First - Congratulations to UConn as they go to a BCS game without having been ranked all year. In a solid defensive effort by both teams - UConn led 16-6 with 9 mins left in the game - with their only TD being a pick 6 with 1:22 left in the first half. USF then forced a fumble on the UConn 28 and punched it reducing the lead to 16-13. With 1:16 left USF got a tying FG. UConn then drove to the USF 35 and kicker Dave Taggert kicked a career long FG with 17 seconds left to win the game. Big Al is pulling out all the stops this year for the Huskies. Big Al's Game Winner
Meanwhile MSU ended up being the highest ranked BCS team left out of the party. I'm not letting a flawed BCS system ruin a fantastic year by the Spartans. We ended up ranked number 7 in the AP and as Pat pointed out - he never left Spartan Stadium disappointed as we won all of our home games this year for the first time since we have been watching them. We will be playing in the Cap One Bowl (also on New Years Day) for the 2nd time in 3 years against Nick $aban, Bobby Williams and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Three former or current MSU HC will be in the same game. MSU started out getting 7 points and is now up to 11. Two very similar teams that run the ball to set up the play action and play good defense. Should be a dandy. I'll be having a Bowl Party that day with several TVs going showing all the games.
Indiana and Minny have already hired their new HC. I like the Minny HC - Jerry Kill former HC at Northern Illinois. He did a solid job at NI. Not so impressed with Indiana's replacement former Oklahoma OC Kevin Wilson. Indiana also could use an up and rising HC. Wilson's only HC experience - 1 year at Foard High School in North Carolina. Will see - he does have a good background including Assistant of the year in 2008. Very unimpressed with Colorado's former tight end coach with the Washington Redskins - Jon Embree. Really? a tight end coach? from the Redskins?. His biggest asset apparently is he played at Colorado (as a tight end - this guy has a ton of experience). He also brought in former Buff star Eric Bieniemy as OC. I'll be betting hard against Colorado next year. Of course, the BBofG would be betting against Colorado anyways since the Buffs are winless on VEGAS BABY weekends!
Michigan can't seem to make up their mind. If you are going to fire your HC - FIRE HIM! Otherwise, say he will be back. Not knowing is the worst for a program. UM is most likely secretly negotiating with others (and involved with Bowl Games). If they get who they want - and I doubt they will get Harbaugh - his next gig is in the pros with his bro - they will make a hire/fire announcement. Otherwise DickRod stays. Pretty underhanded if you ask me.
Week 14 Results:
The Big Book of Guesses 2.0 continued its trend of having a losing week followed by a winning week. Week 14 was destined to be a winning week and went 3-2 as:
Va Tech -3.5 vs Florida State - Tyrod Taylor led Va Tech to their 11th straight win throwing for 3 TDs and running for another. FSU without QB Christian Ponder kept it competitive - down only 17-21 at the half. But VT opened up the second half scoring TDs on their first two drives to take control 35-17. Va Tech thoroughly dominated the game though a late Seminole TD with 7 seconds left made the final score of 44-33 look closer than it was. With the win VT won its 3rd ACC championship in 4 years. WIN
Florida International -4.5 vs Middle Tenn State -.Another comeback loss by the BBofG. FIU jumped to an early 14-0 lead but MTSU battled back to lead 21-20 going into the 4th quarter. FIU scored a TD with 7:26 left to take the lead 27-21. MTSU answered with a TD on their next drive and held on to win 28-27. FIU was driving late getting the ball to the MTSU 37 yd line but fumbled the ball and game away with 3 minutes left. LOSS
Nevada -7.5 @ La Tech - As predicted, Nevada started out slowly after the hangover from the win over Boise State last week. With the game tied 14 all at the half, Nevada finally woke up and scored TDs on the first three drives of the second half and drove to the LT 19 on its fourth drive as time ran out on the game. Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick tied the NCAA rushing TDs by a QB and became the third QB to rush for more than 4,000 yds in a career. With the win, Nevada tied for the WAC championship with Boise State and Hawaii. Final score - Nevada 35 La Tech 17
Green Bay -9.5 vs San Francisco - In frigid conditions, the Pack bounced back nicely from last week's loss to the
Falcons. Leading 14-13 at the half, Green Bay scored TDs on their first two drives of the third quarter and FGs on the next two drives in the fourth as they pounded a SF team missing RB Frank Gore 34-16. With the loss SF has the second longest streak of losing seasons. The leader, of course is Detroit. WIN
New Orleans -6.5 @ Cincinnati - The BBofG suffered a comeback loss on Sunday too. New Orleans scored a TD with 12 minutes left to lead 27-21 but Cincinnati scored a TD and FG on its next two drives to take the lead 30-27 with 4:25 left. In a thrilling finish New Orleans QB Drew Brees led the Saints to a game winning TD with 31 seconds left to win 34-30. The FG by the Bengals, however, cost the BBofG the cover. LOSS
Week 15 Mega Bets:
Navy -7.5 vs Army (Neutral Field) - Only one Div 1A game on tap this week as Army and Navy square off on Saturday. The Middies have won 8 straight but the Black Knights are much improved this year as both the Middies and Black Knights will be going to a bowl in the same year for the first time since 1996. Navy is led by Sr QB Ricky Dobbs who is 4th all time in QB rushing TDs. Giving over a TD in this game is tough in this heated and storied rivalry but under the expanded Big Al rules I can't take Army. If the BBofG misses this one you know who to blame.
For the next few weeks the BBofG will have to pick the NFL until Bowl season starts kicks in. Even then, Bowls are notoriously difficult to pick needing to understand the motivation of the teams even more than the quality of the
Atlanta -7.0 @ Carolina - Atlanta may be due for a let down after having faced Tampa Bay, Green Bay and Baltimore in the last 4 weeks. But Carolina is an absolute disaster this year. Led by QB Jimmy Clausen they have managed to go 0-6 while he has the lowest QB rating in the NFL. This game screams trap game but I'm willing to put my foot in it. Expect Atlanta to start out slowly and then kick it in in the second half against a division rival.
Tampa Bay -2.0 @ Washington - Tampa Bay is 7-0 against teams with a losing record. Redskin’s record? 5-7. The
Redskins are the worst defense for giving up yards and that's with recently suspended Albert Haynesworth in the line up. The Bucs are coming off two tough losses to Baltimore and Atlanta. They should be able to use their 11th ranked
rushing offense to pound away and a hold up against a futile comeback attempt by a pathetic McNabb.
Baltimore -3 @ Houston - Playing the good team bounce back angle here. Baltimore is coming off a tough loss to the Steelers last week. Houston is in a bad slide losing 5 of their last six with the lone victory over the terrible Titans. Houston has lost 4 straight by an average of 6.5 points after leading in the fourth quarter. I'll go with that streak continuing.
Trivia Answer - 7- UConn, Northern Illinois and Washington are all Huskies while Mississippi State, Georgia, Fresno State and La Tech are all Bulldogs