• Matt Borcas

    ESSAY: Bears -3 over Eagles

    On the one hand, Carson Wentz looked pretty impressive in his NFL debut against the Browns. On the other hand, the Browns’ starting safeties are Jordan Poyer and Ibraheim Campbell, so let’s call it a wash. Tonight is Wentz’s debut against a *legitimate* NFL defense, and given the fact that he went to an FCS school, he can’t have much experience playing in hostile environments. The Chicago crowd will be rowdy, and now that there’s pro film out on Wentz, he’ll almost assuredly come back down to earth. Da Bears will take this one handily.

  • bupalos

    All right, here we are up against the clock again, and as sad as this is for you all, the tongue of fire that descends weekly upon Bupalos — that same fire that allows him to purge the various sins of this pestilential congregation — well, it descendeth not. I believe it to have been temporarily extinguished by the 400 word objection I just wrote for the St. Louis Parking Authority about their little present they left for me. “17.24.070 – wrong side of street”. Sorry officer Nazi, this isn’t a Wagnerian Poetry contest, and if you want to cite me for parking my car facing the wrong direction on a one-way street, you needed to write “17.24.010 – parking against traffic flow.” That’s 25 dollars saved that will be going directly to Mr. Evan Williams of 911 Fiery-Muse Avenue. But for now, stew in your iniquities for yet another week, dear board. Honestly, it can do little more harm at this point, as fully debauched as most of you are.

    Here. Instead, enjoy this football essay full of football reasons why the football bears will easily dispense with the football eagles. Week 2 is a great time for false narratives. Hell, any time is a great time for false narratives in the NFL, but week 2 is that unique slot where folks start to believe they have actual material and data with which to create their narratives, whereas practically speaking it’s a blank slate. The iggies unveiled Carson Wentz von Bismark in all his Nazi glory, who proved that he shall shine forth in his natural greatness by… beating the RGIII led Cleveland Browns? Meanwhile smoking Jay Cutler was skulking around with the burnouts failing to beat one of the best D’s in the league…because a receiver cut off a route? While Wentz did look shockingly good for a raw rookie, let’s get real here. No one has any idea what happens with him when he’s forced to use the middle of the field without busted coverage. This is the hill that rookies always die on, at least a few times before they figure it out. And die he shall. There’s a bunch of other reasons too, but look, 7:30…

  • clayII

    Eagles (+3)

    Pretty much just playing the number here. Rookie qb on the road Monday night only getting 3 vs Cutler and the Bears? If I deciphered anything from week 1 and the browns game yesterday, the Eagles have a better o-line than the Balt. Also, Wentz seems pretty chill. So all the reasons to take the Bears are actually reasons to take Philadelphia (rookie qb, mnf, the browns blow, etc). Also every philly win hurts the Browns, so yeah those are coming.

  • DQuatts

    DQuatts Essay:

    Green Bay Packers

    Here’s why I like the packers tonight – they are healthy. Period. For the first time in the last two or three seasons, GB has all their weapons on the field, and guess what…they still have Aaron Rodgers running point for their squad. Not a bad guy to have on your side on Sunday night on the road in a big rivalry game against their toughest division opponent. This game is impactful in more ways than one. Handing a division foe a loss and taking care of business on the road is necessary if these Packers have sights of getting back to the favorite in the NFC, which I think they are capable of doing. Should be a good one tonight under the bright lights!!

  • trashycamaro

    Pats -6.5 over Dolphins

    Washington Football Team -3 over Cowboys

    49ers +13.5 over Panthers

    Vikings +2.5 over Packers

    Rams +6.5 over Seahawks – Rams are .500 against the Seahawks over the past 3 years or so and have taken 3/4 aginst them at home. I’ve seen this dismissed elsewhere as “we don’t know how they will perform in their new stadium” and “we don’t know how the fans will be”.

    That’s nice. Here are facts: Russell Wilson has a high ankle sprain. The Seahawks offensive line is AWFUL at pass blocking (#30 in sack rate last year). Marshawn Lynch is not here anymore, Rawls is coming back from injury, and Christine Michael has played on a large number of teams.

    Case Keenum IS terrible (although not as bad as Goff appraently). But so was Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, Austin Davis and whoever else they have rolled against Seattle. In last year’s 34-31 OT win over the Seattle, Rams scored on Tavon Austin run, Nick Foles run, Austin punt return, and a long pass to someone named Lance Kendricks. This is typical of the Rams wins here.

    I won’t predict an outright win, but the Rams always play the Hawks close at home, and reserve all their trick plays and all their silliness for this game. Throw in the first professional football game in LA since the last Browns playoff win (give or take a couple years) and we have the making of a tight game.

  • pheasantpants

    NFL picks: Ravens, Packers, Bears

  • Nick

    Raiders/Bengals/Chiefs today, Bears Essay*

    *Currently at Midway airport about to board the 9:45 back to Nashville so we can get to a bar by kickoff and watch the Browns do Brownsy things. I was here for a wedding in Rockford last night, and before that, a sales meeting at the Mid-America club at the Aon Building. Speaking of Rocks, according to Hunter S Thompson, Chicago is an elegant rockpile monument to everything cruel and stupid and corrupt in the human spirit. Hunter got beat by police when covering a protest in the late 60s in Chicago, so his view may be a bit jaded, but I don’t disagree with his description of my hometown. Here is a story about the Groom, who is a hardcore bear fan, who once ate a bacon wrapped-burger-stuffed hot dog: when we were in college, we got a cake before the Bears/Colts Super Bowl. As the game kicked off, he proceeded to “cut the cake” and we watched Devin Hester return it for a TD. The Bears spent the rest of the game getting Grossman’d, and we blamed it on him for cutting the cake too early. I enjoyed watching him cut another cake last night with his lovely bride and am certain that in this life you should ALWAYS cut the cake, the earlier the better. Bears.

    • HitTheHorns

      Terrible food options at Midway. The Harry Carry place is super slow.

      • Pegasus, though

        • HitTheHorns

          I had an unfortunate conversation with their staff regarding ketchup a few years back and sadly that door has closed for me.

          • Nick

            Potbelly’s or Gold Coast for a char-dog are really the best two options. Midway does have a nice yoga room off into the c-terminal that is a pretty nice way to get away from airport bs.

  • Chris Schroeder

    -7.5 Houston University @ Cincinnati
    PK New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
    -30.5 Baylor @ Rice
    +3 Oregon @ Nebraska
    All Play: -1.5 Ohio State @ Oklahoma

    Location: Minneapolis, MN
    Stadium: U.S. Bank Stadium
    Weather: Don’t matter cause it’s got a roof!!!
    Kickoff: 8:30 PM EST
    Broadcast: NBC

    The Game: Green Bay Packers will be greeted graciously in the new U.S. Bank Stadium, which has been designed to maximize the decibels. The Pack has owned the Vikes in the last six meetings between them. The key to the game is the Packers defense containing Mr. Peterson. Peterson was bottled up last week rushing for 48 yards against the Jags. I’m thinking the Green Bay D will be able continue the trend. Mr. Discount Double Check will hopefully light up the scoreboard early and often. The Pack for the win.

  • pheasantpants

    Change my all-play to the Bucks -1.5

  • oxr

    Going with the flow. All-play OSU -1.5 over Oklahoma.

    • oxr

      Colts +6 over Broncos
      Jaguars +3 over Chargers
      Ravens -6.5 over Browns – well, at least it’s less than a touchdown
      Seahawks -6.5 over Rams – well, at least it’s less than a touchdown

      Essay Panthers -13 over 49ers – well, at least it’s less than two touchdowns, so I guess I’m on board. The Panthers probably deserved to beat Denver in week 1 (I am a fan of the Broncos) and now they’re at home against, let’s face it, not the strongest opponent, especially since everyone seems to have agreed that beating the Rams 28-0 doesn’t really count. If Arik Armstead or whoever does manage to headhunt Newton, you have to think the refs will be quick to call roughing the passer after what happened in his first game.

      On top of that there’s all the usual business about west coast teams on short weeks playing early games on the east coast against teams who’ve had substantial rest. Basically, everything is working against San Francisco here, which probably means they’ll contrive to lose by 10 and then maybe we can get some single-digit lines for them later on.

  • Regardless of whether it’s a bad thing that the highest paid public-employee of most states is a college-football coach, at least Ohioans have one of the finest state-subsidized multi-millionaire football coaches there is in Urban Meyer. The 2014 championship that his Buckeyes won was one thing, but much more impressive than that has been his public accounting of the mental-health problems that led to his shocking and unprecedented retirement, unretirement, and re-retirement as head coach of the University of Florida in 2009 and 2010.

    In what might be the best piece of American sportswriting in 2016, journalist Brandon Sneed, writing for Bleacher Report, got Meyer and his wife Ashley to open up about this issue in spectacular fashion:

    “[F]rom 2005-2010, [Meyer’s] Florida teams won two national championships and he was as successful in every American way a man could imagine. But he was miserable.

    “It made no sense. The Gators won their first championship under Meyer in 2006, then another in 2008. But they didn’t win every game, and even the games they did win barely seemed to register. Meyer would come home and sit in his recliner and brood. He wasn’t taking care of himself. He forgot to eat. He stopped working out. By 2009, he had lost 40 pounds, his pants baggy on his 170-pound frame. And he couldn’t sleep.

    “His wife, Shelley, a psychiatric nurse, tried to tell him, ‘You’ve got to have an outlet. You’ve got to do something. You’ve got to stay healthy.’”

    “‘I don’t have time,’ he would say. Over and over, like a mantra. I don’t have time.

    “‘What’s 30 minutes less of film?’ Shelley said. ‘You can’t take 30 minutes and go run on the treadmill?’

    “No. I don’t have time.

    “Shelley says now, ‘It was just a big mountain of pressure, stress, lack of control and not accepting what he couldn’t control. He was not accepting that he couldn’t control everything. He’s a perfectionist. He wants to win every game. He wants to win every championship. And that’s just not even clear thinking. You can’t. You just can’t.’

    In response to the health problems that arose from this extremely relatable brand unclear thinking, Meyer developed a curative regimen that surely many others could benefit from. According to Sneed, Meyer “never does interviews like this at this time of year,” but “ma[de] an exception for one reason: ‘To help that man or woman who’s going through some s–t right now, and struggling,’ he says. He rattles off one profession after another that isn’t College Football Coach but is demanding all the same—teachers, police officers, firefighters, doctors, parents, soldiers and more. ‘These people that are in consuming jobs—you forget to do one thing,’ Urban says. ‘And that’s to take care of yourself.’

    Here I would just add that any job can become “consuming” in infinite possible ways, and one of the best things a person can do is ensure that her or his job, whatever it is, never crosses that line where it consumes too much. I speak from experience in that, as an attorney, I recently worked on a case (am still working on this case) that—whether it was as important as a major college-football title run or three or not—was something that made me feel that losing would have been the worst possible thing that could happen. And for that reason, I “lost my grip” in a way much like Meyer did as he describes in this article. Had this article only existed first so I could have read about Meyer needing to chase Ambien with beer every night just to fall asleep, and how he came back from it, including by having hired a man named Tom Kight to help teach his players a most fundamental lesson:

    “Urban met Kight about four years ago, at a party, and got to talking about Kight’s work. He’s spent 30 years studying emotional states, mental processes and how they drive performance. Urban was instantly hooked, and they talked for hours.

    Kight says, ‘Getting your mind right is a constant, never-ending discipline. It’s a battle. A fight. And there is a lack of training in general in our country on how to manage mental state in order to live, work, perform at a good level, let alone an elite level. That’s true every place. Not just college football.’

    “By the end of their first conversation, Urban told Kight that he believed in all of those things now, and he and his staff did their best to teach it, but they didn’t have a system. Kight said, ‘I got a system.’

    “E + R = O — Event plus Response equals Outcome. Kight calls this the ‘R Factor.’ The idea is simple: The only thing anyone can control in any situation is the R Factor. You can’t control what happens to you and you can’t control what happens next, but you can control your response. ‘Which,’ Kight says with a smile, ‘is Mental Health 101, by the way.’

    I have a lot more to say about my own experience that powerfully confirms my belief that what Kight and Meyer are up to is powerfully good. But as I only have 9 minutes before the 6:30 deadline for my essay for this 7:30 kickoff, I’ll just add that, per Mr. Sneed in his excellent article:

    “Kight has led around 100 such workshops at Ohio State in the last four years, each of them lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours. ‘No head coach takes that kind of time away from quote-unquote football,’ Kight says.”

    If this is remotely true, I ask you, the Cheddar Bay community, could there be football leadership any better than this?

    I hope to flesh this out better in a Frowns post this week (working title: “Urban Meyer is a fine employee of the State of Ohio”) but in the meantime, give me the Ohio State Buckeyes to win big in Oklahoma tonight. Very glad to be watching this game with some of my best friends including Cheddar Bay’s own rookie Mr. Pheasant Pants. Thanks and please read this excellent article if any of the above is at all interesting to you.


  • late line: seahawks -6.5 at rams.

  • Chris Schroeder

    All Play: OSU

  • thatsfine

    Ark St. +9.5 (L)
    Tulane +6 – An intriguing clash of rush option attacks – Triple option vs. Spread option. I don’t know how quickly Willie Fritz can implement his spread option offensive scheme, but they sure
    looked like Fritz’s former Georgia Southern last week. Plus, Tulane’s D is highly underrated. Love this home dog.
    UNLV +13 (essay below)
    La Tech +10.5
    All play and NFL pick laterRiding UNLV again this week. I watched last week’s game at UCLA which
    pretty much played out as I expected. UNLV were pesky and hung around until the 4th quarter down by only a TD until UCLA put it away. Lots of talk about the greatness of Cooper Rush this week and I agree. That guy looks solid. UNLV saw another (projected) top QB last week in Josh Rosen, he put up good numbers (287, 1TD) but UNLV didn’t get torched. Expect the same here. I don’t see this as a CMU letdown or trap game. I think UNLV comes in and competes.

    • thatsfine

      OSU -1.5

      • thatsfine


  • Nick

    Penn state for 1 pt.
    Ohio state for all play

  • Matt Borcas

    College picks: Ohio State, Miami, Lousiville

    • Matt Borcas

      Bengals, Titans for the early NFL games

  • Galea Minor

    Ok, repost with the Essay.

    OSU -1.5 over Oklahoma (ALL PLAY)
    Bills (pick) over Jets
    Illinois +3 over WMU
    Louisville +2 over FSU
    Michigan -20 over Colorado
    MSU +8 over Notre Dame (Essay)

    It’s the 50th anniversary of The Game of the Century, the 10-10 tie between MSU and Notre Dame, the two best teams in CFB that year. Most of the 50 years since, it would be unimaginable that those two schools could have the two best teams in CFB ever again. Thanks to Brian Kelly and Mark Dantonio, not so crazy.

    A lot of people, Spartans-included, view this as a bit of a B rivalry, since they don’t play every year and there are no conference implications. And maybe it’s not as important as the game against Michigan, but to me, it’s always a big deal. I’ve always viewed this as MSU’s one friendly rival. There have been some classic games, but it seems like you can always be proud of your effort–win or lose–and respect the opponent.

    The one time I didn’t feel that was is 2006. 05-06 were probably the one time that the rivalry was not friendly. Blame shit coaches John L Smith and Charlie Weis for messing that up. It’s also the 10 year anniversary of MSU’s meltdown against Notre Dame at home. That game was rock-bottom for the John L Smith administration, and the aftermath was a coaching search that would change the fortunes of both programs in an amazing way.

    MSU considered some pretty familiar names: Bo Pelini, Todd Grantham, Pat Shurmur to name a few. The final decision was between Mark Dantonio, then at Cinci, and Brian Kelly of Central Michigan. Dantonio was the pick due to his deep Spartan ties. In retrospect, either choice would have been great, but I suspect Kelly might have left MSU for another job. In any event, Kelly went on to take Dantonio’s old job at Cincinnati, then found himself replacing Weis at Notre Dame. Further evidence of the cosmic link between these two schools.

    For today’s game, more is on the line for Notre Dame. A second loss for the Domers will all but slam the door on a playoff run. MSU could lose today, run the table in the B1G, and be in good shape. But no matter what happens, we know we’ll get an exciting, well-played contest between two teams with enormous respect for one another. It’s what’s good about college football.

  • People are making some excellent points supporting an FSU cover but I can’t resist pulling for Louisville on Muhammad Ali day. Also, this helmet decal: https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/777150292949405696

    One point, please. Back with an essay for Ohio State/Oklahoma.

  • bupalos

    The Bupalian slate, fresh as a daisy and guaranteed to delight:

    Rice +30.5 WINNER!!!
    Louisville +2
    VaTech -5.5
    tOSU +1.5
    USC +9

    Reserving my Moralizing Harangue for Monday night.

  • clayII

    tOSU (-1.5)
    Maryland (-9)

    • clayII

      Titans (+6)
      Browns (+6.5)
      Carolina (-13)

      monday night essay to follow

  • trashycamaro

    OSU over Oklahoma I am so confident in this pick that 5 minutes after I made it in the pick sheet up top I had to look it back up so I could write it here.

    • trashycamaro

      Do we have a line yet for Rams-Seahawks?

      • Sorry about that: Seahawks -6.5 at Rams
        (looks like i missed posting a line for umass/fiu. still in pre-season form.)

  • Jmacdaddio

    Cheddar me up for Ohio St, Kentucky, and Auburn.

    Pros and essay to follow.

    • Jmacdaddio

      Cutting it close, please advise if I’m over the wire.

      Giants, Raiders, Eagles for no essay essay pick.

      • youre good.

      • Jmacdaddio

        Perhaps I’ll write an essay about the Eagles and save the no-essay week for late on in the season, when it won’t matter. Not a good start to the my season, which I hope is setting me up for a run later on.

        Free of the Chip Kelly Experiment, the Eagles are generating some buzz. Meanwhile the Bears are just not impressing the past few years. They’ll get worse before they get better. This will be a test for the Eagles, however they’ll manage.

  • CLEinMSP

    Appy St. +3.5
    BGSU +6.5
    Missy St. +14
    Raiders -4.5
    OSU -1.5 (All Play)
    TAMU +3.5 (Essay)

    I got a chance to see a decent amount of Auburn-Clemson on week one, and I was unimpressed. Auburn was rotating QBs in the game and didn’t seem like it ever got into a flow against a Clemson team that replaced a number of key guys on defense. I am not overly familiar with TAMU other than big ‘ol Myles G coming off the end, but my goodness he is a beast. They did already play UCLA in a tough game, so I think that should help. If this becomes a higher scoring game, I’m not sure that Auburn will have the fire-power to keep up. This strikes me as more of a low scoring affair, so I’ll take the points and hope for the best.

  • Dave Borcas

    Georgia Tech -2
    Miami Fla -3.5
    Texas A&M +3.5
    Browns +6.5
    Ohio State -1.5 (all play)
    Florida State -2 (essay)
    If this were basketball Louisville would be the pick, but its not. Louisville does boast possibly this years Hessian trophy winner in Lamar Jackson, but FSU has potentially two candidates in Calvin Cook (Browns pick in 2017) and QB Deandre Francois. FSU has a lot of experience on the road in big games so that should not be an issue. Both teams are solid in the front seven, and the Darwin James injury makes the secondary’s very similar. This game will come down to the FSU OL giving Francois some time to use all that speed at the skill positions. Similarly the FSU front seven will need to keep Jackson in the pocket and make the Louisville offense one dimensional. Jackson with all his acrobatics has yet to take that big hit, and today could be that day. Close game, but FSU in the end.

    • bupalos

      You might want to think twice about going against a Hessian winner. Lightening doesn’t strike twice and George Washington already bagged that one.

      • Dave Borcas

        I am!

  • squeekycleen

    Essay: Nebraska: Ducks have been on a slow slide for a few years and think it keeps going a little more this year. College football is all about coaching, and Helfrich is below average, despite the medias hype of him as top notch. Their offense is average this year and their defense is a sieve and now they head to Nebraska where Riley has a chance to get the Huskers back in the spotlight. While I’m not a big Riley fan either, this is a decent spot as a small home fav and they should be maximally motivated. Points should be easy to come and if Tommy A can hang onto the ball, I expect them to get it done.

    Appy St.
    Cincy (lost on Thursday)
    All play: Oklahoma

    • just caught this but there’s 6 college here. auburn is the only one i can pull off your card. please give us an nfl pick. thanky.

  • 1. BGSU +6.5
    2. Memphis -20
    3. Wash. St. -24.5
    4. Packers -2.5
    5. Oklahoma +1.5 (All Play)
    6. Maryland -9 (Essay)

    Essay: Maryland -9

    There isn’t much to cover here that Mike didn’t cover in his essay. While this one was always a front runner for being essayed, the Tweet reminding me about them not defeating an FBS team is 600+ days pretty much sealed it. UCF’s starting QB is already banged up. The sheet here lists him as probable, but I’m pretty sure there’s a shot he doesn’t go. UCF wasn’t going to cover with their starting QB in my mind, so I can only imagine what will happen if the backup QB has to take the field (which I expect him to at some point whether he starts or not). Also factoring in is that Maryland traveled to Florida last weekend and put some points on the board against another inferior team.

    UCF won’t have another home game until October and while not necessarily a statement game on the national level (especially given the slate of games today…), for a new coaching staff looking to instill some change and motivate its players I’m sure the chance to take down a Big 10 team at home and get that first FBS win in some time is a huge deal. I just don’t see it happening and expect Maryland to get the W and cover.

  • UncleBuck


    Louisville Cards +2 at home against FSU

    I’ll spare the Cheddar Bay community my in-depth analysis that has concluded with the Cards being my essay pick. The reason may be that there is no analysis, and I’m out here chasing a hunch. Or I could’ve concluded that no words of mine can do justice to how smooth Lamar Jax really is. Today will be his welcome to the big stage moment, and I think college football fans will fall for him the same way we all fell for Mike Vick at VTech in ’99. This Louisville setting seems primed for a special performance with The Greatest, himself, being honored today at the stadium.

    Also, when Bobby Petrino is the second most nauseating coach on the sidelines (looking at you, Jimbo) that says something. Not only do I think Louisville is right pick, but I also feel it’s the righteous pick.


  • jdoepke

    Confidence is a little shaken after last week but my focus was more on golf than wagers. I’m back at it this weekend so let’s go…

    Oklahoma +1.5 (AP)
    Nebraska -3
    SJST +13
    UCF +9
    Vikings +2.5

    Mizzou +6

    Admittedly, I don’t know much about either team. However the line seems low, along with a couple of experts picking Mizzou, and nearly 70% of the bets on the side of the Bulldogs, slight edge in money on Mizzou. I see this as a close game until the end and a low scoring game with Mizzou defense doing their job. Georgia wins late 20-17.

    Other considerations:
    App St

  • John

    just throwing in my **all-play**- take care of more later.

    I want Oklahoma (+1.5) over Ohio State.

    • Ew

      • John


    • John

      and ESSAY is
      Skins +3.
      Here’s the thing. For ‘dem Cowboys’- their two big boys are ROOKIES. I don’t buy it yet. Sorry Dak and Zek. (also- seriously- are those your real names?)

      and then – the Boys D line is practically the line up from GhostBusters 2. (yes, THAT Ghostbusters)

      sure- they only have to deal with a 70% healthy Matt Jones…but I think he gets 100 yards.

      oh- and I assure you- Jay Gruden – uses Josh Norman the right way this week.
      and he semi-contains Dez…semi. like 7 catches for 85 yards.

      the end.

      • Troy Bunting

        Ghostbusters 2 is actually the real ghostbusters still FYI. Its when they fight all the evil feelings in New York that materializes as Viggo, a romantic era male version of Hillary Clinton. How do they fight this evil? With cannons that spew jizz everywhere and electrify with positive vibes!

  • zarathustra

    Today I like Penn St, Buffalo, USC, Colorado, and Ohio St. I was planning on making penn st my essay but don’t have time. So all one point for now.

    • zarathustra

      Glad I didn’t have time for that Penn St essay. The Buckeyes weren’t my favorite pick today but I’m stuck with it now. I watched a lot of Oklahoma last year as the mowed through the Big 12 down the stretch last year. Baker Mayfield had a lot of swagger last year, but he’s still the dude that wasn’t very good at Texas Tech and swagger only helps if you are having success. Even an inexperienced Ohio State defense is far better than any Big 12 team. I completely trust JT Barret can win this game late if it comes to that. Oh, I almost forgot about the coach. I trust him more than Stoops in a game like this too.

      • zarathustra

        Bears for my final play of the week.

  • FTCMikeD

    College Plays:
    MSU +8 over ND
    Missy St +14 over LSU
    BAMA -11 over Ole Miss
    AP: OSU -1.5 over Oklahoma

    • FTCMikeD

      PATS -6.5 over Fins
      Sunday night i’m taking the points and the Vikings. I need to get back to watching this OSU game so I’ll make it quick.

      Mike Zimmer is a hell of a coach. I love that guy, he’s one of my favorite coaches in the league, and I love that they went after a QB after Teddy Bridgewater went down. Bradford isn’t the best QB out there, but he is servicable and the Vikings defense is rock solid. The Vikings should be plenty fired up to open up their brand new stadium Sunday night against their number one rival the Packers. Sure, the Pack will be looking to play spoiler, but I don’t think Jordy Nelson is quite up to speed yet and the Pack lost to the Vikings in GB last year to end the season. Everyone’s putting their money on the Pack, so I’d going to fade them and figure Mike Zimmer keeps his guys close enough to cover.

  • NEBRASKA. I felt like Nebraska was a year away last year-new coach and five or six games decided in the last series, that didn’t go their way. I think they jump into the Top 25 after a solid win at home in front of a raucous crowd of 90k.

    NAVY. Just gotta do what Navy does. And for what it’s worth, I like the over here also.

    PITT. Cowboys are overrated- even though this game is at home, I’m all over Pitt after watching these two last week.

    49ERS. Hope the defense is as advertised, even with a time change and cross continental flight, I think the Niners keep it within 2 tuddies.

    BUCKEYES. I’ve never been a Buckeye fan. But I’m even less of a Baker Mayfield fan.

    $$$ STANFORD $$$. To follow…

    • mmmmsnouts

      I secretly like your Navy pick but it was such a stinky fish I didn’t dare take it (public all over them, line has gone down all week).

    • No idea how the prestigious Trojan program sans all kinds of sanctions and consequences now cannot anchor down a better name than Clay Helton. He’s 1-3 since becoming the “permanent” head coach, whatever “permanent” means in 2016 FBS College Football. I mean shit, get Keyshawn in there to bring some swag back into the building. USC was way better when Matt Leinart was having hot tub orgys with coeds and DGAF about anything but rowdy nights in Hollywood. Pete Carroll may have bent the rules but that dude is someone players would sell their soul for.

      On the reciprocal side, you’ve got a bunch of dudes who are smart AF and have literally played the same brand of football for nearly a decade-it has never been sexy, and they’ve had a bunch of white wide receivers and running backs putting on clinics as to how fundamentals and preparation will destroy athleticism a la any local Cleveland Powerhouse vs Glenville come HS playoff time. I’m a firm believer that the best player in college football last year- and his team would have been average as shit without his services. Not to mention back when I had a Sega Genesis I used to crush with his pops Ed, Rod Smith, and some TD 30. So I’m rolling with Stanford in an ass kicking tonight. USC has gotten worse since being beat by the Cardinal twice a year ago. Both times by double digits.

  • mmmmsnouts

    Frustrated by how last week turned out. Had 3.5 points of free value on the Cardinals after the Gronk injury news and they didn’t even win. Backed off a pick I made early in the week in another contest (Arkansas +7.5) because I was giving away value and they ended up winning outright. Bad!

    Also I appreciate all of you who have climbed on the USF bandwagon, but I’m not laying 15 points. Insane backdoor cover potential for Syracuse in that game.

    Instead I’m going with:

    ALL PLAY: Ohio State -1.5 vs. Oklahoma
    Memphis -20 vs. Kansas
    Maryland -9 vs. UCF
    East Carolina +3 vs. South Carolina
    Washington Football Team -3 vs. Cowboys (feels like a Jason Garrett Road Game Wuss Special)
    ESSAY: Florida State -2 vs. Louisville

    Lamar Jackson hype is the only reason this line isn’t something like FSU -7. Sure he’s crazy fast and athletic, but have you watched him throw passes? Every ball comes firing out at 80 miles an hour, especially the short passes. He had about a half-dozen throws clang off his receivers’ hands last week. You can get away with that against Charlotte (in its second year of FBS football) and Syracuse (one of the worst defenses I’ve ever seen). You can’t get away with that against a bunch of four- and five-star defenders like FSU has. We also don’t know how Louisville’s defense will hold up against a team that doesn’t fall hopelessly behind in one quarter, and they haven’t faced anyone even close to Dalvin Cook’s level. Oh, and there’s this: When’s the last time Bobby Petrino delivered in a huge game like this?

  • smittypop2

    I put the rest of my picks in the form…Give me OSU as my pick of the week/essay. I really hate the Buckeyes and have to continue to ride the bandwagon against a very inferior team in OU. These bums are overrated year after year and I really don’t understand how this line is this close. OSU should demolish these poor fucks. The best thing about this game is that I am in a win-win because if the Buckeyes should fail to close out these pussies, then I shouldn’t hear jackshit the rest of the year about how good these bums are and how they can play with anyone in the country. I do applaud OSU for finally scheduling a (supposed) decent team non-conference and, hopefully, helping to get Stoops fired. He is a horrible coach and keeps bringing back his junk year after year. He is starting to look more and more like John Cooper and I am sure the alumni pretty much hates him at this point.

    • just want to have these posted in the thread for audit-failsafe-doublecheck-etc.

      9/17/2016 0:43:01 backfromthedead FSU ND Packers Skins Ravens OSU

  • RCLA

    Did I make quality picks last week? No. No, I did not. Thanks for asking. Will these picks be any better? Signs point to no! What can be done about it? Probably nothing. Should I proceed nonetheless? I suppose.

    MSU +8 – Complicated logic here: Fuck ND so hard.
    Browns +6.5 – Too many points for an average team to get on the road against anyone? I’ll at least make the Browns prove me wrong.
    SF +13 – When I was guessing the lines this week, this was the one I missed the most egregiously. I’m probably overreacting to week one. Whatever.
    Ole Miss +11 – Vegas obviously knows something, this is a ton of points on the road considering Ole Miss has won this game two years in a row.
    OSU -1.5 – I think they’re good?
    ESSAY: FSU -2 – So, I don’t feel any better about this than any of the others. I just have a sneaking suspicion that people are a little enamored of Louisville and I don’t think real highly of their defense. And I think Francois figured something out in the second half of that Ole Miss game – he mobility can effect the availability of the high percentage dumps to Cook and others in a way I think makes them really hard to defend. We’ll see. Lamar Jackson will probably score 8 first half TDs.

    • RCLA

      I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I’m starting to think my essay might have been misguided. Please advise.

  • Concierge

    Penn st -8.5
    colorado +20
    oklahoma +1.5
    Louisville +2
    UNLV+13 essay
    Carolina -13

    To me this just comes down to a simple trap sandwich game for CMU. You just had an emotional win over OK State on a hail mary play that should not have counted. Players and coaches doing interviews all week. No doubt that was a distraction. UNLV is not a bad team. In fact they hung with UCLA for 3 qtrs last week. They were also 3-3 in the red zone vs the Bruins. CMU has an NFL QB but thats not gonna be enough this week as Tony Sanchez and the Bishop Gorman Rebels come to Mount Pleasant with upset on their minds. Keep an eye on WR Devonte Boyd. He’s the best WR in the country no one has heard of. The JR WR has over 1800 yards in two seasons. The Chips will have their hands full with him all day.

    Go Rebels.

  • Hawkaholic

    Packers -2.5
    UCLA -3.5
    Bama -11
    Michigan State +8
    All Play: Oklahoma +1.5
    Essay: Cal +7.5

    Texas is off to a 2-0 start under 3rd year coach Charlie Strong, you know what Strong did in his 3rd year at Louisville? He went 11-2 including a win in the Sugar Bowl over Florida. Do you know what he did in his 3rd game of his 3rd season? Louisville took down North Carolina in a nail biter. What does that have to do with this weeks game against Cal? Most likely nothing, i’m not sure where i was going with that. Strong, a defensive guy is winning this year on the offensive side of the ball. The Bears can score points with the best of them led by Davis Webb, a transfer from Texas Tech who is very familiar with Texas. Webb is the prototypical big quarterback at 6-5 with a big arm and has thrown for almost 1000 yards with 9 touchdowns in the first two games. Texas has the 27th best passing defense in the country only giving up 155 yards a game, something has got to give. Cal eeked out a win last year 45-44 sending Texas in a tailspin. That was with the first pick in the draft playing quarterback for Cal (the guy who was so bad in camp and preseason the Rams aren’t even dressing him) which gave Cal it’s first win in the series after losing the first 5 games to Texas. Last week Cal was 5.5 point underdogs to San Diego State, and lost by 5. This week they are 7.5 point dogs and i look for Texas to get revenge on last years game winning 55-48 in a shootout with Cal just covering.

  • Capitalgg

    [All-play]: Ohio St. -1.5 @ Oklahoma: Almost my essay before I remembered my rule about betting “my” teams.
    1. Bears -3 v. Eagles: 0-1 team v. 1-0 team. Eagles buying hype after beating semi-pro Browns.
    2. Cardinals -6.5 v. Buccaneers: 0-1 team at home v. 1-0 team believing hype after beating overrated Falcons.
    3. Penn St. -8.5 v. Temple: Paterno tribute kind of disgusting, but Temple lost convincingly to Army.
    4. Cowboys +3 @ Redskins: Short week for Washington is the difference.

    Tomorrow is the “biggest game at Louisville since 2006”. College Gameday is at the Pizza Slice or whatever they call the stadium. It’s a huge deal. It’s a chance for Paul Petrino to bring the Cardinals back to the levels they were approaching in his first stint there. And they can prove they belong amongst the college football elite against a blue-blood program from talent-rich Florida.

    But a few things look to work against Louisville here…

    Time of Day: It’s a noon kickoff. What? Since when is the marquee game of the day at noon? That’s barely enough time to drink a cup of coffee, let alone get the crowd lubricated enough for a truly game-changing environment.

    Time of Year: This is a conference game. Possibly THE conference game for Louisville. It’s only the 3rd week of the season. It’s Florida temperatures, not northern coolness.

    Weather: It’s likely to rain at some point in this game. The Cardinals rely on the passing game. Florida St. has a pretty good running back it can lean on.

    Talent: Sure in college football upsets happen all the time. But the talent discrepancy between these teams is currently pretty big. FSU has been a top 5 recruiter under Jimbo Fisher and he’s got the National Title ring to prove it. Louisville has been punching ahead of it’s weight class until it joined the ACC, but that’s still a gulf. The 5-star guys of the Seminoles versus Louisville’s 3- and 4-star guys.

    And that running back I mentioned, Dalvin Cook, he’s so good he could take over this game, especially should the weather turn ugly.

    So have fun Louisville, enjoy your minute in the spotlight, but this one is going to the Seminoles. Florida St -2 is PLAY OF THE YEAR.

    Other Considerations (LW: 5-6, YTD: 8-11)
    UConn -4.5 v. Virginia
    Michigan -20 v. Colorado
    Fresno St. +20.5 @ Toledo
    Western Kentucky -17 @ Miami U.
    Mississippi St. +14 @ LSU
    Texas -7.5 @ Cal
    Browns +6.5 v. Ravens
    Vikings +2.5 v. Packers
    Jaguars +3 @ Chargers

    • Whoa, just saw this!

      • Damn. Really wanted this to be Louisville. I thought about putting my 6 cheddars on the Cards. Good luck to ya!

    • Wow, man, I can’t not root for Louisville on Muhammad Ali day but you make some great points.

    • Capitalgg

      You’re looking live at the CapitalGG household for halftime of Florida St-Louisville…

      • yowch.
        your best hope is for someone to start talking shit about fsu’s qb at halftime and ive already used my bullet on that one.

        • Capitalgg

          FSU’s complete inability to even slow down the Cards offense is far more of an issue. getting 30 behind is rarely on the QB

  • GRRustlers

    Week 3 Picks

    Miami FL (-3.5) over Appalachian State – Just way too many people thinking Miami has no chance of winning this game makes me uncomfortable.

    Oklahoma State (-5.5) over Pitt – Next year I turn 40. I can’t wait to just walk up to random people and tell them that “I’m a man. I’m 40.” I expect an angry Cowboy team Saturday.

    Washington State (-24.5) over Idaho – Hey…it’s my old friend Idaho. Pours one out for the WAC.

    Panthers (-13) over SF – Andy Lee won’t have much to do other than hold for extra points and joke with teammates about how the Browns would have lined him up as a blocker in a fake punt.

    AP – OSU (-1.5) over Oklahoma – I used to be in this elaborate March Madness pool with all kinds of points based on seeds in which I would always risk it all on Kansas. I got mad at the constant flame outs and changed my team name to “Stop Picking Kansas”…they won the title. I’m kind of the same way with Oklahoma football and it’s time for me to quit them. (Oklahoma runs table from now to 2018)

    Essay Pick

    You think Hue Jackson said the dumbest thing this week. Not even close. (Don’t take that as a knock on Hue…I’d give him a decade but just say nothing. No one expects more than 8 wins in the next two years.)

    I don’t feel like copying quotes but if you want the textbook definition of overreaction just look at the comments of Steve Keim this week. What in the world are you talking about? It’s like there is no history of the New England Patriots under Belichick finding a backup QB and somehow winning a game. I watched the game…Arizona just got beat. I saw nothing to be embarrassed or angry about.

    This gives Bruce Arians the perfect chance to send some multiple messages.

    1. Arizona will be just fine.
    2. Your GM should be seen and not heard.
    3. Your time is coming Winston but not yet.

    Arizona scores early and often and forces Winston to make some mistakes that a young Bucs team is just not ready to overcome yet.

    Cardinals (-6.5) over Bucs

  • zizzer13

    I may be the only one here wishing I could pick some of those CFL games… Hamilton Tiger Cats for the win!

    Connecticut -4.5 over Virginia – Virginia’s trash, and Connecticut should have beaten Navy last week, save a boneheaded coaching blunder (side note: amazing how few coaches understand basic clock management).

    Illinois +3 over Western Michigan – Western barely beat Northwestern, which is proving to be utter crap this season, and Lovie’s bunch, better than Northwestern, is getting points? Yes, please.

    North Texas +36.5 over Florida – The least confident pick of the week. I think Florida’s going to revert to type and struggle to score points (at least that’s the hope).

    Panthers -13 over 49ers – as others have so eloquently stated, extra prep time for Carolina, short week for SanFran; Carolina’s defense vs. Blaine Gabbert? 13 points isn’t nearly enough of a spread.

    Ohio State -1.5 over Oklahoma – 1.5 points is basically straight up; Stoops vs. Urban, I’m taking Urban, hostile road environment and all.

    Take this for what it’s worth, as only Ohio State’s win over Tulsa saved me from the Virgin Lobsterita last week, but the second week of the NFL season tends to be more interesting to me than the opener. Teams never show anything in the preseason, making the Week 1 lines often a guessing game. Then there’s Week 2 and the natural overreaction that occurs, and that’s the basis for my essay pick this week. I think many people were surprised by Denver’s win over Carolina (I was) – but again, Denver’s defense carried the day for a mediocre offense. Indy’s defense is giving Cleveland’s a run for the money for worst in the league, but this game feels like a trap to me. Too many players on defense for Indy are injured, the game’s in Denver… I’m taking the Colts and the points and crossing my fingers.

    Colts +6 over Broncos

  • Matt Lawrence

    Ravens -6.5
    Raiders -4.5
    Packers -2.5
    Bears -3
    Chargers -3
    OSU -1.5 (All Play & Essay)

    No homer pick here. I like JT over Mayfield, but this pick is not based solely on the players taking the field on Saturday night, but primarily on the coaching matchup. Give me Urban Meyer any day of the week. He has proven to have his team ready in big games his entire career, whereas Bob Stoops and his Sooners always seem to stub their toe in big games. The most recent example is Houston. Their last game before Houston, was the drubbing they took to Clemson in the final four. They simply don’t know how to prepare and play against superior opponents.

  • thatsfine

    Ark St +9.5

  • bupalos

    Gimme rice and those 4 touchdowns and a field goal. Comeon Rice, run that clock!!!

  • Chris Schroeder

    Baylor -30.5

  • Peter Markos

    Ohio State +2 JT Barret is the best QB OSU has ever had. If Urban had started him all along last season, the Bucks would have been national champs. This game will be a shoot out.

    USF -12 I am a believer in the Bulls. They can score. Mack will be back and USF usually plays well in NY. QB Flowers looks like the real deal and the Tampa Bay Times is calling him the best Bull QB ever.

    Ravens -4.5 Easy money. I am trying to make lemonade out of lemons. I do believe in Hue, but its going to take a long time.

    Pats -5.5 The Pats will want to avenge the loss that cost them home field advantage last year.. No Gronk really hurts, but the Fins are no Arizona Cards. Brady might feel old if the kid keeps winning.

    Panthers -11.5 will get back on track. The 49ers might be the worst franchise the last 2 years. I think its worse to go from very good to terrible. At least the Browns just kept the dumpster fire lit. They did not burn down a mansion.

    Packers -2.5. Aaron Rodgers beat Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford. He is one of the best. Packers / Steelers Super Bowl.
    Keep American Sane!!!

    • Tim Butler

      Peter, just a heads up to make sure you are using the current line. A bunch of your spreads are off. Just wanted to let you know in case it effects any of your picks.


    1) OSU +1.5 (all play)
    2) Titans +6
    3) Giants -4.5
    4) SD -3
    5) Bears -3
    6) ND -8 (essay): MSU is getting monster public support as a dog purely based on prior Michigan State teams. This version is not in the same ballpark as some of those others. Tyler O’Connor stinks. Flat out. The MSU offense just cant move the ball like with Connor Cook. They scored 28 points on Furman week 1 on 6.6 yds/play. Furman! It was am 8 point game with under 6 minutes left to go in the 4th. Meanwhile ND has proven to be a juggernaut on offense and can move it vs any defense. Future Brown Deshone Kizer will have something to prove and I expect a monster game under the lights. The Dantonio bubble is about to burst

    • p_forever

      finally someone talking sense and not blinded by ND hate or big 10 love! ND’s d is scary bad + undisciplined, but MSU simply has no one to take advantage of it.

      • The D is TURRIBLE. Makes me sad. I think VanGorder has to go soon.

        • p_forever

          i was very hopeful about him, but he’s clearly on a downhill trajectory.

    • CLEVTA

      Please replace Bears with Louisville +2. No Derwyn James and Josh Sweat is a huge loss for FSU. I’m also biased as I bet Lville 55-1 to win the title and Lamar Jackson 45-1 to win the Heisman prior to the season

  • RDGinCLE

    *Appalachian St +3.5
    I dont pay nearly as much attention to football the way I used to, for the same reasons Frowns recently cited, but this has to be the one of the biggest home games in Appy St history. Sure, Miami has racked up points and yards vs a couple of shitty Florida teams, but they are still starting three freshman linebackers. Said linebackers will be up against a multi year starting upper classman QB in Taylor Lamb, and will also have to deal with senior RB Marcus Cox who has been having his way defenses thus far this season. The Mountaineers should be plenty fired up at home, and a noon start is the perfect spot for the players from Miami to be caught going through the motions.

    ND -8
    OSU -1.5
    Kentucky -19.5

  • *essay umd -9 at ucf
    maryland has a new head coach and his name dj durkin. id never heard of him so i looked him up, was impressed. his college resume hits an unprecedented trifecta — multiple years experience with urbz and khaki and youngstown. the only way it could be better if it’d his folks had sent him to mooney instead of boardman but even so, that there is some thoroughbred football bloodline. he was also ‘recruiter of the year’ in 2012 and this may already be paying off as umd starts a true freshman rb, Lorenzo Harrison. (while not a durkin recruit, at least he didnt transfer out when edsall was fired.) the red-shirt senior qb (randy hills) that edsall benched due to turnovers last year hasn’t had any yet this year. its hard to know what kind of talent umd (or anyone) has at this point in the season, but they had enough firepower to take a 31-7 lead to the lockerroom at halftime vs fiu, 41-7 end of 3rd, before taking their foot of the gas in the 4th. that’s the sort of offense we like to see in a team who has to cover three or four touchdowns. umd only needs a td and fg. the new ucf is not leahy’s ucf… as our usf twitter buddies are fond of reminding us.
    and while i was never a leahy fan, his teams were generally hard-nose/rugged. ucf hired the oregon oc, soo not quite dino babers in terms of the opposite of hard-nosed/rugged football but almost.

    at lville +2 fsu
    sdsu* -11 at niu
    2*wku* -17.5 at miamio
    ohio +27.5 at tenn
    ore +3.5 at neb
    miamif -3.5 at appst
    at ncst -21.5 odu
    sala +3 at laffy
    msu +7.5 at nd
    tamu +3.5 at aub
    3uga -6 at mizzou
    missyst +13.5 at lsu
    *at nev -11 ub
    3*at wazzu -25 idaho
    ravens -6.5 at browns
    bengals +3.5 at steelers
    4*bucs +6.5 at cards
    at broncos -6 colts
    at raiders -4.5 falcons
    5*jags +3 at chargers
    all-play: okla. for bad action purposes only.

    side note, i’ve been biting my tongue on substance-free trump snark but know that your game in this regard should be stepped up a level in this forum anyway. eg, here is my world and this is the blue-collar world of what was once the most thriving middle/working class in the world: the walmart dc where i (still) work is 14 days behind in our shipping to stores, the norm is 2.* thus, in addition to a steady diet of ten hours forced overtime for yours truly for the last six weeks, walmart has brought in workers from other DCs to help bring our count down (ineffective, but not my point here) and as a result i’ve gotten to chat with workers from the coldwater, michigan dc. they are paid the same as us, but their production quotas are 10% lighter than ours (and from what i’ve seen from them, none of the four working with us would come close to making their number here). the main difference seems to be that while our incoming new hires are observed to include foreign-born workers at a 30-50% rate, the michigan workers report to have very few if any. in other words, our dc can compel a high production quota while simultaneously imposing new and onerous quality initiatives and not worry about a high washout rate because there is a limitless pool of iraqis, albanians, uzbeks, kurds, jordanians, ukrainians, sudanese, turks to draw replacements from. it’s a not a particularly wise strategy as training new hires diverts production-level workers into (non-production) training roles and language barriers are a real thing even when your job is to throw product into a box and put out a light. but back to the main point, the net is that our current immigration policy punishes lower-middle class american citizens while simultaneously exploiting an imported unskilled workforce for the betterment of global corporate interests.** that’s the real shit. dismissing people who recognize and live this problem daily as contemptible xenophobes for supporting trump is not only not a persuasive argument in favor of maintaining status quo, it’s fucking classist and naive and demeaning. but they’re can’t miss laugh lines with the ellen audience and my twitter feed so have it, i guess… just letting you know that’s it’s missing the mark in terms of changing hearts and minds.

    *at some point, i’ll review the walmart management decisions that contributed to this issue. it’d be worthy grist for a whalen mba thesis and suffice to say has left me unimpressed with the management strategies used by the world’s largest private employer.
    **lewiston, maine is a primary landing spot for somali refugees and they now comprise roughly 20% of that city’s population. walmart has a dc there. weird, no? hillary was on the walmart board of directors and the waltons have given 714K to her campaign. weird coincidence, no? who is the real tool of wall street? bernie backers preparing to vote hillary really need to recalibrate.

  • pateslvrblk

    AppySt +3.5
    South Florida -15
    Bengals +3.5
    Skins -3
    ***Panthers -13.5
    Carolina is on 10 days rest, they are coming off a loss and meanwhile San Francisco is on a short week after winning the late Monday night game. The niners have to travel all the way across the country for an early start time on the east coast. Case Keenum couldn’t take shots down the field last week, so the 49ers defense kept creeping up to the line of scrimmage. Cam Newton is ranked in the top ten yards per attempt averaged last season and is very lethal with his feet. Good luck Blaine Gabbert, who has minimal weapons at his disposal and averaged less than 5 yards per attempt last week. Carolina’s defense should hold San Francisco to less than 10 points. Don’t worry about the number Carolina -13.5 it is.

  • ChuckKoz

    UTSA +19.5 (ASU)
    Arkansas St +9.5 (at Utah St)
    Cowboys +3 (Racial Slurs)
    Giants -4.5 (Saints)
    Bears -3 (Eagles)

    AP/ESSAY: OSU -1.5 (OU)
    I write this just prior to my departure to Oklahoma to see the Buckeyes stomp OU. Much of the shine was taken off the game when OU were easily beaten by Houston. At first, I feared this was OU’s typical early choke job and now they will start playing better. But in the playoff era, that Houston loss is no big deal, so OU still has their major shit the bed moment ahead of them. And how better than to lose in an embarrassing fashion than on national TV in a newly remodeled stadium. So that is where the Buckeyes get to roll in and score at least 40 points. I mean, last year OU struggled with Tulsa; OSU rolled the shit out of them last week. And the young Buckeyes are getting stronger and gaining confidence.

    Then I get word that apparently Donald Trump will be in Norman on Saturday for a big fundraiser and hopefully attending the game, because Oklahoma is home to the most conservative nutjobs in the country, so much so that they love Trump. People like that deserve to have their team get the shit stomped out of them.
    OSU 42, OU 28

  • HitTheHorns

    1) Essay: Titans +6

    I loved Tennessee before the season and would have essayed them last week had the Bridgewater-Bradford mess not thrown that game into chaos. That game was just jumping off the page at me. In a way this worked out better. Detroit wins a big road game last week in dramatic fashion, and did so late enough in the day where everyone with Redzone got to see Stafford make plays to win a game. Bill Simmons gets to say things like “Do you think there is a bit of Ewing Theory with Calvin Johnson?” Matthew Berry and my dad get to make Jim Bob Cooter jokes. Facts are Lions won that game against one of the two worst defenses in the league. Titans held AP to 31 yards rushing. I am throwing game one out due to the Vikings mess, and assuming Titans get back on track where I thought they’d finish up.

    2) Buckeyes +1.5

    3) Bears -3

    • HitTheHorns

      4) Maryland -9
      5) LA Rams +6.5

      • HitTheHorns

        6) Giants -4.5

  • PJD19

    Essay pick is Ohio State (essay skip week)

  • FlyHighCharlieFrye

    The Ohio State University -1.5
    Middle Tenn -6.5
    Kentucky -19.5
    Texas A&M +3.5
    Bengals +3.5

    Carolina Panthers -13

    It’s tough to lay 13 in the NFL. It’s tougher to think Blaine Gabbert and this offense have any business keeping this within 30. The Panthers are really good and should be really mad and are on extra rest after that difficult Thursday nighter in Denver. The 49ers are on a short week and coming across the country and have Blaine Gabbert. Also, they made Case Keenum look really bad because he is and now have Cam Newton. This should be ugly quicky and get uglier from there.

  • If drinking a big ‘ole beer during the first 7:30 to come around today doesn’t put me in the mind frame of a degenerate sports gambler, than what can?

    *I am also typing this on my phone – please excuse my inevitable typos

    Took an L last night by picking Cinci. I’m officially unsubscribing from any sports gambling podcasts. My bad. Who can predict two returned picks for TDs in the last seven seconds?!

    All Play: OSU -1.5
    BGSU +6.5 vs. MTSU – maybe one home dog will cover for me this week
    Panthers -13 vs. 49ers: a team that played on Thursday vs one that played late on Monday? 13 points is not enough!

    **essay** Broncos -6 vs Colts
    When I think about the Colts management and owner, and Luck’s potential, I become a very morose sports fan. I fear Hogan is staring down the same barrel. The Broncos defense alone will net the extra six points, but let me also say, I don’t understand why everyone is so down on Semien (sp?) – he seems like a tenacious fellow who should be given a chance to play a few games before vast and sweeping generalizations are made about his character and skills. He’s from Florida (cool?) and at this point is our best candidate for being the next Brady/Rogers and I love stories like that! (Pause for a Sugar Ray “Every Morning” musical interlude. This bar’s radio is on point.) The game is in Denver – tough arena for the Colts. But you know that. I will need something to watch to distract me from my grieving after the Browns manage to further implode on Sunday after breaking the NFL record for most flea flickers attempted in a single game.

    That being said…

    Browns +6.5 vs Baltimore – would feel way more comfortable if this were a full touchdown – but is still a vast overreaction to last week’s abomination. I had a lot of conversations with Nick over the summer that went something like this:
    Nick: we have RG3 now!
    Me: but for how long?
    I know I said it, and after last season, I’m conditioned to the idea our starting quarterback typically expires after, if not during, the first game, but that doesn’t mean I want it to be true.

  • p_forever

    okla +1.5 osu
    fsu -2 louisville
    mississippi state +14 lsu
    stanford -9 usc
    detroit -6 tennessee
    mississippi +11 alabama***** (essay)

    sometimes lightning does strike twice, right??? and by that i’m referring to barely squeaking by with my w.ky +28.5 over alabama essay pick last week, not mississippi’s ability to play with alabama (if i meant the latter the twice would have been a thrice, anyway). i get how much alabama wants to beat ole miss, and i swear i’m not undervaluing nick saban’s ability to do that. still – alabama super wanted to beat ole miss last year too, plus they were at home, and still it didn’t happen. not enough has changed about this mississippi team – or this alabama team – to warrant a double digit spread. most importantly, chad kelly will still be running the show for ole miss, and he’s proven he can out-play alabama’s defense (let alone keep them in the game, which is all i need him to do).

  • Chris Schroeder


  • Bills Mafia for one point

  • Tim Butler

    Jets pk

    • Tim Butler

      OKLA +1.5
      MD -9
      GIANTS -4.5
      RAIDERS -4.5

      As a child I can recall being told three things: Treat others as you want to be treated, eat your vegetables, and always fade a public road ‘dog. There are a bunch of public road dogs in the NFL this week, seven to be exact. (Bengals, Cowboys, Saints, Niners, Falcons, Jags, Eagles). It was hard picking one to essay, but I went with the Panthers. Something else I was taught as a youth is that the team that wins on Monday, loses on Sunday. This is especially true when that team is the Niners, traveling cross-country for a 10 AM game, after shutting out their previous opponent. This is especially, especially true when said Niners are facing a previous Super Bowl participant, coming off a loss and 10 days rest, and playing in their home opener. Someone on the Simmons pod mentioned today that there were 6 NFL games last year with a spread of 13 or more, and all 6 times the favorite covered. (I have no idea if this is true as there was also an argument over whether the new Houston receiver was Vincent Fuller or Corey Fuller). Either way, I like the Panthers.

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Houston -7.5
    Jets pk

    • Harbaugh Handshakes

      Fla st -2
      Packers -2.5
      oh st-1.5
      Essay: Bears -3

      I see value with the Bears here because the Eagles just beat up on the Browns. Somehow the Browns made wentz look like the second coming and their defense looked capable. I think reality is the opposite. The sad reality is the Browns are just that bad. So bad that a qb that has hardly played an nfl snap could embarrass us. So bad that our offense couldn’t do anything against a sub par defense. I expect jay cutler and the Bears to move the ball. This will force wentz to make plays which will force errors. Bears big.

  • Lucy Lawrence

    1. Jets pk

    • Lucy Lawrence

      2. Raiders -4.5
      3. Titans +6
      4. Chargers -3
      5. All Play: OSU -1.5
      6. Essay: Bears -3

      You had to know Wentz was going to play well last week against that awful Browns defense. That being said I will take advantage of the over reaction and take the Bears -3 at home. This is Wentz’s first road game, it’s on MNF and he will be without Ertz..triple whammy! I know the Bears suck but I believe Philly is even worse. Go Bears..help sweeten that Browns pick for next year and prove to all the haters that it was a great move by our front office. 2 top 5 picks…yes please!

  • LittleBallofHate

    Nothing much to say — Houston, Raiders, Lions
    All Play — OSU “Big Game Urban against former Big Game Bob”
    This week’s Browns game — Ravens to win and cover. Some of the Browns beat crew (in particular one who called Jason Campbell an elite quarterback) love to point out that Josh McCown threw for a franchise record in Baltimore last season. Here’s what they fail to point out (cue Lewis Black voice) — IT WAS JOSH McCOWN’S ONLY DAMN WIN AND HE GOT HIS COLLARBONE SMASHED THE NEXT TIME THE TWO TEAMS MET!!!!!!!! That was also the beloved Kick Six game that every time I think about it I hear Adele’s “Hello” playing in my head (thanks Zac and Andre). But hey, at least I get to fly in from Florida this weekend and see the Browns set a record by starting multiple quarterbacks for the 15th straight year.
    The Essay Pick — Florida State. The Seminoles offense is better than last year because it has balance and a competent quarterback. Dalvin Cook has yet to regain last year’s form but if Jimbo Fisher can get 192 rushing and receiving yards like he did in the opener against Ole Miss, no one will be complaining for long. I also think this is the quickest defense that UofL will face all year. Missing Derwin James will be a big blow, but the front seven is pretty stacked. Florida State also has the advantage of being in more big games than Louisville, so we’ll see how nervous Lamar Jackson is before the game.

  • cwonder23

    Houston -7.5
    Jets pk

    • cwonder23

      OSU -1.5 All play

      • cwonder23

        Lousville +2

        • cwonder23

          Essay: Alabama -11@ Ole Miss

          I truly feel that Nick Saban and the Tide are on a war path through a surprisingly weak SEC this year. Their defense is going to keep Ole Miss off the board as the juggernaut re-establishes its dominance. I expect special teams to also factor in here and a couple pf turnovers that Roll the Tide’s way this afternoon. Bama 35-7.

          • cwonder23


  • Brian

    Virginia Tech
    Texas A&M
    Houston Cougars
    Essay: Oregon

    And we’re gonna stick together. You know why?
    Because we are Ducks.
    And ducks fly together!
    That’s right,Jan.
    And just when you think they’re about
    to break apart- – Ducks fly together!
    And when the wind blows hard and
    the sky is black- – Ducks fly together!
    When the roosters are crowing and the
    cows are spinning circles in the pasture
    Um. Okay.
    Ducks fly together!
    And when everyone says it can’t be done
    Ducks fly together.

    Haha, all kidding aside, I think Oregon is still a very potent offense and can still run up and down the field on a decent Nebraska team. That being said Nebraska Coach Mike Riley has never really had a good track record against the Ducks. He struggled to contain the high flying spread offense when he was at Oregon State. The Oregon Defense is allegedly better this year under Brady Hoke, but we have yet to see them look good against 2 below average teams, therefore I’m am hoping this is the coming out party for them and they get a big road win. Oregon +3 i shall hope thats enough

  • Cinci +7.5 to cover. Just to get this in 🙂
    Theme of the week may or may not be “home dogs” – just going to test the waters with this one.

  • Galea Minor

    OSU -1.5 over Oklahoma (ALL PLAY)
    Bills (pick) over Jets
    Illinois +3 over WMU
    Louisville +2 over FSU
    Michigan -20 over Colorado
    MSU +8 over Notre Dame (Essay)

    Essay to be written soon

  • pheasantpants

    Houston -7.5 at Cincinnati for a biscuit.

    • pheasantpants

      at Oklahoma +1.5 over OSU (all play)
      at App State -3.5 over Miami (essay)

      As a Miami hater, I love the idea of the ‘Canes only giving a measly 3.5 points to the Mighty Mountaineers. App State has had a propensity for giant slaying for a decade now, and by all accounts, they should have beaten UT in Knoxville. Both teams beat similar wk 2 opponents by similar scores; FAU and ODU are ranked within 20 spots of each other in the Sagarin rankings. Miami will have the advantage of depth, of course, but I’m not convinced that the Al Golden funk has washed off yet, Boone is going to be rocking, and Brad Kaaya is meh. UM backs are averaging about 8.5 yards per carry, but App State kept a powerful UT rushing attack to 3.0 YPC in wk 1.

      In sincerity, kudos to UM for scheduling a game like this – more programs should be willing to at least go 2 for 1 with mid-major teams. but just as I was on 9/1/07, I’m a big App State fan tomorrow.

  • agnesbojaxhiu

    Okla +1.5
    Chargers -3
    Troy +10.5
    UNLV +13
    Dolphins +6.5
    Essay California +7.5

    This week will be my first completely football free weekend since week 4 of cheddar bay last year. No TV and no gamecast (my old friend) for the entire showdown as I wander around Big Bend National Park. When I return to civilization Tuesday I hope to find 6/6 votes are winners. My theme for this week excluding the all play is teams that covered last week but did not win. It seems like as good a scheme as any I can think of this early in the season before good statistical trends are available for analysis. California is my essay because they are playing Texas and I will be in Texas while the Longhorns will be in California. The teams are fairly evenly matched so I’ll take the points. California won last year in Texas and had a near miss loss last week. Bleacherreport says that Texas is much better against the spread overall, so I like my contrarian beating odds. For the all play I hope that Oklahoma will redeem themselves as they were my last week essay loser.

  • Troy Bunting

    Essay Pick –
    Cowboys +3
    After watching the Redskins D Monday night I have no doubt that the cowboys will be able to put up some points. Prescott looked strong in the pre-season and had his moments in week 1 and will continue to get better, same goes for Elliott. Having Dez Bryant on my fantasy team in week 1 left much to be desired , I expect Dez to take his first opportunity in the NFC east to light up Josh Norman and bounce back with a strong game. The rookie starting opposite of Norman got smoked repeatedly by Antonio Brown Monday as well. Kirk Cousins is really good at being really mediocre and the Redskins offense was just that in week 1, with a running game that never really got going, lack of playmakers and just generally mediocre execution. Cowboys O gets going, D does their job. Cowboys win.

  • Chris P.

    I still believe in you, South Florida. Just not for POTY on the road for more than two touchdowns. And I still believe in the fact that things that are orange are bad. You’ve got the Browns, Agent Orange, Donald Trump, and Syracuse. That’s like the Mount Rushmore of things that blow. Alas South Florida and my man Willie Taggart, there are things I believe in more.

    Sometimes… it’s a cold hard summation of facts and stats. Other times… well… it’s what I see with my own two eyes.

    And I know what I’m seeing. AND I BELIEVE!

    I believe!!!!! I’m getting down on my knees and feeling the spirit run through me like I’m watching Billy Graham at the Rubber Bowl.

    I BELIEVE that after watching… I was wrong in week one and UCLA isn’t good. And a team that loses to UCLA by three touchdowns isn’t good.
    I BELIEVE that four wins in two years is crappy. It’s especially crappy when those wins are Jackson State, Nevada, Hawaii, and Idaho State.
    I BELIEVE that it doesn’t matter how much casino money comes in, UNLV is doomed to perpetual suckitude.
    I BELIEVE that beating a top 25 team on the road sets you up nicely to win the MAC.
    I BELIEVE that while it might have taken some weirdness, you really did beat Oklahoma State, and you really did outscore them when it counted 20-10 in the second half. and you really did hang 400 yards on a top 25 team. You really did throw for 360 yards and 4 TDs.
    And I believe that the era of the stigmatism of picking a direction and throwing the word “Michigan” after it is over.

    It’s time. UNLV gives up 375 yards a game. Central Michigan put up 400 on a Big 12 contender. As strongly as I felt about South Florida.. I’m feeling pretty freaking good about the Chippewas. UNLV isn’t traveling halfway across the country and competing in Mount Pleasant.

    Central Michigan -13 UNLV

    USF -15 Syracuse
    USC +9 Stanford
    Ohio State -1.5 Oklahoma
    San Francisco +13 Carolina
    Baltimore -6.5 Cleveland

    • I’d go see Billy Graham if that’s what it took for them to re-open the Rubber Bowl.

      • Chris P.

        I’m all in on a Billy Graham crusade at the Rubber Bowl. Lots of chances to grease politician palms at one of those things too. Greasy politicians are drawn to those things like flies to… *whistle*

  • Chris P.

    oh man my pick of the year moved two and a half points on that website overnight. It went from my pick of the year to may not even be included at all.

    • Chris P.

      here’s the essay that never will be

      The most important date to remember this weekend? Friday December 27, 2013.

      I know where I was. I had just polished off my 8th eggnog and bloatedly rolled myself out the door of yet another Christmas party.*

      But before I get to the significance of that day, let’s talk college football. There’s a couple ways you could have looked at last weeks games, but no matter how you looked at them, one team’s “performace” topped them all… Syracuse getting bombed by Louisville in an epic defensive showing. Syracuse got down two touchdowns three minutes into the game, and never got closer – losing by 34.

      So naturally, coming off a loss like that, you suck your gut in, dust yourself off, look at what went wrong and work your ass off…. er…..


      Oh, my mistake. You don’t work harder. You bitch about the other team faking injuries, and the game taking too long because they had the temerity to get hurt. Yeah… because that’s the key to turning the ship around… finding someone to blame!

      But there’s a lot more to this than just the cesspool that Syracuse is floating in these days.

      Let’s talk about the University of South Florida Bulls. First, they beat Syracuse by 21 last year.

      They have one of the better head coaches in College Football, Willie Taggart, who has taken two REALLY tough gigs and crushed it both times. He turned around the joke that was Western Kentucky, sending them from winless to back to back bowl games, before taking over scandal-plagued South Florida, which tried to recover from Jim Leavitt’s punching of players by hiring Skip Holtz (lol). Taggart has now taken USF from 3-9 before he got there to 8-5 last year.. and this year?

      Well, this year, but for Houston, USF would be on the short list for the non-power-five slot in the major bowls.

      They return nearly all their skill players from the team that won this game last year. They’ve got Marlon Mack (RB), who was cleared from a concussion, but took the week off anyway… because USF was so obliterating Northern Illinois that they didn’t need him. All Mack has done is lead the AAC in rushing for two straight years. He went 20 rushes for 184 against ‘Cuse last year. They’ve got Quinton Flowers (QB), who has accounted for eight touchdowns already in two games this tear. They return a 900 yard reciever. They return their top tackler. They return last year’s NCAA leader in forced fumbles per game. They return a first team AAC corner.

      They used the zone-read to torch Syracuse last year. Syracuse got torched by Louisville’s zone-read last week and bitched about players faking.

      What’s more AMERICAN than betting ON the AMERICAN Atheletic Conference’s crown jewel to beat the tar out of something that dyes it’s skin orange? Nothing. Nothing at all. If this election is teaching us anything, it’s not to respect orange people who always claim that their opponents are cheating.

      Look, let’s cut to the chase. USF is going to beat the hell out of Syracuse. They’ll lead wire-to-wire and they’ll run away late.

      South Florida minus anything less than two touchdowns vs. Syracuse

      * This isn’t verifiable**
      ** In fact, there’s a chance I could have gorged myself on chili that day at Whitey’s with Frowns

      Oh yeah. December 27, 2013? That’s the last time Syracuse beat a team that ended a year with a winning record over FBS/FBC teams (Minnesota). They beat Central Michigan a couple times, but the Chippewas padded their record with some Div 1AA wins (or whatever they call that group these days).

  • actovegin1armstrong

    AP, OSU -1.5
    Bills pk
    FSU -2
    Toledo -20.5
    Ark -31
    **** Memphis -20 ****
    Memphis is still looking for revenge from 2008. Well, that was basketball, but still….
    The Kansas defense is slow, lacking in talent, not well coached and not every deep. This lack of virtually everything positive does not bode well against a Memphis offense that can run in multiple players and play hurry up. The Kansas defense will look like they are playing some pre-school game where everyone taps their heads at the same time.
    Kansas has not won a road game since September of 2009. Lately they have not showed up for most of their road games. Memphis beat them by 32 last year in Kansas. This year Kansas is starting a banged up freshman quarterback who was 90% of their rather anemic offense last week. Memphis should win this game by about 40 points.

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