#CheddarBay wk 9, Packers at Saints.


Oh yes, this is happening.

Oh yes, this is happening.

All-play game is Packers +1 at Saints on Sunday night.

And yes, that’s my ticket to the right.  I’m coming to town for this here game. I expect to ramble into town Saturday evening,,, Hampton Inn Downtown bay-bee! See you all at the tailgates and probably definitely at the Barley for Fox-Lima-Jackson hi-jinx.

(This also means the Saturday entries and updates will be quite tardy.)



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We introduced the 603POWER rating system several weeks ago.  603POWER is a measure of who’s best at controlling the line of scrimmage (weighted to favor o-line play); 603PWRQ factors in QB play.  Looking at 603PQ the Browns are #12 and the top five are:

  1. Ravens
  2. Broncos
  3. Packers
  4. Bears
  5. Cowboys.

Raw spreadsheet is here.  I’ve got it formatted so that red indicates one standard deviation below mean; green is one std dev above.


Just for fun, let’s use the ranks as an indicator to pick this week’s games.  Lines are Thursday evening from sportsbook.ag.

Chargers +9 at Broncos. Consider Manning-Rivers a wash, use raw 603PWR ranks — 224 to 145 — Broncos cover easily.

Lions -3.5 at Falcons.  Stafford-Ryan another wash, 603PWR says 219 to 145.  Lions cover easily.

Vikings +2.5 at Bucs.  Using PWRQ Vikings rate higher 288 to 275,,, but home plus Bridgewater… I will say Bucs cover.

**Bears +6 at Pats.  My ranks indicate a rather large Bears win outright.  The matchup of Bears pass rush versus Pats pass block is especially problematic for New England.  A best bet.

Rams +7 at Chiefs.  Teams are sisde by side in the ranks.  The Chief home field gets them win, Rams cover.

Seahawks -5 at Panthers.  Seahawks.  Panthers rate near the bottom of the ranks.

Bills +3 at Jets.  Jets run defense off the charts.  Jets to win and cover.

Dolphins -6 at Jags.  Dolphins rate very highly here and rightly so.  Dolphins to cover.

Texans -3 at Titans.  Teams ranks close.  Assuming three points for home field, I like Titans to cover and [probably] win.

***Ravens -1 at Bengals.  Ravens best team in football right now.  Bengals soft as grapes.  The delta between Ravens run blocking and Bengals run defense is as large as there is.  (Now don’t everyone essay this because I’ve got a good one baking.)  Ravens huge.  A best bet.  A POTY.

Eagles +2.5 at Cardinals.  Ratings like the Eagles a lot better.  Eagles to cover and win.

Colts -3 at Steelers.  Steelers to win outright.

Raiders +7 at Browns.  No lie this is the closest to the line.  I’ll use the homefield three points to call this one for a Browns cover.

Packers +1.5 at Saints.  Packers to win comfortably.

Redskins +10 at Cowboys.  Cowboys win but Skins cover.  But note that I don’t have the Colt McCoy data baked into this.  Is he really starting?

So, we’ll check this next week and see how we did.


(Updatd 10/27: …  Ahem.)  Broncos, Lions, Bucs, Bears, Rams, Seahawks, Jets, Dolphins, Titans, Ravens, Eagles, Steelers, Browns, Packers, Redskins.

And bet the house on the Bears/Ravens parlay.

  • Petefranklin

    5-10 yikes, sometimes it doesn’t pay to be sharp.

  • cloud.

  • Matt Borcas

    How could I not essay the Cowboys -10 with Chips McCoy starting for the Skins on MNF? It’s just a shame that Weeds isn’t starting for the Cowboys, in which case this game would’ve featured the Shurmuriest QB matchup of all time. ANYWAY, the Cowboys appear committed to run DeMarco Murray into the ground (contract year and all that), and it’s proven to be an incredibly effective strategy (at least until he gets injured next month). In turn, this has opened up the passing game even more for Romo, Dez, Witten, & Co., making the Cowboys a certifiable offensive juggernaut that will undoubtedly cover 10 here. (Due, of course, in no small part to the three studs on the O-line (copyright: Kanick).) Wouldn’t be shocked if Colt has to resort to intentionally throwing at his receivers’ feet like he did in his last game with the Browns.

  • bupalos

    A taller* man than I once said that there was a gleam. And, dear cheddar readers, he was right. He just wasn’t quite right about where it was. Which just goes to show that you need to know not only that there is a gleam, but where that gleam can be found.

    Now here in the bay, there was oddly no evidence of a gleam for the first weeks in which you all labored in your various swamps of error and vice. And then suddenly, miraculously, a gleam did appear, way down at the bottom of the cheddar standings, too deep (in every way) for most of you to notice. But the gleam grew and the gleam rose, and the gleam made every correct pick consistent with moral virtue that was available. And now, after casually tossing off the highest overall rate of correct picks for all the weeks it’s deigned to glow upon this blessed bay**, the gleam is poised to gleam it’s gleaminess all over you all and light the glorious gleaming way to the playoffs.

    For those of you who would be as moons to this glorious son of Hiram, Incline thy ear: There are two teams in the League of National Football that have attained the first and second rank of virtue. The first is The Browns of Cleveland, who are sanctified by the purifying fire of suffering and perseverance, and provide an example for all mankind of never ending endurance against injustice. The second is the Packers of Green Bay, who are made their handmaids of virtue by reason of their ownership structure, an incredible example of how effective even the tiniest slice of egalitarian justice can be, especially in these costermonger times, as probably the smallest MSA in the NFL regularly out-competes the owner-ridden competition. This, coupled with the fact the New Orleans Saints have played a total of about 25 minutes of effective football this entire year easily salts this deal.

    The Green Bay “F You NFL” Packers for all the Gleams and all the Cheddar!!

    *I assume this as my current human manifestation is 5’10” on a good day
    ** this is actually true. Like in the really-real reality sense.

  • thatsfine

    All play Saints -1
    I have seen this line all the way out to -2.5. A 5-2 team getting points against a 2-4 team sounds too good to be true, so it probably is.

  • bupalos

    Packers & Colts

    Essay + 1 more later. Entire neighborhood of children have invaded the yard demanding a larger leaf pile.

    • bupalos

      OK so at this point it’s my two college wins, colts, browns, arizona & I’m left having to essay the packers tonight.

  • Nick

    Browns -7 vs Raiders
    Houston -1 vs Tennessee
    Packers +1**Essay
    I understand it is a difficult decision to go against the Saints at home. But I never, ever feel bad about backing Aaron Rodgers and some points. I can tell you the Packers fans are here in New Orleans in full force. At 5-2, their record suggests the Pack are a much better team than the Saints and I think this is an easy play. Rodgers will easily digest Rob Ryan’s scheme, and Green Bay defense understands how to deal with pass first offenses as they play them all the time (Lions, Bears). I have not visited a palm reader, fortune teller, or tarot card reader, but I have been trying to get a grasp on the unique energy this city vibes out. And all I can say is I had a good feeling that LSU would win last night, and I have an equally good feeling the Saints will lose tonight. Also, Who Dat is a silly saying and I dislike it.

  • PJD19

    AZ ***Essay

    I’m not sold on Philly being a top tier team this year. I like AZ’s tough defense, coaching and leadership. Traveling to AZ and playing on grass will take some zip out of Philly’s speedy backs. I expect AZ to make some big plays early and make the crowd a factor all game.

  • Petefranklin

    3) Bears +6.5
    4) Ravens +1
    5)Texans -1
    AP) and lobster liberator pick…Saints -1


    Ravens +1 for my last pick


    Philly +2.5
    Chiefs -6.5
    Saints -1 (All Play)
    Texans -1 (Essay)
    Houston coming off 3 straight losses and heading to Tennessee to play a shitty Titans team starting a rookie QB. Count me in on that. Houston knows they need to win this game if they want any chance of staying relevant this year. I think the Titans blow, and they are coached by Ken Whisenhunt (blah). Houston will be able to move the ball at will in this game, and if the game is close, Whisenhunt will find a way to fuck it up. Bill O’Brien runs circles around that guy, and he will make sure his guys are ready today. I considered making this my play of the year since Houston is fairly healthy here.

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    All play: packers +1
    Ravens +1
    Oh at (loss)
    Mia -6
    INDY -3 essay
    Chicago +6

    No secret I think the steelers are awful. If it wasn’t for the end of the 1h last week when the Texans gift wrapped a bunch of points we’d be talking about How the steelers got booed off their own field on Monday night. Anyway the colts are one of the best teams in football . Andrew luck will put up a ton of pts against them like the Browns did 3 weeks ago. Pittsburgh just won’t be able to keep up. I’d be shocked if INDY doesn’t win by at least a td.

  • squeekycleen

    rest of our plays:

    All play: Saints

  • clayII

    Utah (-1) / USC
    Saints (-1) / Packers
    Cards (-2.5) / Eagles
    Pats (-6.5) / Bears
    Miami (-6) / Jax

  • zarathustra

    Arky St (L)
    BYU (L)
    Saints over Packers
    Panthers over Seahawks
    I have a big secret for you: the NFC south sucks. I can’t believe that nobody is talking about it.
    I’m not a huge fan of the Panthers, but overlooked in their blowout loss last week was that it was the second of back-to-back road games and that they played a full five quarters the week before. Of course they no-showed. They were fucking exhausted. Not an ideal spot to visit Aaron Rodgers. I love Russ, but he isn’t capable of carving them up Rodgers-style.
    Now the Seahawks are on the back end of two road games. I’ll take the points.
    Bucs over Vikings
    Another NFC South team hosting a team in the second of back-to-back road games. This time it is the Bucs coming off a bye. Yesterday I looked up Lovie Smith’s record off of a bye. I wrote it down and can’t find it now(canabis) so I am going off memory. His first two years with Bears he lost off the bye. After that he was something like 6-1.
    Nevada over Hawaii***
    I’ve been doing this long enough to know to beware taking the visiting team in a midnight game in Hawaii, but I have stayed up late watching every one of Nevada’s games since week two and feel confident they will show up. (Though it should be noted considering all of the talk of back-to-back road games above that the wolf pack is playing their second straight game on the road. )

  • shoseph

    USC (+1) vs Utah

    • shoseph

      Coming just under the the deadline:

      Seahawks (-5.5) vs. Panthers
      Dolphins (-6) vs. Jaguars

      • shoseph

        Rest of the picks:

        Essay: Colts (-3) vs. Steelers
        AP: Packers (+1) vs. Saints
        Dallas (-9) vs. Redskins

        Here’s my completely non-scientific view on why picking the Colts over the Steelers is the best bet of the week: Colts are young; Steelers are old. You’ve got 7 players over the age of 30 on the Colts, as opposed to 11 on the Steelers. Nevermind that Matt Hasselbeck is totally older than everyone and their granddads (and–holy crap–Hasselbeck is still playing?), and the inclusion of “Ice (Age) Man” Adam Vinatieri sorta tips the old age scale against the Colts. So ignore that, and just go with my uneducated and ageist view that the Colts have their spry youthfulness going for them, and that the Steelers rely on their motorized Rascals to get them around Heinz Field (and you know that Rascals don’t do well in mud).

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Oh st -12.5 for my college pick.

  • bupalos

    Let me sneak in under the wire with Arizona -2.5

  • for fhcf:



    Ohio University

    Oakland Raiders



    The Rockets are a good team that’s had zero luck so far. Zero. But that may not matter because the MAC is just awful, Toledo is off a bye and as healthy as it’s going to be and the West is theirs for the taking. UMass is off a couple wins against some of the worst teams in the history of civilization and might be walking into a buzzsaw today. I think it’s a track meet for 2.5 quarters then ends up being a 4 td walk.

  • for squeaky:

    I’m not at a cpu.

    Please put

    Essay: washington St. : zona comes into this game ranked and with a much better resume than intermittently sputtering wazzu. The coogs definitely need a signature win and this looks to be a prime chance. Another team that can score but doesn’t play great d. Given the rigors of the pac12 schedule this game can’t be real exciting for zona and really trips to the paloose never are. I’ll take Washington state in a mild upset for our essay.

    Regular play: lsu

  • oxr

    Obligatory collegiate coin-flip: Arizona State -3 over Washington

    Planning on being in a fragile state tomorrow morning, so let’s try to get the NFL picks sorted today for once.

    All-Play Packers +1 over Saints – alarmingly odd line, but I guess we’ll see
    Colts -3 over Steelers
    Texans -1 over Titans – JJ Watt vs. Recently Injured Rookie
    Lions -4 over Falcons – blegh, London game, but still a tantalizing mismatch

    Essay Dolphins -6 over Jaguars – Going back to the well one more time against the woebegotten Jags. I feel a bit uncertain about this one because they’ve been less dependably bad the last few weeks – it took a near-miracle for the Steelers to cover, and then they had interesting times against the Titans and Browns. But I’m still not sold on the aging Steelers, and the Titans and Browns are both pretty bad (sorry, everyone) so although I couldn’t bring myself to pick their last two opponents, now the Dolphins are visiting I’m going to give it another shot. Miami’s new offense has appeared competent against recent, decent opponents (Bears, Packers) and Jacksonville just lost Paul Posluzny for the year. (Mike Tanier this week, apropos of Poz: “The middle linebacker on a terrible team is like the undertaker in a Clint Eastwood western…”) It’s a #10-vs-#31 matchup in DVOA. All things considered, I’m pretty happy that the line is less than a touchdown – it might be a home game, but I’m not sure how much that counts when the visiting team is just coming from a different part of Florida.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      “Planning on being in a fragile state tomorrow morning”
      Sort of like a quiz oxr!
      I know that Ohio is the Buckeye state.
      Tejas is the Lone Star State.
      Louisiana is the Drunken state.
      I am guessing that New Hampshire is the Fragile state.
      Did I win?

      • oxr

        I woke up on Sunday feeling like I was back in Old Hampshire, that’s for sure.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    Nevada -3 Hawaii
    Ravens +1 Bengals
    Lions -4 Falcons
    Eagles +2.5 Cardinals
    Chiefs -6.5 Rams
    THE Green Bay Packers +1 Saints** POTY
    **it is with sincere apologies to Mr. Rodgers and his marvelous home grown contingent that I choose them as my pick of the year, just as they are gathering steam. However, I have faith that this game and this pick will be the start of my unprecedented and unstoppable upward trajectory from the sub basement to the top of the CheddarBay leaderboard. (I’m laughing even as I type this.) Much like the NFL, the Bay can be unpredictable and unforgiving year to year, which is exactly what makes it so enjoyable.
    So why the Pack? The Saints have just 2 wins, both at home, over the Bucs and the Vikings. The NO crowd has yet to see the likes of a real team with a very good pass defense. Aaron Rodgers is on fire and as much respect as I have for Brees and his history, past performance doesn’t mean all that much in the NFL (much like Cheddar Bay it turns out). This is a huge game for the Saints to try and somehow salvage their season, in prime time, so the pressure is all theirs. AND as Kanicki and his 603 power rankings tell us, only 2 teams are better than GB at controlling the LOS (the Ravens and Broncos, mind you). That is where it all begins and ends. DING DING DING

  • trashycamaro

    Totally put this in the comments of the wrong post:

    Essay: Dolphins -6 over Jaguars

    So, the lesson I learned last year was that essays count more than anything else. I know, it’s obvious from the scoring. But the point is the investor’s mantra – above all don’t take a loss. I used my essays in last year’s competition to highlight pick I thought were smart or different from the pack or special. And I hit something like 20%. This year I am over 50% on my essays because I am taking the easy plays that make sense and avoiding traps such as road favorites for my extra points.

    So, after that intro, I am taking a road favorite here. I want the Browns to be good, but I think they have basically earned their record at this point. Without a couple of unforced errors last week, the Jags win doesn’t look anywhere near as good as it did on the scoreboard. Before last week this line would have been pushing double digits. It says here is should be double digits (and I still would have probably taken the ‘phins).

    You know what sucks when you are rookie QB (32nd in QBR) with a really bad offensive line (27th in run blocking/31st in adjusted sack rate) and Denard Robinson (slightly below average) as you starting RB? Facing a really good pass rush (7th in adjusted sack rate) is a good way to get killed. This is such a mismatch that the Dolphins offense (11th in DVOA) vs. the Jags defense (#13 in DVOA) doesn’t matter, and neither does the ineptitude of both team’s special teams (MIA 32, JAX 24).

    TL;DR in Bold

    AP: Packers +1 over Saints I do not think the AP should be measured by essays, it should be measured by how many people do not want to bet it because it is a well-crafted line that is not easy to pick one side over another. Despite the Packers recent dominance and the Saints recent struggles I think this will achieve a close to 50-50 split. But I have to go with recent performance. And I do think I would have played this game absent the AP designation.

    College: UCF -8.5 over Temple Ignore my college picks for all that is good and holy. They are almost pure dartboard.

    Vikings +3 over Buccaneers Don’t like riding with Bridgewater…but the Bucs anemic pass rush keeps him upright. Another road team for me. Too heavy on my slate.

    Ravens +1 over Bengals Give me the team that is playing really well with a solid pass rush over the team missing its top 2 receivers.

    Colts +3 over Steelers Someone screwed up when they made this line. The Colts are in a different tier of ability than the Steelers this year. The Steelers o-line is 29th in adjusted sack rate while the Colts pass rush is number one in adjusted sack rate.

  • LSU over Miss, Utah over USC and I will recklessly join the party on Ohio State over PSU tonight. Tomorrow will take Bengals over Ravens, Saints over Packers, and Raiders over Browns. Raiders +7 is the pick of the week, unfortunately. I think the loss of Mack probably hurts this team much more than folks are accounting for even after last week’s disaster. Without a dominant run game, this team doesn’t have playmakers to move the ball through the air. As bad as the Raiders are, they’re stout on the DL much like Jacksonville is. Browns defense is still pretty banged up. The expectation that Hoyer should be able to do more with Andrew Hawkins and Miles Austin is all too familiar here. Browns will be thrilled to get out with a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 point win. 7 is a lot here.

    • Art_Brosef

      I cannot believe youre joining the OSU square party tonight. It very well may prove profitable, but sheesh.

      • Was watching the game with Buckeye backers, didn’t feel like being that guy tonight.

    • Please make the Saints my pick of the week instead of the Raiders. Don’t want to have to be down about the Browns winning by more than 7 tomorrow as much as I think it’s doubtful. Don’t love the Saints generally, but think they have to be the more underrated group in this matchup. The Packers D has hardly faced any decent offense and when they played the Bears the Bears didn’t have to punt once (thanks in part to a pair of Cutler INTs but still).

      • Sorry for the back and forth but I’m going to go back to the Raiders for my POTW. Just have a stronger feeling on that one than I do re: Saints.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      “I think the loss of Mack probably hurts this team much more than folks are accounting for even after last week’s disaster. ”

      Bingo! The league and its followers underestimate the importance of having a great center.

  • Lucy Lawrence

    1. OSU -12.5

    2. Marshall -27.5

    3. Colts -3

    4. Ravens +1

    5. Chicago +6.5

    6. Essay & All Play: Packers +1

    *if I need to drop one of these picks please drop Chicago. Wasnt sure how it worked if u picked the all play as your essay.

    Give me Aaron Rodgers getting points, in a dome, against the Saints D any day! The Packers will pile on the points and with Jimmy Graham continuing to be banged up I dont think the Saints will be able to keep up. However, if my prediction is incorrect and its a shoot out by both teams I will take Rodgers > Brees this year to put his team over the top in the 4th quater when Brees and the Saints have been awful. Rodgers has thrown for 977 yards and 13 touchdowns without an interception during the Packers win streak so why not ride the coat tail of a hot QB.

  • Peter Markos

    Ohio State -12.5
    ALA -17 OVER TEN
    The Buckeyes are gong to pound away the VaTech loss away like Jerry Sanduskly’s cell mate.Tennessee has played good teams close but not this time. Romo beats Colt McCoy. The Raiders are so bad, I hope, the Browns cover. What is the over under on UNC vacating 18 years fo hoops and football wins? Two national championships. This will be ugly.

  • The Iron Sheik

    Make it miss st -13.5 instead of Oregon. Sorry



    • COLTS -3. Ain’t nobody in the NFL hotter than these boys at the moment. Arguably the 2nd best team in the AFC behind Denver. Jim Irsay will drink to that!

      PACKERS +1. The Saints have lost every game on the road, and won both games at home. But the home games were against the Bucs and Vikings, not Aaron Rodgers.

      RAVENS +1. The Bengals are weird. The Smith boys are simply tearing it up.

      TEXANS -1.

      Perhaps this should be the Charlie Whitehurst mis-priced bet of the week, but being that he’s benched in favor of the rookie taking his first NFL snaps ever, there’s a chance Zach Mettenberger can carry some of the momentum from his Bayou Bengals win last night into this afternoon. The more likely scenario is that the number one thing he will be thinking about prior to every single offensive snap is “WHERE THE FUCK IS J.J. WATT!?!” You see, when a quarterback has to take two or three extra seconds to account for the NFL’s likely DPOY, that’s two or three seconds that don’t go towards getting a pre-snap read or recalling his pass progression. While this window of time seems negligible, I promise you it isn’t. Especially for a kid who’s playing his first game at this level, where play calls go something like: “Bunch Left Nasty Wild, Halfback left scat, Y-choice, Zebra shallow cross, Z-Post, X-scalp. On ONE.”

      I don’t give a shit if someone is in your helmet’s earpiece reading that to you word-for-word. When you have to speak it, remember it, envision it, and execute it–all while attempting to understand what the defense is doing before and after the snap, with the noise of 65,000 drunk assholes around you, you’re likely to foul things up a few times. Especially when those extra seconds you could have used getting ready for the play, were instead used to determine the location of the baddest defensive player in the NFL. You’d better be a mentally tough son-of-a-bitch, and you’d better have prepared all week long as if you were going to have to play with your eyes closed. That’s the only way Tennessee wins.

      • Note: the only reason play calls in the NFL are that long and sophisticated is because 80% of your players are too dumb to know what’s going on if their assignment isn’t directly called out to them. That’s why you have the formation, the base blitz protection, and then four passing routes detailed in the play call. Because if you shorten it and expect guys to know their roles based on a code or something simple, someone will likely get destroyed after a miscommunication.

  • Nick

    Ohio state
    1 pt each

  • mo_by_dick

    Rare multiple college picks for me this week but I’m picking up what you guys are putting down:

    Ohio State -12.5
    Ole Miss -3.5

    • mo_by_dick

      Packers +1
      Ravens +1
      Texans -1
      ***Colts -3 (ESSAY)

      Not feeling great about anything, especially after last night, so I’m just riding Andrew Luck and this Colts team until something changes. Steelers are not playing well on either side of the ball, and as much as there’s a chance that Big Ben will make some magic, I am comfortable with the Colts O going out there and covering.

  • Its Only Money

    So the past few weeks have been a disaster for me. It has now seeped in to my recreational gamin as well. So this week I am going to take my essay pass, pay the man and hopefully change up the mojo. With that here we go:

    Northern Illinois -20 v EMU
    Akron -2.5 v Ball State
    Michigan St -16.5 v Michigan
    Pittsburgh +3 v Indianapolis
    All Play: Green Bay -1 v New Orleans
    Non-Essay Essay: Ohio State – 12.5 v Penn State

  • Tim Butler

    CLEMSON -14.5 over cuse

    • Tim Butler

      lions -4 over falcons

      • Tim Butler

        0 for 2 so far…

        CHIEFS -6.5 over rams

        • Tim Butler

          AP: PACK +1

          Essay for MNF tomorrow, giving me 5 total games this week. Solid work.

  • Art_Brosef

    With five minutes to spare, please let me have Illinois +6.5 for my first play. Knowing nothing, this seems like a lot of points.

  • cwonder23

    People loving the Buckeyes this week in Cheddar Bay! I’m on PSU and thought about pulling it but history shows that is a bad idea. Still, given Cheddar Bays affinity for OSU, it’s got me nervous!

  • HitTheHorns

    Please cancel my Jets pick. Replacing it with:

    Oklahoma State -1

  • DQuatts

    DQuatts Week 9:

    I’ll start with…

    Maryland +12
    Georgia Tech +3.5


    • DQuatts

      Week 9 con’t:

      Minnesota +3
      Kansas City -6.5
      Saints -1
      Money Pick TBD soon

      • DQuatts

        Essay pick:

        Redskins +9

        The cowboys might be the hottest team in football right now and the redskins come into Dallas starting Colt McCoy. Shouldn’t this game be a blowout? Well, I feel that Washington has the ability to keep the high powered Dallas offense contained with a somewhat underrated defense. It is going to take clock control for Washington to keep it close, but I see this game going into the 4th quarter very close. I don’t know if the skins can pull out a big upset here on Monday night, but I do feel confident in them keeping it close. Cowboys win 24-20 in McCoy’s Texas homecoming.

  • Andy Rhode

    Packers +1
    Dolphins -6
    Vikings +3
    Colts –3
    Rams +6.5
    Ohio State –12.5 (essay)

    My essay pick for the week is Ohio State. Now, unlike nearly everyone else on this board, I don’t care about the Buckeyes at all. The only reason I ever want to see them win is so that CLEinMPLS isn’t angry if we hang out on a Saturday night. In theory, I should actually want to see them lose because I’m a Gophers fan. But as a Gophers fan, my team is so shitty it doesn’t really matter. Even when we’re “good” – like this year – we’re still shitty. We get garbage bowl bids because no fans travel and fans don’t travel because we’ve been shitty for 90% of the last 50 years. Anyway…

    People don’t care about the Gophers, but people CARE about Ohio State. All of the people on this board are loving them vs. Penn State this week, so I’ll care too. Plus, I was watching SportsCenter this week and someone mentioned Ohio State shaping up to make a push for the playoff. Sounds reasonable enough to pick them over a mediocre Penn State team. Sounds like an essay.

  • Wandering the streets of New Orleans, I was constantly
    distracted from the task at hand – not tripping on the uneven cracks in the
    sidewalk, not falling into the holes in the pavement, not stubbing a toe on
    sawed off poles – sticking out of the concrete like miniscule sawed-off trees. My
    senses were dangerously drawn elsewhere; to see the balconies dripping with
    vines, to the various smells of fried foods, flowers, body odor, and bodily
    fluids, to the sounds of jazz bands impersonating marching bands. After cutting
    a full lap around the cathedral, I found Pirate’s Alley. I found the bookstore
    I had been looking for. Inside was a bookkeeper with auburn hair and playful
    dialogue. As I browsed the shelves, a couple walked in and exclaimed, “I tried
    to find this place last night and it was nowhere to be found!” Without pause,
    the bookkeeper acknowledged, “this store appears just when you need it.” This
    drew a smile across my lips, which inevitably pushes my round eastern-european
    cheeks into my eyes, but in my mind, I was assessing if her reply might
    actually be true. Maybe I was in a magical bookstore. My fingers found their
    way to the spine of a Tom Robbins novel, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas. A missing
    psychic, Wall Street collapsing, and the mythology surrounding an ancient
    tribe. Perfect. Wait, this is a first edition. Perfect. Double-wait, it’s
    signed by the author. Double-perfect. The rest is a blur, a recommended
    Bukowski, and a promise from the playful associate to take me down a
    deliciously delightful literary road, I was welcome to call for more

    **Essay** Rutgers -17.5 vs. Cornhuskers in honor of my freshly
    procured Frog Pajamas novel.

    In honor of this hauntingly memorable experience, and the
    fact I’m still in New Orleans, my picks will align with locations of Tom
    Robbins’ pieces.

    But first – I lost a Thursday night game

    For the All-Play, I’m obviously taking the Saints -1 the
    home of Madame Devalier’s perfumery in Jitterbug Perfume.

    Other three picks:

    UW +3 vs. ASU in honor of Priscilla, a persistent
    waitress in Seattle, also from Jitterbug, who is in search of the perfect taco.

    Hawaii +3 vs. Nev – Where Care Fest, a liberal
    convention, was held in Still Life with a Woodpecker. Where Princess Leigh-Cheri
    would finally bask in the glow of her hero, Ralph Nader.

    Seattle -5.5 vs. Carolina – Seattle and its
    ceaseless blackberries sheltered Leigh-Cheri and her royal family as they hid
    while their home country suffered turmoil.

    • bupalos

      This is the kind of essay we need more of on here. Take note people.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      While you are at that bookstore could you pick me up a first print copy of “Confederacy of Dunces”? Then please see if Iggy has any hot dogs left.

    • Rob

      Hope you take/took my advice from last week and stop in at Cochon.

  • AmplifiedEsq

    1) *ESSAY* Ohio State -12.5
    2) Packers +1
    3) Ole Miss -3.5
    4) Alabama -17
    5) USC +1
    6) Colts -3

    Another late night nationally televised game for the Buckeyes. Last time they were in this situation they laid a huge egg as VT dominated them. Ohio State still finds themselves in the hunt for a playoff spot though and this is a prime opportunity to create some buzz surrounding their playoff candidacy. After the VT game I was ready to never pick OSU again because JT looked incapable of making the throws he needed to make and the defense looked incapable of stopping a throw beyond 20 yards. JT still misses throws and the defense still isn’t great, but I believe that loss woke everyone in Columbus up and has them a lot more focused then they previously were.

    As things stand now, Ohio State looks like one of the most potent offenses in the nation with players all over capable of making the big play, while Penn State struggled to score against Michigan and Northwestern (not breaking 20 either time). I think Ohio State jumps out early, puts up at least 35, and I don’t see PSU being able to put enough points on the board to keep up and cover.

    • Art_Brosef

      Why would beating an unranked, two loss team be any opportunity at all, much less a prime one, to create playoff buzz?

      • AmplifiedEsq

        Penn St is down but a victory on the road in a white out looks better than another home win. This is a prime time game that people otherwise might not watch if slotted earlier in the day, two weeks out from the game that will matter in East Lansing. Impressive performance here gets the media hype train going to push the ratings of that game as much as possible. One angle to take is ceraintly playoff hopes on the line. The stronger OSU looks the more of a reality that is. Put up a dud here and it is still a good game vs. MSU, but may not get the same national billing.

        • Art_Brosef

          The playoff committee watches these games regardless of their time slot. The fact of the matter is PSU is an average team at best, and despite being at home, should get beaten quite easily by any team with playoff aspirations.

  • Petefranklin

    Pete Lembo has the boys from Muncie riding high after their resounding win last week in Kalamazoo. the stat geeks and power raters usually need a couple of weeks to tune up their power ratings and I think they are just under evaluating the Gonads right now. Things changed for the better when the frosh QB was inserted a couple of weeks ago for Ball. It let the two big receivers have some fun, something that couldn’t be done with the old QB,which lets Edwards have more space to run. I think the zips key on stopping the run and get burned by the pass. The last time I checked they hadn’t moved this game to Akron, where this point spread would then make sense. I posted that Akron is 3-31 straight up on the road their last 34, well they will be after today. I think this is a simple case of Ball St not getting any respect while in the midst of a season turnaround, and the markets not catching on yet. It helps that they were out stated in last weeks win vs. Central, it gives me good value here although the Cheddar line is dead wrong in this one as I should be catching 2 points.

    Essay Ballsy St +1
    2) central Mich

    • actovegin1armstrong

      No PoTY?

      • Petefranklin

        Yeah sure, ring the cowbell

        • actovegin1armstrong

          Good job Mr Franklin! I saw the score at 5:00am. Had to look again a minute ago, thought my bleary eyed early check may have been incorrect.
          The last I saw yesterday was the halftime score.

          • Petefranklin

            well I should have made it my POTY but I didn’t like the fact that I was getting burned by Covers’ laziness for what should have been 1.5 points. The line should have been Akron -2.5, which it was on wed AM at the hilton. The money kept pouring in on akron and I think it may have hit 3.5. I was already heavily vested in the nada so i didn’t put any more on it like I should have. Maybe next week? If you look hard enough at my Cheddar posts the last two weeks before this one you will figure out a play for next week I think.

  • The Iron Sheik

    Osu -12.5****
    Mich state -17
    Oregon -19
    Bama -17
    Packers -1
    Browns -7

    Urben Meyer is back and running up the score like the old days with the Gators. It’s time to move up the polls and win big against the lions.
    The crowd will be wild and PSU’s defense isn’t bad at all but there is nothing about this matchup that gives the Lions a chance at winning. Ohio State is surging on offense and defensively should be able to dominate the pathetic Penn State offensive line. Look for the Buckeyes, who are 5-1 against the spread this year, to roll big in Happy Valley.

  • Concierge

    CMU -3.5 Play of the Year

    I can’t believe that Central Michigan isn’t favored by at least a touchdown in this game. This is just a bad match up for Buffalo. They just fired their coach. They can’t stop a nose bleed on defense, and they have not been the same offense since they lost Bo Oliver and Alex Nuetz. So here’s the deal. A healthy Thomas Rawls will run for over 200 today and Titus Davis goes for a hundred yards himself. Also the fact that CMU lost last week to Ball State…they will be angry team when they travel to Amherst. FIRE UP CHIPS! POY!!

    Ohio +10

    Toledo -15.5

    North TX +14.5

    Saints -1

  • at Boise -6.5 BYU
    Rutgers +17.5 at Neb
    UNC +6.5 at UVA
    Minny -6.5 at Ill
    *at KState -10 Texas
    at ULM -3 TxSt
    WVU +1 at OkSt
    *FAU +27.5 at Marshall
    CMU -3.5 at UB
    Arizona -2.5 at Wazzu
    UTEP +10 at UTSA
    at Auburn 18 SCAR
    Bama -17 at Tenn
    OSU -12.5 at PSU
    at Utah -1 USC

    1. *GaSo -15 at GaSt
    (This is the fallback essay and since I wrote it, might as well print it..) Sometimes I get carried away with the numbers but here’s a relevant statistic: GaSo is rushing at 370 yds/game. You have to dig to find that stat because they’re a ‘transition program’ and so not listed at NCAA.org as a leader. But there they are 30 yds per game more than #1 Wisco and #2 Navy; a full 50 yds/game ahead of #3 Army. GaSt gives up 240 rush yds/game and that’s #117 (out of 125). I’ve been wanting to make GaSt a darling for two years now but the main thing I’ve learned about them is that they’re small and their home games in Georgia Dome out do EMU and UMass at Gillette for greatest home field disadvantage. I expect there will be a decent crowd for this game and that that crowd will be four to one Ga Southern fans driving three hours from Statesboro to the big city. No Statesboro Blues today.

    2. **OleMiss -3.5 at LSU
    3. Lions -4 at Falcons
    4. Essay. ***Ravens +1 at Bengals
    See Zuttah post.
    5. Bears +6 at Pats
    6. Pack +1 at Saints

    at Boise -6.5 BYU
    Rutgers +17.5 at Neb
    UNC +6.5 at UVA
    Minny -6.5 at Ill
    *at KState -10 Texas
    at ULM -3 TxSt
    WVU +1 at OkSt
    *FAU +27.5 at Marshall
    CMU -3.5 at UB
    Arizona -2.5 at Wazzu
    UTEP +10 at UTSA
    at Auburn 18 SCAR
    Bama -17 at Tenn
    OSU -12.5 at PSU
    at Utah -1 USC

    • Petefranklin

      That had POTY consideration from me as well but laying points on the road can be scary.

  • thatsfine

    KentSt. +7 / @MiamiU – Essay
    I love these MAC basement battles! 1-6 collides with 1-7! The MAC was so terrible in non-conference play that there’s one of these every week, sign me up every time it happens….
    Prior to last week’s 39-17 shocker over Army, KSU’s largest point total of the year was, wait for it, 17. It hasn’t been pretty this year for the Flashes, they’ve been blown off the field by Ohio State, UVA, and (recent) juggernaut UMass. However, along with the win over Army they’ve competed well against MAC foes NIU and OU, losing to both 17-14. QB injuries have been a problem. Sophomore Colin Reardon is playing on an ankle described as “badly sprained”, but he still shined last week passing for 360 yards and 3 TDs vs Army. Maybe he is turning the corner, bad ankle and all? Maybe he can lift up the rest of the team? Up next: MAC foe Miami U., who have played better than expected but still come in 1-7 and SHOULD be 0-8 if not for a huge UMass error. I’m seeing too much credit being given to MiamiU, whose greatest accomplishment this year is essentially hanging around games once they are down by 2-3 TDs. I don’t think that translates to Kent St. +7, thus I’m happy to take the points.
    Texas +10
    UMass +15.5
    FAU +27.5
    WKU -10.5

    NFL pick / All-play pending.

  • chuckycrater

    Friday: USF +11 vs. Cincinn (oops, I fumbled the snap) (oops, fumbled another one) (oops, another one)

    Kansas State -10 vs. Texas (I have insanely good results picking EMAW)
    Minnesota -6 vs. Illinois
    Ravens -1 vs. Bengals
    ALL PLAY: Packers +1 vs. Saints

    PICK OF THE YEAR ESSAY: Ole Miss -3.5 vs. LSU

    I am picking Ole Miss to cover for the exact same reasons Technivore is picking them. My essays have been crap all year long, I am on the edge of dropping completely out of contention, Ole Miss’s defense is nasty as hell, and LSU may not even be good at football. Because he has already explained this in great detail, I will not duplicate his thoughts and will instead go off on a profane tangent.

    I am so goddamn sick of the SEC media circle jerk. I swear, every time one of them wins a conference game, at a minimum they end up in the “Also Receiving Votes” section of the AP and coaches’ poll. And then there’s the ridiculous double standard where SEC wins over teams that later prove to be not that good somehow carry more credit than in any other league. Follow me here. Texas A&M buries South Carolina the first night of the season and we think that’s a good win for weeks after it becomes obvious South Carolina isn’t, you know, good. Then Mississippi State buried Texas A&M a few weeks later and apparently we’re still acting like that’s a good win even after A&M’s season imploded and they lost their last game FIFTY-FUCKING-NINE TO NOTHING. But then when FSU beats Oklahoma State and Clemson (the latter with their backup QB), and those teams struggle later on, they’re all like “Ohh, those wins don’t look so good now!” I mean for the most part, Oklahoma State and Clemson are still WINNING THEIR FUCKING GAMES. It’s bullshit.

    Which leads to LSU whacking Kentucky. Like fucking Kentucky is any good? Kentucky lost to Will Muschamp! They beat a bunch of tomato cans in September! They might lose out and finish 5-7! I don’t give a shit that LSU beat them! Why the hell is LSU even ranked again?? They got drilled by Auburn, they got drilled at home by Mississippi State (regardless of what the scoreboard said), and they only beat Wisconsin in a quasi-home game because Gary Andersen forgot he had Melvin Gordon on his team. This is not the same LSU team as usual. They are not that good, they are definitely not one of the 25 best teams in the country, and Ole Miss is going to pulp them.

  • FTCMikeD

    Rest of picks:
    Chargers (loss)
    Maryland +12 over @Wisc
    GA Southern -15 over @Ga St
    Missy St -13.5 over @UK
    POTY$$$$ OSU -12.5 over @PSU $$$$
    AP: Packers +1 over @Saints

    There’s nothing quite as satisfying as shutting up 100k+ fans dressed in all-white in a night game at Happy Valley. It’s supposed to be an intimidating place to play right? The Buckeyes seem immune. And nothing bothers Penn St fans more than the ambivalence that Buckeye fans have towards them. It’s not going to get much easier for PSU fans this Saturday night.

    The Bucks have been on an absolute tear since their home loss to VT. Their average score in their last 4 games has been 56-17. JT Barrett has been an absolute beast and his name has entered the Heisman discussion. It’s crazy considering fans like myself considered this season lost after Braxton went down. Urbz is doing his part by keeping the team motivated by busting out the ‘we didn’t play great last week.’ I am almost scared to see what great is if that is the case. He also has the motivation of the hope of getting into the new playoff by having impressive wins down the stretch. Should they remain a 1 loss team, having pounded the rest of the B1G, they have a shot. That chance only comes with beat downs.

    Penn St does have a good defense. But it is the result of not having played any good offensive teams. The top rated offense they have faced was ranked 57. The Bucks are top 5. They will dominate on both sides of the ball. Buckeyes by 21 in the PICK OF THE YEAR.

    • Art_Brosef

      If youre going to downplay PSUs defense as a result of their schedule, Im not sure why you wouldnt do the same to OSUs offense.

  • p_forever

    hi there – here you go. i think it’s a non-essay sort of week. we get one of those, right? i might come back to write one but i really need a nappy right now.

    south carolina +17 auburn***

    wisconsin -12 maryland

    alabama -17 tennesse

    clemson -14.5 syracuse

    USC +1 utah

    packers +1 saints

  • jdoepke

    Nothing like following up a Lobsterfest with 2-4 and missing on the Essay. But I am back to .500 on the year. Here we go…

    Illinois +6.5
    LSU +3.5
    Washington +3
    Bears +6.5
    Saints – 1 (AP)

    Washington St +2.5 (Essay)
    This line makes no sense. WSU is 2-5 and AZ is 5-1 and ranked 15th in the country. AZ offense has been unreal and the over/under is 73. With the over that high, the experts are expecting the fighting Leach’s to keep it close at home. 70% of public on AZ so you know which way I’m going. Wash St 38 – AZ 35.

    Other considerations:
    Michigan +17
    WF +13.5
    Texas +10
    Colorado +13
    Utah -1
    Raiders +7
    Jags +6


    Ok State -1

  • Jonathan MacDonald

    Virginia -6.5
    Ole Miss -3.5
    ASU -3
    USC +1
    Packers +1
    Patriots -6.5

    The Pats are coming off a big win against the Jets, which cost a few gamblers, however didn’t fail to set the team on the right course. Meanwhile, in Chicago, we’re witnessing an implosion as this Bears generation of talent realizes that it will not win the Super Bowl. I smell a Pats vintage 2005 blowout, which makes the 6.5 point spread tempting. I’m wondering if Vegas has soured on Brady and Bellichek with all of these non-stratospheric point spreads.

  • bupalos

    Let me go ahead and get those 19 points and the Golden Bears.

  • Chris Schroeder

    -1 Utah vs. Southern California
    +20 Wyoming @ Colorado State
    +1 West Virginia @ Oklahoma State
    +21 Vanderbilt @ Missouri
    All Play: +1 Green Bay @ New Orleans

    Essay: -12.5 Ohio State @ Penn State

    Setting: University Park, PA. Stadium: Beaver Stadium. Capacity: 110,753. Game Time: 20:00 ET ABC. Game Time Temp: 58 Partly Cloudy WSW @ 10mph. Fun Fact: Penn State’s first colors were not Blue andWhite, there were Black and Pink. GamePreview: Beaver Stadium will look
    stunning as always during the White-Out, but nothing of that magnitude will translate to the field. Penn State started off the season 4-0 before dropping back-to-back games to ‘The Virgins’
    (Northwestern) and ‘OSU Step Child’ (Michigan). Hackenberg is going to continue to struggle with a terrible offensive line. Hacking up the ball on the ground and then giving one up through the air will only feed to the already soft spread. Ohio States defense is going to be too much for the little boys in Blue. Ohio State will start slow with the White Out creating confusion. But behind J.T Barrett The Ohio State offense will find huge gains on the ground and a pair of touchdowns through the air. Buckeyes roll and stilling looking at an outside chance to make the College Football Playoff.

  • PJD19

    Ole Miss over LSU
    OSU over PSU

  • HitTheHorns

    Hit the Horns:

    1) San Diego Chargers +7.5 – LOSS

    2) Arkansas -23

    3) New York Jets -3

    4) Pittsburgh Steelers +3

    5) New Orleans Saints -1

    6) Cincinnati Bengals -1 ***ESSAY***

    This is the exact same game as my essay of the year a few weeks ago, when the Pats blew out the Bengals at home and were -1. Bengals opened -2.5 and the public has bet Baltimore to -1. Three weeks ago, weren’t the Bengals the best team in the league and going to the Super Bowl? I know Joe Flacco is elite, but this game reeks of a Bengals blow out. Not really sure what to say in this essay other than buy low, sell high, and fade the public.

  • Dennis Hemingway

    Cal +19 over Oregon
    North Carolina +6.5 over Virginia ***
    Oklahoma St -1 over West Virginia
    Georgia Southern -15 over Georgia St
    Georgia Tech +3.5 over Pitt
    Packers +1 over Saints (All play)

    *** North Carolina looks like they have the potential to be a strong 2nd half of the season team,
    just like last year. UNC can score on anyone and boasts one of the highest scoring offenses in the nation. And while their defense is ranked near the bottom of the nation’s rankings, the bad Virginia offense may not be able to capitalize enough to cover this spread. Virginia has to play their 2nd string QB this game (even though he’s played the few games) but there could be a controversy since the original starter, Lambert, is dressing again for the game and able to play.

  • zarathustra

    Methinks a Bronco Mendenhall team will not be losing four in a row. Taysom Hill was a monumental loss, but consider the history.
    Mendenhall took over the cougars in 2005. In the regular season this is the history of his teams losing two or more in a row:
    05: 2 in a row
    06: never lost consecutive games
    07: 2 in a row
    08: never lost consecutive games
    09: never lost consecutive games
    10: 4 in a row
    11: 2 in a row
    12: 2 in a row (2×)
    13: never lost consecutive games
    14: currently at 3 in a row

    This may all be noise. Nevertheless I don’t hold last week’s Nevada* loss against them and am not a believer in the Boise qb. In my opinion he due for another clunker and when the cougar defense takes away the run I will wager this is said clunker.

    One point for now.

    *eagerly awaiting the Nevada vs Hawaii line

  • chuckycrater

    I’d like USF +11 vs. Cincinnati for one point on Friday night. Bulls are finally getting it together on offense and the Bearcats are a disgrace on defense. Plus no atmosphere off campus. USF could win this outright.

    More picks later. Potential PICK OF THE YEAR coming from me this week.

  • Dave Borcas

    Picks this week:
    Mississippi State -13.5
    Houston Texans -1
    Philadelphia +2.5
    Indianapolis -3
    New Orleans -1 (all play)
    Ohio State -12.5 (essay)
    Ohio State seems to be on a roll and shaping into the team that was expected in August. Penn State on the other hand has faded from the team that started out looking like a Big 10 contender in August. The Buckeyes have been averaging 600 yards on O the last 4 games and steadily getting better on the defensive side of the ball. Early quick leads have left teams one dimensional against the Bucks, with the pass rush beginning to take over. Take away the UMASS game and the Penn St offense has been unable to score with any consistency. The rush defense for Penn State remains stingy, but they have been beaten through the air. Penn St will have difficulty matching up with the speed the Bucks have on both sides of the ball. The one unknown is how JT Barrett will react under the bright lights on the road in from of 100,000 plus in Happy Valley. I am betting he handles it and continues to lead a dominant offense, while the D continues to improve.


    1) UCONN+28

    • CLEVTA

      2) Illinois +6
      3) WSU +2.5
      4) Saints -1 (all play)
      5) navy -9

      • CLEVTA

        Id like to swap out WSU for ASU -3. Didn’t originally see the late lines posted. I’d also like to make Navy my essay- This all comes down to matchups. San Jose is 121st defensively in Yds/rush in the nation (Yds/rush not total Yds is the stat that matters) and of course thats a bad recipe vs the option. Even if you take out great rushing offenses SJ has faced including Auburn & Minnesota they still have allowed poor rushing offenses in Wyoming, UNLV and Nevada to gain >100 Yds on the ground at high averages per attempt. Add in Navy coming off a bye, SJSU flying cross country after an overtime game last Saturday and it’s a good recipe for a Navy double digit W.

      • CLEVTA

        6) Bears +6.5

  • FTCMikeD

    Chargers +7.5 over @Broncos in TNF!

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Interesting, but not AP worthy game this weekend, Jake Locker’s rookie twin brother takes on the Texans with JJ Watt and Clown.

  • p_forever

    ugh it’s actually really crabby that every all play lately is the NFL. there have been great college games every weekend and there will be again this weekend. green bay v new orleans game isn’t even the best/most intriguing NFL game this week, let alone the best/most intriguing football game).

    plus, c-bay is NFL heavy already since the NFL season is longer than the college season, and the c-bay winner is determined by the outcome of the NFL playoffs and superbowl. we should be focusing on the college game now, while we can.

    • mo_by_dick

      i think your 38.5 points are really crabby

      • p_forever


        i feel it’s the universe making up for that awful ND/fsu situation.

    • fwiw here’s the consultation email that went out to exec cmte:

      also saints-packers, eagles-cards, usc-utah, miss-lsu, osu-psu. best game is prob chargers-broncos on thursday but it’s thursday and we just did broncos…
      slim pickins. i guess i like ravens-bengals but osu-psu is always fun too. what say you?

      lookit, if i were king we’d be handicapping gaso at gast right now so careful what you wish for and all that. besides the one measure of a good allplay is even pick distro. i bet this stays in the 60-40 range.

      • p_forever

        ravens-bengals super cripes i mean i see what you’re saying re it could be worse – that really might be worse.

        i would think a really good measure of an all play is the amount of essays done on a game. we write essays on the games that we think matter/are intriguing/are important. (the one week i wrote an essay on a game just because i thought it was a lock of the century no brainer, albeit a boring game, i lost. that taught me something about essay picks, for sure.) if the all play produces a bunch of essays, then i think you’ve done a good job picking. if it doesn’t, then i think you haven’t.

        the mere fact of singling out a game for thought gives it a ton better chance of being picked as an essay game because it becomes the focus of attention. if you focus people’s attention that way and they still aren’t interested in a game – well – then – the game maybe just isn’t that interesting.

        • swig

          I’m under the assumption the all play is a tough call so I would not expect essays on the subject.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      I second that emotion! (With all do respect to Smokey.)
      The only week that is all college only counts for half points too.
      The NFL is a bit too confusing. A very recent and near to our hearts example.
      The Browns beat the Titans.
      Pittstink beats the crab out of the Jags.
      The Browns beat the crab out of Pittstink.
      The Titans beat the Jags.
      Then the Jags kick the crab out of the Browns.
      What is wrong with this picture?

    • Rob

      Just curious here: why does this bother you if you’re only mandated to play one NFL game, and it’s picked for you? You’re free to make your other 5 games all college picks, and even if GB/NO wasn’t the all-play, you’d have to find some NFL junk to pick anyhow.

      • p_forever

        it’s for the good of the order, really. the college games just really are better this time of year.

        but you’re right about the fact that since i don’t want to pay attention to the NFL right now anyway, in some ways it makes it easier that i’m just told which game to pick. (but i do think this week we have a particularly dumb game to think about, and i for sure would not have done so had i not been forced.)

    • swig

      Counter point:
      I find the NFL games more interesting than college almost exclusively. I would almost rather watch the Vikings v Bucs game over two top 5 college teams that I know nothing about.

      The only reason I would hope for a college all-play is I do not have to pretend to know anything picking my one college game.

  • HitTheHorns

    Chargers +7.5 for one cheddar.

  • technivore

    EASTERN CAROLINA -28 over UConn
    Colts -3 over STEELERS
    Packers +1 over SAINTS (AP) (#2 offense against the #32 defense via DVOA)
    Ravens +1 over BENGALS
    BUFFALO +3.5 over Central Michigan

    Ole Miss -3.5 over LSU
    Having gone a spectacular 1 for 8 on my essay picks this season (YIKES) I am truly up against it and fighting to regain my pride. #CheddarBay is nothing if not a great learning experience, and I have learned much respect for the world of handicapping and how little my own intuition is actually intuiting.

    But I can still hang my hat on one thing: I guessed right on Ole Miss. And I’m coming back home to them to save my season.

    Offensively LSU and Ole Miss are very comparable, with almost the exact same points per game, although LSU gets there more via the run game and Ole Miss doing it with an effective Bo Wallace and LAQUON TREADWELL. But obviously what’s gotten Ole Miss to its current #3 ranking and 7-0 ATS record is that big, fast, smart, and straight up intimidating defense. Those kids on the right side of the ball, as Acto likes to call it, have given up only 6 offensive TDs all season. And you can bet their opponents are beat up and demoralized by the end of the game. Remember they held Alabama to just a field goal in the second half of their game, and while they gave up 13 in the 4th quarter against TAMU, 6 of that was on the very last play of the game.

    My wife’s southern relations are mostly LSU grads and fans, so I don’t want to disrespect or look past them any. This is a down year for the Tigers and they’ll be back. But after the pasting they took from Auburn and the fact that they trailed Mississippi State 34-10 in the 4th quarter before getting some of that back on a fluke fumble recovery and long pass in the final 2 minutes, it doesn’t look like they can hang with the big dogs this year.

    Ole Miss is a talented team playing disciplined and inspired football with a dash of anger tossed in. This isn’t a team that feels like it’s climbed the hill and can let off the gas; they are going to stay focused and kick ass each and every week and I’m riding them all the way.

    • Guest

      Also I just want to say that I’m utterly destroying the fantasy league I’m in so I’m not a complete football idiot, #CheddarBay results notwithstanding. But obviously I’d much prefer the it the other way around!

      • point of blog host privilege.. YES>> me too. after whiffing on my cfb picks last week i crushed my family pool.
        cheddar is an evil mistress.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Extra “like” for
      “and how little my own intuition is actually intuiting.”

  • cwonder23

    Dart Board:
    Buffalo +3.5 vs CMU
    PSU +12.5 vs OSU
    Marshall -28 vs FAU
    Pats -5.5 vs Bears
    All Play: Pack +1 @ Saints

    • cwonder23

      Essay: Ravens +1 @ Bengals
      Story of two teams moving in different directions. Hate being on the side of the Ravens but I’ll take this spread as one I don’t really understand. AJ Green sounds iffy and if anything he will just be a decoy. With Forsett setting the pace and limiting TOs, I see this as a game where Baltimore can take control. I feel like this line is a bit outdated based on paper but I like East Coast Harbaugh in this game. 24-17 Rats. Ewwww.

      • cwonder23

        Mike, I’m pulling Buffalo and replacing it with OK St -1. Thanks.

  • Rob

    Denver -7.5 to kick the week off wrong.

    • Rob

      Before i forget to submit again…
      AP: NO Aints -1

    • Rob

      Disappointed there’s no Kentucky Wesleyan vs. Murray State line, so I guess I’ll take the Fightin’ Illini +6.5 for my college play.

    • Rob

      Essay: HOU -1

      Actually had an inkling to make the all-play my essay but can’t pass up leveraging 3 cheddar points against the debut of a rookie QB who’s 3rd on the depth chart of a sub-.500 team. I’m sure Whisenhunt will try to keep the playbook simple for this long-haired hippie, and what better way to attack the league’s MVP in JJ Watt than with simplicity? Oh, there’s probably 50 better ways but who’s counting? It’s only icing on the cake if Clowney is able to return. As has been discussed elsewhere, Houston was outplaying the Stillers for all intents and purposes, but that wild 150-second sequence in the game was too big a hurdle for the Texans to overcome. You could put a zero on the end of this spread and it still could be a reasonable play on the Texans.

    • Rob

      Finish up with:
      MIN +3
      KC -6.5

    • Rob

      Count it.

      • Rob

        Damnit, where’s the lobster pic I attached?!?!

        • Petefranklin

          You must have crappy internet like me. Mine was faster when I sot;e it from the neighbors.

          • Rob

            my AT&T Uverse internet is so slow they don’t offer the particular speed to new customers anymore.

            (I’m serious).

          • Petefranklin

            I’m paying more for 3 gig century link than they charge for 10 gig just because the fiber optic line doesn’t come through my hood.

      • sorry to be late ack-ing this! well done!

  • Matt Borcas

    I’ll take the Chargers +7.5 for one point tonight.

    • Matt Borcas

      BTW, when are we getting the updated 603POWER rankings?!?

    • Matt Borcas

      Minnesota -6.5 over Illinois
      Memphis -23.5 over SMU

    • Matt Borcas

      Ravens +1 over Bengals
      Saints -1 over Packers

  • Capitalgg

    Week 9

    So I continue to hit essays and pretty much nothing else. Feeling this week should be better as there are at several games I like very, very much.

    All-Play: Saints -1 v. Packers: I look at lines, see this game and think to myself, please don’t be the all-play. Dial up this site… “DAMMIT!”

    1. loss Arkansas St. -3 @ Louisiana-Lafayette: Lesson learned, don’t bet against Terrance Broadway.
    2. Oklahoma St. -1 v. West Viriginia: WVU wins their game of the year last week and now has to make that always difficult trip to Stillwater. Give me the Pokes in this spot.
    3. Ole Miss -3.5 @ LSU: This had essay potential until I remembered I won’t give points with a road team in an essay pick. That said, this is a bet the mortgage game.
    4. Nebraska -17.5 v. Rutgers: Brutal spot here for a Rutgers team that plays power. They looked good doing so against teams weaker than them in non-conference. In the #B1G, a week after a beating in Columbus, they have to travel to the next most physical offense in Nebraska? OUCH! Might have been an essay at 17.

    As much as I want to reprise my classic “Andrew Luck” 50 times essay from some years back, I will refrain and provide real reasons why Colts -3 @ Steelers is the most ridiculous line maybe of the year (man, I wish I had my POTY back right about now).

    If the Texans don’t have a complete meltdown in the final 3;08 of the first half on Monday, this line is at least 7, right? I’ve now seen Pittsburgh play 3 times in full this season and they are the worst I’ve ever seen them, and maybe as bad as anyone in the league. 1 win was against the week 1 Browns by 3 in a game the Browns played only the 2nd half. They slipped by Jacksonville in a game that very easily could have been the Cleveland-Jacksonville result if the ball happens to bounce the Jags way. And the Texans throughly outplayed Pittsburgh, but spotted them 14 points via ridiculousness in a minute and a half stretch that was simply bizarre to watch.

    Pittsburgh also happens to be one of the worst teams in the league in red zone offense. For redzone series, starting outside the 8 yard line, the Steelers might as well be at their own 20. In fact, the Steelers are more likely to score from their opponents 40 than from the 18. They are a crazy bad team. And I won’t even mention the shower curtain that has replaced Dick Lebeau’s Steel Curtain.

    And they face Andrew Luck who is, you know, have one of the best seasons by a quarterback in NFL history. (Thank Mike Holmgren and Pat Shurmur for putting together a team just good enough to have no chance at Luck, Browns fan. In a mild upset, this was the most malpractice move by that front office in their tenure. WHY GOD WHY?!?) Anyway, I think the Colts should be favored by 10, so I’ll happily give 3 and see if I can’t rally this week

    Other Plays:
    Ohio St. -12.5 @ Penn St. (Would have been my 5th play had I not prematurely blew my pick on some Tuesday Fun Belts floozy).
    Missouri -21 v. Vanderbilt
    Arizona -3.5 @ Washington St.
    Auburn -18 v. South Carolina
    Kansas St. -10 v. Texas
    Minnesota -6.5 @ Illinois
    Mississippi St. -13.5 @ Kentucky
    Central Michigan -3.5 @ Buffalo
    Georgia St. +15 v. Georgia Southern
    Louisiana-Monroe -3 v. Texas St.
    San Jose St. +9 @ Navy
    Arizona St. -3.5 @ Washington

  • swig

    All Play: Packers +1 o SAINTS
    Taking the Saints in my pickem league, but feel like it is a bad play here. Completely illogical.

    ESSAY: CARDINALS -2.5 o Eagles

    3) VIRGINIA -6.5 o North Carolina
    This college pick is painful. Almost every game is a double digit spread. Hope all the pros are finding value in the small conferences.

    4) Colts -3 o STEELERS
    I’m still pissed about Monday. I know others have taken bigger beats, but the last 3 minutes of the first half were just stupid.

    5) Bills +3 o JETS
    Can’t believe the Jets are favored, let alone by more than 2.5.

    6) Texans -1 o TITANS
    Taking both sides of my failed essay from last week. Either I’m super sharp and sticking to my guns, or just really dumb and stubborn. We shall see.

    • swig

      I additionally really like the Colts and Texans picks, but I am going to take the home team of the three. I feel the Cards should be favored on a neutral field. They probably have little public backing, even though they have been great for picks this year (although, so have the Eagles). This is about the time I realize I have no facts to support my stance and start to question myself. This line seemed off when I saw it, so this week I will stick with the gut (mind/gut/heart sounds like a grotesque rock/paper/scissors).

  • ChuckKoz

    Stanford -13.5 (vs Oregon State)
    Chargers +7.5 (at Broncos)
    Jaguars +6 (vs Dolphins)
    Cowboys -10 (vs Washington Football Team)
    AP: Saints -1 (vs Packers)
    Essay: Ohio State -12.5 (at Penn State)

    Honestly, after a 1-5 week, I am just going to pick a game I want to watch anyway and give me a bit more of a reason to root. Maybe my problem has been overthinking things, so maybe this will be a nice respite week. Nonetheless, its not that hard to convince myself of this. OSU is on an absolute tear for the past 4 weeks, while PSUs promising start is collapsing. Add in that Happy Valley will be filled with people that like Joe Paterno and its hard to imagine the karmic world allowing them any joy. The good start was probably just a setup to crush their souls all the more they deserve. So Buckeyes roll.

  • GRRustlers

    Week 9 Picks

    As I lurk in the middle it’s time to get back to what I at least think I’m good at…no more of this waiting around until Friday night and trying to figure out what lines are moving to benefit me. I’m not that damn smart. I’m an insurance agent with a wife, a pair of kids, and a cat named Ralphie because for some reason I am a diehard Cleveland sports fan and a Colorado football fan. It’s the very definition of boring or insane. If I’m going to get back to the playoffs for a 3rd straight year it’s time to right this ship.

    AP – Saints (-1) over Packers – So…at minimum I get a half a cheddar point if the Saints win. At home. I still believe in this Saints team and it probably helps that the 4th place team in the AFC North may win that division. Time for them to right the ship.

    Nebraska (-17.5) over Rutgers – Pretty sadistic of the Big 10 schedule people if you ask me. How about trips to Columbus and Lincoln back to back. The things people will do for the NY TV market. Does anyone watch Rutgers football in NYC? Honest question and good luck Rutgers…and when you get home Wisconsin is waiting for you.

    Jaguars (+6) over Dolphins – Lost in the Browns stink bomb Sunday is the fact that I still like the Jaguars. I love the coach and respect them for letting Bortles give it a go and learn. I also think the Dolphins will have the same problems as Cleveland…good luck running the ball and your QB is worse than Hoyer. Enjoy.

    Redskins (+9) over Cowboys – I get a chance to bet on that troll Colt on national TV? I never thought this could happen again and if Tony Romo goes down we get Weeden AND Colt AT THE SAME TIME.

    Memphis (-23.5) over SMU – The 2nd cruelest thing I saw this week was Memphis getting a bye week to prepare for SMU.

    Thursday Night Essay Special

    The only thing worse than getting a bye week to prepare for Memphis though is to get a bye week to prepare for UConn. 12 days for ECU to prepare for a team that can’t score. When Tulane holds you to 3 points it may be time to assess your life choices UConn. ECU can score points and they can score them in bunches. This is also another example of why I think the 4 team playoff is so incredibly stupid. Let’s just say ECU runs the table and finishes 11-1 with a 10 point loss at South Carolina. They have zero chance of being a playoff team. None. If we had a more rational 16 team playoff and ECU was a 14 seed opening up against Florida State that is must see TV. Instead they will be forced to some bowl game named after a chicken place where they will skull fuck a MAC school by 5 touchdowns.

    ECU (-28) over UConn

    • thatsfine

      The prospect of Colt and Weeden head to head? Holy Shit. Dust off your non-transdermal holographic chips, Colt McCoy is starting again!

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Love it that Clot McChips shall be the chosen one over RGINJURY. Word on the street is that RGINJURY could have played last week. He is saving face with this lingering injury, so happy that The Team of the Politically Incorrect gave away 14 1st round picks and all of their concession receipts for 88 years to get RGINJURY.

  • Petefranklin

    Mike, when are these lines copied? My GOY may be on hold because the line posted on covers is wrong. It appears the line is from 10/20 instead of this mornings line.

    • i go to covers.com and grab the LVH lines from somewhere between 7-8am eastern. don’t know how current covers keeps the lines from their various books.

      • Petefranklin

        That’s what I thought,

        • Petefranklin

          0/202:35pmAKR-2.5 -110BALL+2.5 -110 10/204:58pmAKR-1 -110BALL+1 -110 10/212:45pmAKR-2 -110BALL+2 -110 10/212:58pmAKR-2.5 -110BALL+2.5 -110 10/2212:37pmAKR-140BALL+120AKR-2.5 -110BALL+2.5 -11049.5 -11049.5 -110 10/2212:50pmAKR-130BALL+110AKR-2 -110BALL+2 -11049.5 -11049.5 -110

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Does this mean I should keep my life savings in my shoe? Are you still going to ring the bell?

      • Petefranklin

        maybe I switch to a different game. I dunno, I lost a point and a half in Covers’ shitty updating.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    I always batted lead off in baseball, And I do not mind doing it here as well. (Although it did look odd with the big ugly gorilla man leading off, I had the Home Run power of Duane Kuiper on a bad day with a gale force wind coming right at him, so it made sense.)
    Miss State -13.5 over Kentucky
    Akron -1 over Ball State
    Kansas State -10 over Texas
    Mich St -17 over Mich
    E Mich +20 over NIU

    AP and essay **** Packers over Saints****
    The main reason for this pick is that P in Packers comes before S in Saints alphabetically, I am certain about that, I looked it up and I sang the “ABC’s” song, I am so confident that P comes before S I made it my essay.
    The Saints look worser and worser every week, which has been curiouser and curiouser because they have one of those infallible “Franchise Quarterbacks”. I have heard the term Franchise Quarterback used repeatedly every week, now inexplicably for collegiate games too, even when oftentimes the Quarterback in question will be gone in a few games. No one can accurately define that rather nebulous term and I cringe every time I hear it. Drew Brees is a good player, but his team still loses. Brady is the “Quintessential Franchise Quarterback”, yes, I heard that phrase last week, but his team still loses. The elder Manning brother is a Franchise Quarterback too and he can shout “Omaha” until the boat from Omaha finally arrives with my large shipment of cash from my rich uncle trapped in Africa, but his team will still lose.
    This week’s AP has two game changing Franchise Quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the game, almost everyone would put him top 5 and not only can he change games, he has few rivals in his amazing ability to secure the status quo when his team is trailing in 4th quarter. He does not leave his fans biting the cheese out from under their fingernails with harrowing comeback wins, he just goes along quietly, loses and lives to fight another day. He has a tremendous record of being unable to bring his team on the comeback trail to victory late in games.
    Drew Brees displayed a recent performance, or more appropriately a lack thereof, where he missed 10 passes in a row in the 4th quarter and blew the game with a late interception.
    The easy take here is that Aaron Rodgers may blow this game by screwing up and Drew Brees may blow this game by screwing up. The vague whimsies of the fancy pants quarterbacks cannot be accurately predicted, (With the one small exception of the brilliant retreads, but I shall leave that for another day.)
    Rodgers is 18 TD to 1 INT as of late, Brees has 1 TD to 137 INT’s, or something like that, I am not certain if either of these stats are correct.
    Now with the only thing that all of the smart kids care about, those franchise quarterbacks of paramount importance out of the way, it is time for some more important match-ups.
    The Packers have been scoring a lot of points. Scoring more points than your respective opponent may be the most important thing when it comes to winning football games. (Tally a positive indicator for the Packers.)
    The Saints defense is not playing well and their best player is out with an injury. (Another one for the Pack.)
    Jimmy Graham, the Saints vaunted WR, no wait TE, I mean WR, no, TE, WR, TE, WR, TE, has not been playing well. It may be attributed to his Multiple Personality Disorder. Graham needs to quickly figure out that players at both of those positions need to get open and catch the ball. (One more positive for the Pack.)
    I hope that Aaron Rodgers plays lights out for three amazing quarters and then they remove him to give some playing time to The Amazing Matt Flynn, or the even more spectacular Scott Tolzien. (I actually like Tolzien, he could be a great retread pick up.)
    Both Flynn and Tolzien look better in the 4th quarter than Aaron Rodgers.
    This pick is a lock for the Packers!

    • Petefranklin

      Why Akron Acto?

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Because acto is clueless.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Even though I am perpetually clueless and I am shocked that you would ask, you certainly know a lot more about football and betting than I do, here are my reasons.

        Akron over Ball State

        The Akron receivers can not Braylon every ball they see forever, I expect that problem to recede rapidly starting this week. Hate to admit this, but I like their QB for this game too. If it is Pohl then add 7 more points to Akron’s victory.
        The Akron defense has also been playing well but the breaks have been going against them, that is another vagary of the oblong ball and not a precedent.
        Ball State still looks like a bad team, even while winning. They are always poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
        Pohl will return and play well.
        Akron will be able to run the ball and pass against Ball State.
        Akron’s Defensive line could very well dominate Ball State.
        When I predicted the line before I looked, I had it as Akron -5.5.

        • Petefranklin

          I think they are 3-31 straight up on the road last 34. Bowden sucks as well as evidenced by his non kick of a FG vs Penn St 3 different times, any of which would have covered my middle bet. Ball St could very well get on a roll, Akron, well, they couldn’t even beat a shitty injury plagued team from athens. And are you telling me that you think the Zips will stop all time(as of last week) Ball St leading rusher Juwahn Edwards? In Muncie? I dunno maybe they can, let me know why you think so please.

          • so ballu was your prospective poty?

          • Petefranklin

            10-4 im still not sure what the bettors are seeing in the zips. Road chaulk? Really??

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Great, now I checked on the magical interweb and the computer geeks have Ball State winning by 6.7 points. How does one score 6.7 points?
            I am starting to rethink this pick, you have helped me before Mr Franklin, I should trust your better judgement.
            Does it matter that Akron’s defense looks good?
            I should just go with the sure thing, Charlie Cardinal comes before Zippy!

          • actovegin1armstrong

            You have to make Ball State your PoTY! You now have the added bonus of the fool proof fading acto system.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            I shall once again refer back to the acto is clueless fact, and you are far more knowledgeable than I am, but….
            I am a stubborn, pigheaded JACKASS and I will not change my pick.
            I am foolish enough to believe that even though there is a terrific chance that Bowden may Shurmur himself and fade into Bolivia, he is however a very intelligent man.
            Sorry about your field goal, but, why were they your middle bet?
            What is a middle bet?
            Yes, I think that Akron’s defense will stop Juwahn Edwards.
            I like Akron’s Defensive line and I do not care about a team that relies on a running back. I would prefer a team that had an offensive line so talented they could make Peyton Hillis look like Peyton Hillis.

          • Petefranklin

            A middle bet is when you bet one side at one point spread and bet the other at another point spread hoping the final score lands between them. I think I was real heavy on Akron +17.5 or 18 and the line came down to 14 later in the week. I don’t like being on the same side as a SHITTON of money (akron in this case) so I decided to buy Penn down to -13.5 by laying 120 instead of the usual 110 for about a third of my original bet. The original Akron bet lost and I won my bet on Penn St. I would have won both if fuckin bowden kicks a FG from the 5, instead of going for the TD at least two different times. I think a FG would have made it a two possession game at 16. Fuck him!

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Thank you, I am learning some stuff, but most of your wisdom is still Charlie Brown’s teacher to me.

    • p_forever

      lol you HATE qb’s so much.

      also i was clean-up hitter 🙂

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Hope you appreciate that I let the “clean-up hitter” line slide.
        I dislike receivers even more than quarterbacks!
        Unfortunately, I played QB when we needed to throw long “Hail Mary’s” and oftentimes on two minute drills. Of course I was filled with self loathing during and afterward.

        • p_forever

          i feel as a good catholic i know a lot about both hail mary’s and self-loathing.

          re: receivers, i’m not that surprised you hate them even more than qb’s. some are quite charming, however. corey robinson comes to mind. he doesn’t seem like a precious baby, although lots of receivers do come off that way.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            You know I regret not going to Notre Dame.
            I had you in mind with a recent mention that Boston College was the only other Division 1 school for the perpetually guilt ridden.
            Corey Robinson is alright, but every time I remember him it is with that Justin Biebler hair cut.
            The only time I liked being around receivers is after they would try a cheap shot block, away from the ball to take my knees out, the type Hinds Ward made famous, then I would be across the line making eye contact before the next play. I still dream about hitting receivers. I am certain that I am not the only person who hits mute when Cris Carter starts to speak, or who watches any game Cris Collinsworth talks over with the sound muted as well.

          • p_forever

            totally agree re both of those cc’s and corey robinson’s hair. but corey himself seems pretty normal/non high maintenence, and I love how genuinely happy david robinson seems on the sidelines too.

            my all time favorite NFL pretty boy is actually a defensive end/linebacker, which counts for something, maybe.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Further proof that Acto is clueless, I thought you meant the quarterback from Troy, Corey Robinson.

          • p_forever

            lolol no you didn’t. and can that one from troy possibly have hair asas bad as the nd one?

          • actovegin1armstrong
          • p_forever

            oh my – that hair is really terrible. nd corey’s is more stylish, maybe? lol. nd corey is just a million times better looking, and i’m betting a million times better an athlete, but i admit i know nothing of this (distinctly non-pretty boy) corey qb.

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