Wk 9, Eagles +4 at Cowboys.

Cowboys/Eagles at Franklin Field sometime in the 60s.

Cowboys/Eagles at Franklin Field sometime in the 60s.

I just liked this shot of Franklin Field and whatever those UPenn buildings are in the background.  Eagles played there until 1970.  But since this game is in Dallas, I hopped down a rabbit hole to find a comparable old Cotton Bowl photo of the Eagles/Cowboys.  Did not find one.

Did find these.  (Click to enlarge.)

Pretty sure the tone of this was non-ironic. Just fun.

Pretty sure the tone of this was non-ironic. Just fun.

Proof that Art Modell did not start out selling known carcinogens to his customers until sometime in the 70s.

Proof that Art Modell did not start out selling known carcinogens to his customers until sometime in the 70s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven’t offered much in the way of updates and attaboys to our players this year but dang, last week was moving week.  Five POTY winners, three of whom had ten point weeks (Frowns, ElderB, and Lucy).  Nice work by BallofHate on the Admiral’s Feast (that’s the honorific for picking a slate marred only by a push) as well as to TA for having done same the week before.

Your top and bottom ATS teams:
screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-1-28-38-pm screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-1-29-01-pm

Late line pending: UNM at Hawaii.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

  • clayII

    Essay

    Bears (+6)

    Line seems kinda low at first glance and I usually like to go the other way on those. Divisional game home dog angle has been decent for me but I have zero numbers to back this up. Hoping bears use some of the emotion their city is getting from cubs run, similar but not really I guess when tribe won 14 in a row after cavs ship. Thinking bears lose late but cover.

  • pheasantpants

    All-play: Cowboys

  • thatsfine

    Cowboys
    And, just a friendly reminder, midweek MACtion is in full swing this week with two Tuesday and two Wednesday games.

    • we’ll post lines accordingly. thanks for the reminder.

  • for DQuatts

    Having some trouble with the auto-entry, so will post picks here this week.

    Stanford (W)
    Cleveland +5
    Dallas -4
    Tampa Bay -1.5
    Minnesota -6
    Denver -5.5***

    Heres one thing I am not worried about…redemption when Phil Rivers comes to town. These two teams do not like each other. They know each other. They hate each other. I still believe Denver is a very similar team to last year’s Super Bowl squad. I also believe San Diego is still trying to build up a young team. Coming into Denver is a tough place to play. Coming into a division opponent nearing November is even more difficult. I know Denver is a little banged up on offense, but it shouldn’t matter. I think the Defense pitches a bear shutout and the offense rolls. Broncos by two scores. My daughters first Broncos game today doesn’t hurt…

    Have fun all!!

  • bupalos

    You know how they always advertize “x-sized hail” where x is anything from a marble to a vw bus, but it always turns out to be around 1/10th the size they were claiming? Yes, you do, because this is how the world works and how it has always worked.

    No longer.

    Let the record show that the prophecy of “nickle-sized” hail for hiram ohio this morning was fulfilled with hail that was nearly exactly the size and shine of a newly-minted U.S. 5-cent piece raining down upon the annointed head of Bupalos, his dear daughters, and his prized internet connection. Let the record further show that Cleveland Basketball is World Championship Basketball. Let the record show that Cleveland Baseball has defied all odds and stands on the threshold of world mastery as well (despite the embarrassing tatoo it stamped on it’s forehead in a reeling drunken fit way back when.) And finally, let the record show that Cleveland Football joins the wave today, the whatever day of October, 2016, the first day of the first step of the final step of the final path to the first successful struggle to unite all the championships, in everything, everywhere, forever, in one place and time. Henceforth address all championship correspondence to:

    The Real and The Resilient,
    Cleveland, Ohio,
    US-America,
    The World,
    Left side of the Upper Quadrant of the Universe,
    Existence.

    And do not forget to affix three Cheddar-Yellow stamps, representing the trinity of points Bupalos collected for once again shouting into the gadually lightening darkness, CMFB +5!!!!!

  • Lucy Lawrence

    5. Browns +5: essay pick, no essay this week

    • Lucy Lawrence

      6. All Play: cowboys -4

  • Matt Borcas

    Patriots, Browns

  • UncleBuck

    ***POTY***

    Pats -6.5 over Bills

    This is a game I’ve seen before, more times than I’d like to admit. In fact, the Patriots are an astounding 25-2 against the Bills with Brady starting in games that matter (bills won 1 last game of season,when NE rested starts). So out of those 25 losses for the bills (assuming I watched all 3 hours of a game) I’ve spent 4,500 minutes of my life being disappointed by this match-up.

    What makes this an even sadder commentary is that in those two bills wins I witnessed ZERO minutes of action. In 2002 I was driving home from vacation, and 2011 I was coming back from NYC on a college field trip. I’ve literally never seen the bills beat Tom Brady, and I’m not about to today.

    I could try and be a hero here and pick the bills, but why throw a multiplier into another 180 minutes of depressing re-runs? This is the only way I feel like I can have any control in the matter, so I will sleep well tonight knowing that I turned the sword on myself. An emotional hedge is all I’ve got left.

    p.s. If the bills win today, this poty loss will be well worth it.

  • FTCMikeD

    NFL Picks + Bag the Essay Week

    BILLS +6.5 over Pats
    BROWNS +5 over Jets
    Seahawks -2.5 over SAINTS
    AP: Eagles +4 over COWBOYS
    *****Vikings -6 over BEARS*****

  • clayII

    Dallas (-4)
    Browns (+5)
    Seattle (-2.5)
    Green Bay (+3)

    MNF essay to follow

  • ChuckKoz

    POTY: browns +5

    McCown back, Indians winning title, Cleveland against the World!

    (I feel no more is needed….please advise if this is sufficient for my 100 word essay)

    • man, i’d rather frowns were here to nix this but im afraid it doesnt pass. i get the sublime point being made here but as we’ve docked people who have delivered more, i dont think it can slide. ill convene the exec cmte, but do be prepping a bit more for this. thanks.

      • ChuckKoz

        fair enough. it wasn’t meant to be. and now i am sober, so whatever. i regret bringing the browns into this discussion of cleveland championships anyway.

        so I will make the browns my non-essay/essay, thereby reserving my POTY for the future. So here are all my picks

        Auburn -4.5 (Miss) – W
        Bengals -3 (Racial slurs)
        Falcons -3 (Packers)
        Saints +2.5 (Seahawks)
        AP: Philly +4 (Dallas)
        Essay: Browns +5 (Jets) – skip week

  • mmmmsnouts

    Auburn for one. I’ll add the rest in a few minutes, just wanted to get that in under the wire.

    • mmmmsnouts

      OK, to recap:

      Navy +6.5 – horrible beat, Navy came roaring back in garbage time, lost because they scored on the last play which meant there was no PAT for the cover
      Houston -9 – another bad beat, UH had three shots to cover from inside the 5 in the final minute and failed
      Auburn -4.5 vs. Ole Miss – pending

      ALL PLAY: Cowboys -4 vs. Eagles
      Raiders +1.5 vs. Bucs

      ESSAY: Bengals -3 vs. Washington Football Team

      I’m on complete tilt after those Navy and Houston losses so I’m taking my essay bye. This week will be awful and I want to move on to the next one already.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Please whistle along mmmmmmmmsnouts

        “Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it
        Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true
        You’ll see its all a show, keep ’em laughin as you go
        Just remember that the last laugh is on you”

  • Matt Borcas

    Florida State, Auburn

    • Matt Borcas

      Eagles for the all-play!

      • Matt Borcas

        Essay: Vikings

        How is this line not at least seven? Fresh off a blowout loss to the Eagles, the Vikings will be extra motivated to right the ship against the lowly Bears. If Minny can just score ~14 points, they’ll have a good shot to cover. Chicago’s offense is absolutely atrocious; Jay Cutler’s slated to return tonight, and you know he’s already mailing this season in. Meanwhile, I’d say Alshon Jeffrey is playing like a shell of his former self, but that’d be an insult to shells everywhere. Minnesota’s stingy secondary won’t allow the Bears to get anything going in the passing game, and Chicago’s not-so-dynamic RB duo of Jordan Howard and Kendall Langford isn’t scaring anyone. Plus, it feels like most of these of these MNF games have been blowouts, and a matchup like this seems destined to follow suit.

  • Peter Markos

    Stadford -7
    Cowboys +4

  • oxr

    Just in case the rest of the Pac-12 hasn’t quite been lulled into enough of a false sense of security yet, let’s go with Arizona State +8.5 over the Ducks.

    • oxr

      At last, a way to use my powers for good.

      • oxr

        All-Play Cowboys -4 over Eagles

        Patriots -6.5 over Bills
        Browns +5 over Jets
        Cardinals +3 over Panthers

        Essay Vikings -6 over Bears – I can’t buy an essay pick this year, so it’s hard to muster much conviction about this one. Here goes. Jay Cutler returns to the worst possible matchup in his division: if offensive line injuries are ever going to impact a game, surely it’s this one. The Vikings are coming off an unrepresentative (one hopes) loss, keeping the line below a touchdown. If Cutler gets hit a few times there’s a good chance for some defensive points and a general Bears meltdow. (Even as I type this I am flashing back to last week’s pick against Geno Smith, which worked out great for as long as Geno Smith was in the game…)

        It’s easy to see why this is popular pick, both in Cheddar and the wider world. The only thing that made me hesitate about essaying it is that it looks too reasonable, just like the last five did (including the last time I essayed against the Bears, in what turned out to be their only victory of the season). But this way lies madness, which I will probably reach in another couple of weeks.

  • DQuatts

    DQuatts college pick this week:

    Stanford -5.5

    Back for more later. Thank you!

  • FTCMikeD

    College Play: Clemson -4.5 over FSU

  • Every year Agnes and I endeavor to go to at least one Browns game together, for several reasons, one being that the first time we said “I love you” to one another was in Browns Stadium. Specifically, it was the day that Burgermeister first came to Cleveland to meet a bunch of the Cheddar crew for Browns/Raiders. By my count, no fewer than 13 Cheddars and former Cheddars were seen about the Stadium on that day and the Browns even won, decisively. Great photo and write-up here: http://603brown.com/2014/10/29/cheddarbay-wk-10-broncos-at-pats/

    Anyway, it was Agnes’s first Browns game ever and maybe our 5th date. As we were walking in the concourse to our seats after we first walked into the stadium from the tailgate, Agnes said, “I’m having such a great time.” Of course I was overcome with the knowledge that if this woman can be happy in the bowels of the Factory of Sadness, she can be happy anywhere. Joy flooded my heart and I had no other response but to say, “I love you.”

    And thankfully things progressed well from there, no need to go over all that again here, which is really just to say that the Browns are 2-0 when Agnes and I go to the games and that’s all the reason I need to essay the Browns this week, as much as I like some of these other games this week.

    Browns +5 over Jets: 3 votes

    Other votes (singles):

    Nebraska +8.5 over Wisconsin
    Ole Miss +4.5 over Auburn
    Packers +3 over Falcons
    Eagles +4 over Cowboys

    I’ll be back with one more one-pointer before the weekend is over. Happy football voting weekend to all and go Browns how about get at least one win, fellas?

  • John

    ok- so I just put in 3 picks- but then realized that they were OLD AF (honestly just tried to submit a Thursday night game)

    but here are some real picks

    Clemson -4.5
    Texas +3
    Nebraska +8.5

    • John

      NFL picks
      Bengals (-3) to the Skins
      Cowboys (all play) -4 to the Eagles
      Pats (Essay) -6.5 to the Bills

      • John

        Essay
        The Pats owe the Bills from the first meeting. on their home turf…to help serve a fresh whipping of embarrassment and Tommy has gone something like 25-3 against the Bills

        the two TE set rips ’em up.
        and on the way out- the Pats give a few pushes to the Bills QB

        so fun.

  • Concierge

    Northwestern
    Dallas cowboys
    FSU
    Browns
    SMU
    EMU essay

    EMU has a chance to become bowl eligible for the first time in school history. This is a situational play that I believe has a strong chance to cover. Miami is better this year and are coming off a couple of nice wins but this EMU team is different. They do it all. They have a stout defense and and offense that can score a bunch of points. I love the way that Brogan Roback has played at QB this year. He really came out of his shell at Ohio. These kids know they might not have another chance to get that last win and this is it. Go eagles!!

  • Jmacdaddio

    Cowboys -4 ***POTY***POTY***POTY***

    Indiana -5
    BC +16
    Baylor -3
    Utah +10

    Saints +2.5

    Unprecedented in my Cheddar career, I’m going for my POTY on an All-Play. Carson Wentz has won me a few Cheddar points this year, so it doesn’t feel 100% right to go against him now, however hitting this pick will erase any qualms. The Eagles seemed to be struggling a bit for a couple of weeks although last week’s win over the Vikings was impressive. The Cowboys going into Green Bay and beating the Cheeses was a bit more impressive. Plus… maybe…. they’ll make the right call and go with Dak Prescott the rest of the way. To toss a bit of technical analysis in here, the Eagles have not done well on the road lately. They’re likely a contender this year and beyond, however Dallas looks stronger right now. This isn’t good if you’re a Giants fan (will the NFL please get rid of these 4-team divisions) as the Gmen get ready for life after Eli, but good to get me back in contention.

  • Tim Butler

    Utes +10 – Going to be at this game today just a few blocks from my new abode. Take a look at who Washington has beaten. They started the season with “quality” wins against Rutgers, Idaho, and Portland St., before going to overtime against Zona. 10 is too many.

    Clem -4
    Eagles +4
    Browns +5

    2 more to come tomorrow including POTY essay

    • TS_Butler

      Changing my all-play to Dallas.

      Essay – Pats

      I was going to make Pats my POTY this week, but after some consideration I’ve decided to only make this a regular 3 pointer, as many non-football signs seem to be pointing Bills. Still, Belichick strikes me as the type of man who holds grudges, and I think he’s definitely pissed about the shutout in week 4 in New England at the hands of the Bills. The Bills came back down to Earth last week but I still feel they are being overrated by the general public, whoever they are.

      Sorry my essay is late and sloppy. I recently moved west and still don’t totally have the time difference thing down.

      • TS_Butler

        Bucs -1.5

  • trashycamaro

    Moving in early this week:

    AP Cowboys -4 over Eagles Feel pretty good about this. Potential issues for Boys cover: #1 Dak-Dez connection fizzles despite lots of forcing #2 Big special teams play by the Eagles. That’s really about it.

    Auburn -4.5 over Ole Miss Heavy (accidental) use of Kanick’s most covers chart

    Bengals -3 over Washington Football Team I am not ready to write the obituary for the Bengals yet. And until Washington can figure out their running game, they are not ready to play with teams in the top 1/2 of the league.

    Seahawks -2.5 over Saints That 6-6 tie is the gift that keeps on giving. Hawks did not look good – on offense. Defense as good as ever, some special teams flair as well. And, oh yeah, it’s not like the Saints have the Cards defense.

    Essay Raiders +1.5 over Bucs I think Raiders with points is one of the best bets in football right now, especially against a team like the Bucs that defines mediocre. This is more of a safest pick essay than I feel amazing about this game pick.

    Raiders come in #18 in weighted DVOA to Bucs #24. Raiders #5 offense, #28 defense. Bucs #22/#15. Big split in special teams as well, #7 for Oak #25 for Tampa.

    When trying to map out a match up, I try to look for one thing the numbers say a team does great. The bucs just don’t do anything great. The Raiders meanwhile are good at offense and specifically Carr makes a real difference. And, I feel like I am absolutely stealing the points here.

    Pats -6.5 over Bills More use of Kanick’s most covers chart + Bills are out of wide receivers + no McCoy.

  • bupalos

    Duke +6.5
    Penn State -12.5
    WVU -3.5
    ND +2.5
    Mizzou -4.5

    Apprarently good ‘ol Buplaos hasn’t been handling the input form, don’t believe these skewed and rigged polls that have him rumbling around in the cellarage. Missing entries for weeks 5,6,7, lawyers say I won’t be able to release my returns until the audit is complete.

    • bupalos

      OK not totally sure what combination of me not using the for at all and using it wrong resulted in this, but here’s what missing from the sheet

      wk 5 – no entries, missing:
      Clem +2 (W)
      Duke** (L)
      AppSt -18.5 (L)
      Niners +3 (L)
      Chiefs +5.5 (L)
      Vikes -4.5 (W)

      wk 6 – no entries, missing:
      Pack -7 (Push)
      Browns +10** (L)
      Toledo -17 (L)
      Navy +17 (W)
      Iowa State +17 (W)
      Arkansas (L)

      wk 7 – 3 entries
      Purdue +13 (L)
      Wisc +10 (W)
      Neb -3.5 (W)

      • bupalos

        And to make matters worse, I’m going to need to save ammo to essay the Browns tomorrow instead of the AP, since I’m not going to feel right if Frowns is doing it but I’m not, this is kind of my brand, and it’s not even a terrible pick. So I’m canceling ND later this afternoon. I’ve tried to do this through the form by moving my Duke pick to slot 3, taking the cowboys in the AP slot where Duke used to be, and adding the Browns as an essay. But I have no idea if I did that right, when you resubmit a form should you be completely refilling all the slots or just changing/adding he ones you want to change/add? It doesn’t give me an “edit your picks” option.

        • resubmitting or submitting entirely new form are equally ok because i’m manually moving form entries into a ‘week_x_’ entry sheet.
          google forms only gives one the config option of locking a user out after submitting one pick.. not a good choice for cheddar. so some manual care/feeding is required from the admin side. no biggie.

          as for this week i have you with
          Mizzou PSU Duke WVU Cowboys Browns.. look good?

          • bupalos

            Fabulous. Not for nothing are you considered Cheddar’s 2nd best asset!!

          • certainly not from a handicapping perspective, at least not this year.
            im in full-on costanza mode as will be revealed in essay later today…

      • will tend to this! stay tuned.

      • ok, theyre all in. note the packers line was -7.5 so not push there; the rest looks good.

  • pateslvrblk

    Purdue +12.5
    Duke +6.5
    Pats -6.5
    Chiefs -2.5
    AP Cowboys -4
    *** Auburn -4.5
    Auburn at Mississippi
    After a sluggish start to the season where Auburn dropped games to Clemson week one and Texas A&M in week three, they have been cooking with gas over the last month of the season. Four straight victories and four straight point spread covers over LSU, Louisiana Monroe, Mississippi State and Arkansas, by an average of 33 points per game. The defense during that stretch is just giving up 9 points per game. Gus Malzahn is off the hot seat. Now, Mississippi has got talent but they have been struggling as of late. Auburn has caught on the last few weeks and they will continue.

  • mmmmsnouts

    Houston -9 for a point while I try and get myself off tilt from last night’s extremely stupid beat.

  • Nick

    Cowboys -4 vs Eagles
    Browns +5 vs Jets
    Texas +3 vs Baylor
    Vikings -6 over Bears
    Illinois +10 vs Minnesota
    Essay: Clemson -4.5 vs Florida St.
    Shout out to my adoring wife, Kitty Pryde, I love you to the moon and back. We are owning the morning in Nashville, having just got back from a trendy breakfast spot called Biscuit Love. The line was around the corner when we left, because this town is kind of crazy. She looked so cute in her cactus inspired ensemble that I had to post this picture. She ordered the East Nasty Biscuit and I had the steak and eggs, I ended up finishing both because being married is awesome. They burned my steak at first, and apologized and brought donuts on the house to hold us over. If you couldn’t tell, it was a great breakfast so I am in a good mood. Deshaun Watson is nicely going under the radar this year and I think that will bode well for his NFL future. Clemson should be able to handle a night game in Tallahassee and I’d like some cheddar action while the baseball game is going on.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/34ff48d1f07f404a4437c02c6ea65b510778a1bf252cb70502077d96e176bdf8.jpg

    • Odes to and photos of good breakfasts and Cheddar Bay open threads are two great tastes that go great together.

  • **essay** Tulane -2.5 vs. SMU
    I considered theming this week by best Halloween haunts, but US played on Thursday, and Nebraska is getting 8.5 at Wisconsin. So that’s a nope. The one place I’m sure the Halloween spirits will turn the tide beyond what Vegas could fathom is New Orleans. One of my most favorite cities, where I feel inspired to write spooky stories and eat oysters until my stomach cries mercy, where every weekend is Halloween, and where Tulane will laugh in the face of this spread. Though I may not celebrate this weekend as enthusiastically as I have in the past, I still appreciate the opportunity to watch Hocus Pocus and Nightmare Before Christmas – classics, really. There’s not much to say about the actual football side of this essay, other than I think these are two teams fairly under the radar and the chances of the spread being awry are high.

    Eastern Michigan -7.5 vs. Miami of Ohio
    Washington -10 vs. Utah
    AP: Eagles +4 at Cowboys #fadethepublic
    East Carolina -7 vs. Connecticut: Diaco has officially crossed the crazy-Mendoza line from good crazy, to bad crazy
    Houston -9 vs. Central Florida: Happy National Cat Day, Cougars!

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Love NBC,I was fortunate enough to play Oogie Boogie in a local rendition.
      My daughter still loves it when I randomly belt out, of course at inappropriate times:
      “You’re joking, You’re joking
      I can’t believe my eyes
      You’re joking me, you gotta be
      This can’t be the right guy.”

  • pheasantpants

    Picks from the heart with no real football reasoning behind them:

    Florida -7.5 in the WLOCP
    MSU +24

    • pheasantpants

      WVU -3.5
      EMU -7.5

  • Harbaugh Handshakes

    Cowboys
    Clemson -4.5
    Houston -9
    Packers +3
    Lions +2.5
    Browns +5
    This is the Browns best chance at a win this year. The Browns have competed in every game despite using their 3rd and 4th string qb. With mccown back under center things should improve on offense. The jets won’t stack up a bunch of points so we should keep it close and hopefully get our first win.

  • Brian

    MTSU -17
    WKU -21
    MARYLAND +5
    CLEMSON -4.5
    DALLAS -4
    ***WEST VIRGINIA -3,5***

    Besides the fact that west virginia can score the rock, especially against the awful big 12 defenses that they have faced…they have shut down 2 high flying pass offenses in a row now and will make it a 3rd this week. I like to think of this game more as the battle of coaching hairstyles. Mike Gundy is rocking that sweet mullet and Dana Hollgerson has a luscious flow. Although the mullet is obviously one of my favorite hairstyles to this day…Gundy really loses all credit when he puts on that gosh damn visor of his. And with all that being said the defense of WVU and flow of Hollgerson will obviously bring another impressive win for Daniel Boone and the Boys

  • Lucy Lawrence

    1. Jags (L)
    2. Auburn-4.5 @ Mississippi
    3. Oregon -8.5 vs ASU
    4. Norte Dame +2.5 vs Miami

  • Matt Lawrence

    Western Kentucky -21 @ Florida Atlantic
    South Alabama -5 vs Georgia St
    UCF +9 @ Houson

    • Matt Lawrence

      Chiefs -2.5 @ Colts
      Cowboys -4 vs Eagles (ALL-PLAY)
      Falcons -3 vs Packers (ESSAY)

      Normally, I would think this would be a good old fashioned shoot out. But, the Packers’ offense has not been the same ever since Jordy Nelson went down with the torn ACL in preseason last year. On the other hand, the Falcons’ defense is clicking on all cylinders. Even though everyone in America knows Matt Ryan only throws to Julio Jones, it still cannot be stopped. The Falcons are averaging 34 points per game at home this year, while the Packers are only averaging 20 points per game on the road. I’ll take the high powered offense laying 3 at home today.

  • Auburn -4.5. that rushing attack got me last week. Won’t be fooled again.
    Tennessee -13.5. South Carolina’s offense is atrocious.
    Kentucky +4.5. Gimme the points on the road.
    Nebraska +8.5. I have bet Nebraska heavily over the past two seasons and it has been fruitful to me. Most notably, the ML last year against Michigan State. Tonight, they prove they can hang. If Tommy doesn’t turn it over, they’ll stay within a score.
    Cowboys -4. Riding with Dak and Zeke until someone can give me a good reason not to. Eagles coming off last week’s win against the Vikes, Boys comin off the bye.

    $$& WASHINGTON -10 $$$
    Was kind of hoping this was the game of the week so I’d have to pick it and could therefore troll my roommate (Elder B: born and raised Ute, who at one point played ball there and gargles the balls of all who walk the hallowed grounds), but since it isn’t, I’ll let it ride for three cheddars.

    My formula here is simple: better coaching, better quarterback play, and better defense. Utah’s D is not to be taken lightly, but Washington leads the nation in turnover margin, and allows just 318 ypg to their opponents. In the meantime, their sophomore quarterback is near 70%, has 26 TDs to just 2 picks-he is making aggressive throws with the football while taking care of it (see my guys Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott). And Washington is tossing up almost 50 a game this season. Best scoring D in the conference, top rated QB in the conference, top rusher in the conference, best turnover margin in the country and one of my favorite coaches in college football. I think the moment is too big for former Husky/current Utah QB Troy Williams, and the best team will pull away by three scores before the 4th quarter.

    • Extra-like for the Elder B. parenthetical. Washington/Utah definitely would have been a good pick of the week.

  • squeekycleen

    Essay: Texans
    All we have heard this week is what a disaster this week. Well, we have heard that plus what a disaster Brock Osweiler is but since he’s their quarterback I would say those things are correlated. Meanwhile, coverage of the Lions has been generally positive. Stafford has turned the corner, they could be a darkhorse in the NFC, blah blah. Seems like this happens every year with the Lions as they zig zag through their schedule. I’ll take the Texans as small favorites.

  • Capitalgg

    [All-play] Eagles +4 @ Cowboys: When in doubt, take the points, right?
    1. Cincinnati +7 @ Temple
    2. West Virginia -3.5 @ Oklahoma St.
    3. Kansas St. -6.5 @ Iowa St.
    4. Baylor -3 @ Texas

    I hate this essay already. I’m openly against waging for my teams. But I can’t resist this opportunity.

    I have it on good authority that Mr. Cleveland Frowns himself will be attending this game, so it’s not like I even need to further analyze this game. This is the 1 the home town team wins. Plain. Simple. Facts.

    But there’s more there. The Browns, despite the whaoful state of the offensive line, has been a really efficient offense. Hue Jackson has been a warlock. And this week he gets veteran Josh McCown back.

    The Jets cannot stop the pass and look to be without former Brown Buster Skrine. And their QB situation is a mess with Ryan Fitzpatrick having received the Brian Hoyer treatment from the Jets front office and Geno Smith with a freshly blown ACL.

    The Browns will likely win just 1 game this year, this is that 1. Browns +5 v. Jets.

    Other Considerations
    Redskins +3 @ Bengals
    Lions +2.5 @ Texans
    Saints +2.5 v. Seahawks
    Raiders +1 @ Buccaneers
    Colts +2.5 v. Chiefs
    Cardinals +3 @ Panthers
    Clemson -4.5 @ Florida St.
    Miami -2.5 @ Notre Dame
    Arizona +5.5 v. Stanford
    Ohio St. -26.5 v. Northwestern
    Nebraska +8.5 @ Wisconsin
    Houston -9 v. Central Florida
    Ole Miss +4.5 v. Auburn
    Arizona St. +8.5 @ Oregon
    Washington +10 @ Utah

  • jdoepke

    It’s Halloween weekend and crazy shit is going to happen. My costume as current day Pete Rose is going to be fitting as I scream at the TV tonight at the bar rooting for backdoor covers…

    Cowboys -4 (AP)
    UCF +9
    Miami OH +7.5
    Ole Miss +4.5
    Texas +3

    Essay:
    Oklahoma St +3.5

    Halloween weekend. Homecoming in Stillwater. WV coming off big win over TCU. Noon kick. Etc. This just feels like where WV drops from unbeaten status. 60% of public on WV, line is only 3.5. While I wish I saw a higher percentage, I’ve missed on last 2 essays with favorites so I’m going back to basics and just looking at the numbers. 60% of money on Okie St and when tickets to money is split like this, you know which way I go. Okie St for the win 33-30 in OT.

  • zizzer13

    Cowboys -4 over Eagles
    Michigan -24 over Michigan State
    Patriots -6.5 over Bills
    Browns +5 over Jets
    Purdue +12.5 over Penn State
    Vikings -6 over Bears (essay)

    Clearly, there’s something wrong with me – that’s the only explanation I can think of for picking a whopping four pro games this week, when I’ve had much better success picking the college slate. In any case, it’s not often that a team gets its starting quarterback back from injury, and their collective heads drop. Such is life, though, when Jay Cutler is your starting quarterback.

    The Bears were actually fairly competitive with Brian Hoyer taking the snaps. With Cutler, though, the Bears lost by nine to a Houston squad that we now know is pretty dreadful, and by 15 to a Philly team that just beat a previously undefeated Minnesota team last week. The Vikes are going to be looking for revenge, and Cutler’s walking into a buzzsaw of a defense. Vikes win big.

  • zarathustra

    Pitt (W)
    Thank you Acto!

    Patriots
    Playing with revenge against a team Brady dominates . Not just ordinary revenge, but shut-out revenge. Auto-play.

    Saints
    The Seahawks played an extra quarter on the road last Sunday night and are now on the road again playing an early game. The Saints defense is terrible and the terrible Seahawks offense will be able to score against them, but I like Drew Brees to push the tempo and exploit a tired Seahawks defense (famous last words.)

    West Virginia
    This may be super popular but that is not reason enough to back away in my mind. Everyone has discovered West Virginia is at least Big 12 legit and are now chasing them as short favorites on the road against a perennially good team so that’s scary. Maybe everyone is right though. This West Virginia 3-3-5 defense is maybe the perfect solve for these up-tempo spread offenses, because none of these quarterbacks have the slightest clue as to how to read a defense. They always need to look to the sideline and (in my understanding) rely a lot on the receivers to adjust their routes. That doesn’t work with an exotic defense that will go UFO pre-snap. Holgorson has his faults but I do think he is one of the smartest coaches in the country and I think it’s great he is behind this (potentially very significant) innovation. This defense could become a thing in college if it continues to work. My guess is Mason Rudolph will not be the one who solves it.

    Nebraska***
    So I was thinking a little bit about millennials and not without at least a little contempt. What with their Justin Bieber and their flat bill hats. Contempt for such things is beyond silly so thankfully I was able to move past that to hopefully arrive at a better understanding. Not a full understanding by any means, but at least better one.
    I’m of course biased as a gen-X guy and maybe that’s the whole problem as the millennials are nothing if not a stern rebuke of generation x. So gen x guy, you like grunge music and hip hop? how cool of you? We like pop music. Indeed the more you hate on it the more we seem to like it. Funny that, huh? You like your worn out baseball cap with the bent brim? We like a clean look with a flat brim and if possible like to coordinate it with our shoes. It’s almost as if this younger generation grew up observing the previous generation and just maybe sees them better than said past generation sees themselves. Perhaps these millennial saw a lot of neuroses too. We all have them after all and many of these millennials were raised by gen x parents and aren’t big fans. Maybe they observed a lot of hypocrisy growing up. They are young so can’t be expected to know who they want to be, but they’ve seen enough of you gen x to know your way is not the way for them. Maybe you’re not as cool as you thought. Maybe you can even be an asshole sometimes. You made Adam Sandler a millionaire hundreds of times over. Please don’t so much as look askance at anything we might like. You’re not as cool as you think.
    Thinking about this brought me great joy. For though so much of the world seems awful (sigh….lighten up gen x dude) the fact that one generation is rebelling or at least critiquing its predecessor is a wonderful thing and cause for much hope. If we have an open society that criticizes itself and corrects for error that alone is reason for optimism. Otherwise we would fall into a static conformity that hinders rather than encourages new ideas. So the millennials are keeping our culture/society vibrant and that should celebrated. All the more so because gen x basically just pledged an oath of fealty to the baby boomers and alas we are still stuck with their madness. The baby boomers had objectively good music and used that to lure us into all kinds of silly ideas that had nothing to do with music. Being “cool” was just a socially coercive means of promoting conformity to their cultural memes. It wasn’t done deliberately but it’s still somewhat pernicious nevertheless. Gen x bought all the boomer coolness and deluded themselves into thinking they made it their own, but most everything was just trying to copy the boomers. There wasn’t much original. There wasn’t the rebellion to the very idea of cool that the millennials appear to be staging. I’m an out of touch middle-aged man so am pretty clueless, but it seems that the millennials kind of look at “cool” somewhat ironically which would indicate that they see through the illusion of it. Cool is fake. It is inauthentic and a cute disguise for all your neuroses. The younger generation perhaps sees this and the older generation does not.
    “But Zarathustra,” you say, ” you claim that gen x people are not as cool as they think. Did it occur to they may not be as smart as they think?”
    Lol. Indeed. Indeed.
    “So what on earth does this have to do with Nebraska?”
    Everything actually. I read an ESPN article about Mike Riley this week and he exemplifies error correction. He has proven the ability to not only admit being wrong about something, but to own it and try to rectify it by doing good. This sets a tremendous example for young men playing football and makes me believe that he can create a winning culture at Nebraska. Last year they had a lot of close losses and they were able to learn from them. They’ve become more resilient. I don’t know that they will ever get to where they want to go as a program but I like their direction and don’t expect them to go down quietly in a big game like this.
    Mike Riley is not cool at all. He’s not caught up in it. He is maybe learning wisdom though and trying to teach it the hardest way possible–with humility. All I’ve been thinking since I read the article yesterday is that he’s maybe the coolest guy ever.

  • Dave Borcas

    Georgia +7.5
    Ole Miss +4.5
    Eastern Michigan -7.5
    Bengals -3
    Cowboys -4 (all play)
    Wake Forrest -6.5 (essay)
    If you like running the ball and good defense against the run this is the game for you. If you want dazzling skill position players and big plays on offense, stay away from this game. Wake is very young on offense and has struggled to get into the end zone this year. On the other hand their defense shows up every week and keeps them in games. Wake has had a week off to prepare for this Army team and hopefully get some of the offensive problems straightened out. The week off will have a rested and healthy D to deal with the Army running game. I see the Deacons being able to deal with the Army running game and force some turnovers that will give an endemic offense some short fields and get a win and cover.

  • CLEinMSP

    Indiana -5
    OK State +3.5
    Ole Miss +4.5
    Bengals -3
    Cowboys -4 (All Play)
    Patriots -6.5 (Essay)

    Bills got lucky when they got to face Brisset about a month ago. Tom Brady is back, and the Pats have a pretty good defense as well. I don’t see NE taking their foot off the gas pedal until they lock in home field advantage around mid December. Rex and Buffalo always look forward to these games with NE, but they usually turn out the same way. Buffalo will hang around and then NE will take over in the second have and win 24-14 or something like that.

  • Chris Schroeder

    -10 Minnesota @ Illinois
    -4.5 Auburn @ Mississippi
    -13.5 Tennessee @ South Carolina
    -6.5 Wake Forest vs Army
    All Play: +4 Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

    Essay: -6 Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
    Location: Chicago, Il
    Stadium: Soldier Field
    Turf: Grass
    Broadcast: ESPN
    Time: 8:30 PM Halloween
    The Game: Minnesota gained a number in the loss column, but the question is can they bounce back. The Vikings may have found the best opponent for this. Bears are struggling at 1-6 with the magnificent Jay Cutler making his return after being sidelined since week 2. Once Jay gets cut I could finally become a Bears fan until then the franchise can continue to pay a turd to carry the team. Minnesota has a 3 game win streak in this series and will make it 4 when the lights go out on Monday.

  • 1) Baylor -3
    2) Clemson -4.5
    3) Browns +5
    4) Bengals -3
    5) Cowboys -4 (All Play)
    6) Patriots -6.5 (Essay)

    Essay pass week please.

  • PJD19

    Essay Wisc over nebraska

    While visiting a good friend a few weeks back, I was given the fodder for this essay. My friend is from Nebraska and is a big Cornhuskers fan. I mentioned to him their strong start and to paraphrase he told me “they aren’t nearly as good as their record and when they finally play some good teams from the Big 10, run the other way screaming”. Line started at -7 and with the public back Nebraska, still moved to -9. Wisconsin wins big.

    • hey pj– im showing missy st on your form,, they didnt play (a real game) so i was checking here.. was that who you meant to pick?

      • PJD19

        Mike, you’re a gentlemen. I was having some technical difficulties when i was filling out my form late Friday night (a few too many beers). That was actually meant to be Michigan St (i think). Could I switch it to the Vikings tomorrow night? Thanks!

        • that’s legit. missyst is technically a ‘blank’ so you got it.

  • ChuckKoz

    Auburn -4.5

    More to follow

  • Galea Minor

    Cowboys -4 over Eagles (All-play)
    Illinois +10 over Minnesota
    Nebraska +8.5 over Wisconsin
    Michigan -24 over MSU
    Florida -7.5 over Georgia
    Lions +2.5 over Texans (Essay)

    Since I basically have no shot at winning at this point, time to only pick games I plan to watch.

    Yup, essaying the Lions again. I know I’m going to regret this, but since MSU sucks anyway, I’m gonna just go 100% in the tank for the Lions and ride this train to the end. I’ve never known what it’s been like to root for an elite NFL QB, but Matthew Stafford is probably the best in the division right now. The Lions have never had the best QB in the division in my lifetime, so that’s neat.

    This game will be the big test, and if the Lions win 2 of the next 3, they’ll be bona fide playoff contenders. They will also play @ Minnesota, and then Jacksonville at home, so that seems like a easy split. They’d still have a chance at 5-5, but a road win over an above-average team has its own significance. Stafford has been doing it at home and against teams that aren’t exactly stalwarts. Houston is undefeated at home and has only allowed 69 points in those four home games. Nice.

    If you don’t know the name Jim Bob Cooter, you soon will. Matt Stafford elevated his game almost immediately after JBC took over as offensive coordinator in the middle of last season. That coaching change has saved a few careers; not only Stafford’s but also the career of head coach Jim Caldwell. Caldwell might have been fired had they lost to Philadelphia, and without Stafford’s improvement, the Lions would have easily lost a few more games, and Caldwell would have been gone for sure.

    Anyway, here’s to essaying the Lions every week until they make the playoffs.

  • GRRustlers

    Week 9 Picks

    Notre Dame (+2.5) over Miami FL – There is no coach and team that needed a week off more than Brian Kelly and the Irish.

    Stanford (-5.5) over Arizona – What happened to Arizona?

    Bengals (-3) over Redskins – As difficult as it is to be on the Bengals when there is always the chance of an international incident I’ll just take the better team.

    Browns (+5) over Jets – Josh is going to die for our sins on Sunday…the least we can do is stay within 5 for his memory.

    AP – Cowboys (-4) over Eagles – Let’s watch 2 QBs we passed on in Cleveland. Drink.

    Essay Pick

    This one has all the makings of a giant FU game. There is no way that the Patriots are going to allow someone in their own division to beat them twice. There is no way that Brady did not sit at home and watch the Bills shut out the Patriots without thinking about this game. The fact that Gronk is healthy only makes this more entertaining on Sunday.

    I’ll elaborate on my pick with a story that makes little sense but is logical to me. I started working from home this week and the view from my back window at home is much more entertaining than the concrete in Valley View. There is a dog across from me that stalks his backyard. It’s not a big dog but I’ve become amused by how all the squirrels know exactly where the electric fence is. They taunt this poor little dog. Last night I was out raking leaves which is now my second full time job and the neighbor joked with me that one day he is going to switch off that electric fence and let his dog go at a squirrel. That’s what this game is…Bill Belichick is simply the guy standing by the switch and Rex Ryan is the annoying little squirrel.

    Patriots (-6.5) over Bills

  • thatsfine

    Utah State +6 – for one point

    • thatsfine

      Fishy line. 6-1 SDSU has been tough and was even ranked before a surprising loss to South Alabama. The only reasons to get behind 3-4 USU are a great record at home (26-4 over last 30), and the overall record of SDSU’s opponents this year is 14-31, 6-18 record for teams during their recent 3-game string of destroying teams. This line started at 6.5 and despite large majority public play on SDSU it’s now down to 4/4.5. Putting on my tinfoil handicapping hat right now. Let’s go ahead and try to sniff out some bullshit, and maybe waste a point on a fishy line tonight.

      • thatsfine

        Well, sometimes you look smart, and sometimes your home dog gets hammered and fails to cover by 20-something points. On we go.
        Miami U +7.5 essay
        Cincinnati +7 – Gunner Kiel, I don’t know what he did to make Tuberville glue him to the bench. But he’s back in the lineup and UC is a different team with him at QB.
        Boise St. -13.5 – It took 5 BSU turnovers to keep BYU in the game last week. Wyoming won’t be so fortunate.
        Kent St. +15.5 – Guess I’m just running against the directional Michigans here. I think the difference between a “good” MAC team and a “bad” MAC team this year is small (with the exception of Western Michigan).

        Here you have two teams that have been in the pits for the last 5 years, both undergoing massive rebuilds and now on the upswing with head coaches that will be employed somewhere in Conference USA or a basement dwelling Power 5 school 5 years from now, maybe sooner. Despite being on its 3rd QB this season, the Redhawks are finding their footing. Gus Ragland has thrown 5 TDs / 0 INTs in 2 games as a starter. And… surprise. Miami has the MAC’s top ranked defense, giving up just 348 yards/game, and 3rd ranked against the pass. Plus, they’ve forced 6 TOs in the last 2 games. EMU is a nice story this year, their offense has been impressive and is going to air it out. But their defense is pretty average. Miami will keep pace by getting a few stops and a turnover or two. The line seems a bit low and the public is all over EMU. It feels like this is probably a TD or FG winning game for EMU, so give me Miami +7.5.

  • mmmmsnouts

    Navy +6.5 for a point tonight. I hate picking against my own team and that’s the only reason this isn’t my essay, but this line is absolutely ridiculous. The Middies’ computer rankings are still dragged way down from their shaky games in September. They’re clicking right now. And USF cannot stop anyone from running the ball, which is kind of a problem against a triple option team. Navy to win outright.

    • mmmmsnouts

      OH MY GOD SO MUCH RAGGGGGGEEEEEEEEE

  • LittleBallofHate

    College (not much to say) — Minny (-10), ND (+2.5)
    NFL (not much to say) — Bengals (-3), Raiders (+1.5), Cowboys (-4)
    ESSAY
    Michigan (-24) at Michigan State
    Considering the way last year’s game ended and with the struggles that Sparty has had this season, Harbaugh is going to go Sun Tzu on Michigan State. He was 0-2 in rivalry games last year plus Sparty has had the better of Michigan for awhile. Harbaugh would love nothing better than to hang 70 on Dantonio and he has an excellent chance of doing so. Plus, Michigan has had some large point spreads this year and still managed to cover, so the fact they are giving 24 in this game shouldn’t be much of a concern. Michigan State’s only hope in this game is if they can somehow hold on to the ball for all 60 minutes.

  • cwonder23

    Clemson -4.5
    Baylor -3
    WVU -3.5
    NYJ -5
    All Play: Cowboys -4
    Essay: Miami(FL) -2.5

    I guess I like the road favorites this week. I was having lunch with a client in South Bend, IN and e explained the current situation of Norte Dame football. To say the least, it’s pretty bad. I feel like this team has given up on the year and Brian Kelly has lost their confidence. The fact the swapped QBs in the Stanford game further worsens the problem. Mark Richt has shown the ability to make a Miami program play good football simply with good coaching and fundamentals. I like Miami this week 28-10. On another note, I hope the Cleveland Indian faithful are enjoying this World Series run as much as I (Cubs fan) am. It is truly amazing to see the energy in Chicago with two starved fan bases waiting to win. Wrigleyville bars had lines out the door at 5 am this morning and were packed by 745 am. I probably won’t get much football watching in this weekend with the World Series in town. I hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend. Go Cubs!

  • Troy Bunting

    Essay Pick
    **Clemson -4.5
    If anyone has Amazon Prime you should stream their exclusive version of “Hard Knocks: College” – Last season was Notre Dame, this season is Florida State. If you’ve been watching, FSU sucks, the players know they suck. They might be the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked in recent years for FSU. That being said, Clemson has not been spectacular this year. They’ve had some close calls but they find ways to win and happen to be the #3 team in the land. Coming off of a bye week I expect Dabo to be well rested and schemin, and Deshaun Watson to come out hot, slinging the rock and probably runnin for a TD or two as well. Clemson will have their best game of the year on the heels of last week’s top 5 shakeup and with the urgency of the playoff push.

  • Chris P.

    POTY

    Browns +5 Jets
    Cowboys -4 Eagles
    Virginia +31.5 Louisville
    USF -6.5 Navy
    Florida State +4.5 Clemson

    So, the secret essay writing method up here on the 17th floor of the big brown edifice in downtown Akron is this….

    1) pick 4 games that you love
    2) take a swing at the game of the week
    3) focus on the one that really sticks out to do
    4) research to verify

    then… and most importantly…

    5) get REALLY outraged about something… through the years this could be anything… it’s been all this mock indignation about NFL protests, it’s been Republicans, it’s been Democrats… recently it’s perpetually Mr. Trump.. it’s been fracking and earthquakes, it’s been the marginalization of Dennis Kucinich… hell, it’s been California droughts in the past
    *note, this is much easier before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
    6) stew about it. I mean really let it boil to the surface.
    7) then and only then do you write. sometimes this manifests itself in epiphanies. other times, it manifests itself in much worse ways. we will discuss this below.
    8) remove and change punctuation to make it all seem a little more crazy.

    So, that’s the recipe.

    It’s time to visit where it’s all gone wrong this year. In the past, step 7 is what really kept me going.. it’s helped me work through important issues like why everyone from California will be moving here. It’s helped me explain why the true obscenity of fracking in Mahoning Valley wasn’t necessarily the use of the land for profit but the abuse of the hard work and effort that region is so perpetually known for.

    This year it’s resulted in a blind allegiance to directional Michigans.

    So it’s obviously gone off the rails. It’s time to reset, to not go nuts, and to just write. To do that we have to go back to Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana Counties.

    This election is exposing some cold painful truths about this country – and not just the racist or misogynistic ones that the media is focusing on. It’s exposing a deeper, more painful one that no one wants to probe. For some reason this election has caused my party, the one I hold near and dear to my heart, to write off opposition as “uneducated whites.”

    We’ve happily taken in “Rich Neoconservatives” and their money and their influence, and we’ve spit out “people without a college degree.” We’ve nominated someone who worked hard to champion the rights of the oppressed and underserved for most of her life but over the past 15 years has worked to alienate those same people she championed for so long. In the wake of this – the media has followed along with this soft bigotry of telling people why all the rich educated people have come along, and basically flat out saying that the people who aren’t coming along with this just aren’t educated enough to understand.

    And then, we wonder why we’re not up by 20 points. Are you fucking kidding me?

    Yes, there is partisanship and polarity between parties that wasn’t there in the past… but it’s no secret that older people are more partisan than young people. It’s also no secret that young people rebel against old people. It happens. These dynamics don’t change.

    So… back to those three counties. The valley is the home of Trump-land in this cycle. And why shouldn’t it be? We’re treating them like they’re just not smart enough to come along, and they in turn, are as resentful to us as we’d be if our ex-girlfriend kept telling us how much smarter, hotter, and richer their new beau is. There’s a common misperception that this Trump enthusiasm is some sort of bubbling undercurrent for someone who tells things like it is and gives the middle finger to the establishment.

    But it’s not.

    The enthusiasm for Trump is all about people we’ve left behind for “smarter, hotter, richer” people. And they’re resentful. They’re totally willing to stick with this loon and all his faults because he’ll tell us that we can go fuck ourselves. It’s hard to blame them. We’ve told them the same thing.

    It’s hard not to imagine that other candidates, from Joe Biden to Bernie Sanders to Elizabeth Warren to Martin O’Malley wouldn’t grasp this, but we chose something different. She’ll probably win in twelve days, and Republicans will begin beating the ever-loving shit out of her in about thirteen. Good for them. We deserve it. We’ve done the same thing that those energy companies did to the good people of the valley. We took their votes, we took their money through labor donations, we got the hell out when they didn’t have anything left to give, and we insulted them when we were done.

    On that, there’s no other pick this week than to pick a state school in a city with labor and automotive manufacturing plants over a suburb that breeds scholars. This has to be the pick of the year. It just has to be. Everything I believe about America is at stake.

    Michigan State +24 Michigan

    oh yeah..

    step 9) pick a pro game because you have to

  • p_forever

    cowboys -4 eagles
    purdue +12.5 penn state
    michigan state +23.5 michigan
    utah +10 washington
    wva -3.5 okla state
    nc state -16 bc*****

    welp I wanted to ride my syracuse orange this weekend but they have a bye. 2nd best option was to keep betting on how badly boston college sucks. which, as we found out, is pretty bad. I guess folks are down on nc state because they got crushed by louisville but – I mean – louisville is super good and has a heisman contending QB who is out for blood. BC still hasn’t beat anyone except wagner. More importantly, now that bball is the lodestar for my football picks, it’s a good idea to pick a team that gave us arguably the most exciting ncaa tournament game ever (when nc state beat UCLA in the semifinals). I wasn’t alive when that happened, but who am I to question the logic of last week’s picks, which netted me a 4-2 record?

  • Hawkaholic

    Hawks fans can rejoice this week in the fact we don’t play and can focus solely on the Cubs winning games 3, 4 & 5 at Wrigley. A couple of tormented fan bases that have a lot in common, Iowa had its run last year with a 12-0 magical season ruining by LJ Scott in the B10 Championship game and then McCaffrey and the Stanford band in Pasadena. Things will be different this year i can just feel it. So much so i dropped some coin for a rooftop seat with no view for tomorrow’s game. I hope this weekend turns out different than the Rose Bowl.

    on to the picks. I am going to use my essay bye week in honor of Iowa being off and abuse my liver instead of writing an essay

    New Mexico State +43.5 @ A&M
    Ole Miss +4.5 at home against Auburn
    Packers +3 on the road @ Atlanta
    Vikings -6 @ Chicago
    AP: Dak -4
    Essay: Pats -6.5 in Buffalo because Brady

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Please say hello to Bob Uecker for me

      • Chris P.

        First “change.org” petition I’ve ever signed.

        Replacing Joe Buck with any Mr. Belvedere cast member is a plus. Leon Redbone too. Can’t beat that theme.

  • Lucy Lawrence

    1. Jags +3.5

  • was heading here anyway but FHCF helped lock me in — Akron and Toledo tonite.

    • oh ffs,,,, oh 4 too on thursday nite maction? MACTION?!! and alongside FHCF no less?? i’ve been wanting to bet against UB the whole damn year and when i finally get around to it, that home field crowd of ~130 carries them to victory. eff me. im out of ideas.

      that’s the last straw: it’s time to trot out costanza mode. therefore, let’s take a look at kansas +40 at norman. i sweated out their failure to cover last week against okst and watched them the whole game and thought this is a remarkably not dead 1-5 team (while simultaneously think okst was remarkably soft and so would probably roll over against WVU,, ♫ ♩look how wrong you can be ♫ ♩). KU moved the ball and played hard all the way to the end where they [mercifully] failed to back-door cover my okst play. they specifically did not look like a team deserving of 40 point dog status. meanwhile oklahoma has been playing some soft defense giving up 59 (ttu), 40 (ut), 46 (tcu), and of course 45 to osu. the key to spotting a team 40 points is to keep them under 20 and oklahoma has shown no sign of an interest in playing defense. ttu i kinda get but the rest of those over 40 point scores were against teams who are not unstoppable. sure oklahoma can score 60 provided theyre pushed to, but once they get up 3 TDs on kansas, they’ll coast. so i like kansas very much to stay within 40. thus the essay pick shall be:
      OKLAHOMA -40

      back tmrw w 3 nfl picks likely to be equally indicative of a cheddar grasping at straws.

      • haha, best essay ive written in years.

        here is another test because i really like the falcons -3 for a lot of the reasons mattlaw outlines… therefore packers.

        • almost goes without saying that i’m costanza-ing the eagles. (ie, im on the eagles for the all-play.)

          • dang, so close. alright let’s close this experiment with the bears tonite.

  • FlyHighCharlieFrye

    USC
    Akron
    Toledo
    Titans
    Eagles

    Essay pick later

    • FlyHighCharlieFrye

      Florida State +4.5 essay

      Show me, Dabo. Clemson clearly is talented, but last year is over. The ACC seems to be more ACC than ever, and yes I get that there’s parity all over this year outside Tuscaloosa. That makes me like this even more. I haven’t seen Superman Watson, I haven’t seen a great defense and tonight I see all the pressure on Clemson. History says that goes one way, and in this case I’m betting it goes this way again. Dalvin Cook BIG GAME ALERT. Noles outright, right from the jump.

  • CLEVTA

    1. USC -16 (essay): similar to my blowout essay win last week when the dog (Arkansas) looked easy and Auburn destroyed them, most will feel the same about Cal tonight. Problem is Cal is coming off two straight OT games and on a short week against a USC team off of a bye and definitely rejuvenated after the QB change. Cal is a horrific defensive squad and can’t stop anybody running the ball. USC is a top 35 run offense and have explosive RBs including Ronald Jones. Cal has yet to really face a top level defense like USC and will definitely score some points but their usual 40 isn’t going to happen tonight.

    • Saw the line tonight at 21 and am riding with cal, but the 16 here doesn’t feel like enough. Shall see.

      • RCLA

        🙁

    • CLEVTA

      2. SKins
      3. UCF
      4. Utah
      5. FSU
      6. Cowboys (all play)

  • HitTheHorns

    Essay: Jags +3.5

    Lots of chatter this week about why NFL ratings are down. Here are some reasons I came up with:

    1) The games have always been this bad, we just weren’t watching. If most of you are like me, the most enjoyable Sundays were watching the Browns at 1 while following your fantasy team on sportsline.com, and watching the national game at 4. We were never sitting through Jags-Titans, we were only tuning in for the final few minutes when something exciting would happen. There was not a wave of momentum that the games all sucked because they weren’t isolated on a Thursday or Sunday morning. Seems simple enough.

    2) Fantasy football is not fun. Guys don’t set lineups, nobody makes trades, and it becomes more of a chore than something fun. There was a time when the rise of fantasy felt organic and enjoyable, but those days are over. DFS was marketed like cigarettes, and turned out to be a scam. Never saw that coming.

    3) Going to NFL games is not fun. As I’ve written before, the only reason I still have Browns season tickets is because of the worthless PSL I own for $1500. Since I can’t get that back, I go through the chore of listing my tickets for sale and hoping to break even. A few years ago Michael Symon opened a restaurant in Browns stadium. If you are on their mailing list, you will recall getting 10 emails about it in the preseason. My brother and I went early to the stadium on opening day. We talked to six different stadium employees that literally had no idea what we were talking about. There were no signs. It felt like those moments we all had where you call Comcast about something and after 45 minutes and no resolution they transfer you to Canada and hang up on you. I’ve been emailing them for 10 years that when I go to a game on Sunday, I do not need the team to run the kicker stats from the Thursday game on the side scoreboards nonstop all game. I will not go to Browns games anymore.

    4) And most important – the NFL is directly insulting to our intelligence. I don’t watch a single inning of baseball during the year. I get 5 minutes a week from Andre on A-Z. Typically for a baseball story to leak into the national conversation, it takes someone like Yasiel Puig “breaking the unwritten rules” and upsetting the crusty, old baseball establishment. Color me shocked when I tune into these Indians games and see Lindor wearing different socks, big chains, custom shoes, and playing with an absolute joy. The best part? No think pieces the next day about how these guys showing personality are disrespectful to the game, or how Lindor and Kipnis playfully running off the field together in Toronto after a pop out means they don’t take the game seriously or don’t care about winning. In the NFL, Lindor’s viral leap out of the dugout during game 1 would have been a 15 yard penalty, and one more he would be ejected. The Browns lost a game this year because Terelle Pryor flipped a ball to a ref and this is so accepted nobody outside of #brownstwitter talked about it. It is absolutely a false equivalency, but how do you ignore the absurdity of making Antonio Brown change his shoes or he can’t play in a game that will literally shorten his lifespan? The NFL spends millions to suspend Tom Brady for something they didn’t even prove he did, and which had no impact on anything anyway. Baseball has a video go viral where Pete Rose, A-Rod, and Frank Thomas discuss Gaylord Perry only throwing spitballs. But Baseball is the crotchety old establishment that takes themselves too seriously.

    I still enjoy gambling on games, but I don’t have to watch any football to enjoy that, as nothing happening on the field week to week influences my gambling decisions in any way. Jags blown out at home again last week, Bortles terrible again last week. Whatever.

    • HitTheHorns

      USC -16

      • HitTheHorns

        OKL ST

        • HitTheHorns

          Wisconsin, Cowboys, Florida St.

    • Good stuff here.

    • GRRustlers

      This is so good. I’m always going to be a baseball fan over everything else but you really made me think with the Lindor stuff about just how clueless the NFL is. Never even thought about the amount of fun that this Tribe team has in relation to the NFL because it seems natural and just part of the game. Can you imagine how many flags the NFL would have thrown on the Naquin walk off when half the damn team was on the field? Good stuff.

  • agnesbojaxhiu

    Last week I essayed against the Bearcats and it turned out I was wrong. Bearcats are better than pirates. A lot better. It seemed like I was destined to forever dislike all civets and genets, but lo, what do I find during my preparation for cheddar voting, but an opportunity for redemption. This is the week that I predicted Temple to not cover and who do they play? The very team that caused me to get surpassed by Frowns in the standings. Oh the shame of it all after my wonderful essay and pregnancy outing (not that I begrudge him his best week in Cheddar bay, it just would have been better if I had been more successful with my votes). Maybe if I had dug deeper into the origin of the bearcat mascot, I would not have been so disparaging of their choosing an arboreal insect eater. It turns out that it was originally “Baehr-cat” after fullback Leonard Baehr impressed a male cheerleader and college newspaper cartoonist in a victorious game against the Kentucky Wildcats (another vague mascot) in 1914. Prior to that the team had no nickname and was called “Varsity.” Well fancy them now, a nickname that actually had something to do with a human playing a sport! Well here is to the baehrcats’ victory over the Owls this Saturday and here is a modification of the Cincinnati 1915 yearbook poem for your enjoyment:

    At last outplayed, outtricked,
    Outrun, outpassed, outkicked,
    Bearcat had Owls licked
    Fourteen to seven.

    You’ve gotta love sports. And sports poetry.

    Thursday vote: Georgia Southern +5.5
    Friday vote: Fresno State +14
    Saturday early vote: Cincinnati +7
    Saturday late vote: Nebraska +8.5
    Sunday early vote: Browns + 5 (breaking my rule not to vote on the browns since I’ll be enjoying sober Browns tailgating and game viewing in person)
    Sunday late vote: Eagles +4

    • actovegin1armstrong

      This was not as funny as that “spreadsheet” joke, but certainly a more enjoyable read. Vote early and vote often!

  • RCLA

    Cal + 16 – Cal has lost to worse teams far worse than USC (SD State, Oregon St.) and beaten teams more on their level (Utah, Oregon, Texas). The obvious split has been home v. road – they are 4-0 at home and 0-3 on the road. So that’s noted. But they’ve won those games by 10, 7, 5, and 3. And lost the three road games by 5, 10 and 3. USC isn’t Alabama and Cal scores enough not to get blown out. Too many points.

    Nebraska + 8.5 – I just don’t think Wisconsin is markedly better than Nebraska. And I don’t think this is a high scoring game. Wouldn’t necessary bet the Nebraska money line, but more than a TD in a game like this is too tempting.

    Michigan State +24 – Look, I know Harbaugh has been running up the score at every turn and I know that MSU isn’t that good. But this game is far more important to MSU than it is to Michigan and it is in Lansing. Again, too many points.

    San Diego + 5.5 – SD has played a brutal schedule thus far and and played even with every good team they’ve played. If Jason Varrett hadn’t gotten hurt I think this is a top 8 defense. The rookies up the middle are actually really good. And Phil Rivers famously loves playing in mile high.

    Philadelphia + 4 – Looks like a toss up to me. Philly leads the league in DVOA and is getting 4 points. Wouldn’t touch this game with real money, but Philly gets my token here.

    ESSAY: Cardinals +3 – This line seems to assign powers to a bye week that I do not believe to exist – to wit, the ability to spawn defensive backs from thin air. Alas, byes do not have that power, and so Carolina’s defense is still basically powerless to stop anyone from throwing on them. And I don’t see how they move the ball against Arizona if the Cards D plays anything like they did on Sunday. I’d feel a little more comfortable if Matheau was around to keep an eye on Cam, but when I can get the objectively better team and a full field goal, I have to essay it. If a finally healthy Cam shits on my head, so be it.

    I have now taken 6 dogs, a total of 61 points and 5 road teams. This cannot possibly end well.

    • RCLA

      FWIW, Cal should have scored on that last meaningless possession. They had like 3:00 and wasted the first 2:00 running the ball. DON’T THEY KNOW THE LINE?!?!

  • actovegin1armstrong

    ****Pitt +3.5 essay 3 votes
    Pittsburgh is coming off a bye week and the Hookers had a rough time of it last week against Miami. Virginia Tech gained about 1,000 yards, but they gave up 600, they must be tired and that is worth a couple of points.
    I like the Pittsburgh Offensive line against the Hookers Defensive line. As long as the Panthers do not fall behind early and start passing too much they could wear down Virginia Tech with a punishing ground game. Pitt’s defense has been nothing to write home about but they can get a pass rush going and that may make the Hookers quarterback Jerod Evans get happy feet and come down to earth a bit, he has been playing very well, but a bit over his head. Evans’ statistics have gone beyond his current level of talent and development.
    A tough early pass rush by Pitt and any semblance of a ball control ground game should have them winning this game. I would like Pitt if this was a pick’em, I love them getting 3.5 points.
    1 vote, Jags +3.5
    1 vote, Cincinnati +7
    1 vote, Georgia +7.5
    1 vote, North Tx +3.5
    1 vote, AP Eagles +4

    • zarathustra

      I was leaning toward Pitt beforehand but this essay far exceeds my thoughts. If I could cut and paste and make it my own I would, but alas….ethics.

      Pitt over VA Tech (one point)

    • Chris P.

      3.5…. what a line!

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