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Wk 18 — OSU +2 vs Clemson (Fiesta)

BYU -2.5 vs Hawaii

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Short and sweet this week. All-play is OSU +2 vs Clemson at Glendale. Merry Xmas and Happy Happy.
wk18

Click to access wk18.pdf



Playoff notes:
1) Playoff candidates may submit their picks via email if they want to but they don’t have to. Looks like Borcas will need to be the designated mailbox for such drops this year. He is mborcas@gmail.com .

2) End of the regular season is Sunday with the last NFL game.

Playoff format:
Week 1: Choose 8 of the following week’s bowl games (from Monday 12/30 through Monday 1/6), plus the 4 NFL wild card games, 2 points per pick, 6 points for the essay. (30 points total). College picks due by Monday 12/30 at 11:30AM, pro picks due on Saturday at 3PM (or an hour before the first game).

Week 2: Choose the 4 NFL divisional games, plus the CFB championship, 5 points per pick, 10 points for the essay (30 points total).

Week 3: Choose the 2 NFL conference championship games, 5 points per pick, 10 points for the essay (15 points total).

Week 4: Super Bowl: 12 points.

This is more or less consistent with what we’ve done in previous years.

wk18


58 Comments

  1. Peter G. Wendler says:

    Dropping Vikings as all-together. Switching essay to Browns -2.5 @ Cincy.

    Bengals are trash and I think the Browns want to go out on a high note, to try to bring some sort of semblance to a disappointing 2019. I am hoping that OBJ is up for this game, because the Bengals can’t stop much of anything, and Baker and Landry/OBJ will have plenty of opportunities to run the score up in front of maybe 30,000 fans. Gimme the Browns, I will lay the road points. 27-17.

  2. AmplifiedEsq says:

    All-Play: OSU +2

    • AmplifiedEsq says:

      Bears +1

      • AmplifiedEsq says:

        1. Bears +7
        2. Colts -3.5
        3. Cowboys -10.5
        4. Niners -3
        5. All-Play: OSU +2
        6. Essay: Titans -3.5 (PICK OF THE YEAR)

        What’s there to say that hasn’t been said on this game already? I generally save my POTY for the last week in case playoffs are on the line and I need to go the opposite someone ahead of me. This year I control my own destiny and am going to roll with the consensus play this week it seems.This isn’t even as much about the Titans motivations to win (look how well that motivation has been working early for the Pats, Chiefs, and Packers…); this is all about the Texans motivation to head into next weekend as healthy as can be. What’s the point of playing anyone worthwhile in this game for the Texans? The Titans have proven to be more than competent with Tannehill behind center and should take advantage of this less than full strength Texans team today to make their way into the playoffs.

  3. thatsfine503 says:

    OSU +2

    • thatsfine503 says:

      Bengals +2.5 essay

      The Bengals are getting points at home here, and when I think back to the game 3 weeks ago I remember the Bengals outplaying the Browns in pretty much every phase of the game. They outgained them 451-333, First downs 27-17, and even won the turnover battle 2-1. But, they kicked 4 FGs and that cost them the game. The Browns season is finally over, the slimmest of playoffs hopes dashed even though pretty much everything they needed to happen 4 weeks ago has (except them holding up their end by losing games vs Pittsburgh and Arizona). It’s hard to imagine them getting excited to play for a coach they’ve rightfully started to doubt, in a stadium that will be 1/3 full, when the only thing the Browns players that plan on sticking around need is for that draft pick to be in the 11-14 range instead of the 16-19 range so they have a shot at a starting left tackle. The Bengals have already nailed down the rights to Mr. Ohio Joe Burrow, so look for Andy Dalton to give a resounding fuck you type performance and throw 4 TDs as the Bengals play loose and maybe bring a merciful end to the Freddie Kitchens era.

  4. mattborcas says:

    Essay: OSU +2 over Clemson

    Ohio State and LSU have been on a collision course all year long, and it would really be a missed opportunity for the universe if Joe Burrow doesn’t get a shot against OSU in the national title game. With average point differentials of +36.2 (OSU) and +35.2 (Clemson), the Bucks and the Tigers are dominating their opponents at historic levels, but the difference is that OSU has at least faced a handful of legitimately strong opponents, including in each of their last three games. By contrast, Clemson’s strength of schedule is easily the weakest of any team in the CFP’s six-year history (hence their having dropped from no. 1 to no. 3 over the course of the season, which is unprecedented for an undefeated defending national champion). Meanwhile, Justin Fields has had three weeks to regain full health and one has to assume the Buckeyes are the motivated team on the basis of their recent history against Clemson as well as the fact that, unlike the Tigers, the majority of the players on their team *haven’t* already won a national championship. If I had kept my POTY for the last week of the season, I would have used it here.

  5. oxr says:

    All-Play Buckeyes +2 over Clemson

    • oxr says:

      Essay and POTY Browns -2.5 over Bengals — I know, I know, I know but this is still a talent mismatch and I think the line is wrong, probably because everyone is assuming a meteor is going to hit the Browns sideline during the second quarter. Plus I’m actually going to be watching the game. And maybe I’m drawn to this as a way of registering my disapproval with the ongoing cycle of death (mostly) and rebirth (very briefly) that the Browns are apparently going to dunk themselves back into later this afternoon. Football reasons? OK, speaking as someone who foolishly essayed the Bengals last week, it turns out their defense is bad. Mayfield doesn’t have to approach Ryan Goddamn Fitzpatrick Last Week levels of excellence to cover a field goal. And unless something really weird happens Ryan Goddamn Fitzpatrick Last Week has made it impossible for me to make the playoffs anyhow — so best of luck to all the contenders, and thanks for another great and edifying season of Cheddar Bay.

      • oxr says:

        Other picks now that I’ve beaten the clock with my POTY:

        Ryan Goddamn Fitzpatrick This Week +15.5 over Patriots
        Cardinals +7 over Rams
        Eagles -4 over Giants
        Chiefs -8.5 over Chargers

  6. Elizabeth Schultz says:

    It’s the right move to sit the starters. They’re injured. Strategic forts were lost during the Civil War because the troops were exhausted and starving. The didn’t run, they didn’t fight. They needed reinforcements. This is the Ravens reinforcement game. The Ravens haven’t been to the Superbowl since 2013. Worried about RGIII? He’s better than Joe Flacco. Okay, his last start was 2016 and the Steelers defense will test his skills. There’s enough talent on Baltimore’s bench to give Griffin the room necessary to find his targets. Deeper than stats and rushing records (there’s plenty of those on the line here) this is like coaches pre-season for the post-season. They will not take the proverbial foot off the gas. Harbaugh and company will beat their divisional foe because that’s the momentum necessary headed into the bye week. This game will garner their complete attention because it establishes the discipline required to reach and win the Superbowl. Sorry Tomlin.
    Ravens 14-2. Ravens +2. at home
    hometeam

  7. Little Ball of Hate says:

    One biscuit: ND, Penn State, Eagles, Vikings
    All Play: Buckeyes
    Essay: Browns -2.5
    Browns haven’t won four straight and swept the season series from the Bengals in back-to-back seasons since 1994-95. Cincinnati had dominated the Battle of Ohio for a long time under Marvin Lewis but it appears as if the tide has turned. The spread is manageable and the Browns should win by a field goal in what should be a very apathetic crowd at Paul Brown Stadium.

  8. wene is on okla and clemson via twitter.

  9. Art Briles Hirer says:

    Happy Holidays everyone, I hope it has been a fun week all around. Last night I had a wonderful dinner with Frowns, Agnes, and Pheasant Pants as we discussed who has what it takes to bring home the crown. Onto the picks:

    Oklahoma +13.5 over LSU
    Browns -2.5 over Bengals
    Colts -3.5 over Jags
    Cal -6 over Illinois
    Titans -3.5 over Texans (essay)
    OSU +2 over Clemson (all-play)

    Let’s face it: only degenerates wager on NFL Week 17. The lines move by 7 points during the week. You have to consult tarot cards to figure out what teams will have any motivation. Unfortunately, the only thing more random in wagering is trying to figure out whether the good or bad version of a 6-6 power five team is going to make the bowl trip.

    With that in mind, it seems like a pretty solid (although certainly not foolproof) bet to take a team fighting for the playoffs against a team with nothing left to gain. Houston played pretty poorly last week against Tampa, when they had a shot of clinching a division, and when Tampa started the 1st half with four turnovers. After surviving such a bizarre struggle to get in, are they going to get back up to fend off a Titans team that desperately needs it? No way. This line is actually -6 on ESPN today. Everyone loves the Titans in this spot. They really found something with Tannehill and pulled a playoff season right out of their rear end. There’s no way they give it away now. Titans by 7+.

    • Art Briles Hirer says:

      I have been informed that Cal-Illinois is not eligible for this week’s selection so I will drop that and replace it with:

      Broncos -3 over Raiders

  10. cleinmsp says:

    OSU +2 (All Play)

    • cleinmsp says:

      Jets +1
      Packers -13
      Chiefs -8.5
      Broncos -3
      Titans -3.5 (Essay – POTY)

      Titans have to win this game if they want the 6th seed in the AFC. Well, technically they don’t “have to,” but you get the drift. Meanwhile, the Texans are resting Deshaun, Deandre and others. This game means nothing for for the Texans. The Titans have been scoring a lot of points since Tannehill took over, and have overall been very formidable. I will take the desperate team in a win and in situation against inferior competition. Thanks to the exec committee for another great Cheddar season. Happy New Year!

  11. Harbaugh Handshakes says:

    Ohio State -2**
    LSU -13.5
    Vikes -1
    Sam Fran -3
    Giants +4
    Browns-2.5

    In college football there’s LSU and Ohio State then everybody else. The bucks are far more talented, big game tested and have a defense unlike anything Clemson has seen this year. I don’t expect a Dabo team to rollover but they’re going to have a hard time scoring and keeping up with one of the most talented Ohio State offenses. Oh and they have the luxury of playing the top defense in the nation. Good luck.

  12. Just out here playing for 1 last weekly. Good luck in the playoffs to those who make it.

    1. Penn State -7 v. Memphis
    2. Washington Football +10.5 @ Cowboys
    3. Bengals +2.5 v. Browns
    4. Jets +1 @ Bills
    5. TBD late afternoon NFL game.
    Essay: Ohio State +2 v. Clemson

    This has been an easy pick for me. Ohio State is SP+ dominant team (1 of the greatest teams of all time by this metric). They were “tested” 3 straight weeks with 3 consecutive top-15 teams and beat them all by at least 2 scores. Those were the closest games they played all year. No other team in all of CFB even contemplated such a gauntlet, yet survived it unscathed.

    The Buckeyes are dominant at the most important position, defensive line. And solid throughout including a top 5 pick at one corner and a solid NLF prospect at the other. The offensively they are dynamic being able to adjust the gameplan on the fly all season to adapt to what the defense is giving them.

    Clemson has built themselves a dominant program having won 2 recent National Titles, but on the D-Line, this team is not of that vintage. They are smallish and the big and physical OSU line should be able to lean on them in the run game and wear them down.

    Trevor Lawrence will have to make quicker decisions than he’s used to because the Clemson line is good, not great.

    There’s some concern about Justin Field’s knee and what he meant by 80-85%. Was he at 50% against Wisconsin? How much recovery is there? We won’t know until we see him, but if he’s talking small brace, that’s a small concern to me.

    Either way, pro tip for the CFP Title game, just take the winner of this game regardless of what happens in the other semi-final.

  13. Lucylaw12 says:

    1. Memphis
    2. Iowa St
    3. Giants
    4. Titans
    5. AP OSU
    6. Essay Baltimore

    I know Baltimore is playing back ups but how are the Steelers going to score? RG3 has something to prove and I think he will be able to have some success. I look for a low scoring game and I’ll take the better team getting points, even if it’s the second string.

  14. Essay and Play of the Year:

    Well, it’s time for the annual Play of the Year by default. This has not worked out well in the past given we haven’t hit a POY since it was instituted. Really, it’s a super dumb idea, but whatever. Have been sputtering towards the finish line and had the debacle last week with bad line SMU (that was extra stupid). For this week’s essay, will head to my top bowl game which is Iowa St. The clones have been super disappointing this year. Fairly highly touted coming in and featuring a promising QB they have been all over the place and super inconsistent. Last time we saw them, they were getting their faces plastered in Manhattan by a nondescript Kansas St. squad. Meanwhile, ND was 10-2 which is about what you would expect from this years Irish outfit. It’s actually been a nice year with wins over USC and three other ranked squads. The Michigan game was a debacle, but that happens. And then there was the close loss at UGa which is really like a win. Iowa St. hasn’t beaten a single ranked team. Somehow, they are only 3.5 dogs. This is screaming for ND action. I’ll hope Iowa St. can pull this off somehow. Iowa St. POY and essay.

  15. Jason says:

    Clemson -2 (AP)
    Iowa St +3.5
    Memphis +7
    Ravens +2
    Falcons +1

    Essay: NYG +4.5
    The New York Football Giants will win Sunday. Eli Manning will ride off into the NY sunset at .500 as a starter and the guy who came in and replaced Daniel Jones to try to spoil the Eagles playoff hopes (although I still think they get there because I believe Dallas loses also). I really don’t have a ton of rationale behind this pick. Despite the Eagles needing a win to get in, I see a natural let down spot after a big win last week. Also, thanks to Stuckey at Action Network I’ve learned that teams that have nothing to play for vs. teams needing a win to get into the playoffs over the last 30 years are something stupid like 70% ATS so this fits the profile with those 2 factors. And it just seems like a fitting ending to Eli’s NYG career to come in and lead the team to a victory as his last hurrah. Giants win outright 24-21.

  16. Tomorrow is shaping up to be an interesting football day. Beats the heck out of sitting in the returns line at Best Buy. Which I’ll have to do anyway. It’s been a fun Cheddar season, and best of luck to the playoff contenders.

    OSU +2
    LSU -13.5
    Memphis +7 (Essay)
    Giants +4
    Dolphins +15.5
    Chiefs -8.5

    I don’t know much about Memphis football. Or any other football. Penn St started off as a CFP contender then faded after I hit them on my POTY, and while they still get to play in a bowl game with some name recognition, it’s not where everyone had them going in Week 5. Memphis has racked up wins against decent opponents to end the season, so this is a pure momentum play here.

  17. Elizabeth Schultz says:

    Texas A & M -6.5

  18. Moonman says:

    AP: Clemson
    Saints
    Pacers
    Titans
    Bengals
    Essay: Niners

    The 49ers have had one hell of a season. Then they come home to lose an emotionally draining game to a team they were beating until the final whistle, only to follow that up with another taxing win against their division rival: a game that they played while grieving for a teammate whose brother was murdered that day. Add to this gauntlet of games all the players they’ve lost to injury and the fact that their bye came in week 4 and you can understand why this team is limping to the finish line.

    Meanwhile the Seattle Seahawks have had their own obstacles to contend with this season. Not only have they had a tough schedule, requiring much travel, but they have lost a number of key players to injuries (including both their starting running backs).

    The difference between these teams is and has been thy the depth of talent. When these two teams met in November I said the Niners would finally get their revenge against their division rival after being dominated by them for so many years. But, as you may recall, Kittle was not playing in that game, Sanders got hurt early, the other receivers lacked the experience to step up, Jimmy G made a couple of costly errors, and Clowny played the game of his life against a rusty Staley. On that night the Niners lost their advantage over the Seahawks in the standings, and everything they’ve done since then has been to give themselves an opportunity to redeem themselves and win back the division from the Seahawks. In fact, soon after defeating the Rams, all the Niners could talk about was the golden opportunity awaiting them next week in Seattle. GL all

  19. Elder B says:

    Temple +4.5 v. UNC
    Wazzou +3 vs. Air Force
    Oklahoma +13.5 vs. LSU
    Seahawks +3 vs. 49ers
    All Play – OSU +2 v. Clemson

    **Essay Tennessee -3.5 @ Houston** (Houston nothing to play for, AJ McCarron and no fuller)
    Motivation and capabilities. Houston has absolutely nothing to play for and Tennessee is Win and In. Tennessee has also been kicked out of the playoffs in the final two weeks in the last two seasons, trying not to let it happen for a third time. I think Vrabel gets his team up and gets a big wild-card boost win to end the season. Because Houston would prefer to field 53 kids from a high school team rather than risk any actual players we’ll see the infamous AJ McCarron quarterbacking a Fuller-less offense. It’s hard to imagine a lot of offensive output. On the other side of the ball, Derrick Henry is back with a week of rest and a defense that already doesn’t want to play worn down before kickoff. A field goal, either way, is probably the line if both teams wanted to play. I think Tennessee wins by 7 in a controlled game. Tennessee 17 – Houston 10

  20. Ohio St +2
    UNC -4.5
    LSU -13.5
    Air Force -3

    • Titans-3.5
      Ravens +2 essay

      lets wrap this up by fading the steelers once again. pittsburgh should not be favored against anyone right now with Duck Hodges playing QB. this years ravens are the kind of team that will want to get RG3 a win in his only start. even playing conservatively by running the clock and attempting to shorten the game to minimize injury risk, Tucker will still make all his field goals and 17 or 20 points might get this done. Tomlin got every ounce he could from this group but offensively they cant keep pace.

  21. Bnasty99 says:

    Iowa -2
    Air Force -3
    Browns -2.5
    Falcons +1

    AP: Clemson -2

    ***Essay***
    Notre Dame -3.5

    Putting my playoff season in the hands of my Fighting Irish. In the last decade, Notre Dame is 7-0 in bowl games that don’t matter. This gives me the utmost confidence that they will win this game. Iowa State has been inconsistent all year and ND has beaten every team with inferior talent this year. I really wish Notre Dame would have a down year again because I can’t stand Brian Kelly, but since that didn’t happen, I will settle for 11-2 and a win in the Camping World San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Pinstripe Cheez-It Birmingham Taxslayer Bowl. Somehow the Irish keep getting up and excited for these games, so give me Notre Dame -3.5 for hopefully a beautiful cheddar playoff birth

  22. Merry New Year, fellow Cheddarers. Give me UNC -4.5 for a point

    • Essay: Titans -3.5.

      With one horrendous exception, I’ve been pretty good at picking Texans games this year, both for and against. With nothing to play for, and a pretty crappy defense (even when healthy), I don’t see Texans doing much here. Building in the uncertainty for the oddsmakers posed by BOB’s public proclamations that he wasn’t resting any starters, give me the former Houston Oilers versus the current Houston squad.

  23. im entering fhcf and agnes. for the sake of the standings please enter your picks into the form as you make them. this week is the biggie!

  24. ckozelka says:

    Essay: Bengals
    – they have motivation, they feel a bit cheated by the first result where they were tin the game, they are playing better, and they have locked down the #1 spot so there will be none of that noise about “needing to lose.” Meanwhile, remember who they are playing? And the Bengals have played really hard all year for their coach and would like to end strong. Meanwhile, the motive on the Browns is to lose, just to make sure that fat loser coach is gone, because there has to be some concern a win combined with my presumption that Dorsey is a stubborn fuck and as insane as it is, Freddie might possibly be retained. Well, a lose to the lowly Bengals should end that and players prob have that in their head. Not to mention, the Bengals might just be better at this point when comparing Dalton to Baker.

    AP: Buckeyes
    Seahawks
    Dolphins
    Ravens
    Bucs

  25. clevta says:

    1. UNC
    2. Air Force
    3. OSU all play

  26. eastern michigan +11.5
    hometeam

      • clemson. not my essay but was real close.

        • eagles and bengals. im gonna go ahead and essay the bengals. our browns are done with the season, done with the coach, quite possibly more done than the 1-31 browns were in their 16th and 32nd games. those teams weren’t expected to do anything so.. achievement unlocked. but this team has failed so epic-ly and so loudly that at this point they just want it done. bengals on the other hand have something to play for– pride, coach, fans– and will. dalton’s last game, burrow coming in, and positive vibes generally. i expect the bengals to play hard for the win and the browns to not.

  27. Peter G. Wendler says:

    Eastern Michigan +11.5 vs. Pitt
    Iowa -2 vs. USC
    LSU -13.5 vs. Oklahoma
    Eagles -4 @ Giants
    (AP): Ohio St. +2 vs. Clemson

    Essay: Vikings -1 vs. Bears

    While I know the Vikings have nothing to play for, and they will probably be sitting people, I just thing they want a win here, especially against a division rival. The Bears are garbage, and the Vikings have only lost one game at home (Week 16 to GB). The Bears may sit some people too, and I know Week 17 is always fickle, but I just don’t see Chicago mustering much offense in this one, and the Vikes are still explosive without Cook and some of the others. I will lay a single point at home and take the better team, Skol Vikings 24 Bears 17.

  28. Josh Rossie says:

    Cards+7 I think Rams mail this in. AZ finishes strong.

    Cle -2.5 they want to beat lowly Cincy to finish this season out.

    Colts-3.5 Jags blow

    ATL-1 Tbay we Corp decimated Atl still.playing hard

    Ohio State -2 Gut pick but think this will be the better of the 2 Semi finals.

    Essay- SF -3 Sea banged up. SF desperately wants the bye for the playoffs. Think Seattle losing their OT will hurt. SF has revenge on their mind and Kyke Shanahan will pull a johnny lawrence and show no mercy with that pass rush.
    SF 30 Sea 23

  29. Zac Jackson says:

    Hawaii +2.5, one point

    • Zac Jackson says:

      NC -4.5 Essay

      The Heels were 2-9 last year and should be excited to be here. They’ve played wild games, and though there are some puzzling close losses they played Clemson and App State tough. I just think Temple is a bit above its weight class here in trying to match scores. Also, peep Rod Carey’s bowl record. It’s putrid. Give me the Heels to start scoring and keep scoring

      Clemson
      Texans
      Panthers
      OK State

      • Zac Jackson says:

        Changing off of Texans. Too much at stake and they’re sitting people. Will resubmit form.

        Changing to Bears plus 1

  30. Cleveland Frowns says:

    (1) Put me in for a point on the Rainbow Warriors as well though in fairness I’d probably be healthier if I drank less coffee.

    Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!

    • Cleveland Frowns says:

      (2) Michigan State -3.5 over Wake

      (3) Oklahoma State +6.5 over TAMU

      (4) USC +2 over Iowa

      • Cleveland Frowns says:

        (5) I submitted this confidentially to Borcas and Pheasant Pants this morning but might as well post it now:

        ***Vote of the Week*** Buckeyes +2 over Clemson

        Going to pin my playoff hopes on Ohio State restoring some balance to its relationship with Clemson.

        Both of these teams are of course loaded with talent but to me this comes down to the fact that the Buckeyes should be the hungrier group in that they (1) have won a national title less recently than Clemson, (2) got beat up the last time they played Clemson, and (3) really need this one if Ryan Day is going to be able to maintain anything close to Urban Meyer’s level of success on the recruiting trail.

        Also, it’s really hard to repeat as champs, nobody’s really giving the Buckeyes a chance here despite the tight spread, Dabo’s slavemaster act is wearing thin, Clemson’s weak schedule has to count for something, and if anyone was looking for an additional reason to support Ohio State tonight, folks …….. I present to you Mason Rudolph’s brother, Clemson DE Logan Rudolph:

        Finally, uh, “institutional” concerns also weigh in favor of the Buckeyes because it’s a real problem for the college football industrial complex if they don’t at least keep this close.

        Back with an NFL pick tomorrow that hopefully won’t matter. Good luck, all!

        • Cleveland Frowns says:

          (6) One vote to hang on for my playoff life, gotta go with what I know: Bengals +2.5 over dem Browns.

  31. Agnes says:

    Hawai’i +/- anything VS BYU. This pairs up my favorite and least favorite schools. One school is the Rainbow warriors, one school refused to let LBGQ kids advertise their meeting with a rainbow on the flyer. One school thinks single moms and pregnant students are okay, one school won’t let people with only medicaid insurance attend. One school allows students to drink coffee and tea on campus, the other school strictly forbids it. One school lets anyone grow a beard, one school only lets guys with a letter from their doctor grow a beard. One school lets you go camping with whomever you want, one school only allows same sex camping. One school allows women to show their knees on campus, one school makes an exception to their knee showing rules as long as it’s a cheer leader. As we all know, scantily clad cheerleaders are key to a football program’s success, so moral values can be overlooked under certain circumstances, Just as long as there aren’t any plant based hot beverages involved. Coffee you’re the devil, you’re leading me astray.

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