I love football, but I hate football.
As you may have seen earlier this week, I gave out the Seahawks as one of my top season win total plays for 2014, taking the UNDER on 11 wins. I also, on my radio show, picked the Packers as the winners in the NFC North and an OVER for their win total.
So naturally, in the season opener, the Seahawks made the Packers look the same way Alabama makes a team like, say, Vanderbilt look. Totally outclassed and overmatched. So the season is not even a day old, and already I hate my bets, my picks, and my football watching life.
So there. Now, how about we pick some games, huh??!?? Who's comin' with me???!?
Michigan +4 over NOTRE DAME College football's graveyard is full of storied rivalries that have been trampled, steamrolled, gutted, and embalmed by conference realignment. Even this one, in which Michigan is still in the Big Ten and Notre Dame is still independent, is not immune, as Notre Dame's affiliation with the ACC requiring five ACC games per season has forced them to lop off a few long time annual foes. Personally, it kills me that these two won't play each other. When I was a student at Notre Dame, the Irish went 4-0 against good Michigan teams, and each game was a star launcher:
1987: Tim Brown catches a TD pass to begin a Heisman campaign 1988: Cult hero Reggie Ho kicks four field goals 1989: Sophomore Rocket Ismail returns two kicks for touchdowns 1990: Rick Mirer leads comeback in first career start
The last five games in the series have all been decided by one score or less, the finale should be no different, in which case I'll take the points.
BYU +1 over TEXAS I'm just assuming Charlie Strong will have kicked everyone off the team by Saturday.
Patriots -5 over DOLPHINS Returning from injury for what feels like the fifteenth consecutive season, Rob Gronkowski was asked about his ability to start Week 1. He said he planned on it. Bill Belichick expressed a different sentiment:
"A player hasn't played in preseason, there's still game speed and game situations and all the communication that goes on in the game," he said. "That's just different in practice. You have to be ready to handle that and work with your teammates in those conditions and that kind of timeframe and those type of game situations that change so fluidly. ... Your mind has to transfer situations and transfer them very quickly because every play takes on a new down and distance or possibly field position.
"Players that aren't in the game need to be able to have that time on the sideline to make adjustments and be ready to anticipate things that are going to happen the next series and all that. You don't get good at those things with your teammates without being able to do them. It takes some time. Guys that don't play have to make that ground up."
I love that Bill Belichick just completely messes with Gronk. I picture Gronk reacting to Belichick's answer (which by the way, shatters the record for longest Belichick answer to any question ever)like the Iron Sheik reacting to a "USA!" cheer back in the late 80's. And Belichick's answer is just as real as any WWE storyline.
JETS -5.5 over Raiders What does it say about Matt Schaub that I had circled this game to wager on all summer long when Schaub was in line to be the starting quarterback for Oakland, and when he was replaced by a rookie quarterback who is an immediate relative of David Carr last week, I had to rethink things? Nothing good, that's the answer. Still, rookie quarterback going against a Rex Ryan defense after a cross country flight with a little negative body clock sprinkled in? Yes, please.
Bengals +2 over RAVENS If you were to put together a big board ranking NFL organizations historically, I tend to think the bottom four or five teams would be the same for many fans and media members. Now, I don't mean wins and losses (although that's certainly part of it), but the whole package -- wins, losses, cheapness, thuggery, genera; stupidity. I have to believe the Bengals would be in most people's bottom five. That's what makes this story about the Bengals and defensive lineman Devon Still so unexpected. Still has a four year old daughter who is battling stage four cancer. He was cut on Saturday, but the team re-signed him to the practice squad so he would have healthcare to pay for his daughter's treatments. I believe in karma. I believe in the Bengals. I believe in the Bengals covering against Baltimore.
Jaguars +11 over EAGLES The Eagles were not a great home team last season, going 4-5 including the playoffs. Jacksonville was not a great team PERIOD last season. Or a good team. Or even an average team. Until the last eight games, in which they were 4-4, which is about as average as it gets! I like the Jags as a double super sleeper surprise this season (which means, maybe they go 8-8), and it takes a lot for me not to accept double digit points when the underdog isn't awful. And I don't think the Jags are awful.
Last week: 4-2 Season total: 4-2
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.