Friday, December 30, 2016

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Galesburg Is Waiting Edition

All right old dude, before I mosey on back to Galesburg tomorrow, we have to make some football picks!

It should be a magic moment.

That's right, Geritol Fan. Filled with magic and HYYYYYYYYYPPPPPPPE! And since we're also at the end of 2016, that means we're headed for the national semifinals in college football, where three of the teams deserve to be there, and one does not. We'll get to that particular observation shortly.

So you're bagging on the Washington Huskies, then, huh?

No. I believe they should have been seeded higher, actually. But we'll get to that. First of all, watch me work!

Bear Down Chicago da Bearz (+6.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings. At last, we can put da Bearz out of their misery. Somewhere in California, Gino is coming to grips with yet another losing season and might be considering where it all went wrong. Here's a hint:

But that's just the start
As for Vikings fans, it's been a tough, injury-filled season that started with hope and now ends with some soul-searching. What needs to happen for the Vikings? They need to decide who their quarterback will be for next season, and whether they want to continue the Adrian Peterson Show. I think the Vikings are going to improve next year, but if they don't, there will be a lot of questions about whether the coaching staff and front office are earning their paychecks. Vikings 21, da Bearz 9.

I wonder about the Vikings, too. I suspect they'll get rid of Peterson and hope to find a suitable replacement at some point in the off-season. Chances are there will be players available. The larger question is the one Benster is asking -- do you trust the current staff with the future? If I'm looking for a culprit, I'm not looking at the head coach. Vikings 31, Bears 24.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-3) vs. Detroit LOLions. Just before Thanksgiving, all the media were writing the obituaries for the Packers. Funny how a month can change one's perspective. The Packers have looked fantastic and are arguably the one team nobody wants to play. Detroit is very good, especially at home, but they've won all of their close games. This is something that's hard to sustain. The LOLions still have to confront their history, which teaches us that they cannot win a big game, at least since 1957. It's not 1957, and this time, Detroit fans will not have to complain about a Hail Mary. Packers 42, LOLions 31.

Shootout! I dunno. I'm still nervous about the Packers defense, which has been taking the ball away but still giving up big plays. If there is a limiting factor in their chances, that would be it. The Lions have become pretty abysmal at running the football, which puts a lot of pressure on Matthew Stafford. Stafford has been quite good this year, but I suspect his broken finger is a larger problem than he's letting on. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers is at the top of his game and will remain there. Packers 28, Lions 20.

Cotton Bowl, in Jerryworld -- Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (-7.5) vs. Western Michigan Broncos. Time for a little MACtion for the Badgers. Western Michigan is a sneaky good team and they have not been beaten all year. They handled Northwestern and Illinois and that makes me a bit nervous about them. I wonder if the Badgers even want to be in Dallas, especially after what happened in Indianapolis. If it's any consolation, at least the Badgers didn't get screwed over by the Committee. But we'll get to that. I think the Badgers should win this game, but it won't be easy. Badgers 28, Western Michigan 26.

First, an annoying musical interlude:

Yes, the Badgers are playing the school from Kalamazoo. Will the music play well? I think so. The Broncos are a good team, but the Badgers should be able to wear them down on offense. If the Badgers get to the lead early, it will be a bit of a beatdown. If not, all bets are off. Wisconsin 37, Western Michigan 21.

Peach Bowl, in Atlanta -- Washington Huskies (+13.5) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide. No love for the Huskies? They look pretty good to me! It's no secret that Alabama has been a juggernaut all year, but how much of that is their prowess, and how much of it is beating up on a shockingly weak SEC? I want to see what happens when Alabama gets challenged. When you win for so long, you forget how to pull yourself out of trouble. And I sense some trouble coming. Washington 35, Alabama 7.

Whaddyer, nuts? I can't say I'm an expert on the Huskies, since I haven't seen any of their games this season, but I have seen Alabama and they are a fearsome squad. This season the Pac-12 teams have been doing their best Big XII imitation -- a lot of offense and not much defense. I'm not sure that formula will work against Alabama, who can shut you down and score touchdowns from both sides of the ball. I think Alabama is #1 for a reason. Alabama 34, Washington 20.

Fiesta Bowl, in Glendale, AZ -- A School in Columbus (-3) vs. Clemson Tigers. Oh, I've been waiting for this one. Are you ready for a hot take, old dude? Here's your first clue:

It's getting all Oletangy in here
Ohio State owes the Committee a thank you, because they have no business being in this game. Penn State beat Ohio State head to head, and is the Big Ten Champion. If you're an Ohio State fan, you should accept that you were the inferior team. But of course, it doesn't work that way. Penn State is still the better team, but not the better brand. If I were the president of Ohio State, I would have turned the bid down and done the right thing for the Big Ten. But no. If the Big Ten championship game didn't matter, why was it played? Was it just for laughs? I'm not laughing. The Buckeyes should learn a lesson from this, but they won't. Next time, win your conference and you won't need to get bailed out. Thankfully, Clemson didn't need to rely on the kindness of strangers and should easily win this game. Clemson 56, No-hio State 0.

Hoo boy. This needs to be said:

Not that we have an opinion on the matter...
I'm willing to accept the premise that Penn State should be in the tournament, but 56-0? Naw. That ain't happening, Buckeye hater! I suspect it will be a very entertaining game; you need to make sure you don't trash the hotel room in Galesburg after this happens. Ohio State 27, Clemson 24.

We'll see about that. Happy New Year everybody! Ben out!

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