The Picks: Sister Hazel’s Copeland has no chance

[Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

So what did you get for Christmas?

Or maybe you just got up and are reading this before the first present has been opened. Either way, here’s hoping you are having a wonderful Christmas and will take some time to think about those who can’t be home for the holidays and — even more sad — those who don’t have homes at all.

The older we get, the more we prefer the giving to the getting. It’s a part of the aging process. 

That’s why I keep giving to my nemesis, Sister Hazel’s Drew Copeland. Each year, I present him with a wonderful gift by taking a dive on The Picks for bowl season.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

I’ve already paid off last year’s bet by buying him lunch. He ordered a salad. I fear that he’s going to go the route of Kenny Bania from Seinfeld and say, “No, that wasn’t lunch. That was a salad. I want Mendy’s.”

Each year we pick the SEC games, FSU and Miami (um, when they are in bowl games) and the College Football Playoffs.

After a really solid year (110-43, but you can throw the records out of the window and hopefully they hit Copeland in the head), it comes down to this — 13 picks, winner take all and by all I mean lunch. (I won’t be getting a salad.)

Oh, and a donation to Stop Children’s Cancer. ‘Tis the season.

Let’s see how we do.


 Independence Bowl

Louisiana Tech vs. Miami

Perhaps the most amazing part of this game is that Tate Martell, the former Ohio State quarterback, is back in the mix at quarterback after twice leaving the team. I think Ibis is Latin for dysfunction. Miami, 28-20.

Copeland: Louisiana Tech.


 Texas Bowl

Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M 

Dr. Football has been down on the Aggies all season. Chuba Hubbard is playing for the Mullets and I think that will be the difference. Okie State, 30-23.

Copeland: A&M. I’m sticking with my policy if when in doubt go with the best league in the country.


CFP Semifinal

LSU vs. Oklahoma

LSU seems unstoppable. But Joe Burrow has had to face the best defense in the country — the banquet circuit. We saw what it did to Ohio State’s Troy Smith, but Burrow has a better constitution. LSU, 49-35.

Copeland: LSU. LSU has been ridiculous this year.

CFP Semifinal

Ohio State vs. Clemson

I know everybody outside of Ohio is going to pick Clemson and it makes sense, which is why I’m going with the other team. Ohio State, 31-30.

Copeland: Clemson. 


Music City Bowl

Mississippi State vs. Louisville

Just think, if an Ole Miss player didn’t pretend to be a dog taking a leak, Miss. State might not have reached bowl eligibility. Louisville, 23-20.

Copeland: Miss. State. 

Orange Bowl

Florida vs. Virginia

The Cavs get some players back they didn’t have against Clemson. With those players, they might have stayed within 30 of the Tigers. Florida, 31-18.

Copeland: Florida. Like there was any doubt.


 Belk Bowl

Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky

I find it difficult to believe that Bud Foster — in his last game — won’t be able to stop a quarterback playing wide receiver. Virginia Tech, 20-10.

Copeland: Kentucky. He won’t.

Sun Bowl

FSU vs. Arizona St. 

It’s kind of sad when they show video of the last time these two teams played, because it looks like it’s from the 1960s. It was 1984 and I covered the game in Tempe and I also look like I was shot in the 1960s. FSU, 28-21.

Copeland: This is the Tony the Tiger Bowl and the two teams have lost 12 games between them. That’s hardly “Gggggrrreeeeaaaat!” Arizona St.

Jan. 1

 Outback Bowl

Minnesota vs. Auburn

If I had a better feeling for the Auburn mindset going into this game, I’d have a better feeling about who will win this game. Or not. Auburn, 34-23.

Copeland: Auburn.

Citrus Bowl

Alabama vs. Michigan

This feels like the biggest non-playoff game of this bowl season. Over/under on Nick Saban jerking his headset off? On Jim Harbaugh just acting like a jerk during bowl week? Alabama, 31-24.

Copeland: Alabama.

Sugar Bowl

Georgia vs. Baylor

The Bulldogs have had a lot of people bail on this season including players and fans. You have a choice — a large salted caramel mocha or a ticket to the Sugar Bowl? They cost the same. Baylor, 30-21.

Copeland: Georgia. But I do wonder where their heads are.

Jan. 2

Gator Bowl

Indiana vs. Tennessee

The Vols would really like to win this game to keep the momentum going into next year where they can become the media’s summer crush. Tennessee, 31-13.

Copeland: Tennessee. I think those coaches have done a tremendous job getting that team to bounce back from a slow start.

Jan. 13

CFP Championship

I have LSU and Ohio State in this game and the hope is that we get a great final. I’m not jumping off the LSU bandwagon I climbed on back when I started ranking the Tigers No. 1 back in September. LSU, 40-34.

Copeland: LSU. 

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at And follow at


  1. Ibis does indeed stand for dysfunction. What made the Independence Bowl interesting, although I say that tongue in cheek since I inadvertently dozed off and wound up sleeping through the entire 3rd quarter (no matter, nothing happened), was watching a comparably inept GOF team go head to head in ineptitude with an equally inept P5 team.

    I expect to see billboards spring up all along I-95 in South Florida, containing the smiling face of Mark Richt captioned, “Miss me yet?”.

    Thank God for Dan Mullen.