Ask Papa Weimer: Week 13

Alright, you guys know the gig, e-mail me your questions and I’ll answer them. If I think any are worth sharing in that special kind of sharing way, I’ll post them up on the site in this question and answer section. For this week, I hope you enjoy the show…

Billy Hoyle from NoCal asks, “I know I could have probably looked it up, but that’s not as much fun. I’ve asked you lots of questions, and your answers have always been useful and entertaining – so, without further ado, can you please explain to me what the hell a Turdunkan is? “

WITHOUT looking it up, I will do my best to give you my version of a freakish Thanksgiving extravaganza that can only really be correctly described by someone crazy enough to be as successful and obviously inept as one John Madden. Here goes nothing Billy Hoyle. A Turdunkan is a mixture of three birds, but more of a lego creation than an actual mix. See, a Turdunkan consists of a Turkey, a Duck, and a Chicken – but not just pieces, all three birds mooshed together. Better yet, mooshed inside one another. You have the turkey on the outside, the chicken inside the turkey, and the duck inside the chicken – unless of course you get organic chicken, in which case you probably have to breast the duck to fit it in the chicken. There is stuffing in the Turkey and likely the chicken as well, and I’m sure the bird sauce combines to make one hell of a gravy starter – but all in all, this is a de-feathered fluster of bird that is bound to make you feel like you’re delivering a baby while preparing the damn thing. I’d eat one, but creating seems unlikely. I say do it all big guy, but deep fry them in a giant vat of oil. Not frozen thought, that creates bombs.

Jessi Harrison yells, “I HATE THE LIONS!!! Isn’t it time to throw this “tradition” under the freaking bus? Tell me one good reason the good public should be forced to watch these kittens play!”

Jessi, if you so insist – here’s 4 good reasons to watch that terrible team. Everyone should watch the Lions play on Sunday to further their respect for their own team. That’s right – if you think your team is struggling Seahawk fan, Rams fan, 49er, Texans fan, and even Raider fan (just barely), set your eyes on the Lions against the Titans and laugh it up, point and cackle, because after a good Lion game, you’ll feel like Matt Schaub and company are on the verge of Super Bowl stardom. How about History? That’s reason two. This team isn’t going to win a game. I don’t care what anybody says. It’s not likely to happen, why? They are the worst team in the NFL, by far. I know history suggests a win is on the way, but can history take into account the fact that almost every team is pretty solid, except the freaking Lions? No it can’t. History forgets that fact. The ghost of Barry Sanders. I don’t think anybody would admit to this, but until Barry takes over this team, or Barry releases his ghostly powers over the Lions organization, they are damned to failure. So follow him, and hate them as best you can. If those reasons aren’t enough, how about Calvin Johnson. Talk about a guy that has it all. Every team in the league knows who is getting the ball – but Calvin still gets it. Sure, he got screwed when the Lions took him #2, but he’s rich now, and gets to catch footballs for a nice living – don’t feel too bad for him.

Free NCAA Football Picks: Week 14

A little late this week, and I hope you can get on some of these games. My Week 13 follow up to my awesome Week 12 was not what I hoped it would be. In fact, it was down right piss. On to some better leads this time around. I hope your Turkey Day got you good like it got me. 

Washington State Cougars @ Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (-28): I know I said last week that the Warriors hadn’t beat anybody by more than 20 points, and thus they were a bad play, but I think they are the type of team that will slowly pound the Cougars into a 30 point hole. I like Hawaii to cover at home in this one. I know Hawaii is a great place to go when you call Pullman, Washington home this time of year – but I have a feeling this trip will be more about celebrating a win over the Husky’s than a well played game against Hawaii. 

Notre Dame “Fighting” Irish @ USC Trojans (-30): I don’t think the Trojans are as great as everyone else thinks they are, but they kill bad teams – lets be honest. They have 11 athletes on both sides of the ball that can take poor steps, get fooled, and still get back to make the play after a small gain. I wouldn’t be surprised if USC shuts out the Dame – in fact, I will be surprised if the Irish get anywhere close to an end zone offensively. 

Oregon Ducks @ Oregon State Beavers (-3): I like the Beave in this one. It may or may not be because my cousin was a professional Beaver for quite some time, and it may or may not be because he owns a fan bus that does work at every Beaver home game – but look at what we have here. A Beaver team that has crap stomped everyone at home, and the home team has won this battle in 9 of the last 10 seasons – and it was OSU that took the Ducks on the road last year. I know the injury issues, and I know the Beavers have more riding on this game than Oregon does, but I still like the Beave here. Plus their mascot is a freaking Beaver for God’s sake – that’s worth a look if nothing else. 

Oklahoma Sooners @ Oklahoma State Cowboys (+7.5): Really? More than a touchdown in this rivalry game? Both teams are very good, don’t be confused. I think people must be seeing Oklahoma’s beatdown of Texas Tech and immediately making the comparison and contrast and saying, “If Tech beat Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma destroyed Tech, then this game should be over before it starts.” That’s not how it works. Oklahoma is very good, but OK State is a lot different than the Raiders – and this game should be closer, especially on the road, and especially against a Cowboys team that has everything to win and nothing to lose. 

Auburn Tigers (+14.5) @ Alabama Crimson Tide: Too much going on in the helmet’s in Alabama to truly destroy the Tigers in this one. Alabama isn’t a destroyer type team – and I like this one to play closer. 

Houston Cougars @ Rice Owls (+3): I like the Owls to win outright, obviously. Both of these teams are home town hero type clubs, undefeated on their respective home fields, and both are offensive juggernauts. I like the home team to pull this one out. I’d say they are equal talent clubs with the home field advantage meaning a lot more than you’d think. 

Florida State @ Florida Gators (-16): I know it’d be cool to take the road team Seminoles here, and they have played much better lately, but I’m done betting against the Gators, even in this supposed “let down” game zone. The Gators haven’t had a game closer than 4 touchdowns since their loss to Mississippi. And they’ve beaten some big time programs. This team is FAST. 

Kansas Jayhawks (+16) @ Missouri Tigers: I like the Jayhawks to score enough against Missouri to cover this spread. Both of these offenses can put lots of points on the board, and while Missou’s offense is the better of the two, I’m not sure the Tigers are much better defensively. I like my chances of staying within a couple touchdowns. 

South Carolina Gamecocks (+1) @ Clemson Tigers: I know there hasn’t been much consistency from the Gamecocks, except this, they win most all of the games they are supposed to, and they beat the teams they are even with. Except maybe Vandy (and Vandy was pretty dang good before their whole team started to go down with injuries in mid-October) the Gamecocks have beaten everybody they are equal to or better than. That’s Clemson to a T. Clemson isn’t Florida or LSU or Georgia. Clemson is Arkansas and Tennessee and Mississippi. Clemson is the type of team South Carolina beats by two touchdowns. Even on the road, I like them here.

NFL Free Picks: Week 13

Week 12 consisted of my second push in as many weeks, and I’m just about plenty tired of that. I was 3-2 with my top picks of the week, but 8-8 overall still doesn’t cut it. I’m looking for a big Thanks Giving Thursday and then some momentum carrying me right into the weekend games. I have 4 home teams covering this week, is that bad? Nan. Every week is different – this is how I see ’em in Week 13. 

Thanks Giving Day Games

Tennessee Titans (-10.5) @ Detroit Lions: Together these teams are 10-12 on the season, but that hardly tells us anything. Ha. The Lions haven’t won a game against the spread at home this season. They play terrible in Detroit, and that makes sense, everyone in Detroit thinks they are a joke. And they are. But it has to be tough when your home crowd would rather laugh at you than root for you. The Titans have destroyed bad teams this year. They beat the Jaguars by 10, the Chiefs by 24, the Texans by 19, and the Bengals by 17. I know the Lions don’t want to be completely defeated by season’s end, but nothing about this game says “Lions Win!” to me. Look for Chris Johnson to outscore the Lions by at least 10 points. 

Seattle Seahawks (+13) @ Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys aren’t this good, and despite the Hawks 2 win record, they aren’t this bad. Sure, the Cowboys could win by a couple touchdowns, but 13 points is too many points for them to give. They only beat the 49ers by 13 last week, and there were too many bounces that went their way. Cowboy fan is definitely going to be sweating this one out. 

Arizona Cardinals (+3) @ Philadelphia Eagles: This one is actually very tough for me. Just letting you guys know, besides a few tweaks here and there, I basically pick teams based on what types of teams they are compared to what types of teams they struggle with. The Cardinals are a pass heavy team with a suspect rushing attack. They have a defense that can stop the run alright, but that generally struggles stopping the pass. The Eagles have a good defense, and a very talented secondary. From what I see, the Cardinals have yet to beat a team with a good secondary so far this season. But I’m still taking the Cardinals. I think they are even with the Eagles, as far as team strength goes, but Philly is in shambles a little bit, and that’s never seemed to work for Donovan or the rest of the National bird. Going against my own flow here, that’s not always a good thing, so be careful with this one. 

Sunday Games 

San Francisco 49ers (+7.5) @ Buffalo Bills: As a big favorite (4 or greater), the Bills are 1-3 ATS. They have lost two of those games outright and while they have won by a more than a touchdown four times this season, they haven’t played their best ball at home. The 49ers have to travel a long way to play the Bills earl in the day, and that generally isn’t a good thing, but the Niners are tougher than people think, that’s obvious to me when watching them play. They lost by 13 to the Cowboys, but that game score should have been closer. All the Niners have to do is limit the big plays (something that’s fairly easy against the Bills) and they’ll have a nice chance to pull the upset in this game. SF has played well of late, look at what they’ve done and it’s hard to argue with that. They’ve been in most of their games this year, and with Mike Singletary at the helm, they are taking less chances and playing better football. I like the 49ers to cover here. 

Baltimore Ravens (-7) @ Cincinnati Bengals: In the 9 games Cincinnati has lost, they’ve lost by 7 points or more (mostly more) eight different times. They have one win, against a listless Jacksonville group. They have really struggled against teams (almost every team) that can run the ball and play some defense. Just about everyone is on the Ravens here, and while that’s not usually a good thing, it’s also not a reason to go against your gut. That’s right folks, sometimes the book is wrong. So, while the “sharp” money won’t be on Baltimore here, my heat seeking money definitely will be. 

Indianapolis Colts (-4.5) @ Cleveland Browns: This game I’m not so sure of. I’m not impressed with the Colts, I can’t make that any more clear. However, they are playing the Browns. A Browns team that will be under a new coach and possibly a new GM as soon as the season commences. The Colts are still fighting for their playoff lives, properly stacked amongst the 7-4 wild card hopefuls heading into Week 13. About 84% of the public likes the Colts here. There’s that. Indy has won 4 straight, and probably should have won just one of those games. Maybe two. They’ve basically played with fire in every single win except their drubbing of Baltimore in early October. Also, I think they should have lost last week, but they won. That’s usually and auto pick against for me. But the Browns? Not this time folks, I have to take the Colts on the road. And I’ll be praying for Bob Sanders’ health to come in and make this one gold to me. 

Carolina Panthers (+3) @ Green Bay Packers: There are some contrasting reports from me on this game, so proceed with caution. The Panthers should have 1 ATS road win this year. As it stands, they got some lucky points and covered in Oakland by a point, and have 2 so far this season. They got slapped around last week in Atlanta, the first time they’ve lost to a team with a suspect run defense. But the Falcons are magic, so how can I run away from my Panther hypothesis based on that one game? The Packers have dominated in each of their last home games, and that says a lot because they’ve done it against the Bears and Colts. In those two games they won by a combined 71-17 margin. The Panthers haven’t played “good” football since ousting Arizona just before Halloween. They were terrible in a win over Oakland, mediocre-bad in a win over Detroit, and they lost by 17 to Atlanta last week. That being said, anybody can run on Green Bay. The Panthers aren’t just anybody, they are the league’s #6 rushing offense. A team that has (for the most part) shellacked defenses that can’t stop the run. The Packers need this though. They really need it and it’s at home and the Panthers haven’t been playing well. Tough one. I’m taking the Panthers with a field goal on their side, but I’m also advising that you don’t play this one. Good luck. 

Denver Broncos (+9) @ New York Jets: The Jets have struggled with team that prefer the pass over the run – Kansas City, Arizona (they beat Arizona by 21, but they also gave up a million yards), San Diego, and New England (both times) – these were close games. The Jets have been favored by 9 or more just three times this season, they’ve covered two of the three. I also think the Jets and Brett are up for a let down game after ousting the Patriots two weeks ago and stinging the undefeated Titans by 21 points last week. The Broncos are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Raiders. But I think they give the Jets trouble in Week 13. Jay Cutler is bound to play better after his terrible outing at home last week, and the Broncos have played better on the road than at home this season. 9 points is a lot, especially when one team is coming off their lowest low of the season and the other is coming off their highest high. The only play here is Denver. 

Miami Dolphins @ St. Louis Rams: There’s no line for this game as of Wednesday morning. I honestly don’t see what they are waiting for, because like the Rams, I don’t see much difference between Marc Bulger and Trent Green. Steven Jackson? Is he going to make them better? Orlando Pace? Sure, he’ll help – but a line should be up soon. I’ll tell you this, the Dolphins are a good team to bet against when they are favored. They are 1-3 ATS when favored this season, and that one win was when they were favored by a point at home against Buffalo. But aside from their Week 2 loss to Arizona, the Dolphins have fought hard on the road and are 2-2 there this season. The spread definitely is important, but the Rams are BAD. I’ll try to get back to this after Thanks Giving. 

New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5): The Bucs are 5-0 at home this season, and they haven’t all been crappy teams like Seattle. The Bucs beat Atlanta, Green Bay, Carolina and Minnesota at home – and Seattle of course. Drew Brees went off for 343 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Buccaneers in a 4 point win back in Week 1, but I like a split when two division foes go at it, and a home and home split looks about right. In 5 of the last 6 games, the home team has won this match-up. The Saints aren’t very good and everybody thinks they are, so I also have that on my side. 

New York Giants (-3) @ Washington Redskins: The Redskins haven’t played a good game since they beat the Eagles on the 5th of October. They barely beat the Seahawks (failing to cover by a half point, I must add), lost by 4 at home to Dallas, got smashed by Pittsburgh, beat Detroit in a close game by 8, beat Cleveland at home by a field goal, and lost to St. Louis. Right? Nothing too impressive there. Also, nobody can run against the Giants and Jason Campbell hasn’t been as efficient when that’s the case. (Check the Pittsburgh game). Washington hasn’t been great at home, and the Giants are just very good. I think this one is easy, unfortunately, so does everyone else. Oh well. 

Atlanta Falcons @ San Diego Chargers (-4.5): The Chargers are a good team. They haven’t played like it much this year, but they are good. Look at the talent on that squad. Not only that, but they often start out poorly only to finish strong. They’ll need to now that they are at 4-7. They also have played solid football over the last couple weeks, and with some better coaching decisions they probably would have won one of, if not both of those games. The Falcons have played out of their minds this year, and I haven’t benefitted all that much from their success, but I don’t see them winning this one. The Chargers run defense has been better, and their corners will make some plays on any rookie mistakes Matt Ryan makes. I’ll take San Diego here. 

Pittsburgh Steelers (+1.5) @ New England Patriots: I know the Steelers have trouble with opponents that can really throw the ball (ala Matt Cassel and the Pats- as amazing as that is) – Peyton Manning and the Colts, his baby brother’s Giants, and the Eagles all took games from Pittsburgh, and all are usually pass-happy groups. But the Steelers are good. Their defense is legit. Because of that, and their grind it out style, they are one of the best road teams in teh league. Matt and the Patriots have been very good offensively recently, but I think the Steelers will slow them down. I don’t think the Pats defense can hold Pittsburgh under 24 points, and I don’t see Pittsburgh giving up more than a couple touchdowns. If you add those two things together, and I inevitably do, you have to be on the Steelers here. 

Kansas City Chiefs (+3) @ Oakland Raiders: The Chiefs even the season series with the Raiders – that’s my bet. They can throw the ball well, and run it with Larry if they feel so inclined. Tyler Thigpen is a legit force through the air, and he moves pretty well with his feet also. The Raiders had one of their best games of the season, no, they did have their best game of the season last week. The chances they do something like that for two weeks in a row are just too low to accept. The Chiefs have lots of little bumps and bruises, but most of their key players should be starting in Oakland. I like KC to dominate in Oakland, winning by a couple touchdowns. That field goal extra is just a nice little just in case bonus. 

Chicago Bears (+3.5) @ Minnesota Vikings: Kyle Orton is enough to get me on the Bears side here. He just wins games. That’s all. Is that enough for me? You bet. Pass the ball to Matt Forte instead of handing it to him, and these Bears will jump to the top of the NFC North all by themselves. 

Monday Night Game

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans (-3): Oh come one, the Texans are better than the Jaguars. Houston has always been a solid home team, and even this year they are 3-2 at home in Texas. The Jaguars are lost, they are having team issues on and off the field, they are a complete disappointment after many people thought they’d compete for an AFC title. The Texans can throw the ball well, and Steve Slaton was an absolute steal in the draft, he runs exactly how this zone scheme needs. I like the Texans by 10 at home.

theRUNDOWN: Week 13

For those of you new to theRUNDOWN this is what I do. I pick my best team of the week, some nice plays with a few reasons to back up my picks. I’ll list a few sleepers and some guys I wouldn’t play for hopes of a better options – This is my lucky Week 13 extravaganza! Enjoy!

QB: Tony Romo vs. Seattle: I think the Hawks secondary is pretty soft, and I’m willing to bet that Tony throws the ball a lot. The Defensive front in Seattle is solid against the run, (well they were before Clinton Portis gashed them) so Dallas will be attacking through the air. Even dump downs to Marion Barber should be good for Tony. I like this pick a lot.

RB: Chris Johnson vs. Detroit: I know this rookie burner has fizzled out a little bit lately, but after LenDale White’s comments after last Sunday’s game, I don’t expect Chris to get anything less than almost every single carry again. Chris should be back on top of the running back lists this week against Detroit.

RB: Steve Slaton vs. Jacksonville: Steve should dominate the Jaguars pathetic run defense – now get this guy the ball in the air attack you play calling Texan donkeys!

FLEX: Thomas Jones vs. Denver: If he gets the ball 25 times, I’m willing to suggest 150 yards and at least 2 touchdowns. The Broncos are bad. The Raiders think the Broncos suck.

WR: Reggie Wayne vs. Cleveland: Reggie hasn’t been too impressive this season, therefor I’ll be attaching my fantasy hopes to his back this week. He’s too good to not blow up – ala TO last week.

WR: Brandon Marshall vs. New York Jets: I know this seems like a tough match-up, especially when Marshall hasn’t been in the end zone in what seems like forever – but the Broncos are nothing if not surprising, and thus I’ll go with Brandon this week.

TE: Antonio Gates vs. Atlanta: Antonio is bound for a good week in a game where the Chargers will have to score lots of points if they want to win.

K: Rod Bironas vs. Detroit: If the Titans kick 4 field goals then they basically auto-win this game. I think Rod will have 3-4 chances, and he’s basically a guarantee.

D: Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati: The Ravens look to make lots of big plays against the Bengals – I look to benefit.


Tyler Thigpen: I like this kid. And he’ll be here until otherwise posted.

Kyle Orton: He’ll need to do some good things for the Bears against the Vikings – they’ll need to throw the rock against that defense – Kyle is good, so I think he’ll have a nice day doing so.

Warrick Dunn: I know the Saints have had a better run defense this season, but Dunn is still a nice start for the last week of the regular fantasy season.

Ronnie Brown: He’s been anything but a good starter for most of the season, but I’m willing to put my name on the line saying he’ll be better this week.

Kevin Walter: I know Sage likes to throw to his buddy Kevin, and I know Jacksonville’s secondary is sieved like. Add those things together and Kevin is a nice start this week.

Domenick Hixon: What can I say? I like this kid and think he has a shot to do some good things against the Redskins secondary.

Devin Hester: He didn’t have a great game against the Vikings last time out, but I think Devin will do good things against the Vikings this time around.

Zach Miller: He’s still a Raider, but JaMarcus Russell completed just one pass to a WR last week, and that shows you where his comfort zone is. It starts in the middle with this big sure-handed cat.

Miami Dolphins: They play the Rams. The Rams are a turnover machine. The Rams really stink. I’ll take the Dolphins to dominate defensively.

Papa’S Week 13 Splinter-Butts (bench him, son)

Kerry Collins: He may look like a good spot start this week against the Lions – I just don’t buy it. The Titans will be running the ball, and Kerry will go back to the beginning of the season numbers where he had 3 TDs and 3 picks in the first 7 or 8 games. If he doesn’t have to throw, the Titans won’t make him do it.

Timothy Hightower: If you haven’t learned to keep this guy out of your starting lineup – then you never will.

Clinton Portis: I’m going out on a limb here, but I don’t think the Giants will allow Clinton to do anything on the ground – they are too smart to allow that.

Lee Evans: I have a feeling that Nate Clements plays pissed off after getting big brothered by TO all day Sunday – that is bad news for Lee Evans owners.

Ten for Tuesday

Here’s a little review of some amazing things that happened this weekend, things that I would like to bring to everyone’s attention. 

1. The Oakland freaking Raiders absolutely lambasted the Denver Broncos. Yes folks, everyone’s favorite young quarterback, Jay Cutler, couldn’t do anything right, throwing into double coverage early and often, and paying the price. Even more amazingly, the Raiders only forced JaMarcus Russell into one incomplete pass – one. How pathetic is that? Ever more so, I think that was an intentional throw away. If Denver’s defense was any worse I would get them confused with a combination of the WSU Cougars and UW Huskies. Gross. 

2. Don’t look now but the Falcons don’t seem all that interested in getting carried away with their redemption song and losing their way out of the playoffs down the stretch. They won again at home, and took out a pretty good Panther team that has dominated in games where they have run the ball well. They ran well on Sunday, and they passed alright too, but Michael Turner did dirty work and erupted for 4 touchdowns. Is anybody still questioning this guy? And who thinks Atlanta made the right move by taking Matt Ryan over Glenn Dorsey? Yes, I must admit, I didn’t think that was a very good decision and I was DEAD Wrong about that one. That’s the 3rd time I’ve been wrong in the last 9 years. 

3. Donovan McNabb got benched. We’ll see how that works out. He’s back in action for Week 13, but a guy that has never done all that well with his teammates not believing in him should have trouble, even against the Cardinals secondary. We’ll see – I hope not, but that offense is a joke these days, and Donovan is getting throw right under the bus for Andy Reid’s shortcomings. 

4. Braylon Edwards dropped three more passes. Ahem, when is this trend going to stop?

5. After coming up just short on 3rd down Sunday Night, the Chargers inserted their collective head right in their own tail pipe and called an immediate timeout to think about their next move. Nice work fellas. Whoever was responsible for that timeout should immediately get in-game clock management decisions taken away from him. Instead of leaving the Colts a minute left with the game tied, Peyton and company get 1:30. As it turned out the Colts drive down and get a 51 yard field goal to win the game. How much do you think 30 extra seconds helped them? Well, it was 4th and 1 for the Colts with 26 seconds left, so… Well, I know you can’t assume the Colts wouldn’t have gotten further – but in those precious 30 seconds, the Colts went from the 48 to the 33 and spiked the ball with 2 seconds left. Nobody said anything – well I”M SAYING SOMETHING NOW – What a dumb call Norv, or whoever did it. 

6. The Lions were up 17-0. I was never worried about covering, and even less worried about Warrick Dunn having a big day. Oh the Lions are bad folks, B – A – D. I really think they don’t win a game this year – I know that doesn’t happen, but who are they going to beat?

7. Drew Brees just toys with opposing defenses. Watching him throw perfect bull’s eye darts to his guys running delayed crossing patterns is really a treat. And he’s having an amazing year and on pace to break Dan Marino’s yardage records. However, please recognize Kurt Old Man Wife Look Alike Warner – that guy has been just as amazing. He’s only 68 yards behind Drew, and I think he’s been more consistent. He’s also doing it in Arizona. Do work Kurt! 

8. Matt Cassel made last week look a lot less like a fluke. He threw for over 400 yards again, leading the Patriots past the Dolphins. Is this guy getting paid next year or what? And does he become a nice sleeper keeper in dynasty leagues? I think there’s a good chance of that. Crazy how a year can change a player’s value – just like that he went from everyone saying he should get cut, to everyone’s new favorite QB free agent. Philly, Seattle, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Detroit, St. Louis, Tennessee?, San Francisco, seems like there might be some suiters. 

9. Clinton Portis is a beast – and he’s been pretty damn good all season long, but this Adrian Peterson guy looks destined for the league lead in rushing yards. Portis is up right around 25 yards right now, but the Vikings main man seems to be getting stronger as the season goes forward, and that’s bad news for teams going into Minnesota for the rest of the season.  

10. Those experts that thought Mike Turner was the real deal – you guys are smart. The kid can really run with power, vision, and patience. He’s a bowling ball with lots of speed, and he’ll only get better as the team continues to build around their young talent. And by the way, he’s basically locked up a fantasy lead over the guy he backed up for the last 4 years. (Pat on my own back, basically)

NCAA Free Picks REVIEW: Week 13


Well, 5-12 isn’t as good as 14-5, that’s for sure, but that still leaves me 2 games over .500 in the last two weeks. College football can sure have some tough bounces, no question about that. There’s only a couple more weeks left for a chance at redemption from this terrible time I had in Week 13 – we’ll see if I can’t bust it up next time around. Here’s a list of the game I played with wins or losses listed on the side. 

West Virginia Mountaineers @ Louisville Cardinals (+7): (Loss) 

Army (+19) @ Rugters: (Loss) 

North Carolina State @ North Carolina (-10.5): (Loss)

Clemson @ Virginia (+3): (Loss)

Tennessee @ Vanderbilt (-3): (Loss)

Florida Atlantic @ Arkansas State (-4): (WINNER)

Stanford @ California (-9): (WINNER)

Boston College @ Wake Forest (-2): (Loss)

Louisiana Tech (-6) @ New Mexico State: (Loss)

Idaho (+23.5) @ Hawaii: (Loss)

Illinois Fighting Illini @ Northwestern Wildcats (+2.5): (Winner)

Florida State Seminoles @ Maryland Terrapins (-1): (Loss)

BYU Cougars @ Utah Utes (-6.5): (Winner)

Washington (-7.5) @ Washington State: (Loss)

Texas Tech Red Raiders (+6) @ Oklahoma Sooners: (Loss)

Iowa Hawkeyes (-6) @ Minnesota Golden Gophers: (Winner)

Mississippi @ LSU (-5): (Loss)

Free NFL Picks REVIEW: Week 12

The second week in a row resulting in a vig enforced slap in the face. Still, I can’t be that sad, the number of losing weeks so far this season are few and far between. Still, this is the second week in a row with 8 wins and 8 losses as I’m basically pushing my bike down the street. This is how the week went down. 

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-10): (WINNER) This game was actually pretty close, but kudos to the Steelers for working hard to cover the spread. It seemed like the refs were all over the Bengals, taking the underdog in the Pitt game for the second straight week – but Tomlin was ready to fight to the end this time around, and fight the Steelers did. It was nice to start off the week with a W. 

New York Jets @ Tennessee Titans (-4.5): (Loss) Alright, so the Titans got smacked around a little bit by the Jets, but people can stop saying that the Jets are the best team in football because they beat the undefeated Titans. Joke. That’s not how sports work, the only time that really matters is in single elimination post season play or in college football when a top 2 ranking is on the line. In the NFL regular season, anybody can beat anyone else any given week – see Cleveland stomping the Giants earlier this season. The Jets win, and I lose, that’s what matters here I guess. 

New England Patriots (+2.5) @ Miami Dolphins: (WINNER) I didn’t see a Dolphins sweep of the Patriots, and reasonably so. This game was closer than the final score, but no matter how close the game was, it seemed like Matt Cassel was doing anything he wanted to do, and the Pats were in control of this contest. Amazing how the weeks have changed, and how Matt’s new salary next season keeps going up and up. 

Chicago Bears (-7.5) St. Louis Rams: (WINNER) Matt Forte had his hands all over this win – he tormented the Rams, a team that can’t tackle and can’t block – oh, and can’t seem to put anything together to get open anywhere. They are bad, and the Bears smacked around a bad team on Sunday. 

Houston Texans (+3) @ Cleveland Browns: (WINNER) Sage didn’t throw for 350, but he had a nice game against a week Browns secondary. But the real deal was Cleveland’s offense that so closely resembled a hobbled and anemic pigeon. Looking for something, anything, and just hobbling around aimlessly while doing so. Somebody tell the Browns that Kellen Winslow is their best receiving option. New coaching staff in Cleveland next season – that’s a guarantee. 

San Francisco 49ers (+12) @ Dallas Cowboys: (Loss – barely) And everything went the Cowboys way in this one – every single stinking thing. The Niners had turnovers and close plays fall to the side, everything went against them, and they didn’t cover by a point. Ridiculous. I’m taking the loss, but I was definitely on the right side in this game. If the 49ers convert one of their early 1st and goals then I cover with ease. Those bastards! 

Buffalo Bills (-3) @ Kansas City Chiefs: (WINNER) THe Bills made easy work of the Chiefs and they did it by turning Trent Edwards into Vince Young. Nice work. KC really struggles defensively and the Bills needed this win. All those things were obvious on Sunday.  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8) Detroit Lions: (WINNER) The Bucs tried to bring out the chest pain, but believe it or not, I still had a lot of hope when I was down 17-0 in this game. I even said to my buddy, “Call me crazy, but I still have Tampa winning by two touchdowns if you want to make that side bet?” He didn’t accept, and rightfully so, because the Bucs came back to even further embarrass the pathetic Lions. 

Philadelphia Eagles (+2) @ Baltimore Ravens: (LOSS) “There’s a lot about Baltimore I like here. Their toughness. The fact that they played their worst game of the year last week. Lots of things. But,” Damn the but, and that’s about where I took it on this one. I felt alright down 3 with McNabb playing his worst half of the season, figuring he’d turn it around in the second half, but I knew I was in deep when Kevin Kolb came out on the field. I hate watching the Eagles. I lost this one big time.

Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: (WINNER) “When teams force the Jaguars to throw, the Jaguars don’t win.” Write that down somewhere and save it for a rainy day. 

Carolina Panthers (+1.5) @ Atlanta Falcons: (Loss) The Falcons continue to impress me. The Panthers actually ran the ball pretty well, but Atlanta was having none of it, and continued their elite play while at home this season. This Falcons team might be very good for a very long time. 

Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos (-9): (Loss) I hate the Broncos more than I hate the Eagles, Seahawks, and Raiders (combined). How this talented team gets smoked by the freaking Raiders, in Denver, in a rivalry game, is absolutely beyond me. What a joke. I definitely was wrong about this one. 

Washington Redskins (-3.5) @ Seattle Seahawks: (Loss) Another loss by a point or less. Thanks Seattle for getting that 4th quarter score. I wonder if Seattle will get back to being good when Holmgren leaves? I know this, there’s no way they’ll be as soft as they are now. Still, the Redskins couldn’t pull out a cover for me in Seattle – that half point was the end of me. 

New York Giants (-3) @ Arizona Cardinals: (WINNER) The Giants are really good. Arizona was close in this one. It was a very good game. But the Giants have it defensively where the Cardinals don’t, and that’s a big deal. 

Indianapolis Colts @ San Diego Chargers (-2.5): (loss)  The Chargers played like absolute pusses late in this game, and the Colts took advantage of a dumb timeout call that nobody talked about on the Sunday Night broadcast. With 1:30 left on the clock, after coming up just short on 3rd down, the Chargers call an immediate timeout to think about their decision. Nice – save Peyton Manning and company 30 seconds. That’s always a brilliant idea. The Chargers lose by a field goal, and my overtime chances of a win went right down the drain. Brilliant. 

Green Bay Packers (+3) @ New Orleans Saints: (Loss) The Saints continue to hit me where it counts. I’m pretty sure they check to see if I’m taking them or not, and they play accordingly (opposite of course). This game was close in the first half, but then Drew Brees played like Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers played like Ryan Leaf – it was tough sledding after half time.

NCAA DirecTV ESPN GamePlan: Week 13

Here are my picks from DirecTV’s college football schedule on Saturday, November 22, 2008. 

West Virginia Mountaineers @ Louisville Cardinals (+7): The Cardinals have lost 3 straight games, including a disturbing loss to the Syracuse Orange. But the played well most recently against Cincinnati, and this game is at home where they have played solid football historically. But really, why I’m taking the Cardinals, is because this is the Big East and I don’t think the Cards have a chance. That’s right. Since this is the Big East, you always go exactly opposite of what you expect to happen. Nothing would surprise me in this game. 

Army (+19) @ Rugters: Army has played better of late and though Rutgers has reeled off 4 straight wins against respectable competition (except Syracuse), I expect this game to be close. Army has played solid defense down the stretch, and come close to some solid teams, losing by just 3 at Buffalo and losing by 9 to Air Force. I’ll take the Knights. 

North Carolina State @ North Carolina (-10.5): The Tar Heels are very good at home, and the Wolfpack isn’t good on the road. I know this is an instate game, but I don’t see it being close. I’ll take the Heels. 

Clemson @ Virginia (+3): Clemson is still getting their preseason Top 10 lines and Virginia isn’t getting any respect for their turnaround. I know they’ve lost each of their last two games, but I have a feeling the Cavs come back and beat a Clemson team that has disappointed all season long. 

Tennessee @ Vanderbilt (-3): It’s true, the Commodores usually lose at home to good conference teams, but Tennessee isn’t that anymore. With the Vols having gained Bowl eligibility last week, I think they’ll play with a renewed sense of confidence. They got over the hump and don’t have that one thing to worry about anymore. Vandy should stomp the Vols. 

Florida Atlantic @ Arkansas State (-4): Arkansas State runs an efficient offense without many mistakes. For that, I like them over Florida Atlantic. The Indians have lost three straight while FAU has won 4 straight, but this is the game that turns the streak around. 

Stanford @ California (-9): Cal usually isn’t good toward the end of the season, but I can’t imagine them playing poorly at home against the Cardinal. They’ve lost two straight, but @ USC and @ Oregon State aren’t really games they should have won anyway, and both were closer than the final score. I expect the Bears to continue their undefeated home play, while the Cardinal continue to struggle on the road. 

Boston College @ Wake Forest (-2): I have to follow my rule here, take any unranked team favored over a ranked opponent. This is borderline because BC is ranked 25th, but the Demon Deacons have played really well at home (aside from a loss to Navy) and should right the Boston College ship. Ha. That’s right, the Eagles have been playing above themselves the last few weeks – that won’t continue at Wake. 

Louisiana Tech (-6) @ New Mexico State: Louisiana Tech is just that much better than New Mexico State… The Aggies haven’t been good at home, and L-Tech hasn’t been terrible on the road. This is the only play here. 

Idaho (+23.5) @ Hawaii: I hate betting on Idaho, but they are the play that makes sense here. This isn’t June Jones’ Hawaii team here, these Rainbow Warriors haven’t won a single game by 20 points or more. That’s an auto play on the Vandals in this one – as bad as they are.

One for Wednesday

Rules: This isn’t about fantasy football, so if that’s all you’re in for today, feel free to stop reading now and go out and pick up Tyler Thigpen if he’s still available. This is about how absolutely ridiculous this weekend was in the NFL. First of all, it’s absolutely ridiculous for NFL players not to know the rules of the game they play. You see it every single damn weekend, so believe me when I tell you Donovan McNabb isn’t the first. 

McNabb didn’t know that football games ended after the first overtime, and that’s that. Does it effect the way he plays? No – so honestly, as ridiculous as that is, it’s not as bad as the guys on punt coverage that screw up regularly. This weekend, not sure which game, but I watched it happen with my own eyes, a team punted late in the game. They were up and at this point in the game, every second mattered, so they should be trying to let the clock run. With the ball still rolling, the punting team’s player grabbed the ball. He left about 6 seconds on the clock, because the ball would have rolled and the clock would have done the same. That’s a bigger rule blunder than Donovan’s, I promise. 

But that’s the players, and I understand it’s ridiculous, but it isn’t even close to as ridiculous as referees replaying a call and screwing up a rule to disqualify a touchdown. That’s absurd. Referees have one job, know the rules and enforce them. Everybody that’s ever loved football knows that an illegal forward pass isn’t a dead ball foul, and therefore whatever happens after that play is fair game. If a whistle isn’t blown to stop the play, the non-penalized team can do what they want and then choose between the penalty or the outcome of the play. That’s it. I’m a football coach, and I’ve played some ball in my day, so I probably know the rules better than the average fan, but I shouldn’t know them better than any single man paid to officiate at the pro football level. It’s a joke. 

In the blink of an eye, during play, I can understand a bad call, a misjudgment, a quick mistake – but I can’t even begin to justify a replay of a touchdown that results in no touchdown because a referee doesn’t know the rule. Especially a non-dead ball foul rule like that. It’s as if he went into the booth, made something up, and ruined fantasy games and gambling wagers alike. What a damn idiot.