Friday, August 29, 2008

5th and inches - Week 1

College football season is back with a vengeance, with first- and second-night classics such as Wake/Baylor, Stanford/Oregon State, Miami/Charleston So. and the Friday night classic - ya know, because it's live on ESPN Classic - Temple at Army.

So what's all this mean? The team with the number by their name is favored, a (') equals 1/2 a point in the line and if you take any of this jibberish as a tout and lose your house, that one's on you. Being that we're all Techtards around here, the Big 12 schedule gets featured every week, which means that during Non-Con games it's freakishly long. After that, I'll hit some games of interest to friends and other family members based on where they went to school, teams that they like their uniforms and/or whatever band wagon they've jumped on this year.

Yes, this is going up on Friday, so Thursday night's bloodletting on the Brazos has already occurred....but in the sense of fairness I won't change my pick. Either that or I'm too lazy.

Feel free to comment and/or suggest games for next weeks ramble. Otherwise, have a nice weekend and be glad it's football season again.


#23 Wake Forest (12) @ Baylor (FSN) - Game 1 of the Art Briles era at Baylor. He's gone from Stephenville to Lubbock to Houston and now to Waco. If he should struggle there, which recent history indicates it WILL be tough, well he's that much closer to Stephenville again, which is what I think he might wind up liking more anyway. He's got more athletes in place for his system than alot of first-year coaches, following the exit of Guy Morris, who couldn't really make Tech's offense go there, which is interesting considering he claimed to help create it. There will be alot of buzz in Waco for this one and I think they'll play hard and keep it closer than the number.....Wake 27-17.

South Dakota State @ Iowa State - The Cyclones get a nice Week 1 tune up here....ISU....35-10.

Charleston So. @ Miami (FL) - Did you see where Iowa State was playing South Dakota State? Miami....41-3.


SMU @ Rice (3') - June Jones goes to SMU to once again try and revive the Ponies. Rice went bowling 2 years ago before Todd Graham bolted for Tulsa, but struggled under first-year coach David Bailiff. What's really funny about this game is that right now, if you go to the Rice Football Web site, there's a pic of the scoreboard with SMU leading 1-0. Not sure how that happens in football outside of Canada. I'm not sure why, but I think June and the Ponies get a road win here...SMU 28-26.

Temple (7) @ Army (ESPN Classic) - I'd like to know who does the scheduling for Army, because they appear to be able to get Temple to come to them two-years running. The Knights dumped the Hooters last year by like 16...but you fans of trends will be intrigued by numbers setting up in Temple's favor 20-6. Temple...31-21.


#7 Eastern Washington @ #12 Texas Tech - No "real" line on this one, because as attractive as a 7/12 matchup is on paper, that #7 is a FCS team...formerly known at I-AA. So while both teams feature "explosive" offenses, it's not quite as pretty as it looks. No, I don't see an Appalachian State/Michigan upset brewing here because, well, because Michigan can't score with a team that can score alot. Tech can...and will....Tech 51-14.

Florida Atlantic (FSN PPV) @ #11 Texas (24) - Florida Atlantic head coach Howard Schnellenberger is old school in that he wears a coat and tie on the sideline, calls out opponents as being soft before they've actually played and his last name is worth more than 85 points if you can pull if it off with a "Triple Word Score" in Scrabble. Seriously, he said they'd show that Texas was soft in the opener. Schnelly pulled Miami to prominence with an MNC in the early 80s, then bounced around Louisville and some other digs before taking FAU to the New Orleans Bowl last year. If you know someone getting the game, it'd be worth seeing just to see how big the sweat stains are on his jacket. Texas...38-6.

Arkansas State @ Texas A&M (20) - The Indians of Arkie State are tough, playing Texas to the wire in Austin last year. A&M's looking for big things from new coach Mike Sherman. I think A&M wins and probably looks pretty good in places, but I don't think they cover the number. A&M...31-17.

Oklahoma State (7) @ Washington State - The Cowboys are a hard team to figure out, looking good one week and then getting dogged on the road at places like Troy the next. They opened last year at Georgia in a highly touted ballgame that, in the end, wasn't. Here, they go to Pac-10 land to open the year. WASSU gets Eastern Wash's coach in his first year there, and I'm sure there's lots of hope and hype. But I'm taking the Big 12 here to win and cover on the road against a team playing their first game for the new guy. OK State...31-20.

Chattanooga @ #4 Oklahoma - No line here, and if I could find one of those pics of Sam Bradford throwing the football all cross-eyed, I'd include it. OU...A-Lot to 6.

Western Michigan (FSN PPV) @ Nebraska (14) - Interesting that the Huskers are only favored by 2 TDs here. WMU played Mizzou tough last year in Columbia, so a Big 12 venue probably won't be any big deal to them. Still, I'll take Nebraska in Bo Pelini's return. Nebraska...33-15.

North Texas @ Kansas State (24') - It'll be interesting to see how Todd Dodge's attack translates into its 2nd year in D1 football. KState didn't follow up Ron Prince's first year like they wanted...but I think he got an extension anyway. I think UNT can score some points here, but I think they'll give up alot too. KState...45-20.

Florida International @ #14 Kansas (36) - About the most interesting thing in this game is to see if Mark Mangino is any bigger than last year. And also to see if he wears one of those long-sleeve blue velvet jumpsuits again. As the kids say, those are ftw!!!!1!!1 Kansas...51-14.

#20 Illinois (ESPN) @ #6 Mizzou (8') - 8 and a hook is a huge number in this game, in my opinion. Illinois came back to make last year's game close, and they've got good speed and quickness, as does Mizzou. And I think this is still a neutral-site game played in St. Louis. I think Mizzou wins, but not by more than a TD. Mizzou...27-20.

#24 Alabama (ABC) @ #9 Clemson (5) - Seems like the Bowden cat at Clemson is always on the hot seat, which is weird to me, since they're usually pretty good AT LEAST...and the only national championship Clemson's won came in 1980, and they cheated to get that one. Still, they act like Knute Rockne actually crapped out the rock the players touch as they come into Death Valley. Still again, they match purple pants with orange jerseys, and it takes stones to do that. Clemson...24-17.

McNeese State @ North Carolina - Did you see where Iowa State is playing South Dakota State? UNC...48-10.


Colorado State (FSN) @ Colorado (11) - Wow...double-digit line in this game is unheard of. Either CSU got real bad over the off-season, or CU got really good. There's usually too much emotion for this one to get one-sided. Colorado...30-24.

Other interesting games:
App. State @ LSU - These 2 played in Baton Rouge in '06, LSU won 24-0.
#18 Tennessee (7) @ UCLA (ESPN-Monday) - I think UCLA pulls upset in Rick Neuheisel's debut.
Hawaii (Raycom) @ #5 Florida (35) - A year from the Sugar Bowl and having lost their coach, Hawaii comes to the mainland to open the year...and will likely get kicked in their chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. Speaking of, if anyone is in Hawaii...can you bring me some back? kthxbye.