First of all, The Picks wants to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah or whatever way you celebrate the holidays and hope everyone has a Festivus Miracle in the coming year.
Secondly, because I have taken some vacation time off to deal with the store crowds that are about as annoying as the raised manhole covers on the newly-paved 43rd Street (really?), I haven’t weighed in on several subjects that have taken over college football.
Dr. Football is not going to mess with the whole UCF-UF thing because trying to explain it logically to some people is like trying to explain that we did really land on the moon and from there you can see the Earth is not flat and … oh, never mind.
But I feel a need to weigh in on the new playoff talk because Big Tenish commissioner Jim Delaney has been so vocal about it and there seems to be real conversations coming in the immediate future.
1. Yes, an eight-team playoff would diminish games such as the SEC Championship Game we just saw. Slightly. But it would increase the importance of games that could get teams into spots 5-through-8. So to me, it’s a wash.
2. Everyone can post what the eight-team playoff would look like without thinking about how hard it would be on the players. I know, the lower division do it, but they are playing almost a different sport. You cannot expand the playoffs and keep the current structure of amateurism the same.
3. The biggest thing that should concern college football fans is that the process is creating a black hole. The same teams get into the playoff and then get the best players and then get back into the playoff and then get the best players. College football may be combusting from within.
Now, I’m all in favor of expanding the playoff. But I am not in favor of conference champs getting in automatically. I still think it should be the best eight — or six — teams according to the committee.
But what do I know? Except how to lose to Drew Copeland of Sister Hazel in our annual Bowl Extravaganza picks contest.
He got me again last year, so I paid for his lunch (really, Drew, caviar and lobster?) and will make a donation to Stop Children’s Cancer. And despite a solid year of The Picks (over 100 wins again), we all know that you are judged by the postseason.
We will be selecting the SEC games, the playoff games and the bowl games involving Miami and Florida State. Oh, wait.
MIAMI-WISCONSIN (Pinstripe): Remember late in 2017 when Miami was 10-0 and ranked second in the College Football Playoff standings? The Canes are 7-8 since then. Remember in 2017 when Wisconsin was 12-0 and ranked fourth in the CFP? Bucky Badger is 8-6 since then. Just a reminder that things tend to cycle in and out. Wisconsin, 31-18.
Copeland: Battle of the underachievers, Wisconsin.
BAYLOR-VANDERBILT (Texas): Vandy was difficult to figure all season. When you thought the Commodores were about to get over the hump, the hump won. Go hump. Baylor, 31-23.
Copeland: I know they are gonna break my heart and this could be one of the games that makes the difference but … Vandy.
AUBURN-PURDUE (Music City): For that rotten season the Tigers get a week in Nashville? Not fair. Auburn, 23-21.
Copeland: Live and die with the SEC, but I actually believe Auburn will pull this off. Auburn.
FLORIDA-MICHIGAN (Peach): Yikes, I buried the lead again. But we are going in order of when the games are played. No, I don’t know why I decided to do that. Anyway, I can’t get the last two beatdowns Michigan handed the Gators out of my head. I also can’t get “Funky, Funky Xmas” by New Kids on the Block out of my head. It’s not a place you want to be. Michigan, 27-17.
Copeland: All aboard the Mullen train… I’m in!! Florida.
SOUTH-CAROLINA-VIRGINIA (Belk): I watched a thousand games this season and I cannot tell you one thing about Virginia except the Cavs beat Miami. How can that be? South Carolina, 29-16.
Copeland: Go Muschamp … South Carolina.
NOTRE DAME-CLEMSON (CFP 1): Is anybody picking the Irish? Father O’Flaherty? The dude in the leprechaun outfit? I’m Irish, but … Clemson, 35-21.
Copeland: I’m still bitter about how much prime time TV Notre Dame has gotten through the years. Clemson.
ALABAMA-OKLAHOMA (CFP 2): Tua Tagovailoa says he’ll be fine for the game. I’m skeptical. If Oklahoma had, say, the 80th worst defense instead of No. 108 I’d go out on a limb. Alabama, 54-43.
Copeland: I could be wrong but… no, I’m not. Alabama.
MISSOURI-OKLAHOMA STATE (Liberty): Watch Missouri win this game and be the new darlings of the SEC East next year. The Tigers do have a lot of momentum going. Missouri, 47-34.
Copeland: This team was a lot better than its record showed. Missouri.
TEXAS A&M-N.C. STATE (Gator): This is one of those bowl games that I am looking forward to watching. Happy for my friend Rick Catlett for getting such a good matchup for his bowl. A&M, 29-13.
Copeland: I actually don’t like pulling for a Jimbo team. Texas A&M.
MISSISSIPPI STATE-IOWA (Outback): Probably the best thing about Florida playing on Dec. 29 is that we get to enjoy the Jan. 1 bowl games. Of course, we could last year, too, but that was different. Miss. State, 23-21.
Copeland: I hope they show up to play. Miss. State.
KENTUCKY-PENN STATE (Citrus): I can only hope this game has more offense than the 1998 game when Florida ran every down and beat Penn State. Penn State, 24-14.
Copeland: I actually heard someone say, “There is no way Kentucky wins this game.” Kentucky.
UCF-LSU (Fiesta): So the theory goes that Auburn wasn’t motivated last year but LSU knows what it is getting into and the Tigers will show off their dominance. Not so fast my friend. UCF, 43-31.
Copeland: I’m torn here because I really like the whole UCF story and everything, but LSU is too tough. LSU.
GEORGIA-TEXAS (Sugar): Remember when George Costanza got the Yankees to wear cotton uniforms and they shrunk? That was funny. Oh, sorry. I got sidetracked. Texas, 34-31.
Copeland: I guess we’ll see what the Dawgs are made of. Georgia.
NATIONAL TITLE GAME: Drew is sticking with his SEC homerism and picking the Tide. Call it a hunch or maybe too much eggnog, but I am going with Clemson. Wouldn’t it be something if it came down to this game? OK, I’ll wrap it up. Yeesh.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.