Friday, September 22, 2006

NFL Picks: Week 3

Last Week: 12-4. Overall: 21-11.

At this point, the NFL has 11 teams with a record of 2-0, and 11 teams with a record of 0-2. That leaves 10 teams in the middle at 1-1, and creates symmetry for the league, with an even number of teams at the top and bottom. Useless information for the most part, but the trends make a lot of the picks easier.

Washington at Houston: In which way is the city of Houston better off: a) with the hard-luck Oilers, b) without a team, or c) with the sorry Texans? Each point is debatable. The Texans continue to redefine the word suck. The Redskins haven't been much better. Clinton Portis is back this week for the 'Skins. Pick: Washington.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: Big early game in the AFC North. Cincinnati has some guys banged up. Pittsburgh returns home after laying a big goose egg in Jacksonville. The Steelers bounce back. Pick: Pittsburgh.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis: The Jags are one of the few teams that can hang with the Colts. I'm struggling with whether to play Peyton Manning in my fantasy league this week. This will be a good game. Home dome advantage comes into play. Pick: Indy
Chicago at Minnesota: The Bears have added some offense, and the Vikings have shocked the world by winning their first two games. The HHH Metrodome will be rocking. That won't be enough. Pick: Da Bears
Carolina at Tampa Bay: Both teams need this win desperately. The Bucs need an offense in the worst way, scoring three points in the first two games. This one could end up being 6-3, but I'll take the Bucs.
Green Bay at Detroit: The Pack is really hard to figure. Brett Favre threw for a million yards last week, but the Pack still lost. Detroit still hasn't won a game. Someone has to win here. Give me Detroit.
New York Jets at Buffalo: The Jets are vastly improved. That happens when you get your starting quarterback back from injury. Buffalo is surprising, as well. Pick: J-E-T-S
Tennessee at Miami: Yuck. The Dolphins have been disappointing. The Titans just stink. Daunte Culpepper throws the Titans into his inferno. Pick: Miami.
Baltimore at Cleveland: Or, Old Browns vs. New Browns. The Ravens are getting good play from QB Steve McNair, Jamal Lewis is back into form, and the Ravens' defense is playing well, as usual. The Browns are pathetic. Pick: Baltimore.
New York Giants at Seattle: Good game, replay of one of last year's better regular season games. The G-Men are coming off of an incredible comeback last week in Philly. I can't see it happening two weeks in a row. Pick: Seattle.
Philadelphia at San Francisco: The Iggles travel to the Left Coast after blowing a big lead last week against the New York Football Giants. The 49ers are better this year, but not as good as the Eagles. Pick: Philly
St. Louis at Arizona: New St. Louis vs. Old St. Louis. The Rams can best be described as inconsistent. The Cardinals have a new lease on life in their new stadium. They are an offensive juggernaut waiting to explode. Pick: Arizona
Denver at New England: The Broncos stagger into Foxboro coming off of an ugly 9-6 win over the Chiefs. The Patriots have a two-headed running back monster of Corey Dillon and Lawrence Maroney. On this Weekend in New England, give me the Pats.
Atlanta at New Orleans: Both teams are undefeated. The Superdome has been repaired, and the Saints finally return to the Big Easy for their first home game in two years. This may be the best atmosphere for a regular-season NFL game in years, perhaps ever. I'd love to have a ticket for this one. How can you pick against the Saints in this one? Pick: New Orleans.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

College Picks-Weekend of Sept 23

Last week: 16-4. Overall: 50-10

Last weekend was the so-called "Separation Saturday". Teams such as Notre Dame, LSU, and Oklahoma were separated from the ranks of the unbeaten, Miami was perhaps separated from its dynasty of the last 20+ years, and officiating was never more in question than in two separate incidents in Auburn, Alabama and Eugene, Oregon. Still, we march on through the season, and this week shapes up to be a dud compared to last week.

Middle Tennessee at Oklahoma: Middle Tennessee gets a big check. Oklahoma gets a big win. Pick: OU
Iowa State at Texas: First Big XII game of the year. It won't be a blowout, but Texas wins.
Oklahoma State at Houston: Houston looks to contend for at least a division title in C-USA. OSU looks to contend for 4th place in the Big XII South, despite their wins over three Class 5A high school teams. Should be a good game. I'll go with the home team, U of H.
Louisville at Kansas State: Louisville comes off perhaps the biggest win in school history, but have temporarily lost their star QB and RB. They won't need them this week. The Ville comes out of the Little Apple with a win.
Southeastern Louisiana at Texas Tech: Puhleeze. Tech needs this scrimmage in a big way, after last week's debacle in Fort Worth. Pick: Tech
Louisiana Tech at Texas A&M: The Ags barely escaped against the Black Knights of the Hudson. Louisiana Tech will stay on the field with the Aggies, but the Aggies should have enough to hold them off. Pick: A&M
Ohio at Missouri: Frank Solich returns to the Big XII with his Ohio Bobcats. Mizzou is on a roll. Pick: Misery
Colorado at Georgia: When this was scheduled, this was thought to be a great intersectional matchup. The Buffs are now on a collision course with 0-12. Pick: Georgia
South Florida at Kansas: The Fighting Manginos lost a heartbreaker last week. This will be a tight game, but the Jayhawks are at home. Pick: KU
Army at Baylor: The Black Knights of the Hudson return to Texas. Baylor needs this one. They're at home, though Army should have a good crowd from nearby Fort Hood at the game. Pick: Baylor
Troy at Nebraska: Nebraska goes from playing the Men of Troy (USC) to the Men of Troy, Alabama. Troy could have and should have beaten Florida State. They had a bit of a letdown against the Ramblin' Wreck of Georgia Tech. Look for Nebraska to win the game, but Troy could cover the points. Pick: NU
Tulsa at Navy: Tough road trip for the Golden Hurricane, as they get set to defend the option offense of Navy. Pick: Midshipmen.
Arizona State at Cal: Winner remains in race for second place in the Pacifist 10 behind USC. I don't trust Arizona State. Pick: Cal
Wisconsin at Michigan: The Wolverines whipped Notre Dame last week. Therefore, they are already being projected by some to be 11-0 when they meet Ohio State at the end of November. I'm not jumping on that bandwagon just yet. They'll handle Wisky at the Big House, though. Pick: Meechigan
Penn State at Ohio State: JoePa takes his young Lions to the Big Horseshoe On The Banks of the Olentangy. The Ohio State University looks way too strong for the young Lions. Pick: TOSU
Notre Dame at Michigan State: The Irish are reeling. The Spartans are starting strong, coming off a road win at Pittsburgh. The Irish go 0-for-Michigan. Maybe they should schedule Eastern Michigan. Pick: Michigan State
Boston College at N.C. State: BC visits Tobacco Road. The Wolfpack are in serious trouble, after back-to-back losses to Akron and Southern Miss. BC is a pretty good team. Pick: Boston College
Air Force at Wyoming: Two evenly matched teams. Air Force nearly knocked off Tennessee in Knoxville. Wyoming is tough at home. Give me Cowboy Joe. Pick: Wyoming
Alabama at Arkansas: The Pigs are hot, having won two in a row over Utah State and Vanderbilt. The Tide is still undefeated, as well. Alabama has a better team. Pick: Alabama
Hardin-Simmons at Louisiana College: Battle between two more obscure Baptist colleges. Paige Patterson is a graduate of Hardin-Simmons. That is irrelevant to football. My wife and most of my in-laws went there, as well. That is also irrelevant to football. HSU is a Division III powerhouse in Texas. Pick: Hardin-Simmons

Monday, September 18, 2006

NFL Week In Review

This is not to be confused with a stroll down NFL Boulevard. I'm not going all the way down that street.

Could we see Adrian Peterson in the same backfield with Vince Young next year? If the Titans are as bad for the rest of the year as they were against the Chargers, it is a definite possibility. Of course, the Raiders and Texans are right there with them on the same level of sorriness. At least the Texans and Titans play each other twice. Of course, the Colts and Jaguars have four games each against both of those teams. That gives both of them a leg up in getting to the playoffs.

I missed the Giants' comeback against the Iggles, as Fox sent the 3:00 Arizona-Seattle game here, instead, so as to not compete with the sorry Texans' 12:00 game. Philly is going to wish they had that one for the rest of the year. The G-Men didn't need to start 0-2.

Speaking of 0-2, the Redskins have that record. Mark Brunell is a goat in Washington today. I'm just glad Dallas got that win.

Guess who's back? The Baltimore Ravens. Sure, they've played the slow-starting Bucs and the sorry Raiders, but they still look good. They even have a little bit of offense. The AFC North (I almost called it the Central, its former name) is pretty stout, with the Ravens, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh. The Brownies don't stand a chance.

There was another 9-6 snoozer yesterday. Denver and Kansas City are the guilty culprits. It took overtime for Denver to find another field goal to win.

Look who else is 2-0: the Saints. They have a big, big game next Monday night, as they re-open the Superdome against the 2-0 Falcons. That would be a fun ticket.

The Buffalo Bills are officially not awful. They got a big win on the road in Miami. The Dolphins are quickly becoming victim to high expectations. Maybe Nick Saban should have had dinner with the President during training camp, when he was invited. It's obvious that time spent with football hasn't produced the desired results.

Just when you thought they were going away, the Patriots are 2-0. And, stud rookie Laurence Maroney helped my fantasy team by scoring his first NFL touchdown. The Jets aren't as bad as I thought they would be, now that Chad Pennington is back and somewhat healthy.

That's enough comments for now. Gotta get back to this scoreless game (3rd quarter) between the Steelers and the Jaguars.

Apology from the Pac-10

Hell froze over today in Walnut Creek, California. The Pac-10 Conference apologized for the blown calls in Saturday's game between OU and Oregon. They also suspended the game officials and replay officials one game.

It doesn't bring the win back, but their action acknowledges the error. This is more than the Big XII did after the Texas Tech debacle last year.

Of course, the B12 supervisor of officials quietly stepped down after the season.

The Sooners owe Washington a game in Seattle, scheduled for 2008. This action greatly increases the chances of that game remaining on the schedule.

The Pac-10 is the only conference that uses its own officials in home non-conference games against major opponents. All of the other major conferences use visiting or neutral officials in home-and-home series. For instance, OU used Big XII officials when they played at Alabama, and the Crimson Tide brought SEC officials to Norman when they played there. Hopefully, the Pac-10 will follow the rest of college football, and allow visiting officials in non-conference games.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Big XII Rankings and other related comments

Did I tell you this conference is pretty ordinary? The Big XII went 5-7 against the rest of the world this weekend. The league lost every time it met a quality opponent this weekend, losing to such teams as Oregon, USC, TCU, Iowa, Arizona State, Toledo, and Washington State. I don't know if Washington State is a quality opponent, but it was a road game against a team better than Louisiana Tech. That's 0-4 against the Pac-10. At least a conference team didn't lose to anyone like Rice or Florida Atlantic.


1. TCU. Wait a minute, they're not in the Big XII! However, they've now won their last four games against Big XII teams. They'd more than hold their own with Texas and Nebraska, also. The Frogs go to Austin next year. This year, they are on a collision course with the BCS, with their last tough game being against the Fighting Utes in Salt Lake City. Big win in a defensive struggle against Tech yesterday.
2. Texas. Best of a mediocre bunch at this point. Hung half a hundred on Rice yesterday.
3 (tie). Nebraska. Didn't embarrass themselves at USC last night, and covered the point spread. Still the favorite to win the North.
3 (tie). Oklahoma. Got screwed yesterday at Oregon, but should not have put themselves in that position. Still have a chance to be really good if they can get their heads right with ball, and can learn how to tackle for an entire game.
4. Missouri. Only undefeated team left in the conference. They've Showed Me that they won't lose to a mediocre team. Better than expected.
5. Texas Tech. What happened to that high-powered offense?
6. Iowa State. Tripped up by archrival Iowa.
7. Texas A&M. Almost, and should have, lost to ARMY. Army lost to Arkansas State. Fran's lucky to not be calling realtors today.
8. Kansas. Tough loss in double overtime at Toledo.
9. Baylor. Props for taking the road trip to Washington State. Didn't come back with the win.
10. Kansas State. I can't move them up with this schedule they're playing.
11. Oklahoma State. See Kansas State.
12. Colorado. Didn't lose to Arizona State by as much as I thought they would. Still, they'll be the underdog in every game from here on out.