Friday, November 6, 2009

Week 10 College Against The Spread (74-81-2) & The Game of the Week (LSU @ Alabama)

Last week's spread picks were down right scary, Halloween style. It marked my lowest record of the season, sucking it up with a 6-12 record. Very dissapointed by Oklahoma State's big choke job at home against Texas and a litany of other favorites stumbling and underdogs choking. Even my Sooners played more trick than treat, having to struggle to hold off Kansas State at home.

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.

Are The Stars Aligning (Fading) For The Texans (Colts)?

Per ESPN's NFL Rumors, the Colts have lost S Bob Sanders for the season with a torn biceps muscle after meeting with Dr. James Andrews.

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

Yankees draw closer to #27 as A-Rod Delivers

Game 4 of the World Series tonight was to cap a huge sports day in Philadelphia. After the Eagles ripped the Giants, hope was that the Phillies would claw back into the hunt and even the Fall Classic at 2.

After a Pedro Feliz solo home run tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the 8th, the Yankees came up in the top of the 9th against Brad Lidge. And uh-oh, the bad Brad Lidge showed up. Despite retiring the first two batters, Johnny Damon fought through a tough at bat and singled. Damon then stole TWO bases, and Lidge then hit Mark Teixeira to put runners at the corners.

Alex Rodriguez and his gigantic paycheck delivered with a huge two-out RBI double to put the Yankees up 5-4. Jorge Posada singled in Teixeira and Rodriguez and Posada got thrown out going for 2nd.

Mariano Riveria quickly retired the side in the bottom of the 9th to put the Yankees up three games to one with a 7-4 win.

The Phils will need another lights out pitching performance from Cliff Lee to take the series back to New York and keep the Yankees from winning their 27th world championship. The Yankees have had a 3-1 series lead in the World Series 8 times and have never lost. Ugh.

NFL Week 8

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

and sadly,

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).