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 Golferswest.com 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 Daddy.com/Jan. 4 Arkansas St. Toledo Arkansas St.
National Championship/Jan. 12 Ohio St. Oregon Oregon