First off, I want to thank everyone here at Gamdayr for giving me the chance to come on board and spread the love of the greatest sport in the world. There will hopefully be times that, while reading my words, you laugh, times you scream and curse, and times you think … hopefully more of the first and third items. You’ll learn more about me as time goes on, so I’ll get right into what I was brought on board to do: talk college football.
One of the joys that I’ve said multiple times before on my previous blog (and to anyone that will stand still for more than five seconds) about being a fan of college football is its different postseason … when (at this point) thirty nine different bowl games take place. From the Holiday to the Peach … the Orange to the Cotton … the Citrus to the Pinstripe, bowl games are, for college football diehards, a beautiful thing and one of the parts that makes this the best sport out there.
So, on behalf of TRUE college football fans, I’d like to thank outsiders, as well as those from schools who suck, for pushing a playoff system onto major college football – thus, in my opinion, ruining it. I mean, hell, there are already folks complaining about the system having only four teams, and the damn thing hasn’t even started yet!
These people from joke football schools (I’m looking at you, Northeastern and MAC schools) in big cities that don’t know jack about the history of the game and what bowls mean … or meant … should have just stayed out of it.
I guess the only positive is now, since the system is convoluted and the tie-ins are all screwed up, I only have to give you the bowls in the playoff rotations, as well as the playoff itself. Well, that’s easy enough.
2014-15 Non-Playoff Bowls in Rotation
Orange - Louisville (ACC Fill In) vs. South Carolina (At Large)
Cotton - Texas (Conf. Champ) vs. Ohio State (At Large)
Peach - Oklahoma (At Large) vs. East Carolina (Highest Ranked of “Other 5”)
Fiesta - USC (At Large) vs. Wisconsin (At Large)
2014-15 College Football Playoff
Sugar Bowl (Semifinal) – No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Alabama
It’s the matchup many (including Jimbo Fisher, apparently) wanted to see last season to end the BCS era. It’s teacher vs. protégé, in Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher, and a battle of the two quarterbacks who competed for the Seminoles’ starting job in 2013, Jameis Winston and Jacob Coker. This is the de facto national title game even though, unfortunately, it’s now all about playing an extra game and getting more money.
Prediction: Florida State 31 Alabama 20
Rose Bowl (Semifinal) – #2 UCLA vs. #3 Michigan State
Oh damn … even I am surprised by this happening, and I’m the one who conjured it. The Spartans defense taking on Brett Hundley and the Bruins offense will be an amazing battle that must be seen. What the hell was I thinking putting this matchup together? Quick, who’s got a quarter?
Prediction: Michigan State 20 UCLA 17
National Championship Game – Florida State vs. Michigan State
I can remember being five years old and watching Deion Sanders and company shut down Andre Rison in only the second game these two teams have ever played together. This one won’t be a blowout like the previous two meetings (31-3 and 30-7, both Seminole wins) because of the aforementioned defense wearing green and white. That being said, the Seminoles defense, which reloaded after last season, is just as good. The offense, led by Winston, Karlos Williams and Rashad Greene, will bend and break the Spartans, and bring home a second straight title to Tallahassee.
Prediction: Florida State 34 Michigan State 17
The 2014 College Football Picks Competition is underway!
For the last three years, a friendly competition has been underway between my wife Jenn (aka Mrs. J-Peezie), the former R&D director at my previous blog and road dog Kyle. In 2011, Kyle was the winner and I came in last place (Jenn’s strategy of mascots and uniform colors surprisingly did well). For the last two seasons, I have hoisted the trophy (yes, we have trophies) and haven’t shut up about it.
So, here we are … Year Four of the competition in a new home! Is this the year that Jenn breaks her two-year last place streak and gets bragging rights? Can Kyle rekindle the magic from Year One and take the trophy back to Central Florida? Or am I able to do something that LeBron couldn’t do, and lock down a three-peat? Only time will tell.
Additionally, we welcome back the guest picker feature, where one special person gets the honor of competing against us, with the top two going head to head during bowl season to win the guest champion trophy (yes, we actually have one of those as well). Last season, it was a former intern/co-worker of mine, Maggie, who after two years of nagging me to make the picks, had the audacity to win the whole damned thing. In addition to a trophy and special gifts, she gets the right to make the first picks of the 2014 season.
Without further ado, let’s get this party started!
Bethune-Cookman at FIU:
Last season, the FCS Bethune-Cookman team beat the snot out of the FBS FIU squad. The revenge factor is literally the only reason this game was one of the ten picked.
Preseason Pick: FIU Jason and Jenn’s Pick: FIU Kyle and Maggie’s Pick: Bethune-Cookman
Idaho at Florida:
The last time the Vandals played in the sunshine state they were busy watching FSU put eighty points on them. The Gators should beat them easily … I mean, after all, its not as though Idaho is an FCS team like Georgia Southern (oh, that doesn’t get old).
Preseason Pick: Florida All Pick: Florida
UCLA at Virginia:
The Bruins get some credit for starting the season on the road against a Power Five conference team, which not a lot of teams are willing to do. Since I have them making the playoff, it wouldn’t be a smart idea to have them lose the opener, right?
Preseason Pick: UCLA All Pick: UCLA
Penn State vs. UCF (in Ireland):
Now that a volcano isn’t getting in the way of this game being played, the Knights can return to the task of being brought back to earth following last season’s magical run.
Preseason Pick: Penn State All Pick: Penn State
Miami at Louisville:
This is perfect! Not only is my birthday a national holiday this year, but I can also justify watching college football since my wife’s alma mater is playing! Sadly, neither Jenn nor Maggie will be celebrating a win by the school they spent a hell of a lot of money to graduate from.
Preseason Pick: Louisville Jason and Maggie’s Pick: Louisville Jenn and Kyle’s Pick: Miami
Texas A&M at South Carolina:
I love that the big time games of the college football season start today. I mean, it just doesn’t get much better than seeing if Jadaveon Clowney is going to cause problems for Johnny Manziel, right? Oh wait, that’s Week 11 of the NFL season.
Preseason Pick: South Carolina All Pick: South Carolina
Clemson at Georgia:
I remember being disappointed last year sitting in Key West watching the Tigers run all over UGA. It’s ironic: three of the college football teams I actively hate and root against wear orange.
Preseason Pick: Georgia All Pick: Georgia
West Virginia vs. Alabama (in Atlanta):
This was a phenomenal matchup … in 2011. I thought Nick Satan and friends would call off the dogs early in this blowout, but after finding out that, as a child, the opposing quarterback was getting frisky on the playground with Nicky’s daughter, this one is going to get ugly.
Preseason Pick: Alabama All Pick: Alabama
Wisconsin vs. LSU (in Houston):
If not for the other neutral site game in Texas, you’d be looking at the best game of the weekend. The Badgers really need this one, as they have NO ONE left on their schedule to get in the way of going undefeated. Meanwhile, LSU has the SEC gauntlet left, meaning they can’t afford to blow their loss capital on the opening game.
Preseason Pick: LSU All Pick: LSU
***GAME OF THE WEEK*** Florida State vs. Oklahoma State (in Dallas):
The Seminoles have launched the “Dallas2Dallas” campaign for this season, and despite the Okie St. Cowboys not being ranked, this won’t be as easy as my fellow ‘Noles would like to think. Jameis Winston and company need to make sure they aren’t resting too much on the accomplishments of last season. For the record, I wont be this neutral anymore … I don’t want to piss off my Gator editors and bosses too much in my first entry … I’ve got plenty of time to do that over the course of the year. [Editor's Note: We won't get crabby. Promise.]
Preseason Pick: Florida State All Pick: Florida State
Finally, let’s wait for the full story to come out
I’ll admit that I thought the story of USC defensive back Josh Shaw saving a family member’s life by jumping off a balcony was nothing but the truth. On paper it looked like something amazing … and maybe I am just an optimistic person who wants to believe in the best of people.
I’m not willing to throw Shaw out with the pool water, though. Everyone just chill out for a second and ask “Why did he make the story up?” Let Shaw explain himself before we all, as a society, do like we normally do and judge him for one action.
Sometimes we all forget that we were immature college students that started plenty of sentences with “See, what had happened was…” and ended them with “My bad.”