Welcome to an early week edition of “Wet the Beak.” Yesterday I blogged my initial reaction to the committee’s selection of the final 4. Soon after the other bowl match-ups began to come out. In year’s past, I have been disappointed by the non-playoff bowl games. This year, however, they got it right. I think fan’s of college football are in for a treat.
A quick note on the Final 4 Playoff teams:
This year I think we have the best group of 4 teams that we have ever had in the college football playoffs in terms of the competition and that was reflected in the initial lines.
Alabama opens as a 1.5 point favorite over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.
Georgia – Oklahoma opened as a PK and went to Oklahoma as a 1 point favorite right away in the Rose Bowl.
Cleary Vegas thinks that anyone can win it all, and the public seems to concur.
My initial reaction to those spreads is that Clemson seems like an obvious play. I don’t know why they didn’t open as the 1.5 point favorite. The Rose Bowl is a different story. I want to lean toward Georgia but the magic of Baker Mayfield has me questioning it.
This is the defacto Rose Bowl game featuring the Champs from the Pac-12 and Big-10. USC vs. Ohio State will have one key difference…it’s not in USC’s backyard. It’s in Texas. Such is the way of things when the actual Rose Bowl is hosting a playoff game. Ohio State opens as a -6.5 point favorite. The exact same line that they were favored by over the weekend vs. Wisconsin. I think USC presents a different challenge from Wisconsin and the Buckeyes didn’t even cover the 6.5 vs the Badgers. I think I’m leaning towards the men of Troy here.
This is another Pac-12 vs Big-10 Matchup except here I think I like the team from the Big-10. Penn State will be the BEST team Washington has played all year. The Huskies schedule was super soft. If the line is really Penn State -3, I’d jump on that NOW people. The Huskies do have a really good big game coach that could scheme himself to victory given enough time. I just don’t see it happening with James Franklin on the other side. Franklin is a pretty good big game coach himself and I think Penn State wins by at least a TD.
Wisconsin vs Miami in South Florida is everything you want in a bowl game. Teams with different philosophies and styles going against each other. Two hard-nosed and hard-hitting defensive teams. The game at night with a raucous crowd. Wisconsin goes in as a 6.5 point favorite. I think as of right now I’m gonna be all over the Hurricanes to cover and possibly win. They will be super-hyped to be back in the Orange Bowl.
This is going to be a fun one. UCF vs Auburn. David vs Goliath. Vegas has Auburn as a 10 point favorite early on. It’s so weird seeing UCF as a double-digit underdog when they have been big-time favorites in most games thus far. This is a tough one for me to call, as of right now I want to lean towards UCF to cover but Auburn’s defense is just so damn good I’m scared of that pick.
Notre Dame vs LSU. Brian Kelly vs Coach O. I expect a lot of running plays in this one folks. LSU is suddenly 3-point favorites after the line opened at 1. LSU is playing well lately but ND was better all season. This is a tough one to call but I think my early lean is towards Notre Dame.
These are the games I most excited for expect a full “Wet the Beak” breakdown later in the week.