Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: December 26th

I grant you that I'm posting this on Christmas Day but we're going to assign this week's entry, and our final entry of the season, to December 26th.   For the BIG FINISH on

Dave's (blam!)
LOCKS (conk)
of the Week (beep)

Final entry of the season.  Currently we're just a shade over .500 at 32-30-2.   Every year we've done LOTW, we've been well under .500 for the season.   This is a chance at *history.*   In our six years doing the blog, we've never been more excited than now.

An abysmal week last week, couldn't ask for less... 0-3.  Today, we rebound with two Bowl picks which we already made a few days ago plus one other from this week's NFL schedule.  So aw-aaaaaaay we go.

We'll start with our NFL pick... December 29th.  Last day of the NFL regular season, and in this pivotal week with many playoff matchups to be decided we go TO... Jags/Colts!!   The Colts have a legitimate opportunity to get as high as a 2 seed in the NFL Playoffs, which means a coveted bye week.    I know it might have been more sensible to go after one of the bigger matchups but you know what?  I think you're going to get a classic overreaction to the Colts dominant performance in Kansas City.  Let's be honest here... the Colts haven't been playing good football lately and as far as the reason for destroying KC last week?  I couldn't tell you, but it does seem clear that the offensive line is picking up the pace for Indy QB Andrew Luck.   You know who else is playing better lately?  The Jaguars.  In the last month-plus, they've covered in 4 of their last 5 games, and they've won three of those four outright. Adding to this, the Jaguars play much better on the road, indicated by their 3-4 road record.    The way the Colts won seemed like a sheer fluke... especially when considering that Jamaal Charles had a great game for Kansas City.   Now, suddenly, after struggling most of the second half this year, the Colts are 11 point favorites?   It doesn't make sense.   We're going with the Jags to keep this interesting.  I like Indy to win it, but Jacksonville will be within striking range most of the day.  Jaguars +11 at Indy.

In this game, I think the key is to see what Jacksonville can bring w/ the underneath routes... Maurice Jones-Drew, Mike Brown, and Marcedes Lewis will be the key players in this game.  MJD as a passing option is usually the best bet for Chat Henne.   Let's see how it happens!

Now to the two College Bowl Picks...

We made these picks quite a while ago, but since the games are finally coming up next week, the time has come to reveal them.  First we stop deep in the heart of Texas... it's the Alamo Bowl between the Texas Longhorns and the Oregon Ducks.

The Ducks must feel like jilted lovers, coming up short in a long season AND despite a good finish, getting snubbed a BCS bid in the process.  What would the Ducks really have for motivation at this point?   Their spread offense, with Marcus Mariotta and company, could potentially be playing out the string in a bowl they might feel is beneath them.  In the meanwhile, after a very slow, disastrous start for Texas, the Longhorns, coming off the news that Mack Brown will coach his last game here in the Alamo, then retire, must be ready to send off Brown on a high note.

Texas brings some talent defensive players, albeit not necessarily a great defense in total.  I do think they have talent of their own and coupled with the virtual home field advantage in their home state of Texas, the Longhorns appear to be ready to go!   Now, with all this said, Mack Brown has let us down before, but in all honesty we're getting great value with Texas as a 14.5 point UNDERDOG.    We're going to hook 'em horns and select Texas +14.5 vs Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.

Lastly, we'll go to the grandaddy of the grandaddy of them all: the final BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl.   This year, the matchup features Jameis Winston and the Florida State Seminoles vs Tre Mason, Nick Marshall, and the Auburn Tigers.   I know that Auburn's got the better coach w/ Gus Malzahn.  I also know that Auburn has been more battle tested, but you know what?   Their defense really isn't that good.   Often I've found the best teams in College Football, ULTIMATELY, happen to have the best defenses and it really doesn't get much better than Florida State.  So many NFL Ready talents on one team, it's hard to imagine a triple-option, thrilled to be there team like Auburn who's already been through so many emotions, to put up a grand fight against a more athletic and quicker Florida State team.

The two teams will start off slowly, similar to what FSU did against Duke in the ACC Championship game, but the better quarterback and defense are clearly with the 'Noles.  I *love* Jameis Winston... even with all the swirling adversity around him he played some great football, rifling some impressive passes downfield and putting away all of their opponents, even ranked opponents like Clemson and Miami.  Consider this... Clemson doesn't do too well against the best of the best, but they've literally beaten everyone else.  Using that metric, I think FSU has something special.  Perhaps a tougher schedule would have been better for the Noles, and perhaps there's the chance of being blindsided by Auburn, but the paper advantages are overwhelming.   To put it simply:  Florida State has WAY MORE NFL Caliber talent.  That's going to win it, and I think they'll win it by considerably more than the initial 7.5 point spread, but we jumped on that quickly, sensing the line would go up.  Florida State -7.5 vs Auburn in the BCS Championship Game.

That's our final set of picks for LOCKS of the Week.   It's been a pleasure offering your our favorites football picks of the season and we hope to finish strongly.  We'll find out if our season finishes over .500 come January 6th.  Thanks again for being such a loyal audience!

Now all we have to do to complete our first ever winning season is get *one* of these picks correct.  Here we go!  To recap: Jaguars +11 at Indy, Texas +14.5 vs Oregon, FSU -7.5 vs Auburn.

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