Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dream Recap

So, Georgetown basketball is in a precarious position and the college football is in its bowl cycle leaving me with nothing to hang onto except the NFL (I haven't even really started watching the NBA yet this year), which is why I'll break from the sports death grip to describe a dream I just had.  That's right, laugh-O's going hippie for a moment.  It really isn't much of a story, either.  My brother, Mark, had just gotten in a car wreck in Florida and moved out to L.A. along with other brothers, Tom and Dave.  The 4 of us are living in a nice apartment in Los Feliz, apparently, while I am working and going to school at Santa Monica College which, conveniently, is located on Vermont Ave in Los Feliz.  One day, as I'm going home from work/school to make it to (x) function with my brothers, I see a car crash has taken place and then I notice my brother Tom being driven away in my sister (Cathy)'s car with a dog in the backseat.  I make my way through the crowd and find out Mark's car is totalled and being towed away.  Dave is still sitting in the passenger seat and there are three more dogs in the backseat.  The car is on the tow truck's flat bed, which is still raised for some reason, so that it is tilting almost perpindicular to the ground.   Mark tells me the story of the wreck: some car that I don't see driven by an unknown guy ran into Mark's car from behind, forcing Mark to run into the car ahead of him.  Also, one of the puppies in the back of the car is a Great Dane.  One of the tow truck operators has a dog from the same litter but I am the only one that finds this fact interesting.  His co-worker looks annoyed at him for even bringing it up and my brother doesn't think anything of it.  By the way, the co-tow truck operator looks just like this FedEx guy named O'Shea.  As I walk away from the accident scene some girl that is supposed to be Whitney from "The City" is walking across the street.  She looks more like a busted Anna Kournikova, with really bad skin.  That is all.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

NFL Holiday Season

Dallas at New Orleans - Dallas is terrible in December, which is the kind of shallow analysis I try to avoid but which is also my deciding factor in this game, so I'm taking the Saints to keep up with the Colts.  There are a lot of reasons to think the Saints luck will run out but none of them are named Tony Romo.  I sort of expect him to throw at least 3 ints this week.  And the Cowboys refuse to commit to the run so Barber & Jones will only combine for 15 or so rushes.  The Saints should have some luck on deep passes.  I say that as an intentional understatement but it helps me to clear my head and pick the Saints by 30.
New England at Buffalo - This will be an absolutely terrible game and the Buffalo will lose to make it worse.
Arizona at Detroit - Whoever plays QB for the Cards will have a fairly easy time of things back there.  Beanie Wells should romp, too, but I don't know what to ever expect when Arizona runs the ball.  Stafford should be able to continue his generic pattern of big yards and lots of turnovers.
Miami at Tennessee - Awesome game.  Should be fun to watch.  Ricky Williams might get shut down for the most part but I am more doubtful on the outcome of this game than any other game this week.  I hope the Titans make the playoffs but I'm much more concerned about the continued crazy yardage numbers of Chris Johnson.  I would like to see him get to 2,000 yds.
Cleveland at Kansas City - I'll unfortunately arrive in Kansas City on Monday.  I would like to walk up to the box office on gameday and get a couple of suites for under $100.
Houston at St. Louis - This is either the upset of the week or Houston wins by 40.  There can be no compromise.  I hope it's the latter.
Atlanta at NY Jets - I go so far out of my way to avoid picking the Jets that it really makes me question my motivation.  The answer I keep coming up with is that it puts some joy in my heart to see any New York team suck.
San Francisco at Philadelphia - I just hope this is a good game.  I kind of like and hate both teams simultaneously.  McNabb rules and I wish Philly would like him more.  Does he have personal problems that bother the populace?  I don't know but people need to leave that shit alone if that's what it boils down to.
Oakland at Denver - Denver will get a nice big win here.  Can the Broncos still miss the playoffs?  If they can do that then this game might be tight.  Otherwise I'm picking them by 10.
Cincinnati at San Diego - Doesn't matter.
Tampa Bay at Seattle - Could conceivably end up watching this game.  I want this rookie QB to pan out for the Bucs.
Chicago at Baltimore - This is a terrible game, also, but I do have an allegiance to uphold.
Green Bay at Pittsburgh - Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Minnesota at Carolina - Good chance for Adrian Peterson to break out.  Also a good time for Brett Favre to start throwing some playoff ints.
NY Giants at Washington - Upset alert!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pre-Preview NFL (just 1 game)

Indianapolis at Jacksonville - I want so much for the Saints and Colts to play each other at 18-0 that I can't think straight.  This is an obvious trap game for the Colts and should be a good test for their defensive legitimacy.  I doubt the new regime is any different than the old regime, though, so they're going to start pulling starters for various non-injury "injuries."  As far as these two teams go?  Colts have a much better roster.  Manning should eat up the Jags the way he eats up everybody else.  Other than that, who cares?  He's enough to win all by himself and it would take more than a few twists in logic to choose anybody over Brees or Manning as MVP this year.  Sorry, C.J., you're awesome but you didn't beat the Colts.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  The Laugh-O Comedy Corporation regrets any confusion by the earlier posting of this article as it contained no purpole highlight denoting the author's expectations as to the final outcome of tonight's football contest between the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars.  That writer has been fired and will be replaced by a happy chimp in a costume.  You like that, right, fair readers?  And my way of addressing you personally in the prior sentence harkens back to all young people's love for Voltaire's Candide, does it not?  The full selection of professional football contests slated for action this weekend will be prognosticated upon in the coming 24 hours.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bowl Predictor/Final Heisman Thoughts

I am being admonished by my readership to convert to Judaism.  My grandfather on my mother's side would be aghast at the suggestion however since he left that shit back in Latvia so that he could come to America and become a German.  Onward and upward bitches, Happy Chanukah!  So, now I will take my white sheet out of my mouth and get down to college football prognosticatin'.

First things first is this Heisman Trophy nonsense.  I will go on record as saying that Colt McCoy deserves no part of this awards season.  He has been blessed by his program but he is an average QB with a noodle arm.  Ndamukong Suh is the best player in the country but he is not even half as good as he looked against Texas.  Get rid of the fucking ball quicker, McCoy, you're fucking terrible!  I would love to see Tebow or Suh win but I feel like Richardson will get it based more on hype than anything he has done on the field.  He's a good back but the Emmitt Smith comparisons are out of hand (his teammate, Trent Richardson, is actually a "graduate" of the same high school as Emmitt - P'Cola, motherfuckers!  Escambia, motherfuckers! but enough of tha repreez'nt'in).  Case Keenum was the most consistently awesome player in the country but his team handed out 84 scholarships for offensive players and then remembered that they had to play defense, too, only there was only 1 more scholarship available so they had to go ahead and use nothing but punters and placekickers as linebackers and defensive linemen.  At least that's the impression I got from watching them.  Toby Gerhart would be a fair Heisman winner.  I think there are a couple of better choices but watched enough of Stanford this year to buy into his hype a little bit.  He got them into a good position that I don't think Andy Luck could have gotten them into all by himself.  Luck is going to be great next year (so will Owusu) but he makes just enough bad reads that this year could have been a disaster for Stanford if they didn't have Touchdown Tommy II back there to carry the ball 30 times/game.  Kellen Moore is in a similar spot to Colt McCoy.  He's a good player (understand that I don't really think McCoy sucks except in the context of the Heisman Trophy) but he only belongs in a Heisman discussion with Gino Torreta, Troy Smith and Eric Crouch as his main competition.  It's the Ken Dorsey Zone and Ken Dorsey never won the award (rightly so, excepting that he lost to Eric Crouch one year because nobody voting on the awards that season noticed that Miami actually had the top 10 best players in the country all on their roster, starting with Ed Reed at #1).

So my vote for the Heisman would have gone to Suh at the end of the year, Case Keenum in second place and Tommy Verdell, Jr. placing third.  I think there are five votes, though, and I would give a vote apiece to Jimmy Clausen and Ryan Mathews.  Mathews is my favorite player in football but he missed time and it fucked things up.  He will become a star in the league and so will Keenum.  I don't know how much I trust any of the other offensive finalists.  Obviously, Suh is the choice to go #1 right now but some jackass team will probably trade up and take a shitty QB (perhaps Jimmy Clausen) to go #1, fucking up the franchise and the kid's career all in one fell swoop.  Clausen can be great but he needs to come along slowly at the next level.  Bowl Predictor!:

Thursday, January 7
No. 2 Texas vs. No. 1 Alabama*
I think I might give up football for a while if Texas wins it all again.  I've only now gotten used to the notion that Vince Young should have won the Heisman over Reggie Bush and I don't think my fragile heart can take the notion that Colt McCoy really is as good as it gets in college football right now.  I would be fine to (once again) accept the notion that Mark Ingram, Jr. deserves his pub.  I don't think he does and I don't think he is any better than the 5th best player on his own roster but I like him and he is good, at least.

Wednesday, January 6
Central Michigan vs. Troy*
LeFlour, Leflah, Eshkoshkah!  His name is actually LeFevre but I wanted to make a Boot Camp reference and I can't find a way to fit in another song/album/group name.  I don't actually have an expectation of who will win this game.  Some people I went to high school with went to Troy State back before it was a I-A school and before they dropped the "State" from the name.

Tuesday, January 5
No. 10 Iowa vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech*
I've watched Iowa suck in the Rose Bowl before but I don't usually pay attention to them at all except to root for their unbeaten season to come crashing down around their seeming lack of talent.  Ga Tech has some good players to complement the absolute worst QB in the country, including the most obvious talent at WR that I've seen this year.  They've also got a good RB.  We'll see how things go for them next year when they don't have their top RB or their top WR and they still have to play against a Miami team that looked 3 times as fast as them and a Va Tech team that will be much better.  I hate and love the triple option at the same time.  It sucks because teams lose to it now just because they haven't played against it before but it is the same offense that Paul Johnson used to make Navy respectable again and it reminds me of the way college football used to be.  Maybe Syracuse and Nebraska should go back to the option offenses that won them so many games in the 90s.

Monday, January 4
No. 6 Boise State vs. No. 4 TCU*
You know this game pisses me off to no end.  These two teams should be playing against other schools to show that they belong in the big money bowls, instead they will beat each other up in what is probably going to be the most awesome game of the bowl season only nobody will watch it and nobody will see how rad college football has become on the margins.  Boise is more fun than any team in any major conference and it is not even a little bit close.  TCU is unbelievably boring but good God do they do everything right.  My conscience tells me TCU could hang with anybody in the country but my heart is with Boise to atone last year's bowl loss.

Saturday, January 2
Michigan State vs. Texas Tech*
Texas Tech should run through Sparty because, as I have mentioned before, Michigan State has no heart at all.  The problem lies in the inherently weird scenario of taking a month off between games.

Arkansas vs. East Carolina*
Ryan Mallett is this year's Mark Sanchez.  He'll come out, get drafted early, seem like a good pick for a while and then sink into Bolivian and turn out to be a secret bust.  Or he could go the Jeff George rout and play well enough to be a star but somehow alienate everybody he has ever played with and end up trying to hang on but not understanding that nobody wants to ever see him again, football be damned.  East Carolina is pretty good this year but I haven't actually watched them at all so I don't know why.

No. 19 Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi*
This is an interesting matchup.  I haven't understood at all why either of these teams would have gotten a single vote to be in the top 10 of the polls, let alone enough aggregate votes to pull off a top 10 ranking.  They're both very middle of the pack in two very good conferences.  I don't know how they match up to each other but I do have the opinion that nobody from the Big XII is as good as their ranking.  Ole Miss is garbage, too, but they didn't lose to Southern Miss.  Okie State did lose (and badly) to Houston.

South Carolina vs. Connecticut* BOWL
I am sad to think so lowly of Steve Spurriers 'Cock team but he hasn't done a very good job there.  In comparison, maybe Lou Holtz was a better coach than Spurrier?  Spurrier should have retired after the Redskins debacle or come back to Florida.  UConn is my pity pick because of the murder and also because I like Randy Edsall for not becoming Notre Dame's new coach.  Take that Cincinnati!

South Florida vs. Northern Illinois*
I don't know what the International Bowl is, I don't know who is on the Northen Illinois roster and I don't know why there are 46 bowl games (or whatever the actual number is) but I do know this:  USF has two legitimate NFL prospects playing at DE for them and that should be enough to win a shitty bowl game like this even if they are a team of wilting flowers who get frozen any time the temperature drops below 68 degrees.

Friday, January 1
No. 5 Florida vs. No. 3 Cincinnati*
You know?  I would have chosen Cincy if Brian Kelly had stayed put.  Now that he's gone and the interim coach is handling things I think Florida has to take this seriously and make it into the 1991 Cotton Bowl.  Taunting and late hit penalties included.  For those of you that are unaware, the 1991 Cotton Bowl is the game that made me a real college football fan because it solidified my then nebulous allegiance to the University of Miami Hurricanes.  They came in as 3 point underdogs to the Texas Longhorns and came out 46-3 victors with 202 yards in penalties (mostly taunting and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties) and a concrete rep as the bad boys of college football.  Here we are 19 years later and The U is still portrayed that way despite a grad rate over 90 for the last 15 years.  So Florida has a lot to live up to here for me.  Go Gators!

No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 7 Oregon*
I've got some faith in the Pac 10 this year.  I'm a little bit biased because I live squarely in Pac 10 country but I'm also not the biggest fan of the Pac 10's schools.  My fanhood was already formed by the time I moved to L.A.  I like Oregon because they play a good scheme on offense and they have a ton of ahtleticism.  They also have two awesome RBs.  Ohio State has an overrated QB and some really good linemen on both sides of the ball.  Ohio State infuriates me every year by hanging around the Top 10 (if not Top3) and then getting humiliated in the bowls except for one bullshit win over Miami to ruin a 34 game winning streak.  Fuck all Buckeyes in perpetuity for that one.

No. 13 Penn State vs. No. 12 LSU*
Penn State is soft.  LSU has no offense at all.  Something's got to give!  I think JoePa might go soft now that Bowden is retiring.  Wtf else does he have to shoot for?  LSU has talent (they always do, even when they sucked in the 90s) and they usually bomb their opponents in the bowl games (see their destruction of Miami a couple years back).  Fuck you, Matt Mauck.

No. 16 West Virginia vs. Florida State*
I think Ponder is still out for this one but I'm only picking FSU as a favor to my long dead pops.  He played football for the 'Noles and this is Bobby Bowden's last game as coach.  He started at FSU before I was born and he was at West Va before that.  I'm leery of this pick because I think West Fucking Virginia! is the better team but somebody's gotta take a payoff to make sure Bowden goes out a winner, don't they?  It only seems right.

Northwestern vs. Auburn*
I'm trying to not pick all the SEC teams but it's hard.  I am severely biased.

Thursday, December 31
No. 11 Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee*
Chick-fil-A BOWL
Okay, here's one!  I hope Va Tech knows not to try and pass the ball on Tennessee.  Eric Berry could single-handedly destroy them and I think Frank Beamer is smart enough to know that.  The Hokies are a running team to begin with so it shouldn't be a problem.  I still believe the Kiffins will get the program turned around in Knoxville but I've never been a UT fan.  Montario Hardesty is another secretly brittle Tennessee back who should have a bright future but will never make it because of injuries.  Look out for him in this game.

Minnesota vs. Iowa State*
Whew!  Somebody's got to win.  Thank god we don't have a playoff and bowls like this exist.  WTF???

Navy vs. Missouri*
Go Middies!!!

Oklahoma vs. No. 21 Stanford*
Toby Gerhart will see a lot of legit NFL talent playing on defense in this game.  I don't know how he will handle it but this will go a long way in determining if he is a first rounder or a fullback in the league.  Gerald McCoy is looking top 10 right now and Oklahoma might actually have the top 3 RBs in this game.  I'm not super sure about that.  Gerhart might even get swamped in this game and still be a good pro but his perception will be shifted one direction or the other going into the draft season.  My instincts tell me he's a fullback and the Sooners have A LOT to prove in this one.  Big Game Bob should finally have his team ready to play in a bowl again.

Houston vs. Air Force*
Another big-time draft indicator here.  If Keenum can pull his normal 500+ yds, 5 td performance against Air Force's D he's basically ready to come out.  I think he should but I also think his stock could use a little bump.  He's slightly short for the league but he's taller than Drew Brees.  I think Brees is a great comp for him, really.  If he destroys Air Force I won't just be a nutcase singing to himself on the 'netzzz.  He should be a 1st rounder but Brees wasn't and neither was Brady.

Wednesday, December 30
No. 20 Arizona vs. No. 22 Nebraska*
You think there are draft implications here?  You're wrong.  The only thing that can affect Suh at this point would be an injury.  Other than that he's fucking golden.  If he doesn't go #1 it's simply because of team needs (or he's asking for too much money).  I'd love to see him go to the Raiders so they could have him and Richard Seymour.  Arizona is another team that seems to be pretty good this year but I don't understand why.

Bowling Green vs. Idaho*
Let's go, Idaho!  We are getting closer to the dregs here.  Bowl season is a joke.

Tuesday, December 29
No. 15 Miami (FL) vs. No. 25 Wisconsin*
I talk about dregs and here comes Miami.  Whoop.  The 'Canes need to win this one.  Let me rephrase that.  Our boy Randy Shannon needs the 'Canes to win this one.  If they pass out like they did last year against Cal, I don't think he's the man to get them over the top.  Especially against some Big 10 trash like Wisconsin.  Is Wisconsin really trash?  They are from the Big 10 but I haven't seen much of them so I don't really know.  The Hurricanes are trying to set up for a National Championship next year so they need to be sharp.

Monday, December 28
Texas A&M vs. Georgia*
This actually seems like it would be an upset but I don't read the lines so I don't know if it really is or not.  The Advocare V100 Independence Bowl?  Wow, things are looking up for UGa.  Aggies have a good QB.  A really good QB.  I forget his name but I watched him against Texas and he looked like a future star.

Sunday, December 27
Kentucky vs. Clemson*
Gaylord Hotels, indeed.  Kentucky sucks so Spiller will disappear.  Seriously, he is a big stage kind of guy.  I don't know what to think of him at the next level.  He might be a star in waiting or he could be a loafer.  He's got the athleticism to be a total superstar but he might be so inconsistent as a player that he never gets a chance to become a starter let alone a Pro Bowler.  Clemson should tear Kentucky to shreds but they might be unable to take this game seriously.

Saturday, December 26
Boston College vs. No. 24 USC*
If USC loses this one...

No. 17 Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina*
Dion Lewis still seems overrated to me.  Butch Davis was great as a DC because he could gameplan a single player into complete ineffectiveness.  We'll see if he's still got it.  This is a fun matchup for the 'Canes completist.  Both of these guys have been staffers at The U.

Marshall vs. Ohio*
Is this a rivalry?  I think these schools are pretty close.  McConaughey can be very inspirational when he needs to be.

Thursday, December 24
Nevada vs. Southern Methodist*
This is slick.  I don't know if Hawaii fans lovetheir old coach or if they hate him for leaving.  June Jones should be a hero for building their program from scratch but they are a loss now that he's gone.  I think he can get SMU to the same point he had Hawaii at in fairly short order.

Wednesday, December 23
No. 23 Utah vs. California*
I really worry about Jahvid Best.  I don't know what to think here.  Berkeley is always comepletely backwards from what I expect.

Tuesday, December 22
No. 18 Oregon State vs. No. 14 Brigham Young*
I continue to pick against the Fightin' Mormons or whatever.

Sunday, December 20
Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee State*
Sure, why not?

Saturday, December 19
UCF vs. Rutgers*
I don't know what to say.

Fresno State vs. Wyoming*
This pick is based on Ryan Mathews not being cloudy in the head.  I want him to be great.  I hope he come out this year and somebody is smart enough to draft him before round 3.  He's got that Marshall Faulk look about him but he hasn't had any of the hype that Faulk got in college.  This is a function of his lack of 300 yd games.  Will he get one here?  Probably not but I'll probably watch just in case.

That's all, folks!  After the BCS title game I'll go back and add up my numbers.  Will I write about the NFL Draft?  Of course I will!  It's the best part of the NFL.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

NFL Action, It's Not Great!

I've been lazy of late with my writing.  I'm doomed to a life of failure but we'll all have to just wait and see how long of a life I have.  I'm not going to look up my picks from recent weeks.  I've done fairly poorly in all of this.


Pittsburgh at Cleveland - This game is more than half over, Pittsburgh is losing by 10 and they've been horrible without Troy Polamalu. The announcers just asked, "Who's playing playoff football? Right now, it's the Cleveland Browns." This implies that the Steelers are a legitimate contender right now. I'm not sure how familiar these guys are with Pittsburgh's season so far but the correct answer is, "Neither of these two teams." I'm only writing about this game because I still think the Steelers will win. The announcers are now talking about Eric Mangini's plans for the team and saying he knows what he's doing so I'm going to assume they haven't actually watched an NFL game in about 5 years. I will move on now.

New Orleans at Atlanta - Atlanta is a well-coached team with a talent gap.  The Redskins are actually pretty similar to the Falcons but with an owner that can't just stay in the fron office.  I'm making this comparison because the Redskins should have won last week against the Saints.  I love the Saints and expect them to play a little better this week but I'm willing to bet, without looking at the line, that New Orleans will fail to cover.  Drew Brees and Marques Colston are the best and Jeremy Shockey is good again.  Atlanta has a lot of injured people on their roster.

Green Bay at Chicago - Man, I hate that one of these two teams will probably end up in the playoffs.  I look at the box scores for Packers games and usually it seems like they would be fun to watch.  I've tried to watch them and it just isn't true.  They're horrible to watch.  The Bears seem like they should be fun to watch because Cutler is such a bastard and he's sucking but it isn't even fun to watch him suck.  He does a bunch of decent stuff and then turns the ball over.  It's not like watching Jamarcus Russell fling the ball all over the stadium and being able to laugh.  It's just frustrating.  I keep thinking, "they should run the ball more than once every 10 plays.  Matt Forte hasn't looked good but he also doesn't actually get the ball enough to find a rythm unless Cutler has already given up on things.  Lovie Smith should, indeed, be fired."  All of that string goes through my head every time I see the Bears.  The Packers will win but I might not even be able to watch the score on the bottom of the screen without falling asleep.

NY Jets at Tampa Bay - The Jets are terrible.  They won last week somehow but that was a fluke and it was against Buffalo.  Tampa is pretty terrible but they're trying to get better.  I'm a shallow believer in the Raheem Morris program.  If the Bucs are good in two years I will not be surprised.  KII is my favorite player in the league right now, including Chris Johnson.  The fucking soldier is the best TE in the league, numbers or no.  People hate him because he seems like an asshole but he's right there with Vernon Davis and Tony Gonzalez as a pass catcher and he's actually a decent blocker, too.  Vernon Davis might actually be just as good of a blocker but I'm more a fan of Winslow.  Josh Freeman could become a star in the next couple of years if Tampa can find some better WRs.  Too bad, too, because these guys they have are mostly pretty high picks so I don't know if I'd trust them to draft another good pass catcher.  Maybe they could find a more reliable RB in the draft and trade for somebody else's good pick at WR.  It worked when they traded for Keyshawn a long time ago.

Miami at Jacksonville - Miami should shred the Jaguars but the Jaguars are somehow still in the playoff hunt and there's some feature about Ricky Williams coming on soon, so that seems like a jinx.  I'm going with the better team here but the NFL is a disaster once you get past the Saints and the Colts.  Yeah, I'm including the Vikings in there with the rest of the league.  The lesson is that nothing is a sure thing and I won't be even sort of surprised if Jacksonville wins this one.  David Garrard is one of the most underrated players in the league.  People really believe that QB is the problem with the Jaguars.  It's not at all the problem, however, as the Jaguars have an idiot as a head coach.  Jack Del Rio should be a DC but he has lasted as a head coach for too many years because the Jacksonville Jaguars are secretly plotting to move to L.A.  The Dolphins need a QB badly.  I've been playing a lot of Tecmo Super Bowl lately and it's fun to see all the old players that seemed like decent QB's at the time but who seem, in hindsight, to have been a horrible joke played on NFL fans.  Hugh Millen existed and started for the Patriots for a time.  Kelly Stouffer played in the league for years.  Tony Eason and Steve Grogan both lasted for about a decade apiece.  Dave Krieg threw for over 40,000 yards, I do believe.  What am I trying to say?  Dan Marino is one of only about 20 legitimately great quarterbacks to play in the league in my lifetime.  Chad Henne is not one of the others in that group.  A lot of internet mouthpieces are missing a slew of red flags around Jimmy Clausen and hyping him as a top 5 prospect.   The Dolphins are probably the only team that could get any production out of Tebow but they'd be better served to pick Case Keenum and let him make a decent WR out of Ted Ginn.  The Dolphins were smart to not bring in Brady Quinn but they've got to do something at QB.  I've seen the light on the QB position.  Peyton Manning ain't walking through that door but the Dolphins could be great quickly with a great QB.  It won't help 'em this week, though, but Ricky Williams will.

Detroit at Baltimore - Boo, Ravens!  Boooooooo!!!!!!!!  Your defense is old and done.  Also, Terrell Suggs story is looking pretty rough right now.  He might drop some hush money and get it out of the news but he has taint all over him.  Which can be pretty shitty.  Hahahahaha!  Taint!!!  Detroit is a disaster even among the disastrous.  Balmer will win this one easily but goddam do they suck.  Play your Ravens RBs this week.  Todd Heap, Joe Flacco, and the old man at split end might all be decent plays this week, too.  The risk level is acceptable for any of them.

Seattle at Houston - What a game!  I hope Houston rips it in this game as much as I think they will.  When's the last time we had a 300-yd receiving game in the league?  I don't think anyone throws deep enough anymore to do it.  This should be a great oppotunity for Andre Johnson to have Flipper Andersen numbers but he won't.  He'll get about 150 yds and it will seem great but I'm bored by receiving numbers.  Tecmo Super Bowl has reminded me of how great it was when Stephone Paige set the record for yds in a game with, like, 6 catches or some crazy shit.  The Texans offense in general looks like a safe bet to me in this game except for Jacoby Jones, who is apparently a malcontent.  Matt Hasselbeck is injured or I'd say start your Seahawks, too.

Denver at Indianapolis - I hope Denver misses the playoffs again.

Buffalo at Kansas City - Awesome game.  I think KC has found some team unity by killing Larry Johnson and then shipping him to Cincinnati.  I like the way Chris Chambers has played for the Chiefs.  I don't trust many players in this game.  Neither defense is any good but both teams are already packed in for the year.  Lee Evans should be a lot better than he is.  Terrell Owens is in his comfort zone now - his team is wiped out - so he shouldn't drop too many passes for the rest of the season.

Cincinnati at Minnesota - Let's pick up this Minnesota discussion again.  They just extended their terrible coach on the strength of a fluky good season start that is 100% due to the talent on the roster which doesn't leave a lot of room for the coach to take credit for the team's success.  So that was a great move.  Adrian Peterson seems to fumble 2-3 times per week, so that's a problem.  Brett Favre is having a career season at the age of 40, so there's a red flag.  They run the ball about 75% of the time, to the point that they wouldn't run the ball in the first half last week and just ended up giving away the game.  I'm not sure if Brad Childress remembers this but I do so I'll put it down here (again): Chester Taylor should get 10-15 touches in addition to the touches that Peterson gets.  This will actually make Peterson, Harvin (PERCY!!!), Rice and Favre more dangerous.  But it won't happen.  Favre will continue to throw too much and the Viking will lose in their first playoff game which is really fucking stupid.  Cincy is a joke of a team that plays a lot of even worse teams.  Their slightly sham-wow of a defense will give up way too much to the Vikings to win but not enough to expose themselves.  I like it when Ced Benson gets shut down and the Vikings should be able to do that pretty well.  Fuck Ced Benson and Larry Johnson.  I wish Carson Palmer didn't get hurt so much because he should be on par with Bress, Brady and Peyton Manning.  Chad Ochocinco is awesome as a player but he makes me feel embrrassed when I say his name so I'm just going to call him Chad Johnson from now on.

Carolina at New England - Another game that should really be a blowout but will end up a one-score pile of dogshit.  Brady is "injured" so he'll go for 350 and 3 TDs.  Carolina is retarded for not running the ball 50+ times per game.

Washington at Oakland - For a normal team, being in a position to beat the Saints in the last 90 seconds of a game would be something to build upon.  For the Redskins it will be a cause for another meltdown.  I've got to pick up my pace, the Steelers game is almost over.  Play Michael Bush if you've got him.  That is all.

St. Louis at Tennessee - Back to the wins for Tennessee.  They got bombed by the Colts but the Colts are a real NFL team with the best QB of all time.  St. Louis is weak at pretty much every position.  If they can find somebody dumb enough to give them a Herschel Walker-type trade for Jackson they need to take it.  Maybe they could offer him to the Cowboys?  The Cowboys are willing to trade way too much for everybody and they should have actually drafted Jackson in the first place.  I'd even be willing to play Vince Young in this game.  C.J. is a no-brainer.

San Diego at Dallas - It's December in Dallas and Romo is taking holder duties?  The new Danny White is annoying because he's such a big star with nothing backing it up.  UPDATE: Browns are going to win.  Ouch, the Steelers suck.  RESUME: so those 17 points are why the Cowboys will finally win one in December.

Philadelphia at NY Giants - I want so badly to believe in McNabb and I hate Eli so much.

Arizona at San Francisco - I sort of subscribe to Gregg Easterbrook's Crabtree Curse theory but I don't want to believe it so I keep picking them.  Did I see Antrel Rolle getting some love this week?  I loved Antrel at The U but he has disappointed me to no end in the league.  Vernon Davis will have a tough time this week so Crabtree has to be the man.  I think he can do it and I like Alex Smith at QB, too.  The Cards are the better team almost all the way across the board.  I'm not very heavily in Beanie Wells camp just yet.  He should be better.  Tim Hightower is garbage and the fact that Wells is now losing carries to Hightower does not bode well for Chris' future as a star.  If Ryan Mathews comes out this year the Cards should draft him.  They are the second best team in the NFC right now (not by record, just by seeming strength) but the Saints don't have that dynasty feel to me so the door will be open for the Cardinals to become a consistent contender if Leinart can ever get it going.  Speaking of the Saints, you know who else would be awesome in Phoenix?  Reggie Bush.  He will never be more than a highly paid but shittier version of Eric Metcalf as long as he's in New Orleans.  I'd rather see Ryan Mathews do his Marshall Faulk impression in Phoenix, though.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

NFL Letdowns For The Week of December 6th

Happy St. Nicholas Day, everybody!  I'm done worrying about the past and history and all that bullshit.  I'm here to give you what you really want:  half-considered, zero-research, football comedy gold!

Philadelphia at Atlanta - Two teams I don't trust.  Is Chris Redman playing again this week?  He's got a very poor track record.  I'll go with the Iggles here to start their annual acceleration past the Dallas Romos.  I wish Philly fans could just get over themselves and admit McNabb is the best QB they've had since Randall Cunningham before the broken leg.  Maybe Philly fans do get it and it's just atrocius reporting by the national sports media set that makes him seem under-appreciated.  I don't have a clue as to who is out for this game but the birds will definitely win.
St. Louis at Chicago - Wow, this is a bad thing for the whole country.  Steven Jackson should go for big yardage and I keep waiting for Matt Forte to get the ball as much as 3 times in a single drive so I can get a better read on whether he's a bad player or if the Bears play selection is just so wretched that everyone on the offense is suffering.  Donnie Avery is untouchable.  Bears pass catchers aren't a terrible place to look for easy points.

Detroit at Cincinnati - Matt Stafford should be shut down for the year but the Lions want to make sure they don't have a long-term investment on their hands.  This should be an OK spot for points.  The Bengals defense is over-rated.

Oakland at Pittsburgh - Fuck the Steelers.  They look terrible without Polamalu.  Zach Miller and Michale Bush are legit plays in this game.

Tennessee at Indianapolis = We won't have two 18-0 teams.  I hope we do but I keep questioning the Colts.  I don't trust any of them for huge numbers this week but you've got to play them all just in case.  Please, let's see Chris Johnson break the 300 yd barrier soon.
Denver at Kansas City - Let's go Chiefs!
New England at Miami

New Orleans at Washington
Tampa Bay at Carolina

Houston at Jacksonville
San Diego at Cleveland

Dallas at NY Giants
San Francisco at Seattle
Minnesota at Arizona

Baltimore at Green Bay - I'm tired and bereft of ratonal thouhjt

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Championship Week Predictions

I haven't written anything in the last week because I've been disheartened.  Colt McCoy is going to win the Heisman and Flori/Bama is going to play Texas for the title.  Very staid and boring.  I've missed predicting games and I haven't done a Heisman column in two weeks now.  It's getting down to it now.  I don't have time to go through and check my results from last week but here are my thoughts on today's games:

No. 5 Cincinnati at No. 15 Pittsburgh - Pitt has a chance to ruin a lot of good feelings for Cincinnati and tat's what they'll do.
No. 21 Houston at East Carolina -I think Keenum is ranked 7th in the last Heisman Pundit poll, which is fitting because it's his number but stupid because he's been the most consistently awesome player in the country this year.
No. 23 West Virginia at Rutgers - West Va is certainly capable of the letdown but I think they'll prevail.  Time to start the Devine Heisman '10 campaign.
Fresno State at Illinois - Juice Williams, Aurelious Benn and Zooker will never walk the sidelines for Illinois again.  Don't know if Mathews is playing for Fresno State but I hope not.  Concussions are the worst.
San Jose State at Louisiana Tech - Great game.  Really worrying about this one.  Might be cancelled for lack of interest.
New Mexico State at No. 6 Boise State - WAC title game.  BSU should aim high because they could get up to #4 after this.  On the blue carpet they should be good for 70.
Arizona at No. 18 USC - I didn't realize USC is #18.  Wow, this is a weird season.  They should be #25 if anything.
No. 1 Florida vs. No. 2 Alabama* - I'm confiding in you, nobody that reads this stuff I write, because my UF fan/friends wold all be mortified to hear it from my mouth.  The Gators are going to destroy the Tide.  Tebow is going to bomb them and Ingram's sham Heisman campaign will have no steam left.  Bama won't be able to throw to open up rushing lanes and Nick Saban will have to wait until next year.  Any voters that haven't submitted their Heisman votes yet will be really pressed on the Tebow issue.  Otherwise they already voted for McCoy.  It will end up close, though.
No. 19 California at Washington - Huh?  Oh.  Yeah, somebody will win this game.  /gets out dartboard, red for UC-B, black for U-Dub...
Florida Atlantic at Florida International
No. 3 Texas vs. No. 22 Nebraska* - My onest expectation is Texas to win in a 12-0 snoozer.  You know who should enjoy this game?  Ndamukong Su's agent. It will make his job easier.  McCoy will play like trash but win.
No. 10 Georgia Tech vs. Clemson* - Why is Ga Tech #10?  They lost to Miami and Georgia.  And, now, Clemson.
South Florida at Connecticut - I want both teams to win but can't trust USF in the cold.
Wisconsin at Hawaii - Go Rainbow Warriors!  Are Wisconsin & Hawaii rivals now or is this the Big 10 Championship?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NCAA Football Thanksgiving Weekend Predictions

I'll get back to this.  Both the college and NFL predicts are forthcoming but I'm going to sleep as soon as I burn off this caffeine.  Good week for me last week in the numbers game but a piss poor way to screw up the BCS.  40-11 last week, 295-129 for the year.

Ball State 22, Western Michigan 17 - Did I pick this game?  No, if you are reading for the first time, I did not.  I hate the Tuesday games and I don't predict them.  Also, it's Thursday already.  So I wouldn't take credit for this even if I had an opinion to offer.

No. 3 Texas at Texas A&M - There's almost no way this happens but I'm dying for the BCS to get fucked up so I'm picking against Texas here and in the Big XII title game.  I can believe in the Nebraska upset but this time I'm just going through the motions.  There was a time when I really thought A&M's coach was a smart guy who could turn the Packers back into Super Bowl contenders.  He might prove to be a very good college coach but he is not off to a great start, being that he was an OC at the higher level and the Big XII is all offense all the time yet Texas A&M isn't even a legit contender for Top 25 status when even conference detritus like OK State can fatten up the record to look like they belong.  So there's some work left to do.  Realistically?  Texas will win by 40.  Take this pick with a ton of salt.  Literally.  Go eat a ton of salt.

There's lots left but I'm leaving these games below for later thought/lack thereof.  Well, here's my lack of insights for you.  All of you.  So many readers, how can I keep count?  Almost 5 unique page views per day!

Rutgers at Louisville - Starting off the weekend right!  People in New Jersey and Kentucky won't even watch this.
Temple at Ohio - Bernard Pierce for Heisman!  Seriously, this is one of the best players in the country and is on track to be one of the best players in the NFL Draft in a couple of years.
Illinois at No. 5 Cincinnati - Yikes.  Is this a rivalry game?  I would've thought UC vs. Louisvill would be the rivalry game.  What if Zooker wins the game?  He's got as much talent on his roster, if not more, but he is a generally terrible coach.  Is UIU going to fire him or just keep going with the good recruits and horrible reults?  Decisions, decisions to make, Ah-ah.
Northern Illinois at Central Michigan
Wyoming at Colorado State
Toledo at Bowling Green
Eastern Michigan at Akron
Buffalo at Kent State
No. 2 Alabama at Auburn - Just like the Texas v. Texas A&M game, I'm not really buying into this pick but mutually assured destruction is awesome.
Nebraska at Colorado - I was considering Colorado to win this one.  Wouldn't it be awesome if Hawkins rallies the troops to beat Nebraska and then Nebraska goes out and beats Texas in the Big XII title game?  Colorado is pretty goddam terrible, though.  And I want Suh to be able to elevate his team now that I'm drinking the Kool-Aid on him being #1 overall in next year's draft.
Memphis at Tulsa
No. 9 Pittsburgh at West Virginia - West Va is a tough place to play late in the fall.  Pitt is a really good team and legit top10 going in.  West Va is a legit top 25 team, though, with a legit homefield advantage.  This is just way 2 legit 2 quit.
Nevada at No. 6 Boise State - Nevada went bonkers, a la Boise State, last week.  So this week they get to see what that was like for their opponent.  Boise is incredible and the most fun team to watch in college football.  Any jackass that doesn't want to see them over the other available options is a sheep or very eccentric.  Or both.  BSU, best team in the country this year except for maybe TCU.  And I hope that's the title game we end up with even though it's damn near impossible for us to get to that point.

No. 18 Clemson at South Carolina
No. 24 North Carolina at North Carolina State
Syracuse at Connecticut - Go UConn, congrats on the win last week.
Wake Forest at Duke - I'm not gonna lie.  This kind of hurts me to choose Duke in anything.
No. 25 Mississippi at Mississippi State
No. 12 Oklahoma State at Oklahoma - Just to show off how fucking stupid things really are.  People don't look at precedents when they are railing on about how to fix college football (it's not really broken, even though it is a monopoly, it could just be so much better) and if OK State gets into a major bowl game over Boise State that's a travesty whether the Cowboys win an exciting matchup or not.  Spread that wealth or give up the sham that everyone's included.  Boomer Sooner all the way.
New Mexico at No. 4 TCU - TCU will go for 70 just to stay ahead of BSU.  Mark it 80, dude.
Southern Miss at East Carolina
North Texas at Arkansas State
Tulane at Southern Methodist - June Jones was a really good hire by SMU.  No jokes here, I just liked him better at Hawaii.
Marshall at UTEP - Remember the Marshalls!
Florida State at No. 1 Florida - Hahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhahahahahahahahahahaha!  No, not really.  I don'tbuy it for a second.  But if 'Bama, Florida, and Texas all lose this week then the BCS will go down in flames this year.  Look for the fix to come in shortly, with the "computers" figuring out that Florida and Texas were really the best teams or somehow, some way, Georgia Tech is the best team in the land.  No way Boise plays TCU under any circumstances for the national title.
No. 14 Virginia Tech at Virginia
No. 17 Miami (FL) at South Florida - This game seems to me like the worst thing in the world for Jacory Harris.  He could bust for 6 INTs against the Bulls.  I can't truss it but I'm still rolling with the 'Canes.
Arizona at Arizona State
Boston College at Maryland - Fear the turtle you fucking Boston-baked swine!
Missouri vs. Kansas*
Western Kentucky at Florida Atlantic
Middle Tennessee State at Louisiana-Monroe
No. 21 Utah at No. 19 Brigham Young - I don't do well with BYU predictions because I always think they're going to lose and they seldom do that.
Utah State at Idaho
Texas Tech vs. Baylor*
Washington State at Washington - Jake Locker is really athletic but is he seriously an NFL prospect?  Stick to baseball, kid.
Arkansas at No. 15 LSU
Tennessee at Kentucky - Georgia is a bunch of suckers for losing so much.  I don't think UTenn-Knox is going to fall for this trap.  Kentucky still sucks.
Troy at Louisiana-Lafayette
Georgia at No. 7 Georgia Tech - It's rivalry week, OK?  I know I'm going to put up bad numbers this week but it'll be worth it for the 1 or 2 upsets I get right.
Rice at No. 23 Houston - Case Keenum, QB, Buffalo Bills.  Sounds about right.  I think Jim Kelly agrees with me.
New Mexico State at San Jose State - Woof.  Somehow this will turn out to be the most entertaining game of the season.  Still, I don't want any part of it.
Notre Dame at Stanford - Good lord, Weis, just go away.  Maybe you and Mangini can figure out a decided schematic advantage for the Browns.
San Diego State at UNLV - Marshall Faulk and Tony Gwynn vs. Tark the Shark and Randall Cunningham.  I'm in San Diego right now and it's tough to concentrate on football.
UCLA at No. 20 USC
Navy at Hawaii - Is this game called the Pearl Harbor bowl or anything like that?  I know they play it every year but I'm not usually able to watch it.  This year won't be any different, I fear, but I do love the Middies.  And they can end the year in the polls if they close out here and with Army.  Navy in the Top 25 is just awesome.

Happy swine flu, everybody!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NFL B.S. For Thanksgiving

It is very early on Thanksgiving and I want to at least do the games that are being played today before I drift off to the underworld of the subconscious.  I was 9-6 last week, 59-38 for the year.  I'll come back and add my thoughts to the Sunday games later today or tomorrow.

Green Bay at Detroit - Hey, look at that, Detroit won again!  Well, Stafford's out, Daunte's in and the Lions are still terrible.  Aaron Rodgers should have 4 TDs by the time I wake up.  Greg Jennings will have some of that, so will the rapey TE.  Ryan Grant will go nuts.  Don't trust anyone on the Lions for anything this week.  GB defense is a good play but not great due to the being-on-the-road-in-a-dome thing.

Oakland at Dallas - Dallas is a poorly coached team that needs to run more often.  They have 3 really good RBs but can't find the heart to give them the ball.  If Tony Romo throws more than 35 passes the Cowboys will be really lucky to score more than their new standard 7 points in this game.  Give Barber the ball on 1st and 2nd, get Felix Jones the ball on 3rd and every 4th or 5th play throw a pass.  The Raiders D is good against the pass but not great against the run.  If the Cowboys run a lot they will kill the Raiders.  Otherwise they will lose and be embarrassed.  At least they won't be the first NFC East team to fuck up against the Raiders this year.  Play Zach Miller in this game, he's the closest to a sure thing in this one.  And if you have Witten and Miller on your team?  Trade Witten to an idiot and keep playing Miller as long as Gradkowski's in there.  One of the Raiders backs will have a good game but I don't know which one and you don't either.

NY Giants at Denver - Enough of the Denver stories, ESPN!  Nobody cares about the "fight" on the sidelines.  Brandon Marshall is  a dick and Knowshown Moreno is a fumblor.  They both lose!  But the argument doesn't mean much.  Denver will win this week and there will be stories about them being back on track but then they'll still miss the playoffs again.  The Giants will suck again.  Kevin Boss and Brandon Jacobs will be good in this game but Brandon Marshall will be the killer.  Moreno will probably be OK and that TE whose name I can't remember will be good for the Broncos, I bet.  I bet nothing, by the way.  It'ss a gentleman's bet.  The worst kind.  Don't start either QB.  I'd be fine riding with the Broncos D for this week.  I might put more thought into this game if I cared about who wins it.  LT vs. John Elway was a fun Super Bowl, wasn't it?

Tampa Bay at Atlanta - I kinda like this Freeman kid.  KII is one of the best TEs in the league.  Derrick Ward might be pretty good numbers wise by the end of the year.  I want to believe Tampa will win this game.  Not that they can because obviously the Falcons aren't bulletproof.  But I don't believe Tampa will win.  Matty Icehouse will have a great game throwing to Tony Gonzalez.  I don't know who's going to be at RB for the Falcons but they'll get some decent yardage.  Roddy White will have a good game.

Miami at Buffalo - The Bills didn't fold to the rushing game last week but this week will be different.  Ricky Williams will break them down.  He's awesome.  Me and him were born on the same day.  I'm in his hometown right now watching his college team win.  Ricky rules.  Buffalo is playing out the string until the draft next year.

Cleveland at Cincinnati - Bengals should take advantage of this opportunity to humiliate the in-state rivals.  The Browns are really fucking awful.  Cincy is over-hyped and what not but they are way better than Cleveland.  And it's getting to the point where every single football fan in the country wants to see Mangini get destroyed.  Ced Benson should get 100 yds whether he's healthy he plays or not.  Carson Palmer needs to get some work and this is the game to do it.  Ochocinco should destroy but he's tough to figure.  God, really the odds are in favor of everyone on the Bengals having a great fantasy game.

Seattle at St. Louis - Wowzers, this is a bad game.  The Squawks have the talent edge at QB but the Rams have Steven Jackson.  I'm sticking with the Rams and guessing Donnie Avery has one of his handful of good games for the year this week.

Carolina at NY Jets - 3-0 to 5-11, what a year of progress.  Now they're re-adapting the offense to SanCHEZ's limitations.  That seems really bad to me.  Shouldn't this work the other way?  Like, he should start off limited and then get the full playbook.  But that's not happening.  The Panthers are idiots and don't run the ball enough even though they only have 3 good players on offense and 2 of them are running backs.  This should be a bad game to watch.

Washington at Philadelphia - Philly won't get a ton of offense this week but they will get enough to beat the Redskins.  Rock Cartwright is next in line to get injured at RB for the Skins.  I'd love to see Santana Moss bust out and I like Fred Davis as a receiving TE but this is dicy.  Look for LeSean McCoy to do some damage.  You might get some production out of the Eagles other skill players but it's not something to count on.

Indianapolis at Houston - This could be a great game.  I would play anybody that's in this game.  Look for some tarnish on the Colts "great" defense hype.  They aren't a great defense but they're OK.  Both offenses in this game are awesome.  Should be way OVER if you're gambling and I haven't even looked at the lines once this year.  Texans are talented and have some legitimately great players but they have no heart and can't beat anybody with resolve. The Colts are all about resolve.  And, yes, Peyton Manning is the best QB of the pass interference era, just past Marino and Montana.

Kansas City at San Diego - Chiefs are suddenly looking more average than terrible.  If you play in a league where nobody has picked up Chris Chambers you should feel nothing but shame if you don't win that league.  Same for Jamaal Charles.  Not great players but good enough to get you some points.  The Chargers will put up yardage but they have some problems getting in the end zone.  Which is so weird from LdT's employers but that's where he is in his career.

Jacksonville at San Francisco - Alex Smith is going to be OK.  San Francisco needs to avoid the temptation to look for another signal caller.  His arm has gotten stronger than it was in college.  He needs to cut down the turnovers but he gets rid of the ball quickly and he's got some talent around him.  MJD will rock it.  Garrard is actually OK but the team owner is already pining for a new QB.  Stupid.  I like Michael Crabtree a lot.  He's as good as he seemed like he would be two years ago.

Chicago at Minnesota - I think I get what the Vikings are doing.  Save Peterson for the end of the season and get all the use they can out of Favre.  Otherwise they're a bunch of idiots.  Good fuck Chicago sucks.  Specifically Matt Forte.  Cutler might get some sort of pass for only throwing 2 INTs this week but he's not in a good place this season.  Are there any WRs this year comparable to Cabtree?  Maybe that kid from Georgia Tech.  He's awesome.  Any way, Vikings should totally trash the Bears.

Arizona at Tennessee - I think the Titans will take it over here.  The Cards are more talented overall but Warner should sit this one out. The Titans D is back to normal and that's not gonna help the Cards.  Chris Johnson is starting to look like Barry Sanders.  And Vince Young is starting to look like he did at Texas.  Tennessee is coming into the playoff picture.  They're out of frame but they're jacking off in range to shoot on the Bengals.  They could end up being a wild card this year after totally sucking for the first 6 weeks of the season.

Pittsburgh at Baltimore - Battle of the Disappointments.  Which one has been exposed more?  I like Balmer better so I'm going with the Ravens.  How can anyone take their defense seriously these days?  They're all in their 10th plus season, aren't they?  Pittsburgh looks terrible whenever Troy Polamalu doesn't play and he's out for 6 weeks.  Good bye, champs.

New England at New Orleans - Game of the year!  I'm dying to watch this and I feel like something is going to go wrong and I'll miss it.  I love the way the Saints play and I like that they've finally gotten something out of Reggie Bush.  Remember after their rookie season when him and Vince Young both seemed like they were going to be stars?  I finally believe that again.  Just now, this week.  Seriously.  I am a pessimist by nature and am not really expecting a Saints win but it's more than a possibility.  The test here is how the Saints defense plays.  Can they do their turnover thing against the Patriots?  I think they can. The Patriots are not as good as they've been in the past.  They're killers against terrible teams but they're over the hill.  Belicek might be close to hanging it up.  I hope they make the same mistake as other teams in the NFL and hire a Patriots assistant to replace him because then they'll turn into a shitty team right away.  I think all sports fans outside of the Boston area can get beind that idea.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Heisman Trophy Considerations

Now that I'm back to campaigning for a frontrunner this Heisman column isn't as fun.  I don't even particularly like watching Tobt Gerhart but I do think he is the difference between Stanford being a legit program again and going back to the bad old days of two years ago.  When they upset USC with a 40+ point line.  Nowadays the line didn't even make it to 20.  That's the Toby Gerhart effect.  Even though he's gone after this year, the program will be fine because Andrew Luck is an awesome QB.  Gerhart has allowed a cover under which Luck could develop.  But it's boring watching Gerhart wear people out.  He's a Ron Dayne style back (not a prediction of future/NFL prediction, I think Gerhart will be fine in the league if he goes that route), not a Marshall Faulk type.  Oh, well.  I'm going to add my NFL thoughts for all the candidates this week.  More than usual.

1.) Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford - He's done what Jimmy Clausen couldn't do.  He's come through huge in his big moments.  I like watching Stanford in spite of Gerhart but Gerhart is the obvious centerpiece of this year.  2 years from now the program will be a Top 5 fixture riding off momentum that started this year with Touchdown Tommy II.  Too bad Stanford doesn't get the hyped up games because I think everyone who watches Mark Ingram and thinks, "Wow, that guy's awesome," would watch TTII and think, "Wow, this team wins almost entirely because of this guy."  I call him Touchdown Tommy II and I compared him to Ron Dayne up above but I really think he's more in the mold of Brandon Jacobs.  Hopefully he won't be as brittle as Jacobs is.  I could see him creep into the end of the first round but he's got a second/third round look to him.  The Raiders have 3 good RBs that can't stay healthy and they have way too much $ wrapped up in Run DMC to justify another high-round back but doesn't this guy just fit them somehow?  I mean, he's a perfect, classic overreach for the Raiders.  He's even a Bay Area star already.  If he's there for their second pick, I bet the Raiders take him.  And then he'll decide to pursue baseball.

2.) Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama - I guess his biggest games are ahead of him.  If he can keep the Tide on the straight and narrow vs. Auburn it sets up a massive game in the SEC championship on every level.  And Tebow is definitely still in the running for the award based on that game, too.  I try to cancel out the noise of what I read and just focus on what I see and I always feel a little bit iffy on Ingram.  The only game all year where I though he was really pulling the team along was the LSU game.  This 'Bama team is the archetype of a great 'Bama team: the defense carries along the offense.  It just so happens that the offense is actually good in its own right for once (at least it's for once in my lifetime).  Ingram is a good player that I don't trust much in the pros to be a difference maker.  He's Willis McGahee post-OSU cheapshot.  Still a legit first-rounder but not a consistent All-Pro.  Probably the first RB taken in the draft.  Trent Richardson is like Willis McGahee from before the OSU cheapshot but he's a freshman and has gotten fewer and fewer carries as the Ingram-For-Heisman campaign has picked up speed.

3.) Tim Tebow, QB, Florida - Tebow looks a lot better as the year goes on but he is a college-only passer at this point.  He's a god in the state of Florida, particularly his hometown of Jacksonville but it's a bad idea for the Jaguars to take Tebow in the first round.  How did the Jaguars idiot owner put his front-office guys in a position where they are pissing off the fans by not picking Tebow in the top 10 next April?  This kid is a total project.  You see how Vince Young is finally an effective QB in the league now after years of bumbling?  Tebow is that far away from contributing.  He's similar to Vince Young in his skills and talents, maybe a little tougher mentally, definitely shorter.  Tebow can be a good QB but it's a long ways off.  Someone will take him way too high, maybe in the first round, but this guy belongs in the fourth round.  He would fit in well with the Dolphins.  I'd love to see him and Pat White running some kind of crazy 2 QB system.

4.) Case Keenum, QB, Houston - He's fallen off the face of the hype after losing last week but he's a great player and should be the top QB in the draft next year.  He's got eligibility remaining but he should strike now while the iron is hot. He's wearing David Klingler's jersey # and should do what Klingler failed to do: leave early.  People will tell him to finish his education but he can afford to do that later.  Great arm, great makeup, good decision-making, decent mobility, spectacular footwork.  His only weakness is a tendency to hold onto the ball too long but that can be corrected.  Take the money and run, Case.  Should be a top 5 pick but a lot of that depends on team evaluations.  I like him better than Sam Bradford (too skinny and fragile) and Ryan Mallet (great arm but he's terrible underneath, don't be surprised if he starts getting compared to Jeff George and Jamarcus Russell by agents that don't rep him, a.k.a. "ESPN sources").  Colt McCoy is a joke as an NFL prospect, Jevan Snead is a terrible decision-maker and Jimmy Clausen is not ready for the league yet.

5.) Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple - My favorite freshman in the country.  I put him on the list over Ryan Mathews because I think Ryan Mathews will sit out the last two games of the season.  I hope Ryan Mathews sits out.  He shouldn't be in there getting beaten up.  Pierce is a freshman and, thus, two years from being draft eligible.  When he is eligible he will probably be a much bigger name nationally than he is right now.  This is a frenchise type back in the making.  Great size, good speed, amazing playmaker.  He's as good right now as Mark Ingram.  Temple is on the verge of the Top 25 and that has never come close to happening since I can remember.  It's hard to project from this far out but I wouldn't be surprised if this guy ends up going #1 overall someday.  Out of this ridiculously stacked freshman class of RBs I like him a lot better than Dion Lewis and Ryan Williams, a little better than Trent Richardson.

Everybody else is off the list.  Ryan Mathews (RB, Fresno State) should be a second or third round steal.  Don't be even a little surprised if he starts right away as a rookie.  He's a junior so he could come back and hope to pick up some of the hype he should already have but I bet he gets a high grade on the NFL's scouting metric (which projects something like 55 first round picks) and he's gone.  Noel Devine (RB, West Virginia) could do the same thing but he'll get an unrealistically low grade due to his size and will probably return to school.  I like Devine a little more than Steve Slaton, his West Va predecessor, as a pro.  Kellen Moore (QB, Boise State) is seeing some projections as a Heisman frontrunner going into next year but I don't like him much as a pro prospect.  Golden Tate (WR, Notre Dame) is a mid-rounder that could produce early.  I don't trust him as an early rounder but he could be great.  WRs are hard to predict unless they're Randy Moss or Andre Johnson.  Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame) is a first round talent who needs to mature desparately.  He should come back next year and play for whoever the Irish bring in.  He could use some coaching and I get the impression Charlie Weis doesn't even try to do that with him.  Andy Dalton (QB, TCU) should get some love going into next season and might see some publicitiy this year if TCU wins out.  He's efficient and has a strong arm.  He won't come out this year but could be a first-rounder when he does come out.  I didn't write about Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska) or Terrence Cody (DT, Alabama) yet?  Suh is an obvious top 5 pick.  Could easily and without second-guessing go #1 overall.  He reminds me a lot of Richard Seymour the more I watch him.  He can play anywhere on the line and seems like a relatively safe pick.  Mount Cody is totally one-dimensional but it is a dimension that 28 out of 32 teams in the NFL would kill for.  The other teams would do something slightly less nefarious but still illegal to acquire it.  Cody is a middle-of-the-line destroyer.  He will go in the late first round and then become a cause celebre wherever he ends up.  He's William Perry Pt. II: The Much Better Defensive Player.  That's it, I've gotta make some pancakes and go to work.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NFL Week 10 Preview/Concurrent View

It's too late to predict anything in the Dolphins - Panthers game.  I would have, for the record, chosen the Dolphins and said Ricky Williams is going to have a big game.  That didn't happen soon enough, though, so this is what you'll get.  Ricky Williams just totally beasted the Panthers defense and now his yardage looks amazing. Good game, Ricky, you have the greatest birthday of all time. Great announcing, btw. Ricky Williams needs to play like he did in New Orleans?  You mean back when everyone thought he was a bust?  His best years came in Miami.  If you've got him, I'm sure you're fine with it.

I was 10-5 on my game predictions last week, so I'm 50-32 for the year.  That would be a 10-6 average season, which would get some coaches into the HOF.  Even though it looks like two playoff appearances with no wins.  The New Browns would take that.  Purple wins and I'm not even going to take credit for the Dolphins thing so I'll just skip it entirely.

Miami at Carolina - NO PICK

Washington at Dallas - Dallas looked ridiculous against Green Bay.  I wish I could talk to Jerry Jones about his coaching but I'm pretty sure he would just keep pretending that Wade Phillips is the playcaller.  I wold tell Mr. Jones that his team is built to run and he needs to trust the running game for much longer than he did last Sunday.  If you go 3 and out every drive in the first half, keep running the ball.  You will pick it up eventually and you will score.  Your passing offense is a bit of a sham.  Having said all that, I don't think Marion Barber is a very good play this week.  Ladell Betts is a great start and Fred Davis should be a good option if you need a TE.  Neiter QB is a safe play.  I don't know who's healthy enough to trust on the Redskins but Santana Moss has destroyed the Cowboys a few times in his career.

Cleveland at Detroit - I'm going with Detroit.  They're similarly talented to the Ravens on offense and the Browns offense couldn't score consistently against high school teams.  I reject Gregg Easterbrook's valuation of play calling entirely.  Good play calling may not be statistically difficult but it is significant.  Eric Mangini is a bad coach.  If you've got anybody from either of these teams you know what to do with them.  Trade Megatron now before he becomes Braylon Edwards, Pt. II: "Roy Williams, Pt. III" and is untradeable.  That only applies to keeper leagues, obviously.

San Francisco at Green Bay - I don't think that game against the Cowboys was a total mirage but I don't think it's a good representation of what the Packers defense should be expected to do from here on, either.  If you've got Vernon Davis, he's a great play.  If you have Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Grant, Greg Jennings, or even Spence Havner, you'll be fine here.  Frank Gore will get more than 16 carries and that means he will get a good amount of points.  Fuck you, Cowboys.

Pittsburgh at Kansas City - I was really trying to justify picking the Chiefs but I can't do it.  If they win that's awesome but don't pretend it makes sense afterwards.  The Chiefs aren't particularly good at anything.  Chris Chambers looked good last week but is still Chris Chambers.  Bowe is out, though, so if you need a WR for this week, Chambers is as good as you'll find.  Mendenhall, Wallace, Miller, Rapelisbergere, Ward and the Steelers D seem like fantastic plays for this week.

Atlanta at NY Giants - I've never though all that much of Michael Turner and the Giants were terrible before their bye.  The bye week always helps, though, unless your whole team is fucked up.  The Giants only real weak spot is their massively average QB.  Even Kevin Boss might look like a champ this week.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay - The Saints are in that position where they might be trying too hard to stay undefeated.  It's a dumb excuse to say that teams need to lose a game to get it out of their systems.  The Saints should keep winning as much as they can under all circumstances.  But their games will be much closer than they should be from here on out.  Like this game.  Remember that if they win by 100.  They should have won by 200.  KII is the only safe play on the Bucs.  But I'd put in Carnell Williams if I had him.

Buffalo at Jacksonville - This is a perfect game for Buffalo to win.  They aren't a bad team, they just play so conservatively.  They should be running it 35-40 times a game while switching backs almost constantly.  And they should throw deep a lot.  Lee Evans is good.  Make it work, coach whose name I can't remember!  Of course, he's a DC so he will be a terrible offensive coach.  MJD will have the same over-the-top kind of game he seems to have every week.  But Buffalo will get some fake hope this week.

Indianapolis at Baltimore - Yes!  This is the kind of game Indy can lose!  I want a matchup of 18-0 teams in the Super Bowl but the odds are verrrrrry against it.  The Ravens need to win and they will run a lot against the Colts.  I bet this is way more high-scoring than whatever the O/U indicates.  Play Flacco this week.  Seriously.

Seattle at Minnesota - Seattle started off like they were going to win last week.  That was cute.  The Minnesota Vikings will forcibly gay marriage their asses this week, though.  It is going to get really gay in the Target City Metrodome.  Brett Favre is sure to throw lots of passes after the Vikings have the game rolled up and every single member of the Vikings roster and coaching staff will pick a member of the opposing organization and have sex with them.  Gay.  Real Gay.  Adrian Peterson will spurt all over the field and force the Seahawks players to drink it.

Arizona at St. Louis - Arizona should have a better record.  I hope they keep giving it to Beanie Wells because he's good.  And the Rams aren't.  Supposedly, according to an ESPN article I read earlier, Donnie Avery is a good start this week.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Rams have one of their 112 yds total offense style games.

NY Jets at New England - High score of the week.  Belichek was making a decent call when he went for it on 4th & 2 last week.  He called the wrong play, but the underlying theory was sound.  Randy Moss will score 4 of the Patriots 16 TDs this week.  I wouldn't even start Thomas Jones on the Jets this week.  So wait for the Ex-Titans win.

Cincinnati at Oakland - I picked up Larry Johnson hoping he would go to a team with no obvious starter at RB.  Ced Benson might be on his way back to Ced Benson-land now after his injury.  So LJ could be a good pickup for two weeks from now.  I don't trust any of the Raiders RBs because they don't seem to have a team understanding of why any of the three is getting the ball on a given play.  Look for Gradkowski to make Jamarcus Russell look like a legit NFL starter.

San Diego at Denver - The Broncos are fading and the Chargers are pretty OK.  Denver's D is not great but the Chargers will not have great yardage in this game.  Look for Vincent Jackson to suck again this week against Champ Bailey because Vincent Jackson isn't really great.  Antonio Gates is awesome, and he'll be the best player in this game.

Philadelphia at Chicago - Philly is inconsistent but the Bears aren't good enough to make that matter.  McNabb will not be super-awesome this week but he'll be good.  LeSean McCoy is just as good as Brian Westbrook, which is why it's really dumb that Westbrook was playing when he got another concussion last week.  Look for a Flipper Anderson style breakout game from DeSean Jackson.  Fuck the Bears.
Tennessee at Houston - I like the Titans to keep it going.  Especially CJ.  Watch this game if you want to see the all-time record for yds rushing in a game get challenged.  If you play in a league that gives you points for KR yards you have to pick up Jacoby Jones.  He is maybe the 4th option on most plays but he gets some receiving yards and the Texans give up a ton of points, so he gets lots of return yards, with the off chance that he returns one for a TD.  Vince Young needs to be awesome for 7 straight games at least before I'd consider starting him.  Andre Johnson is my favorite WR in the league and he should be more or less healthy this week.  Still, Titans are more legit as a good team than they were as a fluky bad team.

College Football Week 12 Forecast (Sat., Nov 21st)

I was pretty terrible with my picks last week.  32 correct, 27 incorrect (255-118 on the year).  That's a bad record for college football.  I'm white, so it would be good enough to get me through 5 years at Notre Dame but after that?  I wonder if Bob Stoops can really resurrect that program.  It's iffy.  I really hate all the commentators who bring up the stringent academic requirements at Notre Dame being an impediment to recruiting.  What does that mean?  Do Notre Dame players have a higher mean SAT than Stanford players?  Because I could swear that I've seen Stanford beat USC twice in the last 3 years, once as a 41-point underdog.  So did the stringent academic standards keep Notre Dame from going after Jim Harbaugh as their head coach?  It's not like football players on any major programs recruiting list are held to the same standards as regular students.  You might have the few freakish athletes that are also abnormally intelligent (the best I can think of for football is Robert Smith, who starred at Ohio State after The Cure broke up for the first time, but I'm sure there are lots of others) but, for the mostpart, these programs are all recruiting from the same pool of players.  I have never read a feature or rumors page that had a top recruit choosing Florida over Notre Dame because the classes at ND are too hard.  You can say anything you want to about party schools but you know where the party is for the football team?  Anywhere in town when they win.  So Notre Dame is more likely losing recruits to losing than they are too high academic standards.  And if you want to pull graduation rates into this discussion (Texas, Florida and Oklahoma are abysmal in this regard) then, please, have the balls to point out that Miami has a higher grad rate than Notre Dame.  Bet Miami gets back into the Top5 before Notre Dame, too.

I've been watching this stuff all year, I swear.  Last week I wiped out on an overdose of trying to find a spot for Boise State in the National Championship game.  If college football had a real playoff (32 team+ field) I would put BSU in my final 4.  On the other hand, I blew the Stanford USC prediction last week and it seems really obvious in hindsight, doesn't it?  I kind of expected Miami to lot to UNC-Chapel Hill and I said so in the column last week. It still hurts.  My fave Heisman contenders both stumbled last week.  Ryan Mathews got hurt and Case Keenum lost.  No trophies heading their ways after all.  Keenum should take comfort in the fact that he's probably going to end up the top QB in next year's draft.  His game has the least holes of any of the top prospects.  Maybe Mathews proved his worth even more through injury than he would have by playing.  Whatever it was that fucked up my record, TCU ground my whole thesis into dirt to begin with by shattering Utah (most impressive win of the year so far by ANYBODY, by the way).  Enough looking back, lets slap some purple color on my winners and be off!  I'll try to get the NFL thing done before halftime tonight but I make no promises.  I'm trying out highlighting instead of changing the font color but I end up with weird patterns because there is no choice for "no highlight" just a choice to highlight in white.

WEDNESDAY - I totally missed these games.  I'm so used to the Tuesday and Sunday games I forgot all about the silent but present idiocy of Wednesday night football.
Buffalo 42, Miami (OH) 17
Central Michigan 35, Ball State 3

Colorado at No. 12 Oklahoma State - I had considered a Colorado win here but then I thought about it.

Akron at Bowling Green
Eastern Michigan at Toledo
No. 6 Boise State at Utah State

No. 10 Ohio State at Michigan
Minnesota at No. 13 Iowa
Duke at No. 20 Miami (FL) - Miami needs this game, which is embarrassing.
Maryland at Florida State - Whatever shit-sucker bowl FSU gets for winning is beneath the program and the invitation should be rejected.
Louisville at South Florida
North Carolina at Boston College
Chattanooga at No. 2 Alabama
Mississippi State at Arkansas
Florida International at No. 1 Florida
Oklahoma at Texas Tech - At least these two teams are about equal in their relation to each other as they were expected to be in the preseason.  Oklahoma is really weird because they have great players all over the field and they all get hurt semi-regularly.
Memphis at No. 24 Houston - They stunk it up last week against a terrible UCF team but Keenum is still the best QB in college football.
Kent State at Temple - Bernard Pierce!  Takes over for Ryan Mathews as the best RB in college football that nobody cares about.  Temple could end the year in the Top 25.  That should earn the Freshman of the Year a few Heisman votes but people that vote for things like that just watch football coverage, not games.
No. 4 TCU at Wyoming - OK, I get it, TCU, you bunch of assholes.  You're really good.  That's great.
Iowa State at Missouri
Northern Illinois at Ohio
Tulane at UCF - UCF beat Houston last week so they might be on a roll or whatever it is you call it when a bottom-feeder in CUSA beats a good CUSA team and then plays another bottom feeder the next week.
Connecticut at Notre Dame - Just keep doing what you're doing, Coach Weis.
No. 8 LSU at Mississippi - LSU won't get a BCS bowl, anyway, so they might as well lose now.
No. 14 Penn State at Michigan State - I though about it.
North Carolina State at No. 15 Virginia Tech
No. 16 Wisconsin at Northwestern
Air Force at No. 22 Brigham Young
Virginia at No. 23 Clemson  - Clemson should win by 50, which means Spiller won't do anything this week.  He'll play for 1 quarter.
Purdue at Indiana
UAB at East Carolina
Rutgers at Syracuse
UTEP at Rice
Baylor at Texas A&M
San Diego State at No. 21 Utah
Arizona State at UCLA
Army at North Texas - Army just barely beat VMI last week.  North Texas just fired their coach, didn't they?  It's the no-research zone up in this blog so I don't know for sure.
Florida Atlantic at Troy
Southern Methodist at Marshall
Arkansas State at Middle Tennessee State
No. 19 Oregon State at Washington State
Louisiana Tech at Fresno State - No Mathews = No Win.
Colorado State at New Mexico - I'm sure this is a heated rivalry or something.
Louisiana-Monroe at Louisiana-Lafayette - Game of the week!!!!!!!!!!!
Vanderbilt at Tennessee
No. 25 California at No. 17 Stanford - I haven't checked but I hope to God that Jahvid Best is not playing again this year.
Tulsa at Southern Miss
Kentucky at Georgia - If Georgia can beat Ga Tech then all is forgiven.  Mark Richt should still bolt for FSU when the chance arises.
Kansas State at Nebraska
Kansas at No. 3 Texas
No. 11 Oregon at Arizona - Arizona makes me fall asleep when I see them so I might have been missing some things with them.  I think Oregon's got a lot of players who are better than anybody on the Arizona roster.
Hawaii at San Jose State
Nevada at New Mexico State