Thursday, September 25, 2008

5th and inches - Week 5

Greetings fellow football fan-type peoples. More of the Thursday night footballs for you with 2 games on tap tonight, one involving the #1 team in the land.

Another good weekend for the Smoot last weekend, 9-4 ATS and 14-2 on straight-up winners/losers. For the year now, 35-18 ATS and 56-11 straight up. In phony money dollars at $25 per...the Smoot's up $425. But it's the footballs of the colleges, so you can expect a stock-market-esque crash any Saturday now. Let's get this crashing started.


SMU (CBS College) @ Tulane (17) - 2 games lead off the weekend, the first of which would lead into the ESPN high school game of the week in most weeks. Ya gotta love a QB name Bo Levi, especially if you're an opposing defense. The Ponies followed up their 43-7 beating in Lubbock to the laid-back Mike Leach-led Red Raiders by getting summarily trounced by the incredibly high-strung Gary Patterson-led purple Frogs. Now they get the Green Wave, whose head coach is I'm sure extremely high-strung while being laid-back, which probably equals more butt beatings for the Ponies. Tulane...41-21.

#1 USC (23') @ Oregon State (ESPN HD) - About this game's most attractive feature is that it's in HD and on the West Coast, which means it might run a little later than norma, which is good for us night owls of the world. Normally, USC finds a way to sleepwalk through at least one conference game, especially if it's on the road. However, I don't see it being this one. USC...41-14.


Arkansas (ABC) @ #7 Texas (28) - There is no way anyone should ever take a 4-touchdown line in this rivalry rekindling. Except maybe in this one. The Hogs have been really bad and Texas has looked really good, albeit against not-exactly-SEC athletes. Still...Texas...44-14.

#24 TCU (FSN HD) @ #2 Oklahoma (17') - TCU will undoubtedly be the best defense OU has faced thus far. This game is undoubtedly on the aforementioned high-strung Gary Patterson's "Make it personal" list for his team. But the last time they were in Norman, TCU won 17-10. I'd imagine it's been on the "personal" list for Bob Stoops for some time. I don't like the line being so big...and I think it will be a very-competitive football game...but I think in the end OU slips away for the cover. OU...38-17.

Army (Versus) @ Texas A&M (28') - A morning kickoff at Kyle Field. Actual Army came within a grenade's throw of beating Old Army in the Alamodome a couple of years in a true head-scratching "WTF Fran?" moment. Probably won't be the case this time. A&M...41-10.

Troy @ Ok. State (16') - Seems like it was a Friday night game or something (I'm not going to look it up) that found the Cowboys on the road in Troy Land last year. It was the end of the Bobby Reid era, if I'm not mistaken, as the Pokes were pounded by Troy. At slightly more than 2 TDs...I like this year's Cowboys over last year's...especially at home. Ok State...41-17.

Virginia Tech (ABC HD) @ Nebraska (6') - I've noticed I've got alot of 41s in here this week. That's not on purpose, and won't happen here. These 2 might not combine for 41. I see a real tough game here and I don't like 6+ either direction. Nebraska...20-16.

Colorado (ABC/ESPN) @ Florida State (6) - Don't ask me why, because then I'll spend 10 minutes telling you why, but I think Colorado goes on the road here and wins. Colorado...23-19.

La. Lafayette @ Kansas State (20) - Kansas Staters are a funny bunch, with lots calling for a short lease on the tenure of Ron Prince after getting lit up on national TV at Louisville. Lafayette, meanwhile, lost a 3-point ball game @ Illinois, who was no doubt looking toward Penn State this week. K State...30-14.

North Carolina @ Miami (7) - I can't find a TV listing, but I'm sure this is on Raycom 7 or something like that somewhere. Carolina disappointed in the Va. Tech loss, Miami won handily at Kyle Field. Miami...24-20.

#8 Alabama (ESPN HD) @ #3 Georgia (6) - No way do I like almost a TD in a top-10 SEC game. Both are playing well, but I think defenses rule the day. Georgia...17-13.

#9 Wisconsin (7) @ Michigan (ABC/ESPN) - Somewhere, something is telling me that this is going to be one of those "arrival" games for a coach/program. Obviously, Michigan doesn't need to arrive, but Rich Rodriguez does. I'm not ready to give him the win...but I think it could happen. Wisconsin...18-17.

Purdue (NBC HD) @ Notre Dame (2') - Ya know, this is one of those games where the Domers will win on a field goal that hits a rushing lineman in the helmet and then goes off an upright and through the posts. Notre Dame...21-20.

#22 Illinois (ABC HD) @ #12 Penn State (14) - 2 TDs is a little much for this one, methinks. Penn State...31-27.

Tennessee (CBS HD) @ #15 Auburn (6) - Another 6-point SEC line. Give me a break, Vegas line-making people. Auburn...24-14.

Maryland (Raycom HD) @ #20 Clemson (11') - Both are 3-1, Maryland has won 2 of the last 3 in Death Valley and beat #23 Cal two weeks ago. Still, I like Clemson. Clemson...38-24.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

5th and inches - Week 4

Greetings all. A little Fall-like temps in the air have us primed for college foobaw this weekend.

11-3 against the line last weekend, so there's all kinds of phony money to play with this weekend. Not that I'm picking Rice to upset Texas or anything. Or SMU over TCU. Or Army or Akron. Wait, I think I picked that one...

For the year now, 26-14 against the line, 46-9 on straight up winners/losers. Here we go.


#21 West Virginia (3) @ Colorado (ESPN HD) - Nightime in Boulder is a scary place to play the footballs, and with Pat White being counted on to throw the ball more for the Mounties, I don't like them here. Colorado...26-21.


Baylor (ESPN2 HD) @ U Connecticut (14) - Game 3 of this week's Big 12/Big East Challenge or something like that (Game 1 was Wednesday night) as the Bears hit the road for the first time this year. They're doing so fresh off a convincing win over a BCS opponent in Washington State, which is maybe like bragging about a photo shoot with Jenna Jameson and then being asked "Yeah, but have you seen her LATELY??" Hard to like the Bears on a long, long trip North. UConn...31-18.


UMass @ #11 Texas Tech - No line here for another colossal showdown with Top 15 programs from two different divisions. UMass has had trouble stopping the likes of Holy Cross and James Madison. Michael Crabtree doesn't have his own university yet, but he should see plenty of green space on Saturday. Tech...51-14.

Rice (FSN HD) @ #7 Texas (30') - No reason not to take the 'Horns here, even if they whine about their pass defense. Texas...46-13.

Miami (3) @ Texas A&M (ABC HD) - Maybe the real moment when we all knew that Fran was canned was the Thursday night debacle in Miami last year when A&M went nowhere all night and Miami suddenly looked like Miami of old. They've since come down a little bit while A&M has looked about the same. Jerod Johnson could actually be a difference maker if he can get on the field...which might mean he has to sack Stephen McGee when no one is looking. Miami...19-14.

Buffalo (FSN PPV) @ #5 Mizzou (33') - I mean seriously...can Buffalo score 17 points? If so, and they lose's a cover by a hook. I was lovin' me some hooks last weekend. Mizzou...49-17.

Iowa St. (The Mountain) @ UNLV (3) - What the hell is The Mountain? Is that like "Go Watch it on the Mountain"? And if that's a network and that becomes their slogan, I demand some royalties. These 2 played in Ames last year and UNLV appeared to have scored on the game's final play, but it was ruled no catch and then apparently there was no review. Their head coach chased the officials into the locker room, then ran back out (and fell down) and refused to take his team off the field for quite some time. Now they get the rematch in the desert, a week after a huge road win in the other desert - or is technically the same desert - at Arizona State. UNLV...27-18.

Sam Houston (FCS Central) @ #19 Kansas - A week after blowing a 20-3 road lead by surrendering a 31-point outburst, only to tie it and then watch it slip away on the foot of a true Frosh kicker after a terrible INT decision by their all-everything quarterback...Mark Mangino is still very large. Kansas...61-7.

Akron (7) @ ARMY (ESPN Classic) - I figure if I pick ARMY enough times straight, eventually they'll cover. ARMY...24-21.

Notre Dame (ABC/ESPN) @ Michigan State (8') - From one Michigan to another, the Domers head to East Lansing. The last time they were there they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to the point where the State radio guy had such an on-air meltdown the following week I don't think he's there anymore. Michigan State...31-24.

TCU (24) @ SMU (CBS College) - June Jones rudely introduced to the Metromess rivalry. TCU...41-14.

Va. Tech (ABC/ESPN) @ North Carolina (1') - Va. Tech is starting to rival Oregon for the worst unis in college football. Big opportunity here for UNC to get back onto a "stage" of some sort, after failing to capitalize on the Miami win of a few years ago. UNC...19-17.

#3 Georgia (6') @ Arizona State (ABC HD) - Georgia keeps winning and then getting jumped in the rankings. That's gotta piss off someone. Georgia...34-24.

#4 Florida (7') @ Tennessee (CBS HD) - It's never easy to go more than a TD on the road in the SEC. Signed, Auburn fans celebrating their 3-2 win over Mississippi State last weekend. Florida...20-14.

#6 LSU (2) @ #10 Auburn (ESPN HD) - We've got your safety right here. Signed, LSU fans. LSU...16-6.

#18 Wake Forest (ESPN2 HD) @ #24 Florida State (4') - Wake is ranked higher going into Tallahassee, and has beaten the 'Noles 2 straight, including 30-0 last time at Doak Campbell. Pretty sure I never thought I'd say that in the history of ever. Pretty sure I never thought it'd be 3 straight, either. Wake...27-24.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Farking season is finally here!

After seeing the pics of the Jones flooded, you had to know the farks wouldn't be far behind. TTURaider, from the raiderpower forums, fired the first volley and boy was it a beauty!

Not to be outdone, the super creative and ruggedly handsome mdkimbro added his own touch...the Manginokrakken.

Some of you may not be aware of this, but in the world of farkdom there is a popular phenomenon referred to as the "Tennis Match." Basically, people add more and more images to an original work until it is either flat out stupid or your head explodes at the sight of all the LOLs....or in this example from the shaggybevo forums, both.

This thing has just about every Big 12 cliche you can imagine. From Gap Kid, to Listeater all the way back to the Corps guy pulling his sword on the SMU cheerleaders. Classic! The best actually had the bellringer in the middle, but apparently I can't post .gifs on blogger.
So, here's to another fun fark season getting kicked off right! We look forward to sharing many more with you this year.

Friday, September 12, 2008

holy lakes of rubber pellets, batman

Lake Jones - waterfront suites are available.

5th and inches - Week 3

So here we are for Week 3 of the college football season. I missed posting last night's Carolina/Rutgers tilt due to a faith healing session that ran long up here in Big Rapids, Michigan. The chicken fried steak at the Interstate Inn is not to be trifled with...and I'm not really sure that was gravy on top of it. Get thee back to Texas for your chicken fried steakness, praise God almighty blessed Jesus Lord, Amen.

A 7-5 week last against the line, 16-4 straight up winners/losers. For the year...15-11 and 33-7 now in those two categories. Special thanks this week to Ryan Hyatt for recognizing that the disco ball is once again spinning around here. I'll show myself out.


#13 Kansas (ESPN2 HD) @ #19 South Florida (3') - Great Friday night matchup...though it's likely to be over by the time I get back from some local HS Football. South Florida won an OT thriller over Central Florida last weekend. Kansas has squashed their 2 opponents, La. Tech most recently in the rain. Kansas won this matchup by 6 two years ago. Both are better now...home game for the Bulls...but I still like Kansas. KU...23-21.

Washington State (2') @ Baylor (FSN HD) - **Note, this game has been moved from Saturday to Friday night.** Hmmm...interesting game here. The Bears could get a feather in Art Briles' cap...assuming he spends alot of time in caps with feathers in them...with a win over a visiting Pac 10 team. They laid an egg against a good Wake Forest team, then bounced back with a win over Northwestern State last weekend. They say you improve the most in football from Week 1 to 2...which was actually last week but gives me a chance to use another cliche in here. Baylor in the upset...23-20.


SMU (FSN HD) @ #12 Texas Tech (36') - So my father's an SMU guy from long ago, my sister went there and somesuch, so there's some familial rivalry in it. So he says to me, "How is it that Tech is favored by 36' over SMU. They won't win by 36." To which I said "Won't win by 36 touchdowns? Yeah, that is alot." Texas Tech...52-20.

Arkansas (ABC) @ #8 Texas (23') - This one has been moved to 9/27. Take Ike and lay the points the weekend.

Nevada (FSN PPV) @ #6 Mizzou (26') - Nevada played pretty well last with Tech, at least between the 20s. But they couldn't score I had predicted. Mizzou right now is firing on all cylinders, to get all cliche-like on you. Nevada will probably move it some...but Mizzou will move it more. Mizzou...44-17.

#3 Oklahoma (20) @ Washington (ESPN HD) - The Sooners leave the, uh, the Oklahoma is OK state for the first time in 2008. Last year's first trip out of, well, Norman, was a win at Tulsa, though not the prettiest. It will be interesting to see how Washington rebounds from a bonehead penalty last week that resulted in a 35-yard extra point try...that was blocked for all of you who say the penalty cost them the game. The kick was blocked, whether from the 10 or the 25. OU...27-17.

Iowa State (Big 10 HD) @ Iowa (12') - Always a tough one to pick in the big, emotional rivalries. Iowa has shown signs of life in their 2 ballgames, and ISU is off to a 2-0 start as well. Double-digits is a tough sell here. Iowa...24-20.

New Mexico State (FSN PPV) @ Nebraska (25) - Went with the Huskers and the big number last week...thinking about doing it again here as this is NM State's first game of the year after a hurricane rainout. Nebraska...45-17.

Mizzou State @ Oklahoma State (FCS Central) - OK State....51-13.

#5 Ohio State (ABC HD) @ #1 USC (10') - Sweater Vests on Ice heads West for a classic showdown of smashmouth vs. glitz and glam. Smashmouth has fallen hard on its last couple of big stages against speedy teams. USC...34-17.

Michigan (1) @ Notre Dame (NBC HD) - The Domers struggled with San Diego State last weekend...the Wolverines with Miami (OH). Notre Dame will suit up 11 leprechauns or something crazy and pull the win here. ND...19-16.

#10 Wisconsin (1) @ #21 Fresno State (ESPN2 HD) - Easily a top-5 matchup for the weekend...even though we're really talking about 21 vs. 10. Could be a trap for the Badgers, who split with Fresno in Wisconsin in 01 and 02. Fresno St....22-20.

#2 Georgia (8) @ South Carolina (CBS HD) - 2nd-ranked Bulldogs hit the road to face South Carolina, fresh off their loss at Vandy. Dawgs trying to keep pace in the polls, after falling from #1 despite winning twice. Georgia....23-10.

Other games of interest...

UCLA (Versus) @ #18 BYU (9) - Can Neuheisel keep the early magic going? BYU...31-21.

#16 Oregon (7) @ Purdue (ABC/ESPN2) - Ducks have proven that Big 10 stadiums don't scare them. Oregon...28-22.

#9 Auburn (10') @ Mississippi State (ESPN2 HD) - Laying 10+ in an SEC game is like hitting on 20 in Reno. Niblets...aka Auburn...24-15.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Reno Failure

Well, it wasn’t failure, but it got pretty close to it. I just got back from spending a month in Reno, over the course of three days. Felt like a month, anyway. What a strange trip. I’m glad I made it, I guess. Just a few random thoughts:

The Game: In a word, it sucked. It really sucked. I know: Tech won, so it’s all good. But Jesus that was ugly. It had to be one of the worst officiated, worst coached and worst played games I’ve witnessed. Seeing as how I used to coach Pee Wee league, that’s saying something. It seemed like both teams were locked in a mortal contest of “fart and fall down” with the team least consistent in this endeavor the most likely to succeed. This game had it all. Fumbled snaps, dropped balls, over thrown passes, blocked punts, unsuccessful 4th down tries from the 29th yard line (on Tech’s side of the field), phantom holding calls. You name it; if it was bad, this game had it. Yeech!

Harrell looked terrible (see what I did there?). So many of his passes were off the mark and so many looked as if they were just lofted up in the air for anybody to grab, it led the Nevada fans around me to begin yelling “He’s just not that good!” I wanted to argue, but truth is, I couldn’t. It didn’t help that what Nevada’s corners were doing to Tech’s receivers would amount to a Class A misdemeanor for assault in many jurisdictions; the timing of the routes was clearly affected. Still, it stunk on ice.

There were some nice moments, though. You could tell that Morris was going to break that punt return early on, and it was fun to watch. On one of the few long connections Harrell made to Crabtree, the pass was underthrown. Crabtree had to come back for it, giving the cover guy a chance to grab him. What Crabtree did to him before breaking away was almost violative of the Geneva Convention. There were some nice runs: all of a sudden, we’re a running team? The defense looked like the defenses of old: “Lyle style.” But, they stiffened several times in the red zone after giving up a lot of yards.

A word about the officiating: When I was waiting to board the plane at DFW, I saw several guys with Big XII luggage entering the waiting area. One of the bags was being pulled by a middle aged, lanky guy, and it had “Jon Bible” embroidered on it. I thought “Oh Sh*t. I thought he only came to screw us when we played UT.” I will say, fellow Tech fans, that I gave thought to “taking one for the team” and trying to push him out of the hatch once we got to altitude. But he would have just parachuted to safety on the flag he always has at the ready anyway. At the game, his officiating was up to its usual level of ineptitude, although I must admit, his calls were just as bad for Nevada as they were for Tech. It surpassed the point of ridiculousness when he tried to flag Tech for roughing the kicker on a blocked punt. Even his fellow refs couldn’t take it anymore; they talked him into waiving off the flag.

Nevada’s team: By the way, their players have funny names. Lippencott. Kaepernick. Fragger. Sounds like something Jonathan Swift would write as a chapter title: “My Arrival in Lippincott Upon the Fragger.” Too bad about Lippincott’s knee. He’s a quality guy. Also, their band had a flag dude. You know…where teams have a band with a drill team and they have girls with flags. They had a dude out there with the girls waving the flags around. As Forrest Gump would say: “They even had a flag dude. That’s all I have to say about that.”

All in all, it was a win, and they covered the 12.5 spread I put $100 on at the casino before leaving for the game. So, it could have been much worse. It’s still early in the season, and there is time to work out the bugs. But if they play like this against UT or OU, it’s going to be ugly.

Their Fans: It’s interesting, being at a college game where they sell beer. I expected it to be pretty rowdy, but it wasn’t that bad. I sat on the north 45 yard line, in a nest of about 10 Tech fans completely surrounded by Nevada fans. No real problems. One guy in front of me was hammered and spent a lot of time wiggling his butt around when the stadium PA played AC/DC. He flipped off the entire stadium a good bit. But he was nice enough. A middle aged goof behind me leaned down and asked “Hey…you own an oil well? Heh, heh. Because all you Texans own oil wells, right? That’s what you’re famous for, ain’t it? Heh, heh.” I just turned around and said “No, I don’t. Do you own a whore house? Because, well, you know…” He didn’t talk to me any more. There was one retarded kid walking around before the game, totally plastered, wearing a foam rubber wolf head and screaming “AWOOOOOO!!!” in the faces of Tech fans as they walked toward the stands. But he was not drunk enough to be suicidal: he clearly circumvented a 6’3” big ol’ West Texas boy in order to get to me (all 5’8” of me) where he let out a particularly fine “AWOOOOO!” The students in the north end zone stands had a nice chant of “F*ck you, Texas!” going for much of the first half. It isn’t that they mistook us for UT, I think, so much as they liked the meter of the 4 syllable chant. But, it was pretty weak compared with an away game at Rice: Rice students can cuss you out in iambic pentameter. Nevertheless, after the game, several of the fans around us made a point of shaking our hands and saying “good game” or “congratulations” and thanking us for coming. You don’t get that often, anywhere. So, on the well recognized “Fayettville Scale,” rating home fan obnoxiousness, with a “1” being The University of Nebraska and a “10” being The University of Arkansas, Nevada would rate a respectable 4.5. It would be a “4’” were it not for “AWOOOOO Boy.”

Reno: A few thoughts about the town. They have gambling, which I love. I’ve never been to Lake Tahoe, so I took a drive up there. Wow! Now I can see why the Corleones moved there. I wish I was rich. They have a lot of those ground squirrel/chipmunk looking things-very cute. One of them borrowed $5 off me. The town of Reno itself is kind of scruffy. I think it had an above average incidence of mattresses laying on the roadside. Sadly, not all of them were unoccupied. Also, there were a lot of mini truck punks and guys in low riding Scions who looked like they would gladly hit you with a long-handled wrench. But, the town has “In-N-Out Burger” so it’s not all bad.

The Casino: I stayed at the Peppermill. Good buffet. The rooms in the new Tuscany Tower were very nice. Not too bad a casino, although the casino has an abundance of 70’s neon and metal ceiling tiles. Being a degenerate gambler, I go to Vegas a lot. So, I am familiar with your average “Vegas style” dealers, which generally fall into three categories: the indifferent Asian, the malcontent Slav and the On-The-Lam Canadian (a lot of dealers are foreign – something about having grown up in foreign elementary schools, where they are actually taught to count). The dealers at the Peppermill were truly friendly. It somehow feels better, having a nice person take all your money, don’t you think? My favorite dealer was “Big Sam.” Big Sam would look up at the TV’s on the walls that were showing Christina Aguilara videos and say “Daaaayum. Look at that BOO-TAY!” Big Sam took a liking to me, and determined to call me “Niblet.” (I don’t know why). Because the cocktail waitresses were pretty good with the free drinks, I got seriously sh*t faced Friday night. So drunk was I, in fact, that the “free drink scheme” worked on the Blackjack table and I actually hit a 20. You read that right. I hit a gawddamned 20. Big Sam tried to talk me out of it, but as Lincoln said: “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true.” Besides, Big Sam wouldn’t argue with me too much because my drunkenness also manifested itself in another activity: over tipping. I have to set this up right: my hit on 20 was all the more egregious because I was sitting on 3rd base and Big Sam had a 6 up. The other players were screaming at me, sure I was going to take the dealer’s bust card. Many of them were sitting on 17’s and 18’s. “Damn you all” I said, and I defiantly tapped the table for my hit. In truth, I was so drunk I had forgotten the “1 or 11” rule for an ace, so I thought I was hitting a 7-2-1 ten rather than a 7-2-11 twenty. My fellow players were, of course, ready to lynch me. Then, in proof of the old saying that “God looks out for children and idiots”, I drew an ace for a 21! Wait, it gets better. Big Sam then flips his down card and it was a 4. He had a 10! I had taken his ace for what would have been a 21! He draws a 6, then, draws an 8 to bust. My drunken ass had saved the day! Strangely, none of those ingrates bothered to thank me.

A Sea Of Red: I have to tell you, it was great staying at the Peppermill because there were so many Tech fans there. Saturday afternoon, the Sports Book was solid red. There were all kinds of Tech fans. Middle aged beer bellies, the twenty- something guys with the obligatory goatees, the little old West Texas ladies with the hair helmets. It just felt great being around all the Tech fans at an away game. Something about the “herd mentality” I suppose. I want to personally thank the tall, red-headed guy in the black Tech polo shirt. He had an 8 series run on the craps table that won me $250.00. The team stayed there as well, although I never saw them. I think I might have seen a few of them at the pool on Saturday morning. There was one guy I thought was Graham Harrell. I wasn’t sure, but when I saw him toss a wadded up napkin at a trash can and miss, I was pretty sure of it. Gerald Meyers was a regular on the corner Blackjack table. Gerald: always double down on 11. Always. Just don’t hit a 20.

American Airlines: I think I speak for everyone on flight 2012 when I say: You suck. AWOOOOOOO!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

5th and inches - Week 2

Howdy boys and girls. Time for week 2's edition of 5th and inches, brought to you this week by Dos Equis. I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. I get nothing for saying that, by the way. An 8-6 week last week against the line, 17-3 on straight up winners and losers.

This week's schedule is kinda devoid of any real sexy matchups. In fact, I don't think there's one game with 2 teams in the Top 25 going against one another. Regardless...we press on...


South Carolina (10) @ Vanderbilt (ESPN HD) - Always good to have South Carolina on TV because it gives us free reign to throw around the word cocks several times in an e-mail. The Gamecocks woke up in the 4th last week to dispatch with NC State 34-0, but switched QBs in the late going to do it. That QB starts this week......and his name is Smelley. He was also the starter last year in a loss to Vandy...the Smelley cock. South Carolina...22-16.


#12 Texas Tech (10) @ Nevada - No TV for this one, which is being hyped a little bit as a potential shootout. Tech scores just about everywhere they go, and traditionally, so does everyone else. Both teams racked up big yardage totals and 49 points last week...but I don't think Nevada can keep pace in this one. Tech...41-20.

#11 Texas (26') @ UTEP (ESPN2 HD) - The last time UTEP hosted a Big 12 school in a late-night start at the Sun Bowl, Tech eeked out an OT win. But Johnny Lee Higgins and Jordan Palmer are long-gone off the Miners roster, and there aren't any Tech linebackers trying to cover receivers in this one. UTEP lost 45-17 at Buffalo last week. FYI...they weren't playing the Bills. Texas...45-13.

Cincinnati (ABC) @ #4 Oklahoma (21) - I have the hardest time remembering if Cincinnati has 2 Ns and 1 T...or vice versa. 21 is a big number to lay here, but playing OU in Norman is never fun. I think this one will be pretty competitive, really, but give OU to edge to pull away in the 2nd half. OU...42-20.

SE Mizzou State (FSN PPV) @ #6 Mizzou - Mizzou...52-10.

La. Tech (FSN HD) @ #14 Kansas (20') - La. Tech upended Miss. State last weekend at home and hits the road for Kansas this weekend. Again, almost 3 TDs is alot to lay in this one...but I've convinced myself to do it. Kansas...38-16.

Texas A&M (Versus) @ New Mexico (2') - The Lobos...throttled 26-3 at home by TCU. The Aggies...beaten 18-14 by Ark. State at home. Together, it's been a tough week in their respective camps. Aggie coach Mike Sherman promises things will get better...which is good...because they can't get much worse. New Mexico...23-20.

Eastern Washington @ Colorado - EWU played well in Lubbock last week, CU got a big win in the Colorado State game. Too bad there's no line on this one. Colorado...40-17.

Kent State @ Iowa State (7') - Cyclones looking to jump out to 2-0 start. Iowa State...27-19.

Northwestern State @ Baylor - Bears looking for first win for Art Briles. Baylor...38-14.

Montana State (FCS Central) @ Kansas State - Montana State upset Colorado a couple of years ago. Kansas State...49-14.

Houston @ Oklahoma State (16') - Actually a pretty entertaining game this should be. Ideas why that came out like Yoda I do not have. Houston will bring athletes, Ok. State coming off a road win to open the year at Wash. State. I think this one's pretty tight. Ok. State...27-18.

San Jose State (FSN PPV) @ Nebraska (26) - San Jose got by UC-Davis last week.......13-10. Big stage this weekend for the Spartans. Nebraska...48-7.

Texas State @ SMU - Hmmm...hate to say it...but the Bobcats could jump up and win this one. But I'll still give the nod to June Jones and the Mustangs...SMU...34-24.

San Diego State (NBC HD) @ Notre Dame (22) - Because I have a new TV and HD, I might actually watch this long enough to see Touchdown Jesus in high-def. Yeah, it took us about 20 seconds to become HD college football snobs. Oh, and SD State lost last week to Cal-Poly. Ouch. Notre Dame...39-6.

New Hampshire (ESPN Classic) @ Army - Why is Army on ESPN Classic all the time now? Army....29-20.

Miami (ESPN HD) @ #5 Florida (21') - In years' past, this woulda been a sexy Non-con game, but now it sets up to be just another Florida blowout with Tim Tebow bulldogging over people. Florida...31-17.

Miami (OH) @ Michigan (14') - The RichRod era at MIchigan got off to a rocky start last week as the Wolverines dropped their 2nd straight season opener at "The Big House." Seriously, haven't we used "The Big House" enough? Laying 14+ this's risky. Michigan...31-14.

Other interesting games:
Central Michigan @ #1 Georgia (23') - Or are they #2 Georgia? Rankings slight might just propel the Dawgs to big-time scoring this weekend. Georgia...45-14.

#8 West Virginia (8) @ East Carolina (ESPN HD) - ECU's Pirates looking for 2nd straight upset this weekend. Easier said than done. West Virginia...34-21

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Going Price of a Butt Whuppin'

As I was listening to the Eastern Washington game this past weekend, I heard one of the radio commentators mention that Eastern Washington was going to receive $450,000.00 for playing the game against Tech. The commentator also mentioned what some of the other Big XII schools were paying their non-BCS rivals that weekend. Florida Atlantic was getting like $900,000.00 to get bitch-slapped by the Horns. It got me to thinking about the economics of it all. Sure, “Buy Games” are nothing new. But, candidly, I never really like to think about the money part of this institution we love so much. I prefer to live in collegiate football “La La Land” where the players are true “student athletes.” I want to believe Michael Crabtree got his Escalade from a summer job making sundaes at the Dairy Queen. Humor me. Still, this “Rent-a- Punk” arrangement has raised a couple of questions and has me intrigued.

The first question is why would Tech pay somebody to come and play them in the first place? Four hundred fifty thousand bucks is not like some coupons to Crickets; that’s a lot of scratch, at least to me it is. Of course, the answer is obvious: since there are no preseason games at the college level, BCS teams need somebody to practice up on, and, to boost the overall win record for the season. One might wonder why the non-BCS school would go for it. Again, the answer is obvious: in the words of the great legal scholar Frito Pendejo :”I like money.” Besides, the kids from the non-BCS school get to see a stadium that holds more people than their school’s entire attendance over a ten year period, with a Jumbotron and everything. Additionally, the non-BCS school gets a little bit of exposure, although I’m not sure how much you want to be exposed losing by 40. Besides, they never know when they might catch lightning in a bottle and pull an Appalachian State number on somebody.

But the bigger question to me is: what do you get for your money? I mean, this deal is supposed to be a guaranteed win for the BCS school; and not just a win, but a lopsided one. So what happens when the deal goes awry? Tech was supposed to win a lot easier than they did, and probably by more points. At some point, one had to wonder : “Don’t these guys understand the arrangement? They’re making us work too hard. Should we get some sort of discount?” Conversely, if there some sort of really bad ass kicking administered, like Oklahoma’s treatment of Chattanooga this weekend, is there a “whuppass multiplier” where OU has to pay a little extra for each point scored over a certain number? Of course, maybe some schools, like “you know who,” should get a refund.

"$500,000.00 for this?!?! I thought we had a deal!"

Of course, being a money grubbin’ lawyer, I’m always trying to figure out a way to parlay an idea into more cash. I think this concept might have some applications elsewhere for Tech, maybe where we could turn a profit. Who has the best hockey team in college? Minnesota? We have an intramural hockey program, right? I say slap some Tech sweaters on them and send them up to the Twin Cities for a little old Northern hospitality. What’s wrong with our kids getting body checked out of a spleen in exchange for a few hundred large? A reverse butt whip could also work. I hear Tech has a really good meat judging team. Supposedly, they can differentiate a Porterhouse from a T-Bone at 50 yards in .2 seconds. We’re all so proud of them. I’m thinking we agree to overlook some gristle or maybe a little tapeworm action in exchange for, say, a small honorarium of $100,000.00, to lose to Okie Lite. Well, why not? They have the money to spend. T. Boone Pickens, the Dan Halen of college sports, could then buy the exclusive rights to the name “T Bone,” drop the extra “o” and make himself seem much cooler.

But this has potential outside of college sports. What if I need to impress a client with a big win in court? If some baby lawyer fresh out of school needs some bucks to pay off those loans, what’s the harm in my slipping him a little cash to not try too hard? Most attorneys don’t let a little thing like The Rules of Professional Conduct (number 1.06 to be precise), stand between them and winning. My oldest son outweighs my youngest daughter by nearly 100 pounds. But, he’s pretty mild mannered. My youngest daughter is quite a pisser, and I suspect she could take him in a no-holds-barred throw down brawl. I might not want his ego bruised when the next fight comes around. I bet she’d ensure a dive for some Hannah Montana tickets.

I’m making the trip up to Reno this weekend. With gambling, all-you-can-eat buffets and legalized prostitution, it ought to be a fun trip for all. Bring the kids! However, a convincing win will make it much better. I hope UN-Reno gets the check in time.