Monday

1-5-09: Bowl Mania - Round 6 Post-Mortem & Round 7 Picks

1-5-09Hello again everybody...

We're finally clear of the Holidays and it's back to some sense of normality. For me that means my first 5-day work week in about 3 weeks. I'm not trying to whine, honest. But it is an adjustment, as I'm sure many of you know.

So today, I've got to perform a post-mortem on a disastrous Round 6 of Sports Take Bowl Mania. From my use of "disastrous", you can probably deduce how I did. Oof. But we're not done yet! There are still three games to pick, and two of those will be coming your way today. So off we go!

"Bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because memos, when written, immediately become proof that they were busy.
- Charles Peters


I don't have any info on who Charles Peters is, but I read this and it gave me pause. I was concerned about writing the blog while at work, but if Mr. Peters is right, then I have to look like the busiest guy in the building!

«Read More...»


Okay, first up, it's the Round 6 post-mortem. I really don't want to do this. But I started this beast, and dammit, I'm going to finish it. No matter how bad it makes me look!

First up (technically from Round 5):

AT&T Cotton Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech -4.5

ST Pick: Texas Tech -4.5
Hammer's Pick: Texas Tech -4.5
Dark Star's Pick: Texas Tech -4.5

Final Score: Ole Miss 47, Texas Tech 34

Thank you Red Raiders. I'm trying to remember what I got caught up in that kept me from watching more than bits and pieces of this game. But from what I saw, it appeared that Tech's defense had little, if any, interest in tackling any of the Rebels.

A bold plan by their defensive staff to be sure. But ultimately it wasn't terribly effective.

Sports Take: 12-16
Hammer: 15-13
Dark Star: 9-19

Next...

AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Kentucky vs. East Carolina -3

ST Pick: E. Carolina -3
Hammer's Pick: Kentucky +3
Dark Star's Pick: Kentucky +3

Final Score: Kentucky 25, East Carolina 19

This began a run of games where the team I picked ran out to an early lead, only to be slowly reeled in and finally defeated by their opponent.

The Pirates had a 16-3 lead at halftime, and even held a 19-16 lead by the end of the 3rd quarter. But they couldn't hold off the Wildcats.

I let East Carolina go as my darling team, but they sucked me back in! Dammit.

Sports Take: 12-17
Hammer: 16-13
Dark Star: 10-19

Penultimately (oh yeah, it's back)...

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Utah vs. Alabama -9.5

ST Pick:
Alabama -9.5
Hammer's Pick: Alabama -9.5
Dark Star's Pick: Alabama -9.5

Final Score: Utah 31, Alabama 17

Here's a quote from my preview from this game:

"Even with their suspended offensive lineman, even with the disappointment of not playing for the National Title, 'Bama just has way too much talent for a Utah club to contend with."

I'm still not sure I was wrong, but Alabama came out flatter than the Kansas prairie. I was floored that Nick Saban didn't have his kids amped up and ready for this game. I know they had to be disappointed that they didn't make the National Championship game, but still, that was an embarrassing effort.

This was also the pick that guaranteed me a losing bowl season. So I'm doubly-pissed at Alabama now!

Sports Take: 12-18
Hammer's Pick: 16-14
Dark Star's Pick: 10-20

Finally...

International Bowl: Buffalo vs. UConn -6

ST Pick: Buffalo +6
Hammer's Pick: UConn -6
Dark Star's Pick: UConn -6

Final Score: UConn 38, Buffalo 20

This was another game where my team ran out to a lead (20-10 at halftime). But UConn made some sort of adjustment at halftime and blew the Bison off the field in the second half.

It was an awful game for me to watch. But I sat there and made myself watch the whole thing. Why? I don't know. Maybe it's some sort of penance for my losing record. Whatever it was, I watched it and I feel a little better for it.

Sports Take: 12-19
Hammer: 17-14
Dark Star: 11-20

So after Round 5, not only do I not have a shot at .500, not only do I not have a shot to catch Hammer for the title, but I also have only a 1-game lead over Dark (who's been on life support since Round 2) for dead-last. A depressing turn of events to be sure.

But there are still 3 games left, and I'm going to do my damnedest to get them all right!

So with that, it's time for Round 7 of Sports Take Bowl Mania:

First up...

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Monday 1/5, 7pm CT (FOX)

Ohio State vs. Texas -8.5


The Buckeyes are 10-2 (7-1 in the Big Ten). The Longhorns are 11-1 (7-1 in the Big 12).

Here's my conundrum. I have a bet with a former colleague that the Big Ten will win more than one game this bowl season. So in that sense, I want Ohio State to win. And in the same way that Alabama laid an egg in the Sugar Bowl, it's not unthinkable that Texas could come out flat in this one after being "BCS'd" out of the National Title Game.

But how on earth can anyone have confidence in the Buckeye's post-season ability after their performances the last couple of years? At least they're not playing an SEC team this year. But after Texas' performance, I'm not sure there's that much difference.

So in the end, I have to take the chalk here. At least that way I can win with an OSU win or a Texas cover. Which pretty much guarantees a 7-point Texas victory no?

ST Pick: Texas -8.5
Hammer's Pick: Texas -8.5
Dark Star's Pick: Texas -8.5

Lastly...

GMAC Bowl - Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
Tuesday 1/6, 7pm CT (ESPN)

Ball State vs. Tulsa -3


The Cardinals are 12-1 (8-1 in the MAC). The Golden Hurricane are 10-3 (7-2 in Conference USA).

No idea where to go here. Ball State's coming off two straight losses, and has to be lacking in confidence, but can I really pick Tulsa?!

I guess it's time to look at the money again. The game opened at Ball State -2.5 and is now Tulsa -3. Methinks the wise guy's are going with Tulsa, so thither shall I go as well!

ST Pick: Tulsa -3
Hammer's Pick: Tulsa -3
Dark Star's Pick: Ball State +3

So there are your Round 7 picks. Only one more game to be picked, the BCS National Championship Game. And that heads your way Wednesday.

Until then, I hope your week goes by quickly. I hope mine does too! Thanks, as always, for reading!

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