Gant “Expert” Challenge – Finale

1/4-1/7 Games Jay Siegel Rusty McCracken Chris Morelli Dave Glass Dustin Parks
Texas A&M-Oklahoma Oklahoma Texas A&M Texas A&M Oklahoma Oklahoma
Ole Miss – Pitt Pitt Ole Miss Pitt Ole Miss Ole Miss
Kent St.-Arkansas St. Arkansas St. Arkansas St. Kent State Kent St. Kent State
Alabama-Notre Dame Alabama Notre Dame Alabama Alabama Notre Dame
Bengals-Texans Texans Bengals Texans Texans Texans
Vikings-Packers Packers Packers Vikings Packers Packers
Colts-Ravens Colts Ravens Colts Ravens Colts
Seahawks-Redskins Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Redskins
Last Week 7-4 6-5 4-7 6-5 5-6
Year-to-date 140-63 135-68 131-72 127-76 124-79


The Last Word

Dustin: “FINALLY, the end is here. The national championship. Last time there was this much hype for this game was when Texas took on USC in the Rose Bowl in 2005. It is going to be a huge contest, and one that is about two very tough, very deserving defenses. On one side, you have the defending champions in the Crimson Tide. Last year, their defense won the game by shutting out LSU. Coach Saban has been incredible since he took that job, and now must prepare for yet another strong team. But Notre Dame isn’t any typical team. Going from unranked at the beginning of the season to the No. 1 team in the country took hard work, dedication, and in some cases a little luck. Their defense is still strong, still potent, and frankly downright aggressive, the kind of team that people can love. Former coach Lou Holtz is firmly behind his former team, and you know the fans of the Fighting Irish are coming to that game in droves, hoping to make the stadium full of navy and gold rather than maroon and white. I’m picking Notre Dame to pull off the ultimate underdog victory, not because I don’t like Alabama, but because I believe ND can do it. Fight on Irish!!”

Dave: “For my NFL playoff analysis, please see my ‘Glass Eye’ column that also posted here today. I went back and forth between Alabama and Notre Dame, and the SEC’s rather uneven showing in the bowls also gives me some pause, but in the end I cannot escape the idea that Alabama simply is the more talented team. Notre Dame had so many close calls (and the ‘should-have’ loss to Pitt REALLY stands out in my mind), while Alabama by and large took care of business except for the A&M upset (this game probably cemented Manziel’s Heisman) and the extremely exciting Georgia game. Look, ANYTHING is possible here, I fully expect a close game and I don’t trust either team’s QB not to turn the ball over – but I think Alabama’s o-line, possibly the best ever in NCAA history, will eventually wear down Notre Dame’s front seven.”

Chris: “Since Penn State is bowl-less (well-deserved, I might add), I will have to go back to my childhood roots and cheer for Pitt. I like the Panthers to take home the BBBVA Compass Bowl in a mild upset. Speaking of upsets, I like THREE road teams to pull off upsets this weekend. The lone home team to win will be the Texans. Minnesota goes into Lambeau and knocks off Green Bay. Andrew Luck outplays the overrated Joe Flacco to notch his first playoff win and Russell Wilson outshines RGIII in D.C. to push the Seahawks into the divisional round.”

Rusty: “After last week’s picks I think I should throw up the white flag. The only game Jay and I differed on, I lost in the last :11 (Michigan?). So, I can expect nothing less this week as all the records get tossed out and anything can happen. I’ve given up on the bowl games, but looking at the pros I have to say that I think the Bengals are the peaking squad while the Texans have been fading – and Dalton’s RED hair gives them the edge. Sorry Vikes, but Packers end the dream this week. Ray Lewis’ retirement gives the Ravens purpose, and the Seahawks are quietly dominating opponents.”

Jay: “Playing the Bowl Game Heisman-jinx in the A&M-Okie game. Does anyone ever pick Pitt correctly? Don’t want to root for either team in the BCS Championship, but have to say it – Roll, Tide. NFL playoffs may be crazy, just like the regular season. Picking the Texans to re-group, but wouldn’t be too surprised if Dalton and the ‘Bungals’ pull off the upset. I’d be surprised if the Vikes beat the Pack two weeks in a row though. Don’t think the Ravens can re-group like I do the Texans. How do you not root for ‘Chuckstrong’ and Andrew Luck? – unless you’re from Baltimore. I must be nuts picking two rookie QBs to win on the road in the playoffs, but I think the ‘hawks will be too much for RGIII and company.”

Punxsutawney Knocks Off Golden Tide Wrestlers, 49-30
Second Half Comeback Fuels Glendale Over Golden Tide, 57-53

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