GRIDIRON GURUS: Week 8

in Predictions

PUTTING IT ON THE LINE: Picking Texas high school playoff games, NCAA college bowl games, as well as the Cowboys & the Texans

As the Class 6A and 5A Texas high school football playoffs move to the State Quarterfinal round, we also turn our eyes toward the annual New Year’s Day college football bowl games.

But thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NCAA college football bowl schedule continues to be somewhat abbreviated this season, and has been hit with additional cancellations. After putting on 40 bowl games in 2019, only 28 matchups were on tap this season after originally planning to hold 43 tilts. And this week, that total got whittled down even more.

As we move forward, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus will pick all of Class 6A and 5A high school football playoff games on tap as they battle to reach the State Semifinal round next week, along with all of the NCAA college football bowl games as well as the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans in the NFL.

THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel welcomes newcomer Don Nicholas, Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25) this season, while Meridian Yellowjacket football head coach Wade Morton, The Sports Buzz  photographer David Harding and The Sports Buzz’ Brett Voss return from last year.

For the record, Wade hung onto the overall lead with his uncanny ability to correctly pick the Class 6A and 5A playoff games, exclusively picking Cedar Hill over Tomball Memorial and Rockwall-Heath over Cypress Bridgeland.

With Wade struggling a bit in the college bowl picks, Don swept the panel by picking Hawaii over the Houston Cougars in the New Mexico Bowl while Brett nailed the Camellia Bowl by selecting Buffalo over Marshall. On the flip side, Wade’s upset special didn’t work out as Georgia St prevailed over Western Kentucky in the LendingTree Bowl.

By the way, it looks like we will finally play the Class 1A, Division II state championship game between Richland Springs and Balmorhea next Tuesday in San Angelo. Yep, Texas high school football on Tuesday…go figure. It’s been a crazy football season.

Speaking of crazy…in the final week of the NFL regular season, we will be picking both games from the NFC Least as the resurgent Dallas Cowboys visit the New York Giants before Washington faces Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football as every team other than the Eagles remain in the hunt for the postseason.

Playoffs? Did you say PLAYOFFS? Amazingly, the Dallas Cowboys can legitimately talk about postseason possibilities going into the final week of the NFL regular season. And remarkably, it was only three weeks ago that the Cowboys were in last place in the lowly NFC East with just three wins under their belts.

But after taking down the Philadelphia Eagles, 37-17, in resounding fashion last Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the Cowboys (6-9) will need to beat Giants (5-10) this Sunday afternoon, then hope the Eagles (4-10-1) knock off the Washington Football Team (6-9) on Sunday night to win the NFC East title outright. Washington remains in control with the tiebreaker edge over Dallas and will clinch the division with a Week 17 win over the Eagles.

If Washington loses, the winner of next Sunday’s Cowboys-Giants game will be crowned division champion and go on to host a playoff game. If the Giants come out on top, they’ll clinch the division at 6-10 thanks to holding the tiebreaker over both the Cowboys and Washington. Taking the pattern established over the last 25 years into consideration, the Cowboys will once again let all of us diehard fans down this week, one way or the other. But we will be there, nevertheless.

Join us every Thursday throughout the rest of the 2020 football season as THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick their winners for a select group of the week’s high school playoff games, your favorite college teams from the NCAA Div. I, Div. II and Div. III, as well as the state’s two NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.

Be sure to make your picks as well!

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