2013 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 13

Greetings Manoverse. I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving filled with food, family, & football. For a variety of reasons I decided not to include any of the plethora of gridiron goodness on Thursday & Friday in this week’s picks. However, even without those games there’s still a ton of tremendous action on Saturday. It’s Rivalry Week in the NCAA, and a few games even have meaning above & beyond the tradition of the rivalry itself. Heck, there are so many great matchups that we are able to once again focus exclusively on college football and still give y’all bonus picks. You’re welcome. Last week was another poor showing for both myself & Zach as we each went 1-4. We both whiffed in picking Texas A&M, UCLA, & the Indianapolis Colts. I correctly picked Oklahoma St. over Baylor, while Zach got the win with New England defeating Denver. That brings the season records to this:

                Your Humble Potentate of Profundity  =     30-31

                Zach  =    27-34

Zach is running out of time to take the season lead, while I have now fallen below .500. We’ll see what we can do about that.

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Ohio State (-16)            at              Michigan

Wmichow…where do I begin?? 2013 certainly hasn’t been a banner year in Ann Arbor. I mean sure, they will finish with a winning record and go bowling, but 7 or 8 wins and some December bowl Ohio_State_Buckeyesgame that no one watches against a mediocre team that no one cares about doesn’t match the high standard that the Wolverines aim at & usually achieve. Meanwhile, there is a very good chance that Ohio State could finish the season having won 25 straight games and still not get a whiff of the national championship, which is a perfect example of why the BCS sucks. Having said all that, I am still a bit surprised at the rather robust point spread. Sure Michigan is a bit down…but are they that down?? Is there a legitimate chance that they will get throttled by more than two TDs in The Big House?? Three of Michigan’s four losses thus far have been away from home. Their one loss at home was 17-13 to Nebraska…far from an epic beatdown. I suppose there are some that might say that the Buckeyes need (and are aware that they need) “style points” in case Auburn upsets Alabama, which would cause ‘Bama to fall out of the national title game but could also mean Auburn would leapfrog Ohio State in the BCS standings, but I honestly don’t think it’ll matter whether they win this game by 1 point or 100 points. So while I think it is likely that the Buckeyes get the victory I would be really surprised if it was by more that 7-10 points. Surprisingly Zach…a diehard Michigan fan…thinks Ohio State wins in a blowout.

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Clemson           at              South Carolina (-5)

South Carolina still has an outside shot to play in the SEC title game should Missouri fall to Texas A&M. Clemson needs Florida St. to lose its finale to the Florida Gators to sneak into the ACC title game, and Gamecocksthat simply isn’t going to happen. Given those circumstances plus the home field I have to give the nod to the Gamecocks. Zach concurs.

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Notre Dame             at               Stanford (-14.5)

Things have been pretty quiet in South Bend even though the Irish are clinging to a Top 25 ranking. Conversely Stanford has already booked their spot in the PAC 12 title game and had a really impressive win NotreDame1over Oregon a few weeks ago. I don’t think there is any doubt that Stanford gets the victory, but will they cover the points?? They have won only 4 games by more than 14 points, and only one of those victories was over a ranked opponent. The Irish have more to play for, and Stanford hasn’t really blown too many teams out this season, so the vibes are telling me that this will be a close game. Zach feels the same.

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Texas A&M              at              Missouri (-4.5)

a&mThese two teams used to be Big 12 opponents, but both are now in the SEC. Not that it matters…I just find it mildly interesting. I went with the Aggies and Johnny Football last week and Missouri_Tigers_Helmetpaid for it, so I am a bit hesitant to pull that particular trigger again. They looked absolutely atrocious against LSU. The only blemish on Missouri’s record is an overtime loss to South Carolina. They are a lot better than people (including me) have given them credit for. I think this may end up being one of the more entertaining games of the weekend, and it’s a total vibe game. The Voices are telling me to go with A&M again even though it doesn’t really make much sense. Zach, being a bit more…practical…than his old uncle, is going with Missouri.

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Arizona                            at             Arizona State (-11.5)

Arizona_State_logo_blanketIn 2012 the Arizona Wildcats finished with a rather pedestrian 8-5 record. The Arizona St. Sun Devils did the exact same thing. With a victory in this game the Sun Devils will get their 10th college_arizona_90victory and head to the Pac 12 title game. The Wildcats have pretty much the same record as last year but are on everyone’s radar after a notable beatdown of Oregon last week. I don’t think they can do it two weeks in a row though, so I am picking State to win and cover the points. Zach, however, was really impressed by that Wildcat win over the Ducks and is riding that wave.

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UCLA                 at              USC (-3)

USC_Trojans2Who would have ever thought at the end of September, right after the Trojans fired head coach Lane Kiffin, that they would be in the mix for their division lead at the end of the season?? They ucla_bruins2won’t win the division due to that loss to Arizona State that led to Kiffin’s ouster, but the fact that they are riding a 5 game winning streak and have won 6 out of 7 under the leadership of interim head coach Ed Orgeron is impressive. Just a few weeks ago no one thought that Orgeron had a snowball’s chance to land the permanent gig, but now a lot of folks seem to believe that a win this week will almost certainly clinch the job for him. Conversely, after beginning the season 5-0 the Bruins have gone 3-3 in the latter half of the campaign. This feels like two teams going in opposite directions, and who am I to go against momentum (or as my Dad calls it “Big Mo”)?? Zach is a rebel though and scoffs at momentum while picking UCLA.

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Alabama (-10.5)           at              Auburn

auburnEven though these two teams have been playing each other since 1893 the game has only been known as The Iron Bowl since 1980, with the name ostensibly referring to BAlabamaCrimsonTide2irmingham, Alabama’s standing as an epicenter of iron & steel production. A year ago ‘Bama won this game 49-0, but a year ago Auburn was a 3-9 football team. They are significantly better this season. Are they good enough to pull off the upset?? The Tide has barely broken a sweat so far in 2013. The only game they haven’t won by double digits was a second week 7 point victory over Johnny Football and Texas A&M. However, Auburn is probably the best team they have faced. Plus the game is at Jordan–Hare Stadium. If I am being honest I am really trying to talk myself into Auburn having a legitimate shot to win because I’d really like to see a little BCS chaos. It’s just really hard to go against Alabama given their recent history of dominance. Having said all of that though I am going to roll the dice on Auburn atleast making this a very close game. Zach sees the game being competitive in the first half but thinks the ‘Bama defense will take over and help the Tide secure a 3 TD victory.

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2013 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 12

We’re in the home stretch of the college football season and ¾ of the way into the NFL season. With the holidays fast approaching and things on the gridiron getting really interesting I’d have to say that this is one of my favorite stretches of the entire year. Last week Zach went 4-2 while your humble Potentate of Profundity was 3-3. I’ll pat myself on the back for getting the USC upset of Stanford right, while Zach & I both correctly predicted that Louisville would beat Houston but not cover and also barely got a win when Oregon St. lost to Arizona St. by 13 points…not 13.5, thereby covering the spread. Zach picked Auburn & Michigan St., both games that I had pegged totally wrong. So thus far the 2013 season looks as such:

                Zach                       =             26-30

                Yours Truly          =             29-27

This week we have some really intriguing games both college & pro, and surprisingly there are no crazy point spreads. I hope these games are all as close as the boys in Vegas seem to think they will be.

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Texas A&M                         at            LSU (-4.5)

I’m actually a bit surprised at the spread. I know LSU has the home field, but they are 7-3, coming off a loss to Alabama, and ranked 19th in the polls facing a Texas A&M team that is 8-2, ranked 10th, and texas_am_01riding a 3 game winning streak. I know home field advantage means a lot, but I didn’t realize it meant that much. At any rate, a victory here combined with impressive numbers could secure another Heisman for QB Johnny Manziel. Meanwhile, the Tigers aren’t really playing for anything other than pride and a more lucrative bowl destination. The vibes are telling me that Johnny Football will rise to the occasion and overcome LSU’s stout defense. Zach is on the same wavelength and thinks it’ll be close until the 4th quarter when Manziel takes over.

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Arizona St. (-2.5)              at            UCLA

The Sun Devils really have kind of snuck up on everyone this year. They are 8-2 and very much in the hunt for a Rose Bowl berth. Who’s standing in their way?? Well…the Bruins. This game might decide the ucla_bruins2south division of the Pac 12 although the USC Trojans are right there as well. Arizona St. already defeated the Trojans back in September (costing head coach Lane Kiffin his job), with USC & UCLA set for their annual showdown next week. When I did my pre-season Top 25 I had UCLA ranked 15th which is right about where they stand at the moment. I can’t abandon them now, right?? Once again Zach concurs, adding that he’s just not that impressed by Arizona St.

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Baylor (-9.5)                       at            Oklahoma St.

oklahoma_state_cowboys_iphone_wallpaperI am really looking forward to this game. With a victory the Bears will vault Ohio State in the BCS (emphasis on BS) standings, meaning that they’d be first in line for a shot at the national title shouldbaylor either Alabama or Florida State falter. Personally I think it’d be awesome if both ‘Bama & the ‘Noles would lose, opening the door for a Buckeyes-Bears national title game, but I’m not holding my breath. However, having said that I do believe it to be within the realm of possibility that one or the other could lose, so this game is huge for Baylor. Meanwhile the Cowboys are just trucking along getting no respect at all despite a 9-1 record and a Top 10 ranking. This game will likely decide the Big 12 champion and a BCS bowl regardless of what happens with those other teams. I have pondered this game a bit and I must say that The Voices aren’t telling me what I expected to hear. I think 9.5 points may actually be too big of a number, especially with this game being played in the friendly confines of Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. Baylor hasn’t really been challenged late into a game with the exception of a mid-October contest at Kansas St. in which they were behind going into the 4th quarter, scored very early in that quarter to take the lead, and then added another late TD just for good measure. I think it is quite possible that this game might be up for grabs with 5 or less minutes remaining. Can Baylor grind out a close one?? Probably. But I don’t think they’ll cover the points. Zach is going in the opposite direction on this one and foresees a Baylor blowout.

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Indianapolis                       at            Arizona (-2)

The Arizona Cardinals are 6-4 and in the thick of the NFC wildcard chase. Not bad for a team that I predicted would go 3-13. Oops. The Colts, on the other hand, are right about where I thought they’d be, which Indianapolis_Colts_Helmetis comfortably winning their division. I know the Cards are getting the home field bump with the 2 points, but I ain’t buying it. I’ll be shocked if Indy doesn’t win this one easily. Zach is concerned that sometimes Indianapolis plays down to their competition but still agrees that they’ll cruise to a victory here.

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Denver (-2.5)                     at            New England

0809-Broncos-NFL-kickoff-Peyton-Manning_full_600Has anyone else noticed that NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets all the good games?? I bet the powers-that-be in Bristol are not happy about that. Personally though I like it. There’s usually brady.tom.112807nothing else better to do on a Sunday night than watch football, while Monday is wrestling night and only a game involving my Pittsburgh Steelers will tear me away from WWE Raw. Anyway, the Broncos are coming off a huge win over the Kansas City Chiefs and will travel to Kansas City to face that same team again next week. Unfortunately they don’t exactly have a cakewalk in between with the Patriots, who got hosed in a loss to the Carolina Panthers last week. This is Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. Not much else needs to be said to sell it, right?? I’d feel a lot better about picking Denver if the Patriots hadn’t gotten screwed by the refs last Monday night. They’ll be angry and out to prove that they’re still big & bad. Nevertheless I just can’t go against Manning. Zach does NOT think that the Patriots got screwed against the Panthers (he’s wrong), but unlike someone else is willing to go against Manning and pick New England.

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2013 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 11

I was hoping for a really good rebound after an abysmal Week 9, and I guess it could have been worse. Baylor destroyed Oklahoma. I totally didn’t see that coming. I rolled the dice on LSU giving Alabama a game but instead they were trounced by 3 TDs. On the flip side the Ravens did beat the Bengals, Stanford upset Oregon, & Wisconsin rolled over BYU. Zach & I both went 3-2, meaning our season looks like this:

Your Humble Potentate of Profundity   =             26-24

Zach                       =                             22-28

We’re doing all college games again this week and I’m even giving you a bonus pick. I’m generous like that. Can I keep my head above water?? Will Zach have an awesome week and take the season lead?? Stay tuned!!

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Georgia                at            Auburn (-3.5)

georgiaNeither of these teams would seem to have a realistic shot at playing in the SEC championship, but both could still end up in a rather pleasant auburn(and profitable) post-season spot like the Cotton Bowl or Chick-Fil-A Bowl (the old Peach Bowl). The Bulldogs have had an up & down season after some lofty pre-season expectations. Conversely, I don’t think anyone would have predicted such a solid season for Auburn after a 3-9 campaign in 2012, yet here they are riding a 6 game winning streak, including an upset of the Johnny Manziel & the Aggies in College Station, TX. Not only is this a classic trap game for Auburn (archrival & #1 team in the country Alabama await in a couple of weeks), but I am just not convinced that they are better than Georgia. Conversely, Zach is all in on Auburn and thinks they’ll win this one handily.

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Michigan St. (-6.5)           at            Nebraska

nebraskaThe Spartans have snuck up on just about everyone this season, although I’d be remiss if I didn’t humbly point out that I ranked them 22nd in Michigan_State_Spartansmy pre-season Top 25. Meanwhile, the Cornhuskers have flown somewhat under the radar for some reason. The winner of this contest will be in the driver’s seat to face Ohio St. in the Big Ten (which has 12 teams) title game. I had the Cornhuskers as a Top 10 team in the pre-season and still don’t think they are that bad. I am a bit surprised that they aren’t currently ranked. That would change with an upset here, and that is exactly what I am predicting. Zach is still smarting from the Spartans spanking his Wolverines but he did learn a healthy respect for the Michigan St. defense and believes that will be the key in a big 3 touchdown victory.

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Oklahoma St. (-3)            at            Texas

My WV Mountaineers have been in The Big 12 (which has ten teams) for two seasons now and I still can’t get a good read on the conference. Just when I think I texashave things figured out something weird happens. It seems like just yesterday there was buzz about Texas ridding itself of longtime head coach Mack Brown, but since then the Longhorns have reeled off 6 straight victories and now find themselves ranked in the Top 25 and not out of conference title contention (although they have to hope Baylor crumbles which seems unlikely). Meanwhile the Cowboys still just have that one perplexing loss to the ‘Eers marring their season. As much as I like Oklahoma St. and think they are a fine team it feels to me like the early season drama woke up a sleeping giant in Austin, TX and Coach Brown has something to prove. Texas just hired a new athletic director and I’m sure he’s pondering whether or not a change is necessary. A home victory this week would render the point moot, which is exactly what I think will happen. Zach concurs.

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Houston               at            Louisville (-16)

We haven’t picked a lot of American Athletic Conference games here so far. The AAC is a new conference made up of Big East leftovers and a few C-USA houstontransplants and to be honest the quality of football isn’t really all that…enticing. If given a choice between watching a Temple-Connecticut game or an SMU-Memphis matchup and lowering my junk into the same pot that the Thanksgiving turkey is being deep fried in…well, I’d actually have to think about it. However, Houston has traditionally been a fun team with a high powered run & gun offense. We also shouldn’t forget that they came within a whisper of an undefeated season just two years ago, and after a losing season in 2012 they seem to have rebounded a bit. Meanwhile the bloom is off the rose in Cardinal Country. One loss to Central Florida and not only did The ‘Ville plummet down the rankings but QB Teddy Bridgewater…a nearly unanimous choice to be the #1 overall pick in next spring’s NFL Draft just a few weeks ago…seems to be falling down the pecking order and might not be the first quarterback drafted. I smell an upset here, and even if that doesn’t happen I think the game will be a lot closer than 16 points. Zach agrees again.

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Stanford (-4)      at            USC

USC_Trojans2Stanford is coming off an impressive upset of the Oregon Ducks and has vaulted themselves into the national title conversation in the unlikely photo.stanfordtreeevent that either Alabama or Florida St. falter. USC has won 4 out of 5 under interim head coach Ed Orgeron and will likely receive a plum bowl slot regardless of how they fare the remainder of the season. This is yet another classic trap game, although in reverse. Stanford has nothing grand to look forward to, but one has to wonder if they might be a bit full of themselves after dashing the Ducks’ national championship dreams. Orgeron isn’t currently considered a serious candidate to get the USC gig long term, but the powers-that-be might reconsider if he can engineer a big upset in this game. I think it just might happen. Zach, on the other hand, believes that Stanford’s momentum will not only carry them to a victory in this game but that they still have a good chance to play in the national title game.

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Oregon St.          at            Arizona St. (-13.5)

I loves me some west coast football. I am actually off from work this Saturday night and will happily tune into whatever obscure channel on my cable box hostsOregonStateBeavers2 the Pac 12 Network at 9:30pm. The Beavers are coming into this one with two straight losses, while the Sun Devils are riding a 4 game winning streak and are in a battle for a chance to play in the conference title game. I don’t know enough about either team to dissect them with any semblance of credibility but I think a two TD spread is just too much. I am hoping for and expecting a much closer game. Zach thinks we might be crazy, but also believes we could both be right in calling for the upset.

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2013 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 10

Well, last week wasn’t exactly a banner round in the prognostication arts here at The Manofesto. I went 2-5, while Zach was 1-6. The point spread really bit us in the behind, with neither Penn St. nor Nebraska being able to cover the points despite winning their games, and Miami (FL) & Michigan living up to the low expectations of the oddsmakers in spite of our spirited support. Enough said about that debacle. For the season it looks like this:

Your Humble Potentate of Profundity    =       23-22

Zach          =       19-26

This week gets off to an early start with two big Thursday night college games which is why you are reading this a couple of days earlier than usual. I can actually get myself moving when motivated.

Oklahoma      at         Baylor (-14.5)

oklahomaThere are some who don’t believe in Baylor, who say that they haven’t played anyone good. Fair enough. Their schedule is baylorbackloaded, with Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, & Oklahoma still to go after this game, and certainly their out-of-conference opponents weren’t impressive, so I understand the reluctance to embrace the Bears as a legitimate powerhouse. However, having watched them play a couple of times on TV I tend to lean toward the thought that Baylor is the real deal. The question is are they good enough to destroy Oklahoma like they’ve done everyone else?? The Sooners have been solid, beating everyone except archrival Texas. To be honest if this game were being played in Norman, OK I’d take the underdogs in a heartbeat. Then again if the game were in Norman I doubt Baylor would be favored by more than two TDs. I think one of two things will happen. Either Oklahoma will win and “expose” Baylor, making all the talking heads who’ve expressed doubt about them real proud of themselves. Or Baylor will earn a hard fought victory and gain some measure of respect. One thing that I do not think will occur is Baylor covering 14.5 points. Zach disagrees and thinks Baylor wins this one big.

 

Oregon (-10.5)          at         Stanford

photo.stanfordtreeThis is it. This is Oregon’s big chance to prove that they…not Florida State…deserve the opportunity to lose to Alabama inOregon-Ducks the national title game. This will be a Thursday night prime time game on ESPN with almost the entire college football world watching (or atleast flipping back & forth between this and the Oklahoma-Baylor game on Fox Sports 1). Stanford has flown somewhat under the radar thus far, but they are 7-1 and ranked 6th in the polls. The Ducks are getting a lot of respect from the oddsmakers. One doesn’t see Top 10 teams being double digit home underdogs very often. Not only is a spot in the national title game on the line for Oregon, but with a victory Stanford could secure a spot in the conference championship game and have an opportunity to get to The Rose Bowl. Oregon has been mowing people down with almost as much effectiveness as Baylor, but something tells me this one won’t be quite that easy. I won’t go so far as to predict an outright upset, but I think this is going to be far closer than most are expecting. Zach calls this one of the toughest games he’s picked but is going with the boys in Vegas and taking the Ducks.

 

BYU                at         Wisconsin (-7.5)

In my pre-season Top 25 I had BYU at #25 and left Wisconsin out. That prediction could still come to fruition if the Cougars win out and the WisconsinBadgersBadgers lose this game. Wisconsin ranks 10th in the nation in rushing and has one of the NCAA’s best running backs in Melvin Gordon. And of course they always have a tremendous offensive line. BYU has a rather effective rushing attack themselves. This is going to be an old fashioned ground & pound game, with the lines essentially deciding the contest. I think BYU will hang tough for 3+ quarters, but at the end of the day Wisconsin will control time of possession and get a solid 10 point victory. Zach thinks this’ll be an easy Badger win.

 

LSU                at         Alabama (-12)

lsu_logoI must explain something about myself. I am an underdog kind of guy. Plus I can’t stand the idiotic BCS (no matter how many AlabamaCrimsonTide2times it does seem to work out in the end). Therefore I am the contrarian who is always hoping & praying for an upset that’ll send the whole process into chaos. On top of all that I…like many others…am getting just a bit bored with Alabama’s dominance. So I have been looking forward to this game simply because outside of Texas A&M back in September I felt like the Bayou Bengals were the only team with even a prayer of upsetting the Tide. Oh I suppose maybe Missouri or South Carolina might have a puncher’s chance in the SEC title game, but in reality the only thing standing between ‘Bama and yet another appearance in the national championship game are the LSU Tigers. So…will the upset occur?? Well, I’d feel a lot better about LSU’s chances if the game were being played in Baton Rouge. And I’d certainly like it a whole lot better if they didn’t have two losses on their record. Truthfully I wouldn’t dare put money on an upset, but I am intrigued by the point spread. A year ago ‘Bama went into hostile territory and came away with a 4 point victory. Two years ago LSU went into Tuscaloosa and won a 9-6 snoozefest. My vibe is that we are in for something like that…maybe a 17-10 or 28-17 kind of game. I don’t think Alabama will lose, but I don’t think they’re going to cover the points. Zach thinks this will be a low scoring brawl between two well coached teams. He’s picking the Tide to roll to a two touchdown victory.

 

Cincinnati (-1.5)        at         Baltimore

Baltimore_Ravens2It says a lot about the Bengals that they are favored in a game away from home, even if it is by the slightest of margins. The Cincinnati_Bengals_Helmetdefending Super Bowl champion Ravens are 3-5 and actually behind the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Central. If they are going to make any kind of run at a playoff spot this feels like a must win. I am anything but a Ravens fan but my vibe is that they will realize the urgency and take advantage of the home field. Zach is a fellow Steelers fan and is letting his longstanding disdain for Baltimore cloud his judgment. He’s picking the Bengals even if it would likely put the final nail in Pittsburgh’s coffin.

 

Winning & Musing…..Volume 8.13

Welcome to the first edition of W&M in nearly four months!! It’s not that there hasn’t been anything about which I wished to kvetch about, and I definitely haven’t quit watching sports…I guess there just wasn’t anything going on that I was all that passionate about or that I haven’t talked about before so I decided to wait until The Voices told me there was enough to justify a new edition. Today we put a bow on the baseball season and ponder a few football topics both college and pro. So sit down in your easy chair, put the TV on mute, sip on a cold beverage, and join me on a brief yet pleasurable journey.

 

 

 

 

t1Indianapolis Colts v Houston TexansCitizens of The Manoverse know that I am not a fan of NFL Commissioner Fidel Goodell. He has let the whole concussion lawsuit situation cloud his judgment and instituted rules that have altered the game that I love to such a degree that it is almost unrecognizable in comparison to what it was just a decade ago. But the good thing about rules is that they can be tweaked. I have seen numerous “targeting” penalties called this season that were just plain bogus. Sometimes no one in their right mind can figure out what in the world the official was thinking when he made such a heinous call. Oftentimes though one can atleast see a grain of logic in that in real time & at full speed the play looks violent and closely resembles the kind of legitimately unnecessary hits the powers-that-be are trying to eliminate, but upon further review it turns out that the defender led with a shoulder or hit the receiver in the chest. The problem is that whether or not these bad calls get overturned…even when they are reviewed…still seems to be a toss-up. That needs to change in 2014. Officials obviously need better training on what does and does not constitute targeting.

 

Congratulations to the 2013 World Series Champions…the Boston Red Sox. It seems like only yesterday that we were brshearing about The Curse of the Bambino and how the Sox hadn’t won a Series since 1918, and now they have won three titles in the past decade. Truthfully I didn’t watch most of the baseball post-season after my Pittsburgh Pirates were ousted by the St. Louis Cardinals. I was talking with a Pirates fan who said that they would now be cheering on the Cards since they were the team that beat the Pirates and I completely disagree with that logic. I never root for the team that beat MY team!! I hate the team that beat my team. At any rate, I’ve had a soft spot for the Red Sox for many years now ever since the Pirates were going thru their 20 years of futility. Back then the Sox were lovable losers plus the archrivals of the despised New York Yankees…a win-win in my book. So even though they can’t legitimately retain underdog status anymore I was still glad to see them win, especially since it was the Cardinals that were defeated.

 

I don’t necessarily have an issue with the NCAA overtime rules, although I do like the NFL’s overtime better. However, Ifb would tweak the college OT just a bit. Instead of giving teams the ball on their opponent’s 25 yard line I’d move the ball back to the 35. That would atleast necessitate trying to get one first down before kicking a field goal.

 

What happened to the young son of running back Adrian Peterson is a genuine tragedy. I sincerely hope that the man responsible for beating an innocent child to death pays to the greatest extent allowable by the law. However, that is up to the courts to decide and most certainly a topic not in my wheelhouse. What is germane to this forum though is Peterson himself. I think this particular situation exposed not only Adrian Peterson, but the flawed mentality of many sports fans. No one knows anything about the other people involved in this case…the child, the mother, the sick freak who perpetrated the crime. But we do know Adrian Peterson. Afterall, we see him on TV every weekend toting the rock for the Minnesota adVikings. So naturally a lot of public comments by well-meaning fans on Twitter, on message boards, and in the comments section of various articles about the story expressed sympathy for Peterson. And then when he decided to go ahead and play in a game just a few days after the child’s death it was deemed by the masses as an heroic act by a grieving father. But the truth always comes out, and the truth is that Adrian Peterson is a manwhore who has fathered multiple children with multiple women. He didn’t even know this child was his until recently. I think I may have even read that when he visited this little boy in the hospital that it was the first time he’d ever actually seen the child. Don’t misunderstand…the circumstances don’t make the senseless death of an innocent baby at the hands of a horrible, vile, unredeemable piece of garbage any less heartbreaking, but they do make me far less inclined to have much sympathy for Peterson, and certainly puts his decision to play football in perspective. Football is Adrian Peterson’s priority…not his children. He is just another (apparently quite fertile) human being capable of biologically creating a human life but with no real grasp of what it takes to actually be a father. There’s nothing heroic about that.

 

I have become firmly convinced that the Washington Redskins will eventually be…persuaded…to change their name. The forces of political correctness are lining up against them and if recent history has taught us anything it is that a vocal fringe minority, with assistance from an all too compliant left wing media, can achieve amazing things when they decide to assign a certain level of importance to an issue. This whole “controversy” has been undeniably fabricated by a handful of bleeding heart liberals. A 2002 Sports Illustrated poll of American Indians found that 75% had no issue with the Redskins name. A 2004 poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania concluded that 91% of American wrIndians surveyed were not offended by it. And a 2013 USA Today poll indicated that 79% of the general population felt that the team should not change their name. Majority rules, right?? Oh no no no no…not when dealing with liberals. I don’t watch ESPN’s First Take all that much these days because I have the choice of watching a rerun of that morning’s Mike & Mike or Colin Cowherd’s show The Herd on ESPNU, both of which are significantly more entertaining options than Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless bloviating about the sports stories du jour. But I did happen to catch a segment of First Take recently in which they were discussing this very issue, and Bayless said something along the lines of if even one Native American is offended by the Redskins moniker then it should be changed. That’s liberal logic folks…75%, 91%, 79% don’t matter. The left seeks to appease the 10-20% instead of respecting the wishes of the masses. It is a perfect illustration of what has happened to this once great nation over the past few decades and why.

 

The 4 team NCAA football playoff can’t get here soon enough. The BCS (emphasis on BS) ends after this season and it is long overdue. Right now there are five…maybe six…teams with a legitimate claim of being the best in the country, but because of the BCS only two will have an opportunity to play for the trophy. Ohio State…even if they go undefeated again trophyand finish 25-0 over the course of two seasons…is unlikely to play in the championship game because The Big Ten (which has 12 teams) is perceived as being “down” this year. I have watched Baylor play and they are a beast, but because The Big 12 (which has 10 teams) doesn’t get a whole lot of respect they have no shot at the title even if they go undefeated. Stanford and Oregon play each other this week, but even if Stanford wins they are unlikely to be in the mix. Basically it is all going to boil down to Alabama (who’ll get into the championship game even if they lose a game) and either Oregon (if they beat Stanford) or Florida State (if Oregon loses). But if this were next year we could look forward to a playoff featuring ‘Bama, Oregon, Florida State, and either Ohio State or Baylor. That, my friends, would rock.

2013 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 9

It’s time to make the donuts!! By that I of course mean making our weekly picks. But first a look back. Last week I flew solo while Zach had a bye week. I went 4-1. Oklahoma, South Carolina, & the Arizona Cardinals were all victorious. The Dallas Cowboys lost the game but covered the spread so yay for me!! My one letdown was UCLA not covering the points in a loss to the #2 Oregon Ducks. So for the season Zach is 18-20 and I am now 21-17. This week not only are y’all getting bonus picks but we will be looking exclusively at college games. The time will come soon enough when the NCAA season is over and all we’ll have is the NFL, so we may as well take a break while we can.

 

 

USC                        at            Oregon St. (-5)

USC_Trojans2I’ve really developed an affinity for Pac 12 football. There’s nothing better than flipping thru the channels on a Saturday night around 10pm and discovering a west coast game OregonStateBeavers2that is just starting. I suppose I’ve just been overexposed to SEC/ACC/Big Ten (and the Big East when it was around) and am a bit late to the party with these pacific time zone teams. Or maybe they’ve begun to play better quality football over the past few years. Either way I am glad to give them some love. Southern Cal is obviously in rebuilding mode after firing head coach Lane Kiffin mid-season. A 5-3 record is definitely below the high standard the Trojans have set over the years. Meanwhile Oregon St. is one of those teams that are often sneaky good. Right now they are 6-2 and actually favored in this game…but I’m not buying it. USC is still USC, even if they aren’t quite as great as usual thus far. Zach disagrees and thinks the Beavers will win easily.

 

Illinois                   at            Penn St. (-10)

Everyone…including me…expected Penn St. to go in the crapper after the extensive penalties handed down by the NCAA in the wake of the Sandusky situation. However, under new head coach Billpenn-state-logo O’Brien the Nittany Lions finished 8-4 in 2012 and thus far are 4-3 this season. They are still ineligible for post-season play for the next few years, but credit must be given to O’Brien and his team for being a lot better than most of us thought they’d be. Conversely the Illini are once again looking mediocre at best, as they have been for over a decade save for a 9 win season in 2007. I’m not expecting any surprises here and expect Penn St. to cover the 10 points easily. Zach thinks this game is a toss-up but is going with Penn St. as well.

 

Michigan             at            Michigan St. (-4.5)

Intrastate rivalries are one of the best things about college football. This particular game may not be quite as glamorous as fans might have expected at the beginning of the season but it is still an michigan-wolverines-fan-gearattractive matchup of two one loss Top 25 teams who are battling for an opportunity to play in the conference title game and possibly The Rose Bowl. The Spartans have the home field but the vibes are telling me that the boys in maize & blue are going to win this one comfortably. Zach isn’t all that impressed with the Wolverines but they are his favorite team and he can’t pick against them.

 

Northwestern    at            Nebraska (-7.5)

It seems like just yesterday Northwestern was undefeated and hosting ESPN’s College Gameday. But since then they have suffered four straight losses. Nebraska sits at 5-2 and probably doesn’t nebraskahave a realistic shot at winning their division. This probably won’t be a real exciting game, as I expect a ground & pound defensive struggle. At the end of the day, no matter how much I’d love to pick the underdog, I have to play it smart and go with the Cornhuskers. Zach concurs.

 

Tennessee           at            Missouri (-12)

tennessee_volunteers_football_iphone_wallpaperA week ago the Tigers were a Top 5 team with an outside shot at a BCS bowl and maybe even a national title. But all it took was a field goal clanking off the upright to destroy that Missouri_Tigers_Helmetdream. Meanwhile the Vols are once again mediocre but showing signs of life. They narrowly lost to Georgia in overtime and then beat South Carolina before running into the juggernaut that is the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m not saying that Tennessee is back by any stretch but they certainly have looked better than in the past half dozen years. I can’t pull the trigger on predicting an outright Tennessee victory, but I think it’ll be closer than 12 points. Zach, on the other hand, is sold on Missouri despite last week’s loss and thinks they’ll win this one easily.

 

Oklahoma St.    at            Texas Tech (-2)

oklahoma_state_cowboys_iphone_wallpaperOklahoma State’s lone loss was an inexplicable stumble against my WV Mountaineers who are not very good at all this season. The Red Raiders are coming off a tough loss to Oklahoma Texas-Tech-260x300last week. These are two Top 20 teams that are still in the hunt for the Big 12 title and this should be a good close game. Tech gets the slight home field bump, but I think the Cowboys are the better team. Once again Zach disagrees. He doesn’t believe in Oklahoma St. at all and is taking Texas Tech.

 

Miami, FL            at            Florida St. (-21)

It seems like just yesterday that this game meant something every single year. It was one of the biggest games on the schedule every season in the 1990’s. But then the game began to lose its lustermiamiu about six years ago when the Hurricanes fell off their lofty perch just a bit. Now Miami looks like they are back. Meanwhile the Seminoles have a young hotshot QB and more than a decent shot at a national championship. I was never a fan of “The U’ because they seemed to produce nothing but arrogant & entitled thugs. The powers-that-be have done their best to shed that image but I still can’t quite shake it and just can’t pull for them even if they are underdogs. However, the point spread is fascinating. I’m no expert but I have to think that one Top 10 team being a three touchdown favorite over another Top 10 team is a rarity. Do the oddsmakers think that Miami’s high ranking is a mirage?? Or do they just believe that Florida St. is really that good?? Miami’s most impressive win was over Florida, who was ranked #12 at the time but is now a rather pedestrian 4-3. Florida St. looked really good in their destruction of Clemson a couple of weeks ago, a team that at the time was ranked #3. I have no doubt that Florida St. will win this game, but I think it’ll be a bit closer than 21 points. Zach agrees.