Friday, December 31, 2010

“We Bowlin Baby” – Week 3 (January 1 Bowl Games)

Okay so I decided I will do only January 1 bowl games in this entry.  I will get the rest up on Sunday-ish.

Bowl Season Record Through the Sun Bowl: 11-9 Straight Up ; 10-9-1 Against the Spread.

Saturday, the 1st

TicketCity Bowl: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech (-9.5) – This game is on ESPNU, and I bet about five people watch it.  Anyway, this seems like a big line for the Big 12 when its teams have looked really bad in bowls so far, but Northwestern has not been the same since their QB Dan Persa went down.  Without Persa, Northwestern is a bad team and probably not bowl eligible.  Give me the Red Raiders 28-14.

Outback Bowl: Florida vs. Penn State (+7) – As if the Gators weren’t struggling enough, Urban has left his team high and dry (again).  Penn State always lulls its SEC opponents to sleep in bowl games and usually comes out with a win.  I find it hard to see the Gators playing inspired football here.  Penn State 17-13.

Capital One Bowl: Alabama vs. Michigan State (+10) – Another game where I don’t see Bama being that excited to be playing in this bowl when they started the season off as #1 in the country.  Michigan State will be excited about the opportunity and playing inspired football after they were shunned from a BCS bowl game.  But Bama is just too talented for the outright win by Spartie.  Bama 23-17.

Gator Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Michigan (+4.5) – Things are getting desperate for Rich Rod at Michigan.  He played this Josh Groban hit ( at the end of the year Michigan football banquet and shed a few tears talking about how tough it has been on him as coach at Michigan.  Don’t laugh, it’s not funny…actually, it is hilarious!  You know I have not been big on Mississippi State all year, and they have proven me wrong some.  But think about this, Michigan does not face spread offenses in the Big Ten, but they practice against one all the time when they face their offense in practice.  I think that is a big edge they have here being familiar with the Bulldogs offense.  I like the Wolverines in an upset here 38-31.

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin (+3) vs. TCU – This is the first time I have looked forward to a Rose Bowl in a really long time.  I may not take a nap during this one.  I am shocked Wisconsin is an underdog here.  They have been playing as well as any team in the nation and always have a chip on their shoulder, which will match the chip TCU has on theirs.  Give me Wisconsin in this one in a helluva Rose Bowl 28-24.

Fiesta Bowl: Connecticut (+17) vs. OklahomaThe Big 12 has looked really bad in bowls this year, and everyone expects OU to blow out UConn.  We have seen this story before (see OU vs. Boise and West Virginia).  UConn is the type of team that is fundamentally sound, play really hard, and piss off their opponent.  I don’t see anyway the Sooners cover this spread, but they win in a close one.  Sooners 27-20.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

“We Bowlin Baby” – Week 2

This is more like part two of the bowl week blog instead of week two because this entry will only cover three days.  That is because almost a one third of the bowl games are played in these three days (11 games total).  I will have a post for the January bowl games on New Year's Eve.

This is the group of games during the bowl season where it really gets fun to me.  Games are played from early afternoon through the night each night.  Whether you are at work or on vacation, it is fun to keep up with the games all day long.

Bowl Season Record Through the 27th: 5-6 Straight Up ; 4-6-1 Against the Spread.  Not necessarily off to a blazing start!  Time to play catch up... 

Wednesday, the 29th

Military Bowl: East Carolina vs. Maryland (-7.5) – East Carolina’s defense is the worst one in Division I; Maryland’s coaching staff is a mess.  Not a lot of excitement here, but probably a lot of scoring.  Terps win 38-28.

Texas Bowl:  Illinois (+1.5) vs. Baylor – Although Baylor is 7-5 and Robert Griffin is a great talent, the Bears are lucky to be bowl eligible.  They had three wins of eight or less and are on a three game losing streak – losing by double digits in each.  I assume Baylor is the favorite because it is Texas, but how many Baylor folks will really show up and make it a home field advantage?  Nathan Scheelhaase not only takes up a lot of room on his jersey with his last name; he has been fun to watch this year.  I’m going with the minor upset here Illinois 24-21.

Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State (-5.5) vs. ArizonaOklahoma State’s offensive coordinator is on his way out the door to West Virginia, so there is instability for the Cowboys.  Arizona has been reeling after a fast start to the beginning of the season losing four straight.  Arizona has just appeared to not care about finishing strong.  I see an Okie State rout here 31-17.

Thursday, the 30th

Armed Forces Bowl: Army vs. SMU (-7) – This is a home game for SMU.  Army has not beaten anyone of significance this year.  SMU will be hungry to redeem themselves after a CUSA Championship Game loss.  Mustangs roll 31-20.

Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas State (-1) vs. SyracuseThese are both programs on the rise with the new (old for K-State) coaching staffs in place.  Who thought it would be a good idea to have a bowl game at Yankee Stadium on the December 30th?  It will be a balmy 37 degrees on Thursday though…could be a lot worse.  I like Kansas State 21-17 in this one in a pretty boring game.

Music City Bowl: North Carolina (-2) vs. TennesseeI have managed to pick every game of the Vols season right so far.  I hope I am wrong on this one, but I don’t like the matchup of the Tar Heels passing game versus the Vols secondary in this one.  Also, Tyler Bray will be facing an experienced defense that will likely confuse him.  On top of that, in the past eight years, the Vols have played and lost to three ACC teams in bowls by an average of 21 points.  The Vols are just happy to be in a bowl (the extra practice is huge for next year), and the Tar Heels need this win more.  Tar Heels 31-21.

Holiday Bowl: Nebraska vs. Washington (+14) – I am going against the majority on this one; everyone is picking the Huskers in a blow out.  The bowl rule that applies here is the Huskers do not want to be here.  First of all, they had an opportunity at playing in a BCS game when they played and lost to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship.  Second, this is a rematch game in which they blew Washington out in Washington in September by a score of 56-21 and made Jake Locker look like he should never be drafted by an NFL team.  The only hungry team in this rematch will be Washington.  I can just see Nebraska half-assing it through practice everyday and then sneaking over to Tijuana at night to party.  Third, I no longer trust Taylor Martinez.  It appeared at times that he was trying to sabotage the Huskers in the Big 12 Championship against Oklahoma with his pitiful fumbles and decision making.  All that being said, I can’t predict an outright upset because the Huskers are way better than the Huskies.  Nebraska 24-23.

Friday, the 31st

Meineke Car Care Bowl: South Florida (+6) vs. Clemson – This will probably be the worst bowl game including two BCS conference teams.  Good thing they reserved the worst named bowl for the occasion.  You have an inept offense led by a bad quarterback in USF against an always underachieving Clemson team with a coach on the hot seat and a QB ready to call it a career and move on to baseball.  Rumor is Dabo Swinney may be out as head coach if they lose this game.  On the other side, Skip Holtz is a helluva coach to have this very mediocre Bulls team at 7-5.  They lost some close ones this year.  I like them upsetting Clemson here.  South Florida 17-13. 

Sun Bowl: Notre Dame (+3) vs. Miami (FL) – Oh what a matchup!  Renewing the old Catholics vs. the Convicts rivalry except they are far from what it was 20 years ago.  I think Miami has a more talented team, but Notre Dame has more stability with Randy Shannon being fired after the season and Al Golden being hired by Miami.  There will be a transition phase, and it is beginning as we speak during bowl preparations.  I gotta think that Shannon was well liked by the team, and they are still upset about the firing.  Notre Dame started catching on at the end of the year, and I like Brian Kelly with several weeks to prepare.  Irish 31-27.

Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs. Central Florida (+7) – Remember when I raved about Central Florida during championship week and said the SEC team they play better watch out?  Well, it’s the Georgia Bulldogs that better be focused on UCF, or they will be in for a big surprise.  UCF is very athletic taking after the SEC mold.  They have an exciting offense and a fast defense (a little undersized though).  I have to wonder how excited Georgia will be about playing in Memphis on New Year’s Eve.  Will AJ Green show up or will he already be on his cell phone on the sideline talking to NFL agents?  I guarantee you two things with him in this one:  1) he won’t get hurt in this game because he will not put forth the effort and 2) he has already sold his game worn jersey to someone.  I like Georgia, but a lot closer than what most people think.  Georgia 31-30.

Chick-fil-a Bowl: South Carolina vs. Florida State (+3) – This is another tough one to pick.  Both are coming off of conference championship game losses.  The SEC Championship game loser typically bounces back in their bowl game going 11-7 since 1992 (and yes three of those losses are by Arkansas).  Both drummed Florida pretty good in back to back games so the common opponent gets us nowhere.  Both of these teams have a tendency to be inconsistent and sloppy although they both have talent all over the place.  I like the Gamecocks in this one with the deciding factor being they can build off this game to get a top 10 or maybe top 5 ranking to begin next year.  South Carolina 28-27. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

NFL Picks – Week 15

*NOTE* - Make sure to read Ernie’s blog on this week of bowl games.  The blog was initially put together by him for college only.  He was nice enough to allow me to put my two cents in on NFL picks.  I hate that I’m covering up his portion so make sure you scroll down and read his portion.  It’s a ten times better read anyway.
First, I want to say sorry for not putting a disclaimer up on my last two weeks of picks.  If you noticed back on week 12, I had 7 picks I liked.  When I feel that strong about stuff, you ride with it.  I should have noted that the past two weeks I couldn’t even find 4 picks that I liked and grabbed at straws.  That’s a new rule I have incorporated, if you can’t find good picks, don’t take them.  As you can tell this week, I only have 3.
Second, I love the NFL but going to an 18 game schedule is just completely dumb.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll watch every week and more gambling the better but the teams are going to be so banged up it’ll be ridiculous.  Let’s just look at the QB position right now and keep in mind, you can’t even sneeze on them without getting a penalty.  Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford, Shaun Hill, Brett Favre (the iron man), Tavaris Jackson (bizzaro iron man) are all hurt, and that’s ONLY the NFC North.  That’s almost half of the QB’s in the north that can’t play this week, insane.  I can’t wait to bet on the WR turned into a QB for the Bears game, that line can’t come up fast enough.
Third, I would just stay away from my quick picks at this point.  I’ve been rolled the past two weeks.  I’m just having a hard time picking games because we all know who the pretenders and contenders are now.  To make the blog quicker, I’ll just put up my picks for that portion with little or no commentary.
Fourth, now I’ve never been the luckiest man in the world (most people that know me are nodding right now) but can you all please root for my division winners, it sure would be nice.  To start the season I picked the Rams at +2000 to win the NFC West, and everyone other than the Chargers to win the AFC West +500, +500 and +600 for Chiefs, Oakland and Broncos respectively.  Also, before the start of last week I took the Bears at +140 (they can take the division this weekend) and Atlanta -200.  Let’s hope they all work out.
Picks of the Week = 3-5 (week 13 & 14), 25-20-2 (blog season total) No comment
Quick Picks = 8-15-1 (week 13 & 14), 43-51-2 (blog season total) Since I’m in a free fall with my quick picks I might as well just make fun of the Packers.  As much as everyone hates Favre now, I love it that he’s gone from the Packers.  Now they will know what it’s like to start multiple QB’s in one season.  You now have a Les Miles led QB taking over the Packers.  Let’s put it this way, I doubt Les Miles groomed him to be a good Pro QB, actually, he wasn’t even a good college QB, good luck with that.  Go Patriots!!!!!!!
Picks of the Week
1.       Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) @ Seattle Seahawks – This is by far my favorite pick of the week.  The one thing I don’t understand, is that the line moved towards the Seahawks, really?  Remember me talking about how over rated that home stadium is, well that still applies for this pick.  Seattle gets blown out by good teams and beats terrible teams no matter where they play.
2.       New Orleans Saints (+2.5) @ Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens just look like a mess right now even though they are winning.  The Saints just aren’t getting the pub they should because they’ll get a wild card due to Atlanta just rolling.  Look at the Saints record, second best in the NFC.  They are back to form.  I actually took this game straight up, +120.
3.       Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys (-7) – This might be the craziest line movement I’ve ever seen.  I took it this morning and then NFL Network had a story about how pissed off the Redskins were about the benching of McNabb.  In a one hour span that line moved from -7 to -9.5.  I’ve never seen that big of a move on just strictly reports of a team’s moral, crazy.  Glad I got it early.

Games I’m Contemplating
1.       Green Bay Packers @ New England Patriots (-14.5) – This line is huge but the Pats are at home, they are killing people and Rodgers was the only thing holding the Pack together.
2.       Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings – The lines not out but how can you not go against a WR turned into a QB against a very good Bears D.  I’ll have to see what this comes out to be.
Quick Blurbs for the Rest of the Games
1.       KC Chiefs (+3) @ St. Louis – Take Chiefs if Cassel starts, Rams if Croyle
2.       Houston Texans (+1) @ Tennessee Titans
3.       Jacksonville Jaguars (+4.5) @ Indianapolis Colts
4.       Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers (-2.5)
5.       Cleveland Browns (PK) @ Cincinnati Bengals
6.       Buffalo Bills (+5.5) @ Miami Dolphins
7.       Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants (-3)
8.       Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4)
9.       New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)
10.   Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders (-8) – Ernie, I know you’re excited for the Tim Tebow drinking game to be back.  If only we could get Verne to announce this game, it would be epic.

Friday, December 17, 2010

“We Bowlin Baby” – Week 1

If no one recognizes that quote, check out this video: It is from Saban's arrival at the Tuscaloosa airport when he was hired at Alabama. Man, that is some funny stuff! And it is one of the first things that comes to my mind when I hear of a team talk about going bowling.

Anyway, bowl season is already here and about 60% of the NCAA Division I teams will be playing in a bowl. I’m surprised the NCAA hasn’t mandated that every player dressed out has to play at least one down to continue the little league baseball mentality of including everyone.

The blog’s plan for the bowl season is to break the bowl season into three different posts for each bowl week and a special post for the national title game, give analysis and predict a score on each game along with who I would take against the spread. Some of the analysis will be no more than a sentence because some of these games (especially these earlier ones) aren’t even worth mentioning (if they weren’t a bowl of course). But as we get in to the better games, I hope to add some more insight on each one.

My Bowl Rules

There are always a few things that I take into consideration when analyzing these bowl games. These sometimes make bowl games completely different than if the same two teams met in the regular season. First, there is such a long layoff between regular season and bowl games, it can kill momentum a hot team has had over the last few weeks of the regular season. Second, as coaches leave or get fired, it affects the whole team, so I always take into consideration who has a coach leaving. Historically, it has a negative effect on the team (I’m looking at you Urban). Finally, I always consider the teams who don’t want to be there. Sometimes this is because they had higher expectations than the bowl they ended up in (think Bama and Nebraska). Other times it is because some juniors and seniors already have one foot in the NFL draft and don’t want to get hurt or play hard in the bowl game.

Saturday, the 18th

New Mexico Bowl: BYU vs. UTEP (+12) – These two teams appear to be going in different directions. UTEP started out 5-1 and then lost five out of their last six. BYU started out 1-4 and finished 5-2. So we start off the bowl season with a matchup of 6-6 teams…yawn! But hey at least it’s bowl season. I tried to find an angle to see a team with an upper hand in this matchup, but I just kept coming up with two mediocre teams and 12 points is way too much. Give me the BYU Cougars 28-23.

Humanitarian Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State (+1.5) – Northern Illinois has had one of its best seasons ever. Fresno has been as consistent as ever ending the season at 8-4. Fresno being the underdog makes no sense to this guy. NIU's Coach Kill (yes, that is him name) left for the Minnesota job. They also had a disappointing loss in the MAC title game, so you can chalk them up for two factors that will affect its bowl game that I mentioned above. Fresno is familiar with the ugly blue turf they will be playing on and will out to redeem themselves from the beatdown they received last time they were on it. I like Fresno in this one 24-17.

New Orleans Bowl: Ohio vs. Troy (-3) – Ugh...this one should set college football back 20 years. Don't waste your time watching it. Troy 20-14.

Tuesday, the 21st

St. Petersburg Bowl: Southern Miss (+3) vs. Louisville – This should be a good early game.  Flip a coin in this one.  I did, and it said USM 28-24.

Wednesday, the 22nd

Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. Boise State (-17) – This one has the ingredients of a letdown for Boise, but Coach Peterson does a great job keeping those guys focused. Also, I can't get the Utes beatdown by TCU out of my head. I normally don't like a spread this big, but this one is too small. Boise 45-21

Thursday, the 23rd

Poinsettia Bowl: Navy (+4.5) vs. San Diego State – The Aztecs are at home, but I see this one being closer than the spread.  San Diego State 31-28

Friday, the 24th

Hawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. Tulsa (+10) – Get ready for a long, exciting, high-scoring game in this one. These are the two top passing teams in the nation. Hawaii has been surprisingly good this year in my book. I think ten points is too much in this one, but Hawaii pulls it out in the end 45-41.

Sunday, the 26th

Little Caesars Bowl: Florida International vs. Toledo (-1.5) – See New Orleans Bowl above. Sorry to keep hating on these bowls involving Sun Belt teams, but they have no business getting three teams in bowls. Is FIU excited about leaving Miami and going to Detroit in December? Toledo is close to home and rolls in this one 28-17.

Monday, the 27th

Independence Bowl: Air Force vs. Georgia Tech (+3) – Ahh...the triple option bowl. If you're wanting to entertain yourself during this one, grab you a 30 pack of beer and take a drink everytime a team runs the ball. I will be shocked if 10 total passes go up in this one. This game will last two hours. All this being said, I like the team from a bigger conference in this one. Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech 21-20

Tuesday, the 28th

Champs Sports Bowl: West Virginia vs. NC State (+3) – Disclaimer: I'm not a fan of West Virginia since Rich Rod left; they are a program on the decline with Bill Stewart in charge even though he sounds like a really nice guy. Wolfpack QB Russell Wilson, on the other hand, almost had NC State a division championship this year in the ACC. Think about that for a minute...any QB that is good enough to do that, I am rolling with. NC State 35-34 in a minor upset.

Insight Bowl: Missouri (-1) vs. Iowa – This game is off the board now in Vegas because of the uncertainty (read complete mess) surrounding the Hawkeyes players. To apply one of my bowl rules above, Iowa definitely wasn't expecting to be in this bowl when it was ranked in the top 10 at the beginning of the year. Well, five losses later, here they are. Even more, their leading wide receiver is arrested for drugs and suspended, their leading rusher is out for the game, and their is talk that their backup running back has quit the team. Mizzou is looking to build for next year. Depending if Blaine Gabbert comes back, they could return 20 or 21 starters for next season, and a likely top 10 preseason ranking IF they win this game. Give me Mizzou 35-20
Talk to ya next week.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

NFL Picks – Week 13 by Greg Sellers

That’s the week I was talking about.  My main picks did really well and my Bears showed that they were a playoff contender by taking down Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles.  On top of that, my first future bet of the season hit.  I had the Ram winning over 4.5 games this year and they hit 5 this past week.  Not only that, I took the Rams as a long shot division winner at +2000 to win the NFC West.  Guess what, they are tied for first right now.  I’m not expecting them to pull it off but I’m glad that I was able to tell that the NFC West was so bad that Sam Bradford had a chance to pull it off.

Another thing I’ve learned, San Diego is a beast right now and I will no longer be going against them.  I hate to say this because I picked them to not win the AFC West but I’m worried that they will prove me wrong.  Let’s hope the Chiefs can keep doing what they are doing and hold them off.  Otherwise, It’ll hurt my overall great season.

As of right now, my picks of the week for this season have been really solid.  Most Vegas gamblers strive for a 60% win percentage.  I’m at a very small shade under that, 59.5%.  Let’s hope I keep it going.  This week was tough though.  I felt really good about 7 picks (the first time I’ve had that many) and I was hard press to find 4 this week.  Proceed with these picks with caution.

Picks of the Week = 5-2 (week 12), 22-15-2 (blog season total) Let’s hope I can keep this going.  I do have a great pick of the week.  The problem is, you guys will be worried who it is.  I’ll explain in a minute.

Quick Picks = 4-5 (week 12), 35-36-1 (blog season total) Not really surprised I finally dipped below even for the season.  It’s tough to pick every game of every week but I enjoy giving it a shot.  There is a reason why I separate my picks I really like from these, I’m not completely confident in everyone.

Here we go with another week.  Hopefully I keep the momentum from last week.  By the way, I’m saving my great pick for the last pick of the week below.

Picks of the Week (in no particular order)

1. Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) – I’m worried about this game the most but if the Chiefs are legit, they should roll.  I realize that the Broncos crushed them earlier in the season but we now have the hand shake deal added along with the Broncos reeling.  The Chiefs have a great home field advantage too, one of the best in the league.
2. New Orleans Saints (-7) @ Cincinnati Bengals – This is my typical ride a hot team until they prove otherwise.  The Bengals are a mess too right now.  There is no need to talk about stats on this one, the Saints should easily take care of business.
3. St. Louis Rams (-3.5) @ Arizona Cardinals – I put my heart and soul into this blog!!!  You would get that quote if you heard what Derek Anderson said this past week, man was that priceless.  We are who we thought they were, oh wait, I’m mixing up my Cardinals rants now.  Just take the Rams, the Cardinals Blow!!!
4. Chicago Bears (-3.5/-5) @ Detroit Lions – I got this line at -3.5 pre Drew Stanton information.  So they close this line waiting to see who would be starting at QB for the Lions.  It’s official, Stanton is starting, so this line only went to -5???  The Bears were able to take down Michael Vick and win by a total of 5.  Now they are going to play the Lions and are starting their 3rd string QB and the Bears only are 5 point favorites, I just don’t get it.  They are somehow not still not getting respect at this point.  Remember the last team they played on the road that started a 3rd string QB, that was the Miami Dolphins.  Do me favor, check out how many points that team score.  I believe the Bears win and win BIG!!!
Quick Blurbs for the Rest of the Games

1. Buffalo Bills (+5.5) @ Minnesota Vikings – Are the Vikes back!?  I need to see it twice in a row.  The Bills have won or been in overtime in their past 5 games. Take the points.
2. Cleveland Browns @ Miami Dolphins (-5) – If McCoy was starting, take the Browns but if not, ride the Dolphins.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5) @ Tennessee Titans – I realize Collins is starting but the Titans are a mess right now.  I’m worried that Fisher is out the door.
4. Washington Redskins (+7) @ New York Giants – The Giants will win by not by much.
5. San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers (-9) – NFC West sucks, they will get crushed.
6. Atlanta Falcons (-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Even though they are on the road, they should win this handedly.
7. Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers (-13) – Lot’s of points but you have to take the hot hand at this point.
8. Carolina Panthers (+5.5) @ Seattle Seahawks – These two teams are so bad I’m just taking the points.
9. Dallas Cowboys @ Indianapolis Colts (-5.5) – I’m now officially scared of the Colts, is their time finally over???  I guess we will see.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens (-3) – Great SNF and MNF games this week.  I’m just going to ride with the home teams.
11. New York Jets @ New England Patriots (-3.5) – See above
12. Houston Texans @ Philadelphia Eagles (-8) – TNF, almost forgot about this pick.  Won this one already.

And They Muffed It - Championship Week Style by Joseph Michael

I never thought I'd say this because I'm a purist when it comes to College Football and I love watching every bowl, even the Dish Network Bowl played in the Direct TV Dome, but it's time to make a change. I don't know if the answer is as simple as a plus one game or a full blown playoff, but something has to give. Today is a sad day for a lot of College Football fans like myself. I've grown up watching College Football and developed an unhealthy love for it and the Razorbacks. I love it almost as much as LeBron James loves himself. But to my point, today is Championship Saturday and I should be waking up giddy and excited about what's going to happen, but instead I feel like I'm watching a regular season Major League Baseball game, NOTHING... It's not the fact that I have to hope that Auburn beats South Carolina so my beloved Razorbacks can have a chance to go to the Sugar Bowl because with this system that's no guarantee, the BCS could decide they wanted to take LSU to sell more tickets which would make perfect business sense, but no competitive sense whatsoever. I have defended the BCS for many years, and for that I am sorry, I see the error of my ways because the BCS changes everything. It changes holding calls when an undefeated big named team is about to go down in the middle of the season, it gives the Big East an Automatic Qualifier, it even seems to put some of the worst matchups ever against one another in the most prestigious Bowls, it seems to do everything except put the best two teams in the country against each other. College Football is big business, and I understand and hate it, yet it is what it is...
Now a lot of people are going to read this first paragraph and say this guy is an idiot and I would say that you are without a doubt correct about that. I have plenty of stories to tell you that would confirm that, but you're saying it now because you are thinking "if Auburn beats South Carolina and Oregon wins the Civil War today then the best 2 teams will be playing in the National Title Game." And maybe that would be true, but Auburn has at least one player, the best player in College Football that shouldn't be allowed to play and they are a 6-6 team without him. Let me say this, I hate to harp on the Cam Newton story and what are as of now strictly allegations, but come on, if where there is smoke there is fire, this guy is going to spontaneously combust at any moment. Maybe he didn't know his father was getting 200,000 dollars for him to go to Auburn, that doesn't change anything. He's still ineligible.
I said all of that to say this, if you really think Auburn has done nothing wrong and you aren't a die hard Auburn Fan, then I think you are being very naive and basically stupid, but I digress; this is my point- what the NCAA has done is choose the lesser of two evils. What do they do, 1) Take all the evidence they and more importantly the FBI have found, which I'm guessing is more than we know and suspend Cameron, which would force Auburn to forfeit all of their victories and drop them out of the National Title hunt and force a BCS National Disaster game between Oregon and TCU, or if Oregon slips up; TCU and Wisconsin/Stanford. (As a disclaimer, I'm not saying Wisconsin or Stanford aren't deserving of it, I'm just telling you the ratings for a TCU vs. anyone National Title game would be lower than a Roseanne Barr peep show... Or do they 2) take what they know, suspend Cam, let it play out with TCU going to the title game and lose all that money??? I guess we know how they went with that decision. The one where they get all the money and deal with Reggie Bush II a few years down the road. Take Auburn's National Title and Cam's Heisman, and punish a bunch of 18 to 20 year olds that wanted to go to Auburn honestly. You know the story we just watched unfold earlier this year with USC. Of course some of you are going to say, well, maybe Wisconsin would jump TCU and Oregon and Wisconsin would play in the BCS game, that would be a fun game. But they aren't willing to leave that to chance. And it breaks my heart that my nephew who is fixing to be 3 years old is going to start watching football with me every Saturday and Sunday in a couple of years, what am I going to say when he asks me "what's the Heisman Trophy?" Seriously, what am I going to say, "well Ryder, it goes to the highest paid player in College Football that year."
I hope in spite of my rant and genuine disgust with the state of College Football that everyone has a great weekend, wins all their bets, and we have some exciting games. I would like to apologize to everyone including Tom Hanks, Penny Marshall, and A.D.F that in my movie reference of "BIG" last week I called "Zoltar", Voltar. It was an accident and I blame Ernie for not checking my references. I hope everyone forgives me for the oversight, especially the last person. One last thing, I would like to say thanks to all of our friends who read this. I know Ernie said it too, but it has been a lot of fun... Happy Saturday and as our friend Ben the Better would say "its no big deal if you lose the first bet of the day, you've just got to double up to catch up."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Week Fourteen – Championship Week

It’s all decided here!  Oregon and Auburn are on a collision course to play in the highest scoring national title game in history.  TCU is hoping one of them can slip up.  The Big East race will be decided this weekend as well as the Big 12, ACC and CUSA championships.  Let’s dive in…  

SEC Games – 4-4 straight up last week; 78-18 for the season. 

#1 Auburn vs. #19 South Carolina – Auburn has came too far and ignored too many distractions up to this point to lose now.  They will be the most focused they have been all year because they know what lies ahead if they win.  The Gamecocks and Spurrier have been a nice story this year; however, I think they kind of underachieved this year.  Lattimore and Jeffery will be tough for the whole SEC to deal with next year.  Auburn will not be denied though.  War Eagle 34-23

Notable Games Around the Nation – 1-2 straight up last week; 22-10 for the season

Big 12 Championship – #9 Oklahoma vs. #13 Nebraska – I cannot figure Oklahoma out this year.  I pick them to win, and they lose.  I pick them to lose, and they win.  I like the way the Huskers defense stacks up against OU’s offense, BUT I really think the Big 12 will not allow Nebraska to win this game since they will bolting for the Big Ten after this season.  Let exhibit A be the game at Texas A&M two weeks ago when the Huskers were called for 16 penalties to the Aggies two.  Boomer Sooner 23-20

CUSA Championship – SMU @ Central Florida – Gotta give CUSA some love this week since it is their championship, but more importantly because I love the UCF team.  I have watched them play several times, and they remind me of an undersized SEC team.  They are definitely top of the class in Conference USA.  I have seen them projected to play an SEC team in some bowl projections; beware whichever SEC team the Golden Knights may play because they are no joke.  I’m going Golden Knights in this one, but I gotta give June Jones credit for the work he has done at SMU.  Some others and I used to spend many Saturday nights watching his Hawaii teams kickoff at midnight.  UCF 42-35

ACC Championship – #21 Florida State vs. #15 Virginia Tech – This is probably the game the ACC envisioned every year when they formed their twelve team conference.  Unfortunately, it has rarely turned out this way for the always mediocre conference.  The Hokies have been on a roll (as usual) since the embarrassing lose to James Madison and its ten other players on the field that day.  I feel an upset brewing in this one.  The Noles are on a roll after pimp-slapping the Gators last week.  It’s just a gut feeling, but Noles go to a BCS with a 21-17 win. 

Big East – The Big East plays several mediocre games this week to determine which mediocre team gets to go to a BCS bowl to get a big ass whoopin.  I’m gonna make it simple…UConn wins their game and wins the conference.  Okay, that will be enough Big East talk for the season.

#2 Oregon @ Oregon State – The Civil War is always one of the most entertaining games of the year, and nothing should ever surprise you in this game.  However, the Ducks have too much on the line, and the Beavers are reeling.  Ducks 45-24

If I were a bettin’ man... – 2-0 against the spread last week; 12-13 for the season

I’m one win away from being back to .500 for the season before bowl season (where I will predict every game against the spread so be sure to check back before bowl season).  That being said, I’m only going one game this week and that is to take Auburn -6 in the SEC Championship Game.  It’s money in the bank!

I enjoyed the regular season in the first year of the blog, but much more is on the way when bowl season starts.  Be sure to check back.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

NFL Picks – Week 12 by Greg Sellers

What a boring week, a complete push across the board.  I’m sick of this, it’s time to hammer out a great week.  Here’s the thing, I have 7 picks of the week.  That’s right 7, and I’m going to go undefeated.  Oh wait, you’re telling me I already lost one?  Forget I just said undefeated, I’ll go 6-1 then.  I’m just excited for this week to start.  If you don’t care about the Bears, just skip the next paragraph.
I am going to take the time and give a shout out to my Bears.  I’m proud of them sticking together and finding a way to win week after week.  I wasn’t really convinced they were a good team but they proved me wrong.  Here’s what I’m waiting for, are they great?  The end of the season will show if they are a contender or a pretender.  They have games against Philly, Lions, Patriots, Vikes, NY Jets and MNF at Pack.  That’s a tough way to end the year.  The thing is, if you want to be the best you need to beat the best, let’s hope they can.  Their O-line has been playing better, the D has been great all year but can Cutler play consistent.  We will see.
Enough of the Bears let’s get on with the recap.
Picks of the Week = 2-2 (week 11), 17-13-2 (blog season total) Really?! Three straight pushes in a row, I’m getting sick of this.  Time to hammer it this week.
Upset Pick = I’m officially getting rid of this section.  Not really getting good results and if you like to gamble, you need to get rid of ideas that don’t work.
Quick Picks = 6-6 (week 10), 31-31-1 (blog season total) Still at .500 but I’m not losing, that’s a good thing.
Picks of the Week (in no particular order)
1.       New England Patriots (-6.5) @ Detroit Lions – It was a good start to the Thanksgiving Day.
2.       New Orleans Saints (-3.5) @ Dallas Cowboys – This is why Vegas is so frustrating, a one half point loss, that’s all it takes.
3.       Minnesota Vikings (-1.5) @ Washington Redskins – The team just quick on Childress and they will be ready to play for this game.  I am a little scared that this game was at the Viks as a one point dog and now a 1.5 favorite.  I just think this will be like when Marshmallow Phillips got canned, the team will get going again.
4.       Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7.5) @ Baltimore Ravens – The Bucs just keep games close.  I don’t think they have the fire power to win this game but they just play tough.  That Josh Freeman has definitely been a much better QB then I ever thought he would be.
5.       Kansas City Chiefs (-2) @ Seattle Seahawks – I realize people might be screaming at me that the Seahawks are at home and they love to play there but who came up with that?  That’s all I hear about this team.  Look at their record at home, 3-1 and break it down.  They beat two terrible teams, 49ers and Cardinals, and the Chargers at the beginning of the season when they sucked.  Their loss, a 41-7 point shellacking by the Giants.  Stop telling me they are good at home.  There is nothing there to prove that.
6.       St. Louis Rams (+3.5) @ Denver Broncos – Denver sucks, they really really suck.  I was trying to think of more to say but that’s all I need.  Let’s move on.
7.       San Diego Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts (-3) – I just believe in Manning at night at home.  I don’t know how he does it over and over again but you just can’t not pick him.  As I’ve mentioned earlier this year, I will never bet against him no matter what, it’s just stupid.
Quick Blurbs for the Rest of the Games
1.      Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets (-9.5) – Winner!
2.      Pittsburg Steelers (-6.5) @ Buffalo Bills – Steelers are just a better team and should handle them.
3.      Tennessee Titans (+6) @ Houston Texans – Houston shouldn’t be giving 6 to anyone right now.
4.      Jacksonville Jaguars (+7.5) @ New York Giants – Are the Giants going to fall apart down the stretch again?
5.      Carolina Panthers @ Cleveland Browns (-10) – You just can’t take a stay at home dad as a QB on the road but man this line is big for Cleveland.
6.      Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) @ Chicago Bears – Come on BEARS!!! I could care less if you prove me wrong but you should go with the hot hand of Vick if you were betting.
7.      Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons (-2) – Can’t wait to watch this game tomorrow, should be a good one.  I guess at this point you don’t go against Matty Ice at home.
8.      Miami Dolphins @ Oakland Riders (-2.5) – The Dolphins just looked bad against the Bears and Marshall is out.  The problem is, I don’t trust the Raiders right now.
9.      San Francisco 49ers (-1) @ Arizona Cardinals – Holy crap this might be the worst MNF game ever.  You can tell it’s bad when I’M picking the 9ers.  I wouldn’t touch this game with a 10 foot poll.

And They Muffed It - Golden Boot Style by Joseph Michael

This week I'm going to pick on a fanbase.  Two actually, Arkansas (no surprise there and LSU).  You could argue two of the better fanbases in the SEC, if not the country and without a doubt the most passionate.  But this game just can't get the recognition it deserves as a true rivalry game.  Maybe it's because we play for a Giant Boot, which would be great if it was a rodeo and not a football game.  Maybe it's because there is a Miracle on Markham I, a Miracle on Markham II, and an upset of the Bayou Bengals when they were number one in Baton Rouge, and it seems everytime they beat us, it's either a lopsided affair or we have nothing to play for, althoug 2008 was one of the most exciting games ever.  First of all, I realize we have only been playing for less than 20 years, and I know you don't just go to the fair, put a quarter in Voltar and become a full grown rivalry like Tom Hanks did in Big.  I know he became a full grown man, but you see the correlation I hope. (By the way, the part where they play chopsticks on the giant piano at the toy store, still one of the top 5 scenes of any movie of all time).  Anyway, I went to Junior College and roomed with 3 guys from Louisiana and it was great.  I've been to Baton Rouge, and I would suggest never ever going there as a Hog fan and if you do please go incognito.  When we went, we went to an Alabama Vs. LSU game disguised as LSU fans and I cannot say what the Tiger fans did to the Bama fans; it was raunchy at best and with my hatred for Alabama, I loved every second of it.  All I know, is they have wonderful fans and their motto is kind of like Outback Steakhouse, "No Rules, Just Right" and they hate your guts if you don't say "TigerBait" a thousand times an hour.  Much like us with "Woo Pig".  Maybe it's not a true rivalry game because the national media doesn't bill it as one.  We all know that all it would take is ESPN playing "Battle of the Boot" commercials for a few weeks to make this into a step below Michigan/Ohio St., hell they won Tebow the Heisman doing that.

Another thing is neither of us have a true rival.  We as Arkansas fans would love to have a true rival, not ASU either, get over it Indian fans, it's not going to happen, you're terrible and I mean to offend people when I say this, but please tell your coach to either grow a beard or get a clean shave, the in between look just isn't working.  I understand it's the SEC so you are pretty much playing for your livelihood each and every week, but most SEC teams do have a rival.  The problem is we are too proud to call Ole Miss ours, which I think is rightfully so, plus they already have Mississippi St. and LSU is too proud to call us their rival, yet they have no one.  I guess another thing was when Arkansas joined the SEC in '92 both teams were pathetic at football, and it wasn't until Y2K that both teams started spreading their wings and living at or towards the top of the SEC West.  This game has everything to become a rivalry, maybe I just need to give it time, be patient and have faith in Tiger Fans that they will see we are a worthy opponent and should be taken serious year in and year out.  Until then, I guess we'll just have to deal with not having a rival until we are both in the Top 15 every year, and we come up with a better name than the "Battle of the Boot."  Maybe we could have Gary Busey in the intro wearing a Giant Golden Boot on each foot and introducing the game, until then this is probably where we are stuck.

For me and the rest of the TGIS crew, it's off to the Golf Course to drink some Jager and Cold Beer, hope Tennesssee becomes bowl eligible, and play a little Baggo until it's time for kickoff.  If you're into drinking games and don't actually make it to the game and go to a bar and watch it, might I suggest a drinking game?  Everytime Gary Danielson says something about the game and Verne Lundquist makes a silly noise or growls, you take a drink.  I bet you don't remember the end of the game.  Well fans, enjoy the Golf Course, the game and hopefully the Rivermarket tonight celebrating a Hog Victory and as Ernie likes to say, please keep the girl fights to a minimum...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Week Thirteen – Rivalry Week & Turkey Day NFL Picks

The last week of the regular season is already here (except for a few games next week – mainly the Big East and Pac 10).  Excuse me while I shed a tear.  It has been a great season as usual.  We still have several conference races to decide – both Big 12 divisions, Big Ten, one of the ACC divisions to name a few.  

SEC Games – 6-0 straight up last week; 74-14 for the season. 

#2 Auburn @ #11 Alabama (Friday) – I wish I was going to this game.  The most intense rivalry already (yes, even more than Michigan-Ohio State).  I’m sure you will be able to feel the tension in the air tomorrow in Tuscaloosa.  Auburn still has national title hopes; Alabama is just playing for pride at this point trying to ruin Auburn’s season.  This one is hard to predict.  One part of me wants to say Auburn has made it this far, and they are going to win.  They have extra motivation because they are underdogs according to Vegas in this one.  However, as I have said all season, Auburn’s schedule has been tailor-made to get to this point, BUT their weak road schedule has not prepared them for what they are going to see tomorrow.  I like the way Bama’s offense has been clicking lately.  We all know that Cam Newton and the Tiger offense are gonna get theirs, but will it be enough to keep up with the matchup of Bama’s explosive offense versus Auburn’s questionable defense?  To be a championship type team, you have to have a great defense.  Auburn does not, and I think this is the game where the defense fails and Auburn loses.  Stat for you:  since the BCS began in 1998, the worst ranked defense for a championship team is 23rd (’02 Ohio State).  Auburn right now is sitting at #50 in total defense in the nation.  This is why I do not think Auburn wins the national title even if they get past Bama.  That being said, give me Bama 34-31.

Florida @ #22 Florida State – Urban is 16-1 versus his three biggest rivals at Florida (Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida State) and he has not lost to Florida State.  Both teams have been very unpredictable this year, which makes this game just about impossible to predict.  Something tells me Meyer outcoaches Jimbo Fisher in this one.  The Gators somehow find a way to score enough points and continue the streak on the ‘Noles.  Gators 21-20   

#5 LSU @ #12 Arkansas – Huge game in Little Rock.  LSU hopes to secure a BCS bid and still an outside shot at the national championship game.  The Hogs want a 10 win season and a chance at getting selected for a BCS bowl.  Based on my analysis (may be wrong here), Stanford, Boise and the Big Ten schools stand in the way of the Hogs getting a BCS bid if the Hogs can pull this one out.  There are two things I like in this game:  the Hogs balance on offense and LSU’s defense, which will be facing each other all day long.  The Tiger’s defense began to worry me last week by giving up so many points to Ole Miss.  It is hard not to like the Hogs in this one because their offense is playing so well, and they will have a “spirited” Little Rock crowd behind them.  I just don’t see LSU’s offense keeping up even though Jordan Jefferson has improved as of late.  Hogs 28-24

#18 South Carolina @ Clemson – See “If I were a bettin’ man…” segment below.

In other games, the SEC will continue to embarrass the ACC with Georgia beating Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt taking Wake Forest down.  Finally, I’m calling for Tennessee over Kentucky and Ole Miss to upset #25 Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.  Houston Nutt will go back to selling used cars after the game.

Notable Games Around the Nation – 2-2 straight up last week; 21-8 for the season

#21 Arizona @ #1 Oregon (Friday) – I did seriously dream last night that Arizona won this game, but surely not right?  Ducks 38-24

#4 Boise State @ #19 Nevada – I am a believer in Boise.  You can trash their schedule all you want, but they just dominate everyone that they play.  After last week’s 51-0 loss to Boise, Pat Hill, Fresno’s coach, said he has not been beaten like that at Fresno and that Boise is for real.  Pat Hill has had some good teams and pulled off some upsets in his time at Fresno.  The hometown Reno crowd will be psyched for the game, and Colin Kaepernick is a hell of a player and athlete (he was drafted in the 2009 MLB draft).  When it comes down to it, Kellen Moore doesn’t beat himself, so the other team has to be a lot better to beat Boise.  Nevada is not a lot better.  Boise wins 35-28      

#13 Oklahoma @ #9 Oklahoma State – It’s Bedlam in Stillwater with College Gameday paying a visit.  I’ve been disappointed with Oklahoma’s inconsistency this year.  They have played like garbage on the road this year going 2-2 including a narrow two point win at Cincinnati.  Simply put,  Okie State is on a roll!  Since the beginning of October, all of the Cowboys wins have been by double digits.  They are trying to get to the Big 12 championship game for the first time.  The Sooners will likely win the South is they win here after a confusing tiebreaker (just trust me on this one).  The Sooners have shown enough chinks in the armor this year that I don’t think they win here.  Cowboys book their reservations to Jerry’s World next week 31-21.   

If I were a bettin’ man... – 1-1 against the spread last week; 10-13 for the season

#18 South Carolina (-3) @ Clemson – I’m gonna make this one simple.  This is a huge rivalry game in the Palmetto state.  Spurrier enjoys rubbing it in his rivals faces when he can.  For the first time since he got to South Carolina, he has a much better team than Clemson.  The Cocks roll in front of the Clemson crowd as the ACC continues to get dominated by the SEC.  Take the Gamecocks in this one by at least 10 points.

#10 Michigan State (-1.5) @ Penn State – Michigan State is playing for a piece of the Big Ten title; Penn State has nothing to play for except bowl positioning.  This is a very mediocre PSU team…and Vegas is only giving them 1.5 points.  Sign me up on this one!  Sparty by at least 10.

Thursday NFL picks by Greg

Pats -6.5 @ Detroit
New Orleans -3.5 @ Dallas
Not one of his favorites, but if you have to: Cincinnati @ NY Jets (-9.5)

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!