Cheddar Bay open thread #1; UGA at Clemson.

Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 11.17.32 AM

Tajh Boyd’s Chik-Fil-A performance vs. Mingo/LSU was remarkable.

 

The only reality football league where media types and Vegas sharps and a good share of the Cleveland Bar match football wits with the hoi polloi and in all in a judgment-free and supportive community is now off and running.

Week one’s all-play game is Georgia -2 at Clemson (Saturday 8pm, ABC).

The scoring is half points this week:  the total points are four, your essay-pick is worth 1.5.

Submit your picks in the thread below.

Picks should be in an hour before kickoff.

Remember, the preferred entry format is as follows.  These are guidelines, not life/death.   Main concern here is getting the right player name sync’d to his picks.

myhandlename
@Cal +6 NU  (feel free to add comments for your picks if you want; don’t mean to be anal about the form.)
Boise +3.5 @Wash
LSU -5 @TCU
ULM +23.5 @Okla
AP:  UGA -2 @Clemson
Essay:  @WKU +5 UK

Commence essay here, Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim .. 

(These are not my picks.)

Registration is still open.  Details here.

And even if you miss this week, no problem if you were on the fence and wanted to take a week to see how the game works.  The four points in week one are minor against the season’s total possible 132 points so feel free to climb on.  Note too that CLTIL did not join until week 2 in 2011 and won the regular season.

Here we go!

This week’s lines here. 

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_____
Does anyone know a simple tag cloud tool?

One of the nice features from Cheddar the last two years was a word cloud or tag cloud that Frowns was able to place in his sidebar.  This let anyone know how the picks were coming in with just a glance.

Google deprecated the gadget I used for this and I for the life of me cannot find a simple tool that:

  • lets me enter text or lets me specify a range from a Google Doc spreadsheet;
  • allows me to specify a width of 200 pixels;
  • gives me an html embed code.

For now I’m on wordpress.com which limits the widgets available to me, that’s why the embed code is a need.

Shooting this to the group in case anyone has a bright idea.

Updated as picks come in.

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  • cleinmpls

    I will take OU +20.5 for my last pick of the weekend.

  • Just entered on a whim. Sorry Kanick as I know I am putting a few of these in with less than an hr…

    Boise State +3
    Northwestern -5.5

    Ohio +20.5
    Colorado St. -3

    Essa

    • Essay coming with Monday nights game. Bummed about missing the all play, but excited to be in the contest

  • bupalos

    TCU
    Boise
    Cal*
    Georgia
    Ulmonroe
    Marshal

    Essay to come on cal

  • jmacdaddio picks:

    Clemson +2 over UGA
    Nebraska -29 over Wyoming
    UCLA -20 over Nevada
    Louisville -20.5 over Ohio
    Virginia Tech +21 over ‘Bama

    Essay: Boise St. +3 over Washington

    I’ve never done any picking for NCAA games, so this will be interesting. Admittedly Boise St. is more of an emotional pick rather than a rational one, and I’m probably falling to a recency bias since I just read something about how their program was willing to suck it up and play at odd times like 10 PM on Friday night just to help ESPN fill their schedule. Their ascent up the conference hierarchy in search of better competition is something to respect – most smallish schools run away from the big boys. Supposedly their recruiting and off-season went well – we shall see.

  • PETER M

    Clemson
    FSU -10.5 over PItt
    ALABAMA -18.5 over VATECH
    VTECH SEEMS TO WIN GAMES WITH BIG PLAYS ON SPECIAL TEAMS. NICK SABAN’S TEAMS ARE WELL PREPARED. I DONT SEE ALABAMA MAKING MISTAKES TO KEEP THIS GAMES CLOSE. THIS LINE FEELS SMALL TO ME. OPENING DAY OF A THREE PEAT CAMPAING. ALABAMA SENDS A MESSAGE TODAY
    LSU -4 over TCU
    BOISE STATE -3.5 OVER WASHINGTON
    NORTHWESTERN -5.5 OVER CAL

  • Daniel

    trashycamaro picks:

    @Iowa -3 over N. Illinois
    BYU +1 over @ UVA
    UGA -2 over @Clemson
    FSU -10.5 over @Pitt
    Miss State +13 over OSU

    Essay: LSU -5.5 over @ TCU

    The lines seem to have some trouble reflecting this, but the SEC is really good. All my SEC picks above seem to be tremendously undervalued. Clemson and Tajh Boyd might be real good, but Aaron Murray and UGA are better, and by more than 5 points. But it is not that far off. So my essay is moving to LSU over TCU. I cannot believe the line is this low. I really don’t know much of anything about TCU, but I do know LSU consistently has one of the best defenses in the NCAAs and, while they do have some struggles on offense, they do not struggle against anything but elite defenses.

    I don’t really like playing the CFB side of things – look for better essays on the pro side.

  • zarathustra

    Tulsa (L)
    Fresno St (L)
    Ole Miss (W)
    Georgia (all-play) (essay)
    Adding:
    @Washington -3 over Boist St.
    Betting on an improved o-line, kp1, and sankey at home in a new stadium. Peterson is definitely the better coach, but I’m not a believer in southwick yet.
    @California +5.5 Northwestern
    I love Northwestern as much as everybody else, but excuse me if I’m not ready to lay points on the road for a west coast night game.

  • Rodofdisaster picks:

    All-Play: Clempson +2

    BYU -3 over Virginia
    Washington State +15.5 over Auburn
    LSU -4 over TCU
    California +5.5 over Northwestern

    Essay: Colorado State +2.5

    Colorado is a team in turmoil. Coming off of a 1-11 season and a firing of its coach under odd circumstances they also proceeded to fire the AD for his shortcomings. Their QB Jordan Webb was arrested and several players transferred. One would assume that they couldn’t possibly be any worse than they were. While Texas transfer Connor Wood may end up raising the level of play on this team, it will prove difficult behind an offensive line that is remarkably weak. Colorado will have trouble stopping a stout running game that the Rams will use. If the Rams can find a deep threat at WR they will prove particularly dangerous.

  • f/b/o Art Brosef (camping)
    Toledo
    UTSA
    Clemson
    PSU

  • Mark me down for
    $$$$ Bama -21 over Va Tech (Essay coming this afternoon)
    BYU -1 over VA
    Clemson -2 over GA
    Oklahoma -21 over UL Monroe
    Toledo +23.5 over Florida
    OSU -35.5 over Buffalo.

    • Bama -21 over Va Tech

      Roughly nine months ago, I sat in the south endzone mezzanine level of Sun Life stadium as my beloved Irish got shit-stomped by grown ass men. All day long I listened to bieber-haired rich kids wearing buttoned up oxfords tucked into their seersucker pants echo “ROLL TIDE.” The women were beautiful, dressed in crimson maxi-dresses and high heeled shoes–all to come tailgate for a football game. As the day went on, their passive-agressive arrogance had me boiling and hoping that with a few lucky breaks we may be able to sneak off with a win for the ages.

      Then I sat and watched helplessly as AJ McCarron played mistake-free football to impress his supermodel girlfriend, while Brent Musberger wiped drool from his bottom lip. I slumped back in my seat as TJ Yeldon made us miss tackle after tackle, walking effortlessly into the endzone. “How could anyone have beaten these guys,” I asked. Their perfect blocking technique, their defensive tenacity, their all-world head coach.

      But enough blowing Alabama. The easiest way to say this is, I just think Logan Thomas sucks.

  • FLORIDA
    RICE
    MISS ST
    SYRACUSE
    VA TECH (essay)
    CLEMSON – ALL PLAY

    • VA TECH ESSAY
      Obviously all over this because of all the love for Bama, of course they deserve all the love, but think the Home Team can stick around. Logan Thomas is going to earn every inch he gets on the field, and as long as he doesn’t turn it over too many times, they should be able to stick around 21. let’s go HOKIES!

      • Petefranklin

        Biki with the bowling balls going against Saban with extra time to prep for the opener.

  • cleinmpls

    Bama -21 Essay

    I know Bama has lost a lot on their offensive line, but having a veteran qb like McCarron coupled with the amazing talents of TJ Yeldon certainly make things easier for that transition in the trenches. The big 3 of McCarron, Yeldon and Amari Cooper are way too much for VaTech. Much like their game against Michigan at JerryWorld last year, I look for Bama to throw the haymakers early and often. I know Logan Thomas has been hyped over the past few years, but everytime I watch him I never walk away feeling much. My gut is he will look skittIsh against the power and speed of Bama. Saban is never satisfied, but he will walk away feeling decent tonight.

  • BOTTLEGATE

    UGA -2 Clemson
    FIU +22 Maryland
    UMass + 44.5 Wisconsin
    Toledo +23.5 UF (essay)
    Nevada +20 UCLA

    This game has Week 1 upset written all over it. Aside from the fact that UF’s offense is as inept as it has been at any point in the past fifteen years, the Gators have the suspension of five players hanging over them as the season opens up on Saturday afternoon.

    Toledo plays at a very quick pace, and with UF’s defense down a few key players (including LB Antonio Morrison), Toledo could very easily jump ahead out of the gate. Even if UF is able to keep Toledo’s high flying offense reasonably under control throughout the rest of the game, UF’s questionable offense – and even more questionable passing game – may have trouble making up the ground if Toledo opens an early lead. Toledo not only covers, but wins this game.

  • DQuatts

    DQuatts Week 1 Cheddar Bay:

    ***Clemson +2
    SMU +6.5
    Ohio State -35.5
    Ohio +21.5
    LSU -5.5
    Colorado State -2.5

    Essay: Boyd and Watkins!! Against a defense that nearly lost every starter, this will be an exciting test for both squads. Clemson has some weaknesses and holes, yes, but so do the Bulldogs. I see this being a high-scoring contest, with both teams trying to get into the swing of the 2013 CFB season. Clemson has a defense that rarely gets talked about. I think this could be a chance for Clemson to put themselves on the map of serious contenders this year. I also think Boyd at home is a big help for the Tigers. Under the lights on Saturday night at home…give me the Tiger and the points!

    • Im dinging the SMU pick since you posted the (losing) pick post-kickoff.
      Pick anothern and yer wekkom.

      • DQuatts

        Sorry!!!

        Let’s go with Penn State -8.

        Thank you!

    • DQuatts

      My apologies…I was unaware that the game was being played in the Georgia Dome. Nonetheless, go Tigers!! Bigger and brighter lights even… 🙂

      Happy Saturday!

  • Bevilacqua

    Bevilacqua

    Well, it’s Week 1, and since I’m still on summer break, I had some time to go a little extreme here. I’m not sure what that says about anyone who actually has the time to read all of this, but whatever, I’m used to talking while others don’t listen (I teach art students math in a Philly public high school).

    Disclaimer: I am rejoining this reality football contest, but I also love fantasy football. Just because you like one, why do you have to hate the other? I guess haters gonna hate, which has now been clinically proven, btw (http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/08/28/haters_are_gonna_hate_dispositional_attitude_study_confirms_it.html). I find most of Frowns’s criticisms of fantasy to be a little unfounded:

    1. “Reality football means never having to worry about where a team’s playbook happened to end up at the end of a scoring drive, or whose number was called for a score.” True, but both keep you engaged in games and plays that are totally pointless and meaningless. Like when you take FSU (-31) over Maryland, and then you watch FSU (up 41-7) fumble while trying to run out the clock (45 seconds to go), and then watch Maryland’s 20th-string QB that is actually a Freshman LB throw a 42-yard TD to cover the spread with like 20 seconds left.

    2. “One is no more “wagering” than the other, yet the NFL itself relentlessly promotes fantasy — which requires exponentially less skill and analytical ability than the alternative — because the NFL wants you to be stupid so it can control you.” Yes they both are gambling, but I’d argue that the NFL relentlessly promotes both, although the reality gambling is promoted more covertly. But there is no way that reality picking requires “exponentially” more skill; both endeavors require you to look for value. I.E. the public is over-hyping ND, so I’ll bet against them vs. the public is over-hyping Browns TE Jordan Cameron, so I’ll let someone else overdraft him and look elsewhere.

    3. “Injuries can’t wreck reality football seasons, nor can the vagaries of a randomly determined draft order.” Um, injuries totally wreck reality bets, particularly if they occur early in a game (remember Colt McCoy against Alabama?). And I don’t even know what the ‘vagaries of a randomly determined draft order’ even means or how that can wreck your season. If you’re in a league with everybody returning, usually the draft order has something to do with how everybody finished the year before. And if you think picking 4th in your league instead of 10th is somehow going to have a colossal impact on your entire season, than you’re simply not smart enough for fantasy or reality football.

    4. “Fantasy football is spinning a roulette wheel once at the beginning of the season…” Is there luck involved? Absolutely. But roulette is blink luck, and fantasy requires a lot of skill too. There are reasons that the contenders of the fantasy leagues I am in are pretty consistent year in and year out, while other teams are perennial cellar dwellers.

    5. “And reality football means only watching the games you want to watch.” Partly true, but not totally. Case in
    point: the All-Play game. Also, I don’t know about anybody else, but I typically like to pick games that will be on network TV in my area (I don’t have cable). I’d probably watch them anyway, but picking a side makes it infinitely more interesting. Nevertheless, I’ve found myself rooting for the Steelers to do something good as a result of both fantasy and reality betting. And I loathe myself for this, but a good analyst will use his mind, not his heart.

    I guess that’s enough rambling for now, so here are my picks:

    Alabama (-21) over Virginia Tech
    This worked last year, so I’ll do it again. Nick Saban always has his team ready for the Week 1 vs. a ranked opponent game. And while I think VT will bounce back a bit from last year, Alabama is just too good.

    LSU (-5.5) over TCU
    I don’t know much about college teams, yet, so I may as well go full SEC mode for Week 1. TCU is also without Pac-12 Defensive POY Devonte Fields.

    BYU (-1) over Virginia
    Seems to be a popular pick around here.

    Northwestern (-5.5) over Cal
    Sports Illustrated tells me that Northwester trailed for a grand total of 4:45 last year while going 10-3. Book ‘em.

    All Play: Georgia (-2) over Clemson
    A classic matchup of 2 experienced QBs that evoke the reaction, “Those guys are still playing college ball?” Whenever confused, just take the SEC team.

    Essay Pick: Temple (+29.5) over Notre Dame
    As a resident of Philly and a former Temple student, I am naturally drawn to this game. Moreover, Temple put up billboards in Chicago saying “The Owls Have Landed,” and I teach for the School District of Philadelphia, and since our district is broke as shit, our governor and superintendent and school board are trying to bend us over, which may end up becoming a high profile teacher union vs. government thing like in Chicago last year, so there’s that random connection too. Notre Dame has got to be overrated after last year’s fluke of the season, but Temple has a lot of uncertainty (new coach, new offense, new QB, graduated 2 good RB’s, one of which [Matt Brown] failed to report to his new CFL team because of an expired passport). However, whenever I see a player (Chris Coyer) convert from a starting QB to a RB for his senior year, I have to jump on board with that. Plus, I doubt ND’s offense will be good enough to cover the 30 points, so I’m banking on the number of TDs that Notre Dame’s defense/special teams scores or sets up being at most 1.

  • f/b/o p_forever (via email)

    happy football season.

    Ga -2 Clemson
    Fla International +22 maryland
    Auburn -15.5 Wash St.
    UL-Monroe +21.5 Oklahoma
    Ohio State -35. Buffalo
    LSU -5.5 TCU essay

    I generally loathe all things SEC, but les miles is a notable exception. Who knows, but I feel like maybe he gets how ridiculously lucky he is to be doing what he’s doing, which is something super fun and something he super loves and something for which he gets paid an absurd amount of money, and he doesn’t pretend that there is a more than considerable amount of luck that got him there (and that gets us all where we are), and this is why he manages to so clearly enjoy pretty much every second of his charmed life, instead of being so horribly over-serious about everything (see, e.g., saban).

    Even if he were prone to over-seriousness, I don’t think this matchup with TCU should make miles lose much sleep. Yes LSU can be a bit lackadaisical, and tends to sleepwalk through portions of their games. But even if they do that here, they will be okay. I mean – even in this allegedly rebuilding year, it’s clear that LSU has more talent than TCU. And LSU is returning a pack of starters that includes their quarterback. TCU isn’t returning nearly as many starters – of course they do get their quarterback, which is important. But who knows where that guy’s head will be – he missed all of last season to attend to “personal issues” occasioned by his drug and alcohol use. mostly i think he’s going to be way way way over-serious about his performance in this first game, and that won’t help him.

    Here’s how it’s going to go down: TCU hangs tight or is even winning by a few points at halftime, but LSU stops sleep walking, starts playing, and has no trouble disposing of the Horned Frogs.

  • Jdoepke

    Rookie season to Cheddar Bay, looking forward to some fun this year.

    Jdoepke
    Ga -2 @ Clemson (All Play)
    Toledo +23.5 @ Florida
    Ohio +20.5 @ Louisville
    Central Michigan +31.5 @ Michigan
    Buffalo + 35.5 @ Ohio State

    Essay:
    @Washington -3 vs. Boise St.
    These teams just played in the Las Vegas Bowl last year and I had Washington and lost so why not try again? Wash has a ton of starters back, Boise not so much. Washington back home at “new” stadium and crowd will be pumped for a program like Boise coming in. Vegas opened Huskies as 4 pt fav and I’m guessing (actually hoping) that the public bet it down to where it is based on the Boise name. I subscribe to the fact that Vegas knows more than me and making the Huskies a 4 pt fav vs. the 19th ranked team in the country seems a little off for me. I think this game is close but Washington pulls away late to win by 10, 31-21.

  • pateslvrblk

    Here goes:

    Clemson+2 over Georgia
    Nevada+20 over UCLA
    ***Alabama-21 over VTech
    Arkansas -10.5 over Lafayette
    Texas St +8.5 over So Miss
    Pittsburgh+10.5 over FSU
    Sorry, no essay, I’m in London putting picks in at Starbucks

    • Exec Comm grants a special first week essay waiver to Pate allowing for verified London-family-vacay plus week-one-easy-ness plus veteran status.

  • thatsfine

    Greetings! Cheddar Bay rookie here, happy to be aboard. As a loyal reader of Frowns I have enjoyed the CB threads immensely the past few years, I feel like I had to jump in this year.

    My picks
    thatsfine

    All play: UGA -2 / Clemson
    OSU -35.5 / Buffalo
    UMichigan -31.5 / CMich
    Auburn -16 / Wash.St
    Boise St. +3 / Wash

    ESSAY PICK
    UCal +5.5 / NW
    As a former employee of the University of California-Berkeley, I can honestly say that the student body certainly doesn’t give a damn about sports (particularly football) in a Midwestern or Southern way… but early in the season everybody comes together to give the slightest hint of a damn… at least until USC obliterates them or they drop a home game to Oregon State. “Northwestern football is coming to town” doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of anyone. The football program had the nerve to bring two Big Ten teams to town in the same season, which is admirable. Cal has a ridiculous schedule this year, and I think they find a way to cover the spread at home before getting reamed by a different Big Ten team in two weeks.

  • Concierge

    NC State -13.5
    UCLA -19.5
    Northwestern -6
    Buffalo +35.5
    UL Monroe +22.5
    AP: UGA -2

    ESSAY
    Northwestern is an excellent football team. People forget they won 10 games a season ago. With Cain Kolter returning at QB I think this is a game that NW wins easily. Don’t forget that Marc Venric is a heisman trophy candidate and could a darkhorse big ten MVP.. he’s a little jitter bug type back that can make people miss and he finds the end zone. Cal is starting a first time QB in Jared Goff who oh by the way is a true freshman.. GIMME Northwestern all day! -6

  • oxr

    oxr:

    AP: Clemson +2 over Georgia
    Boise State +3 over Washington
    Washington St +16 over Auburn
    Fresno St -10 over Rutgers
    Ohio State -35.5 over Buffalo

    Essay: Toledo +23.5 over Florida

    I know very little about college football except that I am in favor of the Oregon Ducks – but they don’t have a Cheddar line this week against mighty Nicholls State, it’s much too late to spitefully pick against USC, and I’m supposed to be on a plane in six hours so there’s no time to learn much else about all these other faraway places with strange-sounding names. Why not join the apparent consensus that this is just more points than Florida merits right now? It’s a much more meaningful game for the Rockets, as opposed to an ostensible warm-up for Florida. But the Gators are apparently missing nine guys – including six due to suspension, including one who was jailed earlier this year, in part, for “barking at a police dog” (according to the ESPN report I just saw, anyway.) I know it’s the SEC, but how deep can a depth chart be? I see Toledo potentially keeping it competitive and not losing by three-and-a-bit TDs.

    • oxr

      This is already a travesty, as I have illustrated the extent to which I follow college football by not only picking a game that happened the previous day, but picking it incorrectly. By the indulgence of the Executive Committee, I opt to replace my ahistorical Fresno pick with UL-Monroe +21 over Oklahoma, because why not.

  • Essay: SMU +6.5 – New head coach for Texas Tech with no prior head coaching experience, and a walk-on freshman will be starting for them at QB. Add in the fact that it’s a nationally televised game on the road, I just find it difficult for them to lay almost a TD. On the other hand, the experience of coach June Jones on the SMU sideline coupled with QB Garrett Gilbert, and I feel that this line is a bit high considering the Texas Tech unknowns. Those who don’t remember, Gilbert was the backup for Texas who entered the national championship game a few years ago vs. Alabama when Colt McCoy got hurt. I’ve seen the line as low as -4 in some places, so I’ll take the value that the 6.5 points offers on the home team.

    All Play: Clemson +2 – Wouldn’t touch this game if I didn’t have to, so I’ll take the home dog under the lights.

    Auburn -16
    Washington -3
    Colorado +3
    Toledo +23.5

  • ArtVandelay

    ArtVandelay

    1. Temple +29.5 @ ND – ND doesnt have any other preseason games on their schedule so they will use this game to figure things out on O. Plus ND is typically too large a favorite early in the season.

    2. Maryland -22 vs FIU – Terps actually will have a QB play QB rather than a true freshman linebacker.

    3. Bama -21 vs VT

    4. LSU -5.5 vs TCU – LSU will be greatly improved on O with Cam Cameron calling the shots. The LSU D is a given.

    AP: UGA -2 @ Clemson – There is no question that Boyd & Watkins are dynamic but there are questions everywhere else on their O. UGA offense is well balanced and should

    Essay: BYU -1 @ UVA
    I could write Kyle Van Noy a hundred times and be done. Van Noy is one of the best in all of college football and will be a 1st round pick in the 2014 NFL draft. There are other solid performers returning to the Cougar D which will allow their D to be recognized as one of the best for the 2nd straight year. The offensive side of the ball is what failed BYU last year as to put it politely they stunk. Taysom Hill is healthy & will be under center which should help the unit improve. The Cougars also have a solid receiving corp highlighted by Cody Hoffman who will also have his name called in May. UVA appears to be one of those teams that is a year a way from fielding a solid squad. This year they will be young & inexperienced which is not a recipe for success early on especially facing a top defense.

  • Bobby_Slick

    Here goes week 1 and half pointers…

    Hawaii +23 WIN

    BYU -1 (UVA stinks)
    UTSA +3 (NM stinks, and some good essays out there convinced me this is the right thing to do)
    LSU -5.5 (Everything in my body tells me this is dumb, but cannot see TCU hanging with the talent the Tigers have, especially on D)
    CSU -3 vs CU (The Boulder folk are awfully excited about that legal weed, come out lazy in this one and the Rams get one at Mile High)

    Clemson +2 *** Essay

    All Clemson did was cover for me last year so it would be flat out rude to turn my back on my boys Taj and Sammy. Obviously the hype surrounds Boyd as he is getting a lot of talk about a headman run, but this comes down to the UGA D. Losing 9 starters is not an easy thing to overcome especially with one of the more prolific offenses coming at you. Not to mention, playing at Clemson is going to be a hostile environment for this Georgia team to come into and while I think Aaron Murray is a solid QB, I don’t think they have enough offense to keep up with Clemson. I look for a huge scoring affair, something along the lines of 37-31 in favor of the Tigers.

  • Not going to change one of my picks but… SMU is now +4, compared to the opening 6 pt line, while public % is heavy T Tech. Prototypical reverse line movement. SMU does also return former TX big time QB prospect Gilbert for his 2nd yr + home game and young Tech squad. My $ tonight will be on SMU. Not to influence anybody’s Tech pick on Cheddar but thought Id pass along the info to the crowd. I guess that’s what this forum is for?

    • zarathustra

      I suspect I’m not alone in apprecating the info.

  • Squeekycleen

    Essay play: TCU: Let’s not beat around the bush, this line is shady. Sure, TCU is a competitive squad with a solid coach who has played a lot of top squads tough, but catching less than a TD from a top power SEC squad seems like a bit of a stretch. Pretty much any square fan looks at this number and immediately assumes it looks like a “safe spot” to play LSU. Well, I hate safety! Paschall should turn it over and slam it into the offensive linemen’s head this year less than Boykin last year. On the flip side, I’m no big believer in Mettenberger and even less of a believer in Miles, despite his success. Even more important than the Xs and Os and the Jimmys and Joes which I pay not too much attention to, I really expect the oddsmakers to have a solid rebound year after getting pounded the last two years. I don’t think there are going to be a lot of freebies.

    Others:

    PITT: They were terrible last year, and FSU is getting their annual hype. When was the last time the Seminoles were legitimately good?

    SMU: Soft spot in my heart for my little ponies.

    UT-San Antonio: How bad is New Mexico that they are laying a FG at home in this one?

    Northern Illinois: Iowa can’t score. Program has been a mess the past few years.

    All play: Clemson: Total coin flip.

  • cleinmpls

    Kanick, I will probably be annoying and post a few at a time like last year, so I apologize for this now. Anyhow, here are my first 4. I really struggle with the first week of college, and I feel like I went with too many college favorites last year, but here goes…

    BYU -1 Most of the ppl I trust with college ball say BYU is clearly better
    LSU -5.5 Probably a sloppy game, but the Mad Hatter will have his guys ready
    Georgia -2 for the all play. I am a huge Tahj fan, but I don’t think he beats the SEC two times in a row.
    Troy -3.5 Not sure why I am picking this one, but I am

  • cheddarclay

    Vandy (+3.5) / Ole Miss – tweeted to kanick this morning
    Okla St (-13) / Miss St
    VT (+21) / Bama
    Clemson (+2) / UGA
    Northwestern (+5.5) / Cal

    NC State (-14) / La Tech

    Week 1 is hard to feel strong enough about something to write an essay, but here goes…

    Some key factors here: both teams have new HC’s. State got former NIU coach Dave Doeren who took a MAC team to a BCS bowl last year. La Tech goes out and gets Skip Holtz who won 3 games last year and left a shit mess at USF… State tough at home vs non conference last 4 years (10-1)… La Tech defense that returns only 4 starters, gave up 55, 41, and 43 in their last 3 games last year vs Texas St, Utah St, and San Jose St. Just hoping NC State scores on their first few drives, fires their crowd up and rolls it on home.

    Kanick – word press would not let me have “clay” or anything even close, hence the new name. not trying to confuse anything

  • cltil

    And here we are again, really need to stretch first or I’ll be cramping like one of those guys playing tonight in a 90+ degree heat index. Wish I had a trainer, but this Great Lakes IPA something-or-other will have to do for now. Also feeling a little cheated having never shuffleboarded with Frowns (or shuffleboarded at all, come to think of it), but I guess there’s still time.

    CLTIL

    Texas Tech – 6.5 @ SMU
    BYU -1 @ Virginia
    ~AP~ @Clemson +2 over Georgia
    @ TCU + 5.5 over LSU
    @Troy -3.5 over UAB

    **@ Syracuse + 8 over Penn St.

    Adversity can be a great catalyst. With Coach Doug Marrone gone to the NFL, and finding themselves in a new, more challenging conference, it seems to be an uphill trek for the Orange. But change and the challenge of the unknown can be really good sometimes as I have found (like here, for instance). Sure, they don’t know or haven’t said who is their starting QB and really, it’s mostly about their D for now with the new HC coming from the defensive ranks… But, but I will take the points and root for the New York that isn’t NYC over Penn State any day. Oh and thankful for half points this week. I went to a basketball college.

  • munasrevenge

    OSU -35.5 vs Buffalo (Hooray for terrible scheduling!)
    Vanderbilt +3.5 vs Mississippi (Playing against the Hugh Freeze hype. Vandy is solid, Ole Miss will have to show me something before I believe in them.)
    Fresno St -10 vs Rutgers (Long trip for a depleted Rutgers defense; Fresno should be pretty formidable this year.)
    Boise St +3 at Washington (A decent case could be made that Boise should be favored in this game; other than last year they typically open very strong on the road.)

    Clemson +2 vs Georgia (Normally a game I wouldn’t touch. I think Georgia is a tad overrated, and Clemson is Clemson.)

    Early season betting can be tricky (but also a treasure trove) in college football. More so than the NFL, roster changes, coaching changes, and “unknown unknowns” can make lines tricky reads. In my opinion, no game encapsulates this more than this pick. One will be debuting a new coach; this isn’t so unusual or even necessarily a death sentence. Neither team has listed a starting QB yet; this is, um, a bit more unusual? Both teams return a fair amount of starters, but with so much unknown it’s nearly impossible to predict what could happen. When in doubt, go with the home team getting the points (especially when the home team is not the team playing with a reduced scholarship roster due to NCAA sanctions):

    Syracuse +8 vs Penn St

    (In unimaginably terrible football games, I like UNLV +14 @ Minnesota and FIU +22 @ Maryland, but 3 of those teams are just so terrible (Minny is merely mediocre) that I can’t bear to play them.)

  • Hi, my name is Katie, and I’m a rookie. I can promise one this throughout my first season in Cheddar, I will be honest.

    I’ve been a Browns fan my whole life but the first 20 years were by default. I remember being tossed in the air when a touchdown was scored and I remember being taught to say, “f*ck Bernie Kosar” when I was seven and getting a lot of positive attention for it. When the Browns moved, the atmosphere in my household was as if someone in the family had passed. The only more sullen time in my house was when we lost The Intimidator a few years later. I don’t have any stories of going to Cleveland Stadium with my dad because he worked third shift before The Move and he hates big cities anyway. Despite not attending Cleveland football was a staple in my household and I was raised to respect the game- even if I didn’t love it or understand it…yet.

    My sophomore year of college, during Thanksgiving break, I went to my first Browns game. It didn’t rain, or snow, the weather was doing something in between the whole time. I looked around and it didn’t seem to bother anyone else in the Dawg Pound. As someone who was a cheerleader from middle school through college, I was amazed the fans stayed. The times I shouted to empty stands during inclement weather are plenty. Yet, here was a fan base who didn’t budge, through the cold and the sleet and after going through four quarterbacks in that one game. I’m pretty sure Cribbs was taking snaps by the end of it all. I finally got it. I caught the fire that burns in one’s soul for a team. In that moment I became hooked on the opiate of America.

    I am no subject matter expert in football or even the Browns but I have a love for the sport and my team. I only know about Cleveland Frowns, Cheddar Bay, and ergo, Jim Kanicki by way of Nick (@nmesha), my very patient other half. Last year, I was able to have my input and try to make “my picks” but the ultimate decision was his and I want my chance this year. I understand female rookies has a history of making a splash (I’m looking at you CLTIL and pgshakelton), and I hope to add to the tradition or go out in a hurricane of lobsteritas.

    I’m pretty sure the academy started playing the music a couple of paragraphs ago, so without further ado, my picks:

    +44.5 Massachusetts vs. Wisconsin: Love the Massholes, and while the Badgers can pump out NFL players, they’re only good for Halloween to me.
    -1 BYU vs. Virginia: Saw Book of Mormon this year and “Asa Diga Eebowai” is my new mantra.
    -8 Penn State vs. Syracuse: During the NCAA tournament last year I was at the Winking Lizard when Syracuse lost and the one of the only guys cheering for them, orange-button down and all, was absolutely obnoxious.
    -3 Boise State vs. Washington: I like the other Washington team better but decided not to touch that game this week versus Auburn.
    All Play: -2 Georgia vs. Clemson: One of our Greek Life advisors in college was from Clemson and she was forgettable. I’m guessing Clemson’s football team might be too. Also, my favorite draft pick (Jarvis Jones!) is from Georgia. The only thing worse than us not picking him is that we have to play against him twice a year. “Us”, as if I’m on the Browns, sorry not sorry.
    Essay: -5 Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky
    I’m taking Kentucky, minus five (not negative five, as I’ve been corrected) over Western Kentucky. Mostly because they have a wicked good cheerleading squad. Like, real cheerleaders. Broads who dance for NFL teams are not cheerleaders. They are very athletic, flexible, and talented but cheerleading, the stunting and the tumbling, ends after college. Kentucky has won UCA’s National College Cheerleading Championship “an unprecedented 19 times.” I also have a fondness for Kentucky because it is where I had my first fried pickle. Just when I thought pickles couldn’t get any better, Kentucky fried them. They’re ubiquitous now and thank goodness.

    • cltil

      Splash away, Katie, you are off to a great start – and the discovery of fried pickles can only mean good things. Mine happened at Swenson’s recently, that’s really all I remember about the place (sorry Akron, but had to squint to find the burger in my burger).

      • Yikes about Swenson’s! Last time I was there my lemonade blew over and into my car- will not be back, at least, not in my own vehicle 🙂

        Thank you for the kind words- this is all happening so fast!

    • WHERE IS THE LOVE BUTTON?

      • acto

        Love button??
        I have never found that elusive myth either.
        Perhaps that explains why I am still single.

      • Thanks, Frowns!

  • Howdy kids. I too met Frowns playing shuffleboard with Chuckycrater, and am here to donate all the money I take from people playing 2-5 no limit at Derby Lane here in Tampa. I can beat teh pokerz, but the football yeah not so much. But I intend to light this $100 bill on fire like our athletic department did when they gave Skip Hotlz a five year contract extension (seriously, that guy can really suck it).

    My picks:

    Toledo +23.5 over Florida. The Gators might not score 24 points against the SEC East. All season. Seriously.

    Wazzu +16 over Auburn. Leach had an entire off season with his team. Some mesh wrinkle we’ve never seen before is coming out. They’ll cover.

    Miami -32 over FAU. I have it on very good authority that the ‘Canes are going to run it up BIG this week. Also, we’ll be hammering Miami very hard this year… we were ALL OVER them in basketball last season, and got proven right.

    Hawai’i +23 over USC. The oldest rule in DegenerateLand: Always take the ‘Bows at home, and never on the road.

    All pick:

    Georgia -2 over Clemson. Just a standard bet on Clemson Clemsoning all over themselves… let’s just hope they don’t blow it by 1 instead of 3.

    Essay:

    Akron -22 over UCF:

    “Hi, I’m George O’Leary. You may recognize me from my other hits such as lying about my resume and possibly killing a kid. Even though I just had a press conference telling everyone that kids today aren’t tough enough (except for that kid I killed… HE WAS A SAINT!!), I expect my players to go out and perform for me to the best of their ability. Though everyone on this roster totally hates my guts, I think by baiting them they’ll play even harder for me. THIS IS A FLAWLESS PLAN!!”

    • And that would be Akron +22 obviously… but don’t think the Zips couldn’t win by 4 scores when UCF’s entire offensive line starts curbstomping their coaches like in American History X in the 3rd quarter.

    • Welcome, friend!

  • North Carolina (+12.5) at SOUTH CAROLINA

    I look forward to the Bryn Renner show. I understand we’re all excited about Clowney, and deservedly so, but I’m not sold on South Carolina on the whole. In the past, this would have been a pick I made out of spite, but there’s no room for feelings or anti-SEC sentiment in Cheddar Bay. I like Larry Fedora, and I feel the Heels can win this one straight-up.

    *THIS IS NOT MY ESSAY*

    • Utah State (+2.5) at UTAH

      This line is difficult to understand. The Aggies are better on both sides of the ball. I’m not so sure the departure of Anderson makes State worse than the Utes, even at Rice-Eccles.

      *THIS IS NOT MY ESSAY*

    • In a Cheddar Bay first for me, I’m going to bag my essay.

      Just give me NIU, Notre Dame, Georgia, and Nebraska.

      Please put the essay weight on the Georgia over Clemson pick.

  • HE’S BACK!

  • Rolling with the RAINBOW WARRIORS tonight (+23) over USC due to their vaunted home field advantage and Lane Kiffin’s Romeo-ish inability to pick a starting QB (Max Wittek looked bad last year; Kessler is completely inexperienced; “if you have 2 starting QBs, you probably don’t have one”). Of course, if Wittek/Kessler suck tonight (they will), the constant downfield threat of Marquise Lee is at least somewhat neutralized.

    More picks to come tomorrow/Sat.

    • NOTE: this is not my essay pick, in case there was any confusion.

    • Thursday: Hawaii (+23) over USC (covered)
      *******************************************************

      UT-SA (+3.5) over New Mexico
      Syracuse (+8) over Penn State
      Marshall (-20) over Miami (OH)
      All Play: Clemson (+2) over Georgia

      ESSAY: Alabama (+21) over VT

      Nick Saban has had 8 months to prepare for this game, so I’m expecting a result similar to last year’s opening beatdown of Michigan. Bama recruits so well that I’d pick them to cover even if they were replacing all 22 starters; that McCarron, Yeldon, Cooper et al. are back on offense is just an added bonus, as is the fact that the first-team defense is entirely comprised of juniors and seniors. Likewise, the mostly new o-line doesn’t worry me too much. Two starters are back (including Cyrus Kouandjio, who’s a total beast), and reports indicate that the three newbies seem to be holding their own (http://www.al.com/alabamafootball/index.ssf/2013/08/alabama_offensive_line_anticip.html). Conversely, Logan Thomas was one of CFB’s bigger disappointments in 2012, and Bama’s fearsome D will only accelerate his downward spiral.

  • Sigh.

    I could probably read a million different previews and articles and not be very confident about any of my picks. So here goes nothing. First week is only worth half anyway right?

    RickWFNY

    USC -23 over Hawaii

    Alabama -21 over Virginia Tech

    Oklahoma St. -13 over Mississippi State

    LSU -5.5 over TCU

    I will update later with the all play. Need a little more time to let this one marinate.

    Essay:

    Ohio State -35.5 over Buffalo.

    Don’t be a hero. Stick with what you know Rick. I know that the Buckeyes should be much improved on offense from last season, and they weren’t terrible last year. I also know that Ohio State only beat a 35.5 point spread once last season, in the opener against Miami.

    The Buckeyes are going to score, and score often against a MAC defense that was in the bottom half of the league last season surrendering nearly 30 points per contest. I have no doubt that the Buckeyes will put up enough points for the cover, my only question was whether the defense and all of it’s new starters would be able to keep up their end of the deal.

    Then I saw how much Buffalo struggled offensively last season. This is a unit that ranked 101 in points scored, led by a quarterback who returns this season that only completed 51% of his passes. In other words, whatever inexperience the Buckeyes may have on defense isn’t going to matter a ton against an inept Buffalo offense. It’s a lot of points to give up. But I am pretty confident the Buckeyes will come through. I also have no fear that Urban Meyer will “call off the dogs”.

  • Flim Flam, Bim Bam, OLE MISS BY DAMN -3.5 for one point, mostly because Zara convinced me they’d be a fun BCS play at a billion to 1.

    • zarathustra

      I’m glad you got it (2 less zeroes last I checked.) I can’t tell you how many people I told about that wager this summer and they all looked at me like I was crazy–although that could have been because I was a wee bit tipsy and sans pants. But still…it’s better than a lottery ticket.

      • acto

        Although I really like zarathustra and I “get it”, “sans pants” may be an even better interweb name.

    • I will add SMU -6.5 over the Tech Techers for one point because I don’t like the cut of Cliff Kingsbury’s jib. Wait, Jim, are we not supposed to do this, leaving picks as replies? It seems better to just have them all in one place if they’re going to come in piecemeal but if that makes it harder on your end let me know.

      • Oh well I see it’s “Kliff,” which provides additional justification for this pick. Considering essaying.

        • remember you’d be riding a “June” so there’s that too.

      • Any way is fine. All is easy. I’m collecting picks from an admin comment page that is sorted by time so it doesn’t matter.

        I know you know but for the group: when you submit your essay, just note the earlier picks in that write-up.

      • I have come to really hate trying to pick college football games before around week 9 or so (nothing ever stays the same!). My strategy on the colleges will mainly be to just see what TA, FlyHighCharlie, Brosef and etc. are up to, so for my essay pick this week I’ll hop on the Toledo bandwagon and pull for them to keep it close. Toledo, a program on the move! Arguably better than they were last year. Florida is arguably worse than they were last year, and has a bunch of their guys out for today. Toledo beat Bowling Green last year. Florida almost lost to Bowling Green last year. BOOM. I do not think this angle is especially undervalued, other than the MAC > SEC element of it, but early in the season, especially week 1, that can be enough. So:

        Toledo +23.5 over Florida ****************

        For the All Play I’ll take Clemson because Death Valley.

        For my two other plays I’ll take UT San Ant. because TA, and UL-Lafayette because Brosef.

        NFL next week, guys, can’t wait!

  • Its Only Money

    @ MSU -28 WMU
    Texas Tech -6.5 @ SMU
    @ OSU -35.5 Buff
    FSU -10.5 @ Pitt
    AP UGA -2 @ Clem
    Essay UofA +22 @ UCF

    This is a complete homer pick to give my Zips some love. After back-to-back 1 win seasons, I think, in his second year, Terry Bowden is going to field a much more competitive team. Terry went the tried and true route of JUCO transfers and misfits to right the ship for the Zippers. While they are not going to stop their unbelievable 26 game road losing streak, dating back to October 2008, I think they do come in under the 22. The Zips return 14 starters from last year, 7 on each side of the ball. After some early season close calls last year the team couldn’t over come the momentum of losing. I think this year they will take a step forward.

  • Nick’s picks:
    Toledo +23 @ FLA
    Texas Tech -6.5 @ SMU
    Kentucky -5 @ W.Kentucky
    Bowling Green -4.5 vs Tulsa
    All Play: Clemson +2 vs Georgia – I think Georgia is going to have a hard time bouncing back from last year. They were so close against Bama.

    Essay Pick: S. Carolina -12.5 vs N. Carolina
    I just love the OBC. Steve Spurrier is always interesting, compelling, and honest in interviews. He wears a visor, refers to himself in 3rd person, and goes for 2 even when it doesn’t make sense. This is Spurrier’s 24th season as a college head coach, and his 9th year at South Carolina. The gamecocks have won 11 games in each of the past two seasons, the only other schools to reach the 11 win mark in each of the past two seasons are Alabama, Boise St, Oregon, and Stanford. They also have this guy named Clowney, who is like really good. CLICK CLACK. Ref (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moPBR6os8Z0)

  • Mike D

    FTCMikeD
    Thursday night games only:

    SCAR -12.5 over UNC
    USC -23 over Hawaii

    More picks to follow later.

    • FTCMikeD

      FTCMikeD
      SCAR (win)
      USC (loss)

      Remaining Picks:
      ******tOSU -35.5 over Buffalo
      Toledo +23.5 over Florida
      AP: UGA -2 over Clemson
      Boise St +3 over Wash

      *****Essay
      The Buckeyes are going to come out on Saturday as if fired out of a cannon. The bittersweet B1G champions are looking for vengeance and Urban is their firebrand. There is a quest this year: to restore honor to the B1G and slay the mighty Tide, to end the years of “the B1G is too slow, too old fashioned, too conservative”. To beat down the SEC once and for all in last hurrah of the BCS. Do I think that will happen? Probably not. A powderpuff schedule will not prepare the Bucks well this year, which is too bad. But, they will be motivated this week against a Buffalo team that won’t know what hit them. The annual MAC sacrifice to the mighty Buckeye god. And they aren’t even from the great state of Ohio, for shame. Surely the offering will be bloody. Just bloody enough to cover the 35.5.

  • Berger Picks – Go Flashes

    Georgia -2 vs Clemson (all play)
    LSU -5.5 vs TCU
    Central FL -22 vs Akron
    Arkansas -10.5 vs UL Lafayette
    Florida St -10.5 vs Pittsburgh

    Iowa -3 vs Northern Illinois (essay)

    I get it, Jordan Lynch is the real deal and Iowa is a weaker Big 10 team. Northern Illinois loses 7 players on Defense. For a MAC school, that doesn’t have a bunch of 3-4 star players on the bench, that’s hard to overcome and expect to have the same type of success as the previous year. This team will not be taken lightly by Iowa which happens to be the only team to beat them last year before NIU being overmatched in the BCS game. Northern Illinois is a good team, but the AQ schools know that now and will be prepared.

  • okay here we go another cheddar bay year let’s start with the picks i suppose:

    Clemson +2
    WMU +28
    SMU +6.5
    Cincinnati -10.5
    Buffalo +35.5
    NIU +3

    and for my essay let’s go with niu

    here is the thing about the huskies: i really don’t know how they won the amount of games they won last year. their defense was just okay, and they completely relied on jordan lynch. the scary thing is they were two points away from being undefeated going into bowl season. and that loss came to iowa. so since northern illinois isn’t going to get a chance to play fsu again and get ‘revenge,’ iowa is it. i heard every player and coach at niu say iowa was the most important game on the schedule (and not just because it was the ‘first’). they should have won that game last year and they knew it, and every chance the mac gets to beat a bcs team is a game the whole conference wants to win.

    i don’t know what to make of iowa, but ferentz is playing with house money and he’s doing so with the look a bored guy gets as he keeps making bets at the blackjack table. he doesn’t care he could pay someone’s rent with the money he’s losing, he just doesn’t have anything better to do. my gut tells me just based on luck the hawkeyes win more than six games, but who knows. the numbers like niu here, and so do i.

  • deputyglitters

    Georgia -2 @ Clemson
    Arkansas -10.5 vs. UL-Lafayette
    Louisville -20.5 vs. Ohio
    SMU + 6.5 vs. Texas Tech
    Virginia +1 vs. BYU
    Massachussetts + 44.5 @ Wisconsin **

    1.) Massachussetts has absolutely terrible run defense (in the bottom 10 of the FBS last year) and the Badgers run the ball better than almost everyone in college football. Logic says that’s exactly what’s going to happen here. Running. Running. More running. Time ticks away accordingly. Hopefully fast enough to limit scoring opportunities and keep Wisconsin under 50 or so.
    2.) The Badgers haven’t necessarily settled on a starting quarterback (or a starting center or right guard for that matter). Both are slated to play in what is essentially still and open competition. Hopefully one tries to push a little too hard and commits a costly error or two and forfeiting a scoring possession here and there.
    3.) Umass, running the spread, will throw all day. Wisconsin is starting 3 new players in their defensive backfield and one true freshman. Blind squirrels score touchdowns occasionally, and if the Minutemen can get at least one score, that 44.5 point cushion looks very good.
    4.) In a cupcake game that amounts to a glorified scrimmage, I can see the starters coming out of this one early for Wisconsin in preparation for their next game against… Tennessee Tech? Forget this last point.
    5.) 44.5 points.

    • All the likes for hopping on 44 and one half points.. where-ever, whenever.

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    All Play: UGA -2 vs Clemson
    Fresno -10.5 vs Rutgers
    Boise +3 @ Washington
    South Carolina -10.5 vs North Carolina
    Essay: Ohio State -36 vs Buffalo
    I won’t pretend to know anything about college football. I think I had two college essay picks last year and both wentt down in flames (ie ND vs Alabama in the BCS). So I’ll go with the team I know best. I think Urban Meyer is going to run the score up on these kids and it will be 35-0 at half. I’d be shocked if Urban didn’t put 70 up like he did in the old days at Florida. This isn’t Jim Tressel football anymore ladies, this is rip your heart out and show it to you SEC football. I’m sure Braxton will use this game as a spring board for his Heisman bid and Urban will allow him to throw/run for 5 or 6 td’s. 70-14 Go Bucks.

    • Harbaugh Handshakes

      Sorry forgot to include Kentucky -5 over W. Kentucky

  • cwonder23

    UGA -2 @ Clemson (All Play)
    Oklahoma -21 vs UL-Monroe – Bob Stoops will have the Sooners ready to play
    Boise St. +3 @ Washington – big fan of Chris Petersen
    Arkansas -10.5 vs UL-Lafayette
    Cincinnati -10.5 vs Purdue – Purdue is going to be terrible this year.
    Miami (OH) +20 @ Marshall (Essay Pick)

    Essay: This is my introductory Cheddar Bay essay so I figured I would introduce myself. I am picking MUOHIO to cover because I am a 2007 graduate and I just can’t see them getting beat by more than 20 against Marshall. Marshall has lost their last 3 season openers and I don’t expect that trend to continue against the Redhawks but I still see them coming out a little flat and winning by less than 20. Miami is a young team that won’t be very good this year but I figured I would start with them for my inaugural Cheddar Bay pick! Although, I’m an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan (born and raised), I can’t bet for or against the black and gold! I’m already drunk and pissed on Saturdays and I don’t need to add insult to injury. Anyways, pleasure meeting everyone through this thread. Good luck to everyone and let’s have a great, competitive year! Go Hawkeyes! Go Redhawks!

    • Welcome and ‘Love and Honor.’
      -Kanick, MU ’83.

  • zarathustra

    Georgia -2 over @Clemson (all play) (money)
    I love Clemson, but the fact of the matter is they are fools gold compared to a talented sec team. I know, I know lsu in the bowl game. The problem with that is that lsu had it all wrapped up and les miles went all les miles for reasons that only les miles knows and handed clemson the ball with time. I’m concerned about the Georgia d, but then again, there is plenty to be concerned about on the clemson d as well. I love love love taj and sammy, but in a shootout I’m taking the team loaded with future pros.

    @Fresno St -10 over Rutgers

    Ole Miss -3.5 over @Vandy
    Shitty number to lay on the road, but ole miss is the superior team. I love james franklin, but last year he had much more talent and they still got off to a slow start. No more stacy and a new qb will make it hard to keep up against a team on the rise looking to make statement after what will undoubtedly be fiery pre-game speach from their coach.

    • zarathustra

      One more for tonight:
      Tulsa +3.5 over @bowling green

  • f/b/o Clay: Vandy +3.5 tonite.

  • Art Brosef

    I plan on staying employed for the duration of football season this year, so ill be around till the end of this competition. Also, Im out for revenge after TA somehow robbed my UTSA essay for Essay of the Year. Truth be told, I appreciate all of his insights, I just really like whiskey. Anyway, here we go, The Brosef Special #1 and Im feeling good.

    Mark Hudspeth and UL Lafeyette are coming off back-to-back 9 win seasons and return 14 starters. In particular, Terrance Broadway returns after capping off an impressive season (where he completed 65% of his passes and tallied 3600 all purpose yards) with a 300+ yard passing performance and victory in the postseason. To boot, all of that occurred behind a mostly returning offensive line that only allowed 13 sacks last year and averaged close to 200 yards rushing a game.

    For numerous reasons, the least of which his twitter account, everyone is WELL aware Brett Beilema jumped ship from the slow and boring Big Ten to the fast and exciting SEC. But your average bro celebrating the start of college football season at the MGM sportsbook probably doesn’t realize that Arkansas enters this year having lost their leading passer, their leading rusher, their leading receiver, and their leading tackler. Now, given Arkys performance last year, its fair to consider that might not be that big of a deal. But it’s at least a deal. Brandon Allen will be making only his second career start at QB for Arky, and even the best coach can’t turn around a program in one year. This is a short commute for UL Lafayette, they are no pushover, and they keep this close. Maybe even pull it out.

    Ragin Cajuns +10

    • Petefranklin

      Not to mention how Arky has traditionally played down to its competition in openers, like last year. I’m staying away though.

  • Georgia -2 over Clemson (All Play)
    Washington St +16 over Auburn ***
    Iowa -3 over N. Illinois
    Virginia Tech +21 over Alabama
    Ohio U +20.5 over Louisville
    TCU +5.5 over LSU

    *** There won’t be a time in this century that I won’t back a Mike Leach coached team. Meanwhile Auburn (and of course the always hyped and potentially over-inflated lines because of SEC-bias) ushers in the Gus Malzahn era. Gus who?! Neither of these teams was any good last year but I have more faith in Leach’s passing attack to at least score some points against an Auburn defense that gave up 34 pts per game last year (in conference play.) Also Auburn is starting a JUCO transfer at QB who may or may not be good. Therefore I’ll take the Cougars & Mike Leach over a new coach and new QB (at least enough to cover the 16 points.)

    • Art Brosef

      Gimme Fresno because Kanicki makes a lot of sense here, and Im packing for http://www.gentlemenoftheroad.com and dont have time to dig as deep as Id like. Cheers

  • acto

    Acto
    All Play Georgia -2 @ Clemson Difficult to understand why this is only two points, I would take Georgia if they were -10.
    @ South Carolina -12.5 over North Carolina Even though he plays on the wrong side of the ball, Connor Shaw is the difference maker in this game. One caveat is that SC has a very overrated player on the important side of the ball, he made one famous hit, but he also makes an unsuitably high number of mental mistakes and he oftentimes uses his quickness and talent to run himself out of position. If you have to ask who said overrated player is, that is a clown question bro.
    @ Bowling Green -3.5 over Tulsa
    @ Central Florida -22 over Akron
    @ Ohio State -35.5 over Buffalo
    Super Terrific Happy Hour Essay
    Toledo + 23.5 over Florida
    Will Muschamp and his gators have an amazing penchant for playing to the level of their respective competition, if I recall correctly they had four games last year that were way too close against teams with decidedly weaker talent pools. Florida may not even score 23 points, let alone win by that margin. Florida has a terrific secondary, but Terrance Owens will be able to tuck it and run enough against Florida’s less talented front seven to keep Florida’s offence from being on the field all day. Most assuredly the deciding factor in this game is the line is skewed because a team from the most overrated conference in college football is going against a team from the most ignored and underrated conference in college football. MAC POWER!!

  • CapitalGG

    Cheddar Bay is back! Normally, I have a pretty good idea of what is going on in college football during the early weeks. This year, I’m feeling a little shaky… Nothing like week 1 to throw off the rust.

    All-play: Georgia -2 @ Clemson: When in doubt, take the SEC team expected to compete for a National Title over a team that Clemsons.

    Ole Miss -3.5 @ Vandy: Almost my essay. I respect the job Franklin has done, but there is too much talent disperity in this one not to ride Hugh Freeze’s Rebels.
    No. Illinois +3 @ Iowa: Here’s secret. No. Illinois is better than at least 5 Big Ten teams (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue). And might be better than a couple more than that.
    Troy -3.5 v. UAB: Over-signing world champion, Troy Trojans!
    BYU -1 @ Virginia: Needed 1 more, betting against UVA has always been a safe strategy for me.

    Have you ever gone into a season where expectations for your team seem to be too ridiculously high, so much so that you feel nervous even thinking ahead past the first week? Then you look at the roster and they bring a lot back especially on the offensive line and at QB. And you realize the coach is one of the best in the game. And that schedule lays out nicely. A couple challenges on the road, but for the most part the best teams come to your “one of the toughest stadiums in the country to play a road game” stadium. But you don’t want to fly too high because the fall would hurt too much.

    Well the roller coaster isn’t as much fun without the slow climb of the first hill building anticipation for what awaits. This summer has been that climb. The press anointing them with ranking them #2. The coaches throwing accolades like candy in a 4th of July parade (and you recall this time last year, they were tempering expectations like and 8-4 or 9-3 season awaited, and that team didn’t lose all year). So I’ve been riding to the top, click, click, clickety-click. I can finally see the top of the hill. Click-click. Finally the ride starts for real. And I’m strapped into the first seat ready to enjoy this ride. Pause. The ride hangs while the back seats finish their climb, but Saturday… Whoosh!

    There will be unexpected turns, maybe some flips. There will be some ups and downs. But I”m ready. I’m prepared. I’ve got my seat belt on, but my hands are up, my eyes are open. Let’s go already. I’ve been waiting long enough.

    Saturday will be that first downhill drop. An overmatched opponent will come into a game where they will be outmanned at every position. And the team will breeze through the game like a train storming down that first hill as the ride hits max speed. This Saturday, if they don’t throw 60+ on the board, I will be stunned and disappointed. That means the defense has to allow 24 or less points. I see this happening for my Buckeyes, so I’ll ride them and give the 35 and the hook over poor Buffalo. oooOOOOOOOOoooooOOOOOooooOOOO! H!

    Other action:
    USC -23 @ Hawaii
    Oklahoma St. -13 v. Mississippi St.
    Boise +3 @ Washington
    UTSA +3.5 @ New Mexico
    WKU +5 v. Kentucky

  • chuckkoz

    UNC +12.5 (at USC)
    Utah -2.5 (vs Utah St)
    SMU +6.5 (vs T Tech)
    Wash St +16 (at Auburn)
    AP: Clemson +2 (vs GA)
    Essay: OSU -35.5 (vs Buffalo)

    I will be honest, I know little to nothing about these teams at this point. I just have history, which leaves me with two primary points:
    1) Buffalo is a MAC school and not a very good one at that.
    2) Urban Meyer has no problem running up the score. And even if the Buckeyes don’t dominate, he will try to score “cheap” TDs late because he is constantly seeking style points with big wins the flawed system that allows human polls to determine its finalists.

    And the Buckeyes are supposed to be good this year, so if they come close to being that, they will win a few games about 50. This seems like an easy target. Buckeyes big.

  • Quick introduction since almost none of you know me. USF alum, mostly retired USF blogger (www.voodoofive.com), met Frowns playing shuffleboard of all things, love handicapping. Let’s do this.

    Texas Tech -6.5 vs. SMU: Noticed that the line dropped to like 4.5 already because the Red Raiders announced they are starting a true freshman quarterback. Still, SMU lost a lot on defense from last year and the home crowds on the Hilltop are always dreadful, so it’s not like the kid will be rattled. I’m actually going to this game to witness the joining of June Jones and Hal Mumme in holy football matrimony, but Tech should be fine. (slaps Kliff on butt)

    Kentucky -5 vs. Western Kentucky: Yeah, that’s not going to happen again.

    Arkansas -10.5 vs. UL-Lafayette: Really struggling to find good value with so many FBS-FCS games off the board, but this one looks good. The Hogs underachieved horribly last year and I think Bert will roll it up.

    Boise State +3 vs. Washington: I feel like UW is still dining out on that win over USC back in 2009, a really weird game where the Trojans started Aaron Corp (he never threw a pass for them again) and went 0-for-11 on 3rd/4th down conversions and gave the thing away with turnovers in plus territory and Sarkisian still hasn’t won more than 7 games in a season and why are they favored over Boise?

    AP: Clemson +2 vs. Georgia: Too bad we can’t pick over-unders because 72 is just laughable. No way they get that high. I realize that riding with Clemson is always dangerous, especially against a legitimately good Georgia team, but I figure they’re more likely to win this game and then bink it to Maryland or someone later.

    Essay: Alabama -21 vs. Virginia Tech. It’s not that I hate Alabama. I’m just really, really bored by them and won’t ever watch them play unless they’re about to lose and I can luxuriate in their imminent demise. When that GQ piece on Nick Saban came out, I tweeted that if the Soviets had played football, they would look like the Tide. They are soulless, faceless, and ruthlessly efficient. Meanwhile, the Hokies barely kept their bowl streak alive last year, they couldn’t score points against good teams, and now they’re bringing 27 freshmen to Atlanta, over a third of their roster, to play the two-time defending champions. This will be a bloodbath and honestly I would have been willing to lay at least another touchdown if I’d had to. Everybody, yeah, rock your body, yeah, Roll Tide’s back, alright.

  • Petefranklin

    Franklins Cheddar early action

    S Carolina – 12.5 over N Carolina(almost my essay but I’m too busy to write it up).
    UNLV +14 @ Minnesota
    Georgia -2 over Clemson.. Georgia will be able to pound the ball late when it matters
    In early (non cheddar) action thursday I liked Miss but didn’t like the hook in the contest, so a play @ -3 is warranted if you can get it
    More to come tomorrow or friday!

    • Petefranklin

      Cheddar Bay open thread #1; UGA at Clemson. « kanick_files

      • Petefranklin

        I guess I lost my essay in cyberspace, here is a shortened version:

        SMU +6.5 over T Tech. Tech starts a walk on Frosh at QB tonight!

        OU +20.5 @ Louisville Good Solich spot here!

        Essay LSU -5.5 over TCU

        I had a pretty good Essay written which basically said that Even though LSU lost 8 players to the NFL, Les Miles always has top recruits in the wings. TCU will be without their defensive MVP due to suspension. He had 10 sacks and 8.5 TFL’s last year. He will be on the sideline dressed though.
        LSU’s advantage will be their size and speed. They return three RB’s who averaged over 5.5 YPC LY, although I believe one is out.LSU will be able to pound TCU all night with their size advantage on the O line. Look for TCU to hang early then fade late with LSU possibly breaking a run late for the cover negating Barnetts coaching advantage.

        • Petefranklin

          BTW terrible beat last night on the Rebels. UNLV was actually the better team on O and D.

  • TheKardiacKid

    WMU +28 @MSU
    HC PJ Fleck is younger than me and Sparty going to Sparty

    Texas Tech -6.5 @SMU
    Never go against the Kingsberry swag

    BYU +1 @Virginia
    I like Mormons

    @BGSU -3.5 Tulsa
    I went to BG (Just enough STDs to cover)

    @Clemson +2 UGA
    This game will kick off the #AvoidForBoyd campaign

    Essay:
    Florida St -10.5 @Pitt

    First and foremost I’d like to thank the man upstairs (Joe Banner) for making this possible. A little bit about me: I’m new to picking games (music to your ears) but I make up for my lack of experience with an uncanny ability to lose money to strangers. (Damn you Nigerian romance scams)

    I decided to pick Florida State over Pittsburgh mostly because they have a coach named Jimbo and people named Jimbo usually win big when they’re in Pennsylvania. (Disclaimer I have no actual stats/facts to back up that statement) Florida State is starting a redshirt freshman quarterback named Jameis Winston. His parents couldn’t roll with James had to be Jameis, so I’m guessing he’s already overcame a lot in life. Jameis took shots at Johnny Manziel in the off-season, who can’t get behind a guy like that. Jameis Football has a nice ring to it and so does a Florida State romp.

  • Grand Rapids Rustlers – Week 1

    You are looking live from the Church of Teddy Bridgewater.

    Clemson (+2) over Georgia (All Play)
    Penn State (-8) over Syracuse
    Marshall (-20) over Miami OH
    Kentucky (-5) over WKU
    Nebraska (-29) over Wyoming

    Essay Pick

    16 returning starters. A senior QB coming back for his 3rd year as a starter. A move to Conference USA and new facilities. Hey look Dan McCarney is even the coach. Texas cares about football a little bit and North Texas is slowly building something. Let’s face it though…they probably still stink. The good news is that you get to open with my favorite whipping boy from last year…Idaho. I can’t figure out if it is good or bad that the worst team in D1 last year only returns 11 starters. Probably good for Idaho. I went over this many times last year but Idaho really struggles on the road mainly because their depth perception sucks after playing home games in a linen closet.

    North Texas (-15) over Idaho

  • 1. Toledo +23.5 FL- Florida always struggles non conference vs the MAC (see BG last year, Miami in 2011).

    2. La Monroe +22 OKL- Monroe was a solid team last year although they tripped up vs OU in the bowl game. They played very tough against top competition beating Arkansas on the road and losing to Auburn and Baylor by a combined 8 points. Monroe QB Kolton Browning is a nice dual threat QB and will be entering his 4th season as a starter. Oklahoma on the other hand lost a bunch of skill guys on offense including Landry Jones and Kenny Stills along with Lane Johnson to the draft (only return 42% of its offensive yard from last season). They shocked everyone by naming Trevor Knight at QB instead of Blake Bell. Not going to lie, I don’t know much about Knight but it’s a lot to ask a new QB to step in and blowout a game La Monroe team.

    3. GA -2 Clemson (all play). When in doubt always take SEC over ACC. Gurley should dominate on the ground.

    4. Temple +29.5 ND- Tough to imagine ND even scores 30 after losing all their playmakers from last year (Eifert, Wood, Gholston) and that team struggled to score anyway. ND’s d-line is tough no doubt. All I’m looking for out of Temple is one stinking td and they should come away with the cover.

    5. Auburn -16 Wazzu- Nick Marshall sleeper Heisman candidacy begins. Closest comp to Manziel you will find this season. WSU was awful last year and Uncle Mike Leach doesn’t look too interested in this turnaround. WSU had two decent skill position guys on offense- Jeff Tuehl (Im one of the few who knew him before this week) and Marques Wilson. Wilson was a knucklehead but a good pro prospect and turned in a fine preseason for the Bears. Only thing WSU did well was throw the ball and that’s gone. First night game of the year in Auburn. Fans should be rowdy. Auburn will be undervalued early so jump on them now. I may end up looking really stupid with my Marshall Heisman sleeper talk by mid year but I’ll take a shot.

    6. UTSA +3 New Mexico- (Essay)- This is for the newbies of Cheddar Bay. Yes UTSA is my essay and I’m damn proud. UTSA isn’t half bad. When wagering the first couple weeks of a new season, I like to look at returning starters, yards, OL starts, etc using Phil Steele’s numbers. Early in a season I think it’s important that experienced players come back while the freshman/new starters get acclimated to the college game. UTSA ranks #2 nationally with 85% of their letterman returning from last season’s 8-4 team (more importantly 7-3 ATS), #22 with 83 career O-lineman starts returning and #11 with 91% of its offensive yards returning. The fact that UTSA was pretty decent last year and they have players returning can only be a good thing. A bad team returning a bunch of players may not mean as much. UTSA ranked 42nd nationally in yards/play, while New Mexico was 54th. Defensively UTSA ranked 87th while New Mexico was a dreadful 123rd or 2nd to last in the nation. The one thing New Mexico did really well last season was run the football and ranked 4th nationally while UTSA had a stout run defense last season only allowing 3.7 ypc, 25th nationally. This is kind of amazing and had to look twice but New Mexico only passed for 68 yds/gm on offense. That’s unheard of and even the triple option Air Force and Navy teams passed for 99 and 105 ypg respectively. Last but of course not least, I couldn’t leave you without pointing out that the public numbers are all over New Mexico with 74% of the wagers on the Lobos according to Covers.com.

    UCLA just misses the cut. Nevada’s slap in Ault’s face by getting rid of the vaunted pistol, Grandpa of the Pistol created ,made this very tempting. New HC and new system that actually worked at Nevada. Will take a toll on that team early.

  • FlyHighCharlieFrye

    Buffalo +35.5 (seems like a big half)
    BYU -1
    Alabama -21
    Miami Ohio +20
    Georgia -2

    Essay: Toledo +23.5

    Seems like a lot of points after Florida got shellshocked/embarrassed last time out in the Sugar Bowl and unless I’m missing something still doesn’t have a quarterback. Toledo has nice players, experience and a very good young coach. Can imagine it’s a tough place to play but getting 3 touchdowns seems like a winner. I’m sure it will be a wild fourth quarter trying to hang on but that’s the game. Plus, knowing how Florida players “behave” — there’s a bit of a track record — I’m banking on a few of their studs being suspended (bench ’em for Toledo, they play Miami next week) and maybe that will help. Keep it close, Rockets.

    • “I’m sure it will be a wild fourth quarter trying to hang on but that’s the game.”

      Wisdom.

  • I’m leaning towards N. Illinois (+3) over Iowa, but with Akeem Daniels out I’m hesitant. Any thoughts?

    • i got nothing here. move on to the next?

  • Anonymous

    Probably goes without saying, but those Rutgers defenders didnt exactly get drafted by shitty defenses either which perhaps underscores the the significance of their loss. This is a brutal game for Rutgers to have to play right off the bat……

  • kanick

    1. Boise +3 @Wash Petersen 13-4 ATS on the road last three years. Sarkisian had camp meltdown a week ago.

    2. ULM +21 @Okla ULM retains top QB Browning; Okla loses theirs. Also general fondness for ULM’ HC Todd Berry.

    3. USC -23 @Hawaii Chow effect. USC revved up for a blow-out to move up from #24 in the rankings.

    4. Ole Miss -3.5 @Vandy Freeze/Wallace/Moncrief too irresistible (even with that extra half point on the road).

    AP: @Clemson +2 UGA Boyd won me over in the LSU bowl win last year. Awesome performance under a lot of pressure. And I note below Rutgers losses to NFL below.. UGA lost EIGHT on defense: Jones, Ogletree, Wilcox, Jenkins, Williams, Commings, Washington, Rambo. Richt’s teams are notoriously undisciplined; he wins with hugely superior talent. Can’t see how UGA’s defense replaces that amount of talent.

    Essay: @Fresno -10 Rutgers
    I’m on record as being a Derek Carr fan. I just think he looks the part of an NFL QB every time I see him. An NFL QB playing in the Mountain West. When you layer on that he gets to throw to an NFL WR — Davante Adams — it’s bonus. The 6’2″ WR was first team MWC as a redshirt freshman. He runs under 4.5, 3rd in nation for TD catches,,, 102 catches overall. Remember the name.

    Meanwhile Rutgers had three CBs and two LBs drafted away: Logan Ryan (3/83 Pats), Duron Harmon (3/91 Pats), Khaseem Greene (4/117 Bears), Steve Beauharnais (7/235 Pats), Marcus Cooper (7/252 Niners). That’s a lot of pass defense, gone.

    It’s not optimal to break-in a brand new d-backfield against (arguably) the country’s best QB-WR combo.

    I also love Fresno’s Tim DeRuyter. He chose the path Darrell Hazell did not and opted to play it out another year in Fresno.. he’ll get better offers next year. He was 10-1 ATS last year, 5-0 at home.

    So you’ve got a top QB, top WR, top coach, against depleted defense. Add in the usual flying across country problems and this just shapes up as a strong Fresno game.
    —–
    Others on the list: Arkansas -10.5 ULL; Penn St. -8 Syra; Purdue +10 Cincy; FAU +32 Miami; Wyoming +29 Nebraska; UNLV +14 Minny.

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