Wk 2, Cards -6 vs Pats.


Terrific opening week for Cheddar!  Big welcomes our nine new players and welcome back to Chris P. and backfromthedead.  On the other hand, we are sad to announce that long time stalwarts CleveLandThatILove and PeteFranklin1 are taking this year off.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 4.51.35 AM

Unreconstructed ass.

I won’t be writing a Browns preview blogpost this year but I can share my preview here in this run-on sentence: zero wins. For a different perspective, friend of the site Dave Kolonich has an unusually upbeat outlook (especially for him) posted here.  Dave’s embraced our no-nonsense coach who brooks no lollygagging by punters in coverage in pre-season games but who has no problem with three time loser receivers “shushing” targets unknown while losing 27-9 in same game.  (Why so harsh on Josh, Mike?  See this post from June 2013.  His recidivism is inevitable.)  If there is a righteous God, Joe Thomas will be traded to a Super Bowl contender.

All play is Pats +6 at Cards on Sunday night.
We took a look at the Thursday game but early all-plays can be tricky especially early in the year.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

  1. Pete (and TA and Squeeky) helped on a useful post from 2013 which is still worth a look — Be a Better Bettor. [back]
  • Chris P.

    Hey – I’m going to be out of town this weekend and want to get in my essay tomorrow as soon as I can, but I have something I’m STRONGLY considering for my pick of the year. What are the specifics on how to do that? That wasn’t here last time I was around. Is it something I can do at any point? Is it an essay pick that I just declare? Does it require a second essay? I’m good with any of those. Just looking for clarification.

    • Pick of the Year is just one essay (albeit usually an especially grand one). All else that needs to be done is declare it as so in the comments. Good luck, Sir!

      • HitTheHorns

        Please don’t pick the Browns, as I’ll get extra sad if they let down a POTY.

        • Chris P.

          Hmmm, I like to gamble. Getting hitched like Frowns and inheriting step kids… Eating at a Chinese Buffet… I’m always willing to risk it all…

          But betting Cheddar on the Browns is a step too far.

          Besides, I’d have to check back to my other two or three years of Cheddar, but I’d be shocked if I had many NFL essays at all. Most essays were my tribute to WACtion or Sun Belt fun.

        • Chris P.

          Besides – I’ve already got the essay ready. It’s a matter of going big or not.

        • pheasantpants

          OTOH, think of how epic hitting on a Browns POTY would be.

    • yes, just declare it as your POTY, and i’ll do the bookkeeping on the form (which is an additional 3pt for a win, 1.5 for a push).
      ill have this week’s post up tmrw am early, prob around 5am.
      fyi, all-play will osu at okla, line tbd.

      interest level raised to orange.

  • Matt Borcas

    Essay: 49ers +2.5 over Rams

    Of the 16 quarterbacks drafted in the top 10 from 2006 to 2015, only JaMarcus Russell and Jake Locker started fewer than 10 games as rookies. Jared Goff will likely join this prestigious club in 2016, which can’t bode well for his future. He’s looked completely clueless in the preseason (and on Hard Knocks), and it’s telling that the Rams have chosen to start Case Keenum — he of the ghastly 42.2 QBR in 2015 — instead. Keenum’s career record is 5-10, he’s surrounded by a decidedly below average receiving corps (was Les Snead high when he gave Tavon Austin a $42 million extension last month?), and will be playing behind PFF’s 28th-ranked offensive line. Because of this, the Niners will be able to overload the box on focus solely on stopping Todd Gurley. Plus, this isn’t even a home game for the Rams, so it’s not like the LA factor will come into play. And Chip Kelly is a massive upgrade over Jim Tomsula, despite his inexplicable decision to let the Mangenius go.

  • John

    a few questions for the first timer?
    1. what are the team names on top of the roster all about? (this week it has Dolphins, Giants/Cowboys (push), Lions)
    2. I’m feeling sheepish – but how does someone end with .3 points?

    • 1. the teams at top of roster of just the latest graded wins. i put it up the to indicate how current the standings are.
      2. a 0.3 the result of a week one push. week one, half points, so a win was worth 0.5; push worth 0.25. (it’s actually 0.25 in the formula and the .3 is a rounding function.)

      thanks for asking, it’s fun to get questions i know the answers to.

      • John

        cool. Thanks! #knowledgeispower

  • DQuatts

    DQuatts Essay:

    Skins +3

    I like this team. I like this offense. I really like this defense! I feel this is the winner of the NFC East division. The coaching staff is solid. The quarterback play is consistent. I don’t believe Pittsburgh will start the season clicking on all cylinders. They had an interesting offseason with contracts and suspensions. They had a bad offseason if you ask me. Also, this a great stage to get started on for Washington. Home Dogg. Love it. Gimme points and outright Skins Win.

  • bupalos

    Wentz wow.

    Can’t tell you how shocked I was when the St. Louis Los Angeles Rams of Anaheim/Oakland/ Galt’s Gulch paid a bajillion NFL units only to take WHO??! HE’S A POOR MAN’S TIM COUCH WITHOUT THE COMMERATIVE BOTTLE!!!
    I did think Wentz was a nearly perfect prospect possibly worth that price the Egoles paid. But I’m still surprised how he looks today. This is a REALLY good debut. Almost impossible to envision him busting.

  • bupalos

    Is Progressive trying to upscale or something and not be perceived as silly? Because GEICO is handing gressive it’s lunch. Marco Polo in a pool? Outstanding.

    Sorry Flo, gotta cut you loose.

    • have long wondered how thinly veiled misandry was expected to appeal to 50% of their target market.

  • bupalos

    Look, there’s no way I can create the essay that this basket of deplorables needs and deserves in 3 minutes and 12 seconds. Especially drunk. But I feel strongly that the sea chickens don’t deserve 10.5 points. So as I watch Cam irving’s snap sail out of the endzone, I will try to expand the reasons for this to 100 words while still promising that the tongue lashing that you MF’ers deserve is coming.

    Because NFL football is way too tight for 10.5 lines. Am I reading that right? There’s a couple columns, and one says like 7, that’s the open I think, and one says like 10 and some number with straight and curvy lines that I assume to be a 5. With a little dot. So 10.5? There it is. You had all these numbers people that said the first line and then all the non-numbers people were like “seachickens? I remember them from the super blah a couple times, they’s must be better! I’ll make my bank account great again by voting for them with money!!!”

    That’s it for now folks. I’ll be back.

    • bupalos

      BTW Wentz gunna be a playa. Too bad, so sad, but we’ll beat him in the 2019 Superbowl with the 12 players that pick gets parlayed into.

      • bupalos

        But ain’t no fakin on Wentz.

  • Chris P.

    You know, with the Indians being so good this year and playing with such spirit – and the Cavs winning it all – I almost forgot how much fun it was to watch the Browns.

    • bupalos

      >>> fun

      that’s what this is? You might be missing two letters.

      • Chris P.

        I’m good with it as written.

  • PJD19

    Skins +3
    Oakland +1
    Cowboys +1
    Rams -2.5
    Essay and AP Pats +6

    I was talking this week to a guy that lives in Boston and asked him about the Pats game and how Garoppolo would do as the starter. “I think he’ll do great, I’d be shocked if they don’t win”, was his response. The response was bias for sure, but more so representative of the belief that Pats fans, players, coaches all share that they will win all the time, no matter what. It’s remarkable, but hoodie has done an amazing job building a team and culture that expects to win, no matter what, even if their HoF QB is on the pine. The defense is stacked, JG has been learning behind Brady for a few years, 6 is too many. Should be a close game.

  • Dave Borcas

    Colts -3.5 (essay)
    The Colts were supposed to be the team that challenged for supremacy of the AFC last year. A horrible OL that led to a bruised and battered Andrew Luck changed all of that, sprinkled with a little bad D for good measure. With a retooled OL the Colts have realized they must protect the franchise to do anything. Complementing a solid QB is a young and fast R corps that I believe is ready to make their mark. The Lions on the other hand have lost their best player for the second straight season. A team that one looked like it had the pieces to make a move, are on their way down again. The Lions coach, Jim Caldwell, would fit in good with previous Browns regimes and their lack of ability to coach or build a cohesive football environment. This game should get the Colts off to a good start on their way to 10-11 wins.

  • Petefranklin

    Dare I say that on the day after Stipe’s marvelous performance, the Clowns will win? Yes. 216 in 2016! The clowns better of had this particular game zeroed in on all summer because of the draft ramifications. If they win one game all year it should be this one.

    • bupalos

      “If they win one game all year it should be this one.”

      This was your reason for thinking they would??!

    • actovegin1armstrong

      They win either way Petey. They just started the march to the April Brown’s Superbowl. They won and lost a position with the Philadelphia win.

  • UncleBuck

    I’ve got a confession to make; I’m in an abusive relationship. It’s not of a physical nature, but in some ways that hurts even more. Honestly, I’ve convinced myself that it’s my own fault, but I reckon that’s a symptom.

    Being a Buffalo Bills fan has lowered my self-esteem, and made me expect less for myself. I may be experiencing Stockholm syndrome, because I think they really care. In any event, I’ll watch the Bills with a blind faith that has kept me around so long.

    Tyrod is playing his old team, and the Baltimore sideline knows they’re about to face a dude. Sammy will shred that secondary, and I’m not worried about Joe Flacco. Buffalo should start 1-0.

    My own worst enemy

  • Matt Borcas

    College picks: Virginia Tech, Washington State

    • Matt Borcas

      Browns and Bills for the early NFL games.

      • Matt Borcas

        Pats in the all play.

  • Tim Butler

    Kentucky +17

    • Tim Butler

      Bills +3
      Titans +2.5
      Browns +4
      Lions +3.5
      AP: Cards -6

      One noticeable trend during the Bills 16 year playoff drought is that they love to give the fans (false) hope. During the drought the Bills have had a 5-1 start (finished 7-9) and a 5-2 start that included a rare win over New England (finished 6-10, ouch!). Last year the Bills came out in week 1 and crushed the “AFC finalists” Colts, sending the entire western New York region into a Rex-induced joy coma. They even got 2 cheddars to foolishly make the Bills over the Pats their POTY in week 2 (I was one of them). I see this year starting the same way, with a shootout win over Baltimore in the charm city. Take the Bills and the over.

  • oxr

    College pick: Middle Tennessee State +5.5 over Vanderbilt – shamelessly bandwagoning the essays by Chris P and Nick, plus Middle X State is even more fun to pick than Directional X.

    • not today. nothing has ever been more fun than directional today.

    • oxr

      Trying to get picks in earlier than usual this week before turning attention to Stipe Miocic’s title defense. Time for the most magical time of the season! Any success I have enjoyed in Cheddar has come from sneaking into the high 50s on NFL picks, so I’m hoping to improve on last year when I was, uh, somewhere other than that. But it’s week 1 and nobody knows anything, so let’s just shoot for some surprises:

      Lions +3.5 over Colts
      Bills +3 over Ravens
      Bucs +3 over Falcons
      Browns +4 over Eagles – lol

      All-Play/Essay Cardinals -6 over Patriots – Expected to agonize over this as a double-digit line; can’t in good faith shy away from less than a touchdown. No Brady, no Gronk, no Solder, nor Cooper, nor yet Vollmer; Garoppollo has looked shaky thus far, now starting on the road against what should still be an unpleasant defense; Cardinals perhaps discounted owing to their playoff meltdown last year and/or a belief on the part of the betting public that the Patriots are magic.

      Speaking of which, the only reason I can think of – and it’s not a completely unconvincing one, I have to admit – to pick against the Cardinals here is my despairing sense of being trapped in an aleatory universe in which Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels sit on a couple of barrels, flipping coins that always come up heads. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Now Starting On Your Offensive Line, For God’s Sake.

      • oxr

        I take it all back. They are magic, the bastards.

  • Dave Borcas

    Tennessee -10

  • I stayed single into my upper 30’s, waiting for the right lady to come along. Some would have said (did say) I waited too long, but it was a little less than a year ago that a certain lady had the chutzpah to enter this contest four weeks late “just to troll me,” as she puts it. God knows how, but through the season’s final 15 weeks her picks hit at a 60% clip, better than anyone else in the field, and she coined the term “football voting” in the process. She would have made the playoffs had she not started late or if she’d hit her pick of the year or a couple more essays.

    Naturally, I had to marry her. So we got hitched last summer and I inherited 2 daughters in the deal (now aged 5 and 7). Those who don’t know would probably be surprised how having a house to run and kids to raise can really organize a person’s life.

    Which is to say that my football budget and attention span are as tight as ever. So maybe it’s just as well that, to me, the real football-voting glory is to be found at the end of the season, when the narratives really start to pile up and unfold, evaporate, and etc. Until Thanksgiving or so, I’ll be content to tread water and learn as much as I can about the teams in the meantime. Which is also to say that tonight is the time this weekend when I’ll get to watch some football so tonight is where my football-voting efforts will be focused.

    Surveying the Saturday evening-slate, one sees prominently featured a Holy War in Utah and a Pilot Flying J-sponsored event at a damn racetrack. Nobody said being a parent would be a picnic. Digging a little deeper though, Hogs vs. Frogs in Texas looks like enough fun for me. Both Arkansas and TCU struggled against lesser competition last week, with TCU’s allowing 41 points to an FCS program (albeit a good one in S. Dakota St.) probably more concerning on the surface than the Hogs squeaking by La. Tech by a point. From the ESPN game recap:

    “Kenny Hill kept smiling Saturday night, even after interceptions on consecutive throws in his TCU debut. The junior transfer — almost two years removed from losing the starting job at Texas A&M — was just trying to keep the team’s spirits up despite an early deficit. Coach Gary Patterson had a slightly different view before the 13th-ranked Horned Frogs rallied and pulled away late in a 59-41 victory over South Dakota State on Saturday night. ‘I told him it wasn’t that funny,’ Patterson said. ‘Then after they scored a couple of touchdowns, then it wasn’t that funny. It’s not about how many yards, how many touchdowns. It’s about winning.’”

    Like fire and ice, these two. Anyway, despite all this, TCU has rocketed from 4 point favorites to 9.5 at the books, giving some value to the 7.5 Cheddar number. So that, the better coach, and the more experienced and more trill QB will do it for me tonight.

    I’ll also ride along with the inspiring Illinois (+9 over UNC), and MTSU (+5.5 over Vanderbilt) essays (I already had Illinois on my list anyway), and will take Iowa State (+15.5 over Iowa), Tulsa (+29 over tOSU), and in the horrible All-Play game, I’ll take the Patriots +6 based on the best line I’ve read in any football article all year: “Grass was never meant to be a sign of affluence.” http://deadspin.com/why-your-team-sucks-2016-arizona-cardinals-1786047871

    A happy football-voting weekend to all.

    • zarathustra

      Congratulations! That’s great news.

  • noon
    1 cmu +21 at okst (pending)

    at appst -20.5 odu 75%
    tulsa +29 at osu 24%
    wku +28.5 at bama 28% one of these two will fall asleep in anticipation of next week’s game. just don’t know which.
    akron +24 at wisc 54%

    at wash -37 idaho 91%

    at usf -15 niu 52%
    at sala +13 gaso 27%
    2emu +25 at mizzou 86% the part where mizzou hasnt scored 25 points in a year talks to me; the public action on EMU over any SEC team (EMU?!) concerns me.
    at iowa -15 isu 56%

    3essaywazzu +10.5 boise 56%
    ok i had a whole thing written up at wazzu’s losing to portland state last year then going on to lead college cheddar in ATS wins. that they lost to eastern wash last week in exactly the same way as they did vs portland (3rd quarter nap). that leach has not won an opener since arriving in pullman. and that i think luke falk is the most pro-ready qb in college today (and the corollary that the browns are tanking too early and will miss out on the next andrew luck who will be draft eligible in 2017). but it’s essay day and the certainty i felt a week ago
    is softening… this is boise after all.
    but my fallback essay was emu who is inexplicably a big public play for the first time since the invention of the steam engine. and i do think wazzu has proven bad openers can be a plus for them and i do think their loss plus boise’s gaudy win over laffy makes for an artificial line.

    at oregon -24.5 uva 87%

    4at jags +5.5 pack 17% gus bradley breaks out this year.
    5vikes -2.5 at titans 47% laquon treadwell. not starting? not starting this week but his rise is inevitable. anthony barr also.
    6pats +6 at cards 22%

  • bupalos

    In case anyone thought the field was clear for them to win because Bupalos didn’t show up, WHAMMO! Currently sporting a 100% hit rate on my pick(s)* and busy formulating the freshest, most perceptive week-2 slate imaginable, as well as an essay that will shake this unholy field like a toxic fracking quake!

    For today, an all home-favorite slate
    TCU gives 7.5, Duke gives 5, Navy gives 4

    *and yes, mgmt, that week-1 coup, conducted in the face of overwhelming data-desert odds, was clearly an essay-free essay-pick, please adjust accordingly

    • I was sure you’d wait for tomorrow morning for your grand entrance.

      • bupalos

        This is just the announcement of my grand entrance. It will take some hours before the tittering crowd hushes and I truly shine forth.

  • pateslvrblk

    Western Kentucky +28.5
    Texas Tech +3
    Pats +6
    ***South Florida -15 over Northern Illinois

    Year four of the Willie Taggart era at South Florida got off to a rousing start last Saturday as the Bulls annihilated Towson by way of 56-20 beat down. Don’t sleep on Taggart who after rebuilding Western Kentucky during a 3 year stint from 2010-2012 has improved every single year on the job at Tampa going from 2 and 10 in 2013 to 4 and 8 in 2014 and then 8 and 5 last season. Consider this the big time breakout season. Northern Illinois traditionally one of the Mac’s more successfull programs fell flat on their face last weekend to perennial doormat Wyoming losing 40-34 despite closing as 7 point favorites. Northern Illinois 0 and 4 against the spread over the last 4 games overall. South Florida 6-1 against the spread over the last 7 home games. Back the Bulls on this one.

  • zarathustra

    Syracuse (L)

    I loved Wazzu coming into the year, believing they have a legitimate shot at winning the conference. Last week’s loss to an fcs team doesn’t have me wavering at all. They did the same thing last year and ended up having a very nice season. Boise is probably better than last year, but there is no way I’m passing on the opportunity to get this many points with Luke Falk at qb in a game I think they can win outright.

    Whenever I’m reminded that Jim Grobe is now the coach at Baylor my thoughts always quickly turn to John L. Carr. Probably a swell guy who takes over a successful program in crisis to ineptly captain a sinking ship. Baylor is a program in decline. They are still super-talented this year, but with Grobe at the helm I believe they will underachieve. It was a fun ride these last few years and all, but I hear the echoes of a death rattle coming from Waco and aim to profit off of it. SMU in year two under Chad Morris should have the offense to stay within the number.

    Yes, the Jayhawks suck, but they are maybe improving. Maybe. This is more just playing the spot against Ohio. The Bobcats lost on the road last week in triple OT and the defense was on the field for almost 100 snaps. Now they are on the road again playing an uptempo offense that will have a great opportunity to wear them down.

    • zarathustra

      Today I like Ravens, Saints, Jets, and Chargers. Tomorrow I like Washington. Can only pick one of them though. Hmmm. Let’s go with the Jets. Have zero interest in picking either the pats or the cards, but I’ll just go into default mode and pick the pats as I often do.

  • ever panic when your picks/essay that were typed up in a text file vanished because your equipment rebooted and you failed to save? that’s me right. well panic is a strong word.

    CMU for starters.
    A: “bonemego. bonamego. BOH-nah-mee-GO. that’s it. emphasis on the GO. it’s lilting that way.”
    Q: what do you hear outside steve sarkisian’s pressbox booth an hour before kickoff.

    more later when i recover my undoubtedly stellar original picks.

    • bupalos

      >>>ever panic when your picks/essay that were typed up in a text file vanished because your equipment rebooted and you failed to save?

      This sounds like something I would claim.

  • thatsfine

    CMU +21
    Rest in a minute

    • thatsfine

      UNLV +26 (essay)
      Nevada +28
      Wyoming +24.5
      NIU +15
      Mike, I accidentally entered UNLV as pick 1 instead of my essay so I put NIU in the essay field. Can you please correct and make UNLV my essay in the spreadsheet? Thanks.

      UNLV looks like a different team with Nebraska transfer dual threat QB Johnny Stanton in the lineup. Granted, it was against Jacksonville State, but UNLV as a team ran for 280, and has a standout receiver in Devonte Boyd (last week 4/135 and 3TDs). Again, it’s hard to put too much into a win vs. an FCS team, but this is a team that is improved and it’s clear that a change at QB has made a difference. UCLA… well they’ll win this one and probably make it look easy. They are probably feeling let down after a slow start last week and would like to take it out on UNLV…. but they have a few key injuries on defense and once ahead by 20 will start to look ahead to next week’s trip to BYU and then Stanford at home. I see UNLV making it look respectable in the 4th quarter.

      • got it/all set.

      • thatsfine

        Pats tonight.

  • 1. Ohio U +2.5
    2. ND -28
    3. MTSU +5.5
    4. Texas -30
    5. Cardinals -6 (All Play)
    6. Air Force -18 (Essay)

    Essay: Air Force -18

    It’s shark week, at least for Air Force. That’s right, Air Force is playing a game today with a helmet meant to replicate a shark. How can a team wearing this uniform not come out and absolutely destroy the other team? These 12:00pm games are so underwhelming I might go watch Sharknado 4 to get pumped up for this one. As far as the football goes, I don’t know much about either team playing. In looking at last week’s results it appears GA St. could barely score on Ball St. 7 of their 21 points came from a defensive TD, leaving 14 points from the offense. Ball St. ran all over GA St, to the tune of 325 yards on the ground. Air Force’s performance last week doesn’t exactly inspire much either, as there are concerns about their secondary. Air Force clearly will go for the big play and even when they aren’t going for the big play I expect a run or two will end up in the end zone. Ultimately, as Oregon shows year in and year out, football is all about the fashion, and I can’t think of a better uniform to cover -18.

    • Texas is -28, not -30, for Cheddar purposes BTW, as to not confuse anyone. Additional edit… OU +3, not +2.5. Basically just ignore my post for actual Cheddar spreads it seems.


    EASTERN CAROLINA +4.5. They’ve won their last 5 against ACC teams, and they can score points.

    MIDDLE TENNESSEE +5.5. Traveling 40 miles up the road to Vandy for a virtual homegame against an offense that’s reached 20 points just seven times under Derek Mason. Gonna need more than 20 today, fellas.

    UL MONROE +46.5. Too. Many. Points. (Yes, I know they went 2-11 just a year ago.)

    CARDINALS -6. No Brady. No Gronk. Edelman somewhat banged up. No win for the Pats.

    $$$ COWBOYS +1. Riding the highs of finding what I believe to be the gem of this year’s QB class in Dak Prescott. Knew it well before it was clear to the public that he had 1st round talent and that he’d get overlooked primarily because he’s a big-bodied, physical player who played in a run-first offense under Dan Mullen. Well, none of that matters when you know what to look for. Was pumped when this kid landed in Dallas because I knew it meant he’d play sooner rather than later after an inevitable Tony Romo bump or bruise. Also knew Dallas had weapons in Dez, Witten, and at that point, Zeke, as well as one of the best offensive lines in football. Say what you will about ending up in the right place, but DP is primed to have a hell of a season, and it’s starting about 10 weeks sooner than I expected it to.

    • @603brown:disqus can you swap my essay pick from UL MONROE to COWBOYS please? Thanks!

    • John

      “I knew it well before the public did”….congrats? glory hog.

  • Ohio +3 vs. Kansas
    Pitt -6 vs. Penn State
    UL Monroe +46.5 vs. Oklahoma
    Kentucky +17 vs. Florida
    All Play: Cardinals +6 vs. Pats

    **Essay** Illinois +9.5 vs. North Carolina: When your cat steals pizza crust off your plate at 2 a.m. when you’re a bit more than tipsy, it’s adorable. When you wake up, hungover, to a pile of orange cat-puke the next morning, it’s repulsive. Much like tea leaves, kitty vomit does not lie. The bright orange pigment reminded me it was college game day and I should probably submit the Cheddar picks I mulled over the previous night. This was a rough slate of fairly uninspiring games.
    I still refuse to believe North Carolina is anything but a basketball school, and since I’ve been supporter of the Illini, they haven’t been an anything school. I watched 30 minutes of a “Big 10 Preview Special” a few weeks ago and the Fighting Illini were never mentioned. Not once. Even Maryland got some shoutouts. Lovie Smith being their coach now is mentionable. Illinois’ QB is Wes Lunt, and I haven’t figured it out yet, but there’s some quality wordplay to be had there. I’ll work on it. It’s more about their running game anyway. Georgia really put a hurting on the Tarheels last week but I don’t buy into the “coming back with a vengeance” narrative – not against Illinois, in Illinois. High of 75, partly cloudy, tailgating and logistical kinks were worked out last week in Champaign, it’s going to be a close game. I’m not taking Illinois to win, just to cover the spread.

    Picks that didn’t make the cut but I still like:
    Tulsa +29 vs. OSU
    Connecticut +4 vs. Navy
    Bears +6.5 vs. Texans

  • Dave Borcas

    Purdue +7

  • Hawkaholic

    It’s hate week in Iowa City with the Clowns coming to town. ISU lost Matt Campbell’s first game as the Cyclone leader to perennial FCS powerhouse the UNI Panthers at Jack Trice. This is Iowa State’s annual Super Bowl and they typically will play the Hawkeyes tough, especially since Ferentz has been in charge. Hayden Fry won something like 15 straight against Iowa State but Ferentz hasn’t faired so well going 8-9 in the contest. Not today, Iowa will pound Iowa State at home and the hometown fans will have an average BAC of .18 after drinking all the Busch Lights in Iowa. If you haven’t seen Matt Campbell’s video trying to stir up excitement for his program you have to check it out, probably the most embarrassing video from a Power 5 team ever produced: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKSHEJwLTX8

    Anyways on with the picks:

    Iowa – 15
    PSU +6
    USC – 16.5
    Saints -1

    All Play:
    Cards – 6 – just too much going on in New England for them to pull out a W in the desert.

    Bama – 28.5

    Alabama beat USC by 46 points last week, if you think the Hilltoppers are coming into Tuscaloosa and keeping it within 4 touchdowns i’ve got a igloo in Phoenix i will airbnb you on the cheap. Too much Jalen Hurts/Blake Barnett early and then Bama’s massive offensive line led by Iowa native Ross Piershbacher (sp?) will lead the way for probably two 100 yard rushers in Damien Harris and freshman Bo Scarborough. Saban isn’t the kind of guy to take the foot off the gas so they will run it up on Western Kentucky, final score 66-14. Roll Tide

  • Peter Markos

    NIU +12 over USF
    I think USF win the game but just barely. USF cannot look past this game with FSU in Tampa next week. Mack will not play. The USF offense revolves around him. Thy will be much easier to defend without him in the game. No excuses though, a loss to NIU would be devastating, especially with FSU looming.
    Michigan -34.5 over UCF. Harbaugh will try to out Urban Urban today. Cupcakes on OSU and UMs schedule will suffer because Michigan is relevant again. UCF won last week but they are still weak.
    Atlanta -3 over Tampa Bay. If this game was later in the season, I would pick the Bucs. Asking the Bucs new additions to stop Ryan and his receivers in week 1 is a tall order.
    Bengals over Jets. The Bengals have as much talent as anybody. This is week one, not the play-offs, the Bengals will win. If the Bengals don’t win and struggle in offense, what does that way about Hue?
    Browns -7 over Eagles
    “So you are telling me there is a chance!” Yes, Lloyd Christmas, there is a chance. Yes, the
    Browns have 18 rookies but the Eagles are starting a rookie QB. Sam Bradford had most of the first team practice snaps. How prepared can Wentz be? IF RG3 cant outplay this guy…..
    Cards over Pats. The spanking the Pats deserve is coming. No Gronk makes it too tough for the kid. If Brady was playing, this would be a big win for the Pats on the road. I will save my Spygate rant for another day.
    Keep America Stable!

  • Concierge

    Rice +10
    Pitt -6
    Ohio +3
    NC State -4.5
    Zona -6

    Essay Purdue +6
    Cincy is just not as good as they have been in the past. They have had to replace every single leading WR from a year ago. Literally the top 6 Receivers from last year are gone. They went with Hayden Moore who looked very rocky in his first start vs UT Martin. Gunner Kiel is on the sidelines sulking and bitching about not playing. So every single bad throw that Hayden makes he will be thinking “am I gonna lose my job?” Thats bad for a QB room. UC can run the rock theres no doubt about it. Two dynamic backs BUT the OLINE is not the same. They lost their top Lineman to the Chiefs in the draft and the rest of the guys got pushed around by a bunch of FCS guys last week. UT martin moved the football with ease and should have won the game. To me Purdue getting nearly a touchdown at home is stealing. This is THE year for Coach Hazell to get it going or he’s done. They have an offense to move the ball. I think that Purdue wins the game outright in a high scoring affair.

  • trashycamaro

    College pick of the week:

    WKU +26.5 over Bama. What a sh#t week of college games. Some NFL’ers tomorrow.

    Big thanks to Kanick for taking care of my picks last week and the patience as we got through that stupid hurricane. Good luck everyone!

    • trashycamaro

      Jets +2.5 over Bengals

      Chargers +7 over Chiefs

      Bears +6.5 over Texans **essay** Way too many points here. It is really too early in the season to be pulling out stats, but the Bears have an improved o-line, return Jay Cutler, return a healthy Alshon Jefferies, have a nice set of 3 RBs to replace Forte, and have made some big strides on defense, adding in some NFL caliber linebackers and linemen.

      Meanwhile, JJ Watt is hurting, Brock Osweiler was allowed to straight up walk by a team with no other realistic options at QB, and is lining up a feature back that could never grab hold of the same job while with the ‘Phins.

      Are the Bears the better team? Probably not. Will the Texans make playoffs? 50-50 shot, but depends more on Luck than anything they do. Does any of this add up to the Texans should be favored by 6.5 at home? Not a chance.

      Cards -6 over Pats

      washington football team +3 over Steelers

  • cwonder23

    Essay (skipping this week): Tulsa +29
    Miss St -6.5
    Iowa -15
    N Carolina -9.5
    Pats +6
    Vikings -2.5

  • jpftribe

    Kansas – Son No 1 is now a Jayhawk, so if they lose this is on him.
    Middle TN – Vandy is terrible.
    Bills – Can’t believe this line.
    Bears – Don’t look now but Rick Smith is challenging the Browns for the best 2nd string QB collection in the NFL. Clowney, lol.
    Cards – Browns are a Garapolo injury away from seeing the guy they wanted over Kessler on the field.

    Essay – Giants
    Jerruh is the perfect representative of the billionaire ruling class. Clueless, arrogant and in complete denial. Romo, ha…ha ha…..bwahhhhhh. Sure let’s leave him on the roster so we can bring him back early, and finish off his career for good. ‘While you guys are playing with ‘squito peckers, we got bigger dicks to worry about.’

    Shoulda went up and grabbed Wentz and forced Sashi into a difficult EZE decision. Instead, Browns will get to play against Wentz and see the guy they passed on for Kessler start for the Cowboys. Rookie first game starts just do not go very well. I can only guess the line represents Eli completing a few to the Dallas backfield. Otherwise, this seems a no brainer to me.

  • clayII

    TCU (-7.5)
    Utah (-3.5)
    UNC (-9.5)
    Browns (+4)
    Pats (+6)

    monday night essay to follow

    • clayII


      49ers (+2.5)

      this boils down to taking the better qb at home and getting points. the rams d is nice, but they were most nice in that dome on that turf (i have no stats to back this). Keenum was the case that they gave me… blows and he beat out Goff? Gabbert looked to be on the right path towards being a career .500 qb late last season. this is what i get for putting things off

  • CLEinMSP

    Iowa -15
    USC -16.5
    Wazzu +11
    Akron +24
    Patriots +6 (All Play)
    PSU +6 (Essay Skip Week)

  • Troy Bunting

    Essay: Utah -3.5
    This is Utah’s world and byu’s living in it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-1RlfwrkdM

    I am a Utah man, sir, and I live across the green.
    Our gang, it is the jolliest that you have ever seen.
    Our coeds are the fairest and each one’s a shining star.
    Our yell, you hear it ringing through the mountains near and far.
    Who am I, sir? A Utah man am I A Utah man,
    sir, and will be till I die; Ki!Yi!
    We’re up to snuff; we never bluff,
    We’re game for any fuss,
    No other gang of college men
    dare meet us in the muss.
    So fill your lungs and sing it out and
    shout it to the sky,
    We’ll fight for dear old Crimson,
    for a Utah man am I.


    • This is a fine sentiment but I don’t think we can let it count as an essay.

      • Troy Bunting

        Revised essay:
        The Utah defense is just too good for BYU to win. Although they played 1aa last week they were the only power 5 to shut out their opponent. Both the O and D lines have been top ranked all through the pre season. The Utah offense will do just enough while getting their feet under them. The BYU D is soft and couldn’t hold a downward trending Arizona team out of the end zone consistently. The BYU O is dangerous with Tayson hill at QB but once the Utah D-line gets on him he’ll rattle. Utah wins.

    • John

      1. why do you hate Mormons?
      2. if this doesn’t count for an essay- then can we count it as a great haiku?

  • mmmmsnouts

    I’m holding one pick back until the last minute tomorrow see if Marlon Mack plays for USF. Here are the other three:

    Duke -5 vs. Wake Forest
    Vikings -2.5 vs. Titans
    ESSAY/ALL PLAY: Cardinals -6 vs. Patriots

    I was going to pick Arizona anyway, but the Gronk injury bumps this into essay territory for me. The Patriots offense simply doesn’t work without him. Even with Brady last year, they struggled to win games when Gronk was out of the lineup. How do you think this will go against a good Arizona team on the road, with Jimmy Garoppollo or Geppetto or Gargamel or whatever his name is? Add that to the Ninkovich suspension and Chander Jones feeling the #DISRESPEKT as he lines up for the Cards, and I predict this game goes very badly for New England. I think the outcome tips Belichick towards retiring roughly 10 seconds after Brady does.

    Lines I am not allowed to bet in this contest but like very much: Navy-UConn under, USF-Northern Illinois over.

    • mmmmsnouts

      My last pick will be the Washington Football Team +3 against the Steelers.

  • Capitalgg

    [All-Play] Patriots +6 @ Cardinals: Because Belichick?
    1. Pitt -6 v. Penn St.: PSU says “It’s not a rivalry”. Yeah, it’s probably not.
    2. Ohio +3 @ Kansas: This line is an overreation to KU’s win in week 1.
    3. Rams -2.5 @ 49ers: 49ers will battle the Browns for the #1 pick, Rams on their way to 8-8.
    4. Cincinnati -6.5 @ Purdue: Darrell Hazell is a nice guy, but Purdue is a very tough job.

    Week 1 in the NFL is usually pretty weird. Lots of upsets. No one knows who is who, so lines are all over the place. Teams that are expected to be good board the struggle bus. And the NFL has traditionally been a week spot for me in the contest. So obviously for week 1 of the season my essay will be NFL contest.

    I like the Chargers this season. Everyone is counting them out. The picks in this division are defending champs, Denver; rising upstart, Oakland; and perennial contender, Kansas City. See the Chargers aren’t mentioned. Then there is the move to Los Angeles that is hovering over the season. Should the team get off to a slow start, this season could quickly spiral. So I’ll be watching them closely at the ready to ride for or against them this year.

    But it’s early in the season, so I’m riding. I think KC is slightly overrated and a full touchdown feels like too many points against this Chargers squad.

    Chargers +7 @ Chiefs

    Other Considerations (3-5 last week):
    Ohio St. -29 v. Tulsa
    Notre Dame -28 v. Nevada
    Oregon -24.5 v. Virginia
    FAU +24 @ Miami
    Arizona St. -3 v. Texas Tech
    Vikings -2.5 @ Titans
    Browns -4 @ Eagles
    Bengals -2.5 @ Jets
    Saints -1 v. Raiders
    Washington +3 v. Steelers
    Buccaneers -3 @ Falcons

    • Capitalgg

      A couple notes after leafing through the picks already made:

      It looks like almost everyone is riding Zona in the all-play. That’s OK by me. Y’all zig, I’ll zag. Pats injuries and suspensions starting to add up though, so yikes!

      With that being said, I’m hoping my essay is not walking into a bad action play because there are a lot of Cheddar points taking the “sharp” angle in that one. Oh well, good luck everyone.

  • jdoepke

    Ok I’m on a golf trip so here it is quickly with very little rationale…
    Pats +6 (AP)
    Uconn +4
    Rice +10
    W. KY +28.5
    Tulsa +29

    Illinois +9.5
    This line stinks. Plain and simple. And it’s already down to 7. Overwhelming majority of public on UNC and of course I’ll go the other way. I won’t pretend to know anything about these teams just that UNC was 2.5 or dogs vs Georgia last week and now only a TD favorite vs a bad Illinois team and on the road. Letdown after a big game loss (late) last week. UNC 31 – Illinois 28 late.

  • Matt Lawrence

    Vandy -5.5
    Bengals -2.5
    Chargers +7
    Ravens -3
    Cards -6 (all play)
    ESSAY: Cowboys +1

    Horrible slate in college and NFL, in my opinion. With that said, I’m going to go with the rookie backfield of the Cowboys. The backfield of Dak and Zeke is very intriguing to me. As soon as I saw Romo go down, I thought one of these two is going to win ROY. Don’t forget, the rookie QB also has weapons in Dez, Witten and Beasley. Let’s go Boys!

  • RCLA

    So I already changed half my picks this week, which is no good.

    Did get the Broncos (+3?!?!) locked in early because Charlotte is disgusting. Teams will cover against them this year like the stink of cultural bankruptcy covers that city anew each day.

    What else?

    I think BYU has a new coach and hasn’t seemed relevant in a minute and Utah’s recruiting advantage having moved over to a P5 should be fully realized at this point. I’ll take the Utes -3.5.

    I can’t for the life of me figure out what the Bears could possibly be good at this year. Their LBs are kinda cool, but that’s about it. I’m not excited about it, but I’ll take the Texans -6

    Had to change off the Pats. With Gronk and Solder not traveling, I just don’t know how they can most the ball. Are they starting Malcolm Mitchell as their #2 receiver? I don’t know man, I don’t know. I’ll take the Cards – whatever it takes.

    I feel like last season was an aberration for Andy Luck. The other 52 players still suck, but he can beat Detroit by himself by at least a TD. Indy – 3.5

    And my essay is literally whoever is playing against Florida, It turns out to be Kentucky, who they only beat 14-9 last year but are laying 17 to tomorrow, but after they failed to come close to covering last week against UMass, a better Pixies song than a football team, I knew I had my darlin’ of early 2016. Ride ’em while you can. I’m IN on Kentucky + 17.

    • RCLA

      I’ve got to pick one of these noon games today. There is no other reason to pay attention to any of them. Let’s take Army minus whatever it is and we’ll lose the Texans tomorrow.

  • squeekycleen

    Essay: RAIDERS

    Who’s kidding who with this number. The Saints, usually stellar at home, in a virtual pick with (gasp), the Raiders? Now I know that the Raiders are supposed to be better, but this much better? Hard to believe, but it’s probably true. For me, though, this is less about the Raiders and more about the Saints. The Saints, in their current version, are complete trash. For those of you that still think Drew Brees is still an elite qb (and judging by fantasy drafts there are plenty of you, but then again he may put up fantasy points with them coming from behind all year), newsflash its 2016 and he has been on a steady decline. This line reaks, and I’ll bite.

    Western Kentucky

  • John

    pretty sure that these picks were heavily influenced by ‘the feels’ I had during AI HOF speech. #hegotme

    Texas Tech + 3 over ASU
    Idaho +37 over Washington
    Dolphins +10.5 over Seahawks
    Redskins +3 over Steelers
    (all play) Pats +6 over Cards
    (essay) Bengals -2.5 over Jets

    • John

      A few interesting thoughts.
      – The Bengals can’t find a healthy TE
      – Revis is going to lock down AJ Green. (flashes from 2013 for Revis island)
      -and it’s Sept 11th in NYC

      but- the Red Rifle is about to pop off.
      and his weapon of choice.
      I think we meet Tyler Boyd. Not like a life changing experience- but I think he has 7 or 8 catches, and probably scores a touchdown.

      and I’m a scorned lover- so I’m hoping Forte goes for 13 carries and 7 yards.

  • Galea Minor

    Cardinals -6 over Patriots (all play)
    Oklahoma State -21 over Central Michigan
    Kentucky +17 over Florida
    Mississippi State -6.5 over South Carolina
    Browns +4 over Eagles
    Illinois +7 over North Carolina (essay)

    I’m proud to essay Lovie Smith’s Illini this week. Although they aren’t my favorite B1G team, I was given a J.D. from that fine institution, so I have plenty of affection towards them. I was there when Nate Scheelhaase started with Zook. I remember Zook’s final year when he started 6-0 and ended 6-6. I actually liked the Tim Beckman hire, until games were played. Suffice to say, from 2010-2012, I watched a lot of bad Illini football. During their game against Murray St I remarked, “wow, they look sharp. With Lovie, they’ll be a disciplined team for the first time since…..” I could not complete the comparison, cause I can’t remember any disciplined Illini team in history.

    There’s one anecdote that encapsulates the attitude of the Illini fan base before Lovie showed up. When Bill Cubit was fired, my dream hire was Al Golden. That means that I did not believe the program was capable of hiring any coach better than Al Golden, AND, I was pretty sure he didn’t even want the job anyway. Then an immensely popular, NFC-winning, statewide legend coach shows up to save the day. Ok. I will drink a 55 gallon drum of this kool-aid every week, thank you very much.

    UNC is a much better team than Illinois, but I think the Illini are waiting to explode. Beckman did stumble into some talent, and now that that talent has been exposed to serious coaching, they’re going to shock the Tar Heels. Memorial Stadium will be lit. Will they pull off the upset? I won’t go that far, but, it’ll be a fight.

    It may not happen until next year, but Illinois is poised to experience what I have coined the “Actually Good Effect.” This is when a team has spent years squandering talent with poor coaching and is then provided good coaching. The players immediately recognize and embrace the new attitude, and play at max efficiency all season. It’s not enough to win games in which they are clearly overmatched, but in winnable games, the team is crisp, focused, and always acquits themselves well. MSU experienced this in 2008. Michigan did last year.

    Tune in for the Illini this year, folks. They’re finally playing some real football in Champaign.

    • Galea Minor

      PS I would support a rule that only Saturday and Sunday games are eligible to be all-plays. There’s just so many weeks I’m not going to pay attention until Friday night, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who would miss a Thursday all-play.

      • hope youre ok with MNF because theyre going to show up.
        while not locking anything in or out we definitely take into account the allplay game’s accessibility and a non weekend game would have to be exceptional.

        • Galea Minor

          Oh, MNF is fine. The issue is forgetting about games that happen before Saturday and not having time to pick them. You always have a chance to make the MNF pick

          • They hardly ever happen but a no-pre-Saturday All-Play rule is a fine idea.

    • i am most very interested in the lovie effect. would be terrific to have football back in champagne.

      • RCLA

        I am also interested in the “Lovie Effect,” but only because I am hoping it is similar to the Slothrop Effect and that Champagne is going to get struck by a missle.

      • mmmmsnouts

        I can tell you firsthand about the Lovie effect after watching him personally waste about a half-dozen Bucs games in his two years in charge. It’s not a good thing.

    • This is an essay I want to believe in.

    • This gives me all the feels! I’m so glad I waited to read any other picks/comments until I gathered and posted my own. Illini totally has this.

  • Jmacdaddio

    Ah, it’s Friday night and Cheddar pick making time. Time for a stiff drink to “help” with my picks and essay composition. Except not too stiff because I’ve got a soccer match in the morning. I’d like to thank Florida State for saving me from a Virgin Lobsterita to start the season. However, if there ever was a week to take a goose egg, Week 1 is the week.

    Cards -6. The Pats have been a quality side for the last 16 years. No Gronk though.
    Duke -5. They’re off to a good start.
    New Mexico -12. I need to pick across more regions of the country.
    NC State -4.5. They crushed my alma mater last week. I’m glad my alumni donation was used to provide a Week 1 cupcake.
    Wisconsin -24. Will Akron keep it close? Not likely.
    Colts -3.5. (Essay)

    Are the Lions still a perenially bad team? Are the Colts poised to bounce back after a crappy season? I must admit I didn’t pay attention to the pre-season so I can’t answer either. I find it hard to believe that Andrew Luck will not rise to the occasion. After all, he is a franchise QB. The only others remaining are Brady and Aaron Rodgers, with honorable mention going to Russell Wilson. Sooner than later, Brady will stop drinking baby rhino blood (or taking “supplements”) and reveal himself to be a 783 year old vampire named Gdalicanu, leaving the league with two and a half franchise QBs.

    Also, decent-but-not-franchise QB Matt Stafford no longer has Calvin Johnson to throw to. While it is possible that he has been replaced, again, I have not been paying attention. Plus the Colts are at home, which seals the deal.

    • Jmacdaddio

      BTW is anyone watching Louisville-Syracuse? Looked like Syracuse was dead and buried, now we have a game.

      • Jmacdaddio

        Good thing I changed the channel.. not much of a game anymore

        • mmmmsnouts

          Syracuse gave up 845 yards! And Louisville didn’t even go really fast on offense! That is a disgrace.

  • HitTheHorns

    1. Patriots +6
    2. UMass +16.5

    • HitTheHorns

      3. Redskins +3
      4. Jets +2.5
      5. Ravens -3
      6. 49ers +2.5 – Jim Tomsula memorial essay coming here.

      • HitTheHorns

        I essayed this same game last year and will roll with it again, Niners at home to start the season, late Monday night. Lots has changed for San Fran since last year but one thing is the same – the prognosticators think they are going to suck. I still believe in Chip Kelly, and its silly to think he would have taken this job if he didn’t 100% believe his program can work in the NFL. The guy could have had any college job but about 5, could’ve stole ESPNs money for a year, but is back to lead Blaine Gabbert to the promised land. Happy to fade the public in what is sure to be a very exciting game.

  • pheasantpants

    AP: Cards -6 over Pats
    2. Michigan -35.5 over UCF
    3. Kentucky +17 over Florida
    4. Alabama -28.5 over WKU
    5. Colts -3.5 over Detroit

    essay tomorrow probably

    • pheasantpants

      OK, revision. Colts over Leos getting upgraded to an essay pick, and add TCU laying the 7.5 to Bert’s crew.

      • pheasantpants

        ESSAY Colts -3.5 over Detroit

        So when it became known that Calvin Johnson was retiring, I resolved right then and there that I was *not* going to watch the NFL this season. I figured the wound would be too raw, at least this first season, and that in any event, the Lions would not be interesting enough to follow. And the Browns games that get pumped over the local airwaves scarcely do much to change my opinion.

        But I realized in the last few weeks that I’ll be watching and following, anyway. Detroit is one of those NFL cities where we aren’t watching because of the ability of the guys on the field but because they “represent” the city and give it a sense of community and place in the loosest sense of the word. People talk about the Lions forcing two Hall of Famers to retire mid-prime, as though it were a particular feature of the franchise, but I attribute this to the constellation of coincidences that distill into something that sports fans call a curse. Part of me is glad that modern-day Barry Sanders looks every bit as agile and athletic as I remember him as a kid; I’m not sure if my heart could have handled how he might have looked if he played until 39 or 40. I’ll hardly know who half the guys on the two-deep are, but I will care how the Lions do every week, because if I don’t, in many respects, I forfeit membership in a club most of us from the Rust Belt cherish, the self-satisfaction of rooting for the decrepit and downtrodden from nadir to glorious re-birth.

        That said, I’ve known this franchise long enough to know that what is encoded in its DNA is a perpetual inability to have its shit together for the opener. Like the one super-disorganized kid you knew in grade school, the beginning of the actual season somehow manages to sneak up on the Detroit Lions every year, as though the Gregorian calendar hasn’t quite made it to Allen Park (I can attest that it has). For some reason, Detroit media likes this matchup, but almost no one else does. I’ll believe in a somewhat retooled Detroit defense when I see it. Until then, they’ll still be the team that thought the first week of school was just for getting syllabuses.

        Colts by 10.

        • pheasantpants

          I see that the timestamp is about 56 minutes from kickoff. I plead forgiveness from the Executive Committee.

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    All play: cards -6
    Tenn -11.5
    Redskins +3
    colts -3.5
    Chargers +7
    Cowboys +1** essay

    I don’t have a game that really compels me this week so I’m going with my gut. I think Dallas can control the ball on the ground behind their massive line and allow Dak to make plays with Dez when necessary. It seems like the Giants are always a mess to start the season so I don’t see them going into Jerry World and winning.

  • PJD19

    I’m going to roll L’ville for one point as well.

  • mmmmsnouts

    I hope I don’t regret this, but Louisville for a point tonight. Line keeps climbing (it’s mostly 16 now, with a couple 16.5s) so I’m not as worried about the half point in our line. Also Syracuse couldn’t run the ball against Colgate.


    1) Pitt Panthers -6
    2) Wazzu +11
    3) Vandy -5.5
    4) Chargers +7
    5) Skins +3 (Essay)- Steelers are a mess right now. Obviously no Leveon and Martavis Bryant already then you add Markus Wheaton, Bud Dupree being out and Cam Heyward with a high ankle sprain as well. Gay and Cockrell are the Steelers starting CBs, ranked 52nd and 56th out of 64 starting CBs last year in pass coverage according to PFF. They are going up against Kirk Cousins who was awesome at home last year going 6-2 straight up with a 74% completion %, 16 tds/2 ints on an NFL leading 8.4 yds/attempt. Jordan Reed and D Jax should have a field day. Add in the fact that Josh Norman can at least manage to keep Antonio Brown in check and I think the Skins can win a high scoring game at home

    6) Cards -6 (all play): I hate that this is the all play. I dont have much interest in this game but I guess I’ll go with the explosive offense at home vs a team relying heavily on Barkevious Mingo and Jabal Sheard. Losing Ninkovich is huge on top of already losing Chandler Jones on D.

    • CLEVTA

      Please replace Chargers with Jets +2.5. thanks

  • RDGinCLE

    PSU +6
    UT -11.5
    Akron +24
    Jets +2.5
    Pats +6

    One more plus essay specification coming soon. Cheers

    • RDGinCLE

      Damnit I meant to get my essay in on Tennessee. Ill only watch parts of the early game tonight, so i guess Ill use my non essay week on Washington tonight.

  • Brian

    NOTRE DAME*** essay pick

    After coming off of a ridiculously bad effort on the defensive side of the ball, i think they come out and just dismantle a nevada team went down to the wire with Cal Poly…wait who??? Now that Deshone Kizer has the reigns and its his offense again, they should have no problem dropping a 50 spot on the wolfpack. Im putting my trust in a defense that just gave up 50 but I’m a die hard and it seems like a pretty solid idea to me. Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame!!! and get me a much needed 3 pts

  • zarathustra

    Friday night game in the carrier dome? Home team getting more than 2 touchdowns? I’ve seen this movie before. This would pretty much be an auto-play anyway, but the fact that Dino babers is there with the Baylor offense and a promising young qb elevates it to potential essay territory. One point for now though.

  • jpftribe

    Mike- I had Ball St and FSU last week for a full point. Can you check it out pls?

    • got it, fixed, thanks.

      • jpftribe


  • LittleBallofHate

    Week 2 Picks
    Kentucky (+17) at Florida — The most Kentucky thing in the world would be for them to blow a big lead at home to Southern Miss and then beat the Gators for the first time since Reagan was president (1986).
    Michigan (-35.5) vs. Central Florida — At least the Knights got the Scott Frost era off to a good start last week. Now back to life, back to reality.
    Rams (-2.5) at San Francisco — The one rule I always use is to take the hometown dog on Monday night. The exception is when the home quarterback is Blaine Gabbert.
    Bengals (-2.5) at Jets — Marvin Lewis, the Susan Lucci of NFL head coaches, needs 23 games to surpass Jim Mora for most games coached without a postseason win.
    ALL PICK: Cardinals (-6) at Patriots — As history has shown, if there is a time to beat up on The Hoodie it is during the first five weeks of the NFL season.
    ESSAY PICK: Vikings (-2.5) at Titans — Here is why I don’t count out the Vikings from possibly repeating as NFC North Champions — They have Mike F’n Zimmer as their Head Coach. Mike Zimmer coached less than 72 hours after his wife died in 2009, he survived a year with Bobby Petrino, he took a no-name injury riddled defense in Cincinnati in his first year there in 2008 and it finished in the top half of the league in a 4-12 season. Teddy Bridgewater gone for the year? Hell that’s child play for Zim. Plus if I’m Sam Bradford or Shaun Hill, they are going to be terrified out of their minds that playing poorly is not an option.
    3 Scenarios could happen in the Browns opener
    1. Robert Griffin III could get swallowed up by a giant flag like Brandon Weeden was in the 2012 opener vs. Philly, only this time RG III would tear an ACL.
    2. RG III plays well but Carson Wentz throws for 318 yards and two touchdowns, including a game-winning drive with under a minute remaining. Cleveland talk radio becomes the apocalypse.
    3. RG III leads the Browns to their first opening week win since 2004, a parade is held on Tuesday and Browns beat writers proclaim him the most elite quarterback of all time.

    • Those three bonus thoughts all seem right. Welcome to the fray.

  • trashycamaro

    Damn. Was going to take the Panthers but probably pushing the lateness boundary. Plenty more fish in the sea!

  • GRRustlers

    Week 2 Picks

    Michigan (-35.5) over UCF – I don’t know how this Harbaugh thing will end. Probably with Akron soccer getting the death penalty but damn it’s going to be entertaining.

    Akron (+24.5) over Wisconsin – Wisconsin gets to see a team that actually understands how offense works in this century.

    UCLA (-26.5) over UNLV – No need to overreact…UCLA will be just fine.

    KC (-7) over SD – It’s outrageous what the NFL is doing to San Diego but extortion is hard work.

    Arizona (-6) over NE – This could be a great game but…not going to talk about it anymore.

    Essay Pick

    Joe Schobert
    Ricardo Louis
    Derrick Kindred
    Seth Devalve
    Vince Mayle
    Ibraheim Campbell
    Pierre Desir
    Travis Benjamin
    James-Michael Johnson
    Jordan Cameron
    Owen Marecic

    Let’s play a fun little game with the names above. Call the Carolina Panthers and ask them which one of these guys they want for Andy Lee. Straight up. See how long it takes before they either laugh or hang up. While the local media was busy dropping to their knees to praise the Browns for getting a 4th for a punter…I just sat confused. I highly doubt the Browns initiated the call…the Panthers saw Hue acting like a clown and tried to see if they could pry him away for nothing. Don’t kid yourself…a 4th round pick is nothing. Look at the last 5 years of names above. Some decent talent but I have grown so tired of pretending special teams don’t matter. This is the same group of geniuses who just put a punter on the practice squad. In summary…arguably the one position of strength on your roster outside of LT you dumped for no real reason other than the idea that an All-Pro punter on a horrific team is a luxury. God forbid we have something nice. I want the Browns to win and I want the players who take the field to win but when you come to the realization that the folks in Berea don’t want to win it’s hard to really give a shit. This group in Berea is just waiting for the right offer for Joe Thomas and if RG3 gets off to a good start he AND McCown will be moved for picks so quick that we will all be looking for a Hogan or Kessler jersey. This group is going to do everything in it’s power to get Deshaun Watson. EVERYTHING.

    So let me give you some advice Deshaun. Return for your senior year.

    Philly (-4) over Cleveland

  • ChuckKoz

    panthers for 1 point tonight

    • ChuckKoz

      note: i made my bad panthers play before my policy of taking home dogs…..

  • FTCMikeD

    Broncos +3 for the Thursday night action

    • FTCMikeD

      College Plays:
      DUKE -5 over Wake
      NAVY -4 over UCONN

      • FTCMikeD

        NFL Plays
        AP: CARDS -6 over Pats
        SKINS +3 over Steelers
        Here we go Brownies here we go! Another football season beings for our hometown heroes the Browns. Personally, I’ve paid the least amount of attention to the Browns and their own personal super bowl, the Draft, in many years. The incredible run of the Cavs and the magical summer of the Tribe has grabbed my attention with an iron grip. The very small amount of previews I’ve read have said we’re supposed to be terrible because Browns. And we probably will be. On the other side of this game though are the Eagles, who could be equally bad. And we have their draft pick, as Hue decided to pass on Wentz and take his chances with Robert Griffin III. Both sides have some of that additional motivation. The deciding factor for me in this matchup are the Phily Fans. They are the worst. Any side bets on to which quarter of this game they start booing Wentz? I’m not sure ND St prepared him for this special kind of hell. I’ll take the points.

  • Lucy Lawrence

    Broncos +3

    • Lucy Lawrence

      2. Middle Tenn +5.5
      3. Packers -5.5
      4. Jets +2
      5. All Play: Cards -6
      6. Essay: SD +7

      Everyone is already slating KC to be in the super bowl but as Corso might say… not so fast! They start off week one with a division game that might just surprise them. Most think SD is going to stink and I just don’t agree with that. First off they have Ken Whisenhunt back which will not only benefit Rivers but excite him. Giving Phillip a touchdown is just too much if you ask me. History shows that SD performs better on the road then at home. Plus they have a healthy Allen and have added both receivers and o-linemen to improve their offense. KC without Charles remains the same old offense that in my opinion SD will be able to get after. Thinking SD could surprise some people this year and I’ll take of advantage of the lines until everyone gets on board!

  • Nick

    Really sad that PeteFranklin is out this year, he’s a hardcore degen and I love him for that. In honor of Mr. Franklin, I’m in Vegas for a Bachelor party, and after reading Smitty’s essay, while at the Book, while also texting my sales guy in Charlotte, I wagered entirely too much money on the Panthers.

    As for my cheddar plays:
    Tulsa +29 vs Ohio State
    Middle TN +5.5 vs Vandy *Essay*

    I was at the Vandy game last week and like Beck says, WOW, oh boy…that was about as depressing as football gets. And I left in the middle of the second quarter. The stadium was 70% full, half of the people present were South Carolina fans. Derek Mason hasn’t learned anything and continues to play for field goals. Pat Shurmer’s kid is a terrible quarterback and had at least two interceptions dropped in the first half. The only bright spot on Vandy’s whole team is a cornerback, #31, who stood out to me and might play on Sundays. Meanwhile, Middle boasts one of the most prolific offenses in the C-USA, returning freshman of the year QB, Brent Stockstill, who set records last season along with top freshman wide out Richie James. There is NO WAY Vandy can keep up with them offensively in the air, so Vandy needs to run for 200 yards +, and I just don’t see it. Especially when the Middle packs the stadium, being only 30 miles away, because there is blood in the water in Nashville folks.

    This is pick of the year territory, the only thing stopping me is Derek Mason is coaching for his life right now, and might throw the kitchen sink at this game. Plus, Game theory suggests not to do it so early in the contest. Or does it? Kitty Pryde and I enjoy discussing the ins and outs of game theory in cheddar bay even though we have very little idea what we are talking about. So just the normal 3 points for this baby.

    Titans +2.5 vs Vikes
    Rams -2.5 vs 49ers
    Browns +4 vs Philly
    Cards -6 vs Pats

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Make it your PoTY. “Game theory suggests not to do it so early in the contest.” Why?

      • Nick

        Like Newt, I’m into what I FEEL, not actual FACTS. So I feel like as the contest gets later, and there are precious few weeks left, having a PoTY 6 point hammer available to me is more valuable, especially when other players have used theirs. However, Acto, you are very wise, so if you can enlighten me on how Game Theory applies to our PoTY selection in this contest, I would enjoy.

        • actovegin1armstrong

          “very wise”?? You must have me mistaken for someone else, I am the dummest guy I know. I would simply add, points are points. Well…. except for the first week.

      • “Game theory” is one of those things Nick says to support his feelings about things, that no one ever calls him out on, including myself. #becausegametheory
        Now that you’ve shown the light on this, I can only presume his next catch all, completely unrelated explanation with be, “because string theory”….

        • actovegin1armstrong

          Blast him if he ever mentions string theory. I was privileged to sit down with the great Dr Weinberg years ago and go through the 3 main reasons why I believed his book on string theory was incorrect. He replied, “I know that”. Our beloved NOBEL PRIZE winner has moved far beyond that junk. He liked the “mass does not exist, time does not exist, the concept of gravity is ridiculous” stuff, but I am certain he is far beyond any concept I may conceive I really enjoyed that he came up with a brilliant theory, then admitted that he was wrong. My conversations with him were decades later than his new realizations.

    • pete informed me that cheddar was distracting him from his gambling.
      he is truly the best.

      (for our new players, pete franklin was our player out of vegas and could be relied upon to let us know the spread between the westgate and golden nugget lines.)

      that reminds me — he (and TA and squeeky) shared some of their thoughts in a post a couple years ago be a better bettor. gonna add it to the post.

  • Dave Borcas

    Carolina -3 tonight

  • zizzer13

    Panthers -3 over Broncos
    Ohio State -29 over Tulsa
    Middle Tennessee State +5.5 over Vanderbilt
    Packers -5.5 over Jaguars
    Cardinals -6 over Patriots

    And the essay….
    A lot of thoughts went through my head when making this week’s essay selection:
    – wow, there’s an awful lot of crap games on the docket.
    – it’s really tempting to pick some of these teams that shockingly lost last weekend in an effort to make up for their suboptimal performance in the eyes of the voters (looking at you, Oklahoma…)
    – I wonder what my wife is making for dinner…
    – Wow, Diet Dr. Pepper does taste more like real Dr. Pepper…
    Sorry – attention span of a gold fish and all that… After refocusing, I thought about the three games that I lost last week, and what I got wrong. I lost my essay by one pathetic point, and Stanford won but didn’t cover. Then, there was the debacle of picking LSU over Wisconsin. And in my effort to atone for my errors, I once again look to the Badgers to help set the record straight; but once again, I’m going against Bucky.

    For the 53 players on Wisconsin’s roster who are natives of the Badger state, most of them (except for the poor, misguided souls who grew up as Vikings fans) grew up wanting to do two things: play for the Badgers, and play for the Packers. The vast majority of those guys have no shot at the NFL, so playing in Lambeau last week was a dream come true, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that they’ll never forget. And they exorcised the demons of those who say the Big Ten can’t compete with the SEC, beating (a perennially overrated) LSU… So good for the Badgers – what an amazing high last week – but there’s little chance they’ll avoid the hangover and get up for playing Akron. Akron’s not that bad, and they’ve played at Camp Randall twice before (with far worse teams (7-5 and 5-7; this year’s squad should be better than those marks)) and only lost by 17 and 21 points, respectively. So you’re giving the Zips 24 points against a team that’s probably spent most of the week smelling themselves a bit too much? Done and done.

    Akron +24 over Wisconsin

  • agnesbojaxhiu

    A little over a year ago I tried sneaking into Cheddar Bay to troll Frowns. It didn’t work for a minute, but my first essay pick UL Monroe sure did. I doubt I will ever know enough about the actual players or the politics of football to ever make intelligent decisions about my votes, but I can try to understand the schemers and mathematicians that set the lines. Their goal each week is to earn money and my goal is to vote more accurately than Frowns (He actually suggested our doing a joint Cheddar membership this year-Ha!). While many in the Cheddar world were ignoring all the games ineligible for voting last week, I was quietly adding them to my spreadsheet (I was on a conference call at a time so I had to be quiet.) My idea behind my votes this week is teams that covered last week against non-FBS teams will not cover this week because overall they are not very good. My essay pick to not cover is my old friend UL Monroe. Last year they hardly scored more than 14 points a game. Feel free to use my scheme.

    Oklahoma -46.5 over UL Monroe

    Michigan -35.5 over Central Florida

    Ohio +3 over Kansas

    Louisville -14.5 over Syracuse

    Clemson -36 over Troy

    I have no scheme for the all play

    Cardinals -6

    • “He actually suggested our doing a joint Cheddar membership this year.” <— This is rank hearsay.

      Ahem, two-time Cheddar Bay champion here. It is becoming increasingly obvious who is to blame if/when my votes are no good.

  • FlyHighCharlieFrye

    Cards -6
    Rice +10
    Kentucky +17
    Ark St +19
    Tampa Bay Bucs +3

    Chargers +7

    A whole touchdown for Phil Rivers? I’ll take it. The Chiefs are good, probably better than a lot of people give them credit for, but they have some injury issues and aren’t going to drop 40 on anyone and Rivers will keep gunning even if the Chiefs get a lead. Yes, the Chargers stunk last year but a closer look reveals they should have been better and probably will be better, even with the Bosa drama and some other questions. I’ll take the points here as it just seems like too many.

  • smittypop2

    Here we go for a full week.

    Cards -6 over Pats—Garoppolo is a pretty stiff.
    NYG -1 over Dallas–Fuck Dak Prescott.
    GB -5.5 over Jax–no explanation needed.
    Browns +4 over Philly—Wentz is a ginger shitbox who hasn’t even played yet. This is pretty unprecedented for rookie Qbs. I would be apt to consider Philly if they had any semblance of offense or defense going into the season, but they traded half of the team this offseason and they are clearly in disarray (I am totally aware that the Browns suck cock).
    OSU -29 over Tulsa—-If you remember me from the old days, then you remember that I f’ing hate the Suckeyes. This pick was made under duress.

    Carolina -3 over Denver***

    I don’t really know even to begin here except to say that I have watched Trevor Siemian play before and he is fucking horrible. I honestly can not believe he is a starting QB in the NFL. This is one of the most bizarre things I have ever witnessed a Super Bowl winning team do. I know that they didn’t want to overpay for an unproven guy like Osweiler, but now they are really ramming the rest of the team in the pooper with this move. Maybe this stiff can be the new Captain Checkdown and just keep dumping it to E. Sanders and Demaryius? I don’t know, but I certainly don’t like their chances against a good team. This team is just screaming to have some defensive regression due to aging, losing players, and general bad attitude about this fuckball throwing picks all over the field. I can see Cam bringing his A++ game and just throttling these fools. Fuck bald, PED aided Von Miller and the bucktooth, plastic faced architect of this team.

  • p_forever

    tcu -7.5 arkansas
    w. kentucky +28.5 alabama***
    utep +28 texas
    clemson -36 troy
    tenn -11.5 va tech
    pats +6 cards

    this week’s games are really super blah, which i suppose is apropos of my super blah cheddar bay performance thus far. i feel like returning to the tried and true is the right move in this situation and since the let-down game is pretty much the tried-est and truest maxim in college football, i turned to it for my essay pick. after its application, it was clear my essay was going to come down to a coin toss between w. kentucky and UTEP. I ended up with w. kentucky which I feel pretty good about – I think somehow w. kentucky ended up in the top 25 by the end of last season, and alabama doesn’t really feel the need to run up the score against non-power team opponents the way some other schools (located in central Ohio) do. I would have felt fine about UTEP as the essay too, and I’m positive even UTEP’s d is better than ND’s so texas is likely not going to be able to hang 28 on anyone, but alas – we only get one essay play per week and the coin flip was fair and square.

  • Chris P.

    I’m still trying to use these picks to Make America Great Again ™, and we were well on track until Old Faithful UCLA comverted that late two point conversion, thus denying my backdoor cover last week.

    So maybe America wasn’t great when UCLA ruled things, or they would have covered. So what is it that makes America Great ™?

    Well, obviously it’s people coming out of nowhere to really capture the hearts and mind of the public (or at least one quasi-governmental sort in America’s true Capital – Akron, Ohio).

    Enter Brent Stockstill.

    Yes, yes, .06% of America is familiar with his budding candidacy for the Manning and O’Brien awards. But this dude has a set of “Chuck Norris-like” factoids about him that are just fantastic. My favorite (as of now) is how he tore his ACL in a high school state quarterfinal, only to throw for 4 douchdowns and 375 yards in the state semis the following week.

    Stockstill Last year? 4000 yards, 30 touchdowns, 9 interceptions and 67% completions. As a Freshman. How could he get better? Well… he’d need to be comfortable yet challenged by someone who has really developed someone. That couldn’t be one person. That’s too much to ask at a C-USA school… I mean, th coach is his dad. Maybe he needs a specialist coach… maybe they could poach the guy who developed Jared Goff at Cal and bring him in to mentor him. LOLOL Good one!!11!1

    wait. Middle Tennessee State hired Jared Goff’s coach from Cal to be their OC?


    Holy shit, all this kid needs for a breakout is to run up the score against a Power 5 school. But what Power 5 school could be perenially mediocre enough to really let a kid shine? I mean, Rutgers is busy this week.

    Enter the improving but still not great Vanderbilt. Vandy squeaked by them by 4 last year. Not this year.

    Middle Tennessee State straight over Vanderbilt, and I’ll happily take those five and a half points that you sloppily gave.

    Ohio +3 Kansas
    BYU +3.5 Utah
    Kentucky +17 Florida
    Eagles -4 Browns
    Patriots +6 Cardinals

    • Nick

      Love it. I’m not so sure Vanderbilt is improving. They seem like the same scrappy defensive mess of a team with no QB.

    • Chris P.

      Oh Sweet Feathery Jesus do I love it when a ton of people line up behind one of my essays (whether they read it or not).

      Y’all must not have been here my last few times when I declared myself “The patron saint of bad WACtion”

  • mmmmsnouts

    I’m taking the Broncos +3 for one point. Denver won the Super Bowl without a quarterback so I hardly see how Trevor Siemian makes a huge difference there. Their defense is still intact and extremely nasty. And as I said when I took the Pats this time last year, the home team almost always wins these Thursday night glamour openers. The fact that I’m getting points to pick the home team is a bonus. The #DISRESPEKT in the Bronco locker room will be immense.

  • Chris Schroeder

    -12 New Mexico @ New Mexico State
    +25 Eastern Michigan @ Missouri
    -10.5 Colorado State vs. Texas San Antonio
    – 16.5 USC vs. Utah State
    All Play: – 6 Arizona Cardinals vs. New England Patriots

    Essay: -3 Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos
    Location: Denver Colorado
    Stadium: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    Kickoff: 8:30 PM EST
    Broadcast: NBC
    Weather: Clear 77 degrees WNW 5 mph
    Mascot: Sir Purr vs. Miles
    Fun Fact: Broncos: Between 1977 and 2007, super-fan Tim “the Barrel Man” McKernan attended every single home game while wearing nothing but boots, suspenders, a cowboy hat, and an orange barrel. Panthers: The first player ever cut by the Panthers was the former pro wrestler Bill Goldberg.
    The Game: There will be no Hilary and Donald bullshit to get in the way of this game. The Republican and Democratic conventions thank goodness where held in July to avoid any scheduling conflict. This show down features Super Bowl 50 rematch which has not happened since (could not find the stat on the trusty internet) the early 1970’s I believe guessing it was the Packers vs Chiefs (let me know if I pulled that out of my ass). The teams for the 2016/17 seasons will look familiar tonight but a few key players on both sides of the ball will be missing with the retirement of Manning on the Broncos and Norman taking his talents elsewhere for the Panthers. The identify for both teams will be the same as last season with Carolina relying heavy on Cam Newton and Denver being carried by the work horse of their defense. I for see last year’s trend to continue with the Panthers taking the lead early and then relying on the run game and defense to coast them to victory and cover. My main hunch for taking this game for extra Cheddar points is I don’t believe the defense can overcome Trevor Siemian’s mistakes to pull out the victory.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Panthers -3
    Pats +6
    Northern Illinois +15
    Cowboys +1
    USC -16.5
    ****Browns +4****
    The battle of the runner-ups. Philadelphia is starting a quarterback who has no NFL experience and his biggest win in his fledgling career was against Absorbine Junior College. I am not completely sold on RGINJURY either, but he has NFL experience, a few good receivers and great Tight End to throw to. Neither team has a great defense to rely upon, so it makes sense to take the points and enjoy rooting for the Browns. If the Browns win they improve the position of the draft pick they get from Philadelphia, if the Browns lose they improve their own draft choice position.

    • mmmmsnouts

      I think the over in NIU-USF is free money this week. Did you by chance attend that school?

      • actovegin1armstrong

        No. Did you? I am pretty certain we have a few kids from there playing Cheddar.

        • mmmmsnouts

          I’m a USF alum. Waiting for clarity on whether Marlon Mack will play because that would make it tempting to lay the 15 points. Over is a lock, though.

    • Nick

      Brilliant take on the Browns game good sir.

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