Friday, December 27, 2019

Benster and D Pick Your Games---Bowl Game Extravaganza Edition

Old dude, the Badgers have returned to Pasadena and the Gophers are elitely rowing their boat in Tampa on New Year's Day. It's been a good year for the two college football teams we focus on the most around here.

Tidings of comfort and joy from the Benster? How about that!

It's also been a good year for the Packers and the Vikings. We know both are in the playoffs, but we don't know who they are going to be playing.

We know who they won't be playing, though:

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Light up!

C'mon, old dude! Let's try to have a positive attitude! I'm feeling the HYYYYYYYYPPPEE!, and it's time to watch me work.

Chokelahoma Sooners (+12.5) vs. LSU Bayou Bengals, in Atlanta This game is the more interesting of the semifinals because the two quarterbacks are both transfers. Jalen Hurts is consistently good in big games, going back to when he was at the helm for Nick Saban at Alabama. I get that Joe Burrow is the Heisman winner, but quite honestly this is the biggest game he has started, and he's due for a bad one. It's important to remember that LSU is going to have a virtual home game in Atlanta, and should they win a virtual home game in NOLA. I think that Oklahoma can actually win this game because the Sooners have the more decorated senior class, and in big games you look at the seniors first. Sooners 45, Bayou Bengals 21.

You're making Ed Orgeron sad, you know:

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What he said
Hurts is a big-game quarterback -- I agree wholeheartedly. That said, LSU is a superior team this year. This one will be wildly entertaining. But I'm going with Coach O. LSU 45, Oklahoma 38.

Clemson Tigers (NL) vs. A School in Columbus This game has no line mainly because we are not sure about Justin Fields and how well he is going to play with the knee brace. It sucks that I have to mention it, but it is going to be a factor. Chase Young should not even be playing in this game, but the good news for Buckeyes fans is that I don't run the NCAA. Clemson feels disrespected because they are sneaking under the radar as defending national champions, which honestly feels strange even saying. If I were Dabo Swinney, I would have been talking to Paul Chryst all week leading up to the game, because the Badgers were the only school to play the Buckeyes tough all year. I really don't like A School in Columbus, but I'm sick and tired of Clemson being in the title game. I hate to say it, but I would much prefer the Buckeyes to win. I'm going to root for them, but do so in a hazmat suit with a strong need to take a shower after the game. Buckeyes 21, Tigers 0.

Urban Meyer sends his regards:

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Benster said something nice about us!
This game may not be as entertaining as LSU/Oklahoma, but it's going to be a war. Clemson is good. The Buckeyes are loaded; we've seen that. I think they beat Clemson, but it's gonna be difficult to say the least. Ohio State 31, Clemson 28.

Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat (+7) vs. Auburn Tigers, in Tampa Bay The Gophers rightfully are in a very good bowl game, and P.J. Fleck deserves a lot of credit for the job he and the players did this year. Auburn is an interesting opponent, and a difficult team to read. They have two good wins this year, beating Oregon and (obviously) beating Alabama. The Tigers deserve the thanks of the wider college football world for keeping Alabama out of the playoff. Gus Malzhan is a coach who runs a speed based attack with a lot of gadget plays, and Bo Nix is a really fun quarterback to watch. I think the key to the game for the Gophers is how they respond to Auburn going off script. Fleck and his staff have done a great job all year, but the one black mark is that they struggled when Iowa and Wisconsin went off script in their two rivalry game losses. I think the Gophers can win, but Auburn should not be underestimated. Row Row Row Your Boat Elitely 31, Tigers 10.

This is a bad matchup for the Gophers, unfortunately. Auburn is a lot like Iowa and Wisconsin, except faster. The key will be getting the Gopher receivers going. If they can score, they will have a chance. Otherwise. . . Auburn 31, Minnesota 24.

Oregon Ducks (+3) vs. Beloved Wisconsin Badgers, in Pasadena It may have been a strange journey, but the Badgers earned a trip to the Rose Bowl. Let me be clear as a lifelong Wisconsin fan. The Rose Bowl is never a consolation bowl, and earning a trip there means that the season has been very successful. I also want to thank the committee for not punishing the Badgers for earning a berth in the Big Ten title game and playing A School in Columbus a second time. Oregon looked mighty impressive in their league title game against Utah, and I think Justin Herbert is a sneaky good pro prospect. In fact, I consider him someone that the Packers should look at as the successor to Aaron. The Badgers will be motivated in this bowl game, and I would love for JT and a decorated senior class to go out on a high note for winning multiple bowl games, and multiple big bowl games. I also really enjoyed my interactions with Oregon fans at the Rose Bowl I attended in 2015. They were so nice and were gracious in answering my questions about the Ducks football program. Badgers 31, Ducks 24.

This is a different Oregon team than what we used to see. They still have the garish uniforms, but they are less speed based and more of a slug it out type of team. That's a good way to win, but very few teams can outslug the Badgers. I think the key is the offensive line for the Badgers. They have been good but not great this season. They need to be great to win. I think they will be equal to the challenge. Badgers 28, Ducks 24.

Bear Down Chicago Da Bearz Still Suck (-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings. I have some words for the Minnesota Vikings, but first of all this line is a joke. I guess they are assuming that the Vikings are sitting starters, but no way are the Bears favorites on the road. Time for a Very Special Comment.

The main talk around here has been throwing Kirk Cousins under the bus once again for allegedly not showing up on Monday. I get that you can call him out because of his $84 million contract, and that he is a polarizing figure among the Vikings fanbase. What I don't get is that he's being criticized for things are not his fault. It's not Kirk's fault that the Packers had a masterful defensive game. It's not Kirk's fault that the Vikings defense got gashed by Aaron Jones. It's not Kirk's fault that Dalvin Cook was injured and the Packers could focus on shutting Cousins down. It's like he can't win regardless of what he does. My word, he got you guys into the playoffs. Enough with the Kirk blaming, especially with the kneejerk KFAN callers. It must drive Vikings approved KFAN hosts like Meatsauce and PA mad to deal with the Kirk hate all the time. Kirk could win 4 straight Super Bowls and set every QB record with the Vikings, and people would still blame him for everything. What does he have to do to please people?

Uh, win?

Well, yeah. The Vikings are going to be careful with their starters this game, and we shall see when and where they will be going next weekend. And who knows, maybe the kneejerk fans can actually blame someone else besides Kirk for once. Vikings 35, Da Bearz Still Suck 10.

Not sure how to read this one, frankly. The Bears may phone this in, but I kinda doubt that is going to happen. Vikings definitely need to rest Cook and maybe Thielen, who was on a milk carton last week. I suspect the Vikings will win, but it's going to be a dull game. Vikings 17, Bears 14.

Glorious Green Bay Packers (-12.5) vs. Detroit LOLions The Packers need to win to make sure that they can get the bye to rest up, and let some other teams play next weekend. This should be a nice win, but honestly the LOLions almost beat us at Lambeau in October. I know that Matthew Stafford is injured, but Detroit could be playing for jobs, as Matt Patricia could be fired on Black Monday. I think the Packers can win, but it's going to be more tough than people are saying. Packers 17, LOLions 0.

I would worry about this, but you can hear the buses idling in the Ford Field parking lot. The Lions are a hot mess right now and while it appears they aren't going to fire Patricia, it could be ugly. Packers gotta have this one and they'll get it. Packers 31, Lions 16.

Enjoy your weekend watching football. Ben out.

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