Saturday, October 28, 2006

NFL Picks-Week 8

Last Week: 8-5 Season: 68-32

Dallas at Carolina: The Cowboys are mired in yet another quarterback controversy. Drew Bledsoe has been benched in favor of Tony Romo. I like some of what I see in him, but ultimately, I'm afraid this is another in a long line of spare quarterbacks for the Cowboys. Meanwhile, the Panthers are a pretty decent team. It's easy to forget that the Cowboys are 5-0 in the regular season against Carolina. That's because they are 0-2 in the playoffs against them. I have a bad feeling about this one. Pick: Carolina
Houston at Tennessee: What was once a candidate for the Suck Bowl is turning into a decent (not great) matchup. The Texans now have two wins. The Titans have one win, and have shown marked improvement with Vince Young at quarterback. The Titans break out the Oilers' Columbia blue and win this one in Music City. Pick: Titans
Atlanta at Cincinnati: There should be some fireworks here. Michael Vick comes off his first four-touchdown performance. The Bengals got a big win last week against Carolina. The home field is safe here. Pick: Cincy
Arizona at Green Bay: The Packers are starting three rookies on the offensive line. They got a win last week in Miami. The Cardinals are one of the great disappointments so far this year. Birds do not fly north for the winter, nor do they belong in Green Bay. Pick: Green Bay
Baltimore at New Orleans: Irresistible force (Saints' offense) vs. immovable object (Ravens' D)? Almost. The Saints have so much going for them so far this year. The roll lasts at least one more week. Pick: New Orleans
Seattle at Kansas City: The AFC West Reunion tour continues for the Seahawks. Seattle is in big trouble, as Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander are still injured. There is a big difference between them and their replacements, Seneca Wallace and Maurice Morris. Speaking of backups, the Chiefs have won three games with Damon Huard at quarterback following the injury to Trent Green. Seahawks are in big trouble. Pick: Kansas City
Jacksonville at Philadelphia: The Jaguars are coming off an embarrasing loss to the Texans, while Philly was beaten on a 62 yard field goal last week. The Jags continue to struggle on the road. Philly bounces back. Pick: Eagles
San Francisco at Chicago: The 49ers are the worst two-win team out there. Those wins are against the sorry Cardinals and the sorry Raiders. Da Bears are having one of those seasons where everything goes right. Chicago moves one step closer to destiny. Pick: Chicago
Tampa Bay at New York Giants: The Bucs have new life with new rookie QB Bruce Gradkowski. The Giants mangled the Cowboys last week. In the last Barber Bowl, Tiki gets the win over brother Ronde. Pick: G-Men
St. Louis at San Diego: This is not a baseball game. It's a good football game. The Rams have been a surprise up to this point. The Chargers are strong, but were shocked last week in Kansas City. The Bolts bounce back this week. Pick: San Diego
Indianapolis at Denver: One of the best games of the year. The Broncos have given up two touchdowns all season. The Colts are still unbeaten. What gives? Outdoors, on grass, in the mountains-don't doubt the Broncos. Pick: Denver
New York Jets at Cleveland: The Jets aren't the greatest team out there. But, they have been winning games against teams they are supposed to beat. The Browns are yet another one of those. The misery continues in Cleveland. Pick: Jets
Pittsburgh at Oakland: Ugh. The Steelers are struggling. But, they get some medicine in the sorry Raiders. I'm glad I won't be watching this one. Pick: Oakland
New England at Minnesota: Good Monday Night game. The Pats continue to win. The Vikes have been a nice surprise. This one's in the dome. Pick: Minnesota

Friday, October 27, 2006

College Picks-Weekend of October 28

A little late on the picks this week, as I was out of town yesterday. For the record, I was in Las Vegas interviewing for a job. I didn’t get the job, but I won $70 on slots in the airport, so it wasn’t all for naught. I caught a red-eye back to Texas, so I am running on airport and airplane sleep. Bed will be good tonight.

It’s tough to find 20 games worthy of picks this week.

Last Week: 14-6 Season: 113-47

Oklahoma at Missouri: Missouri is a solid team, but this is their toughest test to date, even as OU is without Adrian Peterson. The Sooners desperately need for something good to happen for them. This is the week it does. Pick: OU
Texas at Texas Tech: Texas loses every four years in Lubbock, losing out there in 2002, 1998, and 1994. This isn’t one of the better Tech teams, though. The pattern ends here. Pick: Texas
Texas A&M at Baylor: Both teams are 3-1 in the Big XII. A&M was the beneficiary of a bad snap last week in Stillwater, as the Texas Aggies won in overtime, 35-34. Baylor is vastly improved. The Bears win this week, and it won’t be an upset. Pick: Baylor
Nebraska at Oklahoma State: OSU lost a heartbreaker in OT last week against A&M. Nebraska had their hearts broken by the Longhorns. Nebraska is a little better than OSU, though the game is in Stillwater. Pick: Nebraska
Iowa State at Kansas State: These second-division games in the Big XII North all look alike now. Iowa State is banged up after a brutal stretch of schedule. K-State is at home, and has shown signs of improvement at times this season. Pick: K-State
Colorado at Kansas: KU is reeling, after losing a rash of close games. Colorado is improving, ever so slightly. KU gets things right this week. Pick: KU
Georgia vs. Florida at Jacksonville: No matter what CBS, ESPN, the SEC, or the universities say, this is still the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Georgia is struggling as the worst 6-2 team in America. Florida is shaping up as the best team in the best conference in the nation. Pick: Florida
USC at Oregon State: Is this an ambush waiting to happen in Corvallis? Almost, but not quite. OSU-West will give SC a battle, but SC will squeak by, as has become normal this year. Pick: USC
Tennessee at South Carolina: The Vols have bounced back in a big way this season. However, this game has one X-factor: Phil Fulmer is the coach for Tennessee, while his nemesis Steve Spurrier is the coach for the Gamecocks. Spurrier owns Fulmer. Spurrier doesn’t have half the team Fulmer does this year, but his magic continues. Spurrier is a mad scientist, and the ‘Cocks are at home. Pick: USC-East
Wyoming at TCU: Cowboy Joe comes to Texas to play the Frogs. Wyoming has won 3 conference games, while the Frogs are 0-2 in the Mountain West. The Frogs get back on track this week against a conference opponent. Pick: TCU
Miami at Georgia Tech: The Larry Coker death watch continues. Miami is in a tough spot this week, as Georgia Tech is having a good season, and stands a great chance of being in Jacksonville for the ACC championship game. Pick: Georgia Tech
Kentucky at Mississippi State: Not the best game in the SEC this week. Both teams stand a good chance of finishing last in their respective divisions. But, this shapes up to be a competitive game. Pick: Kentucky
Wake Forest at North Carolina: Wake Forest is ranked 22nd, North Carolina fired their coach this week. Wake is a team of destiny. Pick: Wake Forest
Ohio at Kent State: Battle for 1st place in the MAC Eastern Division. Kent State has come out of nowhere this season to roll through their MAC schedule. Pick: Kent State
BYU at Air Force: The Y is undefeated in conference play. Classic matchup between passing team and running team. The Falcons last week gave up the first win to San Diego State, and now head to Provo. Pick: BYU
Washington State at UCLA: Bruins had their hearts broken last week at Notre Dame. Now, the Bruins attempt to bounce back. They’ll do so. Pik: UCLA
Illinois at Wisconsin: The Fighting Ron Zooks take their show on the road to Madison. The Badgers have only one loss. They’ll still have one loss after Saturday. Pick: Wisconsin
Syracuse at Cincinnati: Cuse hits the road, and goes to Cincinnati. No, the university’s football games are not on WKRP. Pick: the ‘Nati
N.C. State at Virginia: A coach on the hot seat (Amato, NC State) vs. one that should be (Groh, UVa). The Wolfpack come out and play well this week. Pick: NC State
Upper Iowa at University of Mary (N.D.):They play football in Bismarck, North Dakota. The thought of being at this game makes me cold. Besides, how can I pick against the mother of Jesus? Pick: Mary

Monday, October 23, 2006

All That, For This?

As I write, the Cowboys are losing to the Giants, 26-7, at the end of the third quarter. Barring a Staubachesque comeback, the Cowboys are on the receiving end of a butt kicking.

Was tonight the end of the Drew Bledsoe era? He really stunk in the first half, doing his best imitation of the Statue of Liberty, taking sack after sack while throwing more picks than a frustrated guitarist. Bill Parcells replaced Bledsoe with the Rib Man, Tony Romo, for the second half. Romo promptly threw an interception (off a tipped ball) deep inside Dallas territory, to set up a touchdown for the G-men. Since then, he is making some things happen with his mobility. On both sides of the ball, though, the Cowboys look a day late and a dollar short. Bill Parcells didn't sign up for this. He is in danger of living up to his nickname of the Glorified Gym Teacher.

Terrell Owens just caught a touchdown pass to narrow the deficit. He has been a pretty good receiver, but his value really comes by providing opportunities for Terry Glenn to come up big. That does not totally justify the money Jerry Jones is paying him. But, Jerry is all about the buzz, and T.O. brings plenty of buzz. Something is missing here, especially with the investment Jerry has made in Big Bill and T.O.

It looks like Tony Romo is the quarterback of the near future at Valley Ranch. The alternatives can't be worse. Good luck to Tony. By the way: the ribs are good!

NFL Week 7 In Review

Another trip around the NFL….

The Pirate Ship in Tampa was the scene of a bizarre game yesterday. Donovan McNabb threw 5 touchdown passes. Three of them were to Eagles. The other two were to Ronde Barber of the Bucs, who returned two interceptions for touchdowns. The Bucs won on a 62-yard field goal by Matt Bryant, the third longest in NFL history. With that kick went my chances in survival football, as I’m done in week 7.

Pittsburgh and Atlanta have wild games whenever they get together. In their last meeting four years ago, they played to the last regular season tie in an NFL game. Yesterday, they lit up the scoreboard, and 46 year old Morten Andersen hit the game winner for the Falcons in overtime, 41-38. Hines Ward caught three touchdown passes for the Steelers in his return to Georgia. Michael Vick accounted for three touchdowns for the Falcons. The Falcons also knocked out Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The defending world champions are now 2-4.

Another team that is now 2-4 is the Houston Texans. The Jacksonville Jaguars really stunk yesterday, and made the Texans look like the ’72 Dolphins. The Texans won going away, 27-7. Maybe they should wear red more often.

Speaking of the Dolphins, the ’06 edition is not nearly as good as they were expected to be. Brett Favre and the Packers went down to Miami and outscored the Dolphins, 34-24. The Dolphins have won one game all year. They are in contention for the top pick in the draft.

Another wild game occurred in the Jersey swamps, as the Jets moved to 4-3, with a 31-24 win over the Detroit Lions. The Jets are taking care of business against the teams that they are supposed to beat.

The Cincinnati Bengals perhaps saved their season, with a comeback win over the Carolina Panthers, 17-14. The Bengals needed it desperately to keep up with the Ravens in the AFC North. The Panthers end a four game winning streak.

The New England Patriots continue to do what they are supposed to do. They were able to handle the Buffalo Bills, 28-6. Buffalo is pretty mediocre. The Patriots are winning their games in a weak division.

Kansas City was host to a thriller, as they were able to hold off the Chargers, 30-27. LaDainian Tomlinson threw a touchdown pass for the Chargers. However, Lawrence Tynes made up for a missed extra point with a game-winning field goal.

The Denver Broncos did their job, going to Cleveland and winning, 17-7. The Broncos gave up only their second touchdown of the season. However, they were able to score two touchdowns, as their offense begins to wake up.

The Indianapolis Colts stayed undefeated, with a 36-21 whipping of the Washington Redskins. Two of the Redskins’ touchdowns were on kickoff returns. Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes. I was a happy camper, as he is quarterback of my fantasy team.

The Seattle Seahawks are hurting. Already missing star RB Shaun Alexander, they lost QB Matt Hasselbeck to a sprained knee. The Minnesota Vikings took advantage of the circumstances, and beat the Seahawks, 31-13. Chester Taylor set a Vikings record with a 95 yard run for a touchdown.

The Suck Bowl took place in Oakland yesterday, as the Raiders escaped the winless column with a 22-9 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are reeling, and now are on track for another high draft pick, to go along with their talented skill position players. Same old Cardinals. A skunk by any other name still stinks.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

More Rumblings

This weekend could be described as the week of the near miss. Oklahoma State, UCLA, Washington, and Nebraska all barely missed upsets over ranked opponents. Texas A&M beat OSU in overtime, as the Cowboys had a botched snap on an extra point in overtime to lose 34-33. Notre Dame came back to beat UCLA on the last play of the game, 20-17. Washington forced overtime with Cal on a catch of a Hail Mary pass, but could not get past the Bears in overtime, and lost 31-24. Nebraska had Texas beaten, but fumbled with two minutes to go in their own territory, allowing Texas to score at the end of the game to win, 22-20.

Duke barely missed winning their first game, losing to suspension-riddled Miami, 20-15. The Blue Devils had the ball on the Miami 5 yard line at the end of the game, but threw an interception to give the ‘Canes the victory.

The Bowl Championship Series picture is shaking out slowly, but surely. There are 7 undefeated teams: Ohio State, Michigan, USC, West Virginia, Louisville, Rutgers, and Boise State. Boise, if they finish undefeated, will most likely be in a BCS bowl. Ohio State and Michigan are on a collision course with each other for the biggest game in the history of their historic rivalry. USC is mortal, but has managed to beat every team they have played to date. West Virginia and Louisville play next Thursday night at the Pizza Box in Louisville. Both teams still have to play Rutgers.

Big XII Rankings for this week:

1. Texas: Escaped Lincoln with a win. Can begin making hotel reservations for Kansas City in first weekend of December.
2. Nebraska: Had their chances to beat Texas, but still a tad bit better than the rest of the league.
3. Oklahoma: AD-less Sooners have their biggest test Saturday in Columbia.
4. Texas A&M: Lucky to escape Stillwater with a win.
5. Missouri: Chance for their biggest win to date with Sooners coming to town.
6. Texas Tech: Not as good as in previous years, but got road win at Iowa State.
7. Baylor: Last time the Bears had 3 conference wins, they were in the Southwest Conference.
8. Oklahoma State: Outplayed A&M, only to lose heartbreaker.
9. Iowa State: Beaten up by tough schedule: Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas Tech.
10. Kansas: Blew big lead at Baylor. 3-5 could very easily be 7-1. Snakebitten.
11. Colorado: Anemic offense did very little in Norman.
12. Kansas State: New coach, growing pains, long season.