Weekend Predictions was put to bed a few weeks ago, the result of a slight misunderstanding by my late ghost writer who typed that Florida would defeat Alabama in the SEC championship game after I specifically relayed to him via Ouija that the Gators would be so thoroughly dominated that Urban Meyer would retire, unretire, ponder, brood, mull, retire, unretire, declare sweet victory after I guess the greatest football practice in the history of the universe and eventually was told to stand in a dark closet for three hours by Lubbock Commandant Mike Leach.
Anyway, back to Predictions. I wasn’t supposed to dispense any more financial advice this season. But I’m already getting tired of Melky Cabrera jokes and we’re jumping into the heart of the bowl season — yes, after the Independence Bowl; shirts still available here! — I had nothing else to blog about this morning. So we give you Absolute Financial Locks Lite.
Just remember how this works: I give you the winners. But it’s your job to find them. The others were just miscommunications.
♦ Orange Bowl (Georgia Tech-Iowa): The Jackets celebrated for so long after last year’s win over Georgia that they were still hung over by the time they got to the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Then they were dismembered. Fortunately, they only play a Big Ten team this time. South Florida has never seen so many Winnebagos. Jackets cover 4.
♦ BCS Championship (Alabama-Texas): Asked whether he can relate to Meyer’s stress issues, Nick Saban cracked, “I could work here and take the stress, or I could retire and go home and work for [wife] Terry and take the stress there.” I hope he enjoys the BCS trophy. Because it’s the only thing he’ll be grabbing for a while. Tide covers 4.
(Remaining cast, in order of appearance)
♦ Chick-fil-A (Tennessee-Virginia Tech): Lane Kiffin arrived in town early. With Tennessee’s “Orange Pride” coeds on holiday break, he had to pick up several Hooters waitresses on the way to his next recruiting trip. VaTech covers 5 1/2.
♦ Outback (Auburn-Northwestern): Wasn’t it about a year ago we were making Gene Chizik jokes? Even Auburn running back Ben Tate said this week, “Most of us were like, ‘Who is he?’” Well, he would be the guy going to a better bowl game than Georgia or Tennessee or Ole Miss. Oops. Tigers cover the 8.
♦ Capital One (LSU-Penn State): I never really believed John Chavis was a serious candidate for the Georgia defensive coordinator’s job until he was asked about it Wednesday and responded to a reporter, “Nice shoes,” or something like that. Dude. If Chavis is really looking to bolt LSU after only one year, what does that say about Les Miles? Penn State covers 2 1/2.
♦ Gator (FSU-West Virginia): Sorry, but amid the everything-stinks-until-we-have-a-playoff screams, this is pretty cool. It’s the Bobby Bowden Retirement Bowl. He left West Virginia on his own for Florida State, where he won two national championships, then had his legs broken in a board room. Football just ain’t what it used to be. Noles win in an upset, but take the 2 1/2.
♦ Sugar (Florida-Cincinnati): It’s Tim Tebow’s last game. It might be Urban Meyer’s last game. Unfortunately, Brian Kelly already had his last game — the Cincinnati coach left for Notre Dame. There goes that upset pick. Gators cover 12 1/2.
♦ Alamo: (Texas Tech-Michigan State): For all the people criticizing Texas Tech for firing Mike Leach, which of these three things do you not have a problem with? 1) Minimizing that significance of a player’s concussion; 2) humiliating a college student in front of teammates by making him stand in a closet; or 3) seeking a restraining order against his superiors who suspended him from the bowl game while they tried to sort this mess out? All I know is, whoever runs the Alamo Bowl is buying drinks for the house and screaming, “I am somebody!” Forget distractions. Raiders cover the 7 1/2.