Week 3

This week, I am taking the short trip up to College Station to see the Aggies host the Lobos. It won’t add to my totals as I have been to A&M a couple of times already. However, I need the tailgate practice before I head off to Norman, Oklahoma next week. The Aggies should roll, but more on that later. First, let’s take a look at last week’s picks.

Always bet against Cakes. That’s what I was thinking when I picked UConn and their 34 points against Purdue. It was my fault for chasing attention dollars with a DC sports talk radio show. On the plus side, I went undefeated for the other games. I was not that impressed with Ohio State when I saw them play Minnesota. I did think they would beat Oregon, but I didn’t think they would cover. When I found out Oregon had a couple of defensive starters out for the game, I got worried, but the Ducks looked good in their outright win. I was confident on both Houston and Michigan and they did not disappoint. Rice has that nice new addition on their stadium and I can’t help but feel it is a little wasted. I don’t know what to make of the Huskies. All I know is that they have problems.

Some other random thoughts from last week:

  • Texas gets handled by Arkansas – an early welcome to the SEC. And, the Razorbacks are one of the weaker SEC teams
  • Fla State – just make the tackle on that final play and it is all over. 27.5 point favorite and they lose to Jackson State. Seminoles are back in my doghouse
  • Notre Dame – skates by, but sometimes that’s what it takes. Likewise¬† for Miami against App State. Same for Texas A&M against Colorado
  • Don’t know how good Tennessee is, but it still felt like a good win by Pitt on the road
  • Is Ole Miss for real? I still don’t know
  • Taking care of business – PSU had no look ahead for Auburn
  • Congrats to Stanford for the big win over USC. It feels better when the Cardinal is relevant.
  • The Hokies looked good. So did the Hawkeyes. It seems every time I watch Iowa State play they don’t seem to show up.

The picks should be getting easier by week three, but it doesn’t feel that way. I blame it on too many cupcakes and we still have one more week of this to go. Here’s the lowdown on my picks.

  • I seem to recall seeing Louisville play on a side screen in my game room and my recollection is that they were awful. I think UCF covers even though they are at Louisville.
  • Was really surprised that the line on the Va Tech vs WVU game was only 3. I was even more surprised that the Mountaineers were the favorites. Morgantown isn’t that far from Blacksburg. I like the Hokies in this one.
  • I always like to pick the game that I will be at. The Aggies are favored by 29.5 over the Lobos. However, the Lobos are 2 – 0 and A&M will be playing with a back up QB. The Hokies will roll, but maybe not by 30.
  • My last bet is an emotional hedge, but I also wasn’t that impressed with PSU against Wisconsin. I am going to take Auburn and the five points. I want the Nittany Lions to win, but it is going to be a tight one.

There’s also a little game down in Gainesville that should be interesting. Or at least I hope it is interesting. I think we have all had enough of Alabama rolling through the SEC and then winning the national title. I respect the excellence, but please anyone but Bama this year.

That’s all I got so don’t forget to check out the just published Wisconsin review.

Tree

 

On the couch with this week’s picks

This week, on the couch.

After a long double weekend, I am not going to lie. I am happy to recover on the couch this weekend. It was a great time, but I am knackered.

 

Some thoughts on last week:

  • Minnesota did just about everything I could ask for. It was a close game that nearly went down to the wire
  • I was very pleasantly surprised by the Hokies. The only thing was that I missed the game as I was getting a nice buzz sitting on the “Terrace” at the Wisconsin Campus. I had such a good time I didn’t regret missing the Hokies outstanding defensive performance
  • Like the Gophers, Wisconsin nearly met expectations. A wire to wire game that was great to watch. Just a blast, but it felt like, even with the two PSU picks, that Wisconsin lost that game rather than PSU won it.
  • The Golden Flashes kept it close for awhile, but I knew the heat and their depth would catch up with them. A&M did what they were supposed to.

Other observations:

  • Good job by FSU. Maybe that program is finally turning the corner. Miami, however, not so much.
  • What exactly does the defense do at Oklahoma’s practices? Maybe they spend a lot of time on non-violent, problem resolution. How else do you explain 35 points to the Green Wave of Tulane?
  • Unless Georgia’s season goes into the toilet, Clemson won’t see much impact from this loss if they run the table from here on. It may be the same for LSU’s loss to UCLA, but I doubt it.
  • How’s that Grizzly cupcake taste, UW? Bitter, I would guess.
  • Nice to see Iowa State managed to survive the annual UNI scare
  • It didn’t take long for the other shoe to drop on Randy Edsell at UConn. Frost at Nebraska can’t be too confident beating up on Fordham, especially when Illinois loses to UTSA.

I am not loving my picks this week. There’s still not enough of a baseline to really know the UMass from the Bama’s yet. So with that disclaimer in place, here are my picks.

  • I was only slightly impressed with Ohio State last week. They really couldn’t stop Minnesota. I get the feeling the Ducks can keep it under fourteen.
  • I really don’t believe in the Huskies, but strange things can happen when coaches get fired. Plus, always bet against Cakes! (See the Sports Junkies on 106.7 the Fan in DC).
  • Again, this is really a guess, but I think the Cougars will be just enough to cover against the Owls.
  • Maybe Montana is really good, but I doubt it. I think Michigan runs away with this one.

 

2021 Week 1 Picks

Not a bad week, last week as I went 3 -1. Almost a sweep, but Hawaii let me down big time.

  • The Bruins just rolled over them. When I saw this game, I was all UCLA but damn Facebook flashed pictures of our trip to Hawaii a couple of years ago and nostalgia took over.
  • Do you think Randy Edsell regrets leaving UConn the first time? Probably not because he got paid, but, boy, the Huskies are bad.
  • Nebraska losing to Illinois was the pick I was most confident of this weekend because their coach Nick Frost just seems out of his element. The post game comments that they lost half their offense when Illinois defense lined up pretty much backs that up.
  • UTEP beating New Mexico was a little more than a guess. I had it in the back of my mind that the Miners had improved. I think the couple of times I saw them they were nothing if not competitive. I recall a down to the wire game with La Tech a few years ago that seriously cut into my Monroe-Funroe trip.

The first week is already hard to pick, but none more so than this year. Between COVID, portal transfers and generally just a lot of churn, it is really hard to figure out who has what.

With that disclaimer, it is on to the real Week 1.

  • OSU covering Minnesota -14.This is an emotional hedge for sure. I would love to see the Gophers keep this close so the game is a good time. I doubt they have the horsepower to hang with the Buckeyes for four quarters, but it would be nice.
  • Hokies getting five against the Tarheels. North Carolina is on a lot of dark horse lists this year. Coming into Lane Stadium for a night game is never easy and this is the kind game the Hokies tend to win. No emotional hedge here, I am taking the Hokies and the 5.5 points they are getting.
  • Going with PSU at Wisconsin is another emotional hedge. I am taking the Lions and the 5.5 points. Again, if the Badgers win, it just means a good time in Madison.
  • For my last pick, I am going local and taking the Aggies to handle Kent State. it seems like the MAC isn’t quite the conference it used to be. Too much Texas heat and too much travel spells doom for the Golden Flashes.

Some other random observations:

  • How bad is Syracuse have to be basically a pick ’em against Ohio. That’s the Bobcats not the Buckeyes btw.
  • It feels like Army should beat Georgia State. The Black Knights have seen a bit of resurgence the last couple of years so an upset would not be surprising.
  • Cupcake of the week: TCU hosting Duquesne. Anytime a school is playing a team that yours truly played against, it raises an eyebrow. To be fair, the Dukes are a far cry away from the D3 team I played against. They are now an FCS power so maybe I should give the Horned Frogs kudos for scheduling. But really, it is tough enough for Kent State to come down and play in Texas. TCU should roll in this one.

That’s all I got, see you in the cheap seats.

And a way we go

UPDATE: Here’s my PICKS for the week.

No offense to UCLA, Illinois, Fresno State and UTEP, but now the season starts for real. First stop for me is Saint Paul, Minnesota to see the Gophers host the Buckeyes. Well, technically speaking, the first stop is actually the Minnesota State Fair. I was told that if I was going to Minnesota to see the Gophers, it had to be when the snow hit the ground. I laughed that off. I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania. We eat snow for breakfast in Erie. I have played more than my share of football games in the snow. I have also sat through many games in the snow. No offense to my Gopher friend, who I won’t remind that we also have the O.G. – the Original Gopher – in Punxsutawney Phil, but I don’t need my snow card punched. It would seem hitting the State Fair is a good compromise anyway. It is a Thursday night game and I can’t wait to feel sixty degree weather again after roasting all summer in Houston.

Alas, I won’t get to spend much time in Saint Paul as I will have to hop a bus to get to Madison, Wisconsin. Yes, another first for my somanystadiums tour. I had all intentions of renting a car and making the leisurely drive over to Madison while happily munching on cheese curds. However, when I went to rent a car, it was an astronomical $350 a day. I considered flying, but the times were just inconvenient so it was “one bus ticket, please”. It will be worth it to see PSU play Wisconsin in one of the best games of the weekend. I am a little bummed that the kickoff is at 11am but I am still looking forward to jumping around in Camp Randall. Haven’t got the tickets yet for either game and was surprised to see that the Minnesota game is the hotter and more expensive ticket right now.

Did I mention that Fox’s version of ESPN Game Day, Big Noon Kickoff, will be at both locations? I don’t really know what that vibe will be like. It feels like I should do my duty to check it out. To be honest, that kind of thing is good for about a half hour live. See the set, have a beer, and then bolt. Unless Fox is going to give me A.D.’s (attention dollars) by putting me on stage, I’d be happier eating a brat and drinking a Milwaukee’s Best (when in Rome…). That’s nothing against Fox by the way, I would say the same thing about ESPN’s Game Day which I have done a couple of times.

They are also kicking off the Dos Equis Ultimate College Football Road Trip. Mark Titus and Charlotte Wilder (yeah, I had to look them up too) are going to various towns to check out the tailgates etc. They kick off the tour with a stop at a local Madison bar, SCONNIEBAR, on Friday night. You may have forgotten when Dos Equis’ snubbed me in their most interesting fan in college football contest, but I have not. Given that the North Carolina – Virginia Tech game starts at the same time, I am strongly considering giving Titus and Wilder the stiff arm. I am a Modelo Negra guy anyway. On the other hand, it is Friday Fish Fry at SCONNIE’s – Perch anyone?

 

Picks: Week 0, 2021

If you follow this site with any regularity, you know that my picks are only slightly better than a coin toss. Betting on college football is hard, particularly in Week 1, or in this case, Week 0. Nonetheless, I am throwing caution to the win (pun intended) and making picks, essentially blind. All picks with the spread included. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  • Illinois over Nebraska with the points . Picking coaching pedigree here more than anything else. Bret Bielema for the win. It feels like the Frost era is going to end with a whimper and not a bang.
  • I really Randy Edsell, but the Huskies just can’t seem to turn it around. A long trip to Ca isn’t going to help. I like Fresno¬†State to cover despite the huge point spread.
  • Hawaii with the points over UCLA. Two years ago we were in Hawaii watching the Warriors win a heartstopper led by then backup Chevan Cordeiro. He’s starting today and I think he can keep it close.
  • UTEP over New Mexico State. Whew, historically, these are some the worst teams in college football and I plan to see them both this year in their home stadiums. I am taking the Miners to be less bad. A negative negative equals a positive.