College Bowl games are nice, even if attendance is down (again). But without a playoff, can you prove the Alabama-Notre Dame winner is more worthy of a national championship than Oregon?
The lone bowl that moves me has Roman Numerals behind it. Candidates begin to eliminate each other Saturday. With games Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., this is a fine weekend to be a pro football fan.
Before I get to the games, lets look back.
Last week: 13-3
Lock of the Week: Washington covered against Dallas.
Upset of the Week: Carolina upset New Orleans.
The last two weeks Ive picked 27 of 32 games correctly, have twice picked my Lock (a winner against the spread), and twice picked my Upset (an underdog to win).
I am to prognostication what the Panthers are to the NFL.
The home team is in CAPS.
HOUSTON 27, Cincinnati 23: I wrote before the season that Houston was the best team in football. The Texans started that way, winning their first five games by an average of 15.2 points.
They played their final four games against playoff teams and lost three of them. New England pounded them by 28. They split with Indianapolis, winning by 12 and losing two weeks later by 12. Minnesota handled them by 17.
The Texans should be special, but they arent. They arent because quarterback Matt Schaub isnt. The only way they can compete with Denver and New England is for Schaub to become among the best of the non-Peyton Manning, non-Tom Brady, non-Aaron Rodgers quarterbacks.
According to sports book Bovada, the odds against Houston winning Super Bowl XLVII are 15-1, the odds against Cincinnati 45-1.
GREEN BAY 30, Minnesota 23: The Vikings beat Green Bay last week in Minneapolis. Adrian Peterson, the most valuable player in the NFL this season, rushed for 199 yards. Second-year quarterback Christian Ponder was equally valuable.
This is because you knew Peterson would be great. Nobody knew what Ponder would do. He threw three touchdown passes, was sacked only once and did not throw an interception.
I can see Peterson again being fantastic. I cant see Ponder replicating his performance, not outside, in Green Bay, in the playoffs.
The odds against the Packers winning the Super Bowl are 8-1, the odds against Minnesota 40-1.
Indianapolis 23, BALTIMORE 21: No pressure, Joe Flacco. Just play well enough to prolong the career of retiring linebacker Ray Lewis. The Ravens have lost their past three games and four out of five. I like the poise of the Colts. Also, I need an upset.
The odds of Baltimore winning the Super Bowl are 22-1, the odds of Indianapolis 45-1.
Seattle 34, WASHINGTON 28: The Seahawks are a three-point favorite. I like their head coach, their defense, their offense and their momentum. I also like them to cover (theyre favored by three).
Seattle last lost in November. The Seahawks have won five straight, and theyve won them by an average of 26.6 points. Beat Arizona by 58 and your winning margin will jump, too.
The odds of Seattle winning the Super Bowl are 11-1, the odds of the Redskins 18-1.
The odds of the four teams not playing this weekend winning the Super Bowl: Denver 11-4, New England 4-1, San Francisco 6-1 and Atlanta 7-1.
May the best team win. The best team will win. Dont you wish college football could make that claim?