COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: WASHINGTON VS MICHIGAN

BY ADAM GREENE To use a phrase every sports broadcaster likes to trot out in a championship game or tournament, “It’s all come down to this.” The No. 2 ranked Washington Huskies, their record completely spotless, make their way to Houston, Texas to face off against the No. 1 ranked Michigan Wolverines, who also happen to be undefeated, for the final College Football Playoff National Championship before the FBS expands to a 12-team playoff next season. This is just the 14th time the Huskies and Wolverines have met on the gridiron, with Michigan holding an 8-5 advantage going all the way back to the 1953 season. They last faced off on Sep. 11, 2021 with the Wolverines winning a blowout, 31-10. In the win, Cade McNamara was 7 of 15 passing for 44 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. Blake Corum rushed 21 times for 172 yards and three TDs. Hassan Haskins had 27 carries for 155 yards and a score. Corneli Johnson caught one 33-yard pass to lead the receivers. In the loss, Dylan Morris was 20 of 37 passing for 293 yards and a touchdown with no picks. Richard Newton rushed 12 times for 28 yards. Terrel Bynum had five receptions for 115 yards and a TD. Taj Davis caught six passes for 78 yards. CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP NO. 2 WASHINGTON VS NO. 1 MICHIGAN (-4.5, O/U: 56) Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texans Broadcast: ESPN Kickoff: Jan. 8, 7:30 p.m. NO. 2 WASHINGTON HUSKIES (14-0) It got interesting in the final minutes, but the Huskies held on to beat the No. 3 ranked Texas Longhorns last Monday in the Sugar Bowl. Michale Penix, Jr. was 29 of 38 passing for 430 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the win. Dillon Johnson rushed 21 times for 49 yards and two scores. Rome Odunze caught six passes for 125 yards. A’Lynn Polk had five receptions for 122 yards and a TD. Jalen McMillan caught five balls for 58 yards and a touchdown. NO. 1 MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (14-0) Michigan needed a last minute touchdown and a goal line stand to get to the National Title game, holding off the No. 4 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 27-20 last Monday night in the Rose Bowl. JJ McCarthy was 17 of 27 passing for 221 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the victory. He scrambled three times for 25 yards. Blake Corum rushed 19 times for 82 yards and a score. He added two receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown. Roman Wilson caught four passes for 73 yards and a TD. Tyler Morris had two receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown. THE PICK Considering how my picks have gone for much of the season and especially in the actual College Football Playoff games last week (I was 0-2) I have bad news for the Wolverines. I think Michigan takes a close one, doesn’t cover, and Jim Harbaugh coaches the Los Angeles Chargers next season. Michigan 27, Washington 24 Last week Straight up: 13-11 Against the spread: 12-12 Season Straight up: 48-49 Against the spread: 50-47 Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan. Connect with us our socials on Twitter and Instagram for the latest sports news, viral moments, betting odds and the occasional memes.

NCAA FOOTBALL: BOWL WEEK 3 THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY

BY ADAM GREENE We have a marathon of NCAA Football Bowling happening and finally get into some good games featuring ranked teams as we focus our attention on the action from Thursday through Saturday. THURSDAY WASABI FENWAY BOWL SMU VS BOSTON COLLEGE (+10.5, O/U: 49.5) Location: Fenway Park, Boston, Mass. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 28, 11 a.m. If you were wondering how a spicy paste could sponsor a bowl, you were not alone. Apparently, Wasabi is also the name of a data storage company, which, I mean, makes all the sense in the world. What better name for a massive hard drive offsite than the green goo sitting next to your sushi you never eat and is immediately scraped off into the trash? Just like most of your data! The No. 24-ranked Mustangs (11-2) land in the Wasabi thanks to claiming the AAC title and wrapping the season with a nine-game winning streak including a victory over then No. 22 Tulane in the championship game. The Eagles (6-6) were lucky to get bowl eligible in October, because they went winless over the last three weeks of the season. SMU 42, Boston College 27 BAD BOY MOWERS PINSTRIPE BOWL RUTGERS VS MIAMI (pk, O/U: 40.5) Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 28, 2:15 p.m. Do you want to mow your yard with the masculine energy your Bermuda grass deserves? You’re not some cuck weedwhacker. Oh no, you are an Alpha weedeater and, as such, must use a Bad Boy Mower, a piece of landscaping equipment that isn’t “made for everyone… (but for) people who live on the cutting edge.” So, know that as you’re chopping off your own toes or firing a chunk of gravel at the nearest toddler’s forehead, you are being a “true original.” Like Boston College, the Scarlett Knights (6-6) got bowl eligible early and spent the final month of the season falling flat upon their face. The big difference here is that BC head coach Jeff Hafley isn’t a pile of festering dog crap that a wicked witch brought to life like Greg Schiano. And if you want to know why that statement is true and don’t know Schiano’s history, Google his name with Penn State. The Hurricanes (7-5) got over .500 thanks to a three-game losing steak ending in a blowout victory over the aforementioned Boston College to wrap the regular season. Miami 42, Rutgers 23 POP TARTS BOWL NC STATE VS KANSAS STATE (-2.5, O/U: 47) Location: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fla. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 28, 5:45 p.m. You think I’m going to make fun of Pop Tarts? And dishonor a great American breakfast pastry and the only reason I was on time for my entire senior year of high school? No thank you. It’s no secret that Pop Tarts gets the first bowl featuring two ranked teams. The No. 18 ranked Wolfpack (9-3) bounced back from some mid-season stumbles to finish strong, winning five straight to wrap their schedule. The No. 25 Wildcats (8-4) lost two of their last four but wins over Baylor and then No. 25 ranked Kansas allowed them to sneak back into the Top 25. NC State 27, Kansas State 24 VALERO ALAMO BOWL ARIZONA VS OKLAHOMA (+2.5, O/U: 62) Location: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 28, 9:15 p.m. If you think it’s probably tough to make fun of an innocuous petroleum company (well, you know, as innocuous as an energy company can be as it actively destroys the planet), then you are right. All I really know about Valero is a few years ago I’d never heard of them and now their stations are everywhere. Very glitch in the Matrix type stuff. Anyway, we’re bowling! The No. 14 Wildcats (9-3) were one of the better teams for me in the latter half of the season, winning six straight, with four over ranked opponents, to wrap the year. The 12th-ranked Sooners (10-2) had a disappointing end to their campaign. After flirting with the College Football Playoff in their final Big 12 season, they dropped two in a row in October to completely fall out of consideration. They did stack up three victories over lesser opponents to end their campaign. Arizona 31, Oklahoma 27 FRIDAY TAXSLAYER GATOR BOWL CLEMSON VS KENTUCKY (+5, O/U: 46.5) Location: EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, Fla. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 29, Noon Florida has become a tax-hater stronghold over the last decade, so it’s no surprise that they have a TaxSlayer is sponsoring the Gator Bowl in a state where no one wants to pay income taxes at all. It’s been quite the precipitous fall for the No. 22 Tigers (8-4). A few years ago they were competing for a national title every season. Now, they get a noon kick on Dec. 29 in Jacksonville. But, hey, at least the strip clubs are apparently top notch. Clemson did win four straight to end the year, including big victories over then No. 15 Notre Dame and No. 20 North Carolina. The Wildcats (7-5), the third Wildcats listed in this very article, spent much of the season ranked until reality and SEC play kicked in, handing them all five of their losses. Kentucky did knock off No. 10 Louisville in their season finale. Clemson 33, Kentucky 30 TONY THE TIGER SUN BOWL OREGON STATE VS NOTRE DAME (-6, O/U: 42) Location: Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas Broadcast: CBS Kickoff: Dec. 29, 2 p.m. Does Toucan Sam get his own bowl? How about Lucky the Leprechaun or the Trix Rabbit? Are you kidding me? They can forget it. No, only Tony the Tiger, the Great One himself, warrants his own bowl and you can eat a bowl of his cereal as you watch it. You might, as you take a bite of Tony’s frosted flakes, even exclaim, “They’re…. pretty decent!” The No. 19 Beavers (8-4) enter this game on a two-game losing streak, falling both to No. 5 Washington and No. 6 Oregon,

NCAA FOOTBALL: BOWL WEEK 3 TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY

BY ADAM GREENE We have a ton of games this week and, while I delivered a solid performance in Week 2 against the spread, it’s the straight up picks where I careened my shin off the ottoman. No more, I say! Let’s pick some games. TUESDAY QUICK LANE BOWL BOWLING GREEN VS MINNESOTA (-3.5, O/U: 39.5) Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 26, 2 p.m. We open our Week 2 of College Bowl action with the Quick Lane Bowl, not to be confused with the Quick Lube Bowl, a completely different and, from what I can tell, much larger oil change company that will absolutely benefit from the free advertising here. It’s like when an NFL player calls his Microsoft Surface Tablet, from a company paying millions of dollars to be the official tablet supplier and advertiser with the league, an iPad. The Falcons (7-5) come into this game relatively hot, winning five of their last six with only a one-point loss to Toledo marring their worksheet. The Golden Gophers (5-7) got a mercy Bowl berth as they didn’t win the automatic bid-worthy six games and lost their final four, three of them by two scores or more. Bowling Green 24, Minnesota 20 SERVPRO FIRST RESPONDER BOWL TEXAS STATE VS RICE (+4, O/U: 59) Location: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, Texas Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 26, 5:30 p.m. Our second Bowl of our Tuesday post-Christmas holiday is sponsored by Servpro, the company you call to clear out your crazy hoarder aunt’s house after she dies. Yes, the professional cat skeleton discoverers are in the college bowl business and, considering how long all our family members are living now, we probably needed the reminder. For those of you who thought the Bobcats (7-5) were a fake team created for some lame football themed soap opera show, oh no, they’re real and had a decent season, minus a 77-31 loss to Arkansas State. The Owls (6-6) got bowl eligible thanks to two victories at the end of the season over Charlotte and FAU. Texas State 27, Rice 23 GUARANTEED RATE BOWL KANSAS VS UNLV (+13, O/U: 67) Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, Ariz. Broadcast: ABC/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 26, 9 p.m. When you hear about “Rates” and football, and you’re like me, you think insurance, but oh no. Guaranteed Rate is a mortgage company that I had no idea existed before today, so that sponsorship is already paying dividends. It’s really too bad I don’t need a mortgage and won’t for the foreseeable future. But, hey, I’ll know this company exists in our Universe at least until I’m finished writing this. And you might say, “that’s good if someone ever asks you where to get a mortgage.” And that would be true if I had any human in my life that would dare seek financial advice from me. The Jayhawks (8-4) had one of the weirdest seasons in college football, beating Oklahoma in a shootout, but losing to pretty much every other decent team they played. The Rebels (9-4) were cruising to what might have been one of the best seasons in the history of their program before they fell face first into the turf in their final two games. Kansas 33, UNLV 23 WEDNESDAY MILITARY BOWL PRESENTED BY GOBOWLING.COM VIRGINIA TECH VS TULANE (+10, O/U: 44) Location: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Md. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 27, 2 p.m. Didn’t we already have an Armed Services Bowl? Well, listen, how else are we going to really lean into our servitude to the Military Industrial Complex if we don’t have at least two of these things. This time there’s no service academy to mess it up for us playing horrible football. Oh no, we get to see actual state schools to play horrible football instead. The Hokies (6-6) barely got bowl eligible, but did beat Virginia and, if you have a Tech fan in your life, you know that’s all that really matters. That loss to Marshall stings, though (and should). The Green Wave (11-2) lit it up this season against their weird AAC schedule but did lose their final game to SMU. Virginia Tech 20, Tulane 17 DUKE’S MAYO BOWL NORTH CAROLINA VS WEST VIRGINIA (-6.5, O/U: 54) Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlott, N.C. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 27, 5:30 p.m. Here it is, my Go-To Bowl when it comes time to make fun of sponsors off the top of my head because I can never remember any of these other obscure corporations tossing millions to name a bowl played by two .500 teams from conferences that don’t matter. Not so this time as the ACC battles the Big 12 with two teams that didn’t do much in either conference. The Tar Heels (8-4) lost two straight to end the year, but did beat Miami and Duke, so everyone’s job should be safe. The Mountaineers (8-4) won their last two but still suffered what might have been the worst loss of the year in a 41-39 decision at Houston that saw WVU basically win it on a Hail Mary type play only to lose the game a few seconds later on a Hail Mary. Devastating. Also, Drake Maye isn’t playing in this game to get ready for the draft. No mayo for him! West Virginia 34, North Carolina 24 DIRECTV HOLIDAY BOWL LOUISVILLE VS USC (+7.5, O/U: 57.5) Location: Peco Park, San Diego, Calif. Broadcast: FOX Kickoff: Dec. 27, 8 p.m. Weird. DirecTV still exists? Why? Anyway, as they cough blood into a handkerchief as a corporation and hide it from their nearest family members, they get to sponsor the first bowl of the season to feature a ranked team. The No. 16-ranked Cardinals (10-3) took two bad losses to wrap the season, to Kentucky and Florida State, but did plenty of damage in the ACC before that. As for the Trojans (7-5), here’s a shocker. Caleb Williams, the guy that will likely go No, 1 overall

NCAA FOOTBALL: BOWL WEEK 2

BY ADAM GREENE Well, would you look at that? After drowning all season with my NCAA picks, I’ve saved the day with the first week of our ridiculously named bowl action. I am now, and I hope you are sitting down, .500 both straight up and against the spread. The fact that I’m doing it picking odd Group of Five matchups in bowls named after obscure condiments, unknown western coffee shops and drug dealer burner phone brands is not the point. I’m killing this. We have another full slate, with games beginning on Thursday for you to halfheartedly watch in the background as you get your house ready for Monday’s Christmas celebration while eyeing every single wine bottle in your pantry, daring you to go ahead and crack one open. Hey, as long as you’re not driving, go ahead. It’ll make working that broom and fixing that porch railing so Gramma doesn’t take a header off the steps that much easier to finish. THURSDAY ROOTCLAIM.COM BOCA RATON BOWL SOUTH FLORIDA VS SYRACUSE (-2, O/U: 56.5) Location: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Fla. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 21, 8 p.m. What’s a Rootclaim? Do we need to claim roots? If you thought this was a bowl sponsored by some kind of national landscaping service, you are in for a shock when you go to the website this bowl is named after to see what might be the ugliest news site you’ve ever been to. But it’s not. It’s a site where you vote on the news. So, you know, the apocalypse is obviously upon us. Anyway, college football! The Bulls (6-6) come into this oddball Tuesday game off a 3-2 end to the season which saw them get dominated by UTSA and lose by nine to Memphis but hold off Uconn and Charlotte. The Orange (6-6) lost six of their last eight, so you know they’re surging into this bowl matchup sponsored by a website that just might spark another attack on the US Capitol. USF 27, Syracuse 20 FRIDAY UNION HOME MORTGAGE GASPARILLA BOWL GEORGIA TECH VS UCF (-4.5, O/U: 67.5) Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla. Broadcast: ABC/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 22, 6:30 p.m. When not actively trying to destroy our world economy with sub prime mortgages, Union Home Mortgage has used its ill-gotten gains to sponsor a bowl named, honest to God, after a bloodthirsty famous pirate who hoarded so much stolen wealth its still not all been found. Ironic, you say? I don’t see it. The Yellowjackets (6-6) put together a solid run to end their season, going 3-2 with losses to Clemson and Georgia, far superior teams. The Knights (6-6) bounced back from a five-game losing streak in the middle of the year to wrap 3-1 down the stretch with a monster victory over then No. 15 Oklahoma State. UCF 34, Georgia Tech 23 SATURDAY 76 BIRMINGHAM BOWL TROY VS DUKE (+7.5, O/U: 44) Location: Protective Stadium, Birmingham, Ala. Broadcast: ABC/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 23, Noon Finally, a bowl named after a company we’ve all heard about, 76 Gas Stations, where you can fill up your truck, buy some beef jerky, pick up a hooker and get into a butterfly knife fight with a guy wielding nunchucks all in a five-minute span. The Trojans (11-2) have surged their way into this Christmas Eve Eve (once we hit this final week before Christmas, we just start adding Eves to every day like great great grandparents) game. After a 1-2 start, Troy reeled off 10 straight wins and most of them were not close. The Blue Devils (7-5) did not have as strong an ending to their 2023 campaign, losing four of their last six, but they did dunk on Pitt in their final game of the year. Troy 27, Duke 20 CARMELLIA BOWL ARKANSAS STATE VS NORTHERN ILLINOIS (+2.5, O/U: 53.5) Location: Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Ala. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 23, Noon If you thought Tony Soprano’s wife decided to get into the Bowl sponsoring business, you’re wrong. I’m telling you. You’re wrong. Just accept it. No, the Carmellia Bowl is named for Alabama’s state flower, which means it must thrive under constant showers of Oxycontin piss. The Carmellia Bowl has been around since 2014 and hosts an annual game between teams from the Sun Belt and MAC, which is why you’ve never heard of it once in your life. The Red Wolves (6-6) ended its season losing to Marshall, which makes the fact they finished .500 more surprising than anything else I could state. The Huskies (6-6) were a little more impressive at the end, winning five of their last seven including a solid victory over Ohio. Northern Illinois 24, Arkansas State 20 LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL JAMES MADISON VS AIR FORCE (+2.5, O/U: 41) Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas Broadcast: ABC/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 23, 3:30 p.m. It’s a battle of governing philosophy and the strength that gives that same government authority as we celebrate the infusion of the military industrial complex into our daily lives and spots entertainment with the Lockheed Martin Armed Service Bowl. The Dukes (11-1) had to battle the NCAA, even threatening a court case, to get into a bowl in spite of their fantastic record. Hard to believe a school named after Madison, one of the framers of the US Constitution and the fourth president of the United States, might be able to argue logic and win. Anyway, they play the Falcons (8-4), the only service academy that can regularly put up a winning record and remain eligible for this particular bowl celebrating them. Also, it’s one they will undoubtedly lose. JMU 37, Air Force 28 FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL GEORGIA STATE VS UTAH STATE (-3, O/U: 62.5) Location: Albertson Stadium, Boise, Idaho Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 23, 3:30 p.m. We’ve had our fun with these bowl sponsors, but if you think I’m going to make fun of potatoes… taters, for God’s sake, you’re crazy. We love taters here

NCAA FOOTBALL: BOWL WEEK 1

BY ADAM GREENE Bowl season is upon us. And while I still am under .500 in my NCAA Football picks, both straight up and against the spread this season, I did pick 100 percent of the games correct last week. We’ll just choose to ignore the fact there was just one game last Saturday and roll on. SATURDAY MYRTLE BEACH BOWL GEORGIA SOUTHERN VS OHIO (+3.5, O/U: 49) Location: Brooks Stadium, Conway, S.C. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 16, 11 a.m. Here it is, our first Bowl of the season and it just so happens to be held in one of my favorite areas of the country, the Grand Strand of South Carolina. So, even if the game is terrible, you can still do plenty of fun stuff there like buy a Final Fantasy Buster Sword, ninja stars or a float with a Confederate Flag on it so the sharks will know to eat you first. Your Type 2 diabetes makes you sweet and delicious! The Eagles (6-6) secured their bowl bid early, because they lost four in a row to end the season. The Bobcats (9-3) did just the opposite, winning three straight. I like the upset here. Ohio 24, Georgia Southern 17 CRICKET CELEBRATION BOWL HOWARD VS FLORIDA A&M (-7, O/U: 48.5) Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga. Broadcast: ABC/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 16, Noon. It’s the Cricket Celebration Bowl, in honor of the phone service used by the guy your cousin buys Oxycontin from in between jail stints for shoplifting drywall hammers from Home Depot. The Bison (6-5) won two straight to end the season while the Rattlers (11-1) ran the table after an early season loss to South Florida. Florida A&M 34, Howard 16 R + L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL JACKSONVILLE STATE VS LOUISIANA (+3, O/U: 59) Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, La. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 16, 2:25 p.m. Why would R + L Carriers sponsor a bowl? Well, considering I just Googled what the hell kind of company they were, that’s probably why. They have trucks and haul things. No idea why they felt the need to spend money to get their name stenciled onto the New Orleans Saints homefield, but that’s logistics for you. Thank God I don’t have to know anything about that. The Gamecocks (8-4) had a few solid wins in the middle of their schedule, but limped to the finish line, losing two of their last three. The Ragin’ Cajuns (6-6) had a three-game losing streak sandwiched between victories over South Alabama and UL Monroe to end the year. Jacksonville State 23, Louisiana 19 AVACADOS FROM MEXICO CURE BOWL MIAMI (OH) VS APPALACHIAN STATE (-6, O/U: 45) Location: FBC Mortgage Stadium, Orlando, Fla. Broadcast: ABC/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 16, 3:30 p.m.. Here’s a fun fact: the Mexican drug cartels are major players in the avocado business in Mexico amd we’re basically financing them with our love of extra guac on the side. Anyway, I’m sure this bowl game can’t make matters worse. The Redhawks (11-2) are the MAC Champions and wrapped the year with five consecutive victories. Their two losses were to Toledo, who they would go on to beat in the MAC title game and the real Miami Hurricanes who blew them out, 38-3, in the season opener. The Mountaineers (8-5) stacked some good victories up in the latter half of the season, only to drop their finale against Troy by 26 points. Appalachian State 27, Miami (OH) 24 ISLETA NEW MEXICO BOWL NEW MEXICO STATE VS FRESNO STATE (+3.5, O/U: 51) Location: University Stadium (NM), Albuquerque, N.M. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 16, 5:45 p.m. Isleta is resort and casino owned by the Pueblo people, so even if this game is terrible, you can still do some solid gambling at the tables, pick up some souvenirs and reserve your tickets for the Clairvoyants Holiday Spectacular featuring the World’s Greatest Mind Reading Dog. Go ahead and stay the week. You gotta see that psychic pooch, for God’s sake! Ask him where your great, great Grandpa hid the loot from that stagecoach robbery. The Aggies (10-4) hold a special place in my heart as they were my final NCAA 14 team before my game finally kicked the bucket. Fresno State (8-4) never offered me as a coach, even as I continually aimed at scrub programs and I’ve decided to hold that against them today. New Mexico State 26, Fresno State 20 STARCO BRANDS LA BOWL UCLA VS BOISE STATE (+4, O/U: 49.5) Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, Calif. Broadcast: ABC/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. If you like to get crunk in the weirdest possible way, then you might be familiar with Starco Brands, makers of Whipshots. Yes, the creators of the weird vodka left over that no one touched at your last party, as you asked the question, “Who the hell brought this and why didn’t they take it with them? Am I now cursed to hold this Caramel Vodka Whipshot forever? Verily is this my Brady Bunch Cursed Hawaiian Idol?” have sponsored a bowl and, much like the weird Soylent food substitute drink Starco makes named after a movie where people unwillingly committed cannibalism, it’s not that bad. The Bruins (7-5) wrapped their final Pac-12 season by being a complete non-factor in the league. The Broncos (8-5) as they usually do, dominated the Mountain West but lost to everyone else they played. UCLA 31, Boise State 24 RADIANS TECHNOLOGIES INDEPENDENCE BOWL CALIFORNIA VS TEXAS TECH (-2.5, O/U: 58) Location: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, La. Broadcast: ESPN/ESPN+ Kickoff: Dec. 16, 9:15 p.m. You won’t need Radians patented brand of protective eyewear to watch this bowl. No, sir or madam, you will only need ESPN, ESPN+ and the urge to watch a game that won’t end until midnight as the Golden Bears (6-6) take on the Red Raiders (6-6) in what could actually be the most entertaining contest of the day. You could go ahead and put on your Radians hard hat and work gloves

NCAA FOOTBALL: ARMY AT NAVY

BY ADAM GREENE It’s time again for the annual tradition and pageantry of two teams who have no business, along with their fellow service academy Air Force, of being in NCAA Division I-FBS. Yes, it’s the yearly Army vs Navy game and neither team enters this one with a winning record. But they would have if they’d play at the FCS level where they belong. The first thing I did, with every single NCAA Football video game I ever bought, was replace the service academies with FCS teams I liked. Specifically, clubs like the Rhode Island Rams, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech. ETSU will probably work its way in there the next time. Either way, move these teams down a level, NCAA. Please. And, yes, I know Air Force consistently gets ranked and that’s ridiculous too. This is officially the 124th all-time meeting between Army and Navy, with Navy holding a 62-54-7 advantage in the series. Last year Army won 20-17 in double overtime with the two teams combining for a total of three completed passes. Two came from Cade Ballard, a kid I covered when he played at Greeneville High School in Greeneville, Tenn. He could certainly throw it better back then, let me tell you. ARMY AT NAVY (+2.5, O/U: 27.5) Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. Broadcast: CBS Kickoff: Dec. 9, 3 p.m. ARMY BLACK KNIGHTS (5-6) The Black Knights roll into this game on a three-game winning streak, including a 23-3 win over Air Force to open it back in November that knocked the Falcons out of the Top 25 for good (they had no business being in there in the first place) and started a four-game losing streak for that particular service academy. Two weeks ago, it was Coastal Carolina that took the walk of shame, losing 28-21 to an Army team that did not complete a single pass and only attempted two, with one of them getting picked off. This should not work at any level of American football, but it did. Tyson Riley rushed 12 times for 112 yards and a touchdown. Bryson Daily had 22 carries for 94 yards and a score and Ay’Juan Marshall toted the rock seven times for 64 yards and a TD. The defense picked off Jarrett Guest once. NAVY MIDSHIPMEN (5-6) Playing a real team like SMU a fortnight ago spelled doom for the Midshipmen as they lost 59-14 to the Mustangs. Braxton Woodson did manage to complete 50 percent of his passes, going 9 of 18 for 71 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. He also led the team in rushing with 18 carries for 104 yards and a TD. THE PICK When watching this game, it’s important to realize that back, 70-80 years ago, this is what all football looked like and that’s probably the reason that baseball was everyone’s favorite sport back then. The Black Knights have won three consecutive, but the Midshipmen won two of their last three. The difference could be the aforementioned Air Force matchup. The Falcons beat Navy but lost to Army. That tells me probably more than I need to know. This game will be ugly enough to show up under my “most compatible” on Hinge, but it’s literally the only game in town Saturday. Army 17, Navy 14 Last week Straight up: 5-5 Against the spread: 7-3 Season Straight up: 23-31 Against the spread: 24-30 Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan. Connect with us our socials on Twitter and Instagram for the latest sports news, viral moments, betting odds and the occasional memes.

NCAA FOOTBALL PREVIEWS & PICKS: CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK

BY ADAM GREENE Alright, it’s time to stop messing around. After selecting between three and four of the best games every week and falling flat on my face, I’m picking everything here on out. You got a bowl named after a table condiment or a brand of Walmart sweatpants, I’m picking it. Is it happening at 11 a.m. on the Tuesday before Christmas? Oh, I will absolutely break that down. But before I can do that, we’ve got to pick all the conference championship games this week. FRIDAY CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP NEW MEXICO STATE AT LIBERTY (-10.5, O/U: 54.5) Location: Williams Stadium, Lynchburg, Va. Broadcast: 7 p.m., CBS Sports Network This is a rematch from Week 2 of the season when New Mexico State (10-3, 7-1 CUSA) was obliterated, 33-17, by No. 24 Liberty (12-0, 8-0 CUSA). The Flames have obviously blasted through their Conference USA and non-conference schedule, but the Aggies are legitimately their only quality opponent. Meanwhile New Mexico State delivered a 31-10 beat down on Auburn three weeks ago. Fun fact: The Aggies were my final team on the old EA Sports NCAA14 game before my disc completely crapped out, so I’m going with my heart here. New Mexico State 24, Liberty 23 PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP OREGON AT WASHINGTON (+9.5, O/U: 67) Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev. Broadcast: 8 p.m., ABC Our second Friday game is also a rematch as No. 5 Oregon (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) vies for its last possible Pac-12 title against fellow departing team, No. 3 Washington (12-0, 9-0 Pac-12). In that first match up back in October, the Huskies won a wild 36-33 shootout in Oregon, which makes this spread a real mystery to me. I picked Oregon then and I was wrong. I won’t make that mistake again. Washington 34, Oregon 30 SATURDAY BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP OKLAHOMA STATE AT TEXAS (-14.5, O/U: 55) Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas Broadcast: Noon., ABC With No. 7 Texas (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) leaving for the Southeastern Conference next season, this is their last shot at a Big 12 title. All they have in their way is No. 18 Oklahoma State (9-3, 7-2 Big 12). This game looks lopsided on paper, or your computer or mobile device screen, but the Cowboys beat Oklahoma, 27-24, four weeks ago, the only team to defeat Texas this year. Will that make a difference Saturday? Nope. Texas 38, Oklahoma State 20 MAC CHAMPIONSHIP MIAMI (OH) AT TOLEDO (-7.5, O/U: 44) Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich. Broadcast: Noon, ESPN Congratulations Miami (OH) (10-2, 7-1 MAC) and Toledo (11-1, 8-0 MAC). More people will watch the occasional highlight break-in of your game during the Texas vs Oklahoma State game than probably watched your broadcasts all season. So, you know, kudos. This game too is a rematch, one that the Rockets won 21-17 back in October. I’m feeling as if this one will likely end in with a similar score. Toledo 27, Miami (OH) 20 MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP BOISE STATE AT UNLV (+2, O/U: 59) Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev. Broadcast: FOX, 3 p.m. Watching Boise State (7-5, 6-2 Mountain West) play an away game at any time feels like a waste, but here they are, playing for the Mountain West title against UNLV (9-3, 6-2 Mountain West). UNLV is also a team I had some great success with on NCAA14 and, if you can’t tell, my goal with that game was to take garbage schools and turn them into football powers. As such, I got to roll with my old boys. UNLV 23, Boise State 20 SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GEORGIA AT ALABAMA (+6.5, O/U: 55) Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga. Broadcast: 4 p.m., CBS Here it is. Our chance for No. 8 Alabama (11-1, 8-0 SEC) to screw up the current four-team bracket in the College Football Playoff and open up all the cans of worms available before we go to a 12-team field next season. All they have to do is defeat No. 1 Georgia (12-0, 8-0) who has won two consecutive national titles and 29 games in a row. Their last loss? It was to Alabama in the 2021 SEC Championship. The Bulldogs did get their revenge when they beat the Crimson Tide 33-18 in the national title game. Will Georgia win again cruise to their second consecutive SEC title and compete for their third straight national title? Yep. Georgia 34, Alabama 30 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CHAMPIONSHIP SMU AT TULANE (-5.5, O/U: 48) Location: Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, La. Broadcast: 4 p.m., ABC While the biggest game of the evening is happening on CBS, ABC counterprograms with SMU (10-2, 8-0 AAC) taking on No.22 Tulane (11-1, 8-0 AAC) for the right to, I don’t know, get free crawfish boils forever. I’m not sure what the American Athletic Conference hands out for winning its title. Maybe a book of Arby’s coupons? Either way, I say the Green Wave take it. Tulane 27, SMU 20 SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP APPALACHIAN STATE AT TROY (-6.5, O/U: 51) Location: Veteran Memorial Stadium, Troy, Ala. Broadcast: 4 p.m., ESPN If you think that ABC is hurting showing the AAC title game against the SEC Championship, ESPN has Appalachian State (8-4, 6-2 Sun Belt) facing off against Troy (10-2, 7-1 Sun Belt) for the Sun Belt title. Which, honestly, should actually be a belt. They should base it on Rick Flair’s old WCW title belt. And the winning team should all get one instead of a ring. I’m just trying to help here. Troy 31, Appalachian State 24 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP MICHIGAN AT IOWA (+23.5, O/U: 35.5) Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind. Broadcast: 8 p.m., FOX If there’s hope Alabama can mess up the final four in the College Football Playoff bracket Sunday morning, there’s pretty much none here as No. 16 Iowa (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten) has to hold off No. 2 Michigan (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) and the return of Jim Harbaugh to the sidelines. Hopefully he left his binoculars and notepads at home.

BEST NCAA FOOTBALL GAMES OF WEEK 12

BY ADAM GREENE Well, after a couple of decent weeks, I’m back in the basement again. There’s basically one more week of college football left, after this one, and I’m well below .500 in both the straight up, and against the spread picks. Only the Bowl Games can save me. This is why I specialize in the NFL. But, hey, I’m in here and I’m giving it the old, if you’ll forgive the pun, college try. Thanks to BetOnline, I have the odds, lines and totals with which to use to achieve my goal for the season. Just breaking even. Frankly, if you see my picks and just bet the opposite, you’ve probably done pretty well, so, you are welcome. UCLA AT USC (-6.5, O/U: 65) Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, Calif. Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 18, 3:30 p.m., ABC Well, here’s something probably no one, and I count myself in there, expected to see when the season began. UCLA (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) traveling to USC (7-3, 5-2 Pac-12) in a late season game where neither team is ranked. Still, it should be a good one and one of our last chances to see Caleb Williams play college football, because there is no way he’s suiting up for some Russell Athletics Walmart Sweatpants Bowl played on Christmas Eve. The Bruins come into this one on a two-game losing streak, both to Arizona teams. Last week they fell 17-7 to Arizona State. Collin Schlee was 11 of 18 passing for 117 yards and a touchdown in the loss. USC has also dropped two straight contests, but both to very highly ranked opponents. Last week they lost a wild one, 36-27 to No. 6-ranked Oregon. Caleb Williams was 19 of 34 passing for 291 yards and a TD with no picks in the defeat. Brendan Rice caught five passes for 81 yards and a score. The Trojans have limped to the finish line and while Williams was the season opening frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, that is no longer the case. It’s why the only player to win it twice was Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975. Still, this is his final chance to put on a show before shutting it all down before the NFL combine and I think he does it. USC 44, UCLA 27 OKLAHOMA STATE AT HOUSTON (+7, O/U: 59.5) Location: TDECU Stadium, Houston, Texas Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 11, 4 p.m., ESPN2 Like the first game in the picks, both of these teams are coming off losses as Houston (4-6, 2-5 Big 12), being nowhere near the Top 25, has designs to take Oklahoma State (7-3, 5-2 Big 12) with them when they face off Saturday afternoon. The Beavers were downright embarrassed by USF last week, losing 45-3. Alan Bowman was 19 of 36 passing for 225 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions in the loss. Houston wasn’t quite that bad in a 24-14 loss to Cincinnati. Donovan Smith finished his day 16 of 28 passing for a paltry 102 yards, two interceptions and three picks. Oklahoma State has had a rough season, but they should still be able to put it to the Cougars Saturday before they wrap their season next week. After all, this is the team that knocked off then No. 9 Oklahoma just a week before, right? Oklahoma State 34, Houston 20 KANSAS STATE AT KANSAS (+7, O/U: 55.5) Location: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kan. Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m., FS1 It’s a battle of relevance as No. 21 Kansas State (7-3, 5-2 Big 12) makes the trip to Lawrence to take on No. 25 Kansas (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) Saturday night. The Wildcats get to venture into this one off a win, 59-25 over Baylor last week. Will Howard went 19 of 29 passing for 235 yards, three touchdowns and no picks in the win. Avery Johnson got some snaps, finishing 2 of 5 passing for 33 yards and a TD pass. DJ Giddens rushed 18 times for 115 yards. Kansas, on the other hand, lost a heartbreaker, 16-13, to Texas Tech last week. Cole Ballard was mostly ineffective, going 9 of 20 passing for 124 yards, no touchdowns and a pick, which probably had every USFL exec’s attention. Devin Neal rushed 19 times for 137 yards and a TD. You know what, I know I’m still underwater in the NCAA picks, but I like the upset here. Kansas 27, Kansas State 24 WASHINGTON AT OREGON STATE (-1, O/U: 63.5) Location: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Ore. Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., ABC With the way No. 5 Washington (10-0, 7-0 Pac-12) has been showing out this season, it’s a shock to see them come into this one as an underdog, even by a single point against No. 11 Oregon State (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12). The Huskies have, obviously, knocked off everyone on their schedule this season. Last week they defeated then No. 18 Utah, 35-28. Michael (the most dangerous name in college football) Penix, Jr. was 24 of 42 passing for 332 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the win. He also rushed for a TD.  Dillon Johnson rushed 23 times for 104 yards and a TD. Rome Odunze caught three passes for 111 yards and two scores. Oregon State is coming off a 62-17 beat down over Stanford last week. DJ Oiagalelei was 12 of 19 passing for 240 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the victory. Aiden Chiles got some reps, going 5 of 8 passing for 75 yards and a TD. Damien Martinez carried the ball 15 times for 146 yards and four scores. You know, I’ve picked against the Huskies this year and paid for it, so I’m going against all my instincts here. Washington 34, Oregon State 30 Last week Straight up: 2-2 Against the spread: 1-3 Season Straight up: 15-21 Against the spread: 14-22 Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan. Connect with us our socials on Twitter and Instagram for the

BEST NCAA FOOTBALL GAMES OF WEEK 11

BY ADAM GREENE Well, I guess I deserved this. I got too cocky after a couple of solid weeks of NCAA football picks and shot for the moon last week, only to miss and careen off into space, never to be seen again. But, you know, a new week brings new opportunities and, as such, I’ve handpicked a selection of games you and, if you were to pick the opposite of what I’ve done here, I could hardly blame you. MICHIGAN AT PENN STATE (+4, O/U: 45) Location: Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pa. Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 11, noon, FOX It’s the big game before the big game for the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) as they make the trip to the middle of Pennsylvania to take on No. 10 Penn State (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten). The Wolverines are firmly in the College Football Playoff picture with two specters looming before them. The first is their regular season finale meetup with No. 1 Ohio State and the other is an NCAA investigation into their head coach, Jim Harbaugh, and their entire coaching staff for stealing opponents’ signals. In spite of that, they’ve rolled. Last week they obliterated the Purdue Boilermakers, 41-13. JJ McCarthy was 24 of 37 passing for 335 yards, no touchdowns and no picks in the win. Roman Wilson caught nine passes for 143 yards. The Nittany Lions have piled up two straight victories after their lone loss, a 20-12 decision to the aforementioned Buckeyes. Last week they crushed Maryland, 51-15. Drew Allar was 25 of 34 passing for 240 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Kaytron Allen rushed 14 times for 91 yards and a score. KeAndre Lambert-Smith hauled in eight passes for 95 yards. Dante Cephas had six grabs for 53 yards and two TDs.  The Wolverines are a team on a mission this year — to win a national championship that they will be forced to vacate after Jim Harbaugh and the school are punished by the NCAA for cheating. As such, I’m not feeling great about the Nittany Lions’ chances. Michigan 34, Penn State 27 TEXAS TECH AT KANSAS (-3.5, O/U: 62) Location: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kan. Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 11, noon., FS1 No. 16 ranked Kansas (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) has won two straight, including a season-ruining victory over No. 17 Oklahoma that the Sooners have yet to recover from. Texas Tech (4-5, 3-3 Big 12) had experienced a rough season, hanging with the better teams, but piling up the losses. Last week the Jayhawks kept the good times rolling, knocking off Iowa State 28-21. Jason Bean was 14 of 23 passing for 287 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in the win. Lawrence Arnold caught three passes for 112 yards and a score. The Red Raiders halted a two-game losing streak by knocking off TCU 35-28 in a shootout. Nehren Morton was 28 of 36 passing for 282 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the win. Tahj Brooks rushed 31 times for 148 yards and a TD. Coy Eakin caught eight passes for 78 yards. Kansas has already spoiled Oklahoma’s season and they’re not done yet. Tech has made some good news recently but is due for a fall. Kansas 29, Texas Tech 23 UTAH AT WASHINGTON (-9.5, O/U: 50) Location: Husky Stadium, Seattle, Wash. Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 11, 3:30 p.m., FOX No. 5-ranked Washington (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12) has everything to lose when they face off against 18-ranked Utah (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12) Saturday. The Huskies are right on the edge of the College Football Playoff rankings and all they need to do is keep winning and they’ll make it into the bracket thanks to the season ending matchup between Ohio State and Michigan. As much as you could argue that Michigan and Ohio State should remain in the Top Four even with a loss to each other, there’s no way you can keep an undefeated Washington team out of the playoff. The Utes, of course, hope to ruin that completely. The Huskies come into this one after a monster 52-42 win over No. 20 USC. Michael (the most dangerous name in college football) Penix, Jr. was 22 of 30 passing for 256 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the win. Dillon Johnson rushed 26 times for a ridiculous 256 yards and four touchdowns.  Rome Odunze caught five passes for 82 yards. I’m all in on the Huskies after last week. I’ve picked against them twice in big games and they’ve shoved it into my face. No more. Washington 41, Utah 27 TENNESSEE AT MISSOURI (+2, O/U: 57) Location: Memorial Stadium, Columbia, Mo. Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 11, 3:30 p.m., CBS No. 13 Tennessee (7-2, 3-2 SEC) doesn’t have a shot at the College Football Playoff, but they still have a chance to land a New Year’s Six Bowl. To secure that, they need to stand strong against No. 14 Missouri (7-2, 3-2 SEC) a team that has been a nice surprise in the SEC East, in its last iteration, this season. The Volunteers came into this one off a glorified scrimmage, a 59-3 win over UConn. Joe Milton has put together a solid month of performances for UT. Last week, he was 11 of 14 passing for 254 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the win. Future starter and the guy every Tennessee fan weeps over whenever they see him, Nico Iamaleava (I dread learning to spell that name out all the time next year) was 5 of 9 passing for 86 yards and a TD. Jaylen Wright had eight carries for 113 yards and a TD. Squirrel White caught two passes for 94 yards and a score. Ramel Keyton hauled in two for 81 yards and a touchdown. It was that kind of day. The Tigers lost, as everyone has, to No. 2 Georgia last week, 30-21. Brady Cook was 14 of 30 passing for 212 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Cody