When we last left you, the consensus of our BuckeyeXtra panel of college football pickers (BXPOCFBP) told you that the Big Ten championship game between Ohio State and Wisconsin was almost too close to call. Right. Now, bowl season has kicked off, and the panel has selected games involving Big Ten teams, plus the other top matchups

When we last left you, the consensus of our BuckeyeXtra panel of college football pickers (BXPOCFBP) told you that the Big Ten championship game between Ohio State and Wisconsin was almost too close to call.

Right.

Now, bowl season has kicked off, and the panel has selected games involving Big Ten teams, plus the other top matchups. Chief among them for most folks in these parts will come Jan. 1 in the Sugar, when Ohio State and Alabama will meet in a national semifinal. Our group of nine favors the Crimson Tide by a 5-4 count and by an average score of 31-28.

That might just be good news for the Buckeyes.

The numbers:

Week 15 results:

Tim Hall 8-2
Todd Jones 8-2
Ray Stein 8-2
Bobby Carpenter 7-3
Rob Dewolf 7-3
Bob Hunter 7-3
Rob Oller 7-3
Bill Rabinowitz 7-3
Tim May 6-4

Season standings

Hall 103-47
Oller 102-48
May 101-49
Dewolf 100-50
Carpenter 99-51
Jones 99-51
Rabinowitz 99-51
Stein 99-51
Hunter 98-52

Bowl games we're picking (20):

Jan. 1: Alabama vs. Ohio State (Sugar)
Dec. 23: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois (Boca Raton)
Dec. 26: Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech (Heart of Dallas)
Dec. 26: Rutgers vs. North Carolina (Quick Lane)
Dec. 27: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati (Military)
Dec. 27: Duke vs. Arizona State (Sun)
Dec. 27: Boston College vs. Penn State (Pinstripe)
Dec. 27: Nebraska vs. USC (Holiday)
Dec. 30: Notre Dame vs. LSU (Music City)
Dec. 30: Louisville vs. Georgia (Belk)
Dec. 30: Stanford vs. Maryland (Fosters Farm)
Dec. 31: Mississippi vs. TCU (Peach)
Dec. 31: Boise State vs. Arizona (Fiesta)
Dec. 31: Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech (Orange)
Jan. 1: Wisconsin vs. Auburn (Outback)
Jan. 1: Michigan State vs. Baylor (Cotton)
Jan. 1: Minnesota vs. Missouri (Citrus)
Jan. 1: Oregon vs. Florida State (Rose)
Jan. 2: Iowa vs. Tennessee (TaxSlayer)
Jan. 2: UCLA vs. Kansas State (Alamo)

The picks:

Bobby Carpenter, 97.1 The Fan

Record to date: 99-51

Ohio State 27, Alabama 24 (Sugar): With Tom Herman on his way out, he puts together a game plan for the ages against Nick Saban's vaunted defense. The Silver Bullet "D" rises one more time to stop the 'Bama ground attack.

Dec. 23: Marshall over Northern Illinois (Boca Raton)
Dec. 26: Illinois over Louisiana Tech (Heart of Dallas)
Dec. 26: Rutgers over North Carolina (Quick Lane)
Dec. 27: Cincinnati over Virginia Tech (Military)
Dec. 27: Arizona State over Duke (Sun)
Dec. 27: Boston College over Penn State (Pinstripe)
Dec. 27: USC over Nebraska (Holiday)
Dec. 30: LSU over Notre Dame (Music City)
Dec. 30: Georgia over Louisville (Belk)
Dec. 30: Stanford over Maryland (Fosters Farm)
Dec. 31: TCU over Mississippi (Peach)
Dec. 31: Arizona over Boise State (Fiesta)
Dec. 31: Mississippi State over Georgia Tech (Orange)
Jan. 1: Auburn over Wisconsin (Outback)
Jan. 1: Michigan State over Baylor (Cotton)
Jan. 1: Minnesota over Missouri (Citrus)
Jan. 1: Oregon over Florida State (Rose)
Jan. 2: Iowa over Tennessee (TaxSlayer)
Jan. 2: Kansas State over UCLA (Alamo)

Rob Dewolf, BuckeyeXtra editor

Record to date: 100-50

Alabama 36, Ohio State 20: Nice run, bitter ending.

Dec. 23: Marshall over Northern Illinois (Boca Raton)
Dec. 26: Louisiana Tech over Illinois (Heart of Dallas)
Dec. 26: North Carolina over Rutgers (Quick Lane)
Dec. 27: Virginia Tech over Cincinnati (Military)
Dec. 27: Arizona State over Duke (Sun)
Dec. 27: Boston College over Penn State (Pinstripe)
Dec. 27: USC over Nebraska (Holiday)
Dec. 30: LSU over Notre Dame (Music City)
Dec. 30: Louisville over Georgia (Belk)
Dec. 30: Stanford over Maryland (Fosters Farm)
Dec. 31: TCU over Mississippi (Peach)
Dec. 31: Arizona over Boise State (Fiesta)
Dec. 31: Mississippi State over Georgia Tech (Orange)
Jan. 1: Auburn over Wisconsin (Outback)
Jan. 1: Baylor over Michigan State (Cotton)
Jan. 1: Missouri over Minnesota (Citrus)
Jan. 1: Oregon over Florida State (Rose)
Jan. 2: Tennessee over Iowa (TaxSlayer)
Jan. 2: Kansas State over UCLA (Alamo)

Tim Hall, 97.1 The Fan

Record to date: 103-47

Ohio State 31, Alabama 24 (Sugar): I'm on a Buckeye high, and there's nothing you can do to get me off of it.

Dec. 23: Northern Illinois over Marshall (Boca Raton)
Dec. 26: Illinois over Louisiana Tech (Heart of Dallas)
Dec. 26: North Carolina over Rutgers (Quick Lane)
Dec. 27: Cincinnati over Virginia Tech (Military)
Dec. 27: Arizona State over Duke (Sun)
Dec. 27: Boston College over Penn State (Pinstripe)
Dec. 27: USC over Nebraska (Holiday)
Dec. 30: LSU over Notre Dame (Music City)
Dec. 30: Georgia over Louisville (Belk)
Dec. 30: Stanford over Maryland (Fosters Farm)
Dec. 31: TCU over Mississippi (Peach)
Dec. 31: Arizona over Boise State (Fiesta)
Dec. 31: Mississippi State over Georgia Tech (Orange)
Jan. 1: Auburn over Wisconsin (Outback)
Jan. 1: Michigan State over Baylor (Cotton)
Jan. 1: Minnesota over Missouri (Citrus)
Jan. 1: Oregon over Florida State (Rose)
Jan. 2: Tennessee over Iowa (TaxSlayer)
Jan. 2: UCLA over Kansas State (Alamo)

Bob Hunter, Dispatch sports columnist

Record to date: 98-52

Alabama 31, Ohio State 21 (Sugar): Amari Cooper gives OSU defense fits; Tide proves tougher test for Cardale Jones than Badgers.

Dec. 23: Marshall over Northern Illinois (Boca Raton)
Dec. 26: Illinois over Louisiana Tech (Heart of Dallas)
Dec. 26: Rutgers over North Carolina (Quick Lane)
Dec. 27: Cincinnati over Virginia Tech (Military)
Dec. 27: Arizona State over Duke (Sun)
Dec. 27: Boston College over Penn State (Pinstripe)
Dec. 27: USC over Nebraska (Holiday)
Dec. 30: LSU over Notre Dame (Music City)
Dec. 30: Georgia over Louisville (Belk)
Dec. 30: Stanford over Maryland (Fosters Farm)
Dec. 31: TCU over Mississippi (Peach)
Dec. 31: Arizona over Boise State (Fiesta)
Dec. 31: Mississippi State over Georgia Tech (Orange)
Jan. 1: Auburn over Wisconsin (Outback)
Jan. 1: Baylor over Michigan State (Cotton)
Jan. 1: Missouri over Minnesota (Citrus)
Jan. 1: Oregon over Florida State (Rose)
Jan. 2: Iowa over Tennessee (TaxSlayer)
Jan. 2: UCLA over Kansas State (Alamo)

Todd Jones, Dispatch college football writer

Record to date: 99-51

Alabama 34, Ohio State 20 (Sugar): Unlike Wisconsin, Nick Saban has had a month to prepare for Cardale Jones and devise a defense. And the Crimson Tide is playing in the Deep South.

Dec. 23: Northern Illinois over Marshall (Boca Raton)
Dec. 26: Louisiana Tech over Illinois (Heart of Dallas)
Dec. 26: North Carolina over Rutgers (Quick Lane)
Dec. 27: Cincinnati over Virginia Tech (Military)
Dec. 27: Arizona State over Duke (Sun)
Dec. 27: Boston College over Penn State (Pinstripe)
Dec. 27: USC over Nebraska (Holiday)
Dec. 30: LSU over Notre Dame (Music City)
Dec. 30: Georgia over Louisville (Belk)
Dec. 30: Stanford over Maryland (Fosters Farm)
Dec. 31: TCU over Mississippi (Peach)
Dec. 31: Arizona over Boise State (Fiesta)
Dec. 31: Georgia Tech over Mississippi State (Orange)
Jan. 1: Auburn over Wisconsin (Outback)
Jan. 1: Michigan State over Baylor (Cotton)
Jan. 1: Minnesota over Missouri (Citrus)
Jan. 1: Oregon over Florida State (Rose)
Jan. 2: Tennessee over Iowa (TaxSlayer)
Jan. 2: UCLA over Kansas State (Alamo)

Tim May, Dispatch beat writer

Record to date: 101-49

Ohio State 34, Alabama 31 (Sugar): The book says throw against the Tide, and the OSU coaches have read it.

Dec. 23: Marshall over Northern Illinois (Boca Raton)
Dec. 26: Illinois over Louisiana Tech (Heart of Dallas)
Dec. 26: Rutgers over North Carolina (Quick Lane)
Dec. 27: Cincinnati over Virginia Tech (Military)
Dec. 27: Arizona State over Duke (Sun)
Dec. 27: Boston College over Penn State (Pinstripe)
Dec. 27: USC over Nebraska (Holiday)
Dec. 30: LSU over Notre Dame (Music City)
Dec. 30: Louisville over Georgia (Belk)
Dec. 30: Stanford over Maryland (Fosters Farm)
Dec. 31: TCU over Mississippi (Peach)
Dec. 31: Arizona over Boise State (Fiesta)
Dec. 31: Mississippi State over Georgia Tech (Orange)
Jan. 1: Auburn over Wisconsin (Outback)
Jan. 1: Michigan State over Baylor (Cotton)
Jan. 1: Minnesota over Missouri (Citrus)
Jan. 1: Oregon over Florida State (Rose)
Jan. 2: Tennessee over Iowa (TaxSlayer)
Jan. 2: UCLA over Kansas State (Alamo)

Rob Oller, Dispatch sports columnist

Record to date: 102-48

Ohio State 34, Alabama 31 (Sugar): In the Urban vs. Nick Bowl, the Buckeyes bury the SEC speed debate by outracing the Crimson Tide to the finish line.

Dec. 23: Marshall over Northern Illinois (Boca Raton)
Dec. 26: Louisiana Tech over Illinois (Heart of Dallas)
Dec. 26: North Carolina over Rutgers (Quick Lane)
Dec. 27: Cincinnati over Virginia Tech (Military)
Dec. 27: Arizona State over Duke (Sun)
Dec. 27: Boston College over Penn State (Pinstripe)
Dec. 27: USC over Nebraska (Holiday)
Dec. 30: LSU over Notre Dame (Music City)
Dec. 30: Georgia over Louisville (Belk)
Dec. 30: Stanford over Maryland (Fosters Farm)
Dec. 31: TCU over Mississippi (Peach)
Dec. 31: Arizona over Boise State (Fiesta)
Dec. 31: Mississippi State over Georgia Tech (Orange)
Jan. 1: Auburn over Wisconsin (Outback)
Jan. 1: Michigan State over Baylor (Cotton)
Jan. 1: Minnesota over Missouri (Citrus)
Jan. 1: Florida State over Oregon (Rose)
Jan. 2: Tennessee over Iowa (TaxSlayer)
Jan. 2: UCLA over Kansas State (Alamo)

Bill Rabinowitz, Dispatch beat writer

Record to date: 99-51

Alabama 35, Ohio State 31 (Sugar): The Buckeyes show they belong with the biggest of boys, but the Crimson Tide's experience on that stage gives 'Bama the edge at the end.

Dec. 23: Marshall over Northern Illinois (Boca Raton)
Dec. 26: Louisiana Tech over Illinois (Heart of Dallas)
Dec. 26: North Carolina over Rutgers (Quick Lane)
Dec. 27: Cincinnati over Virginia Tech (Military)
Dec. 27: Arizona State over Duke (Sun)
Dec. 27: Penn State over Boston College (Pinstripe)
Dec. 27: USC over Nebraska (Holiday)
Dec. 30: LSU over Notre Dame (Music City)
Dec. 30: Georgia over Louisville (Belk)
Dec. 30: Stanford over Maryland (Fosters Farm)
Dec. 31: TCU over Mississippi (Peach)
Dec. 31: Arizona over Boise State (Fiesta)
Dec. 31: Mississippi State over Georgia Tech (Orange)
Jan. 1: Auburn over Wisconsin (Outback)
Jan. 1: Michigan State over Baylor (Cotton)
Jan. 1: Minnesota over Missouri (Citrus)
Jan. 1: Oregon over Florida State (Rose)
Jan. 2: Tennessee over Iowa (TaxSlayer)
Jan. 2: Kansas State over UCLA (Alamo)

Ray Stein, Dispatch sports editor

Record to date: 99-51

Alabama 38, Ohio State 35 (Sugar): Call this the Big Easy Cover, the 9 1/2-point spread being a byproduct of the SEC myth. Doesn't mean 'Bama is a slouch, though.

Dec. 23: Northern Illinois over Marshall (Boca Raton)
Dec. 26: Louisiana Tech over Illinois (Heart of Dallas)
Dec. 26: Rutgers over North Carolina (Quick Lane)
Dec. 27: Cincinnati over Virginia Tech (Military)
Dec. 27: Arizona State over Duke (Sun)
Dec. 27: Boston College over Penn State (Pinstripe)
Dec. 27: USC over Nebraska (Holiday)
Dec. 30: LSU over Notre Dame (Music City)
Dec. 30: Georgia over Louisville (Belk)
Dec. 30: Stanford over Maryland (Fosters Farm)
Dec. 31: TCU over Mississippi (Peach)
Dec. 31: Boise State over Arizona (Fiesta)
Dec. 31: Georgia Tech over Mississippi State (Orange)
Jan. 1: Wisconsin over Auburn (Outback)
Jan. 1: Michigan State over Baylor (Cotton)
Jan. 1: Missouri over Minnesota (Citrus)
Jan. 1: Oregon over Florida State (Rose)
Jan. 2: Iowa over Tennessee (TaxSlayer)
Jan. 2: UCLA over Kansas State (Alamo)