McMurphy's Picks: The Final Four
And now there are only four bowls that remain -- the Final Four.
The bowl season began out in the southwest with the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque on Dec. 18 and ends 450 miles west in Glendale, Ariz., when No. 1 Auburn battles No. 2 Oregon on Monday for the national championship.
After several memorable months, it's time to say farewell. But not before recognizing Xzavier Dickson. A senior at Griffin High School in Georgia, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Dickson said he would flip a coin to determine where he would attend college.
Flipping a coin? I thought I was the only one who did that when making all my predictions.
One last reminder: before the season, I was staked an imaginary $5,000 bankroll. Each week, my cohort -- "Cover Me" -- and I made our college football selections, finishing 20 games over .500 for an imaginary $1,050 profit during the regular season.
During the bowl season, we've combined forces and picked all 35 bowl games. In some bowls, we'll even provide our over/under selection. And we've rated our picks from 1-to-4 stars with the 4-star, in theory, being the stronger pick. Point spreads from Wednesday's USA Today.
Remember, kiddies, this is for entertainment purposes only. Here are our final four bowl picks:
LSU vs. Texas A&M, Cotton Bowl, Friday. With the firing of Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, there has been speculation that LSU coach Les Miles could be a target of the Wolverines. Fortunately for LSU fans, there is absolutely no chance that Miles would go to Michigan. Well, at least, not unless Michigan gets rid of its FieldTurf in Michigan Stadium since Miles prefers to eat real grass. LSU -2, 2 stars.
Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky, BBVA Compass Bowl, Saturday. Kentucky senior quarterback Mike Hartline was arrested recently for second-degree disorderly conduct and alcohol intoxication in a public place. Kentucky then suspended Hartline from playing in the bowl. Suspending a player from a bowl game? The NCAA and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith have never heard of such nonsense. Pittsburgh -3½, 1 star; Over 52, 3 stars.
Nevada vs. Boston College, Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Sunday. Don't tell the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, but at last week's Outback Bowl team luncheon, the teams combined to consume 5,400 pounds of food including: 750 pounds of sirloin, 750 pounds of chicken, 900 pounds of ribs, 950 pounds of cheese fries and 1,200 lbs of cheese cake. Oh wait, I'm sorry, that's what the media ate at halftime in the press box. Never mind. Boston College +7½, 2 stars.
Auburn vs. Oregon, BCS Title Game, Monday. The Heisman Trophy winner is only 3-7 in the last 10 bowl games, including a 2-6 record for Heisman Trophy quarterbacks. This doesn't bode well for Auburn's Cam Newton. Neither does this stat from one of my loyal Twitter followers: the last five national champions have ranked among the top five in passing efficiency defense. Oregon ranks No. 6, Auburn is No. 75. Oregon +2½, 4 stars; Over 74 points, 4 stars.
Lock of the week: An old favorite - Schlage Satin Nickel, Keyed 1-Side Deadbolt, Model Number: B60N 619
Last week: 9-7 (+4 stars, +200)
Overall bowl record: 18-19-1 (-8 stars; -400)
Overall season record: 140-121 (Up 650 for season; 5,650 balance)
Regular season totals
Bankroll: Up $1,050 for season; $6,050 balance
McMurphy: 98-81; +750 (13-15 best bets)
"Cover Me": 24-21; +300 (6-3 best bets)
Brett McMurphy is a national college football writer for FanHouse. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and please follow at Twitter.com/BrettmcmurphY