Saturday, October 06, 2007

Double Knee-Jerk Reaction

My mouth is about to fall off. I'm in shock.

Stanford has just upset USC, 24-23. The Cardinal have been the dregs of the Pac-10 throughout this decade. This year, they hired Captain Comeback, Jim Harbaugh, as head coach. Harbaugh is better known as ex-quarterback of Michigan and the Indianapolis Colts. He has spent recent years coaching at places such as the University of San Diego.

This is really huge. If the Florida Gators hold on and beat LSU, the Cal Bears could very well be the #1 team in the nation in next week's polls. Wow.

Knee-Jerk Reactions

Oklahoma 28, Texas 21. The universe returns to normal.

Above is DeMarco Murray's best impression of an Olympic hurdler as he breaks a long one for a Sooner touchdown.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Child Abuse

Parents, don't let your babies grow up to be Longhorns.

NFL Picks, Week 5

Something NFL-related that I have just come across: I’m reading the sports section of the New York Post. In the standings and in the betting lines, the Post has placed an asterisk next to the Patriots. At the bottom of the standings and lines, they describe the asterisk as “Caught Cheating”. How funny. That’s New York. That's the Post. Of course, the Pats got caught cheating against a New York team. I don’t think the Post would give a flying rat’s behind if the Pats got caught cheating against the Arizona Cardinals.

We move on to the picks..

Last Week: 7-7
Season: 39-23

Dallas at Buffalo: Rematch of Super Bowls XVII and XVIII. That was a long time ago. People in Buffalo have a lot of pent-up anger about Dallas, due to the two Super Bowls and the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals (by the way, it was a goal). The Cowboys are cruising along behind America’s Quarterback, Tony Romo. The Bills got into the win column for the first time last week, sneaking past the Jets, 17-14. On paper, this looks like a mismatch in favor of the Cowboys. But, this is the NFL, and anything can happen. This is a trap game for Dallas, as the Cowboys host the Patriots in Week 6, and could very well be looking ahead to that. So, look out for the Bills in front of 80,000 drunk Western New Yorkers on Monday night. Nonetheless, I’m a homer. Pick: Dallas

New York Jets at New York Giants: The Jets make the long trek to the Meadowlands for an away game in their home stadium. This is a Giants home game, played in front of Giants season ticket holders and televised on the visitors’ network, CBS. The Giants are healing up and looked decent in smashing the Eagles last week. The Jets are dazed and confused. Go with the hot hand and the home team. Pick: Giants

Cleveland at New England: The Browns are a surprising 2-2. But, they haven’t played anyone as good as New England. The Patriots are a machine. The Pats were held to a season-low 34 points last week by Cincinnati. Look for Tom Brady and Randy Moss to work their magic again. Just another day at the office in Foxboro. Pick: Patriots

Miami at Houston: The Texans are crashing back to earth, having lost their last two games. The Dolphins come in as one of the worst teams in the league. This will be good for the Texans. The Dolphins will get a win this year. Not this week. Pick: Houston

Atlanta at Tennessee: Winner gets to own a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Chattanooga. Falcons finally got a win last week. Titans are above average. Go with the home team, especially when the visiting team is a dome team playing outdoors on grass. Pick: Tennessee

Detroit at Washington: Motor City Madmen are 3-1 after using a 34 point 4th quarter to beat the Bears. Can they crank up the offense two weeks in a row? Can they outscore the Redskins? The last time DET went to the East Coast, they were spanked by Philly. My gut says Washington. Pick: Redskins

Seattle at Pittsburgh: Rematch of Super Bowl XL. I still can’t believe the Steelers lost last week in the desert. Pittsburgh bounces back in a big way. Pick: Pittsburgh

Arizona at St. Louis: Cardinals make their annual return to St. Louis. Not many people on that team remember the St. Louis Football Cardinals. The Rams have more injuries than a M*A*S*H unit. They resemble the Toronto Argonauts at this point. Pick: Arizona

Carolina at New Orleans: Saints are the biggest disappointment in the league this year. But, they get a present as David Carr will be the QB for Carolina this week. Saints come back from the bye on a good note. Pick: New Orleans

Jacksonville at Kansas City: The Chiefs have duct-taped themselves together into a 2-2 record. The Jags are very unpredictable. When in doubt, pick the home team. Pick: KC

Tampa Bay at Indianapolis: The Tony Dungy Bowl. The Bucs are a surprising 3-1. They haven’t played the Colts yet. The Colts are banged up, but should have enough to send the Bucs packing with an L. Pick: Indy

Baltimore at San Francisco: The 49ers have turned to the ageless Trent Dilfer as QB due to the injury to Alex Smith. Dilfer once led the Ravens to a Super Bowl win, whether the Ravens will admit it or not. The Ravens’ defense has been giving up more points than usual. Ravens go West and get a W. Pick: Baltimore

San Diego at Denver: The Chargers are a train wreck. They need something good to happen, fast. The Broncos are a pretty inconsistent team in their own right. Denver makes the Chargers’ season even more miserable. Pick: Denver

Chicago at Green Bay: The Bears have slipped badly. They throw interceptions in multiple varieties, no matter who the quarterback is. Green Bay is off to a great start, and Brett Favre is as good as ever. It’s Sunday night on the not-yet-frozen tundra of Lambeau Field-who else? Pick: Green Bay

Bye: Cincinnati, Oakland, Philadelphia, Minnesota

Thursday, October 04, 2007

If You Had A Favorite Team...

Here is Cowboy Fan's version of the Mike Gundy meltdown..

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

College Picks, Week 6

Last week was supposed to be a rather pedestrian weekend of college football. Instead, 5 of the top 10 teams were upset. This turned the college football world upside down, as college football powerhouses such as South Florida and Kentucky moved into this week’s Top 10. What does this week have in store? A ton of good games.

Last week: 11-9 (including upset wins by South Florida and Illinois)
Season: 67-33

Oklahoma vs. Texas at Dallas: The Red River Rivalry. It was a shootout, until the powers that be decided to remove the connotation of violence that came from Red River Shootout. It doesn’t matter that both teams were upset last week. This is the greatest rivalry in college football, no matter how good either team is. Last week’s OU loss at Colorado was a shocking aberration. Last week’s loss by Texas to Kansas State was not totally unexpected. Of course I’m going to pick the Sooners. Pick: OU

Kansas at Kansas State: Both teams are flying high. KU is 4-0, and has been whipping up on the likes of Central Michigan and Toledo. K-State just creamed Texas. K-State has played a tougher schedule to date, and is at home. Don't forget your Power Towel. Pick: K-State

Nebraska at Missouri: An early showdown for the lead in the Big 12 North. It’s a Saturday night game in Columbia. Mizzou is undefeated, and is favored by some to win the North. They need this one if they are going to do that. Nebraska has not returned to glory days. The Huskers aren’t even as good as they were last season, when they won the North. Pick: Missouri

Iowa State at Texas Tech: Cyclones continue to struggle in Gene Chizik’s first year. Tech is trying to straighten out their defensive problems, but they won’t need a defense this week. Pick: Tech

Colorado at Baylor: Buffs are riding a Rocky Mountain high after last week’s stunning upset of OU. This week, they travel to the wasteland of Waco, Texas. Baylor is attempting to improve, but CU has improved more. Pick: Colorado

Oklahoma State at Texas A&M: Oklahoma Aggies vs. Texas Aggies. Winner gets a John Deere tractor. Both teams have been wrapped up in coaching controversies. Mike Gundy has been the star of YouTube. Dennis Franchione has been the star of eBay. Make that, as the VIP reports haven’t made it to eBay yet. When in doubt, take the home team. Pick: Texas A&M

Kentucky at South Carolina (Thursday): Things are changing in the SEC. These are now two of the better teams in the toughest division in football the SEC East. Who woulda thunk it? Steve Spurrier’s team is winning with defense. He doesn’t have the high-powered air attack that he had at Florida. Kentucky, meanwhile, will outscore anyone. I look for that to happen in Columbia. Pick: Kentucky

Florida at LSU: Saturday night in Baton Rouge on national television. The Gators unexpectedly lost to War Eagle last week, taking some luster off this game. Florida proved themselves mortal. Strange things can happen on the road in the SEC, but LSU won’t lose this one. Pick: Tigers

Georgia at Tennessee: Things are upside down: Kentucky is better in football than in basketball, and Tennessee is better in hoops than in football. Phil Fulmer is on his way to becoming the first casualty of the rise of South Carolina and Kentucky. The Vols are pretty ordinary. Georgia is above average. This one is up on old Rocky Top, but that won’t matter. Uga barks loud and long. Pick: Georgia

Ohio State at Purdue: Both teams are undefeated. Purdue has a lot to prove, and takes a big step up in competition this week. Ohio State has played in plenty of big games before. Pick: TOSU

Wisconsin at Illinois: Wisconsin has lost 1 game in the past 1 ½ seasons under coach Bret Bielema. They aren’t always pretty, but they find a way to win, whether it’s 10-7 or 38-35. The Fighting Illini are vastly improved, but aren’t in the Badgers’ league just yet. Pick: Wiscy

Notre Dame at UCLA: Why do I bother picking Notre Dame games? Because I want an easy win. UCLA can be really bad, like when they lost 44-6 to Utah. UCLA can be really good, like last week when they drilled Oregon State 42-10 on the road. Notre Dame has learned how to score touchdowns, but they need to score more than the other team. That won’t happen this week. Irish go 0-6. Pick: UCLA

Cincinnati at Rutgers: The big games just keep coming. Cincy is undefeated. The Bearcats ruined Rutgers’ season last year with an upset win. This year, the Scarlet Knights get revenge. Rutgers lost a game last week, but they didn’t lose their season. Pick: The State University of New Jersey

TCU at Wyoming: Tough game for the Frogs, as they visit Cowboy Joe. Wyoming is a tough place to play. But, the Frogs have a lot to prove, and continue to win. Pick: TCU

Georgia Tech at Maryland: Georgia Tech is like a yo-yo. Sometimes they’re up, sometimes they’re down. Maryland got a big win last week at Rutgers. When you’re hot, you’re hot… Pick: Terps

Iowa at Penn State: Iowa has been below ordinary this year, and now must travel to Happy Valley. Joe Pa U. has lost two in a row on the road in the conference. The Blue and White bounce back. Pick: Penn State

Virginia Tech at Clemson: Clemson was on a nice roll until last week when they ran into the buzzsaw known as Georgia Tech. The Hokies have been quietly picking up steam after an early debacle at LSU. Hokies are a little better. Pick: VT

Tulane at Army: Neither team is that great. But, it’s an even matchup. West Point is a great place in October. Pick: Army

Minnesota at Indiana: Gophers, please don’t wear those yellow unis again! Indiana is off to a good start at 4-1. The Hoosiers wear uniforms that look an awful lot like OU’s. That gives me good reason to pick them. Pick: Indiana

SUNY Brockport at St. John Fisher: SJFC was upset last week by Hartwick, giving them their first loss of the year. Cardinals bounce back this week. Pick: St. John Fisher

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

MLB Projections

It’s Actober. I don’t know what Actober is supposed to mean, but Major League Baseball has been using that as their slogan to promote the postseason, which begins Wednesday. By the way, why does baseball insist on calling it the postseason? Why can’t they just call it what they are: the playoffs? Yes, it is postseason play. But, those who make a living off the Great Game insist on calling it the postseason. Just a little rant.

If the rest of the baseball playoffs are like Monday night’s National League wildcard tiebreaker, we are in for a lot of fun. It’s a pretty familiar cast of characters in the American League, while the National League features some teams treading where they haven’t tread in a long time.

Now, for some fearless predictions of this year’s baseball playoffs. This blog blew it last year, big time, in predicting the Cardinals to go out quickly in the first round. St. Louis went on to win the World Series. So, don’t go out to Nevada and bet money based on these picks.

Because baseball is a talking sport….

American League

Division Series
Boston vs. Los Angeles of Anaheim, Irvine, Santa Ana, and all of Orange County: The Angels cruised to the AL West title, while the Red Sox led most of the season in the East. Boston was hampered by injuries late in the year, but chose to play the series with three built-in off days. This will help the boys from Beantown. Pick: Boston in 5.

New York (AL) vs. Cleveland: The Yankees tore it up in the second half of the season, and are playing as well as anyone. You always have to look out for CLE. But, how can anyone pick against a team with a guy named Joba? Pick: Yankees in 4.

Championship Series
As if anyone else even plays in the American League. Fox will love having a series featuring Boston and the Yankees. The Yankees are playing better. Things return to their natural order. Yankees in 5.

National League

Division Series
Arizona vs. Chicago (NL): The Cubs struggled for part of the year, but they won a weak NL Central, and are here. The Diamondbacks have a good young team, featuring P Brandon Webb. But, guess what? Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs in 4.

Philadelphia vs. Colorado: Who would have predicted this two weeks ago? The Phillies were down by 7 games with 17 to play. The Rockies have won 13 of their last 14 to make it here in an improbable way. There will be very little pitching in this series. The Phillies will hit one more home run than the Rockies. Pick: Phillies in 5.

Championship Series
Will the Cubs exorcise all of their past demons? I don’t think so. Something really strange will happen to them in this series as well. Pick: Philadelphia in 6.

World Series
Yankees vs. Phillies: Just when the Mets weren’t any sicker, they’ll have to watch their division rival Phils play in the World Series against their hated city rival Yankees. Winner wins a lot more than a service area on the New Jersey Turnpike. The Curse of A-Rod is broken. Pick: Yanquis in 6.

Monday, October 01, 2007

NFL Highway, Week 4

There were all kinds of turns on the NFL highway this week. Once again, the only thing to expect in the NFL is the unexpected. A look at this week’s action in the National Football League:

The Dallas Cowboys continue to roll, as the Romo Empire is built one week at a time. Sunday, the Cowboys crushed the St. Louis Rams, 35-7. Tony Romo threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another. The Cowboys are now 4-0 for the first time since 1995, the last year they won a Super Bowl. The Rams were missing eight starters due to injury or suspension. In addition, QB Marc Bulger was playing with two broken ribs. At this point, the Rams officially suck.

Every dog has its day, and the Atlanta Falcons had theirs on Sunday, as they defeated the Houston Texans, 26-16. Joey Harrington threw two touchdown passes, and Morten Andersen kicked four field goals for Atlanta. Andersen gladly gave up his monthly Social Security check to return to the Falcons to kick field goals. The Falcons pay better.

Brett Favre isn’t quite as old as Morten Andersen. However, he’s looking as good as ever. Favre broke the record for most touchdowns in a career, and the Packers moved to 4-0 with a 23-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings. The great Adrian (Oklahoma) Peterson rushed for 112 yards on only 12 carries.

Don’t look now, but the new Browns have exactly the same record as the old Browns. Cleveland surprised Baltimore and the world with a 27-13 win. Derek Anderson continued his bid for All-Pro status and a lifetime contract with two touchdown passes. The Ravens’ defense suddenly looks mortal.

The Buffalo Bills got their first win of the season, defeating the New York Jets, 17-14. Not many people outside the state of New York cared about that game, and neither team will get many wins this year.

The Packers’ quick start in the NFC North has overshadowed that of the Detroit Lions. The Lions are now 3-1 after manhandling the Chicago Bears, 37-27. The Bears replaced their quarterback, but got the same result as Brian Griese threw three interceptions. The Lions scored a record 34 points in the fourth quarter, and both teams combined for a record 48 points in the final quarter. The Bears’ mojo is officially gone.

The Oakland Raiders, at least this week, officially do not suck. The Silver and Black got their second win in a row by manhandling Flipper and the Miami Dolphins, 35-17. Daunte Culpepper made his first start in his return to Miami, and threw two touchdown passes for the Raiders. The Dolphins are working hard to obtain the top pick in next year’s draft.

The more things change, the more things stay the same. The Indianapolis Colts are now 4-0, as they handled the Denver Broncos by a score of 38-20. Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes, in spite of the loss of star WR Marvin Harrison to a first quarter injury. The Colts aren’t going away without a fight.

Another team that does not suck is the 3-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs and quarterback Jeff Garcia are surprising lots of people, and the Bucs went to Charlotte and got a 20-7 win over the Carolina Panthers. Panthers WR Steve Smith was seen in the third quarter yelling on the phone to coaches upstairs. Could it be that he wanted a different backup quarterback? David Carr is showing the folks in Carolina what he showed in Houston: he’s not an NFL quarterback.

Speaking of quarterback problems, the San Francisco 49ers had them yesterday, as Alex Smith was knocked out of the game on the third play from scrimmage on a killer hit by Seahawks DL Rocky Bernard. Seattle rolled over the 49ers, 23-3, and are not ready to give up their reign over the NFC West.

The ineptness of the front office of the San Diego Chargers was on full display Sunday. The Chargers continue to prove that the firing of Marty Schottenheimer was a mistake. The supposedly woeful Kansas City Chiefs went into San Diego, beat the Chargers up, and stole their lunch money, winning 30-16. Poor Norv Turner. I like Norv. But, good offensive coordinators don’t always make good head coaches. The Chargers find themselves trying to dig out of a 1-3 hole.

The Arizona Cardinals are 2-2. They’re not horrible. And, they knocked the Pittsburgh Steelers from the ranks of the unbeaten, 21-14. Steve Breaston returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown to provide the winning margin for the Cardinals. San Antonio Holmes caught two touchdown passes for the Steelers. Oops, San Antonio Holmes is a high school. Santonio Holmes plays for Pittsburgh, and caught the 2 TD passes.

The Sunday night extravaganza was a big stinker. The Philadelphia Eagles returned to their normal uniforms, but royally stunk up the joint. Donovan McNabb was sacked 12 times in an ugly 16-3 Giants win. Osi Umenyiora had 6 of those sacks.

Tonight’s game matches the New England Patriots and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Pats have been unstoppable. The Bengals haven’t been able to stop anyone up until now.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ugly Uniform of the Day

Or, would you like some mustard on that hot dog?

Saturday night, the Minnesota Golden Gophers hosted the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University. I don't know what the Gophers were thinking. Was this a motivational tool? Were they trying to honor someone? Did they want to gross the Buckeyes out? Whatever the intent, the Gophers wore these awful mustard yellow uniforms on national television. Gross.

It's hard to do a whole lot with maroon and gold. However, mustard yellow jerseys and pants with red helmets do not work at all. These are ugly.

I hope and pray Minnesota and Syracuse never meet in a bowl game. All-yellow vs. all-orange would be beyond awful.

This definitely makes me want to gouge both eyes.