#CheddarBay wk 1; OSU/VaTech

inmybasket1Hi all, welcome back, the game is on.  Rules and overview post is here.  Signup is to your right at the top of the sidebar.  We even have some helpful handicapping advice from several of our more experienced players.

This year’s player roster is also in the sidebar and you can see we have a good critical mass of returning players as well as some new people.  Registration is definitely open so climb on board.

In this comment thread is where you will make your six picks for the week, identify your top pick to be worth three points versus only one point for the other picks,1 and you will write some commentary on why.  Doesn’t have to be huge, doesn’t have to be particularly eloquent.  But do please remember that the entire premise of this competition is the communal sharing of wisdom but the betterment of all.

New this year, we’ll have you also submitting picks via form.  We’re building this car while it’s moving so patience is requested.  The idea is that this will remove the recurring problem of bookkeeping errors we’ve seen in the past, but the unknown is what other problems might be created.  ANYYHOOS, it’s embedded down in the bottom of the post too.


VTvsOSUFinalScore

Turns out this did not end the season.

This week’s All-Play is OSU -11 at Virginia Tech, Monday night.

Included in your six picks will be the Ohio State (11 point favorite) at VaTech game.  This is the weekly All-Play game and everyone picks it.  The all-play is useful both to take the collective temperature on the most interesting game of the week and also to check everyone’s cold handicapping skills.

This week we’re diving right in with Ohio State because it really is the most compelling game and will also be the most widely watched.


Here are the official lines.

The lines go up Wednesday morning.  This week it’s college only.  No Canadian picks please.


Here is the form.

If you’re not in the entrant pull, just give me a head’s up that you’re in and I’ll fix it.

That’ll do for now, welcome back, let’s get back in this groove.


Free Cheddar Bay registration!

BIG NEWS!!  Here’s the uniform combo for the Browns this week’s game!!

No doubt this will be a weekly feature and why not since this is what is REALLY important to the Browns front office and to that Delaware County mall-rat whose “loyalty” they strive to earn even if it means blowing off the most loyal fans in football.®  We reviewed these misplaced priorities a couple weeks ago.

The fact of the Browns’ uniform grotesquerie called to mind a twitter exchange we saw this week and prompts us to make a special offer:

Free Cheddar registration to the first person to identify as having participated in a survey or focus group conducted by the Browns pertaining to uniform change.
(Update:  lilOUmikey provided me with several surveys going back to late 2013 and awarded the prize.)

Browns’ CEO Scheiner informed HitTheHorns that the re-branding was in response to fans wanting “energy, edge” and that surveys are part of the methodology in determining the vast want for “energy, edge.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 2.30.30 PM

Click to enlarge.

We are actively looking for that fan so we can follow up to see whether the Browns energy/edge mandate is being fulfilled.

Swagger energy and edge.

Swagger energy and edge.


  1. The points for week one are 50% to allow a ramp up and also so late entrants can come up late without too much of a bogey to overcome. [back]

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  • Its Only Money

    Well what a great way to start. I forgot to get my picks in.

    Essay and all play in 1 OSU -11.

    So I rode the Buckeyes to a nice financial gain in January so there is no reason to stop now. I know there’s only a few minutes left, but I’m not sure if I like them at 14.5 or not. I will probably take that right down to the last minute. Quite honestly if I got my picks in this week I might be 0 – 5 going into tonight. It was a brutal start. So I might give you all the go ahead to start fading me now. I like the revenge factor tonight more than the concern over the suspended players. The Buckeyes are just a much better team than the Hokies. They will get it done tonight.

  • Alrhode emailed me for tonite — he’s got OSU.

    I’m offline tonite so I’ve taken up HitTheHorns’ volunteer offer… he should have the standings updated once it’s settled.

  • PJD19

    **Essay Pick**

    Va Tech over OSU
    Va Tech rides the momentum of new Bills starting QB and Hokie alum Tyrod Taylor. Not sure if they’ll be able to swing an upset, but home field under the lights against an over confident OSU should be enough for a cover. Frank Beamer is a vet and will have the Hokies ready to play. Beamer is known for his team’s fantastic special teams play and look for them to make a big play on punt or kickoff to fuel the crowd and keep this baby close.

  • CLEVTA

    @limaontinder? Bravo to whomever that is

  • The Iron Sheik

    I will take Purdue today for last pick f week 1

  • received via email

    I’m in. In car with Pete now. Give me Marshall.
    Handle: @limaontinder

  • The Iron Sheik

    The picks were put in the tool prior to the games and I didn’t realize we had to put it in both places.

    Illinois
    Oregon st
    Texas am
    temple
    Nebraska
    osu essay

    Last year I was out of the country and some ja was all juiced up that vtech had won. My first thought was he had drank himself into a blackout like condition then as I scrambled to my phone and confirmed the devastating loss.
    Now the point of the story is that i remember that day like it was yesterday and so do the kids on osu. The team is stacked at just about every position and we have Braxton making his debut at wr which should be interesting. Urban Meyer is always talking about who has the juice well in this case he has more the enough motivation to get these kids jacked up enough to win by 11.

    • Oregon State wasn’t on the board.
      You can still pick Marshall -8.5 v Purdue to replace it.

  • received via email

    proudtabby
    Greetings Cheddars. Your proprietor has been encouraging me to join this group for years and I’m jumping in this year. Although I live in Maine, I’m born and bred Charlotte, I’m all-in on the Panthers, and have next to no idea about the workings of college football so I’m wary about this first week.

    Here’s my feelings on North Carolina’s college ball teams: not a big Dukie, ECU is cool, don’t get up to Boone (AppySt) much but it’s pretty there, it’s cool that UNCC has a team now, and I absolutely loathe the Tar Holes. Can’t stand em. You’d have to live in NC to understand but the fans are quite insufferable. Their football team is ALWAYS supposed to be ready to be great and ALWAYS sucks. Even in hoops, if Roy Williams is the answer, you’re asking the wrong question.

    Oh. And Wake. Almost forgot.

    That leaves the team in Raleigh and if I have a favorite college team it’s the Wolfpack. Even if maybe his pose is derivative of Bucky Badger, who doesn’t like a dog for mascot?* This is a school that co-opted Wagon Wheel as their ‘Hang On Sloopy’ type anthem — good. This is a school where bros take their first baby steps on the path to the Bonecrusher.

    So it is with just a smidge of football research that I will make NCST -26 vs. Troy my essay. I don’t think I have to remind anyone in this august body what Dave Doeren (cough NIU cough) is capable of. He’s going into his third year in Raleigh and the trend is up: 3-9 in 2013, last year 8-5 and a bowl win. Returning 6-4/230, QB Jacoby Brissett was a 2010 Florida recruit and per the Las Vegas Sun “establish(ed) himself as one of the least turnover-prone quarterbacks in the nation.” My goodness: a Dave Doeren offense with a big athletic QB? We saw what he did with Chandler Harnish and Jordan Lynch… imagine what he’ll do with an Urban Meyer recruit?

    To be honest, I was going to write an NCST essay no matter what, but now I’ve really talked myself into it. Dave Doeren offense with an Urban Meyer QB against Sun Belt team breaking in a first year coach? Yes please.

    Also staying down south for my other picks: Old Dominion, Auburn, Georgia Southern, UVA, VaTech.

    *(Except Mike with the Browns’ mascot.) (Haha kidding Mike. I know it’s fat, lazy, non-shelter, pure-bred dogs representing a ‘Dawg Pound’ that you don’t like. We get it.)

  • received via email

    DQuatts back at it.
    Akron
    Auburn
    Virginia
    Wisconsin
    Arizona State
    Ohio State*
    *Why not get started off right at Virginia Tech!? The team that almost kept you from your national championship. The team that beat you on your own field. Perfect opponent for Ohio State to start their title repeat with. I really don’t know much about VT, but I am sticking with the Bucks in this one….BIG. If you don’t like Ohio State in this one, something is wrong. JT Barret continues where he left off last year. Go buck and have a good one folks!

  • received via email

    FlyHighCharlieFrye
    Akron
    BG
    Texas
    Purdue
    Texas A&M
    Ohio State – Yeah, this is going to be like 93% of the contest and the rest of America backing the Buckeyes. And I am a little bit (but just a little) concerned about the receivers and no Bosa and that VT has some dudes. But Ohio State has the most dudes, the best dudes, and this just feels like a 3 TD game by the time it’s said and done. I don’t think there’s much actual football comparison between last year and this year and I see Elliott running hard and carrying the day. Bucks by 3 TD

  • received via email

    AK47
    Ohio State
    Texas A&M
    Akron
    Kentucky
    Auburn
    USC – It’s all about the quarterback. I like the kid, he is smooth and smart and they should come out crisp and start putting touchdowns on the board early. I might have to sweat it a little bit but USC has so much experience early and should have much superior depth late that this just smells like 49 or 56 to 14 or so. Fight On.

  • Tim Butler

    I’m really just here for the NFL as I’m not a very knowledgeable college fan. (Ironically, my only Lobsterfest ever came in this week last year)

    I’ve seen a lot of different lines on here for the same games. Please make sure you are using the current lines, and not the opening lines. That’s enough moderating from me.

    Auburn -10.5
    BYU +7
    ND -10
    UL-Lafayette +17
    UCLA -19.5

    ESSAY/AP: OSU-11

    I’d love to be able to break down this game, or any other college game for that matter, but I can’t. Instead I’ll just admit that I’m taking the coward’s way out. As my picks this week are essentially the equivalent of dart throws, the essay dart that stands to lose me the least amount of points if things go wrong, is OSU, as nearly everyone here is taking them. Terrible strategy I know, or is it, I don’t know. Anyway, much more informed (NFL) essays to come, starting next week.

  • oxr

    One of the main things I’ve learned from three seasons of Cheddar is that I don’t know a damn thing about college football and I should make the least number of college picks that the rules allow (11-11 last year, I think). So this week is going to be fun!

    All-Play Ohio State -11 over Virginia Tech – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
    Arizona State +3 over Texas A&M
    Penn State -6.5 over Temple
    Florida Atlantic +6.5 over Tulsa
    West Virginia -19.5 over Georgia Southern

    Essay Nebraska -7 over BYU

    In a recent bout of frantic Googling I learned that Mike Riley is now the head coach at Nebraska, and his Oregon State teams were usually a tough out. Also, Nebraska is in the Big 10 and Brigham Young is in something called the WCC. Apparently both teams are going to have a bunch of players suspended for this game, and that’s more likely to benefit the team with the overall recruiting advantage, which I am going to assume is Nebraska because if you’re a Mormon who’s good at football you’d probably rather be playing for Utah. If there actually ends up being a talent mismatch and if Riley’s offense is working then a touchdown in a home opener doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

  • Peter Markos

    Happy football season! I hope everybody has survived the last few weeks of anticipating football season. If you are like me, you have had enough of conversations about fighting girls, low energy candidates and building a wall around assholes that inherit $220 million and can’t beat the S &P the last thirty years. I think ND covers tonight. They are returning 16 starters and are just further along than Charlie Strong’s team. One last rant on Deflategate. A guy on the Pats staff is named “Deflator”.
    Who would they be deflating the balls for? this is the same organization that forced Goodell into the tough spot of having to destroy the Spygate evidence. You don’t need to be a super smart lawyer like Frowns to smell a cover up of massive proportions. Folks are saying this is to divert attention from
    Ray Rice. No one will sign him. No diversion necessary. Goodell is pissed the Pats embarrassed and tarnished the reputation of the League again.

  • Posting on behalf of and in participation with super p forever, who let me do her essay, which I’ll do later today:

    1) ND -10
    2) OSU -11
    3) Georgia – 35
    4) FSU -29
    5) Stanford -12

    6) Wisconsin +9 is the essay and I haven’t written it yet

  • Matt Borcas

    Temple (+6.5) over PSU: Going with TA
    Notre Dame (-10) over Texas: I’d be surprised if the Longhorns manage to score two touchdowns here.
    Illinois (-14.5) over Kent State: I think this game’s one-day postponement really favors the home team.
    Arizona State (+3) over Texas A&M
    Ohio State (-11) over VT: Bosa’s suspension won’t hurt as much as some are letting on. Elliott is unstoppable, and so is the two-headed monster of JT and Cardale at QB. Plus, no chance of a letdown performance IMO because OSU is extremely motivated to avenge last year’s loss.
    Essay: BYU (+7) over Nebraska: I don’t think particularly highly of Mike Riley, and the Huskers are going to struggle to replace Ameer Abdullah and Kenny Bell’s combined production. Losing Randy Gregory can’t help, either. Strangely, Nebraska’s biggest strength might be the passing game, but I’m guessing it will take time for Bo Pelini’s players to adapt to a new coach/system — as it usually does whenever a new coach takes over. On the other hand, BYU always seems to execute soundly on offense and should gash Nebraska’s run defense. Also, gotta go with Taysom Hill in his comeback outing. The dude was 4-0 last year before he got hurt! Legit Heisman potential there.

  • bupalos

    Contingent on my official acceptance to this august body despite my little peccadillos, I commend the following wisdom from the board and will rush lemming-like to the following undoubtedly green pastures:

    NIU -23
    BG + 20.5
    Temple +6.5

    As my essays are too destabilizing to the system, I will wait until official confirmation before unleashing anything like that upon you all.

    • By the powers vested in me on behalf of the CBEC, I affirm your enrollment in good standing.

      • bupalos

        Excellent. Now. Does anyone have any cocaine?

        • bupalos

          On second thought (and with a last minute plan change that will have me up at the islands this weekend) we’re going to ramp this thing up slowly and make sure participants are fully emotionally invested before lowering the boom. So its a ride on the jejune express this week;

          Texas. How it came to be that the premier football program of a state that size, with that much homegrown talent continually offers forth a stale and stilted rechauffe of NCAA mediocrity I have no idea. But as it turns out, a stale and stilted rechauffe of NCAA mediocrity is exactly what you need to compete in the navel-gazing capital of college football, South Bend, Indiana at this point in the cycle.

          If Notre Dame could take its eyes off itself for 10 seconds and stop frantically looking for yet more evidence of A Return to Former Glory (to pile on the 9,317 other fully documented signs divined and affirmed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints) it might start to do the football really good. But it won’t.

          It’s a biological fact that every year a single night in the low 50’s anywhere in North America releases a chemical into the collective Irish bloodstream that engorges its optical cones and makes them hypersensitive to any golden hue. These engorged-cone heads roam the landscape for the next several weeks collecting little golden domes of hope and piling them up in mounds. Once the piles are big enough they scramble up and start speaking in tongues. The random gibberish that pours forth is converted by high tech ESPN filters into any one of 4 or 5 seemingly intelligible sentences that I won’t bother to repeat here (google yourself for this year’s version) but which create enough hot air to briefly inflate the dropsical sacks hanging from their ranking.

          Which wouldn’t matter a bit, except that these sacks of warm flatus become so entrancing to everyone actually attached to Notre Dame football that they stand gaping upward, mesmerized by the spectacle of the long promised Return to Former Glory. Then as they gape upward and outward, with that twinkle of glory in their eyes, some inconsequent animal like a BC eagle happens to fly by and take a dump that lands squarely in ore stultorum.

          Will it be a flying Longhorn this time? Doubtful. But the hype has been early and strong this year, assuring that the domers will already be way deeper in the process of navel-gazing self-destruction than usual. 10 points is more than enough for a team with a defense as generally competent as Texas to prove this principle.

          Texas +10

      • DISLIKE

  • CleveLandThatILove

    AP: tOSU
    Old Dominion -7
    Texas +10
    Akron +31.5
    BYU +7
    NIU -23*

    *NIU finished 7-1 in the MAC last year, and have the great advantage of so many returning starting players. First game, at home, where they’ve lost only twice in the last 5 years, against a less talented UNLV team whose head coach is making his collegiate debut sounds like the makings of a rout. Change is good, but there’s no substitute for experience and familiarity (in playing football, not so much in playing the odds in football [insert rueful chuckle here]). So! I’m pumped for a new year in Cheddar, and hoping the Huskies will be pumped to show everything they are capable of, tonight and all season long.

  • clayII

    Temple (+6.5) / PSU
    Louisville (+10.5) / Auburn
    ASU (+3) / aTm
    ND (-10) / Texas
    NWestern / (+12) / Stanford

    tOSU (-11) / VT

    I think Bucks roll (no homer). Urban knows the drill getting a team that won it all last year ready for a new season. I think there is probably some artificial value built into the line (Blacksburg at night, OSU suspensions, etc). VT always (it seems) struggles to score offensively and everybody knows Urb would run it up on his grandma. 2 td win easy

    • clayII

      i did not use the form, is this why i am not being updated on leaderboard?

      • yep. but we’d have caught it. i’ll enter your picks through the form, you’ll be set.

        • clayII

          thanks, was in a rush this morning. will try it next week

  • bupalos

    So this is some kind of football picking contest or something? May I play it too?

    • No. Not after your showing at this year’s draft party. No no no no no.

      • bupalos

        I admit I did make somewhat of an embarrassing spectacle of myself, what with getting all coked up and confused and accidentally paling around with Peter Mapacos at Tap. Had no idea what was going on until I tried to stand him upside down on a stool and realized my error in the worst possible way. But the quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from the heavens upon the place below, and a newly chastised Bupalos begs these holy drops.

  • Happy Saturday everyone. No rooting interest, outside of the mighty Stetson Hatters of the Pioneer Football League, so it’s going to be a great day of bouncing from game to game. Picks have been entered as follows:

    1) Tennessee -20.5
    2) N.C. St. -26
    3) ULL +17
    4) FAU +6.5
    5) Miss. St. -21
    6) OSU -11 (ESSAY)

    It’s week 1 of Cheddar so what the hell… I’m doubling down on the Buckeyes All Play and taking them as my essay.

    I remember thinking during last year’s VT game I hope JT never starts another game for OSU with some of the passes and decisions he was making (chalk that up to overreaction, too much to drink, etc.). Then, I went to the MSU game and could not have been more impressed by the guy (not that he didn’t win me over before that). I never thought I’d say this, especially after Cardale’s miraculous run, but I hope to see JT under center to start the game on Monday.

    Really though, even with all the suspensions, the questions at WR, and the question of starting QB, what really worked for OSU and made the difference down the stretch was #15, Ezekiel Elliott. He’ll be without his crop-top jersey, but no matter who is at QB he will get his chances and I expect him to take full advantage of them.

    The OSU coaching staff is sure to be reminding these guys that the one blemish on the record last year was this VT team at The Shoe. Monday night OSU gets to return the favor and beat VT at their home. I expect it to be a decisive win that shows OSU is picking up right where they left off.

  • zarathustra

    It is officially cheddarbay season as I’m already calling and audible and chaging a pick. I still like Virginia today but have to pull them in favor of:

    BYU over Nebraska

  • squeekycleen

    I put these in the form as well:

    Essay Louisville: Bobby Petrino loves motorcycles, younger women, and football. Gus Malzahn loves bad Auburn sweaters, Will Muschamp, and football. Petrino is dirtier than moldy socks, Malzahn probably is as dirty as moldy socks but looks like clean socks. Auburn is getting tons of hype, Louisville less so. I don’t understand why since they are about the same other than we can’t tell that Auburn really is as dirty as moldy socks since they look like clean socks. We will take the points here in a game that should really knock your socks off.

  • ChuckKoz

    Washington (covered)
    emailed Jim due to not having a computer and living like its 1994

    UCLA (-19.5)
    they don’t cover this, I am off the bandwagon…..they do and I prob pick them every year, with all the returning starters

    Wisconsin (+11)
    SEC SEC SEC!

    ASU (-3)
    I really don’t like ASU’s coach, but…..SEC SEC SEC!

    USC (-27)
    Living in LA area, I need a reason to watch the game so I can lean and liked that number for a late cover

    ESSAY:
    OSU (-11)
    I went to OSU and was such a hardcore fan for the 90s (Hall of Fame Bowl, fuck Auburn) and through the Tressel title, where I specifically, went to several games and saved a good portion of student loans to travel to the title game in Arizona (and betting on the Bucks as 4-1 dogs against the U). I then felt excited about the next year and the chance to repeat, but quickly soured with the Clarett debacle. Specifically, the scumbag Ohio State fans (a majority at the time) that immediately turned on Clarett, ignore that we lose several games and dont’ win shit the year prior without him. It soured me on the bucks. I watched, I rooted, but it was never the same. Then we hired that whinny bitch that faked heart attacks at Florida. I was even less excited. Then Cardale happened. I was so on board. I loved him and the concept of such an underdog (and someone that mocked the entire concept of “school” on twitter, even if not intentionally intelligent). Then he showed to be the greatest QB I have seen in while. THEN he didn’t go pro, despite being a guaranteed first round pick (probably by the Browns) to come back. AND THEN, MOST IMPORTANTLY, he sat next to me and my daughter on my first flight back to Columbus in 10 years…he was super nice and super cool and I am positive that he will lead them to greatness….and if he doesn’t start, that means JT is unreal good so all is good (but seriously, Cardale is starting, right?). Buckeyes big, almost every week this year.

  • Uncle D

    ODU
    N ILL
    PSU
    OSU
    Bama
    Akron

    I’m picking Akron because I know how enthusiastic Coach Bowden is with his new total hip replacement done by a good friend of mine. He’ll get the Zips fired up ( hopefully they don’t blow their wad) early and I sure hope they can hold OU to less than 40 points …. I’m guessing Akron scores 10 by luck …. I gotta root for the home town boys. Plus, Akron throws the ball more than they run.I Just feel coach Bowden will continue to use trick plays / surprise formations to gain an edge. Go Zips!

  • ChuckKoz is in and requests Washington for his first pick.

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    penn st -6
    Notre Dame -10
    Akron +31.5
    Alabama -11
    Bowling Green +20.5
    Ohio State -11
    Its going to be tough on the road at night against Ba Tech, but the bucks have a few things going for them:
    1. ZEKE
    2. Two of the best qbs in the country. Although I’m a Cardale man myself
    3. Urban has been reminding them of last years loss all off season.
    4. I’ll take Urban with an entire offseason to prepare over any coach in the country.
    5. Stud offensive line returning 4 starters and Zeke.
    good to be back in the saddle, Go Bucks.

  • GRRustlers

    Week 1 Picks

    Good to be back among all the familiar names and welcome to all of the new people this year.

    BGSU (+20.5) over Tenn – Welcome back Matt Johnson and thank you to the Falcons for being the inspiration to Nike to remake history with the Browns uniforms. If you have the chance to look like a middle of the road MAC team you just have to do it…you know for the energy and the edge. Matt Johnson also leads the nation in a stat I made up for number of times he takes a snap, sets his feet and fires away.

    ODU (-7) over EMU – Last year when I was sitting with 16 other random people who got lost and ended up at a Zips game all I could think of was why the MAC will not drop down a level. You are NEVER getting into a playoff spot so just move down. The FCS playoffs are wild anyway. I only say this because if EMU were to move down they would still be awful.

    Georgia (-35) over ULM – Hey look…I found the team that will play OSU in the title game.

    Florida State (-29) over Texas State – Are you trying to tell me the guy that got kicked out of Notre Dame for cheating just now figured out he could play at FSU? Holy shit…wait until he finds out the shit he gets to do now.

    OSU (-11) over VT – I’m so sorry VT. Urban was thinking about this night while he was holding the trophy in January.

    Essay Pick

    Since every year this thing kicks off and our fearless leader has to remind us that we can’t play CFL games I am stuck trying to find a way to honor my Cheddar hero Jordan Lynch. Third down QB is a big job and Mr. Lynch is slowly figuring things out up in Edmonton. NIU is the real deal and we would be talking about a possible national champion team here if the MAC would do the right thing and move down a level. I recently saw a preview that had UNLV ranked #122. That noise you just heard was Eastern Michigan gasping at how high that ranking is. Drew Hare goes crazy on Saturday and the Huskies start their run to a great season followed by a pointless bowl game.

    NIU (-23) over UNLV

  • BYU +7. Taysom Hill has two working legs, which could be trouble for Nebraska. And that whole change in offensive system thing in Lincoln.

    BAYLOR -35. They’re butthurt, which means Briles and the boys are going for style points at every chance.
    VIRGINIA +19.5. Who knows.
    PENN STATE -6.5. Seems like Temple shouldn’t have a shot. But then again…
    OHIO STATE -11. If the Buckeyes do have a weakness, it certainly isn’t the staff’s ability to have the boys ready.

    CHARLIE MUNGER’S MIS-PRICED BET OF THE WEEK:

    NOTRE DAME -10.
    OOOH BABY! The boys have rid themselves of the turnover machine that is Everett Golson, who accounted for 22 gifts to the opposition last year in the final 9 games of the season. I may be somewhat biased in this situation, and I rarely like to put real money on my team for that reason, but there is some legitimacy to back up why I think this spread is light:
    -Returning 10 starters on defense (albeit a defense that SHAT all over their bedsheets after looking stout in a 6-0 start to the season). One of those starters is Jaylon Smith, who, barring injury is a surefire first rounder if he comes out early after his junior season. His speed and athleticism has been visible from day one as a frosh, and he’ll be going for consecutive All America honors this year. Fun to watch. The kind of guy the QB is always trying to account for pre-snap.
    -The offensive line averages 6’6″, 315 lbs, and Kelly has committed that the Irish are going to be a run-first ball club. I’d love to see this squad chalk up 200 per game on the ground, especially with a real dual-threat QB who showed some glimpses of potential in last year’s bowl game. They will be the biggest line in college football this season. The best? TBD.
    -Experienced and athletic WR corps. All the run game talk aside, they’ve got 6 dudes who can go get the football and create opportunities in open space. 6’7″ Corey Robinson (son of the Admiral) gets the jump balls, but I’m super pumped about Equanimeous St. Brown (coolest fucking name ever and son of two-time Mr. Universe Bodybuilder John Brown). The dude is big, strong, physical, has world class speed, attacks the football, and has excellent body control. If he’s smart and can adapt to defensive sets and see things as they happen, he could be a freakshow.

    Happy to be back. I’m just here so I don’t get fined.

  • jdoepke

    Looking forward to another fun year. This is the year I break through into the playoffs….here goes.

    VaTech +11 (AP)
    AZ St +3
    Wiscy +11
    Louisville +10.5
    Northwestern + 12
    Temple +6.5 (Essay)

    I don’t pretend to know much about either of these teams but my man SVP (60% last 2 years ATS) and Stanford Steve (60% ATS last year) both picked the Temple cover and the line seems low. I would prefer at 7 but we’ll gamble in week 1. 79% of bets on Penn St but 59% of money on Temple means public is on PSU. This game checks all of my boxes early. PSU 23 – Temple 20

  • HitTheHorns

    WVU -19.5
    Temple +6.5
    Marshall -8.5
    Mississippi State -21
    Virginia Tech +11

  • trashycamaro

    Hey Kanick – do we have access to the spreadsheet of game outcomes, picks, etc.? I’m sure its up there somewhere, but I can’t find it. Thanks!

  • Oh baby, those quarter points for a college-week push are going to be the edge I need in the future. I can feel it.

  • thatsfine

    CMU +24 (win)
    Kent +14.5
    BGSU +20.5 (essay)
    WMU +18
    Akron +31.5
    OSU -11

    Essay
    I think the MAC is undervalued this week. Too bad Ohio State is the All-Play, or I’d bet a MACtion ticket straight down the line. BG is returning 11 starters from last year’s opening day offense. For those who don’t follow college football closely, that’s everybody. Matt Johnson makes his return at QB, they bring back solid skill position players to support him. Tennessee has 2 injured receivers and one who is suspended. Beginning next week, the Vols face 4 consecutive ranked opponents (including UGA and Bama). I think BG catches them looking ahead here and keeps it close.

  • Jonathan MacDonald

    Back for more…

    Essay: Auburn -10.5
    Texas A&M -3
    UCLA -19.5
    Penn St -6.5
    Washington +12
    OSU -11

    It’s a funny time of year for the college game. The pros have some worst to firsts as well as some constants (Redskins, Jets will be disasters, Pats will be at least 11-5), however college is hard to predict. Programs usually don’t come out of nowhere to succeed although the converse is true – perennial winners can find themselves wishing they had an extra cupcake game to get bowl-eligible if their graduating class wasn’t replaced well.

    With my first Cheddar essay, I’m going with Auburn. Louisville is usually good, but isn’t Auburn in the SEC and doesn’t that mean they should just be automatically awarded the victory?

  • Dave Borcas

    I vow that my second year in Cheddar Bay will be much better than last years. I owe the dismal finish to the terrible start in weeks 1-5. Once I got my picking housed in order, Sparty was one of the better teams for me. They twice won me my easy pick, so why not call on an old friend to get off to a quick start. MSU is starting the season with their highest ranking ever and don’t think they don’t know what they need to do it. Future Browns quarterback Connor Cook also looks to be a Hessian candidate and needs a hot start with Oregon on the docket next week. Betting wise Sparty was an impressive 8-1 when favored by more than 10.5 in 2014. This shows they are very comfortable as a favorite. On the field MSU offensive line outweighs the WMU defensive line by an average of 41 pounds each. It also doesn’t hurt fan wise that Sparty is playing only 60 miles from home.

  • TheKardiacKid

    All Pick: OSU -14 over Virginia Tech

    TCU -14 over Minnesota

    Michigan State -18.5 over W Michigan

    Ohio -10 over Idaho

    Kentucky -13.5 over UL Lafayette

    Essay: PSU -6.5 over Temple

    As fall arrives and temperatures start to cool. The days begin to shorten like a freshly signed Ray Farmer Wide Receiver. We should all take time to reflect back and remind ourselves that no longer are we shackled by the pains of watching Michael Bourn ground out to second. Hope and Faith Hill (Damn you Carrie Underwood) have returned to old Cleveland Town. Football season has finally come. Welcome Home and Good Luck! Bill O’Brien leads PSU to a big road win.

  • Mikey

    With my first ever essay obviously going with a home pick. PSU -6 “@” Temple. The games in Philly always turn out to be home games for the Lions, who gives a shit about Temple football? Al Golden didn’t even want to be at games. The first game of Hackenberg’s showcase season, second year and James Franklin’s system, all this adds up to PSU in a rout.

    Also took Ohio, Kent, Wisconsin, VaTech, and Michigan.

    Did I do this right?

  • RDGinCLE

    One of the biggest stories from last year, at least one of the ones people remember, is that TCU was the last team without a chair in the long season of Duck Duck Goose. They scored shit loads of points, yes. They are back with a chip on their shoulder is the narrative Im sure. No reason to think that isnt bought and paid for in this line, so lets get under the hood a little.

    Jerry Kill is doing a nice job in Minnesota, as evident by the recent extension he signed. They are coming off back to back 8-5 seasons, including last years tight 31-24 loss vs eventual champion Ohio State. Nobody is going to confuse them with a national championship contender, but they arent a pushover. So here we have them in a night game, at home – in a city environment which, i think is safe to say, doesnt exactly suit the sensibilities of the fine folks from Texas, albeit their campus is just outside Fort Worth.

    Whats more significant here? Come playoff time nobody (including the selection committee) is going to care if they won by 14 or 34 against this Minnesota team back in September. Gary Patterson knows this, and there is no reason to think he will open up the play book or run up the score against his good friend Jerry Kill’s team on opening night. This couldnt be more evident by looking at last years matchup, where TCU held a 24 point half time lead and eventually won by 23. Paterson will want to win to be sure, but not to embarrass his good friend.

    How good of friends are the two coaches? Kill was in Patersons wedding party.

    Speaking of weddings, Im about to board a plane for the wedding of my little brother, former Cheddar Bay participant, and all around awesome guy – one Mr Bobby Slick. Where is this wedding you ask? Minneapolis Minnesota. Hard to imagine the wedding of my favorite dude on the planet wont have enough good karma to spill over onto the Golden Gophers tonight.

    Minnesota +15

    Fuck it. Minnesota is my play of the year. Lets go.

    • !!!!! Good luck!

    • RDGinCLE

      Will add:

      Wiscy +9.5 Bama Bama Bama, I know. Whos playing QB for them? Wiscy should be able to keep it on the ground for a long enough time to keep it close.

      OU -30.5 Stoops lives for September games vs Akron

      VT +11 VT will have to actually complete a vertical pass or two, but their defense is legit.

      • Matt Borcas

        I LOLed at “Stoops lives for September games vs Akron.”

      • Missing two picks. You can still get a pick in on Marshall -8.5 v Purdue.

    • clayII

      great call. wish i read this before the game

    • bupalos

      You don’t need a chair in duck duck goose. I’ve researched this extensively. And if this was a deliberate mistake it’s an even bigger problem for me.

  • Chris Schroeder

    All Pick: Ohio State -14
    over Virginia Tech

    Vanderbilt
    -2.5 over Western Kentucky

    Michigan
    State -18.5 over Western Michigan

    Boise
    State -10.5 over Washington

    Penn
    State -6 over Temple

    Essay:
    TCU -14 over Minnesota

    Time:
    9:00 pm Et Thursday September 9th 2015, Location: Minneapolis, MN,
    Venue: TCF Bank Stadium, Weather: 78 degrees Mostly Clear, humidity 78
    percent & 9 mph out of the East. Mascot: The Horned Frog (SuperFrog) vs.
    The Golden Gopher (Goldy Gopher). Fun Facts: The horned frog is
    actually a lizard. The Golden Gophers really had none…sad. The Game: First of all TCU is predicted to beat the all
    time scoring record for a season (so that might make you lean a little towards
    only being favored by 14 to a mediocre Big Ten West team). TCU is returning 15 starters from a team that
    got snubbed by the college football playoff committee. Trevone Boykin will start slow in the 1st
    quarter then have a field day in the last 45 minutes. Returning starter Mitch Leidner will have a
    decent season debut but nothing that will match up to the speed and flash of
    TB. With that my glad to be back into
    The Cheddar looking forward to the ups and downs. Good luck to all and enjoy the season
    gents.

  • Dang this thread is already so live. Start me off with North Carolina +2.5 over South Carolina on the seemingly sound advice of HtH’s local bookie. Always wary of the 2.5 point favorite, anyway.

    Additionally, because I am an idiot, I took Michigan over Utah when they squared off last year and watched the whole game at the downtown Cleveland Winking Lizard sitting next to a Michigan grad/fan. It was far and away the worst football-watching/wagering experience I’ve had in at least two years. We’re talking Shurmurball-level suck on Michigan’s part in that one. Whatever long-term impact Harbaugh will have, I’ll play the short-term impact of Hoke being gone tonight. With the public on Utah I’ll say Michigan can keep it within 5 in the mountains tonight. At least they should be able to play defense. I’m not wild about the pick but this is one of the best games on TV this opening week and I’ll get to watch. So Michigan +5 over Utah. Always wary of the 5-point favorite as well.

    Both of these for one point. I’ll be back over the next few days with the rest of the slate. Good luck to all!

    • 3 interceptions each in a pair of 2-point ATS losses was an emphatic welcome from the football gods. Jeepers. Why didn’t I roll with RDG’s POTY? Let me fill out the rest of my slate and be done with this week-1 college-football-picking fuckery.

      Illinois -14.5 over Kent State: It’s a good thing that Beckman is gone, right? http://deadspin.com/tim-beckman-fired-for-forcing-players-to-play-through-i-1727270722

      Stanford -12 over Northworstern***: To hell with my union-busting, bloody-flag wearing alma mater. This is one of the worst stories you’ll ever read. http://deadspin.com/kain-colters-union-battle-cost-him-more-than-he-ever-ex-1724831203 Incorporated by reference as my essay.

      Temple +6.5 over Penn State: Seems safe per what TA said.

      Va. Tech +11 over Ohio State: Ditto.

      Oh and Kanick, I accidentally clicked on Utah in the form when I meant to pick Michigan (as is made clear by my comment above), so as of now I have zero points, not 0.5. Thanks and sorry about that. OK, see everybody next week.

  • Nick

    Cheddar me timbers here we go:

    Nebraska
    TAMU
    S. Carolina
    Tennessee
    AP: OSU
    Essay: TCU -15 vs Minny. TCU averaged 45 pts per game last year, and Boykin returns as a senior to be their starting QB. Minny averaged 28 pts a game in 2014, and lost key play makers to the NFL, they also don’t have a quarterback last time I checked. The Gophers lost 30-7 at TCU last year. It’s
    going to be worse this time around and with a heat index of 86, it’ll feel more like home for the horned frogs than it will for Minny. I love Minnesota and can’t wait to take Jerry Kill’s squad in October when they are a dog on the road against a big 10 opponent. But this is not their place.

  • ALL, the line I’ve got locked in for WKU/Vandy is:

    WKU -3 at Vandy

    believe you me, if the site i used for the lines had a number under 3 i’d take since it’s my essay too.

    • Screenshot:

      • AH HAH!!! I *knew* I saw a line on the game but when I went to play it I only saw (see attached).

        WKU -2 it is!

    • zarathustra

      I’ll let mine ride either way. No official change from me due to line confusion on wku

  • What have I done.

    All Play – VTech +11. I don’t know. Fade the public.

    Tulane +7.5 vs. Duke. Happy 10 Year Anniversary of Katrina.

    Minnesota +15 vs. TCU. Because I like Gophers and I don’t like TCU.

    Washington +12 vs. BSU. I can never remember which Washington team I like, but I do know it’s the purple one, and I went the distance to Google it this week.

    BGSU +20.5 vs. TSU. Now that this is my pick, they’ll lose by 21. I hate this spread.

    *Essay*

    Western Kentucky -2 vs. Vanderbilt.

    My office, a turn of the century craftsman style house, is located on the edge of Vanderbilt’s campus; steps away from the football stadium. Over the last few weeks the question in the office pops up, “has Vandy named a starting quarterback yet?” The inflected final word lingers in the air until someone shakes their head and musters a “nope.” Just now someone said, “but isn’t that what Ohio State is doing?” Yes, yes it is. But it’s different. One program has too many viable options and one program is trying to figure out if they have even one.

    This obviously calls for a reality competition show.

    Coach Mason stands outside of the Vanderbilt Stadium as each quarterback contestant pulls up in increasingly obnoxious luxury vehicles to greet him. By the end of the competition, only one of these young men will receive the final rose, I mean, starting position.

    Before the players arrive, a flashback video rolls. We see the ghosts of Vanderbilt’s Quarterback Past (Year.) We see Stankavage getting speared in the knee during the Vols game. Then, the departure of Stephen Rivers, breaking up with the Commodores and taking his talents to Northwestern State. You know…the one in Louisiana…the Demons. Finally, we see Robinette saying, thanks but no thanks, as he lights the dumpster fire and walks away with the flames roaring behind him.

    Mason wipes the tears from his eyes just in time to stand tall as the first eligible QB-testant pulls up. Johnny McCrary stumbles out. Did he pregame for this? Mason wishes he had thought to, as well. McCrary and Mason have a history. He had so much potential, a four star recruit, only to break hearts, and the backs of the defense-men with his errant throwing and hurriedness. But his name is Johnny McCrary, Mason thinks to himself, that’s SUCH a good quarterback name.

    The next car, a Yukon with Florida plates, drops off Wade Freeback. Mason is unsure where they stand. He checked Wade’s twitter before the filming began, but the last original tweet was, “just bowled a 132 #blessed” – not very helpful. Wade looks up at him without making eye contact, they both shrug. Wade shuffles into the stadium. Mason thinks to himself, he sure does look like a quarterback.

    Finally, a fog rolls in, and emerging from the mist is Kyle Shurmur. Bonnie Tyler walks into the frame, at first singing softly, then coming in loud and clear for the chorus, “I need a hero!” He’s got the physique, an offensive maven of a father, the skill training, but does he have the maturity? He walks up to Mason, with a sparkle in his eye, offers a firm, confident handshake, and says, “pleasure to meet you, Coach.” Is this the fresh start Mason had hoped for? But he’s so young. Starting him too soon could ruin him forever, but not starting him also seems pretty crazy.

    Who will Mason select? The wild but experiencde McCrary? The once-immature but perhaps now developed, Freeback? Or the true, yet promising, freshman, Shurmur?

    Tune in to find out.

  • trashycamaro

    SoCar -2.5 over NoCar
    Michigan +5 over Utah
    TCU -14 over Minnesota
    Hawaii +7.5 over Colorado
    OSU -11 over VaTech
    Essay WKU -2 over Vandy
    Hilltoppers have been my team ever since they beat the crap out of an SEC rival (Kentucky?) a couple years ago. This is not really an essay; more a hope to improve my first week performance with a sport I pay little attention to (CFB). Last year I think I managed .25 points (cancelled UF game) and I think I put up an ofer the year before. So any points will be welcome. (100 words yet?) really don’t trust anything I have to say. That said, get on the Harbaugh bandwagon while it is still cheap; Colorado is traveling multiple time zones to get to Hawaii; Minnesota and North Carolina suck at football. WKU have swung 4.5 points in WKUs favor, so that’s a good indication to go with WKU. Choosing OSU so at least I won’t lost to a bunch of homers. Substantive analysis for real football games available next week. Good luck everyone.

  • zarathustra

    As recently as a few days ago I honestly was leaning toward sitting it out this year, but here I am chasing Thursday action….
    I like about 8 games and none really stand out above the others. I like Utah, Minnesota, WKU, Colorado, WMU, Virginia, A&M, and Purdue.
    For my official picks I guess I’ll go with:

    Va Tech +14 over Buckeyes
    Everybody knows the Buckeyes are going to awesome and they’re playing with revenge. They’ll probably win by 40, but laying two touchdowns on the road against a very good defense is something this degenerate does not do.

    Utah -4.5 over Michigan

    Minnesota +14 over TCU

    Virginia +17 over UCLA
    Fading a true freshman qb making his first start. The 17 extra points is nice though.

    Colorado -8 over Hawaii

    WKU +2.5 over Vandy
    This is most definitely based on the strength of our fine host’s essay, but ultimately it is about riding these godforsaken Kentucky hillbillies until I get my money back from that damn bowl game. There simply must be cosmic payback to those of us who suffered through that debacle. Merry Christmas gambling gods. Merry fucking Christmas! Now give me my money back damn it.

  • CLEVTA

    Welcome back everybody.
    1. UNC +2.5
    2. Utah -5
    3. ILL -14.5: Im a contrarian. love taking advantage of turmoil for the positive. Lunt can sling it, Ferguson is a solid RB and look its still Kent St on the road. I’ll take advantage of the extra points after Beckman got canned
    4. BG +20.5: Welcome back Matt Johnson
    5. Va Tech +11 (all play): hate to do it but my Bucks will be overvalued all season and playing in Blacksburg with all those offensive losses will be tough. OSU will have to contend with yet another Fuller at CB locking down Michael Thomas. I see something like a 26-17 W
    6. Temple +6.5 (Essay): Little known fact. Temple was a top 20 defense last year, only allowing 4.8 yds/play and they return every single defensive starter and most of their backups. They will only get better and will be stingy. Their offense kind of stinks but PJ Walker is a good dual threat QB who can make some plays. I love Hackenburg but that PSU OL was awful last season and Temple should be able to get pressure. I’m not a recruiting guy but unless PSU picked up some 5 star WRs, I have no clue who can make plays on offense for them. Last season, Hackenburg only put up 12/26 for 112 yds, 0 td, 2 ints in the game v Temple. The game was tied 6-6 late in the 3rd at PSU until they scored on a pick 6 and pulled away. This looks to be a low scoring grind it out game and I’ll take the points here

    • OOOH MATT JOHNSON!!!
      completely forgot about him.

    • Petefranklin

      Love Temple….hate the cheddar #

  • thatsfine

    Happy to be here. Reality football is the best.
    Let’s start with CMU +24

  • Hey all — if I get a form reply indicating you want a game but not a comment indicating you want that game, I will have dilemma in need of adjudication. So please be sure your form picks are accompanied by your intention in the comment thread.

    • thatsfine

      Mike, sorry about that. Just got pulled away from the work computer there…. er… not that I’m doing this at work. I wouldn’t do that.

      • haha, yes it was you. but this will definitely come up again.

  • HitTheHorns

    **Essay North Carolina +2.5**

    Great to be back – Cheddar is the best. This is year 3 for me. Last year I held my destinty in my own hands in the final week, and blew my playoff spot on my hometown WVU Mountaineers. Full disclosure – the past 2 years, I have done Cheddar with a friend. Typically he would pick the college games, and I picked the NFL games. He didn’t really explain why he didn’t want to participate this year, but I am pretty bummed about it. Either way, we will move forward and see what I am made of. First essay of the year is UNC based on the advice of my local bookie. I asked him why UNC was his favorite game of the weekend…his response was “I have my reasons.” Good enough for me! Noticed this trend on the lines we use for Cheddar: games that “current” at -2.5 ALWAYS open at -1. Any idea why that is? My novice assumption was always that the points are meaningless in this kind of game and you pick who you think will win outright. I’ve lost the first essay 2 years in a row, so avoid this pick. **ONFIELD ANALYSIS THAT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH PICKING FOOTBALL GAMES AGAINST THE SPREAD: Gene Chizik will have the Tar Heels balling out on D! Marquise Williams is going to become a household name after putting up 45 on a national stage!

    Back later with more picks.

    • HitTheHorns

      Hey Mike, the drop down won’t allow me to just submit 1 game.

  • chuckycrater

    Hello everyone. If Disqus is finally showing my new handle of “mmmmsnouts” and you don’t recognize me, this is the USF artist formerly known as chuckycrater, back for Year 3 of donating uhhh I mean participating in this wonderful contest. LET’S GAMBOLLLLL!

    South Carolina -2.5 vs. North Carolina: Think the Gamecocks control the line of scrimmage with ease here. And I don’t think many UNC fans are showing up to this overpriced boondoggle in Charlotte.

    Alabama -11 vs. Wisconsin: Think Bama controls the line of scrimmage with ease here. And I don’t think many Wisconsin fans are showing up to this overpriced boondoggle in Arlington.

    Minnesota +15 vs. TCU: I like the Frogs, but this is a lot of points for a quality home dog and TCU lost quite a few guys on defense.

    WKU -3 vs. Vanderbilt: Probably not the last time I back Brandon Doughty as well as future USF coach Brian Brohm.

    ALL PLAY – Ohio State -11 vs. Virginia Tech: Seems like a lot of wishful thinking re: Hokies. If
    the Buckeyes get a decent lead they can take the crowd out of the game and cruise.

    Essay: Colorado -7.5 vs. Hawaii: If Colorado was in any other power conference, there’s no way
    the Buffs would be considered the worst team in that league. Last year they went 2-10, got destroyed by injuries, and lost close game after close game. They bring their QB and two top receivers back and they’re not that far away, but we may never find out how good they really are because the Pac 12 is so loaded. Hawaii, on the other hand, might be the next team to disappear from DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL completely. They’re in bad financial shape, which means they can’t get any good assistants and can’t leave Hawaii to recruit. And they’re also stuck with Norm Chow, who hasn’t done anything worth a damn in like a decade. Colorado’s program is trending up, Hawaii’s is spiraling down. I think those trends continue for at least one night.

  • Capitalgg

    Week 1:
    1. Penn St. -6.5 @ Temple: Wait. This is a real line? Is there something I don’t know about Temple?
    2. Alabama -11 v. Wisconsin: QB questions for Bama. Continuity questions for Sconnie.
    3. North Carolina +2.5 v. South Carolina: Hatin’ Ass Spurrier helping the ACC’s SOS.
    4. Mississippi St. -21 v. Southern Miss: Heisman candidate v. awful team.
    5. Utah -5 v. Michigan: You don’t go into the mountains and beat Utah. Period.

    Essay:
    Ohio St. will probably never put together a run like they did in the last 3 games of last season. Heck, no one ever may put together a run like that. Beating the top 3 Heisman Trophy finalists back-to-back-to-back. Keep in mind, Ohio St. wasn’t just the better team in both the last 2 games, they were by arguably a significant margin. They lost they had critical turnovers. Got themselves way behind against Bama. And still controlled both games. They did so by controlling the line of scrimmage.

    If you go back to week 2 of last season, when the B1G’s season was written off for dead, Ohio St’s fall to Virginia Tech was a product of several things.

    1. Virginia Tech played their absolute best game (scored 35 points 1 time the rest of the season).

    2. Ohio St. suffered the Navy hangover (teams were 1-6 in the immediate week after playing Navy last season).

    3. Ohio St.’s offense (especially) the offensive line had not gelled.

    The “Bear” front Bud Foster through at Ohio St. was un-counterable because a very young team was still in the learning each other’s names phase. What happened after that early season loss is the stuff of novels. What is important is that offensive line went from giving up 7 sacks while rushing for an astonishing in retrospect 108 yards to, excuse my possible hyperbole, being the most dominate unit in college football by season’s end. That oline returns 4 starters from a year ago including consensus project early first round NFL draft prospect LT Taylor Decker.

    And while the team is barred from using the term revenge, that is exactly what this team has in mind. That one blemish, while responsible in my opinion for last season’s turnaround, sticks with this ultra-competitive group. VaTech simply does not have the horses to match-up with a focused Buckeye squad. This game won’t be close. I predicted OSU might score 70 back in the spring. The suspension of seemingly the entire receiving core definitely adds to the degree of difficulty, so the Bucks may only score 50. Either way, the Hokies aren’t scoring 35 again, so it’s the Buckeyes (-11) in a romp

    Bonus Picks (for entertainment purposes only):
    Tennessee -20.5 v. Bowling Green: Are the Vols back? We’ll find out if they handle their business here.
    BYU +7 @ Nebraska
    Louisville +10.5 @ Auburn
    Arizona St. +3 @ Texas A&M
    UTSA +32 @ Arizona: Styles make fights. UTSA lost by 32 1-time last year because their tempo doesn’t lead to blow outs.
    Purdue +8.5 @ Marshall: Make or break year for Darrell Hazell
    Central Florida -13.5 v. Florida International
    Colorado -7.5 @ Hawaii

  • at CMU +24 OkSt
    at GaSt -8 Charlotte
    at NU +12 Stanford
    at Okla -31.5 Akron
    AllPlay: OSU -11 at VaTech
    Essay: WKU -3 at Vandy

    Quick and dirty early season essay on a game that checks more boxes for early season variables than most.

    Experienced QB: Brandon Doughty is like a sixth year red-shirt or something. The guy is 6-4/220 and had 49 passing TDs last year. Why didn’t he hop into the draft last year and compete with Grayson/Mannion/Petty for a third round grade? It’s gotta be because he figures another year in a high-octane offense in a defense optional conference will bump him into the second or first round. Whatever, WKU has an experienced, talented NFL prototype QB.

    Coaching stability: Jeff Brohm is an OC HC with a year at HC behind him and the year before that he was OC/QB coach under Petrino at WKU. What the Browns wouldn’t give to have the stability and continuity between coach and quarterback as the WKU Hilltoppers.

    (versus) Coaching instability: Derek Mason is a blow-in from Stanford after the special James Franklin left for PSU. His first year indicates he may be a resume hire. But it turns out there’s an explanation:

    I had a sheet that I had been looking for for the last 18 months,” Mason said. “Lo and behold, about two weeks ago, it popped up. I found it in my library of football books.”

    What he found was a detailed list of game situations and what he should do in each of them. According to his timeline, he had it when he accepted the job at Vanderbilt last January (or shortly thereafter). He was without it, though, when the Commodores went 3-9 and failed to win an SEC game for the first time in five years.

    “I had already gone through that list and really remembered a couple of items on there that needed to be checked off,” Mason said. “Now, I feel really good about what we’re doing and where we’re at.”

    Holy. Shit.

    Anyway, James Franklin had Vandy winning nine games in the SEC East back to back; Mason took that team and lost every SEC game by double digits.

    Home field: Game is in Nashville,,, that’s a one hour road trip from Bowling Green. Would not be surprised if this is a WKU home game.

    Righteousness: Vandy cost of attendance, $63,000/year; WKU ~$18,000.

    I’m still getting used to WKU leaving the Sun Belt but can’t hold a grudge. Too many check boxes for WKU.

    • Petefranklin

      WKU has a ton of injuries in this. ..3rd string RT is starting, and that defense is terrible.

    • I was so very tempted to weave in the paper situation into my essay but faltered. I’m I’m glad you made it happen.

  • Concierge

    week 1
    ODU -7
    Ohio -10ESSAY
    Vandy +2
    Ohio state -11
    colorado -7.5
    NIU -23

    OHIO ESSAY-
    How can I not take some MACTION in week one of the cheddar BAE… Ok so here goes.. Frank Solich returns 18 starters from last years team.. LOVE LOVE LOVE the defense on this Bobcat squad..they should have a field day vs an Idaho team that finished 1-11 last year… The vandals do return their QB Matt Linehan but he’s fucking awful. He threw 18 picks last year and he might throw 4 in this game. Bobcats all day. O-U.. OH YA!! -10

    • CLEVTA

      Cheddar BAE. I like what u did there

      • Concierge

        it should be a thing..

  • CLEinMPLS

    Mich +5
    MSU -18
    Auburn -10.5
    Tenn -20.5
    OSU -11
    PSU -6.5 (Essay)

    Ah, week 1 of Cheddar 2015. Glad to be back for my 4th season. Thanks to Kanick for putting this together again. I am awful at college picks, but I feel like this one just screamed to take it since it was less than 7. Hackenberg can really sling the rock, and against a program with inferior talent, I think PSU lets CH put on a display to start the season. I am sure James Franklin is sick of hearing all about Harbaugh and Urban. PSU is well positioned to be somewhat of a “sleeper” team around America. I don’t really know much about this matchup, but if an experienced Hackenberg can’t drop 3-4 TDs on Temple, then I will be a bit surprised. Game kicks at 330 which I like as well. PSU won’t be asleep. Could be the type of game that is close for awhile, but PSU should be able to wear them down in the 2nd half.

  • Petefranklin

    Tomorrow’s for sure are UNC ,Utah and Idaho.
    UNC is just a better team than USC this year.
    Same with Utah. The Utes punked Michigan last year, so why would Michigan all of the sudden be so much better on the line of scrimmage this year? Too much public perception point value is being given to Harbaugh’s name recognition in this one. Utah is the real deal this year, and they won’t have a problem covering 5.
    OU will win this game, but will have problems covering the very generous 10 points. Solich is too conservative and the travel from Athens to Moscow, or wherever, will be brutal. I’m thinking 2 hour long bus rides and 2 three hour flights. Add in some altitude and the Cats will stagger out of this with a small victory.

    • Petefranklin

      CMU +24 as well.

    • Petefranklin

      I’m going to take Idaho as my essay since they are getting 10 points in the contest. I know Linehart was awful last year and the Cats return a lot of starters but 10 points is just too many here. Last year it was the three interceptions that did the Vandals in. They were close throughout the game, they just came up short. I expect Solich just wants to get out with a win here, he doesn’t give a rats ass about a point spread cover. The backdoor should be wide open for Linehart as well here if the Cats do manage a solid performance in this one.

      • Petefranklin

        I couldn’t change my picks in the form Mike. Hope I’m not screwing things up for you.

        • I got it (Idaho = essay; Boise = regular pick). I thought I’d set it so you could edit after submitting (see jpg) so I’ll keep an eye to if anyone else has the problem.

          • Petefranklin

            Thanks and G.L.

      • Petefranklin

        The backdoor push was there until the idiot Vandals got an unsportsmanlike on the ensuing onside kickoff, letting the Cats have a easy score at the end.

    • Petefranklin

      Boise tonight on the blue turf will roll washington who had 4 of the first 44 NFL draft picks this year taken off of their defense. The Huskies don’t have a QB either.

  • HitTheHorns

    Mike, thanks so much for putting this together again. Hope you are feeling better and ready for a great season. One question – does the submission form allow us to stagger picks like in years past?

    • it does in that you’re not locked out after submitting.

      i’m a little concerned about how this will work in practice, but i’m also a little excited at the prospect of cracking the code and improving the automation.

      anyway, i ask that everyone make their base picks known in the discussion thread just to be on the safe side.

  • cwonder23

    All Play: Ohio State -11
    CMU +24 vs OK St
    UCF -13.5 vs FIU
    Vanderbilt +2 vs WKU
    Penn State -6.5 @ Temple
    Essay: South Carolina -2.5 @ North Carolina

    Welcome back to Cheddar Bay, everyone! Excited to be participating for a third year. I hope I can continue improving. South Carolina ended their season on a high note with a win against Miami (FL) in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl. The offense should put up enough points to guide the Ol’ Ball Coach to a victory on the road versus an average UNC team. The real test is going to be how Connor Mitch can start off his collegiate career. After a disappointing 2014, the Gamecocks should be poised to improve on their 7-6 record that saw them blow some late leads. I like SC in this one 24-17.

  • Oh man it’s so good to be back with this illustrious gang.

  • Capitalgg

    I’ve gotten and sone “fan” surveys with the Browns yearly. It’s trope yearly, (how many games did you attend? from how far?) , usually sent out in the dead time after the season and before the draft. I’ll go fishing through my email for it.

    Also, a guy in my section was on the fan advisory committee last season. @Marnecheck on twitter.

    • [Dammit.]

      Anyway lilOUmikey has been forwarding me his surveys too, so he’s first in.

      But what I’d really like to nail down is whether there was actually a survey that dealt specifically with the uniforms. Banner was talking about in May 2013, five months after he was hired (announced 12/31/2012).

      Thus it’s pretty unlikely some fan survey drove the uniform change; the uniform change was in place first and the surveys, such as they were, supported a decision already made. (ie, scheiner’s tweet that uni change was ‘in response to fans wants’ looks bogus.)

      • Capitalgg

        No worries, as I was going to decline a refund anyway. Just wanted to provide information.

        As you state, the decision for new uniforms was made first, then backed up the surveys. I recall the league badgering Randy when he owned the team to update the look, so I assumed when Jimmy took over that it was a matter of time and or best hope was to minimize the damage.

        Ultimately, my initial reaction to the uniforms was “that could have been worse”. With that being said, they are not growing on me after seeing them on my tv.

        But the players seem to really like them, especially the local guys like Whitner & Hartline. So that is a positive for the redesign.

        For me, there are things I really like: hello, consistent striping! And some things I hate: Wordmark on pants is very FCS. Things that don’t move the needle for me either way: Large Cleveland wordmark. But largely the changes weren’t really that drastic as Frownie pointed out in his “The Cleveland Browns are Impervious to Rebranding” article.

        But the successful Cleveland Browns of old are dead. Killed by 20 years of non-existent and dreadful football. That the great rebrand was a shade of orange and face mask color change tells me that despite wanting “radical”, the Browns realized going to far would alienate an iconic brand that had become stale due to neglect.

        This will raise the “majoring in the minor” argument, so I’ll counter with “stay in your lane” and ultimately that is where Alec Scheiner’s lane is. In a marketing meeting (where everyone wears link on Tuesdays without coordinating), rather than watching film and drafting a marketable QB.

      • humboldt

        “Fan Advisory Committee” being an all-too-suitable acronym…

        • humboldt

          “Fan Uniform Change Committee” would’ve been even better

        • Capitalgg

          From what I’ve heard, the uniform change was not vetted by the Fan Advisory Committee (though they might have been involved in some focus group stuff — I don’t have any actual info on that). What I do know is that the biggest change to come out of the committee is referring to the fan base in general as “Dawg Pound” instead of just the stadium bleacher section.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Florida State shall be giving more “reps” to Mr Golson than would be expected in a pre-season game. So, the score will be run up into the stratosphere, with “almost fast enough for the big time” South West Texas State University cornerbacks wishing they were born in Belle Glade Florida, so THEY could be the latest “Belle Glade Blaze”. This game will be really ugly, with over-matched kids from Texas at the low IQ school, in beautiful San Marcos, being out coached and “out roided” by a much more talented bunch of low IQ kids at Florida State. This may be the “Battle of the Guys Who Just Do Not Get It”. Another very important factor shall involve their strength and conditioning coaches. Florida is the Cheap Testosterone Cypionate capital of the USA, also, Boldenone Nandrolone, Winstrol, et cetera, they are even branching out into the recombinants. San Marcos is at a loss for the necessary medications. (Most of the PED’s in San Marcos are swept up by party going body builders.) First hand knowledge my friends.

    • im a little worried about entries being overwritten in the form (eg, someone inadvertantly enters their picks under ‘acto’), so please include your base picks with the essay submit. here’s what i’ve got for you.

      Arizona (CFB)Michigan StateKent StateTexasOhio StateFlorida State

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Sorry about that. You have my picks correctly assigned. Not that it matters….

    • I feel like people aren’t giving this first-hand PED knowledge enough respect here.

      • i did definitely gloss over this essay in the haste to square away the spreadsheet. deserved to be savored.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Is that the new sarcasm thing you have been trying out Frownie? I started calling out a certain well known doper in 1988 and their is magicalinterwebonline evidence to prove it. Why would you doubt me now? (I still love you anyway Frownie.)

    • Matt Borcas

      You got a recombinant hookup I should know about, Acto?

      • actovegin1armstrong

        About 20. They are coming out of the woodwork since one of the big doper PED’s is now a popular weight loss drug.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    I am in the lead baby!!!!

  • Ghost of Paterno

    Essay Pick – Penn State (-6.5) over Rutgers: First I want to thank everyone, or at least Mike for allowing even a Penn Stater to join Cheddar Bay. I joined 49% due to the fact that Cheddar Bay biscuits are delicious, and 51% at the suggestion of a friend. On to the nuts and bolts; I am the Ghost of Paterno, and new to Cheddar Bay, so the only choice for my essay game would be the PSU vs. Rutgers game. While it may be debatable as to whether or not Penn State has fully escaped the damage done by the Jerry Sandusky scandal. (May he rot in hell sooner than later) One thing is certain, the sanctions on Penn State are behind them. The team played extremely well under the circumstances during what was certainly the most difficult time in their storied history. With it all behind them and their starting QB to be a likely favorite as a Top 5 Draft pick in next year’s NFL draft, I’m expecting big things. This will be a statement game, a game where Christian Hackenberg proves he’s a top NFL prospect and put Penn State back on the college football radar. He will shake off his struggles from last year and help make Penn State the dark-horse of the Big Ten. Remember, it was Penn State that took the National Champs to 2OTs last year and I expect bigger, better things from them this year. Look out!

    All Play: VT Tech (+11) over OSU
    Other Picks: Stanford (-12) Over Northwestern
    Michigan (+5) over Utah
    Florida State (-29) over Texas State
    Chicago Bears (-2.5) over Cleveland Browns

    • OOPS!! All college picks this week! Scratch that Bears pick and give us another college.

      Welcome aboard and yeah, Franklin + Hackenburg + all-the-Harbaugh-spotlight-on-Michigan could have PSU sailing under the radar to a pretty great season.

    • RDGinCLE

      Glad to have another Penn Stater on board. But, FWIW, Penn State plays Temple this week.

      • Joe G

        I was posting some of my tickets for sale yesterday so I think that’s what had Rutgers in my head. Either way Nittany Lions are winners.

  • Question – regarding the form: What if someone wants to essay the All-Play? How should that be framed/submitted? Asking for a friend. 🙂

    • that’s a good question! put the essay pick in the essay box, and i’ll make the 5th question box able to accept all teams.