Florida State's James skipping bowl game, entering draft

Florida State defensive back Derwin James, left, and defensive tackle Walvenski Aime (94) celebrate with Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, center, after defeating Florida 38-22 in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida State won 38-22. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

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The Picker feels strongly about this: It’s OK for a college football coach to leverage a pay increase for himself following a big season, but only if the coach is willing to seek out the AD and ask for a pay cut after a stinky season. Will anyone have enough guts to do this?

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The fake playoff’s biggest problem is math. There are five alleged power conferences and four spots in the playoff. Five into four doesn’t fit. At minimum, one conference is always going to be left out. This time, two were snubbed. Historically speaking, this could be college football’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand moment.

It’s glorious that the Florida State coach bolted for Texas A&M. Here’s why: A booster who helped run off Bobby Bowden justified his actions by saying he loves Bowden, but he loves Florida State more. Bowden’s exit cleared the way for Jimbo Fisher, who loved Florida State — but loved the money at Texas A&M even more.

Don’t blame the committee if you’re mad about Alabama finding a back door to the fake playoff. Blame Wisconsin. The Badgers had the ball at game’s end with a chance to beat Ohio State — and they looked like they weren’t sure if the forward pass had been legalized.

Among college postseason games are the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl and the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. Missing: The Euell Gibbons Grape Nuts Bowl. RIP, Euell.

The Picks

Army vs. Navy (-3): Think about the commitment made by kids who suit up at service academies. And then perhaps be red-faced if you think college football players elsewhere should be paid. Reminder: College football players are getting paid, but the money is invested in somewhat important things like tuition, books, room and board.

Army by 3.

Thursday

Saints (-1 1/2) at Falcons: Since taking a 28-3 lead over the Patriots in the Super Bowl, the Falcons have been outscored 275-274. If you’ve got an “NFC champions” flag attached to your car, it’s time to adjust it to half mast.

Saints by 1.

Sunday

Seahawks at Jaguars (-3): The Jaguars have the look of a squad whose max potential is to ruin a better team’s season in the playoffs. In a previous life, the Jags were Jethro Tull, a flute-playing band that knocked Metallica out of a hard rock/metal Grammy in 1989.

Aqualung by 6.

Raiders at Chiefs (-4): Once upon a time, the 6-6 Chiefs were the NFL’s hottest team. Now they’re the Kansas City Fidget Spinners. Anybody want one? Anybody?

Raiders by 2.

Vikings (-2 1/2) at Panthers: The Vikings are a Super Bowl contender and a “Star Wars” movie is headed to theaters, just in case you were wondering if 1977 was ever going to come back around again.

Panthers by 4.

Packers (-3) at Browns: The Browns have four remaining chances to avoid a winless season. The opponents: The Aaron Rodgers-less Packers (do-able). The Ravens (not likely). The Bears (rookie QB vs. rookie QB). The Steelers (might rest starters if playoff seed is locked). The most heartwarming story would be a Christmas Eve victory, so let’s designate the Bears as the gift under the tree.

Packers by 2.

Redskins at Chargers (-6): The most energy-conserving team in the league might be the Chargers, who stood on the ground floor and let the AFC West elevator come down to them. The Redskins are just good enough to get beat, no matter who they’re playing.

Chargers by 5.

Jets (-1) at Broncos: True story. Broncos executive John Elway refused to play for the team (Baltimore Colts) that selected him in the NFL draft. Current QBs should refuse to play for the Broncos, who seem to have no idea what to do at the game’s most important position. Someone contact a malpractice attorney. Meanwhile, the Jets are doing more with less than any team in the league, which is a sure way to cost yourself a great draft pick.

Jets by 3.

Eagles at Rams (-2): If the NFL crowned its champion by way of the college football system, it’s possible one of these teams wouldn’t be in the playoff. Sounds fair, right? Nah. It’s better to play it all out on a field instead of in a committee room.

Rams by 4.

Cowboys (-4) at Giants: The Giants started the week by firing their coach and GM. It’s impossible to feel sorry for someone who benches a player with the last name Manning. Fair or unfair, let’s assume the Giants disliked their coach and were playing at less than their best for him. Does a new coach all of a sudden make this a scarier game for the Cowboys?

Cowboys by 1.

Ravens at Steelers (-5 1/2): The Ravens give the Steelers as much trouble as cable news gives to liberals and conservatives. Political people watch the channel that aggravates them because they enjoy having drama in their lives and it gives them something to post about on social media. Maybe get a hobby instead, except it sounds like you already have one.

Steelers by 3.

Monday

Patriots (-11 1/2) at Dolphins: The Chiefs cornerback (did you see him toss a penalty flag into the stands?) apparently doesn’t know Tom Brady is the only NFL player allowed to throw penalty flags. If you touch him or give him the stink-eye, he campaigns for a roughing flag. Recent Patriots opponents have competed so poorly that they’re not worthy of a participation trophy.

Pats by 10.

This article originally ran on tulsaworld.com.

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