The Dads on Sports Preview All the Bowls Again!

The Junkies, or if you prefer, Dads on Sports (follow us at @DadsOnSports) are back for the fourth year in a row to preview every single bowl matchup we’ve got. It’s our grandest (and really, only) tradition. Last year, A-Rob housed Bizzle in the bowl picks, which A-Rob brings up only because he doesn’t get to brag about much of anything in regards to sports predictions. Can he do it again? Only one way to find out…

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
12/16, 1 pm, ESPN 
North Texas vs Troy

Our first bowl game isn’t usually a great one, and man oh man is that ever true here. I literally have never heard of a player in this game, not a one. I do know that Troy has a pretty good team. They waltzed through the Sun Belt Conference and more importantly they beat LSU; you might remember LSU as the best team Alabama defeated in 2017, not that that stopped them from reaching the playoff.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Troy A-Rob: Troy


AutoNation Cure Bowl
12/16, 2:30 pm, CBS Sports Network
Western Kentucky vs Georgia State

I’ve got to be honest and up-front here. I wish I could leave this bowl off the list the way Mike Sanford left Auburn off his top 25 coaches ballot. You had the nerve to say it was an oversight​ leaving the Tigers off? I don’t believe that for a second. I’m not sure why you have so much hate for Auburn is it because you only put up 7 points against a crap Illinois team? Could it be your no-show against Vanderbilt? It couldn’t be more clear that you have something against Power 5 schools seeing as to how you can’t seem to beat any, the two you played combined for 7 wins and you still lost to them. Thank God the bowl you are playing​ in is against another Group of 5 team because you probably would just vote to not play the game if it was against a Power 5 School.

Georgia State, don’t think for one second you are off the hook. You flat-out don’t deserve to be here. You lost to FCS Tennessee State and had the game against Memphis not been canceled, we all know you would have gotten embrassed. You lack any win by more than 10 points, and nope I am not counting Charlotte, but you can if you’d like.

If it was up to me I’d place a rule in that said if you lose to a FCS school you shouldn’t be allowed in a bowl game. So, Panthers, you’d be at home if it was up to me but since Shawn Elliott didn’t leave Auburn off his ballot (or so I think) the Panthers will win their first bowl game in school history.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Georgia State A-Rob: Western Kentucky


Las Vegas Bowl
12/16, 3:30 pm, ABC
Oregon vs (25) Boise State

It’s our first “We Don’t Have a Coach” game! As much as I’ve grown tired of Oregon’s success over the past decade or so, I did feel bad for them for losing Willie Taggart after just one season. He appeared to have things going the right way until QB Justin Herbert busted his collarbone — and looked to be back down that track once Herbert came back. How could anyone have known that the Florida State job would come open? Can’t blame Taggart for taking it but it’s a bad break for the Ducks. Boise State isn’t the destroyer of lower-conference worlds they used to be these days but they’ve had a fine season, and they’re plenty good enough to justify my continued strategy of picking against coachless teams.

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


Gildan New Mexico Bowl
12/16, 4:30 pm, ESPN
Colorado State vs Marshall

Fun fact about the Colorado State Rams: They put up the second-highest point total (23) in a loss to Alabama​ this year. Only Mississippi State, putting up 24, beat out the Rams. Hell it’s the third-highest total if I include Auburn’s 26 in their upset over Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Yeah I’m 2-2 in mentioning Auburn in my previews, come at me bro.

So where am I going with this? Well, it could be argued that the Rams were one of Alabama’s​ toughest opponents this season…..wait. If that’s true how in the hell did Bama get into the playoffs? Bama, in theory, struggled with the Rams’ high-octane offense. The Tide had an easy time with the likes of Tennessee, LSU and Florida State. How insane is that?

Sorry Marshall but Chad Pennington and Matthew McConaughey ain’t walking through that door. If you don’t lose your last two games against UTSA and Southern Miss you might not be running into one of Alabama’s toughest opponents which helped put them into the playoff. Yeah, I said it: If it wasn’t for Colorado State the Crimson Tide wouldn’t be in the playoff.

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

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
12/16, 8 pm, ESPN
Middle Tennessee vs Arkansas State

I clicked on the Camellia Bowl website because I thought I remembered last year’s game being really good here (and it was, App State beat Toledo by 3). What I found was a picture of Rosa Parks. Outside of the fact that they take place in the same city, there is absolutely nothing that Rosa and her bravery has to do with a low-level bowl game between teams no one knows anything about, but I appreciate the hustle, Camellia Bowl. As for the matchup, Arkansas State seems to do well in these games so I’ll pick them.

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


Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl
12/19, 7 pm, ESPN
Florida Atlantic vs Akron

I’m not going to do what everyone thinks I’m going to do and bash Lane Kiffin. I’m going to do the opposite. Sure, his tenure didn’t start off so hot. He signed troubled QB and Last Chance U star De’Andre Johnson. Then decided it would be a great idea to make this train wreck of a video. Well, then, of course, was the 1-3 start.

So how does my boy Kiffin respond to all that? By winning 9 straight to go undefeated in conference play and capture the Owls’ first C-USA title. The Owls went 3-9 last season with whatever his name was at head coach. If you can tell me who it is, you are a better man than I am, because I flat-out didn’t care one bit about Owls football before Big Daddy Lane and probably won’t care after he leaves unless they hire Johnny Manziel or something. Not only is Lane rolling in his first year at FAU his also been doing a lot of trolling too. Basically calling out Tennessee for not hiring him back after he set that program ablaze in one season. Then telling the world he bets Nick Saban misses him after the Tide fall to Auburn, but yet still make the playoffs.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you don’t think Lane Kiffin is a national treasure, well, we can’t be friends. This guy is great for the sport and unless he does something completely off-the-wall wrong, I hope he never leaves the college football game. As for the Boca Raton Bowl, he knows damn well it’s in his best interest to win the game and give the Owls an 11-win season for the 1st time since 2003, back when good ole Lane was coaching at USC as the wide receivers coach while more than likely doing beer bongs and shots with his boy Sark.

Well, Zips fans, what are you going​ to do when the Lane Train is coming down the track? It will probably look something like the scene in Major League II when Jack Parkman flattened Rube Baker’s bitch ass. Change your name to the Akron LeBrons already because that’s all anyone thinks about when they hear the word Akron is King James, and just like the King’s hairline, there is no chance you will ever be prominent. Nice win over Arkansas Pine-Bluff you jackwagons, enjoy Florida.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Florida Atlantic A-Rob: Akron


DXL Frisco Bowl
12/20, 8 pm, ESPN
Louisiana Tech vs SMU

If you’re looking at this page wondering what the hell a Frisco Bowl is, that’s what I’m here for. The Frisco Bowl was moved from Marlins Park, where it was previously known as the Miami Beach Bowl (a game that will now only ever be remembered because Memphis and BYU had it go DOWN there once). It’s called the Frisco Bowl because it takes place in Frisco, TX, which I believe also hosts the FCS championship game. Why they decided to bring on a bowl on top of that I don’t know, but here we are. SMU lost coach Chad Morris to Arkansas, which means you know which way I have to go.

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


Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
12/21, 8 pm, ESPN
Temple vs Florida International

Guys, this bowl is officially called the “Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl”. What in the hell is that? Of course I had to look into this, and its a lawnmower,  a goddamn lawnmower. This is the Lawnmower Bowl, folks.

How in the hell can you sponsor a bowl game in which the field it will be played on isn’t actual grass, so your stupid $3,500 Bad Boy Magnum MZ Zero Turn Mower can’t actually mow? I’m sure if I thought long enough about it, there is something about how sponsor can just sponsor anything and everything to make the NCAA money, but Baker Mayfield can’t make money off signed pictures of himself grabbing his junk against Kansas en route to the Heisman Trophy.

I’ll just go with this: Being a lawnmower company who sponsors a bowl game which is played on a field that isn’t made of real grass is like Temple getting blown out by Notre Dame but beating Navy, which almost beat Notre Dame, or FIU hiring Isiah Thomas as their basketball coach, knowing he’s a team-killer in every aspect of basketball except being a player. It doesn’t make any sense.

What does make sense is FIU finished 2nd in C-USA behind Lane Kiffin which is like finishing first if FAU wasn’t in the conference, which makes about as much sense as a lawnmower company sponsoring a game that is played on its archenemy​, fake grass. Temple, congratulations​ on 3 straight bowl games with 3 different coaches; while that’s super impressive to me, I did watch you look like ass against Notre Dame and that’s enough for me to take FIU in this one. That said, next year, if Bad Boy Mowers wants to sponsor a damn bowl have it make sense. Cut some awesome designs in the field like they do at baseball games or something. I mean, how am I supposed to pull the trigger on the ZT Elite Mower, starting at a cool $4,499 if it’s not cutting the field in which your game is played on? I mean, Bad Boy Mowers, I have my credit card ready to make this sweet purchase but I’m questioning your commitment level with this sponsorship.

Lucky for you, there is no Thursday Night Football that week and I’m intrigued by your Maverick Mower, which I can only assume is what the ladies call Dirk Nowitzki, if you catch my drift. So I’m all in on this bowl game.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: FIU A-Rob: FIU


Bahamas Bowl
12/22, 12:30 pm, ESPN
UAB vs Ohio

This is the official bowl game of Dads on Sports. It never matters who is playing or who is favored or who wins because two teams get a free trip to the freaking Bahamas. There’s nothing better. Adding to the happiness this year is the UAB Blazers, who DID NOT EXIST A YEAR AGO! How in the world has a big-name program not grabbed coach Bill Clark yet? First he went 6-6 in 2014 even though everyone knew the program was being shuttered, and now he’s taken them to a bowl after not playing for two seasons! A ridiculous accomplishment. Cheers to you, Bill, and cheers to the Blazer fans. Hope you can make the trip south.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: UAB A-Rob: UAB


Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
12/22, 4 pm, ESPN
Wyoming vs Central Michigan

Dear Josh Allen,

Hi, you don’t know me, but if you are reading this, well that’s awesome, that means we are huge in Wyoming. Anyway, if you are reading this I have one question for you and I’m going to steal it from Marshall Eriksen, “What the Bleep are you doing dude?” (This is from the Lily Kicks Korean Elvis in the Nards episode.)

I’m seeing stories floating around that you are not 100% due to a shoulder injury, but are hoping to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Not the Orange Bowl, not even the Foster Farms Bowl, or at least the Michael Imus Bowl. (More on that later.) Why are you risking further injury to play in this game? As of this plea being written you are the #3 QB off the board according to SI and ESPN. So what do you gain by playing this game? Sure, you won’t look like a dick to your teammates but they aren’t in line to make the money, you are. To put on the Wyoming uniform one last time? Well, luckily for you the Browns have a similar style brown uniform you can wear. Really think long and hard about the decision you are about to make, cashing in potential 1st round money for the chance to hoist a Potato Bowl. Hasn’t Wyoming’s​ nutritionist told you that carbs are bad? So stay home and prepare for the biggest day of your life.

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


Birmingham Bowl
12/23, 12 pm, ESPN
Texas Tech vs South Florida

Why does the state of Alabama need three bowls in the period of 72 hours? I have no idea. But with the game in Montgomery, this one and the one in Mobile, it has them. This is actually a pretty fun matchup. You’ve got USF, who played one of the season’s most fun games at UCF and sadly fell just short, facing off with Texas Tech, who made the smart decision to keep Kliff Kingsbury as coach after a 6-6 season. (Kudos for knowing who you are. You’re Texas Tech. You aren’t going to compete for Big 12 titles regularly. Don’t overthink this.) We should see a lot of offense in this game. My money’s on Tech cutting it loose with the knowledge their coach will be back and coming up with the victory.

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


Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
12/23, 3:30 pm, ESPN
San Diego State vs Army

Anyone else think Rocky Long is is just butthurt that Jimbo Fisher got mother effin’ paid? 75 million dollars over 10 year is absurd, but did you have to jump on your high horse about it? Isn’t there some type of code among coaches that you don’t talk about other coaches’ salaries? If Texas A&M called and offered you 75 million dollars, you would have jumped ship in a heartbeat​ and Jeff Horton would be coaching the Armed Forces bowl. I understand that at 67, you probably aren’t on the top of many top programs’​ head coaching lists but let’s say for one second you were and you decided to make the comments you made. You flat-out just hindered your negotiations. School X just heard you say Jimbo Fisher’s new contract is absurd so why are you asking for so much? So what purpose does it serve? Better yet, were does Long draw the line at too much? His salary this year was $826,000 while Army’s head coach is going to make $932,000, so does Jeff Monken make too much?

What I see is a team who had high expectations to be in a New Year’s 6 bowl but couldn’t close out the deal and a coach who’s on the tail end of his career butthurt that he never got 75 million dollars to coach a mid-tier SEC team. So with all that, and the whole “if I picked against Army I’d somehow be disrespecting the military and America” thing, I’m taking the higher paid coach and his crew to put it on the Aztecs, and even though you aren’t winning this bowl game, you still have Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Strasburg. In comparison, all the Army alumni have done is fight for your freedoms……oh wait, that’s awesome, and we couldn’t be more thankful for all their services. Without them I wouldn’t be able to write this preview every year.

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


Never​ Forget!!

Dollar General Bowl
12/23, 7 pm, ESPN
Appalachian State vs Toledo

Like the previous game being played in Alabama, this matchup should be pretty entertaining. It’s a rematch of the aforementioned Camellia Bowl last season, so I guess if these two fan bases really want to explore all corners of the state of Alabama, they have a chance to here. Toledo was easily the class of the MAC this season led by QB Logan Woodside, and App State has consistently been a very good team since moving up from FCS. I expect this game to come down to the end like last year, but with the Rockets on top this time. #MACtion!

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

Hawaii Bowl
12/24, 8:30 pm, ESPN
Houston vs Fresno State

Ah yes, the Hawaii Bowl, which is probably one of my top bowls to watch​. Admittedly, I’m usually a few adult beverages in to try to power through a subpar game, but at least there are points being scored. Only one time in the bowl’s history has the winning team failed to score 30 points. So if you decide, while hanging out with family members you may or not be able to stand, to turn this contest into a drinking game, the rules are simple:

Every turnover, take a drink. Every score, take a shot.

Every time they show a picture of Hawaii, down a beer bong of whiskey because​ you are trying to forget the fact that 19-year-old kids get to spend Christmas in Hawaii and you are stuck hanging out at home listening to your 3rd cousin talk about how his new Vape Shop is going to take off. No, Grandma, I haven’t met a nice girl yet, I’ll settle down when I’m good and ready. *Here’s a beautiful view from The Bulldogs’ hotel* @#$?!@#& Grandma grab the beer bong. “Honey, I think you’ve had enough.” Listen, lady, you don’t tell me, I ain’t no quitter. I committed to playing this damn game just let me be.

Well, this ends the 1st Quarter of action, Fresno St. 27, Houston 24, and now a view​ from today’s pregame luau. Grandma, I’ll fight you and these cops! I ain’t no tired.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Houston A-Rob: Fresno State


Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
12/26, 1:30 pm, ESPN
West Virginia vs Utah

Do teams actually want to play the day after Christmas? I sure wouldn’t. I’ll be damned if I’m getting up early to play a football game after opening up my presents and gorging on ham and mashed potatoes at the family holiday gathering. I really don’t know much of anything about Utah. They seemed pretty bad whenever I watched them but they stubbornly continue to make bowl games even when they’re not good. So pretty impressive work by coach Kyle Whittingham, I guess? I’ll roll with the Grier/Sills combo in this one.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Utah A-Rob: West Virginia


Quick Lane Bowl
12/26, 5:15 pm, ESPN
Northern Illinois vs Duke

If you are a Blue Devil fan, this Quick Lane bowl means one thing and one thing only: YOU GET TO STOP PRETENDING YOU CARE ABOUT THE FOOTBALL TEAM AND FOCUS SOLELY ON THE BASKETBALL TEAM. Which is funny, they just lost to Boston College, who went 2-16 in ACC play last season. Take that, Grayson Allen, you crybaby. Just like Grayson Allen, you’d be tripping if you tried to convince me that most of you reading this, and probably even Coach K himself, have any idea who Daniel Jones is. Well that’s what I’m here for. Jones was a Pre-Season 4th team All-ACC selection at QB for Duke.

Let’s break that down for a second. Jones was a 4th team selection which means he has zero shot of ever cracking an NFL roster and will be calling Duke games on a fill-in basis every other home game on the radio (when the normal guy is sick) for the sister station of the normal brodacast team. And believe me, he has a face for radio.  If this was the basketball team being 4th team anything means you are a surefire lottery pick in the next year’s draft.

As for NIU, does anyone care that you finished 2nd in the MAC West? I’m going to assume no, based on the lack of NIU talk this past season but then again I was too distracted by all the Saquon Barkley is better than Josh Adams talk, which is outrageous. Josh Adams is BAE!! The only time NIU mattered this season is when you streamrolled Ball State which made my boy Nick cry himself to sleep, which we thank you for, because that guy deserves nothing but heartache and sadness, and I mean that in the nicest, sweetest way possible. Nick is an alright guy but that doesn’t mean I have to like him.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: NIU A-Rob: Duke


Cactus Bowl
12/26, 9 pm, ESPN
UCLA vs Kansas State

Think Josh Rosen thought this is where his hot takes would land him? To think we spent a lot of the summer talking about Rosen and his anti-Trump takes and his anti-NCAA takes and the hype surrounding where he’d be picked in next year’s draft. It looked like it was all coming up Rosen after his insane comeback against Texas A&M, but it didn’t turn into much, though it was enough to land him in Phoenix for Christmas. What do you think the chances are of him staying to play for Chip Kelly next year when Kelly’s system is basically opposite of everything Rosen does well as a QB? I figured as much.

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

Walk On’s Independence Bowl

12/27, 1:30 pm, ESPN

Florida State vs Southern Miss

I’m so excited to be able to preview the 1st College Football Playoff game. What a great season for Florida State en route to a playoff berth….what’s that, A-Rob? It’s not 2015? This isn’t a playoff game?

Well, I’m an asshole then. It feels like just yesterday that Jameis Winston was leading FSU to the big dance, even if he was screaming obscene things in the lunch room​. Ask any Florida State fan and they will tell you, hands down, they miss those days and would do anything to have them back. Fast forward to today and Jimbo Fisher is gone, and Willie Taggart bailed on Oregon to come be the coach at FSU for not even a third of the cost Fisher is now making. Every preseason publication said this was FSU’s year with all the player losses that Clemson suffered, but yet they are dancing and FSU is rescheduling meaningless games to just become bowl-eligible. Isn’t college football great? Raise your hand if you think for 1 second a 10-1 or 11-0 Florida State team plays that game against UL-Monroe if there was a playoff game on the line? I’m assuming everyone not rocking garnet and gold has their hand down.

On the bright side, Florida State fans, some things haven’t changed. Jameis Winston is still a piece of trash who gets accused of misconduct and eats his fingers when they are shaped like W’s before getting eliminated from playoff contention.

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


New Era Pinstripe Bowl
12/27, 5:15 pm, ESPN
Boston College vs Iowa

Sometimes I wonder if teams actually want to get picked to play in this game. On the one hand you’re going to NYC, which is a cool enough place, and Yankee Stadium is fun and all. Then again, you’re going to freeze your nards off and play in a meaningless game that just rubs in that you didn’t have the season you wanted to have. Both the squads playing here had crowning achievement routs of blue-blood teams this year, and Iowa’s actually kept their victim (Ohio State) out of the playoff. Congrats on the impressive scalps, guys, but I’ll roll with the team that started slow and finished strong behind a stud freshman running back.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Boston College A-Rob: Boston College


Foster Farms Bowl
12/27, 8:30 pm, FOX
Arizona vs Purdue

I don’t care what anyone says, this isn’t a prestigious bowl by any stretch. You may have seen a few of our #ImusHotTake tweets. The only thing hotter than an Imus hot take is the locker room at Ross-Ade Stadium. Are you guys that bad that you have to resort to cutting off the A/C in the visiting team’s lockeroom? I like Jeff Brohm a lot as your head coach, but don’t expect him to stay at a school that isn’t even top 4 in the state behind: Notre Dame, Indiana, Indiana State, Ben Davis High School, then we can start talking about Purdue. Once Brian Kelly gets canned at Notre Dame I’d put my money down on Brohm being on Notre Dame’s wish list. How’s that for a Hot Take, Imus!!!

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Arizona A-Rob: Arizona


Academy Sports & Outdoors Texas Bowl
12/27, 9 pm, ESPN
Texas vs Missouri

Home field advantage for Texas! This isn’t really where Tom Herman wanted to end up in his first season in Austin, but the Longhorns do appear to be on the right track. His team nearly knocked off both USC and Oklahoma, and often that’s the first sign and up-and-coming coach has his team going where it wants — those close losses to teams they have no business beating. Once Herman gets his guys in there, I’d be wary of the Horns. I certainly would be in this game because I think Missouri is just flaming garbage.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Texas A-Rob: Texas


Military Bowl
12/28, 1:30 pm, ESPN
Virginia vs Navy

I got to be honest here fam, I’m struggling to find a passionate angle to take in this game, I mean, it’s a Thursday game that kicks off at 1:30 pm, yeah I don’t know about you, but I won’t be home hanging out on the 28th of December. That’s no holiday, it’s a normal day of the year for us normal folk. Are you seriously​ telling me that Russillo needs that day off? For what. so he can go get blackout drunk and do something​ stupid? That’s all most of these bowl games are, is holiday filler so dudes like Stephen A. Smith can take a day off from hating everything. Actually, I bet ESPN makes him take days off just so they can recover from his nonsense and the constant headaches he provides. I’m pretty sure Max Kellerman is a robot because no normal person could listen to Stephen A. Smith yell at them all day without wanting to wring his neck.

So what am I to do? I have to preview something, it’s in my contract, but I can’t bash Navy because Lord knows the backlash I’d receive. Navy in fact does have a decent team this year that almost upset Notre Dame, and I was there in person during the monsoon, at least the first half (the half ND didn’t score in), so thanks for that Navy. I could trash Virginia but the entire ACC does that year in and year out for me so it’s almost too easy. Seriously, the basketball team laughs at your inability to score points; they are generally one of the lowest scoring teams in the nation. How you beat Boise State still to this day blows my mind.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Navy A-Rob: Virginia


BEAT THAT HAIR, I DARE YOU!!

Camping World Bowl
12/28, 5:15 pm, ESPN
(22) Virginia Tech vs (19) Oklahoma State

Our first ranked-on-ranked matchup comes a little later than usual this year (or maybe it just seems like it). Maybe I’m overrating Oklahoma State but they just terrify me. Had Ohio State made the playoff, Notre Dame would’ve been lined up for this game (don’t ask, it’s a complicated Citrus Bowl tie-in thing) and I would’ve put 8 million confidence points on the Cowboys. That offense is a handful for anybody, just ask Oklahoma. They have no defense, but I don’t think the Hokies are quite the team that can take advantage of that minor problem.

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


San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
12/28, 9 pm, FS1
(18) Washington State vs (16) Michigan State

Mike Leach is a national treasure, and needs to be treated​ as such. Mark Dantonio is the best coach in the state of Michigan by far and is criminally underrated nationally. So no doubt in my mind, these coaches will have their teams ready for the ranked matchup. On ESPN the coaches’ poll has MSU 19th and Washington State ranked 21st. Hmm, why does the number 21 stand out? Ehat deeper meaning does it have? I did some research and came up with the answer. Back in 1987-88 a gentleman by the name of LaVar Ball suited up for the Cougars’ basketball team and averaged a robust 2.1 ppg. What he has done since has been mind-blowing, and up until his recent decision to ship his kids overseas to play pro ball, I’ve been a supporter of the cause. I’m not one to tell anyone how to raise their children, and I hope it works for them, but you are seting a terrible example by saying it’s ok to steal and not accept the punishment. “I’ll just pull my kid out of school.”

That dude is changing the game, for better or worse, he’s changing it, and we will look back one day and realize he got a lot of it right, but in this case the former Cougar is dead wrong. So back to 2017, and why would I talk about LaVar Ball in a college football preview? Well 1) clearly you haven’t caught on to what we do and 2) could you imagine being a fly on the wall while Ball and Leach have a conversation? That would be 200 times better than anything I could write about MSU’s YAC vs the DBs for WSU. If you don’t believe that conversation would be next-level good here’s a video of Leach’s best quotes of his career. You’re welcome.

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


Man did the Big East Miss out on TCU hoops. 

Valero Alamo Bowl
12/28, 9 pm, ESPN
(13) Stanford vs (15) TCU

There’s always one bowl that’s the clear best matchup outside of the New Year’s 6, and often it’s this one. No different this year as two really good teams will meet up. Stanford continues to operate at its absolute ceiling as a program (it’s incredibly impressive that this 9-4 campaign marks a down year for them). TCU would probably have ended up in a New Year’s 6 game themselves if they just had managed to compete at all with Oklahoma either of the 2 times they played. I don’t have a clue what to make of this matchup, but the Cardinal seem to have found a QB again in KJ Costello (if the ND game is any indication), so we’ll go with them.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: TCU A-Rob: Stanford


Miss you Johnny Football! 

Belk Bowl
12/29, 1 pm, ESPN
Texas A&M vs Wake Forest

If you are a Wake Forest fan, just know this preview isn’t for you. Not because I’m going to bash your team, but simply because you aren’t the story here. Spoiler alert, I’m picking you Wake, so you can feel free to move along. For you Aggies fans wondering, what the hell?!?! Well, here you go. Get your heads out of your asses down in College Station. You aren’t Bama, you aren’t Auburn, hell, you aren’t even the most important school in your own state. Why do you feel the need to set the bar so insanely high? Is it because that one time, you had that one guy who threw up money signs, partied so hard he made Charlie Sheen look tame, and won a Heisman Trophy? So you had a good run with Johnny Football. He masked a lot of your problems to begin with. Since the Manziel era went semi-ok you think you should be a playoff team every year?It unfortunately doesn’t work like that.

Ask Notre Dame, who has had far and away more success as a program than most other schools in the FBS. When you go 7-5, what’s the play? Let’s throw 75 million dollars at Jimbo Fisher and hope he can save the program. Should have gone 6-6 and saved you some money. Jimbo is a great coach, but what does it say about him that at the 1st sign of trouble in Tallahassee, he bolted for the huge payday? What exactly is he going to tell recruits when A&M is 2-2 a month in, and that’s only because you schedule some schools that OKC Thunder fans think are softer than Kevin Durant? This partnership is going to end badly. Jimbo Fisher already coached at a school with high expectations, but at least they were reasonable expectations. A&M’s are just flat-out unrealistic.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Wake Forest A-Rob: Wake Forest

Hyundai Sun Bowl
12/29, 3 pm, CBS
Arizona State vs (24) NC State

I have nothing to add to this game except to marvel at the work of Arizona State QB Blake Barnett. OK, fine, he doesn’t play ever and his team is middling at best, but he locked down one of the most beautiful women on the planet, pro surfer Maddie Peterson. (Click this link and try to be cool.) Like, not just locked down in the sense that they’re dating, but they got frickin’ married in the off-season and she’s having a baby boy in a couple of months. (Speaking of, you’ll want to scroll down a bit at that link unless you’re into pregos like a guy I used to work with, which if that’s the case, knock yourself out, pal.) You have to appreciate the hustle by Barnett. That being said, I think his team is going to get creamed here as NC State is quite good and was two really close games against Clemson and Wake away from probably playing in the Orange Bowl.

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


These clowns have nothing on Bizzle and A-Rob. 

Franklin American Mortgage Company Music City Bowl
12/29, 4:30 pm, ESPN
Kentucky vs (21) Northwestern

Acting like I care even remotely about this game is like Mike Greenberg acting like he cares at all about Mike Golic. Another great example is, it’s like John Calipari actually caring about the student-athlete.

This game is the epitome of two medicore schools who will never, and I mean never ever ever ever, win their respective conferences. I’m glad they get to battle it out in the “I Couldn’t  Care Less” Bowl, or as UK and Northwestern fans call it, the Music City Bowl. The game to see who is the best Wildcat in the land would be better played on the hardwood and not at 4:30 on a Friday….I got kids, ain’t nobody got time for that.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Kentucky A-Rob: Northwestern


Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
12/29, 5:30 pm, CBS Sports Network
New Mexico State vs Utah State

This bowl game finally got an actual television partner (although it’s one not many people have) and just in time, too, because New Mexico State is one of the coolest stories of this season. They’re getting kicked out of their conference after this game and are going independent, which means this was probably their last chance to make a bowl, and they did it. This is their first bowl since 19-effing-60! It’s impossible to believe in this age of everyone goes to a bowl that NMSU hadn’t done it in that long, but they hadn’t, and now they get to play in one. With this game being reasonably close to Las Cruces, I expect this one to be a virtual home game for the Aggies in maroon…though it won’t be enough.

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



Goodyear Cotton Bowl
12/29, 8:30 pm, ESPN
(8) USC vs (5) Ohio State

This is practically a NFL Draft nut’s wet dream. Both schools are loaded with guys who will be playing on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and the occasional Saturdays. Wow, I’m surprised they don’t just have an NFL game every night. I mean, if the other sports can play nightly why not the NFL. I’m kidding, that would suck for fantasy purposes and nothing else. What I would never kid about is drafting Sam Darnold #1 overall, especially if you are the Cleveland Browns. Just don’t do it. The Browns have a track record of taking good players and turning them in to crap. I’m not even saying Darnold is a good player. I personally don’t want to draft a guy as my savior to the franchise that looks like he struggles with simple math equations. Seriously though, I just can’t see how taking Darnold 1st overall ends well, especially in Cleveland. Darnold threw 0 TDs against Western Michigan and UCLA. The Rosen One outplayed Darnold but the only difference is Rosen had a hot garbage team around him. Bear with me, USC fans, but if the roles were switched and Rosen was a Trojan you would be a playoff team and not have gotten destroyed by Notre Dame. If Darnold was a Bruin, he’d be a 5th-round pick that the Patriots​ would flip for a second-rounder in 4 years.

As for you, Ohio State, MAKE UP YOUR MINDS. Should conference champs automatically make it, or is it only when you are champs, because eff Penn State right? Should we not count bad losses because you got billyjacked by an Iowa team who wasn’t ranked but then was magically​ ranked the next week? Is Wisconsin overrated or not? The whole season, people didn’t believe the Badgers were for real. OSU fans, prior to the B1G championship game, thought they weren’t. Then something crazy happened. You got within striking distance of a playoff spot, so now Wisconsin is a quality win. It doesn’t work like that – either they are good or not. Well, Wisconsin was a top ten team all season. Yeah, and if OSU played a similar schedule and was undefeated, they would not have to wait for teams to lose to make it into the top 4. It’s all because of who you are, and the fact that Urban Meyer left when Tebow bounced because he could see what Florida turned into. Can you Buckeyes fans please figure out what gets you into the playoffs? All I know is you have a 12th-year senior at QB. Seriously, JT Barrett has to be 37 right?

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


TaxSlayer Bowl
12/30, 12 pm, ESPN
Louisville vs (23) Mississippi State

Hello Heisman! This could be the last game Lamar Jackson plays as a collegian if he decides to go pro. If it is, pour one out for one of the most ridiculous athletes we’ve ever seen in college football. It’s also the first game in a long time Mississippi State will play without coach Dan Mullen, who decided to jump ship inside the same conference and go to Florida. The move is understandable for Mullen, who has history with the Gators, but you have to think future MSU teams will be motivated to play Florida. Even though the SEC is dumb and has cross-division teams going half-decades without playing each other, as luck would have it the two teams will match up next year in Starkville on Sept. 29. That should be interesting.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Louisville A-Rob: Louisville


AutoZone Liberty Bowl
12/30, 12:30 pm, ABC
(20) Memphis vs Iowa State

Thanks, first and foremost, to both schools for making this season interesting and not just being doormats like in years past. Iowa State took out Oklahoma and did it without having to watch Mayfield grab his nuts. Then Memphis took undefeated UCF to the edge in the AAC title game, only to come up short. But at least in that moment you had all eyes on you, and almost took down a team whose coach​ was signing with another school at halftime.

So where do we go from here? The best school in Tennessee, without question, vs the 2nd best school​ in Iowa. Well, seeing as how this is a home game for Memphis, and the Tigers don’t lose at home, plus they have already beaten a mediocre Power 5 school in UCLA, I’ll roll with the Tigers. Not to mention​, someone has to win games in the State of Tennessee because Lord knows the Vols can’t do it. It’s a bit surprising that Mike Norvell was never mentioned in Tennessee’s coaching search. I feel like 800 people were mentioned but not the best coach in Tennessee? I guess haters gonna hate and Vols gonna Vol.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Memphis A-Rob: Iowa State


PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
12/30, 4 pm, ESPN
(9) Penn State vs (11) Washington

Get the feeling this is the New Year’s 6 game that’s slipping through the cracks? The Cotton has the pseudo-Rose Bowl matchup between the Big 10 and Pac-12 champs. The Orange has “The U” playing at home. The Peach has unbeaten UCF. And then there’s this game, sort of just sitting there, probably because both teams played in big bowls last year and aren’t fresh anymore. My gut tells me because of that, this game will be nuts. And with Saquon Barkley on one side and Dante Pettis on the other, something insane will happen. I’ll predict that right now. Also, PSU wins. I still don’t know how Washington lost to Arizona State.

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


Capital One Orange Bowl
12/30, 8 pm, ESPN
(6) Wisconsin vs (10) Miami

So Miami is back, huh? Are we sure that Miami is actually back or are they more a product of their environment? Outside of Va Tech, the ACC Coastal division had no one else above .500. You played an FSU team that was clearly in shambles and whose coach was all but out the door. If you think for a second Jimbo Fisher to A&M wasn’t discussed until later, please. Sure, you guys waxed what turned out to be an overrated Irish team who must have forgotten to get of the plane that day. Then, all of a sudden is cool to be a Hurricane fan and talk about​ that damn turnover chain. Yes, I’ll admit, I do like it and talked about it too. But then you did nothing to back up that the U is back with swagger, instead you looked sloppy early against Virginia, wet your pants against Pitt and then got steamrolled by the Alabama of your conference. Are you on the right path? Absolutely, but don’t sit there and tell me The U is back. Wait till next season when some of those games are on the road. Better yet, The U won’t be back until their tight end is rapping about his 3rd leg. Is that the Beginning of the U Part 3? Maybe, but it wouldn’t be as good as the 1st two.  Isn’t that how trilogies go?

As for Wisconsin, no one cared about you until you played Ohio State, and that was only because we all wanted to see if a 2-loss Buckeye team could squeeze into the playoffs, not because anyone outside of Wisconsin thought you actually would win. So I’ve decided I’m not going to care now. Play a tougher non-conference schedule and then maybe people won’t think you are a fraud. Same goes for you, Miami, play a tougher non-conference and I may actually think you are back and better than the Nevin Shapiro days. I’m still unsure how you avoided the death penalty, but I digress. I hope to see that chain a lot in this game and I hope like hell the Badgers bring a turnover chain of their own to spice this game up a bit. Oh, maybe Wisconsin brings over a Turnover Cheddar Cheese Wheel…you know what, never mind, Wisconsin, leave the swagger to The U.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Wisconsin A-Rob: Wisconsin


Outback Bowl
1/1, 12 pm, ESPN2
South Carolina vs Michigan

I hope you are ready for next season, Shea Patterson, because the rivalry is back, Notre Dame vs Michigan baby. I hope Harbaugh brings his big boy khakis because the Irish will be ready to take care of business in the Bend.

As far as this game is concerned, this is my preview:

Go Gamecocks, beat the Booger-Eating Fighting Khakis.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: South Carolina A-Rob: South Carolina


Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
1/1, 12:30 pm, ESPN
(12) UCF vs (7) Auburn

New Year’s Day in the afternoon is always a weird time in the playoff era just in terms of the TV arrangements. Here you have a big-time bowl matchup on ESPN while on ABC, where you’d normally want the better game, there’s…a worse game. Anyway, I’m actually excited for this one. Two big-time offenses are going to go at it here and I look forward to seeing which one can stop the other. My usual rule is pick against the team whose coach is gone. But apparently UCF is letting Scott Frost coach this game in honor of the work he did to turn the Knights from an 0-12 team to a 13-0 team in just two years. I like that move a lot. That, and the fact that I think the Tigers are disappointed to be back in Atlanta rather than playing in the Rose Bowl, where they could have played, leads me to think we could see yet another Group of 5 team take the victory here.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: UCF A-Rob: UCF


Citrus Bowl

1/1, 1 pm, ABC
(17) LSU vs (14) Notre Dame

Ugh. Bowl season was supposed to be a triumphant time for ND this year and looked like it would be entering November. Even if they had missed the playoff, they’d shown quite clearly that 4-8 was a fluke, that they were back on the scene, that maybe Brian Kelly could actually be the coach Irish fans desperately want him to be.

But he’s not. ND got obliterated by a Miami team that frankly I just don’t think is that good. They got handily beaten by a Stanford team that…again, just not that impressive. Their two ‘wins’ in the month saw them give up 37 points to Wake Forest and narrowly escape a mediocre Navy team. It looked like no different than any other time Kelly’s ND has gotten them to the precipice of something good; they slunk into a hole and turtled. So even though the Irish went 9-3, on paper a perfectly fine season, most Irish fans come into this matchup feeling very let down. It probably doesn’t help that this is the 3rd time in the last 11 years ND will face LSU in a bowl, which is a weird quirk.

I don’t think LSU is very good either, but I just don’t trust ND here or anywhere at this point. Of course, those are usually the times Kelly comes out of nowhere with a big-time performance to get ND a win you wouldn’t expect (see the bowl game against LSU 3 years ago), so who knows.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: ND A-Rob: LSU


You’ve made it this far, fellow sports fans. Let’s preview the playoff.

Rose Bowl
1/1, 5 pm, ESPN
(3) Georgia vs (2) Oklahoma

Why, Baker Mayfield, why? How dare you. I mean, what in the hell where you thinking? You have some nerve grabbing your no-no region and yelling obscene things at the Kansas Jayhawks, you have to use better judgment when it comes to exercising poor sportsmanship.

Mayfield decided, what better place to blow a fuse than Memorial Stadium against a team that would need the last 7 years to get to 12 wins? Yeah Baker, you went all badass big tough guy against a team that is 12-72 the last 7 seasons. I mean, come on Mayfield, you are better than that. Sure, they started it and you finished it but you let a 1-11 team get the best of you. You could​ have saved it for a much better opponent, like let’s say Texas during the Red River Shootout. Now that’s where you do it. It would have been looked at more like competitive fire against a rival rather than being a cocky SOB. Hell, doing that against Baylor is even a better use of your blow-up because that cesspool of a university has shown that kind of stuff doesn’t bother them, not even a little bit.

I’ve said and done some things I’m not proud of on a competitive field, but at least I picked my damn spot and wasn’t trying to get at the Little Sisters of the Poor. I’ve seen a few draft boards that actually have you going #2 to the New York Giants. If little ole Kansas can get your goat, the New York media will eat you alive.

Sorry, Georgia fans, but this game isn’t about you. The Bulldogs had one hell of a season even though they had no business beating ND and are lucky​ Wimpbush was playing and not Wimbush. If you do, I’ll eat my words, but you won’t. All I can hope and pray is that you annoy Mayfield enough that he goes all Grayson Allen on the sidelines with a hint of Mayfield sprinkled in.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Oklahoma A-Rob: Oklahoma


Allstate Sugar Bowl
1/1, 8:45 pm, ESPN
(4) Alabama vs (1) Clemson

Well, here we are. The committee sent their message: Lack of losses trump a superior strength of schedule. Ohio State’s 55-24 loss at Iowa gave them the excuse they needed to send Alabama into the playoff without a single win over a top-15 team. No other squad had ever managed to pull that off. Was it Bama’s fault Florida State sucked? Of course not. But this committee isn’t supposed to care about intent. FSU sucked, so they should be treated as such. Even though I think we all agree Bama is a better team than Ohio State, that’s entirely subjective. The objective schedule facts say the Buckeyes should be in this spot.

All that being said, this should be a good game. Clemson has an incredible defense, but can QB Kelly Bryant summon his inner Deshaun Watson and come up with a victory over the Tide like Watson did? Advanced analytics notwithstanding, I’m just not seeing it from this Bama team. They haven’t beaten a legitimately good team all year (teams that lost to Troy don’t count), and I don’t think they will in this semifinal either. Tigers win.

THE PICKS:
Bizzle: Alabama A-Rob: Clemson


And, to cap it off: Our title game picks!

National Championship Pick
1/8, 8 pm, ESPN

Bizzle: 

What is more Alabama than them being in the title game after they didn’t deserve to be here? They played Colorado State, which I admit is tough, but it was pretty cake after that. What would be more Alabama than destroying Clemson in the semifinal, then meeting up with Heisman nut-grabber Baker Mayfield? What’s more Bama than they would probably be an underdog in that game, just so Vegas makes us think for a second that Oklahoma has a chance. This entire season has been one big troll job by the people who wrote the script. They keep saying​ this is the weakest Bama team in years, yet here they are once again with a shot at a national title based on nothing more than past success. I haven’t felt this trolled since they picked Kelly over Justin on American Idol Season 1.

So why do we do this to ourselves every year? Sit through countless weeks of previews, then 13 weeks of games, and then a million bowls, most of which mean absolutely nothing to anyone, just to have Alabama make the playoff? The committee needs to take a hard look in the mirror and just call this what it is. It’s the College Football Playoff sponsored by Alabama. That means they get a sponsors’ exemption like Joel Klatt’s crazy ass was talking about, so ultimately there are only 3 spots up for grabs, not 4. We do this because we are crazy, insane and somewhere deep inside our heart, wish our team was as successful as Alabama is, or at the very least got the benefit of the doubt the way Nick Saban does. This game is borderline unwatchable, because, well, it’s a foregone conclusion that Bama wins and Baker Mayfield isn’t going to do something crazy (well, he might). The only reason I’m watching is to hold out that sliver of hope that Oklahoma sneaks out a victory so I don’t have to Roll Damn Tide for the next 9 months leading up to the 2018 season.

A-Rob:

Yet again, Bizzle and I differ on the title game. He has Bama/Oklahoma, I have Clemson/Oklahoma.

I really want it to be Clemson/Oklahoma, if only because I’m tired of having rooting interests in these championship matchups when my team isn’t involved. I just want to sit and watch a good game, and yet Super Bowls, title games, NBA Finals, etc. just keep rolling in and I have a clear team I want to see lose. If Clemson takes on Oklahoma, I’ll have two teams I enjoy watching, that deserve to be here, and that I have no problem with seeing hoist the trophy.

If it is Clemson/Oklahoma, I really don’t know who I think will win. Defense vs. offense would be the story, of course, as well as Nut-Grabber vs. The Heir Apparent. Clemson would have a gigantic home field advantage (the best reason to root for Georgia in the Rose Bowl is to witness the madhouse Atlanta would be if it were Georgia vs. another southern team in the title game). The Tigers have their fair share of weapons too, though. Travis Etienne is a house on fire. Deon Cain has speed to burn. And you might have heard that Hunter Renfrow tends to play ok in these title games. Sure, Oklahoma has a better offense. But Clemson can hang in. And their defense is just so damn good. So, with apologies to Heisman Ball-Grab, I’ll take Clemson to repeat as national champion.

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The Dads on Sports Preview All the Bowls Again!

Did You Guys Know Notre Dame Football Went 4-8 Last Year?

Because in case you didn’t, the amateur comedians at SB Nation are only too happy to remind you, in any possible way — even if it’s completely irrelevant to the sports topic du jour.
Yes, I’m wading into this territory yet again. I already wrote an article like this last year, targeting mostly the same people. I think it’s safe to say I have something of a vendetta against SB Nation and their acolytes.

Anyway, we all saw Notre Dame football go 4-8 last year. It was a complete disaster that resulted, at least publicly, in a complete reshuffling of how things had been getting done in the program. We shall see what, if anything, changes on the field. Personally, I’m skeptical, but then, I’ve been on-and-off wanting Brian Kelly to be replaced since late October of his first season, so my opinion probably isn’t valid.

But this latest hot take isn’t about my opinion of the Notre Dame football program. It’s little more than a rebuke of the SB Nation portion of sports Twitter and their repetitive and unfunny jokes about ND’s 4-8 record. There was a quick resurgence of them this weekend, given St. Patrick’s Day and especially the Irish basketball team’s loss to West Virginia in the NCAA tournament.

You don’t need to take my word for it. Just do a Twitter search for “Notre Dame went 4-8”, with quote marks. You’ll get results all over the place going back months — some of them might even have been sparked by an actual occurrence related to the subject. Amusingly enough, just about everyone you’ll see in the results column, if you click their timeline, has an SB Nation retweet pretty close to the top. Some of the Tweets even @ SBN writers themselves, as if they are clinging to hope that THIS 4-8 joke will be so good that they too will be able to score highly-paying jobs as professional trolls.

Look, I’m not completely humorless. Making fun of ND for having a bad season is…whatever. If you want to do it, that’s your prerogative. I’m on record thinking you’re a giant stinking hypocrite if you constantly insult ND for not being good at football while also (as so many of these people do) calling its fans delusional if they want to throw out the coach that’s putting out the product you’re using as so much fodder for jokes. But hypocrisy has never been much of an issue for this particular group of sports fans.

In any case, either way, I get why ND’s poor season would be an easy punchline for a month or so following its conclusion. I’m on the thin-skinned side (this article wouldn’t exist if I wasn’t), but I at least understood a brief period of getting poked on social media.

Beyond that time frame, it became very obvious very quickly that the constant 4-8 jokes — many of which, again, have been devoid of any connection to Notre Dame or even college football — were symptomatic of the fact that these people despise the program. Very few of these trolls (except Spencer Hall, who I guess should get points for honesty while being a hate-spewing asshole) actually own up to the fact that this is the case, continuing to cling to their self-appointed position as the irreverent class clown of college football Twitter.

Of course, I have many, many problems with SBN even beyond their ridiculous treatment of ND football. I worked for their ND sub-site, One Foot Down, for 18 months or so, which is to say I crapped out a couple dozen articles for them. That’s really all they want out of anything — posts, regardless of their quality. After all, while you pay your writers $3 per post, you have to pressure the hell out of them to have content rolling in 24/7. That way, you can churn out those clicks and afford to pay Spencer Hall and his cohort of jokesters to embarrass themselves with pathetic attempts at ‘journalism’. Heavily, heavily ironic, too, that this business model of theirs — labor force doing a spectacular amount of the heavy lifting for peanuts while the guys at the top rake in all the money — sounds an awful lot like…hmm…what does it sound like? Oh, that’s right! The very organization that runs college sports, whom you hate and trash at every opportunity!

They now have a low-rent moron making a fool of himself in an attempt to run that ND sub-site, which is serendipitous for them because I’m sure they enjoy having such a person representing ND fans, whom they unanimously hate. (It would be a wonder they even allow ND fans a place to congregate on their holy site given their opinion of them, but that would require having some semblance of conviction rather than churning every cent they can out of people.) I doubt it was intentional that it worked out that way, but certainly a nice side effect.

As I said in my previous article on the subject, too, I don’t have a problem with people disliking ND football per se. Even aside from their rivals, there are reasons to hate them if you want, some better than others. I just have a huge problem with the people who despise the people that prevent college athletes from being rich turning around and lambasting a school that actually puts forth an effort to provide a meaningful version of the compensation the rules currently permit — an education.

Meanwhile, guys like Hall slurp their SEC schools that win a lot and don’t bother to muse on why that league provides so many of the worst graduation rates in the country, thereby performing a far larger disservice to their athletes (my opinion, anyway) than not paying the tiny fraction of them that have major market value beyond their scholarships. The major football powers yank scholarships from people whenever they want, leaving them forced to make decisions they’re ill-equipped to make, but as long as they win, no one — even Hall, champion of the marginalized — gives a rip.

While SB Nation lobs grenades at ND for everything from playing “three true road games” (if I had a nickel for every time I saw/heard that phrase in 2014 and ’16) to, yes, going 4-8 in football, they’re posting Graduation Success Rates of 98/100 in the category of black student-athletes. (I know you’re all sick of the talk of ND ‘doing it the right way’, and I wouldn’t bring it up if the people lambasting the school weren’t also attacking the NCAA constantly for not, in their view, ‘doing it the right way’.)

You’d think the champion of paying players and the kings of arguing for the marginalized would care about something small like equipping young minority student-athletes for success in life, but nah. Notre Dame went 4-8 in football and it’s funny (despite the fact that we consider them an irrelevant program for whom going 4-8 shouldn’t be unexpected) so let’s make jokes about it for the next 8 months! And by all means, no one say a word about the schools that actually do chew up and spit out their black athletes without preparing them in any way for the real world! I guess SB Nation’s desire to carry the flag for the most vulnerable in our society doesn’t extend far enough to intrude on their desire to hate, and make silly non sequitur cracks about, an institution basically because it exists.

Well, congratulations, SB Nation. You got the rise out of me and sparked me to write this probably incoherent response to your trolling. I’m probably not the only one. I’m sure somewhere in your little pamphlet on “How to Be a Complete Joke of a Sports Site but Who Gives a Shit, We’ll Get Paid”, there’s some small subsection on openly being dicks to entire fan bases for no reason other than to score social media points. This article is proof you’ve hit that section right on the nose.

Did You Guys Know Notre Dame Football Went 4-8 Last Year?

The Junkies Break The Bracket Down! 

Midwest:

In my opinion this is the most boring of the four regions and headlined by the most fraudulent one seed. The Kansas Jayhawks have a talented roster, don’t get me wrong, but it seemed more often than not I was getting the “Close Game” alert on my cell phone when they played. Kansas also proved without Josh Jackson they are suspect, losing to the TCU Horned Frogs in the Big 12 Tournament. We are big fans of TCU basketball around here –  if only they would have stayed in the Big East, imagine the powerhouse they’d have become. I digress from my point and to help further it, a potential second round  matchup with Michigan State does Kansas no favors. I know MSU is down but you never sleep on a Tom Izzo-coached team in the Big Dance. The Midwest region is probably the most up in the air, especially if Kansas can’t make its way out of it. Louisville doesn’t really scare anyone and Oregon is banged up. Caleb Swanigan is a monster but is he good enough to help Purdue make a Final Four run? Lots  of intrigue in the Midwest.
Best Round One Matchup:

No.4 Purdue vs No. 13 Vermont
I got to be honest here, I was picking going pick  the 8/9 game but that’s a chump move. So I’ll take the game with the All-American Caleb Swanigan. The sophomore forward is in my opinion the best player in the region. So can the best player take down the best 13 seed in the tournament? According to ESPN Vermont has the best chance of advancing to the round of 32 for seeds 13-16. It’s not like Vermont is a stranger to pulling off major upsets. The Catamounts haven’t played many close games this season, pretty much destroying everyone in the America East Conference. It’s about time they get a challenge. I’m not saying they will pull off the upset, but damnit they sure will try.

Double Digit Seed With The Best Chance to make a run:

11 Rhode Island

The Fighting Lamar Odoms are hot right now – winners of their last eight games, including an A10 Championship. They matchup with Creighton, the Fighting Kyle Korvers, in round 1. The 3rd place finishers in the Big East regular season will be a tough out. That said, if the Fighting Odoms make it to the round of 32, a matchup with a banged up Oregon Ducks team is possible, and who knows how well the Ducks will play without Chris Boucher. Going on that magical Sweet 16 run isn’t that far fetched. Full disclosure, I have no clue how good Rhode Island is. I just wanted to mention Lamar Odom because #NeverForget. Plus, if I call this run I’ll look like a genius.

Potential Matchup I want to see:

1 Kansas Vs 9 Michigan State
MSU had a very un-MSU type season, but that’s what happens when you schedule as tough as Tom Izzo does –  which in part is to get his team’s ready for March. It’s nice to see out of a “Power 5”. Playing big schools anytime anywhere can hurt you if you don’t win those games, and the 9th seed is proof – they almost missed the dance. Injuries to their frontcourt have also been a big factor, especially to Eron Harris. On a positive note, Kansas lacks size, and Izzo can match up better with Kansas’ small lineup, which would make for a great game. Plus, l I’ll say it again – KANSAS IS A FRAUD! Honestly, Arizona had a better case than the Jayhawks for a #1 seed. Call me LaVar Ball but I’m standing by that.

West Region:

It was inevitable that whatever region housed Gonzaga as the 1 seed would roundly be considered the weak spot in the NCAA Tournament, and sure enough, here we are. It also doubles as the home for the Northwestern Wildcats in their very first tournament ever, which is a really cool story no matter how sick you are of hearing Mike Wilbon and his cohorts talk about it. Intrigue abounds in this West, because it has all the makings of a busted-up bracket once we reach the second weekend.
Best round one matchup:

3 Florida State vs 14 Florida Gulf Coast
THE RETURN OF DUNK CITY! You can’t not be excited to see Florida Gulf Coast back in the bracket. They were here last year too, of course, but this team actually has the looks of one that can do some damage. I watched some of the Atlantic Sun final and these guys are long and athletic, much like the Eagles that captured our hearts four years ago in wins over Georgetown and San Diego State. FSU will be the heavy favorite, of course, but the Seminoles have not done very well outside their own building and FGCU will be the sentimental favorite if they get going (it doesn’t hurt that they’re actually a few minutes closer to Orlando, where the game will be played, than FSU is).

Double digit seed with the best chance to make a run:

11 Xavier

I don’t really like any of the double-digit seeds in this bracket, but if the Musketeers can recapture their form from early in the season, the bracket lines up pretty well. I don’t think anyone is scared of Maryland in a 6/11 game, and Florida State (if they survive DUNK CITY) isn’t all that frightening either. The problem for Xavier is that they basically haven’t beaten anyone besides DePaul in like a month and a half. However, no program has accomplished more under the radar than Xavier in recent years, so maybe they have the ability to sneak up on us all once again.
Potential matchup I want to see:

Even setting aside my Notre Dame fandom for a moment — if I were to answer this question honestly it would be ND vs North Dakota in the Elite 8 — that potential second-round battle between ND and West Virginia does look pretty tasty, doesn’t it? The Irish and Mountaineers had some real battles in the few years Bob Huggins and Mike Brey were in the Big East together. Their styles align for an intriguing matchup, as WVU is all about trying to take the ball away and the Irish do a better job of taking care of it than just about anyone. And between the Mountaineers’ physical style and the attitude Bonzie Colson has been playing with of late, this game might just be the most likely of any to result in players getting in each other’s faces and chirping a little bit. As an ND fan I don’t want to see this game happen because it would be tough, but the hoops fan in me is kind of excited for it.

Final Four Pick: 

A-Rob: Arizona, over Notre Dame. But let the record show that I thought very hard about taking the Irish to the Final Four, which I’ve never done. ND got underseeded at a 5, but couldn’t have asked for a much more navigable path on paper. I’m excited to see where it goes

Bizzle: Arizona (He’s so long winded^)

South Region:

Even in a region with One and Done U and Paper Class Institute at the top of the South Region, they pale in comparison to the hurricane that has become the Ball family dynamic. In my opinion there is not bigger story than what the hell LaVar Ball will say next. With each passing round I hope the claims get crazier and crazier. The only story that would be bigger than Lonzo Ball being able to make.good on his dad’s claims would be if Texas Southern can pull off the first 16-over-1 upset in March Madness history. Speaking of Texas Southern, they are by record the best 16 seed in the field, so Roy Williams better not sleep on the Tigers the way his players sleep through classes.

Best Round One Matchup:

10 Wichita State vs  7 Dayton
This game has been decided by everyone who gets paid to make decisions. They all have picked Wichita State and I get it. The Shockers won 30 games, and I don’t care what league you play in, that’s mighty impressive. They beat Illinois State in the Missouri Valley finals, knocking them off the bubble. Got to love a team with a chip on their shoulder in the most unpredictable tournament in sports. This team is no slouch, as they beat 5 teams in this tournament.
Double Digit Seed With best Chance to Make a Run:

12 Middle Tennessee State
Holy crap did the bracket set up nicely for the Blue Raiders. Sure Minnesota had a great year in the B1G, but they arent the cream of the crop. When Minnesota loses, it isn’t pretty, but when they win, they win convincingly. I know, that’s a cheap take on Minnesota, but it’s Minnesota. Only people in Minnesota think they are Final Four bound, so if Joe Mauer wants to come at me that’s fine. After the Gophers, MTSU gets either Butler or Winthrop, both mid-major schools themselves. Sorry Butler, but Gordon Hayward and Brad Stevens ain’t walking through that door. A date with North Carolina in the Sweet 16 is very possible, and who doesn’t want to root for a kid named Giddy Potts? That name alone is worth a Sweet Sixteen berth.

Potential Matchup I want to see:

Easily, it’s Kentucky vs UCLA potentially meeting in the Sweet 16, and if I can be corny, what a sweet matchup that would be, with two of the most storied programs in college basketball history. This matchup would feature 5 of the projected top 16 picks in the upcoming NBA draft according to NBADraftNet.com, with Ball leading the way as the #2 prospect in college. I would pay good money to hear LaVar Ball and John Calipari have a conversation. I’m sure LaVar thinks he’s a better coach that Cal. I mean, this is the same guy who thinks he would have killed MJ one on one back in the day. If you call yourself a hoops fan and don’t get even the least bit pumped for a Malik Monk vs Lonzo Ball Sweet 16 matchup, you need to check your pulse, because it’s going to be a classic….If it happens.
Final Four Pick:

 A-Rob: North Carolina Bizzle: UCLA

East Region:

Every region can claim to be the toughest in this year’s NCAA bracket (well, ok, probably not the West), but only one boasts the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats: The East Region.
The East has teams that were arguably overseeded (hi, South Carolina!) and underseeded (tough break, Wisconsin), but it appears to be one of the easiest on paper to predict because everyone is going to have Villanova vs Duke in the Elite 8. Which means this is the odds-on favorite to be the bracket that jacks everyone up like the Midwest regional did last year. (I still haven’t forgiven Michigan State for losing to Middle Tennessee and setting off a chain reaction that resulted in freaking Syracuse, who had no business in the tournament, making the Final Four.)
Best round one matchup:

5 Virginia vs 12 UNC Wilmington
Damn right I’m picking a 5/12 as the best matchup of this bracket. Wilmington has the pedigree – they went 15-3 in the Colonial (29-5 overall) and last year they hung right with Duke in a 3/14 matchup. Four starters are back from that team. And this year, they have an offense ranked in the top 20 for adjusted efficiency by kenpom.com (I’m bringing analytics to the party, baby). UVA, meanwhile, is one of the most dramatically underseeded teams in this tournament by kenpom, which has the Cavaliers ranked 7th, and we all know how tough it is to score against that defense. However, UVA has been floundering a bit lately. They struggled down the stretch in the ACC, they barely escaped last-place Pitt in the ACC tourney, and then Notre Dame, which they’d owned for years, handled them. I don’t like the way the Cavs are trending, and this matchup looks like it could be very exciting. I picked the Seahawks to pull the upset.

Double-digit seed with the best chance to make a run:

12 UNC Wilmington
This is no surprise given what I just said about UNCW. I’m generally not sold on SEC schools that aren’t Kentucky, so if the Seahawks beat Virginia, I like their chances against Florida too. Keep an eye, though, on 11th-seed USC. The Trojans have talent, but haven’t gotten many chances to prove it in a top-heavy but not deep Pac-12. SC draws a good but beatable SMU team in round one, and in the second round they would likely get a Baylor team that dropped a deuce in their most recent game and has become accustomed to flaming out in March.
Potential matchup I want to see:

It almost feels like cheating to pick Villanova vs Duke in the Elite 8 for this answer, but no other potential showdown intrigues me even close to as much as this one does. The last two national champs taking the hardwood in Madison Square Garden, defending champs versus the team most believe to be the most talented in the field. Coach K and Jay Wright are two of the most respected leaders in the game. It’s too good to be true, right? Which is again why I say someone will probably screw it up.
Final Four Pick: 

A-Rob: Villanova Bizzle: Duke (Damnit)

The Junkies Break The Bracket Down! 

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!