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Friday, September 25, 2009

Picking the Winners: Week 4

Let's get to the Week 4 picks...

Dan: 4-6 last week... not very good. I fell into the trap of thinking a team would roll.

Dave: You think you had it bad? I put up my second-straight 3-7 performance. Just ugly. Sometimes I think I should put more thought into these picks as to not embarrass myself. Then I reconsider and decide that, since "Seinfeld" quotes made for such a good read a week ago, I should simply stick to the gimmicks. This week, we celebrate another of my favorite shows: "How I Met Your Mother."

Michigan State (+3) at Wisconsin

Dan: I was talking to my significant other last week and she thought it was funny that there were so many Michigan schools. She thought it was a joke that there was Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Northern Michigan. I laughed, too. Ah the MAC. Well I then went on to explain that the real joke wasn’t that there were so many Michigan schools. The joke is Michigan State’s football program this year. She nodded in agreement… Wisconsin 21, Michigan State 17

Dave: "Ted, no! You never break up a girl fight! NEVER!!"

The Big Ten: One big, ongoing girl fight. Except, these are the kind you just don't want to watch. Example No. 1: This game. I promise you, I'll have to Google the score of this game next week to find out if I picked correctly because I will pay absolutely no attention to this game on Saturday… Wisconsin 24, Michigan State 23.

Texas Christian (+2.5) at Clemson

Dan: I am going with Dabo. Dabo! Did you know Clemson is 3-0 against the spread this year? Well, they are. It is like Dabo is taunting us, daring us to go against him again. I honestly don’t get this spread. Yes, TCU is a nice team, but the MWC got waxed last weekend as Utah and BYU both lost. Clemson isn’t the easiest place to play either. I know one of those moments where Clemson loses a game they shouldn’t is coming up, but not this week… Clemson 23, TCU 17

Dave: From the great episode on dating people you have to see regularly…

Robin: "We can split a cab to work together, we always have a standing lunch date, and last night, at the hockey game, Curt got us into the locker room and I met Mason Raymond! Left wing for the Vancouver Canucks!"
Barney: "What's the opposite of name-dropping?"

This week Clemson plays TCU!… a team from the Mountain West Conference!… they beat Texas State!… The Horned Frogs! Clemson has no problems against the "big-name" mid-major… Clemson 35, TCU 14.

LSU (-12.5) at Mississippi State

Dan: Double-digit home dog alert. Double-digit home dog alert. There was a trend a few years ago that if you just took the double-digit home dogs each week, you hit somewhere along the lines of 60 percent of your bets. That is good. Of course I never follow these trends, but I should. Well, here is a classic case, but here is why I don’t get this line. LSU was favored by 14.5 over Vandy when the game was in LSU. They won by 14. Mississippi State went into Vandy and won straight up. So this line now is at 13? Makes no sense. Again I will be a sucker and bite here… LSU 20, Mississippi State 9

Dave: I think this sums up my gambling problems...

Barney: "Ted, your problem is all you do is think, think, think. I'm teaching you how to do, do, do."
Marshall: "Doo-doo!"

The past two weeks, I've been way off on Mississippi State because I'm thinking too much about the matchup. I need to go with my gut here, and my gut says LSU is a much, much better team. Plus, if I'm wrong, it will get Georgia fans irrationally exuberant about a chance to beat the Tigers next week, so it's win-win. Also, doo-doo is funny… LSU 35, Mississippi State 14.

Arkansas (+17.5) at Alabama

Dan: Arkansas is the Clemson of the SEC -- a group of fans that think their program is better than it really is. Face it, Arkansas is a middle-of-the-road SEC program. In the SEC West, they are historically the fourth-best team (behind Alabama, Auburn and LSU). They should not expect anything more. Yet fans were not happy that they were winning the West and wanted more from Houston Nutt. Is it not funny that all of this turmoil surrounded Arkansas a few years back with Houston Nutt because he refused to throw the ball? I mean why would he? He had Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Yet fans were not happy. So they run him out of town and they get Bobby Petrino. So what happens? Arkansas starts throwing the ball but can’t play a lick of defense. As I see it, Arkansas fans are getting everything they deserve. They are now the fifth-best program in the West. Congrats! That being said 15½ seems like a lot for Alabama. I think they’ll win but it will be closer than expected (better bet is the over 57!)… Alabama 48, Arkansas 35.

Dave: "Quick announcement: I am glad you are here, fellow travelers. A couple rules. Ah, not rules, let's call them "Guidelines for Harmonious Living". Guideline for Harmonious Living #1: The kitchen sink is for dishes, the toilet is for pee-pee. GFHL #2: Marijuana is illegal in the United States, yes, even when baked into a blueberry muffin, that someone might mistakenly eat for breakfast, before leaving for their job as a TV newcaster. "This just in, look at my hand, how weird is my hand?" is not an appropriate thing to say on the air."

And rule No. 3… I'm not better against Alabama until they prove me wrong. I was impressed by Arkansas' Ryan Mallett last week, but in the fourth quarter when Georgia actually got some pressure, he was just 2-of-10 passing. Against Georgia's defense. Alabama is much better and won't have to wait until the fourth quarter to disrupt the action in the backfield… Alabama 35, Arkansas 14.

Florida (-22) at Kentucky

Dan: Double-digit home dog alert. I fear taking Kentucky here though. But I have to. Kentucky just had an emotional win at home vs. Louisville last weekend. Their reward… Florida. I just don’t see Florida getting up for this game though. Speaking of Kentucky, I visited Lexington a little more than a year ago as my buddy was a teacher at a University in the area. Well we went out drinking the first night and ran into a bunch of his students. Ha ha. Now that was classic. He was trying to be professional while I kept trying to get them to do shots with us. They were all for it! I don’t know how he showed the restraint. I think if I were in his shoes I would have lasted all of three months before a scandal hit the university. Anyway back to the game… Florida 35, Kentucky 14.

Dave: "Okay, pep talk! You can do this, but to be more accurate, you probably can't. You're way out of practice and she's way too hot for you. So, remember, it's not about scoring. It's about believing you can do it, even though you probably can't. Go get 'em, tiger! … Poor guy's gonna crash and burn."

OK, Kentucky, you can do this. Sure, you lost 63-5 last year, but that was a long time ago. You're at home! You just won a big game against your in-state rivals! Tennessee showed some chinks in Florida's armor last week! You can do it! And by "it" I mean cover the spread… Florida 40, Kentucky 21.

(By the way, I have absolutely no idea who you're talking about in your story about the teacher in Kentucky. I mean, that story seems completely foreign to me. No clue at all why you might repeat it here. It certainly has nothing to do with me whatsoever. Cough. Cough.)

North Carolina (+2.5) at Georgia Tech

Dan: It is annoying when you have friends who have no association with a school who become fans of that school. But what is even more annoying is when they pick and choose their sports. We have a friend who married a girl from Carolina. Lets call him “Mean Machine." So “Mean Machine” is now a Carolina basketball fan. Not Carolina football. Of course “Mean Machine” isn’t a football fan each year because they stink. “Mean Machine” only likes Carolina basketball because they win. That is unfair and should not be allowed. “Mean Machine” also back in the day liked to prevent you from meeting women but that is a whole different story we’ll get into later this year. In any event, UNC is on the rise in football. But they are still UNC. Look for Georgia Tech to pull out a close one and “Mean Machine” to not even care… Georgia Tech 27, North Carolina 21.

Dave: "No, no, Ted, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. It would be the fourth worst thing. Number one, supervolcano. Number two, an asteroid hits the earth. Number three, all footage of Evil Knievel is lost. Number four, Ted calls Karen. Number five, Lily gets eaten by a shark."

If you're a Tech fan, No. 1 on that list would probably be seeing the Jackets' offense get stopped for a fourth time in five games. Honestly, the folks in Atlanta have to be getting a little worried, right? I mean, 10 months ago, Paul Johnson was the greatest coach since Bear Bryant, and now his offense is looking like it can't move the ball against anything resembling a good defense. But at least they'll always have a three-point victory in a game in which they were outplayed for three quarters over a team that had won the seven previous meetings to hang their hats on… North Carolina 21, Georgia Tech 20.

Miami (-2.5) at Virginia Tech

Dan: Ah, my Hokies. They frustrate me to no end. They had no business winning that game last week vs. Nebraska. Zero. I did not see much of it because ABC was nice enough to show the spectacular Iowa vs. Arizona match instead of two top-20 teams up here in the Northeast. But I received plenty of angry texts from friends who were at the game. It was interesting. I lost my phone temporarily and checked it after the game. Let me list a few of the texts for you:

--- &%&% this *$*%%
--- These fans are delusional. They keep chanting Tyrod’s name. Well Tyrod stinks.
--- Tyrod and Stinespring MUST GO!
--- I can’t believe I paid good money for these tickets to watch this same &$&% offense.
--- What a pass! Place is going nuts!
--- We won! And I’ll take it . . . go Hokies! There will be a party tonight!

What a range of emotions. Well, this week things do not get any easier. Miami has looked spectacular. My Hokies… not so much. I hate to do this but have to go with Miami. I think I’ll be receiving at lot more angry texts again this week… Miami 27, Virginia Tech 17.

Dave: "Jesus started the whole 'wait three days' thing. He waited THREE days to come back to life. It was perfect! If he had only waited one day, a lot of people wouldn't have even heard that he died. They'd be all, 'Hey Jesus, what up?' and Jesus would probably be like, 'What up? I did yesterday!' And then they'd be all, 'Uhh, you look pretty alive to me, dude.' And then Jesus would have to explain how he was resurrected, and how it was a miracle, and then the dude would be like 'Uh okay, whatever you say, bro.' And he's not gonna come back on a Saturday. Everybody's busy, doing chores, workin' the loom, trimmin' the beard, No! He waited the exact right number of days, THREE. Plus it's Sunday, so everyone's in church already, they're all in there, 'Oh no, Jesus is dead,' then -- BAM! -- he bursts through the back door, runs up the aisle, everyone's totally psyched, and FYI, that's when he invented the high five. Three days. We wait three days to call a woman, because that's how long Jesus wants us to wait.... True story."

This might be the single funniest monologue in the history of the show, but there's a valuable lesson here: Timing is everything. This is a perfect example of how the timing is set up for Tech, and why we should always wait a while -- probably more than three days -- before crowing a team as a potential champ. Miami is coming off a last-second win against a Florida State team that barely beat Jacksonville State and a big win -- AT HOME -- over a Georgia Tech squad that should probably have lost to Clemson the week before. Yes, the 'Canes have looked better than years past, but I'm not ready to call them the class of the ACC because they beat two other teams that I don't exactly believe in either. Virginia Tech has its own problems -- namely Tyrod Taylor -- but I'm 100 percent certain that Miami hasn't done enough to warrant being a 2.5-point favorite on the road over another ACC team that started the year in the top 10, held strong through three quarters against Alabama, and just beat another quality opponent last week… Virginia Tech 20, Miami 17.

Iowa (+10) at Penn State

Dan: Do you want to see something really disturbing Saturday night on ABC? Tune into the Penn State game and see all of these Penn State coeds painting their stomachs white and blue and whatever color they can find. Is there anything else more disturbing than a girl who puts body paint on to celebrate her football team? It is disgusting. Yet we see it every weekend. Penn State coeds are the queens of body paint and it is makes me sick. Just another reason for you to root against that school. I can come up with about 100. As for the game, did you know Penn State is 0-3 ATS this year. Yup. Well I think this streak ends this week and Penn State gets revenge for last year's loss… Penn State 31, Iowa 16.

Dave: "Suits are for the living. That's why, when it's my time to R.I.P. I'm going out of this world the same way I came into it. BUCK NAKED. Yeah. It's gonna be awesome. Open bar for the guys, open casket for the ladies."

Funeral jokes… Joe Paterno… ah, you figure it out… Penn State 28, Iowa 10.

Texas Tech (+1) at Houston

Dan: Let-down game for the Red Raiders here after playing Texas tough last weekend. This game means so much more for the Cougars. Speaking of Cougars… if you are a single female in the “Cougar” range is there a worse term to be called? This term has come out of nowhere the last few years and now there is even a show called “Cougartown”. As if it's not bad enough that you are not attached to someone when you are in your upper-30s to low-40s, now when you go out to a bar everyone sits in the corner and points at you saying, “Look at that Cougar." Man, at times, I feel bad for women… Houston 48, Texas Tech 40.

Dave: "In my body, where the shame gland should be, there is a second awesome gland."

While I don't buy the "moral victory" argument for Tennessee last week, I was actually kind of impressed that Texas Tech was able to hang with Texas. The Red Raiders were supposed to take a big step back this year without Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, but I'm starting to think they may have a second awesome gland. As as we know, Mike Leach has no shame… Texas Tech 41, Houston 35.

California (-6) at Oregon

Dan: My favorite pick of the week. Although I do wonder about Oregon. Still, I don’t see why Oregon should be getting this many at home. Look-ahead game for Cal as they face the Trojans next week… Oregon 28, Cal 24.

Dave: "Okay, new scenario: We're caught in a car crash, you die, I'm left paralyzed. Two sexy nurses come in with a 6-pack of wine coolers. I try to blink at them in Morse code. Please... no... I love my dead wife. But they're medical professionals and I have to assume this is good for me."

I'm in no position to argue with the experts, and I couldn't agree more with you on this line. Seriously, what about Cal's near loss to Minne-freakin-sota last week inspires a six-point spread on the road? Plus, Chip Kelly is handing out refunds for bad performances now, so how can you not root for the guy? And as you said, how could Cal not be looking ahead to USC next week? This seems almost too good to be true… Oregon 31, Cal 27.

Last week: Dan: 4-6, Dave: 3-7

Season: Dan: 13-17, Dave: 11-19

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