Game Time: Sure Thing...Betting The Opposite Of The Village Idiot
If you're keeping track, you know that I've been sucking on my football picks since I started posting here at Hair Balls. My sincere hope is that all of you are doing the smart thing and running to the pay window with picks the exact opposite of mine, and laughing gleefully while doing so. I deserve it.
That said, I performed fairly admirably in my college football awards show predictions. To recap:
Ones I got right: Bednarik (top defensive player): Ndamuking Suh; Groza (top kicker): Kai Forbath; Maxwell (top player): Colt McCoy; O'Brien (top QB): McCoy; Outland (top interior lineman): Suh and Walker (top RB): Toby Gerhart.
Ones I got wrong: Biletnikoff (top WR): Golden Tate over my pick of Jordan Shipley; Guy (top punter): Drew Butler over Chas Henry; Thorpe (top DB): Eric Berry over Earl Thomas
So six right, three wrong, and if I had just followed my Notre Dame bias on the Biletnikoff Award, I'd have been 7-2. Damn.
Overall, the awards show was rather enjoyable. A lot of people find the skits involving Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy to be very uncomfortable because they're being asked to do something other than throw a football or quote scripture. Me, I find the train-wreck qualities of those segments to be delightfully off-the-charts hilarious. In fact, if ESPN would do a Saturday Night Live-style show with completely unfunny athletes like Tebow and McCoy trying to do funny skits, I'd watch every week and buy the DVD box set when it came out. Sam Bradford killing it on the monologue, Tebow and McCoy in their wacky adventures, Toby Gerhart cutting up with impersonations of stoic, generic white people. Make it happen, ESPN.
The only thing that disappoints me is that the awards show is inherently a celebration of all the "positive" things that went on in college football. To me, positivity is in the eye of the beholder. If I'm ever put in charge of the college football awards show, I want it to capture the essence of the season in its entirety -- on the field, off the field, good, bad.
At the very least, I would add a few more awards. For example...
ANDY REID AWARD (for the coach with the most questionable end-of-game management skills)
LANE KIFFIN, Tennessee: Down 12-10 to then Number Two-ranked Alabama with a chance to pull of a season-making upset, Kiffin decided that being in Alabama territory close enough for a 40-some-odd-yard field goal was good enough, and decided to let the clock run down and leave the game on the foot of his kicker, Daniel Lincoln. This despite the fact that he had already had a kick blocked earlier in the game. For those who missed the first blocked kick, no worries -- Lincoln had the potential game winner blocked as well.
LES MILES, Louisiana State: Down 25-23 in a rivalry game with Ole Miss, LSU had the ball around the Ole Miss 30-yard line in the final minute. However, with Jordan Jefferson showing the crunch-time awareness of Bambi staring at an oncoming 18-wheeler, three consecutive negative plays moved the ball back to midfield. On top of that, with one timeout in their pocket and the third-down play ending with 22 seconds left (and counting down), Miles waited until nine seconds remained to call time out. This left the Tigers with 4th-and-forever and no time outs. You know the rest of the story...fourth-down Hail Mary to about the ten-yard line, an inexplicable spike of the ball, and then Miles' explanation to Tracy Wolfson, which I transcribe directly here: "We couldn't get it lined up fast enough...ya know, we knew we were gonna run out of time....that, that, that was the issue....we probably had to call....we try to get the field goal team on....they were down there under....we could not have spiked it...." All righty then.
MACK BROWN, Texas: Do I need to recap it? It's still pretty fresh in everyone's mind, right? Down 12-10 (there's that score again), one timeout in hand, clock running down, McCoy rolls out and lobs a ball to no one, leaving one second on the clock (after a review via replay). If Hunter Lawrence's field goal attempt is two feet to the left, it's the biggest choke job ever.
WINNER: MILES. If that ball McCoy threw landed one second later, it's Brown, but Miles is just too big a goof not to win it.
LAWRENCE PHILLIPS TROPHY (for outstanding performance in the area of ridiculous criminal acts)
MICHIGAN STATE: Eight football players bumrush a dorm leaving their team depleted heading to their bowl game. Classy!
NU'KEESE RICHARDSON and MIKE EDWARDS, Tennessee: Proof that Tennessee's potential NCAA recruiting violations do not include lavish payments to players -- Richardson and Edwards got arrested and then kicked out of school for robbing two people at gunpoint (pellet gun, but still) outside a convenience store.
CARLOS DUNLAP, Florida: In the Hall of Fame of "letting your teammates down," passing out drunk at an intersection the week before the SEC Title game is, as Cecil Cooper would say "um...pretty good."
WINNER: TIE. They're all idiots.
TOMMY BOWDEN AWARD (for the coach who best left dreams completely unfulfilled)
HOUSTON NUTT, Ole Miss: In a season that had dark-horse national-championship hopes and saw a rise into the top five, Houston Nutt did what he does best -- win 8 games.
CHARLIE WEIS, Notre Dame: ND fans are still waiting on the "decided schematic advantage" Chuck promised in 2004. I guess the Kansas City Chiefs will get to see it when he's their OC next year.
MARK MANGINO, Kansas: 5-0 turned into 5-7 amidst allegations he enjoyed the occasional verbal and actual slap to his players.
WINNER: NUTT. Since I think he's the only one who could make it up to the podium to accept the award without stopping for a rest.
THIS WEEKEND'S BEST BETS
Dammit, it's getting worse....like I said earlier, hopefully all of you are doing the smart thing and just going opposite of my bets. If you are, all I ask is that you buy me a steak dinner. Doesn't need to be Morton's or anything, just a bar steak, a baked potato and a few kind words. A flashback at last week's carnage....
Cincinnati -2 vs Pitt (Cincinnati 45-44, ARE YOU KIDDING? LOSER!)
Fresno St +3 vs Illinois (Fresno State 53-52, LUCKY WINNER!)
Texas -14.5 vs Nebraska (Texas 13-12, SCREW YOU COLT!)
Florida -5.5 vs Alabama (Alabama 32-13, TEBOW WEPT...LOSER!)
Bengals -13 vs Lions (Cincinnati 23-13, BACKDOOR BASTARDS!!)
Cowboys/Giants under 45.5 (Giants 31-24, .... SIGH)
Record Last Week: 1-5
Record on Hair Balls: 14-21-1
Okay, as the venerable Lou Holtz would say, "Shomeone'sh gonna pay for what happened lasht week, and it'sh gonna be your bookie today!! LESH GO!!!"
So....lesh go --
Army +14 vs Navy (always take the points in this one)
Jets/Bucs under 37
Ravens -13.5 vs Lions
Patriots -13.5 vs Panthers
Redskins/Raiders under 37.5
Giants PK vs Eagles
Have a spectacular Heisman weekend everybody!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 PM weekdays, and if you just can;t get enough of his unique brand of dementia, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.