#CheddarBay FINAL WEEK! AP: Panthers +4 at Falcons.

Ron+Edwards+Carolina+Panthers+v+Atlanta+Falcons+tUq_tgsF-felNotice to playoff contenders:  To reduce game theory aspects for the playoff contenders, this week you may submit your picks to me via email.  Optional.


Rest assured there was ample discussion on this and the big NFL games as well as Tuesday bowl games were looked at.  The salient quote:  “A winner-take-all NFL game is inherently and significantly more interesting than the freaking Music City Bowl…”

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We’re down to the wire for the regular season in 2014 Cheddar Bay.  Remarkably, none of the slots are locked down but some of the players are more safe than others.

Reminder that this week’s eligible games extend through the bowl games of 12/30.  Playoffs start immediately after on 12/31 to take advantage of the NYE bowls.

Here are the lines for today (Tuesday) and tomorrow. Back with the lines for the rest of the slate tomorrow morning.

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Handicapping the field?

I need one of our degenerates to hook me up with some pari-mutuel software1 because we are missing out on some prime degeneracy if we aren’t handicapping and betting on the playoff field.

I have no idea how to run such a pool, but if I were setting odds, here’s my first pass:

1:10 rolub -r
1:8 zarathustra -p
1:7 Petefranklin -p
1:4 thatsfine
1:2 trashycamaro
1:2 swig -r
1:1 Tim Butler -r
1:1 hitthehorns -p
1:1 Concierge -p
3:1 Iron Sheik -r
3:2 pforever ☝︎
3:2 oxr -p
4:1 CleInMpls -p
5:1 FlyHighCharlieFrye -pp
3:1 mo_by_dick -p
3:1 Dennis Hemingway -p
20:1 Harbaugh Handshakes ☝︎ -p
20:1 dwhalen
30:1 bupalos
40:1 mattborcas
50:1 DQuatts
100:1 jdoepke-z

Over-under projected cut-line:  79.5.

Back tomorrow with the All-play and the rest of the lines.


  1. Seriously, shoot me an email if you know of a software package or an EASY way to run such a pool. [back]
  • Tim Butler is on Stanford.
    CleMPLS is on Stanford.

  • DHemms POTY: Maryland +13.5

    As much as I hate taking a Big 10 team, my hand is kind of forced here. It does seem that everyone and their mother is piling up on Stanford but the line has held steady at 14. So I’m going the anti public play. I can’t find too many reasons why I love Maryland especially with Stanford playing a home game here. Stanford’s defense is very strong but their offense isn’t exactly stellar. Maryland does have some solid receivers who hopefully can make enough plays to keep this relatively close. I also like having duel threat QB option C.J. Brown to try to keep Stanford’s defense a little on their heals. Let’s go Terps!

  • bupalos

    As I savor the last drops of Cheddary goodness and strive to save this shining Bay from it’s own nihilistic thoughts: LSU for one point pour fayvore.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      I beat you ! I beat you!

      • bupalos

        That’s because I had to desist from making an essay pick lest I destroy the bay by having the highest overall win rate. And that’s because you dummies can’t even tank right.
        You guys are worse than global warming.

  • Petefranklin

    What is the playoff format going to be this year? Tomorrows(wed) games included?

    • bupalos

      It’s no wonder you failed at your one job (tanking for me) when you can’t even read.

      >>>Reminder that this week’s eligible games extend through the bowl games of 12/30. Playoffs start immediately after on 12/31 to take advantage of the NYE bowls.>>>

      • Petefranklin

        What do you want? I went to OU.

        • bupalos

          Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize.

          Man am I embarrassed.

          • Petefranklin

            When you can’t figure out to connect that thingamajig on the top of your giant silver beer can just give me a shout.

      • Petefranklin

        Playoffs start immediately after on 12/31 to take advantage of the NYE bowls.>>>

        It would sure be nice for those of us that are actually in the playoffs to be able to study the actual #’s that we will be playing with more than a day in advance, but I get the reasoning.

    • Kanick will be sending the email soon but as far as I know it’s going to be something like this:

      1. In week one, you’re picking ten games.
      a. Mandatory college (4) — Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar;
      b. NFL (4) — pick all four wild card games;
      c. Optional college (2) — pick two from the remaining bowls (Peach, Outback, Cotton, Citrus, Armed Forces, TaxSlayer, Alamo, Cactus, Birmingham, GoDaddy).

      2. Timing of picks submissions is as follows:
      * College picks may be submitted one hour before the first kickoff of the first college game being played on THAT DAY. (All of your January 31 picks need to be in by 11:30 AM on that day, all of your January 1 picks need to be in by 11 AM on that day, etc.)
      * All NFL picks for a weekend have to be in by 1PM of the FIRST DAY of that NFL weekend.

  • DHemms on Texas and Okla for his picks 4 and 5.

  • bupalos

    Well nice job with the tanking you dummies! Now I’m left in the awkward position of either intentionally missing on one of my remaining picks or bringing Cheddar Bay’s entire existence and meaning into question by posting the best rate of winning picks in the entire competition (to say nothing of my sterling essays) while not even sniffing the fringes of the playoffs.

    This is on all of you. ALL OF YOU.

    • oxr

      (That first “guest vote” – the only one, at time of writing – was me. Cookies, schmookies.)

  • HitTheHorns

    Will let my cheddar fate ride on Dana Holgorsen, the man with best hair since the inspiration for hit the horns, Phil Collins. WVU Mountaineers for one cheddar.

    Happy Holidays everyone. Thanks for another great year!

  • zarathustra

    I know this is the cheddar thread, and lord knows I’m following the results closely at this point, but I can’t let the day pass without my weekly plea for Dowell Loggains to be fired. I pray Pettine announces it at his presser tomorrow. Ideally he shitcans him via text message.

    • Petefranklin

      And the not so special teams coach as well I hope.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Giving new meaning to the term “special teams”. I applaud him because he picked up his players at a “special” event, very broadminded, but not a way to win.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Publicly fired on twitter may suffice.

  • trashycamaro

    Is it too late to parlay my raiders pick with the likelihood that Denver threw the game with cincy last week?

  • CleveLandThatILove

    Everybody wins in Cheddarbay because fun and sportsmanship and goodwill and humility and humor and wisdom are here. Best to the remaining contenders!

    • bupalos

      Especially humility.

      • here here

      • actovegin1armstrong

        That would more likely be humiliated, humility is rather scarce here.

  • bupalos

    bengals +3.5

  • HitTheHorns

    Essay: Bengals +3.5: Of course Marvin Lewis, Andy Dalton, and company can’t win back-to-back prime time games. At least that’s what the public appears to think. I mean, Cincinnati didn’t even win last week; the Broncos lost because of Peyton’s weak arm. Seeing 66% on Pittsburgh, yet the line won’t move higher, and our favorite ESPN “experts” unanimously picked Pittsburgh. You’re telling my not one person in Bristol saw anything good out of Cincinnati on Monday night to even consider them winning this game tonight? When it’s that easy, you know which way I’m going.

  • zarathustra

    Falcons for the all play

  • bupalos

    Panthers ap

  • bupalos

    Cmfb for one

  • Matt Borcas

    Panthers in the all play.

    • Matt Borcas

      Bengals +3.5 over Steelers
      Texas A&M +3.5 over West Virginia

    • Matt Borcas

      Oklahoma -3.5 over Clemson

  • AmplifiedEsq

    1) Falcons -4 (All Play & Essay)
    2) San Diego +2.5
    3) New Orleans -4
    4) Philadelphia +3
    5) Cleveland +10
    6) U of Georgia -7

    Going all in on the Falcons despite hoping the Panthers win and it is the one game I am making it a point to watch today. I think the Falcons will want this game more and be the best of the worst in that dreaded division. Cam Newton is one wrong hit from having the turn the offense over to D.A. and there aren’t many options outside of Olson and Benjamin to throw it to. The Carolina defense has looked better lately, but they’ve also played some lesser competition. In this do or die scenario I’ll take the Falcons at home with Julio playing over a banged up Cam Newton which may limit the best aspect of his game, making something out of nothing running the ball.

  • Packers

    Raiders. $$$
    Charlie Munger has given up hope after I had a hell of a run for 12 weeks. The last five have been less than impressive. The raiders will do what the browns could not and they’ll finish the season on a high note with a QB who shows some promise while we pick our asses and sniff out fingers.

    Fuck Johnny and the swan he rode in on. I’ll be at Tremont tap house crushing beers. Come find me.

  • Dennis Hemingway

    I’ll take the Panthers for the all play please. Rest of my picks coming by tomorrow.

  • chuckycrater

    ALL PLAY: Panthers +4 vs. Falcons because goddammit, I’m not betting on Mike Smith.

    USC -7 vs. Nebraska (L)
    Georgia -7 vs. Louisville
    Giants -3 vs. Eagles
    Seahawks -11.5 vs. Rams

    ESSAY: Steelers -3.5 vs. Bengals

    Andy Dalton in a big road game. Steelers home at night. Steelers peaking at the right time. Andy Dalton in a big road game. Bengals only won last week because Peyton Manning had a meltdown like he hasn’t had in years. Andy Dalton in a big road game. Andy Dalton in a big road game. I would have taken Pittsburgh with twice as many points. Here we go Steelers, here we go.

  • oxr

    It’s been a long December and I’m a little surprised to still be in the mix for the playoffs, but the early games today will sort that out one way or the other.

    All-Play Falcons -4 over Panthers – who knows. Home-field and Julio Jones.

    Ravens -10 over Browns – to recycle one of my favorite John Prescott malapropisms, “here we have a government disintegrating between our eyes”. Meaningful game for Ravens.

    Chargers +2.5 over Chiefs – extra-meaningful game for Chargers as they can’t count on a Cleveland upset, not sold on Chase Daniel yet.

    Cowboys -6.5 over Redskins – meaningful game for Cowboys, Washington is generally bad.

    Pick of the Year Colts -7 over Titans – I’m dying as I lived here, with a divisional road favorite. This year I’ve been naively picking a ton of favorites and spending most of my time trying to figure out which games were most likely to turn into blowouts. This was quite successful early on, especially when picking the Colts; rather less so over the last five weeks. Anyway, this is a meaningful game for the Colts’ seeding in the AFC, and a lower line than it ought to be (especially compared to Case Keenum, 9.5-point Favorite) because they got the doors blown off by the Cowboys – however, that loss has Pagano claiming to be giving his starters a full workout. Since their narrow loss to Pittsburgh the Titans have been authentically woeful, and now they’re down to Charlie Whitehurst again. Here’s hoping for a return to form for Andrew Luck now that he has T.Y. Hilton back at his disposal, and a nice peaceful demolition job.

    I also have a college pick to make sometime in the next couple of days, but I suspect it will be irrelevant by the time it happens.

    • oxr

      Final pick, of no relevance to the ongoing playoff hunt: LSU -7.5 over Notre Dame.

  • zarathustra

    San Diego St (L)
    WKU (L)

    Let me begin with a shout out to concierge. I’ve never experienced a losing streak like I did this week and he helped me stop the bleeding yesterday and get me back on track with a 3-1 day.
    Today I like steelers, browns, saints, and lions. Hmmm….let’s go with

    Browns +10 over Ravens
    Pettine has been a bit more of a mixed-bag than I had hoped, but yesterday’s moves give me hope. The ravens definitely have a lot to play for, but they are incredibly banged up. And the browns have something to play for too. It’s a division opponent and a win would make them 3-3 in the north. More importantly though, they are playing to end the streak of losing seasons. It might not mean a whole lot to browns fans considering where they stood a few weeks ago, but I suspect it means a great deal to guys like whitner and dansby who were brought in to halt the team’s losing ways.
    Connor Shaw is what he is, but I expect him to look better than any qb we have seen for months now. Speaking of browns quarterbacks, do you think teams fine first round pick qb’s for being late if it is a first offense? Or do you think it might have been a pattern of behavior that was demonstrated throughout the year that they spoke to the player about several times and finally felt they had no choice but to publicly call him out with a fine? If Andrew Luck is injured would he be late? And even if the team would be unable to require him to be present for the walk-through, do you think he would still be there anyway? Rodgers, Brady, Manning….are they typically late or early? Would they miss a walk-through?
    Time to trade johnny and be thankful if you can get a mid-round pick that was commiserate with his talent level in the first place.
    Pettine sent a message yesterday that should have been sent earlier, but better late than never. I’ll wager the veterans on the team will reinforce that message today and make a statement that these are not the same old browns playing out the string in week 17.

    • zarathustra

      Also, let’s do

      Saints -4 over Buccaneers

  • HitTheHorns

    Carolina Panthers all play one point.

    One more pick plus essay later today.


    San Fran -6
    Panthers +4 (All play)
    Packers -7.5 (essay)

    Late afternoon game in GB for the NFC North. I still don’t believe in Detroit, and I don’t see GB struggling with anyone at home other than Seattle. I do believe Seattle would go up to Lambeau and win right now. Anyhow, the Packers return home after having been on the road the last few weeks. I fully expect them to put up 35 in this game and blow the doors off Detroit. Rodgers will be locked in, GB scores early and Stafford makes a bonehead play or two when they are trying to come back.


    Jets +6
    Bengals +3.5

  • DQuatts

    DQuatts action:

    Jacksonville +9.5
    Minnesota -6.5
    Washington +6.5
    St. Louis +11.5

    POTY coming soon!

    • DQuatts

      Well I completely forgot about the All-Play. Whooooops!

      This doesn’t matter much anymore, but if I still have my POTY left, I might as well use it. Let’s go with Louisville +7 for the POTY. Bobby Petrino loves the spotlight and builds his team for games like these. I am not completely sold on Georgia this year. They are a little too one-dimensional for me and in a bowl game, you have to be flexible and creative. I know I am out of the playoffs even with a W, but it was a really fun season. Thanks for the hard work, Mike B!! Can’t wait for next year.

  • FHCF’s picks:






    Do I need to explain? The Browns are the Browns and Connor Shaw is what Marvin Lewis would call a midget. Josh Gordon is what anybody would call a mental midget and the organization is a total mess again like every single year at this time. So, the Ravens need the game and the Browns getting to 10 points would be a miracle and I don’t much believe in miracles.

    Sent from my iPhone

  • Falcons

    ***Browns +10. I was going to essay this on the Ravens side because there’s no sex in the champagne room and undrafted practice squad QBs playing in Baltimore with a Ravens playoff slot on the line don’t turn into Tom Brady replacing Drew Bledsoe.

    Except for that time Tom Brady replaced Drew Bledsoe and then went 12-3 and won the Super Bowl. And so I must do what I am instinctively impelled to do.


  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Cin +3.5
    Dal -6.5
    Atl -4
    New Orleans -4
    Officially eliminated from the playoffs for the 2nd year in a row. Good luck to all the playoff cheddars. Looking forward to the essays. Oh and I just think New Orleans will win and Tampa will tank for #1 pick

  • shoseph

    POTY: Oklahoma -3.5 vs. Clemson
    Essay: Arkansas -6 vs. Texas
    AP: Falcons -4 vs. Panthers

    Colts -7 vs. vs Titans
    Chargers +2.5 vs. Chiefs
    Steelers -3.5 vs. Bengals

    Essay to come when I have access to a real keyboard and not this iPad.

    • hi there sho, the POTY doubles as your essay. so i’ll put okla as your POTY/essay and demote arkansas until directly differently. thanks.

  • Rob

    Ahhhh, that sweet little x- to my name. That taste of the Cheddar playoffs is both sweet and savory. It is an honor and privilege to join the ranks of ClevTA, and to finish ahead of the likes of squeeky, whose path I’ve crossed in other corners of this world we call the wide web. Many others I have followed and/or appreciated on Twitter before joining this prestigious contest. Alas, no more time for pleasantries, as I’m here to chew some bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubblegum.

    Texas A&M +3.5
    AP: CAR +4
    WAS +6.5
    PHI +3
    SF -6
    sigh…. BAL -10
    It seems like it was 6 years ago, not 6 weeks, that the Browns were 7-4 and being discussed as a playoff contender. But the more things change, the more things stay the same. A scout-team QB is going to walk into the valley of the shadow of death and take a look at this season and realize there’s nothing left; specifically, at wideout… and on his offensive line… and, well, this one is going to be ugly tomorrow folks. I know Baltimore has not looked great of late, but this Browns team is a shell of the one that created so much optimism heading into November. This pick is all line-value and eye test. On the bright side… less than 2 months until pitchers and catchers report!

  • technivore

    NIU +10 over Marshall (loss)
    LSU -7.5 over Notre Dame
    GIANTS -3 over Eagles
    Arkansas -6 over TEXAS
    Jaguars +9.5 over TEXANS

    Panthers +4 over FALCONS
    Granting that the Browns’ atrocious “offense” made Carolina look much better than they really are, their defense certainly got the job done and that’s something noone’s said about Atlanta this year. I’m going to go with Cam Newton as the best player in this game and the second best, Julio Jones, is still slowed by a hip injury. Absolutely nothing would be more NFC South than Atlanta blowing a late lead when Mike Smith forgets how timeouts work and their charmin-soft defense lets Cam Newton stroll downfield and bully his way into the endzone and the playoffs.

    Also despite an entirely forgettable year picks-wise I want to think Mike and all the other Cheddarers that made this football season a true journey along the path of wisdom and self improvement. Like Johnny Football, I thought I could skate by with a few mildly amusing essays and find myself atop the game just like I have in other endeavors, only to be brutally humiliated when the spotlight was on me and the true skill of my competitors was revealed. I know what I need to work on and I have a whole offseason to study up. See you all next year!

    • technivore

      Wait, no, that Arky line is too obvious. I’m going to reverse that and go with Texas +6.

    • not for nothing but your string of 1-13 on essays is really as hard to achieve as 13-1. so there’s that.. 😉

      note: p4va 2013, 42nd; p4va 2014, 3rd. kanick 2012 32nd; kanick 2013 1st (reg season). squeeky 2012 37th; squeeky 2013 4th.

      and we thank you for demonstrating the efficacy of the Costanza Method when one is mired is such a slump.

  • HitTheHorns

    USC for one point. I’m a team player.

  • clayII

    Nebraska (+7)

  • You know what, shitballs, with two Cheddars live in the stands and on USC, KTO taking on the shrimp cocktail, and all the other Trojans action, I will look the giant bad action potential straight in the face and get it on the holiday fun. Cancel Texas and USC me for one point please. Thx.

  • chuckycrater

    USC -7 vs. Nebraska for one point, please. More picks tomorrow morning while I angrily watch Everton get thrashed by Newcastle.

  • Petefranklin

    GO SC!

  • Nick

    USC please over nebraska. In indy tonight, going to st elmos to watch kto take on the shrimp cocktail.

  • dwhalen was on BC via email.

  • bupalos

    Too bad for Duke but Congrats to P. First ever to POTY into the playoffs!

  • dhemms was on miami for a single point via email.

  • thatsfine

    Trying to stay above the line, no pressure!
    BC -2.5
    USC -7
    All play to follow

  • Tim Butler

    Sitting square on the cutoff line, I tremble as I type…

    USC -7 – I’ll be at this game in San Diego, so why not make it more interesting, in fact, let’s just make this my essay.
    Arkansas -6 – It feels too easy, but I just can’t help myself.
    Patriots -5 – The Bills haven’t won, or really even contended in Foxboro since 1998. That doesn’t end Sunday, even if Jimmy Garoppolo plays substantial minutes.

    Colts -7

    Bengals +3.5
    AP: Falcons -4

    ESSAY: USC-7

    I really don’t watch a lot of college football. I got here (here being a tie for the final playoff spot) by picking generally 1 college game a week, and 5 NFL games. So it makes perfect sense that in this, the biggest week of my Cheddar Bay career, I would essay a college game. I don’t really have any insight on either team, or a strong reason to make this my essay pick, but on Christmas morning, as the women opened their spa certificates, and the men opened their holiday bowl tickets, my fate was already sealed. No better way to spend a saturday evening than cheering on the trojans with loved ones, 4 to 5 Qualcomm beers deep, while pocketing 3 cheddar points and a likely playoff birth at the same time. Sounds like a perfect little saturday.

    • Tim Butler

      Please take me off of patriots and I’ll pick a college game in the next 2 days…

  • bupalos

    Duke for 1.

    If it wasn’t for my 5 extra POTY’s that I’m still sitting on this would amount to a retirement from “contention.” But it does look like Frowns has identified a winner for once, and I want to watch it.

  • The Iron Sheik

    Apologies for the holiday slop to all.

    Boston college essay.

    With most things being even in this game I feel it will all come down to the outstanding play of Boston college’s offensive line.
    A veteran group led by one of the best centers in the country, Andy Gallik, the Eagles’ O-line is a huge reason why the team averages 252 rushing yards per game. And when you add Tyler Murphy, QB for BC to the mix he will provide the crushing blow to the lions bringing in over 1000 rushing yards for the season. See you all in the playoffs.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Good call on the importance of quality at that position and also for recognizing Gallik.

  • Jonathan MacDonald

    Panthers +4
    Texas A&M +3.5
    Clemson +3.5
    LSU -7.5
    Boston College -2.5
    Essay: Giants -3

    While I thoroughly enjoyed the Cheddar Bay college bowl competition last year, it’s good to have college bowls in the mix for final week action. Why? Because the NFL gets weird right about now. Starters on juggernauts rest, teams have little to play for – maybe there’s some incentive to go all-out to land a higher seed, however it’s better math to ease up and not risk losing half your O-line to avoid a road trip. At least in the bowl games, there’s something to play for.

    That being said, it’s time to essay the Giants. They are hosting the Eagles (who have nothing to play for) and all signs point to this game being Coughlin’s last. The team responded last week when the Rams got nasty and will play their rear ends off to send their coach off as a winner. Although it’s possible he’ll avoid the ax – this team just needs a couple more pieces to get back to contention rather than a complete tear-down and rebuild like that other New York professional team. Taking a top QB in round 1 to plan for the post-Eli era would be a wise move – Odell Beckham is the real thing, getting Victor Cruz back even at 90% of what he was will be a bonus, add a couple of defensive tweaks and they’re back in contention.

    • Double like for a well-crafted essay despite being out of contention for the playoffs.

      • Jonathan MacDonald

        Thanks… if only my points counted double, and everyone else tanked, and violations were discovered resulting in everyone ahead of me getting docked 15 points I’d have a chance to sneak in.

        I did some reading on the NFL hot seat coaches – Coughlin still wants to coach and a logical landing point for him would be the Jets. Maybe he’d bring some class to that organization badly in need of it.

  • whalen is in on cincy via email.

  • mo_by_dick

    USC -7

    • mo_by_dick

      Welp, I foolishly ignored Frowns and the big-name-on-the-Cheddar-chart and ended up cursing this USC pick last night after a late Nebraska touchdown. So here I stand, dropping back for a final hail mary to save what was a pretty good CB season for me. In retrospect, I hit lots of picks, but took a beating on essays — at first I figured I was just picking the wrong games as my essay, but looking back at the writings and the “reasoning” in them, it’s obvious that I could’ve put in more work and likely led to a better result. Ya live and ya learn. But it’s not all solemnity over here, as it’s any given sunday and I’ve still got a POTY knocked and ready to fly. Let’s do this.

      The Colts got embarrassed in Dallas last week, and they need to have a great game against the lowly Titans to have any confidence heading into the Playoffs. This team is pretty reliable against crappy AFC South teams, and the Titans certainly qualify. Pagano has to have his guys fired up for this game to get ready for the Bengals or Steelers the following week, and that it’s a divisional game will help. Colts absolutely cannot go into the playoffs with anything less than a blowout here, and they will have extra incentive to get there quickly to get their guys some rest. Good Colts against Terrible Titans for the biggest play of the year.

      Colts -7 (ESSAY & POTY)
      Falcons -4(AP)
      Patriots -5

      Raiders +14
      Chargers +2.5

      • Petefranklin

        Yeah it looks like that Duke play would have gotten you in. Even a half point with the Browns.

  • The Iron Sheik

    Boston college*** essay

    I am sitting in the car as the wife returns christmas crap and I ask my five year old son to pick between two teams. So there you have it we are going to the playoffs on the back of little Eddie.

    Go Boston college.

    • zarathustra

      Well, at least he didn’t pick peppa pig. That would have sucked.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        It could not have been peppa pig. I have recently been informed by my three year old little monkey girl that “peppa pig is for little kids”. Eddie is five, he is most assuredly an adult by now, way past peppa pig.

        • zarathustra

          I doubt shiek would know anyway. Just last week I took my little daughter on a play date with Shiek and little eddie. We went to a sports bar. Shiek and I consumed adult beverages and watched football while the kids played with silverware. I could have sworn eddie said he liked peppa pig. Or maybe it was my daughter. Lol. Who knows. Children are such a mystery.
          Either way it was a few hours they asked us to leave.

    • sheik i have to count this as an inadequate essay. given your place in the standings i can’t let it slide, sorry. i’m logging your cincy and panthers picks but you’ll need to improve the BC essay before 330 or essay a different.

  • Dave Borcas

    USC -7
    Texas +6
    Maryland +13.5
    Dallas -6.5
    Atlanta -4 (all play)
    Philadelphia +3 (essay)
    The Giants are on a roll while the Eagles are in the dumps. Until a month ago the Chip Kelly star was shining brightly. Just the opposite the Giants have been on a roll for the last moth led by Odell Beckham. Once again, Tom Coughlin trying to pull a Houdini and save his job. Meanwhile in Philly some are beginning to question Chip Kelly. That I believe is very unfair with the tandem of Nick Files and Mark Sánchize at QB. I see the Eagles going out on a positive note before Chip goes QB shopping during the off season. I have thoroughly enjoyed my rookie season in Cheddar Bay and plan on cleaning up my house this off season to make myself a playoff team next year. Good luck to all and Gooooooooooooo Browns.

    • It’s truly inspiring and a sign of a bright future to see so many folks bringing it with the essays despite being out of playoff contention. My comment re: J-Mac’s post above applies to pretty much everyone here who’s not in the playoff hunt.

  • ChuckKoz

    Browns +10 (at Ravens)
    49ers -6 (vs Cardinals)
    Stanford -13.5 (vs Maryland)
    ASU -7.5 (vs Duke)
    AP: Falcons -4 (vs Panthers)
    ***Essay/POTY: USC -7 (vs Nebraska)

    I gotta say, I had mixed feelings about the POTY all season. Could never pull the trigger on a game and now I am left just burning it once I am already eliminated from playoffs. But we are still feeling a reasonable shot at the Lobsterfest and weekly winner, which is what makes Cheddar Bay such a wise investment.

    As for USC, they have very fine talent that has a lot of motivation to finish strong and head into another preseason as a top 10 team. And with a top 10 recruiting class coming in, all these current guys are going to want to make a strong impression to keep their playing time. Or in the case of a few guys like DT Leonard William and Josh Shaw, this may be a final audition for millions of dollars in the NFL’s first round. And we especially like where this theory merges as Cody Kessler (who is having one of the best seasons ever for a USC QB) looks to have momentum towards next year while hooking up with future NFLer Nelson Agholor. But above all, this is a team next year that will finally have stability with a non-terrible coach (Kiffin) and full scholarships (finally done with the consequences of Reggie Bush). There is a lot of reason to feel USC football is back (the one reason to not is that UCLA is cramping them in their hometown, but UCLA is blowing that by always getting killed by Stanford).

    Meanwhile, Nebraska. What do they have to look to build on? The players are reportedly very pissed Pelini got canned. And nobody seems all that happy with the replacement (although they are probably wrong). Their program seems to be a mess. They do have fine talent, but probably in that tier of Notre Dame. Well, USC just crushed ND in their last game. So we like USC big.

  • FTCMikeD

    Cincinnati – 3 over VT
    Duke +7.5 over ASU
    BC -2.5 over PSU
    Panthers +4 over @Falcons
    Colts -7 over @Titans
    Another off season and following a disappointing* season for the Browns. Maybe not disappointing considering their record, 7-9 or 8-8, when that is a marked improvement over previous seasons, but disappointing for what could have been. Sitting at 6-3 and in first place. Oh well, hopefully Pettine and the team can learn from it and improve upon it next season, which won’t be easy give that we face the West of both the NFC and AFC. Oh, and throw in a another QB controversy, as Connor Shaw takes the reins today. This off season will all be who should start, Johnny or Connor as Hoyer takes his talents to H-town. Nothing is easy for the Browns. That is why they complicate things in this final weekend. Browns +10 over Ravens.

  • squeekycleen

    Essay: Miami, FL: Springboard game for the Canes here looking ahead to next year. They have a relatively young outfit and while they stumbled after the FSU loss, they should be motivated here. South Carolina has been trash this year from the word go with that stinkbomb performance vs AandM to open the year. I grabbed this at -1 when it first came out but still like it after the line move. Canes for the essay.

    Cincinnati Bearcats
    Boston College
    New England Patriots

    All Play: Panthers

    Good luck to everyone in the playoffs. See you next year!

  • Concierge

    VA TECH +3 for one point.

  • p_forever

    early picks were:

    nc state +1.5 ucf (win)
    duke +7.5 arizona state (play of the year essay below)

    remainder of picks:

    panthers +4 falcons
    w.va. -3.5 texas a&m
    titans +7 indy
    giants -3 philly

    who am I to reject frownie’s offering “to those on the fringe and still with the pick of the year in the holster”??? doing so would be turning my face against the very essence of cheddar bay, and everything that makes it a million times better than every other football betting pool out there. our essays and general knowledge sharing makes cheddar bay not even the same thing as those other pick’em pools, really. so it feels just exactly right to pin my playoff hopes on doing the very cheddar-est thing I can do with my picks this week, and make duke my pick of the year.

    pete gets it all right in his essay, but the best points are points 2, 4, 6, and 11. Duke is a smart, highly motivated team that– unlike 85% of teams – treats it’s bowl game like a huge deal that really matters. They are getting a ton of points here, and they have lots of time to prepare. In contrast, I don’t care how good duke has gotten at college football – it will always be a basketball school and opponents will always have a hard time taking them seriously (until they are actually on the field with them) and for sure they will be considered a terrible bowl draw. There isn’t one player on the Arizona state team that is interested in playing duke, and not one fan that wants to watch this game. the team won’t even care if it loses, which is exactly why it will lose. that 80% of the action is on arizona state only makes this pick that much sweeter.

  • jdoepke

    I’m not sure how the battle for the AFC North Division Championship is not the All Play and the battle for the pitiful NFC South is but I suppose I should be happy not having to pick another Bengals game that is sure to disappoint. Cheddar playoffs a long shot, need a lot of help, here we go…

    Saints -4
    Penn St +2.5
    Nebraska +7
    Stanford -13.5
    Panthers +4 (AP)

    Texas +6 (POTY ESSAY)
    I’ve got to use it so here we go. I will be honest, I don’t love it and the first time I saw the line I leaned Arkansas. After further research I’ve learned that me, like everyone else in the world is on Arkansas. Who wouldn’t be? Despite a bad SEC record, Arkansas hung tough with most everyone they played and it’s the SEC after all vs. a mediocre at best Texas team with a first year head coach who isn’t that great. I’m not going to over analyze with a bunch of statistics. The public is all over Arkansas so I will go the other way. 24-23 Arkansas.

  • Capitalgg

    This is it. My 2014 Cheddar Bay season ends here, ingloriously, picking for nothing but pride and some spare change. So it goes. So it goes.

    All-play: Falcons -4 v. Panthers: Can’t argue with the Committee’s logic for picking this game, but what a brutal spot. My inclination is to ignore that this game is even happening, but if I must give me the home team. It’s a shame the birds stole that win against the Cards several weeks back, because a 6-10 division champ that rolled 6-0 in division would have been epic.
    1. Cincinnati -3 v. Virginia Tech: I’ve seen both of these teams play live and several times on the television, Tuberville’s team is the superior side.
    2. Boston College -2.5 v. Penn St.: I can see no reason to take Penn St. here. PSU D > BC D. BC O >>>> PSU O. So unless BC no shows, this should be the most epic 17-6 game ever. Also, no plans to actually watch this… um… show.
    3. Arizona St. -7.5 v. Duke: Love that this number has come down from the open. If AzSt has any heart, they win this going away against a Duke squad that should simply be outclassed.
    4. LSU -7.5 v. Notre Dame: Battle of this season’s most overrated teams. LSU is just better.

    Final essay will be USC -7 v. Nebraska. I liked USC in this matchup before Nebraska finally fired Bo Pelini. Typically a firing like that might light a fire under a team. But things are clear that the situation in Lincoln is the football program against the university. So this should be a team that just wants the season over because “f- those guys”. USC gets a de facto home game in San Diego and outclasses the Huskers. Holiday Bowl history says expect fireworks (think Belk Bowl before there was a Belk Bowl), I just think SC puts this away.

    Good luck to everyone still alive for the playoffs and in the playoffs.

    Anyone going to put together a “Cheesy Eggers”?

    Other plays:
    Texas A&M +3.5 v. West Virginia
    Miami -3.5 v. South Carolina
    Maryland +13.5 v. Stanford

  • DHemms is on NCST via email.

  • HitTheHorns

    NC State for one point.

  • zarathustra

    San Diego St (L)
    WKU (L)
    I beg your patience as I recount the recent adventures in sports wagering of your humble correspondent. After a very good weekend capped off with Raiders and Cowboys victories I had the Cardinals as the last leg of a very nice parlay. Did I hedge? I did not. It was an 8-teamer with a nice payout so shame on me, but I actually didn’t lose any sleep over it. Still a very nice weekend. Monday started off with BYU. Kind of sucked to have Memphis force over time with 45 seconds left, but that game could have gone either way so whatever. Next was the Broncos. I was really nervous about it and almost sat it out but I forced it and got what I deserved. The monsoon that arrived in the second half was a bit curious (somewhat reminiscent of last year when brady visited Cincinnati), but again: whatever. It wasn’t a very smart wager anyway. On Tuesday, I had a pretty insignificant wager on NIU, but a loss nonetheless. Then of course there was San Diego St and Rocky Long’s inscrutable decision to pass up the field goal in the 4th quarter. I did not sleep well that night, nor did I sleep long as I was up at 6:30 for work. I felt good about WKU for a while, but was definitely a bit frazzled placing the wager considering everything. While I certainly never could have predicted what would happen I promise that I was acutely aware of the possibility the whole time, so much so that I was never once tempted to turn off the game. I was late traveling to my in-laws and when cmu scored the last touchdown I turned off the telly with absolute certainty that they would go for two. Rather than follow it up with the Fresno St wager I had planned I thankfully decided to gather myself and take the evening off. Similarly, this afternoon I sat out wagers on both Illinois and North Carolina.

    So it is not without fear that I come to you this evening. A great fear actually. But I shant cower and hide. Rather, I shall step toward it with a heart that is true. I angered the gods with my hubris sunday evening, precipitating this tailspin and it isn’t through cowardice that I will find refuge from their wrath. It is only fitting that I take this leap of faith in the shadow of the annual yuletide celebration of the greatest magician himself for it is nothing short of a very advanced alchemy I undertake here. Like him I too hope to transform this darkness to light. Now, I could listen to his incantations to love and to give and to turn the other cheek….and I really will do all of those things starting tomorrow. But now is the time to confront my fears and hit on this essay. This was not originally going to be my essay mind you. It was going to be for a mere point. I was going to wait to use my essay in a cowardly display of gamesmanship with the hopes of securing a playoff spot, but such craven maneuvers did not lead me to my current place in the standings and they won’t keep me there.

    If, dear reader, you are still following me in these nonsensical ramblings I implore you to follow me a step further and follow me into the darkness, to confront our fears together by placing wagers on the Knights of Central Florida. And once our fears have been vanquished we will luxuriate in a land of milk and honey, feasting on s’mores by the fireside and telling tales of our victory, laughing at our fears all the while.

    UCF -1.5 over NC State*******************

  • Speaking of Wolfpacks, p_4 and Borcas and I and potentially some other Cheddar-types will be out and about around downtown tonight starting at around 7 at Map if anyone wants to meet up. Hit me up by email or Twitter or whatever.

  • Me and NC State make three (for one point). I really like the way they crushed UNC in the rivalry game as touchdown underdogs to close out the season. Doeren won’t want to disappoint in his first bowl game as Wolfpack head coach. UCF is definitely not the undervalued side here after what they did to Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl last year. Out with the old, in with the new as they say.

  • p_forever

    Count me in on NC state too

  • Matt Borcas

    I’ll take NC State to start off the weekend. Appreciate you listing me at 40:1!

    • yes the house loves any action on ‘mattborcas to make playoffs’ this weekend.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    MB, please drop the Duke game and give me San Diego over Kansas City for 1 biscuit.

    • p_forever

      thx for the vote of confidence re duke buddy. jeez.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        I would have jinxed you with my luck on essays. If I had hit 500 on essays guess where I would be this year?

        • If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, Acto. Nice try.

          • bupalos

            Hey wait! Ifs and buts AREN’T candy and nuts?

            This throws a serious wrench into my Christmas plans.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Well…. Duke was Frownie’s idea. Frownie is waiting for next year just like the rest of us. “The Mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!”
        Now Frownie is a bitter, sullen, shadow of his former self. (Please see below for evidence. A sad state of affairs.)

        • p_forever

          I feel the descriptors “bitter, sullen, and shadow of his former self” better describe someone other than frownie.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            P_4, please do not wallow in self doubt, you are of course bitter and sullen, but you are not exactly a shadow of your former self.

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Illinois +6
    Duke +7.5

  • i’m in on illinois. takes awhile to bring toledo to champagne but he seems to be getting there. i mean he was 14-2 in the MAC an 16-9 overall in his last two years there.. not like he’s going to suck forever.

  • trashycamaro

    1. AP: Falcons -4 over Panthers I really want to take the points but the Panthers’ D is bad, the Falcons o-line is good, and Ryan is pretty good, especially with Julio around.

    2. Essay: Raiders +14 over Broncos Followed up a 7 point week with a single point week. I feel like I am Peyton Manning, crumbling right when I need him most. (Actually this makes me more like Hoyer in that I never got anywhere, briefly looked good, and then crumbled when the pressure got turned up).

    Anyway, this is a bet against Manning and on the Raiders. Manning has looked terrible. His season QBR is at 77.4, while at 24.1 last week, 90+ the week before, and sub 65 in week 14 and 15. Look for a steady diet of CJ Anderson (17th in Adjusted Line Yards), and the Raiders d-line to control him (13th in Adjust Line Yards).

    The Broncos need the win, but need a healthy Peyton more. Look for a low risk game plan that leads to a low margin of victory.

    3. College: USC -7 over Nebraska I know nothing about College football. Good note about this season – I managed .3 points in the opening week. That’s right, my only points came on the Florida-Idaho game that was cancelled that resulted in a half-value push.

    4. Chargers +2.5 over Chiefs Phillip Rivers is the best player on the field and has something to play for. Chiefs pass rush is fantastic, but I think Rivers does just enough to win.

    5. Eagles +3 over Giants So I know the Eagles are on a losing streak, but let’s look at their losses: Washington (division game by 3); Cowboys; Seahawks; Packers; Cardinals (when they still had a QB); 49ers (when they still had hope). Maybe they lose a close one here, but it is more likely they win over a division rival they shut out the first time around.

    6. Steelers -3.5 over Bengals So Andy Dalton “redeemed” himself on the “can’t play in primetime” thing with the Bengals winning. Of course, it did not have much to do with Dalton as he threw up the kind of QBR numbers only a Browns fan could hope for: 29.0 to Peyton’s 24.1.

  • Concierge

    Illinois +6 for one point please

  • The Iron Sheik

    La tech
    N Carolina

  • swig

    Game theory be damned (like people would actually fade these anyway)

    AP: Panthers +4, No real logic here, ATL has been scoring points, and CAR has not. I believe in Cam and the D
    1) Duke +7.5, every time the AP was college with a big spread I felt like Burgs has been trying to level me, it has worked out ok. This is 100% Frowns, otherwise I would be throwing a dart.
    2) Browns +10 o RAVENS, pf laid out some great points and counter points. Ultimately, Shaw scared me off this pick.
    3) Colts -7 o TITANS, ***ESsay***
    4) Lions +7.5 o PACKERS, Lions have a good D
    5) Raiders +14 o BRONCOS

    I was too chicken to make an all-play decision early in the year, so now I am backed into a corner. The colts have been beating up the bad teams all year. TEN is bad and has nothing to play for, to the point where it would be detrimental to the franchise to win this game. The Titans have been laying down against other incompetent franchises. How is this offense going to score enough points to cover? The negatives are, this seems too easy, and the public like it a lot. Those arguments are not enough to sway me.

  • cwonder23

    Duke +7.5
    Bengals +3.5
    Eagles +3
    South Carolina +3.5
    All Play: Panthers +4
    Essay: Jags +9.5
    I kinda just picked some games off the list here and this one ended up last so it shall be my essay. The Jags should be able to stay in this one and lose by less than a TD. Rather than relying on Case Keenums arm, Houston will feed Foster and in turn churn some clock, keeping this game to under 40 total points. The Jags are playing with nothing to lose and should take some shots. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • GRRustlers

    Final Week

    The Cheddar Bay playoffs are pretty much the best.

    I can’t really put into words the excitement of surviving multiple weeks of sudden death just to get into the field followed by putting myself in a spot against Frowns for the whole damn thing and then being really really wrong on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s just the best. Two years in a row in the playoffs was damn fun and while my first LobsterFest this year (It only took almost 4 full damn years) helps ease the pain I am already looking forward to September.

    To a great group of guys and girls here I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. On to the picks…

    AP – Panthers (+4) over Falcons – The Panthers are two weeks away from being one of only 8 teams left playing football. Life is not fair.

    Browns (+10) over Ravens – We have to revisit this again? The Ravens should not get double digits vs anyone. On a side note…how bad does it look for Manziel if Shaw just plays a competent game and does not look overwhelmed.

    Holy shit…Maryland AND Illinois are in Bowl Games? Oh yeah I forgot we have to have a shit ton of bowl games no one actually attends…where the teams have up to a month off…some coaches take new jobs…and all of this because we can’t have nice things like a 16 or 24 team playoff that would make ABC and ESPN enough money to buy a continent. No one ever stopped and said holy shit the guys from Duck Dynasty and Popeye’s have a damn bowl game…this has gone too far.

    Stanford (-13.5) over Maryland
    LT (-6) over Illinois

    Seahawks (-11.5) over Rams – Jeff Fisher should have his team act like punks vs Seattle this week. See how it works out for him. Big payback coming Sunday.

    Essay Pick

    Find a team with a current coach (who actually stayed for the time being) that is having a really rough stretch and is decimated by injuries.

    When Notre Dame rallied late to beat Stanford they were off to a 5-0 start but the warning signs were all over the place. Injuries were starting to pile up on the defensive side of the ball and the offense seemed to only actually excel in turning the ball over. They then went to 6-0 but managed to give up 43 to UNC. They then beat FSU only forgetting that no one actually ever beats FSU. They then gave up 39 to Navy and hung on for a win.

    Then the wheels fell off.

    Blown out by ASU and USC and home losses to Louisville and Northwestern had Coach Kelly basically saying that everything will be evaluated which to me was code for I’m jumping to the NFL in a few weeks and you crazy South Bend people can all kiss my ass.

    I kind of like Notre Dame and have some really good friends who I watch most of their games with…it’s just difficult when you watch how they played vs USC and ASU which were common opponents of my Buffs and think damn…Colorado at least put up a fight.

    I think that Brian Kelly has checked out and will be in the NFL next year. In a bowl game between two teams that people will actually attend and watch I like LSU and I like them big.

    LSU (-7.5) over Notre Dame

  • thatsfine

    As terrible as last night’s job by SDSU, I’m glad I stayed off WKU today. Don’t know if I could have recovered from being on the losing end of both of those.
    That being said, the best thing to do is get back out there and not dwell on it, so
    Fresno State +2.5

  • Concierge

    Best Essay pick ever. So easy. Was never in doubt. 🙂

    • Petefranklin

      How much is a soul going for these days?
      I think I got 2100$ for mine for a Hafner grand slam vs KC back in “05. It did lead me on a really good run the rest of the season and I paid a 26k loan off in three months.
      I wouldn’t be surprised to see you win it all now.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      When you mentioned in your essay the “explosive 34 point 4th quarter comeback falling just short of victory”, I must admit I doubted you for a brief moment.

  • Petefranklin

    Might as well get this done..
    2) UCF -1.5 The loss of Blake Bortles has hampered this offense but they practically lost no one on defense and it shows as they are one of the nations strongest units. Meanwhile, on offense the yardage has been coming easier as of late which I attribute to coach O’leary. The knights have been super strong in bowl games as of late and I will take the Knights as a very manageable 1.5 point favorite.BTW there are rumors that O’leary might hang it up after this game so this one may be my essay.
    3) USC -7 over Nebraska. I can’t believe that Nebraska fired Pelini, and that I heard him as color man last night from San Diego. I don’t like laying this many points in a bowl as I feel that the huskers will play with nothing to lose here. The Trojans have disappointed again this year but they probably have the most talented roster in the country. I have a feeling that Nebraska shows up with a chip on their shoulder which has downgraded this play into a possible essay from me.
    4) Oklahoma -3.5 over Clemson Clemsons outstanding defense will get a taste of stopping another humongous program in a bowl game. They are going to have to be top notch again for the tigers to get a win.Clemsons offense hasn’t done much of anything with Stoudt as QB. About the most I expect is game management from him. Oklahoma comes in reeling but has gotten much healthier with the break in play and have QB Knight and RB Perine poking like they will play. This Sooner team was expected to contend for the playoffs but underachieved. I look for them to finally play up to expectations although Clemson has somewhat of a home field edge. I fully expect the Sooners to win but the 3.5 spread makes me downgrade this into a possible essay.

    No essay chosen as of yet, I will though, at least an hour before kickoff.

    • Petefranklin

      Essay) USC Trojans Going to SD right now!
      5) Browns
      AP) Panthers

      • dont forget the essay by an hour before kick. thx.

        • Petefranklin

          Well including my 75 or so words above…I am in San Diego and the town is packed…with Trojans. It is almost a super bowl feel here. Kind of like the pre victory celebration going on right now. I was kind of worried about the weather in Mission Valley but they seem to have died down substantially from last night. The high winds would have definitely favored the duel threat Husker QB but since they have subsided the advantage goes to the Trojans QB who can and will open up the field with a downfield attack. In what is traditionally the highest scoring bowl game, there is no way that the coachless Huskers can keep up for four quarters. Just ask Fresno.

        • Petefranklin

          Mike, somehow you posted USC twice and didn’t post the Browns pick for me. Thanks!

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Duke it is for a 1 biscuit
    Browns +10
    ****Georgia over Louisville**** Essay
    This line has taken a hit because it is presumed that Georgia shall still be suffering from the loss of some guy on the wrong side of the ball. Not just the wrong side of the ball, but a running back! Running backs are like boobs, they are spectacular, shifty and elusive, but if one gets away, there is another one just as good right there. Georgia will not suffer from losing that boob.
    The common thread among the prediction pundits is that Georgia will match their terrific running game against a tough Louisville defense and most give the nod to Louisville.
    Why did Georgia run so much? Because they could. I do not look at it as a negative reflection on Hut-hut-hutson Mason. Mason is a talented senior quarterback who protected the ball and had the luxury of a great offensive line and running attack, he can however throw the ball quite well and if Louisville puts a dozen defenders on the line to stop the run, Mason will have terrific success throwing over them. (Although I still bear a distinct dislike for him because of his respective position.)
    AP–Panthers over Falcons–AP
    Miami over South Carolina
    Rutgers over North Carolina
    A bad time in the Carolinas

  • p_forever

    I want duke as my pick of the year-essay forthcoming. Hi merry Xmas eve everyone!

    • Petefranklin

      WOW! just wow!

      • SMART!

        • actovegin1armstrong


          • Sassy

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Ha! So Frownie, you could not think of anything so you just started making up words at random.

          • I like my football picks like I like my women.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            I like my women like I like my coffee.

          • Guest

            All over your lap while you’re driving.

          • Right. All over your lap while you’re driving. Why are you such a pig, Acto?

          • actovegin1armstrong

            I like it Frownie, very clever!
            You know the real follow-up line, and it is much worse than your little gem.

          • Ground up and in the freezer? Sick.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Hi-yo, he will be here all week kids! Please remember to tip your waiter.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Great way to save the suspense of the PoTY.

  • zarathustra

    I can usually shake off a loss pretty easily, but I still cannot wrap my head around what rocky long did last night. WTF. It would probably be best for me to sit things out today but I gotta chase:
    WKU -3.5 over CMU
    one point please

    • Petefranklin

      Yeah, I thought I was on a sure loser last night with SDst dominating on the offensive line. Navys quickness did show on the pass though with constant pressure bringing 4. Navy’s defense would have been pummeled by the end of the night if Rocky would have held his passes to a minimum.

      • zarathustra

        You win some, you lose some….and I’ve definitely had my share of luck in winning games I had no business winning, but that one just defied logic. If I had peyton manning in his nfl prime up against that very same navy defense I kick the field goal to go up 5 and I don’t think twice about. If my college qb who has never been good and is 7-20 with a pick I’m certainly not letting him sling it on 4th and 6 when I could go up 5 with a chip shot field goal. Baffling.

        • thatsfine

          This one killed me, having SDSU as my essay. I simply cannot remember seeing such an inexplicable decision by a coach. 4th and 6, Up by 2, a chance to go up by 5 on a chip shot field goal, and they go for it? I’m trying to regroup over here to make a few more college picks this week, but… wow. What the hell was that?

    • we have a new worst beat of the year. holy crap.

      • Depends on how you want to look at it. Hoo.

        • at least you were on the right side of it this time. that usc/stanford +7.5 OT essay loss remains the all time worst beat.

          • Win some lose some, ya know. Though I would say this one was more improbable by quite a bit. Covering a 3.5 point spread after being down 49-14 in the fourth quarter, then with one play to get a touchdown from your 25 yard line. That last play HFS.

          • I hope it’s clear enough now that I’m on an unstoppable bullet train to 6-0 and vats of drawn butter. Ride or die. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fjiz3LUhoo

          • Rob

            The wife is putting our 5-month daughter to bed while I watch Rice/Fresno St. on mute, drinking Tom’s Foolery bourbon,and wait for the aforementioned wife to come downstairs so I can (gasp) introduce her to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. But listening to old school Juvenile just made this the best Christmas Ever ever.


      • Petefranklin

        If you get a chance to watch a replay, I think the timekeeper was on the Chips as the clock was stopped early and there should not have been a second left at the end from what I’m hearing.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Wow zara, I was thinking about you as the scoring updates kept magically beeping in my pocket.
      Two lines were repeating over and over again….
      1.) “It would probably be best for me to sit things out today but I gotta chase:”
      2.) “I can usually shake off a loss pretty easily, but”

      Holy Holidays Batman, this could cause one to believe that you have angered the imaginary friends.

  • WKU and Fresno for single points for me.

  • Concierge

    I have been on the Maction all year and it continues today. Did you see how happy the Chippewas were to be going to the Bahamas instead of Detroit!? (Even though it was probably more excitement for the ALL YOU CAN EAT POPEYES CHICKEN). Ok so heres the deal. Everybody and their brother thinks that tatted up QB Brandon (don’t call me chris) Daughtry is going to carve up the CMU defense. I just don’t see it. The MAC isn’t great this year..but the MAC west is pretty good and CMU boasts the #1 defense in the conference. I don’t think that Rawls being out for CMU is that big of a factor. Let me give you MAC fans a name you won’t wanna forget.. Devon SPALDING. He’s a true freshman and I think he’s the best best back in the conference nobody talks about. His vision and BURST is unreal… And oh by the way Titus Davis (the next Antonio Brown) has been playing at about 80 percent all year. He’s now back to 100 percent for this game. I think Cooper Rush has a big day against a defense in WKU that ranks 123rd in the nation out of 128 teams. They give up 501 yards per game. FIRE UP CHIPS!

    Also gimme Fresno +2.5 for one point.

    • Boom. This is what the Bay is all about. Get me on the Chips for a point, too, please. 82% of public on Western KY.

      • Concierge

        And the line still only 3.5 with Rawls out… WKU defense is BAD. A 3-9 Florida Atlantic and UAB (they don’t play football anymore) beat WKU this year.

        • WKU defense *IS* BAD. WOW.

          • Petefranklin

            We knew that. What we didn’t know was that the coach was such a dumbass for not trying to keep scoring on offense.

          • They did miss a pretty close FG in the 3rd quarter. I mean, they were up 35 points in the 4th and 21 with 4 mins left. It’s especially amazing that C. Mich pulled this off without recovering even one onside kick. They tried two of them.

      • Petefranklin

        I was going to be on the chips until I saw NIU get torched yesterday. I’m always trying to correlate these bowl game performances to upcoming point spreads.

        • Last night was a really tough spot for NIU. To get up for that one after having played in much bigger bowls in recent years, and to have to beat Cato in his last college game on his home turf. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

    • Best defense in the MAC = least racist Nazi. Woof.

  • There’s hardly anything more exciting than the Cheddar Bay playoff run. I’ve long believed that playoff time is when the easiest wagers of the season come to play, with teams incentivized (or not) to leave it all on the field in games that tie a bow on a season’s worth of misvalued narratives (see, e.g., the Prohibited Favorite’s dominant, historic and nearly unblemished 2009 and 2013 championship runs). Which isn’t to say that this is ever easy, but *easier* is something, in this context quite a lot, and with the invaluable input from the illustrious Cheddar Bay playoff field it’s even much moreso (thinking also of two recent champions being so locked in on the Ravens’ (Harbaugh Handshakes 2012) and Giants’ (Dood 2011 (RIP)) last Super Bowl runs here). Which I suppose is to say that it might not be the worst thing to miss the Cheddar Bay playoffs every once in awhile, life being about give *and* take, as it is. Which of course is not to say that y’all wouldn’t surely be doomed had Pettine not submerged my season by punting in Ravens territory back in September (damn you, Pettine), but it’s a bittersweet symphony this life, which would of course be mostly worthless without this illustrious competition. It would be unseemly if I won every year anyway. God dammit.

    Which is also to say best wishes to all contenders, to whom I make the following humble offering, especially to those on the fringe and still with a Pick of the Year in the holster:

    Take Duke and the points over Arizona State in the Sun Bowl, Saturday at 2PM.

    1.Duke: Almost beat Texas A&M in the Chik-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve last year and A&M was loaded with NFL talent. Duke returned 7 offensive starters and 8 defensive starters from last year’s team.

    2. Duke: Starving for its first bowl win in forever after two heartbreakingly close losses last two years, the seniors and juniors will be especially locked in here: http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/78662/duke-has-one-objective-bowl-win?ex_cid=espnapi_public

    3. Duke: Coach Cutcliffe and the relatively brainy Blue Devils side with extra time to prepare.

    4. See also: Duke: Following Stanford blueprint to success: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=12041428&ex_cid=espnapi_public

    5. OTOH Arizona State: Limps into the postseason to face an unranked opponent when they thought they were title contenders or at least BCS contenders.

    6. You see it multiple times each year, a team with “nothing to play for” gets pounded by a more highly motivated lower ranked opponent.

    7. Arizona State lost to Oregon State, who is as bad as anyone Duke lost to.

    8. Arizona: Populated mostly by people who blame their problems on the weather and run off to the desert to soak in a massive sprawl of freon and chlorine. http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/2011/06/cleveland-the-realest-most-resilient-impervious-irrepressible-place-there-is/

    9.”Duke became a winner in tragedy” —

    10. Arizona State’s QB situation is a mess with Taylor Kelly having been benched late in the season, now looking over his shoulder at a quick hook in this game.

    11. 7.5 points or 8 points or whatever is a lot. Public is 80+% on ASU here.

    This is also my Pick of the Week, my last best grab for a mere single lobster dinner in 2014, and a preliminary warning shot for 2015.

    OK Cheddar playoff contenders time to be heroes we are all counting on you.

    • Central Mich (W), Illinois (L), NC State (W).

      I’d probably lay off this game otherwise but I’ll take the Panthers for the All Play mainly because their defense isn’t terrible and the Falcons’ is. Carolina has been great in December the last couple of years. The last time these two teams played the Panthers got off to a horrible start before making a late comeback in which the Falcons could hardly stop them at all. In a rematch I tend to like the team that’s better in the trenches, anyway. Also, this is a nice Christmas story about how Panthers assistant coach Eric Washington helped a family that had the presents stolen from under their tree. http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/12083248/eric-washington-carolina-panthers-assistant-coach-saves-family-holiday-replacing-stolen-christmas-gifts

      Back with one more to round out the slate before Tuesday’s over.

      • I’ll take Texas +6 over Arkansas for my last pick. jdoepke makes good points above. I’ll add that Texas has the athletes to play against Arkansas and probably matches up especially well against the Hogs’ relatively one-dimensional attack. The Longhorns had been playing really well before the meltdown against TCU on Thanksgiving that’s surely counting too much in bettors’ minds here. Tyrone Swoopes won’t make 5 turnovers in this one, though, and I like this story about how the Texas staff is working with the young quarterback: http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/post/_/id/94287/swoopes-in-need-of-a-texas-bowl-triumph?ex_cid=espnapi_public Finally, I think Charlie Strong in Texas is something of a nice underdog story to root for generally.

        • Would (over)pay a penny for Acto’s thoughts on Longhorns/Razorbacks.

        • actovegin1armstrong

          With you on how well Texas was playing before they ran up against the TCU juggernaut. Either TCU or Baylor would destroy Florida State. It is also very unlikely that Swoopes will cough up 17 turnovers, like he did against TCU. Texas has more talent than Arkansas and they are a bit underrated, while Arkansas has frequently had fortuitous circumstances play in their favor this season, which may make them appear better than they are. I almost made this my essay, I feel I am immune to the “homer factor”, but I laid off because Swoopes gets happy feet and Strong may be in over his head at Texas. I analyzed this game before I looked at the line and I would have put the spread at Texas +1.5. The game being in Houston should make it a “pick’em”. The two caveats, Swoops’ happy feet and more importantly a young but talented Texas offensive line going against a terrific and very quick Arkansas defensive line. The Arkansas d-line is the main thing that kept me away from this otherwise sure thing pick taking Texas +6.

  • Petefranklin

    1) NAVY +3

  • HitTheHorns

    Hit the horns: SDSU -3 for one cheddar

  • Concierge requests Navy for a point via text.

  • thatsfine

    Marshall -10
    SDSU -3 – Essay non-essay. I may type out a few words on this later, because I repsect the process.

    • thatsfine

      OK, SDSU defnitely for 3 points (sorry if that wasn’t clear), may not have time to elaborate so I’ll take my week off from writing.


    1) Marshall -10: Cato will run it up in his hometown of Miami in front of friends and family
    2) Navy +3

    • CLEVTA

      3) Carolina +4 (all play)
      4) Va Tech +3- UC actually faces a decent pass D for once.
      5) Jets +6 (essay)- Jets have proven they love Rex and have not quit on him all season. They have a big advantage running the ball vs a weak Miami run D. They are still playing very hard and no doubt in my mind they give it their all to win one last time for Rex going out the door. I am taking the points and also sprinkling on the moneyline here on the Jets. I can just see it now, Geno leads a game winning drive and in the post game presser an emotional Rex talks about how much he loves this team.
      6) Redskins +6.5

  • technivore

    NIU +10 over Marshall

  • FHCF is on NIU via email.

  • Petefranklin

    Swig to make the playoffs….risking two dimes please.
    Also if I’m -700 Thats fine should be -600.
    This week could be brutal and I’m not sure of an essay just like I never am until I pop on it, but this week I may have only one game that works out as a three pointer, and it is sketchy right now.

    • Petefranklin

      Also give me p for a nickel please.

    • i think i was factoring that thatfine is within range of harbaugh and whalen;; but it’s ok to be tied so yeah, his number needs adjustment. rob and ta would be off the board in vegas too, i’m sure.

    • swig

      What if I told you I am considering the Browns for pick of the year (assuming 7.5 or higher)?

      • Petefranklin

        I’d say that I would never lay big points with the Ravens in this spot.
        I’d also say that the #1 rule of gambling that I learned in the 7th grade was to never, EVER, bet on the Browns.
        I’d also say that the public will be all over the Ravens, favoring the Shaws.
        I’d also say that the Clowns are likely to get stomped all day on the ground.
        I’d also say that Harbaugh has too much ego to be content running the ball down the Clowns throats and will let Flacco self destruct.
        I’d also say that Shaw might keep them real close for three quarters before HE self destructs.
        Bet the Browns at 10 or more on sunday morning…I guess.

      • Petefranklin

        Wow, it is 10 for the contest. Might hit 12.5 on Sunday!

  • zarathustra

    San Diego St -3 over Navy
    one point

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