy the best time of the year.

So Stay Tuned….

One More Thing….

I bet you didn’t know that this time of the year I work for Santa Claus?

Not to be confused with “Saint Nick”, he lives in Tuscaloosa

You have a Christmas Story awaiting you on mikerights.com that will tell you all about it; I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, is December 7th….

73 years ago on this day, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and launched the United States into World War II

President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it “a day of infamy”

I didn’t want you to forget, because I haven’t

RTR

THE CFB WIZARD

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