Beyond Golf — 19 December 2014 by Bob Sherwin
Bowl picks: One of us could be right

Every bowl game counts and this year a couple of them carry a little more weight than usual.

This college football season the NCAA has a plan for a organized and fully recognized National Championship game. This year four teams already have been selected to play for the title, unlike the past few years when random teams were matched for the national title game while other deserving teams were dismissed. That left a lingering debate.

There is still some still questions as to the worthiness of the final four but it’s not a heated debate. Ohio State, Alabama, Oregon and Florida State are the four best teams to slug it out Jan. 12 in Dallas.

OSU plays Alabama in the Orange Bowl Jan. 1 and Oregon plays unbeaten Florida State, the defending national champions, in the Rose Bowl. The winners advance to the championship.

The three writers also will take than annual swing at predicting the bowl games, including who will be the ultimate winner. The three of us, Bob Sherwin, Jim Street and Kirby Arnold, were separated by just two games last year so even those obscure bowl game sponsored by a power tools or fly-by-night web sites are significant.

As it stands, we don’t have a complete agreement as to who will win the title. No one picked the defending champion Seminoles. No one picked the favorite Alabama. Jim and Kirby elevated Oregon to the national crown while Bob went with probably the longest shot, Ohio State, with its third-string quarterback.

Maybe we’re not experts, especially as so-called golfer specialists, but we’ve had full newspaper careers covering all sorts of events, including bowl games and the national championship game. We go with teams we like, teams we hate and mix in hunches and guesses.

Here we go for another year. It all begins with five games Saturday, Dec. 20:

(bold face CAP=winner)        

                                                                                   Bob (4-1)                   Jim (4-1)           Kirby (4-1)

R+L  Carriers New Orleans/Dec. 20                      LA-LAFAYETTE     Nevada                  LA-LAFAYETTE

Gildan New Mexico/Dec. 20                                   UTAH ST.                  UTAH ST.          UTAH ST. 

Royal Purple Las Vegas/Dec. 20                            Colo. St.                         UTAH                  UTAH 

Famous Idaho Potato/Dec. 20                               AIR FORCE              AIR FORCE        W. Mich.

Raycom Camellia/Dec. 20                                      B. GREEN                  B.GREEN           B. GREEN

Miami Beach/Dec. 22                                               BYU                               Memphis              Memphis

San Diego County CU Poinsettia/Dec. 23            S.D. St.                          Navy                       S.D. St.

Boca Raton/Dec. 23                                                  Marshall                       Marshall                N. Illinois

Popeyes Bahamas/Dec. 24                                      W. Ky.                           W. Ky.                    C. Mich.

Hawaii/Dec. 24                                                          Fresno                          Rice                         Rice

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas/Dec. 26                             La. Tech                       La. Tech                  La. Tech

Bitcoin St. Petersburg/Dec. 26                               UCF                               UCF                        UCF

Quick Lane/Dec. 26                                                  Rutgers                         N. Carolina            N. Carolina

Military/Dec. 27                                                        Cincy                             Cincy                       Cincy

Hyundai Sun/Dec. 27                                               ASU                              ASU                         ASU

New Era Pinstripe/Dec. 27                                      BC                                 BC                            BC

Duck Commander Independence/Dec. 27           Miami                          S. Carolina              S. Carolina

National University Holiday/Dec. 27                    USC                              USC                         USC

AutoZone Liberty/Dec. 29                                       W. Va.                          W. Va.                     Texas A&M

Russell Athletic/Dec. 29                                           Clemson                      Clemson                 Clemson

AdvoCare V100 Texas/Dec. 29                               Arkansas                     Arkansas                Arkansas

Belk/Dec. 30                                                               Georgia                        Georgia                   Georgia

Foster Farms/Dec. 30                                               Stanford                      Stanford                 Stanford

Franklin Am-Music City/Dec. 30                           LSU                               LSU                        LSU

VIZIO Fiesta/Dec. 31                                                Arizona                         Arizona                  Arizona

Chick-fil-A Peach/Dec. 31                                        TCU                              TCU                        TCU

Capital One Orange/Dec. 31                                    Miss. St.                       Miss. St.                Miss. St.

Outback/Jan. 1                                                           Wisconsin                    Auburn                  Auburn

Goodyear Cotton/Jan. 1                                           Baylor                           Mich. St.                Baylor

Buffalo Wings Citrus/Jan. 1                                    Missouri                       Missouri                Missouri

Rose/Jan. 1                                                                 Oregon                         Oregon                   Oregon

Allstate Sugar/Jan. 1                                                 Ohio St.                       Alabama                 Alabama

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces/Jan. 2                Houston                      Houston                 Houston

TaxSlayer/Jan. 2                                                        Iowa                             Iowa                        Tennessee

Valero Alamo/Jan. 2                                                 UCLA                           Kansas St.              Kansas St.

TicketCity Cactus/Jan. 2                                          Washington                Washington          Washington

Birmingham/Jan. 3                                                   E. Carolina                  E. Carolina            Florida

Go 4                                               Arkansas St.                Toledo                   Arkansas St.

National Championship/Jan. 12                            Ohio St.                        Oregon                  Oregon


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About Author

Bob Sherwin

Bob grew up in Cleveland, an underdog city with perennial underdog teams, and that gave him an appreciation and an affinity for the grinders in golf, guys such as Rocco Mediate, Jhonattan Vegas and star-crossed John Daly. This is the 44th year for Bob as a sportswriter, the first 34 working for newspapers throughout the west, Tucson (Daily Star), San Francisco (Examiner) and Seattle (Times), and the past 10 years as a freelancer. He has covered just about every sport, including golf tournaments, Tucson Open, Bing Crosby/AT&T Pro-Am, the 1998 PGA Championship, the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the annual Champions Tour Boeing Classic. He also writes articles for golf magazines. For most of his 20 years at the Seattle Times his primary beat was the Mariners. He then picked up Washington men's basketball in the winter. He also was the beat writer for the Sonics, including 1996 when they played the Bulls for the NBA title. After a lifetime hacking on public courses, he finally gave in and joined a country club in 2011, the Members Club of Aldarra near Seattle. He won't win the club championship any time soon with his 14 handicap and default-swing slice but he does have a pair of aces – 37 years apart – and in 2009 came agonizingly close to his ultimate golf goal of scoring in the 70s when he finished with an even 80. He lives in Seattle, and spends part of his winters in Marco Island, Fla.

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