I always wanted to be a major league baseball player when I was growing up. I LOVED playing the outfield, chasing down fly balls, making diving and sliding catches, throwing out baserunners - LOVED IT. As I have grown older, the time of year that I look forward to the most is football season. I moved to Texas after I graduated from high school, and I am sure that is part of the reason, as popular as the sport is here. The event that football has become, where parties are planned around games, the huge explosion of fantasy football, the ease of betting and watching multiple games at once when I lived in Las Vegas for a couple of years - all are factors I am sure.
The timing of my blog starting this week blends well with the menu of great matchups that are taking place this weekend in college football. Three huge battles of 4-0 teams taking place today, with #3 Alabama @ #12 Florida, #8 Nebraska @ #7 Wisconsin, and #13 Clemson @ #11 Virginia Tech - a few of MANY interesting games today. As I do these weekend sports posts during the infancy of this blog, I will make predictions for each weekend's games (I LOVE making predictions) just to keep things interesting. I can already see that there is a possibility that at some point this blog may morph into a 2nd solely sports-related blog, but I want to see how writing one goes, so I'll stick mainly to the weekend with the sports for now. With as many 'coinflips' as there are in college football this weekend, I'm not going to include betting lines or spreads with these picks, but I'll just pick my projected winners.
If I was in Las Vegas this week, and had to bet these games... I would take Florida in the Bama/Florida game - I like that the Gators are playing at home, and I like that it is Will Muschamp's first really big game. I think that the Swamp will be a tough road spot today. I would take the Badgers in the Nebraska/Wisconsin game. Again, the home-field could be big in this one (if I'm not mistaken, Wisconsin hasn't played a road game yet this year, but since I'm not betting it, I'm not looking it up...). ;) I like Clemson at Virginia Tech. The Tigers have played some tough opponents this year, and until they lose, I think that I am going to stick with them (while not betting any games, I have been picking the Tigers in all of my ESPN contests). Again, all three of these games are flips, and nothing would surprise me. Closer to home, I look for Texas to win today at Iowa State. The Longhorns are playing much better this year - it's amazing what a few new coordinators and a few new recruits can do. The Cyclones beat Texas last year, and I'm positive that the Horns remember that. I like Texas A&M against Arkansas. This is a spot where you have to be careful if you are making bets. ESPN lists the game as being at Arkansas, but the game is actually being played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, NOT the same thing. This is a #14 vs. #18 matchup (another flip), but the Aggies loss is a one-point loss to Oklahoma State, so I'm going with them. I'm picking Baylor at Kansas State, but I don't think that the Bears will win by as much as some people think (ESPN's Gameday did a feature story on Robert Griffin earlier this morning) - both of these teams are 3-0, and K-State isn't a pushover at home.
The NFL... Kinda wishing that I had started this blog earlier now. On facebook a week or two before the regular season started, I predicted that the Kansas City Chiefs would not make the playoffs this year (0-3 right now), and I also predicted that the Houston Texans would not only make their first playoff appearance, but that they would win the AFC South outright (2-1 right now). Trust me, I would not lie to you (well, I might, but I'm not lying about this)... ;) My favorite play in the NFL this week is the over in the Patriots/Raiders game. Depending on when you bet the game, the number is in the upper 50's, but the total in both the Oakland/Buffalo game and the New England/Buffalo game was well over that range, so that's the play I'd make. In the spirt of the Clemson Tigers and sticking with a team until they prove me wrong, I would take the Lions with the points at Dallas. Romo is still hurting, Austin is still out, Jones is still dinged up, the Cowboys still have the same offensive line... Dallas has played admirably considering the injury troubles they've had, and are close to being undefeated also, but I'd take the Lions. I also like the way that the Giants looked last week against Philly, and would take them against the Cardinals. It looks like Brandon Jacobs is out of the doghouse that he's been in, and the game that keeps sticking in my mind for Arizona is a 16-10 game with the Seahawks - Seattle has been thoroughly unimpressive in my eyes this year.... The blog will still be here Monday so that you can ridicule my picks in hindsight... :) I have 2 fantasy teams this year that are both 2-1, but I'll talk more about fantasy football later on. I definitely won't be making a blog entry tomorrow, so I hope that everyone enjoys their football and has a great weekend!