GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 PIGSKIN PICKS: 61-42 ATS...59%
NFL 23-18 - NCAA 19-14 - Teasers 19-10 - Lovely Ladies 69-0
GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 HARDWOOD PICKS: 20-14 ATS…60%
NBA 11-10 - NCAA 5-4 - Teasers 4-0 - Church League 69-0
Fiesta Bowl – Glendale, AZ
OHIO STATE BUCKEYES vs TEXAS LONGHORNS (-9)
Miserable bowl performances from the Big Ten (1-5) once again has many questioning if it’s time to renounce their status as a dominate power conference. Especially with the hilarity of the NCAA allowing the Big Ten to avoid a conference championship game and still be allowed to participate in the BCS, if the Buckeyes can’t keep this close tonight the cackles of “Overrated” will turn into a chorus from around the country.
While I believe the Buckeyes would be competitive in almost every conference and have plenty of future Sunday Funday stars, they don’t have the depth of playmakers you see from teams atop the Big 12, PAC-10, SEC, and Big East. Making matters even tougher on Ohio State rolling into this bowl season, while the Longhorns played the toughest second half schedule in the country, Jim Tressell’s bowl-prep work was finalized against an undersized Northwestern squad, the (5-7) Illini, and the woeful Wolverines. While Fr. QB Terrelle Pryor & RB Beanie Wells are as dangerous a backfield-duo as you’ll see, tonight they’ll be facing the nation’s 2nd ranked rush defense that’s holding opponents to under 75 yards/game.
Even though you’ll see Ohio State commit to running the ball regardless of their success, Texas has the size and speed up-front to put them in plenty of passing situations. While Pryor has shown flashes of his ability thru the air, Tressell’s kept things extremely simple for the youngster (last three games: 20 total completions) and limited his reads to one or two options on every throw. As a result, even with the extra time to prepare, I can’t see how his breakout game comes against a Texas defense that leads the nation in sacks and has a young secondary full of playmakers.
On the offensive side of the ball for the Longhorns, watching Jr. QB Colt McCoy dissect a defense is downright silly. Throwing for 3445 yards, 32 TD, and only seven interceptions seems Heisman-worthy in itself, but McCoy’s timely & well-orchestrated scampers for first downs (576 yards & 10 TD) was the main reason Texas kept drives going long enough to rank 4th in the nation in scoring. Throw-in two Sr. WRs that catch everything in sight (Jordan Shipley & Quan Cosby: 157 catches, 1934 yards, 19 TD), and a balanced rushing attack with four RBs with over 55 carries, and I expect Texas to march up-n-down the field just like they have all season.
In closing, I just can’t see how a freshman QB-led squad can keep pace with a Texas team still hoping to be a player in the final BCS poll. While Ohio State should look much better than their awful 35-3 at USC, I can’t see how they keep this from a double-digit victory.
Final Score: BUCKEYES 20 TEXAS 34
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (-3.5) @ MIAMI HEAT
The Miami Wades have been playing better of late, especially at home, but...TOUCH ME HERE TO KEEP READING!
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (-3.5) @ MIAMI HEAT
The Miami Wades have been playing better of late, especially at home, but still don’t have anybody down-low to stop Timmy D (6-8 Udonis Haslem & 6-9 Joel Anthony) or slow Tony Longoria (rookie Mario Chalmers & Chris Quinn). While D-Wade has been unbelievable and can take over any game, the Spurs have plenty of depth on the perimeter (Bruce Bowen, Roger Mason, & Manu), and knowing Pops, will forced the Heat star to travel through plenty of picks at the defensive end. I could also mention the Matrix is questionable tonight, but that doesn’t matter…he’s played like shiznit so far…SPURS WIN BY 7-12 POINTS
WISC-GREEN BAY PHOENIX (-1) @ LOYOLA (IL) RAMBLERS
The (10-4) Phoenix are loaded with deadly shooters (41-3pt%) and veteran leadership to make a legitimate run at the Horizon league title this year. Amazingly, after stumbling out of the gate with Sr. star Ryan Tillema sidelined, Green Bay went on a six-game win streak and proved they had more talent than most thought. Now, with the 6-8 Tillema back and extending the floor even more (16 ppg, 4 rpg, 46-3pt% in only 24 mpg in 7 games), look for the Phoenix to roll in 2009. As for the (8-6) Ramblers, they lost at home Saturday by 14 to an average Wisc-Milw squad, and before that, played the likes of (2-12) Alcorn St. & (4-12) SIU Edwardsville to falsely add to their win total…PHOENIX BY 6-10 POINTS