December 31st, 2007
Ugh, behind again…
12/31, Armed Forces: Air Force vs. Cal(-4.5)
I’ll take the points, I think Cal won’t care enough.
12/31, Humanitarian: Fresno State vs. Georgia Tech(-6)
I must have missed something; Tech is bad. Take the points.
12/31, Sun: Oregon vs. South Florida(-6)
The Ducks really mailed it in after Dixon got hurt. I think USF isn’t as good as people thought early, but not as bad as people think now. What scares me is that Vegas knows this and put the line at six. Ugh. I have to give the points, unless Dixon’s knee is magically back from the dead.
12/31, Music City: Florida State vs. Kentucky(-9.5)
OK, the line has adjusted for grade-gate or whatever they’re calling it. FSU is just plain bad, and won’t be up for a piddly bowl like this one, wereas any bowl bid is a big deal for Kentucky. Wildcats cover the big number.
12/31, Insight: Indiana vs. Oklahoma State(-5)
I have no idea. Neither of these teams can be any good, but IU is still playing on the whole dead coach emotion thing, so I’ll take the points.
12/31, Peac, err, Chick-fil-a: Auburn vs. Clemson(-2.5)
Hey, two ranked teams! Maybe the ACC isn’t as bad as I thought, I’ll go with Clemson here.
1/1, Outback: Wisconsin vs. Tennessee(-1.5)
Not very many points, probably because the Badgers have been good in bowls of late. I’ll take the point and a half.
1/1, Cotton: Arkansas vs. Missouri(-3.5)
Obviously, Mizzou got jobbed out of a BCS bid—how do you beat Kansas on a neutral field and then they get a better bid? The question is whether that turns into indignation or whether it means Missouri just won’t care. I’ll probably watch just to see McFadden run. I’ll assume Missouri will prove the BCS committee right and tank it.
1/1, Gator: Virginia vs. Texas Tech(-6)
As far as I can tell, the wrong team is favored here. Tech throws the ball around a lot, but I don’t remember them beating anybody good this year. Oh, wait, yeah, Oklahoma, the best team not playing for the national title. Yeah, OK, I’ll give the points.
1/1, Capital One: Michigan vs. Florida(-10.5)
Hmm, I’m thinking the spread should be like 14. Orlando is like within spitting distance of Gainesville, and oh yeah, Michigan sucks this year. Michigan particularly sucks against mobile quarterbacks running the spread, which is, you might say, a bad matchup here. Bye, Lloyd, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
1/1, Rose: Illinois vs. USC(-13.5)
USC is a lot better, but that seems like too many points to me. I’ll take a chance and take the points. I fear that the half-point will be my undoing in a 35-21 game.
1/1, Sugar: Hawaii vs. Georgia(-7.5)
If I’m the UGA coach, I’m playing the film from last year’s Boise State game on a loop so that my players don’t take this lightly. Hawaii also isn’t as good as Boise was last year. Dawgs in a rout.
More to come! I’ll update records and stuff, too, from the couch on New Year’s Day, which I plan to spend anesthetized in front of the TV…
December 29th, 2007
Again, gotta be quick. I’ll do a standings update and another round of bowls tomorrow…
Bills @ Philly(-7.5)
Two mediocre teams in a meaningless game. I don’t see the Eagles as being that much better, but the Bills look kind of done. I guess I’ll give the points.
Panthers @ Tampa(+2.5)
Hmm, apparently the Bucs are going to be resting everyone, that’s the only reason for a spread like that here. The Panthers appear to be trying to save Fox’s job, I think they’ll actually play this game and even cover.
Bengals @ Miami(+2.5)
Awful, awful, awful. I’ll take Cinci, I guess.
Lions @ Green Bay(-5)
That’s pathetic. The Packers have nothing to play for and they’re still big favorites over the Lions. Well, the Lions ache on the road and the Packers probably don’t want to look like they’re limping into the playoffs, so I’ll give the points.
Jaguars @ Houston(-6.5)
Even with Taylor and Jones-Drew resting, why would people think the Texans are a full TD better? What’s in it for them? Sage Rosenfels? Meh, I’ll take the Jags and the points.
Seahawks @ Atlanta(-1)
Again, obviously the Seabags are resting guys. Atlanta doesn’t care, either, do they? Seahawks, though, I guess.
Niners @ Cleveland(-11.5)
The Browns actually need this game to still have a shot at the playoffs, don’t they? I’ll give the points.
Saints @ Chicago(+1.5)
I think the Saints will actually try to win this game, just to end the season on a positive note going into next year, where maybe they can come back and contend in a weak division. The Bears, on the other hand, have nothing to play for at all. I’ll give the 1.5.
Cowboys @ Washington(-9)
Will Dallas play anyone here? I know I wouldn’t. Redskins.
Steelers @ Baltimore(+3)
Possibly one of the better games this week, since these teams seem to legitimately not like each other. I like Pittsburgh here.
Vikings @ Denver(+3)
I don’t see why the Vikings are favored. They screwed their chances last week (and looked horrible doing it, or so I’m told) and Jackson has regressed. Why would they be up for a road game in a tough place to paly? Denver.
Chargers @ Oakland(+8)
The Raiders have basically mailed it in for the season, right? Give the points.
Rams @ Arizona(-6)
Cardinals, I guess. No idea.
Chefs @ New Jersey Meadowlands(-5.5)
I’m going to have to go with the Jets here, because KC is just vile.
Titans @ Indy(+5)
I’ll actually be really rooting for the Colts here because I’d much rather see the Browns in the playoffs than the Titans. Because of that, the Titans will win, of course. Indy will rest everybody, as usual, so I don’t see this as being all that close. Titans.
December 22nd, 2007
Quick one, gotta pack…
Cowboys @ Carolina(+11)
I just don’t know. If Romo’s thumb isn’t better and they keep trying to throw all the time, they could actually lose, much less cover. But if they just hand the ball to Barber all day, they’ll cover this easily. I say they split the difference, win, but don’t cover.
Browns @ Cincinnati(+3)
Cleveland all the way. Should see some horrible defense played here, just like last time.
Packers @ Chicago(+8.5)
At this point I would think the Packers would lay off, but they’re still playing for home field, which is huge for them. They’ll handle Chicago here. Enough to cover? I think so.
Texans @ Indy(-7)
Will Indy rest everyone now that the #2 seed is locked up? Eh, even if they do, at home, they’re more than a TD better than Houston.
Chiefs @ Detroit(-4.5)
There’s no way the Lions should be favored by more than 2 over anyone, even the Dolphins, even at home. I’m taking KC and the points.
Giants @ Buffalo(+2)
The Giants are in a tailspin, but they have something to play for and the Bills don’t. G-Men.
Raiders @ Jacksonville(-13)
Jax has nothing to play for, either, but they’ll still cover this number. They have a bunch of guys who are justifiably ticked off about the Pro Bowl. How do you win 10 games in the AFC and have nobody in that game?
Eagles @ New Orleans(-3)
The Eagles won last week, and there’s no way they put in two in a row; I’ll give the points.
Falcons @ Arizona(-10.5)
The Falcons are horrible, really horrible. Cardinals cover this.
Bucs @ San Francisco(+6)
Even if Tampa rests guys they’ll cover this.
Dolphins @ New England(-22)
These are silly. There’s no reason for the Pats to run it up here, so they will. Pats.
Ravens @ Seattle(-10.5)
Weren’t the Ravens in Miami last week? Sucky travel schedule, I’ll take Seattle.
Jest @ Tennessee(-8.5)
Is there any reason to pick Gang Green? I can’t think of any. Titans.
Redskins @ Minnesota(-6.5)
How long can Todd Collins keep it up? I mean, Go Blue and everything, but Todd Collins? Really? The Vikings are awesome against the run; can the Redskins win without Portis doing much? Probably not, but can they keep it close? Maybe. Feels like a field goal game to me, so I’ll take the Redskins.
Broncos @ San Diego(-9)
The idea of Denver on the road is pretty scary, and the Bolts seem to have figured it out. I’ll give the points.
December 20th, 2007
Steelers @ St. Louis(+7.5)
This is kind of a tough pick, because the Steelers have been pretty bad on the road. Of course, the Rams have been just pretty bad. I dunno, the Rams have a few guys hurt and they have nothing to play for, and the Steelers could actually lose the division to the Browns if they slip up. I think that’s the key factor there, so I’ll go with Pittsburgh.
December 18th, 2007
OK, first an update on the records. In week 13 I went 8-8 and Al went 9-7. In week 14 I had a great week and went 10-5 and Al went 8-7. However, I gave it all back in week 15 where I just stunk up the joint and went a woeful 4-12, while Al went 8-8. 4-12 is vile. The upshot of all this is that I’m 109-93-7 and Al is now 108-93-8. Yikes! Talk about it coming down to the wire…
And now the bowls. I watched less college football than usual this year so I feel like I’m working without a net here. I think after the beating I took in week 15 now I’m petrified. This can’t be good…
12/20, Poinsettia: Navy vs. Utah(-7.5)
I have no idea how good or bad Utah is, but I know one thing: Navy blows. Anyone who had that much trouble with Notre Dame is bad, really bad. Utah covers.
12/21, New Orleans: Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic(-2.5)
I don’t especially like either team here, but my coin insists that Memphis has this one.
12/22, Papajohns.com: Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati(-11)
I’d like to pick against the Bearcats here, I really would, but I don’t see it happening. Oh, and Southern Miss is C-USA, right? Gotta pick against ‘em then.
12/22, New Mexico: Nevada vs. New Mexico(-3)
Home game for the Lobos, where they are 5-1 this year. I think I’ll give the points.
12/22, Las Vegas: UCLA vs. BYU(-5)
Interesting game, as it’s a rematch of a regular-season game which UCLA won. But UCLA went in the tank and BYU got hot. UCLA’s coach got canned and BYU ended the season ranked, I think. I have to believe BYU is better and covers this.
12/23, Hawaii: East Carolina vs. Boise State(-10.5)
A big spread, which Boise will probably double up on. They’re actually decent, and ECU… isn’t.
12/26, Motor City: Central Michigan vs. Purdue(-8.5)
I’m not convinced Purdue will win this game at all, much less cover that kind of spread. I’m taking the points.
12/27, Holiday: Arizona State vs. Texas(-2.5)
The wrong team is favored here; Texas isn’t very good this year.
12/28, Champs Sports: Michigan State vs. Boston College(-3.5)
Only three and a half? I really disliked BC this year and was planning to pick against them, but Michigan State isn’t any good, either, and I was thinking the spread here would be like 7 and I could pick against BC. But not with only 3.5. BC.
12/28, Texas, Houston vs. TCU(-3.5)
Again, I’m surprised this spread isn’t bigger. TCU is just better, end of story.
12/28, Emerald: Maryland vs. Oregon State(-5)
The Beavers got jobbed ending up in this crappy bowl. And actually I’m kind of surprised that Maryland made it into a bowl game at all. I don’t see the Terps with much of a chance in this one.
12/29, Meineke Car Care, UConn vs. Wake Forest(-2.5)
UConn has actually played pretty well this year, I think, and I heard nothing about Wake, so I’m going to take the points and hope really hard that the ACC really is as bad as I think this year.
12/29, Liberty: Mississippi State vs. University of Central Florida(-3)
Hey, look, George O’Leary is back in a bowl! And, actually, i think they’ll win and cover, that RB they have is supposed to be the real deal.
12/29, Alamo: Texas A&M vs. Penn State(-5.5)
This is essentially going to be a home game for the Aggies, though Penn State does travel well. Both of these teams were money at home this year but blew chunks on the road. I dunno, this just feels like too many points…
12/30, Independence: Colorado vs. Alabama(-3.5)
Man, this is the bowl of suck. I mean, yeah, SEC vs. Big XII and everything, but these were both 6-6 teams. And you simply cannot believe how even these teams are, check out the bar graphs here. That’s a coin flip to me, I’m taking the points.
I’m not doing the New Year’s Eve bowls yet, in part because we have no idea yet whether Florida State will even have enough guys eligible to field a team…
December 15th, 2007
Bengals @ San Francisco(+8)
The Niners are terrible, just ugly bad. I say the Bengals cover this, even on the road.
Cardinals @ New Orleans(-3.5)
I don’t have a clear sense of this game. Maybe the Saints can build on last week, I don’t know. Oh, heck, I’ll give the points.
Falcons @ Tampa Bay(-13)
Man, that’s a lot of points. But I’ve seen few teams that looked as bad as the Falcons did last week, and now with the coach thing… very ugly. Bucs.
Ravens @ Miami(+3.5)
In the first part of the season, the Dolphins did a good job of keeping it close. However, the two recent total blowouts suggest they’ve given up. I wonder if the Ravens haven’t given up as well, but surely they still have enough to pride to cover this.
Bills @ Cleveland(-5.5)
It’s been a very nice run for the Bills, and now they’re flirting with a playoff spot and everything, but this is really smoke and mirrors, isn’t it? I’m taking the Browns.
Packers @ St. Louis(+9)
One more win and the Packers lock up the first-round bye, and of course the Rams are horrible. Still, I think the Packers might lay off the gas a little and the Rams still have something, and will keep it closer than nine.
Jaguars @ Pittsburgh(-3)
This is the real test for the Jags, isn’t it? On the road against a good team. I think the Jags will crowd the line and try to get Pittsburgh to just throw, which is not their way. Still, the Steelers have something extra in the tank at home. Tough pick. Steelers, I think.
Jest @ New England(-21.5)
Pats. By like, I dunno, 40?
Seahawks @ Carolina(+7.5)
The only real question is whether the Seabags will start resting people because they’ve clinched. Nah, they’ll cover this.
Titans @ Kansas City(+4)
Tennessee still has some life, but what does KC have? Nothing comes to mind, so I’ll give the points.
Colts @ Oakland(+10.5)
The Raiders are awful and the Colts appear to be back to their old form, so I’ll give the points.
Lions @ San Diego(-10)
I’m going to take the points on the theory that it’ll somehow be more heartbreaking for Lions fans if they can manage to lose it late in the game in consecutive weeks.
Eagles @ Dallas(-10.5)
Meh, Philly has been a disaster most of the season. Cowboys cover this easily.
Redskins @ New Jersey Giants Stadium(-4.5)
Washington is done for the season, and given their circumstances, I think they’ll feel like nobody will blame them if they pack it in. Giants cover.
Bears @ Minnesota(-10)
OK, the Vikings have been on a roll lately, but ten? Oh, yeah, it’s the Kyle Orton show. OK, I’ll give the ten, but it still should be only eight.
December 12th, 2007
Broncos @ Houston, pick
Pick? Really? That seems like a bit of a stretch to me, given how up-and-down the Texans are and how hot the Broncos have been lately. I’ll take Denver.
December 11th, 2007
This Hollywood writers’ strike really has me worried; I hope they get it resolved in the next couple months, or else how will the NBA hold playoffs?
December 8th, 2007
I’ll update the standings next week. Also, I goofed and we missed the Thursday game this week. Oops. Classes are now over, so I promise I’ll be more on the ball with those games the rest of the season.
Now, some comments on last week:
* The catch by Winslow should have been ruled a catch; they were totally robbed.
* The Ravens need to shut the hell up and play as hard all the freaking time as they did in the first three quarters of that game. They can whine about the officiating all they want, but the refs didn’t call the timeout, the refs didn’t throw that awful pick, and it wasn’t the refs who failed to get the Ravens a first down in the 4th quarter. Professionals keep their cool, and the Ravens didn’t. They deserved to lose that game.
Anyway, on to this week…
Panthers @ Jacksonville(-10.5)
I didn’t even see highlights of the Panthers last week, apparently they didn’t suck. However, the Jags are about a zillion times better than the Niners. I’m giving the points.
Cowboys @ Detroit(+10.5)
The Lions are in an absolute tailspin. Again, give the points.
Dolphins @ Buffalo(-7)
Miami is awful, but they’ve kept it close—at least, closer than the spread—most of the season. I’m taking the points here.
Giants @ Philadelphia(-3)
When the team with the notably worse record is favored, something is wrong. Giants.
Raiders @ Green Bay(-10.5)
Even with Farve a little nicked up, the Packers have had extra time and they’re at home. The number is a little bigger than I’d like, but I just can’t see taking the Raiders here.
Chargers @ Tennessee, pick
On talent, I’d have to take the Bolts. On coaching, I’d have to take the Titans. Tossup. I’ll take the Titans just because they’re at home.
Rams @ Cincinnati(-8)
Eight seems like an awful lot for a Bengals team to give—they just aren’t that good. I’ll take St. Louis here.
Bucs @ Houston(+3)
Unfortunately, the Texans have already won too many games to be in the McFadden lottery. I sure hope they get some freaking help on the O line, finally. Oh, and they’ll lose this game by more than 3.
Cardinals @ Seattle(-7)
In Seattle, I have to go with the Seabags.
Vikings @ San Francisco(+8.5)
Any team which can get pounded that badly by a team led by Vinny “Geritol” Testaverde is horrible beyond comprehension. Vikings all the way.
Steelers @ New England(-10.5)
You wan the real reason the Pats had trouble the last couple weeks? They were looking ahead to this game. If this were in Pittsburgh I would not give ten, but the Steelers are a different team on the road (hello, Jets). I will once again give the points.
Browns @ New Jersey Meadowlands(+3.5)
Cleveland was robbed last week. They’ll make it up this week and will cover this.
Chefs @ Denver(-7)
I think KC is starting Croyle in this game. That’s enough for me to give the points.
Colts @ Baltimore(+9)
The Ravens blew their wad last week and have imploded. Colts cover this easily.
Saints @ Falcons(+3.5)
The Saints aren’t as good as I hoped, but they’re still more than a FG better than the Falcons, who have obviously given up for the season.
December 1st, 2007
Al and I did our Thursday night pick over IM on Thursday afternoon; we both took the Cowboys. I still have to get used to these non-Thanksgiving Thursday games. At least I have NFLN at home in HD.
Also, I’m on a roll, baby! I went 9-7 in Week 11 and an electric 12-4 last week. That makes me 87-68-7 for the season—nearly 20 games over .500! (I’m sure I’ve just cursed my picks for this week.) Al’s really not far behind, having gone 8-8 in Week 11 and 9-7 in Week 12, for a season record of 83-71-8. Still close.
So, here we go for this week:
Falcons @ St. Louis(-3)
OK, so Bulger is out. I hate Gus, I’m actually taking the points.
Bills @ Washington(-5.5)
I’m surprised this is 5.5; I was expecting this to be the generic “we have no idea, so home team by 3” spread. Will the Redskins rally, or have their heads completely out of the game? Since they have no realistic shot at the playoffs, I have a hard time imagining that they’d be able to convince themselves that football really mattered this week. Or maybe they’ll be really prepared because they threw themselves into football to keep their mind off it. I don’t know. I guess if I thought the spread should be -3, I have to take the points. <shrug>
Lions @ Minnesota(-4)
The Vikings are great against the run, but Detroit isn’t really looking to run. Of course, the Lions completely blow on the road. OK, I’ll take the Vikings, but the spread should be 2.
Texans @ Tennessee(-4)
I don’t usually do this, but I’m actually picking the Texans. They are now doomed.
Jaguars @ Indianapolis(-6.5)
Man, I hope I can get something else to be on everyone else’s calendar Sunday just so I can watch this game. Indy’s in danger of losing the division! Still no Marvin, Freeny is gone, and the Jags are playing as well as they’re capable, I think. It’s all leaning Jacksonville—so I have to take the Colts. Whee!
Jest @ Miami(-1)
This is too funny, the Dolphins being favored. Oh, what the hell, I’ll take the point.
Chargers @ Kansas City(+6)
How do you lose at home to the Raiders? Disgusting, I’m going with the Bolts all the way here.
Seahawks @ Philly(-3)
I hate to raise any alarm here, but the favored team is two games worse by record. I’m taking the points. Plus, I get brutalized whenever I pick against the Seabags.
Niners @ Carolina(-3)
OK, so there are certain things even I don’t want to see in high def. This would be one of them. I like the Niners here since they at least have a prayer of being able to run the ball and because this game is a coin flip, so I like getting points.
Browns @ Arizona(-1)
I looked at this like four times, and it’s right, the Cards really are favored by a point. That scares me—what do the bookies know that I don’t? This seems blindingly obvious, which is never good. I already zigged once with the Colts, so I’m sticking with the Browns here.
Bucs @ New Orleans(-3)
What’s this with the better record teams being underdogs? Oh, Garcia is out. Well, that makes it more complicated. Yeah, OK, I’ll give the points.
Broncos @ Oakland(-3.5)
The Broncos looked kind of better lately, except for that whole kicking to Hester thing. I’ll go with Denver here.
Giants @ Chicago(+1.5)
Speaking of Hester, I think the Giants will know not to kick to him. Manning has been a disaster lately but the Bears will not be able to pass and also are on a backup RB. I have to think the Giants win this.
Bengals @ Pittsburgh(-7)
Assuming this game is played is something other than a mud pit, the Steelers should cover this.
Patriots @ Baltimore(+20)
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that the Raves suck, and suck hard. They won’t pull a Philly and keep it close. Blowout city here.