Tennessee @ Oregon: (-26.5): Another week and another huge line for the Ducks. And I'll happily take them again. On paper Tennessee seems like a more formidable foe than Virginia but a little deeper look tells you that might not be the case. First, this game is in Eugene, one of the best home environments in college football. Secondly, this is an extremely young Volunteer team. They have 18 freshman in their two deep and I don't think I'm breaking any news when I tell you that none of those freshman have ever played in an atmosphere like they'll see on Saturday. Finally, Tennessee's impressive 52-20 victory over Western Kentucky isn't as impressive you learn that the Hilltopper offense turned the ball over 5 times in the span of six offensive plays during the first half of last Saturday's game. You'd be hard pressed to turn the ball over that many times on Madden, even if you were trying (Western Kentucky turned the ball over 7 times total). The point is, I don't think Tennessee is very good. I also think Oregon might be the best team in the country. There's no doubt they're the most explosive (watch the video, Thomas' combination of speed, body control and awareness is otherworldly on his 59 yard jet sweep TD run). The Ducks win big.
Alabama (-7.5) @ Texas A&M: TJ's really letting his editorial power go to his head. First he calls me out for not being as prompt with my picks as he'd like last week and then he demands that Danimal and I pick the Bama-A&M game in this week's column. I thought this was about gambling, not TJ's own personal interests. As usual, I'm wrong. I won't' actually bet on this game because I don't have a strong enough feeling either way. However, if forced to pick (which I am) I'll go with Alabama. Not as much because of the whole tired "revenge" angle (Alabama still won the BCS Title, you know) but because of the second half adjustments that Nick Saban made during last year's loss to the Aggies. Alabama put CJ Mosley on Johnny Manziel as a spy and dropped a safety in the box for much of the second half which limited the rushing opportunities for John Football (h/t @notthefakeSVP) and forced him to beat Alabama's defense over the top. I have no reason to believe that Saban and Alabama DC Kirby Smart haven't come up with a few more defensive wrinkles to make things harder on A&M over the offseason. That, combined with my complete lack of faith in the Aggie defense means the Tide win and cover.
Louisville (-13.5) @ Kentucky: My love for Teddy Bridgewater is well documented. I've been singing his praises in the comments of this fair blog for the past 3 years now. Even his masterful performance in Louisville's Sugar Bowl whipping of my beloved alma mater can't keep me from loving Teddy B. I had the opportunity to see him play in a 7-on-7 passing camp between his junior and senior year of high school and was blown away. He was (to my untrained eye) so much more advanced as a passer than any other high school QB I'd seen. Because I live in Florida and Bridgewater played at one of the premier high school programs in South Florida (Miami Northwestern), I also had the chance to watch him play on TV numerous times during his senior year. I was no less impressed during that time either. Did I think he'd one day be a top candidate to be the first pick in the NFL Draft? I won't say that I projected that but I was very confident he'd be a top flight college QB. By this point, everyone knows about Teddy Bridgewater. And most people know about the schedule of cupcakes that Louisville has in 2013. The Kentucky game ranks as one of their biggest tests. No, really. With that said, I don't think it's going to be much of a test for more than a quarter or two. Kentucky lost to Western Kentucky a couple of weeks ago. The Wildcats are about to lose to another in-state rival, and lose big. Cardinals, Cardinals, Cardinals.
Saints (-3) @ Bucs: The Bucs are a fucking mess. They had a MRSA breakout in their locker room which led to their kicker's wife calling out the organization on Twitter. Their coach may or may not have rigged a team vote to strip the captaincy of their starting QB. That same starting QB missed the team picture two weeks ago. And they lost their first game to the Jets. A game which saw them penalized 13 times (Wasn't Greg Schiano supposed to be all about discipline?), the last of which directly led to the game winning FG for New York and, oh yeah, the offense was openly fighting on the sidelines during the game. Things are just great in Tampa Bay. With all of this going on, the Saints come to town. Did I mention that they Bucs had the worst pass defense in the league last season? No? Well, they did and it doesn't look a whole lot better this year. I fully expect the Saints to throw the ball all over the field on Sunday and drop at least 30 on Tampa. Take your kid's college fund and bet it on the Saints.
Floyd Mayweather (-200) v. Canelo Alvarez: Mayhugh is probably the only other regular G:TB reader who actually cares about this fight. I'm sure he and I care enough for the rest of you guys though. This is the biggest fight in at least the last 5 years. And I'm pumped for it. Not many people are very big Floyd Mayweather fans. He's obnoxious, materialistic and arrogant. He's also a once in a generation talent and, perhaps, the greatest defensive fighter in history. Canelo Alvarez is boxing's young rising star as well as the rare red headed Mexican (I don't now that red heads are rare in Mexico. I just assume as much). This fight has all the makings of a classic. The young up and comer taking on the established superstar near the end of his hall of fame career. I can't wait. I'll take Mayweather in a split decision.
Terrible Sunday Morning Hangover (-250) @ Me: It's a bye week for Florida so I'm taking advantage and heading off to Tampa with some friends to see Depeche Mode. As someone who grew up listening to his sister's Depeche Mode tapes, this is a pretty cool thing. I'm super excited to see a band I've been listening to for over 20 years but have never had the chance to see live. The show doesn't start until Saturday night so we'll be pre gaming with Bama-A&M. Then after the show, we'll be heading over to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino (3 miles from the concert venue and our hotel) for some ill advised gambling and to watch the Mayweather-Canelo fight. All in all, a pretty nice little Saturday (we have even hit Home Depot. I don't know. I don't know if we'll have enough time). Of course, I'll pay the price Sunday morning. This old guy doesn't recover like he once did. The booze will win. It always does.
|Hmmm, that guy on the far left looks vaguely familiar...|
I actually tried to get ahead of the game on this by looking at the games this Monday, but it didn’t quite work out as planned. If you’re counting at home, you know that Mark is a very impressive 5-1 on the year; Danimal not so much at 2-4. (2-1 on money bets!)
So let’s hop to it.
BC +13.5 vs USC: USC got shellacked last week which brings pure joy to most here. Lane’s a d-bag for sure, one of the biggest. I’m going to give him some benefit of doubt this week though and predict an adjustment of sorts. Throw in a little jet lag and time difference and I’m gonna say USC whacks the inferior athletes of BC. Love me some TROJANS!
Akron +37 vs Michigan: I saw Michigan play last week. And I followed the Akron game too. They played JMU and barely eked out a doubya. Michigan kinda sorta impressed me…the QB is someone I wish was on my team. Michigan scored 41 on ND’s average defense, but I gotta think 100X better than Akron’s right?! Sure it is! I’m taking the Wolverines and givin the points baby!
|Paul William "Pug" Bryant|
OH MY GOD...IS THAT...WAIT, IT'S THE GREAT MASKED GUEST PICKER'S MUSIC!!!!
(This was authored prior to this game's postponement. No matter! Read it!)
Fresno State (-7.5) at Colorado: Flash flooding is hitting Boulder and causing deaths. It’s worst in Lyons, Colorado, which as you know is the home of Dale’s Pale Ale. (Thank goodness for the new Brevard brewery.) The Buffs have bigger things to worry about than football and smoking weed, for once. And the Bulldogs don’t care. Ask Trent Dilfer. Beastie lyric that lets you know who to bet on: Got busy in Frisco, fooled around in Fresno / Got over on your girlie cause you know she never says no. Bulldogs
Stanford (-30) at Army: The Black Knight. The Cardinal. Kind of where Holy Grail meets Spanish Inquisition. Black and red. Like a checkers game. Also, I have done wonderfully dirty things with the Army coach’s niece. Beastie lyric that lets you know who to bet on: Elvis shaved his head when he went to the Army / That’s right y’all his name is Johnny. Kick it. Black Knights
Wagner (+28) at Syracuse: Wagner will attempt to ride the Valkyries and create some magic fire music. Syracuse will manhandle them. But the oracle of the Beasties says 28 is enough. Beastie lyric that lets you know who to bet on: Dropping science like Galileo dropped the Orange. Seahawks
Nicholls State (+25.5) at Louisiana-Lafayette: Ragin’ Cajun chicken at Popeyes is good. But wait . . . Beastie lyric that lets you know who to bet on: Got the girlies in the Coupe like the Colonels’ got the chickens. Colonels
Alabama (-7.5) at Texas A&M: For real insight, check with Mark or Dan. Here, you can just know that I have done wonderfully dirty things with girls on the crimson tide. Beastie lyric that lets you know who to bet on: Who shall inherit the earth the meek shall / And yo, I think I'm starting to peak now Al . . . (abama). Crimson Tide