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

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Heisman for Sunday

Ryan Mathews got hurt, Case Keenum lost and didn't look as great as normal (still, he's a legit #1 overall if the team drafting wants a QB).  Toby Gerhart looked just the same against USC as he did against Oregon.  He destroyed USC and now Stanford is ranked.  I think he's #1 right now.  I might not even be alone in this.  He scores tons of TDs and he's carrying his team.  Mark Ingram is awesome and he was the difference against LSU but in most games you could take your pick between 4 guys as to who was the team leader (and I usually take Mount Cody).  Touchdown Tommy II is the obvious difference every week for the Cardinal.  I'm not voting but I get the impression I'm not alone in my "anybody but McCoy" mentality.  That guy looks like what I think of when I hear the term "system QB" used as an insult.  McCoy is a good college QB who plays on a great team.  If Case Keenum were playing in that system this year, Texas would have scored 100 pts in at least 2 games.  Tim Tebow is a college-only great player.  In spite of what Fran Tarkenton might think, mechanics matter a lot.  The thing about throwing mechanics, as it applies to Tim Tebow, is that he winds up to throw the ball.  He will get hit a lot and he will telegraph too many passes to succeed in the NFL if he plays like this.  I get the impression that he is capable of fixing his issues bur he is a project.  I don't have any idea who is a good QB coach for him but he needs someone good.  But I digress, this is a college football discussion.  I wouldn't vote for Tebow if I had a Heisman vote but Jesus is a worhwhile candidate.  Florida's skill players are undisciplined and the Gators would probably be a 3-loss team without Tim Tebow.  Here is my flash analysis new top 5:

1.) Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
2.) Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
3.) Case Keenum, QB, Houston
4.) Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
5.) Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State

Friday, November 13, 2009

Heisman Gangbang For the second Saturday in November

Ryan Mathews is still #1 in my mind and in my heart but I doubt the jerkwads who vote for the Heisman will see it my way at all.  I've got a fast riser on the list but I doubt he will make it through the weekend intact.  Jimmy Clausen is gone.  Thank you Navy for aligning my conscience and my intellect.  These are my imaginary votes for the Heisman up until this point in the season.  If I could vote for the awards, this would be my ballot.  And then there are some others considered at the end.  I am crunched for time and will not have links to stats/profiles for the players so just bear with me.  I might come back later and add links but probably not.

1.) Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State - Easily the best running back in the country based on performance.  Pretty much the most entertaining player as well.  I don't have any criteria for "best" that trumps those two.  If you have to go to a sports bar to watch this guy play you should do it.  Mark Ingram is pretty good, too, but this is the fucking show right here.  Does he play weak competition?  Sure, a little bit weak.  But his best game of the year was against Boise State.  They're pretty good.  And he destroyed them with 3 runs of over 60 yds in the same game.  CSUF lost but that's not even close to Mathews' fault.  This guy is The REAL Jesus of college football (TRJ for short).

2.) Case Keenum, QB, Houston - I'm almost as much in the bag for this guy as I am for Mathews.  That game last week was awesome and Keenum definitely kept hope alive.  That and the guy who dropped the onside kick at the end.  Case Keenum was still the guy that put UH in position to win on the last second FG.  If you haven't seen Keenum play and you still hold onto the antiquated notion that Houston runs a run & shoot and their QBs can't hack it in the league, fuck you.  Watch him play and try to give logical reasons as to why Colt McCoy's weak arm and questionable decisions are more deserving of a Heisman vote.  Houston is fun to watch so do it.

3.) Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama - I give up.  I watched him trucking defenders against UT-Knoxville and it clicked for me.  OK, Ingram winning the Heisman is perfectly legitimate.  Now I'm thawing on my stance that he doesn't deserve it because he isn't the best player on his team.  I like Richardson long-term a lot better but this guy is really fucking good.  Shaun Alexander good but with a much better team around him.  Why am I selling Mount Cody down the river like this?  I'm not, he's #4.

4.) Terrence Cody, DL, Alabama - This guy might be a bust in the NFL but I'd be surprised.  First of all, he won't get drafted as highly as his rep would make it seem.  Second of all, being a big fatass with good quickness is pretty much what you need to play D-Line.  Third, he's reaaaaaalllllllllly fat.  He reminds me of Sam Adams, which is good.  Sam Adams played in the NFL starting in 1776 and just retired a year or two ago.

5.) Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford - Good show, Touchdown Tommy II, you destroyed Oregon.  Chris Owusu is awesome and Andy Luck frees up a lot for Gerhart but it was Toby chucking Oregon defenders all over the place and scoring over and over and over.  I am a little bit hesitant to put him higher because I have a bad feeling about what USC's defense will do tomorrow but if the season were over now, Toby would get a vote from me.

Tim Tebow, QB, Florida - He's got the opps to move up and the whole season for the Gators actually hinges on the SEC championship so I wouldn't really mind if Tebow ends up winning the thing even though he's bored me all year and can't throw the ball without shotputting it.

Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple - He deserves consideration but I don't think he's better than the other guys I've written up here.  He could move up.  Wait til next year, you will hear of him.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NFL Week 10 - Trying To Heed The Curve

It's week 10 in the NFL and that means Thursday night football!  Wait.  It does?  Why?  How long has this been going on?  Well, it ruins my already problematic rhythm of doing Heisman writing on Thursday and NFL on Friday.  But I might have messed that up in the past, too.  This is no research just opinion idiocy brought to you by the Comedy Corporation.  Funny, right?  No.  The correct answer was, "no."

Last week was a rough stretch here at laugh-o.  7-6 is the kind of result that gets one fired and replaced by air.  40-27 on the year is looking more like Charlie Weis' head coaching resume.  Is it time to cave in and start writing about basketball?  No, it's not.  I haven't really been watching the early NBA action and my interest in college basketball is wholly centered around the won-lost record of the Georgetown Hoyas.  I'm determined to have more good weeks of picking games starting right now.  This is, like, so serious.  Here have them, the purple team is the winner.

THU, NOV 12    
Chicago at San Francisco - Enough of this curse business from Gregg Easterbrook.  Crabtree and Alex Smith both need a win.  These are two teams that both seem to be sinking except that the 49ers play well every week and just lose.  Maybe they'll give up and start getting blown out, maybe they'll keep fighting.  I think Crabtree, Gore, Vernon Davis and the 49ers D are pretty good plays in this game.  Alex Smith might be OK but I don't trust him yet.  Jay Cutler can only be helpful in fantasy football but you'll never be an NFL GM so that should be good enough for you.  I have a fantasy team with its fortunes tied to Matt Forte's production.  If you can avoid this situation, do so at all costs.  Apparently Ced Benson wasn't the problem for all those years in Chicago.

I am posting this with no write-ups just so I can be ahead of the game tonight.  I'll come back and edit later.

New Orleans at St. Louis - How much advice do you need here?  OK, how about this, Rams goddamn awful receivers are untrustworthy in even blowout conditions and Marc Bulger seems likely to throw a ton of interceptions.  Steven Jackson should have some value because he's the best receiver on the team and he might break a big TD because that's always possible with him.  If you have anybody on your fantasy team that wears the Saints uniform you should know to start them pretty much every week, especially against a bottom-feeder like the Rams.  I'm going to guess the final as somewhere near 50-21, Saints win.

Tampa Bay at Miami - Tampa won last week and the rookie QB looks a little better than the 2nd year QB that the Bucs have been trotting out.  They put up some points and I'm thinking that Derrick Ward might be a decent play.  Sammie Stroughter might see some yardage, too.  But the last time I thought the Bucs had a shot they put up 56 yds of offense for the whole game.

Detroit at Minnesota - See the Rams write-up.  Adrian Peterson could see 200 yds in one half.  It might be worth it to play Chester Taylor in this one.  It's really bad.  I think Megatron is still out.  Matt Stafford is OK as a rookie.  Any good performances on Detroit are a mistake.  Vikings by 39.

Jacksonville at NY Jets - I don't like either of these teams.  The Jets are a terrible team masquerading as a below average team.  MJD is great and David Garrard will be OK.  I'd stay away from Sims-Walker, though.  Darrelle Revis is the real deal even if the rest of his team isn't.  Thomas Jones should be good for yards.  One of the Jets pass catchers will be good in this one but I don't know for sure which one it will be.  Maybe Dustin Keller?

Buffalo at Tennessee - Don't play anyone on the Bills until further notice.  Titans have Chris Johnson, at least.  Good enough for 3 in a row!

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh - I don't think one of these teams is necessarily better than the other but I do think Ced Benson will have a horrible game this week.  I've been wrong all year about that but I've just got a feeling, you know?  Both QB's and both WR corps should be good plays.  I'm a strong advocate for Rashard Mendenhall.

Denver at Washington - The Redskins are already at the bottom.  Ladell Betts will be fine in this game.  Brandon Marshall is a good bet to score the only TD in this game.  Should be a loser for fantasy offenses but both defenses should be OK.

Atlanta at Carolina - Play every RB and Matty Ice in this game.  Roddy Smith isn't hurt, is he?  I don't remember.  He might be.  I might have invented that.  Keep an eye on it.  Tony Gonzalez is still an automatic start.

Kansas City at Oakland - Dwayne Bowe, Zack Miller, and Huggy Bear Jr. are the only possible plays in this game.  DHB is coming around but Jamarcus Russell is not.  I'd consider either defense if my regular D were on a bye.  Should be low-scoring and full of turnovers.

Seattle at Arizona - The third in a series of terrible matchups for Super Bowl contenders.  Don't think it's a good idea to play any Seahawks for the rest of the year but particularly here.  Play every Cardinal, even Hightower.  634-8, final score.  You heard it here first.

Dallas at Green Bay - You know?  I'm a believer in the Cowboys offense for this game.  Lots of yards, good amount of points.  Play Romo, Austin, Witten, Barber and maybe Felix Jones.  Aaron Rodgers and the starting WRs for Green Bay are worth a start, too.  Don't fuck with these defenses, though, they're both kind of crappy.

Philadelphia at San Diego - I'm going with the home team but I'm not totally sure of this.  Both QBs should be strong and I like LeSean McCoy a lot, DeSean Jackson is awesome, and Darren Sproles is a pretty steady performer.  For my own selfish purposes I want Vincent Jackson to go off and from my perspective it seems more than possible.  This game will be pretty high scoring.

New England at Indianapolis - NFL refs will never allow it but I want the Colts to win by at least 20.  I don't know that anyone beyond the obvious big names is a very good play in this one.

Baltimore at Cleveland - Brady Quinn, welcome back!  3 INTs seems like a reasonable goal.  But he might throw for more, let's not undersell him.  Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, Todd Heap and Whacko Flacco are guaranteed to score 3 TDs apiece.  Wait, maybe my math is wrong.  Would that be possible if the team only scores 105?  Maybe put Cribbs in your lineup if you get points for return yards.  Unless he's hurt.  Then you probably are better off getting your points someplace else.

Stay drunk and don't drive in school!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

College Football Week 11 - BCS Bukkake!

I have a dream of what this season can become.  It's a convoluted dream filled with destruction and hypocrites.  I'm sure that even if every game result that I want to happen in the top 10 of the BCS between now and the time that the bowls begin I still would not get the result I want.  Because I've figured out how Boise State can play in the BCS title game.  It involves a lot of upsets on rivalry weekend.  And everything needs to turn out right this week for it to even have a possibility of happening.  Please god read what I write in the coming weeks.  Please.  I need validation.

I went 37-16 last week.  Right about my normal range.  I got Navy over Notre Dame but I honestly would have picked that way whether I believed it or not.  I couldn't quite countenance the Stanford win but I was aware of Stanford's talent (I still like Owusu better than Touchdown Tommy II but I can't deny Gerhart his place in the Heisman race for this week).  My worst misses were picking Wyoming over BYU (52-0 the wrong way.  And by the wrong way I mean it the same way Sublime did.  Which is up the ass) and I picked SDSU to upset TCU.  I didn't watch the game but I think TCU actually just spotted SDSU their 12 points then the Horned Frogs went out and scored 55 points in 13 minutes and they called it a game.  Something like that anyway.  I'm at 223-98 for the year.  I feel OK with that standing.  The drill is, as always, the team written in purple is my predicted winner.


Ohio 27, Buffalo 24 - never ever ever ever ever ever ever will I pick the Tuesday game.  Well, shit, it's already Wednesday, right?

Toledo at Central Michigan - This game might have already happened.  I don't know and I don't care all that much.  It's funny if I got it wrong.

Bowling Green at Miami (OH) - Well, my whole premise in picking games is that I do no research so I can't look this up.  I think these teams have combined for 2 wins this year.  It will become 3 by the end of this game!

Ball State at Northern Illinois - I can't remember everything.

No. 24 South Florida at Rutgers - USF fucks up every time they look like they're on a roll.  They'll probably beat Miami.

No. 25 West Virginia at No. 5 Cincinnati - This is an important part of my plan.  I actually think the Big East is fairly strong from top-to-bottom so I don't think this is UC's last chance to fail.  But this is the best chance they have.  West Va has been awful on offense lately and Cincinnati is one of the best defensive teams in the country.  I don't care.  I need this for my dream scenario.
Temple at Akron - Bernard Pierce!  I saw Temple got a few votes in one of the polls this week.  Also, I've discovered that they are in the MAC in football.  What the fuck?  Can't some other A10 schools put together football programs and have an A10 conference in football?  It would be easier, I suppose, if the NCAA adopted my plan to have a single D-I for football (similar to basketball) and a season-ending tournament to crown a champion (similar to every other division of football other than D-IA and, also, every other team sport on the planet).  I want Pierce to light it up and get Temple into the top 25.

No. 3 Texas at Baylor - OK, my plan is not really this dumb.  I'm hoping for the 'Horns to lose the Big XII title game but I will keep picking against them for as long as I must.

No. 7 Georgia Tech at Duke - Georgia Tech is a fraud, aren't they?  I don't believe a team could get wiped out by this year's Miami team the way these guys did without being a bad team.  Miami is a good team this year, a slightly fringe top 20 (just wait and see - I hope I'm wrong), with one major asset.  They're really fast.  They aren't disciplined and they don't really play as a team all the time.

No. 15 Houston at UCF - Keenum needs to keep putting up 500 yds/week to really have a shot at a Heisman.  He wears Klingler's number so maybe he can go for 11 tds this week.
Indiana at No. 18 Penn State - Wouldn't be shocked by an Indiana win.  Slightly surprised would be the more apt phrase.

Michigan at No. 20 Wisconsin - Why would anything in the Big 10 make sense?  All 11 teams in the Big 10 suck.  That's why they combine to only equal 10.
Syracuse at Louisville - Holy shit.  This is a disaster.
South Dakota State at Minnesota
Tennessee at Mississippi - Jevan Snead has been terrible all season and this will be his worst game yet.
Clemson at North Carolina State - NC State is a shitty team and Clemson is on a roll.  The ACC is just as bad as the Big 10.

Florida State at Wake Forest - I want to believe.
Virginia Military Institute at Army - Hmmm.  Of all the IA vs. IAA games that could be played, this is one of the few that makes sense.

Northwestern at Illinois - Wowzers.  I'm familiar with the work of the Zooker so I can't pick any team he coaches.
Michigan State at Purdue

Kentucky at Vanderbilt
Missouri at Kansas State - I don't trust K-State yet but Bill Snyder's moving them in the right direction.

No. 21 Virginia Tech at Maryland - Why are the Hokies still ranked?
UAB at Memphis
Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan - ?????
No. 22 Brigham Young at New Mexico - Whatever, BYU.  Whatever.
Colorado at Iowa State - Oh, Dan Hawkins, how bad have you made the WAC look?

San Jose State at Utah State
UTEP at Southern Methodist - You know, these two coaches probably shouldn't be at these two schools.  Wazzou can still take Price back, can't they?  I don't know the story there.  If the fans and regents aren't too mad at him it seems like it's worth a try.  What could go wrong?  Is Washington State going to somehow lose all their games even more?

No. 1 Florida at South Carolina - Florida can actually afford a loss and still make the BCS title game but that game has to be during the next two weeks.
Idaho at No. 6 Boise State - Boise State obviously needs to win every game if they are going to even finish top 5.

Stanford at No. 9 USC - I don't trust the Stanford momentum.  Really, if last week's game were in Oregon it wouldn't have even been a Stanford win.  USC, on the other hand, could probably lose to Washington State at this point and it would be slightly surprising but also only drop them to #15.

No. 10 Iowa at No. 11 Ohio State - I'd like to see Iowa finish 8-4.  They seem like an 8-4 team from a middling conference.

No. 14 Miami (FL) at North Carolina - I don't really believe Miami will win this game.  I don't like to say that.  I want Miami to win this game by 60.  Probably more than any other game all year I want Miami to win by a huge amount.
Washington at No. 23 Oregon State - Jacquizz Rodgers won't win the Heisman.  He has even lost his hype in the Pac 10.

Tulane at Rice
Boston College at Virginia - Hahahahahahahah!  I'm kidding but whatever.  I'm not picking against UVa.

Nebraska at Kansas - Nebraska beat Oklahoma last week and has a legitimate claim to the best single player in college football.  But they're also a horrible train wreck on offense and can find ways to give up points and lose no matter what Suh does.

Delaware at Navy - Uh, go Middies.  I guess.  I hate the 12 game schedule so much.

Arkansas State at Florida Atlantic
Western Kentucky at Louisiana-Monroe
Fresno State at Nevada - Mathews, listen to me.  You can't get the credit you deserve without at least 1 game of over 300 yds.  The more the merrier, in fact.  Don't take plays off and steal the ball from the QB if he drops back to pass.  You're in the huddle with him so you should know when it's coming.  If it take 70 carries to get the yards you need?  So be it.  Make it fucking happen.  I'm sick of having nobody I know even realize you exist.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Middle Tennessee State
Southern Miss at Marshall
UCLA at Washington State - You might get the impression I'm trying to lose 30 games this week.  You might be right.  Like a fox.

UNLV at Air Force
No. 2 Alabama at Mississippi State - Alabama needs to lose before the SEC title game and lose the SEC title game in order to have Boise play in the BCS title game.  'Bama will roll the Mississippi State Bulldogs but they might lose the Iron Bowl.  Auburn's not that bad and the Iron Bowl is their only big game left.  Including whatever shitty bowl game they go and lose.  The Iron Bowl is awesome.  I'd watch it even if both teams were 1-10 coming in, because they will still play a great game just so they don't have to listen to some drunken rednecks tell them for the rest of their lives that they suck.  Even if the only bad game they ever played was against Alabama/Auburn.
Louisiana Tech at No. 8 LSU
Auburn at Georgia - I said all that stuff about the Iron Bowl so now I feel compelled to take Auburn.  Realistically I think the biggest difference between these two teams is where the game is played.
Texas A&M at Oklahoma - Big Game Bob.  Whoo.

North Texas at Florida International
No. 16 Utah at No. 4 TCU - This needs to happen.  My dream scenario is impossible if TCU keeps winning.  Utah is a totally legit team so this can happen even though TCU has looked inde-fucking-structable the last couple of weeks.
Troy at Arkansas
Notre Dame at No. 12 Pittsburgh - Good night, sweetheart, now it's time to go...

Texas Tech at No. 19 Oklahoma State - Final score prediction: 24-23.  Yep, that's not very high at all.
Wyoming at San Diego State
New Mexico State at Hawaii
Arizona State at No. 13 Oregon
No. 17 Arizona at California - Berkeley is only happy when it rains.  They're only happy when it's complicated.

East Carolina at Tulsa - This is just such a stupid trend that I can't handle it.  The NCAA is a bunch of fucking jerkass idiots.  That is all.

Have some fun with this if you read it.  Predict my record for the week!  That should be fun for you if you've made it this far.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

NFL Week 9 Preview / Fantasy Ruminations

Okey, I don't deserve the benefit of the doubt for being so far behind on my self-imposed assignments.  I'm writing a script but that's not why I'm late.  I'm behind the 8-ball because I am exhausted by work.  But I'll do better next week.  I'm watching college ball while I write this and my mind might wander a bit.  Like, for instance, Trent Richardson is a total badass at running back for U. Alabama and deserves more carries.  I went 10-3 last week, which a lot of people probably did because there was only 1 legitimate upset.  I'm 33-21 for the year, which would be fine picking against the spread but I'm just guessing the winners.  Maybe I'm improving at this.  I don't re-check my fantasy advice so I couldn't tell you how I'm doing on that front.  Here's this week's garbage, purple teams are the winners.  Hope you enjoy it all:

Washington at Atlanta - Washington seems really horrible now that I think about it.  I'm playing Fred Davis at TE and I'd give Santana Moss a shot, too.  Clinton Portis?  Maybe if you have a bye-week starter or Matt Forte on your squad.  Atlanta defense seems like a good play but I would probably not start Matt Ryan.  Only maybe on Roddy White.  I think if you have Michael Turner you probably have to play him but I'd be surprised if he has a second good game in a row.  Tony Gonzalez is still a top 5 TE and you probably don't have anybody better than him on your team.
Arizona at Chicago - I like Beanie Wells better as a Cardinals RB than I liked him at Ohio State.  He doesn't get enough carries but he's good.  I would play all the Cards WRs this week and I bet Kurt Warner is worthy of a start, too.  Jay Cutler will throw some INTs this week and Matt Forte is apparently awful.
Baltimore at Cincinnati - Bengals will now commence shocking everyone by how bad they suck.  Carson Palmer is good, Ced Benson has finally become what he was supposed to be coming out of UT-Austin.  Ochocinco is an asshole for changing his name but he's a good WR and a start-every-week kind of guy again.  I don't like any matchups in this game particularly.
Houston at Indianapolis - I hope the score is 74-53 at the end.  Owen Daniels is out so maybe now Jacoby Jones will get some catches.  Everybody other than Daniels and Steve Slaton will do just fine in this game.  If you have Colts, play them.  All of them.
Miami at New England - New England has looked great lately.  New England is an old team.  They shouldn't be able to be great for more than a couple of weeks all season.  You know the drill with New England.
Green Bay at Tampa Bay - Tampa Bay is awful but even they will get sacks here.  Don't play any Bucs players ever.  Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Grant stick out to me as fantasy stars in this game.
Kansas City at Jacksonville - Jamaal Charles is not a good RB.  Don't kid yourself.  MJD might go for 350 yds and 7 TDs against the Chiefs.  Mike Sims-Walker will ligjt it up, too.
Carolina at New Orleans - New Orleans will stay undefeated and Pierre Tomas will have his biggest game of the year.
Detroit at Seattle - The battle of the injured network non-stars.  The Lions might need MegaTron to win.  But I'm guessing this makes the crap cellar a little more full.  Welcome, Seattle!

Tennessee at San Francisco - The inverse of my little game with the Iowa Hawkeyes.  I picked Tennessee until they won a game and now I sort of believe in them, too.  Chris Johnson will not do anything like he did last week but he'll be OK.  Vince Young is a terrible fantasy QB but he is better for the Titans than Kerry Collins.  Frank Gore will go berserk.  Alex Smith is a good backup at QB.  Vernon Davis will keep having good games and Michael Crabtree might score this week.  Somehow San Francisco will lose.
San Diego at NY Giants - I remember telling everyone that Phillip Rivers is the best QB in the draft before Eli Manning went overall #1.  Yep, I'm sticking with that.  Brandon Jacobs will be a good play this week but Eli will keep turning the ball over.  And all the big names in the Chargers passing game will have the same game they have every week.  But the Chargers RBs won't be so great this week.
Dallas at Philadelphia - McNabb will throw for more yds than Romo.  McCoy will have the highest rushing total of any RB in this game.  DeSean Jackson should have some huge yardage.  I don't think much of the Cowboys coaches but it sometimes works out in the NFL that the players rise above horrible coaching to play well.  Don't be surprised when Miles Austin has a crappy game.

Pittsburgh at Denver - I dislike both of these teams.  I think Pittsburgh throws too much when they get into trouble.  They should run the ball 45 times a game but they don't.  Denver is a mirage but they have some nice players.  Brandon Marshall will be a good play in this game, Mendenhall will be good.  Everything else is open to interpretation.

Heisman Land

I've got 5 minutes to write this so it won't be in depth or insightful.  Here's my Top 5 for the Heisman.  MY top 5.  They aren't the guys I think will win but the guys I think should win.

1.) Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State - If you have watched him play and don't agree with me then fuck you, you're an asshole.  If you haven't seen him play and you object because of his team/conference then fuck you even more because you are an even bigger asshole.  This guy is Marshall Faulk (who also should have won) reborn.

2.) Case Keenum, QB, Houston - Best QB I've seen this year.  Plays a jackass schedule, as well, but it's ok to be a little protected.  This Houston team plays an offense that is working in the NFL and the SEC so stop saying he's a system QB.  He's got all the tools, as it were.

3.) Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame - Best QB I've seen this year that has actually played a decent schedule.  Really don't think he should come out this year, though.  He should be ready for the NFL Draft in 2011 and Out in 2014.

4.) Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama - If every offensive starter on the Crimson Tide went down to an injury, their defense would still pull them through.  People who don't understand a nose tackle's job have complained that Cody hasn't "done anything" this year.  Well, he's not a pass rusher.  He's supposed to absorb blockers so that the edge rushers, to some degree, and the MLBs/ILBs have the space to blow up ballcarriers.  Well, Cody has done well enough that Roland McClain has passed him up on the Q Ratings.  B.S.  Cody is the key to 'Bama winning anything memorable this year.

5.) Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple - Give him a shot, OK?  Watch a Temple game.  I didn't realize it until last Saturday but Temple is having their best season in like 40 years.  Did they get a recruiting pipeline going to resurrect (were they ever good to begin with?) the pipeline?  I don't know but this guy is a freshman so it's possible.  He's moved past Noel Devine, Tim Tebow, Golden Taint, Ndamukong Suh, Eric Berry and Kellen Moore to the point where I'm disappointed that I missed a Temple game on Thursday.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

College Football Week 10 (First Weekend of November)

Last week I had problems getting my paragraph breaks to show correctly. I went overboard on the top 25 upsets and then there weren't very many. I went 36-17 (186-82 overall) and missed picking the Minnesota-Mich State game entirely. Good, since I think that represents the way I felt about that game. I'm trying to work quickly because I'm a day and a half later than I want to write this article. I can't help it, I started a job on Monday and I'm overwhelmed by the idea of working again. The Thursday games have already started and I might be "predicting" game outcomes that have already been decided by the time this posts. I am trying hard to ignore the scores. So I have to just let it fly. Purple always wins on this site.  No research!


Bowling Green 30, Buffalo 29 - Nope.  Not a prediction.

No. 23 Virginia Tech at East Carolina - Wow. New blogger controls.  Wow.
Miami (OH) at Temple - Maybe I am missing it right now and my new football hero is the new Heisman frontrunner.
Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois - Huh? Well, Michael Turner's pretty good and he went to NIU.

No. 7 Boise State at Louisiana Tech - Boise can look bad for losing but can't impress anyone with a win.  Nobody will schedule them for the years to come, either.  They're like FSU was in the early 80s.  Except that it's almost illegal to be an independent now.

UCF at No. 2 Texas - This would be the best upset in a long time if UCF wins.  It would also be historically significant in the world of football.
Northwestern at No. 4 Iowa - It's only far-fetched if you've never watched Iowa.
Syracuse at No. 13 Pittsburgh - Poor Paulus.  Syracuse fans hate him.  He'll be OK if he makes the league.
Virginia at No. 17 Miami (FL) - UM is not much more talented than UVa.  So Al Groh should be gone by now.
No. 21 Wisconsin at Indiana - Make up call!
Western Michigan at Michigan State -Wow, Sparty.  You should be better.
Purdue at Michigan - What now?  Both of these teams stopped playing football a few weeks ago.  Maybe they will both be better?
Illinois at Minnesota - These were the Big 10 (+1) Conference teams of the week last week.  You have to understand this means the conference is terrible.
Louisville at West Virginia - Noel Devine won't win the Heisman.  West Virginia won't play in a good bowl game.  Kraggy's gotta die.
South Carolina at Arkansas
Kansas at Kansas State
Tennessee Tech at Georgia - People are worried about Brandon Spikes but nobody cares that this is happening.
Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky
Maryland at North Carolina State
Furman at Auburn
Texas A&M at Colorado - Sherman's going bowling isn't he?
Florida Atlantic at UAB
Baylor at Missouri
Brigham Young at Wyoming
Navy at No. 22 Notre Dame - It's not far-fetched anymore.  Go Middies!
Rice at Southern Methodist
No. 9 LSU at No. 3 Alabama - LSU could win it.  I'm interested to see where they would be in the rankings after a win here.
No. 8 Oregon at Stanford - Stanford can keep it closer than Oregon's last game.
Wake Forest at No. 10 Georgia Tech
No. 16 Ohio State at No. 11 Penn State
Washington State at No. 18 Arizona - Could the Pac-10 trade Wazzou for Boise State?
No. 19 Oklahoma State at Iowa State
Washington at UCLA
Duke at North Carolina
Army at Air Force
Kent State at Akron
Louisiana-Lafayette at Arkansas State
UTEP at Tulane
No. 6 TCU at San Diego State
Louisiana-Monroe at North Texas
Florida International at Middle Tennessee State
Troy at Western Kentucky
New Mexico at No. 14 Utah
Oregon State at No. 20 California
Memphis at Tennessee
Vanderbilt at No. 1 Florida
No. 15 Houston at Tulsa
Northern Arizona at Mississippi - Hey, Ole Miss can win this one!
Florida State at Clemson - If C.J. Spiller didn't lose last week to sportsmanship this game could win him a Heisman trophy.  FSU has all the same weaknesses as Miami.
Connecticut at No. 5 Cincinnati -God I want these UConn kids to win.  But UC is good.  That should make a difference.
No. 12 USC at Arizona State - How awesome would it be if ASU could pull this off?  Dennis Erickson is like a crappy, carpet-bagging version of Pete Carroll.
No. 24 Oklahoma at Nebraska - 2 top 5 draft picks in this game.  They're both DTs.
Colorado State at UNLV
Utah State at Hawaii
Fresno State at Idaho - Come on Mathews, you need massive numbers!

Nevada at San Jose State - WTF is up with this Sunday CFB bullshit?  This is even more annoying and a bigger money loser than the Tuesday/Wednesday fuck you to academia games.