Mess in the West

Bad week for the Big 10, especially the West. Ohio St needed every defensive play they could get to slip past TCU on a “neutral” field and 7 teams lost to unranked non-conference opponents. To be the best conference depth is required.

What I learned from Week 3 is that little guys can still play, Kansas has its first win streak in a long time, and Ole Miss wishes they could’ve stopped after the first play. Streaks were snapped in Wisconsin and Lee County as The Badgers dropped to a BYU team that lost to Cal and LSU made another stellar comeback against Auburn in what has to be one of the better rival games recently. Oklahoma St won an important game for them over Boise St. Pump the breaks if your team dropped their first game this week, though. There’s a lot of football yet to play and we rarely have seen undefeated teams in the playoffs.

Week 4 finds aTm ranked and travelling to Tuscaloosa. I’ll be there in Section N-1 Row 38 Seat 2. We’ll learn much in that game. Friday night has an entertaining slate of games. FAU @ UCF, Penn St @ Illinois, and Washington St @ USC. I’m pulling for the road teams. The game I have the most interest in is UGA @ Mizzou. I think the Tigers can surprise and shake up the East. And Purdue might be the best 0-3 team in history. One wonders if they can upset Boston College. TCU @ Texas and Texas Tech @ Oklahoma St rate as exciting matchups that will go a long way to determine the Big 12. Stanford goes to Oregon with the winner providing Washington the best challenger in the Pac 12 North.

I found out why Texas was favored over USC. Steve Williams, as you may remember from the Pac 12 podcast, said USC would be bad. He might be correct. My Vegas 5 went 2-3 last week. I can’t seem to get over the hump yet and the season total sits at 5-9-1. Against the Spread in Top 25 and SEC, Florence played havoc with games and forced cancellations. I went 14-10 taking me to a season total of 51-28.

This week for the Vegas 5 I’ll start with the Over (51) for Louisville and Virginia. I’m going to give a ton of point and take Syracuse (-27.5) over UConn. I want the Over (48) for Michigan St v Indiana. Iowa (+3) over Wisconsin. Lastly, I’ll keep taking USF (-22) until they cover as they take on East Carolina.

Who ya got?

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Streaking Into Week 3

Hopefully, Hurricane Florence won’t cause too much harm to the Carolinas. There are more important things than football.

Week 2 witnessed the end of some lengthy streaks. Kansas won on the road and Kentucky finally beat Florida. Other streaks continued. Arizona State remained perfect at home against Big 10 opponents and, of course, Bama beat an unranked opponent and stayed at #1 in the AP. Florida State snuck out with a win against Samford and Maine defeated Western Kentucky. Even in Week, the FCS caused havoc in paycheck games.

Week 3 brings us some marquee match ups and some sneaky good games that you’ll thank me for guilting you into watching. Rutgers visits Kansas. Can the Jayhawks start a winning streak? Miami visits Toledo. In an age of paycheck games, kudos to The U for playing smaller teams at their houses. Also, that game might be better than folks think. Vandy travels to Notre Dame. Let’s find out if the Dores O is legit. And don’t be surprised if Fresno State knocks off UCLA. Ohio St goes to TCU, LSU visits Auburn, and Boise St heads to Oklahoma St. All three games may go a long way into deciding the New Years 6 matchups.

Last week the Vegas 5 picks suffered from one of the greatest end zone picks I’ve ever seen. It cost me the game and I went 2-3 bringing the early season total to 3-6-1. Not the start I’d hoped for. Yet, in Top 25 and SEC matchups I went 22-6 bringing my season total up to 37-18. This week I like Missouri (-7.5) at Purdue. Not sure how USC (+3) is the dog against Texas, but I’ll take those points. I have USF (-10.5) over Illinois. I want Troy (+10.5) over Nebraska. And lastly the Over (64.5) in the Boise St/Oklahoma St game.

Who’d you take?

Reality Strikes!

Ouch! I guess we learned why they play the games last weekend.

My best advice is to pump the brakes and remember it’s early. Offenses will find identities and teams will gel. That being said, I was surprised that some teams that should have coasted struggled and some that should have put up a fight didn’t.

Oklahoma manhandled FAU. The mad genius left his offensive prowess in south Florida. The Washington/Auburn game was extremely competitive, but towards the end neither seemed to want to win it. Miami and FSU may play a 4-2 game later this season. The Huskies margin for error is nil moving forward.

The big losers (perception-wise) were the PAC 12 and Big 12. Stanford managed to pull away late and Oklahoma and WVU took care of business, but the initial returns show them behind in the court of public opinion. The SEC went 13-1 to open the weekend. SEC QBs only threw two picks all weekend. Both were by the Kentucky QB. Lost in the box score of the Bama/Louisville game was some subpar O Line play and mindboggling mental lapses from the Tide. Both have two weeks to improve before heading to Oxford for Tua’s first true road game. Let’s see if aTm can hang in there with Clemson. This is the perfect opportunity for the Aggies.

I was sadly 1-3-1 in my Vegas 5 last week and 15-12 Against the Spread (ATS) in Top 25/SEC play. Not the start I’d hoped for, but by watching games (and re-watching games) I’ve learned much about the reality of some of these squads. I’ll take South Carolina (+10) against Georgia. I think the Dawgs are legit, but this has close game written all over it. I like the Over (52.5) when Wyoming travels to Missouri. I think Kentucky (+14) is so far overdue against Florida that they at least find a way to stay within two TDs. Hawaii (-16.5) seems to be scoring at will this year and Rice has a long flight ahead of them. Lastly, I like Fresno St (+2.5) to upset Minnesota.

Who did you take?

Opening Week

Kickoff is here! Hop over the The Football tab and check out the podcasts if you haven’t already done so.

The long wait is now over. After a nice Week 0 appetizer, the main course may be served. Hawaii started the year nicely with a big MWC win on the mainland. That is a much-improved squad and ready to go bowling. Hopefully for Colorado St, Coach Bobo can get back to the sideline soon and provide the continuity they deserve. Wyoming handled New Mexico St, Jax St and NC A&T put on an FCS kickoff classic, and Rice had to come from behind to beat Prairie View A&M.

In Week 1, the premier game in my eye is the Washington v Auburn matchup in Atlanta. That should be the prime-time game! Neither team is out of reach for their goals with a loss, but what a win would do for the resume is massive. I think it goes to the wire and I see the Huskies prevailing late. Michigan travelling to Notre Dame could also be a classic under the lights. I like the Wolverines, but I’m staying away from that one at the book (unlike my wife). Miami and LSU could be intriguing. The Canes better pack a lunch for that one. FSU and Va Tech close out the weekend Monday night. Those are the games I expect to be close. That usually means a blow out will happen in a least one of them.

Not sure why Louisville has added to the bulletin board material in the matchup against Alabama, but their players are still writing checks. Whether they can cash them is to be determined.

Last year was good, but it was last year. I hit the book in Tunica in anticipation of this weekend and season. It’s always important to back up what you say and now that our friends on the desert have become our friends on the delta, even better. Let’s go with FAU (+20.5) against Oklahoma. Kiffin will score. Troy (+10.5) should give Boise St a good game in the southern heat. I like UNLV (+26) to cover against USC, moreover that game will go Over (64). Lastly, I’ll take Wyoming (+1) to surprise the Washington St and the Pirate.

Who’d you take?

Week 0

Week 0 reminds me of the complimentary water before the appetizer of the Thursday night games arrives. With the main course coming with a stellar Week 1 next week, this Saturday gives us four games.

In the days leading up to toe meeting leather feel free to take a listen to our projections for the upcoming season. As always, you’ll find those by clicking on The Football tab.

Week 14 – Championship Saturday

We’ve reached championship week and can now look back at the regular season. Enough teams have qualified for the bowls so no teams with losing records get in this year. My preseason Group of Five divisional picks went 2 out of 8. Not great, but I’m in good shape to have the Sun Belt co-champs picked accurately. In the Power Five conferences, I went 8 out of 10. My only misses were Alabama and FSU. The playoff picture is simple for several teams and I think the cut off for potential players sits with the top seven in the mix for the four spots.

Check back next week as we will attempt to get the season wrap up and bowl podcasts up.

It’s hard to imagine a healthy Auburn losing this weekend. But how healthy are they? Oklahoma will probably win the whole thing if they can get by TCU. We find out about Wisconsin finally. USC should win their rematch with Stanford. And I picked the U preseason, so I will stubbornly stick with Miami over Clemson.

The Vegas 5 went 4-1 last week bringing my regular season to 38-25-2. Against The Spread for Top 25/SEC I’m at 171-121.

The Vegas 5 this week sees me taking Georgia St (-5.5) to send Idaho back to FCS with a loss. I’ll take Fresno St (+8.5) against Boise St. They played last week and the MWC rules hosed Fresno St. They should be hosting this game, but instead have to play on blue turf. Sounds like motivation to me. I’ll go with the Over (51.5) in the Ohio St v Wisconsin game. I like the Under (64) for FSU and La Monroe. And Auburn (-2) should cover against Georgia.

Who’d you take?

Week 13 – Bragging Rights

We’ve reached the end. This is the last week of the regular season and when the bulk of the instate rivalries are played. The helmets lined up across from one another this week exemplify everything there is about family gatherings and fellowship. Or maybe not.

The bitterness of the Egg Bowl kicks off the excitement. While Miss St should win, Ole Miss has been getting solid play at the QB position. Only the die hard fans will watch FSU play Florida. The Noles should have the edge, but who knows this year? A sneaky good match up will be Virginia and Virginia Tech. Louisville and Kentucky go at it again and I wonder if the Cats can slow down Lamar Jackson. The reigning Heisman winner is having an amazing season that very few seem to be paying attention to since the rest of the team is down. Indiana at Purdue could provide some sneaky fireworks as well with the game picked with just a FG difference. Battles in Tennessee, North Carolina and Nevada will be for pure bragging rights while Fresno St and Boise St will meet in back to back weeks. It’s next week that counts.

Now onto those crazy instate games that mean everything (and one border war). The Apple Cup decides the PAC12 North. Washington can play the spoiler and send Stanford to the game against USC. I’m putting Clemson on upset alert at South Carolina. Ohio State travels north to take on Michigan. While the B1G title game is set, this is a must win for the Buckeyes if they want to sneak into the playoffs in case of chaos. Same for Georgia going to Tech. They don’t need chaos, but they have to win. USF and UCF battle for the middle of Florida and the winner takes on Memphis for the chance to go to a New Years Six bowl. UCF just looks too strong. Alabama travels to the Plains to meet Auburn to decide the SEC West. It will be a classic.

I took a bath last week and went 1-4 in the Vegas 5. Thank you LSU for saving me. I go into the last week of the regular season at 34-24-2. Against The Spread in Top 25/SEC I sit at 157-112.

The Vegas 5 this week is very tricky. Rivalries and finales are tough to predict as this is the week that some guys play for the last time ever. I’ll take Pitt (+13.5) as they host Miami. The Canes play dangerously at times. South Carolina (+14) will keep close when Clemson visits. I want the Over (47.5) in the Apple Cup when Washington and Washington St tangle. I’m going Under (74.5) when Arizona meets Arizona St. That’s a lot of points in a rivalry game. And Oregon (-25) covers when they host Oregon St in the Civil War.

Who are you taking?

Week 12 – The Calm

With only a handful of matchups between teams with winning records, welcome to the most boring weekend of the season. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good games, but nothing like  we’ve grown accustom to. As for me, I’ll be at Senior Day in Tuscaloosa. I love Senior Day.

Much was decided last week for divisional champions. Dreams were dashed, potential was realized, and Houdiniesque escapes were performed. A reminder that before you call your local sports radio guy to complain about rankings or schedule strength of whatever team you don’t like, the season will be viewed as a whole and divisions and conferences are not won by votes but by execution on the field of play. Once the complete picture is there, let the complaining over who the fourth best team in the country begin. As far as playoff expansion, that’s for fans whose teams can’t win the right games. If my favorite team falls short, then maybe we should’ve worked harder. Of course, I can come up with a dozen reasons to justify why Team A should be in over Team B, but the answer is simple and was said best by Al Davis. Just win, baby.

I’ve been enjoying the #MACtion during the week. Exciting and cold games on every night. USC and UCLA tangle for the Victory Bell and lately both have worn home uniforms. Michigan is much improved on offense and controls its destiny in the B1G East. I don’t think they get it done against Wisconsin this week, though. UAB is going bowling in their first year back and my Music City Bowl tickets have shipped (come on Michigan v Texas A&M).

Last week I should’ve been in Vegas as I went a perfect 5-0. I now sit at 33-20-2. Against The Spread for Top 25 and SEC I move to 145-98 on the season. I warn you though, my bowl records lately have been abysmal. I promise to foresee the outcomes better this year.

This week I’m taking UAB (+10.5) against Florida; moreover, I’m tempted to take them on the money line. LSU (-15.5) should cover against Tennessee. I like the Over (41) in Fresno St at Wyoming. South Alabama (-5) over Georgia Southern. What has happened to the Eagles? And, Syracuse (+13) against Louisville.

Who did you pick?

 

Week 11 – Clarity

The conference pictures became very clear last weekend. Upsets notwithstanding and barring absolute chaos, the divisional races are now down to a few teams. Bedlam broke out into a basketball game and Iowa continue showing no fear to highly ranked teams in their house. There’s still a lot of exciting football to be played. Oh, and this playoff committee seems to be reasonable and fair. What kind of world do we live in?

Three, yes, three Top 10 matchups this weekend. TCU travels to Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs actually play defense, so this could be a test for the Sooners. Georgia and Auburn play in one of the greatest rivalries in all of college football. A Georgia win coupled with Alabama taking care of Miss St (and those annoying cowbells) would send the Tide to Atlanta. Again. And, Notre Dame visits the U. The Irish and Hurricanes are putting on one of those helmet games I spoke to a few weeks ago. Those logos side by side should pump up every fan regardless if you like either team or not. Let’s just hope there’s not a rumble in the tunnel this year.

Only one team in the SEC has no shot at a bowl and that’s due to sanctions. Otherwise, in the second week of November, they all have a shot. While the league is not a strong as it was, it’s still pretty strong. The B1G is beating each other up and I’m in the camp that thinks an undefeated Wisconsin gets into the playoffs. PAC12 after dark continues to reward those who don’t fall asleep on their couch. This will be an entertaining month for sure.

Last week the Vegas 5 went 3-2. That puts me at 28-20-2. I’m 132-90 in Top25 and SEC Against The Spread.

This week the Vegas 5 likes South Carolina (-7.5) against the woeful Florida Gators. I’ll take the Over (46) in the Iowa at Wisconsin game and the Over (62) when Oklahoma St travels to Iowa St. I like Rutgers (+31) at Penn St, cause that’s a lot of points. And, West Virginia (+2.5) against Kansas St.

Who do you have?