Friday, November 6, 2009
With all the scares of Halloween past, can we look forward to Thanksgiving and hope my picks are more thankful? Does that even make sense?
Miami -13.5 vs. Virginia
Pitt -21.5 vs. Syracuse
Indiana +10.5 vs. Wisconsin
Iowa -16 vs. Northwestern
UCF +36 @ Texas
Wyoming +13 vs. BYU
Notre Dame -11 vs. Navy
Ga Tech -16 vs. Wake Forest
Iowa St. +7.5 vs. Oklahoma State
Penn St. -3.5 vs. Ohio St.
Washington St. +32 vs. Arizona
Oregon -7 @ Stanford
TCU -24.5 @ San Diego State
Utah -27.5 vs. New Mexico
Cal -7 vs. Oregon St.
Vandy +35 @ Florida
Houston +1 @ Tulsa
Oklahoma -5.5 @ Nebraska
USC -10 @ Arizona State
Cincinnati -17 vs. UConn
Some notes here...
--I just can't stand Texas and Florida and I truly hate these lines. Both of these teams are as hot and cold ad the faucets in your shower, which way will the dial turn? I think Vandy and UCF are bad opponents, but those are tons of points.
--Indiana showed some grit despite falling short against Iowa. I expect them to keep it up this week at home against a much weaker Wisconsin squad.
--Speaking of emerging schools, Iowa State is just a few weeks removed from a huge upset of Nebraska. They get 7.5 at home against a struggling Okie State team; look for the Cyclones to really put a fight. OU stuggled to win up there a few years ago.
--Speaking of OU, I must believe the Sooners can go into Lincoln and win Saturday night. If Iowa State can...
And the game of the week, Saban Bowl for all the marbles in the SEC West...
Alabama -7.5 vs. LSU
Listen, ok, I need something to believe in. I believe Sean Cody can block kicks. I believe Mark Ingram is the frontrunner, or should be, for the Heisman. And I must believe Alabama can eventually end the madness of the reign of the chosen, the evil one, the one they call Tebow. In order to do that, Bama must get by LSU. Despite a lackluster performance last week, I expect (and truthfully hope) the Tide roll at home.
Sanders is the difference maker on Indy's D and has been critical to their success over the years. In fact, Indy's D has been statistically more poruous by gaping amounts when Sanders is out.
Add this to the news that Marlin Jackson is out for the season and Kelvin Hayden is still questionable/doubtful for Sunday's HUGE AFC South showdown with the Houston Texans, Matt Schuab has to be smiling somewhere.
The biggest game in Texans franchise history seems to have all of the stars aligning. And for the perfect Colts, can Peyton Manning and the offense, who struggled mightly last week against the 49ers, make up for the defensive losses?
If you have Texans skill players on the outside or have Schaub as your starter, get them in your lineup.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
For the early games:
Philadelphia 40, NY Giants 17: Looks like the Giants were a tad overrated as the Eagles smash them at home. Big passing plays to Maclin and DeSean Jackson again; it's nice to McNabb throwing to decent receivers on the outside.
Houston 31, Buffalo 10: Biggest win in Texans franchise history? First time at 5-3, and they did it with Steve "I fumbled again" Slaton on the bench. Ryan Moats goes off in Slaton's absence, 120+ yards and 3 TDs.
Chicago 30, Cleveland 6: Bears dominate the overmatched Browns. Most interesting part of this game was Cutler's exchange with the Brown's defensive coordinator, which drew a "F-You" from the coach, first time I've seen that live in TV.
Dallas 38, Seattle 17: Tony Romo has another huge day at home as the Cowboys take care of business against the Squeehawks. Miles Austin continues to impress, and Marion Barber scores twice.
St. Louis 17, Detroit 10: The Rams snap a 17-game losing streak and the Lions hit another low. Stafford looked horrible, while Steven Jackson has a big day against the porus Lions D.
Indianapolis 18, San Francisco 14: Colts win a closer than expected game at home, and score the game winning TD on a Peyt...wait, a Joseph Addai touchdown PASS?!? Manning still goes for 350 yards despite not getting in the end zone. Reggie Wayne catches a career high 12 passes.
Miami 30, NY Jets 25: A see-saw game in the Meadowlands goes the Fins way thanks to huge TD returns from Ted Ginn. Sanchez faded back on a 4th down play at the end instead of stepping up in the pocket which cost the Jets the game.
Baltimore 30, Denver 7: The Ravens D dominates the Broncos and spoils Denver's perfect start. Orton looked like, well, Kyle Orton while the Ravens churned it on the ground and got another good passing performance from Joe Flacco.
In the late games...
Tennessee 30, Jacksonville 13: The return of Fumbles McScamble, aka Vince Young, turns out to be the Titans first victory of the year. Young actually played well, making plays with his feet and delivering a serviceable passing game. Doesn't hurt when you can hand the ball off to Chris Johnson, who goes for 220+ yards and a pair of TDs.
Carolina 34, Arizona 21: Surprise of the day as the Cards regress after a huge Sunday night win last week against the Giants. Warner turns the ball over 5 times while the Panthers find their running game with DeAngelo Williams (100+ yards) and Jonathan Stewart (2 TDs).
San Diego 24, Oakland 16: Chargers play the Raiders closer than they should at home. No one was really scared when Oakland took the field down 8 with four minutes to play with JaMarcus Russell under center. It's a two team race in the AFC West as the Chargers gain some ground on Denver.
and finally, did you hear about this little game in Wisconsin?
Minnesota 38, Green Bay 26: Favre's return to Lambeau goes the Vikes way thanks to big returns from Percy Harvin and a great day passing from Brett. Despite the chrous of boos, the Vikings improve to 7-1 while the Packers slip back toward .500. Aaron Rodgers doesn't have a terrible day, but the Packers find themselves staring up in the division at a familiar #4.
Rush to the wavier wire to pick up: Ryan Moats, RB Houston
Do you have another option other than: Kurt Warner, QB Arizona
Injury to watch: Calvin Johnson, WR Detroit
Goodbye, and thanks for all the points: Owen Daniels, TE Houston, who is likely lost for the year with a torn ACL. I've already dropped him.
Fantasy league status:
Trophy league (T-1st out of 14): Tied at 56. Tomorrow, I'll have Curtis Lofton (MLB, Atlanta) up against Tony Gonzalez (TE, ATL). Could go either way.
Cash league(4th out of 10): Up 1 with Pierre Thomas (RB, NO) going tomorrow night. I'll bench him to avoid the costly fumble.
Locks: 1 win (Houston), 1 loss (Arizona, who was a 10 point favorite at home to Carolina).
Friday, October 30, 2009
New Mexico State and 44 @ Ohio State? Can the Buckeyes score 44 points?
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
With Yao Ming out for the season with a foot injury and T-Mac still on the sidelines following last year's trade deadline microfracture surgery, the Rockets opened play with a band of role players. Aaron Brooks was the leading scorer and played 42 minutes; neither are good signs.
The Rockets debuted Trevor Ariza, who played 33 minutes and scored only 12 points. Ariza, who got free agency cash after a strong postseason, appears to be a downgrade from Ron Artest, who started his '09-10 campaign with a good performance in LA.
Don't forget that Game 1 of the World Series is tonight as two former Cleveland Indians aces (Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia) face off for the Yankees and Phillies. Weather shouldn't be a factor, and it's good to have some postseason baseball and basketball to fill the gaps between football weekends! :)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
#1 draft pick Blake Griffin is out at least 6 weeks and possibly more with a hairline fracture in his kneecap. He suffered the injury in the last LA Clippers preseason game after going up for a signature dunk.
Griffin relies on being explosive around the glass, so don't be surprised if the initial diagnosis of 6 weeks is too optimistic. ESPN's Tim Legler said this morning on Mike & Mike that he'd be surprised if Griffin makes a big impact before the All-Star break.
This is a big blow to the Clippers, who had playoff aspirations, and to the NBA, who lose a #1 draft pick to injury prior to the season for the second time in three years. Only two #1 draft picks missed a season completely: Greg Oden in 2007 and David Robinson in 1988, who missed his first year due to a committment to the Navy.
Get well Blake!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Quick update on the night games from Sunday and tonight...
In Monday Night Football, the Eagles cruise 27-17 behind the DeSean Jackson show, who scored on two long, electric plays (one run and one pass). Redskins look terrible on both sides of the ball and have been devestated by injury. Also hurts that they can't catch the human zip arrow DeSean Jackson! The guy is playing in a different gear than everyone else right now.
The Super Bowl version of the Arizona Cardinals showed up at the Meadowlands last night and ruined my NFC pick for the second straight win. Cards win 24-17 and prove they can run the ball and play defense. Only silver lining here is the long awaited emergence of Chris Wells as a viable fantasy player; he gets 14 carries for 68 yards, 10 more carries than Tim Hightower.
My two main NFL fantasy leagues are looking good. I'll move to 5-2 and a tie for first in my trophy league. I was up 9 going into tonight before DeSean went off and sealed the deal; also helped that Westbrook got hurt and missed the rest of the game. Three weeks ago, I needed 12 in my cash league Tony Romo and Steve Smith on MNF and got screwed, so I was nervous I'd lose this one too.
Speaking of, in my cash league I move to 4-3 and I am still the leading scorer, ready for the push in the 2nd half of the season.
I go 1-1 in my lead pipe locks; results come in tomorrow. I am guessing a lot of folks had to pick the Giants and may share a loss with me.
In my college spread picks, I go 12-10 for the week to move to 68-69-2, just one game under .500.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
In the early games...
Houston 24 San Francisco 21: The Texans hold off a late charge by the 49ers who bench Shaun Hill in favor of Alex Smith. Owen Daniels has another monster game, hauling in 123 receiving yards and a TD.
Pittsburgh 27 Minnesota 17: A great defensive performance by Pittsburgh, who get two defensive TDs in the 4th quarter to thwart late attempts by the Vikings to regain the lead. Favre has a fumble returned for a TD and a INT (that should have been caught by Chester Taylor) go back for a TD. Good fantasy days for Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin.
New Orleans 46 Miami 34: The Dolphins had a 21 point lead just before the half prior to the Saints first TD drive which ended with the above Drew Brees dive as time expired. In the second half, Drew Brees and the Saints roared back to remain perfect. The Saints didn't abondon the run as Mike Bell, Pierre Thomas, and Reggie Bush kept Miami's D on its toes.
Late in the game on 3rd and 5 late, Farve hits AD on a little swing pass. Peterson meets Steelers DB William Gay head on. Take a guess at who wins?
He was doing this to linebackers and DBs in college, I never would have guessed he'd do it at the next level.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
My intial takes on another wild Saturday in College Football:
In the Big XII:
- --Iowa State rocks the Big XII North by shocking Nebraska in Lincoln for the first time since Jimmy Carter was president. ISU forced 8 turnovers, yes 8, and 4 of them inside their 5 yard line! OU's trip in a few weeks doesn't look as daunting.
- --Speaking of Oklahoma, a dominant win outside of Norman this afternoon in Lawrence. The defense played superb and the offense got enough done in the second half to salt it away.
- --OU's other road trip to Lubbock doesn't appear to be as scary anymore after Tech lays a giant egg at home to A&M. They give up 52 points? Wow!
- --Texas made a statement win against Mizzou in Columbia. Now they are set for a huge Halloween night game in Stillwater.
In the SEC:
- --Alabama gets a 2nd blocked kick from future NFL star Sean Cody to beat Tennessee at the wire. Terrible clock management by Lane Kiffin; he could have ran another play to get UT in field goal position and maybe the kick wouldn't have come out so low.
- --Florida plays decent and puts Mississippi State away late. The Gators are in cruise control and can afford to lose a game down the stretch. Win the SEC title and play for the crystal football.
- --Ole Miss played like the Ole Miss that was ranked so high early in the season by dominating Arkansas at home.
In the Big 10:
- --Game of the day was in East Lansing where Iowa escapes to remain unbeaten. The Hawkeyes gave up a late TD to Michigan State after MSU converted a hook and lateral to perfection on a long 3rd down. Iowa had enough time to drive down the field and score the game winning TD as time expired.
- --Ohio State took Minnesota to the woodshed and Terrell Pryor looked like the playbook was opened up in a dominanting home win.
- --Penn State wins in Ann Arbor for the first time in more than a decade.
- --TCU gets a huge win in Provo as they stuff BYU. Right now, the Horned Frogs are the most impressive non-BCS team and only have a home date with Utah away from a potential perfect season and a BCS berth.
- --USC gets revenge on the Beav of Oregon State as the D holds Jaquizz Rodgers in check.
- --Miami and Clemson play a thriller at Land Shark and the Tigers get a huge OT TD catch on 3rd and long to win. Don't look now but Clemson is now in the ACC title hunt.
- --Cincinnati doesn't miss a beat when Heisman trophy candidate Tony Pike misses the game against Louisville.
And now the ruling on the field.
- --Florida, Alabama, and Texas continue to see-saw at the top, and each team has up and down weeks. A 1-loss SEC champ will play for the crystal.
- --The Alabama and Tennessee rivalry will just heat up after this close call in Tuscaloosa. Did you hear that Alabama denied UT's request to wear their home orange unis? Ouch!
- --TCU will probably gain more ground on Boise State after a huge statement win in Provo.
- --The Big XII North is terribly pathetic and the entire Big XII is way down after a banner 2008.
- --How good is Cincinnati? I'm not sure we'll really find out but they played huge today without their QB.
- --And finally, player of the week is Colin Kaepernick of Nevada. 200 yards passing with 2 TDs, 250 yards rushing with 4 TDs in a 70-45 win. I think I may have finally beaten Patrick in college fantasy thanks to this breakout performance!
Friday, October 23, 2009
They got traded on draft day, and now I have to depend on these guys to pull out wins in my lock league this week.
To say I got fooled in my lead pipe locks last week would be an understatement. I chose two teams that were double digit favorites straight up, the Jets at home against Buffalo and Philly on the road at Oakland. Buffalo loses it's starting QB in the 2nd quarter and the Eagles are coming off a bye playing against a team that didn't look like it could beat a high school team the week prior. Easy pickens, right?
Another year, another letdown in the Red River Shootout. I miss the early part of this decade. It turned out like an old familiar horror movie. I had seen the script before; the defense played just about as well as it could and the offense let them down. I really truly feel OU would have won that football game had Bradford been the QB in the 4th quarter. Landry Jones just made a mistake on the final drive that hopefully he won't make in the future.
Both myself and Oklahoma seem to like the .500 mark after another mixed bag of performances. A push in the RRS (had Texas -3). Several underdogs came through as Purdue won outright against Ohio State, Notre Dame nearly pulled off a big upset against USC; and Arkansas nearly nipped Florida. So much for KU, Va Tech, and BYU. I finish 8-7-1.As for Week 8, a lackluster weekend in terms of marquee matchups. I'll declare OU/KU as the game of the week for no particular reason as it at least features two ranked teams.
Georgia Tech -5 @ Virginia
Pittsburgh -6.5 vs. South Florida
West Virginia -7.5 vs. UConn
Minnesota +16.5 @ Ohio State
Oklahoma State -9.5 @ Baylor
Miami -4.5 vs. Clemson
Penn State -4.5 @ Michigan
Washington +10 vs. Oregon
Alabama -14.5 vs. Tennesee
Cincy -18 vs. Louisville
Utah -9.5 vs. Air Force
South Carolina -12.5 vs. Vandy
Texas Tech -21.5 vs. Texas A&M
Iowa +/-0 @ Michigan State
LSU -7.5 vs. Auburn
Mississippi State +23 vs. Florida
Houston -16.5 vs. SMU
TCU -2.5 @ BYU
Mizzou +13 vs. Texas
Oregon St. +20.5 @ USC
Boise State -25 @ Hawaii
Underdog picks this week:
How can Ohio State be favored by so much after losing to Purdue? I'll take the points;
Oregon is the model of inconsistency, I'll take Jake Locker and the points at home;
I'm taking big points against Florida until they prove they can score;
Texas is the most overrated team in the country, they'll struggle on the road @ Mizzou;
Wonder if USC remembers Jaquizz Rodgers? He alone is worth 20.5;
For the favorites:
Pitt/USF is an interesting matchup that could go either way;
I trust the best team in America really lights up the Vols;
Is Cincy really #5 good?
TCU/BYU is probably the true game of the week;
Now, onto OU for Week 8. Can we move one step closer to bowl eligibility?
Kansas +7.5 vs. Oklahoma
KU is coming off a worse-than-it-appears loss @ Colorado. Great teams have struggled to win in Boulder, including OU (2003 and 2007, which the latter was a loss). OU has more injuries than after the running of the bulls, as it appears they'll go without DeMarco Murray tomorrow. The Sooners looked horrible on offense save one individual play by Broyles against Texas. I don't think KU is going to score a lot of points, but neither is Oklahoma. OU will win this game, but close, as in 2005, which was a 2 point game if I remember correctly.
The Sooners really need to buckle down and win this game and get bowl eligbility at the forefront after the dissapointment to Texas. A loss would put us at 4 wiht 5 to play, with road trips still to Nebraska and Texas Tech, plus a tough offense in Oklahoma State at home.
So, with that in mind, welcome to my new blog, The Ruling on the Field! Here, I'll give you my view on sports after further review, from pro and college football to the Olympics...there won't be a sport out of bounds here (except maybe curling, I don't know much about that).
I'll start by posting my weekly college spread picks that I have been doing on Facebook. Hope you enjoy!