Stone Cold Locks
By Bob Gaughan
2022 Record 51-28-2
2021 record 62-49
2020 record 52-52-4
2019 Record 62-41-2
2018 Record 72-50-3
Mr. Over/Under: San Francisco -9.5 over Raiders
The Rams & the Chargers play each other this week. Since they share the same stadium, but the Rams will be the visitor on their home field. Go figure? The Bengals/Bills game may very well decide who gets the #1 seed in the AFC. The Bengals have covered the spread the last 6 week, while Buffalo has only covered twice. I debated all day whether to go with the Panthers/Bucs or 49ers/Raiders game. Carolina is on a roll and has average 187 yards rushing since week 12 while the Bucs only averaged 90. But I’m going with the hottest team with the best defense. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is probably done for the year and the 49ers defense could go wild this week. I’m giving 9.5 and sticking with San Francisco for the second week in a row.
Man in Stripes: 6 Point Teaser- Giants +1, Eagles -0.5
Playing two teams that need the game more, are at home and we just need a win. The Giants clinch a playoff spot with a win. This would be a great accomplishment for Brian Daboll. As for the Colts did you see them on Monday night? Nuff said! Off a short week they keep the bus running!!!!
Big spot for the Eagles with a win they can clinch the #1 seed in the NFC. With a win they can give Jalen Hurts and Tackle Lane Johnson another extra week to get healthy. Yes, the Saints are mathematically alive, but too many things need to happen to take it seriously. Again all we are asking of the 13-2 Eagles is to win with backup Gardner Minshew. Not a big ask!! Let’s start the New Year with a winner!
Mono: Over 58 in TCU-Michigan Fiesta Bowl
My heart is saying take TCU but I can’t fall for it. One thing I can bank on is points on the board. TCU and Michigan are averaging 40 points a game. Although that number maybe skewed because of a few blowouts, there is no question both of these teams can move the ball. The matchup in this one is Michigan’s 10thranked defense against TCU and Max Duggan’s 20thranked offense. The trio of Duggan, WR Quentin Johnson and RB Kendre Miller have had time to get healthy and should be firing on all cylinders on Saturday. TCU hangs close early if they can avoid mistakes. TCU maybe able to hang for all four quarters. TCU is built for the moment. I’m expecting fireworks. TCU loses a heartbreaker 40-34 but the total goes over. Go Frogs!!
Brutal:Mississippi State -1 over Illinois ReliaQuest Bowl
You should never bet with your heart over your head, but sometimes when you play with passion over self-preservation, you succeed. The entire college football world was devastated by the recent death of Mississippi State Head Football coach Mike Leach of a heart attack at age 61. He was a true genius, eclectic, funny and a stream-of-consciousness fountain when he gave interviews. Together with Hal Mumme, Leach pioneered the Air Raid Offense that has revolutionized football at all levels: high school, collegiate professional and probably Pop Warner. He resurrected three Division One football programs from the dead without four and five star recruits, Texas Tech, Washington State and Mississippi State.
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Head Coach Rick Stockstill ran a scripted Mike Leach play sheet for the first few series of their bowl game against San Diego State in Honolulu. The Blue Raiders won the Hawaii Bowl 25-23, and after the game Stockstill paid tribute to his longtime friend and mentor. Mike Leach’s first Division One head coaching job was in Lubbock at Texas Tech. Yesterday, the Texas Tech Red Raiders beat Ole Miss 42-25 in the Texas Bowl. At the start of the game they lined up in an Air Raid formation, wide splits between the offensive linemen, one RB and four wideouts, …. and deliberately took too much time and didn’t snap the ball as another tribute to the coach who brought their program back from the dead. Mississippi head coach Lane Kiffin ( showing he is human for once ) refused the penalty.
One can only guess how high the level of emotional motivation will be on Monday that will drive the Bulldogs. Illinois has had a Mike Leach-like resurrection this year under Brett Bielema, but I think the Fighting Illini are up against a Karmic gorilla they can’t overcome in this game. Also, via opt-out, they will be missing their top running back and two future NFL cornerbacks off their defense. Mississippi State QB Will Rogers the Third never met a receiver he didn’t like. He’s thrown for 37 TD’s and 3,713 yds and is the career, all-time attempts & completions champ in the SEC. That should come as no surprise; of the top ten College quarterbacks all-time in career yardage, Mike Leach coached six of them! RIP Coach Leach, Mississippi State Bulldogs play with incredible passion and find a way to outdistance Illinois.
Bob: Tulane +2 over USC in the Cotton Bowl
I will continue my recent trend of going against the stinky line and the team I believe Vegas is begging me to take. USC is only a 2-point favorite against Tulane? Vegas is begging me to take USC and their Heisman winning quarterback. I will go the other way and take Tulane. First of all USC has opts out to contend with. The Trojans are missing two offensive lineman and their best receiver. The offensive line struggled in the Pac-12 title game with all of their starters in there. The Tulane defense is much better than the USC defense. Tulane should be able to control the ball on the ground with running back Tyjae Spears. The bottom line is this is Tulane’s biggest game in the school’s modern history. They want to be here. No sure USC can say the same thing.