Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Welcome back everybody - I hope that you had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving, and if you're brave enough to go out and shop today, well, bless you...  :)  I don't even like driving BY the local outlet malls on 'Black Friday'...  I have a little bit of housekeeping before we get started today.  First, I have to apologize for omitting last weekend's Texas vs. Kansas State game from my picks.  Both teams were indeed in the top 25 at the time, but they were not listed in the ESPN pick 'em contest that I play (which features ESPN-affiliated and ABC games), and I simply forgot about them.  The game was shown on FX I believe, and I was kicking myself for my mistake as I watched it (I really have no idea who I would have picked to win the game either).  Second, I want to go on record predicting that the Green Bay Packers won't go undefeated during the regular season.  I am doing this as they only have five games left to play, but I don't think that the Packers have a dominant running game, and I think that when they get into one of the cold, windy games that they are bound to run into, a team with a solid defense will be able to beat them.  The Packers remaining schedule is:  @ Giants, vs. Oakland, @ Kansas City, vs. Chicago, and vs. Detroit.  Lastly, in my 'hindsight is 20/20 segment', I really liked the Ravens - 3 1/2 yesterday, and should have probably posted predictions here on Wednesday since they won 16-6.  :P

Last week's results were a lot closer to my personal norm than my blog results have been lately, as I split the college games and won 2 out of 3 of my NFL picks.  On the college front I went 2-2, calling the Notre Dame win and the Michigan victory (which didn't turn out to be extremely close, as I evidently underestimated how much trouble Denard Robinson would give the Huskers), while I missed on the Oklahoma pick over Baylor (GREAT FINISH) and the Oregon pick over USC.  It's funny how I thought the Trojans might normally jump up and grab that one, IF they had Robert Woods, who actually DID end up playing...  Oh well, that puts me at 25-10 on the college games this season.  The two NFL picks that I made correctly were the under 44 in the Falcons/Titans game (Atl 23  Ten 17) and the under 41 in the Cardinals/49ers game (SF 23  AZ 7) while I missed the under 41 in the Ravens/Bengals contest (Bal 31  Cin 24).  My record on the NFL picks this season is now 14-10.  Now for this week's games...

I am seeing five matchups featuring top 25 teams in the ole ESPN pick 'em contest this week, plus the big game that is not listed there.  I'll start with #13 Georgia beating #23 Georgia Tech.  The thing that I find ironic about this game is how close Boise State was this year to getting their wish.  Georgia has been playing great since a slow early season start, which bolstered the Broncos in the BCS, right up until that missed field goal against TCU...  I will pick #6 Stanford at home over #22 Notre Dame.  The Cardinal are still in line for a top-notch BCS ranking if they can win out, and I think that the Irish better pack every defender that they can find into their team plane.  I will take #16 Wisconsin at home against #19 Penn State.  This game is really close on paper, and I'm backing the Badgers because they are at home and because the Nittany Lions are still dealing with the fallout of the Sandusky Case.  I am going to pick the underdog in two of the in-state rivalry games, starting with #24 Virginia at home against #5 Virginia Tech.  This is the most impressive that the Cavaliers have been in a while, and based on their respective rankings, this is obviously just a gut feeling.  The same can be said for my selection of #17 Clemson at #12 South Carolina.  The Gamecocks are still missing a lot of pieces, and the Tigers have just had an incredible turnaround this year.  For the big game, which doesn't start too long from now, I am going with #1 LSU over #3 Arkansas.  I have said before that I think the Razorbacks are overrated this year, lucky to survive some close scares, and I like the Tigers to win this game by double-digits.  With that being said, I won't mind one bit if LSU loses, just to throw a monkey-wrench into this silly BCS system...

Since no one seems to be willing to let me select the Ravens to win yesterday's game, let me see what I can find on the NFL front.  Although I hesitate to select games involving my Steelers, and I also shy away from double-digit lines normally, I have to take Pittsburgh -10 against the Chiefs.  I just don't see how the Chiefs are going to score in this game with their backup quarterback.  I also have to pick Carolina -3 at Indianapolis, although I hope that I'm wrong about this (isn't it nice how I can use these picks to hedge against what I want to really happen?)...  :)  I'm playing against a lot of Panthers in fantasy football this week, and the Colts are still winless as we all know.  Carolina actually only has two more wins than Indy, but it seems like they have so much more offense.  I'm also going to take the over 37 1/2 in the Houston/Jacksonville game.  The number is just so low, and I think that the defenses may be able to create some turnovers which will set up their offenses with great field position.  Add to that the fact that Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, and Maurice Jones-Drew will still be on the field, plus the quality of each team's kicking game, and I have to take this shot.  I will be back on Monday with my ramble, which I'm sure I could liven up if I did go shopping today, but somehow I'll manage to come up with material...  I hope that you enjoy your football this weekend (remember, Arkansas @ LSU is TODAY), and we'll see you Monday.

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