#CheddarBay Week 14: Iron Bowl.

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We’ll never get tired of Quinton Groves leading the Auburn Band in a Rammer-Jammer retort after the 2007 Iron Bowl. [click me]

Weekly lines linked here.
All-play point spread:  Alabama -10.5 at Auburn; 330pm Saturday on CBS.

We’ve been looking forward to this for at least a month. Auburn-Alabama at Auburn. #1 vs. #4. Gus Malzahn’s offense vs. Kirby Smart’s defense. Or maybe more interesting, Ellis Johnson’s defense vs. the Saban/Nussmeier offense. (Actually that’s quite a bit less interesting but you never know.) Yeldon, McCarren, Moseley, Kouandjio, Drake, and Ha-Ha vs. Marshall, Mason, Ford, and Casanova.


It also took one of the greater acts of God to give this game its magnitude.

Overlooked in the pre-game build-up is that this is also a battle of the #2 vs. #3 best college fight songs as determined by an authoritative source.

That’s “Yea Alabama” at #3;

And sleeper terrific “War Eagle” at #2.

So of course we’re going to Jordan-Hare this Saturday for our all-play. Current line is Bama -10.5 at Auburn, 330pm Saturday. Will post the official Cheddar line tomorrow AM.

Nice work DQuatts, but ChuckKoz drinks your milkshake.

Congrats to DQuatts on his Admiral’s Feast, the only miss being a push in the Dolphins/Panthers game.  In the first two weeks of our weeklies that would have been a winner but instead Cheddar veteran, CHUCKKOZ scored his first ever Lobsterfest.  Sorry Quatts but good week.  I know Chuck has been playing Cheddar at least since I started and may be a charter member.  He didn’t go there last week, but know that Chuck is SoCal based and has been making hay in the Pac-12 all year.  (13-7 in PACtion with only a brief hiccup on a UCLA essay.)


Great games this weekend.

The Iron Bowl was a no-brainer for the all-play but there’s a lot going on.  I admittedly have a CFB bias so Thanksgiving means Egg Bowl at Starkville at 730.  If you’re at a mall on Black Friday excuse yourself from 130-4 and go to the Applebees/Fridays/Outback/BWW and catch the BGSU/UB at Ralph Wilson MAC East Bowl.  It wouldn’t have made this list before this year, but I’ll be looking for unbridled George O’Leary hate in my twitter timeline for what looks like a very ugly USF at UCF Friday nighter.

Saturday just isn’t fair.  FSU at Gaineville would be must watch except for you know what in Ann Arbor.  Bama at Auburn is a 330pm, don’t miss that one.  Even the pro schedule has Broncos at Chiefs.  Lots to see.

But about this Michigan game.  OSU getting 14.5 points in Ann Arbor??  Has that happened before?  I know Michigan has pulled off upsets before but this smells more like the 1969 game than any I remember.    I actually remember that game.  Not only was OSU defending national champs and undefeated but the year before was the 50-14-Couldnt-Go-for-3.  So net net, OSU brought a 22 game win streak into Ann Arbor and as I say I remember the game and the pre-game too.  OSU fans thought it was a slam-dunk.  Don’t know what the line was but greater than two touchdowns sounds right.

Then this happened.

If I’m Urban Meyer, I’ve got my coaches watching these youtubes.  If I’m Brady Hoke, I’ve got my players watching them.

Skanky Fish with @ClevTA.

@ClevTA's Skanky Fish Picks.

26-24-2 ATS YTD;
1-2 last week:  SDSU (win), NCST (loss), Browns (loss).

Update 11/29, this weeks picks:  UConn, Idaho, Iowa; none in NFL.


A couple interesting tweets.

Imagine the carnage if Livy were here and ol’ Kanick had to ding HIS essay pick.

And FYI…

138 Responses

  1. HitTheHorns says:

    Redskins +1

  2. jimkanicki says:

    for dquattsWhat an Iron Bowl!! Wow…

    Arizona +3
    Kansas City +5.5
    Titans +4
    Rams +8.5

    St. Louis is a good football team. They are a balanced group with a rising defense. They know the Niners, beat them early this year at home, and understand how to play this team. They can contain Kap, and they can score. I think T. Austin continues his NFL coming out party with a big game today. Whoever is responsible for checking TA might be in for a long day. Still not totally convinced that SF is a Super Bowl caliber team. Today will help prove that! Go Rams!

  3. clayII says:

    Rams (+8.5) / 49ers
    Way too many points for a division rivalry. Rams always seem to play 49ers tough. A lot is being made here of Crabtree coming back and Kape looking better which is why I think this line is so high (opened at 10.5? what?) Rams have shown ability to win on the road (2-3) and they got a lot of dog in them. Kellen Clemens make me a little nervous, but the emergence finally of Tavon Austin is huge. Low scoring slobberknocker. 49ers probably win but wont cover.

  4. jimkanicki says:

    for bobby slick:
    Chargers – essay
    Trap game for the Bengals, flying across the country and playing the early game, not the easiest thing to do. As much as I dislike san Diego’s d, Philip rivers has their offense playing fantastic football. I think their offense puts up 30 and I don’t see Dalton putting up those type of numbers. Love the play of Danny woodhead and mike McCoy seems to be the right guy for the job. Big win at home today.

  5. CLEinMPLS says:

    Colts -4
    Eagles -3
    Panthers -8
    Redskins +1
    Seahawks -5.5 (essay)

    This strikes me as the type of game where Seattle wins “easily” and people start to pencil them into the Super Bowl. I never really trust the Saints on the road. They aren’t enough of a “grind it out” kind of football team for me. Seattle will play physical football with them tonight, and I look for this to be a lower scoring affair then maybe a lot of folks think. Seattle’s crowd will be all fired up tonight, and Lynch/Wilson will do a nice job of ball control to keep Brees off the field.

  6. oxr says:

    All-Play Auburn (woo)

    Giants -1 over Redskins
    Chargers -2 over Bengals
    Jaguars +7 over Browns
    Titans +4 over Colts

    Essay: Patriots -7.5 over Texans – Time to do a bit of rooting for the Evil Empire, and join the consensus in the picks below mine. I hate laying more than 7, but this is the biggest mismatch on the board in DVOA and in terms of overall malaise (OMOA). The Patriots have a lot left to play for, and this might be the week when the Texans just plain give up – it seems safe to assume that the Kubiak era is over and a lot of changes are in the works. Belichick has traditionally not been afraid to hang a lot of points on hapless opponents, and he excels at discombobulating inexperienced QBs, which is good because I think I’m something like 0-3 picking against Case Keenum. Last week, once everyone stopped fumbling all the time, Brady did bad things to Denver’s middle-of-the-pack defense; Houston’s is slightly worse. I can see this being a conservative one-TD win if I’m unlucky, but I suppose I’m pulling for another businesslike trip behind the woodshed.

  7. CLEVTA says:

    Pick #6- Texans +7.5. Cheddar 16-0 in favor of NE. Have no choice here after screwing myself by deleting my original Tulane winner. Oh well

  8. harbaugh handshakes says:

    NFL Picks
    Browns -7
    Denver -4.5 @ the chiefs
    Essay: New England -7.5 @ Houston

    I’ve been trying to figure this line out all weekend. What am I missing here. The Patriots are coming together on the offensive side of the football. Brady seems to be much more comfy in the pocket with Gronk back and if Ridley ever stops fumbling the ball the Pats become a very scary team. Houston on the other hand is in disarray they have a feast or famine offense, and a QB that is like pedro cerrano from Major League and only hits homeruns. If I see that I’m sure Bill did too and will set his defense up accordingly. So I don’t know why this line isn’t 10-10.5.

    Also, Last but not least the Pats have to win every game from here on out b/c they know they can’t go to Denver and win. Brafy at home in late december and January Pats just might find their way back to the Super Bowl. Pats in a massacre. 42-14.

  9. jimkanicki says:

    for squeeky: Shithawks, panthers, Vikings, titans

  10. pateslvrblk says:

    Pats-7.5 over Texans

    The Texans have managed to have the lowest defensive yards and pass yards against them. Does this finally go away post-Brady? Ideally, the Texans would like to beat the Patriots like they beat the Colts in 2006. Being able to run the ball, and do selected efficient plays to keep the opposing quarterback off the bench. However, I’m not sure that the 2013 Texans are able to do that with the remaining roster. Case Keenum as quarterback has achieved most of his yards with low percentage big plays. This puts the Texans in feast or famine mode–they either make or miss on the big plays, without being able to move the sticks consistently on other parts of the field. If the Texans defense is on the field as much as they were last week after so many three-and-outs, this could get very ugly, very quickly.

  11. Katie O. says:

    Well, we’re going by feel this week. I just pulled the buffalo chicken dip out of the oven, the pineapple upside down shots are chilling in the freezer, and my Uncle is leaving (insert typical upscale suburb) any minute now to reserve a spot and begin frying a turkey.

    Don’t worry – I wouldn’t say all of those delicious things without an invitation – @KTOinCLE if you’re interested. Love the Cheddar Bay folk.

    Needless to say, this must be short and sweet. I already hit one pick and lost one…so I’m keeping it steady in the 45th spot so far…playoffs may or may not be in my foreseeable future.

    My picks

    Panthers -8 vs. Buccos

    Bears +1 vs. Vikings

    Seahawks -5.5 vs. Saints

    Essay: Buffalo Bills -3 over the Falcons

    My family Thanksgivings usually consist of my immediate family and I and maybe a few others who happen to be around. We’ve always maxed out at six or seven and tables never needed leaflets. I’m taking the Bills this week because this year our Thanksgiving was around 20 people because our extended family came in from Buffalo and for that, I’m thankful. This was also the first year my partner-in-crime stayed local and didn’t traverse back to the windy city. My two cousins, who are better than brothers to me, were in from Philly and Portland, Oregon. My sister managed to get off of work from being a manager at a gas station, which is a miracle unto itself. I apologize for unloading such a huge warm-freaking-fuzzy as my essay but I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m also about to tailgate with a smaller contingency of this group and can’t quite stop cherishing that I have a family, that I like, that loves me. I’ve never seen these things as givens. This pick is for Bufalo because I have family there, and it’s where Ani DiFranco is from, and if the Browns ever left (again) it’s definitely who I’d cheer for.

  12. p_forever says:

    hi hi hi late to the game i know – kanicki and frowns got my first 2 picks earlier –

    ohio state***

    ohio state was the essay pick but i’ll take the win (i used my get out of jail free card re the actual essay).

    tonight i want

    ND +14.5 stanford
    arizona +12.5

    tomorrow i want

    dolphins +1.5 jets
    denver -4.5 kansas city

    hope everyone had a nice thanksgiving!

  13. Petefranklin says:

    Franklin all play Alabama

  14. bupalos says:

    Auburn in the iron thingy.

    • bupalos says:

      Then essay, BYU -14.5

      I’ve consistently held off essaying my best college pick this year and paid for it getting boxed into some NFL thing I don’t really believe in through shear procrastination. But I need a 5-0 finish and help here, so no more of that. BYU has been underrated all year I think, just walking into unwinnable games at the wrong time. They actually stayed impressively competitive up in camp Randall despite that being just the wrong team and just the wrong place at just the wrong time. Nevada is just the right team at the right time. With little running game to challenge a quality front 7, BYU will live in the backfield and I think will cover the 14 points just with defensive scores. Nevada’s out of the bowls and just doesn’t have what they need on either side of the ball to hang here.

  15. jimkanicki says:

    screw it, i’m in for auburn.
    1. rivalry home dog double digit points;
    2. auburn not 1-dimensional;
    3. bama/missyst game;
    4. riding with KTO.

  16. oxr says:

    All-Play Auburn +10.5 over Alabama, for no particular reason. NFL tomorrow.

  17. Petefranklin says:

    Cheddar play Notre Dame +14.5 @ Stanford

  18. HitTheHorns says:

    WVU -7
    WVU lost at Kansas two weeks ago. As the Mountaineers were licking their wounds on their bye week, Iowa State destroyed the very same Kansas team 34-0. So, the line is WVU -7?!?! This just seems very odd, but I’ll gladly lay just a touchdown, while the rest of the market has been anywhere from 7.5 to 9.5. Both teams can’t make a bowl, and asking Iowa State to travel all the way to Morgantown, WV for a meaningless game just seems like a bit much. Iowa State ended a seven game losing streak last week. Look for WVU to end their two game losing streak this week.
    All Play – Alabama -10.5

  19. Matt Borcas says:

    Auburn +10.5 over Bama
    ND +14.5 over Stanford
    Patriots -7.5 over Texans
    Bucs +8 over Panthers
    Chargers -2 over Bengals

  20. Ohio State -14.5 @ Michigan

    Clemson +5 @ South Carolina

    New England -7.5 @ Houston

    Carolina -8 vs. Tampa Bay

    Seattle -5.5 vs. New Orleans

    All Play + Essay: Alabama -10.5 @ Auburn

    Thought about going with Seattle for the essay because of the Saints struggles outside. Thought about looking at the Browns and/or Jaguars (7 points seems so very, very high), but we don’t need any more misery right now surrounding the Browns.

    So, when in doubt, it’s always a safe bet to back a Kent State man: http://redright88.com/2012/09/01/the-process-that-rules-college-football-started-at-kent-state/

  21. TheKardiacKid says:

    Minnesota +14.5 @Sparty
    @Florida +27.5 vs Florida St
    Penn St +24 @Wisky
    Bears +1 @Vikings
    AP: Bama -10.5 @Auburn
    Essay: Jacksonville +7 @Clowns

    I thought I was dreaming when I read the Browns were 7 point favorites. I thought to myself, maybe the Browns are so boring and bland that Las Vegas forgot that Brandon Weeden was playing QB. Then while scarfing down turkey I read the Browns had signed trick shot artist Ewa Mataya to back up Brandon and it all made sense. After that mind-numbing rant I remembered that it’s against Ohio State law to pick the Browns giving up 7 points.

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      Ewa Mataya?
      Had to look it up but, WPBA? Really?
      I may start the WaORPPBSST. Woman and Other Random People Professional Bar Stool Sitting Tour.

  22. Raisins (L) (ouch)
    Packers (L) (woof)
    Raiders (essay) (W) (#blessed)

    Three more to round out the week:

    All Play: Alabama -10.5 over Auburn: I feel like this is another one of those times that the teevee people go really hard to sell a matchup between historical name programs that in real life is just a joke of a mismatch thanks to how money has infiltrated the game (AND LIFE). I don’t think there’s any Cam Newtons or Nick Fairleys on this Auburn team but I have to admit I haven’t watched one second of one of their games this season other than that .gif and I’d be glad to be surprised. Blah. Lay the points.

    Notre Dame +14.5 over Stanford: Picking this because tonight is about the only time I’ll have to watch any football this weekend and don’t feel good about any of the other options in this time slot. The Irish don’t really have anything to lose here with nobody expecting them to win. Unburdened by expectations, I trust Brian Kelly to figure out how to score enough to keep within two touchdowns and I think there’s enough talent on the Irish roster to do it. I know, what better way to spend a Saturday night than to keep my butt clenched for #Reesplosions.

    Browns -7 over Jaguars: You will never ever ever again have a chance to lay a touchdown with Brandon Weeden as your quarterback in the NFL so you better take advantage. Browns need a win bad after the last two weeks and will take out their frustrations tomorrow. Ups and downs. Would essay this if I hadn’t already used mine for the week.

    Hope everyone has a great weekend.

  23. pateslvrblk says:

    Alabama-10.5 over Auburn
    Missouri -4.5 over A&M
    Notre Dame +13.5 over Stanford
    USC -3.5 over UCLA

  24. Collin says:

    Already won: USF 26.5 over UCF. WE FUCKING HAD IT AND GAVE IT
    AWAY. I’m still too numb to discuss this. Oh, and they slashed our AD’s tires
    because UCF fan is classy like that.

    All play: Auburn +10.5. If it was 10 I might go the other way.
    Seriously no idea what to do here.

    Duke -6 over UNC. Smart Kid Corollary game, and Duke needs to
    win for an ACC division title (and the right to get boatraced by Jameis).

    Arizona +12.5 over Arizona State. The rare rivalry trap game (ASU
    is already in Pac-12 title game), and ‘Zona’s SID is all over his team this

    Eagles -3 over Cardinals. Birds off a bye week, and Carson
    Palmer has to regress to the mean here sometime soon.

    Essay: Baylor -11.5 over TCU. Don’t think for one second Baylor
    is as bad as they looked against OKSU. Literally everything that could go wrong
    for the Bears went wrong, and their defense failed to adjust at the exact wrong
    time. Here, read about it! http://www.footballstudyhall.com/2013/11/27/5148016/oklahoma-state-baylor-defense

    Things we know about Art Briles; He can really coach, and his
    players love him. His brother also passed away this week, so his players will
    play for him too. There’s no way they lay an egg two weeks in a row, plus it’s
    not like Baylor lets off the gas when they get a big lead. They floor it no
    matter the opponent, and there is no better opponent to floor against than a
    God-awful TCU team. Patterson is a really good coach too, but with injuries and
    rebuilding they just don’t have enough talent this year.

    When all these coaches that are just staving off getting fired actually at plum jobs get fired (Muschamp, Brown, etc), Briles is going to make someone very happy. That someone will be his agent. Is he a Jimmy Sexton guy too? That dude should just buy his own airline this offseason.

  25. Its Only Money says:

    Rutgers -3 @ Connecticut

    @ Memphis -8.5 Temple

    @ UAB -14 Southern Mississippi

    @ Michigan State -14.5 Minnesota

    All Play @ Auburn +10.5 Alabama

    Essay Jacksonville +7 @ Cleveland

    As much as it pains me to say this, I don’t think a Brandon
    Weeden led team can beat any team in the NFL by a full TD. The Jags have won two out of three and both
    of the wins came on the road. I don’t
    necessarily see them extended that streak to 3 in a row on the road, but I
    think they will keep it close. This game
    is going to be one that features a lot of field goals. A lot of the action is going to be between
    the 30s. It could be a game that has me
    heading for the exits early and back to the casino for a little more
    action. The Browns win a close one, 15 –

  26. jimkanicki says:

    if you’re wondering who’s got whom in bama/auburn, i just checked:

    AUBURN: berg, gg, chkK, clay, conc, cwon, denn, dq, ftc, harb, jmac, muna, nick, pete, zara
    BAMA: acto, artv, bev, chky, clvta, cltil, fhCF, grr, jdoe, jeffr, mart, swb, sqwk, fine, trsh

    it’s currently 15-15; no essays.

  27. Jeff Rich says:

    Ohio State (-14.5) at MICHIGAN

    FLORIDA (+27.5) vs Florida State

    Alabama (-10.5) at AUBURN

    ARIZONA STATE (-12.5) vs Arizona

    ***Broncos (-4.5) at CHIEFS***
    It always seems like something stupid screws Peyton Manning in the end, and that’s why he doesn’t have Brady quantities of team hardware. We saw it in New England last week, and we’ve seen it since Manning was at Tennessee. I don’t believe that type of thing happens two weeks in a row.

    The Chefs are frauds. Obviously, Andy Reid has things going in the right direction, but they aren’t on Denver’s level. It’s not even close. What we saw in Denver a few weeks ago was a reality check for KC. But, we still accept reality at face value the second time around. Arrowhead is a tough place to play, but it won’t be a tall order for Manning & Co.

    SEAHAWKS (-5.5) vs Saints

  28. squeekycleen says:

    Huge chalk sandwich for me this week:

    Essay: South Carolina: More comedy with this number. Flashier Clemson squad with more potent offense and higher ranking is 5 pt dog to relatively boring Gamecocks. While South Carolina is a little higher profile than I typically like, I don’t think there is going to be a big surge to the window to lay points with them in this matchup. Once left for dead with internal bickering and a struggling star in Clowney, the Cocks quietly worked their way back into the SEC race, removing any fears that they may quit on the season. While conventional logic may look to grab points in what looks to be a tight rivalry game, I’ll lay the number and look for a double digit Gamecock win.

    Minnesota Vikings
    North Carolina Tarheels
    Seattle Seahawks
    Carolina Panthers

    All play: Alabama Crimson Tide

    • squeekycleen says:


      South Carolina is no longer the essay play.

      I’m going to start over with a new card here following below.

      For now,

      Regular plays on:
      North Carolina

      All play on:

      Four plays left, including essay, to be posted later.

  29. Jonathan MacDonald says:

    Auburn +10.5 over ‘Bama
    Stanford – 14.5 over Notre Dame
    Bucs +8 over Panthers
    Vikings +1 over Bears
    Patriots -7.5 over Texans

    Essay: Rutgers – 3 over UConn

    I’ll take this week as my free pass no essay week. I have a Masters from Rutgers, so clearly I can’t put sentences together in a coherent manner.

  30. jimkanicki says:

    For DQuatts: I’ll take Florida +27.5 and Auburn +10.5 tomorrow. Back for more later.

  31. Petefranklin says:

    Essay MTSU -22.5 over UTEP. Well It looks like the Miners quit about 4 games ago. They have gotten blown out 4 straight now. They are on the road again for the 5th time in 6 weeks, the closest score being a 34 point loss. They got blown out by Tulane last week, who is a two TD dog to rice this week. MTSU has followed a pattern of covering one week than not the next, and this is a week to cover.The last 4 non covers have come on the road and this one is at home for the seniors.MTSU will have a solid 8-4 campaign after winning this game and go bowling,UTEP will go …home

  32. jdoepke says:

    Well the Holiday weekend has thrown me off, pissed that I missed putting SJST in today but the drunkeness and food coma just took over. Nonetheless, here we go…

    Bama -10.5 (AP)
    UNC – 6
    Kansas St -16
    Michigan +14.5
    Texans +7.5

    TCU +11.5 (essay)
    Now that Baylor has lost I’m expecting a bit of a hangover. Maybe Vegas is taking that into consideration with this line because this is way lower than anything they’ve had all year, even with being on the road vs. a 4-7 TCU team. 80% of public on Baylor, and rightfully so. I will take the Horned Frogs to keep within the number. Baylor 38 – TCU 30

  33. bupalos says:

    Dammit. Came down with a fever of 103 during Thanksgiving din, slept until 4pm and missed all the action I wanted to play today.

    I’ll reluctantly take the ducks tonight -21 just to keep my hand in. It’s all going to look like a green and yellow blur from the point of view of my fevered brain.

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      “Came down with a fever of 103 during Thanksgiving din, slept until 4pm”

      “I missed putting SJST in today but the drunkeness and food coma just took over.”
      Bupa, What kind of example are you setting for the Buppettes? Please be honest and own up to the truth like our fellow Cheddar Comrade, jdoepke.

  34. Bevilacqua says:


    Well, with two Virgin Lobserittas under my belt, along with a 39.0% picking percentage, the only thing to shoot for now is making sure the leaders don’t double me up for the season. It’s probably a good idea to pick against all of these, so here we go:

    Central Florida (-26.5) over South Florida
    My oh my how South Florida has fallen. Remember when they had that coach that beat up his players or something?

    Duke (+6) over UNC
    As an Ohio State fan, I’m not really looking forward to a Florida State/Duke ACC Championship game. But with a win against rival UNC, Duke will get to 10 wins and that matchup is a reality. The only thing I’m rooting for now is the DA’s office gets their shit together and charges Famous Jameis already. Which leads me too…

    Florida State (-27.5) over Florida
    I mean, if his DNA is on her underwear, and she’s saying it was rape, what is the DA waiting for? Of course he’s going to say it was consensual. But there’s no way a woman would come forward and put herself through this shit if it was. Remember, she came forward a year ago, when I and most of America had no idea who the hell Jameis Winston even was. Just a sad situation all around, if you ask me.

    ALL PLAY: Alabama (-10.5) over Auburn
    Rivalry or not, I just can’t see Auburn hanging with Alabama for four quarters.

    Colts (-4) over Titans
    I know the public is really selling on the Colts lately, but I have to go against the grain at least once this week.

    ESSAY: Broncos (-4.5) over Chiefs
    I know, I know, what a shocking pick. The Chiefs are still getting way too much respect, and Houston being out will really be an issue. This just in: Peyton Manning is still really good. And it’s going to be a pretty nice day weather-wise in KC, so I don’t foresee any problems there. And Julius Thomas and Champ Bailey should play, so there will be added firepower for Denver on both sides of the ball. I really want to pull for Andy Reid, but unfortunately, KC will have a three game losing streak. But don’t pity them; their they can sit on their 9 wins and qualify for the playoffs right now.

  35. HitTheHorns says:

    Sent to Kanick this morning via twitter:

    Hit the horns : Washington -14 for one cheddar

  36. Peter Markos says:

    SF -9.5 OVER STL
    NE -7.5 OVER HOU
    JACK + 7 OVE CLE
    DEN -4 OVER KC
    The Chiefs can’t beat the elite teams. They have beefed up their record on bad teams. Thanks for playing. Take your first round playoff loss consolation prize and go. The Broncos will be focused after their disappointing loss to NE.

  37. Collin says:

    I’ll get to the rest of mine tomorrow, but give me USF +26.5 today. I’m hardly a homer, but I think we hang around before losing today. Maybe I’m attempting to cope with the fact that we’re actually going to lose to that team today for the first time, which has been a fear of mine for literally all of my adult life. Oh God. Oh God. Oh God.

  38. jimkanicki says:

    1. OleMiss (loss)

    ***2. @CMU -18 EMU
    EMU had three first downs last week. 1-12 in 3rd down converts. ELEVEN PUNTS. All this in front of 1751 fans in the home finale and with the sports editor of student paper suggesting EMU football be dropped. They have 67 year old interim head coach Stan Parrish who head-coached from the pressbox last week but they have not an updated Wikipedia entry. They’re starting a freshman QB (Bobby Roback) over a two year starter senior for developmental purposes and development is greatly needed as he went 1-12 for four yards passing and a pick last week.

    It would be hard to find a college program in worse shape or team more demoralized. Layer on the murder of one of their players and EMU is probably in worse shape than even MiamiO or USM.

    CMU has hung in all season having been dealt injuries to their star QB, RB, and LT. They’ve played hard for Dan Enos and need this game to be bowl-eligible. Ok a bowl is a long shot, but still bowl-eligible is good. This is for the MAC-Michigan trophy and yes -remarkably- EMU has held it for two years in a row, CMU claims it today in a big way.

    3. @Mizzou -4.5 TAMU. Four points for Missouri at home on national TV? Y U NO RESPECT MIZZOU?

    4. Jags +7 @Browns. Maybe an overreaction to last week’s game but,,, damn, last week’s game. And Weeden.

    5. @GSU +8 SALA. Almost the essay. 0-11 Georgia State is 8-1 ATS in their last nine. They started out struggling against Samford, losing to Jax St, and getting smoked by Chattanooga. It was the ‘September’ GSU team that almost beat Troy outright (and cost me money) in October. I’ve been following them since and if you can say that an 0-11 team is showing an upward trajectory, GSU is it. They almost beat ArkySt last week. Throw in the factor that there seems to be a Hawaii-like Bermuda Triangle effect for visiting teams playing in Atlanta. My personal theory is that this is the one trip each year to ATL that SunBelt players get and they get wrecked Friday night; groggy Saturday… since September, GSU is 4-0 ATS at home. I see SALA’s beat on ULM (SALA scored final 17 points) last week but that was at home and they have not won on road since early September. SALA doesn’t really have anything to play for; a GSU win makes their season. I’ll be playing GSU’s moneyline this week. And I’ll be keeping an eye on GSU moving forward because ATL is an even bigger recruiting edge than chrome helmets.

    6. All-play… still thinking.

    Also playing Toledo, BSU, BGSU, FAU, Fresno, UCF, Michigan, Sparty, UAB, UGA, Wisco, NMSt, Clemson, Stanford, NMex, Pats, Bills, Chiefs, Giants.

  39. clayII says:

    Auburn (+10.5) / Bama
    UTSA (-16.5) / La Tech
    Tennessee (-3.5) / Kentucky
    Clemson (+5) / S Carolina
    Mizzou (-4.5) / aTm
    NFL essay to follow

  40. Petefranklin says:

    #2 BGSU -1.5
    #3 MTSU -22.5 over UTEP (essay to come)

    • Petefranklin says:

      #4 Fresno -7 over SJSU
      #5 Pitt +2.5 over Miami
      All play to come

      • Petefranklin says:

        Scratch #5 Pitt please, I need a pick left for the weekend

        • squeekycleen says:

          Shockingly, the WAC gave up millions of dollars by not fixing the game for Fresno today. I couldn’t believe it, given the rampant conference fixing that takes place in NCAAF.

          • Petefranklin says:

            It wasn’t a close enough game to be influenced by the refs in any way. Besides, SJ State bowl eligibility means a little something something for the MWC that wouldn’t be there with a SJ loss. I never thought twice about the refs in this game, a win does not mean a point spread victory in a game like that with a high point spread.

          • squeekycleen says:

            Yes, makes sense. The few hundred thousand the garbage bowl SJSU will play in will definitely outweigh the BCS dollars. And who cares what the pointspread is, the conference needed Fresno to win, they don’t care about the pointspread. I’m just pointing out that this situation has happened many times in the past where a lesser conference lost out on a bcs bid late in the year. The conferences are not fixing these games.

          • Petefranklin says:

            TELL ME WHEN THE FUCK I SAID THE CONFERENCES WERE FIXING GAMES.I NEVER said that, go back and read what I said, and for that go back and watch the plays I talked about. I saw them error clear as day for NIU with the game on the line for fucks sake, you have no rebuttal for that which was my fucking point to start with.You have nothing except that conferences don’t fix games which you can only assume to be true. I guess the NBA is pure as Mt Everest glacier water too, right?? Lord knows the MAC has no legitimacy skeletons in its closet, for crying out loud!
            ANDDDDD…. It would be pretty embarrassing for a conference, call it the WAC if you would like , to NOT be able to fill out its bowl obligations which would have been the case had SJ St not become bowl eligible.

  41. Jeff overberger says:

    Buffalo U
    Saints (Essay – to add later)

  42. harbaugh handshakes says:

    Baltimore -3 (L)
    All Play: Auburn +10.5
    BGSU -1.5
    Fresno -7
    Back Sunday with NFL picks and essay

  43. CleveLandThatILove says:

    Troy -7 TX St.
    BYU -14.5 Nevada
    Broncos -4.5 Chiefs
    Bengals +2 Chargers

    Thanks Kanick!

  44. thatsfine says:

    Big thanks to JK for running this most excellent competition. Football, beer, and leftovers all day.

    Previous: WMU (win)

    Fresno St. -7 / SJSU – (essay) – I do not see a way SJSU can keep pace with these guys any week, let alone a week where they’ve lost ground in the BCS rankings and will be hellbent on putting at least 50 on the scoreboard and probably hoping to put up more like 60. SJSU has given up 34 to SDSU and 58 to Navy in their last two home games. Fresno State is looking for style points, and the style the Bulldogs will be going for is a major blowout.

    Alabama -10.5 / Auburn – Saban has owned Auburn the last two years.

    Buffalo +1.5 / BGSU – The MAC East championship, rolling with the home team.

    Patriots -7.5 / Texans – Houston has pretty much hit rock bottom – not a good time to host the Patriots.

    EMU +18.5 / CMU – I like CMU, but two weeks ago they were laying 3 to WMU, now they’re giving 18.5 to EMU? There’s that MAC line adjustment mentioned in my non-essay.

  45. Concierge says:

    BGSU -1.5 essay
    Toledo -7
    Auburn +10.5

    This is a huge game for BG. This is essentially the MAC East championship game. The MAC couldnt have written a better script to end the season on National TV. To me this game comes down to BG’s defense. They will be able to shut down the power running attack of Bo Oliver and Buffalo. BG ranks 6th nationally in total defense and also leads the MAC. Keep an eye on Ronnie Moore the Freshman WR who had 3 touchdowns last week for BG. He can flat out fly. BGSU gets the win and heads to Detroit for a great matchup with NIU for the Mac Championship.

  46. chuckycrater says:

    Now the rest of my picks:

    Texas -4.5 vs. Texas Tech (W)
    ALL PLAY: Alabama -10.5 vs. Auburn (don’t overthink this)
    Rutgers -3 vs. UConn
    Notre Dame +14.5 vs. Stanford
    Broncos -4.5 vs. Chiefs

    ESSAY: USC -3.5 vs. UCLA
    I’m going to use my one essay bye. I believe in this pick strongly but don’t feel like writing about Ed Orgeron.

    • chuckycrater says:

      Oh, and I’m probably skipping USF-UCF altogether. I know what’s going to happen and honestly, going to Stillwater last weekend kind of ruined USF football for me for the foreseeable future. Our games aren’t going to approach that level of magnitude for a long, long time and it’s no one’s fault but our own.

  47. zarathustra says:

    1.) Ravens*** (L)

    2.) WMU (W)

    3.) North Texas -5 over Tulsa

    4.) Fresno St -7 over San Jose St

    5.) Patriots -7.5 over Texans

    6.) Auburn +10.5 over Alabama

    Also like broncos, dolphins, and saints in the pros; ecu, Tennessee, and San Diego St in college.

  48. CLEVTA says:

    Well ok only bc Frowns pays attention, this weeks stank picks: CFB – Uconn, Idaho, Iowa. None in nfl

  49. jimkanicki says:

    im on ole miss for the egg bowl.

  50. jimkanicki says:

    for pateslvrblk: Texas.

  51. chuckycrater says:

    I’d like Texas -4.5 vs. Texas Tech tonight. More picks later.

  52. trashycamaro says:

    College #1/AP Alabama -10.5 over @Auburn. Either I win my bet, or I get to see all my friends who are Alabama fans suffer. Seriously, they will whine hard even with a back door cover.

    NFL #2 Pit +3 over @BAL. Steelers are hitting their resurgence and I still think the Ravens are bad this year.

    NFL #3 @Ind -4 over Ten

    #4 TBD

    #5 TBD

    #6 TBD

    Essay TBD

    • trashycamaro says:

      CFB #4 @Michigan +14.5 over tOSU. I know I am breaking a personal rule here, picking a game in which I have a personal stake (grew up in A2 and attended Michigan). And, I fully expect OSU to win. The line is just too high. OSU’s wins over top-25-able opponents are 7 over Wisconsin, 10 over Northwestern and 40 over Penn State (I think Penn State was ranked at some point?). Classic SEC coach wins – take care of business against nobodies with big win margins, but play a realistic game against the worthwhile opponents. Michigan does have a top 15 or so roster, but Devin has been very inconsistent. Look for Big Blue to bring their A game and defend the home field honorably, even if they do not pick up the win.



      • trashycamaro says:

        Making Alabama my essay. There are two kinds of teams that best Alabama: near pro level defense or mobile qbs that can get the back down the field. Auburn has neither of these. Auburn’s best hope is to make Mr. Kristen Webb throw the ball a lot by going all in to shut down the running game. This is still a flawed plane just bedside if the talent Alabama has on the line at wide receiver and receiving ability coming out of the backfield. No way Auburn offense keeps up with Alabama’s offense.

        • trashycamaro says:

          CFB #5 Tenn -3.5 over @Kentucky. Scanning down the list and I saw this. Kentucky is really bad y’all. Tennessee can hold that down.

          • trashycamaro says:

            NFL #6 NE -7.5 over @Hou. Thanks for the flexibility always, Kanick, but especially through the holiday weekend.

        • trashycamaro says:

          Pretty rough typing these things in on a phone with swype texting. Wow. Looks like I threw though auto-translators a couple times. Anyway, totally worth extending my 7 week essay win-less streak. I feel like good was done here. Bama players had to take to Twitter to threaten physical violence on people threatening Cade Foster. #BammersGonnaBammer. So good.

  53. Dennis Hemingway says:

    Packers +6 over Lions (already submitted)
    Auburn +10.5 over Alabama (All play)
    Florida +27.5 over Florida St
    UNC -6 over Duke
    Bucs +8 over Panthers
    Steelers +3 over Ravens ***

    *** The Ravens have been pretty stagnant all year and under-performing due to Flacco’s drop-off thanks to a poor o-line and terrible receiving corps. The Steelers who had a terrible start to the year have gotten on track especially with their offense
    which has averaged 29 pts/game over the last 4 games. Big Ben has finally gotten comfortable in the new offense under Todd Haley whereas earlier in the year they just weren’t on the same page. The Steelers are on the rise and Ravens glory days are in the past. Plus 8 of the last 9 match-ups between the Steelers and Ravens have been decided by 3 points so grabbing the points seems like a logical move.

  54. Petefranklin says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! I’ll take the Raiders+9.5 for a cheddar point please.

  55. harbaugh handshakes says:

    Ill take baltimore -3 for 1 cheddar pt please

  56. FTCMikeD says:

    Turkey Day Play:
    @Ravens – 3 over Steelers

    @Utah St -20.5 over Wyoming
    @Auburn +10.5 over Bama
    @Wisconsin -24 over Penn St

    @Panthers -8 over Bucs
    *****Pats -7.5 over @Texans

    *****So this Texans team just scored 6 points against the Jaguars. That should be enough for my essay, but I’ll continue. The boo birds will definitely be out again in Houston. Booing Keenum, perhaps booing Schaub, they are a team in disarray. Kubiak only has a job because he passed out on the sidelines a couple weeks ago. I think they have 4 pro bowlers out on injury as well. It is not a good situation in Houston right now.

    On the flip side, the Pats are on a mission for home field. They don’t want to have to travel to Denver or perhaps KC in the playoffs. They will be laying it on thick. Brady is now showing signs of life after a lack luster beginning to the season. It probably has to do with Gronk coming back. Anyway, I think the Texans are toast and the Pats will be going full F U mode here on out trying to secure that top spot.

  57. mrickman says:

    lions -6
    ole miss -3
    ohio state -14.5
    baylor -11.5
    wyoming +20.5
    vanderbilt -14
    wake forest is a disaster this is my essay jim grobe did a lot for the school but he just doesn’t care at all anymore the staff stopped recruiting he refuses to make changes to bring the team into 2013 and even when the players do enough to get a lead against a better team the game plan takes the ball out of their hands and they go ultra conservative it’s interesting looking at vanderbilt a similar school with similar challenges blow right past the deacs despite not having the bump of a bcs bowl appearance that wake did would have could have should have and now a death rattle of a team that is quickly making a very cozy home in the cellar of the acc once again

  58. munasrevenge says:

    Start me off with Ole Miss (-3) @ Mississippi St tonight for a point please. Gobble gobble.

    • munasrevenge says:

      Finishing off the slate (while recovering from my food coma at my parents’ house):

      -Vanderbilt (-14) vs Wake Forest
      -Ohio State (-14.5) @ Michigan (yeah yeah yeah, a lot of points for the rivalry game. OSU is MUCH better this season, and their line gets a lot of sacks. Michigan has a way of pissing all over itself against a stout line (see: the last 5 weeks. All the chatter coming from Michigan (Toledo is almost a 50/50 split of fans between the two) made me want to essay this, but I found a more tempting target.)
      -Patriots (-7.5) @ Texans (was either this or Broncos, and I trust the Texans to be terrible more than I trust the Chiefs to be)

      -Auburn (+10.5) vs Alabama (I think both teams suffer from “overrated SEC bias” so might as well take the chunk of points.)

      —Baylor (-11.5) @ TCU
      I should actually probably bet the other way here, because I have been a bit off the last couple weeks (although I still feel I made the right call last week; stupid 4 turnovers). But this line just seems like an overreaction to the Baylor loss last week. With a win last week Baylor would probably be favored by at least 3 TDs here, and just because they aren’t in control even of their conference anymore, I still think the team will be looking to play and prove they aren’t “frauds”. The weather looks like it will be very nice, so there shouldn’t be any impediments for their offense. TCU is slightly better than their record, but still not a credible threat to a very good team; their offense simply can’t do the lifting to keep them in games. And their defense is good, but a bit overrated. This won’t be a 50 point blowout by any means, but Baylor should be firmly in control of this game throughout (I’m pretty sure I’ve said that in my last 2 losing essays, but um, this time I MEAN it.)

  59. Rich Swerbinsky says:

    Dallas Cowboys -9.5
    Baltimore Ravens -3
    Texas Longorns -4.5
    Mississippi State Bulldogs +3
    Alabama Crimson Tide -10.5
    ***Detroit Lions -6

    Lions realize they have missed a huge window of opportunity these last few weeks with Rodgers out and now have a chance to atone for that and to seize control of the division, while also ending the T-Day losing streak straight up and ATS. Stafford is due for a breakout game, and the Packers D has given up 27, 26, and 26 points the last three weeks in losses to the Eagles and Giants and the tie with the Vikings. I am expecting a surprise bare ass spanking in the opener today. Lions 30 Packers 13.

  60. CleveLandThatILove says:

    ***Pack +6 Lions
    Growing up, Thanksgiving Day meant Packer game, family, fun, and food – pretty much in that order. Nothing else mattered or even existed in our minds that day.

    Packer fans have been blessed in recent years, so the uncertainty that has come without a Favre or Rodgers driving the bus is new and strange to many of them. The team hasn’t looked the same since #12 went down, with the defense unexplainably taking a giant step back.

    But life is uncertain. We lost my brother-in-law unexpectedly last night, and in trying to process such a thing I’m a little surprised to find myself writing an essay for a football picking contest this morning. It’s just a game, football, but it’s really so much more. This holiday is about nothing if it’s not about family, metaphorical or otherwise.

    So the game will be on, I’ll be watching with a heavy heart, and I know Kev will somehow be watching too.

    Hugs all around to my Cheddarbay family.

  61. HitTheHorns says:

    Raiders +9.5

    Lions -6

  62. Nick says:

    Turkey play: Ravens -3 vs Steelers

    All Play: Auburn +10.5 vs Alabama

    Fresno St -7 vs SJSU

    Niners -8.5 vs Rams. Kaepernick rolls for the rest of regular season.

    CMU – 18 vs EMU. Every week, Zurlon Tipton gets a little healthier. He’s a load to take down and their senior leader. I think we will see him on the next level. Dan Enos is a little crazy, and I definitely don’t trust him in a big spot. Thankfully, this is not a big spot. EMU has had a tragic/awful year, better luck next year guys.

    ****Essay Play: Ball St -34.5 vs Miami (OH)

    Miami (OH) has lost their last three games by an average of 32 pts. They have put up 3 pts, 6 pts, and 7 pts respectively in those games to Buffalo, BGSU, and Kent St. Miami lost to freaking Illinois 50-14 earlier this year. I believe in CapGG’s theory of the disparity between good MAC teams and bad ones. One last trip to Muncie and Miami can put this miserable season to rest, which based on their output recently, sounds like they already have. Then factor in Miami hasn’t seen an offense like Ball States all year. I don’t like taking big lines like this for an essay pick, but there’s no way Miami can keep this game remotely close. I haven’t been able to back Wenning and Ball this year, and this is a perfect spot for it. Ball has had plenty of time to regroup from its NIU loss. I don’t think we will see any rust from not having played in 2 weeks because this is an experienced team. This is Keith Wenning’s last home game before he prepares for the NFL, he will want to put a show on for the fans.

  63. CLEVTA says:

    No skanky picks this week, out of town plus dont think anyone pays attention anyways.

    My picks:
    1) Raiders +9.5: Oak will pound the ground game all day long vs that awful Dallas front 7 minus Sean Lee. Jennings and DMC 1-2 punch in effect.

    2) Iowa +3: Hawkeyes are the better team. Nebraska front 7 is banged up as well as members of their o-line.

    3) Bama -10.5 (all play): hate to do this but Bama should be able to devour a one dimensional offense like Auburn’s.

    4) BYU -14.5 (Essay): BYU 14th ranked rush offense on yds/att vs Nevada’s horrendous 124th ranked run defense. Add in BYU is 27th in defensive yds/play and Nevada will get destroyed. The one thing Nevada is supposed to be good at is running the ball but BYU stops the run allowing only 4 yds/carry. What’s even more impressive is that BYU has done this with a schedule against run heavy offenses like Ga Tech, Wisconsin, Boise and Utah St. Pretty impressive stuff. BYU has faced a murderers row of opponents of late so this game should give them a breather.

    5) Texas St +7
    6) Tulane +11

  64. Dennis Hemingway says:

    First pick of the week, Packers +6 over Lions. Happy Thanksgiving all.

  65. cwonder23 says:

    Big THANKS to Kanick for keeping Cheddar Bay rolling! Keep up the good work!

  66. zarathustra says:

    The last time I let my dream life dictate an essay I coughed away a playoff spot in the final week of the regular season. Yet here I am again. So what did my subconscious reveal to me in my Christmas Ale and Doritos induced slumber about today’s game? Nothing actually. But it did allow me see how the Super Bowl turns out so I have that going for me. If reality unfolds as the dream appeared, this week has major Super Bowl implications. In the NFC personally I root for the Seahawks and don’t see how they don’t win the conference so long as they have home field advantage. A healthy niners team is an interesting threat and as far as I’m concerned that is it. But my dream showed Drew fucking Brees there. How the hell could that happen? By beating the depleted Seahawks on Monday. But that is not my essay pick. That distinction belongs to the team that beats them. The AFC is just plain ugly and the only team I like is the Pats but their defense has suffered too many injuries. The broncos? Hahahahahahaha. No. Not The Andy Reid/Alex Smith Chiefs. Andrew Luck is certainly dangerous, but not the Colts. Definitely not the Marvin Lewis/Andy Dalton Bengals. Hmmm. How about the winner of tonight’s game? Both Super Bowl winning coach/qb combos that would be well-equipped for a New York Super Bowl. Oh boy though do both teams have flaws. Neither has been as good as in past years and pretty much have to win tonight to maintain any hope of qualifying for the post-season. But a win tonight and a very possible bengals loss on Sunday would put them only a game back of the division and possibly even the three seed. I would never have picked this team as Super Bowl caliber before the dream where I saw them winning it. But the run starts tonight.

    Ravens -3 over Steelers***

  67. cwonder23 says:

    Auburn +10.5
    I’ll get in on some Turkey Day picking as well.
    Packers +6 @ Lions
    Ravens -3 vs Steelers
    Raiders +9.5
    Essay to follow

    • cwonder23 says:

      Essay Bears +1 @ Vikings
      Anytime the Vikings are favored, I’d take the other side. Josh McCown is the best QB in this game and the Vikings are terrible. The fact they tied a Matt Flynn led Pack team lady week tells me nothing. Ponder sucks. AP is one of the GOAT and this Bears run defense is a fraction of what it used to be so I expect AP to get his. I just don’t see a terrible Vikings team beating the Bears in a must win situation. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

  68. FlyHighCharlieFrye says:

    AP: Bama
    Ole Miss -3 Miss St
    Steelers +3

    Bowling Green -1.5 at Buffalo

    Rest later

    • FlyHighCharlieFrye says:

      Add: Ohio -16.5 vs. No Mas UMass
      Ohio State -14.5 at Michigan (Dave Brandon’s statement said it all)

      Changing Bowling Green to essay

      BG is pretty good. Very good, talent wise, just haven’t been able to get over the hump (only thing that scares me here). Solid D and the QB has given life to an offense that has talent everywhere. Senior leaders, stable coaches and Khalil Mack is scary as hell on the other side in a big game, but BG has a better roster.

      1. There will be 3,000 people there in an NFL stadium. There is no home field advantage.

      2. BG lost narrowly at Miss State, had one no-show all year at Indiana, came from way back to go up on Toledo in nasty weather and lost on a miracle. BG has scored all year, has handled business against bad teams and has been pointing to this one.

      3. Some of you guys believe in MAC conspiracy theories and I don’t (necessarily) but the league needs BG in Detroit next week so it can sell tickets. Lynch-Mack is sexy but would be played in front of 8,000. That has zero to do with today but I’ve come this far.

      Ay Zigga Zoomba and shit. I just think I’m getting the better team and will be shocked if that team doesn’t win by a TD.

  69. Concierge says:

    Lions -6
    Steelers +3
    Texas -4.5

  70. architectartvandelay says:

    Lions -6 vs Packers – There is a reason Flynn was let go by several teams & I expect that to be on display during a short week.

    Raiders +9.5 @ Cowboys – Boys finally put the knife into the Giants heart so they will be a little flat today.

    Toledo -7.5 @ Akron

    OSU -14.5 @ Michigan – I just can’t believe the team that let IU & Akron score like they did will have any chance against the Buckeyes offense

    AP Bama -10.5 @ Auburn

    Essay Stanford -14.5 vs ND

    Stanford is hands down my favorite program going in college football these days. Since Harbaugh took over & established the new culture & style of play that Shaw has carried on I have loved watching them play. There is just something to watching a team beat their opponents into submission by using both their physicality & intelligence.

    This is just a bad matchup for ND as the style that they want to play plays right into Stanford’s strength. ND wants to run the ball & not be forced to have put the game in Tommy Rees hands. Stanford is one of the best at stopping the run. So you can see where this is going…run, run, incomplete pass, punt, rinse & repeat. Meanwhile Stanford will physically punish NDs banged up Dline ( they are missing Louis Nix at NT a future 1st rounder) and wear them down. Once ND gets behind they will be forced to let Tommy Rees work his magic which will lead to more scoring opportunities for Stanford.

  71. Three Turkey Day picks from the Prohibited Favorite because nothing makes a better impression on family than the benevolent assuredness that comes with covering the damn spread. Not the most overwhelming slate today but on Thanksgiving I’m more than happy to take what’s served up, football-wise.

    ESSAY: Raiders +9.5 over Cowboys: The essay has to be one of the first two games because the others will only be seen through a haze, so we’re McGloin’ places. This line is down to 7.5 in real life, seemingly for good reason. These Cowboys laying so many points against anyone with that defense, which is a completely different unit without Sean Lee in the middle. The Raiders defense on the other hand has been underratedly stout, having only been less than solid against the Broncos and in a matchup against the Eagles where they (and most of Cheddar Bay) had it coming. I don’t expect it to be an easy cover, but I expect the Raiders to at least do enough to keep it close, maybe for a backdoor score while some made-for-TV nonsense is going on on the Dallas sideline. The Raiders have been able to run the ball, and get starting LT Jared Veldheer back today. Banged-up DeMarcus Ware should have less of an impact on a short week. The Cowboys are 8-3 ATS so far this season, which should even out, and Romo is due for a nationally televised Romo-ing. Also, T-Peezy gadgetry potential. Also, people who willfully choose to spend Thanksgiving in the Jerrydome.

    Packers +6 over Lions: People who wilfully choose to spend Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Death, taxes, and the Lions don’t cover on Turkey Day. We in Cleveland have as much reason as anyone to be thankful for the idea of a publicly owned NFL football franchise. I’d have essayed this but for what Christian Ponder was able to do to the Packers defense last week.

    Baltimore Raisins -3 over Steelers: The Steelers recent win streak has come against three teams (Buf, Det, Cle) that are fundamentally defective in a way that the Raisins aren’t. Expecting a natural letdown from Pitt here against one of the few legitimate home field advantages in the league.

    Will be back with three more over the weekend. Hope everyone enjoys the holiday.

  72. GRRustlers says:

    Week 14 Picks

    Happy Thanksgiving to all here and the thing I am the most thankful for here is #MACtion. 20.5 of my 55 points have come from the glorious mid-major and this time next year I can even enjoy the joy of Akron going to a dadgum bowl game. On to the picks…

    AP: Alabama (-10.5) over Auburn – I think the SEC title game is the more possible Alabama slip up but I view them as a soulless football machine.

    NY Giants (-1) over Washington – One of the advantages of being a Cleveland Browns fan is that you get really good at figuring out when a team has quit on their coach. Washington has quit and how in the world does Snyder take a track star as a QB, watch him tear up his knee, AND NOT INSTALL FIELD TURF! Worst owner in sports who cemented his title with putting code talkers on the worst field in the game. Just picture Gruden saying. Christ. This guy.

    Ohio (-16.5) over UMass – UMass has scored 17 points on this road this year. This is not an average. That is 17 points. In 5 games. This is your litmus test Frank Solich. This should be a blowout.

    CMU (-18) over EMU – CMU needs a win to be bowl eligible and they may need to run it up to make themselves look good as they still not may get the call. CMU can be our little secret here next year.

    Detroit (-6) over Green Bay – Because I have to play a game on Thanksgiving and my love for Stafford leads into my essay pick.


    There is a Matthew Stafford clone out in wine country. I tend to enjoy the late night football games. Having young children will do that. I watch a lot of Fresno State and dammit they are fun to watch because Carr can make all of the throws and the sooner he gets called to the podium and puts on a Browns hat the sooner we can end this constant coach and QB carousel.

    Fresno is in a battle with NIU for that BCS berth meaning they must do two things.

    1. Put on an absolute show the next two weeks scoring as many points as possible. (SJSU will not put up much resistance here)

    2. Figure out why in the hell the BCS computers have such a love fest with NIU. Really Sagarin? NIU has been at #3 for the longest time. Try and figure that out.

    Personally I would like a NIU and Fresno bowl game just because those 2 QBs have made a lot of money for me and dammit I want to be entertained.

    Fresno State (-7) over SJSU

    • actovegin1armstrong says:

      “and how in the world does Snyder take a track star as a QB”
      You made my holiday even better. I would like to add, a track star who runs into guys twice his size.

    • jimkanicki says:

      where’s that UB essay?
      probably right next to my BGSU essay.

      • GRRustlers says:

        Thankfully I put that on the back burner. Now I’m just mad that I ditched my CMU essay to write about my love of Derek Carr. The MAC Title game should be a beauty.

  73. ChuckKoz says:

    Oregon -21.5 (vs OSU)
    Washington St -14 (at Wash)
    Minnesota +14.5 (at MSU)
    Arizona +12.5 (at ASU)
    AP: Auburn +10.5 (vs Alabama)
    Essay: Broncos -4.5 (at Chiefs)

    Nothing like a successful weekend (lobsterfest!) to make every game feel impossible to pick. Seems like I will got 1-5 this week. Then with Kanick’s positive comments about my Paction (i didnt even realize i was doing that well), I have felt a need to pick those games and will probably come back down to reality. Bottom line: I am not feeling anything. And the NFL is reaching that silly time where at team like the Vikings will probably do something ridiculous like finish strong. I do feel confident about the Browns not covering, but I have a policy of not picking Browns games anymore (unless required). So I am left hanging my hat on the belief the Chiefs are a fraud. They would not make the playoffs if they had to play any reasonable QBs in the first half of the year. True, they have awesome home fans/advantage, but reality is that Jason Campbell wasn’t all that phased. So I don’t think Manning will be phased. Especially considering Manning just had a very fine game in New England last week. And I’d like to think lesson learned on the apparent laying off the gas. So this week, I think the Broncos get rolling and don’t lay off. And if the crowd and Chiefs defense keeps them in it, I still like the Broncos ability to score 14 points in short order. Hence, I will take the Broncos.

  74. actovegin1armstrong says:

    AP Alabama -10.5 over Auburn
    Texas -4.5 over Tx Tech
    Toledo -7.5 over Akron
    Browns -7 over Jacksonville
    UCF -26.5 over USF

    ****Ohio State -14.5 over That team up North****
    Super Terrific Happy Fun Essay

    I went with the tried and true Franklin T to decide this essay. (Please excuse me, “Google docs” did not like my T-Formation.)

    Urban-e Meyer
    A fantastic winner with the track record to prove it. He has been successful and he is still innovating.

    Brady Hoke
    The guy is “iffy” at best and he once built his team around a guy who could not tie his shoelaces. His only proven track record is that of questionable judgement.

    OSU on offense
    The Ohio State running game has pulverized opponents and Braxton Miller can sling it around too. Ohio State’s version of the spread offense was good last year when they went undefeated, it is considerably better this year. (Can they improve on an undefeated record?)

    Michigan on defense.
    Michigan gave up 800 yards to Indiana, (It may be color blindness, it appeared that Michigan’s defenders could not see the color red.) MIchigan also has key injuries to a couple of their best defenders, whose names I have forgotten and you will too.

    Michigan on offense
    Brady Hoke has another questionable quarterback in Devin Gardner, he was not exactly the top prospect in the nation and he is more likely to be your gardener in 5 years, than a big time NFL F-ize QB. MIchigan has also had problems protecting the QB, if they get behind in this game and have to throw the ball on every down we should see a stunning array of Lookout Blocks.
    The Michigan O-linemen will get knocked on their asses and scream “Lookout” to their quarterback.

    Ohio State on defense
    The Ohio State front seven should devour the Michigan O-Line. This game could get ugly early, Ohio State will be up by two touchdowns at halftime and they will spend the second half running the ball right over Michigan’s defense. The game will be decided early and Ohio State will use the second half to practice running out the clock.

    • zarathustra says:

      I hate to bother you on a holiday but I am craving some elaboration on the Texas game. I am leaning tech, but am terrified about going against you as you know the Texas team as well an anybody.

      • actovegin1armstrong says:

        Well Zara,
        Texas sucks, I won a lot early going against them, then I received a tip from another of my high placed White Horse soused that UT was going to focus on the run. (I forget which game it was), so I took UT and they covered easily. They have very talented backs and an O-line that run blocks better than they pass block.
        That also keeps Chips junior from making too many mistakes, or from badly missing the long throws.
        My always reliable source said that they are going to focus very heavily on the run, keep the clock turning and get home for a late turkey dinner.
        Also, Tech suck-age is greater than UT suck-age.
        I have terrific seats for the game, but they shall remain empty, I could not give them away. I am about to hit the tailgate for an hour, then come home and read another P. G. Wodehouse for the 42nd time, I will not watch the game.
        I think fading means taking the other team on my bets, perhaps you should “fade” my pick. I have been surviving all season on dum luck, it shall certainly run out soon.
        Good luck to you either way zara.

  75. Other fun facts about Chuck Koz:

    *He was once appointed DMX’s public defender.

    *He played on the offensive line for the ’96 state playoff qualifying Revere Minutemen football team.

    *If not for the absurd 2nd half cheatfest that the Patriots got away with on Sunday night, he would have had to have split this weekly prize with the Prohibited Favorite.

    In other news, the Prohibited Favorite never doesn’t at least go 2 for 3 on his Turkey Day picks so look forward to those by at least an hour before kickoff tomorrow. The pickins will not be slim.

    • bupalos says:

      That was indeed a cheatfest. They just held and ran picks and put it in the refs lap, I guess figuring they’d be sensitive to the ratings disaster that game was becoming. Did the announcers talk about it? I had the sound off except late, and almost fell off the floor when I heard “if Denver is going to run picks they can’t be that obvious about it…”

  76. FTCMikeD says:


    I’m getting a 404 error when I try to click the link for this week’s lines…

  77. thatsfine says:

    Well, there’s that MAC line adjustment we’ve all been waiting for. It only took a few days after being outed by Cheddar Bay.

    I’ll take WMU +35, right now just one point, but maybe I’ll be back with an essay in a few minutes.

    • thatsfine says:

      It was well-documented here last week, and a feeling that those of
      us picking the MAC have had all season. The lines were low, seemingly
      capped in the mid 20’s. Not anymore. We’re got NIU at -35 and Ball State
      at -34 this week. Granted, the top and bottom of the MAC haven’t
      changed a bit. The gap is the same as last week. Priorities haven’t
      changed one bit for any team in the mix for a bowl bid, BCS and
      otherwise. WMU has shown signs of life but still overall is a bad team. NIU is big time. But 35 is 35, I think this is the week Vegas takes back the MAC money.
      WMU +35

      • jimkanicki says:

        Hey buddy, I gotta not accept this. I show it timestamped pre-kickoff (6:44pm) but we are looking for essays to be in an hour before hand and kickoff was a 7pm. Got you in for a single point on WMU tonite.


        • thatsfine says:

          Dammit. I thought kickoff was at 8pm like the previous MACtion. As soon as I got home from work I posted the essay (New Jersey 40 minute 6 mile commute). I checked the score after I put my kids to bed and was surprised to see the game was already at halftime. So MACtion came early tonight. I’ll take the point and do some soul searching.

          • jimkanicki says:

            Yeah, the 7pm start was peculiar. Sorry to break your midweek MACtion essay streak; you had a good run there. Still lots of Friday pickings for you tho..

          • thatsfine says:

            Hey, my wife just said I should appeal! Clearly I don’t have a case here… but still. I love the sentiment. She knows how important Cheddar glory is. No appeal – I wouldn’t want to turn the Cheddar Juju against me. I’m already eyeballing Eastern Michigan / Central Michigan.

  78. Capitalgg says:

    Mid-week MACtion provides many challenges, the easiest to overcome is whether team X will cover the 20+ spread this week. Nope, that is pretty much a given.

    No the challenge is beating the Cheddar Bay deadline (or finding time in your workday to lock in some ridiculous low line before it shoots up 7 points I’m the next 12 hours) between your shift in the salt mine and playing Mr. Mom.

    This week NIU on the surface looks primed for a letdown. MAC title game clinched. Back-to-back wins over the 2nd & 3rd best MAC trends respectively. It would seem to be a roll the helmet on the field and collect a W type day for the Huskies against one of the league’s worst teams in Western (more like Worstern) Xichigan.

    But Rod Carey’s club had bigger goals this year. Last season they took Florida St into the 4th quarter of a BCS bowl game before getting rolled. This year they want to go back and “shock the world”.  To do so simply winning isn’t enough because Fresno is ahead in the human polls thanks to a dramatic win over Rutgers before the world knew the Knights were terrible (though NIU has a significant computer advantage and thus a thin BCS lead). Style points matter greatly if they want to stay ahead of Fresno’s Bulldogs, so Carey doesn’t have the luxury if taking it easy.

    And that brings us to factor 2. With everyone falling off the pace last week and Jameis Winston’s looming legal troubles, Jordan Lynch’s Heisman dream lives. And what Berger way to make an impression than to use the last midweek exclusive national TV window to pad the stats.

    Essentially, i expect NIU to hang at least 60. Can’t see the Broncos scoring more than 20. That’s at least 5 points of value in this line, so I’ll ride Northern Illinois -35.

    • Capitalgg says:

      I now realize what was wrong with my essay. Wide receivers! A team can’t post 60 when they have no WRs to throw the ball to. Bad miss on my part. I’ll do better from here, promise (pretty much have to to stay in the hunt).

      1. Bowling Green -1.5 @ Buffalo. Bowling Green > Buffalo. The 1.5 points is irrelevant. Just have to remember to block Kahlil Mack occasionally.
      2. Toledo -7.5 @ Akron. Good MAC over Bad MAC with a line of < 10. Score!
      3. Washington -4 v. Washington St. Apple Cup. Throw the records out. Nope. Huskies are significantly better than this year’s Cougars.
      4. Colts -4 v. Titans. Have to pick an NFL game. Hate everything on the weekend slate. Was this or Bengals over Chargers. I’d load up on that one if I were you.

      All-play: Auburn +10.5 v. Alabama. I’ve been telling people for 2 weeks that Auburn wins outright at home in the Iron Bowl. Not changing from that now. This was a combo call with Okie St. downing Baylor last week.

      • Capitalgg says:

        And I’m changing my mind on NFL pick (#4).
        Drop Colts -4 in favor of Lions -6 v. Packers. An opportunity to bet against Matt Flynn on the short week has to be taken when available, right?

  79. zarathustra says:

    WMU +35 over Northern Illinois

    I cannot even begin to explain the tingle in my loins on this one. If I hadn’t ruined what should have been a great week last week by prematurely blowing my essay pick chasing tuesday night MACtion I would probably essay this bad boy. But….

    You gotta learn to live and live and learn
    You gotta learn to give and wait your turn
    Or you’ll get burned

    • zarathustra says:

      Just realized I omitted quotation marks on that last part. Lest I become embroiled in an ugly cheddar bay plagarism scandal I want to make sure I properly attribute those words to the raconteurs.

  80. cwonder23 says:

    NIU -35 vs WMU

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