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.

 

In the comfort of my own home

This week we are back at home, looking forward to seeing LSU host Alabama – on my couch, nice and cozy. It was a great time at Notre Dame last week, but it was cold. I am a little behind on my reviews, but here are my thoughts for last week:

I saw Ga Southern take 2OTs to beat South Alabama earlier this year. There is no way I can fathom how they beat App State – and it kept me from a perfect week. Maybe I should have noticed that they only lost to undefeated Minnesota by three points.

After Nebraska’s loss to Purdue, they have to win two out of three against Wisconsin, Maryland, and Iowa. I don’t see that happening. The season highlight for the Huskers? Game Day coming before the Ohio State slaughter.

Florida losing to Georgia ends their season. The remainder of their schedule, Vanderbilt, Missouri, and Florida State, gives them nothing to bolster their reputation.

Really thought Kansas would give K-State more trouble. Apparently not.

Did Clemson play this week? Oh yeah, they played Wofford – cupcake city. But, next few games could be trouble. NC State, Wake Forest, South Carolina

Memphis and SMU represented the AAC well on national TV.

Mac Brown has another rough weekend as UNC loses to Virginia by seven.

Oregon rolls against USC, but their remaining schedule won’t help much. Even with SEC (Bama and LSU) and Big Ten (PSU and Ohio State) eliminating two of the top four, I think they are going to need help to get into the FBS playoff.

Escapes: Baylor by over WVU by three, ND over VT by one, Cincinnati over East Carolina by three.

It was a good week for my picks. If not for the aforementioned App State lost, I would have gone a perfect four and oh. Alas I will have to settle for three and one. VT gave an inspired performance against ND, only to come up one point short but more than close enough given the 17 points they were getting. Georgia won outright and Bowling Green easily covered to give me a nice weekend. This week I like Boston College to easily handle a dying FSU and Iowa to keep it within 9.5 points against Wisconsin. Baylor should beat TCU by more than two. Lastly, I like LSU even if the game is in Tuscaloosa.

Thoughts on this week’s game:

  • What has happened to Army since they lost to Michigan 24 -21? They are now three and six with losses to Georgia State and San Jose State. Ouch. At least UMass is coming to town this weekend. That ought to be a win. Imagine if Michigan had lost to Army. I don’t think you’d see two Big 10 teams in the top four FBS rankings.
  • Ugh: South Alabama (1-7) vs Texas State (2-6) – I may have seen the best performance of South Alabama this year when they lost to Georgia Southern in OT.
  • Answer Games: Kansas State (6-2) at Texas (5-3) and Wake Forest (7-1) at Virginia Tech (5-3). See if the Power Cats and Demon Deacons are for real
  • I can’t believe Illinois is 5-4. Lovie Smith has righted the ship and that is saying something after they nearly lost to UConn. They should beat MSU.
  • Ole Miss has New Mexico State (0-8) this week. I bet they wished that was every weekend.
  • For some reason, I can see App State having a bounce back game against South Carolina
  • San Jose State versus Hawaii will probably be a good game. Too bad nobody will stay up to see it.

That’s all I got. Enjoy the games.

Preparation and Planning

No game again this week which will allow me to catch up on some reviews (but maybe not yet the Ducks and Beavers) and do some planning for next week’s big game at Notre Dame. Before I go into my picks for this week, just a few thoughts on last week.

  • Why did Washington get called for unsportsmanlike for hiding the return man on the kickoff? Terrible
  • Va Tech UNC finish was not great football but was still a blast to watch. I really like the two point conversion rule. 
    • And with that result, the ACC Coastal is officially a mess.
  • Texas escapes. I am not sure if they are as good as they think they are.
  • Vandy upsets Missouri – I knew the Tigers were overrated
  • Baylor exorcised some demons against Oklahoma State. Maybe they are legit.
  • Even though the Ducks won against the Huskies, Oregon’s defense laid an egg.
  • Gophers still undefeated and with the Terps coming to town they will probably stay that way.
  • South Carolina’s Coach, Will Muschamp, was completely right when he went off on the officials after their game with Florida. I can give a pass on the missed holding call given the angle of the official, but missing the offsides was inexcusable.

I finally had a good week with my picks. I went three and one with Appalachian State and Virginia rolling coupled with the upset by Vanderbilt. It was only a lackluster performance by ODU’s offense that kept me from four and oh. This week I like Tulane getting four against Navy. The Green Wave is having a good year. Even though they are home and have the same record as UCF at 5 – 2, Temple is still getting 11 points. Admittedly, I don’t feel great about it but I am taking the Owls. I do feel good about Boston College getting 35 against Clemson. The Tigers are shaky. I am taking the Utes over the Cal Bears on the transitive property. I saw Utah beat Oregon State by 45 two weeks ago in Corvallis and then last week the Beavers beat Bears. How can Utah not crush Cal?

Some other thoughts on Week Nine.

  • It will be interesting to see which Badgers show up at the Horseshoe. Will it be the team that smoked Michigan or the one that choked against Illinois?
  • App State should stay undefeated with an easy win against South Alabama.
  • Do they Scarlet Knights of Rutgers have any pride? Liberty comes to town at 5-2 but it would still be an embarrassing loss for the Big Ten.
  • Can I call Penn State’s contest against Michigan State a trap game with a looming game against a likely undefeated Minnesota?
  • LSU should handle Auburn.
  • Bargain of the week. UVA at Louisville tickets going for $2.
  • Not a bargain at any price: 1 – 6 UConn at 1 – 6 UMass.

 

Enjoy the games,

 

Tree

Rest and recovery

Relaxing on the couch this weekend after some heavy travel. I am still working on the update to the Alabama review. The original is a classic so I am feeling some pressure with the update. It won’t match the jailhouse experience, but at least there will be pictures. I also have reviews due on South Alabama, UAB, Oregon and Oregon State. So yeah, I am a bit behind.

I had a great trip to Oregon last week even if the games were duds. The weather and scenery was absolutely beautiful. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that I may be short changing the experience by trying to cram so many stadiums in each year. With a two hour flight delay in Houston, I missed the kickoff of the Ducks game, not by much, but I didn’t get to tailgate with the Oregon faithful either. Oregon State was a lot of fun, but I also had a short night with a flight that left Portland at 5AM. It may be time to start emphasizing quality over quantity.

Some great games last week, but most of mine was through scoreboard watching.

  • I did catch the end of the USC – Georgia game. I am not saying the SEC and ACC are on the same level, certainly not this year. However, I do seem to recall UNC beating USC. Any give Saturday, just about any FBS can beat another one. So let’s stop giving the number two SEC team a free pass.
  • LSU is the real deal and so, apparently, is Texas despite their loss.
  • While I am glad Penn State won, I kind of feel bad for 6-0 SMU. Their game against 5-1 Temple would have been a great option for Game Day. Instead, it is a repeat visit to Happy Valley
  • The Oregon State game was as bad as it looked. Talk about a beat down.

Another even week at 2-2. Texas State didn’t cover and the Beavers could not muster any Homecoming spirit. The Ducks, however, rolled over the Buffs and Texas kept it close against Oklahoma.

Due to time constraints this week, my picks are all Saturday games. App State is giving up 15.5 against UL-Monroe, but the Mountaineers are the real deal. I think Virginia covers against Duke. I am taking Vandy and the points because I still don’t believe in Mizzou. Lastly, I was relatively unimpressed with UAB against Rice although they eventually did cover. Maybe ODU is missing their QB? I probably should have done some research to see why they are getting 17 points, but I am picking them anyway.

Thoughts on some other games this week:

  • I would think the Ducks would beat the Huskies, but the PAC 12 is really hard to figure out. If Oregon loses, I don’t think the PAC 12 gets anyone in the FBS playoff.
  • Really wanted to hit the Temple versus SMU game today, but I just couldn’t make my schedule work. Bummer
  • Minnesota is going to stay undefeated. No way Rutgers beats them.
  • Bargain of the week Nevada at Utah State – $2 gets you in the game.

That’s all I got, enjoy the game.

Just do it?

The week started off great thanks to the South Alabama Jags. While they did lose the game against Georgia Southern, they still covered. It was also a very entertaining game to see live. South Alabama’s going to get a good review. Friday night was not nearly as satisfying as UCF lost to the Bearcats of Cincinnati. The Knights are dead to me and the New Year’s Day bowl selection committees. Saturday was a mixed bag. I really thought Troy was going to score enough against Mizzou to cover, but it was another loss. My UAB experience was dismal but at least the Blazers put it together enough in the second half to cover against Rice in the rain. It was about the only redeeming feature of my UAB experience. So once again, average reigns supreme at somanystadiums, where I went 2 -2 for the week.

Other observations on last week.

  • Big win by Florida, looking to the LSU game to provide some clarity in the top 10.
  • SMU wins in triple OT. Definitely trying to find a way to get to Ford Field this year.
  • Some good looking teams in the Big 10: Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin all dominate. And don’t forget Minnesota at 5 – 0 ?!?
  • Gotta give San Jose State some love. They win again to go 3 – 2 even it was against New Mexico
  • Oklahoma State just doesn’t seem to like success. Just when they crack the top 25, they get upset by Texas Tech
  • The ACC is a mess. Pitt beats Duke and Hokies upset the ‘Canes in Miami. Just nuts.
  • Whew: Michigan, Nebraska both escaped with close wins.
  • What, still undefeated? Baylor, Boise State, Memphis all still trucking.

I didn’t like the options for Thursday night, but I have to pick someone. I am going with the Bobcats of Texas State to cover at home against the ULL Warhawks. Friday night, it is an emotional hedge. I’d prefer a good game since I will be seeing it live in Eugene, but if it is a blowout, at least I get the win. Saturday is the same as I go with the Beavers to keep it close at home against the Utes. My other pick is Texas. I figure the Longhorns to keep it close in the Red River Shootout.

Other observations for Week 7:

  • I don’t think the Cavaliers will sneak up on the ‘Canes like the Hokies did. However, I don’t think it will matter either. Virginia wins.
  • Undefeated Memphis heads to one-loss Temple. I am pulling for the Owls because that will set up a great game against SMU the next week.
  • I would like to see Texas A&M give Alabama a good game, but that doesn’t mean I think that will happen
  • First real for Penn State as they visit Iowa. Some of the luster is gone after the Wolverines beat the Hawkeyes last week.
  • So how many times do you think ESPN will show an alligator grilling at a LSU tailgate. The answer is too many. I like the Tigers in this one.
  • Lastly, UNLV at Vanderbilt tickets going as low as $2, so if you are in Nashville this weekend…