Our NFL Game of the Year entered the win column, as Washington, a nine-point underdog, gave Philadelphia all they could handle. I thought Washington, with one of the league's best defenses, had a big chance to win this game straight up. However once again the defense dominated and the offense just seemed to struggle all day.
As I look at the Bowl match ups, there's no question that there are some outstanding games to look forward to.
To mention just a few, Oregon State playing Notre Dame. Will the Irish show up for this one?
Wisconsin/Georgia. The last time these two played was in this same Bowl. The Badgers were a young team that year and got throttled, 30-0. The following two years Wisconsin went on to win the Rose Bowl. This year the Wisconsin team is filled with seniors. However, can they handle the Bulldog's speed?
The Peach Bowl should be a dandy. Florida against Miami (Fl). The Hurricanes played Florida the past two years and won both games in high scoring affairs. The Gators will be another team playing in this year's Bowl with a coaching change. Can they win one for the Gipper?
Speaking of teams with coaching changes and being in a Bowl game, the Pittsburgh/Utah is the real prize, as both coaches are leaving the programs.
The Rose Bowl should be another dandy as Michigan plays Texas. This has to be the first trip ever to the Rose Bowl for the Longhorns. One has to wonder if all the very young skilled positions on the Wolverine team will stand up under the Bowl pressure.
The last Bowl game of the year could be the best game of them all. At least it will be built up to be. The Sooners against the Trojans. I think the over/under may be the best play on that particular game. The Bowl Season is here and for those of you who believe in Santa Claus, there are a few gifts this Bowl season.
My biggest play, without question will be a small favorite that will win by 14 or more. This team has been on a mission since the season started. A tough schedule at the start of the season detoured their progress. However they finished strong and this will carry over to the Bowl. This one will be over by the half.
My other Top Play is a sizable underdog who I firmly believe can win this game straight up. Another team that finished the season strong and will give it their all. I personally will be all over these two.
We went 5-2 in the Bowls last season. Of the two losses, one of them came in the Florida/Iowa contest. Iowa really stuck it to the Gators. As most of you know, the Hawkeyes have been a thorn in our side this year. We have gone against them a few times and got burned. Who can forget the 6-4 victory over Penn State. One has to give credit where credit is due. What a job Head Coach Kirk Ferentz has done. This year's team only returned 2 starters on offense. During the season the Hawkeyes lost their five top running backs to injuries. Yes it's true the Big Ten Conference was somewhat weak this year. Weak or not, Iowa goes on to share the Big Ten title. Iowa just seems to find a way. Will they stay with LSU? There will be one handicapper who won't touch this one. It reminds me of a story old Minnie Pearl used to tell. A fellow picks up a hot horse and throws it down quickly. The other fellow says, "Hot, huh." "Nope, just don't take me long to look at a horseshoe." This year's hot horseshoe seems to be Iowa, at least for us
One of the Big questions when it comes to handicapping the Bowls is the long lay-off. Which teams will it affect, or will there be any affect at all. In general, one must stay away from teams that are Senior-oriented and have faltered at the end of the season. The Minnesota Gophers fall into this category. This team expected a real shot at winning the Big Ten title, only to completely fall apart at the end of the season.
One of the big factors I always look for in Bowl match ups is, who really want to win and wants to pay the price for it. As I look at the schedule, one of the teams that fits into this column is Auburn. The Tigers have no chance to win the National Title, for the winner of the USC - Oklahoma game will carry that distinction. However, I have to believe Auburn will want to stick it into the voters faces with a big win here, to leave no doubt the incentive is there.
One game will have a lot of emotion as this will be Timmy Chang's last game as a Rainbow. Expect the crowd and the teammates to go all out for him. A three-point favorite, home field advantage alone should be worth 10. Whatever the results, Chang will put it up 50 times.
'Over/unders' certainly shouldn't be left out in Bowls. The style of ball each club plays could affect how many point are scored. One interesting over/under will be the 83 in the Boise State-Louisville game. Has Boise State played against a defense this good? This is one game one must take a serious look at the under.
The basketball season is really shaping up. In fact in a couple of weeks we will be entering conference play. Last Saturday we had our second Top Game of the year, as Georgia Tech -- a 16-point favorite -- dusted Air Force, 64-42. The margin was not quite as steep as our winner the week before when we used Oklahoma St. -17 over Washington State, winning by 52 in a 81-29 rout.
This will be the last issue of our Newsletter this year. Wishing you Happy Holidays from us all at Doc's Sports!
To get all of Doc's Sports bowl selections, purcahse our one-month package. This includes all of the Bowl games as well as NFL plays for the entire month! Click Here.
Doc's is HOT in college hoops. Click here for collge basketball picks.