This is the final Pick Six of the season, and it's bittersweet to say that. On the one hand, it's depressing to realize that the end of the college football season is so close. On the other hand, bowl season has absolutely murdered me this year.
Have you seen my record in Expert Picks? I'm getting killed this bowl season.
Of course, this being the final Pick Six of the season, I'm not trying to go out with an average record. I want to end this season on a high note, and I'm looking to get every single one of these games right. Considering how things have gone the last couple of weeks, you have to figure I'm due for some wins.
Games of the Week
No. 2 Clemson (+3) vs. No. 3 Ohio State -- Fiesta Bowl | Saturday, Dec. 31: Honestly, if there were ever a game put together that was more of a coin flip than this one, I don't know what it would be. This is reflected in the Twitter poll I put out for this game, as it was the closest result we've had for any game this season.
What's pushing me more toward Clemson than Ohio State, though, is that I believe Clemson's defensive line is good enough to limit the damage J.T. Barrett can do with his legs. If they keep him in the pocket and force him to be more of a passer, I believe that works to Clemson's advantage, because Barrett is much more dangerous when he can use both his arms and his legs.
Also, the fact is that underdogs are absolutely killing it this bowl season, so when I see two teams that are as similar as these two, and one of them is getting a field goal's worth of points, well, give me that field goal. Clemson 37, Ohio State 35
Twitter Poll: Clemson +3 (50 percent)
No. 1 Alabama (-14.5) vs. No. 4 Washington -- Peach Bowl | Saturday, Dec. 31: It's a strange feeling. I am sitting here thinking that not enough people are giving Washington a chance in this game, and that the Huskies are being written off too easily. Yet, while I feel that way, it didn't take me very long to decide I was going to lay the points with Alabama here.
My reasoning is simple. While Washington lines up pretty well with Alabama on both sides of the ball -- better than most other teams, honestly -- there's one area I truly fear: the battle of Washington's offensive line against the Alabama defensive line. The best front seven the Huskies have faced this season was USC, and the Trojans defense had a field day against the Huskies, pressuring Jake Browning all day and just causing chaos in the backfield.
Alabama's front seven is better than USC's, and I think it could have a very similar performance in Atlanta. So I'm more comfortable laying the 14.5 because I fully expect Alabama's defense to score a touchdown in this game. Alabama 41, Washington 24
Twitter Poll: Alabama -14.5 (57 percent)
Lock of the Week
No. 8 Wisconsin (-7.5) vs. No. 15 Western Michigan -- Cotton Bowl | Monday, Jan. 2: I'm a big fan of P.J. Fleck and Western Michigan. I think the Broncos offense, led by Zach Terrell, Jarvion Franklin and Corey Davis, is fun to watch and incredibly potent. It's just, I've seen what this Wisconsin defense does to teams. I've seen these Wisconsin linebackers absolutely crush dreams, and I have serious doubts about how Western Michigan's offensive line can hold up against it over 60 minutes. I also have serious concerns about how effective Corey Davis can be against one of the best secondaries in the country. What I'm saying is every single concern I have in this game is about Western Michigan, and when that's the case, there's only one way to go. Wisconsin 27, Western Michigan 14
Underdog of the Week
South Carolina (+10.5) vs. South Florida -- Birmingham Bowl | Thursday, Dec. 29: Considering how poorly South Carolina's offense has played most of the season, it's more than slightly terrifying to rely on the Gamecocks to cover a spread in any game, let alone in a matchup with a high-scoring offense like South Florida's. That being said, I believe that this Gamecocks defense can slow down the South Florida offense, particularly now that Willie Taggart -- who was not just the head coach, but the play-caller on offense -- has left for Oregon. I just get the feeling this will be one of those games where the worse team is more fired up to play, and like I mentioned earlier, underdogs are killing it in bowls. So when you want to give me 10 points with an SEC team against an AAC team, I'm taking them. South Florida 24, South Carolina 20
Over/Under of the Week
No. 5 Penn State vs. No. 9 USC (Under 60) -- Rose Bowl | Monday, Jan. 2: When it comes to trends, this one is a clash of styles. Penn State has played in 13 games this season, and 10 of them have gone over the total. USC has played 12 games, and nine of them have stayed under. So what we have here is a rather interesting showdown, and one that I'm slightly favoring USC in. I don't see this being some kind of defensive slobberknocker or anything, but I just can't help but believe that 60 is a touch optimistic. USC 31, Penn State 21
Hail Mary Parlay of the Week
If you aren't familiar with the HMP, a quick refresher: It's essentially a three-game parlay, but you only bet one game at a time. If the first game wins, you use the winnings on the next game, and so on. It's a play that won't come through most of the time (though it has twice this season, including last week), but when it does, it pays off nicely.
Thursday, Dec. 29 -- Alamo Bowl: No. 10 Colorado vs. No. 12 Oklahoma State (Over 62.5)
Friday, Dec. 30 -- Orange Bowl: No. 11 Florida State (+7) vs. No. 6 Michigan
Saturday, Dec. 31 -- Taxslayer Bowl: Kentucky (+3.5) vs. Georgia Tech
|Last Week||2016 Overall|
|Games of the Week||1-1||17-15|
|Lock of the Week||0-1||7-9|
|Underdog of the Week||0-1||11-5|
|Over/Under of the Week||1-0||10-6|
|Hail Mary Parlay||0-1||3-13|