Wk. 18, OSU -3 vs. Clemson – Fiesta, Sat. 7pm.

Final week here at Cheddar and it is huge.  With eight bowls tomorrow and Wednesday (and four pivotal POTYs still in play), we decided it best to get the lines locked now instead of tomorrow morning.  These are the lines for Tuesday and Wednesday only; the rest of the lines will be up in a post Wednesday.  ALSO, the form is not able to accept Week 18 picks until tomorrow, so if you wish to make an early play, post it in the comments and we’ll get it into the form afterwards.

$500 up for grabs to regular season winner.
Reminder to you all up at the top: this year there is dough available for closing out on top. As it now stands, the winner will get $514 which is a straight 10% of the monies collected year to date. (The kitty accounting is found at the bottom of the ‘SUM’ sheet.)

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  • General announcement

    With regret, the Exec Cmte has decided that it cannot accept TSB’s POTY essay as meeting the standards we have applied to all and enforced on several. Therefore, his POTY pick is docked five points (treated as a basic one point pick).

    This leaves TSB and Thatsfine tied for the regular season win and they will split $520.

    What I like least about having to enforce this ruling (on what was obviously inadvertent error) is that it takes focus away from TSB’s really really remarkable playing down the stretch. From week 12, he’s: 6.0, 4.5, 6.0, 6.0, 6.0, 6.0, and 5-1 to close it out. Seven essays in row.

    Ok, onward to the playoffs and many congrats to the final eleven.

    • TS_Butler

      Here’s a 57 word essay from last week that was counted:

      I know the Chiefs lost last week against the Titans but they are still a top team in the NFL in my opinion. The Broncos are on the down and Trevor Simien is not very good. The Chiefs are playing for the division while the Broncos are not playing for much. I’ll take the home team today.

      • TS_Butler

        71 words:

        I don’t know much about either of these teams but graduated from Miami. I just don’t think they can handle an SEC team in a bowl game. Winning 6 games in a row in the MAC isn’t as easy as winning a bowl game. I expect missy st to take control in this game. Good year for Miami all things considered but it ends here. Missy St 40 – Miami 20.

        • TS_Butler

          In the future maybe it’d be best to let everyone know that content will be strictly judged. I’ve written several essays this year that said nothing about the game, a lot of people have. I guess writing an essay about forgetting to write an essay is not allowed then? Note made

          • TS_Butler

            My point is that had I written the exact same essay last week and it wasn’t the final essay of the year to win the regular season, nobody would have batted an eye at it.

    • TS_Butler

      Here’s are some more crap essays that were counted:

      1) (40 words) Pats off a lost against a terrible sf team. The defense should be hungry to prove they don’t stink. Let’s hope they really don’t. I expect the pats to come out focused and put a beat down on the niners

      2) (48 words) The Bengals need to keep winning if they want any shot at the playoffs. And what better way to do that than to beat the hated Steelers. This one is for all the marbles. Look for the Bengals to keep it close and competitive all game. Bengals +3

      3) (75 words) I have zero negative reward for my essay selection. I’m in the bottom 10 already…so …with literally 45% of the starting offensive starters out for this game, I think the Bears keep it low scoring, and end up winning this game,

      please don’t watch this game. It may win ‘least watchable game of the season’…but …just like all these Browns fans, I am a true fan…and will truly put my $$ where my mouth is…

      4) (58 words) After that loss last week, I think the Panthers will let this one go. No sense in getting somebody hurt. Oakland has a lot to play for in one of the toughest divisions in the AFC. Two teams moving in different directions. The Raiders may be banged up but I like them here. Raiders 28 – Panthers 17

      • 1. It is not realistic for the EC/me to review 50 essays a week x18 weeks. Some will slip through. Some do receive a pass because we’re not total hard-asses nor do we wish to be.
        2. The impact of the essay on the field does factor. I.e., we’re probably not going to give the guy in 40th place a hard time on his 95 word essay. If you’re contending, we have to do our best to protect the rest of the field and to try to see that all are competing under the same rule set.
        3. The fact of some poor essays getting scored does not alter the fact that this particular essay, the essay to win the regular season and thus the most important essay of the year, was poor.
        4. The premise of your argument is: there were bad essays before so therefore bad essays must be accepted. Or: find the worst essay, set the bar, jump over it. I/we disagree with that. We reserve the right to exercise judgement in our decisions. If it is grey, then a debate ensues. I can share that the essay in question was found to be so clearly wanting that it did not create a debate.

        I hope this addresses things and that we can move forward in our usual bonhomie.

        • TS_Butler

          It’s all good. On to the postseason.

    • Lucy Lawrence

      First off, want to start off by saying thanks to the committee for another great year of Cheddar Bay. I know there is a lot of hard work that goes into making it run as smoothly as it does! That being said..had a few thoughts on what happened over the weekend with the POTY situation.

      #1 I agree with TS_Butler that there have been a lot of bad essays submitted this year (Im sure some of mine included). However, in defense to the committee I dont think it was the amount of words that was the problem but the fact that it didnt have any context about the game. That being said:
      #2 I have the upmost respect for this contest and have known Pete since I was a little kid so the following is just a suggestion. I have always thought the essay was a big commitment in this contest and keeps people away from joining. Both my husband and I do cheddar bay and have had many friends interested in joining but are turned off by the essay portion of it. What about this thought:
      Same format as always: 5 picks 1 all play = 6 plays
      Instead of an essay every week, have a play of the week or money pick for that week that counts for 3 points. If you want to write a big essay on your thoughts great, I enjoy reading the essays of those of you who are talented writers and put out awesome stuff. But for those of us who are if not maybe just a few sentences as to why its your favorite pick of the week. Im a believer that you should be able to say “Im going to the Ohio State game this weekend so Im taking the buckeyes as my play of the week.” or “Rodgers said he is going to run the table so Im taking the packers bc of his guarantee.” In the end this is the context of a lot (not all!!)of the essays with people coming up with extra stuff to make it look long enough to be accepted.

      • HitTheHorns

        Hi Lucy! My thoughts are that everyone has a “pick 5” contest floating around an office or amongst friends where you submit and handful of picks blindly. The beauty of this contest for me is the grind of sitting down and finding 100ish words each week. Its really hard to do that consistently. Also – I like reading what this specific community has to say about games. I would rather this be a group of 50ish people that understand why Mike and Frowns set this up, vs. a bunch of people that just submit picks.

        • Thanks to both of you, Lucy and HTH. Lucy, the founding principle behind this contest was that if you can’t slow down enough to come up with 100 words on why you’re making a football vote, you probably shouldn’t be making the vote. It was intended to get people to think about why they do the things they do and to get other people to consider differing perspectives about something that’s as fun and easy to think about as anything. Yes, from time to time we let the 100-word requirement slide, and some of the essays are crap, but plenty of them aren’t, and we have to at least try to maintain the standard here. See Zara’s essay below, as well.

  • Chris P.

    Well…. it’s all pretty simple

    Scenario 1) Penn State hangs on, plus Oklahoma wins by three = party
    Scenario 2) Penn State hangs on, plus comet hits sugar bowl = party
    Scenario 3) Anything else = open up a cheap bottle of Cuddy Sark and wait till next year.

    It’s fitting if I end with 78, a half point out, and I toot k the Chargers over the Browns last week. Chalk up another one to the Best Browns Season Ever

    • Chris P.

      BROWNS!!!!!!!

      • Perfect. See you next year, buddy.

        • Chris P.

          Yep. Can’t start soon enough.

        • Chris P.

          oh man, beaten by the quarterback of my alma matter by a half point. the all time MVP hero of the Nerdy Nine, however I’ve been informed that since I left it’s now the Egghead Eight, which is disappointing and telling as to how out of that loop I am.

          beaten by the quarterback of my high school arch rival by a half point.

          when’s next year start?

  • auburn
    i’ve still got WDE on my twitter bio, my sports apps still put aubie the tiger at the top of my views, i can still struggle through war eagle on piano. and gus malzahn is still their coach and he still coaches the best hurry-up in the country. this is the coach who got nine wins with ryan aplin and got to the BCS champ game with nick marshall. so here he on new years day with an 8-4* and so playing with house money. four loss teams dont belong in the sugar bowl, he knows, we all know. so i expect malzahn to whip out the arkansas state playbook and to remind us that he’s the king of college football offensive scheming. couple that with stoops’ penchant for unintentional hilarity and i think i’ll cast my final pick with auburn.

    *four losses: clemson, bama, tamu, uga.

  • TS_Butler

    USC -7 for 1 cheddar. I’ll add it to the form when I write my POTY essay on the sugar bowl tonight

    • post an hour before kickoff brother. or shoot email to pete and me. DONT FORGET.

      • TS_Butler

        Well, I got out of work late and as I’m driving home I’m met with a rush of panic, so now I’m writing this essay on my phone pulled over on the side of the road. Not sure if this will count or not as my pick of the year but I don’t think kick off is technically until about 840, anyway this is why I should’ve written my essay on the Packers last night, like I was going to. If the committee will accept this, I’ll take ok -3 as my POTY shot.

        • Petefranklin

          Should this count as a POTY essay? Just saying.

          • Chris P.

            If it made a difference, I might raise an eyebrow, but were it a 1 point regular pick he’d still be at least tied for #1.

          • TS_Butler

            It was 93 wordsish. 69 minutes before kickoff. It wasn’t what I was planning. I planned time to write my essay well before kickoff, but I work for a small business, and I got a text asking me to go do something, so I went back into work mode and remembered my essay on the way home. I feel it should count, even though it was a crap essay, but I was so panicked just trying to post in time. I’ll accept the committee’s decision either way.

          • Chris P.

            oh, beats me what the powers that be think. I’d be fine with it for a weekly essay, and that would put you up by a few anyway, so i’m good with it as is.

        • under review.

  • RCLA

    ESSAY: USC -whatever

    So, correct me if I’m wrong, but USC hasn’t lost a football game since, um, September? And I don’t think they’ve lost a game at home all year? And I know that the pac 12 hasn’t looked great in their bowl games, but uSC beat both Washington and Colorado by a couple scores if I recall.

    Now, the rub, of course, is that you could say the all that same shit about Penn State. Which I guess is fair. And while it has also looked bad in the post season, the big 10 is still probably a cut above the PAC 10. But Penn State is for rape. Didn’t they have like 4 scholarships until last year? Isn’t my season already over regardless of the outcome of this pick? Do I need to call it a season and vow to set more calendar reminders and make less picks under general anesthesia next year? Yes. Yes I do.

  • thatsfine final pick via email:

    Lions +3 –

    Quite the race to the finish this year. I guess I’ll finish off this season the same way I finished last season – picking against the Packers on Sunday night. Last year that pick let me jump a 3-way tie for 10th and into the playoffs. This year a win would force Butler to his his POTY to win the regular season.

    Again, thanks for running the show! The first year I played I thought this game would have 200 players in a year or two because it was so awesome. I’m happy and surprised it hasn’t become bigger news. Maybe too much thought required, too much commitment, too difficult. Probably all of those things.

  • i guess i’ll take the skins -8.
    so thats: tcu, mich, osu, (losses), bama (win) and an essay tonite or tmrw. HNY!

  • Lucy Lawrence

    1. Baylor (W)
    2. Northwestern (W)
    3. All Play Clemson (W)
    4. Essay Michigan (L)
    5. Lions +3
    6. Back with last plaly tomorrow

    • Lucy Lawrence

      ill take auburn as my last pick for the regular season

  • TS_Butler

    Ok St (W)
    Bama (W)
    Clemson (W)
    Cards -6
    Sooners -3
    $514 POTY essay still to come

  • Matt Lawrence

    OSU -3 (L)
    Alabama -14 (W)
    Lions +3
    Colts -4.5
    Chiefs -5.5
    Oklahoma -3

  • squeekycleen

    In honor of the end of the contest, I didn’t know that the contest was still going, I missed the All play that would have been a winner, and of course now I’m putting in the clowns as the essay. What could be more fitting than to finish this poop contest effort with a poop team in a meaningless poop game for all the poopy essay points. Clowns for this riveting essay.

    • BTC>1000, you the real hero.

  • PJD19

    Essay Bills over Jets
    Essaying the bills pretty much doomed my chances at making the playoffs this year – maybe I’ll learn next season. Ironically, fittingly, sadly I will roll with the hapless Bills one more time. This game is too Billsy to pass up on. I win gives them 8-8, a loss 7-9 – their mediocrity seems to know no bounds. The starting QB’s are EJ Manuel vs Ryan Fitzpatrick. Rex just got fired. It sort’ve feels like preparing to watch a dark comedy. Good season all.

    • watching barrett last night would force me to start cardale today. they already know what ej manuel is; time to check out 12 gauge.

  • LittleBallofHate

    Essay — Steelers (-5.5) vs. Browns
    In between the parade being cancelled, donations to the food bank and Mark “Munch” Bishop tweeting something absolutely stupid, it seems as if the local media are predicting the Browns to get their first win in Pittsburgh since 2003. Yes, the Steelers are sitting down Big Ben, Brown and Bell, but Pittsburgh’s backups are still stronger than the Browns first unit. And the last thing Mike Tomlin wants going into the postseason is a loss.

  • RCLA

    Forgot to pick tonight’s game. Oops. Other five are Dolphins, Chiefs, Texans, Trojans, Broncos (essay; forthcoming).

    • RCLA

      Trojans will actually be my essay. Broncos for one token.

  • thatsfine is in for OSU via email.

  • Galea Minor

    OSU -3 over Clemson (All-play)
    Florida -3 over Iowa
    WMU +7.5 over Wisconsin
    PSU +7 over USC
    Oklahoma -3 over Auburn
    Lions +3 over Packers

  • oxr

    All-Play Ohio State -3 over Clemson

    • oxr

      Packers -3 over Lions
      Browns +5.5 over Steelers
      Seahawks -10 over 49ers – alas, poor chip
      Chiefs -5.5 over Chargers

      Essay Pats -10 over Dolphins – Last year the Dolphins’ Week 17 upset of the Patriots kept them out of the AFC’s 1 seed, with which they would not have had to play the championship game in Denver, and would probably have wrapped up yet another goddamn Super Bowl. Pretty sure that’s going to be looming large in the minds of the coaching staff. The irritatingly good Patriots are never shy about scoring points and their run defense seems to be a strength-against-strength matchup against Jay Ajayi; Matt Moore has had a thoroughly respectable run, but now he’s going up against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Admittedly, there is a higher-than-usual prevalence of weird stuff happening in Pats-Dolphins games (cf last year) but I reckon the Evil Empire handles their business this time around. And besides, it’s not like I’m staking a playoff spot on it or anything.

  • Matt Borcas

    OSU

    • Matt Borcas

      Falcons, Broncos

  • zarathustra

    This is my last essay of the season and who knows maybe ever here so I want to express my appreciation to everyone. I have learned so much reading the essays here not just this year, but for many years now. In the past I’ve joked about how important I think cheddar bay is not just to football wagering but for society as a whole, but I always sincerely felt there was more than a bit of truth in my jest. Football might not be so important in the grand scheme of things, but a forum where people think critically about a subject and formulate an explanation for why they think a certain outcome should be expected is maybe what we could use more of in our pursuit of an open society. It forces one to acknowledge one’s errors and, more importantly, creates an environment where error-correction can flourish. Rather than being a solitary degenerate continually making the same mistakes and being slow to see them and correct for them, here we all can benefit from both the wisdom and, just as importantly, the mistakes of each other.
    Moreover, cheddar bay fosters in most a healthy dose of humility. In my experience there is much value in learning how to lose (so very much losing) and the humility it fosters just may be the seed that sprouts true wisdom. In my view the world could be a lot better place if people actually made more predictions, but were far better in assigning confidence levels to said predictions–i.e., essay picks–and suffering the glorious humiliation of discovering how much you don’t know. In evaluating the relatively simple dynamics of a football game you are lucky as hell to be right 60% of the time and it would be near impossible to sustain such success. Just imagine if in other, far more complicated, areas of your life you are wrong 40% of the time. If everyone expressed their opinions with this understanding in mind I dare say the world would look far more healthy today. There are oh so many problems in this world–and in my opinion always will be–but there are few things that would improve our collective situation more than promoting error-correction, people being more accountable for their predictions, and an acknowledgement of our own fallibility. All are exemplified in this seemingly silly football voting contest that has brought me so much fulfillment over the years. I’m so thankful to Frowns for creating this beautifully weird online community and to Mike for keeping the lights on for so many years. (This almost went another thousand or so words praising bloggers like these guys for rescuing us all from traditional media gate-keepers like Tony Grossi–god love him–but I figured I carried on enough already.)
    I grew up going to Ohio St games. I would say I’ve probably been to two or three dozens over the years. I’ve always loved the buckeyes and always will, but I just don’t see it tonight. The defense is great and it’s very silly to wager against Urban in a bowl game. The offense has a lot of nice pieces but the sum never seems to be greater than its parts. While I believe they are capable of opening it up and being a very dangerous team, more often than not the offense hasn’t been anywhere near where it should be. I can’t think of another qb in the country I would rather have down four with two minutes to play than Deshaun Watson. I’ll ride with him tonight and next week as well.

    Clemson +3

    • zarathustra

      Whoops….almost forgot.

      https://youtu.be/l4tuGNyHwIE

    • Zara, this essay alone would make the entire Cleveland Frowns effort worth it, let alone the Cheddar Bay efforts, if nothing else did. Another great thing is that I could say this about any of a number of other essays, or even off-hand one-liners made in this thread on the regular (even some from Acto, I must admit). But this is an especially great one. THANKS, brother. So great in fact that while I’d been planning to take the Buckeyes all week on a “Go Bucks and maybe I can pass Agnes in the standings” theory, you’ve got me thinking that as great as Urban is, he can’t win it every year, and probably especially not years right after half his roster gets picked in the NFL draft. Clemson, on the other hand, returned more than half its starters from last year’s team that had Alabama on the ropes. One of the great things about the college football playoff is that it will let us see great players like Deshaun Watson make return trips. Urban is the greatest, in my opinion, for the greatest reasons (including that he himself has recognized the importance in remembering that you can’t win every championship). http://603brown.com/2016/09/14/wk-3-osu-1-5-at-okla/#comment-2902384418 But it’s no fun if he and Saban are the only great ones. Wouldn’t mind at all to see Dabo join this club. Does everyone know that his mom used to live with him in his college dorm because it was good and cheap housing? https://www.yahoo.com/news/dabo-swinney-lived-with-his-mom-in-college-at-alabama-and-it-made-them-closer-210133548-ncaaf.html

      So Clemson for my last vote of the week of the year and I will definitely be back next year, but not after I troll the playoff comment threads here well and good. Looking forward to the playoff run. Congrats to the contenders and thanks to everyone for their efforts this year, especially the Grand Master Mike B.

      Happy new year, everyone!

      • And the Cleveland Freaking Browns for my final Cheddar Bay vote of the 2016 season.

        • Petefranklin

          They almost blew it, but managed to pull it out in the end. What a team.

  • bama, osu

  • trashycamaro

    washington +14
    Clemson +3
    texans +3
    essay: packers -3 no essay essay – this is the week i learned ear infections aren’t just for children
    giants +8
    cowboys +4

  • bupalos

    All is lost for poor Bupalos here, so it’s pure virtue picks. College-wise, going with the straight big-10 ticket minus the smelly Wolverines (for obvious reasons including but not limited to the fact that they already lost) and plus Washington, as like a rebels-vs-the-death-star thing, and for the 3-pointer lets hook up the Packers. This later acquires it’s virtue (for those who don’t know) from Green Bay’s status as the only civic-owned franchise, but I’m also taking them on the theory that since the Brownies pulled off that miracle win to leave the Lions as sole-possessors of the suckiest ever title, Detroit has remembered who they are and always must be. Hope everyone has a great 2017.

    OSU
    Iowa
    Wisc
    PSU
    Wash
    PACKERS***

  • pateslvrblk

    Clemson+3

  • pateslvrblk

    Raiders +1
    Bucs -5.5
    Colts -4.5
    USC -7
    POTY Oklahoma-3

    The Oklahoma Sooners are determined to prove they’re one of the nation’s elite teams. The Sooner’s rank third in the country in points scored, and rank in the top 20 in both passing and rushing yards. Both Mayfield and Westbrook are Heisman finalists and Mixon and Perine are a two-headed backfield monster that no team can stop. Auburn has no passing game to speak of, rotating three different quarterbacks throughout the course of a game, and none of them having had a lot of success this season.
    Oklahoma’s offensive weaponry likely will be too much for Auburn to counter. Even if the Tigers limit the Sooners’ opportunities, it’s difficult to imagine Auburn scoring enough points to win this game.

    • pateslvrblk

      Clemson for the all-play.

  • Nick

    Louisville +3 vs LSU
    Clemson +3 vs OSU
    Iowa +3 vs Florida
    Seattle -10 vs 49ers
    Clowns +5.5 vs Squeelers***ESSAY
    Eagles -4 vs Cowboys
    Some really nice AtoZ pods to end the year. Screw #1 draft picks, I don’t want to be on the side of Bill Barnwell and let’s see the Browns win one in Pittsburgh. Who gives a shit if it’s backups, having those fans walk out of that stadium tomorrow with a L is not meaningless. And while I agree with Zac that these are professionals, and this is a business; I agree more with Andre that tanking for the sake of tanking has rarely proved to be a successful proposition. And I might as well end this season with another failed wager on the clowns. Hopefully next year, they cover more than 3 games and I do better in this contest. Good luck to all the people fighting for playoff spots and thanks Mike for hosting another year of Cheddar Bay.

  • Washington +14 vs. Oklahoma **Essay**
    Balto saved his time of dogs and musher by persevering through near whiteout conditions. Doing not one, but two critical and brutal legs of the Iditarod trail. Balto was a Husky. Not unlike this canine hero, the Washington Huskies will have traveling a far distance, and likely into Crimsoned-out conditions. They will also persevere.
    This is a second chance not afforded by most after their loss to USC, and Washington will not be taking this for granted. Alabama doesn’t face the likes of PAC-12 teams often, and certainly not quarterbacks like Jake Browning. My most winningest hypothesis this year is that (good) crazy coaches beat the spread. I think in terms of taking this game as gravely seriously as possible, and in preparation, Peterson takes it. Washington has the potential to create some major turnovers and really put a hurt on Alabama’s habit of running up the scoreboard. Also – clearly the media and public are predicting a blowout. I’m not saying that Washington is going to win, thought I’d love to see it, I’m saying they’re going to cover.
    “I’m beginning to see there isn’t anything you can’t do” -Balto (As voiced by Kevin Bacon)

    AP: Clemson +3 vs. OSU
    Louisville +3 vs. LSU
    Bears +5 vs. Vikings
    USC -7 vs. Penn State
    Auburn +3 vs. Oklahoma

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Just learned Balto ended his amazing existence in Cleveland. He was a very vocal old beast, as I am told. Who the hell is Kevin Bacon?

  • Matt Lawrence

    OSU -3 (AP) – Pure emotion pick here. If i was wise, and really had a shot at the playoffs, I would take Clemson here.

    ***Alabama -14***
    Going with my gut on this pick. I have watched both Alabama and Washington play this year, and they don’t belong on the same field together. In fact, I don’t really think Washington belongs in the playoff. They have played one decent opponent all year, and they lost (USC). What they did to Colorado in the Pac-12 championship game means nothing to me. Colorado just got routed by Oklahoma St in their bowl game. Penn State should have jumped Washington for the fourth playoff spot. I thought this line would end up at 17, and I would have essayed it there as well.

  • FTCMikeD

    UW +14 over Bama
    W. Mich +7.5 over Bucky Badger
    PSU +7 over USC
    REDSKINS +8 over Giants
    Packers -3 over LIONS

    I’m nervous for the Buckeyes this evening. Their offense has not looked good since early October. I’m not sure if that is inexperience, or JT trying to do too much, or Curtis Samuel being double teamed etc. The Buckeyes have been getting through on the strength of their defense and a few lucky breaks. I expect this to be a close game, with the excellent Clemson Offense squaring off an excellent Buckeye Defense. It should be a low scoring affair, and Clemson keeps it within the spread, although I am hoping for a Buckeye win.

  • TS_Butler

    ok st (W)
    bama -14
    clemson +3 all play

  • mich

  • Lucy Lawrence

    1. Baylor W
    2. Northwestern W
    Essay:Michigan -7
    In big matchups like Michigan/FSU I tend to side with the better coach. I know ‘ole Jimmy is half crazy but he is a damn good coach. I haven’t been impressed with FSU all year and I really cant stand Jimbo. Jim has had weeks to scout and prepare his team for a big win. My biggest fear is that Michigan will come out a lay an egg but I then I think back to coaching and preparation and my fear goes away. I think that Michigan defense will stuff Cook making the game a nightmare for Francois. I think Michigan is out to prove why they deserved a shot at the title. Being an OSU alum it is hard for me to cheer on Michigan but I support the big team and need my first cheddar playoff birth!!

    • Lucy Lawrence

      4. All Play : Clemson

  • pheasantpants

    Noles +7
    AP Buckeyes -3
    Louisville +3
    Lions +3
    Bama -14
    Gators -3

  • Hawkaholic

    Bills -3 Jets suck
    Iowa +3 Hawks snap a 5 game bowl skid
    Packers -3 Rodgers gets it done
    Oklahoma -3 Big game Bob doesn’t need Mixon. Perine for the game winner
    AP: OSU -3 Big Ten, Better coach
    Essay:

    The grand daddy of them all. Still my favorite bowl game of the year even if the Stanford marching band are assholes and Christian McCaffrwy made my beloved Hawkeyes look like the sisters of the blind last year. This Rose Bowl pits a Rose Bowl regular USC (34th appearance, most all time) who is arguably the hottest team in the country winning 8 straight against the Big Ten champion Nittany Lions. While many will argue OSU and Michigan are better teams, and I might agree Penn State has something to prove in this game and I think they will be motivated to go out and prove to the world they belonged in the playoffs. Penn State is capable of big things and winning big time games a la Ohio State and of course the dismantling of Iowa. Barkley is a hell of a back and should prove for a fun matchup against USC’s talented defense. On paper this seems like a pretty evenly matched game with solid QB play. 7 points seems like a lot to me in this game and in the end Penn State covers and I believe win outright. In my mind more to prove to the world and need a marquee win.

    Go Hawks

    Thanks to the commish for running this league, I’ve had a blast in my first year.

    • congrats on a great first year. by my count, it’s down to four to win the regular season and you’re one of them ( w butler, fine and grr).

  • Dave Borcas

    And the rest……
    Oklahoma -3
    Florida -3
    Cowboys +4
    Ohio State -3 (all play) I’m going to Tampa next weekend and want to see the Bucks!
    The last time I remember Washington being relevant, Sonny Sixkiller was the QB. This game is being portrayed as lopsided as David v Goliath. Well if Chris Peterson is David, the results could be surprising to most. Peterson has proven over the years to be a very good bowl coach who always has a few surprises up his sleeve. Alabama is a team that has been susceptible to the pasting game and a team that has flourished off of turnovers. It just so happens that Washington is very good at protecting the ball and skillful in the passing game. Washington will have a hard time running the ball, but will need to be valiant to keep that Baja DL from teeing off. Bama has not done a good job throwing the ball downfield all season. IF the huskies can control the Baja running game and force the pass this game will be really interesting. Go Huskies!

  • Dave Borcas

    NC +3 in a preview of the Browns new leader

  • TCU

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Michigan
    Unc

    • Harbaugh Handshakes

      Washington +14
      Ohio state -3
      Lions +3
      Penn st +7

      This is a pick from my gut. Penn st has a huge chip on their shoulder. They want to prove they belong in the playoffs. This is critical to recruitment and keeping the momentum. Franklin will have them ready. Congrats to those who made the playoffs.

  • Chris P.

    OK.. it’s Lobsterfest or bust here.

    Packers +3
    Penn State +7
    Florida -3
    Georgia Tech -3
    Ohio State -3

    It feels too obvious. Michigan seems MUCH better than the Seminoles. They seem like they have the better coach, although that’s debatable. They certainly have the crazier coach.

    But they have to think they are better than the third team out of the B1G. They have to be disappointed to be behind a team they beat by like a million, and a team they felt like they got screwed against in a bowl game.

    A New Years Day Big 6 bowl feels like it should be an amazing achievement for anyone else, but I can’t help but think it’s a de-motivator for the Wolverines.

    The Seminoles can’t feel much better about this. They’re a few years away from winning it all, then starting a season #1. Then this year, they get pounded by Louisville and lose a couple heartbreakers against Clemson and the Tar Heels.

    But take away that Louisville game, and you’ve got a team that crushed a good USF team, crushed their archrivals in a resurgent Gator team, and lost a heartbreaker to the ACC champion and #2 team in the nation.

    Since the Penn State thrashing, Michigan has consistently destroyed shitty teams and squeaked by good ones.

    I can’t see a touchdown line for what’s darn close to a home game for a talented Seminole team that should see the Orange Bowl as a pseudo-home game. Michigan as a favorite? Okay. Michigan as a touchdown favorite? Not even close. Add the laypeople riding Michigan heavy and it sure feels like a line too high.

    Florida State +7 Michigan

    • i reckon lobsterfest puts you at the number which again is 79.
      i was looking at this year’s stats and they are down a bit and 78 could make it,, but it still looks to me like 79 is the number.
      good luck!

  • TS_Butler

    Ok st for 1 cheddar

  • GRRustlers

    Week 18 Picks

    Michigan (-7) over FSU – Give that crazy man 5 weeks to prepare and I think he finds a way to win big Friday night.

    Washington (+14) over Alabama – This Colorado fan here tried to tell everyone that USC was the best team I saw this year. Along came the PAC12 title game. Washington is really really good and I think we have all time ESPN Classic material here.

    Wisconsin (-7.5) over WMU – I’m sure Colorado and Oklahoma State are thrilled to play in a lesser bowl for the cute little story of WMU. I hope your boat capsizes.

    Lions (+3) over Packers – Only because all of Earth is on Green Bay.

    AP – OSU (-3) over Clemson – I’ll take the better coach and I am convinced something is wrong with Watson.

    Essay Pick

    Really hard to be on an NFL game in Week 17. The key is to find a game where one team is playing for everything and actually has a reason to play guys. I think I found an easy one on Sunday. Give me the highest scoring offense in the NFL knowing that all they need is one win to earn a week off and get ready for the playoffs. In what has been a crazy year in which Cleveland wins a championship and the Cubs and Indians actually met in a World Series…maybe it’s time for the Falcons to shake their demons. Matt Ryan and Atlanta score early and often and the Falcons win big again vs a Saints team they put up 45 on earlier this year.

    Falcons (-6.5) over Saints

  • Jmacdaddio

    Oklahoma St+3
    Stanford -3
    Tennessee -6.5 (Essay)
    Georgia +PK
    Clemson +3
    Chiefs -5.5

    I received a tip, that perhaps this is a good week to avoid NFL picks at all costs. Meaningless bowl games are usually more meaningful than meaningless NFL games. And sice I’m playoff eligible about ten weeks after I usually crash, this is a meaningful week. This week’s essay pick is Tennessee. They have essentially a home game in the prestigious Music City Bowl. It’ll be a lot easier for Vols alums to drop $60 on a seat considering there shouldn’t be air travel involved. The Huskers seem to have been running out of gas as the season wore on, on the wrong side of a blowout vs. Ohio St. and just not showing up against Iowa. Tennessee put up some points against decent teams. I’m thinking the Nebraska program just wants to show up, enjoy the atmosphere, and go home.

  • Troy Bunting

    Essay Pick
    Michigan -7

    Michigan is gonna play this game with a “chip on our shoulder” mentality and go HAM on a talented, but lazy and underachieving FSU team. FSU has sputtered around most of the year and is a typical, me-me rah rah undisciplined team. Michigan has all the talent plus the discipline and Harbaugh has been wearing extra tight dockers and thinking some tricky shit up to use during the game. I think Michigan gets up on FSU quick and doesn’t slow down.

  • Louisville +3. Lamar gonna put on a showwwwww

    Dolphins +10.

    Clemson +3. I think we are heading for a CFB Championship rematch. Though I’m not as long on Deshaun Watson as all the other scouts seem to be.

  • ChuckKoz

    Giants +8
    Cardinals -6
    Colorado -3
    Michigan -7
    AP: OSU -3
    Essay: Steelers -5.5
    I know it is widely expected the Steelers will lay down with little to play for, but I really don’t know if that fits with how the Steelers do business. Sure, Big Ben may sit, but Landry Jones played this year and put up nearly 300 yards against the fricking Patriots. Meanwhile, Browns still suck. They just cut Jonathan Cooper for reasons unknown, who was actually playing fine and helping the line. And I doubt we will see as much effort from Haden and others with the monkey off the back. Oh, and the Browns still have that POS owner and those garbage uniforms.
    Steelers 24, Browns 9

  • CLEinMSP

    South Carolina +10
    Arkansas +7

    • CLEinMSP

      Ohio State -3 (All Play)

      • CLEinMSP

        Broncos -1
        Packers -3
        Seahawks -10 (Essay, POTY)

        The Seahawks get the 2 seed if they beat the 9ers and the Falcons lose or tie the Saints. These games both kickoff late in the afternoon at the same time, so the Seahawks will have their foot on the gas pedal to try and destroy the 9ers. The Seahawks are also coming off a loss, so couple that with the battle for playoff positioning, and I think you see a very motivated football team. Bottom line is the Seahawks have to win and do some scoreboard watching. If you are the Seahawks, a terrible team like the 9ers is just what the doctor ordered in this situation. My guess is the Falcons/Saints game will still be “in doubt” late in the 3rd quarter, so I don’t think Pete Carroll will let up.

        • Petefranklin

          You know better than to lay your cheddar life on laying 10 in the NFL. Ouch.

  • zarathustra

    I’ll take the 2017 SEC East champs today +10 please.

    • zarathustra

      I’ll take the Noles and the points tomorrow as well.

  • Brian

    Chiefs -5.5 playing for division and possible first round bye against an injured charger team
    Cardinals -6 playing the rams
    Packers-3 they are starting to look scary good and playoff ready
    Michigan -7 Florida state doesn’t impress me
    Clemson +3 J.T. Barrett just isn’t that good
    North Carolina +3 ***Essay*** without the essay

  • PJD19

    I’ll take Indiana for one tonight and will add it to the form when I fill it out later with the balance of my picks, thx.

  • jdoepke

    West Virginia +3
    Indiana +5.5
    Kansas St +3.5
    Clemson +3 (AP)

    NFL and Essay coming later in the week

    • jdoepke

      Adding the Lions +3 as my NFL play. POTY coming later

      • jdoepke

        POTY ALERT:
        Here we go Cheddar Heads. It’s come down to this. It’s only fitting that I’m using my POTY in the last college game available in the regular season. Truth is I wanted to use this for NW earlier this week but was easily distracted of the time with beer and Top Golf so here I am. It’s use it or lose it and I’m using it as my final push to make the Cheddar Playoffs.

        Auburn +3
        A lot of factors went into this decision. Bob Stoops in a big game. SEC vs Big 12. But the biggest factors for me have always been, and shall remain what Vegas says. Vegas says that Oklahoma opened as a 5.5 to 6 point favorite depending on where you look. The line now sits at 3.What is driving it down? I think the smart money as nearly 70% of the public is backing Oklahoma and I have to trust the process here and fade the public. 70% is a big number, yet the line is dropping and about 2/3 of the money are backing Auburn. Historically when numbers like that align and the line is dropping it means the right side is the dog with the sharp money behind it. I expect Auburn to run the ball and control the clock keeping Oklahoma’s offense in check. I also expect an SEC defense to be a different kind of challenge for the Big 12 champs and look forward to seeing some turnovers from Mayfield. Auburn has their QB back so I expect some points in this one. I’ll call Auburn outright 33-31.

  • riding the lightning today:

    WVU +2.5. Dogs? C’MONNNN. This is a good squad.

    $$$ KSU +2.5 $$$
    A&M has barely had a pulse for the past six weeks-racking up four losses and barely squeaking by UT San Antonio. They can’t possibly be excited about this game, or the fact that they actually have to play it-that’s aside from the fact that they were never as good as people thought when they climbed all the way up to #2 in the country at the midway point of the season. I love the dynamic athleticism in Jesse Ertz and I feel like this spread is a continued result of SEC bias and the game being in Houston as opposed to anything else. Can we talk about Trevor Knight for a second, who A&M fans are ecstatic to have back? He has completed more than 60% of his passes in exactly ONE game this season, against New Mexico State. Dual threat, nah. Running threat, yes.

    Counting on clock management-the Cats loveeee to control the football and the ground game, and the KSU defense will force him to beat them with his arm…which has me kind of excited. Snyder always has the boys ready to play,

  • West Virginia is for voters. Mountaineers for one, please. As an aside, one of my friends who lived down the hall from me in my freshman dorm in college was from West Virginia and we drove from NYC to Milan Puskar Stadium in October of 1996 when #12-ranked West Virginia was leading #25-ranked Miami 6-3 with 30 seconds left when Miami blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown for a 10-7 win and cover at +2.5. I had voted on WV in that game so I am due here. Ha ha.

  • CLEVTA

    1. NW +5.5 (essay): I don’t understand this line at all. There’s no reason Pitt should be favored by more than 3 if at all. Pitt can definitely score but they are a horrendous defensive team. As witnessed by them allowing 61 to Syracuse in their final regular season game and 51 earlier to Miami. They are ranked 94th in def yds/play and 95th in Football Outsiders FEI defensive ratings. In fact Mississippi St and Georgia Tech are the only other worst ranked team on d amongst power 5 bowl teams. Northwestern meanwhile is ranked a respectable 44th in those same defensive rankings and 34th in yds/play defense. NW is battle tested beating Iowa on the road and taking OSU down to the wire on the road. Further, Pitt is an excellent underdog to back but as favorites they are a meager 2-5 ats. NW is 3-2 as an underdog this year. I think this will be a high scoring game but NW is good enough and scrappy enough to keep up and slow down the Panthers while able to match points enough to win outright

    • CLEVTA

      2. Va Tech -7

      • CLEVTA

        3. TCU Pk

        • CLEVTA

          4. Osu -3

          • CLEVTA

            5. Skins -8

          • CLEVTA

            6. Auburn

  • cwonder23

    KSU +3.5 for one Cheddar point please.

    • cwonder23

      Assuming the Pitt line is 5.5, I’ll also take NW +5.5

      • cwonder23

        Given the uncertainty with which line carries, please go ahead and pull this one for me. Thanks.

        • the color jpg are the locked lines for tues AND wednesday.

          • cwonder23

            Ok, leave me on NW and pull the KSU pick. Sorry, I should have looked closer. U may want to clarify for people below too.

          • cwonder23

            Alright…KSU +2.5

          • cwonder23

            Arkansas +7

          • cwonder23

            Tennessee-6.5

          • cwonder23

            All Play: Clemson +3

          • cwonder23

            Essay: Packers -3

            Two teams going in different directions with each a good QB. I’ll take Aaron Rodgers. I know that this game is in Detroit but people are going to be hungover and tired and Rodgers will take advantage. The Packers clearly have figured stuff out recently and I think they make the playoffs. Packers 28 – Lions 13

            Mike, thanks so much for commissioning another year. Cheddar Bay is great and you continually make changes that we all like. Like I always say, I hope you take more “grease” next year!

  • zarathustra

    I’ll take Pitt and the Canes today.

  • LittleBallofHate

    One biscuit on Pitt -4 please

    • pitt is -5.5.

      • LittleBallofHate

        OK, will still take Pitt

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Northwestern +5.5

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Indiana+7

      • actovegin1armstrong

        The Ohio State University -3 AP

        • actovegin1armstrong

          K State +2.5
          WVU +2.5

          • actovegin1armstrong

            ****Our -Kansas + 7****
            We Don’t Need No Stinking Essay

          • actovegin1armstrong

            The MB, is my lack of an NFL game alright?

          • No, you need to vote on an NFL game, Sir.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            I still love you Frownie

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Please dismiss my Kansas State vote MB

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Please appease Frownie and make the Pittsburgh Steelers my NFL vote. please dismiss Kansas State.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            ****Arkansas****

  • Baylor +7.5 for one buttery cheddar bay biscuit.

    • Feeling even better about this pick after realizing Motel 6 is the sponsor.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        DW, you are correct sir! Missed that vote by 45 minutes.

  • thatsfine

    Chiming in with the usual suspects for early voting. I’m using my essay skip this week, but I still want to send a shout out and big thanks to the executive committee and Mike B. for running the show again this year. One part of the site that doesn’t get complimented often enough, if ever, is the often superb choice of images for the all play. Such as last week’s picture of the Tomlin trip for Ravens/Steelers or the Otis-Dierdorf mashup a few weeks back for OSU/Michigan. Your Sir, bring your A-game just about every week. And as they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.

    Wake Forest +12.5
    Minnesota +10.5 Essay skip week
    Baylor +7.5

    • thatsfine

      Northwestern +5.5

      • thatsfine

        Lions +3

    • actovegin1armstrong

      The greatest movie ever!

  • The form is up and ready. I’ll enter the picks already in thread.

  • Lucy Lawrence

    Baylor +7.5

    • Lucy Lawrence

      2. Northwestern +4

      • nu is +5.5 ( i assume that only helps?)

        • Lucy Lawrence

          Yes I’ll keep it thanks.

  • zizzer13

    I’ll join in with the North Texas bandwagon plus the points for one Cheddar…

    • zizzer13

      Closing out my inaugural Cheddar season with the following…

      North Carolina +3 over Stanford – Stanford without McCaffery is pretty awful.
      Louisville +3 over LSU – Lamar is good; LSU without Fournette is not.
      Ohio State -3 over Clemson (All Play) – my least confident pick of the week. Worried about OSU’s offense. OSU wins, just not sure it’s by more than a field goal.
      Wisconsin -7.5 over Western Michigan – This line is way too low. Western isn’t going to keep this within two touchdowns.

      Essay: Pittsburgh -5.5 over Cleveland
      I know the prevailing thought is that Pittsburgh is going to lay down for this one, holding out their big three, but too much of the focus is on the Steelers and not enough on who they’re playing. Christmas Eve was Cleveland’s Super Bowl; the reaction in the locker room was of a team that’s just so happy to have the monkey off its back. That win over the Chargers was everything they were working for this season. I fully expect with the weight of the losing streak off their back, that young team is going to take its foot off the pedal and ease up. Won’t matter who Pittsburgh puts out there, they’ll still beat a Browns team that’s accomplished everything they wanted this season.

  • HitTheHorns

    North Texas
    Boise St
    Golden Gophers
    Temple
    Ohio St
    Lions essay

  • Capitalgg

    I’m in Agnes’s club in that I’m desperate to get over the line after my essay blew a 10.5 point 4th quarter lead. So I’m riding a pretty big underdog in the earliest game this week.

    North Texas had several things going for them in the Heart of Dallas bowl. The most obvious is the game is being played at the Texas State Fairgrounds, a measly 48 minute drive from Denton.

    Then there is the trend of APR-eligible bootleg teams winning outright. In 2015, 3 teams qualified by APR and won outright. This year, Mississippi St qualified did so and had won, while Hawaii qualified at 6-7 and also won.

    Lastly, if the regular season matters, then North Texas winning head-to-head should at least be an indicator of something. In the rematch scenario, I typically lean towards the team that most the previous match-up, but how often are they a double- digit favorite? Gotta be closer than 2 TDs.

    So for a game I will see none of because I’ll be at work, let’s lock in North Texas +11.5 and someone figure out how to get me Zaxby’s for lunch in Central Ohio.

    • is this intended to be essay pick?

    • Capitalgg

      [All-play] Ohio St -3 v. Clemson: Hate having to pick this game because I wouldn’t go the other way even if I analyzed it at all.
      1. Arkansas +7 v. Virginia Tech: Bert is 2-0 in bowls at Arky winning big both times.

      • Capitalgg

        2. Dolphins +10 @ Patriots: I think the Pats play to shorten the game and Miami is still battling for a possible 5 seed.

      • Capitalgg

        Gonna need a miracle now, especially after Bert’s team’s collapse Thursday night. And I hate to root against my good friend @CLEinMSP:disqus, so I’ll throw somethings at the wall and hope I can steal a backdoor weekly.

        3. Oklahoma -3 v. Auburn: Betting against the SEC has been pretty decent business so far this bowl season and I really do like this Sooner team. Maybe it’s the OSU homer in me inflating the W over them earlier, but I think it’s a talented bunch.
        4. USC -7 v. Penn St.: And I still believe Penn St. is a bit fraudulent even though they were playing well down the stretch and came back to win the B1G title. SC was possibly the best team in the country not named Alabama in November.

  • agnesbojaxhiu

    Essay: North Texas +11.5
    This is the last week of football fun of the season for me unless a few miracles occur. The most important move of the week is securing an essay win and what better team on which to risk everything than North Texas. I am writing this at work at 2:30 in the morning because I may be asleep when the game actually starts. Why North Texas over Army? Well both teams had very exciting journeys to bowl eligibility. Army only got in because it beat Navy and it only beat them because Navy had no QB. North Texas was one of two 5-7 teams granted a bowl appearance because if its high APR. Academic Progress Rate (not annual percentage rate) is an attempt to monitor schools on their success of graduating their student atheletes. A score of 930 = 50% graduation rate. Among the FBS schools North Texas was 10th in APR and thus a top pick for a bowl game after fewer than 80 teams attained 6 wins/.500 records. (I know what you may be thinking, Army would have gotten in even if they hadn’t beat Navy because their APR is even better than NT but this is my essay and I will use the facts that fit my purpose as I see fit). There is a lot to like about the Mean Green Football team. They already beat Army earlier this season and their home stadium is the first to attain LEED status as it is powered by windmills (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Their best player, running back Jeffery Wilson, is back from injury and has 13 TD under his belt this year. Most importantly, ESPN ranked this game as the 41st least entertaining bowl game to watch out of 41 possible games. It seems like a challenge to me.

    Other early votes: Temple and West Virginia

    Other votes without lines because I like to only have one posting in the comment section and I am guessing on the all play
    Colorado
    Clemson
    Chiefs

    • actovegin1armstrong

      “You’ll learn from faculty members who are experienced fashion designers, jurors of exhibitions and active members of professional organizations. You’ll also have access to the Texas Fashion Collection, which contains 18,000 garments and accessories from the 19th and 20th centuries. The director, who is also a faculty member, is a nationally recognized expert on fashion design and history.
      Our alumni are employed in design positions with prestigious companies such as Fossil, the Haggar Clothing Co., Nicole Miller, Ralph Lauren, Zac Posen, Dillard’s and Calvin Klein.”
      Brilliant, artsy, fashion, alterna-chicks made North Texas famous. Decades ago I never missed a race anywhere near North Texas, where even a Herman Munster looking brute like me can make friendly acquaintance with a vivacious Alterna-chick. I should have voted for North Texas.