Hello again everybody...
It's mid-week time again. I'm headed to the Wild/Coyotes tilt at the X tonight, so not a lot of time to dawdle.
College football is headed down the home stretch, and for some reason college basketball has decided to start up. Is it just me, or does it seem entirely too early for that to be happening?
Either way, I only have time to cover one, so football it is!
Let's do this!
”If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?”
- Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988), educator and “heirarchiologist”
If he's right and a cluttered desk equals an active mind, then I must have the most active mind in the history of modern America!
Or something like that...
First up, it's a glance at the weekend that was in college football. At this point, you can pretty much guess how my picks went... ugh.
2009 College Football Picks: Week 11 Post-Mortem
Before the actual, fake picks, it's time for the fake, fake picks. Still with me? Good.
Cincinnati -9 vs. West Virginia: Final Score - Cincinnati 24, West Virginia 21
So Facebook has this application called “Vinny's Sportsbook”. It allows Facebook users to participate in recreational gaming without using any actual money. Sure, it's pointless after a fashion, but for those like me that are obsessed with the idea, but not with the actual cost, it's fun. I bring this up because though I advocated passing on this game in my column, I went ahead and took Cincy on that app. The lesson? Do as I say, not as I do. Cincy actually had the spread covered with less than five minutes to play, but the Mountaineers got what we like to call a “garbage cover” with a last minute touchdown. Good pass by me... sort of.
Wisconsin -9.5 vs. Michigan: Final Score - Wisconsin 45, Michigan 24
Not such a good pass. I expected Wisconsin to win, but not by 21. Fortunately, it wasn't a complete missed opportunity as I won a bottle of pop from noted Wolverine fan, the Hammer. The rest of my analysis will head your way in the DFTU on Friday.
Stanford +10.5 at USC: Final Score - Stanford 55, USC 21
Dammit... I knew I should've taken Stanford here. I'm not saying I saw them dropping the double-nickel on the Trojans, but part of me thought they had a chance and I didn't trust it. Shoot. I heard a pundit complaining about Stanford going for two when it was 48-21... Really? We're feeling sorry for Pete Carrol now? Look, sportsmanship issues aside, you only get so many chances to stick it to the mighty SC. I don't have a problem with it. I just hope coach Harbaugh understands that though Carroll was forgiving in his post-game presser, he's not going to forget. Ever.
TCU -19.5 vs. Utah: Final Score - TCU 55, Utah 28
Wow. New theory: we're riding TCU until they fail to cover. I really thought this was going to be the one, but obviously I was way wrong. I know Utah isn't the same team they were last year, but still. Wow.
3 bad passes by me... that can't bode well for my real, fake picks, right? Oof...
Georgia Tech -12.5 at Duke: Final Score - Georgia Tech 49, Duke 10
I start out on a good note anyway. Poor, poor Duke. As good as they are at basketball, they suck something awful at football. You would think with their resources they'd be able to string together a competitive program once in a while! But nope, they're awful, and that's about all there is to it.
What Dan Learned: The Yellowjackets are now 10-1. That still seems surprising to me. Georgia Tech may be another team I have to ride the rest of the way. Did I mention I love the triple-option? Yup. I really do.
1-0 and defying the odds!
Ohio State -17 vs. Iowa: Final Score - Ohio State 27, Iowa 24
So let's get this straight. Iowa's offense was dead in the water against Northwestern, but can run up 24 against OSU. And OSU's offense can dominate a Penn State defense, but can't sustain drives against Iowa?!
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Big Ten! Ugh.
What Dan Learned: Forget the game. Did anybody else get a good look at Iowa freshman QB James Vandenberg's mom? How can she be old enough to have an 18-year-old kid? And is it wrong for me to be attracted to the mother of a college freshman? Am I really that old? These are the things that currently vex me...
1-1 and still alive... still convinced I can get this done!
Mississippi St. +12.5 vs. Alabama: Final Score - Alabama 31, Mississippi State 3
*- This was this week's Sports Take Flier Pick of the Week
I don't care that I lost, I still say this was a good pick. Alabama's offense hadn't been rolling up until this game, and Mississippi State was in prime pouncing position.
That being said... wow, what a Crimson Tide defense! That's it, I'm back on the 'Bama bandwagon. I think they're better than Florida. This year, it's payback time in the SEC Championship Game.
At least that's how I feel this week.
What Dan Learned: Even when a pick feels SO right, it can turn out SO wrong. That's just part of the bit I guess.
1-1... thanks again Flier Pick!
Pittsburgh -7 vs. Notre Dame: Final Score - Pitt 27, Notre Dame 22
Another game I had comfortably covered until a furious, late-game comeback by the Irish. Those wouldn't sting so much if they'd come back and actually won. Instead, they still lost, and couldn't give me a win. Dammit.
On the plus-side, the Charlie Weiss speculation gave me a solid column on Monday. So it wasn't all bad.
What Dan Learned: Picking college football can be a cruel, cruel exercise sometimes. I thought I'd been doing poorly because I hadn't been doing enough research into my picks. So I really hunkered down and tried to work out my logic when it came to picking this week's games.
The result? Yet another 1-2 week. Seriously?! Is this getting dull to you people yet? I hope enough of you caught on early in the year and started playing opposite my picks. I had a decent start, but the last 4 or 5 weeks have been truly painful.
Or maybe you could just enjoy my suffering? Admit it, there's a few of you who are smirking right now. You know who you are! And I don't blame you a bit. I'd be doing the same thing.
So another 1-2 week brings me to 17-20 (.459) on the season. The season's not beyond saving, but I'm going to have to get on one helluva hot streak.
No time like the present, right? Let's move on to...
2009 College Football Picks: Week 12
I've combed carefully through the spreads, and I'm feeling pretty good about this week's slate... which probably means you should run screaming in the opposite direction. But I'm not giving up. I'm picking until I run out of games to pick!
Of course there was one game I looked at and ultimately decide to pass on...
Wisconsin -7 at Northwestern (2:30pm, Big Ten Network): Here's how my thought process went on this game - “Okay, it's time for me to get back on the Bucky Bandwagon... I'm back baby! Wait, Wisconsin has struggled at Northwestern in the past. That goofy offense always give their defense trouble... and Northwestern did beat Iowa... who beat Wisconsin... Maybe I'm not back after all.”
If this game was in Madison, I give the 7 in a heartbeat. On the road? Maybe this is just a 3-point win for Wisconsin...
But that's it for the fake, fake picks, it's time for the real ones!
Iowa -10 vs. Minnesota (11am, ESPN): The Hawkeyes are 9-2 (5-2 in the Big Ten). The Gophers are 6-5 (3-4 in the Big Ten).
I know the bit is that I bet on Minnesota and they lose, I bet against them and they win. But I'm just that confident that they're going to get worked in this game.
The Gopher offense has been dreadful of late, and Iowa's defense is solid, especially at home.
Sure, Iowa's quarterback is green, but he looked pretty good against an Ohio State defense which will be much tougher than the Gopher defense.
But let's get to the important part. What's the over/under on the number of times ESPN cuts to Iowa QB James Vandenburgs mom? 8? 9? Let's call it an even 10 and hope for the over!
What? Focus on the damned game? Fine. I'm laying the ten and looking for Iowa to win something on the order of 35-10.
Ohio State -12 at Michigan (11am, ABC): The Buckeyes are 9-2 (6-1 in the Big Ten). The Wolverines are 5-6 (1-6 in the Big Ten).
I know this is a rivalry game. I know that the Buckeyes are on the road. I don't care. Michigan's just awful this year, and OSU is going to kill them.
Sorry Hammer, but you know it's true.
Michigan will be geeked up, and they may even score enough points to make it interesting. But their defense can't stop me and 10 of my relatives. Especially if my brother the football coach draws us up some trick plays!
I figure this one to be 42-17 OSU, easy. So I'll give the 12 without much reservation.
TCU -31.5 at Wyoming (1pm, no local TV): The Horned Frogs are 10-0 (6-0 in the Mountain West). The Cowboys are 5-5 (3-3 in the Mountain West).
*- 31.5 are a ton of points to give, that's true. But I said it earlier, we're riding the TCU train til they let us down
Trust me, it's not going to be in this game. (How's that for putting the whammy on them?!)
Stanford -7 vs. Cal (6:30pm, Versus): The Cardinal are 7-3 (6-2 in the Pac 10). The Bears are 7-3 (4-3 in the Pac 10).
*- This game is this week's Sports Take Flier Pick of the Week
I missed the Stanford train two weeks in a row. I'm not missing it a third time.
There's no way Stanford beats Oregon and USC and they drops the ball against Cal, is there?!
Come on Coach Harbaugh! I'm with you finally. Help a guy out!!!
So there are your picks for this week. (I know it seems rushed, but I'm trying to bang this column out before the hockey game starts. Give me a break!)
Any questions, comments, queries, quibbles or complaints are more than welcome. And after how I've been doing this year, probably very much deserved!
That's going to wrap it up for today. I'll be back on Friday with the usual end of the week goodness.
Until then, thanks for reading!