Now I know most of you aren’t too concerned with football, but I do offer up my selections here on a weekly basis, so if you like to wager, it might not be a bad idea to check out my offerings.
Before we get to this week’s picks, let me offer a few thoughts on the NFL.
Did the Raiders move from Oakland, because every story I read after their first 2 losses began with “the Hapless Raiders”. The only good decision the Raiders have made recently was to bring in Jeff George. At least this was a move to reach out to ticket holders because the last time anyone saw George he had a mullet, which is the official haircut for Raider fan.
You would have thought at least the offensive line would be better under hall of fame tackle Shell. Uh, 15 sacks later Shell was able to prove one thing. Maybe Norv Turner isn’t such a bad coach after all. You know you picked the wrong guy when Bryant Gumbel thinks even Gene Upshaw would have made a better coach.
Note: I have written other jokes about the Raiders that have appeared on the NFL on Fox pregame show each week, plus Tom Fitzgerald’s Open Season syndicated column features a couple more this week. Thank you, Silver and Black. You have become my Vikings Party Cruise of 2006.
It’s going to be a long year for the Packer coaches. I would recommend they start tailgating on Saturday night, just to dull the pain of Sunday afternoon. Just make sure to have a designated driver and for pete’s sake, keep your clothes on. I mean you aren’t working for Matt Millen.
The Falcons just signed kicker 46 year-old kicker, Morten Anderson. Part of his contract stipulates that the team pre-game meals will be at the Cracker Barrel. He will be using only a one-step approach before kicking, since he needs a walker to get around.
The Bucs have run for so few yards that their star running back has changed his name from Cadillac to Gremlin Williams.
Maurice Clarett has been sentenced to 3 years in prison. Good news for Mo, as he finally has a team that he can contribute to; the Mean Machine.
Last week I was one half point (as Voxter pointed out) away from going 5-0 against the spread. My Top 10 was looking pretty good, as well, until the referees completely screwed Oklahoma out of a victory. In non-conference games, the referees should either be from the visiting teams conference or from another conference altogether.
Now for the picks.
3 star Purdue (+3) Minnesota
2 star Wisconsin (+14) Michigan
2 star Kansas St (+14) Louisville
2 star Arkansas (-2) Alabama
2 star UCLA (-2) Washington
Not a good week for games, either to bet or to watch. I was pointing towards making Michigan State a big winner versus Notre Dame, but after the stomping Michigan put on the Irish, I expect more focus. I think the game is now a toss-up and the 8 point spread I was expecting is now 3.
3 star Vikings (+4) Bears
3 star Vikings/Bears under 35
3 star Broncos (+7) Patriots
3 star Panthers (-3) Bucs
3 star Bengals/Steelers under 43
2 star Saints (+4) Falcons
If the Bears look impressive this week, put me on board with them being the Super Bowl favorites for the NFC. Vikings defense is much improved, as is the head coaching, so I expect a close, low-scoring game.
The Broncos have looked bad, but the Patriots haven’t played well, either. Without any game breakers in the passing game, I don’t see the Pats blowing many people out this year.
Panthers and Bucs in a playoff elimation game. Bucs offensive line will be whipped again by the 3rd straight quality d-line they have faced.
While I don’t like the spread in the Bengals/Steelers match-up, I do think the game will be in the 30’s.
While most of the talk centered around new pick-up Reggie Bush, the change in attitude is because of Drew Brees. I still don’t like Michael Vick as a QB. but the Falcons have figured out that he can’t run the West Coast offense and they are letting him follow his instincts. I suspect he will get hurt sometime over the next month, but they have a quality backup in Schaub, so the Falcons are following the right script. Should be an excellent game on Monday night.