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Friday, October 16, 2009

Picking the Winners: Week 7

It's Friday, so it's time to make some picks guaranteed to be useless. Enjoy...

Dan: Wow, you really are a jerk. So you tell all your readers how bad you are at picking. They see you go 3-7 and think it might have been just one bad week. You then go 2-8, and they finally get the courage up to go against you on every pick and you throw an 8-2 week out there costing them $680. Brutal. I was having a good day last week until the night games when I went 0-3 ending at 5-5. That’s life. On to this weeks picks.

Dave: See, I'm even bad at being bad at making picks. Well, things get back on track this week (or off track as the case may be). I'm predicting a 3-win campaign. It'll be glorious.

Wake Forest (+7) at Clemson

Dan: Rule #1 of betting: Always go against Dabo and Clemson when they are laying a TD or more. Well they are laying a TD here. Clemson continues to be the biggest fraud in college football. They are a 1-5 team in a 3-3 team's body. So this week Wake Forest visits town. I’ll tell you what, the ACC Atlantic division is putrid. I cannot believe that either Wake, Clemson or BC will be playing in the ACC title game. Wake has already lost to a BC team that Virginia Tech destroyed last week. Clemson lost to Maryland. It is just ugly. Evaluating the division, I think Wake is the best team on that side… Wake Forest 24, Clemson 21.

Dave: My boss wrote a book about Georgia Southern coach Chris Hatcher this year. Here's the WEB SITE for it. You know, early Christmas present for that Georgia Southern or Valdosta State fan in the family. And no, I'm definitely not sucking up.

Anyway, my boss is also a Clemson graduate, and he's hoping Dabo gets the axe and the Tigers bring in Hatcher as the new head coach. I don't see it happening this year, but I'll at least make the prediction that gets them one step closer to the inevitable… Wake Forest 21, Clemson 20.

Texas Tech (+10.5) at Nebraska

Dan: Last week I took Nebraska -3 because one of my good friends who always loses had Missouri. This guy's luck is unreal. So I turn the TV on and it was a complete monsoon in Missouri on Thursday night and I start getting angry. I was thinking to myself that I’d been had. At the start of the fourth quarter the score was Missouri 12-0, and I pretty much assumed my bet was dead in the water. And then something weird happened… my buddy found a way to lose as he always does. Here is what happened:

-- It stopped raining
-- Nebraska threw a 55-yard TD pass (score 12-7 Mizzou)
-- Next play Mizzou throws an interception and Nebraska scores again (13-12 . . . I’m only down 2!)
-- Two plays later, another pick! Nebraska scores again! 20-12! YES! Cover!
-- Finally an FU TD to end the game. 27-12 Nebraska win!

It was an incredible sequence of events that could not have been made possible if my buddy had been on Nebraska. In total Nebraska put 27 on the board in the fourth quarter and I went to bed counting my money…. Nebraska 41, Texas Tech 21.

Dave: I have a long-running goal of drinking a beer in all 50 states. So far, I'm up to 26. That's a solid number, I think, but I'm also assuming that getting to new states -- particular for events that might require a beer -- will get tougher and tougher as I get older. I'm assuming I'll make a point to travel to some of the more exotic states left on my list like Alaska and Hawaii. At some point I can likely knock out all of New England in one long weekend. And some others, like Texas or Oregon or Michigan just seem like places I'll end up for one reason or another eventually.

So when it comes to which state will be the last one I cross off my list, the odds-on favorites are all in the middle of the country. North and South Dakota seem like obvious choices. I can't say I'm enthusiastic about Wyoming. I love potatoes, but Idaho might take a while to get to. But if you want a real dark-horse candidate, I'm going with Nebraska. At least some of those other ones are so obscure that I'm somewhat intrigued to visit them. I think Nebraska must be the most boring place in the world.

Stewie: Ugh, this is worse than my trip to Nebraska
(cuts to Stewie in a diner next to three men)
Stewie: Soooo...anyone seen any good movies lately?
Nebraskans: No. Nah. Nope. Nuh-uh.
Stewie: Read any good books?
Nebraskans: No. Nah. Nope. Nuh-uh.
Stewie: Anything new with corn?
Nebraskans: Corn?! Are you kidding me?! Oh yeah! Corn, corn, corn! Corn is great. Corn is always interesting!

And with that in mind, the least I can do is predict a win for their football program. But not a cover… Nebraska 27, Texas Tech 24.

Southern Cal (-10) at Notre Dame

Dan: Is there anything more annoying than a Notre Dame football fan? I am not sure if you have them down in the south but they are everywhere on the East Coast. It seems if you are born Irish you automatically become an Irish fan. They are like the Dallas Cowboys of college football. Why should someone who is born in New Jersey become a Notre Dame football fan? It makes no sense. The nice thing about this though is that every year that they lose more and more you can make fun of them. So that is nice. Well this weekend they lose again… but by closer than the experts predict…. USC 24, Notre Dame 20.

Dave: I loathe Jimmy Clausen and I just can't understand why he's even in the conversation for Heisman. He ranks 31st nationally in passing and 12th in passing yards per game, and he's "rallied" his team to really impressive wins over Michigan State, Purdue and Washington while losing to Michigan? Or maybe it's the haircut.

Look at where the teams he has played rank in pass defense nationally: Nevada (113th), Michigan (96th), Michigan State (76th), Purdue (57th) and Washington (102nd).

By the way, Southern Cal is 25th nationally in pass defense. I'll enjoy watching that Heisman campaign get derailed -- even if he'll still get Lou Holtz's vote… USC 45, Notre Dame 14.

Virginia Tech (-3) at Georgia Tech

Dan: Of course I missed the best VT game of the year last weekend as we crippled BC 48-14. They had 3 yards of total offense in the first half, I believe. Bwahahahahaha. Moving on to this week, we face a much more formidable offense. Before I get into that, here is a funny drinking story from my time at Virginia Tech.

Senior year, we ventured off to the Bahamas for spring break -- eight of us in total. There are three things you do at spring break. You get as drunk as possible; you try to meet as many girls as possible; and then you lay on the beach all day nursing your hangover before repeating each night. Well one night my one buddy -- well call him “Rain” -- met a girl at the local club called The Zoo. “Rain” was doing quite well for himself and we thought for sure that he was going to close the deal that night. Me being a spring break veteran knew that whenever you met a girl, you NEVER leave her alone on spring break. The bars are way too big, people are way too drunk, and there are vultures everywhere. If you went to the bar, you brought her with you. If you had to take a leak, you brought her with you.

Sadly my buddy was a spring break rookie and left her alone. He comes out of the bathroom and she is nowhere to be found. He gives up and heads home to get some much needed sleep for the next day. But when he gets home he can’t get in the room. Finally he gets in and what does he see? His girl, with another of his roommates.

Fast forward to two weeks later and another buddy is developing pictures of the night and what does he see? A picture of Rain and the girl dancing with my other buddy staring and watching in the distance, waiting to make the move. Ah, good times. I think I have about 200 of these stories. I will share another next week.

This weekend Virginia Tech wins but not enough to cover… Virginia Tech 29, Georgia Tech 27.

Dave: I feel sorry for the unfortunate list of drunken co-eds who ran into your crew over the years. You make that "Girls Gone Wild" guy seem less creepy by comparison. Of course, the highlight was the time you hooked up with girls from North Dakota and South Dakota in the same night. Didn't the latter of the two come when you were passed out on a bus? But I digress.

Anyway, Georgia Tech's defense is brutal. They make Willie Martinez look good the same way you make the "Girls Gone Wild" guy look good. And while the Jackets are riding high after smoking a reeling Florida State defense, that's really nothing to be too proud of. I say your Hokies win easy… Virginia Tech 40, Georgia Tech 27.

Kentucky (+13) at Auburn

Dan: Last week was a perfect example of a team reading their own press clippings as Auburn walked into Arkansas and got rolled. Well this week Auburn is back at home and they face a team who is without its starting QB. Auburn has no trouble putting points up while Kentucky should struggle… Auburn 35, Kentucky 10.

Dave: Kentucky is a double-digit dog every week, and every week I take the points. So far, that hasn't gone well. But I think this week is different. You see losing a starting QB as a problem. I see it as a solution. You see Auburn's debacle last week as an aberration. I see it as the real Tigers. You see yourself as a guy with a lot going for him. I say I think your wife married you to get her green card or something. Tell her I said hello, by the way… Auburn 30, Kentucky 28.

Arkansas (+24.5) at Florida

Dan: I admit it… I am a Tim Tebow hater. I just get so tired of hearing about him over and over again like he is the greatest thing there is. And now, of course, everyone is saying he is the Heisman frontrunner so far this year even though he has only thrown for more than 200 yards once! Yup just once! That is a Heisman? The reason Florida is so good this year is because of their dominant defense. Tebow did nothing against an LSU defense that let allowed 26 points to Mississippi State. Are you kidding me? I just wish Tebow would go away. But as for this game Arkansas will be lucky to get to 10… Florida 35, Arkansas 7.

Dave: Arkansas' defense is brutal. Florida's defense is great. You'll hear nothing about defense in a game Tim Tebow is playing in, but that's the difference in this one… Florida 45, Arkansas 10.

South Carolina (+17) at Alabama

Dan: This weekend our good friend Lance gets to feel the pain that I felt Labor Day weekend. South Carolina travels to Alabama to face what I consider the No. 1 team in the country. That defense is simply nasty. Their offense has two incredible playmakers in Mark Ingram and Julio Jones. Just a solid team all around. Look for Alabama to roll… Alabama 31, South Carolina 7.

Dave: Set aside a blocked PAT against Georgia and the Gamecocks could be looking at a 6-0 start to the season with an emerging quarterback and a clear slate to an SEC East title with only a conference finale against Florida standing in their way.

The Gamecocks will be favored in every other game this season, and we all know that Steve Spurrier has no trouble playing Florida tough, and the Cocks get the Gators at home this year. It really would have all lined up nicely, and it wouldn't have mattered whether or not the Chickens beat Alabama this week. They could have finished 7-1 in the SEC with a head-to-head win over Florida and Spurrier could have returned to the SEC title game and revived his career. It would have been storybook.

Instead, DeAngelo Tyson blocked that PAT, South Carolina lost to a below-average Georgia team, and the only way to keep that dream alive for the Ole Ball Coach would be to pull the upset this week in Tuscaloosa. I just don't see it happening. South Carolina's three BCS-conference wins are by a combined 12 points, which means they probably cover but they can't pull the 'W'… Alabama 28, South Carolina 13.

Missouri (+7) at Oklahoma State

Dan: What is Deion Sanders' problem? First he gets in Michael Crabtree’s head causing the guy to miss half of the season because he thought he should be paid No. 6 money when he went No. 10. Now he has caused Dez Bryant to possibly get suspended for the rest of the year by talking to him when he should not have been. What is wrong with this guy? And why do these players keep seeking out this guy’s advise. You are a WR. He was a CB. Sigh. Well Okie State is now without Bryant and their starting running back, which should result in a close one… Oklahoma State 31, Missouri 28.

Dave: Man, that Sports Illustrated cover jinx is no joke. Two of the three Cowboys plastered on the front page of SI's preseason college football preview are out this week, and much like what happened to Georgia last season, Okie State is now little more than an afterthought on the national stage. What do we have to do to get Eli Manning on the SI cover and the Madden cover next year? How much would that cost me to make happen? Can we start taking up a collection?… Oklahoma State 24, Missouri 23.

Iowa (+2.5) at Wisconsin

Dan: I have no idea what to think about Iowa. They struggle vs. Northern Iowa and Arkansas State at home but handle Arizona and go on the road and beat Penn State. Huh? Well now they are on the road again vs. an angry Wisconsin team that controlled the ball for 38 minutes last week in the Horse Shoe but still lost by 18 thanks to two pick-sixes and a punt return TD. Well that there tells me that if Wisconsin can protect the ball they win this game. Iowa can’t keep winning every game, especially on the road vs. good competition… Wisconsin 24, Iowa 20.

Dave: What makes you think Wisconsin is good competition? The 8-point win over Northern Illinois or the three-point win over Fresno State? And I thought we agreed not to pick any Big Ten games until they proved there was at least one good team in the conference. Your diatribe about last week's Ohio State games says more about how crappy the Buckeyes are than anything. Iowa is this conference's only hope… Iowa 28, Wisconsin 20.

Oklahoma (+3) vs. Texas

Dan: Is Texas any good? I have no idea. But they have struggled in a few games this year already before eventually pulling away in the second half. I can’t show any respect to a team that struggles vs. Colorado. Yes, the same Colorado team that lost on the road to Toledo by about 100 points. This game is Oklahoma’s season and I like for them to get it done… Oklahoma 31, Texas 27.

Dave: I hate the PC overkill of great college football traditions. Why is this the Red River Rivalry now? OK, it does have a good ring to it, but why is Red River Shootout so bad? And why were the Washington Bullets so politically incorrect? I'm not a gun guy. I don't go hunting. I did see "Boyz 'N The Hood" but none of those kids seemed like Texas or Oklahoma fans. So why can't we call it a 'Shootout'? I also think the Astros should go back to being called the Houston Colt .45s. You can't beat a team name that has a decimal point in it.

Anyway, what were talking about again? Oh, right. The game. I think Oklahoma is getting some bonus cred because Sam Bradford is back, but he hardly looked sharp last week and I don't think we should expect much better this week. I'm kind of pulling for the Sooners just because it'll severely shake up the national-title picture, but I think Texas wins this one pretty easily… Texas 35, Oklahoma 21.

Last week: Dan 5-5, Dave 8-2.

Season: Dan 27-33, Dave 24-36.


Anonymous said...

Dave, you really do suck at this, actually you both do. So much so, I may begin to change my bets when I see I am anywhere close to a game where you both see it the same way as I do. Everyone has a role in life, yours may be a lighthouse warning others a crash is imminent.

Anonymous said...

Dan is right about one thing. Tebow for heisman is a joke. He is averaging 117 yards passing in the SEC.

David Hale said...

I love it! "The Lighthouse" will now be my new official gambling nickname.

rakeback said...

The most intriguing game of the week for me is the USC-Notre Dame game this weekend. I think that ND finally has a team to compete with a less than stellar USC offense.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the picture of Clausen's hair. Add that to the list of things I'll never be able to "unsee".