Friday, September 23, 2011
I forgot to pick the Buckeyes game in my college football picks, and I know Saturday just wouldn't be the same for you without that knowledge in hand.
Colorado (+16.5) over OHIO STATE
What? This is one of the craziest lines I've ever seen. I hope I'm wrong, but this seems like easy money to me. I see a Buckeyes victory, but something more along the lines of 16-13 or some other ugly score. This actually moved from -15 yesterday, so there must be something I'm missing. Did Colorado's team plane crash? Were Terrelle Pryor and Jim Tressel welcomed back to Columbus with open arms and forgiving hearts? Bizarre.
Sorry things have been so slow around here. I'm getting back into the swing of things at school, so I probably won't be writing much until I get my feet under me (which might not ever happen, honestly). Other than the time I need to spend reading and going to class and such, school has also robbed me of my elixir, the sweet, sweet nectar that is Ron Rico rum. Without my muse, I'm afraid I'm lost, so this is going to be another quick post. Home teams are in CAPS, the odds are Danny Sheridan's, and I've included an extremely hastily put-together Power Poll Rankings at the end. Enjoy.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
#20 GEORGIA TECH (-6.5) over North Carolina
#9 Florida (-19.5) over KENTUCKY
#12 MICHIGAN (-10) over San Diego State
New Mexico State (-10.5) over #114 SAN JOSE STATE
#119 OREGON STATE (-4) over UCLA
#1 LSU (-6) over #22 WEST VIRGINIA
Vanderbilt (+16) over #7 SOUTH CAROLINA
#4 ALABAMA (-11.5) over #18 Arkansas
#15 BAYLOR (-20.5) over Rice
#17 VIRGINIA TECH (-20.5) over Marshall
#8 Oklahoma State (+4) over #13 TEXAS A&M
#16 NEBRASKA (-23) over Wyoming
#2 OKLAHOMA (-21) over Missouri
#3 BOISE STATE (-28.5) over Tulsa
SMU (-21.5) over #113 MEMPHIS
AUBURN (-33.5) over #11 Florida Atlantic
#25 Ohio (+4) over RUTGERS
#23 ILLINOIS (-11.5) over Western Michigan
#11 SOUTH FLORIDA (-29) over UTEP
Indiana (-6.5) over #115 NORTH TEXAS
EAST CAROLINA (-13) over UAB
#24 FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL (-17) over Louisiana-Lafayette
#19 Florida State (+2.5) over CLEMSON
WASHINGTON (-1) over #21 Cal
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Classes start for me this week, so my write-ups aren't going to be nearly as wordy as usual (to the relief of everyone). Next week I will debut this season's WHAM Rankings, so enjoy this last edition of the Jumping to Conclusions Rankings for 2011.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
The most frustrating thing about the Buckeyes' 24-6 loss to the Miami Hurricanes mere minutes ago is that quarterback Joe Bauserman and his coach Luke Fickell showed how the fear of failure is a slippery slope to failure. All night, Bauserman dropped back, scanned the defense, and scanned the defense, and scanned the defense, and scanned the defense, rolled out of the pocket, and threw it out of bounds. I make fun of quarterbacks like Brady Quinn, Tim Couch, and Kevin Kolb for their propensity to check-down, but at least they throw the ball in play. Bauserman is afraid to fucking play football. He's so terrified of making a mistake, he decided at some point that he just wasn't going to throw the ball in play, ever. Braxton Miller wasn't much better, but he's a true freshman, and he played like it. Bauserman's shittiness forced Miller into a situation he clearly isn't ready for, so I blame Braxton's follies entirely on fuckhead Bauserman.
And then there's Fickell. He clearly is in over his head, and I'm not just talking about him letting the game end with 3 goddamn timeouts in his pocket (which is a first for a team down 2 scores in the 4th quarter I would imagine and should be all the evidence everyone needs that Fickell is no long-term answer at head coach). The penalties on fucking punt formations (punt formations!) and the sloppy tackling are evidence of a shithead who has no idea how to practice. The Buckeyes were boring and ugly under Jim Tressel, but they always knew how to tackle and how to fucking line up for a punt. Fickell's a joke, and so is this season. Ohio State should just volunteer t to give up bowl eligibility this year since they're finishing 4-8 anyway, and hopefully avoid NCAA penalties that could affect the team when they have an actual coach and an actual quarterback.
As for the positives, punter Ben Buchanan overcame the punt formation fuckups to have a hell of a game booting the ball, and the defense performed pretty well considering they were on the field for 99% of the snaps. The way they recovered from the sucker punch the Hurricanes delivered on their opening drive is the only reason Fickell shouldn't be fired tonight. The running game also looked pretty awesome, especially considering how inept the passing game was.
This was a fucking joke. I bought tickets to 5 games, and now I get to go sit in the cold and watch Joe Bauserman and his buddies try to score 6 points 5 times. Is this a bitter reaction in the heat of the moment? Yes, but it doesn't mean it isn't true. The Buckeyes are in trouble, and their only hope is that Russell Wilson and Denard Robinson are the only two quarterbacks in all of the Big Ten. 4-8, no bowl, and a loss in Ann Arbor are haunting my visions of the future. I pray that I'm wrong.
Friday, September 16, 2011
This was written at 2:34 AM, after several stiff rum-and-Cherry Coke Zeros.
I don't know if you've ever heard Zydrunas Ilguaskas talk, but he sounds like an Eastern European version of Gary Oldman's pimp character from True Romance ("Is it white boy day?"), and I've always wondered why. Sitting in the shower just now, thinking about Bob Sura (as I often do when sitting in the shower), I think I've finally cracked the code.
Holy shit. I know I goof around about how awesome I am at picks, and then it's hilarious when I get a bunch wrong, but 5 correct picks? Man. As penance, I will try to restrict myself from getting too wordy this week and let the picks speak for themselves. The home team is in CAPS, the lines are Danny Sheridan's, and the picks are most certainly not 100% correct.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Last weekend was not kind to me, but I did learn valuable lessons. I now know that I must go against Memphis, UNLV, Akron, and Florida Atlantic no matter how large the spread, and that Florida, Stanford, Alabama, and Wisconsin are teams to ride until they prove otherwise. For the uninitiated, I pick games involving the Bottom 10 and the Top 25 of my Jumping To Conclusions Rankings that are between two FBS teams (so no #21 California vs. Presbyterian pick this week) using Danny Sheridan's lines. The rank numbers come from my rankings, not the AP or the Coaches' Poll, and the home team is in CAPS. Oh, and all of the picks are 100% correct.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
With the signing of Brad Maynard (boy, does he ever look like a straight up creeper!) to be the Browns' new punter, I discovered Maynard went to Ball State. This is big news, as it means I can finally complete my All-MAC NFL team, comprised entirely of active players who attended college at a school that is in the MAC (or, in the cases of Asante Samuel and Chris Crocker, who attended college at a school that was in the MAC while they attended). I think this team would do alright, although I'm not sure Chase Blackburn is a great fit at middle linebacker, nor if Jason Babin is an outside linebacker in the 4-3 defense I've built. The secondary may also be a little suspect. I still think this team could win the NFC West. What do you think?
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
With the SEC adding Texas A&M any day now, the term "superconference" is being bandied about quite a bit. It used to be that the SEC already was a superconference with their 12-team membership and championship game, but times have changed, and now their is serious talk about 16-team leagues. So what will this drastic change to the college football landscape look like? Lucky for you, I love doing this.
I never thought I'd say this, but thank God for Michigan. If it weren't for the Wolverines' miraculous comeback against Notre Dame, Saturday would have been a disaster for the Big Ten. Purdue loses to Rice, Minnesota loses at home to New Mexico State (and almost loses their coach to a seizure), Indiana loses at home to Virginia, Alabama shut down Penn State in Happy Valley, Iowa lost the Cy-Hawk Trophy to Iowa State, Nebraska struggled against Fresno State, and, obviously, Ohio State barely beat Toledo. Michigan State did what they were supposed to do against Florida Atlantic, and Wisconsin made Oregon State look like the 119th best team in the country (see my bottom 10), but without the Michigan win, the Big Ten would look very weak. Last week's rank is in parentheses, and, again, these rankings are based on the first two weeks only, and are not necessarily where I see them finishing the year.
Friday, September 09, 2011
This could be a long year. First of all, I thought Mark Ingram was supposed to give the Saints the power back they needed? I've never seen a running play stuffed as soundly as that last play was last night, and from the tepid way Ingram was hitting the hole, he wouldn't have scored even if the Packers hadn't guessed the play 100% correctly (it was like Mike McCarthy and Sean Payton both hit right and A in Tecmo Bowl). Secondly, of the 15 games this Sunday and Monday, I picked eight underdogs, seven of which are on the road, which seems like a good way to dig myself an early hole in my picks competition against the universe. Of course, if I'm wrong, I'm supposed to be, but if I'm right, I could be the best game-picker in the county!
Thursday, September 08, 2011
New Orleans (+4.5) over GREEN BAY
This game has a Mason Crosby last-second field goal written all over it, and unless there's a new rule that allows field goals to be worth 5 points from certain points on the field (and how interesting would that make end of the game situations), that means the Packers win by 3 at the most.
And now, part two of my preseason power rankings...
20. Chicago Bears
The Bears offensive personnel finally fits the mold of a Mike Martz offense, but think San Francisco or Detroit Martz, not St. Louis Martz. Tight end Greg Olsen has been jettisoned to Carolina, eliminating a talented target at a position that Martz has never seen the value in including in his game plans (for evidence of how badly Martz neglects his tight ends, look up Vernon Davis's stats during Martz's reign with the 49ers and then after Martz was let go). The receiving corps is deep but lacks top shelf talent, while the offensive line will be porous once again, leaving Jay Cutler exposed in a system that feels no need to keep any backs around in the backfield to pick up blitzes. Last year's 7th round pick, Marcus Webb, is the starting left tackle, which means Bears fans may be seeing Caleb Hanie featured prominently at quarterback. Matt Forte has yet to live up to the massive promise he showed as a rookie, but, again, his offensive line isn't doing him any favors. The defense should again be very solid, but Brian Urlacher seems due for an injury after making it through last year relatively unscathed. Oh, and Lance Briggs wants a trade. The Bears were out-gained in four of their wins last year, and they also were gifted that absurd opener when Calvin Johnson's game-winning touchdown was taken away due to the worst interpretation of a rule ever. The luck runs out this year, and the Bears will find themselves in last place in their division for the first time since 2007.
Opening weekend was kind to me, as I even got a game I wasn't supposed to pick (Maryland over Miami) right even if I used the correct line (which I believe was Maryland (-4), not Maryland (+5), which I used). This week gets trickier, as more teams face quality opponents, and some really bad teams are expected to cover some pretty big spreads (Arkansas State (-15); Minnesota (-20)). These new challenges will just make it all the sweeter after I nail every...single...pick.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
The Indians are putting the final nails into their coffin versus Detroit, but I could care less, because the NFL season is upon us. After getting a taste of football action last weekend on the collegiate gridiron, I am an open vessel eagerly awaiting Bengals at Browns to fill me with exhilaration, anxiety, and either angst or joy. In order to prepare you (and myself) for the upcoming season, here's the first part of the first installment of my power rankings for you to consume, digest, and know in the most biblical of meanings.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Ranking college football teams before the season is an exercise in folly, and trying to evaluate who is really good or not after one, two, or even three games isn't much better. Unfortunately, I will not have enough data to compile my deadly accurate WHAM rankings until after the fourth week of the season, so I'm going to have to wing it on some rankings for the beginning of the season. Thus, the Jumping to Conclusions Rankings (previous rank in parentheses).
Friday, September 02, 2011
Well, it didn't take long for Steve Spurrier to lose patience with Stephen Garcia this year. Instead of waiting until the fourth quarter against the eventual national champions in a winnable game, Spurrier opted to go with Connor Shaw as his starting quarterback from day one, naming the sophomore the leading man for this Saturday's showdown with East Carolina. While Garcia truly is a knucklehead, I still believe he gives the Gamecocks the best chance to win. What if Shaw performs as he did in that 4th quarter against Auburn (2 INT)? Does Spurrier go back to Garcia before the first quarter draws to a close? And what message does that send?
Well, night one of college football didn't go so well as I finished Thursday night 1-2. Kentucky apparently does not know how to score without the departed Randall Cobb (he's on the Packers now, so if the 18 wide receivers in front of him on the depth chart ever retire or break a leg, you may get a chance to see how good he is), and Wisconsin didn't cover a 35 point spread by one point. Man, no wonder Vegas makes money and I'm just typing these words to myself. This weekend, I predict a big bounceback. Just a reminder, I use my Diminishing Skills 120 for the rankings, and pick games involving the bottom 10 and the top 25 against FBS opponents only.
Here it is, the final countdown. This is going to be a sidebar heavy post, so forgive me, but there's a lot of info I need to cram in. It's been a nightmare writing these, so I hope at least one person is reading them. If you're out there, enjoy, you magnificent bastard, you! (Also, a lot of you that get this in your e-mail have said you can't see the pictures. Here's a solution: go to the website. http://www.diminishingskills.blogspot.com Bookmark it.)
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Here’s the money shot.
Hoke is a steak. He’s a porterhouse. A former linebacker, he is beefy in stature, beefy in voice (he does sound like that Chris Farley motivational speaker guy) and beefy in Michigan tradition. He loved Bo Schembechler, who used to call him “Hokey.” He worked for Gary Moeller, who made him an assistant. He rose up under Lloyd Carr, who thought so much of Hoke he appointed him associate head coach.
The pedigree is there. The history is there. Hoke makes Wolverines fans feel like lost kids who have found their way home.
'via Blog this'
(Note: make sure SafeSearch is on before Google Image searching "pumped." You will see things you cannot unsee otherwise.)
College football is finally here, and I know you missed my spot-on picks last season, so I'm back to fill that gaping hole in your life. This year, instead of picking the AP Top 25, I'm going to switch things around and pick games involving the Diminishing Skills Top 25 (which should be up tomorrow for your greedy little eyes to IGNORE you ungrateful bastards) and the bottom 10 teams in the Diminishing Skills 120. As soon as the WHAM rankings are out, I will begin picking the top 25 and bottom 10 of those. The odds are Auburn-hater Dan Sheridan's, the home team is in CAPS, and these picks are righter than a 90 degree angle.