#CheddarBay Week 12: Browns at Bengals.

derek_anderson_2007_12_23

The last biggest Browns game was also in Cincy.

Click for weekly lines.

Allplay:  Browns +5.5 at Bengals, 1pm Sunday, CBS.

Of course the All Play is Browns-Bengals this week.  Lookit.  I know some of you don’t see Browns-Bengals as game of the week and a lot of you don’t want to be forced to bet on or against your rooting team.  I hear you.  BUT.  This really is the biggest Browns game since that game in Cincy in 2007.  (The DA 4 int game; yeah that one; you remember it.)  So just want you to know you’re being heard, but there’s no dodging Browns/Bengals this week.

Congratulations to our first weekly winner, CLEinMPLS.  Brad is a case study in why we have weekly awards at the end of the year; a case study in Cheddar actually.  Guy picked at ~60% through the season last year.  THREE LOBSTERFESTS.  Was runner-up in the playoffs.  This year… not so much.  And that is how it goes.  I could pick out a half dozen players this year who have changed significantly from last year and in both directions.  So way to go Brad.

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MAC Specialists among us.

When this season started, I wanted to be The Mountain West guy.  Learn that conference and kill that conference.  Doesn’t have to be college, you could pick an NFL conference or division.  Just own one little section of football betting and make it your well spring of dollars.  Welp, my MWC experiment didn’t pan out but that doesn’t mean some among us aren’t capitalizing on specialization.

If you haven’t noticed, November is mid-week #MACtion month.  I noticed some “regulars” hopping on the Tuesday/Wednesday MAC games and it got me thinking whether we have specialists among us.  Just a real quick look-see revealed that these guys are doing good business with the MAC (weighted records):

  • CapGG, 17-9-1 (2-2 on essays1);
  • FlyHighCharlieFrye, 21-8 (5-1);
  • Grand Rapids Rustlers, 15-3-1 (3-0-1).

But the current KING OF ALL MACTION is:

  • Martin Rickman, 11-0 (1-0).

I want to do more with this idea of identifying our specialists.  E.g., is Acto a C-USA guy?  Pete Franklin someone to watch for MWC games?  I haven’t gotten too too far with this (although you want to listen to Jeff Rich when he talks Pac12:  he’s 15-4, 3-1 on essays).  I’ll give you a heads up if I mine any good nuggets in the data we’re collecting.

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Skanky Fish with @ClevTA.

@ClevTA's Skanky Fish Picks.

24-18-2 ATS YTD;
3-1 last week:  Pitt (win), Wyoming (lose), KState (win), Rams (ridiculously huge win).

Nice return to form for the Skanks last week.  Holy hell, if anyone else saw the Rams’ beatdown on the Colts well down.  (HitTheHorns and Frowns were our two Rams pickers.)

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This week’s skanky picks. 
CFB: S Alabama, W Michigan, Kentucky, Cal
NFL: Steelers

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Placeholder thread in case anyone wants to jump on the MAC games tonight.  The lines we’re going with are:

Ohio +10 @BGSU; 730pm, ESPN3.
UBuff +3.5 @Toledo; 730pm, ESPNU.

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  1. Although last week’s Ball State essay loss is a top five bad beat of the year; record would change to 20-6-1. [back]

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  • GRRustlers

    Early Week 13 Picks

    Ohio (-5.5) over Kent – Rumors of the demise of Solich at OU are quite frankly stupid. He’s not going anywhere and was simply the victim of a road trip to the two places no one wants to go to in the MAC right now. Buffalo and BG are really tough places to play right now. No shame in that. Look for big bounce back from OU at home against a struggling Kent team.

    Essay Pick

    Missed opportunity here for Buffalo. I was really hoping that this would be the game that they would pick 10 random intramural athletes at Buffalo and allow them to team up with Khalil Mack and see if they could beat Miami.

    Miami is historically bad on offense and has little chance of seeing the end zone let alone the Buffalo side of the field. Khalil Mack is the real deal and a 1st round pick in the spring. If you have not watched Buffalo this season he is reason #1A to do so…that being said take anything he does Tuesday night with a grain of salt due to Redhawks offense ineptness.

    Reason #1B to watch Buffalo is Branden Oliver. I kind of like this kid (code for me hoping he does not file a restraining order) and hope that Joe Banner is watching. I would love to pair this kid with Dion Lewis next year. He is a workhorse in every sense of the word.

    I don’t buy for one second that Buffalo gets caught looking ahead to Bowling Green because I think they want to get the taste out of their mouth after that awful 1st half in Toledo last week.

    I feel bad for Miami here but they just have nothing. A battered team simply playing out the string that will be an attractive job for someone this summer because they still have a proud history. Tim Beckman?

    Buffalo (-24.5) over Miami

    Midweek #MACtion reminder: I love NIU. I love Jordan Lynch. I don’t bet or would even risk a single cheddar point on any home game involving Toledo.

  • bupalos

    Let’s pull the Browns essay and turn it into 1 point. I never got the time to work up the stem-winder it deserved, and the weather has it feeling a lot like a coin flip.

    But I will spend my essay in way that is nearly as virtuous. The Stoolers are a lock to lay another offensive-line egg today, against one of the top fronts in the NFL. You can run down the entire line of matchups today and not find a single area that the Steelers have an decided advantage, their season is pretty close to dead, and their fanbase is demoralized. The current line of -3 is already a deal, but the Cheddar wednesday lockin means an extra 1.5 point bump. I don’t normally believe in Cheddar arbitrage, but if there is any place to use it, it’s Pittsburgh. Having watched 4 of their games this year, I’m pretty firmly convinced they are getting some undeserved reputation points with the public, because this team is somewhere between bad and very bad, with the gaping chasm of HORRIBLE just a big ben hit away. Detroit -1.5

  • zarathustra

    Ok. So who do I like today at the cheddar number?
    Bills, bucs, vikings, texans, chargers, and ravens. Let’s go with:
    Chargers and Bucs
    For the mandatory pick I was thinking bengals all week basef mostly on being home and I think gio is a bad match up for the normally good browns run d. But with the bengals banged up I don’t think they are any better than the browns, who are healthy coming off a bye. Last year the bengals lost three in a row going into their bye (one was to the browns fwiw) which of course is antecdotal noise, but I’m looking for rationalizations here.
    Browns (all-play)

  • Petefranklin

    Franklin pick #5 Tampa Bay +2
    AP Clownies +5.5, I tried hard to go against them for contest purposes. Please no more AP’s that are guaranteed one sided action.

  • If I had a Cheddar point left, I would be MORE THAN HAPPY to ride with the Saints at home. Frowns’ jedi-mind trick doesn’t work on this Toydarian.

    I will never miss a chance to vote against commercialized narcissism and team-second-ness. and 49 pass yds last week too.

    • Hahahaha yes if a professional gladiator who celebrates by flexing his arms isn’t everything that’s wrong with civilization I don’t know what is. And those tattoos! Who does this guy think he is? Now, Andrew Luck, there’s a guy who plays the game the *right* way. Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

    • And who does he think he is holding up a Dolphins hat? Where does this guy get off? I really can’t get over this.

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    All Play: Browns +5.5 : The weather makes me nervous because the browns will have to run the ball. However the Bengals have to deal with it as well, and I think the Browns front seven is better than the Bungles minus Atkins
    Essay: SF+3 over Saints
    When I first saw this line I was like thats crazzzyyyy I’m going big on the saints. They’re home where they just destroyed the Cowboys and score ar will…Then I realized thats what 99% of the country is thinking…I smell something. Lets take a closer look at the Cowboys win for the Saints, all hell broke lose when they lost their Linebacker who’s the QB of the defense. and Ware looked like a shell of himself allowing Drew Brees to do as he pleased and score at will. That will not bew the case this week.The niners will punch the saints in the mouth and have what I feel is the baddest defense on the planet (although Carolina makes a good case for that title as well). The Saints are the Oregon Ducks of the NFL and SF is Stanford (see what I did there Harbaugh used to coach Stanford standford alweays beats the Ducks). I expect SF to control the ball with the run and beat the piss out of a soft team on defense. Should be a great game but SF is going to win.

  • Rounding out my Week 12:
    Titans (tie)
    Washington (loss)
    Browns +5.5
    Texans -7
    Niners +3
    Bears -3. $$$$ (this will be my no essay week)
    Thanks!! DQuatts

  • FTCMikeD

    UCLA (Win)
    Buckeyes (Loss)
    Sparty (Win)

    AP: Browns +5.5 over @Bengals (Browns keep it close, they could lose, but by a FG)
    @Seahawks -12 over Vikes (ugh Ponder, Seahawks roll)
    49ers +3 over @Saints (when in doubt, roll with Frowns)

  • HitTheHorns

    Cincinnati Bengals for the allplay

  • clayII

    Essay
    Browns (+5.5)
    Been trying all week to talk myself off this one but can’t. The only negative I come up with here, is our inability to run. I’m hoping the bye week has our OL fresh and 2 weeks of studying nati, maybe we will find a way to run. Also nati coming off b2b OT games, so as fresh as we are, they should be dinged. We will get heat on ginger, and play the run great, so not trippin on Bernard. Haden should keep AJ in check. A couple big plays from Gordon or Cameron should be all we need. Real low scoring, like 14-7 or something.

  • CLEinMPLS

    Texans
    Broncos (essay)

    My gut tells me KC runs into a buzzsaw tonight. They are kind of due for a shitburger anyway, but this just seems like a bad matchup all around. KC has been very lucky so far, I’m that they seem to get everyone’s backup qb week after week. I know that Peyton is kind of dinged up, but the guy is a gamer, and he will want to make a statement as to who really owns this division. Only way KC can win or cover is via turnovers, so my guess is Peyton will be in “take what the defense give me” mode, and not take too many chances. Chiefs also had a small distraction this week with Bowe getting picked up for weed.

  • CLEinMPLS

    Browns for the all play
    Bills

  • oxr

    Cal (L) – damn, I could’ve used a random college point. Oh well:

    All-Play Browns +5.5 over Bengals

    Chargers -1 over Dolphins

    Texans -7 over Raiders – Houston may be ready to give up on the year but for goodness’ sake it’s Matt McGloin

    Lions -1.5 over Steelers

    Essay Cardinals -6.5 over Jaguars – It’s good to see the Jaguars and a line that is not only in single digits but that is actually less than seven. There is, of course, the issue of a western team playing on the road in a 1 PM game, but last month under those circumstances the Chargers beat Jacksonville, in Jacksonville, by 18. The bet is that last week was a fluke for the Jags and hence this line is much lower than it would’ve been a week ago, that the Cardinals’ generally superior defense (#2 in DVOA!) will get some short fields for its generally bumbling offense and/or do the scoring itself, and that this is fundamentally a mediocre team versus an atrocious one, wherein a touchdown shouldn’t be too much to ask. (If last week really was a sea change and Gus Bradley has finally gotten everyone on the same page, then this pick will be smoking wreckage by about 1:30 PM.)

  • Jonathan MacDonald

    Stanford -3.5 over USC
    Arizona St. -13.5 over Oregon St.
    Bengals -5.5 over Browns
    Bucs +2 over Falcons
    Texans +7 over Raiders
    Jets +1.5 over Bills

    Did the Jets pluck Ed Reed off the waiver wire to get the missing piece of the playoff puzzle? Did they do it just to keep him away from the Patriots? Does it matter? The Bills look bad while the Jets have defied the ESPN brain trust and tabloids and put together a competitive team. It’s a winnable game for the Jets, they’re getting points, and even if Ed Reed does very little this season for Gang Green, his acquisition sends a message to the players that the front office is serious about winning.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    UCLA (w) #TeamTequila
    Arizona St. -13.5 Oregon St.
    FIU +6 UTEP

    • CleveLandThatILove

      Niners +3 Saints I’m a fool for an extra-emphatic Frowns, what can I say
      Broncos -8 Chiefs
      ***Browns +5.5 Bengals

      I might (might) think twice if the line was 3 or less, but did we not hold the Bengals to 6 points in 60 minutes last time? Only the great Rodgers and very good Stafford have scored 30 or more on us, and you know that’s only because Chud made the mistake of putting Weeds back out there and put even more pressure on the defense.

      The Bengals have to be losing a tiny bit of faith in Dalton lately with his run of turnovers and sacks. Don’t see that changing for the better today with our guys wet and well-rested, and with a little more swag than they had last meeting. Nice that Skrine and Gipson have balanced out the secondary a bit bit more this year, while Joe does his usual with AJ. I was at this game 2 years ago, in the rain, when Green made just an unbelievable catch. He’s still great, but Joe has come a long way since then. One TD scored on him in 9 games, against 5 pro bowlers, not too bad.

      Hopefully Norv’s creative juices were flowing freely all these extra days. More Cameron, please and thank you. Because the Bengals aren’t full strength at LB, and he’s got great hands, and if that means little extra camera time on the sidelines, well that’s fine too. More Oby, too. Good hands.

      The Kickers have been solid, now comes real test, the Dawson measure of a man. It might come down to that today.

  • bupalos

    Let’s hook in to the cardinal tonight. Nothing like betting on a Christmas tree. I’ll save the rest so I have enough NFL ammo to pick against frowns mangini-based lock of the century delusion tomorrow.

    • I hope you make the Saints your essay so that I can learn more from Mr. 47% ATS about handicapping delusions.

  • oxr

    Got to pick a college game, too late to pick the Ducks, let’s see. Aha! It’s soon, it’s skanky, it’s undersubscribed – I say Cal +2.5 over Colorado.

  • Rich Swerbinsky

    Duke Blue Devils +3.5
    Nebraska Cornhuskers +6.5
    Texas Tech Red Raiders +27
    Cincinnati Bengals -5.5
    Buffalo Bills -1.5
    ***New Orleans Saints -3

    I think teams have figured out how to limit Kaepernick’s effectiveness: keep him in the pocket. He lacks solid receiving options, has no deep threat, and struggles with making quick decisions over the middle of the field. Saints to me are the best team in football, and will be the ones holding the Lombardi Trophy in February. I like them to make a statement this week and to beat the Niners by two touchdowns.

    • People must not read the other essays before they post. I recommend against this approach.

  • Jeff Rich

    I don’t care for all-plays that mix my emotions with business (if you can call CheddarBay business, it’s arguably easier to classify this thing as pleasure), but I get the logic; Cleveland site, Cleveland game, and Cleveland interest. The mission of this contest, aside from the fun of “Reality Football”, is to advise those who may be wagering greater than $7 a week on these games. Not that you would, based on my follies in the standings this year, but don’t follow me on the all-play. It would be a play based on what my heart says, not my head…

    Arizona (-13) vs Washington State

    Northwestern (-2.5) vs Michigan

    Oklahoma State (-2.5) at Texas

    ***Stanford (-3.5) at USC***
    So, Lane Kiffin was the problem the entire time? USC is back? RIIIIIIIGHT!

    When I asked an Oregon blogger to weigh in on the USC head coaching situation a few weeks ago, he told me the hope there is that they keep on winning, so the incumbent stays. I like the Orgeron story; I mean, In & Out Burger is cool and all, but he’s coaching a group that lost to Wazzu and got man-handled by ASU. There are personnel deficiencies that you can’t deny in Southern California. If Taylor Kelly is torching them for 20 per carry, what is Gaffney going to do. Stanford is going to hear about losing to Utah, and it should bother them into avoiding another let-down, like a lot seem to be predicting at The Coliseum tonight. David Shaw won’t be the Coach of the Year for a third year in a row, but the fact that it’s still possible (ahem, Jim Mora) gives me confidence in the Cardinal here.

    Lions (-1.5) at Steelers

    Browns (+5.5) at Bengals

  • rodofdisaster

    Rod’s picks:

    Browns +5.5
    Panthers -2.5
    Lions -1.5
    Chargers -1

    The U -3
    SMU -14**

    Yes, you heard it here first. Hell has frozen over. Rod is picking Garrett-effin-Gilbert to win and cover 14 points. Make no mistake. I’m still not a fan of “High Noon” Gilbert and his stare down. I think this just goes to show how poor of a team Connecticut really is. Gilbert leads the nation in total offense albeit against future truck drivers. UConn doesn’t tackle well. Their defense is shoddy most of the time. The problem here will be the UConn offense which simply can’t score points. After throwing true freshman Tim Boyle to the wolves for the immediate Post-Pasqualoni Era, the brain trust is now going with Casey Cochran. Now, Casey Cochrane was a fine high school player in the state of Connecticut. His dad, Jack Cochran is a legendary coach; Legendary for being the monumental run-up-the-score prick who now has a rule named after him in CT that suspends a high school coach for one game following a win by over 50 points. I’ve nothing against Casey and I’m glad to see him get a chance. I just don’t see him faring much better than the previous QBs.

  • Katie O.

    Heyyyyy, Cheddar Bay. Here’s to taking UCLA against the Huskies, against my (poor) judgement and under peer pressure. Here’s to peer pressure. Is it still peer pressure when it goes well? Or is that simply doing what all the cool kids are doing?

    All Play: Browns +5.5

    Vanderbilt -13 vs. Kentucky

    Rutgers over Cinci

    Akron -7 over Massachusetts. Because they’re a bunch of Massholes. (Is that the best I could do? SO original. My apologies.) I’m also taking this pick as a tip of the hat to acto – thank you for the shot last night. I didn’t even need the lime. Total pro move.

    Essay: Illinois +32 vs. Ohio State

    I think giving the Fighting Illini 32 points for a conference game is simply insulting. It’s even IN Champagne-Urbana. I went to the game last year at the Horseshoe and they “only” lost 52-22. That would not cover the spread this year and the Illinois team looks much better to me this year than they did last year. It even looks like Scheelhaase has taken up an interest in playing quarterback and not just relying on the fact his last name sounds like the title and chorus of a Rammstein song.

    Illinois has a way of getting under Ohio State’s skin and I hope they can do it for a whole game, hell, two-thirds of a game instead of just a quarter. May I remind you that last year by the end of the first quarter, Ohio State was only up by one point, 7-6.

    It’s also going to be perfect football weather – 50-something and cloudy. The Illini are coming into this game with a sense of purpose, having not won a Big 10 game in what? Two years? I predict Ohio State is already looking ahead to Indiana or (more likely) Michigan. They’re also just so sad that their cush schedule is keeping them out of the top two ranking. Sucks to suck, Urban.

    We’re looking at a David against Goliath type situation and everyone loves to see the conceited giant fall, and fall hard they do. Illinois is going to have to get creative to make an impact in this game and I know they will (or at least try) and it will be fun to watch. Think Mangini versus the super-bowl winning New Orleans Saints.

    So, I’m saying there’s a chance.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Sorry about that Akron pick. Listen to Nick and his, as you say, “badassery”, he has been doing well lately.

      • Katie O.

        I think I’m forbidden from picking his games as I might contaminate them. Unfortunately, I may have done just that to you! Blame me.

        • actovegin1armstrong

          No need to blame you KTO, it is only a matter of time before I do my Icarus imitation and plunge to earth.
          I do not have a system and I do not study the game, I pick everything by the eyeball test. I am oftentimes thwarted by the mystery of the modern turnover.
          Please pardon my arrogance here, but, lime and tequila do not go together. Tequila goes very well with more tequila and a bar that does not have any anejo may be better suited for drinking Bud Lite, but I am glad that you kids had fun. I did the best I could with the reposado.

  • clayII

    UCF (-16) / Temple
    FAU (-16.5) / So Miss
    ULL (-21.5) / Ga State
    Houston (+15.5) / Louisville
    Colorado St (-6.5) / New Mexico
    Feels like I’m playing with fire here. My stupid ass is probably going to get burned. Browns essay later.

  • trashycamaro

    All Play/NFL #1 Browns +5.5 over @Bungles

    College #2 Michigan +2.5 over @Northwestern

    NFL #3 @Bucs +2 over Falcons

    NFL #4/Essay @Saints -3 over 49ers I don’t necessarily like going with the crowd and it seems like this is the Cheddar Bay official NFL essay pick (this is the third that I have seen, seems most here go college over NFL).

    So, let’s take a look at how the numbers are playing out.

    According to Football Outsiders, Brees is the number 2 QB, and #4 under QBR. The 49ers are currently 11th against the pass in DVOA, but also have a huge variance level at 6.3% and a 27th ranked schedule so far to prop up their overall numbers. By contrast, the Saints have played the 9th hardest defensive schedule in football, the hardest of any of the teams in the top 9 (#10 and #11 CAR and ATL have played harder schedules).

    According to Football Outsiders, Kaepernick is the number 14 QB and #9 under QBR. The Saints are currently 12th in defensive DVOA. All is not equal here, however, as they sport an awful 30th rated defense against the run. The 49ers are surprisingly 26th offensive run blocking DVOA, with Gore picking up the slack as the 9th ranked RB in DVOA. So there is some potential there for the 49ers to exploit. A big running game will take them far both in production and keeping the ball out of Brees’ hands.

    However, if the Saints get out ahead, it appears the 49ers will have a tough time catching up. With the Saints playing on the indoor track of the Superdome this is exactly what most people are looking for. And sadly, this seems to be a flaw in the Football Outsiders’ statistical engine. They do not have home and away splits. Much is made of the Saints’ splits, so let’s dig in and find some.

    According to ESPN splits, Saints home passer rating is 129.8 vs. 84.6 on the road, with yds per attempt at 9.4 vs. 7.3. Rushing follows a similar pattern – 4 ypa at home and 3.5 ypa on the road. The defense also has large splits, 3.6 sacks per game to 2.75 sacks, 3 TO forced per game to 1 TO forced per game.

    Considering home field advantage is typically worth 3 points to the NFL betting scheme, it seems this bet is actually getting a couple points of value because the extreme splits the Saints display at home.

    NFL #5 @Eagles -3.5 over Washington Football Team

    NFL #6 Jets +1.5 over @Bills – My concern for this pick is rooted in the potential of the Bills pass rush forcing Geno into turnovers. So…let’s take a look at the numbers. Sure enough, according to MMQB pass rush rankings, the Bills have the 4th best rate in the league at 30% while the Jets o-line ranks 29th at preventing pressure. Football Outsiders has the Bills sack rate at 16th, right on the league average with the Jets still at 29th place. There is strong potential for the Bills to pressure Geno into turnovers. Throw in the fact that Geno Smith’s name is listed next to Weeds’ on the Football Outsiders chart, and we are going to just make this game worth one point.

    I still think the Jets win on the basis of Rex Ryan vs. rookie QB coming back from injury but the variance in Geno’s play is too much for the full 3 points

    • Proposed alternative title: A bunch of numbers about the Niners and Saints that won’t mean anything by 8pm tomorrow.

      • trashycamaro

        Suppose we could say that for most stat-based projection, no? Guess we will see what works better – the viscera of Frownie or a random compilation of past performance. (Another stat: I am 0-4 on my last 4 essay picks).

  • munasrevenge

    -Wisconsin (-21.5) vs Indiana (we all know how highly I think of Wisky. Indiana is decent enough that I don’t want to essay this one, but the Badgers should have no issues slowing them down here.)
    -Pittsburgh (PK) vs UNC (Two meh teams with issues in a pick ’em? Might as well just take the home team)
    -Rutgers (PK) vs Cincinnati (Two meh teams with issues in a pick ’em? Might as well just take the home team)*
    -UCF (-16) @ Temple (Last week’s “close” game against Houston had more to do with Houston being good than UCF being overrated.)

    — Browns (+5.5) @ Bengals (I think CIN probably wins it, but Haden can shut down Green and CIN can’t score a lot without him running amok.)

    — South Carolina (-13.5) vs Florida
    After a few weeks with a lot of action I liked this week brings me crashing back down with a lot of shaky lines on games I don’t quite feel comfortable with. I sorta had a feeling I’d be looking at this game last week, and nothing that happened during the week really changed my mind about it. Florida is a rolling train wreck that is (still) overrated, and frankly is having the year it should have had last year, when it got a series of close “lucky” wins against middling teams, only to get ridiculously exposed by a top 20ish team (Louisville) in the bowl season. In the limited action we have seen so far Muschamp should be clearly outcoached in this matchup, and when you are “Florida” teams are going to lay it on whenever they feel like they can. Florida will have a tough time scoring here (per usual) and if it weren’t for some fluky scores against a similarly overrated Georgia team last week this line would probably be closer to 17. Gonna hang my points in the SEC this week, and hope I can avoid a disaster week after gaining ground these past few.

    (*Cincinnati lost to USF and got absolutely destroyed by Illinois. I dare you to find a worse 7-2 team in recent history, small conferences included.)

  • FTCMikeD

    UCLA (Win)
    Mich St -6.5 over @Nebraska
    *****tOSU -32 over @Ill

    *****The Buckeyes will have to keep the pedal to the floor the rest of the season until they lose a game or until Bama or FSU loses a game. The Buckeyes also have had a week to rest up and really prepare for Illinois. The Bucks will ‘wipe the floor’ with Illinois and that Evan Spencer will never speak to the media again. I can’t imagine Urban was too thrilled about the bulletin board material. Oh well, he should be angry, and that will translate to the players. Buckeyes cover the 32.

  • Good morning! And sorry to all who missed last night’s wonderful Cheddar Bay happy hour/collusionfest, which included 5 of this year’s participants, as well as a former participant (who was properly hazed), a spouse of a participant, and a wannabe participant, and featured among other things, A) a round of tequila shots called into the bar by Acto (what a prince!), B) a tequila inspired winning group-UCLA-pick submitted via twitter, C) a proposal for a new rule for next year, and D) the realization that hardly any Cheddar Bayers actually live or work in Cleveland.

    Before I get to this week’s essay and picks, here’s the idea for a new rule for next year, which is that everybody gets one “Pick of the Year” to use on any game in the regular season, that will be worth six (SIX) points. Think of how much damn fun that will be. Approved? Approved. Can’t believe we didn’t think of this sooner.

    And if we had that rule in place for this season, the below essay would be my Pick of the Year.

    ESSAY/Pick of the Year: Niners +3 over Saints: Lordy do I love this pick, starting with last week’s Niners loss to the Panthers. Over the course of an NFL season a team’s motivation to beat the opponent in front of them is variable, and last week was an especially bad spot for Niners against a red hot and hungry Panthers team that matched up well with them in the trenches. This week is a different story. The Niners are playing for the Super Bowl and they certainly don’t want to have to play a playoff game in the Super Dome if it can be avoided. To this end, last week’s loss to Carolina actually helped, and if San Fran takes care of business tomorrow, the Saints and Panthers could be tied atop the NFC south after this weekend. Last week’s loss to Carolina also means that the Niners can’t afford to lose many more games this season, and their defense and ability to run the ball present a tough match up for the Saints (as do the Panthers for that matter (whom the Saints still have to face twice this season), see, e.g., the Saints domination at the hands of the Jets, who in a lot of ways are the Niners off steroids). The Niners lost two of their best players, Vernon Davis and Eric Reid, in the middle of last week’s game due to concussions. Both will be back tomorrow. The public is all over the Saints, who are as overvalued as ever after last week’s nationally televised historic shitstomping of the underratedly horribawful CLoLwboys. And of course the best reason to back San Fran tomorrow is that the Mangenius will have a really good idea about how to use the Niners’ excellent run game to exploit a Rob Ryan defense. This is such a lock I can hardly stand it, and I can hardly care that I’ll be safe with a push if the Saints win by a FG because there’s no way the Mangenius will let the Saints win this game.

    As for the rest:

    ALL PLAY: Bengals -5.5 over Browns: The Bengals are desperate to win here after two consecutive high profile losses. They’ll have had a couple of weeks to have adjusted to their recent injury losses. They have the weapons on offense to do something like what Matt Stafford and Aaron Rodgers did to this Browns defense. And whatever folks think about last week’s Bengals loss to the Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium is as tough a place for a road team to win as there is in the NFL. Was a bad spot for Cincy last week. Tomorrow is a bad spot for the Browns.

    Panthers -2.5 over Patriots: This is a fun Monday Night matchup and I want to be on the fun side. When the Saints lose tomorrow the Panthers will really be roaring for this one. And the Belichick off a bye-week thing has to be overvalued. The Pats have been one of the best teams in the league since forever. Of course they have a good record off the bye week. They have a good record off of every week.

    UCLA -2.5 over Washington (W): Because Cheddar Bay happy hour/collusionfest tequila fun fun fun.

    Michigan +2.5 over Northwestern: Because bloody flag jerseys and I’m embarrassed to be a Northwestern alum. http://deadspin.com/under-armour-those-bloody-flag-jerseys-are-not-bloody-1459591903

    Illinois +32 over Ohio State: Because I had a really hard time coming up with a sixth pick this week. Nobody here will take Illinois so I will. They should at least be able to score a few points?

    OK hope everyone enjoys the games and especially the all time lock of the century Niners win tomorrow.

    • None of ESPN’s 14 “experts” think the Niners will win today. This pick just keeps getting better. http://espn.go.com/nfl/picks

    • CLEVTA

      I am on Niners +3.5 myself fwiw. Huge edge for Niners in run game vs an awful Saints run def. The blueprint to beat the Saints is a team that can pound them to death in the run game (and keep doing it) and be able to rush Brees on defense without blitzing. SF fits this to a tee as did the Jets a few weeks back (took Jets myself that week as well for same reason). Yes saints at home are a juggernaut but guess who beat them in this same exact spot last year? Yup the Niners. 144 yds on the ground last year and held Brees to 231 pass yds and 2 INTs. Vernon playing is a key as they can use him in the playaction game. Niners are really good when the world is against them and be sure Harbaugh will use that as motivation. This is a week to week league and overreactions happen all the time. Public overreacting to SF losing a tight one to a really good Panther team and Saints destroying a poor Dallas team. If I had any cheddar points available to use in the NFL Id take the Niners. Instead I wasted it on S Alabama (oops).

  • Nick

    UCLA (w)
    OSU -32 vs Illinois
    Lions -1.5 vs Steelers
    Cards -6.5 vs Jags
    AP: Browns +5.5 vs Bengals
    EP: CMU -3 vs WMU

    Suffering a bit of a hangover this morning due to cheddar happy hour, which was a great time. Therefore, I am punting the essay this week. Thanks for the shot Acto.

    • Nick

      Please take me off OSU, and put me on Houston to cover against Louisville.

      As an Illinois alum, I think OSU is going to roll them, but doesn’t feel right betting against them.

      • Nick

        You have Louisville listed as my pick in the spreadsheet. Please change to university of Houston whenever you get a chance. Thank-you sir.

  • pateslvrblk

    Auburn -3.5 over Georgia
    Giants -6 over Green Bay
    Chargers-1 over Miami
    Browns+5.5 over Bengals
    *** Lions -1.5 over Steelers
    Do the Lions have a possibility to go to the playoffs? Every time the Lions were in a position to win, they never did. Even when Detroit was a solid team, they were always just bad enough to damper any post season hopes. Losing the close games, getting manhandled on the road, and lo and behold beating Chicago this past Sunday with under two minutes and down by 8pts. The Lions finally got the big road win and have momentum going in their favor. Heinz field is never easy but if Detroit can muster a win, they can finally prove they are not the Lions of old.

  • Art_Brosef

    I dont know if Id say the wheels are coming off what was once a promising season for the Hurricanes, but theyre coming off their second straight loss of the season in which theyve given up 83 points and over 1000 yards of offense. Oh, you know what else theyve lost? Their starting running back, none other than DUKE Johnson. So while Miami’s season is going down in flames, Duke has won five straight and gearing up for a final push in which they can reach the ACC title game with wins in their final three. Very doable by the way, with Wake and UNC left after today. Dukes QBs cant possible throw as many picks as last week, and they are stingy on the other side of the ball giving up only 22 points a game. DeVon Edwards should be feeling pretty confident heading into today, as hes coming off a game in which he two pick 6s and a 100 yard kickoff return for a TD. GAH!

    I wanted PSU to look at Cutliffe for their gig when it was open, and hes doing a great job for this once embarrassing football program . Easy for Joe Gambler to look at this game and say “Duke blows, theyve lost 8 straight to Miami, blah blah blah.” Miami’s signature win of the season vs Florida doesnt look nearly as good as it once did, and their defensive effort the last couple weeks tells me they are in a race to get the season over with. Oh, and Duke is GETTING points.

    ***Duke +3

    • Art_Brosef

      Will tail TA with FIU.

      Also, South Alabama and South Florida please.

      Browns tomorrow for the All Play

  • Petefranklin

    Essay: The Ohio St. buckeyes -32 over Illinois. Well are we seeing the Urban Meyer effect on scheduling for the Bucks? I’m pretty sure that OSU never had any open dates once the season started, at least that I can remember. Fresh legs for the defense off of their shutout over Purdue last game. Illinois does have an offense that will need to be dealt with by keeping the lucky passes to a minimum, along with some defensive speed that Illinois hasn’t seen turning any mistakes into interceptions. We know OSU will score so I think 32 is an easily coverable # here. This isn’t one of my strong plays, but it will have to do. Buckeyes roll…..for threeee!

    • Petefranklin

      Oklahoma -24 over Iowa St. (Pick#3)

    • Petefranklin

      S Carolina -13.5 (pick#4)

  • CLEinMPLS

    South Carolina -13.5

  • HitTheHorns

    Wisconsin -21.5

  • TheKardiacKid

    TheKardiacKid:
    Indiana +21.5 @Wisky
    Akron -7 @Umass
    WVU -6.5 @Kansas
    Lions -1.5 @Steelers
    AP: Browns +5.5 at Cincy
    Essay:
    Cincinnati (PK) @Rutgers
    I have been doing terrible at the essay portion lately, I feel like I need to pick a real scumbag to get back on track. I hate picking anything Cincinnati related during the week the Browns play there but I need 3 points. Cincinnati has been a pretty solid team and Rutgers has some weird Incognito bullying thing going on. So #RollBearcats

  • Peter Markos

    Browns- Because if they win, “Beat Pittsburgh!” will have such a refreshing new again meaning. I’m going all in with the Browns this week. Dalton is struggling. The Bengals is D is beat up. Why not? 5-5 sounds so good. Who know where the Browns would be if Chud didn’t feel obligated to start the Weed? The Miami and first BAL game would have been completely different. Luckily, the Holgren era stench has dissipated.
    South Florida -1.5 over Memphis. Just like the Browns, a QB means all the difference
    Ohio State -32 over Illinios
    Urban is just mean man.
    Patriots + 2.5 over CAR
    ARI -6.5 over JAC
    MIA over SD

  • Concierge

    Browns +5.5
    ARK ST -7.5 essay
    FIU +6

    Arkansas State is in the running for another Sun Belt crown but at 3-1 in the conference they trail 4-0 Louisiana-Lafayette whom dealt them their lone defeat. The bottom line is the team needs to win the final three games and hope some body can knock off the Ragin’ Cajuns. The Red Wolves knocked off Louisiana-Monroe 42-14 for consecutive victories as they try to get hot at just the right time. ASU racked up nearly 500 yards with 24 first downs almost split evenly between the run and pass while holding the ball for almost 36 minutes. Arkansas St is just the better team here and they run away with this one!

  • Bevilacqua

    Bevilacqua

    Western Michigan (+3) over Central Michigan
    Non-essay Essay: UCF (-16) over Temple
    Miami (-3) over Duke
    Jets (+1.5) over Bills
    Lions (-1.5) over Steelers
    All-Play: Browns (+5.5) over Bengals

  • CLEVTA

    Hey kanick since I took UCLA last night I will eliminate Georgia from my selections. Thanks

  • p_forever

    I owe you my essay – here you go. Oh and the picks, recapped:

    Stanford*
    Baylor
    Michigan
    Ohio state
    West Va
    Brownies

    I super get why people love USC as an upset special this weekend and why it would be a good story and etc etc. But it isn’t going to happen. I don’t even think the alleged hangover effect keeps this one all that close. Stanford is the (way) better team, and they are playing possessed right now-as if they cannot and will not be denied. USC certainly looks a ton better than what any of us thought after the whole kiffin debacle and such performances as the ND game. But it’s November, and everything matters that more more. If USC wins, sure it makes a comeback story a little more poignant. But Stanford is out to prove that it belongs in the national championship discussion. Winning under the lights in the coliseum keeps them there.

  • zarathustra

    Colorado St -6.5 over New Mexico***
    Question to any one who watched Air Force at New Mexico last week, was that a good game or a bad game? I wrestled with this quite a bit as I watched it. There was only one punt the entire game (air force on their first possession) and that was likely the difference in the game. There were no turnovers so it wasn’t sloppy per se, unless, that is, you consider the absolutely atrocious defense played by both teams. New Mexico accounted for 28 passing yards for the game so they were as one-dimensional as possible yet Air Force could not stop them. As a lifelong Browns fan who has been subjected both Romeo Crennell AND Pat Shurmur within a four year period I am very familiar with bad football and I’m going to classify it as a good game between two bad teams. (Side note: Romeo is a total abomination as a head coach–see this year’s undefeated chiefs–and he wasn’t even the worst browns coach of the last five years. Lol. In holmgen we trust.).
    Anyway, Colorado st will get the stops that Air Force couldn’t and I don’t see the New Mexico defense faring any better against an offense far superior to Air Force.
    Michigan+2.5 over Northwestern
    Northwestern is coming off a bye and we know Pat Fitzgerald to be a good coach so there is reason to believe the wildcats will be ready to play. However, they are banged up to all hell. Sure, Michigan has lost some games recently, but Nebraska is at the very least decent and sparty is good. At penn st is forgivable. I don’t know if Michigan is capable of rolling over any one on the road, but I feel confident they will get the win.
    CMU -3 over WMU
    Central Michigan won two in a row before back to back games against northern Illinois and ball st. I throw those two games out and don’t even look at them. There other losses? Toledo, at michigan, at nc state, and at unlv. All tough teams or tough spots. Last year they had an identical record and finished November strong to become bowl eligible. I don’t know that they will be able to do it again this year, but I think they get the win here.
    WMU lost a close one to emu last week and before that beat umass–fwiw I throw that one out too–but leading up to that they suffered one blow out after another.

    Will be back later with nfl picks.

    • zarathustra

      It doesn’t appear I received credit in the standings for the Michigan pick.

  • jdoepke

    Here we go, need a good week to keep the momentum going and climbing the leaderboard.

    Ga +3.5
    USC +3.5
    Az St – 13.5
    Kansas +6.5
    Bengals – 5.5 (AP)

    Broncos -8 (Essay)
    So I’m no the best this year on NFL picks but I saw 8 and had to jump all over this one, especially since it’s up to 9.5 and 70% of bets on KC. I just don’t see KC as “that good” based on who they’ve beaten. I think Peyton comes out with Laser Rocket focus (see what I did there) and shows who’s boss in the division. Broncos 38 – Chiefs 26

  • HitTheHorns

    Hit the Horns:

    Previous Pick: Titans +3 (Push)

    Georgia +3.5
    Georgia comes into this game with a whopping 1-7 record ATS, while Auburn is 8-2 ATS. Public is hammering Auburn, which is what I would suspect for a team that seems to be unbeatable in recent weeks. Georgia lost two in a row earlier in the season, and also lost what seemed like their entire team to injury. They’ve quietly gotten healthier and I think Auburn has finally met its match. When a team seems unstoppable, covering almost every week, matches up versus a team that has under performed and hasn’t covered a game since early September, I like to go with the underachiever. Hoping to catch Auburn peeking ahead to Alabama.

    Denver Broncos -8

    Houston Texans -7

    Two more picks to go.

  • zarathustra

    Apologies if its here and I’m just missing it, but looking for a late line on Pitt/UNC.

    • I’m seeing it as pick em. Use that.

  • mrickman

    bengals -5.5
    central michigan -3
    michigan +2.5
    ohio state -32
    west virginia -6.5
    this one will seem like a mirage after one — kansas might be winning, but don’t fret, the jayhawks have played teams tough in the first half a lot this season and it really doesn’t seem to matter. charlie weis’s pile of crap is just that; and whether it’s a disparity in talent post turner gill or the fact weis can’t motivate anyone at all, kansas is a disaster. west virginia has played lots of teams tough this season, almost beating texas and taking down oklahoma state, and they’re not quite as good on the road, but that being said, they deserve to be more than a touchdown favorite against a team as bad as kansas.

    • mrickman

      welp

  • USFCollin

    Bengals -5.5 because you people are homers and I have no idea.

    UCLA -2.5 over Washington. UCLA is the better team (despite
    being too young and turning it over a ton), and road game Friday nights are
    tough.

    Rutgers Pick ‘Em over Cinci: This line moved 2.5 away from RU,
    and I have no idea why.

    Houston +15.5 over Louisville: Standard “UL Mails It In
    Against A Weaker Opponent” game. They do this a lot.

    Auburn -3.5 over Georgia because Aaron Murray, who might be the
    best quarterback in Tampa Bay when he comes home for the holidays, can’t do it
    alone.

    Essay: USF +1 over Memphis. I can’t believe this is happening.
    I, Collin Sherwin, the guy that writes VoodooFive.com, a blog about USF
    Athletics that has ripped our horrendous administration basically constantly
    for the last 4 years… is about to pick USF as his jumbo choice for the
    Cheddar. WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?

    This is a simple case of Vegas doesn’t watch the games. USF lost
    by 5 at Houston, but got unlucky not to win due to some insane penalties
    (including an offensive pass interference that cost the Bulls the game), and
    also showed they can actually move the ball on offense. Mike White started
    against UH as USF’s true freshman quarterback, and he’s the real deal. Plus the
    Bulls get Marcus Shaw back, the only offensive player for the Bulls that’s show
    any sort of competence this season.

    Meanwhile Memphis is exactly the same team now as they were in
    Week 1. They have shown no improvement, and are insane in how consistently
    mediocre they are. The defense can play a bit, but then again they really
    haven’t played anybody. As weird as it feels… gimme the Bulls going away

    • chuckycrater

      “a blog about USF
      Athletics that has ripped our horrendous administration basically constantly for the last 4 years”

      And IIIIIIIIIIIII helped!

  • thatsfine

    @thatsfine
    Previous: Toledo essay (win), Ball State (loss)

    Road Dogs
    Browns +5.5 / Bengals – The biggest Browns game until the next time they’re flirting with .500.

    South Alabama +8.5 / Navy – USA’s 5 losses this year have been by 1, 2, 1, 7, and 1. They hang around.
    Kentucky
    +13 / Vanderbilt – I saw that Vandy had less than 200 yards of total
    offense last week – no wonder the Commies are so ecstatic about beating
    Florida. Kentucky has played respectably in road games vs. superior
    teams this year. 13 is too many points in a letdown spot.

    Patriots +2.5 / Panthers – The Panthers are the flavor of the week,
    but they’re catching the Pats after a bye week with the offense coming
    together.

  • bupalos

    Guess I’ll try these bruins tonight for a point.

  • CLEVTA

    Skanky picks:
    CFB: S Alabama, W Michigan, Kentucky, Cal
    NFL: Steelers

  • CLEVTA

    1. Ball St (L)

    2. Browns +5.5 (AP)

    3. FIU +6 UTEP (Essay)- I implored Kanick to make this the
    all play. Seriously. I wanted to check out the true handicap prowess out there instead we get plain vanilla Browns yet again even though we all know a pro homer Browns crowd will take them no matter what. Not sure what that proves in this contest. Oh well. I honestly can’t believe a team as bad as UTEP can ever be favored by anything >3 vs any team in the country. Don’t get me wrong, FIU is horrible but UTEP is just as bad or even worse and 6 points is impossible for me to
    ignore. Fun with numbers here. On a net yds/play basis UTEP ranks 124th
    nationally and FIU 125th. So we are talking the 2 worst teams
    nationally on a yards/play basis. This is a really special game. Here’s the
    caveat, FIU’s numbers come against the 28th toughest schedule while
    UTEP’s opponents rank 73rd. Essentially FIU is putting up the same
    numbers as UTEP but doing it against a much harder schedule. Point goes to FIU.
    UTEP also is playing with their backup QB as their start Showers is hurt.
    Showers is a transfer from A&M and is at least competent. Their new QB who
    played for the first time last week is awful. So lets reset, UTEP has the 2nd
    worst net yds/play with their starting
    QB but they are playing with a worse QB now. Check number 2 to FIU. Lastly
    somehow the public is all over UTEP here with 66% on them.

    4. Wisconsin -21.5

    5. Georgia +3.5

    6. S Alabama +8.5

    • chuckycrater

      I took UTEP a couple weeks ago when they were getting 45.5 (FORTY-FIVE AND A HALF) from Texas A&M and their hideous defense. And UTEP couldn’t even cover that number. They lost 57-7.

    • HitTheHorns

      Have to agree that this week’s all play made me roll my eyes when I saw it. This is our third Browns all play so far, and we haven’t played the Steelers yet. I thought this was “the year of irrelevance.”

      • meh, browns/bengals is a big game.
        but i promise you this: if the current trajectory stays intact, the iron bowl will be all-play over osu-michigan.

        • HitTheHorns

          I’m just bitter because I’ve only missed 2 all play games this year, and both were the Browns. Kiss of death for me.

    • acto

      Almost took FIU over UTEP as my essay. UTEP has sucked enough to give me a few Cheddar points already this year.
      FIU has certainly been among the downtrodden since the great T Y left, but they have too much speed and talent to lose to UTEP.
      However, UTEP would have played a fairly close game against TAMU if they had not coughed up the ball 4 times.
      Much like my Marshall pick this week, Marshall would have won by 40 points if they did not turn the ball over 6 times.
      This game looks like a bad line and an easy pick, but it is also a mistake or two from going either way.

      • CLEVTA

        Eh UTEP got out gained 9.5 to 3.2 Yds/play in that A&M game. Can’t really say that game could be close. Also found out UTEPs only offensive weapon, their starting RB Jones, broke some ribs and is out for the season as well.

    • Petefranklin

      I just looked at that game. FIU went into S Miss and came away with the win as 17 point dogs. I see a similar result here, as Im seeing 83% on UTEP.

  • architectartvandelay

    Auburn -3.5 vs Georgia – Auburn is playing well & covering

    Oregon St +13.5 @ ASU – This should be a shootout

    Seahawks -12 vs Vikings – Vikings are garbage & should have gotten rolled by the DC football team.

    Chiefs +8 @ Broncos – No respect. I believe the Chiefs pass rush can get to Manning

    AP: Still thinking

    Essay: South Carolina -13.5 vs Florida

    The Gators are banged up both physically & emotionally following their fourth straight loss. There is a good chance Florida will have to play a freshman at QB who has never attempted a pass. Needless to say going against the Gamecocks D would likely not go well for the freshman. Even if Murphy can go at QB his O-Line is banged up & Jadeveon Clowney will likely remind folks why he will have his name called early in the draft. Meanwhile the Gamecocks are still in the hunt for an SEC title game shot plus they are coming off a bye week. The ol’ ball coach should have them ready to play.

    • architectartvandelay

      Bengals -5.5 vs Browns – With Gresham back I think the Bengals have as much success as they want with their TE duo.

  • 1. @BGSU -10 Ohio (win)
    Clawson >>> Solich. This game is the latest in a long list of mailed in Bobcat performances under Solich. He’s gotta be on the hot seat next year.

    2. ***OSU -32 @Illinois

    Asked #Illini AD Thomas if Beckman's still his guy. Answer: "I'm not going to get into hypotheticals." http://t.co/FEXY0Pu5lh via @suntimes— Steve Greenberg (@SLGreenberg) November 11, 2013

    Looks like they’re cutting the legs out from under Tim Beckman not even halfway through his second year. Hell, UofI did not have Beckman’s back even in his first year. Illini have bad defense but you weren’t hiring the coach who had Toledo averaging 50/game for defense. He’s still working with Zook recruits; nathan scheelhaase << terrance owens. I can't understand Champange's treatment of Beckman; but that management style earns them the prototypical style-point beat-down Urbz will lay down on them Saturday morning. Regrettably that will only hasten Beckman's firing ultimately resulting the hiring of Jeff Quinn from Buffalo and the Illini will enter into another decade of sub-mediocrity. In short, I don't like how they're treating Beckman and the lack of support ain't helping the perfromance on the field. Illinois is at the bottom in Total Defense (483 yds allowed/game) and Rush Defense (240/game). OSU needs at least a cover to keep their #3 slot. And who knows, but an 80 point away win might even quiet some of the chattering class w.r.t. "OSU doesn't even deserve #3."

    Another thing, if you thought there were a lot of Buckeye fans at Evanston… this game will see OSU rooters outnumbering Illini fans by 3:1. For a hint on the rampant Illibuck apathy, see attached jpg of SBNation’s Champagne Room front page. That’s seven hoops articles to one Illinois football plus a betting piece in which four Illinois experts are taking the Bucks -32.

    Yep, I’m giving 32 points in conference and on the road. I’m jumping in expecting severe Cheddar Bad Action. I know it’s a square pick. DONT CARE. This game is screaming enormous blow-out.

    3. @Auburn -3.5 UGA
    Malzahn’s Skynet offense has begun to learn at a geometric rate. It will become self aware at 2:14AM Eastern time, November 30th.

    4. CMU -3 @WMU
    We compare ourselves to ourselves, and we’re getting better.” That’s fine PJ Fleck, but I’m comparing you to a team that can get to bowl eligible wins three wins (WMU, UMass, EMU) where you last week lost to a 1-8 team that fired its HC the day before.

    5. Baylor -25.5 TTU (Dallas)
    Baylor wins 70-31 in the Jerrydome. More style points. More square play.

    6. All-play.
    Holding off on this for now.

  • chuckycrater

    ALL PLAY: Bengals -5.5 vs. Browns
    Clemson -10.5 vs. Georgia Tech (W)
    Auburn -3.5 vs. Georgia
    Kansas State -10.5 vs. TCU
    Eagles -3.5 vs. Redskins

    ESSAY: USF +1 vs. Memphis

    I was expecting to make this pick giving a few points and was shocked to learn that #Menphis was favored. This isn’t the same USF team that I was happily picking against earlier in the season. Mike White vastly exceeded expectations in his first start, throwing for 300+ yards and three TDs, two of which counted. (John McDade and his officiating crew, please die in the nearest fire). The team’s had 16 days to clean up the timing issues they had in Houston and they’re as upbeat as they have been this season, or most of last season for that matter. Memphis struggles on offense and USF is solid against their only strong suit, running the ball. This is going to happen. As Sargie said in Necessary Roughness when Charlie Banks passed his midterm, “Basic losing… IS OVER!!!”

  • p_forever

    no essay yet, but here’s this:

    baylor -27 texas tech
    stanford -3.5 usc
    w.va. -6.5 kansas

    michigan +2.5 (bloody) northwestern
    ohio st. -32 illinois
    brownies +5.5 bengals

  • Dennis Hemingway

    Bengals -5.5 over Browns (All play)
    Kansas St -10.5 over TCU
    North Carolina PICK over Pitt
    Jags +6.5 over Cardinals
    Packers +6 over Giants
    Saints -3 over Niners ***

    *** This isn’t breaking news but the Saints at home are pretty damn tough to beat. Their offense is obviously rolling big time again. And this Niners team just isn’t the same as last year. The expectations are still high so it’s keeping this line lower than it should be. They are running the ball well but their passing game has been terrible. With Crabtree not around, they are relying solely on Boldin and Davis which I think is very much underestimated. Last week the Niners managed only 151 total yards against Carolina. While I wouldn’t doubt Harbaugh’s bunch winning anywhere, anytime, I just don’t see it happening this week.

  • Matt Borcas

    Michigan +2.5 over Northwestern

    OSU -32 over Illinois

    Browns +5.5 over Bengals

    Chiefs +8 over Broncos

    Chargers -1 over Dolphins

    Essay: Pats +2.5 over Panthers

    First of all, Belichick’s Patriots coming off a bye are as sure a bet as there is in the NFL – they’re 10-3 and score more than four touchdowns per game, so I’ll happily take points here. And when we last saw them, their offense finally looked like its normal dynamic self against Pittsburgh, largely the result of improved health. This will be the first time all year where New England’s had a healthy Gronk, Amendola, and Vereen, and it’ll show. Moreover, while Carolina’s been impressive as of late, it’s not like they’re unbeatable. This is still a team that got blown out by the Cardinals and lost to the lowly Bills, and they’ve only beaten ONE good opponent (San Fran). Book it: the New England Greatriots will get the outright win here.

  • FTCMikeD

    Tonight’s Pick:
    @UCLA -2.5 over Washington

  • Its Only Money

    @ SMU -14.5 UConn
    @ FSU -38 Syracuse
    @ Oklahoma -24.5 Iowa St
    Ohio State -32 @ Illinois
    ALL Play Cleveland +5.5 @ Cincinnati (This is more about heart and want than what I truly believe the outcome will be. Cincy is so much better at home than on the road. Hopefully our Brownies will come out ready to play.)

    Essay @ Penn St -21.5 Purdue
    This week I have decided to lay a lot of points across the board. I pretty much have a common theme in that I am playing against bad teams on the road and just another bad team in general. Purdue is probably the worst Auto Qualifier team in college football this year. They really have been competitive in almost 2 months, getting blown out week in and week out. Penn State is by no means a world beater, but they will get the job done this week. They play much better in Happy Valley than on the road, they also seem to be able to put up points. All this adds up to an easy victory for the Nittany Lions.

  • What the heck, let’s get the week rolling early:

    Indianapolis -3 @ Tennessee
    Clemson -10.5 vs. Georgia Teach

  • f/b/o dquatts: Titans.

  • squeekycleen

    Regular play tonight:
    Georgia Tech

    Rest tomorrow.

    • squeekycleen

      Essay Play: Washington Huskies: After having done this for 20 years, I think I have a little different outlook on a season than most of you. Job 1 is to not get killed. Job 2 is to break even. Job 3 is to win anything. Job 4 is to kill it. If I can get Jobs 1 and 2 done almost all the time and occasionally do Jobs 3 and 4, things will be rosy over the long term. I don’t see 0-6 as the worst day ever, because I’ve gone 0-15. The last couple years, I’ve been scraping to break even, and had a good feeling we were going to get a big market correction this year. And it happened, oh boy did it happen! It was like all the pages were open at once. One after another, after another, stupid joke public play went down. This rarely, however, lasts all year, and often things correct back or just stabilize. When I saw the Thursday/Friday lines for this week, I laughed to myself as they made little sense. GT was getting way,way too few and Washington on Friday looked light as well. I have seen this set up in the past, and I was a little big leery of GT. Normally, with a number like that, I would have been all over GT for a max play, but kept it to a medium. It smelled like a trap for sharper anti-pub bettors and the result seemed to support that. I’m not disappointed with the loss, I had to play it, and I’m actually sort of happy that I saved a couple units on it. The general public, especially in times of extreme contrarian winners, often starts to try to play them, and you get some “reverse traps” or whatever you might want to call them. I think that’s what happened last night. Well, tonight, we’ve got another too low number, and I’m hoping that enough people trying to get fancy with GT were kicked in the nuts and now will be scared of going back to the well with with this one. This reminds me of the TT-Kst game from last week. Sub 3 pt home fav that is clearly perceived to be better. Washington has also had uneven road results. For what its worth, UCLA is trash and they are rightfully the inferior team her, as this number suggests. If they wanted even action, they would have made it UCLA -6, but they went with 2.5 so its clearly a play on Washington for me at that number.

      Others:
      Carolina Panthers
      Kansas Jayhawks
      Northwestern Wildcats

      All play: Cleveland Browns

  • f/b/o pateslvrblk: Clemson.

  • HitTheHorns

    Titans +3 for one cheddar, please.

  • cwonder23

    Full picks:
    NIU -7 vs Ball State (win)
    Marshall -14 vs Tulsa
    Baylor -27 vs Texas Tech
    Jets +1.5 @ Bills
    All Play: Browns +5.5 @ Bengals
    Essay: Saints -3 vs 49ers
    Sean Payton and Drew Brees haven’t lost a home game since like 2010 and I see that trend continuing. The 49ers just lost a close one to the Panthers in a dog fight. Now, they have to face an opponent that just curb stomped a Dallas team and is a completely different team than the one the 9ers just faced. New Orleans needs to get homefield advantage if they expect to make a Super Bowl run. Seems to me like NO is firing on all cylinders while the 49ers are wondering where Alex Smith is. I like the Saints in this contest a lot.

  • Petefranklin

    Titans +3 tonight for a cheddar point

    • Petefranklin

      Not looking good….Brandon Lang is on the Titans as well. I didn’t follow rule #1 which is never ever make a bet without finding out who Lang is on!

  • chuckycrater

    If I had any long-term desire to keep living in Texas, I would have become The Big XII Guy awhile ago. I see and hear much more about them than any other league, and the games are always fun for one reason or another so I have a good excuse to watch.

    For tomorrow night, give me Clemson -10.5. I’ll have more picks later. (SPOILER: I’m taking USF this week because that line is stupid.)

    • acto

      You shall never leave Chucky. I came to Texas for two years during the oil boom, so a destitute street kid could make a wad of money then go to college. I graduated from HS early, NFL league minimum was $29,000 and I did not trust Earl Bruce. That was more than thirty years ago, I am still an aggressive foreigner in a strange land, but so is everyone else.
      Chucky, Cleveland is a terrific place to be from.
      Although I oftentimes brag about the beautiful Cleveland summers, “last year summer was on a Saturday so everyone was able to enjoy it.”
      Would you care to join me for a sporting event where we shall brag about Cleveland and either make great friends with, or frighten the patchouli out of any naysayers?

  • GRRustlers

    Week 12 Picks

    Bowling Green – Win (Next Tuesday looks really tasty in the MAC)

    All Play – Browns (+5.5) – One week I may write an essay about how the only thing that the Bengals need is competent QB play. A win Sunday and the Browns will be 7-5 with 4 to go and that is simply mind bending to consider where my head was driving home from work when Trent got traded.

    Marshall (-14) over Tulsa – Lost in all the crazy uniforms in CFB how did it take Marshall 43 years to wear something to honor the 75 lives lost. Seems odd to me but good for them…Marshall scores a ton of points and Tulsa stinks.

    Ohio State (-32) over Illinois – Anyone else think when Urban chewed out his WR for talking to the media that the conversation was completely different behind closed doors. Like you are never talking to the media again but watch how bad we run it up on Illinois. Tim Beckman will finish his Big 10 career with as many conference wins as I have.

    Seattle (-12) over Minnesota – Once a year Pete Carroll destroys somebody. Think 58-0 last year vs Arizona.

    Essay Pick

    Throw out the result last week.

    Congrats to the Rams by the way for finally figuring out that if you get Austin the ball in space that good things may actually happen.

    The Colts are still going through an adjustment period as they deal with life after Reggie Wayne. It takes time for the receiving group to all adjust to new roles and all the chaos they have had at the RB position all season.

    I can’t believe I am saying this but me of all people is predicting a breakout game for Trent Richardson on Thursday. He will never be anything more than an average player but I really like the Colts on Thursday.

    The loss of Locker hurts for the Titans and the match-up of Luck vs Fitzpatrick is about as one sided as it gets in any game not involving the Jaguars. Yeah…you know the Jaguars team that beat the Titans last week.

    Love the Colts on the short week to get the bad taste out of their mouth and hammer the Titans which will basically lock up the division.

    Colts (-3) over Titans

    • poor tim beckman. he didnt suck at toledo; maybe illinois shoud back him up just a little. shit like this ain’t helping.
      https://twitter.com/SLGreenberg/status/399908843011846144

    • acto

      “He will never be anything more than an average player”
      Welcome aboard GRRRRRRRRR!
      The Browns lucked into a great trade getting a first round pick for Bitchardson.

      • GRRustlers

        Banner got half of this right now he needs to hit on the 1st rounder and complete the fleecing of the Colts.

        I’ve been watching a lot of Colts this year mainly because I’m fascinated with Andrew Luck. That roster sucks. If you but Luck in Cleveland the Browns would go 14-2. I won’t go as far as @jimkanicki:disqus yet but he is already a top 5 QB in the league and it’s so fun to watch.

  • Concierge

    Ball State +9

    • it’s bsu +7 for cheddar. will leave this in unless i hear different..

  • CLEVTA

    1) Ball St +7: Wasn’t going to take the game tonight but I got sucked in. Way way too much love for NIU and you know how much I love going opposite. Both teams have played pretty awful schedules. In fact NIU’s opponents combine for the 125th ranked net yds/play schedule. That would rank, wait for it… dead last in the nation. They’ve played one team >.500, a pretty mediocre Iowa team at 6-4. They somehow allowed an awful Purdue offense 524 yds (6.1 yds/play) which ranks 5th from the bottom nationally in yds/play offense and literally didnt cross the 50 yd line in the last couple Big 10 games. They also allowed putrid Idaho to put 35 pts and 438 yds of offense. So in summation that’s a total of 962 yds of offense to two of the bottom 10 offenses in the country. Now granted N Illinois’ defense has improved but when you play UMASS, all the crappy Michigans, Akron, Kent, etc it’s bound to get better. Not saying Ball State has played that great of a schedule themselves but at least Virginia and N Texas are somewhat half decent. Ball State should be able to score enough for the cover.

    • single point, correct?

      • CLEVTA

        Yes sorry got carried away. Sometimes I need to type out my reasoning to get 100% behind it.

  • mrickman

    in for ball state +7

    rest of the picks later

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Great piece on Barry Sanders. Thank you for the insight.

  • CLEVTA

    So interesting stuff on the conference “specialists” up top. Are we seeing our own little Phil Steele-esque CFB syndicate forming amongst us? Btw have I ever told u guys about me interviewing with said Mr. Steele’s firm a few years back? Lets just say his corporation/operations is less than glamorous. And no I did not accept the job. Apparently I was “overqualified”. In reality I just wanted to see the inside scoop on the goings on. Picture an old warehouse with boxes of stuff littered everywhere and a tiny set of cubicles with all heads down working on the magazine. Depressing doesn’t begin to describe Mr. Steele’s operation and from all accounts is beyond heavy handed. He’s essentially the soup nazi reincarnated.

    • There’s easy money to be had in C-USA football. I just know there is.

      • Capitalgg

        The only problem with this theory is you’d have to actually watch C-USA football to find it.

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Toledo (Win)
    NIU -7 over Ball ST. – Jordan Lynch is a beast MAC defenses can not contain. I thought about making it my essay, but I see some tasty lines coming in over the weekend. Talk to you then.

  • Jeff overberger

    Indiana + 21.5 vs Wisconsin

    Stanford -3.5 vs USC

    Jets + 1.5 vs Bills

    Lions +1.5 vs Steelers

    Browns +5.5 vs Bengals (All Play)

    Panthers -2.5 vs Patriots (Essay)

    My gut tells me Patriots because all good things come to an
    end and it just seems for the right time for the Panthers to end their 5 game
    winning streak. Then, I looked at the numbers. Carolina is the 10thbest rushing team going against the 30th against the run. I put that along with a great defense againsta New England offense that hasn’t been the same this season as it has in recentpast. So, I’m going with the numbers, even though I should probably stay away from this game in CheddarBay and certainlyshouldn’t be my essay but, here it is.

  • thatsfine

    @thatsfine
    Previous: Toledo essay (win) – Toledo almost blowing a 38 point 3rd quarter lead? That’s what MACtion is all about! I’m 3-0 on MAC essays this year, not quite in league with the guys listed in JK’s post this week, but not too shabby either.

    Ball St. +7 / NIU – I’m 3-0 on midweek MACtion, so who better to take me to 4-0 than a guy with the last name WENNING. It’s one vowel off, but has there been a finer, more phonetically inspiring name to have on the back of a QB’s jersey, perhaps besides Luck? I see a QB with a pro arm who has a real shot to play on Sundays. On the other side I see a dual threat Heisman candidate QB. Should be fun. 69% of the public on NIU right now. Ball State not getting much love. Feels like NIU by a field goal with Ball State getting the cover. If not for the Wednesday date this would have been a great all-play.

  • Hey everyone, a group is getting together on Friday at 5:15 at Johnny’s Little Bar downtown for a little happy hour/Cheddar Bay collusionfest. So far CLTIL, KTO, Nick and yours truly will be there for sure. Everyone and anyone should come through.

    • acto

      I am in! Even though I cannot be there I shall contact the management and everyone may have a shot of Milagro Anejo on me. Frownie please do not worry, you may have a Zima instead.

      On another note, the “Stop-N-Rob” on the corner nearest to me has a bunch of Four Loco. Is it the same magical mixture? Should I buy out the place?

      • Petefranklin

        Anejo RULES! I’ve never had Milagro, but I shall try soon.

    • acto

      Sorry they did not have any anejo.
      I hope everyone enjoyed the reposado, it is one step down from anejo. In essence i meant to serve up espresso, but you ended up with instant coffee.

  • acto

    *****AP***** Browns over Bungles

    Toledo -3-5

    Colts -3

    ****NIU -7 over Letterman State**** Magical Super Terrific Happy Fantastic Essay

    Every few years a team from the downtrodden, great unwashed conferences steps up to take on the big boys. NIU is good enough to play with anyone. Ball State is a terrific team too, but their respective Achilles Heel is their secondary. Not certain if anyone has noticed, BUT with the added importance of Frank-sized quarterbacks and Diva Receivahs, the way to stop the Prima Donnas is with a terrific secondary and a suitable pass rush. Ball State missed the bus on this idea, but NIU has this figured out.

    Wenning may be the better Quarterback, but I do not care about Quarterbacks. He does not play defense, he does not lead the special teams and he is less than a 22th of my real concern with this game. Ball State’s questionable secondary will be dropping deep in fear of Lynch’s passing prowess and the Ball State front seven will occupy themselves with pinning their ears back and trying for sacks(the d-line), while the linebackers will be wary of screens, slants, Tight Ends, Running Backs, Slot Receivers, et cetera, this may give Lynch a field day to win this with his legs.

    Marshall -14 over Tulsa

    Akron -7 over U Mass

  • cwonder23

    I’ll join in on the MACtion and take NIU -7

    • cwonder23

      Marshall -14 vs Tulsa

  • ChuckKoz

    1) Miss State +25.5 (vs Alabama)
    2) Wash State +13 (at Arizona)
    3) Broncos -8 (vs Chiefs)
    4) Patriots +2.5 (at Panthers)
    AP: Browns +5.5 (at Bengals)
    Essay: UCLA -2.5 (vs UW)

    Two teams with similar expectations and similar outcomes so far with both losing to Oregon and Stanford. They also have similarly decent coaches. However, UW has that third loss that makes the difference: they were crushed on the road in Tempe. Couple that with UCLA having not lost at home and having the nicer out of conference win (big win in Nebraska) and it just seems UCLA is the better team. Add in UCLA having a more talented roster and UCLA playing for a decent shot at the Rose Bowl (UW is out of contention) and I like UCLA to get the job done.

  • Petefranklin

    Did this #(5.5) get changed? I thought it was 6 earlier on the site.

    • bupalos

      I don’t think any line was up earlier… Figured Jk was waiting for Wednesday. Disappointing there is no home cooking here in the bay though…seems like most lines are 6, but not only is cheddar going to tempt many souls to evil, its going to do so with a juiced line.

      BROWNS WILL WIN BY 50!!!! But I still want +6

      • Correct, did not post a line.

        I post those scoresandodds lines pretty much first thing when I sign on on Wednesday. I try to stick to a schedule because I’m the same as you all with the line shopping. I mean, I knew I was playing BGSU last night and wanted to wait for the line to drop to -9.5 (it did) but shenanigans like that hurt the would-be OU pickers, ya dig?

        Anyhoozles, this line will be Browns +4 at kickoff so we’ll all be cool with +5.5.

        • Petefranklin

          I doubt it gets past 4.5.It wont take much to move the line from 5.5 to 4.5, but to push it to 4 is unrealistic I think. Weird vibes from Vegas on this game as the Casinos are standing pat mostly on 6 which is exactly where I thought the line should be. BTW Jim, how many outs do you have, just curious because I’ve given up on the offshores since it takes them a month or more to pay in full.

          • That’s a question I’ve been meaning to ask of the group. I’m at sportsbook.ag and you’re right, you can’t get your money out without an act of god. Would like to know where our group plays.

          • Petefranklin

            CRIS used to pay fast. Ive heard 5 dimes is solid I hear but I just cant seem to win there even though I’ve been up large there. They threw me out on one account for betting steam on arena football, but I’ve heard good things just don’t deposit from a CC there. They want DL #’s or utility bills and such., after a couple months to boot.I think Cris is bet on line for USA customers. Pinnacle is GREAT, but you have to have a Canadian ISP address I think. I was stupid for not trying to get an account out of Niagra Falls when I was there a few years back. If you are near Canada That is what I would try…too bad we’re all in USA.

      • Petefranklin

        Maybe I just figured 6 since everyone was 6 when I first saw that it was the all play.For contest purposes this line should be 4.5 I guess, just to make the home cooking closer to skyline or whatever that crap is that they call chili in Cincy.

  • Capitalgg

    Week 12:

    All-Play: Browns +[whatever] @ Bengals: No thought, just betting the result I want on my birthday.
    1. Bowling Green -10 v. Ohio: WIN!

    So last week was an all-timer of all-time Cheddar Bay bad beat. Not in league with USC-Stanford from 2 years back. And not even OSU-Northwestern from earlier this year. But a team going from up 31 to giving up a garbage TD in the last minute to turn a 20.5 point spread into a loss by the hook. And the worst part is, that was my biggest fear. I was confident the game would play out with Ball St. jumping on the Chippewas early. But worried they didn’t have the killer instinct to bury their opponent. Boy was I right. But then I thought 10.5 would either hold up or lose by several points. But half a freaking point? How is that even possible from 10.5?

    I digress.

    Still, I’m loving the MACtion. I’m 3-1 on the mid-week so far with the lone loss being the afore mentioned bad beat. So of course, I’m going to play the MACTION GAME OF THE YEAR as my essay this week.

    I’ve absolutely loved Ball St. these last 2 years. Pete Lembo is a very good coach. His Cardinals always come out prepared. They play with pretty good discipline. And he always seems to be in control. They absolutely dominate teams in the first half of games on both sides of the ball. They just seem to put teams away early. And they possess a legitimate pro prospect QB in Coldwater, OH native Keith Wenning.

    But Ball St. has a tendency not to play complete games. And the reason is two-fold. Firstly, they jump out to those early needs and then get sloppy offensively. Secondly, and more importantly, their defense is not able to lockdown teams. They are very average across the board. The high powered offense covers this deficiency. Well that an a week schedule.

    Against typical MAC competition it really doesn’t matter. Hell, with the excpetion of an inexplicable Saturday in Denton, Texas, we’d be talking about a Wednesday battle of unbeaten teams.

    Ultimately, it’s not going to matter because Ball St. has to travel to another college town that begins with D and the competition this time is waaaay better. DeKalb will not be kind to Lembo and the boys. No sir. Rod Carey’s ball club is not just MAC good. They are Top 10 in the country good. They gave a pretty good FSU team all they could handle in the Orange Bowl last year and should-be legitimate Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch is a year more experienced.

    The Huskies have been more merciless against the Big Ten than against the MAC, but really haven’t been challenged for MAC supremacy. They are the class of the conference. They shouldn’t lose a game in conference. Not to Ball St. and not next week to suddenly hot Toledo.

    It all comes down to defense though. NIU‘s will get just enough stops. Ball St’s won’t. Toledo’s won’t. And Bowling Green’s won’t in the MAC title game.

    So can we seriously add Jordan Lynch’s name to our Heisman discussion already?

    The rest of my picks will come later this week.

    • Capitalgg

      Well that was fun! 4 points in the book so far this week.

      And now, the rest of the story.

      2. Oregon -25 v. Utah: Ducks have had 9 days to get healthy, are due a bounceback game, and are playing in Autzen. Utah has not been a good road team. Was expecting at least 28 for this one.

      3. Stanford -3.5 @ USC: Bigger, stronger, deeper. Will eventually wear SC down.

      4. Lions -1.5 @ Steelers: The Steelers win 1 game against a lousy Bills team and suddenly they are less than a FG dog to a division leader with one of the best DLines in football?

      Other Action:
      South Carolina -13.5 v. Florida

      West Virginia -6.5 @ Kansas

      Ohio St. -32 @ Illinois
      Penn St. -21.5 v. Purdue
      Indiana +21.5 @ Wisconsin Akron -7 @ UMass
      Miami -3 @ Duke
      Michigan +2.5 @ Northwestern
      Michigan St. -6.5 @ Nebraska
      Alabama -25.5 @ Mississippi St.

      Falcons -2 @ Buccaneers
      Cardinals -6.5 @ Jaguars

  • acto

    sent to @mburgermeister not @jimkanicki, sorry.

    • i’m locked out of @mburgermeister twitter right now, working it,… if/when i confirm it was submitted before kickoff, will credit.

      • found it.

        @mburgermeister Mr Burgermeister, sir, may I please have Toledo -3.5? Also please excuse my arrogance, but you have too much on your page.— Cliff Cintula (@CliffCintula) November 12, 2013

        go with @jimkanicki next time, 😉

  • acto

    jk,
    please tell me you received my Toledo pick.

  • FlyHighCharlieFrye

    Toledo for one Cheddar point, please

    • FlyHighCharlieFrye

      AP: Browns +5.5

      Rutgers pk Cin
      FIU +6 at UTEP
      Steelers +1.5

      Essay: Wisconsin -21.5

      Indiana is the worst. Well, correction. Purdue is the worst. But Indiana is beyond terrible, too, and doesn’t tackle anybody. Wisconsin is good — it showed at Ohio State, and the numbers show it, too — and though it’s a longshot needs statement wins to creep back closer to BCS at-large contention. The Badgers aren’t playing for anything else but they’re playing well and (again) have a bunch of running backs who will get theirs. Should be 35-7 at half and may grow from there. As an ex co-worker used to say, “Do it for cheese, boys!”

  • GRR is in on BGSU tonite via twitter.
    I shall join him –> BGSU -10 for me.

  • Concierge

    Ohio +10
    And Toledo -3.5 !!

  • thatsfine

    thatsfine

    Toledo -3.5 / UBuffalo – MACTION ESSAY
    Sorry to piss on the Bulls’ parade of wins (seven in a row), but the FBS opponents combined record during that stretch is 12-44. If you eliminate the only moderate quality opposition (Ohio U. last week) the combined record sinks to 6-41. The fact is the MAC is in an overall down year (especially the bottom half) and the 3 best teams in the MAC are all in the West. Simply by playing in the MAC East Buffalo has put together a streak of easy, convincing wins (they haven’t played BGSU yet). A commentator last week referred to Buffalo’s defense as “stifling”, but the respective FBS ranks of the offenses they shut down in their last 6 victories are 121, 98, 111, 120, 107, and 67. The line at 3.5 feels low, Covers.com now has it at 4.5. I think they’re getting too much credit for last week’s win. Buffalo get exposed tonight with a double digit win for the Rockets protecting the home turf.

  • bupalos

    Of course the problem with this “this is the biggest Browns game in x years” thing is that as long as they play around .500 that’s going to be true every week for the rest of the season. And of course, I don’t complain about playing them, I do that anyway…. but it does kind of dilute Brand Bupalos. Ah well.

    • CleveLandThatILove

      “as long as it stays over +5” Yeah, sure, okay Homie 🙂

    • bupalos

      Alright, the line is set, fresh coffee in the mug, nothing on the desk thanks to my procrastinating translators, so let’s start. Hopefully someone now can get on devising some kind of line-numbering system for this essay so that it can be easily referenced by scholars and critics in future ages. I don’t have a problem with a Stephanus type system, but if anyone has other ideas that will make their work easier, I’m open to that. Maybe JK can start another thread for that issue.

      We will proceed like Aristotle, first exploring the practical and physical before proceeding to the ethical and moral. Whoop. Break time. One of the translators actually sent in their job…

      • acto

        Bupa,
        Appreciate the Aristotle reference, he is my hero and I hope to meet him someday soon. By the way, what is a “translator”? Are they the action figures that can change into jet planes and fishing boats?