Wednesday, August 31, 2011
A Look Around Week 1
I used to put up a thread like this every week during the season on Silver and Blue Sports, but decided to bring it over here this year. In the past, I've tried to avoid making outright predictions for games in order to save myself the embarrassment of having to potentially look back on something stupid I said (you'll know what I'm talking about if you saw some of the predictions from Boise State fans before last year's game). I've decided to give it a shot this year, albeit just a proverbial dipping of the toe into the water -- I won't be entering any pick 'em contests and I take it as a challenge to myself the same way a good game of golf is designed to test you. Besides, it's kinda nice to sit back and take in a weekend of college football when you know you don't have a vested interest in what's happening yet...provided you don't think about why the Pack isn't playing this week.
The rankings for Top 25 teams will be the AP Poll followed by the USA Today poll, and I'll be using VegasInsider.com for the betting lines you'll see at the end of every match-up.
Thursday, September 1st
UNLV @ #11/#10 Wisconsin
7:00 PM CT, ESPN
UW -35.5 (opened at -30)
The upside? ESPN hates UNLV enough to make this game their first 3D telecast of the season. The downside? Chris Fowler and numerous other ESPN personalities will still refer to the state we share as "NeVAHda."
Cheeseheads 42, Poopyheads 14
Bowling Green @ Idaho
6:00 PM PT, Altitude
UI -7 (opened at -8.5)
Behold, the Humanitarian Bowl rematch no one was clamoring to see!
Fightin' Akeys 28, Fightin' Clawsons 14
Saturday, September 3rd
Utah State @ #23/#19 Auburn
11:00 AM CT, ESPN2
AU -21 (opened at -32)
There's been a lot of movement on this spread, and it's probably justified. SEC team or not, Auburn is a very different group than the one we saw last year. We have reason to suspect Utah State might just make this game interesting...but not interesting enough to pull out a win.
War Eagles 41, Steer Milkers 21
San Jose State @ #7/#6 Stanford
2:00 PM PT, Comcast Sports Net Bay Area
SU -30 (opened at -28)
Another case of an improved WAC team against a Top 25 team with questions to answer. The Spartans could steal a win or two against favored teams...but it ain't happening here.
Bill Walsh Red Team 42, Bill Walsh Blue Team 10
Colorado State @ New Mexico
4:00 PM MT, The Mtn.
CSU -6 (opened at -3.5)
The inaugural recipient of our Pillow Fight of the Week distinction.
Steve "Morgan" Fairchild 31, Mike "Bagels and" Locksley 21
Texas State @ Texas Tech
6:00 PM CT
TTU -38.5 (same as opening)
There used to be a series of Youtube videos from a poster known as Psycho Ag that made fun of former Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione. Although the one I have in mind doesn't seem to be up anymore, with Coach Fran returning to old rival Texas Tech this week as the Bobcats coach, it's as good a time as any to whip out the one I actually did manage to find.
Tubs 56, Fran 7
California vs. Fresno State (Candlestick Park in San Francisco)
4:00 PM PT, Comcast Sports Net California
UCB -9.5 (opened at -4.5)
Call me uninformed, but I really don't get all the money going Cal's way. Sure, the Bulldogs are breaking in a new quarterback, but they always seem to get fired up for these sorts of games.
Red Wave 30, Hippie Wave 27
Ohio @ New Mexico State
6:00 PM MT
OU -7 (opened at -13)
Ohio is picked by some to win the MAC. I wouldn't know this, and will gladly defer to these anonymous (and possibly made up) individuals.
O-H-I-O 28, You-are-no-good 20
#5/#7 Boise State vs. #19/#22 Georgia (Georgia Dome in Atlanta)
8:00 PM ET, ESPN
BSU -3.5 (opened at UGA -3)
Boise State feels pressure to silence the SEC hype machine, and Georgia feels pressure from said hype machine to keep it chugging along without incident. I'm not sure Georgia deserves to be ranked this high, but if there were ever a situation to level the playing field for them against Boise, it would be a "neutral" field down the road from Athens coupled with Mark Richt's desperation. Even so, it's still really hard for me to pick against the Broncos in these types of games.
Cliched Potato Jokes 28, Cliched Redneck Jokes 27
#4/#4 LSU vs. #3/#3 Oregon (Cowboys Stadium in Arlington)
7:00 PM CT, ABC
UO -3 (opened at LSU -3)
From the creator of "Game of Thrones" comes "Game of Distractions"! Whoever performs the best damage control for their embarrassing off-field side stories will prevail.
Nike Modelers 30, Bayou Brawlers 24
Louisiana Tech @ Southern Miss
9:00 PM CT, Fox Sports Net
USM -13 (opened at -11)
"Yeah, we want you to move the kick-off to nine...No, at night...Of course it's a good idea...What do I care if your kids can't go? Look, you wanna be on TV or not? Yeah, I thought so. *Click* I love being an executive."
Free Birds 35, Muddogs 24
Colorado @ Hawai'i
4:15 PM HT, ESPN2
UH -7 (opened at -11)
Larry Scott: "Congratulations, Buffaloes! You get to start your first year in the Pac-12 in Hawai'i with a new head coach, new coaching staff and no bye weeks! What's that? You're not happy? You're actually mad as hell? Here, have some more TV money. Yeah, that makes everything better, doesn't it? I use $100 bills as toilet paper now."
McMackin 31, What's-his-face 17