Thursday, August 30, 2012

Week One, In No Particular Order

The Picks


Boise State @ Michigan State
Opening Odds:
Line - MSU -7.5                 O/U - 55

Why:
I have been a huge (it’s more casual, really, as I often exaggerate) Boise State supporter for many years (5 years). Like a thirsty bird, migrating from a warmer climate, their blue turf simultaneously confused and mesmerized me. Their 2007 upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl had me diving in head first. This is the last year Boise State needs to yell louder than other teams to be heard in the BCS crowd; becoming a bona fide member by joining the Big East in 2013. They start this season taking on the Spartans of Michigan State in enemy territory. Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing any team from any conference defeat any team in the Big Ten, or B1G or whatever they are these days. I will certainly be sporting my orange and blue mustang underwear tomorrow night when this game starts.

My bets:
All support aside, Michigan State has a stud OL and RB that will pound the ground like the B1G boys like to do. That, and no one overlooks Boise these days. Boise State covers the line, but loses the game.
Final Score:
BSU 35 – MSU 38


Minnesota @ UNLV
 Opening Odds:
Line – Minn -12                 O/U – 53

Why:
I will agree this matchup only intrigues the 30 or so fans each school’s football program has, but I still hold hope UNLV will one day muster at least a slightly respectable program in my adopted hometown. Supporting both the Cubs and Cyclones already I have no heartache to spare, so I wait patiently for the Rebels to get their act together before allowing them the privilege of becoming my second-string team.

My bets:
UNLV was not good last year. Minnesota was not good last year. This is a new year. The public is betting heavy on UNLV, but that is probably more of an indictment of the Golden Gophers than an endorsement of the Scarlet and Grey. I’m going to wait until the line gets down to around a touchdown, then, take Minnesota.

Final Score:
Minn 42 – UNLV 21


Tulsa @ Iowa State
 Opening Odds:
Line – Tulsa  -2                   O/U – 54

Why:
You should expect weekly Iowa State entries from me this year so get used to it and stop your bitching. You can probably also expect me to be wrong on these matchups, as I cannot separate the bias from fact. Fact is, right now, Iowa State is undefeated and in a tie for first in the Big XII. Yea, us!

Tulsa, however, is a very dangerous program from Conference USA and completely capable of beating the Cyclones if we are the same team that has resided in Ames during the last century. I believe we are different. I believe we are better. I believe coach Rhodes has been bequeathed to us by the God of College Football himself to spare us long suffering fans. This is the same belief I hold every year in August, but this year is different. I promise.

Last year, Tulsa had a more productive offense and statistically better defense than the we did in Ames. Iowa State, conversely, had two Quarterbacks whose game specific heroics hid a horrible stat line of inconsistency and poor decision making. If that situation has improved, which none of us will know until Saturday afternoon, then we will not be beaten. If it hasn’t, then I will quickly slump into my late September state of Cyclone acceptance and partial apathy.

Interesting side note: Tulsa and Las Vegas reside on the same Latitude line.

My bets:
This is the first of three matchups between Iowa State and a team from Oklahoma. Why a landlocked school, such as Tulsa, would have a mascot as silly as a Golden Hurricane is beyond me.

Final Score:
Tulsa 10 – ISU 42


Ohio @ Penn State
Opening Odds:
Line – PSU -15.5                O/U – 43

Why:
I’m not picking this game because of the scandal that occurred in Happy Valley this past off season. Nor, is it because Penn State has someone other than Joe Paterno haunting the sidelines for the first time since, what, 1900? I’m choosing it because the opening line had Penn State favored by 15 and a hook, and at the time I wrote this post (Tuesday), it was already down to 5.5 in some local books. For a 12 year local such as myself, that’s interesting. Apparently, everyone else is choosing this game for the same reasons I am not.

My bets:
I can’t imagine Penn State will be good for any time in the near future. Ohio wins, but I can’t guarantee a cover at this point. At this pace they may be a two touchdown favorite, come Saturday.

Final Score:
Ohio 21 – PSU 13


GOTW
Alabama vs. Michigan
Opening Odds:
Line – Alabama -11          O/U – 42

Why:
Wow, do I hate this game. It embodies everything I despise about college football: Michigan and Nick Saban. Throw in Cowboy Stadium, and we have the perfect storm of irritating television viewing in store for me Saturday evening. Fortunately, I should have enough BBQ and beer in me by this point of the day that I will be oblivious of what is transpiring in HD in front of me. My only hope is that crazy Jerry Jones/Papa John’s commercial is shown every television timeout. That will almost certainly clear room for more of my delicious pulled pork.

My bets:
Michigan has the experience, Alabama has the talent. They both have bloated coaches. I’m just glad the whole “not going to tie my shoes cause I’m so damn fast” fashion statement didn’t catch on like baggy pants did. God, I hate both teams so much…Screw it, Alabama wins but doesn’t cover.

Final Score
Mich 14 – Ala 17

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