10-7-09: Playoffs! & 2009 College Football Picks

Hello again everybody...

I'm not sure I've stopped shaking yet...

If that wasn't the greatest Game 163 ever, I'm not sure what tops it.

In case you were stuck under a rock last night, the Twins defeated the Tigers 6-5 in 12 innings to capture the 2009 American League Central Division. It was simply one of the best baseball games you'll ever see.

For those of you tuning in expecting to read a recap today, I'm sorry. I just don't have the words to describe it. You had to live through it to understand it.

The Twins are 2009 American League Central Division Champions... I just want to let that sink in for a bit...

Wow. What a come back.

So it's off to New York for a date with the dreaded Yankees. The Twins went 0-7 versus the Bombers this year. But that was then. And this is the AL Divisional Series. Best of 5.

Let's go!

I can't think of a way to segue gracefully to college football, so forgive me if it's jarring. But today's column will make good on the missed Post-Mortem from Monday, and will bring you a fresh slate of picks for Week 6.

I'm still shaking.

”The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand.”
Lewis Thomas (1913-1993), physician, poet, etymologist, essayist, administrator, educator, policy adviser, and researcher.

I'm still shaking.

«Read More...»

Okay... Focus, Dan.

2009 College Football Picks: Week 5 Post-Mortem

Coming into Week 5 my record is 8-5 (.615). I went 2-1 last week. Could I improve on that? Let's find out!

First up, the game I didn't wager on...

LSU +3 at Georgia: Final Score – LSU 20, Georgia 13.

Guess I should've rolled with it. I didn't see the game, so I can't really comment on it. But the dog won outright... and that's all right with me!

In fact, I should make this disclaimer right now... I only saw one game this weekend, and that was the game I attended. Which I just so happened to have picked, so let's get on with it!

Wisconsin +2.5 at Minnesota: Final Score – Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 28
(*) - This game was this week's Sports Take Flier Pick of the Week

For those of you who missed Monday's column, go back and take a look for a description of what happened in the game.

I'm still shaking.

What Dan Learned: I don't care if it's 6 in a row. I don't care if it's 13 of the last 15. It's always fun when the Badgers beat the Gophers. Always.

1-0 and feeling good! (Actually, I'm still shaking.)


Alabama -16.5 vs. Kentucky: Final Score – Alabama 38, Kentucky 20

I'll admit, this game was closer than I thought it'd be. But a cover's a cover and I'll take it!

What Dan Learned: It's tough to say for sure with Tebow's uncertain status, but we're sneaking up on having to declare Alabama the best team in the SEC, aren't we?

2-0... is 4-0 a possibility?! (I'm still shaking.)


Michigan +2 at Michigan State: Final Score – Michigan State 26, Michigan 20, OT

I could only scoreboard watch on this one. But Sparty got out to an early lead and the highlights made it look like a herculean effort by Tate Forcier to get the Wolverines back in it. Alas, State made a play in OT and Michigan didn't.

What Dan Learned: Michigan's dangerous, but they have serious flaws as well. They'll be fun to watch, but Wolverine fans shouldn't buy in too hard just yet.

2-1... hmmm, that feels familiar (I'm still shaking.)


Stanford -5 vs. UCLA: Final Score – Stanford 24, UCLA 16

I didn't see a second of this game, or even any highlights. So I can't tell you anything other than once again, I covered!

What Dan Learned: Stanford might be the sneaky pick in the Pac 10 this year? Or is it Oregon? Or is it...? Good lord, the Pac 10 is suddenly very average.

I end up 3-1 in Week 5. That makes me 11-6 (.647). Still behind last-year's pace, but I'm gaining on it!

Which leads me to...

2009 College Football Picks: Week 6

And wow are the picks getting tougher and tougher to come up with. I could only find four games to have an opinion on this weekend. So let's get to the picking!

As always, were I to have the wherewithal to make a worthwhile wager, these are the games I'd be betting on:


Nebraska -3 @ Missouri (Thursday, 8pm, ESPN): The Cornhuskers are 3-1 (0-0 in the Big 12). The Tigers are 4-0 (0-0 in the Big 12).
(*) - This game is this week's Sports Take Flier Pick of the Week

Like I said, the pickins were thin this week. So why not roll onward with the “Nebraska's Good Luck Charm” bit?!

Both teams are opening their Big 12 slate, and the odds-makers have them about even, with Nebraska getting the 3 point advantage after a coin-flip (okay, I made that up).

This is Nebraska's biggest defensive test so far this year. But Missouri has been just schizophrenic enough for me to think the Cornhuskers will be able to hold them down.

Should be a terrific game either way.

Go Big Red!


Georgia +1.5 @ Tennessee (11:21am, SEC Network): The Bulldogs are 3-2 (2-1 in the SEC). The Volunteers are 2-3 (0-2 in the SEC).

I feel the same way about this game as I did about Michigan/Michigan state last week (which is probably a good thing for Tennessee fans).

What I mean is, I have no clue why Tennessee is favored in this game. Georgia can score a ton. Tennessee's defense is pretty good. But the Volunteer offense still struggles. The only teams that Tennessee has topped 25 points against are Western Kentucky and Ohio.

It's hard to win in the SEC when you struggle to score. That's why I like Georgia here. And they're giving me points! I love fake recreational gaming sometimes!


Wisconin +16 at Ohio State (2:30pm, ABC): The Badgers are 5-0 (2-0 in the Big Ten). The Buckeyes are 4-1 (2-0 in the Big Ten).

Are you kidding me? Look, I know I'm biased here, but are you seriously telling me that Ohio State's 16 points better?!

Sorry. The Badgers have a good running game and enough play-makers on defense that the game should be close at least.

And quite frankly, I think the Badgers have a shot here. Ohio State's good, but they've had moments where they've looked very vulnerable.

I'll take the 16 points and take my chances thank you.

Go Bucky!


Stanford -1 at Oregon State (6pm, FSN-Bay Area): The Cardinal are 4-1 (3-0 in the Pac 10). The Beavers are 3-2 (1-1 in the Pac 10).

Can the Stanford magic continue? On the road? Corvallis isn't an easy place to play. USC lost there last year. But that was a different club. And this year's Beavers aren't quite as talented.

Hell... I have no clue what's going on in the Pac 10 this year. So why not take a shot?

We'll ride Stanford for now and hope for the best.

So there are your four games for this week.

Comments, questions, queries, quibbles and complaints can be registered below.

That's all for today. I've got a baseball game to focus on.

Game 1. 5pm in the Bronx. Win Twins!!!!

(Yes, I'm still shaking.)


  1. The Ohio State vs Wisconsin game always confuses me. Both teams wear red, and my reflexes go all wonky when I try to decide who to cheer for.

    The Husker game is tonight. Go Big Red!

  2. Since the game's in Columbus it'll be a little bit easier. Just root for the team dressed mostly in white!