College Bowl Pick'em Challenge
Three area coaches square off with our sports editor to see just who knows college football.
Updated December 31:
Editor's Note: Thursday was a rough day for our competitors, as South Lakes' Andy Hill's 2-2 record allowed him to pick up a game on everyone else. Patch Sports Editor Michael Beller still holds a 2-game lead over Centreville's Chris Haddock for first place in the Patch Bowl Game Pick'Em Challenge. Lake Braddock's Jim Poythress is tied with Hill two games behind Haddock.
The end of December may mark the holiday season for some people, but the real presents for a college football fan are the 35 bowl games packaged neatly on a television near you. To celebrate, Patch Sports Editor Michael Beller and three area high school football coaches, Lake Braddock's Jim Poythress, Centreville's Chris Haddock and South Lakes' Andy Hill, predicted the winners for each game. We'll have updates after each game to keep track of the standings, and you can chime in too with your picks. Who do you think will end up as the best bowl prognosticator?
First, let's meet the contestants.
Jim Poythress – Poythress has been the coach at Lake Braddock for the last seven years. This season, he led the Bruins to their second-straight Patriot Distirct and Division 6 Northern Region championships before losing to Battlefield in the state semifinals.
Chris Haddock – A longtime head coach at Fairfax High School, Haddock took over at Centreville this season and immediately turned the Wildcats around. After going 3-7 a year ago, the Wildcats went 8-2 this season and advanced to the Division 6 Northern Region semifinals, where they lost to Chantilly.
Andy Hill – Hill took over at South Lakes this season after five years at Park View in Sterling, where his teams made the playoffs four times and won two district titles. Hill turned the Seahawks from 5-6 in 2009 to 7-3 this year and the semifinals of the Division 5 Northern Region tournament, where they lost to state runner-up Stone Bridge.
Michael Beller – Your trusty sports editor played baseball and basketball through high school. He has a really good arm and his range starts the moment he steps foot in the gym.
And now, the picks.
|Dec. 18||New Mexico Bowl: BYU vs. UTEP||BYU||BYU||BYU||BYU||BYU 52, UTEP 24|
|Dec. 18||uDrove Humanitarian Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State||Fresno State||Fresno State||Fresno State||Northern Illinois||NIU 40, Fresno State 17|
|Dec. 18||R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Ohio vs. Troy||Ohio||Ohio||Troy||Troy||Troy 48, Ohio 21|
|Dec. 21||Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl: Southern Mississippi vs. Louisville||Louisville||Louisville||Southern Mississippi||Louisville||Louisville 31, Southern Miss. 28|
|Dec. 22||MAACO Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. Boise State||Boise State||Boise State||Boise State||Boise State||Boise State 26, Utah 3|
|Dec. 23||S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl: Navy vs. San Diego State||Navy||Navy||Navy||San Diego State||San Diego State 35, Navy 14|
|Dec. 24||Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. Tulsa||Hawaii||Hawaii||Tulsa||Tulsa||Tulsa 62, Hawaii 35|
|Dec. 26||Little Caesars Bowl: Florida International vs. Toledo||Florida International||Florida International||Toledo||Toledo||FIU 34, Toledo 32|
|Dec. 27||AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: Air Force vs. Georgia Tech||Georgia Tech||Air Force||Georgia Tech||Air Force||Air Force 14, Georgia Tech 7|
|Dec. 28||Champs Sports Bowl: West Virginia vs. N.C. State||N.C. State||N.C. State||N.C. State||West Virginia||N.C. State 23, West Virginia 7
|Dec. 28||Insight Bowl: Missouri vs. Iowa||Iowa||Iowa||Iowa||Iowa||Iowa 27, Missouri 24
|Dec. 29||Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman: East Carolina vs. Maryland||Maryland||Maryland||East Carolina||Maryland||Maryland 51, East Carolina 20
|Dec. 29||Texas Bowl: Illinois vs. Baylor||Baylor||Illinois||Baylor||Illinois||Illinois 38, Baylor 14
|Dec. 29||Valero Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Arizona||Oklahoma State||Oklahoma State||Oklahoma State||Oklahoma State||Oklahoma State 36, Arizona 10
|Dec. 30||Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. SMU||SMU||Army||SMU||SMU||Army 16, SMU 14
|Dec. 30||New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas St. vs. Syracuse||Kansas State||Kansas State||Syracuse||Kansas State||Syracuse 36, Kansas State 34
|Dec. 30||Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: North Carolina vs. Tennessee||North Carolina||Tennessee||North Carolina||North Carolina||North Carolina 30, Tennessee 27 (in 2OT)
|Dec. 30||Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: Nebraska vs. Washington||Nebraska||Nebraska||Nebraska||Nebraska||Washington 19, Nebraska 7
|Dec. 31||Meineke Car Care Bowl: South Florida vs. Clemson||Clemson||Clemson||Clemson||Clemson||USF 31, Clemson 26
|Dec. 31||Hyundai Sun Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Miami||Miami||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||Miami||Notre Dame 33, Miami 17
|Dec. 31||AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs. UCF||Georgia||Georgia||Georgia||Georgia||UCF 10, Georgia 6
|Dec. 31||Chick-fil-A Bowl: South Carolina vs. Florida State||South Carolina||South Carolina||Florida State||South Carolina||Florida State 26, South Carolina 17
|Jan. 1||TicketCity Bowl: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech||Texas Tech||Northwestern||Northwestern||Texas Tech||Texas Tech 45, Northwestern 38
|Jan. 1||Outback Bowl: Florida vs. Penn State||Florida||Penn State||Florida||Florida||Florida 37, Penn State 24
|Jan. 1||Captial One Bowl: Alabama vs. Michigan State||Alabama||Michigan State||Michigan State||Alabama||Alabama 49, Michigan State 7
|Jan. 1||Gator Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Michigan||Mississippi State||Mississippi State||Mississippi State||Mississippi State||Mississippi State 52, Michigan 14
|Jan. 1||Rose Bowl presented by VIZIO: Wisconsin vs. TCU||Wisconsin||Wisconsin||TCU||Wisconsin||TCU 21, Wisconsin 19
|Jan. 1||Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Connecticut vs. Oklahoma||Oklahoma||Oklahoma||Connecticut||Oklahoma||Oklahoma 48, Connecticut 20
|Jan. 3||Discover Orange Bowl: Stanford vs. Virginia Tech||Stanford||Virginia Tech||Stanford||Stanford||Stanford 40, Virginia Tech 12
|Jan. 4||Allstate Sugar Bowl: Ohio State vs. Arkansas||Ohio State||Ohio State||Arkansas||Ohio State|
|Jan. 6||GoDaddy.com Bowl: Middle Tennessee State vs. Miami (Ohio)||Miami (Ohio)||Miami (Ohio)||Miami (Ohio)||Miami (Ohio)|
AT&T Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Texas A&M
|Jan. 8||BBVA Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky||Pittsburgh||Kentucky||Pittsburgh||Kentucky|
|Jan. 9||Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Nevada vs. Boston College||Nevada||Nevada||Nevada||Nevada|
|Jan. 10||Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: Oregon vs. Auburn||Auburn||Auburn||Auburn||Oregon|
|"Lone Wolf" Record||0-0||1-3||3-3||2-1||----------|
We made 10 unanimous picks (BYU, Boise State, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Clemson, Georgia, Mississippi State, Miami (Ohio) and Nevada).
In keeping with his risk-taking tendencies as a coach, Hill was a lone wolf on seven picks, including three BCS games, going against the rest of us with TCU over Wisconsin, Connecticut over Oklahoma and Arkansas over Ohio State. Beller was alone on five games, including the National Championship, as he's the only participant who thinks Oregon will beat Auburn. Haddock is by himself on four games, including the Orange Bowl, where he picked Virginia Tech to beat Stanford. Poythress did not stray from the herd on one pick. He has made it to back-to-back state semifinals, so perhaps he's onto something.
Check back here to follow along with the standings.