By Marc Lawrence — The New Year’s Six bowl games are considered to be the most prestigious bowls in college football every year. From the two playoff semifinal matchups to the four surrounding bowl games, each of the New Year’s Six games possess some of the most talented players in the nation, and each game projects as a hotbed for NFL talent. From a talent standpoint, see how each team stacks up heading into each matchup on New Year’s Day. For instance, with an undefeated season and three wins over ranked teams, Cincinnati has put together one of the most impressive résumés for a Group of 5 school in quite some time. The Bearcats are led by QB Desmond Ridder, a dual-threat passer with athletic tools and a strong arm that could see him drafted on Day 2 of the 2021 draft. And then there is North Carolina’s Sam Howell who is the star of the show at quarterback, and while he is only a true sophomore, he should be in talks as the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft. Read more here.
The NFL’s best relief pitcher, Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Dolphins will not be available when they face the Bills in Buffalo tomorrow in a critical game for the Fish. The veteran quarterback has tested positive for COVID-19, a cruel blow for Miami. The Dolphins would clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Bills. They could still make the playoffs with a loss but would need a loss from either the Browns, the Colts or the Ravens. Fitzpatrick, who has never made the playoffs in his 16-year career, could be in jeopardy of missing the Dolphins’ first playoff game if they make it. Any asymptomatic player who tests positive for COVID-19 must wait at least 10 days before rejoining the team. That means the earliest FitzMagic could return to the team is Sunday, Jan. 10, and only if he travels separately from the team via private transportation to participate in the game. Stay tuned.
Grinding Out The Profits
From this week’s PLAYBOOK Football Newsletter: When Nick Saban’s 5 national championship teams surrendered an average of 243.1 yards per game. This year’s edition allows 351.2 YPG. Irish QB Ian Book was a non-factor against Clemson but he’s 30-4 SU with the Dame, including 9-3 SU and 10-2 ATS versus .750 or greater foes. With 16-point or greater college bowl dogs 11-4 ATS since 1996, and Notre Dame having not dropped consecutive games the past four seasons (5-0 off a loss), we’re putting this into the hands of Touchdown Jesus.