Thursday, September 04, 2008

NFL Picks: Week 1

Don’t worry..I haven’t forgotten about NFL picks. The season opens in two hours. Man, can you believe it’s September?

Dallas at Cleveland: The Cowboys come into the season with a rotten taste in their mouths after last year’s playoff disaster. The Browns were the best team to miss last year’s playoffs. This will be a fun game to watch at the Wannabe Dog Pound, aka new Cleveland Browns Stadium. Pick: Dallas

Washington at New York Giants: Last year’s unlikely champions caught lightning in a bottle and rolled to an unexpected Super Bowl trophy. This year, the Giants look to be pretty good. They get the honor of hosting the first game of the year on Thursday night. The Giants will celebrate their Super Bowl title and win their opener against the hated Redskins. Pick: Giants

Detroit at Atlanta: A stinker of a game right off the bat. You have to be a fan of either of these teams to want to watch this game. There is nothing to offer the casual fan here. The Falcons have hit rock bottom. Pick: Detroit

Cincinnati at Baltimore: Ocho Cinco visits Crab City with the Bengals. This one is hard to predict. I don’t trust the Bengals at all, so it’s best to pick the home team. Pick: Baltimore

Seattle at Buffalo: The Seahawks fly under the radar every year up in the corner of the country, but have been consistently good the last several years under Mike Holmgren, who is retiring after this season. The Bills showed some flashes of brilliance and lost some tough, close games. Go with the veteran team here. Pick: Seattle

New York Jets at Miami: Brett Favre plays his first regular season game for the Jets against the woeful Dolphins. The Dolphins have to be better than they were last season-they can’t get much worse. But, the Favre factor means something for an inconsistent Jets team. Pick: Jets

Kansas City at New England: Mismatch alert. The Pats will have a chip on their shoulder again this season, especially after last year’s Super Bowl loss. The Chiefs stink right now. Pick: Patriots

Tampa Bay at New Orleans: The Saints return home in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav, and are glad to come home. The Bucs aren’t half bad. Pick: Tampa Bay

St. Louis at Philadelphia: The Rams have a lot of room for improvement. The Eagles keep going with Donovan McNabb at quarterback. Pick: Philly

Houston at Pittsburgh: News flash: The Texans don’t stink anymore. They’re not Super Bowl caliber, but they’re not half bad. However, they get to travel to the Steel City this week. Good luck with all that. Pick: Pittsburgh

Jacksonville at Tennessee: Important game right off the bat in the AFC South. The Jags have been a good team that happened to be in the same division as the Colts. They should be able to handle this one on the road. Pick: Jacksonville

Carolina at San Diego: The Chargers, with a few breaks, could be in the Super Bowl this year. The Panthers probably won’t. Pick: San Diego

Arizona at San Francisco: Yuck. The ageless Kurt Warner just keeps resurfacing as the quarterback of the Cardinals. But, they’re the Cardinals, and they’ll find a way to blow this one. Pick: San Francisco

Chicago at Indianapolis: The Colts open their new stadium on Sunday Night Football against the Bears. Poor Bears. They’re in for a loss in week one. Pick: Colts

Minnesota at Green Bay: Year 1 of the Aaron Rodgers Era begins in Green Bay. It’ll be a tough start for the Pack, because Minnesota is loaded this year. Pick: Vikings

Denver at Oakland: Big rivalry, but it’s snooze city for most people east of the Rockies. The game starts at 7:00 Pacific Time, a rare starting time on the West Coast, and the second half of the Monday Night Football doubleheader. At my hotel in the Netherlands, the game will start at 4 AM. I wouldn’t get up early in Europe for this one. I wouldn’t stay up past bedtime in the US for this one, either. Pick: Oakland

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

College Football Picks, Week 2

I apologize for the dearth of posts since last weekend. I am currently in Europe for a two-week project for work. Thanks, to the wonders of modern technology and the Internet (thank you, Al Gore), I know what his happening in America, and can comment on such trivial things as college football.

Before I move on to picks: What is up with the Texas Aggies? Dennis Franchione never lost to Arkansas State. Neither did R.C. Slocum (though he did lose to Louisiana-Lafayette once). Mike Sherman is off to an inauspicious start after the Ags lost at home to the Red Wolves of ASU, 18-16. It’s going to be a long year in Aggieland at this rate.

Last week: 16-4. Sort of disappointing. Thanks, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Texas A&M.
Season: 16-4

Cincinnati at Oklahoma: Sooners take a step up in competition this week. This won’t be a 50-point win, because Cincinnati can play. Still, the game is in Norman. The Sooner starters will play the entire game, but OU should win comfortably. Pick: OU

San Jose State at Nebraska: Spartans get to make some money for their athletic department with this trip to Lincoln to take on the Big Red. I wouldn’t blow this game off, though, if I were Nebraska. Nebraska should win the game, however. Pick: Nebraska

Texas A&M at New Mexico: The Aggies lost the easiest game on their non-conference schedule, and now must travel to the Land of Enchantment. UNM got spanked at home last week by TCU. The Ags are shellshocked. New Mexico gets a win against a BCS conference team. Pick: New Mexico

Louisiana Tech at Kansas: The Bulldogs got a win last week, defeating Mississippi State in a rare home game against a BCS school. The Jayhawks will have their hands full this week. However, they will keep their home winning streak intact. Pick: KU

Montana State at Kansas State: Remember Montana State? In 2006, the Bobcats traveled to Boulder and shocked Colorado. K-State knows all about that. The jury is still out on the Wildcats, but they should be able to handle Montana State. Pick: K-State

Southeast Missouri State at Missouri: At least Mizzou is keeping the money in state for this rent-a-win. Pick: Missouri

Texas at UTEP: This will be the biggest regular season game in El Paso in years. The two schools share names, a color, and fight songs. The similarities end there. In football, UT got off to a good start with a rout of a decent Florida Atlantic team. UTEP, meanwhile, got manhandled at Buffalo. Texas has a young team, but should be able to handle this one. Pick: Texas

Northwestern State at Baylor: Believe it or not, this could be a tough game for the Bears. But, it’s hard to actually pick a FCS team on the road at a BCS conference team, even one as bad as Baylor. Pick: Baylor

Eastern Washington at Colorado: Eastern Washington represented themselves well last week in a 49-24 loss at Texas Tech. Now, their Big 12 tour continues in Boulder, Colorado. Eastern Washington returns home 0-2. Pick: Colorado

Kent State at Iowa State: Last year, Kent State ruined Gene Chizik’s debut at Iowa State by upsetting the Cyclones. Lightning won’t strike twice in the same place. Pick:
Iowa State

Houston at Oklahoma State; There should be lots of points scored in this one. OSU opens their newly remodeled stadium. Pick: OSU

Texas Tech at Nevada: This will be the biggest game in Reno, Nevada since the Wolfpack moved to Division 1-A. The Red Raiders worked some kinks out during last week’s win over Eastern Washington. They should be able to beat the Wolf Pack. Pick: Tech

Oregon State at Penn State: OSU-West makes the cross-country trip to Happy Valley. It’ll be a long way back for the Beavers. Pick: Penn State

Ole Miss at Wake Forest: The days of overlooking the Demon Deacons are over, and have been for a couple of years now. Pick: Wake Forest

South Carolina at Vanderbilt (Thursday): USC-East sputtered early, but skunked N.C. State last week. Vandy got a surprise win at Miami (Ohio). Steve Spurrier owns Vanderbilt. Pick: SC

Miami at Florida: Grudge match in the Sunshine State. The old Miami isn’t back yet. Go with the Fighting Tim Tebows. Pick: UF

BYU at Washington: Washington plays the first of three big-time non-conference opponents at home. The Y is more than good enough to win at U-Dub. Pick: BYU

West Virginia at East Carolina: Pirates are coming off of a comeback win over Virginia Tech. Now, they have a home game against mighty West Virginia. This game will be better than the Mountaineers would like for it to be. Still, WV has more than enough to beat them. Pick: West Virginia

Georgia Tech at Boston College: Very competitive ACC game. Pick: BC

Miami, Ohio at Michigan: The Bo Schembechler Bowl. Both teams are coming off losses. Michigan lost to Utah, while Miami lost to Vanderbilt. Meatchicken should bounce back at home. Pick: Michigan