The Junkies Pick Super Bowl 51

The time has come for the Super Bowl, and with it the Junkies’ annual tradition of picking the game.
This year, for the seven billionth consecutive time, we have the New England Patriots representing the AFC, but the Super Bowl will feature a dash of new blood as the Atlanta Falcons represent the NFC. The Falcons being in the game makes the NFC South the first division since the NFL realigned in 2002 to have all four teams play in a Super Bowl. Of course, outside of Atlanta, which is making its first post-realignment Super Bowl (in 1999 the Falcons were still in the NFC West, which is still hysterical), the only South team not to win is…my team, the Carolina Panthers. Pause for crying.
But you didn’t come to this preview to see me introduce the teams or cry about my own team’s failures. You came to get the Junkies’ Super Bowl take and their pick. I don’t know what Bizzle is going to do with his pick, outside of knowing he will reference The Bachelor several times, but I’ll make mine very simple: The Patriots are going to win. They’ll win by two touchdowns. Let’s call it 37-23.
I hate it, because I’m just sick of the Patriots, but they are going to win. They have the better team, even with tight end Rob Gronkowski sidelined with an injury. New England has a far better defense. They have the better coach, as they have in every game they have played the last 16 years. Atlanta’s only advantage is offensive weaponry; the Falcons possess one of the game’s best receivers, in Julio Jones, and maybe its top running back tandem, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.
This win will put to bed any remaining debate about the greatest quarterback of all time. Some of you may have read my post a couple of years ago basically whining that Tom Brady had now surpassed Joe Montana in my eyes, and he’s now advanced to his seventh Super Bowl, more than any player in league history. Whatever you might say about the caliber of competition in his division, the good fortune he has enjoyed (stupid Tuck Rule), and whatever else — and believe me, I have — you can’t argue the results. Brady’s the only quarterback to make seven Super Bowls, and he’s about to be the only one to win five. He can also tie Montana with three Super Bowl MVP awards if he wins this one — and it seems hard to believe New England will win without him winning that.
With that, hopefully New England will go away soon. Much like my feelings toward Alabama, I have nothing in particular against the Patriots other than the fact that I’m just tired of them. There comes a point where there’s no utility in even rooting against a sports dynasty because of the inevitable outcome, and New England surpassed that point some time ago. I know Brady will not retire after this game (in any case, I have him locked up to a keeper contract in my fantasy football league for next year, so I guess I hope he doesn’t), but hopefully that day will come soon. I’d like someone else to have a turn.

With that, I’ll turn it over to Bizzle, who surely has Bachelor, WWE and fiancee-related thoughts about this game.

A-Rob is just Jealous of the love I have for The Bachelor, mainly Corinne, the WWE, that Rumble was weak but Cena/Styles put on the match of the year and it’s only February. I failed to make mention of the WWE and my fiance in this Preview because I can’t be distracted as I give out my final NFL rose of the season. So A-Rob, you shut your mouth when your talking to me! 

As we sit here today, 20 weeks since the start of the NFL season, I’m completely torn between two teams. Who gets my final rose? Sure, I didn’t pick these two teams at the start of the season but this isn’t the Bachelor, it’s real life. I don’t get to chose who I watch in the Super Bowl. So here I am with one final prediction of the 2016 NFL season and as torn as I am, I must only choose one. The New England Patriots and I have had a long relationship built on lies and sure, there has been a little bit of cheating – or at least one of us has defined it as cheating. All that said I know what I’m getting with Tom Brady. Sure, his balls are a little underwhelming but he’s as reliable as they come. He and the Patriots are hands down the best modern dynasty and when every season rolls around, you know you’ll find yourself here in the playoffs hoping this team fails because of all the times they hurt you in the past. So you fight it every day, even when people say you’re wrong for going back to the Patriots because *insert hot new NFC team* will finally take down your unhealthy relationship.
People just don’t understand when I say the Patriots are good for football and Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. Yeah, sure, I’ve been let down in the past – the Matt Cassel year, Eli “Bleeping” Manning (twice), the Peyton Manning year, Spygate, Deflategate, and a certain former tight end out of the University of Florida who loved murdering people. You guys just wouldn’t understand. They are great for football and most certainly will not let me down in Super Bowl 51 and deny me and the rest of the world  what will go down as the most awkward trophy ceremony ever between the Patriots and Rodger Goodell. Even with all that said, I’m just not sure the Patriots can get it done because there is that new, sexy and exciting team in the Super Bowl and they are a lot of fun. The Falcons play fast and score often. The Atlanta Falcons are the type of team that keeps you out drinking until 3 a.m. and is back up at 11 a.m. day drinking the day away. Julio Jones and company have a way to keep them on your mind, you can’t help but think about leaving  the Patriots for an explosive offense that was number one in the NFL, a quarterback that doesn’t wear Uggs but does wear lingerie (see photo).

I don’t know the context of that photo but all I know is Tom Brady would never do that for you. Sure, he’d get you rings but would he ever make it about you? They also have a head coach in Dan Quinn who was the defensive coordinator of the last sexy team the NFC produced, only this time he’s got the studs that team didn’t have, or at least that’s what you are telling yourself.
As I ramble through this insanely tough decision, the final decision of the NFL season, what’s a boy to do? Two very interesting choices who can end your season on a high note but who can also make you the laughingstock of the Internet community. New England, you’ve been here before and I know what to expect day in and day out. Atlanta, new and exciting – I have no idea what to expect, greatness or a train wreck, but you’re new so I’m so very interested. As I drop to one knee for the final time, in hopes of going into the 2017 season knowing I know more than my colleagues. Will you, the New England Patriots, marry me in this Super Bowl 51 venture and accept my final rose for the final game of the season? Sure, you’ve done some stuff and I’ve done some stuff, but we both know how right this feels and I’d like to keep feeling this way forever, or at least until baseball season begins and I can get back with my first love, the Chicago Cubs aka your World Champs. #NeverForget.

Patriots 37 Falcons 24

MVP: Tom Brady aka GOAT
The Baldness is out of this Preview due to an illness that has sidelined him indefinitely but still want to give you guys his prediction: Patriots 31 Falcons 21 get well Baldy and to help you get through the sickness here’s a picture of Giselle.

Alright #Junkiesnation let’s hope it’s a good game either way. Glad A-Rob could stop on by to give you guys some actual football knowledge and not the nonsense Bizzle spits out. Can’t wait to hear A-Rob cry, whine and hopefully write another Tom Brady Rant after the Patriots win. For Bizzle he will much like the halftime preformer be caught in a bad romance with his pick. As for Baldy he’s probably just hoping to not be puking his brains out come game time! Now on to Spring Training!!

The Junkies Pick Super Bowl 51

Bizzle Picks The NFL Conference Title Games. 

And then there were four.

Finally, we got to enjoy a couple really good games in the divisional round, which went pretty much as I expected as I went 3 out of 4 in picks last week. The damned Steelers blew my perfect week with a zero-TD victory over the outmatched Chiefs. We had Aaron Rodgers doing Aaron Rodgers type things — more on that later. It’s been pretty rainy all over the country which can only be attributed to the tears of Cowboys Nation, who all but assumed they would make it to the NFC title game — see this jackwagon’s tattoo.

In store this week, we have a big time AFC matchup of teams who flat out don’t like each other, and that is awesome. Nothing better than two rivals playing for a chance to make the Super Bowl; I smell a classic on our hands. Between that and seeing what Aaron Rodgers does next I couldn’t be more excited for championship weekend….Well, at least until the next Bachelor episode debuts on Monday. Be prepared: There is even more Bachelor talk coming up with some football talk sprinkled in.

Sunday 3:05pm

Green Bay Packers 10-6 at Atlanta Falcons 11-5

Excuse my language out the gate but that Aaron Rodgers is a goddamn man, worthy of the highest GDM status. I’ll save you the trouble of my listing all the things that the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers are hotter than: like Molten Lava and Corinne from the Bachelor (and not for her looks — she is making this Bachelor must see TV). Seriously, other girls, if you want her to stop taking all the Nick time then step your games up. She is playing the game like a champ and you all are hoping that sitting on the sidelines is the way to play it. It’s not.

Speaking of sidelines, did you see that throw Rodgers made at the end of the Cowboys game? Of course you did! Holy hell, that took some serious onions to pull off. Cowboys fans are still salty over another playoff letdown. Seriously, the stat of teams that have won more playoff games than the Cowboys is amazing. 

The Falcons are on that list for sure, as they took down the Seahawks in convincing fashion and yet are seemingly an afterthought as Rodgers has completely stolen the spotlight, Corinne style. Expect some points on Sunday afternoon. I believe the over/under in this game is like 60 points, which is insane in a playoff game. What a way for the Falcons to close out the Georgia Dome, with a chance to make it to their first Super Bowl since 1999.

On paper the Falcons are the better team with the presumptive MVP at quarterback and all the injuries for the Packers.  The X-factor, of course, is that I’ve rolled with the Packers the entire post season due to my new found obsession for The Bachelor (thanks Justine). So this week will be no different. Hell of a year Matty Ice, and thank you for bringing me my first fantasy football championship, but you did not receive a rose. Please take a moment and say your goodbyes.

Packers 33 Falcons 31

Sunday 6:40pm

Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5 vs New England Patriots 14-2

So through the first two rounds of the playoffs, I have picked against the Steelers each week in hopes that I wouldn’t have to watch them anymore. Every time this past couple weeks I would say “Go Dolphins” or “Go Chiefs” I’d get the death stare from my soon to be wife. I’m sure it won’t be the last time I get those types of looks from her, especially if I keep writing about how much I hate her team. The Steelers didn’t score a single touchdown against the Chiefs and somehow managed to win the game. If you would have told me that would happen prior to the game, I would have thought you were crazier than Terry Bradshaw’s awful ass. What can I say, the Steelers continue to make me look awful and the couch and I are becoming very very close.

While I’ve been enjoying some couch time it gives me an opportunity to ponder my options, which I have to tell you aren’t the greatest. The Patriots are widely considered the cheaters of the NFL — whether it’s shrunken balls or spying on the competition, the Patriots are always pushing the envelope when it comes to finding the edge. The shrunken balls incident may have actually helped the Patriots in the long run, though. Look at it this way; Tom Brady missed the first four games of the season due to the suspension. Add in the bye week and Tom got five weeks to lay around with his supermodel wife wearing nothing but Uggs, or at least that’s what I would would do with all that money. That, folks, makes him the freshest he has ever been for a playoff run. Sure, they had some struggles against the Texans last week but you have to think they were just going through the motions against an inferior opponent. Yeah, Brock Osweiler, you are nowhere near Brady’s level and I’m so happy I don’t have to watch you play for at least 8 months.

What is a man to do? Every single week I pick against the Steelers and every week I’m wrong. To add insult to that, my wonderful fiancee continues to rub it in weekly. I am a prideful man and am sick of the Steelers proving me wrong. So I should pick the Patriots to blow out Mike Tomlin and the Steelers. I’d love to see Antonio Brown post that on Facebook Live — what a bum. However, if I pick the Steelers this week, not only do I win a few lost brownie points with the future wife, but they will hopefully prove me wrong again and lose to Brady and company. So I’m going to be a little confusing, as I’m taking the Steelers to pull off the upset and advance to Super Bowl 51, but I’ll be rooting so hard for the Patriots you’d think I was a Julian Edelman Tinder hookup.

Steelers 23 Patriots 19

Enjoy, and we’ll see you in a few weeks for Super Bowl 51!

Bizzle Picks The NFL Conference Title Games. 

Bizzle’s NFL Divisional Round Playoff Picks! 

What an uneventful and boring Wild Card Weekend. I mean, what the hell? No upsets, not a single close game – talk about a snoozefest. Well NFL, you get a chance to redeem yourself with the divisional round of the playoffs. Dallas, Atlanta, New England and Kansas City are ready to join the fun, hopefully. I don’t know if I can sit through another week of lopsided games, which is pretty much why I will be avoiding the Texans- Patriots game –  that has ass whipping written all over it. Which probably means it will be a close game and be a Texans upset – yuck.

I haven’t had the greatest track record in picking football the last few weeks – thanks Clemson, for adding insult to injury. Of course I’m struggling now that people actually ask my opinion these days. So even though I’ll probably miss on every single pick and Brock Osweiler will become the greatest thing since Kate Upton, I once again present my predictions  for the NFL playoffs. What am I thinking? 

4:35pm Saturday
Seattle Seahawks 10-5-1 vs Atlanta Falcons 11-5
Mr. Nice Guy himself, Matt Ryan, seems to have finally put everyone on notice that he is among the elite at the quarterback position. He’s having an MVP worthy season, leading the offense that scored the most points in the NFL, and getting that elusive bye in round one. What’s your prize? Oh, it’s just the always tough Seahawks. Matty Ice can’t seem to catch a break.

Everyone has Seattle in this game, and can you blame them? They have the pedigree, the defense (even without Earl Thomas), and the running game seems to be on track. So why would anyone go against the Seahawks? Well, I am and I’ll tell you why.

I play in two fantasy football leagues and I had Russell Wilson in one and Matt Ryan in the other. In one league I finished dead last and in the other I won the championship. I think you see where this is going. Russell Wilson, you let me down. Sure, it wasn’t all your fault but it’s not all on Dan Marino that he never won a Super Bowl either, yet it’s held against him. I’m applying the same logic to fantasy football. Yeah, I may have made some poor draft choices but it’s a quarterback driven league right? In my other league I took Matt Ryan very very late in the draft – hell, I didn’t even want him. But I took a flyer because he’s a nice guy and boom he became an MVP candidate. Did I mention Ryan helped win me my first championship? So maybe I’m lucky, or maybe I know more about fantasy football than I thought.
Couple Matt Ryan with Julio Jones, arguably the best receiver in the game, and that is a tough thing to stop. Earl Thomas won’t be walking through that door and without Thomas in the lineup Jones had 7 receptions for 139 yards and a score in these teams’ regular season meeting. Being at home against a weakened Seattle defense will be the difference in the game as Ryan and Jones make Richard Sherman their….well, you know. Let’s just say it will be a long day for Sherman.
Atlanta 34 Seattle 21

8:15pm Saturday
Houston Texans 9-7 vs New England Patriots 14-2
Seriously, Brock Osweiler, you finally have to play a decent enough game to make my rant against you pointless? Well, I refuse to back off my stance that you are beyond overpaid and a terrible quarterback. Thank God this Texans season will come to an end this Saturday night. Do I believe the Osweilers have any remote chance to beat the Patriots? Absolutely not.
I don’t need a statistical breakdown to call this one, all I need is that Houston got shut out 27-0 in week 3 to a guy who I repeatedly confuse for a classy sandwich, Jacoby Brissett. Sure, teams change over the course of a season. The Texans finally have Jadavon Clowney playing like a top pick, but what they don’t have is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time in the fold.
Tom Brady missed the first four weeks of the season because his balls were a little flat. That didn’t stop him from being in the MVP discussion and put up a 28 touchdown 2 interception “Eff You” season. Tom and Company are locked in and on a mission to shake hands with a sure to be not too pleased Rodger Godell. I know it’s wrong in a lot of circles to root on the Cheaters, but just imagine that podium. I hope Brady pulls back his hand and dabs all over that fool. Usually I’m long-winded with these predictions but all I’m going to say is, we are on to the AFC title game.

Patriots 38 Texans 17

4:40pm Sunday
Green Bay Packers 10-6 at Dallas Cowboys 13-3
Is there anything in this world hotter than Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers right now? Off the top of my head, a few things: Our queen Kate Upton doing the Cat Daddy here’s the link https://youtu.be/MCUnWIs88CQ,Hatchimals –  those god-awful creepy Furby looking things that I couldn’t find my daughter for Christmas unless I wanted to drop a grand on eBay – and there’s always Maryse, the Miz’s wife. And if you don’t know who that is, or who the Miz is, honestly I can’t be friends with you because the WWE is awesome and anyone who doesn’t agree is a bona fide hater.

Maybe, just maybe, the only thing hotter than Aaron and Company is that rookie duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. While it was expected that Zeke would find success behind the best o-line in the NFL, Prescott was a big surprise. He was a 4th round flyer and was going into this season expected to be the 3rd string quarterback and learn from Tony Romo. Well, Romo gonna Romo, and he got hurt in the preseason – so did backup Kellen Moore.

Enter Dak, who managed to not screw things up in Dallas. He’s played himself into the Rookie of the Year discussion and even whispers of MVP talk. Was it Dak or was it all the talent around him? I call this the Rondo theory. Remember when Rondo was the Point guard in Boston and had KG, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce around him? Well I to this day I argue I could have out up decent assist totals and points surrounded by 3 future Hall of Famers. Is the same true for Dak? Case in point: Best running back in football, best offensive line in football, a sometimes head case but always great receiver in Dez Bryant, and oh yeah,one of the all time best tight ends in Jason Witten. I’m not saying he was awful, and I’m sure loudmouth Cowboys fans will bash me for that take, but it’s not as if Prescott had the Cleveland Browns roster in front of him.
By the way, is there any more annoyingly loud fanbase than Cowboys fans? You guys act like you’ve won something in the last 20 years – but I guess flaunt it if you got it. Last week I rolled with the Packers because of Jordan Rodgers and Jo-Jo, and if you listened to our radio spot on the Pat Doherty show, I was planning on going chalk. But because of my love for The Bachelor and the fact that the Packers are the only team I got correct last week, I am rolling with the Packers again. Hail Rodgers will crush the hearts of Cowboys fans everywhere and Twitter will explode.
Packers 27 Cowboys 24

8:20pm Sunday
Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5 vs Kansas City Chiefs 12-4
Talk about a game of polar opposites. (Get it? Polar? Because they’re playing in an ice storm? Oh, forget it.) On one hand you have the Steelers, with Dancing With The Stars contestant and twerk legend Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, who enjoys the kindest of the kind and the stickiest of the icky, assistant coach Joey Porter, who loves getting arrested, and oh yeah, Big Ben. We all know what may or may not have happened with him. The Steelers are chock full of storylines and excitement – that’s going to happen when you have stars at all three skill positions. Hell, even Mike Tomlin is capable of tripping guys during games.

Well, for Kansas City, they are the exact opposite of excitement. The most exciting thing about the Chiefs is probably Andy Reid’s mustache. Hell the Quarterbacks name is Alex SMITH –  is there a more boring name in the NFL? The only way his name would be more boring would be if his name was Boring McBoringson III. If NFL Sunday Ticket had a rating system of how many out of market people watched a Chiefs game, I’m sure it wouldn’t be very high on the list. That being said, they get the job done and win football games. I picked them preseason to go 12-4 so I’m not totally surprised at their success but I know a lot of you casual fans probably are, and couldn’t even tell me which state Kansas City plays in. (Here’s a hint, it’s not Kansas.) Well in an effort to win back some good graces of the future wife I’m going to take the Steel…
Wait a second. You  know what, I’m going Chiefs and it’s because I saw the way you looked at Antonio Brown when he’d go shirtless on DWTS, miss fiancée, don’t think I’ve forgotten. Let’s go Chiefs! Can’t wait to see the state of Kansas…I mean Missouri represented in the AFC title game. #CouchGuyStrong baby!

Chiefs 33 Steelers 24

Bizzle’s NFL Divisional Round Playoff Picks! 

Bizzle’s Wild Card Weekend Preview!

I’ll blow this place to kingdom come – Wild Card, bitches!! It’s Wild Card weekend, baby!! Finally that means no more 49ers or Browns football, no more ties, as well as no more god-awful Thursday Night Football. Those things alone make wild card weekend special. It’s even more special for the Patriots, Chiefs, Cowboys and Falcons, as they all have a bye this week. I would suggest to all of those teams, don’t do anything at all, especially travel. The world will crush you if you enjoy your bye week. Sure, the Giants’ players weren’t on a bye, but they enjoyed the new year in Miami and the world lost their minds. That’s dumb. It didn’t get in they way of their jobs. Be honest, if you had that type of money you would do the same thing. So for guys like Dez Bryant and Alex Smith, you should just sit at home, grab some popcorn, maybe a Vitaminwater, and study the teams you may potentially play next week. I repeat, Julio Jones, Julian Edelman and Jamaal Charles, have zero fun this Wild Card weekend. Maybe if you guys are free, take a few minutes and read Bizzle’s Wild Card Weekend Preview. They probably won’t, but you should. Without further ado:

4:35pm Saturday

Oakland Raiders 12-4 at Houston Texans 9-7

This game has lost some of its appeal – well, actually, a lot of its appeal. The QBs you want to be playing in the matchup aren’t, and the two you don’t, are. For the Raiders, Derek Carr was having a career year: 28 touchdowns and 3,900 yards and even some MVP talk. Finally, the Silver and Black were actually back and they were for real. Well, Carr won me a fantasy football championship, then broke his leg. Matt McGloin started week 17, and he got hurt as well. Now, enter rookie Connor Cook who, before the week 17 relief appearance, we last saw him getting destroyed by Alabama in the College Football Playoff. Luckily for Cook, he’s got a great offensive line and running game behind him, and a stud wide receiver in Amari Cooper.

For Texans fans, they finally got what everyone wanted when Bill O’Brien benched Mr. “I Can’t Throw a Football More Than 4 Yards Downfield” aka Brock Osweiler. In came Tom Savage on his majestic white horse and saved the day for Texans fans, hell, football fans everywhere. Finally, no more Osweiler making DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller obsolete. Fantasy owners everywhere hadn’t exactly been thrilled about that. Well, of course the football gods had to take away everything wonderful about Tom Savage by concussing the shit out of him. The football gods have single-handedly taken away everything wonderful and pure about this Wild Card game. Thank God it’s the Saturday afternoon special.

As I’ve stated before, I’ve got kids and things to do so I might skip this one. Sure, Connor Cook could become the next Tom Brady (doubtful), but the Lord knows who Brock Osweiler is, and the only reasons he is here are because Texans’ management is dumb and someone had to win the AFC South. Whatever the over/under is for this game, you should definitely take the under and probably just watch the fourth quarter, because points will be impossible to come by, especially if Connor Cook isn’t the second coming of Ken Stabler. Tough decision here, but my hatred for Osweiler is going to break the tie.

Raiders 17 Texans 12

8:35pm Saturday

Detroit Lions 9-7 at Seattle Seahawks 10-5-1

It’s safe to say that the Seattle Seahawks are the New England Patriots of the West Coast. No matter what happens they manage to get into the playoffs. Whether it be key players leaving via free agency, injuries or even having a tie on their record, it won’t keep them outside of the playoffs. Pete Carroll and Co. always get in, and that’s all you have to do to give yourself a chance to win the whole thing. It could also be that that Seattle plays in a weak division that includes 49ers and Rams teams that make train wrecks seem mild. Even with a down year from Russell Wilson – which I’m all but convinced had to do with finally tying the knot with Ciara and breaking his vow of abstinence, which meant he had to put more strain on his body. Maybe it’s just me, but those certain activities can exhaust a person, especially if out of practice. So I can understand why he seemed a bit off all season, even if it cost me a chance to repeat my previous years fantasy success, thanks to Ciara.

Whether or not she really had anything to do with Wilson’s play this season, they still managed to get into the playoffs and are a heavy favorite against the Lions, who surprised quite a few people by making it in the first place. Who would have thought that losing Megatron, Calvin Johnson, would mean a a playoff berth? I know I didn’t. Funny, Megatron retires from football, probably because he was sick of losing, only to lose on Dancing With The Stars to Laurie Hernandez, an Olympic Gymnast. That doesn’t seem even remotely, fair but thats another article altogether. That said, the Lions  basically controlled their own destiny the final three games, but decided to go 0-3. One win and the division was theirs, but no, they had to give it away to the red-hot Packers in true Lions fashion.


Now they are being counted out by everyone and rightfully so. Seattle is no easy place to get a win even if the Seahawks are not as dominant as in years past. But you brought this on yourselves and Jim Caldwell should be thankful that Jim Bob Cooter isn’t taking his job in Detroit. Man, I love saying Jim Bob Cooter. For that reason and that reason alone:

Lions 23 Seahawks 17

1:05 pm Sunday

Miami Dolphins 10-6 at Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5


So here I am in a very tough spot while previewing and predicting this particular matchup. Earlier this season the Dolphins put it to the Steelers. Well, back to my dilemma. So my wonderful and amazing fiancee is a die-hard Steelers fan, and I happen to be a Bengals supporter (unfortunately). Naturally, I have a distaste for the black and yellow. This has me hoping they lose because I’m sick of hearing about all their success and personally, I think Terry Bradshaw is an idiot and can’t wait until he retires from Fox. Sorry to get off track but if you are reading this you know we tend to do that.

The Steelers are finally for the first time going to play a playoff game with the three B’s all healthy: Ben, Bell and Brown. From a purely football perspective it’s about damn time to see what this offense can do. The Dolphins will have their hands full stoping the B’s. I’m still shocked that Miami is even here. If you would have said they will lose Ryan Tannehill at any point and make the playoffs, I’d have laughed. Hell, you could have said with a healthy Tannehill they’d make the playoffs and I’d call you slightly crazy.

Unfortunately for Tannehill, Matt Moore has been serviceable since taking over in week 14 and has the Dolphins on the right track going 2-1 to close out a 10-6 record. A playoff win for Moore could help answer the question of whether or not Tannehill is a top quarterback or just another overrated top pick. Moore isn’t going to be expected to do this all alone on Sunday afternoon, as he has breakout running back Jay Ajayi who made fantasy football junkies cream their jeans with his stellar play. Ultimately, it will come down to the defensive line and Ndamukong Suh, getting pressure on Big Ben, and holding Bell to a modest day, That’s been hard to do since he came back from a suspension he got due to smoking the chronic or missing a drug test for enjoying the stickiest of the sticky – ultimately the same thing.

Sure, the Steelers on paper look like the smart pick here, but as but as Charlie Kelly famously once said, “Wild Card, Bitches!” So in true wild card fashion, I’m going Dolphins! Now, I’m sure if my Fiancee reads this, she’s not going to be thrilled by the previous statements made in this prediction. I can only hope that the couch is kind to me tonight.

Dolphins 34 Steelers 27

4:40pm Sunday

New York Giants 11-5 vs Green Bay Packers 10-6

It’s that rare time that both Aaron Rodgers and his brother Jordan are both relevant at the same time. For those who are unaware, have no fear, I’m here to connect the dots. Obviously, Aaron is relevant for being the best quarterback in the NFL and leading the Packers back from a 4-6. dead in the water record to win the final 6 games and the NFC North – which I called, so look at me now haters! Blah blah blah, Jordy is back, we are going to be better than 10-6, they said, guess not.

When it comes to Jordan, well, the Bachelor is back and better than ever with Nick attempting to find love for the 4th time, which means you’ve seen Jordan and Jo-Jo showing their support and giving advice in preview shows. Which got me thinking, do you think that Jordan is rooting for the Giants just to spite his brother, who apparently cut off the family years ago and hasn’t spoken to Jordan in years? Unlike Aaron and Jordan, Eli and his brother seem pretty close and you may have heard of him. He’s pretty famous. Cooper Manning. In all seriousness, if the Giants make a run and win the Super Bowl that would make Eli 3-0 in Super Bowls and give him a commanding lead over Peyton, who is now retired and doing Papa John’s commericals at an alarming rate. If Eli goes three for three in SBs, does that make him better than his brother Peyton? Some people that buy the “he has more rings” logic would think so.

Would Eli surpassing Peyton cause a Aaron/Jordan type rift amongst the Manning brothers? Will Odell Beckham Jr. marry any more sideline equipment? Maybe Eli Apple’s mom will let her son stay out past 10 if he wins a Super Bowl. I have so many questions and intrigue on the Giants side, but I am all in on all things Bachelor. I’m first in my Bachelor fantasy pool by the way. So Green Bay, will you accept this rose?

Packers 33 Giants 21

Well, there you have it folks. I’m sure I’m wrong and if so, you’ll all tell me about it. Until next week Junkies Nation, enjoy the Wild Card games and a Happy New Year to you all!!

Bizzle’s Wild Card Weekend Preview!

An Open Letter to Odell Beckham Jr.

Dear Mr. Beckham Jr.
You don’t know me, but I’m writing due to your actions on Dec. 20 against the Carolina Panthers and most notably Josh Norman. I’d like to start off by saying, I’m not going to act like that lady from Tennessee who thought Cam Newton dancing ruined her child. I’m here to talk to you about something much much more important than how your actions affect the youth of America. Your actions on Dec. 20 cost me $200! Thats right, I play fantasy football, and your selfish behavior out there cost me a fantasy football championship. The grand prize for that title? Yup, you guessed it, $200!
I understand a gentleman such as yourself who makes the cover of video games and magazines doesn’t care about $200, but I can assure that I do, Odell. Do you understand what kind of difference 200 big ones would make to a guy like me? You should have thought about me and the and the entire fantasy football world when you half-ass slapped Josh Norman.
Sure, I can sit there and blame the referees for not throwing you out of that game (which may have saved you from a suspension), but I’m not going to be that guy. If I would’ve known you were going to torpedo yourself into the head of Josh Norman back in August I wouldn’t have drafted you for $45! What good is my highest paid player if he is unplayable in the most important week of my fantasy football life? I’m no spring chicken and don’t know how many more chances I have to make it back to the elusive OC Fantasy Football championship game.
What exactly were you attempting to accomplish out there? I’m sure Josh Norman said some things but did that give you the right to go batshit crazy and cost me and thousands of others money and a potential life-changing championship? I hope that Sunday, when you were sitting at home watching your team get blasted by the Minnesota Vikings, you were thinking about me and the fact that I had to start the far inferior Devin Funchess, who can’t catch a ball with two hands better than you can with one. Yes, Odell, this is a deep 14-team league and my waiver options were limited. Odell, you really put a damper on my first crack at a championship and my chances at $200! So tonight when you are out at the club or whatever it is that you do, I hope this gets sent to you and you do the right thing and write me a check for $200 to make up for immature, selfish and asinine behavior.
There, the ball is in your court, Odell. Do the right thing here and ease the pain of a die-hard fantasy football player who’s counted on  you  from day one. Sure, I could have taken Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, AJ Green or even Golden Tate (hell, he’s actually playing this week), but I chose you and kept up my end of the deal when entering into this partnership. I kept you in the lineup every week come hell or high water. Remember your combined 7.9 points in two games against Dallas? Well I do, and I still kept you in there. This will be the first week all season you don’t play and that’s on you, not myself, not the refs, not a baseball bat, not some trash talk or even Josh Norman. It’s on you and I believed in you all season, so Odell, I urge you to continue to make a believer out of me and do the right thing and send that check to help ease the pain of this fantasy football owner’s now-awful championship week. I had huge plans for my title reign and now I must think about what could have been.
I cannot stress this enough, you really let me down sir. do the right thing here and don’t make me have to resort to starting a GoFundMe page to get what should be coming to me. I know you are short a bit of money with the holidays and that whole lost-game-check thing so I’ll wait as long as it takes. Have a wonderful weekend, Odell, hope to hear from you soon.
Love,
John

 

An Open Letter to Odell Beckham Jr.

The Junkies’ Massive Bowl Preview Is Back!

Last year, the Junkies previewed and picked every single bowl matchup. It was awesome. This year, the college football powers that be decided to challenge us to up the ante by adding more games! This year there are a whopping 41 bowls if you count the national title game. Three 5-7 teams even got in on the fun this year, which is an absolute joke, but whatever, it means more football, and I guess we’re all ok with that.

Bizzle and I again switch back and forth between games for this annual tradition, with me going first. Here we go again, boys and girls!

Gildan New Mexico Bowl
12/19, 2 pm, ESPN
Arizona (6-6) vs New Mexico (7-5)

The bowl season gets underway with this titanic clash of “DickRod U” vs. Bob Davie. Believe it or not, that bag of crap Davie actually had a pretty solid year with the Lobos and his team was in the running for a Mountain West championship until the final week of the season. He even went into Boise State and won on the blue turf, a feat once unthinkable. His reward is playing host to Arizona in a bowl game. Unfortunately for Coach Davie, I think “DickRod U” will be playing fired up after their coach rejected the advances of South Carolina. I smell a rout in this one.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Arizona A-Rob: Arizona


Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
12/19, 3:30 pm, ABC
BYU (9-3) vs Utah (9-3)

Ladies and gentlemen, the Holy War is back, at least for one game. The Utah Utes take on the BYU Cougars. The former conference rivals at one point had played each other every year since ‘46. For Utah, they looked the part earlier on in the season as a serious playoff contender. They fell off in the second half of the season, and the loss of leading rusher Devontae Booker didn’t help the Utes as they finished 3-3 to end the season.

BYU started out the 2015 season with some magical performances. The Hail Mary week one agianst Nebraska with a backup quarterback, Tanner Mangum. Then a couple of last-minute scores shocked then No. 20 Boise St. BYU lost 3 of their 4 games against Power 5 schools, though (UCLA, Michigan, Mizzou), and factor that in with the surprise departure of head coach Bronco Mendenhall to Virginia. It looks like its the Utes who will be taking this latest installment of the Holy War.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Utah A-Rob: Utah


Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
12/19, 5:30 pm, ESPN
Ohio (8-4) vs Appalachian State (10-2)

Look, guys, it’s our first non-Power 5 bowl! These are always a guilty pleasure of ours because you never really know what to expect. The non-Power 5 leagues don’t play each other a lot, or at least you don’t know if they do because let’s be honest, you don’t pay attention. So nothing that happens in these matchups can surprise you. That being said, an Ohio win in this matchup would surprise me. App State has had a great year this year to reach the 10-win mark, and 1 of their 2 losses came to top-ranked Clemson. The MAC generally doesn’t show up for bowl season, but I’d love to see my boys prove me wrong.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Ohio A-Rob: Appalachian State



AutoNation Cure Bowl

12/19, 7 pm, CBSSN
San Jose State (5-7) vs Georgia State (6-6)

Full disclosure, when I saw this was a bowl game I had to double take. Which led to a lot of questions like: Exactly why is this a bowl game? What is the Cure Bowl? Did the band The Cure sponsor this? Isn’t Georgia St. a D2 school? How is San Jose St. a D1 school? What teams passed playing in a bowl that these schools where called? What exactly are the bowl tie-ins for this game? (I’m not looking them up so feel free.) So, needless to say, I haven’t seen one split second of either one of these teams play and I flat out refuse to try and break down a matchup of a 6-6 Georgia St. team vs a 5-7 San Jose St. game. Why exactly do we need this game? To fill TV time during the holidays? If that’s the case, just slap on a marathon of 2 Broke Girls, something I’ve also never seen but I bet it’s night and day better than this game. Before I end this rant, I challenge anyone reading to explain to me how this bowl game is good for college football.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: San Jose State, I guess A-Rob: Georgia State


R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
12/19, 9 pm, ESPN
Arkansas State (9-3) vs Louisiana Tech (8-4)

The New Orleans Bowl was our first bowl last year and it took place at 11 am. Fortunately for fans of the teams in this game, ESPN saw sense for this year’s edition and has put it at 9 pm. Awwww yeah, it’s time to get drunk! Expect a rowdier crowd for this game. This is also what feels like the first time in about a decade that Louisiana-Lafayette isn’t in this bowl game, so we’ll have a new flavor for the contest this year. I’m sticking with the home-state team for the pick, though.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Louisiana Tech A-Rob: Louisiana Tech


Miami Beach Bowl
12/21, 2:30 pm, ESPN
Western Kentucky (11-2) vs South Florida (8-4)

Well, for the Hilltoppers and Bulls, it is going to take quite a game to top last year’s inaugural Miami Beach Bowl. Not only was the game a shootout, as Memphis prevailed 55-48 in a double overtime affair, but almost immediately after the game ended, the teams engaged in an all-out brawl.

Expect another shootout in the Beach Bowl as Western Kentucky can put up points with the best of them. After a slow start, the Bulls finished strong winning their last four games. This game could be one of those classic “Which team has the ball last” type of games. Sure, WKU has the flashy record and their first conference title under their belt, but who do they play? Watch for the Bulls to pull off the upset here as the Hilltoppers will have sand and beaches on the mind.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: South Florida A-Rob: Western Kentucky


Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
12/22, 3:30 pm, ESPN
Akron (7-5) vs Utah State (6-6)

This bowl always cracks me up because we never, ever see a team from ANYWHERE NEAR Boise playing in it. I also love to imagine the teams’ reactions when they find out they’re going to spend a week in freaking Idaho in late December. What a great way to end the season, right? Anyway, this matchup features Terry Bowden, who no one under 30 even knows anymore, and the team that once employed Chuckie Keeton as its quarterback…what’s that? Keeton is still there? Seriously? Well, that’s it, obviously he’s going to lead his team to victory.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Akron A-Rob: Utah State


Marmot Boca Raton Bowl
12/22, 7 pm, ESPN
Temple (10-3) vs Toledo (9-2)

All I heard when Temple played Notre Dame this season was things like, “They are only ranked to help Notre Dame” along with a lot of “it’s going to be so funny to see ND lose to Temple”. Well, haters, neither of those statements were accurate — close but not accurate at all. Temple is good, just ask Christian Hackenberg. They did almost knock off the Irish but came up just short. So don’t sleep on this Owls team. Speaking of sleeping, hopefully Bret Bielema still has nightmares over the Rockets upsetting his then-No. 18 ranked Razorbacks earlier this season. Toledo made sure to make sure Bielema paid for his comments about how other schools schedule. That’s enough for me to take the Rockets in this one.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Toledo A-Rob: Temple


San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
12/23, 4:30 pm, ESPN
Boise State (8-4) vs Northern Illinois (8-5)

The two best non-Power 5 programs of the decade finally take the field together, ironically, when they’re each having mediocre seasons by their standards. Boise State in particular hasn’t been this far from good in a long time. They lost twice at home, which is completely unheard of. NIU also had their struggles, although they also played a tough game against Ohio State. I expect a fun game here despite the two teams’ somewhat disappointing seasons.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Boise State A-Rob: Northern Illinois


GoDaddy Bowl
12/23, 8 pm, ESPN
Georgia Southern (8-4) vs Bowling Green (10-3)

Would it be wrong of me to start off this preview by saying I’m strictly interested in this game because the GoDaddy.com commerial are some of the most artistic achievements on television? Raise your hand if you knew Georgia Southern existed before they took Georgia to the limit. Be honest, you didn’t, and neither did I. Outside of coming up short of pulling out the biggest win in school history, I had no clue they made the jump to D1. (side note: I refuse to use FCS. You are either D1 or not.) Bowling Green comes in as the number one team in D1 football in terms of passing yards, which always makes for an interesting clash going up against an option school. So I don’t know about you but primetime Wednesday I’ll vow to watch more than five minutes of this game.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Bowling Green A-Rob: Georgia Southern


Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl
12/24, 12 pm, ESPN
Middle Tennessee (7-5) vs Western Michigan (7-5)

The best bowl on the menu for my money. A year later and I still can’t believe they put a bowl in the damn Bahamas. And naturally it provided one of the most memorable plays of last bowl season when Central Michigan’s lateral-palooza resulted in a last-second touchdown. Other schools in the MAC and Sun Belt just have to be pissed when they find out they’re not the lucky ones to draw a trip to the Bahamas this year. I, A-Rob, even joke to my wife each year that Ball State in the Bahamas Bowl would mean we’d have to go, and even though money means we won’t, she doesn’t dismiss it out of hand. That’s how freaking awesome this bowl is.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Middle Tennessee A-Rob: Western Michigan


Hawaii Bowl
12/24, 8 pm, ESPN
San Diego State (10-3) vs Cincinnati (7-5)

There isn’t more proof that mediocrity can pay than earning a trip to Hawaii for Christmas after going 7-5. Well, Cincinnati did just that, (Lucky bastards.) While a good portion of the country will be freezing their asses off on Christmas Eve, the Bearcats well be in Hawaii. A bit of air has been deflated from this game as Gunner Kiel will not be making the trip due to personal reasons. Hey Irish fans, remember that guy? Yeah, me either. For the Aztecs, who are the class of the Mountain West Conference, a win in this game feels important as the MWC seems to want to be taken more seriously. So a big time showing in the Hawaii Bowl would be a step in the right direction.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: San Diego State A-Rob: San Diego State


St. Petersburg Bowl
12/26, 11 am, ESPN
UConn (6-6) vs Marshall (9-3)

The Fighting Bob Diacos head to Tropicana Field! Diaco did a low-key nice job this year. He was left an absolute tire fire by Paul Pasqualoni and has swiftly built UConn back up to, at least, mediocrity. Heck, they’re the only team this year to beat Houston. Look for Diaco to get some major Power 5 love next off-season if the Huskies take another step forward. In the meantime I expect them to win this bowl game because Marshall’s been to this bowl recently and won’t give a rat’s ass about the game.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Marshall A-Rob: UConn


Hyundai Sun Bowl
12/26, 2 pm, CBS
Miami (8-4) vs Washington State (8-4)

So you have two 30 for 30’s, a laundry list of NFL draft picks and one of the most recognized names in college football and the best you can do is the Sun Bowl? Sorry Miami Hurricanes fans, but this isn’t your dad’s or even your slightly older brothers’ Hurricanes after an embarrassing run under Al Golden which culminated with a 58-0 dismantling at the hands of Clemson. Then, sneaking out a win over Duke in absolute garbage fashion. Here you are, the Sun Bowl. New coach Mark Richt, formerly of Georgia, has his work cut out for him. Washington St. will be ready to go and looking for a big win. Miami has its head in the clouds after landing Mark Richt and all the talk will be 2016. WSU rolls here.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Washington State A-Rob: Washington State


Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
12/26, 2:20 pm, ESPN
Washington (6-6) vs Southern Miss (9-4)

I know nothing about either of these teams. Chris Petersen is getting some plaudits for taking this Washington team to 6-6, but even if Steve Sarkisian couldn’t lay off the sauce, did he really leave Petersen such a black hole? It remains to be seen how Petersen is going to do in Washington, but what’ss definitely not in debate is how crazy this Southern Miss thing is. The Golden Eagles were 0-12 just a couple of years ago and are now back in a bowl game. Good job, Todd Monken.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Washington A-Rob: Southern Miss


New Era Pinstripe Bowl
12/26, 3:30 pm, ESPN
Indiana (6-6) vs Duke (7-5)

This is the game we have all been looking forward to. Brandon Ingram vs Yogi Ferrell, two storied powerhouse teams going at it. (Oh wait — ARob just informed me this is a football game. Damn it.) Let’s hope it goes better then when these teams met on the hardwood a few weeks ago. For Duke, they have become a consistent participant in the bowl season the past few years.

For Indiana, they look like a team that could become Duke, they just need to continue to build off of this season. The Hooisers were actually watchable this season, putting up big time performances agianst OSU, Iowa and Michigan. Making a bowl game is big in Bloomington, but winning one would be massive, so for my boy Johnny D. (the only Hoosier football fan I know), I hope Nate Sudfeld gives you a Pinstripe Bowl win for Christmas.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Indiana A-Rob: Indiana


Camping World Independence Bowl
12/26, 5:45 pm, ESPN
Tulsa (6-6) vs Virginia Tech (6-6)

Frank Beamer’s final game, and the Independence people have to be happy with that because there’s really no other reason to watch this game. Tulsa is a nonentity and Virginia Tech sort of sucks. I’m going to suspend my usual ‘pick against the school with the departing coach’ rule because of the nature of Beamer’s departure. In the meantime, Hokies fans can look forward to the Justin Fuente era.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Virginia Tech A-Rob: Virginia Tech


Foster Farms Bowl
12/26, 9:15 pm, ESPN
UCLA (8-4) vs Nebraska (5-7)

Nebraska, I hope you are proud of yourself. not only is your god-awful 5-7 record a joke, but the fact is you shouldn’t even be 5-7, due to a botched call that gifted you the Michigan State game. Now I understand that with 836,352 bowl games, some crap teams will get a shot at low-tier glory. So setting aside any type of “traditional preview” I hope UCLA and the “Rosen one” stomp you into the ground. Sure, UCLA was a sexy pick for the college football playoffs but they should take this season as a plus. Rosen showed flashes of being a Heisman candidate. So keep that ball rolling and stomp on this pathetic excuse for a bowl team. Sorry not sorry.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: UCLA A-Rob: UCLA


Military Bowl
12/28, 2:30 pm, ESPN
Pittsburgh (8-4) vs Navy (10-2)

One of my favorite bowls just because selfishly it’s cool to see two teams Notre Dame defeated playing each other. Actually, these are two of the best three teams ND defeated, at least by record (Temple the other), which is weird considering Texas, Georgia Tech and USC were also on the schedule. This is also a home game for Navy, which would strike me as unfair if this game meant anything. It’s a nice little perk for Keenan Reynolds as he finishes his career at home, but as usual I’m going against the triple option in a bowl since Pitt has an eternity to prepare for it.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Navy A-Rob: Pittsburgh


Quick Lane Bowl
12/28, 5 pm, ESPN2
Central Michigan (7-5) vs Minnesota (5-7)

Another 5-7 bowl team. I’m all for more football but I do hope they get rid of this idea for next year. Just kick out one of these bowls, preferably the stupid Arizona Bowl a couple of spots down, and make sure this doesn’t happen again. Central Michigan, which obviously doesn’t give a shit, sold out its allotment for this bowl game, so good for them. However, I’m going to pick against them anyway and make them my only 5-7 bowl team I predict to win their game.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Central Michigan A-Rob: Minnesota


Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
12/29, 2 pm, ESPN
California (7-5) vs Air Force (8-5)

This is it for Jared Goff as he gets ready to become the next Aaron Rodgers (he hopes). I didn’t see Goff play hardly at all this year, so I have no concept of what to expect from him in the pros. However, he’ll be facing a scrappy Air Force team in this game and I don’t like his chances very much.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Air Force A-Rob: Air Force


Russell Athletic Bowl
12/29, 5:30 pm, ESPN
North Carolina (11-2) vs Baylor (9-3)

Well, well, well, Baylor, we meet again. If anyone is reading this and remembers last season’s bowl preview (shocking if so) but I wasn’t too nice to Art Briles and his Baylor Bears. Well, this season I’m changing my tune — but only slightly. I still think if you want respect, schedule harder non-conference games. I will give you a pass this season as injuries at the quarterback position really derailed a shot at the Final 4.

For North Carolina, just imagine where you would be had you beaten that awful South Carolina team week one  of the season. I’ll wait Tar Heels fans. After that loss, it seemed no one was giving you any type of respect. Even if you had beaten Clemson in the ACC title game you more than likely had no shot at the playoffs. Expecting a good game in this one. Corey Coleman should be the difference maker for me, lets just hope he wears a shirt to the post game interview.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Baylor A-Rob: Baylor


Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
12/29, 7:30 pm, check local listings
Nevada (6-6) vs Colorado State (7-5)

It’s come to this, folks. Not only is there a bowl that matches up two teams from the same conference (the Mountain West people called it ‘a travesty’ and said the bowl system is broken, which considering three 5-7 teams are playing in bowls is hard to argue), but it’s not even airing on TV in most markets. Several nothing channels are broadcasting the game regionally, but your best bet is to watch it on CampusInsiders.com. If it’s free, which I don’t even know. And if you’re a complete loser, because why else would you watch this game over the two ESPN games that will be going on during it? This game is stupid and I don’t like it. Put your game on TV!

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Colorado State A-Rob: Colorado State


AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl
12/29, 9 pm, ESPN
LSU (8-3) vs Texas Tech (7-5)

Having high expectations is a wonderful thing in theory, but having those expectations without also being realistic about who you are and what you have can create problems. Ladies and gentlemen, that is where LSU is at currently. They expect to compete for a national title every year, but haven’t had consistent quarterback play, can’t seem to win the biggest games on their schedule or they are too young. This season’s LSU team was a year away in my opinion from being a legit threat for a playoff spot. That still didn’t stop LSU from flirting with the idea to fire Les Miles. Seriously who were you going to get that is better? Expect Les Miles to pull no punches in the game and make a statement that he is the man for the job.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: LSU A-Rob: LSU


Birmingham Bowl
12/30, 12 pm, ESPN
Auburn (6-6) vs Memphis (9-3)

Gotta love the SEC West, where you can go from last place to the national title game and back again without really blinking an eye. We should really have expected this from Auburn, though, after they were lucky to escape with a win over Jacksonville State in the season opener. The Jeremy Johnson era turned out to be a sore one for Tiger fans. Now they have to draw a fired-up Memphis team that just had one of its best seasons of all time although it didn’t end in a conference title. Memphis got up to the top 15 in the rankings this year, which we’ll look back on in 6 years and wonder how the hell it happened.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Memphis A-Rob: Memphis


Belk Bowl
12/30, 3:30 pm, ESPN
NC State (7-5) vs Mississippi State (8-4)

This game for me is all about getting to watch Dak Prescott one last time in a college uniform. Prescott has a tendency to get overlooked on the college football scene. Partially that has to do with where he plays. Mississippi St. isn’t exactly a national powerhouse and that’s okay. It also may have to do with the fact that the Bulldogs play in the same division as Alabama, LSU and Auburn. It’s easy to get overlooked. So do yourself a favor, and check out one of the best dual threat QBs in the country, if you haven’t already. Sorry NC State fans its going to be a long afternoon.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Mississippi State A-Rob: NC State


Franklin American Mortgage Company Music City Bowl
12/30, 7 pm, ESPN
Texas A&M (8-4) vs Louisville (7-5)

I switched my pick in this game. Texas A&M is an outright disaster at the moment. First we hear that Kyle Allen is transferring. Fine, that happens. Make room for Kyler Murray. Oh, you say HE is transferring? The Aggies are going down the toilet at warp speed and I’m not sure Kevin Sumlin even knows what hit him. He’s probably angling to get back to Houston when Tom Herman inevitably leaves at this point. Louisville is garbage, but they have some concept of who’s playing QB for them, which gives them the edge.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Louisville A-Rob: Louisville


Holiday Bowl
12/30, 10:30 pm, ESPN
USC (8-5) vs Wisconsin (9-3)

USC was my hot pick to make the college football final 4. Well, that didn’t happen. Cody Kessler was supposed to make a trip to New York for the Heisman trophy ceremony, and that didn’t happen. USC was supposed to finally start to regain its spot as one of the top programs in the county but that didn’t happen as Steve Sarkisian was fired midseason due to a drinking problem. I bet if you asked anyone in the USC locker room, they are just happy this circus of a season is over. For Wisconsin, after making the Big Ten (14) title game a year ago, they took a step back this season and finished 9-3 finishing 3rd in the Big Ten West. Look for them to pull out a win against the Trojans to add another 10-win season to their resume.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Wisconsin A-Rob: USC


Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
12/31, 12 pm, ESPN
Houston (12-1) vs Florida State (10-2)

Our first New Year’s Six bowl! I don’t know about you guys, but I always made a point to watch all the major bowl games, back when they were the BCS and now that they’re the New Year’s Six. It’s just fun to catch some of the best teams in the game go at it and let it all hang out. Some of them turn into the best games of all, like when MSU and Baylor played their barn burner of a Cotton Bowl last season. I think something similar will happen here. Houston and FSU are both very good, not great teams, and I have a feeling we will see a very fun game. At the end of the day I’ll take the Cougars to upset the Dalvin Cooks and make it 2-for-2 for the small-conference teams in bowl games.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Houston A-Rob: Houston


Outback Bowl
1/1, 12 pm, ESPN2
Northwestern (10-2) vs Tennessee (8-4)

It was one hell of a season for Northwestern as they finished the regular season with a 10-2 mark, matching their win total from the previous two seasons combined. Northwestern is currently ranked 13th in the country, with wins over Stanford and Wisconsin this season that were proof that this team is for real. The Wildcats will be going for their 11th win of the season which would set the mark for tops in school history. If they want to make history they will have to take down #23 Tennessee and dynamic quarterback Joshua Dobbs who leads the SEC in rushing yards per game by a quarterback. Northwestern fans have waited 125 years for an 11 win team and they are going to have one.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Northwestern A-Rob: Northwestern


Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
1/1, 1 pm, ABC
Michigan (9-3) vs Florida (10-3)

So torn in this game. It’s a matchup between my all-time hated college program and the single most overrated team in the country in my opinion. Florida has no business in the top 25. They have one pretty good win, over Ole Miss. That came with a QB who’s no longer there because he got popped for PEDs, which is a real feat in college football. Since then the Gators have been horrible. I watched chunks of their humiliating ‘win’ over Vanderbilt, their even more humiliating ‘win’ over Florida Atlantic and of course most depressingly, their pathetic performance against Bama. This is a team that if they’d been in any other Power 5 division besides the rancid SEC East probably loses 3 league games or more. They are awful. I think Michigan smears them here, but Bizzle disagrees.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Florida A-Rob: Michigan


BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl
1/1, 1 pm, ESPN
Notre Dame (10-2) vs Ohio State (11-1)

The ND game! Bizzle gave me this one because, he says, he enjoys my take on ND. Appreciate it, sir, but this ND season required few takes. It was an impressive campaign that but for some red-zone stupidity could easily have been a 12-0 season. The Irish’s win over Virginia was their only close game in which they didn’t repeatedly leave points on the field through inability to get things done in the red zone on offense. It’s something I really hope Brian Kelly can fix because in almost every other respect, this year was a championship-level offense at ND. Need to fix that defense, though.

As for this game, Ohio State’s best two defensive tackles will be out because one is injured and the other looks up hookers on the Internet. The Irish have two terrific running backs in C.J. Prosise and Josh Adams. I think you know where we’re going with this.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Notre Dame A-Rob: Notre Dame


Rose Bowl
1/1, 5 pm, ESPN
Stanford (11-2) vs Iowa (12-1)

How do you get hyped up for a game that neither team wanted to be in? I don’t have the answer, so lets hope that Iowa and Stanford do. Heading into the Big 10 title game against Michigan State, an overachieving (and some would say undeserving) Iowa Hawkeye team was the three seed in the College Football Playoff and undefeated. Sure, they avoided OSU, Michigan and Michigan St. until the title game but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have their hearts broken. For Stanford, they were widely considered the pick for the playoff even after suffering what at the time looked like a horrendous loss to Northwestern. All that was left to do was win out and they would have been a lock for the playoffs. They were rolling until they slipped up against an awful Oregon team late in the season. Even with wins over USC twice and a top-10 Irish team, the Cardinal were never able to climb back up the ladder.

So after great but heartbreaking seasons, who shows up to play? Iowa will be out to prove that its season wasn’t a fluke and it’s not their fault the schedule fell how it fell. Stanford, led by Kevin Hogan and Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey, will look to go out on top in their final bowl game together. A lot of intrigue and interest in this game should make it a fun one to watch.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Stanford A-Rob: Stanford


Allstate Sugar Bowl
1/1, 8:30 pm, ESPN
Oklahoma State (10-2) vs Ole Miss (9-3)

Thank you Oklahoma State, for making things a lot more interesting down the stretch by overachieving and staying undefeated for as long as you did. Watching Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor and to some extent TCU battle week in and week out in a de facto playoff was a lot of fun to watch. Who says a title game is the best way to determine a league champion? Not this guy, as that was seriously some great theatre down the stretch. I would also like to thank Ole Miss for being the only school willing to not let Alabama just run all over them. Thank you Rebels for taking down the Evil Empire that has become Nick Saban (probably too harsh, but anyone his age with hair that good can’t be trusted). Seriously though the rest of the league wet the bed when it was their turn to take on the Crimson Tide, so sincerely, thank you for making people question how good Bama is, at least for a week. So for both schools since you did something wonderful for my fandom, I hope the swag bags are sick, the game ends in a tie and no one gets hurt. Hell of a season gentlemen.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Oklahoma State A-Rob: Ole Miss


TaxSlayer Bowl
1/2, 12 pm, ESPN
Penn State (7-5) vs Georgia (9-3)

Penn State sucks. I mean they really, really suck. But they still have a coach. Georgia doesn’t, and their current coach is working for another college team for another month. Is that really a good idea, Georgia? Quit kissing Saban’s ass and make Smart start now if he wants the job. It does you no good if he helps the Tide win another national title, no matter how many S-E-C chants it might inspire in the Glendale, Ariz. night on Jan. 11. Anyway, I’m defaulting to my ‘don’t pick a team without a coach’ rule.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Penn State A-Rob: Penn State


AutoZone Liberty Bowl
1/2, 3:20 pm, ESPN
Kansas State (6-6) vs Arkansas (7-5)

So you are worried about who the Big Ten schedules, Mr. Bielema? How did that work out for you? I take it not so well as you let Toledo beat you at your place and then proceeded to fall apart after that, sputtering to a 7-5 record. What did you learn here Mr. Bielema? Probably to mind your own business and worry about your own schedule. Not sure why he was worried about anyone else, if they win out or even lost just one, being the SEC they would have been a lock for the playoffs. That SEC bias is real folks.

For Kansas State, they limp into this game with injuries and a quarterback dilemma having two capable QBs, which usually means you have none. As the Bill Snyder era comes to a close I hope that the Wildcats give the legendary head coach a bowl victory. Also lets hope K-State does their job and sticks it to Bret Bielema for me.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Kansas State A-Rob: Arkansas


Valero Alamo Bowl
1/2, 6:45 pm, ESPN
Oregon (9-3) vs TCU (10-2)

I really like The Solid Verbal, a great college football podcast. I bring this up because one of the co-hosts is an Oregon fan. However, he’s grown just a little too uppity these days regarding his disdain for Notre Dame, so he’s started to get under my skin a bit. A combination of working for SB Nation, which strikes me more every day as an insular echo chamber where everyone thinks they are funnier than they are, and Oregon’s success the last few years, has seemingly combined to make him bordering on insufferable.

I say all this because I’ve grown accustomed to things I don’t want to happen happening in college football, so I’m going to assume Oregon will win this game in large part because I don’t want them to. The Ducks have been great the last 2 months, and I expect they will continue to be.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Oregon A-Rob: Oregon


Motel 6 Cactus Bowl
1/2, 10:15 pm, ESPN
West Virginia (7-5) vs Arizona State (6-6)

So at the point that the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl will be played, everyone and their mothers will know who’s in the national title game. All the wonderful New Year’s 6 games will have been played. So this game is like going hard drinking on a long holiday weekend and, come Sunday night, just not wanting to even think about alcohol. We could sit and talk about the seasons both schools had, both up and down (mostly down – the best win between the two schools came when ASU knocked off then No.7  UCLA). So unfortunately, like the day after a long night of drinking, the thought of watching the Cactus Bowl makes my stomach turn.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: West Virginia A-Rob: Arizona State


And now…the playoff picks! (Hello? Are you still here? You are! Great!)
Capital One Orange Bowl
12/31, 4 pm, ESPN
#4 Oklahoma (11-1) vs #1 Clemson (13-0)

Everyone in the known universe thinks Clemson is going to lose this game. Well, I don’t. Clemson is not the dominant force Bama was in 2011 and 2012, or the team Florida State was in 2013. But they’re damn good. Quarterback Deshaun Watson’s biggest strength is throwing deep balls. Oklahoma’s defense has been less than impressive at times. I look for a few big plays out of the Tigers and for Clemson to pull out a close, exciting game. Sorry, Baker Mayfield, better luck next year.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Oklahoma A-Rob: Clemson


Goodyear Cotton Bowl
12/31, 8 pm, ESPN
#3 Michigan State (12-1) vs #2 Alabama (12-1)

Fun fact: Alabama has never been left out of the College Football Playoff. I bet that stings, rest of the nation. Another fun fact: no one outside of Alabama likes that they are there. Just one more fact before we get down to business: they deserve to be there. (That’s hard to say.) if not them then who? Ohio State, who lost to the team Alabama’s playing? Nah. Iowa, who people thought was a fraud? Please. Don’t even say Stanford, two losses is a given. Nick Saban has his team playing well on all sides of the ball and has arguably been playing its best football since its loss at Ole Miss.

So what can Michigan St. do to stop the Tide from rolling all over them? Its going to have to start on the defensive side of the ball, containing Heisman winner Derrick Henry (good luck) should be Head Coach Mark Dantonio’s main focus. (ARob interjects: Bizzle called the coach Mike D’Antoni originally. You’ve been drinkin’ again, Bizzle!) If MSU does that and forces Jake Coker to have to throw the ball, Sparty has a legit shot at pulling off the small upset. Connor Cook has the experience in big game situations to pull off the win. Whether he can do it or not is another story.  Expect a low scoring physical affair from both schools.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Michigan State A-Rob: Alabama


National Championship Pick
1/11, 8:30 pm, ESPN

Bizzle:

In typical Junkies fashion I will be picking against my P.I.C. He took Alabama vs Clemson in the title game, I will be going with Oklahoma vs Michigan St. because it is so much fun to be right to spite ARob. I’m taking this approach. Oklahoma is going to be extra motivated to prove they are still the top dogs in the Big 12(Ten). This preseason everyone was talking about Baylor and TCU, widely considered OU’s little brothers in most Big 12(Ten) circles. Plus have you ever looked into Baker Mayfield’s eyes? I have, its like the first time I heard the Beatles. (Name the movie!) Sure, Clemson is the only time I picked correctly in our preseason College Football Playoff. They are undefeated and absolutely deserving of the top seed. I just can’t get past the fact that they are Clemson and have the tendency to let you down in a big spot like the one they will be in on New Years Eve….will be so awesome (Sorry, had to do it. Damn you Jimmy Kimmel.)

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I just want to see Alabama lose. I thoroughly enjoy that look on Nick Saban’s face as he is losing a game. It’s priceless. That being said the Michigan St. team is on one magical ride this season. If you don’t believe me, just ask the boys from Ann Arbor. Had Michigan remembered how to punt, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Still not enough proof? Just ask Urban Meyer and Ezekiel Elliott how their relationship has been since a quarterback whose name I’m sure they forgot handed the Buckeyes their first loss and knocked them out of the playoff. Even a fluky loss to that god-awful Nebraska team because of a terrible no-call couldn’t keep the Spartans out of the Playoff. So if for no other reason than this team is good as well as lucky, I’m just going to roll with them over Alabama who has all the pressure on them to win. For all the reasons I just explained I will be riding the magic carpet harder than Aladdin and taking MSU to win the whole thing.

ARob:

Clemson vs. Alabama is the matchup we would have gotten if this were the BCS. Unlike last year I am predicting the hypothetical BCS matchup and the playoff title game will be the same. This game will be awesome. Deshaun Watson’s strength, as mentioned before, is throwing the deep ball. Alabama’s biggest weakness on defense is defending the deep ball. I think the Tigers again strike with big plays and hurt the Tide with chunks. Alabama’s got a great running back in Heisman winner Derrick Henry. But I think that’s about all they’ve got. So I’m taking Clemson to be your 2015 national champion.

The Junkies’ Massive Bowl Preview Is Back!