Saturday, September 09, 2006


Observations on the day in college football:

Any day OU wins and Texas loses is a good day.

What a performance by the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University. They replaced 9 starters on defense, and still dominated Texas tonight. Texas obviously misses Vince Young, a once in a lifetime talent. 30,000 people are going back to Ohio very happy.

It was a night of near misses. 1) Troy almost beat Florida State, as the Seminoles had to score two touchdowns in the last 5 minutes to win. Their winning touchdown was set up by an interception with 2 minutes to go. 2) Air Force lost at Tennessee, when they were stopped on a 2 point conversion with a chance to take the lead. They lost 31-30.

Hats off to New Hampshire. They followed up last year's 1-AA playoff trip with a convincing win today over Northwestern. Northwestern is recovering from the shock of coach Randy Walker's untimely death just before the beginning of summer practice. Nonetheless, it was a big win for New Hampshire.

From the Insult to Injury Department: Last week, Colorado lost to Montana State. Today, Montana State followed that huge win up with a loss to Chadron State, of the Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The RMAC limits their schools to 28 scholarships, and Chadron State only has 22 football scholarships. This is compared with 63 scholarships for Division 1-AA, and 85 scholarships for Division 1-A. This begs the question, though: Who would win between Colorado and Chadron State? All is not well in Boulder, and not just because the Buffs lost to Colorado State today.

The NFL gets fully cranked up tomorrow. Go Cowboys!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

College Picks: Week 1

Ok, this isn't really Week 1, but we're being consistent with the pros, who start this weekend. This week's picks:

Washington at OU: OU. The Huskies aren't ready for prime time yet. They're probably not even as good as last week's OU opponent, UAB.
The Ohio State University at Texas: TOSU. This will live up to the hype. The Buckeyes return the favor from last year's Texas win in Columbus.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Texas A&M: A&M. Lafayette is favored to win the Sun Belt. Maybe A&M should join that conference.
Texas Tech at UTEP: Tech. UTEP is pretty good, but Tech should be able to win this one. Look for a lot of points here.
Northwestern State at Baylor: Baylor. Is Northwestern State trying to join the Big XII? They played Kansas last week, and Baylor this week.
Oklahoma State at Arkansas State: OSU. Arkie State beat Army last week, and will give the Oklahoma Aggies all they want. OSU should win. I wouldn't put money on it, though.
Nicholls State at Nebraska: Nebraska. Are the Huskers trying to win the Louisiana state championship?
Colorado vs. Colorado State: Colorado State. I'm not picking Colorado for a while, after last week's debacle.
Ole Miss at Missouri: Missouri. This will be a pretty good game. Mizzou is at home, so I'll take them.
Louisiana-Monroe at Kansas: KU. Another Big XII school playing for the Louisiana state championship.
Florida Atlantic at Kansas State: KSU. K-State came dangerously close to being upset last week. FAU will be more competitive against KSU than they were against Clemson last week.
UNLV at Iowa State: ISU.
Penn State at Notre Dame: Notre Dame. I hate the Irish, but this is a pretty safe pick.
Georgia at South Carolina: SC. This is where the 'Cocks step up to the plate and take their place among the big boys of the SEC.
Arizona at LSU: LSU. This will be a tough game, but the Tigers should have enough in the tank to hold off 'Zona.
Tulsa at BYU: BYU.
UC Davis at TCU: TCU. The last time UC Davis played a Division 1-A team, they beat Stanford. TCU is a lot better than Stanford.
Minnesota at Cal: Cal. Will the real Cal please show up? They sure didn't last week in Knoxville.
Clemson at Boston College: Clemson
Edward Waters at Prairie View A&M: Prairie View

Last week: 16-4. I and a lot of others were disappointed in Cal's flop in Knoxville. The Vols wound up being pretty good. And, who would have thought that Colorado would lose to Montana State?

NFL Picks: Week 1

It’s a great day! Today is the first day of the National Football League season, as the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers host the Miami Dolphins.

Below are my picks for Week 1. All picks are straight up, with no point spreads.

Miami at Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh, though the Dolphins should be much improved.

Philadelphia at Houston: Yuck. Even with a new coach, I don’t trust the Texans. Philly in this one.
Seattle at Detroit: The Seahawks return to the site of their Super Bowl debacle. Detroit has a new coaching staff, a new QB, and maybe a new attitude. I’ll go with the known quantity here, and take Seattle.
Atlanta at Carolina: The Panthers are the pick of many to go to the Super Bowl. They look pretty good to me for one week, at least. Carolina.
Baltimore at Tampa Bay: Steve McNair is the new QB in Baltimore. The Bucs are pretty good again. I’ll take the home field and the Bucs.
Buffalo at New England. The Pats may not be back in the Super Bowl this year, but the Bills are going to be awful. This is my pick in Survival Football for this week, and I’ll pick the Pats here, also.
Cincinnati at Kansas City: This will be a good game. I don’t know the over/under, but the over would would be a good bet here for a betting person. As for a winner, I’ll take the Bengals.
Denver at St. Louis: This would have been a great game in 1999. In 2006, I’ll take Denver.
New Orleans at Cleveland: Yuck, Part 2. It’s a good thing it is really hard for an NFL game to end in a scoreless tie. The Saints added some talent this year, and Cleveland’s not very good. I’ll pick the Saints.
New York Jets at Tennessee: Yuck, Part 3. I’ll draw straws on this one. Titans.
Chicago at Green Bay. Will the Pack be back? Not this week. The Bears win on the road.
Dallas at Jacksonville: The Jags are still pretty decent. The Cowboys will be improved. I won’t pick the Cowboys every week, but I’ll pick them this week. It’s Super Bowl or Bust for Big Bill.
San Francisco at Arizona: The new stadium officially opens in Glendale, and the Cardinals have the perfect opponent: the sorry 49ers. Pick-Arizona.
Indianapolis at NY Giants: The Manning Bowl. Indy lost Edgerrin James in the off-season, which will be bigger than anyone realizes. This game is outdoors in the Jersey swamps, and for one night, Eli will have his brother’s number. Actually, Tiki Barber will carry the Giants. Pick: Giants.

Minnesota at Washington: The first game of the first scheduled Monday night doubleheader. The Redskins had a good year last year, and should be decent again. Pick: Washington.
San Diego at Oakland: I’m not staying up for all of this one. Not for the Raiders. The Chargers will be decent, and the Raiders will not. L.T. will run all over Oakland. Pick: San Diego.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I was having a twisted thought last night, as there was no football on TV, and there wasn't even any baseball on, as the Astros were rained out in Philly.

Twisted and unstable: I think college football should be played outdoors, on grass, on Saturday. However, I like those Tuesday and Wednesday night games from the MAC and C-USA in a weird sort of way. I guess that's why ESPN puts them on those nights, as there are people like me that will watch them. And, a conference like the MAC would rather have people in Texas watch them on TV than make it easier for alums to go to a game in a far-flung college town on a weekend.

Give me the MAC!

The power of the Worldwide Leader In Sports....

Ready for that two or three weeks of football every night...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Big XII Rankings

This week's Big XII rankings:

1. Texas. They're first until someone in the conference beats them. They'll probably lose this week, but Ohio State's better than anyone else they'll see all year.
2. Nebraska. The Huskers may be back, especially in a weak North. They have a moment of truth later this month as they travel to USC.
3. Texas Tech. They didn't hang 50 on SMU, but that may be improvement on SMU's part.
4. Oklahoma. They can move up if they take care of business against the U-Dub and win at Oregon.
5. Iowa State. They're not bad. Toledo's not chopped liver, and the 'Clones survived in overtime against them.
6. Texas A&M. The Aggies may be a little overranked here. They're going to have to prove something when the conference season gets here.
7. Missouri. The team from the Show-Me State needs to Show Me. (actually, a lot of other teams do, also)
8. Kansas. The Fighting Manginos continue to improve.
9. Oklahoma State. In the cupcake portion of their schedule, but they wouldn't have hung 50 on Missouri State last year, so they are improving.
10. Baylor. Continuing to improve, but disappointed in the loss to TCU.
11. Kansas State. Narrowly missed embarrassing upset loss to Illinois State.
12. Colorado. Dropped to the bottom with an embarrassing loss to Division 1-AA Montana State.

Props to the Big Sky

Yesterday, there were a lot of the so-called "bodybag" games in college football. These are games where a lower-level opponent, often from Division 1-AA, will play on the road at a higher-level opponent for a large payday, anywhere from 300,000 to 1 million dollars, without a return trip. For example, North Texas plays at Texas every other year, and plays at Oklahoma just about every other year for a big paycheck. Mid-to-lower level Division 1-A and Division 1-AA programs balance their budgets and fund sports with these bodybag games. The bigger programs normally get an easy win, and still laugh all the way to the bank. Fans get gouged, as OU is charging $57 per ticket for their game with Middle Tennessee State later this month.

The Big Sky Conference is one of the better leagues in Division 1-AA. This weekend, most of their members went on the road to pick up checks for games with Division 1-A opponents. Most of them took their licks, such as when powerhouse Montana was crushed by Iowa, 41-7, and Eastern Washington lost 56-17 at Oregon State. Northern Arizona gave Arizona State all they wanted, and was tied with them in the 4th quarter, before losing 35-14. But, the league scored not one, but two upsets on Saturday. Montana State went to Boulder and shocked Colorado of the Big XII, 19-10. Saturday evening, Portland State traveled to Albuquerque and defeated New Mexico, 17-6.

This is what is great about college football. Outside of the top 5 or 10 teams, anything can happen on a given Saturday, and often does.

Speaking of that, there is a Division 1-AA message board entitled: Any Given Saturday.

Props to the Big Sky..