You don’t want to go to Las Vegas with me, or the race track, or have me pick your bowl winners.

Refuse any overture, or invite, to become a minority investment owner in any of my fantasy enterprises.

I joined the ESPN college football “Pick ’em” contest this year and bailed out mid-year after realizing I was picking my “confidence pick” winners in the wrong order.


My TMG weekly offerings were so upside-down and ass-backward I had to bring in my second son to take over the overs, the unders and the in-betweens. “Child Lock” did post a winning record and that improved the family to somewhere around 10 games under .500.

I finished t-26, out of 36, in the TMG bowl-picking contest which, according to Neil deGrasse Tyson, left me four light years away from ESPN’s contest winner.

I wrote Five Reasons why Oklahoma would win the Rose Bowl, and Georgia won, then Five Reasons Georgia would win Monday’s national title game, and Alabama won.

I went to a state college that dropped football 20 years ago and now cover the Pac 12, which didn’t place a team in the top 10 of the final AP, USA Today or Rasmussen polls.

I’m bad at math, directions and, to save my life, can’t sew a button on a shirt.

But here’s one thing I did great in the last year, from January to January: I picked TERRIFIC college football games to cover for you, my loyal TMG subscribers.

I’ve been certified and credentialed for seven games since the Rose Bowl parade that kicked off 2017. Those games were decided by the final average score of 38.5714 to 35.2857.

Four of the seven games were decided on the final play and one was decided with one second left, with the number of total overtime periods checking in at FIVE!

Holy smokes am I on a hot streak and I must also add that several of these games rank with the greatest I witnessed in more than three decades as a sports writer for the Los Angeles Times.

The WORST game of the seven was USC’s 31-28 win over Stanford in this year’s Pac 12 title game. That game was merely fantastic because it only featured a dramatic fourth-and-goal stop by USC and wasn’t decided until the Trojans recovered an on-sides kick.

Here’s a recap of my Magnificent 7:

1: Jan. 2, 2017, Rose Bowl. USC 52, Penn State 49.

Decided on: Matt Boermeester’s 46-yard field goal as time expired.

It was the best Rose Bowl I would see…until the next one. Little did I know this would be the first jewel in my seven-game crown.

It was the prettiest of the seven, the Rose Bowl never looking more beautiful under cloudy skies that threatened, but dared not, rain.

Selected story quote:  PASADENA—Some games are great and some games are ridiculous but sometimes, if you get lucky, you can walk into ridiculously great. Monday’s Rose Bowl was that.

2: Jan. 9, 2017, College Football Playoff national title game in Tampa: Clemson 35, Alabama 31. 

Decided on: Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson’s two-yard scoring pass to Hunter Renfrow with one second left.

Selected story quote:  It was good to see a made-up verb, Clemson-ing, finally expunged from the annals. It was time for Webster’s to find a new word, or just go back to “Rutgers-ing.” They were lost, and gone forever, but no more. Oh my darling, Clemson Time.  The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.