Wk 5, Louisville -2 at Clemson.

Short post today:  I (inadvertently) threw my car keys in the trash at work yesterday.  I shit you not.  Around 4am this morning, my boss drove me 30 minutes out of his way to get my spare then 30 minutes back so I could drive my car home.  Humanity.

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  • bupalos

    Vikes tonight.

  • clayII

    Vikings (-4.5)

    No fancy stats for this one. I like the Vikings, they’re tough especially on D. Bradford is good enough and will only get better as he learns this offense. I also read somewhere that Min offense has been more productive w/o Peterson so I’ll roll with that. I refuse to trust cheddar points to Eli cause he and the giants just annoy me. The NFC east is trash except maybe the cowboys now, so Vikings big

  • bupalos

    niners +3, chiefs +5.5

  • DQuatts

    DQuatts remainders:

    San Francisco
    Minnesota
    Kansas City
    Denver**

    **this team is incredibly similar to the super bowl champs from last year and after three weeks you can really see it. They come into a struggling Bucs arena in a game they really should win. The low point line scares me a little, as I do think Denver is a much better team. If TB can score any points on offense they might have a chance, but that is asking a lot against a defense that looks locked in already this early into the season. Broncos by two scores.

  • mmmmsnouts

    Imagine having Tennessee -3.5 and realizing the only reason the Vols didn’t cover is because you don’t have to kick the PAT in college if you score a TD on the last play. Ouch.

  • bupalos

    Clemson and the points I guess? Dunno. Not going well

  • UncleBuck

    **Essay**

    Louisville -2 over Clemson.

    I’ll continue to ride the Lamar Jax train until it comes off the tracks. Is that going to be tonight? Could be, but I’m not convinced by Clemson this year. There’s no doubt, barring an injury, that the Cards will put up points. The challenge for Clemson will be to try and score big to keep pace, and I’m not sure that will happen. In watching Louisville the first few games of the year it is easy to be overwhelmed by the offensive stats, and for good reason. What I thin gets lost is that the Cards have a good defense. That will never be their strength, but I think they have enough athletes to make life difficult for Watson. I’ve been looking forward to this match-up more than any game this year, so hopefully we get a good one.

    And here’s to hoping that tonight we watch the future qb’s for the Browns and Bills.

  • zarathustra

    Last night I was at a boring party having a miserable time when something pretty remarkable happened. It was a neighborhood party but I didn’t really know anyone. The conversation had just devolved from a talk about home insurance to politics. I decided that I’d rather die than even be in the vicinity of such a conversation so I wandered off in search of a firearm. None was found.
    I was eventually found though. By the guy who owned the house. I had never really talked to him before. We had only even exchanged greetings a few times.
    “What do you think you are doing?”
    I stammered for a moment.
    He smiled wryly. “You can be so melodramatic. I had forgotten that again.”
    “I’m afraid I don’t follow.”
    He belched a laugh. “That is quite clear indeed. You get so damned lost in your thoughts and your concept of yourself that you don’t seem to be following anything that’s actually going on.”
    I had no idea what this guy was talking about. “Oh, sure. Right. I definitely understand now.”
    “Enough of this bullshit Zarathustra.” Before I could muster a word. “Yeah. I know all about it.”
    “I don’t understand. How?”
    “I’ve been here a long time. I have no idea how long specifically, but I know it has been a very long time.”
    “Here?”
    “Yes. Here. This life. Many many times.”
    “Wow! That must be awful.”
    He bellowed with laughter. “Yes. I suppose there is that. Most definitely indeed. But of course that’s a small part of it. The more often you are awake and not forgetting all the time the less you get stuck in that aspect of it. It’s actually pretty great.”
    “Great? How could that possibly be?”
    “Because it allows you to see more. To see more clearly.”
    “Wait a minute,” my breath shortened. “If you have been here many times before that would mean…that I have been here many times before.”
    He took great pleasure laughing at this. “So much thinking.” More laughter. “So much thinking.”
    “Thinking?”
    “So much thinking. So much thinking.” He paused. “How much thinking?”
    “A lot?”
    He laughed again. “Who is thinking?”
    “Do you remember everything? Like, everything?”
    “Oh god no. I forget all the time. Most of the time probably. I get completely lost in all the thinking and am no different than the way you sleep through life after life.”
    “How does that happen?”
    “Everything is mind. Thinking is very powerful. It’s easy to get lost. But then you remember and everything is so rich with meaning that you’re actually thankful for the forgetting because without it that remembrance would not be possible.”
    “When does it all end? What is the point of it all?”
    He laughed again. “So much thinking.”
    “What am I supposed to do with all this? What does this have to do with voting on football games?”
    “What you can do is practice. It’s like any skill. If you don’t practice your skill will diminish. Practice waking up to this moment. See your thinking. See your karma. Feel all the fear hiding so deep in all the thinking. Smile at the fear. It will always be there. It never goes anywhere. How you respond to it is everything?”
    “So what does this have to do with football voting again?”
    “Much. One of the most beguiling fears is the fear of being wrong. The ego absolutely hates being wrong. It sees it as an existential threat.”
    “And?”
    “And there can be no success voting on football without training in the humiliation of being wrong. Often. No it’s not the same as admitting you were wrong in how you spoke to your wife because you are still holding on to some petty grievance from a week ago that you just can’t let go of, but it is acknowledging your fallibility nonetheless.”
    “Of course. Of course. Of course. But there’s also that you theoretically at least could remember the outcome of games that have yet to happen.”
    “There is that too. Yes.”
    “So…?”
    “Oh…I quit voting on football lifetimes ago.”
    “Could you do it for me?”
    “Oh my no. That’s not the way it works at all. You still have much to learn. It’s not even possible that I could give you football votes that had any probability above chance. But you. You could.”
    My eyes widened. “How?”
    He walked over to a shelf on the wall and picked up a glass of fizzing liquid. “Here. Try this. It’s from my laboratory.”
    “Laboratory? Are you a scientist?”
    Laughter again. “No. Many people have told me that it would be irresponsible for me to advertise myself in that way anymore.” He handed me the glass.
    “What is it?”
    “I’m not exactly sure. But I think I finally found it with this one. If I have, you should be able to remember all of the football games.”
    “Really?”
    “Yes. Now drink it please.”
    I’m easily persuaded so I drank the strange substance from this strange man making strange metaphysical claims.
    At this point his wife walked in and gently asked what he was up to.
    “Jesus Christ,” he snapped. “Can’t you see I’m in the middle of a conversation. He actually drank it.”
    His response seemed more than a bit incongruous with everything he had told me.
    Nevertheless I do seem to remember this weekend’s games. Some of them anyway.

    Washington (W)
    Virginia (pending)
    Clemson (all-play)
    TCU
    Browns
    Utah***

  • Matt Borcas

    North Carolina +11 over Florida State
    Michigan -10.5 over Wisconsin
    Louisville -2 over Clemson
    Ball State -4 over NIU

    • Matt Borcas

      49ers +3 over Cowboys

      • Matt Borcas

        Essay: Giants +4.5 over Vikings

        Minnesota’s defense was deservedly praised for its performance in last week’s 22-10 win over Carolina, but as it turns out, the Panthers might not be THAT good (at least for a defending conference champion). Jerick McKinnon is certainly no Adrian Peterson, and for all the talk about how the Vikings were built to withstand his season-ending injury (e.g., http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/vikings/2016/09/18/adrian-peterson-knee-injury-minnesota-green-bay-packers/90671158/), McKinnon mustered a mere 45 rushing yards on 16 carries last week. Plus, we know that Sam Bradford can’t carry a team to greatness, so the Vikes will come back down to earth sooner or later, right? The G-Men need this game more than Minnesota and they’ll get the job done tonight.

  • PJD19

    Ole Miss essay
    I’ve been impressed with Chad Kelly and his freshman wideouts. This Ole Miss team isn’t a great team, but they’re very good with a ton of talent. They’re 2-2 with loses to Bama and FSU and they could have won both of those games, and had big early leads in both. If Ole Miss jumps on Memphis at home, they ain’t coming back like the big guys did. Chad Kelly is a real dual threat and can put up points in a hurry. Revenge game from last year. Ole Miss big.

  • Peter Markos

    Clemson
    South Florida -6
    Browns +8
    Cowboys -3
    Cardinals -8
    Broncos -3 Essay pick
    I cannot post my picks in the system!
    USF will bounce back against Cincy. FSU dominated both lines of scrimmage last week. The challenge will not be as great this week. USF will get their points.
    The
    Two homer picks this week. The Browns will cover. Goodbye Josh. I look forward to you reviving your career in New England and enabling Tom Brady playing until he is 45. What could have been with Josh, Pryor and Coleman, Let’s play the rookies and see what they got.
    The Cowboys are playing the Niners. Colin has balls for what he is doing and that is about it for the 49ers. What a mighty fall.
    The Cardinal are playing the Rams. The Rams will be reminded quickly that they aren’t in Tampa. The Broncos can paly defense. The Bucs cant cover a toilet seat.
    The Broncos will stop the Bucs offense enough that their offense wont have to do too much against that awful Tampa D. Where did you go Tampa 2. The Super Bowl 37 DVD reminds us of the good old days. Last week was an embarrassment. The only this worse was the clock management at the end of the game.

  • 1) Georgia +3.5 over Tennessee
    2) Indiana +7 over Sparty
    3) Clemson +2 over Louisville

    3 NFL picks plus essay tomorrow.

    • Mike, I accidentally submitted Clemson as my essay in the form. I definitely do not want Clemson as my essay and please switch my all play vote to Louisville for one point, thx.

      • 4) Bills +? over Pats
        5) Washington DC NFL football team -8 over Browns
        6) Buccaneers +3 over Broncos***

        I’d planned to essay the Washington DC football team over the Browns today but I’m too late (sorry, Mike, I’d submitted it on the form so you’ll have to strike that, too). So I’ll go with the Bucs today. It looks like it might be a letdown spot for Denver, who lost Demarcus Ware, their starting RT, and their starting TE to injury last week. The Broncos were a different team last year when they got Ware back to bookend Von Miller and they should be at least something of a different team without him. The Bucs have been doing a good job protecting Winston anyway, and they moved the ball really well against a good Rams defense last week. Tampa does not want to be 1-3 with a trip to Carolina coming up next week so this should be something of a kitchen sink game for them, and maybe now that there’s a few games of tape out on Trevor Siemian it will be easier for the Bucs to game plan for him than it’s been for the Denver’s earlier opponents. Anyway, it should be fun to watch Mike Evans go up against Aqib Talib.

  • Tim Butler

    clemson +2
    jags +2.5
    wash -8
    cards -8
    titans +5
    essay vikes -4.5 (essay skip week)

  • trashycamaro

    Clemson +2 over Louisville

    • trashycamaro

      Browns +8 at Washington Football Team This Washington team should not be favored by 8 over anyone. This would be essay if not for my “don’t essay my teams rule”.

      Jets +2.5 over Seahawks Wilson still limited. Jets have top 5 run defensive line and pass defensive line. Seattle has bottom 5 run offensive line and (surprisingly high) #19 pass blocking o-line. And did I mention the Jets are a home dog? Oh, and on Fitzpatrick, he’s done a 6 INT game before, he’s old enough to put that behind him.

      Falcons +3 over Panthers Which team beat the Panthers last year? The Falcons! While there is definitely room for the Panthers to score on that atrocious Falcons defense, the Panthers defense has been a little less than stellar, especially against the pass (#10 overall), leaving the Falcons #2 offense some room to operate. Also the Falcons are a home dog this week, always a nice invitation.

      Essay Raiders +3 over Ravens So the Ravens are 3-0 and the Raiders are not, I don’t know what their record is. What I can say is the Raiders are the top offense in the NFL matching against a top 5 defense in the Ravens. On the otherside of the ball the Raiders are one of the worst defenses in the NFL while the Ravens boast a bottom 10 offense. What gives? I am looking at the Raiders, offseason darlings who were quickly cast aside against the Ravens who had the opposite story. What’s important about the Raiders is they added several big pieces on defense (Sean Smith, Bruce Irvin, others) and it can take some time for the pieces to jell and for everyone to know where they are supposed to be. I say about 4 weeks is the right amount of time for them to start playing better, even if not 100% of what we thought they were going to be. While I like my picks, I am not expecting to hit them all, probably 3/5. Picking which to be my essay was difficult. Ended on picking against the Ravens because unlike Cards (David Johnson), Seahawks (defensive guys and Russell Wilson), and Panthers (Cam), they do not have that one player who can break the game open. Sorry Flacco, not elite.

      Rams +8 over Cardinals So, last year in week 4 the Rams beat the Cards outright. Palmer is really struggling this year and unsurprisingly the Cards are ranked #25 in pass protection (#8 in run blocking). You know who can take advantage of that? Aaron Donald and friends (to be fair, they are the 28th ranked pass rush, so this will get them on track). And the Rams do surprisingly well in their division games given how generally poor they are overall.

  • thatsfine

    Toledo +3.5 W – Did anybody else stay up for this? It was rewarding.
    Clemson +2 – Figure I’ll step in front of the train again this week.
    Troy -13.5 – essay
    Fresno +9
    Akron -7 – They looked great the last 2 weeks against two of the better group of 5 programs (App State and Marshall).

    • thatsfine

      I’m way out of my element here, essaying a huge public play that is also a favorite…. Two things I generally avoid. But, this one stands out for me. Troy has a solid offense with run/pass balance, averaging 5.5 yards/carry and an o-line that has only allowed ONE sack this year (keep in mind they played Clemson two weeks ago and only lost by 6). They have a nice road win over USM, and just tweeted out a picture of their student athletes studying. Idaho, their home field the Kibbie Dome seems like a great place to see a rodeo (yes, it’s a real dome, look it up, pretty sure it has hanging goalposts) They somehow pulled out an OT win against UNLV last week. This homecoming for them and I saw something on the website about a “Vandal Walk”. I didn’t investigate but the administration should get props for endorsing an activity like this if it involves any actual vandalism, but I’m sure it doesn’t so they’re just misleading their students. Another positive, they lost to UW by 45, and UW just beat Stanford by 36 so maybe they’re not that much worse than Stanford. Anyway, Troy to kick ass in Moscow today. 13.5 seems like a bargain for a team that is playing well going against a team that ranges from terrible to piss-poor every year.

      • Troy/Idaho essays are what Cheddar Bay is all about

        • Chris P.

          Can I like a post 10 times?

    • “Toledo +3.5 W – Did anybody else stay up for this?”

      I can tell you that Agnes tried and was a happy camper when she checked the scoreboard this morning.

      • thatsfine

        Easier for me to stay up being on the West Coast. The game still went until 11pm.

    • thatsfine

      Titans +5

  • GOPHERS.
    $$$ IRISH. $$$ no essay week please.
    AKRON.
    LOUISVILLE.

  • Concierge

    Louisville
    Hurricanes
    Zips Essay
    Ole Miss
    UNC
    Titans

    Essay

    To me it just comes down to how much better Akron’s offense is as compared to Kent. It might be a lower scoring game because Kent does have some guys on D that can play. BUT they are down to their 3rd string Qb in George Bollas. Bollas was a starter last year and he was awful. They could barely move the football with him at QB last year. And there is a reason he was beat out by two freshman this year. It’s a rivalry game so anything can happen but give me the Zips with the NFL talent at WR. Natson and Lane are some DUDES.

    Zips get the wagon wheel.

  • bupalos

    Notre Dame is one of those programs that looms so large in NCAA psychology that any story involving it necessarily becomes a story about it. So when Notre Dame loses an unexpected one it’s because Notre Dame is terrible and Notre Dame turned the ball over and Notre Dame is having problems on Defense and Notre Dame graduates it’s student athletes and Notre Dame Notre Dame. Last time I checked, two teams are involved in every football game, and it turns out that was just as true last week as it has been since the dawn of time, and low and behold that football team even has uniforms and a name and everything*, and this week is giving just 3.5 points at home to a rebuilding Virginia that is blah in every way. Sign Bupalos up for 3 big ones here.

    *everything here also includes a young but up and coming QB I think we may someday hear about in NFL circles and and an excellent coach.

    • bupalos

      Also I’ll give the 18.5 on Appaloosa State. Everyone loves big horses and I’m not really sure “Georgia State” actually exists.

  • John

    Michigan -10.5 at Wisconsin

    • John

      ugh.
      Indiana +7 versus Michigan State
      Boise State -19.5 over Utah State
      All play Clemson +2 versus ‘Ville

      • John

        I seriously hate my life right now

        Steelers -5.5 over the Chiefs

        and my essay pick **Bears +3 versus the Lions**

        ok- one more try. one more try to literally put my $$$ (or at least some points) wehre my mouth (or my essay pick) is.

        the Bears can’t be THIS bad. can they?
        I know that I am pandering to a bunch of fans that have had it as bad as me for a better half of a century…but seriously…this bad?

        I really want today’s game because I will not (and never will believe in #BenchCutler.
        I need to see Hoyer do something right.
        I need the team and management to see the light at the end of this Jay train that ends in 2021…Chwenty effing chwenty one!!

        It’s a shootout- and we won’t know if the Bears are winning the game until there are 23 seconds left…and we MAY lose based on a few bad coaching calls (John Fox is next on my list)

        Bears need to get some running yards in the first half…if they have any chance.

        also fun fact- the Bears haven’t won on Soldier field on a year.
        Summon your inner mid 80’s- and win one of Da Coach.

        or for me. puhlease.

  • POTY ALERT

    Mizzou +13 at LSU
    ive been hate-watching mizzou since their opener. have to say: mizzou football is much improved from last year. defense remains rugged but it is the offense that has done a singular 180. while it may be talent and to be sure scheming, in watching them, there is a ‘boldness’ that can be useful. ie, they’re willing to take some risks and maybe eat some turnovers and when they get the ball back they’ll go back to attacking long. their surprising standing at #4 in ncaa passing offense (391 yds/gm) reflects this attitude. they have the sort of defense that allows for that. of course, five turnovers (UGA game) is too many. but against an lsu team in a bit of disarray, whose offense has not cracked 20 points against comparable defenses and who is now learning not just a new HC but a new OC also,,, spotting mizzou 13 seems mighty generous even in baton rouge.

    (not for nothing but what douche-baggery to fire your national champion winning, 11 year, best coach youre likely to get over a hail mary loss at the iron bowl. the iron bowl. fuck me,,, using that logic saban wouldve been shit-canned three years ago after the kick 6 and bama would be two trophies lighter.)

    and i said all that without having seen that leonard fournette is now doubtful. and here i read that orgeron wants to throw more. mizzou is a bad team on which to roll out such a beta test.

    this is under consideration as a POTY.

    … no this is the POTY. POTY me.

    also fau, fresno, falcons, lville, browns.

  • zarathustra

    Duke on the road for the second week in a row in a let down spot. I’ll take the home dog.
    Virginia for one point.

  • 1) LA Tech -19
    2) USF -6
    3) Northwestern +13
    4) Detroit Lions -3
    5) Clemson +2 (All Play)
    6) Southern Miss. -24.5 (Essay)

    Essay: Southern Miss. -24.5

    Rice gives up a lot of yards each game and doesn’t score a lot of points each game. Southern Miss. has gained a lot of yards each game and has the points to show for it. I expect both of these stats to hold true tonight with USM at home. Rice is coming off a double OT loss at home which was their highest point total of the season (35) after scoring 14, 14, and 10 in the week’s prior. I think the 14 mark is right around where they’ll be tonight, leaving USM plenty of room to cover in a game where an over/under of 59 is set.

  • clayII

    Louisville (-2)
    Akron (-7)

    • clayII

      Ravens (-3)
      Falcons (+3)
      Chargers (-4)

      essay to follow

  • jdoepke

    Louisville -2 (AP)
    Kansas St +3.5
    S. Carolina +18
    Jags +2.5
    Bucs +3

    Essay:
    Indiana +7

    This line is down to 5.5 and I like it even more. IU crowd will be pumped for prime time game under the lights, which doesn’t happen often. Sparty off a horrible showing and the public is hammering them, yet the line continues to drop. 76% of bets on Sparty, 67% of money on Hoosiers. Give me Hoosiers under the lights to keep it closer than expected. Sparty 27-26 late.

  • CLEinMSP

    Western Michigan -3.5
    Wisconsin +10.5
    Wake Forest +11
    Cardinals -8
    Louisville -2 (All Play)
    Arizona +13.5 (Essay)

    RichRod takes his guys into the Rose Bowl with a 2-2 record. Still early and hard to tell how good everyone is yet, but Arizona did take Washington to overtime. They also could have beaten BYU. As far as UCLA, sure feels like should have beaten Stanford last week, and they lost a hard fought game to A&M on week one. This feels like a pretty important game for both teams, and that is why expect it to be pretty close. I’m sure UCLA will want to bounce back in a big way at home, but 13.5 seems like a lot. Hoping for more of a low-scoring slugfest than expected (O/U 58.5).

  • Nick

    Cleveland over Washington
    Ohio over Miami (OH)
    Nebraska over Illinois
    Having cable back in the household brings its ups and downs. One unexpected benefit is the big10 network in general, and their excellent women’s volleyball broadcasts. This week, I watched Nebraska’s #1 ranked women’s volleyball team shut out #24 Illinois 3-0 in Champaign. I believe this to be a harbinger to come as Nebraska seems to be riding some type of wave, congrat to them for keeping Lincoln relevant. I hear the housing market in Lincoln is hot, as is their women’s volleyball and #15 ranked football team. Illinois is coming off a bye week and normally that means something to me, but I don’t think an extra week off helps a Lovie Smith coached team, and I will take a Cornhusker team coming off a nice victory in Evanston. Illinois Football gets a pass this year, while Lovie learns the college game, and gets his recruiting in order, so that we can get ready for future years of mediocrity and general disappointment.
    Clemson +2 Louisville
    Eastern Mi +3 Bowling Green
    Syracuse +10 vs Notre Dame

    • Nick

      Please take me off Nebraska and put me on Illinois as my essay play. Mostly because I am almost in dead last, so might as well go opposite of my first take, and because Thomas Pieters of Belgium went to Illinois, and has helped put Illinois golf on the map. Also I’m with my folks and we all went to Illinois and I’m a homer so why not root for a cover today. thanks.

  • zizzer13

    So my asshole theory worked pretty well last week, at least until the NFL games kicked off on Sunday… I’ve learned my lesson: don’t pick any unnecessary NFL games…

    Akron -7 over Kent State – sadly, I’ll be in attendance at this one. When you see a grown man getting excited over a seemingly meaningless TD conceded by the Flashes late in the fourth quarter, yeah, that’ll be me.
    Rutgers +38 over Ohio State – Not only does Rutgers head coach Chris Ash have familiarity with Ohio State’s personnel and scheme, he also has the benefit of Urban not wanting to run the score up against friends. Bucks win, but 38 is too many.
    Notre Dame -10 over Syracuse – if the Irish are having any thoughts of going any place relatively warm for bowl season, they’ve got to start winning games. Syracuse is pretty crap.
    Cowboys -3 over 49ers – I’ve been thinking about this game for the past three days, trying to figure out in what world the Niners keep this within a field goal. Uranus. I’m thinking Uranus.
    Clemson +2 over Louisville (All Play) – Knowing they still have Florida State upcoming, Clemson knows this is a must-win if they have any hope of getting back to the national title game. Plus, Death Valley at night is something to behold…

    And the essay…
    I really don’t like either of these two teams. Their fanbases suck, and they’ve both had a history of hiring really shitty people to run their football teams… So I make this pick somewhat hoping that a giant hole opens up under Michigan Stadium and swallows both teams whole. It’s not often that you get a matchup of two unbeaten teams at week five, but that’s exactly where we’re at. So if I told you that one team was a 10.5 point favorite in a battle of unbeatens, you’d look at the schedule and say that it had to be the team that beat a pair of top-10 teams to get there that was the favorite, right? Yeah, not so much. Michigan’s gotten to this point playing up against “powers” like Colorado and Central Florida and Penn State, while Wisconsin accelerated the Les Miles Relocation Program by keeping Leonard Fournette in check and went on the road and delivered a thumping against a pretty good Michigan State team. Perhaps Michigan will win this game outright. But I’ve picked against Wisconsin twice this year and lost both times – 10.5 points is way too many to make that a third. I’m going with the Badgers.

    Wisconsin +10.5 over Michigan

  • Dave Borcas

    Rest of picks……
    Tennessee -3.5
    Ball State -4
    Notre Dame -10
    Clemson +2 (all play)
    Panthers -3 (essay)
    My essay picks have come with great confidence so far this year and I still haven’t got one right. So rather than being extremely confident, lets try a team that needs a win coming off a bad game. The Panthers had a lead last week then totally got shut down by what looks to be a very good Minnesota defense. Although not the Purple People Eaters they are playing solid D. A loss to the Falcons would put the Panthers in a bad spot. The Panthers OL is playing very poorly and the injury to James Stewart does not help. The Falcons don’t offer up the same pass rush as Minnesota so Cam should get some time to find his big speedy receivers. One of the Panthers strengths is run defense and keeping Coleman and Freeman contained is key to forcing Matt Ryan to make some mistakes. The Falcons are playing some good ball right now but the short week may have some effect when playing a physical team like the Panthers. Panthers win 31-20

  • Jmacdaddio

    Louisville -2
    Boston College -17.5
    East Carolina -4
    Michigan St -8
    Bucs + 3
    Browns +8 (Essay)

    I don’t like to essay my hometown teams. Giants, Jets, Rutgers, all incur bias one way or the other depending on how loyal I’m feeling. I could argue to exclude Philadelphia however I don’t get their Fox feed in HD so I can only watch Eagles games in SD (First World Problem if there ever was one). This week however it’s time to get on board with the large contingent of Browns fans in this competition. The ‘Skins are a meh team that got very lucky against the Giants last week. And once again, the Browns are due. They’ve been knocking on the door, and 8 points will help.

  • squeekycleen

    Essay: Georgia. This pick is at least on time. Of course its not as good as last week’s should have been POY with wisco. Think this has a good shot though. Tenny, who I still am not impressed with (Florida sucks), now laying road points to sketch looking Georgia playing without their best or at least most nationally known player. Vols should keep rolling right? I suspect no. They acted like they won the Super Bowl last week, and its hard to get up back to back, especially for college kids. This one should be tight with the points valuable.

  • RCLA

    I’m not happy with anything his week.

    Ohio -2: Frank Solich owns these fuck kits
    Wisc +10.5: Any excuse to cheer for Michigan to die in a fire
    Cards -whatever: They know they have to win. They will.
    Carolina -whatever: Same
    Clemson +2: rececncy bias
    Essay: NO +4. What is the scenario in which SD runs away with this game? They aren’t particularly good at anything and they literally have no fans and no home field advantage. The saints aren’t any good either, of course,but they are 0-3. It’s a kitchen sink game for them. And I think the Chargers have played a little over their heads just to be 1-2. Maybe I’m just still catching up to the Saints being terrible. I’m past the notion that they are secretly good. That was a few years ago. But I haven’t yet escaped the assumption that they will go 7-9 every year until Drew Brees, professional salary albatross, retires. And you’ve gotta beat the chargers to get to 7-9 baby. All day baby. All day.

  • Capitalgg

    [All-Play] Clemson +2 v. Louisville: When in doubt, just play the home dog.
    1. Jaguars +2.5 v. Indianapolis: Neither team is very good. Both familiar division rivals. But the Jags are really experienced playing in London.
    2. Tennessee -3.5 v. Georgia: Nick Chubb won’t play. For the Vols, it’s probably better to be lucky than good.
    3. Ohio -2 v. Miami U.: Don’t look now, but the Redhawks are competitive. Not bad, but ain’t played no one…
    4. Oregon St. +17.5 @ Colorado: Biggest win for the Colorado program in, what?, maybe 2 decades last week. A little hangover effect before they put away the Beavers.

    Bowling Green has played a ridiculously hard schedule so far. In Columbus, against Middle Tennessee and at Memphis.

    Eastern Michigan’s schedule has been much easier; Missi Valley St, at Missou, at Charlotte, and against Wyoming.

    BG came into the season as defending MAC East champion and one of the favorites for the division. But that early schedule set them back. Now BG needs to bounce back from having 77 hung on ’em for the 2nd time this year. This is the Falcon’s only chance to salvage this season now and make a run through the MAC. Eastern while improved is still the get well game in the MAC, so I’ll take Bowling Green -3 at home versus Eastern Michigan.

    Other considerations
    Alabama -35 v. Kentucky
    Northwestern +13 @ Iowa
    San Diego St. -19 v. South Alabama
    Minnesota +3 @ Penn St.
    West Virginia -3.5 v. Kansas St.
    Western Michigan -3.5 v. Central Michigan
    Utah +2.5 @ Cal
    UCLA -13.5 v. Arizona
    Arizona St. +10 @ USC
    Indiana -7 v. Michigan St.
    49ers +3 v. Cowboys
    Steelers -5.5 v. Chiefs

  • Brian

    Notre Dame
    UMASS
    ECU
    LIONS
    LOUISVILLE
    ***MICHIGAN STATE

    Basically think that michigan state took a dump right in their shorts last week coming off of a so called big win at the moment…think they are much better than their opponent this weekend and i think 7 pts isnt enough. They struggled against a good wisconsin defense but i think the D’antonio will have his troops back in order and receive a big win by a few scores….Give me sparty and hopefully it will be the start of another solid pick’em week….and Bye Brian Vangorder from all notre dame fans everywhere

  • zarathustra

    So….I was going to write another essay and still might, but I’m high and was thinking about Josh Gordon so am going to leave this here in case I don’t have time for the essay I was thinking about.

    Josh Gordon did not make it in college football and he has proven unable to do so thus far in the pros. He is an extremely talented football player whose likely many psychological issues appear to have manifested an unhealthy relationship with certain substances. If you are a Browns fan there was no possible reason you should have even entertained the possibility that this was not exactly where this was going to end. As fans are prone to do, some got sucked into it all again and they are really angry for this, but rather than berate themselves for having been sucked in again (suckered in they maybe tell themselves in order to fuel the self-righteous anger that must be fed) they project their anger on the guy who is likely suffering from many psychological issues of which he is completely unaware and has maybe for the first time in his life is made a good decision. It does suck for the Browns but it sucks even more for any fan who counted on Josh Gordon for nothing but irrational reasons and is consequently now angry at him for completely irrational reasons. He is maybe taking a small step toward freedom from his demons. It is a shame that strangers have managed to invite little tiny demon zygotes into their own psyches out of spite for the guy just trying to get healthy. It’s kind of like The Gremlins: you start off with all this hope that is just like a cute little mogwai and you just love little Gizmo to pieces, but then he pisses you off and out of neglect you let him eat after midnight and now you got yourself a fucking gremlin and you don’t know what to do other than spit water on the thing because you are simultaneously thinking too much and not at all. It’s been 30 years and I don’t remember how they finally got rid of the gremlins but I don’t think they ever leave. All you can do is be aware of them and remember they aren’t real. They are harmless so long as you look at them without fear.

    • zarathustra

      How in the world does one find oneself in a situation where Josh Gordon(!!???!!!!) is capable of disappointing you?

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Hope Josh Gordon makes it at that life thing. Football is only a game. Had to look up Mogwai, also did not know that there was a Gizmo before TTG.

  • Hawkaholic

    Those damn Hawkeyes cost me a Lobsterfest last week, or was it an Admirals Feast? Whatever it was they screwed me, I thought for sure Iowa would be out for blood against Rutgers after being embarrassed the week before by North Dakota State. Alas it was not to be. There are so many tantalizing plays this week i had a hard time narrowing it down, I am however steering clear of the Hawks…but not those Scarlet Knights!

    Week 5 picks:
    1. First for the all play: This one is intriguing and tough to pick, Lamar Jackson looks like the second coming and Watson has looked like the NFL version of Ryan Leaf. Night game, electric atmosphere, i think Watson gets things back on track at home at Clemson pulls this one out.

    2. Rutgers +38.5 That’s a lot of points, granted they lost their best receiver last week but I think they can keep it at least within 5 touchdowns.
    3. Baylor -17 Because fuck Iowa State
    4. ASU +10 These two schools have some of the hottest coeds in the country, ASU gets the nod due to the fact they party harder
    5. Redskins -8 at home, Sorry Browns fans

    6. Essay Pick: Initially i had zero’d in on the Ravens -3 vs Oakland in a classic west coast team traveling east with a 1pm EST kick. i thought this was a no brainer, then i discovered that west coast teams are a solid 20-12 ATS in these types of games since 2013 so I am backing off that one.

    The Oregon Ducks are giving 2 points to Washington State, I want Oregon -2 in this game for a couple of random reasons. Both schools have very good offenses, i don’t know a lot of WSU but I do know Oregon’s defense sucks and had to be at least at little embarrassed after being carved up by Colorado. One thing i found interesting is that WSU’s stadium only holds a little over 35k, I guess I just assumed that all D1 football stadiums held at least 50k or 60k people; needless to say Oregon won’t be overwhelmed by any crowd noise. The Cougars also took down Oregon last year so I am hoping that Oregon wants revenge for that loss, plus Oregon has an olympic hurdler on their team. Oregon 48, WSU 33

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Clemson +2
    Akron -7
    North Carolina +11
    Indy -2.5
    Vikes -4.5
    Play of the year***
    Carolina -3
    Essay to come tomorrow

    • Harbaugh Handshakes

      Poty essay
      Panthers -3
      this pick is based on some pretty simple thoughts. Atlanta isn’t nearly as good as this line gives them credit for. Carolina is going to be pissed off and desperate for a win after starting the season 1-2. And the falcons are coming off a short week.

      Has the Atlanta offense looked good the last two weeks. Yes. Who have they looked good against oh just two of the worst defenses in the league. Oakland and New Orleans rank 30 and 31st in the league in total yards allowed, only Miami is worse and we all witnessed that train week last week in Cleveland. Carolina on the other hand has one of the best defenses in the league. They rank 3rd in the league and will have no problem making Matty ice uncomfortable in the pocket.

      What else? How about How Winston and The bucs destroyed Atlanta in week one. Picking apart atlantas poor defense. How do you think cam will fair in a similar environment? Yeah I think he’ll do just fine too. Carolina and Cam will again expose this weak defense and put up big points.

      Cam and the panthers by bunch.

  • GRRustlers

    Week 5 Picks

    Akron (-7) over Kent – There are many dumb rivalry trophies. There is only one wagon wheel.

    Oregon (-2) over WSU – Where does Leach surface next? No need to bury Oregon just yet.

    Cardinals (-8) over Rams – Goff is cool with the baseball cap for another week.

    Vikings (-4.5) over Giants – Remember when ESPN had Simmons and Grantland instead of that dipshit Nate Silver. Good times. All I’m saying is when I have all this time to kill at lunch at work I would want to read 80k words on Ewing theory and Adrian Peterson.

    Clemson (+2) over Louisville – I’m too lazy to research this but how many points did this line move since week one? I’ll stick with what I feel is the better QB and HC getting points.

    Essay Pick

    If I had a podcast it would consist of me eating cheddar biscuits while cracking crab legs and talking about obscure shit in the sports world. The title of my gambling segment would be called “How to make a metric shit ton of money now that Jordan Lynch has left NIU by simply betting on whoever is happy as all hell to not play Minnesota again.”

    The Vikings are really good and that defense is making really good QBs and teams frustrated. I look forward to their 6-3 loss in the division round as Sam Bradford turns the ball over multiple times simply because of his stupid sleeves. Who dresses that guy? Cam Newton is the happiest QB in the NFL this week. He’s going to look at the Atlanta defense and feel like it’s 7 or 8 guys out there. This feels like one of those games where by about 3:30 every national guy is tweeting something dumb about how Carolina has figured it out.

    Here is what happened to Carolina this year.

    Week 1 – The kicker missed.
    Week 2 – Chip Kelly got lost driving to USC and was coaching the 49ers.
    Week 3 – The Vikings are good.

    Carolina big on Sunday.

    Panthers (-3) over Falcons

    • I’ve never had the urge to be a guest on a theoretical podcast until this moment.

  • thatsfine

    Well, football tonight it is. Both games should be good watching.
    Toledo +3.5

  • zarathustra

    Washington tonight please. Feels like a game where in hindsight everyone says that they are still maybe a year away and knocking off Stanford was asking too much too soon of them. At the same time though I trust their coach and was expecting Stanford to be down this year and haven’t seen much thus far to convince me otherwise so I’m going to go with my initial instinct.
    May come back and make this my essay but one point for now.

  • FTCMikeD

    U MICH -10.5 over Wisc
    AP: CLEMSON +2 over Louisville
    Browns +8
    NINERS +3
    VIKES -4.5
    *****
    Are the Jaguars going to leave their coach in London this Sunday? Last year, a coach was fired for a loss in London. The Jaguars have looked nothing but poor in their first three games. They were a sleeper pick by many to improve and it just isn’t there this year. Those poor Londoners get to see the Jags AGAIN. And probably for the next few years as well.

    Luck has shown this season that he really is quite a good QB, while Blake Bortles… not so much. Luck has won five straight against the Jags and has 10 TDs and only 3 INTs against them. I think he will put on a show this Sunday. I would expect the Colts to get the win in Jolly ol England and Gus Bradley to be left behind with his 12-38 overall coaching record.

    http://www.sbnation.com/2016/9/23/13018286/gus-bradley-jaguars-nfl-coach-hot-seat

  • CLEVTA

    1. Washington -3 (essay): Top 2 Stanford DBs, #1 WR and FB all out. Coming off emotional miracle comeback over UCLA late Saturday having to travel to the most hostile environment in the Pac 12 on a short week with freshman QB who isn’t that good to begin with. This is Washington’s signature game and I trust Chris Pederson in a big game to pull out all the stops. Stanford is only getting 3 bc of the name. They deserved to lose outright last week to UCLA and Washington is a much better team and has a much much better home field than UCLA

    2. Louisville -2 (all play): sitting on Lville 55-1 to win the title and Lamar 45-1 to win the Heisman so to say I’m all in is a big understatement. Why stop now

    • CLEVTA

      3. Indiana +7
      4. Nc St -11

      • CLEVTA

        5. Bears +3
        6. Ravens -3

  • cwonder23

    Stanford +3 @ Washington
    Alabama -35 vs UK
    Clemson +2 vs Louisville
    Browns +8 @ Redskins
    Broncos -3 @ Bucs
    Essay: WMU -3.5 @ CMU
    I really have a feeling this is WMU’s year in the MAC. PJ Fleck is a strange but very effective coach willing to open the playbook in the face of the ordinary. Not only is Fleck looking to get the nations attention but WMU is too. With a sure fire NFL prospect in Corey Davis, this is just a better team. WMUs defense and OL play should control the tempo in this one. CMU is no walk over with a quality win @ OSU. However, I think WMU takes this rivalry game in good shape. WMU 35 – CMU 17.

  • p_forever

    louisville -2 clemson (am still being punished for picking against the cardinals on muhammad ali day)
    alabama -35 kentucky (over thinking alabama not willing to crush lesser opponents)
    stanford +3 washington (don’t even understand why stanford is getting points)
    arizona st +10 USC***
    washington st. +2 oregon (WSU bye + OR coming off crushing home loss)
    panthers -3 falcons (I wish I never had to pick NFL games ever)

    i hate usc and love picking against them, so that’s 75% of my essay decision. but i promise i have actual football reasons too. arizona st has averaged over 500 yards in offense so far this year. i get that they haven’t played the toughest slate, but even that works to their advantage. they have fresh legs and they are motivated to beat a legit (what in other years has been a legit) team. on the other hand, usc’s schedule has been ridiculous, they have a bunch of injured players, and the whole team looks tired. nor will the trojans be especially motivated against arizona st. it doesn’t even matter that usc is at home on a saturday night – i’m pretty sure that will just help arizona state, because winning under those conditions will have an even bigger impact (in terms of people outside arizona actually caring that arizona state has a football team). i’ll take 10 in that situation any day of the week.

  • pateslvrblk

    Syracuse +10
    UCLA -13.5
    Michigan -10.5
    Steelers -5.5
    Louisville -2
    *** Kansas St +3.5

    In looking at Ohio state vs Oklahoma, you find discrepancies in coaching. You can have two big time programs go head to head, but the coaching won’t be the same. Because Urban Meyer shows up and because Bob Stoops so often falls on his face, you take Ohio State. Ohio state thrashed Oklahoma. Another matchup this weekend that comes down to coaching is Kansas State vs West Virginia. Since Dana Holgorsen took over the mountaineer program in 2012, here’s how he’s faired against Bill Snyder from Kansas State, loss, loss, loss, loss, not only that they, didn’t cover, didn’t cover, didn’t cover, didn’t cover. Bill Snyder owns Dana Holgorsen. I will take Kansas State.

  • Chris P.

    Louisville -2 Clemson
    Utah +2.5 (WTF?) California
    Wake Forest +11 North Carolina State
    New Mexico -9.5 San Jose State (this was POTY land at the original 4.5)
    Lions -3 Bears

    Where is Urban Meyer missed most?

    Well, maybe Florida, where the Gators have scored like 38 points since he left over half a decade ago. Definitely not Utah, who parlayed Urban into PAC10-11-12 membership and have remained strong since. But Bowling Green? Holy shit is he missed. Thanks to a missed extra point two weeks ago, they narrowly avoided losing to Middle Tennessee State…

    by three touchdowns.

    Look, I know BGSU has had one of the tougher three sets of opponents in CFB, but Christ – they had to hang on for dear life to beat the lesser of the two North Dakota schools. North Dakota, by the way, was coming off a loss to Stony Brook, and followed up their heartbreaking loss to BGSU by needing two overtimes to take out South Dakota and then squeaked by Montana State by 2 when MSU couldn’t convert a late two point conversion.

    IN BGSU’s other two games they lost by 74 and 67.

    Eastern Michigan… well, they’re not that bad. They seem reasonably competent, and they’re taking a knee for a good cause. And shit… How could a protest be more respectful than taking a knee? People are just looking for a reason to get upset if they’re pissed off at taking a knee during the anthem. You pray on a knee. I don’t see God sending down lightning bolts at the face of everyone praying because he feels disrespected at the gesture. In fact, I’d guess that most prayerful folks get on their knees to pray out of respect and reverence. You get on a knee for a respectful protest because you don’t think people who get pulled over by the police should get shot in the face. WHAT THE HELL DO PEOPLE WANT? It’s not like the EMU dudes are dropping trou, breaking out their ass, shoving a rose in the hole and mooning the flag during the anthem.

    And screw that, back to the most important point that everyone on earth should be studying this week….

    ON WHAT FUCKING PLANET HAS BOWLING GREEN EARNED THE RIGHT TO GIVE A FIELD GOAL TO ANYONE?

    THIS IS THE YEAR OF WINNING WITH DIRECTIONAL MICHIGANS

    Eastern Michigan +3 Bowling Green

  • Chris Schroeder

    +11 Wake Forest @ North Carolina State
    -10.5 Michigan vs. Wisconsin
    +13 Northwestern @ Iowa
    -3.5 Tennessee over Georgia

    All Play: -2 Lousiville @ Clemson

    Essay: -7 Miami @ Georgia Tech
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia
    Stadium: Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field
    Kickoff: 12:00 PM EST
    Broadcast: ESPN2 (Beth Mowins Alert!!)
    Weather: Sunny 73 W 4 mph
    Mascot: Sebastian the Ibis vs. Buzz
    The Game: First off the line started at -5 and now up to -7 which for a second made me switch my best bet for the week, but I am sticking with it. Mark Richt has the Canes playing well with a balanced offensive attack. Through three games Miami has passed for almost 700 yards and rushed the ball for 800 averaging 7.7 yards per carry. The Canes have had 2 weeks to prepare for the triple option threat. Coach Richt has had a great track record for beating the Yellow Jackets. He is 13-2 in the last 15 meetings. The Yellow Jackets offense was bottled up last week against Clemson and it will continue to has issues against Miami.

  • FlyHighCharlieFrye

    Louisville
    Eastern Mich +3
    Saints +4
    49ers +3
    Ole Miss -14.5

    Akron -7

    I hold my nose making this pick, but I think Akron is the best team in the worst division in the history of Div I football, and Kent State is headed for 2 or 3 wins again because Kent State is already out of quarterbacks and wasn’t very good to start with. Scared due to potential weather and rivalry game (go ahead and laugh, I did too) but I just think an Akron offense that has some dudes eventually wins by 17 against a Kent offense that doesn’t have enough dudes to keep up over four quarters. I expect to have to win this one late, but I almost made it my play of the year. Talent mismatch. Let’s hope minimal goofy things happen.

    • Chris P.

      Ohio would have a winning record, and Akron would be top 25, but Miami, Buffalo, BGSU and Kent would be lucky to be .500 in the FCS.

      Eastern Michigan might beat Bowling Green by 20 tomorrow. I don’t get that line at all.

      • mmmmsnouts

        Any team that’s given up 77 points twice in four weeks shouldn’t be favored over anybody. Apparently one book set that line at BGSU -10(!!!) and had it banged down to 3 almost immediately.

  • Galea Minor

    Louisville -2 over Clemson (All Play)
    Stanford +3 over Washington
    Illinois +21 over Nebraska
    Wisconsin +10.5 over Michigan
    Vikings -4.5 over Giants
    Raiders +3 over Ravens (Essay)

    Essay coming…

    • Galea Minor

      Alright folks gotta get the big essay win to salvage a 2-2 CFB weekend.

      The Raiders are probably the only NFL team I genuinely like. This is solely because last April they drafted three of my guys: Jihad Ward, Shilique Calhoun, and Connor Cook. That they were the only team to recognize Cook’s greatness is a credit to their FO and a shame to all others. I doubt he’ll ever supplant the also-brilliant Derek Carr, but I’m sure injuries will allow him a few starts which will prompt another team to trade for him–a team that undoubtedly passed him over on day 2 of the draft to pick some bum instead.

      If you watched MSU’s embarrassing effort last night, understand that many of the problems they exhibited were there last year, and in 2014 as well. MSU still went 23-4. There’s no doubt in my mind that Cook dragged that program everywhere they had to go, and that time will continue to recognize him as the best QB in Spartan history.

      But what does that have to do with today’s game? Nothing. So for that I point out that the Ravens are highly overrated. They have an aging skill set on offense that hasn’t moved the ball against mediocre teams. Oakland already has 2 clutch road wins. Jack Del Rio has them playing with an aggressive edge that will overwhelm Baltimore’s defense. I’ll take the 3 points you’re giving me, but the future Las Vegas Raiders win outright today.

  • Dave Borcas

    Bengals -7 tonight

  • Lucy Lawrence

    1. Bengals -7

    • Lucy Lawrence

      2. Washington -3

      • Lucy Lawrence

        3. Panthers -3
        4. Tampa Bay +3
        5. UNC +11
        6. All play and essay: Clemson +2

        I’m always going to take the #5 team in the country as a home dog. Death Valley at night is no joke and I think the craziness will aid in Clemson winning this game. Obviously Lamar Jackson is a beast and all the praising is well deserved. That being said, FSUs defense is a disaster and Clemson has one of the best secondary’s which will give the team the ability to trust those guys to do their job so everyone else can focus on stopping LJ. Louisville has exceeded expectations, Clemson has been less than impressive so I think this is the perfect spot for them to start their dominance much like last year. Love me a home dog!

  • DQuatts

    I will take Kansas +28.5 tonight. Thank you!

    • DQuatts

      All-Play:

      Clemson +2

      Back with NFL and Essay soon! Have a great weekend, all!

  • oxr

    Picking like a fool this year, but at least in with a shot at being wrong on the Browns every week. Early start: Bengals -7 over Dolphins.

    • oxr

      All-Play Louisville -2 over Clemson.

      • oxr

        Battle of the road favorites!

        Panthers -3 over Falcons – short week plus Not The Saints Defense plus not quite giving up on Carolina yet

        Broncos -3 over Bucs

        Cowboys -3 over 49ers – wussing out on the Browns because I can’t talk myself into either side of an 8-point line

        Essay Lions -3 over Bears – Chicago lost by two scores to the Cowboys, the game wasn’t that close, and Hoyer is being damned with faint praise for not completely sucking. The guess is that Hoyer was operating at close to peak Hoyer in his first game, and will not be able to do enough to exploit a Lions defense that does not, sadly, look very good either. If the Lions can’t put up numbers against a Bears defense missing multiple starters then this is a doomed endeavor, but I’m hoping to end my streak of picking favorites that proceed to go down by twenty in the first half. If this does end up as a shootout Stafford is, both figuratively and literally, better armed and besides, it’s only three points, what could possibly go wrong.

  • agnesbojaxhiu

    This week is a tough one because I almost have enough data to start looking for trends and thinking like a Vegas statistician, but not quite. Too much uncertainty. To help me narrow down daunting choices, I went for the game a day approach. I hate everything on Sunday this week and Wednesday fun hasn’t started, so at least I will have 4 days of either joy or sorrow. It seemed like a good idea to just go ahead and do my essay vote on a Thursday game because it would set the tone for the weekend-after tonight I will be facing one 2 possible weekend scenarios and both contain the word lobster.

    My essay: Connecticut-seems like a terrible vote-right? Houston’s undefeated, has done well against the spread and has home field advantage. Probably explains their 28 point spread. If you look at their quarterback success however, things seem to get a little more even- Connecticut 66.95 % comp vs 65.69. Okay on every other stat they are worse and one could argue that there is no statistically significant difference in 66.95 and 65.69, but 28
    points! All I am asking for is a cover, and last year somehow Connecticut pulled out a win. Their mascot is Jonathan the Husky-why they needed to name him at all is not quite clear and why they picked out the name Jonathan (boring history founding fathers kind of stuff) is beyond me. I think Barky or Fuzzypants would have been better. The Cougars on the other hand have a mascot named Shasta, which is a play on the words “She has to.” If you would like to see a proud moment in the life of Shasta, watch this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkbKjtuNJhQ

    Once again I hope my devoted readers appreciate an essay that is mostly about nothing. Today I also learned that I didn’t know how to spell Connecticut. Last week I learned the USC did not stand for University of South Carolina. This contest has been enlightening.

    Other votes
    Toledo +3.5
    Clemson +2 (sometime they have to start looking like a good
    team)
    Central Michigan +3.5
    Vikings -4.5
    I am intrigued by the Florida Atlantic/Florida International game both teams are 0-4 against the spread, their records this year are terrible and both quarterbacks have thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. I am going to take International +7 for now unless Frowns can convince me that there is a Sunday game worth voting on.

  • pheasantpants

    OK, here goes nothing:

    AP: Louisville -2
    Texas Tech – 28.5
    Lions -3

    • pheasantpants

      Tennessee Vols -3.5

      • pheasantpants

        EMU +3

        • pheasantpants

          And Vikings -4.5 for the essay

          • pheasantpants

            Didn’t plan on having the essays be so NFC North-heavy, yet here we are. Surely I wasn’t the only one who thought a promising Vikings season would be over before it began, when Teddy Bridgewater went down. And surely I wasn’t the only one who wondered what the hell the Vikes were doing, trading a first-round pick for Sam Bradford. The results on the field haven’t justified that decision, surely. Minny’s anemic offensive stats suggest that they’ve won largely in spite of that unit. For crying out loud, they beat Carolina with 221 yards of offense! You can get away with 13 first downs in a game when you turn teams over and play great defense, though, and that’s what Minnesota has done, along with taking some air out of the football (the Vikings are one of the slowest teams in the league when it comes to pace of offensive play http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/pacestats). It may not surprise you that the Vikings lead the league in turnover differential, ahead of the (also 3-0) Eagles. The Giants, meanwhile, are 30th in the league, with seven giveaways to one measly takeaway.

            The Giants have been on the right side of some close battles, passing the ball all over the place, but their opponents just don’t have the defensive chops that the Vikings do, and Eli Manning has been interception prone. Add in the road factor=I like the Vikings to get me out of the basement.

  • Matt Lawrence

    Starting the week off with two massive home favorites:
    Houston -28 vs UConn
    Texas Tech -28.5 vs Kansas

    • Matt Lawrence

      ALL PLAY: Louisville -2 @ Clemson
      Lions -3 @ Bears
      Broncos -3 @ Bucs
      ESSAY: Panthers -3 @ Falcons
      This line doesn’t make any sense to me, which probably means I should pick a different game for my essay. But I do really like the Panthers in this spot. Cam and the Panthers’ offense has gotten off to a rough start this season. Cam has as many TD’s (5) as he does interceptions. I’d like to contribute a majority of that to going against two of the better defenses the NFL has to offer. Even then, the Panthers should be 2-1 if not for a shanked field goal in Denver. I like the Panthers’ offense to take advantage of a horrendous Falcons defense, which has allowed slightly over 30 points per game. Let’s also not forgot the way the Falcons celebrated like they won the freakin Super Bowl when they ruined the Panthers’ bid for an undefeated season last year. I have to imagine no one in that Panthers locker room has forgotten.

  • “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

    **essay** Texas Tech -28.5 vs. Kansas
    My hypothesis last week, that lunatic coaches and players would cover spreads because even Vegas cannot measure crazy, paid off. Would have had a lobsterfest if it weren’t for an errant selection of the Cards. It was a panicked choice because my intended sixth pick, Texas Tech, was on a bi-week. Rats. I almost didn’t even look at the games until tomorrow, and thus would have really been cursing myself. But I didn’t wait; something tugged at my grey poncho sweater and whispered, “just take a look.”
    Kliff is a former professional QB, coaching at his alma mater. I wouldn’t be surprised if he still holds some highly specific but impressive records. It also cannot go without mention, he was the wizard behind the curtain of the Johnny Manziel show at A&M. Knowing what I know now, anyone with the ability to orchestrate and execute a smoke screen of such magnitudes, can cover a spread against the Jayhawks. Kansas stuffed Rhode Island two weeks ago which I’m thinking has bloated the spread a bit. A few things I don’t love: Kansas is also coming off of a bi-week (but are they experimenting with virtual reality?). Texas Tech’s defense. #theprettywreckemtechless

    AP: Clemson +2 vs. Louisville #laminatedlyfe
    Washington -3 vs. Stanford #fadethepublic
    Cleveland +8 vs. Washington #wekeptthekicker
    Western Michigan -3.5 vs. Central Michigan #rowthebroncos
    Alabama -35 vs. Kentucky #shesjustwildcatting

  • mmmmsnouts

    There is so much juice in the college lines this week. Maybe the best I’ve seen. I had to narrow my list down to four.

    ALL PLAY: Clemson +2 vs. Louisville
    Miami -7 vs. Georgia Tech
    Temple -12.5 vs. SMU
    East Carolina -4 vs. UCF
    Broncos -3 vs. Bucs

    PICK OF THE YEAR ESSAY: USF -6 vs. Cincinnati

    I noticed a few people here took FSU -6 last week against USF. I didn’t pick that game because I’m a romantic like that, but I had a sneaking feeling that was the right side. I knew our defensive line wasn’t up to the task and the Noles would be pissed off after Louisville humiliated them the week before. But I also noticed when they said Vegas had overreacted to the bad result and set the line too low, thinking that trend would continue.

    Vegas is doing the same thing to USF this week. They’re looking at an outlier performance and projecting it into future games. That’s how you get an insane line like the Bulls only giving 6 points to Cincinnati.

    Cincinnati is hardly FSU. They don’t have any impressive wins, not even against their FCS opponent, who they didn’t put away until very late. (That’s why some of their stat profiles still look good – because FCS games don’t count.) They don’t have the personnel or the scheme to run the ball like FSU did. Their defense is still bad. They had to rally to beat a dreadful Miami U team last week and may have to start Ross Trail at quarterback again, a player who Tommy Tuberville admitted that they knew would make some mistakes. USF even has Cincinnati’s offensive line coach from last season to help prevent a repeat of last week’s whipping in the trenches.

    Last year the Bulls beat the brakes off the Bearcats. It was 51-3 at halftime. Probably the best 30 minutes of football USF has ever played. They’re even better and more explosive on offense this year. And maybe most importantly, the players and coaches sound like they have put the FSU game in the proper perspective. It was an opportunity, but what really defines their season is if they deliver in conference play. There weren’t too many people expecting them to beat the Noles. A lot of people are expecting them to win their division and play for a conference title. They will not lack focus this week. This line is at least a touchdown too low. USF will win comfortably.

    And if this is a Pick of the Year, then over 59.5 is the Pick of the Century. You gotta be shitting me with that number. Parlay these and thank me later.

    Other picks I like: Eastern Michigan +3, USC -10, Old Dominion -8.5, and so many overs it makes my head hurt.

  • LittleBallofHate

    Will do early picks on Bengals -7 and also Houston -28, which I will make ….
    THE ESSAY PICK
    Houston (-28) over UConn — Whoever scheduled Houston football games this season must have worked in the MAC. This is the second of three times that the Cougars have a short week for an opponent. The saving grace of this one is that at least it is at home and UConn is not at the level of Houston.
    The Huskies are improving at 2-2 but short week, traveling and facing a Syracuse offense last week that likes to play at breakneck speed doesn’t bode well. Also Houston needs to use these national television opportunities to run up the score and then some in order to show the voters why it deserves some top five love.
    I usually hate giving up four touchdowns, but Houston has next week off and the football fans in that city need some cheering up after the JJ Watt news earlier in the week.

  • Troy Bunting

    *Essay*
    Detroit Lions -3

    As a Chicago resident I don’t think i’ve heard a single person say a positive thing about the Bears this year. Not real confident in what the bears can produce behind the line with Hoyer replacing Cutler and Joique Bell replacing Langford. Statistically the Bears just aren’t very good, and while the Lions D is a bit suspect, the offense and Stafford have had a few good outings and they score points.

  • HitTheHorns

    1) Dolphins +7 *essay*

    Miami shouldn’t feel any negative physical side effects from playing on a short week since their guys played at about 50% effort on Sunday, but they are very beat up tonight, specifically the OLine (starting center is doubtful, starting LT Brandon Albert is a game time decision.) Starting tight end Jordan Cameron, out. Starting RB Arian Foster, out. Starting outside LB Koa Misi, out. Everything I saw from the Dolphins vs the Browns was concerning:

    -Coaching: they somehow were completely unprepared for the possibility of Pryor playing QB, even though it was reported all weekend it would happen.

    -Defense: yes Austin Paztor had a very rough time at RT, but what a group of malcontents playing on the D-Line for Miami (Suh, Mario Williams).

    -Offense: Tannehill looked spacey, unprepared, and missed multiple easy throws. After a terrible first half, star Jarvis Landry felt the need to get a celebration penalty after he scored a second half TD to take the lead against the BROWNS. They were indecisive at running back, switching guys the entire game and all failed to impress.

    The Bengals are 1-2 but we aren’t holding that against them as they played a war against the super bowl champs, and public favs Jets and Steelers. They get Burfict back tonight.

    The Dolphins meanwhile needed Chris Tabor and overtime to beat the Browns at home.

    I’m guessing waking up to the tragic Jose Fernandez news on Sunday was awful for Miami’s players and coaches. As the great Greg Cote wrote today, the Fins have a chance tonight to lift a city that is in need of lifting. In a league that is very much week to week, and with the Bengals being a 68%-70% public play as of right now, I’ll take the Dolphins plus the points.

    • HitTheHorns

      2) Louisville -2
      3) Washington -3
      4) Panthers -3

      • HitTheHorns

        5) Bills +7.5
        6) 49ers +3

  • ChuckKoz

    bengals for sure. will see if i have time to turn it into my essay pick an hour before game

    • ChuckKoz

      Remaining Picks:

      Michigan St -7 (Indiana)
      San Diego St (S Alabama)
      Titans +5 (Texans)
      Chargers -4 (Saints)
      AP: Clemson +2 (Louisville)

  • actovegin1armstrong

    AP Louisville
    Cincinnati Bungles -7
    Texas Tech -28.5
    Houston -28
    Toledo +3.5
    ****Alabama**** -35

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Alabama is giving up more than a 35 point advantage because:
      Saban is on a roll and he has no qualms about putting up big points.
      Alabama may lose a game, however the fact that they normally win by an average of 98 points may still get them in the playoffs. (Please use Jim Mora voice when you read that)
      It is 3:15 Central Daylight Time (NOT Central Standard Time you morons who do not know how to Spring forward) and Lou Saban is still trying to create a magnificent Cult of Personality.
      Kentucky. Ken-get down -tucky’s front seven is playing better , but that does not excuse the fact that their secondary looks like the final season of BLANK-not into it , but please pick a reality series here. Kentucky and Kansas should stick to basketball this is an ugly game and an easy Cheddar Essay. Alabama by 40 points.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Nick Saban, showing my age

        • pheasantpants

          Upvoted for the Lou Saban reference, no matter how inadvertent.