Dec. 28, 2016
"The Stack" 12-27-16
The Stack is back on this Tuesday and the we don’t have that much for you today. The NBA admitted that the Cleveland Cavaliers benefited from a couple of calls in the last couple of minutes in their Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors. Boo-hoo, the Warriors didn’t benefit from a call. Poor them! More college bowl games to get to today. That’s pretty much it during this holiday season so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Tuesday, December 27th:
Cowboys use second half surge to tame Lions
The Detroit Lions for most of the first half looked like they wanted Monday night’s game more. Then the Dallas Cowboys showed up and they looked like a team no one will want to face in the postseason this year. Dez Bryant caught two touchdowns and threw for another one on a beautifully designed play to Jason Witten as the Cowboys scored the final 28 points in the game and beat the Lions 42-21. The Cowboys defensive line was impressive in this one. They put a lot of pressure on Matthew Stafford with guys like David Irving who they signed off of the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad a couple of weeks ago and Randy Gregory who they welcomed back following his fourteen game suspension. Irving had 1.5 sacks and Gregory had two tackles, but the point is, the Cowboys are developing a pass rush and that could make them very dangerous come playoffs. For the Lions, if they had won they would have clinched a playoff spot. Now, they face a win-and-in scenario for the NFC North title next Sunday against the red hot Green Bay Packers. Good luck!
College bowl games (Tuesday)
Mississippi State barely survived Miami (OH) on Monday, blocking a field goal in the game’s final seconds for them to beat the Redhawks 17-16. Good job Mississippi State. Way to not run away with this one. Proud of you. Maryland and Boston College actually played a more entertaining bowl game than I anticipated, but Maryland had too many costly penalties and turnovers in this one. They were quite sloppy. And they kept throwing passes that were easily tipped and deflected by Boston College’s defensive line. Not good. NC State spanked Vanderbilt. Poor Commodores. They’ll be back next year. Let’s take a look at today’s bowl games.
Army vs. North Texas (Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl) 12 PM ET ESPN
This is not a great bowl game. When these two teams met earlier this season, North Texas beat Army 35-18. Army has looked impressive though as of late, especially in beating Navy 21-17. I don’t have a lot of confidence in this one, but I’ll take Army sure, why not?
Pick & confidence points: Army, low single digits (1-4)
Temple vs. Wake Forest (Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman) 3:30 PM ET ESPN
Um, why is there no armed forces team in the Military Bowl? Air Force, Navy, Army? Anyone. Poor selection here bowl committee. Temple looks really good, but at least they won’t be tipped off of Wake Forest’s game plan by anyone so that’s nice.
Pick & confidence points: Temple, low-mid 30s (32-37)
Minnesota vs. Washington State (National Funding Holiday Bowl) 7 PM ET ESPN
Minnesota has had quite the controversy lately with their boycott. Now comes word that a petition has been signed to get head coach Tracy Claeys fired. Yuck. What a mess. Washington State quarterback Luke Falls announced that he is coming back for his senior season. The Cougars have an awful defense, but their offense is good enough to get the job done in this one.
Pick & confidence points: Washington State, upper 20s (26-29)
Boise State vs. Baylor (Motel 6 Cactus Bowl) 10:15 PM ET ESPN
Baylor started off strong, but really faded down the stretch. They look like they have given up on the season. Yet, this is their chance to prove all of the doubters wrong. Boise State though has such a strong defense and a decent enough offense. I’m probably putting too many points on them, but here goes nothing.
Pick & confidence points: Boise State, low 30s (31-33)
Coming up Wednesday: Bowl games and other top headlines in sports