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College GameDay Picks Column: We're Back But The BCS Still Stinks

Executive Sports Editor Brad Carroll takes a look at the top bowl games
Bowl Season
: 8-5 (spread); 7-6 (overall); 1-1 (upset picks)
Craig's Season
: 8-5 (spread)
This Season
: 58-54-2 (spread); 86-28 (overall); 9-6 (upset picks)
Craig's Season
: 54-58-2 (spread)
Brad's Money: $40
Craig's Money: $880

No. 3 Cincinnati vs. No. 5 Florida; 8:30 p.m.; FOX
Sugar Bowl, Friday
: This has all the makings of an upset, as Florida has little to play for tonight against Cincinnati. For a team that has been thinking of a national title all season, this could be a letdown. But I believe quarterback Tim Tebow won’t let that attitude take over the Gators. Tebow is a great leader, as everyone knows, and he’ll have Florida ready to play. Cincinnati lost its coach to Notre Dame, so they could go either way as well. The Pick: Florida (-13) wins it 31-14.

No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 8 Ohio State; 4:30 p.m.; ABC
Rose Bowl, Friday
: While everyone is used to seeing Ohio State in a BCS game, Oregon is a different story. The Ducks ended Southern Cal’s long dominance in the Pac-10 with a conference title and the right to play OSU in the Rose Bowl. Both teams are coming into the game riding big winning streaks. Oregon is 4-0 against ranked opponents (including a 42-3 win over then-No. 10 California) and the Ducks should continue that against OSU. The Pick: Oregon (-4) wins it 35-27.

No. 12 LSU vs. No. 13 Penn State; 1 p.m.; ABC
Capital One Bowl, Friday
: Penn State’s hopes this afternoon ride on quarterback Daryll Clark, as his play in wins and losses couldn’t be more different in his career. When Clark is on, the Nittany Lions are hard to stop. But when he’s off (7 interceptions in four career losses), Penn State doesn’t have a chance. Against LSU, Clark should shine. The Pick: Penn State (-2) wins it 28-24.

No. 16 West Virginia vs. Florida State; 1 p.m.; CBS

Gator Bowl, Friday
: This game comes down to whether or not the Seminoles will want to send coach Bobby Bowden out a winner in his final game as head coach. The FSU legend was more or less forced out after the regular season, so it will be interesting to see how his players respond. The Pick: Florida State (+2.5) wins it 38-35. Bonus Pick: Auburn (-8) beats Northwestern 24-10.

South Carolina
vs. Connecticut; 2 p.m.; ESPN Bowl, Saturday
: With a victory over then-No. 15 Clemson in its season finale, South Carolina actually comes into the pizza bowl with some late-season momentum. UConn has momentum as well, as its three-game losing streak after the death of Jasper Howard was answered with wins over Notre Dame, Syracuse and South Florida. The Pick: South Carolina (-4.5) wins it 33-21.

No. 6 Boise State vs. No. 4 TCU; 8 p.m.; FOX
Fiesta Bowl, Monday
: Well all know this matchup just doesn’t work, as having two classic Cinderella’s in the same game takes away the casual fan’s rooting interest. TCU should be playing Florida and Boise State should be playing Cincinnati in games that most would root for the underdog. It’s just another example why the BCS is a joke. The Pick: TCU (-7.5) wins it 31-30.

No. 9 Georgia Tech vs. No. 10 Iowa; 8 p.m.; FOX
Orange Bowl, Tuesday
: Georgia Tech should roll in this one. Check out more bowl picks at The Pick: Georgia Tech (-3.5) wins it 38-24. Here are Craig Carroll’s picks: Cincinnati, Oregon, LSU, West Virginia, Auburn, South Carolina, TCU, Georgia Tech.


South Florida (7-5) vs. Northern Illinois (7-5)

International Bowl, Saturday, 12 p.m.
Brad's Pick: South Florida (-7) wins it 31-20. Craig's Pick: Northern Illinois +7

No. 19 Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. Ole Miss (8-5)
Cotton Bowl, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Brad's Pick: Oklahoma State (+3) wins it 28-24. Craig's Pick: Ole Miss -3

Arkansas (7-5) vs. East Carolina (9-4)
Liberty Bowl, Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Brad's Pick: Arkansas (-7.5) wins it 35-21. Craig's Pick: East Carolina +7.5

Michigan State (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (8-4)
Alamo Bowl, Saturday, 9 p.m.
Brad's Pick: Texas Tech (-7.5) wins it 31-28. Craig's Pick: Texas Tech -7.5

(Just to note, Craig is at that time where he is going opposite of my picks to catch up in the season race in the four bonus games.)

(AP photo)

College GameDay Picks Column: Texas Tech Fires Mike Leach, Bowl Games

First, Brad Carroll's College GameDay returns to the pages of The Bristol Press and New Britain Herald on New Year's Day, so make sure you pick up the paper that day. We'll have the picks right here as well. That issue will have the first group of the truly big bowl games. Second, Texas Tech fired coach Mike Leach today. After hearing Leach's lawyer speak on his behalf on ESPN's Outside the Lines Tuesday afternoon, I say good for the Red Raiders. But with an $800,000 bonus coming to Leach Thursday, this was more about money. Third, finally, we'll get to the college football picks for the next two days in rapid-fire fashion.

Here is the fully updated breakdown of the season picks:

Tuesday's Results: 1-1 (spread); 1-1 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 54-51-2 (spread); 83-24 (overall); 8-5 (upset picks)
My Money: DOWN $110
Craig's Tuesday: 0-2
Craig's Season: 49-56-2
Craig's Money: DOWN $1,160

Now, the picks (all games on ESPN unless noted):

Bowling Green (7-5) vs. Idaho (7-5)
Humanitarian Bowl, Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.
Brad's Pick: Bowling Green (Pk) wins it 27-24.
Craig's Pick: Bowling Green.

No. 20 Arizona (8-4) vs. No. 22 Nebraska (9-4)
Holiday Bowl, Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Brad's Pick: Nebraska (-2.5) wins it 21-14.
Craig's Pick: Nebraska.

Houston (10-3) vs. Air Force (7-5)
Armed Forces Bowl, Thursday, 12 p.m.
Brad's Pick: Houston (-4.5) wins it 35-28.
Craig's Pick: Air Force.

Oklahoma (7-5) vs. No. 21 Stanford (8-4)
Sun Bowl, Thursday, 2 p.m. (CBS)
Brad's Pick: Stanford (+9.5) wins it 28-27.
Craig's Pick: Stanford.

Navy (9-4) vs. Missouri (8-4)
Texas Bowl, Thursday, 3:30 p.m.
Brad's Pick: Navy (+6.5) wins it 25-21.
Craig's Pick: Navy.

Minnesota (6-6) vs. Iowa State (6-6)
Insight Bowl, Thursday, 6 p.m. (NFLN)
Brad's Pick: Minnesota (-2.5) wins it 24-20.
Craig's Pick: Minnesota.

No. 11 Virginia Tech (9-3) vs. Tennessee (7-5)
Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Brad's Pick: Virginia Tech (-5.5) wins it 33-24.
Craig's Pick: Virginia Tech.

(AP photo)

College GameDay Picks Column: Urban Meyer Played Himself And Bowl Picks, Including Champs Sports

Before we get into the picks, I want to get into this Urban Meyer situation at Florida. You all know by now that Meyer retired, changed his mind, and decided to take a leave of absence instead and return any time of his choosing.

Everyone is rightfully puzzled by the move. I was shocked when he resigned, but not so much when he had a change of heart. Why? Simple. When Meyer quit, the coaching rumors started to swirl and big-name coaches were quickly being linked to the Florida job, including Mike Shanahan. If Shanahan, or another coach of his stature, took the job, Meyer would be done forever in Gainesville.

You see where this is going?

Meyer, a crybaby on the field and in front of the media, thought he could have his cake and eat it too. He decided to take next year off, because without Tim Tebow, the Gators are going to struggle and then return the following season to rescue the program once again. The only problem with that scenario is he wouldn't get his job back if Shanahan or Bob Stoops or whatever big-name coach took over the program. And not for one second did the egomaniac Meyer ever think that was a possibility.

So, as soon as Meyer saw that the outpouring of love from his resignation wasn't there and that the media was more focused on a big-name replacement, he quickly (very, very, very quickly) changed his mind and said he would take a leave of absence instead. That means Meyer keeps his job while an assistant coach struggles with the team for however many games or practices this year before the White Knight comes to save the day.

Here's hoping that everything crumbles around Meyer as quickly as he changed his mind.

By the way, how bout them Jets? They took Peyton Manning to the brink, trailing by just five with five minutes to go in the third, and then killed his backup when the Colts pulled some of their starters. That's what you have to do heading into the playoffs and the Jets did it. It's far from over, however, as the Jets must win Sunday night against the Bengals to get the five-seed in the playoffs. How crazy is that? Of course, I'll be there to witness it all!

And, Monday night, I clinched my fantasy football league's championship ... beating Johnny Burnham in the title game rather easily. Everyone stepped up in the final game, scoring enough points where I didn't even have to worry about going against Adrian Peterson and Ray Edwards Monday night.

Here's my championship team: QB Tony Romo; RB Cedric Benson; RB Jerome Harrison; RB Ryan Grant; WR Andre Johnson; WR Randy Moss; TE Jermichael Finley; LB Patrick Willis; DL Will Smith; DB Bernard Pollard; K Nate Kaeding; DEF 49ers.

Now, on to the picks, but first, a breakdown of GameDay's opening bowl weekend.

This Weekend: 3-1 (spread); 3-1 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 53-50-2 (spread); 82-23 (overall); 8-5 (upset picks)
My Money: DOWN $100
Craig's Weekend: 3-1
Craig's Season: 49-54-2
Craig's Money: DOWN $940

Both Craig and I won three out of four games to open our bowl season over the weekend, with only Ohio not cooperating as a three-point favorite. Pittsburgh, Southern Cal and Clemson all came up big to get us both on the right track heading into the final few weeks (and picks) of the season. I have a four-game lead, so it's going to be another fight to the finish.

Now, on to the picks:

UCLA (6-6) vs. Temple (9-3)
EagleBank Bowl, 4:30 p.m.
The Skinny: This is the wildest bowl game of the season, as one of the historically great programs takes on one of the historically worst programs in history Tuesday afternoon. And the kicker is that the spread separating the two isn't nearly what I thought it would be. Now, Temple has had a great season, and UCLA is just 6-6 on the year and probably shouldn't even be in a bowl game, but I just can't fathom the Owls winning this game. The Pick: UCLA (-4.5) wins it 33-20. Craig's Pick: Temple +4.5 over UCLA.

No. 15 Miami (9-3) vs. No. 25 Wisconsin (9-3)
Champs Sports Bowl, 8 p.m.
The Skinny: Miami and Wisconsin are statistically two evenly matched teams, which should make this an exciting game Tuesday night. Miami is looking forward to next season already, as it could be very special, but the prospect of a 10-win season this year should keep the Hurricanes motivated to take down the Badgers. Wisconsin is playing extremely well, ending the regular season winning four of its last five. The Pick: Miami (-3.5) wins it 31-24. Craig's Pick: Miami -3.5 over Wisconsin.
Check back for the two Wednesday matchups Wednesday early afternoon.
(AP photo)

College Football Shocker: Urban Meyer Steps Down As Florida Coach

In a college football shocker, Florida coach Urban Meyer has stepped down. He cited health reasons in a statement. Here's Meyer's statement:

"I have given my heart and soul to coaching college football and mentoring young men for the last 24-plus years and I have dedicated most of my waking moments the last five years to the Gator football program. I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to re-evaluate my priorities of faith and family. After consulting with my family, Dr. Machen, Jeremy Foley and my doctors, I believe it is in my best interest to step aside and focus on my health and family. I'm proud to be a part of the Gainesville community and the Gator Nation and I plan to remain in Gainesville and involved with the University of Florida. I'm very appreciative for the opportunity I've had to be a part of a tremendous institution - from Dr. Machen to Jeremy Foley and the entire administrative staff at UF. I'm also very thankful for the chance to work with some of the best assistants in college football and coach some of the best college football players and watch them grow both on and off the field as people. I will cherish the relationships with them the most."

Meyer will coach Florida against Cincinnati on Jan. 1 at the Sugar Bowl.

Locally, this news most likely sends tight end Aaron Hernandez (Bristol) to the NFL Draft. Anything can happen, and I thought he would be going pro anyway, but there is no reason to welcome in a new coach when the NFL is waiting.

(AP photo)

College GameDay Picks Column: Holiday Edition, Which Basically Means It's Shorter

Alright, with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I flat out forgot to get the first part of College GameDay: Bowl Edition online yesterday. Luckily, the power of the internet allows me to make up for that mistake and get the picks up in a matter of minutes before the bowl games start on Saturday. So, we'll go with quick breakdowns of the four bowl games this weekend right here. Look for more bowl game pick throughout the week on the blog and in the pages of The Bristol Press and New Britain Herald.

Heisman Weekend: 0-0-1 (spread); 1-0 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 50-49-2 (spread); 79-22 (overall); 8-5 (upset picks)
Craig's Weekend: 0-0-1
Craig's Season: 46-53-2

Marshall (6-6) vs. Ohio (9-4)
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Ohio is going for its first 10-win season since 1968 Saturday, so they should have plenty of incentive to beat a team just trying to finish above .500. Marshall, which used to be the mid-major darling, has fallen on hard times and comes into today led by an interim coach. The Pick: Ohio (-3) wins it 27-14. Craig's Pick: Ohio -3 over Marshall.

No. 17 Pittsburgh (9-3) vs. North Carolina (8-4)
Meinke Car Care Bowl, 4:30 p.m.

The Skinny: This should be Pittsburgh's game to lose, but the Tar Heels will have everything on their side Saturday afternoon. The crowd in Charlotte should be solidly behind North Carolina, and the Heels' defense is one of the best in the nation. That combination is going to be difficult to overcome. But the Panthers are looking for their first 10-win season since 1981, when Dan Marino was the quarterback, and are simply the better team. The Pick: Pittsburgh (-1) wins it 33-28. Craig's Pick: Pittsburgh -1 over North Carolina.

Boston College (8-4) vs. No. 24 Southern Cal (8-4)
Emerald Bowl, 8 p.m.
The Pick: Yes, it is completely shocking to see Southern Cal in a bowl game in December. The question Saturday night against the Eagles is will USC care enough to play in something called the Emerald Bowl? My guess is it'll be a close game until the fourth quarter, where the Trojans will suddenly realize their playing and win the game easily. The Pick: USC (-7) wins it 38-24. Craig's Pick: USC -7 over Boston College.

Kentucky (7-5) vs. Clemson (8-5)
Music City Bowl, 8:30 p.m.
The Pick: It's the SEC vs. the ACC Sunday night, and typically I would go with the former in that matchup, but considering Clemson has RB C.J. Spiller, the Tigers are the pick. History is against the choice, however, as Kentucky has won three straight bowl games and Clemson has lost three straight. The Pick: Clemson (-6.5) wins it 45-35. Craig's Pick: Clemson -6.5 over Kentucky.

(AP photo)

Here's A Shocker:Brett Favre Is A Selfish, And The Jets Are Closer To The Playoffs Than You Think

Is anyone really surprised that the diva quarterback, Brett Favre, is falling apart again at the end of the season? I didn't think so. But now, the diva isn't just playing the game and hinting that injury is the reason for his struggles (like he did last year in ruining what could have been a special season for the Jets). No, the diva is arguing with his coach on the sidelines and in front of the media, coming up with a bunch of new excuses for why he is the most overrated player in the history of the NFL.

With no injury excuse to use this year, Favre now is blaming his coach for being, basically, handcuffed on making audible calls at the line of scrimmage. In another shocker (yeah, right!), the diva is changing running plays to passing plays. Of course, that's all well and good, unless you realize that the Vikings have Adrian Peterson in the backfield. Sorry, Favre, but I trust Peterson 1,000 times more than I would ever trust you with the ball - and that's even taking Peterson's fumbling problems into consideration.

You all know the other story by now. Vikings coach Brad Childress wanted to bench Favre on Sunday night, but Favre kicked and screamed and cried his way to staying in the game. Diva? Yeah. He's done it more than once this season too.

But, of course, this isn't Favre's fault. It's the Vikings' fault. If the Vikings organization wants to be a bunch of suckers and lose in their first playoff game, than that's their problem. If Childress wants to lose all respect outside of Minneosota, he's got every right to do it. If the Vikings players want to back the diva and look like a bunch of idiots, great. But the rest of the country is laughing at you today.

Here's a great quote by former Packer, and Favre teammate, Leroy Butler: "Everybody in Minnesota knows that Brett Favre is running that organization," Butler said according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "So you knew Brett was a diva, you knew Brett wanted it his own way, you knew this all along. It was just a matter of time before it happened. If I'm Percy Harvin, and I have a question on a route or a play, I'm going right to Brett Favre. If I'm Adrian Peterson and I'm not getting the carries I want, I don't go to Childress or Bevell, I go to Brett Favre. He's running the team. All this falls on Brett."

The main reason Favre wanted out of New York so bad wasn't the fact he wanted to go to Minnesota, it was the fact he couldn't handle playing in New York. The fans and media didn't take his crap and he couldn't deal with it.

On another note, the Jets actually have a solid shot at making the playoffs ... yeah, it's true. The hardest thing that has to happen is the Jets winning their last two games, against the Colts and Bengals. But if they do win those two games, which is very possible, all that needs to happen is the Jaguars lose this week at the Patriots (which could and should happen), the Dolphins lose to either the Texans or the Steelers (which both could very well happen), and the Broncos losing this week at the Eagles (which easily could and should happen). That's it. It's amazing that the Jets still have a shot after losing a humilating game to the Falcons, but they do. And they better make it happen. This week truly is the Jets' Super Bowl ... but that just might be the first of two this season. Wouldn't that be wild? Of course, this is what Jets fans do every year ... dream big. But, hey, why not?

Bengals WR Chris Henry Dies Morning After Falling Out Of Truck

Bengals WR Chris Henry died this morning from injuries suffered Wednesday after falling out of the back of a truck driven by his fiancee. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Henry died at 6:36 a.m. Thursday. He was 26 years old.

"We knew him in a different way than his public persona," Bengals owner Mike Brown said. "He had worked through the troubles in hi slife and had finally seemingly reached the point where everything was going to blossom. And he was going to have the future we all wanted for him. It's painful to us. We feel it in our hearts, and we will miss him."

Henry was suspended five times by the NFL.

"We are greatly saddened by today's tragic news about the loss of Chris Henry," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris' family, including his Bengals family. We have been in contact with the Bengals to offer our support through this difficult time. I ask you to keep Chris Henry and his family in your thoughts today."

From the Associated Press: Henry was rushed to the hospital Wednesday after being found on a residential road. Police said the dispute began at a home about a half-mile away, and Henry jumped into the bed of the pickup truck as his fiancee was driving away from the residence.

Police said at some point when she was driving, Henry "came out of the back of the vehicle." Police have not released the 911 tapes, and Harrington wouldn't say if the woman, whom police would not identify, was present at the scene when police arrived.

Henry is engaged to Loleini Tonga and the couple has been raising three children.

College GameDay Rewind: Mark Ingram Saves Us With Heisman Trophy Victory

I'll do a quick rundown here for College GameDay Rewind, as there was only two selections on the docket. First, Navy could do nothing in the first half before finally waking up and rolling to victory over Army on Saturday. And even though the score ended 17-3, giving the pick a push, it was a victory just getting to that point. Army led 3-0 at the half, so things didn't look good for the pick. But Navy scored 10 in the third and added the tying touchdown in the fourth to get the push. I'll take it. Later that night, Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy, which was actually a big deal for the "money" breakdown. If Ingram would have finished second or lower, it would have cost both Craig and I $250. But Ingram gets the trophy, and we both get to add a c-note. So here are the final numbers for the regular season. We'll kick off the bowl season soon, with most of the early picks being held on the blog only.

My Weekend: 0-0-1 (spread); 1-0 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 50-49-2 (spread); 79-22 (overall); 8-5 (upset picks)
My Money: DOWN $290
Craig's Weekend: 0-0-1
Craig's Season: 46-53-2
Craig's Money: DOWN $1,130
(AP photo)

Florida Tight End Aaron Hernandez Is First-Team All-American

Bristol's Aaron Hernandez was named first-team All-American on Tuesday. Hernandez, a tight end with Florida, had 59 receptions for 739 yards and 4 touchdowns this season. He has 102 catches for 1,271 yards and 11 touchdowns in his three-year career. The 20-year-old junior could play his final college game for the Gators on January 1 against Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl. It would surprise no one if the former Bristol Central High star turns pro after the season. Hernandez won the John Mackey award as the nation's top tight end a few days ago.

Here is the rest of the offense: QB Colt McCoy, Texas ... RB Mark Ingram, Alabama ... RB Toby Gerhart, Stanford ... WR Golden Tate, Notre Dame ... WR Jordan Shipley, Texas ... OL Mike Johnson, Alabama ... OL Charles Brown, USC ... OL Bryan Bulaga, Iowa ... OL Maurkice Pouncey, Florida ... OL Russell Okung, Oklahoma State ... K Kai Forbath, UCLA ... KR C.J. Spiller, Clemson.

Here is the defense: DE Jerry Hughes, TCU ... DE Von Miller, Texas A&M ... DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma ... DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska ... LB Brandon Spikes, Florida ... LB Sergio Kindle, Texas ... LB Rolando McClain, Alabama ... CB Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State ... CB Joe Haden, Florida ... S Kurt Coleman, Ohio State ... S Eric Berry, Tennessee ... P Drew Butler, Georgia ... PR Antonio Brown, Central Michigan.

(AP photo)

Free Agent John Lackey Close To Signing With Sox; Matsui To Angels

John Lackey is close to signing with the Boston Red Sox. He is apparently undergoing a physical today in Boston, so the deal is likely already done. It's a big signing for the Red Sox, as with their offense, the team might have to win a lot of 2-1 games this season. I'll have more when it becomes official.

UPDATE: The Lackey to Boston signing is all but done. As is the Red Sox signing of Mike Cameron, who most likely ends the Boston career of Jason Bay. The only ones loving that player swap is Yankees fans. The more shocking news was that Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui signed a one-year deal with the Angels on Monday. He obviously wasn't willingly to wait for the Yankees to make a decision on his future. And, finally, the biggest news of the day was the Phillies acquiring Roy Halladay and the Mariners getting Cliff Lee. There is still work to be done on the deals, though.

College GameDay Picks Column: Picking Army-Navy And Heisman Trophy Race

Here's a blog special Brad Carroll's GameDay pick of the Army-Navy game and the Heisman Trophy winner.
Last Week: 4-4 (spread); 6-2 (overall); 2-0 (upset picks)
This Season: 50-49-1 (spread); 78-22 (overall); 8-5 (upset picks)
Craig's Last Week: 4-4
Craig's Season: 46-53-1

Navy vs. Army 2:35 p.m. CBS
The Skinny
: I'm actually glad the annual Army-Navy will get an entire Saturday to its self, as it is the only college football game on the schedule this weekend. The game is always a big deal, but with an early kickoff in the past, it was easy to get lost with a full-slate of games. So, the Navy offense will be on display Saturday with quarterback Ricky Dobbs leading the way for a eight-win team. The Mids, who beat Notre Dame and play Missouri in a New Year's Eve bowl game, should have no problem getting the win over five-win Army. The only scary thing about a Navy pick against the spread is giving two touchdowns in a rivalry game. Still, with both teams pumped to play, the better team will win out in the end. So, Navy is the pick. The Pick: Navy (-14) wins it 35-17. Craig goes with Navy as well.

Here's a breakdown of the Heisman Trophy contenders, in order of my picks:
1. Mark Ingram
, Alabama, -250: After his performance against Florida in the SEC Championship, he likely clinched his spot at the podium. The only player more worthy of winning the Heisman would be Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh, but we know a defensive player won't win it. So, Ingram is the pick, risking $250 to win $100.

2. Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska, +700: The most dominant defensive player in the country, Suh proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt during the Big 12 Championship against Texas. Suh had 4.5 sacks in the game and almost led the Cornhuskers to the upset victory. I'm hoping he pulls off the upset here and wins the Heisman.

3. Toby Gerhart, Stanford, +200: Gerhart could win the Heisman, as a lot of voters have picked him No. 1 on their ballots. I guess this is the perfect example of the East Coast bias in the Heisman voting, as Gerhart doesn't get the national spotlight all of these other finalists get. If he wins, it wouldn't be a shock.

4. Colt McCoy, Texas, +300: McCoy blew his chances with a sub-par showing in the Big 12 Championship, including his boneheaded mistake at the end of the game, when he almost cost his team a shot at the national championship. He should have no shot at winning.

5. Tim Tebow, Florida, +2000: Tebow has no shot to win. Or, should have not shot to win. If he gets any top-three votes, we all know those voters didn't watch much college football this season.

Here is Craig's Heisman Trophy Picks:
1. Mark Ingram, Alabama
2. Toby Gerhart, Stanford
3. Colt McCoy, Texas
4. Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
5. Tim Tebow, Florida

Notre Dame Interested In UConn Coach Randy Edsall? Excuse Me For Laughing

The latest name to be mentioned as a possible candidate for the opening at Notre Dame is UConn coach Randy Edsall, according to an report. After I finished laughing, I decided to check out the message boards and, luckily, fans are treating this rumor with just as much laughter as I did.

The nicest comment was made by someone who said that Edsall would be a great choice ... because he's a Cincinnati fan and doesn't want to lose Brian Kelley. Anyway, thought I would throw this up here for my readers that follow the UConn Huskies. I wouldn't worry, but then again, Notre Dame hasn't made the best decisions in hiring coaches, have they?

College GameDay Rewind: No Fantasy Ending In Football, BCS Stinks, And Gators Left In Tears

As most of you know, I played in a total of five fantasy football leagues this year. And going into Monday Night Football, which ends the regular season, I was guaranteed a playoff spot in three of those, eliminated in one, and needed just a victory in another to make that bracket. So, needless to say, Monday night was big in the latter league.

And to start the night, it was looking real good. Needing the threesome of Ray Rice, Ryan Grant and Greg Jennings to combine for just 32 points - less than 11 points per - I would keep the six-seed and make it 4-of-5 in playoff appearances. Sounds like a slam dunk, right? Yeah, I thought so too.

If you watched the game, you know the story. Rice did absolutely nothing, putting together just 5.5 points, 13 less than his season average. He also lost a goal-line touchdown to Willis McGahee ... why the stinking Ravens bring in McGahee to steal Rice's scores is beyond me. And it cost me. At least the Ravens lost, meaning the Jets have an even better shot at putting together a final run at the wild card.

Anyway, Grant was even worse than Rice, scoring just four points, which was nine below his average. I can tell you this for sure, I will never draft Grant again in any league I play in. He is on The List. Jennings did do his part, scoring 10 points, which is still a point below his average.

So, I was eliminated in what I consider shocking fashion - I still can't believe it. I never thought I would walk away with a loss, but here I am 12.5 points short. Needing just 32 points, I thought this was a gimmie. Just thinking about it makes me depressed and angry ... as horrible a night it was, I still only lost by 12.5 points. It just makes everything worse. In the end, I settle for 3 playoff appearances in 5 leagues. Still good, but the timing is horrible.

In my fantasy league, the one I consider the most important, I got the top-seed and a first-round bye. In the sports writer's league, I get a wild card spot despite having the second best record. I play the Middletown Press sports editor in the first round. Still, it's hard not to get hung up on the loss Monday night.

Switching to college football, the BCS game matchups came out on Sunday night, and all I saw was a bunch of boring games. The main piece of garbage spit out by the BCS was the Fiesta Bowl picking TCU and Boise State to play each other in its game. I hate to break it to the BCS, but this is an embarrassment. Nobody wants to watch two Cinderella's play each other - it ruins everything. Cinderella is supposed to be there to knock off the giants of the sports world. TCU should be playing Florida and Boise State should be playing Cincinnati. In those matchups, everyone outside of Florida and Cincinnati supporters will be rooting hard for TCU and Boise State. Now, who do you root for when TCU and Boise play each other? Do you even care who wins? I don't. I would have been the biggest TCU and Boise State fan in the world if they were going against the establishment. But now it's all ho-hum. Nobody will care if TCU wins and vice versa. And, worst yet, is that nobody is going to watch the game. The BCS should be embarrassed over this decision.

GameDay will continue through the bowl games, so look here first for the early games, and later in both print and here for the big bowl games. For this upcoming weekend, without looking at the schedule, I believe it's only Army-Navy on the docket. So, I'll pick that game exclusively on the blog. So, look for that here on Friday afternoon.

Now, finally, on to College GameDay Rewind:

My Weekend: 4-4 (spread); 6-2 (overall); 2-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 50-49-1 (spread); 78-22 (overall); 8-5 (upset picks)
My Money: DOWN $390
Craig's Weekend: 4-4
Craig's Season: 46-53-1
Craig's Money: DOWN $1,230

No. 5 Cincinnati -2 at No. 14 Pittsburgh
My Pick: Cincinnati 33, Pittsburgh 27
Actual Score: Cincinnati 45, Pittsburgh 44
I'm glad Cincinnati hasn't gotten respect in the polls and BCS despite being an undefeated team from a big conference. The Bearcats don't deserve to be a Top 5 team and this game proved it. Cincinnati should have easily won this game, as it needed to make a big impression on the voters in order to skip over TCU. But the result was a one-point win over Pittsburgh. It's too bad Cincy can't play Boise or TCU in a bowl game as the Bearcats would get beat by either. Craig and I both start off with a loss in the pick of Cincinnati.

No. 18 Houston -2.5 at East Carolina
My Pick: Houston 35, East Carolina 24
Actual Score: East Carolina 38, Houston 32
Houston quarterback Case Keenum threw for 527 yards and five touchdowns but it wasn't enough to beat East Carolina. Keenum's three picks killed the Houston pick. I thought this one was the easiest pick of the day, but alas, I was wrong. Craig and I both take the loss.

No. 24 West Virginia +1.5 at Rutgers
My Pick: West Virginia 28, Rutgers 21
Actual Score: West Virginia 24, Rutgers 21
The Mountaineers come through with the upset pick and finally gets both Craig and I on the board in the early games. We both are 1-2 going into the big SEC Championship game.

Arizona +7 at No. 20 Southern Cal
My Pick: Southern Cal 41, Arizona 30
Actual Score: Arizona 21, Southern Cal 17
It's gotten so bad in Southern Cal that the Trojans aren't even ranked in the Top 25 this week. Technically, that means No. 25 Central Michigan is better than USC. Wild, wild, wild stuff. Craig and I drop to 1-3 by going with the Trojans.

No. 1 Florida -5.5 vs. No. 2 Alabama
My Pick: Alabama 28, Florida 27
Actual Score: Alabama 32, Florida 13
I gotta say, I enjoyed this game immensely. Not only did I finally get the upset of Florida right, it wasn't even close. So, after all these weeks of me writing that Alabama would beat the Gators in the SEC title game, I get to celebrate a bit. Alabama RB Mark Ingram won my vote for the Heisman with a great game as well. On a down note, Florida QB Tim Tebow should be respected for his will to win, but the fact that he was on the verge of tears at the end of the game is a little much. This was a 19-point loss that was cemented several minutes before the final gun, so Tebow should have come to grips with what was happening. There is no reason to tear up there and it left me with an awkward feeling seeing a soon-to-be professional football player crying. That just can't happen. Anyway, Craig and I both get victories to move to 2-3 going into the three late games.

South Florida +7.5 at Connecticut
My Pick: Connecticut 23, South Florida 20
Actual Score: Connecticut 29, South Florida 27
Connecticut almost blew another inexplicable game, but instead got a dramatic ending to go its way for once. It was nice watching snow fall in Connecticut while I was home on Long Island, which didn't have a trace of the white stuff. Living and driving in Connecticut for a while now has made me hate snow, so I was happy to miss it. I was happy to get the victory here as well, to move to 3-3 on the day. Craig took the loss with UConn to drop to 2-4.

No. 12 Georgia Tech -1 at No. 25 Clemson
My Pick: Georgia Tech 24, Clemson 17
Actual Score: Georgia Tech 39, Clemson 34
This one got way too close for comfort, but Georgia Tech managed to finally win the game late to seal the victory. I get the win to improve to 4-3 on the day while Craig moves to 3-4 with just the Big 12 championship game to be decided.

No. 3 Texas -14 vs. No. 21 Nebraska
My Pick: Texas 38, Nebraska 10
Actual Score: Texas 13, Nebraska 12
Why, why, why couldn't Nebraska have beaten Colorado easily the week before? If the Cornhuskers did, I would have went with them in this game. But Nebraska struggled and I switched my pick to Texas and it cost me. Nebraska nearly pulled off the shocker and if Texas QB Colt McCoy took just one more second to look around on the final play before the field goal, the Huskers would have done it. By the way, McCoy says that he knew all along how much time was on the clock and that he knew there was two or three seconds left even though the clock read zero. Interesting, but at best, there would barely be one full second left. More likely is that McCoy got lost on the field and didn't realize how much time was left. He was just extremely lucky that his pass landed out of bounds with one second left. To say that he knew exactly what was going on seems like a extreme exaggeration. I lost a lot of respect for McCoy after that interview on ABC following the game. I hope he doesn't win the Heisman, because he doesn't deserve it, especially after his explanation of the final play. With one game to go in the regular season battle for Carroll supremacy, I lead Craig by four games. Craig pulled into a tie for the day with his Nebraska pick to end the day at 4-4. I drop to 4-4 with the Texas pick. There is still a whole lot of bowl games to pick, so the battle is far from over. Check back to see how it all shakes out.

(AP photos)

GameDay Live: Berlin Vs. Bethel

Class M State Championship

Berlin Redcoats win Class M State Championship

(Staples and Cheshire go to overtime in Class LL State championship tied at 21. Update: Cheshire wins in overtime.)

First Quarter
B-Max DeLorenzo 2 run (Devin Silverman kick), 7:07
B-DeLorenzo 3 run (Silverman kick), 1:19
Second Quarter
B-Silverman 36 field goal, 3:56
B-DeLorenzo 35 pass from Dan Hackett (Tom Undercuffler pass from Hackett), 1:48
Third QuarterB-DeLorenzo 6 run (Silverman kick), 4:51
BH-Javier Reyes 71 pass from William Rameriz (pass failed), 3:27
Fourth QuarterB-Dave Campagna 1 run (Silverman kick), 11:22
B-Taylor Tavarozzi 4 run (Silverman kick), 9:32

Berlin State Championship Football Game Now Sunday In Waterbury

Tonight's Class M State Championship football game between Berlin and Bethel in Waterbury has been postponed to Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. The game was to be played tonight at 7 p.m.

If you can't make it to the game, check back here tomorrow for live updates all afternoon long in GAMEDAY LIVE. We got you covered.

College GameDay Picks Column: Alabama Will Play Texas In BCS National Championship

Executive Sports Editor Brad Carroll takes a look at the top games of the day
Last Week
: 3-5 (spread); 7-1 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
Craig's Week
: 4-4 (spread)
This Season
: 46-45-1 (spread); 72-20 (overall); 6-5 (upset picks)
Craig's Season
: 42-49-1 (spread)

No. 1 Florida vs. No. 2 Alabama 4 p.m. CBS
The Skinny
: It wasn't easy, but both Florida and Alabama made it to the SEC title game undefeated and the reward for one will be the chance to play for a national championship. Florida has been getting past opponent after opponent with smoke and mirrors, and even though I thought the Gators would trip somewhere in the season, they haven't. Alabama was my pick early on to win the national title and I haven't seen anything to change that opinion. The Pick: Alabama (+5.5) wins it 28-27.

No. 3 Texas vs. No. 21 Nebraska 8 p.m. ABC
The Skinny
: I've been waiting a couple weeks now for this matchup because I was thinking hard about going with Nebraska to pull off the upset. Then came last week when the Cornhuskers didn't impress me at all in a win over Colorado. Now, I've switched completely. Speaking in terms of the spread, Texas should be able to, at the least, get a push by winning by 14 points. More realistically, the Longhorns could and should win by 28 or more. The Pick: Texas (-14) wins it 38-10.

No. 5 Cincinnati at No. 14 Pittsburgh 12 p.m. ABC
The Skinny
: All you need to know about the Big East is that undefeated Cincinnati can’t even jump mid-major TCU in the rankings. That is an indictment on the conference. And the Bearcats haven’t done anything to increase their image, as they allowed 36 points to Illinois last week in a win. Pittsburgh is coming off a loss at unranked West Virginia. The Pick: Cincinnati (-2) wins it 33-27.

No. 12 Georgia Tech vs. No. 25 Clemson 8 p.m. ABC
The Skinny
: Speaking of conference’s that need an infusion of great teams, here is the ACC Championship featuring two squads out of the Top 10. Georgia Tech and Clemson are both coming off losses last week that exposed the team’s weaknesses and, worst yet, the conference’s weaknesses. It’s a sad state of affairs at the ACC, but at least its basketball season. The Pick: Georgia Tech (-1) wins it 24-17.

No. 18 Houston at East Carolina 12 p.m. ESPN2
The Skinny
: I know this is the Conference USA Championship game, but I can’t find any reason why Houston won’t roll to an easy victory, despite the spread being less than a field goal. The Cougars are averaging 51.5 points per game over their last four, which includes a bad loss at Central Florida. East Carolina won’t be able to stop the Houston offense. The Pick: Houston (-2.5) wins it 35-24.

at No. 20 Southern Cal 3:30 p.m. ABC
The Skinny
: USC has taken such a big drop this season from its usual lofty status among the Top 5 that I’m going to knock it down another peg and share this space with a GameDay bonus pick. So, we’re adding No. 24 West Virginia at Rutgers (12 p.m., ESPN). In short, West Virginia will pull off the minor upset. The Picks: Southern Cal (-7) wins it 41-30 and West Virginia (+1.5) wins it 28-21.

South Florida at Connecticut 8 p.m. ESPN2
The Skinny
: We’ll see if the most overrated coach in the nation, Randy Edsall, can keep the ND momentum. The Pick: UConn (-7.5) wins it 23-20.
Here are Craig Carroll’s picks for the week: Alabama, Nebraska, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Houston, USC, West Virginia, UConn. College GameDay Rewind at

(AP photo)

Hofstra Scumbags (I Mean Administrators) Get Their Wish As Football Program Is Killed

It's only fitting that the day the Hofstra University scumbags (I mean administrators) decided to shut down the football program that I would be driving back home to Long Island. It gave me the chance to hear everything I needed to hear about the situation, and I didn't like any of it. The so-called president of the school, Stuart Rabinowitz, did nothing to convince me, someone who spent his entire college career at the school with and around the football team, that this was the right decision.

I've heard from people that the so-called president has been trying for years to cut the football program, and in interviews, it's not hard to believe. The so-called president says it's about the cost of the program and the fact that there wasn't enough community interest. While that may be true, the fact remains the attendance for games is about the same it's always been.

While I didn't hear the whole interview between the so-called president and Mike Francesa (who tossed softballs at his so-called friend), I left with two major themes. One, is that I left the interview thinking attendance for games was just 500. That would be reason enough to cancel the program. But I've since learned that the attendance is more than 4,200 and the 500 number is the amount of students that go to games. Francesa was tossing around that number a lot, I just hope the so-called president wasn't doing the same, because that is a bunch of you know what. Two, this decision is about money, and money only. The so-called president wants money to go from the football program to fund his educational programs that weren't getting the support otherwise, obviously.

This joke of a president, who luckily wasn't there when I was because I would make it my mission to expose him, could care less about sports at the school and I wouldn't be surprised if he continues to cut sports program after program. The so-called president talks a big game about caring about the coaches and players, but if he really did care, why didn't he call the head football coach with the news the program was killed? When asked by Francesa when the football coach found out, the so-called president said probably Thursday morning. Probably? You mean you didn't take two seconds out of your celebration to call the head football coach? Wow, what a great leader you are.

Today, Hofstra just isn't the same, not only because the football program is gone, but the man in charge at the school is a sports-hating scumbag.

A couple of quotes from former players:

"I didn't see it coming at all," Kyle Arrington of the Patriots said. "All the money our school has, a priviate school, it just doesn't make sense to me. I don't know what to say. It kind of hurt me a little bit. It's terrible. It makes me not even want to go back there. It's like I didn't play there."

"I am both saddened and shocked to hear the news that the Hofstra University football program has ceased," Marques Colston of the Saints said. "I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the university, my coaches and my former teammates and I am sure that they share in my disappointment."

(AP photo of coach Dave Cohen)

College GameDay Rewind: Yankees Should Pass On Ace Roy Halladay

As the Yankees seemingly turn up their interest in trading for Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, I’m hoping the team ends up not pulling the trigger for perhaps the best pitcher in baseball. The Blue Jays would probably want three of these four players: Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and prospects Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero. That, to me, is just too much to give up. And I realize this is close to the same situation that was in front of the Yankees a few years ago when they could have had Johan Santana for Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Melky Cabrera – which looks like a no-brainer now.

But giving up the team’s future for Halladay just doesn’t make sense right now. We all know what Chamberlain and Hughes have to offer, but Jackson is the Yankees centerfielder of the future and Montero is the heir apparent to Jorge Posada behind the plate. That is four positions on the team that could possibly be gone and replaced with Halladay. But the bigger issue is that the Yankees just don’t need another front-line starter. With CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett at the top and Hughes, Chamberlain, Andy Pettitte and, at some point, Chien-Ming Wang, the need isn’t there. Sure, it would be great to add Halladay to the rotation, and the Yankees would be darn near impossible to beat next year, but it shouldn’t happen. And just because the Red Sox might trade for Halladay doesn’t mean the Yankees should panic. The Red Sox have no offense and would be a fringe playoff team yet again even with Halladay paired up with Josh Beckett. Plus, the Red Sox would probably have to give up young pitcher Clay Buchholz. Hopefully the Yankees stick with what they have and continue to not only build a championship team from the outside, but from within the organization as well.

Now, on to College GameDay Rewind:

My Weekend: 3-5 (spread); 7-1 (overall); 0-0 (upset picks)
My Season: 46-45-1 (spread); 72-20 (overall); 6-5 (upset picks)
My Money: DOWN $350 (season)
Craig's Weekend: 4-4 (spread)
Craig's Season: 42-49-1 (spread)
Craig's Money: DOWN $1,190 (season)

Illinois +21 at No. 5 Cincinnati
My Pick
: Cincinnati 42, Illinois 14
Actual Score: Cincinnati 49, Illinois 26
This was the exact game that Cincinnati couldn’t afford to have in its quest for a national championship. With a cupcake Big 10 squad waiting to get blown out, Cincinnati allowed the Illini to score 36 points – 36! How is that even possible? Luckily for the Bearcats, they scored 49 to take the win. But the damage is done. Cincinnati did nothing to increase the Big East’s stature in the national eye as it barely got past a 3-8 team from the Big 10. So, the bigger news is that I start off with a loss in the early Friday game, while Craig gets the victory.

No. 2 Alabama -10.5 at Auburn
My Pick
: Alabama 27, Auburn 23
Actual Score: Alabama 26, Auburn 21
Even after Alabama took the lead late in the game, Auburn had the chance to go downfield and pull off the upset. But yet another coaching blunder (or blunders) cost another team a shot at victory. We saw it last week, as coaching indecision cost LSU a game and almost cost UConn against Notre Dame. This week, it was Gene Chizik who couldn’t get his team to move quickly enough in the final moments, costing the Tigers big time with his horrible coaching style. The quarterback, if you didn’t watch, was looking to the sideline after every single play – even though time was winding down. That is just inexcusable. How does Chizik not have a play ready? How doesn’t he have several plays ready to go? It makes no sense. Not including a spike play, Auburn ran just six plays in 1:24. That is hard to understand. And Alabama was the beneficiary as it knocked down a desperation heave into the end zone with no time left. Still, Craig and I both went with Auburn and the pick paid off. I move to 1-1, while Craig starts 2-0.

Nebraska -10.5 at Colorado
My Pick
: Nebraska 24, Colorado 3
Actual Score: Nebraska 28, Colorado 20
Nebraska just couldn’t get anything going on offense and it cost me in my retro pick of the Cornhuskers. I actually thought Nebraska would come out with a big effort in anticipation of its huge matchup with Texas in the Big 12 Championship. Obviously, I was wrong. Craig and I both take a loss. I move to 1-2, while Craig is 2-1.

No. 9 Pittsburgh Pk at West Virginia
My Pick
: West Virginia 24, Pittsburgh 23
Actual Score: West Virginia 19, Pittsburgh 16
This was the second blow to the Big East on Friday night, as Pittsburgh failed to prove its No. 9 ranking was warranted. This wasn’t as tough a pick for me as you might have thought, as West Virginia is always tough to beat at home. With my West Virginia pick, I go to 2-2 on the day, while Craig falls to 2-2 as well going into Saturday’s games.

Florida State +24.5 at No. 1 Florida
My Pick
: Florida 31, Florida State 21
Actual Score: Florida 37, Florida State 10
Not much to say as Florida State just couldn’t match up with the Gators and took the big loss. Too bad Bobby Bowden didn’t decide to “retire” last week, as the Seminoles might have actually showed up with some fire. But, alas, it’s a loss for both Craig and I as we both come in with 2-3 records.

No. 19 Miami -6.5 at South Florida
My Pick
: Miami 31, South Florida 24
Actual Score: Miami 31, South Florida 10
Finally, Miami came through with a big win for me, easily taking down South Florida. Craig and I both get wins and both jump up to 3-3 on the weekend.

Georgia +7.5 at No. 7 Georgia Tech
My Pick
: Georgia Tech 33, Georgia 20
Actual Score: Georgia 30, Georgia Tech 24
When even my tried and true theory of going against Georgia doesn’t go in my direction, you start to wonder what it’s going to take to get back on a winning track. Georgia ran over Georgia Tech to pull off the upset and give me another loss on the day. At 3-4 with one game still in play, the confidence is admittedly falling rapidly with each incorrect pick. After such a strong start to the season, I truly can’t believe the turn for the worse my picks have taken. Luckily, Craig is having a horrendous season all-around, and I still hold a comfortable lead. Craig also took a loss with Georgia Tech to equal his record at 3-4.

Notre Dame +10 at Stanford
My Pick
: Stanford 38, Notre Dame 24
Actual Score: Stanford 45, Notre Dame 38
Yes, put another loss on my docket, as I finish 3-5 on the day after Stanford couldn’t put forth a winning number. Craig, on the other hand, went with the Irish and gets his record to 4-4 for the weekend. He ends up gaining a game in the standings, and trails me by four games heading into GameDay’s final stretch of the season. Charlie Weis, as you know by now, got fired after this loss and won’t be out of work for long, as an NFL team will hire him quickly as offensive coordinator.

(AP photo)

GameDay Live: Berlin Vs. Avon


First Quarter
B-Dan Hackett 2 run (Devin Silverman kick), 6:44
B-Max DeLorenzo 42 run (Silverman kick), 4:38
Second Quarter
B-Zach Parsons 49 fumble return (Silverman kick), 10:40
B-DeLorenzo 8 pass from Hackett (Silverman kick), 6:02
A-Ross McDonald 2 run (Austin Kick kick), 1:52
B-DeLorenzo 67 run (Silverman kick), 1:29
A-McDonald 62 run (Kick kick), 1:09
Third Quarter
Fourth Quarter
A-McDonald 8 run (Kick kick), 10:35
A-McDonald 2 run (Kick kick), 3:57

GameDay Live: St. Paul At N.Canaan


First Quarter
NC-Kevin Macari 49 punt return (Colin Shapiro kick), 9:54
Second Quarter
Third Quarter
NC-Cody Newton 6 pass from Turner Baty (Shapiro kick), 9:16
SP-Chris Bachand 2 run (Guan Park kick), 6:28
Fourth Quarter
SP-Travis Thomas 6 pass from Tanner Bachand (pass failed), 0:49

GameDay Live Chat: School Football