My buddy, DB, sent me a text last night asking, “you think Greg Schiano wants that Miami offer back yet?” After starting 0-2 and being embarrassed by UNC on national television, my answer was unequivocally “yes!” DB then went on to suggest that I write a column about how foolish Schiano was to turn down the ‘Canes, and to discuss other coaches that have made similar awful decisions. I think that is a fantastic idea, and I fully intend on doing that sometime soon. For now, however, I just want to make it clear that I think Schiano’s decision to stay at Rutgers was the most career devastating decision this side of Senator Craig deciding to tap his foot in that Minneapolis airport bathroom, or Vince Young deciding to leave his cell phone at home Monday night.
At any rate, in many respects, the college football season really kicks off in earnest this weekend. From the “Dawgs in Columbia to the Jackets in Blacksburg, and the Buckeyes in L.A., this weekend is chalked full of huge games. So, let’s get to work and figure out how you would get rich this weekend if you were in Las Vegas where sports betting is legal:
1) Kansas +3.5 @ USF - the weekend kicks off with a quietly solid game Friday night. Kansas is coming off an Orange Bowl title, and USF is coming off a riveting overtime win against the fighting O’Leary’s. (As a quick aside, no human being has ever looked worse in HD than Big George…I just thought you should know). This is a total hunch, but I have faith in the fighting Manginas.
2) Washington State @ Baylor – I’m not picking this game, but I felt compelled to warn you all that it is on television tomorrow night. I couldn’t live with myself if anybody actually had to watch these two teams play, even for a second.
3) Cal -15 @ Maryland - It’s a long cross country trip for Cal. Good thing for them the ‘Terps are an embarrassment to the ACC, which should tell you all you need to know.
4) Michigan St. -17 v. Florida Atlantic - Under my much tested rule, you can’t go wrong if you lay points at home against a team whose location is a complete mystery to you. Does anyone know where Florida Atlantic is located?
5) Navy +1.5 @ Duke - If you actually wager on this game (if you happen to be in Las Vegas), make your way to the nearest Gamblers Anonymous meeting immediately.
6) Clemson -19 v. N.C. State - I’m banking on two things: 1) Clemson looked awful last time we saw them against a I-A team, so they will look fantastic this time out; and 2) N.C. State is AWFUL (it really kills me that I keep saying that about every ACC team).
7) Temple +6 @ Buffalo - I learned last week that Temple is just good enough to lose to an obscure Northeastern school by less than 6 points.
8) Missouri -26.5 v. Nevada - Chase Daniels for Heisman!
9) UAB +30.5 @ Tennessee - Did anybody in Vegas see Tennessee’s quarterback against UCLA? Do they really think they can score 31 points?
10) ECU -13 @ Tulane - Can you really go against the Pirates right now?
11) Oregon -8 @ Purdue - Drew Brees isn’t walking through that door!
12) UGA -7.5 @ USC - This won’t be the week for the ‘Dawgs. They are focused and looking to make a statement Saturday. The much bigger problem for the ‘Dawgs is next Saturday in the desert and the following week against the Tide.
13) Notre Dame +2 v. Michigan - This used to be one of my favorite games of the year, but this year, watching this game would be punishment. This could be the first ever 3-0 overtime win in NCAA history. (For the record, I have no idea if there has ever been a 3-0 overtime game before, but I figured the odds were in my favor).
14) UCLA +8 @ BYU – Good God, I love the Bruins in this game.
15) Va. Tech -6.5 v. G. Tech - I love the Jackets at +7, but I hate them at +6.5, but I don’t see us losing by a touchdown. Can someone explain that?
16) Oklahoma -21 @ UW - UW is not very good. UW’s hearts are still lying on the field from last week. Not a good combination when Stoops is bearing down on you.
17) Ohio St. +11 @ USC - This is by far the biggest game of this young season. Chris Wells is playing. Chris Wells is not playing. Does anybody know if Chris Wells is going to play? Here is why I am picking the Buckeyes: Three weeks ago, all the pundits were calling this the game of the season. Now, nobody is giving Ohio State a chance. This just has the feel of a game where the Buckeyes come out and “shock the world” and lose by less than 11.
The bad news from Week 1 is my 5-10 record. The good news is that I now have an idea which teams are good, bad, and the Lions. I’m guaranteeing a better record than last week. If I fail to deliver, you will get a full refund:
1) K.C. -3.5 v. Oakland - K.C. is awful, and they are now employing the ridiculous two quarterback system. But, Oakland is coming off a very short week (the late Monday night game), and they have JaMarcus Russell throwing to Ronald Curry. Gun to your head, would you ever dreaming of placing any portion of your financial well being in the hands of the Raiders? If you said “yes”, you need a financial advisor.
2) Green Bay -3 @ Detroit – Falcons 34 Lions 21. Do I really need to say anything else?
3) Cincy -1 v. Tennessee - I have actually requested DirecTV to black out this game on my television. Cincy can’t possibly be as bad as they looked in Week 1, right?
4) Carolina -3 v. Chicago - Jake is back! Seriously, the Panthers looked great against the Chargers. It is actually unbelievable that they had to win on the last play of the game considering how they dominated the game. The Bears? Well, what can you really make of them beating the crap out of team quarterbacked by Dan Marino at age 48? What? That was Peyton Manning? Unbelievable.
5) Jax -5 v. Buffalo – The Jags need to win this game. Buffalo still can’t believe they won last week. That combination makes this one of my favorite games of the week.
6) New Orleans -1 @ Washington - Clearly, somebody forgot to tell the odds makers the NFL season started last Thursday night. Has a coach ever been fired after two games? I really don’t care, but my friend Jim Zorn wanted me to ask.
7) Indy -2 @ Minnesota - Even a 48 year old Dan Marino is better than Tavaris Jackson.
8) St. Louis +9 v. N.Y. Giants – Is it just me, or are the Giants a team that should never be favored by more than a field goal? I don’t love this game, but there is no way I could lay the points, so I have to take them, right?
9) Seattle -7 v. San Fran - I don’t even know why.
10) Tampa -7.5 v. Atlanta - I just can’t bet on a rookie quarterback on the road, especially when he plays for the Falcons. That being said, last week was a lot of fun.
11) Arizona -6.5 v. Miami - It’s the whole cross country trip combined with historically bad team theory.
12) Pats +1 @ N.Y. Jets - Tom Brady is out, but it’s still the Pats. More importantly, it’s still the Jets. Hail Mary heaves might work against the Dolphins, but they won’t work against the Pats. After all, Tom Brady didn’t play defense.
13) San Diego -1 @ Denver - See the Jax v. Buffalo game above. Same theory applies here.
14) Cleveland +6.5 v. Pittsburgh – Again, I don’t even know why…just a gut reaction to this line.
15) Dallas -7 v. Philly - This just in…Dallas is the best team in the NFL right now. Who knows how things will play out this season, but nobody looked better in Week 1. And yes, I know Philly scored 87 points against the Rams, but that was more about the Rams’ ineptitude than the quality of the Eagles. Trust me, I watched most of the game. It was like a train wreck, I just couldn’t take my eyes off it.
16) Baltimore @ Houston – Football is the least of all worries in Houston right now. Here’s wishing all those on the Gulf Coast well and praying for your safety.
Don’t forget to send me your LOCKS OF THE WEEK!!!