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2013 JTG BOWL SEASON HEADQUARTERS

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On 12/18/2013 10:49 PM in NCAA Football
It's that time of year once again! Welcome one and all to the 4th annual 2013 JTG College Football Bowl Season Headquarters! Now if most of you have followed me during the regular season, you certainly know I am coming off my most successful and profitable season where I crushed the books by hitting a whopping 79% of my best bets during the regular season. While most do point out that I am not scared of playing the heavy favorites, there is no rhyme nor reason given the strength of my selections whether they be chalk or dogs during any given week.

Back in 2010 I hit for just under 70% based on all bowl selections which consist of sides ranked by number of 'gyros' risked, with each game representing a totals lean usually one unit unless otherwise noted. While 2011 showed a little but of a decline to 67% and 2012 which was even more challenging at 63%, I still made some significant profits above the objective goal which is well above 60% during the regular and bowl season. I hope and make my solemn promise to my fellow cappers out there that every season the objective is to improve. So that being said I am looking to eclipse last season's 43-25-2 mark with a more determined showing.

This season the bowl campaign opens up a bit later than usual. Saturday December 21st kicks things off in College Football with 4 bowl games in all.

New Mexico Bowl: Washington St (6-6) vs. Colorado St (7-6)
Las Vegas Bowl: (21) Fresno St (11-1) vs. USC (9-4)
Idaho Potato Bowl: Buffalo (8-4) vs. San Diego St (7-5)
New Orleans Bowl: Tulane (7-5) vs. Louisiana Lafayette (7-5)


I will have all four write-ups and plays up sometime Thursday evening. Best of luck to all and let's all make some holiday green!

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12/19/2013 11:56 PM
New Mexico Bowl
Washington St vs. Colorado St.
This will be the first ever meeting between the Washington St Cougars (6-6) from the Pac 12 and the Colorado St Rams (7-6) of the Mountain West. The Rams haven't been to a bowl game since 2008 and the Cougars haven't seen the postseason in a decade. The matchup however does kick off the first in 35 as one that's pretty challenging among the ranks of comparative styles.

The Cougs feature Connor Halliday (412/656 4187 28 TD 21 INT) who of course should not be confused with the recently retired Roy 'Doc'. It's been a roller coaster ride for Halliday, as evident by Washington State losing 4 of it's final 6. WSU ended the 2013 campaign losing to their interstate rivals 27-17, however behind Halliday sport the nation's 4th ranked passing attack which could create problems for Colorado St, who is just 109th in the country in overall pass defense. He's a formidable quarterback who isn't afraid to fit the ball into tight spaces, and he's going to be the main source of offense for the Cougars. Of course it helps when you have leading receiver Gabe Marks (69-770 6 TD) as part of a trio that can help move the ball downfield gaining bunches of yards in successful drives. Don Williams (39-644 7 TD) is another deep threat that led the team in TD catches, and Vince Mayle (40-501 6 TD) possesses speed out of the flat to turn short options into considerable gains. Good thing too since the Cougars don't rely too much on their ground game perhaps presenting a one-dimensional situation. Marcus Mason (83-424 5.1 2 TD) received the bulk of the touches but failed to tally 100 yards at all in any given contest. The Cougars run the ball only an average of about 25-30% of the time. The Rams have a top pass-rush threat in senior right defensive end Shaquil Barrett (12 sacks). However, Halliday has been difficult to bring down. Opponents have just 19 sacks against Washington State this season.

For the Rams, Garrett Grayson (266/428 3327 21 TD 10 INT) comes off a 395 yard 3 TD signature performance in a 58-13 ambush of Air Force in their final game of the regular season. Rashard Higgins (64-795 6 TD) thrives on matchup advantages against looming secondaries as evident against the Falcons. Higgins caught 7 passes for 127 yards and 2 scores proving to be a threat in the open field with blazing speed. Joe Hansley (48-557 1 TD) is used in shorter over the middle and corner route situations but still has big play ability to make an impact, and Crockett Gilmore (43-533 2 TD) relies on plenty of height and size becoming a viable third option in the receiving core. Because Colorado St likes to play more of a no huddle up tempo they have a distinct advantage in the ground game thanks to Kapri Bibbs (254-1572 6.2 28 TD) who gained 79 yards on just 16 carries (4.9) and ran for 2 scores against the Academy. Besides Bibbs leading the nation in scores, the Rams are the only team in the nation to boast a 3,000-yard passer and a 1,500-yard runner. In four games this season, the Rams' offense racked up 50 or more points which was a school record. Colorado State’s offense could cause some problems for a Washington State defense that hasn’t been strong against the run or the pass. The Cougars are 107th in passing yards allowed (262.6 ypg) and 81st in rushing yards given up (184.0 ypc). The Cougars have a standout defender in senior strong safety Deone Bucannon, who notched 109 tackles, intercepted 5 passes and earned first-team Pac-12 honors.

Both teams have explosive offenses, while both defenses are very weak which should lead to a game to easily eclipse the 70's. A glaring difference between the 2 QB's is that Grayson makes better decisions and far fewer mistakes than Halliday when it comes to efficiency and ball control. That will no doubt contribute to the final outcome especially since this game has shootout all over it. The Rams are good enough on the ground and through the air to keep most defenses guessing. I'll take a shot at the small dog to open the season in a toe to toe scoring spree that could either come down to which team has the ball last or perhaps special teams.

The pick: Colorado St +4 (2 gyros)
Totals lean: over 66


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12/20/2013 12:40 AM
Las Vegas Bowl
(21) Fresno St vs. USC
The Bulldogs (11-1) won their first outright conference championship since winning the Big West in 1989 by beating Utah State 24-17 in the inaugural Mountain West Conference title game Dec. 7. The main focus for Fresno St concentrates their big play ability in the passing game which ranks tops in the nation averaging nearly 410 yards per contest. USC (9-4) after experiencing a coaching carousel that resulted in Lane Kiffin's firing earlier this season weren't too shabby themselves gaining on average nearly 393 yards per contest good for 11th in the country. That propelled the Trojans to reel off 6 wins in their final 8 games making the transition at head coach rallying around Ed Orgeron, who eventually abruptly resigned after learning the team intends to hire Washington coach Steve Sarkisian.

We were more likely than not to see Fresno St crash the BCS party before giving away their chances in a 62-52 shootout loss at San Jose St the day after Thanksgiving. However that won't stop Derek Carr (424/605 4866 48 TD 7 INT) who is of course the younger brother of former #1 pick David. While his seasonal stats are far from misprints, the Bulldogs receiving core proves to be perhaps the most dangerous in the country. Davante Adams (122-1645 23 TD) racked up 678 receiving yards in his final 3 regular season contests while finding the end zone 8 times. Josh Harper (79-1011 13 TD) missed the Mountain West Championship with a strained groin but is likely to play Saturday. Isaiah Burse (94-987 5 TD) caught a season high 17 passes for 132 yards and a TD and could pose a challenge for USC's secondary. As far as the running game goes, the duo of Josh Quezeda (153-787 5.1 6 TD) and Marteze Walker (120-629 5.2 7 TD) have both been relatively efficient. USC's defense ranks 16th in the nation and could very well pose a test for Carr since they led the Pac 12 in yards allowed through the air (214.5).

Cody Kessler (214/331 2623 16 TD 6 INT) bounced back nicely after a slow start contributing to a modest and efficient passing attack virtually saving SC's season. Nelson Agholor (51-824 4 TD) however was held in check during their season finale defeat at the hands of UCLA. Marqise Lee (50-673 2 TD) missed 3 games due to injury but likely will prosper as a top pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Tre Madden (138-703 5.1 3 TD) barely led the team in rushing as the focus has shifted to Javorius Allen (108-699 6.5 12 TD) who gained 123 yards and scored a TD in a losing effort to the Bruins.

USC’s defensive front is packed full of NFL talent. Leonard Williams and George Uko create pressure from the interior while edge rushers such as Morgan Breslin and Devon Kennard suffocate the pocket. For Fresno State, it will be an interesting matchup and the most talented pass rushing unit that they have faced all season long. Carr put up video game-like numbers this season because of his ability to attack defenses with his deep passes.

Fresno State averaged 45.7 ppg and USC averaged 28.5 ppg. USC definitely played the tougher schedule, but you can’t deny the sufficient up tempo offense that Fresno State possesses.This one is going to be determined by the big play quick strike ability of Fresno's passing game against USC's at times brutalizing front seven and secondary if they are clicking on all cylinders. USC will try to slow the game down by capitalizing slower efficient drives with a mix of the pass and run, and at the same time looking for the defense to make plays. While closer than most may anticipate, it's just too appealing not to grab the TD the better team is getting.

The pick: Fresno St +6 (2 gyros)
Totals lean: over 63
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12/20/2013 11:24 PM
Idaho Potato Bowl
Buffalo vs. San Diego St
The Bulls (8-4) make their second ever bowl appearance tomorrow when they take to the blue turf to face San Diego St (7-5) at Bronco Stadium. Buffalo started off pretty sluggish losing their first 2 games of the season both on the road to Ohio St and Baylor by the combined score of 110-33. However a 7 game winning streak would follow needing to outlast Stony Brook in 5 overtimes before dropping 2 of their final 3. Like Buffalo, the Aztecs overcame a rocky start rebounding even further from losing their first 3 games to winning 7 of their last 9.

Buffalo QB Joe Licata (220/372 2628 21 TD 7 INT) showed plenty of poise and accuracy in an offense that prioritized the ground game this season. His best game unfortunately came in a 51-41 loss earlier this season to Toledo in which he threw for a franchise record 497 yards and 4 TD. Top target Alex Neutz (58-947 11 TD) caught 8 of those passes for 168 yards and 2 scores and Fred Lee (54-644 4 TD) gained 110 more with another score. However it was the Rockets running game that made the difference carving up the Bulls undersized and overmatched front seven for 323 rushing yards while yielding 4 TDs. Brandon Oliver (282-1421 5.0 15 TD) managed 102 yards and a score himself, however never really got as much of a chance to take part due to Toledo taking control early pitching a shutout at halftime holding on in the end. He had a streak of seven consecutive 100-yard games end in last month's loss to the Falcons, who held him to 46 yards on 18 carries (2.6).

A big part of the SDSU success can be attributed to the leadership of Quinn Kaehler (217/361 2796 17 TD 9 INT) who is similar in style and play-calling to Licata. Efficiency is defined as key for Kaehler given the fact he makes good decisions with the ball and spreading it out to top targets Ezell Ruffin (63-1061 3 TD) and Collin Lockett (49-696 5 TD). The Aztecs also have similar balance and production in the ground game led by Adam Muema (228-1015 4.5 12 TD) and Donnel Pumphrey (123-7550 6.1 8 TD). Muema however was limited to 57 yards over his final 2 games and may have tarnished his college career going forward after tweeting he plans to enter the NFL Draft this offseason. One key glaring comparison in this game is the turnover margin as Buffalo holds a decisive edge ranking 4th in the country against SDSU (118th).

Kaehler will have to protect the football for SDSU, but he will also have to adjust to Buffalo's 3-4 front. The San Diego St offensive line will try and create space for Muema and Pumphrey, but has also struggled this season to the extent of protecting Kaehler. OLB Khalil Mack, remains the best of the bunch. The MAC defensive player of the year, who had nine tackles, 2.5 sacks and a Pick-Six in a loss to Ohio State in September, has recorded 94 tackles (19 for loss), 10.5 sacks, 3 INT's and 5 FF's this year. Buffalo also boasts a top-10 red zone defense that has allowed opponents to score on just 72 percent of their trips. It all adds up to a terrible matchup for San Diego State, and with Buffalo used to and prevailing in cold weather, it could be a long day for the Aztecs.

The pick: Buffalo +2 (3 gyros)
Totals lean: over 50


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12/21/2013 12:21 AM
New Orleans Bowl
UL Lafayette vs. Tulane
The UL Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (8-4) are no strangers to the Superdome out of the Sun Belt Conference but will face the Tulane Green Wave (7-5) out of Conference USA. Tulane is more known for receiving host treatment evident by playing half of their games at the storied venue. Winning co-champion honors with Arkansas St, the Ragin' Cajuns are jazzing up their New Orleans Bowl helmets with a tribute to the late George Rodriguez. Tulane has lost 3 of their last 4 and hope to put forth a more promising performance coming off a 17-13 defeat to the hands of Rice.

While his name may not live up to the venue hype nor location, Terrence Broadway (154/247 2276 19 TD 10 INT) at times looked like he belonged right in the heart of it. However his status appears to be doubtful for Saturday after suffering a broken arm several weeks back against UL Monroe. That means the time could likely be split at the helm between Brooks Haack (21/35 224 1 TD 1 INT) and Jalen Nixon (4/10 94 1 TD 1 INT). Jamal Robinson (50-812 8 TD) is the Cajuns lone threat in the receiving core establishing great chemistry with Broadway this season. However ULL may be forced to provide protection for either QB by putting up solid numbers in the running game. Already missing Broadway as a solid option when calling his own number (117/421 3.6 8 TD), Alonzo Harris (186-868 4.7 13 TD) and Elijah McGuire (92-818 8.9 7 TD) are likely to carry the one dimensional bulk of the offense. Despite stumbling late in the season‚ Louisiana had the Sun Belt's most prolific scoring offense with 34.6 points per game. This pair of tailbacks show tremendous balance when on top of their game and were named to the All-Conference first team.

Tulane has endured plenty of shaky play under center. Nick Montana (153/288 1654 14 TD 9 INT) has taken the majority of the snaps, but has looked relatively inconsistent at times. Devin Powell (50/89 458 5 TD 4 INT) has also seen time‚ although he hasn't performed much better (56.2 percent completions‚ 458 yards‚ five TDs‚ four INTs). Despite the inconsistencies at the quarterback position‚ Ryan Grant has been able to shine at receiver‚ as he finished third in C-USA in both receptions (70) and yards (926)‚ while hauling in nine touchdowns. Justyn Shackleford (34 receptions‚ 356 yards‚ five TDs) has also been a solid target. As a whole‚ Tulane's rushing attack has been relatively average at best averaging about 130 yards per contest. Orleans Darkwa (172-780 4.5 9 TD) has had solid flashes in Tulane's victories, but their offense represents something of an identity crisis averaging around only 25 points per game and 305 total yards of offense.

The Cajuns have played stellar defense this season‚ allowing 26.9 points and 394.0 yards per game.Leading the unit is First Team All-Conference selection Justin Anderson at linebacker. Anderson made plays all over the field with 123 tackles‚ 10.0 TFL‚ three forced fumbles‚ two fumble recoveries and an interception. Dominique Tovell (64 tackles‚ 12.0 TFL) gets a strong push up front. Darius Barksdale and T.J. Worthy have each picked off two passes.

This one on paper and on the field could be a virtual coin flip especially if both teams struggle to sustain long and successive drives through the air. Tulane are no slouches against the run and allows just 21 points per contest against the Rajin Cajuns' offensive output of 35. Clearly not one of my favorite games to make a call on, so those of you who seek games with considerable wagering value might want to tread lightly or stay off of this one altogether.


The pick: UL Lafayette +2 (1 gyro)
Totals lean: over 48.5



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12/21/2013 06:22 PM
What a wild finish in Albuquerque! OUTRIGHT after trailing by as many as 22 in the first half!
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12/22/2013 11:30 PM
Beef O'Brady's Bowl
Ohio vs. East Carolina:
East Carolina (9-3) had an opportunity to end the season on a high note in the Conference USA Championship to improve on their overall bowl ranking. However Marshall spoiled their intentions with a 59-28 win sending the Pirates to Monday's Beef O'Brady's bowl where they will take on Ohio (7-5) out of the MAC from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Shane Carden (358/504 3866 32 TD 10 INT) leads the ECU offense that ranks 10th in the country scoring 40.4 points per contest and 6th in the nation in passing. Carden's top target is wide receiver Justin Hardy, fifth in the nation with 105 receptions for 1,218 yards and eight TDs. Carden's 6-2 220 frame makes it tough to bring him down as evident by his 10 rushing TD's. Isaiah Jones (54-556 5 TD) is a viable second option in the receiving core and the Pirates have plenty of depth in the running game with Vivarious Cooper (205-995 4.9 11 TD) who gains big yardage in bunches when it comes to productive drives. It will be a challenge to say the least for the Bobcats to contain Carden and company since the defense gives up nearly 28 points per contest.

Ohio sports a very talented QB of their own in Tyler Tettleton (209/331 2623 20 TD 9 INT). Top target Donte Foster (63-858 6 TD) got off to a productive first half of the season but has not scored a TD in 4 games. There is some balance with Chase Cochran (32-656 4 TD) and Matt Waters (32-446 3 TD), but the running game continues to be an issue. Beau Blankenship (183-844 4.6 5 TD) has been held to just 294 yards and 1 score in his last 4 games and Ryan Boykin (103-399 3.9 7 TD) has managed just 35 on the ground in his last 2.

Ohio is tied for 19th nationally with 34 sacks, but the constant no huddle up tempo pace by East Carolina may be too much to stop. Defending the run is the strength of the Pirates defense. The key for Ohio will be whether they can get their running game going setting up Tettleton to make plays. Ohio doesn't want to be involved in a shootout, so the more efficient their offense can produce as a slower pace, the longer they'll keep ECU's explosive offense off the field. East Carolina's run defense (117.5 YPG, 15th nationally) allows just 3.3 yards per carry and should do a good job against Blankenship. The pass defense (245.8 YPG, ranked 87th) allows a good amount of yards, but much of that is due to teams trying to keep pace with the Pirates' potent offense.

The Pirates are the much better team here on both sides of the ball. ECU holds a distinct advantage when it comes to speed and productivity, and Ohio won't have much of a chance especially if the Bobcats fall behind early. Look for Carden and Hardy to run rampant on overmatched Ohio in the indoor luxury of the Tropicana Field.

The pick: East Carolina -13.5 (bought half, 3 gyros)
totals lean: over 62.5







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12/24/2013 01:43 AM
To date:
Side plays 3-2 .600 +.5 gyro
Totals plays: 2-3 .400 -1.3 gyros
overall 5-5 .500 -.8 gyros

Hawaii Bowl
Oregon St vs. Boise St
It may be the only game going on when it comes to Christmas Eve. However it takes place from a destination where everyone looks to escape year round. This evening in the Aloha state, Oregon St (6-6) from the Pac-12 will take on Boise St (8-4) out of the Mountain West in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

Head coach Bryan Harsin however will not be coaching the Broncos despite hired for the now departed Chris Petersen who has since left for Washington University. As Harsin prepares for 2014, assistant Bob Gregory will be on the sidelines for tonight's matchup. Seems like Gregory wasted no time in making a roster move that could have an immediate impact on how the Broncos perform offensively. Starting QB Joe Southwick (151/208 1654 12 TD 5 INT) has been dismissed from the team after being accused of urinating off a balcony in Hawaii. Grant Hedrick (135/198 1443 15 TD 5 INT) is expected to get the start in the bowl but the offense should produce relatively effectively given the similarities in both QB styles. Boise has a nice balance in the receiving core led by Matt Miller (77-934 11 TD) who caught 9 passes for 121 yards and 3 scores in the Broncos 45-17 season finale win over New Mexico. However, Shane Williams Rhodes (77-702 6 TD) sat out that game due to an ankle injury and underwent minor surgery leaving his status unknown for Tuesday. If Rhodes can't go, Geraldo Bolewijn (37-510 2 TD) will become the #2 slot in the receiving game. Fortunately for Hedrick, Jay Ajayi (226-1328 5.9 17 TD) will take some of the pressure off the passing game. Ajayi carried for 147 yards on just 22 carries (6.7) and a score back on 11/30, his 6th such type game with at least 100 rushing yards.

Consistency has been a season long issue for Oregon St who has lost their last 5 games by an average of 16 points after winning 6 of their first 7. Sean Mannion (376-570 4403 36 TD 14 INT) and the Beavers offense put up a valiant effort against their interstate rivals only to fall by a point. Mannion threw for 314 yards and 2 scores against the Oregon Ducks and will be looking to end the 2013 campaign on a high note. Brandin Cooks (120-1670 15 TD) is deemed one of the fastest and most dangerous receivers in the nation but the passing offense must also get Richard Mullaney (49-736 3 TD) more involved as he has caught just 6 passes for 77 yards over his last 3 games. The ground game is one of Oregon State's weaknesses since they seldom utilize it in effective drives. However Terron Ward (104-467 4.5 4 TD) had his best game of the season gaining 145 yards on just 17 carries (8.5) despite being kept out of the end zone since late September against Colorado.

Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence will be charged with applying a pass rush to Mannion. The Broncos’ top defender has been a terror off the edge this season, with 19.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Up front, Lawrence is joined by 300-pound fifth-year senior defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, who will command attention as a monster in the middle. In the Boise State secondary, cornerback Donte Deayon and safety Jeremy Ioane, a pair of All-MWC selections, will have their hands full stopping the Beavers’ aerial attack. Only a sophomore, the 5’9” Deayon will be put to the test by the nation’s best in the 5’10” Cooks.

Oregon State’s defense is one of the worst statistical units playing in a bowl this season. The Beavers rank 94th in total defense, allowing 482.2 yards per game; 95th in scoring defense, allowing 32.1 points per game; and 120th in red zone defense, allowing opponents to score an eye-popping 93.2 percent of the time the ball is inside the 20-yard-line. And it wasn’t just Pac-12 powers like Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State that lit up the Beavers defense. FCS power Eastern Washington scored 49 points in an upset win and Utah scored 48 points in an overtime nail-biter. Both teams are happy to be in Hawaii, for the weather as much as the football. With two high-octane offenses, the defense in this year’s Hawaii Bowl could be reminiscent of the NFL’s Pro Bowl in Honolulu. Expect plenty of scoring, lots of hula dancing and plenty of people getting lei’d on Christmas Eve.

The pick: Boise St +3.5 (bought half, 2 gyros)
Totals lean: over 65
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