big east

2013-14 college football bowl game picks & predictions

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at long last we finally see the BCS BS drift out to sea with the tide on a flaming funeral pyre worthy of king odin himself. adieu, sweet BCS. we come not mourn it but to bury it. ah well, cheap prose aside, the brinks trucks will still be backing up to off load their small, used, and completely laundered cash to all the deans, AD’s, conference commissioners, TV executives, and all the other assorted college football hangers-on across this once great land. however, one of the great axioms of life, be careful what you wish for, looms around the corner. though that corner won’t be around till next year at this time.

bowl season. the extracurricular college football season meant to line the pockets of everyone far and wide in the land of the halls of ivy. of course, if you haven’t played your cards right you’re left out in the bowl cold. no golden cash cow for you, pilgrim. perhaps next year. or the year after. the carrot is dangled. hope springs eternal in the gloomy halls of the have nots and wannabes. next year, kids. next year.

i used to love bowl games. not anymore. yeah, there’s a handful i’ll tune into every year but the list grows shorter with the passing of time. plus i have a new wrinkle, this year DISH has added HBO on demand to their menu. woo hoo. ‘the sopranos’ in their six seasons of glory all there for the viewing. i have something else to watch now instead of my meager few bowl games. works for me. pass the dago red. i only have until december 31st or that’s what they say before tony and crew vanish. sure, i’ve got the whole thing in a boxed DVD set. but who knows how to run a DVD player anymore? ours just sits there like some brick-a-brack collecting dust so the cleaning lady can make the occasional feeble stab at dusting it.

yes, i know. you aren’t here for that. you want a bowl line-up run down. fine with me. you’ll get one. not all of them but a few i may or may not actually tune into while waiting for the next episode of ‘the sopranos’ to download. another sad fact of life is most of the bowl games are junk junkets at best. crack whores dressed as sexily clad sirens luring hicks and hucksters alike to warmer climes. come. spend your cash. watch your team play some other 6 and 6 team. either team may or may not be into said bowl or even playing football this time of year. but who cares? not us. bring your money on down. be drunken sailors on leave for a few days or better yet, a week. so what if you end up with a DUI or herpes or a six inch gash on the back of your head from that full can of PBR lobbed in your general direction during half time while you stood in line for 25 minutes so you could pee in a trough urinal with 10 or 15 of your new best friends. sweet. it doesn’t get any better than that. right? boy howdy, i’ll wager not.

it’s all about the money, kids. with some other stuff thrown in for good measure. football is on the list. somewhere. you may have to do some digging and if you’re very lucky you may even find it. off the top of my head i’m thinking you’ll probably find jimmy hoffa before you’ll find any football.

i don’t waste my time with points or spreads or whatever with the bowl games. just straight up picks. for those that are still reading and maybe even care a tad my overall percentage for my picks this season ended up at 61.3%. a good 10 points above my usual mediocrity.

rock ‘n’ roll.

12-21 las vegas bowl. fresno st vs usc. i may watch this game. or some of it. to bad cajun ed isn’t still around. the sark hire by the trojans is a head scratcher for sure. take the trojans. FIGHT ON!!!

12-30 alamo bowl. oregon vs texas. the ducks need to win this game in order to quell the ‘it’s a coaching problem’ talk. QUACK!!! QUACK!!!

12-31 sun bowl. virginia tech vs ucla. coach mora got a wagon load of money to stay at ucla. if he hadn’t he would have replaced sark in seattle. take ucla.

12-31 chick-fil-a bowl. miami vs texas a&m. one i’ll probably watch. it’s either johnny boys last college game or he begins his heisman campaign anew. hopefully, the month lay off hasn’t raised more issues with his off field behavior. take the aggies.

1-1 capital one bowl. s. carolina vs wisconsin. i’m hoping the capital one guys will be trotting out some new commercials as they’re generally good for a few laughs. the game? take the badgers.

1-1 the rose bowl. michigan st vs stanford. the grand pappy of em all. one i usually watch or at least some of it anyway. though no matter how snooty the bib and tucker crowd in pasadena tries to make the day it’s just another lackluster stab at debauchery and the dry heaves while running for some faded roses who’s smell was bred out of them years ago. there’s a kentucky derby simile in there some place. le gran pooh bah. the stale old vichy french could do no better. as the day drags on i suppose a game lurks about somewhere. the PAC(8)(10)12 vs the BIG 10(12)(?). the storied rivalry of your great grandparents played on the first day of the new born year. the san gabriel mountains glisten in the winter sun as a backdrop. they actually do turn purple as the sun sinks into the pacific. every year i pray for a deluge of biblical proportions if only to stem the tide of snowbirds fed up with their snow and cold. sadly,rain hasn’t happened in decades on jan 1. besides it’s already to late. that train left the tracks back in the early 60’s. however, it won’t stop me from my yearly ritual. the game? screw it. at this point who cares? not i, pilgrim. not i. however, if you do take stanford for the win.

1-6 BCS championship game. florida st vs auburn. the last one of it’s kind. ever. or that’s the thinking. though i guess there’s a possibility of it returning if the next deal doesn’t pan out. get real, that is a possibility. lots of stuff returns. kinda like the ‘touristas’ if you aren’t careful. hmmm. i don’t much care for this game and haven’t watched it in years. neither should you. why? it happens way too long after the season is over. plus, i’ll be busy getting ready for elvis’ birthday on the 8th. come on over. there’ll be drinks. way way to much fattening food. bowl upon bowl of all manner of pills. maybe even some demerol. that by the way is all a joke. i digress. the game itself is one long TV commercial with a few moments of football tossed in every once in a while. you could DVR it and watch it later but why? meh. let’s see. the rose bowl committee, escorts, and strippers from all over the world get another shot at fleecing the poor folk who come into town for the game. yeah, it off loads plenty of cash into the local economy. but you have to ask yourself, is it all worth it? probably not. yes, the chambers of commerce scalawags would argue otherwise. that’s their prerogative. and job. mine is to avoid them and their ilk whenever possible. i won’t be watching but i’d take florida st to win.

thanks for reading this and all my other football insanity this year. some of you get it. others, well, you know. i hope all of you have a joyous and merry christmas season. i hope santa brings you everything you want. sure why not? right? i also hope you have a healthy and prosperous new year. be safe. be semi sane. i’ll see you in nine months or so.

jmh

2011 college football picks week 14

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call me ishmael. what a great opening line from a classic novel about good and evil. thanks, herman. i don’t know why i got started on this path three weeks ago but i’ll try and steer clear of it from here on out. i had a stellar week to finish off the second to last week of the season by going 8 for 10 with my picks. making my over all stats for the year so far, 70 for 130. a nice bump to be sure in the over all percentage department. with any luck i’ll move it up a little higher with this weeks picks. championship game week, kids. along with the sadness that comes with it. sadness because the college football season is over and done with after this saturday. then it’s nine more months of sitting and waiting for the shortest sweetest season to roll back into our collective lives. yes, there are the bowl games and i’ll get to them next week. the NBA? their season is way too long and i lost all interest during the ‘thug years’. i ain’t going back. MLB? not what it used to be but it’s ok to while away the long hot days of summer. however, in the end it’s a yawn. NFL? nah, not anymore. college football is the only thing myself and plenty of other folks out there have left. sports wise. at least for now any the ways.

picking the 10 games for this week wasn’t that easy. of course, we’ve got the championship games themselves. they were easy enough but there’s just 5 of them. thankfully, there are still a few schools playing some other games as well. the obligatory finishing up the season deals. fine with me as it works in the over all symmetry of things. plus, it gives me something to yammer about other than THE BIG games.

for the last time this year, just remember this is for fun and entertainment purposes only. using anything here for legal or illegal gaming would be insane at best. a really dumb move on multiple levels. don’t do it. keep your wallet in your pocket where it belongs and nobody gets hurt. taking care of your families and even yourself is more important.

the point spreads used here are what i go by in determining my wins and losses for the week. the points may change by game times but what is here is what i use.

rock ‘n’ roll.

12/2 ucla @ oregon. PAC 12 championship. oregon favored by 31.5 points. i may as well jump on the bruins backed into this puppy bandwagon. boy howdy, you can say that again. humiliated by the trojans last week and six days later playing the ducks in the inaugural PAC 12 championship game. amazing. through the glass darkly indeed. hookah smoking caterpillars and all. what is going on here? well, i guess slick rick isn’t going to get one more game and maybe even a bowl game if somebody jerry rigs the flawed BCS deal even more as some are predicting. slick rick was fired by ucla yesterday. adios, slick rick. the timing is a bit odd but slick gets to coach this game friday then he’s gone. no jerry rigged bowl game for him. win or lose. yes, yes. it ain’t over till it’s over and the overweight operatic lady belts one out. however, the bruins winning this little nugget would be along the lines of, well, let’s just say some sort of divine intervention during this christmas season would be needed. though i’m sure visor head kelly will have his hands full this week keeping his kids focused on the game at hand and not down the road on some bowl game with all the related ‘stuff’ involved. he has enough trouble keeping some of them out of the backseat of police cruisers in eugene. it’s a load of points but the ducks should have no problem in covering them and winning. take the ducks. QUACK QUACK!!!!

12/3 s. mississippi @ houston. C USA championship. houston favored by 13 points. unless i’m mistaken this will be the first time all season either team has played a ranked opponent. good old C USA. houston playing at home is pretty much unstoppable. if case keenum is healthy and plays the cougars will probably roll over southern miss. a good game and another chance to watch an outstanding young quarterback. take houston to win and cover.

12/3 iowa st @ kansas st. kansas st favored by 10.5 points. iowa st gets one more shot at screwing up another schools december/january plans. though since their upset victory over oklahoma st things have slid downhill. some wags might even say back to normal. not me. yeah, most years their record blows. however, they are one of the perennial spoilers in the FBS. more often than not the cyclones are apt to screw up just about any other teams saturday. iowa st has also played 7 yes, SEVEN, ranked teams this year. yeah, ok they lost to most of them. however, look to those games as character building or trial by fire. plus, not many schools can say they played SEVEN ranked teams this year or another year for that matter. a let down last week for the cyclones. back in the saddle this week. take iowa st to at least get inside the spread and maybe even win.

12/3 texas @ baylor. baylor favored by 3 points. almost a toss up. home court advantage, the bears. texas righted their ship last weekend. will that be enough? maybe not. baylor has robert griffin lll at qb. take baylor to win and cover the spread.

12/3 georgia @ lsu. SEC championship game. lsu favored by 13 points. the game is supposedly being played on a neutral field. i guess a game played in another venue other than georgia’s sanford stadium is a neutral site for them. i would also guess that said game in atlanta would be considered an away game. i don’t think so. make no mistake this is a home game for the bulldogs. i hope georgia wins for any number of reasons. but i doubt they will. however, take the bulldogs to at least get inside the point spread.

12/3 new mexico @ boise st. boise st favored by 48.5 points. boise st failed, yet again, to cover the spread last week. thanks, wyoming for giving me the win. i probably should have picked the wyoming/colorado st game instead of this possible train wreck in the making game. new mexico has one of the worst FBS programs going. good luck to, bob davie in turning the lobos program around in the next few years. though he just might pull it off. plus, he gets to live in new mexico while he attempts doing just that. win win for him. kellen moore’s last regular season game. one last shot at churning out more smurf turf records. one last shot at impressing the heisman voters. the biggest question being, can he throw enough touchdown passes to cover the boat load of points? i see no reason for boise st not to cover the spread and win. take boise st.

12/3 byu @ hawaii. byu favored by 7.5 points. another filler game. though byu has very quietly come a long way since labor day weekend. even getting dumped on by the big east conference because byu wouldn’t play nice in the big east sandbox. i can’t really blame byu, the big east needed them. byu doesn’t need the big east. though byu does need the almighty big east AQ status. they also need their ninth win of the year to put a nice stamp on their decision to stay an indy and not share their TV bucks with anyone else. if byu’s qb is cleared to play and byu’s defense catches the plane bound for oahu the cougars should win and cover the spread. take them.

12/3 oklahoma @ oklahoma st. oklahoma st favored by 3.5 points. home field 3 plus for the cowboys. big time rivalry game here, kids. should be the game of the weekend. oklahoma st has had since november 18 and their loss to iowa st to get ready for this one. i’m assuming they’re ready to rumble. probably more than ready. take the cowboys to win and cover the points.

12/3 wisconsin @ michigan st. Big 10 championship. wisconsin favored by 9.5 points. i don’t get this one. a rematch of the game back in october. the spartans won at home. not a home game for the rematch but wisconsin is favored. is that it? what am i missing here? take michigan st to at least get inside the spread at minimum and more than likely to win again.

12/3 virginia tech @ clemson. ACC championship. virginia tech favored by 7.5 points. clemson is coming off two losses in a row. qb logan thomas is looking to reverse his loss at clemson back in october. he hasn’t lost a game since then. a perfect roll since october 1st. take virginia tech to win and cover the spread.

these games and some others close out the regular college football season. thanks to all of you for reading this year and i hope you find me again next year in september when i start the insanity all over again. you could also come back next week for my take on the college bowls for this year. i hope you do. either way the safe bet is as always, red meat and red wine. be safe. be semi sane.

jmh

2011 college football picks week 11

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i had another satisfying ok week by going 6 for 10 last time around. my over all now stands at, 53 for 100. respectability one week at a time. had the game of the decade gone differently or at least not been a defensive donnybrook with a slew of missed field goals and sundry other opportunities tossed under team buses things might have been different. having never been a fan of games where the defense puts on the show i thought it was a yawner and i actually fell asleep mid first quarter. well before it became even more apparent that no one was scoring anything near or resembling a touchdown for the evening. yeah, well, so sue me. i’m not a fan of leather helmet football. at any rate, it just goes to show you how important your field goal kicker(s) can be. see the ucla arizona st game as well. i should have also listened to myself and not taken boise st to cover the spread. something they have regularly failed at this year though they still remain undefeated. so far. but will it get them a shot at the big dance if they keep it up? i don’t know but i do know i don’t want to see lsu alabama play again any time soon.

as always this is for fun only. using anything you read here for any sort of gaming purpose would be incredibly insane and you would deserve whatever bad things come your way if you do. don’t be stupid, leave your wallet in your pocket where it belongs and nobody gets hurt. paying the rent and putting some decent food and vino on the table is much more important than helping to build bigger casinos somewhere.

the point spreads used here may change by game times. i don’t care. what is here is what i use to determine my wins and losses. onward.

rock ‘n’ roll.

11/10 virginia tech @ georgia tech. virginia tech favored by 1 point. let’s keep it simple for the thursday night game. take georgia tech to win.

11/12 auburn @ georgia. georgia favored by 13.5 points. i’m not sure where the 13.5 points are coming from. the game should be a close one. or that’s my thinking. take auburn to possibly win but they will get inside the 13.5 point spread.

11/12 w. virginia @ cincinnati. cincinnati favored by 3.5 points. neither school plays a tough schedule. though both play some pretty good football at times. take cincy and the home field 3 to win and cover.

11/12 michigan st @ iowa. michigan st favored by 2.5 points. the spartans haven’t done well on the road this year. iowa isn’t having one of their better years either. probably a close game. michigan st turns their road record around. take michigan st to win and cover the spread.

11/12 tcu @ boise st. boise st favored by 15 points. smurf turf home game where the boise squad doesn’t normally miss the spread. i’m sure tcu will really be up for this one. boise starts out slow but gains momentum. probably not like any of their recent bowl games but, take boise st to win and cover the points.

11/12 wyoming @ air force. air force favored by 14.5 points. wyoming air force? sure, why not? the cowboys are playing fairly well again after a number of years in the doldrums. when wyoming is winning or at least .500, i’m a fan for some reason. air force is always good for putting some points on the board and giving folks fits even if the falcons don’t win. in my opinion this will be a good one and a game i hope i’ll be able to watch. if the falcons play like they did against army they will be in trouble. i don’t think they will. however, this is an early bowl game for the cowboys. wyoming may not win but they’ll get inside the spread. take them.

11/12 nebraska @ penn st. nebraska favored by 3 points. plenty of off the field drama at penn st. take the cornhuskers to win and cover the points.

11/12 washington @ usc. usc favored by 12.5 points. the trojans come off a rout of colorado with matt throwing for a record 6 td’s. washington has surprised the trojans a few times the last couple of years. hopefully, lane has that figured out by now and there’s no letdown following last weeks game. if the trojans get some early points on the board they should roll. take usc to win and cover the spread. FIGHT ON!!!

11/12 ucla @ utah. utah favored by 7 points. it looks as if slick rick will keep his job. or at least for now. the bruins are still on top of the pac south with others. as odd as all that seems. plus, two wins in a row for ucla. heady territory for the ucla squad which will go bowling with another win. probably not the rose bowl but someplace. at any rate, the winning streak ends this week. norm chow will be looking to make a statement, count on it. take utah to win and cover the points.

11/12 oregon @ stanford. stanford favored by 3.5 points. unlike the ‘big game’ of last weekend this game should, at the very least, have a few touchdowns each by the end of the first quarter. if we’re lucky it will be a total shoot out or one or the other team will dominate on the field and on the scoreboard. the adage: ‘the best defense is a good offense’, applies here. the ducks are at a disadvantage playing away from autzen stadium and their rabidly wasted student fan base. stanford on the other hand may well be down their two best receivers for the game. maybe things will even out. none the less, i’m looking forward to this one, kids. rose bowl implications along with big dance implications. stanford hasn’t been in this position since the days of ty willingham. which brings to mind an email i sent off to a stanford web associate editor dealing with the new, at the time, stanford logo/nickname. i think i’ll share it with you. sure, why not? exactly. i figure if i leave out the young lady’s name it will be ok. no sense dragging her into this mess unannounced. yeah, i saved the exchange from 10 years ago.

hi guys,

hey, this may seem to be rather frivolus in these trying times, but well what can i say? i have been an off and on stanford football rooter for much of my 53 years. i really liked the indian nickname but i guess it proved to be too politically incorrect for some folks. not me i can assure you. we now have the new nickname, the cardinal, with a tree for a logo. a sequioa to be sure. a very noble tree and one of my favorites. however, it just doesn’t have the bite the indians had. particularly in a year like this one when you guys have a decent football team. my proposal would be to change the nickname yet again. this time to, the lelands. in honor of the founder of stanford, a former governor of california, and railroad big wig, leland stanford. what a perfect nickname! just imagine, you could use gold and silver railroad spikes in the logo. or a nice top hat. or both. wow! also, the once vaunted stanford marching band would have lots of stuff to play with making halftimes a fun time once again for us tv viewers. thanks for your time.

regards,

john hauge

stanford’s response:

Hello!

Thanks for your thoughts. I have forwarded your message on to the Athletics department for their consideration.

Sincerely,

(signed by the editor in question who will remain anonymous)

ok. so what does this all mean? the athletic department apparently ignored my novel, if not insane, suggestion. sadly. the game this week? no, i haven’t forgotten. the ducks are on the south side of the spread and if i’m not mistaken that’s a first for the year. possibly a sloppy playing field. if the stanford defense slows the ducks down early they may have some trouble. can the duck defense handle the thumping the trees running game will give them? this game is also andrew luck’s heisman trophy game. it’s the trees year. i love my ducks but take stanford to win and cover.

another great weekend of college ball with the safe bet as always being, red meat and red wine. hopefully, the predicted rain for these parts will let up enough for some protein on the barbie. enjoy your weekend and the games. be safe. be semi sane.

jmh

2011 college football picks week 8

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i’m coming off another stellar week of picks by going 8 for 10 again. that makes it two weeks in a row, kids. pretty sweet if you ask me. i was doing really well up until the last two games when i was sitting on 8 for 8. oklahoma and oregon both won but neither team managed to cover the spread. close but no brass ring and no going 10 for 10 last week. which just goes to show you how difficult it is to have a perfect weekend of picks against the spread. at any rate, i’m now 36 for 70 overall with my mojo seemingly on cruise control and hopefully still working for this week’s picks. i’m inching towards an even more respectable record.

the first BCS poll of the year is out which i’m sure has everyone upset along with something to say about it and/or be pissed off about it. or for most folks probably both at the same time. the bottom line is, with the bane of college football’s existence, the BCS poll, out this past sunday teams can no longer afford the luxury of losing any more games. that is if they want any shot at a decent bowl berth and a big money pay off come late december and early january. though regular readers know how i feel about the whole bowl game system.

as always, remember this is for fun only and the insanity expressed here is not meant to be taken to your local bookmaker, or out of state, or off shore, or off to some native american gaming spot where it could be used as advice for any gaming pursuits. only an insane person would do that. a really insane person. leave your wallet in your pocket where it belongs and nobody gets hurt. it’s as simple as that. paying the mortgage and putting food on the table is more important. don’t be stupid.

the point spreads used here are what i go by to determine my win/loss record for the week. the spreads may change by game time but for my purposes it matters not. onward.

rock ‘n’ roll.

10/20 ucla @ arizona. arizona favored by 3 points. neither school is playing very well. ok. sure. the other stoops is already gone and slick rick is hanging by a slender winning record semi sort of making him the king of pac 12 south. yes, of course it makes no sense. but it’s the brave new world order of college ball. odd thing is the wildcats are favored. even if it’s just the home field three. anyway, it’s a prime time thursday night game. more than likely a yawner but you never know. if the arizona kids aren’t totally demoralized they should win this one. if only for the gipper…er…the other stoops AND the guy who recruited them. giving them a chance to play college ball and get a pretty much free college education along the way. take arizona to win and cover the points.

10/22 oklahoma st @ missouri. oklahoma st favored by 7 points. a nice way to start off your saturday morning and all day saturday watching football day with probably a good game. an odd run on type sentence but who cares. also probably lots of points. missouri could win this one by a touchdown but i’m taking the cowboys to win and cover the spread. you should too.

10/22 auburn @ lsu. lsu favored by 22.5 points. a bunch of points. the good thing being it’s a home game for the tigers. so far auburn has been surprising at times this year. lsu is just too much for them though. take lsu to win and cover the points.

10/22 oregon @ colorado. oregon favored by 32 points. my beloved ducks didn’t cover the spread last week and it was half of what it is this week. the phrase, ‘a bunch of points’, comes to mind. i guess the main point being, colorado doesn’t have it this year. if oregon doesn’t get sloppy and they find someone else to step up and fill some more shoes they shouldn’t have any problem winning and covering the large spread. take the ducks. QUACK QUACK!!!

10/22 air force @ boise st. boise st favored by 31 points. smurf turf home game for boise and they rarely if ever get beat or miss the spread at home. air force is treading water this year. sorta like the jet fighter that had to ditch in the ocean then sits waiting for air sea rescue to show up. both schools rumored to have invites to join the big east. two semi west coast schools in the big east? makes sense to me. at any rate, boise st should walk all over the falcons this saturday. take boise st to win and cover the large spread.

10/22 tennessee @ alabama. alabama favored by 29 points. the volunteers did okay against the fighting road kill earlier in the season. although lsu handed them their helmets last week. the tide will do the same this week. take alabama to win and cover the spread. ROLL TIDE!!!

10/22 usc @ notre dame. notre dame favored by 9 points. one of the older college football rivalries. rabid domers still rant about the reggie bush push from the last decade. yeah, perceived slights are hard to let go of in the land of the golden dome. the trojan defense showed up for last week’s game and then played both sides of the ball for the trojan. or seemingly so. a very nice gesture as they’ve missed most of the season so far. this is usc’s bowl game for the year. or at least one of them. um, the pretend ones, since they can’t go to a real one this year. at any rate, if lane has half a brain he should be selling this game as just that, a bowl game. also the defense has to show up again this week and the offense has to run the ball more than a couple of yards at a time. then punt. the golden domers will win but take usc to cover the spread. FIGHT ON!!!

10/22 texas tech @ oklahoma. oklahoma favored by 28.5 points. plenty of points. the red raiders have done well against the fighting road kill. though when faced with a better opponent they’ve stumbled. they will again this week. stumble. oklahoma rolls on. take the sooners to win and cover the spread. if you get the chance or are a nam vet visit this texas tech site. you’ll be glad you did. http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/

10/22 washington @ stanford. stanford favored by 20 points. if washington had a better defense this might be a closer game. deal is they don’t. note the colorado final score. andrew luck shreds them this week. take the cardinal to win and cover the spread.

10/22 wisconsin @ michigan st. wisconsin favored by 9 points. yes, the spartans thumped old blue last week. trouble is the badgers can roll up some points. they will again this week against a tough state defense. take wisconsin to win and cover the points.

first BCS poll week and points must be made. there are some happy campers and pissed off rained on parades as well. the safe bet? red meat and red wine. be safe and semi sane. enjoy the games.

jmh

2011 college football picks week 6

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to be perfectly honest with you, due to life rearing it’s head i wasn’t able to watch any of the games this past weekend. sometimes semi unexpected stuff happens in our realm as well as out on the field. at any rate, i went 5 for 10 with my picks. incrementally better but still nothing to get really excited about. over all i’m now 20 for 50. i guess you could say i’m inching towards respectability. or something. once again a few teams didn’t cover the spread but still won. most notably were boise st and usc. over the past five years you would have made some considerable coin by picking boise st to cover the spread each week. recently they have failed to cover two weeks in a row. hopefully, this isn’t the new trend for them. if so things could get even more interesting. usc has also failed to cover while winning pretty much every week this year. a lame excuse to be sure but it’s all i’ve got at the moment.

as always, these picks are for fun only. nothing more. using my insanity to make yourself some extra folding stuff would be asinine at best. leave your wallet where it belongs and nobody gets hurt. the point spreads used here are what i go by to determine my win/loss record for the week. they may be different come game day but it matters not.

thankfully, everyone seems to have ended their exhibition season of playing the fighting road kill schools. given that i still had a bit of a problem picking my ten games for this week. we’re now into conference play and sadly most conferences have more than their share of fighting road kill type schools. mind you, that is not an endorsment for super conferences by any stretch of the imagination. it is just what it is. nothing more. onward.

rock ‘n’ roll.

10/6 california @ oregon. oregon favored by 24 points. after week 1 my beloved ducks have rolled up some points. visor head kelly has had two weeks to get ready for this home game against the mediocre bears. autzen stadium home game insanity. thursday night national TV. the kids get an early start on weekend binge drinking and by sunday afternoon the’ll begin to mirror ray milland in ‘the lost weekend’. take the ducks to win and cover the spread. QUACK QUACK!!!

10/7 boise st @ fresno st. boise st favored by 21 points. saying this is not fresno st’s year would be putting it mildly. even though this is a road game for boise and they’ve missed covering two weeks in a row, take boise st to win and cover the points.

10/8 oklahoma @ texas. oklahoma favored by 9.5 points. big time big 12 rivalry game. it’s the sooners year to shine. take oklahoma to win and cover.

10/8 georgia tech @ maryland. georgia tech favored by 14 points. georgia tech has put some points on the board this year against some of the fighting road kill schools. someone was impressed enough to work all that into a top 25 ranking for tech. maryland on the other hand lost to several of the fighting road kill schools. though they did beat miami. none the less, take georgia tech to win and cover the spread.

10/8 illinois @ indiana. illinois favored by 14.5 points. both teams spent the first weeks of the year sharpening their skills against the fighting road kill. illinois has some how parlayed all that into a top 25 ranking. yes, they did beat arizona st somehow. is it me or has the world turned upside down? i should scratch this game and pick another. but i’m lazy. take illinois to win and cover. hopefully.

10/8 iowa @ penn st. penn st favored by 4 points. another example of a not so stellar conference match up. this one could go either way as witnessed by the points. take the home team, penn st, to win and or cover the spread.

10/8 arizona st @ utah. arizona st favored by 4 points. small spread to be sure. probably because it’s another one that might go either way or sideways in a hurry for one of the schools. take arizona st to win and cover the spread and find some sort of redemption on the shores of the great salt lake.

10/8 florida @ lsu. no line. the game of the week and it’s even up. though as of this writing, i did find one betting spot that did have lsu favored by 5.5 points. however, i’m going with the consensus and no line. take lsu to win.

10/8 air force @ notre dame. notre dame favored by 16.5 points. tell you what kids. i’m going to make this one an upset special. take air force to win or at least get inside the points in the land of the golden domers.

10/8 auburn @ arkansas. arkansas favored by 10 points. possibly one of the better weekend match ups. a semi rivalry game aspect going for it. though i just don’t see auburn taking it to arkansas on their home field. not this year. take arkansas to win and cover the spread.

enjoy the weekend and the games. be safe and semi sane. red meat on the barbie and red wine in a glass is always a safe bet.

jmh

2011 college football picks week 5

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the interesting thing about college ball is (pick one or as many as you’d like), it ain’t over until it’s over, suppositions are just that – suppositions, home field may or may not mean anything, the gnashing of teeth, yelling at the TV, wondering just why somebody gave a particular somebody a coaching job, or for that matter a scholarship, are the referees for real?, college super conferences have been held at bay if only for the time being, cooler heads prevail(?). yes indeed, college football, ain’t nothing like it nowhere. my personal favorite would be the super conferences have been put on hold. again. the greed heads decided to go with family and said family being able to make a relatively short drive in the family car to see junior play the U of State on state’s home turf. in lieu of the family boarding a plane to fly several thousand miles each way while suffering any number of TSA gropings and assorted other indignities with only 3 ounces of fine brandy in their carry on luggage. plus, spending a boat load of cash for the privilege to go through all of that if not more. yeah, let’s hear it for the greed heads. Thanks, er…um…for now. i guess.

the weekend was abysmal on a couple of fronts. i suffered through a rather nasty sinus infection while waiting for the antibiotics to kick in. which thankfully they eventually did. then there’s the fact, some schools just can’t quite get a grip on covering the spread or winning when they bloody well should. god, the horror. yes, another sad week’s worth of picks. i went 4 for 10 and now stand at 15 for 40 over all. ouch.

as always, this is for fun only. if this were a business i would be unemployed by now. which i suppose technically i am as i’m retired. it must be pretty obvious so far this year for my regular readers, whom i do thank very much, that taking the drivel bandied about here and extrapolating it into any useful betting information would be utterly stupid if not impossible. though in my own defense, even if i were a perfect 40 for 40 i’d still be telling you this: leave your wallet in your pocket and nobody gets hurt. it’s really that simple. or at least a tad simpler than some 12 step gamblers deal. or even worse, explaining to the kids why you’ve squandered not only their college fund but dinner and breakfast money for many months to come. while also telling them the whole family will be celebrating christmas this year and probably the next by standing on the corner holding a tin cup with all the unemployed and homeless folk. oh, boy. merry christmas, little timmy. capisco? i hope so. ok. now that some sort of perspective has been brought to the festivities. onward.

rock ‘n’ roll.

9/30 utah st @ byu. byu favored by 7 points. byu is having one of those years. sort of like the one i’m having doing my picks this year. utah st did well against auburn in their first outing of the year. friday night nationwide spotlight with a rivalry aspect going it. byu has to step it up or it makes going independent look stupid. take byu to win and cover.

10/1 alabama @ florida. alabama favored by 4 points. one of the better match ups for saturday even though i’m not feeling the gators at number 12. be that as it may, take bama to win and cover the points. ROLL TIDE!!

10/1 arkansas @ texas a&m. texas a&m favored by 3 points. both teams coming off good weeks last saturday even in losing. take the razorbacks to win and or get inside the spread.

10/1 nevada @ boise st. boise st favored by 27 points. surf team blue didn’t cover the spread in their win last saturday. though kellen moore shredded the field as usual. nevada had a shot at beating texas tech but couldn’t finish them off. nevada can also put some points on the board. though whats left of last years power house boise st team should want to avenge the loss to the wolf pack at the end of the season. 28 is still a bunch of points against a team that can score. none the less, take boise st to win and cover.

10/1 smu @ tcu. tcu favored by 12 points. the mustangs began the year with a loss against a ranked team. the last three weeks it’s been fighting road kill teams for them. tcu’s record this year sorta mirrors smu’s record. along with all that this is one of those rivalry games. i love june jones but smu is in over their head here. take tcu to win and cover the spread.

10/1 arizona @ usc. usc favored by 13.5 points. the trojans, yet again, took the 4th quarter off last week against the other arizona school. of course by doing so they lost the game. this is getting old but, if the trojans show up and actually play all four quarters against the wildcats, who are a mediocre team at best, they will win and cover. being a home game for them this shouldn’t be a problem if they all catch the bus before the game, don’t leave early and pay some sort of attention if they do stick around for the fourth quarter. a number of “ifs” but take usc to win and cover anyway. FIGHT ON!!

10/1 clemson @ virgina tech. virgina tech favored by 7 points. good game kids and one i hope i’ll be able to watch. clemson is a surprise this year and they’ve done very well against ranked teams at home. tech has gone down the fighting road kill route for the most part so far this year. i’m thinking clemson will do well this saturday on the road. take clemson to at least cover the points and maybe even win.

10/1 texas @ iowa st. texas favored by 9.5 points. iowa st on a roll once again so far and still no respect. however, texas has had two weeks to get ready for this one. take texas to win and cover the spread.

10/1 nebraska @ wisconsin. wisconsin favored by 10 points. the badgers have been solid against the fighting road kill this season. 3 and 0 at home as well. so far to my thinking nebraska has had the tougher schedule. take nebraska to at least cover the spread and maybe even win.

10/1 ucla @ stanford. stanford favored by 21 points. a bunch of points. stanford has had it fairly easy thus far. the bruins beat the beavers on the road last week. slick rick is still alive at least for the time being. stanford isn’t oregon st. stanford also has a quarterback. a very good one. stanford puts a thump on the bruins this saturday on their way to a show down with either the ducks or the sun devils and a share of the rose bowl. take stanford to win and cover the points.

summertime heat lingers here. fall has fell further east. it’s the season of the witch. one month down and only two more to go. enjoy the games while you can. be safe. be sane.

jmh

should college football players get paid to play?

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this little tidbit is getting some play.  it started last week with the big 10 or 12 or whatever commissioner saying he figures football players should get a stipend.  earlier this week the old ball coach, steve spurrier, jumped on the bandwagon saying he thinks college football players should be paid as well.  $300 a game to be exact.  this idea is getting even more play.  no pun intended. 

before i wade into this drama let me remind everyone that i love college football.  it is my favorite sit in front of the tube and watch deal.  it’s been that way for as long as i can remember.  i love the game.

i have trouble with these ideas.  yeah, i’m just a crack pot.  these kids are getting an almost free ride education.  yes, there are exceptions but it’s something most kids don’t get.  and yes some of them, mostly in the sec, might end up on the wrong end of a scholarship for various reasons.  like coaches and schools handing them out like candy at halloween then saying oops we really can’t use you.  sorry, we want it back.  but that is a drift.

these kids playing college football are supposed to be in school to earn a degree or am i missing something here?  let’s just forget about the fact you start paying these guys a rather large can of very nasty stinky worms will be opened.  not unlike pandora’s little box a long time ago.  but with probably pretty much the same consequences, a world turned upside down.

the larger of the elephants in the room would be, title 1X.  i also love women’s college softball.  and i’m quite sure the old ball coach and the comish aren’t thinking about paying them anything at all for anything.  regardless.  then there’s the fact most men’s college baseball scholarships barely cover anything at all.  ok.  so i’m drifting here.  in any case, it’s all relevant.         

why should we pay these guys money to play?  point being we shouldn’t.  the old ball coach says the players should get some cash so they can take their girlfriends out for dinner.  or maybe pay for their parents to fly to a game or something.  yeah, we would all love that.  what about the regular schlumps going to school sans any scholarship?  they’d like to be able to do the same thing.  most end up with a nice little 40 grand or so in student loan debt.  yeah, let’s feel sorry for the poor college football player who had to sell ohio st athletic stuff so they could score some nifty tats all over themselves.  please.

the college game has eroded just like society has in recent years.  they’ve gone hand in hand down the road to madness.  paying kids to play college ball is stupid.  there are so many of them in some sort of trouble every day it makes your head swim.  instead of paying them perhaps the schools should use the money to investigate the little darlings a bit more before they hand them the keys to the university.  they seem to end up pilfering fellow students laptops at some sort of maddening pace or committing even worse crimes against humanity and fellow students.

‘well, gee, i had to steal the laptop and rape those girls because i was drunk and i didn’t have any money left after i bought all that booze.  but i deserve another chance.  i’m a football player.  hoo rah.’  there ya go, pilgrims, that pretty much sums it up right there. 

it’s getting to the point where, and i’ve said this a few times the past few years, us old guys are probably going to abandon the sport we love if the insanity of the kids, coaches, commissioners, and college deans doesn’t get back on track.  they aren’t ozzy osborne and off on some crazy train they are, college football.  it’s become a very sad thing indeed. 

thankfully, it seems i’m not the only crack pot out here.  espn.com is running a poll today about this same thing.  should college football players be paid for playing?  at the time of this writing with 47,899 votes in, 62% of those voting are saying, NO.  cool.  let’s just hope somebody is listening and maybe even paying attention.

jmh                 

2010-11 college bowl game picks

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they’re back.  and i’m sure some of you are very happy they are.  me?  not really but regular readers over the past few years already know this.  what’s to like about football games that come, in some cases, 37 days after the regular season has been put to bed for the next nine months?  indeed.  what’s to like?

especially since ‘bowls are business.’  stewart mandel wrote that a week or so ago in one of his sports illustrated columns concerning the lack of prospects for stanford getting a big time bowl bid, among other things.  though things did change.  stanford got a nice bid even with their lack of traveling alumni willing to head out to some god forsaken place or another and spend way too much money to sit in some stadium someplace and watch a football game.  i get the stanford alums point of view.  why indeed?

bowls are business.  the money tree time of year for college regents and deans alike all over this once great nation.  league commissioners slather all over themselves seeing visions of clean, crisp, unmarked, benjamins dancing in their collective greedy heads.  perhaps the most joyous time of the year turned into a greed head’s nirvana.

local pols and chambers of commerce goons fleece the nattering nabobs of the traveling alumni world.  fan bases far and wide leave home flush with cash only to have it stripped from them in some inglorious hell hole by bastions of local yokeldoms finest greed headed businessmen cum thieves.  god, yes, it’s bcs bowl season.  do you hear what i hear?  indeed.

yes, kids, once again it’s time for me to ask you to boycott the bowl games.  the first part is easy.  don’t buy a ticket to the damn games.  don’t fill the seats.  simple easy.  the second is a bit harder.  don’t watch the games on the tube.  yes, of course, not as easy as it sounds.  right?  but it is.  just don’t turn on the tv when your favorite team hits the airwaves and probably the skids because they haven’t faced any real football action/competition for over a month.  about the only action the players will have had is robbing fellow students of their lap tops and local 7-11’s of their daily take.  plus, scaring the bejesus out of coeds far and wide.  indeed.

ok.  alright.  you came here to read my picks.  so i’ll give them to you.  just remember they are for fun and entertainment purposes only.  using any of what i write here as a good thing to to take to a sports book or street corner bookie would be the ultimate definition of insanity. 

during the regular season i use and go by the oddsmakers point spreads.  not this time of year.  i’m just picking a winner.  also since most bowl games are stinkers at best, i’m only picking nineteen of the thirty-five games, which could shrink once i get into this.  some of the bowl turkeys aren’t even worth making fun of.  and that, my readers, is a very sad statement.  so without further ado…

rock ‘n’ roll.     

12/18  new mexico: byu vs utep.  the mormons finally get a shot at another holiday travel destination other than vegas after countless trips to sin city this time of year.  not the glitz and glamor of the strip but albuquerque has an old west vibe going for it.  including the gunfire, just stay off the freeways and you’ll probably be ok.  take byu to win.

12/21  beef o’brady’s: southern mississippi vs louisville.  the only reson for picking this game is it’s title.  what the harold is beef o’brady’s any the ways?  there might be some good commercials.  did i just say that?  take s. miss to win.

12/22  maaco: utah vs boise st.  this should be a good game.  maybe.  utah hit the skids then recovered nicely.  boise is still probably smarting from it’s fall from grace.  plus coach peterson is out job hunting.  he’s already upset about boise st dumping the wac to move to the mountain west while utah and byu have bailed out of that conference.  it’s like boise st moved from one sisters of the poor league to a little bit better sisters of the poor league.  boise st, do your homework next time.  homework just might be the reason none of the big boy conferences want you.  hint.  hint.  at any rate, take utah to win.

12/23  poinsettia: san diego st vs navy.  a grandiose fleet week bowl game for san diego just before christmas.  as much as i enjoy good san diego st football you have to take navy in this game.

12/27  independence: air force vs georgia tech.  take air force in this one, kids.

12/28  insight: missouri vs iowa.  a yawner but take iowa.

12/29  alamo: arizona vs oklahoma st.  as i’m a pac 10 or 12 homer take arizona here.  it might be a good game. 

12/30  holiday: nebraska vs washington.  another day another game in san diego.  if you can fly in do so because the roads in and out of there are usually clogged worse than my arteries.  pac 10 or 12 once again.  take washington if only for the fact my wife’s orthopod has a kid playing for the huskies.

12/31  sun: miami vs notre dame.  notre dame off a so so year but the touchdown jesus faithful do love to travel and spend lots of cash.  go with miami and the win.

1/1  capital one: alabama vs michigan st.  michigan st got hosed this year but somebody does every year.  guess it was their turn.  maybe some decent commercials again.  depending on who feels like playing after the big lay-off will determine who’s going to win.  i’m taking michigan st.

1/1  gator: michigan vs mississippi st.  hopefully, state rolls over michigan.  take miss st.

1/7  cotton: texas a&m vs lsu.  take the aggies of texas to win.

1/9  hunger: boston college vs nevada.  only reason i’m doing this game is because of what nevada did this year.  take nevada to win.

now for the so called big games.

1/1  rose: wisconsin vs tcu.  probably a decent game.  tcu will show up to play.  hopefully, wisconsin does as well.  take tcu.

1/1  fiesta: oklahoma vs connecticut.  good game to nap through.  make your own pick.  i don’t care.

1/3  orange: virginia tech vs stanford.  a good game?  take stanford to win.  pac 10 honk honk.

1/4  sugar: arkansas vs ohio st.  the talking heads are already saying this is the best game of the bowl season.  it is?  take arkansas to win.

1/10  BCS championship: auburn vs oregon.  finally, the last game.  as much as i love the ducks i really doubt if i’ll even watch this.  come on, 37 days after the season is over.  get real bcs and ncaa.  yeah, like that’s ever going to happen.  plus, the fact there are going to more commercials than you can shake the proverbial stick at.  i’m not interested in that action at all.  what i want to know is how the ncaa can say cecil newton is a crook and his kid knew nothing about it.  yeah, right.  the ducks have not played well in their last couple of games.  very possibly they won’t here either.  the first betting line for the game had the ducks favored by 3.  that disappeared as soon as someone realized what had happened.  probably a typo or a rabid duck fan who now has no job.  though a few folks did get in on that action.  lucky them because auburn is going to win this ad fest turkey.  sadly, for the ducks and the pac 10 or 12.  none the less, QUACK QUACK!!  yes, take auburn to win.

that’s it.  a few good games mixed in with the crapola games.  but that’s the usual scenario for the college bowl season.  should there be a playoff?  probably but i go back and forth on that idea.  for one, i think it sullies the regular season.  not unlike men’s basketball where nothing much matters during the regular season.  what matters, is march.  just remember these bowl games really aren’t for you, joe fan.  they are about teams getting more practice time and money money money.  not that there’s anything wrong with money.  i just wish the ncaa and college regents, deans, and commissioners would be more honest about the whole sordid deal.  any the ways, is it september yet?

jmh

the other shoe begins to drop or the end of college sports as we know it

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college football, as we once knew it, will begin to lose what luster it once held for us old line watchers today. USC finally gets hit with NCAA sanctions today for the reggie bush years. something that has taken far too long. i guess somebody somewhere wanted to protect pete carroll. he’s out of the picture now and here comes the bus, sans brakes heading for USC.

lane kiffin is said to be pissed. well, kids, if that’s the case he’s dumber than i thought he was and or is. he must have bought mike garrett’s bullshit hook line and sinker. lane, give me a break. you bought the pig and the poke. i guess you can bail out just like you did at tennessee. hell, why even wait for the season to begin? do it today.

as for reggie bush, thanks dumb ass. they should melt your heisman down, hang it around your neck and toss you off the nearest pier. the same should be said of oj simpson as well but that’s for another time.

speaking of today, it’s time for the brass at USC to get their head out of their collective asses and fire mike garrett. they can’t fire pete, who i’m sure knew just as much as mike did or does. time to get with it USC. way past time for mr. mike to be canned. just bleeding do it.

more speaking of today, the ultimate demise of college football also begins today. the f$$$$$$ just don’t give a f$$$ about the fans. that has been obvious for years. today with all the teams beginning to bail out of conferences and diving into other conferences and an even bigger pile of money speaks volumes about the disdain college athletics has for the fan. and the school’s love of money.

super conferences are here and i’ll probably stop watching the bastardization of the game i love not too much further down this sad road. screw it. i don’t want to see it. i suppose i’m just as much to blame as the rest of us ultimately are. playoffs. we screamed and hollered about the damn things for years. nobody listened. we were told stuff with apparently a wink and a nod by the humps that run the deal. the money lusting ass hole deans and regents.

well, we’re going to get playoffs not too long from now. and guess what? they will make a mess out of what was the ONLY REMAINING UN-SULLIED COLLEGE SPORT. college football will become college basketball. no one watches college basketball until march and the big dance. no one with half a ******* brain will watch college football after the playoffs start up. why? playoffs will make the regular season games meaningless. pre-playoffs each and every game was important. that won’t be the case very soon.

god, the horror. every school in texas in the pac 10. what the eff? the beginning of the end. and @&%# you NCAA and the board of regents at every damn div 1 school. adios, college football. i’m done after this coming season or the first year the super deal goes into effect. $$$$ you and your super conferences.

jmh

are you ready for some college football? or the big ten expands(?)

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i sure am. the never ending basketball season plods on and on. why anyone watches it is beyond me. way beyond me. i have no use for it. but my regular readers know this. so on to the point. or that’s the hope. the epistle meanders about as i’m sometimes want to do. however, i think you’ll get the points.

college football fans been following the presumed big 10 expansion with great interest since we first heard of it after the regular season last year. the big 10 is looking for maybe 2 or even 4 teams to cash in on their league. or more to the point the big ten to cash in on more teams and perhaps to help recruitment and generate more tv money for the schools.

there have been many rumors just as to which schools might get the invitation to join them. schools such as: notre dame, rutgers, syracuse, nebraska and missouri. however, last week there was a flurry of eamils from the big 10 and said schools that there really wasn’t anything to anything anyone was saying about anything and which schools were being considered. smoke and mirrors from everyone in high places.

all that being said, for my money, the only schools that make any sense if the big ten is to keep any sort of geographical sense to it’s name would be make nebraska and missouri an offer they couldn’t refuse. sure notre dame is in indiana but the irish are enjoying their independence and independent stature. plus their own tv network, nbc. rutgers on the other hand is a new york/new jersey school. it is just an attempt by the big ten to score some tv viewers from the big apple area. only trouble is they really don’t care much for college football there. and rutgers and syracuse come and go as football powers. if powers is even the right word.

well, this whole thing is about money. more big money. the current sad state of college football. i could go on about that but perhaps another time. the next question being: what happens to the big 12 if nebraska and missouri get the call to come on down and join the big 10 and wallow in the greenbacks?

in my mind there are only three possibilities if geography means anything anymore to the big 12. byu, utah, and boise st. and the way boise st has been playing ball the past few years they are the obvious number one choice. the only problem being is their academics. would the big 12 want to sully it’s rep with a third tier school? even if that school is playing lights out football? i’m thinking probably so with a few twists and turns from all the deans involved. things could be worked out. byu and utah don’t have the academic issues. the only real issue there is byu is a religious school. so is notre dame, pilgrim.

it’s all very interesting. it gives us college football fans something to think and write about while we sit and wait for the season to roll out in september. it also gives the pac 10 something to think about as well. expansion. though even with the new commissioner the pac 10 still can’t get a decent tv package. us pac 10 homers have to scramble on most saturdays in order to find and watch pac 10 games that matter. if the pac can’t get a decent tv deal how are they ever going to try to expand? ah, maybe they shouldn’t. though, sadly, at some point they are going to be forced into it.

where do they go to find teams? colorado is the primary place. and utah. once again, byu and utah. boise st isn’t even on the pac 10 radar due to the previously mentioned problem. byu gets discounted again because of the religious deal but i’m thinking that’s just a red herring. at any rate, it’s very interesting that utah is on everyone’s wish list. it just goes to show what an excellent academic and research institution will do for you when big time college football money comes knocking at your door.

what happens if all this stuff comes to pass? schools abandoning one conference for another. long time allegiances thrown under the bus for the almighty dollar. yes, indeed. panties all wadded up into places that make for total discomfort. whining the likes we’ve never heard before. the freaking feds sticking their nose into places they shouldn’t but think they should and can. and they will. sadly.

gliding somewhat under the radar, like a stealth drone, in all of this we need more money madness—the super conferences. the death knell of college football as we old timers know it. the final nail in the coffin of the sport. college football is all i have left. and they just keep pecking at it like a bunch of turkey vultures trying to glean one more mouthful from the rotting corpse. perhaps the analogy is a bit strong. or maybe not. only time will tell.

jmh