Friday, September 7, 2012

Plagiarism, Predictions and More - Its Week 2!!

After a sluggish start to the opening weekend (I’m staring daggers at you Georgia and NC State), things returned to normal as Alabama proved they are again a force to be reckoned with, disposing of a somewhat talented mid-level FCS school on primetime national television. 

I do have to admit that it’s rather enjoyable to hear our dear moderator talk about the gold and navy blue like they are something more than a team with regional appeal. It must be nice to live in the dark like that – unfortunately here in the SEC where the teams are, you know, actually great (as opposed to the Wolverines who are unstoppable until they face Appalachian State or an SEC team), the bright and shiny crystal that the conference has racked up over the past 75 years makes that impossible. The glow, glimmer and shimmer is just too overwhelming. I’m squinting just thinking about it.

Your humble correspondent did want to mention that he was touched by NV Nole's shamelessly plagiarizing yours truly as he noted his mistake in doubting Coach Saban when he has extra time to prepare (here’s what I said last year - scroll to the "Sweatpants Verdict" section) And while I realize that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I’m assuming my royalty check is in the mail. 

Anyway, let’s get to this week’s games, this week’s picks, and this week’s redemption for yours truly, the most handsome, trusted, and eloquent scribe in our little slice of internet heaven.

Illinois/Arizona State (-3.5)
I don’t know what it was about this game and this line but it just jumped out at me. Arizona State is at home (where the temperature will be somewhere between hot as hell and “we’re on the sun”), the Fighting Illini have a hobbled starting QB (N Scheelhaase) and love him or hate him (most would say the latter), Todd Graham is an offensive guru who will make things happen out in the desert. Illinois might keep it close for a while but the desert heat, the long trip for Illinois, the late start, the bad karma that continues to haunt Illinois as a result of getting rid of Chief Illiniwek, and the fact that Wes from Real World Austin (as well as multiple editions of “The Challenge”) attended none other than renowned party school, ASU, means they’ll be rocking all night in the desert. Arizona State wins 28-17.

Miami/Kansas State (-7)
In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t like Bill Snyder. He strikes me as a grumpy old man. With respect to the game, although Stephen Morris looks like he should be a great quarterback, but he doesn’t play like one. Meanwhile, Collin Klein is as ugly as it gets at quarterback but the one thing he does, is win. He’s like Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now…”smells like victory.” I don’t know how he does it, but he gets it done. The next thing you know there’s a “W” next to K State when the game ends. I know Miami took care of BC last week but BC is horrible. And I’m not sold on Al Golden – yes he turned Temple around but a low level FBS team with no expectations is much different than an pseudo-upper level FBS team that still fondly remembers when they mattered, back in 1985 (maybe they can all fit in the time machine with Doc and Marty and generate 1.21 gigawatts of electricity). And trust me, I lived in the Miami-Dade area for over a year – people still love the U. You know, except for anyone with a brain, who realizes it’s a crummy school with limited redeeming qualities and a stupid duck as a mascot. So, as much as it pains me, I don’t see “The Professor” (yep, I’m calling old man Snyder “The Professor”) losing to the ‘Canes in the Little Apple. Klein and K State win ugly and cover 24-10.

Michigan State/Central Michigan (+21)
After watching Sparty struggle last week against Boise State (seriously, is anyone a BSU fan, except for the 12 people who farm potatoes in Idaho?) I think they come out swinging this week. I can easily see Bell going off (again) except this time he’s rushing against an inferior defense so 3 yard gains last week are more like 20 yard gains this week. Likewise, Maxwell grew up last week and the soft coverage he’ll see this week will make his eyes light up. And while I’d normally be hesitant to give so many points on the road, the game isn’t far from the Michigan State campus (about an hour and 20 minutes based on the speaker of truth, aka Google maps) and the MSU defense is seriously stout. Meanwhile Central Michigan is trying to get things rebuilt under former Spartan QB Dan Enos. To paraphrase Bill Murray, they have that going for them, which is nice. Sadly, they have nothing else. Look for Sparty to take out their frustration on a much less talented team and tune up for next week by rolling 44-7.
Washington/LSU (-23.5)
A lot of people seem to think Keith Price has a shot to put up some good numbers against LSU and move the ball against the Tiger D. Honestly when I hear that, I’m not really sure what to say or do – should I laugh at them like they’re Drake trying to pimp the gold and navy blue? Should I scold them for their ignorance? Or, should I say nothing, let them take Washington and laugh all the way to the bank? Yeah, let’s go with that.

The Huskies lost a key offensive linemen last week, Chris Polk, who is nowhere to be found (so their running game is MIA) and they’re pinning their hopes on the passing game. Hmm, why does that seem like a questionable idea? I’ll give you a few reasons - Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery and many others on the D Line, that they’ll be upset that they didn’t register a single sack against North Texas, their irritation that the Mean Green put up 14 points, the back seven hearing all week how Price is going to take advantage of them and that overall the defense is being questioned. Somehow people seem to be forgetting that Washington can’t run the ball so they’ll be one dimensional. LSU will take advantage of the re-configured Huskies offensive line and Price will be running for his life. And, we haven’t even gotten to the fact that LSU will pound the ball down Washington’s throat with a dominant offensive line. Add to that the crazy atmosphere in the great state of LA on Saturday night and the X Factor, Zach Mettenberger (who will be unleashed) and you have the makings of a blow-out. Much like Alabama effortlessly took care of an FCS opponent last week, LSU dismantles a similarly overmatched squad, 45-7. 

Florida/TAMU (-1)
It’s nice to see that my fellow bloggers came to their senses this week and nominated an SEC conference game as the GOTW (shouldn’t that just be how it is every week – an SEC game is the GOTW and then there’s a bunch of lesser games?) That said, I’ve read various reports about how the Florida D is going to shut down AM, how it hurt AM that they didn’t have a “tune up” prior to playing, and even that since UF has settled on their QB their offense will “settle down.” And all of that may be true, but I’m not buying it. I watched UF struggle last week and they struggled because they aren’t that good. Their D is overrated. Their offense is reminiscent of the Charlie Weis area (too soon Gator fans?). I’m going against the “experts” (and my fellow bloggers) but I see Sumlin and the 12th man getting it done in their SEC opener. AM wins on a field goal late (and covers, barely) 23-21.

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