Saturday, October 18, 2008

NFL Picks: Week 7

Some NFL picks while feeling grateful that I am not a fan of Washington State, who gave up over 60 points in a game to their fourth Pac-10 opponent today….

Last week: 8-6
Overall: 55-32

Dallas at St. Louis: The Cowboys enter this game with a new Roy Williams and a new quarterback, 40 year-old Brad Johnson. Rumor is that Jerry Jones is looking to buy an NBA franchise so he can hire Roy Williams from North Carolina to coach it. You can never have enough guys named Roy Williams. The Rams shocked the world with a win last week in Washington, their first of the season. Cowboys take care of business this week. Pick: Dallas

San Diego at Buffalo: This has the makings of a good game. The Chargers are bouncing back, while Buffalo suffered their first loss last week. Strange things happen when a West Coast team goes East. Pick: Buffalo

New Orleans at Carolina: Roll the dice, and may the highest total win. Who knows what to expect from either of these teams? Pick: Carolina

Minnesota at Chicago: Important game in the NFC North. Pick: Chicago

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: The Bengals have shown signs of life lately, but haven’t gotten into the win column yet. They won’t win this week, either. Pick: Pittsburgh

Tennessee at Kansas City: Who would have thought that the Titans would be the last undefeated team remaining? They’ll stay unbeaten this week. Pick: Tennessee

Baltimore at Miami: This is another unpredictable game. The Dolphins lost on the last play last week in Houston. They should be strong enough to win at home. Pick: Miami

San Francisco at New York Giants: The Giants had a game scheduled last Monday night in Cleveland. They didn’t show up. Someone wearing their uniforms did, and the Giants got kicked. Giants bounce back this week. Pick: Giants

Detroit at Houston: The Texans got their first win last week, and now face the worst team in the league in the Lions. Pick: Houston

Indianapolis at Green Bay: The Packers went out to Seattle with a banged-up quarterback and got a win last week. The Colts looked like the Colts of old last week as they thrashed the Ravens. Can they still win a big road game? Good question. Pick: Green Bay

New York Jets at Oakland: Yuck. Rematch of the Heidi game from 1969. These players weren’t born then, with the exception of Brett Favre. Favre slings it for a bunch of yards against an awful team. Pick: Jets

Cleveland at Washington: Browns showed a pulse last week as they thumped the Giants. Now, they travel to D.C. to play the Redskins, surprise losers last week to St. Louis. I don’t trust Cleveland. Pick: Washington

Seattle at Tampa Bay: The Sunday Night extravaganza visits Tampa as the beaten-up Seahawks come to town. Pick: Tampa Bay

Denver at New England: ESPN gets a good one for Monday night. Pick: Pats

Thursday, October 16, 2008

College Picks, Week 8

Last Week: 13-7
Season: 105-35

The wheat is being separated from the chaff in another wild college football season. This season is still very fluid. It remains to be seen if a team can win a national championship with two losses, as LSU did last season. The only thing guaranteed in college football is chaos. Now, on with the picks...

Kansas at Oklahoma: The Fighting Manginos are solid once again this season, but are not quite as good as they were last year. OU is mad, very mad, after last week’s debacle in Dallas. Pick: OU

Missouri at Texas: What was once a potential meeting of top 5 teams is now a do-or-die game for Mizzou. The Longhorns are flying high after a dominant 2nd half against OU. Look for plenty of points here. Pick: Texas

Baylor at Oklahoma State: The last thing the Bears needed was another juggernaut in the South division. OSU is coming off the biggest win in school history last week at then 3rd-ranked Missouri. Cowboys should be on letdown alert here, but should still win. Pick: OSU

Texas Tech at Texas A&M: This is the worst A&M team since before Jackie Sherrill arrived in Aggieland a quarter-century ago. Tech barely escaped last week with an overtime win over Nebraska. Pick: Tech

Nebraska at Iowa State: Iowa State has a long way to go to be competitive in this conference, proven by last week’s shellacking at the hands of Baylor. The Huskers nearly pulled an upset last week in Lubbock. Pick: Nebraska

Kansas State at Colorado: Buffs have come way down to earth after hitting Big 12 play. Wildcats got a conference win at Texas A&M last week. Winner has chance to go to a bowl game. Pick: Colorado

BYU at TCU (Thursday): One of two games that BYU has a chance to lose. Pick: TCU

Ole Miss at Alabama: Bama was idle last week and was passed by Texas for the top spot in the polls. Which Ole Miss team shows up? The one that beat Florida in the Swamp? Or, the one that lost at home to South Carolina? Bama wins a close one at home. Pick: Alabama

Ohio State at Michigan State: Big, big game in the Big Ten. Winner has inside track to the Rose Bowl. MSU can really put themselves on the map with a win. But, TOSU has played big games before, especially in the Big Ten. Pick: TOSU

Georgia Tech at Clemson: What was once supposed to be a national championship-caliber season for Clemson has deteriorated into a mid-season coach firing. Now, they must face the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech. Tigers come up big under interim coach. Pick: Clemson

Purdue at Northwestern: Wildcats suffered their first loss last week. They should be able to bounce back against the Boilermakers. Pick: Northwestern

Florida State at NC State (Thursday): Don’t look now, but the Seminoles are on the way back. They’re not national championship caliber just yet, but they should be able to contend for an ACC title. Pick: FSU

Hawaii at Boise State (Friday): Battle of the last two BCS crashers. This season, Boise State is one of ten undefeated teams remaining. Hawaii is in a serious rebuilding phase. Pick: Boise State

LSU at South Carolina: The Gamecocks can redeem themselves here with a win. The Tigers are hurting after being slaughtered last week in the Swamp. The Tigers have more talent. Pick: LSU

Virginia Tech at Boston College: Tech needs this one to stay on top of the ACC. Eagles have given the Hokies fits over the years in both the Big East and ACC. Pick: VT

California at Arizona: Big game for bowl positioning in the Pac-10. Weird things happen in late night games in the desert. Pick: Arizona

Michigan at Penn State: A long season for the Wolverines got longer last week with a loss to Holy Toledo. Penn State is cruising through an undefeated season. Pick: Penn State

Miami at Duke: The last time Miami visited Duke in 2006, a Duke team that went winless that year nearly beat the Canes. Duke is a lot better this season. Pick: Duke

Wake Forest at Maryland: Anything can happen in the ACC, and usually does. Pick: Wake Forest

Hofstra at Maine: Hofstra is now better known as the host of Wednesday night’s presidential debate. Their football team isn’t that bad, either. Pick: Hofstra

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The South Is Where It's At

At the halfway point of the college football season, we find:

• There are ten undefeated teams remaining in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
• Five of those teams are in BCS conferences.
• Three of them are in the Big 12 South division: Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State.
• Oklahoma only fell to #4 in the latest AP writers’ poll. However, they have the worst record in the state. Oklahoma State and Tulsa remain undefeated.
• It’s early, but OU is not only #4 in the nation, but #4 in the South division standings after two weeks of conference play.
• The Big 12 South Division contains four of the top eight teams in this week’s poll: #1 Texas, #4 OU, #7 Texas Tech, and #8 OSU.

This is an incredible geographical concentration of football excellence. Oklahoma State joined this dogpile with an upset at previously third-ranked Missouri, 28-23.

Poor Baylor. The Bears have to play all these teams. Likewise for Texas A&M. However, if there was ever a year for A&M to stink, this is it, as they would have a hard time with these teams regardless.

Missouri and Kansas this week must fight for the honor of the North division in trips to Texas and OU, respectively. The rest of the North division looks relatively weak, though Nebraska nearly shocked Texas Tech in Lubbock on Saturday.

These teams should do a good job of knocking each other off in the last two months of the season, keeping one out of the BCS national championship game. The team with the best shot of appearing in Miami appears to be Penn State. The Nittany Lions are undefeated and are the best team in a weak Big Ten conference. Who will play them? Who knows. Alabama is strong and still undefeated, but must finish their SEC schedule. If USC can keep from farting around in the Pac-10, they have a good chance to get back to that #2 spot. Or, if a team survives the Big 12 with only one loss, they have a chance to be in Miami as well. In that case, Texas is in the driver’s seat.

The only guaranteed thing remaining in this college football season is change. Stay tuned.