Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NFL Picks, Week 13

Last week: 7-9 (first losing week of the year..yuck!)
Season: 112-63-1 (.639)

Seattle at Dallas (Thursday): The Cowboys have won two in a row since the return of Tony Romo. Make that three, as the Seahawks make a nice addition to Thanksgiving dinner for Dallas. Pick: Dallas

Tennessee at Detroit (Thursday): The Titans suffered their first loss on Sunday at the hands of the Jets. No worries, as they follow that up with a game against the dreadful Lions. There is no way the Lions are as bad as the worst team in NFL history, the ’76 Buccaneers. They’re getting close, though. Pick: Tennessee

Arizona at Philadelphia (Thursday): Kurt Warner and the boys head East for Thanksgiving to face a team in turmoil. Eagles coach Andy Reid benched QB Donovan McNabb during Sunday’s loss to the Ravens, only to re-insert him as the starter for this game. Home teams have an advantage in a short week, as do East Coast teams hosting teams from the West. Pick: Philly

San Francisco at Buffalo: The Niners are pretty awful, and now get to experience Western New York in November. What a lovely time for the guys from the City By The Bay. The Bills hung half a hundred on Kansas City last week. Pick: Buffalo

Carolina at Green Bay: The Packers were at the wrong end of a blowout on Monday night in New Orleans. Nonetheless, this is a tough trip for the Panthers. If Carolina can win this one, they’re the real deal. Pick: Green Bay

New Orleans at Tampa Bay: Break up the Saints! They’ve won two in a row! The Bucs are still very much in the playoff chase, and should be able to handle the Saints at home. Pick: Tampa Bay

Miami at St. Louis: The Dolphins came down to earth last week as they were plastered by the Patriots, 48-28. No need for the Dolphins to worry, because the Rams are one of the worst teams in football. Pick: Miami

New York Giants at Washington: Another big rivalry from the greatest division in football, the NFC East. The Redskins just keep plugging along. The Giants are much better than they were last year, when they won the Super Bowl. However, even good teams lose once in a while. Pick: Redskins

Indianapolis at Cleveland: Don’t look now, but that’s the Colts you see in the rear view mirror chasing down the rest of the NFL elite after a slow start. The Browns have been nothing short of a disappointment this year. Pick: Indy

Baltimore at Cincinnati: Chalk this one up as a W for the visitors. Pick: Baltimore

Atlanta at San Diego: The Chargers lost yet another close game Sunday night to the Colts, and now must face the turnaround team of the season, the Falcons. The Chargers’ misery continues. Pick: Atlanta

Pittsburgh at New England: The Patriots are in a desperate position as they try to keep up with the Jets in the AFC East. Meanwhile, the Steelers are tough to beat anywhere. Pick: New England

Kansas City at Oakland: Yuck. Perhaps the biggest rivalry in the old AFL now matches two of the worst teams in the league. With that being said, the Raiders surprised the Broncos with a whipping last week. Can they win two in a row? Yes. Pick: Oakland

Denver at New York Jets: The Broncos have an awful defense, and now must visit the Meadowlands, where the ageless gunslinger, Brett Favre, resides. Favre played in a Super Bowl against the Broncos during the Clinton administration. Pick: Jets

Chicago at Minnesota: Battle for first place in the mediocre NFC North. Vikings find a way to win at home. Pick: Minnesota

Jacksonville at Houston (Monday): Another disappointing team is the Jaguars. The Texans won last week, and usually do well at home against the Jags, even when the Jags are good and the Texans are bad. Pick: Houston

College Picks, Week 14

Last Week: 12-8 (.600)
Season: 192-68 (.738)

In many ways, this is the biggest weekend of the college football season. Big rivalries are being played this weekend. Bowl bids are on the line. Spots in the BCS National Championship Game are at stake. The only guarantee is that something really strange will happen.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State: The Sooners, fresh off a 65-21 beatdown of Texas Tech, visit Stillwater to take on the Cowboys. As always, this is OSU’s Super Bowl, but the Cowboys actually have a pretty good team this year. This is a dangerous game. A win gives OU strength of schedule points in the BCS computers, possibly enough to pass Texas in the standings for a trip to the Big XII championship game. This will be quality television on Saturday night. That’s good, because you can’t buy a ticket to this one unless you buy OSU season tickets. It’s a lot cheaper to stay home and watch and listen to Brent and Kirk. Pick: OU

Texas A&M at Texas (Thursday): Poor Aggies. The worst A&M team in a quarter-century has to visit Austin when the Longhorns need BCS style points. If you don’t get enough turkey at dinner on Thanksgiving, you’ll get more of it from this game. Pick: Texas

Baylor at Texas Tech: The Red Raiders went home with their heads between their legs after the butt-kicking they took in Norman last week for their first loss. Baylor will show up and represent themselves. Tech will be on the rebound, though, and should be dangerous. Pick: Tech

Colorado at Nebraska (Friday): Believe it or not, the Huskers can win their eighth game of the season by beating the Buffs. They should be able to do so with relatively little problem. Pick: Nebraska

Kansas vs. Missouri at Kansas City: A disappointing season ends for the Jayhawks at Arrowhead Stadium. After losing two mid-season games to Texas and Oklahoma State, the Tigers have feasted on Big 12 North opposition. They’ll do so again while awaiting their chance to mess up the BCS next week in the Big 12 championship game. Pick: Mizzou

Auburn at Alabama: The Iron Bowl. Tommy Tuberville better have an iron posterior, because his seat is hot after this debacle of a season. All will be well on the Plains if War Eagle can upset the hated Tide. Auburn has won five in a row in this series. Bama looks to erase that record of futility while they keep their undefeated season alive. There is way too much going Bama’s way. Pick: Alabama

Florida at Florida State: The Seminoles finally had a great game last week as they plastered Maryland on the road. They’ll need another one this week at home if they want to beat the Fighting Tim Tebows and truly mess up the BCS. At least a couple of Big 12 teams will be rooting for them. Even in Tallahassee, though, the Gators are too good. At least this year, they are. Pick: Florida

Oregon at Oregon State: With a win, Oregon State can go to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the days of leather helmets. It hasn’t been quite that long, but it’s been long enough for the Beavers. As far as the Ducks are concerned, which set of ugly uniforms will they wear this week? Pick: Oregon State

Georgia Tech at Georgia: This game is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. Both teams have looked awesome at times. At other times, they’ve been pretty mediocre. Go with the home team here. Pick: Georgia

South Carolina at Clemson: No matter how much Clemson seems to disappoint on a yearly basis, they usually seem to find a way to beat the Gamecocks. USC-East ought to be able to win this game. They’ll find a way not to. Pick: Clemson

Virginia at Virginia Tech: The Hokies actually have a chance to come out of the scrum in the ACC to advance to the ACC championship game. All they need to do is beat the Cavaliers. Virginia has looked really good at times, and really awful at times. Pick: Hokies

Maryland at Boston College: The Eagles have a chance to survive the other half of the ACC to make the championship game with a win. They got a big road win last week at Wake Forest, while the Terps laid a big egg at home in being squashed by Florida State. It’s really cold in Boston at this time of year. Pick: BC

West Virginia at Pittsburgh: The Backyard Brawl. Both teams have shown flashes of brilliance. Both teams have also shown flashes of inconsistency. The Mountaineers will be looking for revenge, after the Panthers knocked them out of a shot at last year’s national championship. Pick: Pittsburgh

Western Michigan at Ball State (Tuesday): Ball State is still undefeated, but must face a strong and dangerous Western Michigan team. The Cardinals are kings of the mid-week MAC games. Give them another one. Pick: Ball State

Houston at Rice: The battle for the Bayou Bucket is also a battle for the Conference USA West division championship. If you like offense, this is your game. Pick: Rice

LSU at Arkansas (Friday): These teams play for a trophy that looks like a golden boot, but is really the states of Arkansas and Louisiana on top of each other. Both teams will be glad to end this season. LSU has more talent, though they have struggled of late. Pick: LSU

Notre Dame at USC: Yawn. When Notre Dame loses this game, they’ll be 6-6. What bowl will pick them in spite of that record? Some bowl will, and that game will be ugly. Not as ugly as this will be, though. Pick: SC

Kentucky at Tennessee: Phil Fulmer’s farewell as coach of the Vols. Rocky Top bounced back last week to beat Vanderbilt. Kentucky is bowl eligible, but still hasn’t beaten the Vols in a coon’s age. They won’t win this year, either. Pick: Tennessee

North Carolina at Duke: Blue Devils have won four games this year, and have a chance to spoil the Tar Heels’ season. Carolina was embarrassed last week by rival N.C. State, 41-10. The Heels won’t let that happen two years in a row. Pick: UNC

Vanderbilt at Wake Forest: Both teams are looking for more respect and a better bowl. Vandy has been slipping in the second half of the season, while Wake lost a nail-biter at home last week to Boston College, most likely costing themselves an appearance in the ACC championship game. The Deacons are a little better than Vandy. Pick: Wake Forest