GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 PIGSKIN PICKS: 59-40 ATS...60%
NFL 23-18 - NCAA 17-12 - Teasers 19-10 - Lovely Ladies 99-0
GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 HARDWOOD PICKS: 13-9 ATS…62%
NBA 8-5 - NCAA 3-4 - Teasers 2-0 - Church League 69-0
Hawaii Bowl – Honolulu, Hawaii
NOTRE DAME DOMERS (-2) @ HAWAII WARRIORS
While it pains me more than looking at my 401K or a broken bottle of Boone's Farm, I just cannot fathom how the Golden Douchebags don’t end the season on high note. For all the awful displays from Chubby Charlie’s boys the season, the extra time to prepare coupled with a sizable skill advantage over the artist formerly known as the Rainbows just makes for an unfortunate Irish victory. While Hawaii's bandwagon has gained momentum of late & kept the spread down, as mentioned yesterday, besides Boise St., the WAC is absolutely awful.
I know Hawaii’s regular season finale almost saw them pull-out a victory over an excellent Bearcats squad, but honestly, the kids from Cincy treated the trip as a vacation, only a had a couple days to prepare, and slept walked through the first three quarters before dominating the 4th. Prior to the contest, the Rainbows so-called emergence came at the hands of (2-11) Washington St. & (2-10) Idaho at home, and against arguable the nation’s worst defense in (3-9) New Mexico State. Oh yeah, and the week prior to New Mexico St., the Warriors lost 30-14 to (3-9) Utah State who’s only other wins were against…you guessed it, Idaho & New Mexico St.!
While JUCO QB Greg Alexander (12 TD, 4 INT, 64%) emerged as a solid playmaker after some early struggles, the poor kid's had to run for his life as the Rainbows have given-up a nation leading 49 sacks. Making matters worse, the OL can’t run block either to take the pressure off him as they’ve averaged a mere 3.3 yards per attempt. Surprisingly, after the departure of cult-hero Colt Brennan and his top four receivers, Hawaii still has some nice talent on the outside. Unfortunately, with the improved health of Notre Dame’s D (at least two top tier starters returning) and the size advantage up-front, don’t expect Alexander to find the time to hit-up or see those little WRs.
As for the so-called offensive genius Chubby Charlie & his boy-toy Jimmy Clausen, while the Warriors can’t handle the dynamic WRing duo of Golden Tate (52 catches, 17.4 avg., 7 TD) and 6-3 Fr. phenom Michael Floyd (9 games: 46 catches, 15.3 avg, 7 TD), I expect Notre Dame to run a balanced attack to wear down the Warriors front before opening things-up. The Irish have three highly-recruited backs desperate to rebound from their performance against USC, so look for a punishing performance from the trio & OL tonight, highlighted by long-distance scamper from So. Armando Allen.
Listen, just like you, I’d much rather watch a Golden Douchebag embarrassment followed by an uncomfortable press conference from Cocky Chuck, but I honestly believe you’ll see an inspired performance from his kids. Early in the year ND easily handled many of the below-average squads, but once they faltered and TD Jesus’s boosters started to raise hell, everything seemed to crumble around them. But with the vote of confidence for their headmaster, a chance to regroup, game plan, & get healthy, I expect to see a passionate group that exploits an opponent with plenty of glaring weaknesses.
Final Score: TOUCH ME HERE TO FIND OUT!!!