Friday, October 30, 2009


Last Week: 4-3
Overall: 35-41-1
Win/Loss: - $28.06

Quick, hard hitting picks, just like Scoops. Three ways to do picks: the right way, the wrong way, & the Scoops way!

MINNESOTA (+155) over Michigan State: If Michigan State still had John L. Smith coaching, this would be the biggest lead pipe lock of the week with Michigan State in emotional meltdown mode. Dantonio is a different animal, but just like St. Cloud hockey in the NCAA’s, they need to prove it to me before I think they’re the same old Michigan State.

WISCONSIN (-260) over Purdue: The spread is 6.5 in favor of the Badgers, and I feel 95% sure they’re cover that. But you never know with a garbage TD that makes it a 4 point Badger win, so I’m just going to go money line.

Indiana (+17.5) over IOWA: Indiana has been a pesky cover this season, with a record of 6-1 against the spread. Iowa lost a few guys to the injury bug last week at Michigan State, so they’re going to spend the week trying to right the ship for the final 3 games, so they’re comfortable with a 14 point win.

Michigan (-7) over ILLINOIS: Either this is too easy or it’s an Admiral Akbar “trap!” With Zook involved, Scoops isn’t falling for the trap.

Penn State (-14) over NORTHWESTERN: Scary game in that Northwestern is the kids that never quit and that could result in a bogus TD with 5 seconds left against a bunch of Penn State 2nd teamers giving PSU only 10 point win. But I’m taking a chance that PSU finally is cranking things up on offense.

OHIO STATE (-38.5) over New Mexico State: Here’s all you need to know about this one: Line opened up at -38.5 and now sits at -44. That’s a HUGE jump that the bookies are already sweating out. Only some tom foolery by the gamblers behind the scenes is going to keep this one in check.

OREGON (+130) over Southern California: Oregon is reason #2 why a playoff should occur (behind the fact that you may have 4 undefeated teams not playing for the national championship). They lost a buzzsaw first game in Chip Kelly’s coaching debut and have proceeded to run everyone else out of the building, including an impressive whooping up in Seattle last weekend of Washington. Autzen will be the difference.

[**] Wisconsin / Michigan / Oregon 6 point teaser: For the reasons above, I like Wisconsin & Michigan to win outright, and Oregon to be able to cover +10 at home. [$5 wager to win 9]

[**] Wisconsin / Miami 6 point teaser: : Throwing my wagons on the Badgers this week, and like Miami to walk out of Winston-Salem with a win over the Demon Deacons. [$3 wager to win 3]

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Two Weeks Later...the Champion Emerges?

I apologize for my absence, Scoopsie Nation. Buying a house and having to work a real job takes it's toll. I feel like Houston Nutt after another press conference getting grilled by various SEC sportswriters asking about how I managed to donk off another sure fire win...downtrodden.

The last time I checked, however, football was mostly about overcoming adversity. And that is exactly what I plan on doing this week. Overcoming the bad breaks and poor decisions that have hampered my season. Time to get back on the gravy train.

Last week - 3-4-1
YTD - 13-24-1

Michigan State by 3.5 at GOPHER NATION. Sorry Scoops and T-Brew, this one doesn't look like it is in the cards. After giving one away last week versus Iowa, I expect the Spartans to come out with their phalanx armed and ready. Along with Eric Decker goes the chances of Gopher Nation scoring more than 28 points the rest of the season. Sparties 31, Goofers 13.

GA Tech by 11.5 at VANDY. Vandy's flirtation with football relevance seems to have run its course, and GA Tech keeps getting stronger and stronger each week. Keep in mind that Paul Johnson's squad's only loss is to a frisky Miami team the 1st week of the season. The option rolls in Nashville. Ga Tech 38, Vandy 14.

NAVY by 7 vs. Temple. Did anyone else notice that Temple is one win away from bowl eligibility? What a prospect...the Owls playing in some toilet bowl on the 23rd of December. Regardless of how preposterous that sounds, there is no way that they beat Navy this week. Navy ran the ball 64 times last week and passed it ZERO. Gotta love that. Anchors Aweigh. Navy 24, Temple 10.

Michigan by 7 at ILLINOIS. The Juice has finally overflowed and worn out his welcome. My favorite part about the Zooker FINALLY benching his "star" player two weeks ago? The prospect of some jerkwater NFL team (Buffalo, anybody?) taking a flyer on Juice Williams after he wows everyone at the combine in April, which he will inevitably do. "He's got a plus-NFL arm and his mobility has shown to be excellent...we really think he can be a valuable contributor in the NFL." If Mike Teel can get drafted, the the Juice is a lock. Too bad Tate Forcier has shown more in the first 7 games of his college career than Juice has over the last 3.5 years. Michigan 31, Illinois 14.

The over at 49.5 on the Ole Miss/AUBURN game. Two nice defenses, but I think the offensive ethos of these teams gives each of them an automatic 3 TD day. Ole Miss 31, Auburn 19.

Dartboard pick #1
West Virginia by 3 at SOUTH FLORIDA. I'll admit it...I haven't seen either of these teams play more than 25 minutes total all season long. This is what I do know...the coach at West Virginia might be a total moron, but he knows how to ride his horses, and that is EXACTLY what they have in Noel Divine. George Selvie doesn't even matter in this game since WVU is going to run up and down the field on the Bulls and their pathetic home field advantage. Toothless Hillbillies 35, Bull Crappers 14.

Dartboard pick #2
OREGON getting 3 vs Southern Cal. Does this Oregon squad count as an example of Bill Simmon's Ewing Theory? I think it does. They lost their best player after a heartbreaking loss to Boise, and ever since they are just ROLLING through their competition. USC did look VERY good last week, especially on the ground, but there is no better homefield advantage than in Eugene. Oregon pulls the upset and dashes Pete's dreams of a championship until next year. Oregon 24, USC 23.

Dartboard pick #3
Washington State getting 28 at NOTRE DAME. [avoiding the lightning bolt that just streaked through the blue sky] Notre Dame wins this game, don't get me wrong, but their offense is almost exclusively based on passing, and Washington State has shown the ability to slow some good passing teams down (SMU, Hawaii). If I were Chuck Wheat I'd pound the ball down the Cougars' throats, but I think he is too proud of his Heisman-Hopeful to do that. Irishmen 37, Cougars 17.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Last Week: 4-7
Overall: 31-38-1
Win/Loss: - $64.06


Some highlights & lowlights from the past week. Along with the picks that I offered last week, I also was like a kid in a candy store making another 7 bets during the games on Saturday.

-After Cincy covered against South Florida on Thursday night, I put up some insurance on the parlay by taking Indiana +3 over Illinois, so I would not have a loss. Naturally, Ron Zook took over and Indiana ended up winning by 13 points.
-The Victory Bell Sandwich: Having Minnesota in a tease at +22.5, I banged Penn State at -17 (which I kind of thought was a bit high). Nevertheless, the ineptitude of the Gopher offense provided the 20-0 win giving me both victories.
-The freaking Ohio State University: They lost me 3 freaking bets. All they had to do was beat Purdue for me to not lose 2 of them. The Jim Tressel offensive era, everybody!
-Navy not covering -7 at SMU due to a 3 point overtime win.
-Trying to make some money back, I invested in the 2nd Half of Fresno State/San Jose State with Fresno being -7.5. Fresno opens up with a TD, and kicks a FG with 5 minutes left in the game. San Jose drives down and is picked off in the end zone with 2 minutes to play. Touchback and most likely a victory. Fresno runs the ball 3 straight times, punts, and Fresno takes over at their own 30. Backup QB & RB are in for San Jose State. They run it 2 plays in a row, so they want out as well. And then? A 70-YARD TOUCHDOWN PASS WITH 9 SECONDS LEFT TO GIVE SAN JOSE STATE A 20 POINT LOSS BUT TAKING THE 2ND HALF LINE! This may begin a debate about what gambling loss was worse: this or the first half Super Bowl under involving James Harrison running 100 yards on an INT.

Onto my weekly picks: (And Again, all picks this week involve REAL money, as stated last week)

Minnesota (+18) over OHIO STATE: Don’t know where to go with this one, so I’m taking the points. Ohio State is either going to be pissed off and win by 35 points, or a T. Pryor turnover will cause the boo birds to be out in full force and it should be a rather safe bet. Knowing Tressel & his offense, I’m taking the points, despite the complete buffoonery of the Minnesota offense.

OHIO STATE (-900) over Minnesota: Along those lines, there’s NO F-ING WAY MINNESOTA IS WINNING THIS FOOTBALL GAME! So I want to make a couple of bucks.

Illinois (+11.5) over PURDUE: Why do I keep trying to pick Illinois? Because Purdue, despite their win last week, shouldn’t be 11.5 favorites over ANYBODY in the Big Ten. Taking the points.

Indiana (+4.5) over NORTHWESTERN: Nice backdoor cover last week by Northwestern for me, but Indiana is playing with a bit of moxy, minus the Virginia game. Taking the points again.

MICHIGAN (+5) over Penn State: Noticing a trend here? Taking the points again. Penn State’s offense isn’t quite good enough to explode on Michigan, especially given their history at the Big House.

Iowa (-0.5) over MICHIGAN STATE: Iowa toyed with Wisconsin in the 2nd half. Their defense is good enough to win in any stadium in the Big Ten, and while Michigan State is rebounding a bit from the non-conference start and should make a solid run at a mid-level bowl, Iowa takes care of business and makes all BCS proponents even more scared.

Ohio State/Nebraska/Notre Dame/Cincinnati/Southern Miss/Florida/Fresno/USC/Boise Money Line Parlay: Ohio State lost me two of them last week, so one of the other bets I made was instantly doing it all over again with all the other team involved as soon as OSU lost, so I at least got that bet win (although Florida was making things dicey). I’ll try it again, and actually getting better potential payout this week as Notre Dame is not a huge money line favorite over Boston College, so it would be a quality win if this is pulled out.

Georgia Tech (-0.5)/Iowa (+5)/LSU (-1.5) teaser: LSU has Auburn at home, so I like defense to rule the day, and Georgia Tech is smelling a potential conference title after last week’s big win versus VA Tech…no let down vs. Virginia.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Return of the King?

Sorry about my absence last week...I was doing an in-depth investigative report on the state of Lou Holtz's health and I didn't have time to post anything on the blog. One quick excerpt - he actually died 7 years ago in Columbia, SC after suffering a massive stroke. While he was pronounced dead at the scene, the group of South Bend Nuns floated into the morgue, took his body, and 6 days later he was reanimated using an obscure method of resuscitation developed by Pope Sergius III in the spring of 907 AD. Dr. Lou has been polluting the airwaves ever since, and the small convent of mystic nuns could not be happier.

Anyway, look for that report hitting the news stands near you sometime soon. As for this week, it is time to make some picks. Let's get it started.

TEXAS by 3 vs Oklahoma. I usually shy away from picking these games, but not this year. I'll be in Wisconsin during this telecast and won't be able to watch it, but I get the feeling like Mack Brown and his horses on defense are going to take it to a half-healthy Sam Bradford. Texas 38, Oklahoma 31.

Minnesota getting 18.5 at PENN STATE. For whatever reason, Minnesota always plays JoePa Tough. PSU looked great last week, but the Gopher squad isn't half bad, and this is a HUGE line. T-Brew doesn't have enough in the tank to win, but it will be a two-score game at most. JoePa 35, Goofers 24.

Southern Cal by 10 at NOTRE DAME. The last time Notre Dame beat Pete Carrol, Arnaz Battle and Carlyle Holliday were playing quarterback for the Irish. Ugh. Notre Dame has shown some big play ability with Golden Tate usually taking advantage of some idiot DB falling down to scoot into the endzone. I don't see that type of thing happening against the pack of wild dogs that is the USC defense. SC wins this one by 2 touchdowns. Carrols Crips 38, ChuckWheats Creamers 21.

Va Tech by 3 at GEORGIA TECH. The immovable object versus the irresistible force, right? This is a goofball football coach's wet dream, with the nations most unique offense going head to head with a bunch of dog-fighting thugs who play stout defense and amazing special teams. Beamer ball overcomes the pressure this week and firmly places their name in the hat as one of the best college football teams in all the land. Hokies 27, BumbleBees 17.

Washington getting 7 at ARIZONA STATE. Is this line for real? Arizona State has beaten, in reverse chronological order, Washington State, UL Monroe, and Idaho State. Can someone explain to me why they are favored? It is pretty clear that I've got a massive mancrush on Jake Locker, but even taking that into consideration, Washington should ROLL in this game, right? This is definitely a trap gambling game, but whatever, I'm taking the points. Washington 31, Sun Devils 17.

Now time for a new experiment, the "Dartboard Pick of the Week," where I'll just pick a few games at random and argue one side or the other as to why I'm picking the game. With my results so far, how much worse can I be?

Dartboard Pick #1:
Houston by 16 over TULANE. The last relevant Green Wave in New Orleans was named Katrina, and we all know how well that went over. Has anyone at Tulane thought about changing the name of their mascot? Seriously, what is more offensive. "The Fighting Sioux", who apparently don't give a flying crapola about the use of their name and are depicted as fearless, bad ass warriors, or "The Green Wave" who represent the largest domestic weather disaster in American history? What a joke. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to the Flickertail Era at UND, however. Houston 48, Green Wave 20.

Dartboard Pick #2:
The OVER at 54.5 on the SAN DIEGO STATE/Brigham Young game. Ugh. What a boring game this is going to be. San Diego State has not been relevant since...well...ever. At least they can build a shrine to Marshall Faulk, I guess. BYU has a legimately great offense and should score at LEAST 42 points on the Aztecs. Remember, the last time a bunch of white religious fanatics competed against a group of people called "Aztecs" it did not end well for the brown folk. Mormons 45, Masa Mealers 17.

Dartboard Pick #3:
The OVER at a paltry 45 on the ALABAMA/South Carolina game. This one scares me. Alabama's offense looked like it needed an injection from Forrest Gump last week and their defense absolutely dismantled the Houston-Nutter Offense. For whatever reason, however, these games have been historically high scoring affairs, probably due to the fact that each team should rack up at least 150 penalty yards for various infractions such as peeing on the bed of collard greens, stoning pigs to death with rocks (they got the idea from the Bo Jackson biography), and burning the confederate flag. Each team only has to score 3 TD's apiece for the over, so I'm taking it. Alabama 31, South Carolina 17.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Last Week: 3-6
Overall: 27-31-1
Win/Loss: - $39.66


The following dilemma sums up my gambling week. I made 9 predictions and only was correct on 3 of them. However, of the 3 wagers, 2 of them were real money teaser wagers whereas my losses were simply mythical wagers. That begs the question of is it better for me to have a good reputation regarding predictions or to enhance my financial security?

So I’m going to try to put my money where my mouth is. Next week, I’m going to make a wager on EVERY SINGLE GAME I PREDICT. I say next week because I already made some parlay & teaser wagers before I took a look at the Big Ten games head to head, so I’ll start fresh with it next week. A bit more thought will be put into the game.

Onto my weekly picks:

Minnesota (+16.5) over PENN STATE: Forget my loyalty to the Gophers & what I want or hope for. I’m going straight stats here on this bitch. And the stats are these: Penn State is 1-4 against the spread & Minnesota is sporting an over .500 mark at 3-2-1. I’m not sold on Penn State as a legit club and one that has the ability to knock Minnesota out of the park. Penn State wins, but Minnesota covers.

Iowa (+120) over WISCONSIN: Interesting matchup that may prove big in the conference race & set up a potential Ohio State vs. Iowa title showdown. First off, Iowa must get by the Badgers in Madtown. Michigan had some success against Iowa’s defense, but the spread is a bit different than the power game that the Badgers play & Iowa is built to stop. In a close game, I’m going money line to take advantage of the dollars.

Ohio State (-13) over PURDUE: I watched this Purdue team first hand. They make some plays, but self destruct like nothing I’ve ever seen. And they can’t stop the run, which plays into Tressel’s hands. Lay the points bitches & Buckeye up.

Illinois (-2) over INDIANA: How many more weeks can I keep trying to ride the Zooker? This may be Illinois’ last chance for a conference win before a total program meltdown. I like them to get it done. Illinois has owned Indiana the past few years and I like the trend to continue.

Northwestern (+13.5) over MICHIGAN STATE: MSU is getting a little better each & every week, but I think 13.5 is too many points against a team that can move the ball & score.

MICHIGAN (NL over Delaware State: No line & no interest.

Oklahoma (+3.5) over Texas @ Dallas: Tradition is cool. So is Sam Bradford chucking the ball around the field. I thin Texas has been sleepwalking a bit. Looking ahead to the Sooners? Perhaps. But I think Oklahoma can keep it within the points.

[**] Ohio State/Air Force/USC 10 pt. teaser: Ohio State gets knocked down to 3.5, which I like. Also like Air Force in the pick versus Wyoming along with USC being a pick at Notre Dame. [$12 wager to win 10]

[**] Iowa/Minnesota 6.5 teaser: Continuing my Floyd of Rosedale tease from 3 weeks ago when I cashed in & will try it again with Iowa knocked down to +8.5 & Minnesota at +22.5. [3.96 wager to win 3.60]

[**] Cincinnati (-3.5) /Illinois (-2) 2 team Parlay: Trying a new wager & riding the arm of Tony Pike against South Florida & Illinois to get it done like said above. [$2 wager to win $5.29]

[**] Ohio State/Penn State/Alabama/Florida 4-team Money Line Parlay: Trying a new wager this weekend with my money line parlay. Pretty much took the following 4 teams on the money line to win, with all 4 being heavy favorites. [$2.00 wager to win $1.07]

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Last Week: 4-5
Overall: 24-25-1
Win/Loss: + $4.34

Sometimes, an individual comes to a conclusion about themselves. One knows their limitations, or one knows who they are. I’ve come to the following conclusion after looking at an Xcel spreadsheet that I keep regarding a certain financial log.


You should see the log I have. I bet with two websites ( & to compare the lines and take the more favorable one. And I’m not a heavy gambler. I only have about $250.00 invested total between the two websites. And Bookmaker is nice because they have no minimum bet, so you can launch $1 bets like it’s nothing. Because of that, I’ve found myself gambling on baseball like I’m Pete Rose. Check out the following log since October 1st (Highlighted in Green is bet won, Red is bet lost, Black is wager pending):
-$14.59 (Wisconsin defeat Minnesota outright +135)
-$5 (Bengals/Redskins/Steelers 3-team tease)
-$5 (Iowa to win Big Ten +500)
-$10 (Ohio State to win Big Ten +175)
-$5 (Minnesota/Alabama/Iowa 3-team tease)
-$40 (Yankees defeat Twins in 3 game series -400)
-$2 (Florida State/Ole Miss/Penn State/Ohio State/Cal 5-team tease)
-$3 (Pitt/Alabama/Georgia Tech 3-team tease)
-$1 (Giants/Bears/Redskins/Saints/49ers/Vikings 6-team tease)
-$2 (KC Royals defeat Twins +185)
-$2.50 (Cowboys -3 over Broncos)
-$5 (Detroit Tigers defeat Twins +150)
-$6.72 (Ravens/Steelers/Patriots 3-team tease)
-$3.60 (Wisconsin/South Carolina/Iowa 3-team 10pt. tease)
-$12 (Vikings/Ravens/Steelers 3-team 6.5 tease)
-$3 (LA Angels defeat Red Sox in 3 game series +110)
-$2.75 (Yankees defeat Twins in game 2 -275)
-$3.05 (Phillies defeat Rockies in 3 game series -305)

Because of the small minimum, I’m not afraid to go on a favorite like the Yankees or Phillies. I won’t win much, but my chances of winning money are rather high. And you can see a trend that I have, which is “wager on the opponent of your favorite team.” Hence a money line win with the Badgers last week and trying to have some consolation if the Twins fizzled out against the Royals or Tigers & if they lose to the Yankees. It may not be a total problem because of the small number of wagers that I’m making, but I may have an addiction.

Onto my weekly picks:

Purdue (+3.5) over MINNESOTA: Minnesota’ offensive line woes continued last week & Purdue should be able to cut down on the 6 turnovers they had vs. Northwestern. Purdue suffers another close loss, but only a 3 point loss gives Purdue the cover.

ILLINOIS (+155) over Michigan State: I see energy from Eddie McGee replacing what has been a super senior season for Juice Williams & Michigan State with the letdown.

NORTHWESTERN (-20.5) over Miami, OH: Miami has lost double digit games in a row by double digits. Northwestern will give them fits & Scoops says “lay the points, bitches!”

Wisconsin (+14) over Ohio State: I just think 14 is too much considering the ball control that Wisconsin plays with & the conservative nature Tressell plays with.

IOWA (-7.5) over Michigan: This line has moved up a point since it opened. Michigan got exposed for what they are last week, and that’s a team in the right direction, but still not the horses to get it done week in & week out. Iowa at home will get the win. Lay the points, bitches!

Indiana (+6.5) over VIRGINIA: An odd out of conference game with a BCS team in the middle of the season for the Hoosiers. After a tough loss two weeks ago, Indiana kept it within the spread against Ohio State. They should be able to do the same against Al Groh.

Florida (-8.5) over LSU: The health of Tebow shouldn’t matter as Florida’s defense will eat up the Tigers all night long. Expect turnovers, fast southern kids & lots of NFL players on Saturday.

[**] Minnesota/Alabama/Iowa 6.5 teaser: Minnesota to at least win, Alabama to beat Ole Miss & Iowa to win by 2 or more against Michgan? I like it. [$5 wager to win 9]

[**] Wisconsin/South Carolina/Iowa 10 teaser: I think Wisconsin can keep it within 26 of Ohio State, South Carolina to win outright at home against Kentucky, & riding the Iowa train again.[$3.60 wager to win 3]

Friday, October 2, 2009


Scoops McCracken: What would be a better job to take this off season: Colorado or Illinois?
Peoria Pliers: don't have to compete with the sharks already in the tank in the Big 12. You've got a renovated stadium, a few good recruiting classes to build on, and Chicago in your back yard. Absolutely Illinois. Plus, the person you are replacing is arguably the worst game-day coach since Art Shell, so the standards are set painfully low
Scoops McCracken: To play devil's advocate though, Colorado is in the Big XII north, which means that you can compete with Nebraska, Kansas & Missouri rather well. And they hammer the California recruiting scene. I think they'd both be good jobs though
Peoria Pliers: I just think that recruiting in California is going to be VERY tough, as if it isn't already. Sarkisian at Washington, Pete C at USC, Tedford at Cal...tough sleddin' in that part of the world Let me ask you this...What would be a bigger disaster for the state of Florida? Charlie Christ being assasinated by an pro-choice nutjob or Tim Tebow suffering a career-ending injury this season before the national championship game?
Scoops McCracken: Easily Tebow....did you see the people scared & near in tears last week that were at Kentucky? Those people think he's a cross between Jesus & Chuck Norris.
Peoria Pliers: That would be a devastating combination. If Jesus and Chuck Norris were to merge, whose beard wins? Is it Jesus with a thicker knapp beard or does Jesus' beard win out?
Scoops McCracken: I think it depends if there's another fist in Chuck Norris' beard. Not many super exciting games this weekend.
Peoria Pliers: I'm looking forward to Michigan/Michigan State and Auburn/Tennessee, other than that it is a pretty big snoozefest. USC/Cal? Not quite the matchup it once was now that Oregon took it to the Bears last week. That QB is a huge liability for Cal, and I still don't think Tedford knows that he has the best RB in the business.
Scoops McCracken: Yeah, not as big now, but I don't think USC's is at a USC level right now either. I think Cal at home will be a huge lift. Enough of a lift for a win shall be seen.
Peoria Pliers: How many more years does Dr. Lou have left in his tank before he is nothing more than a caucasion raisin, dried up in the sun, babbling about Tony Rice and Joe Montana?
Scoops McCracken: He is losing it for sure. I don't know about ESPN anymore....I don't like Desmond Howard, I don't like their #1 11AM team of Pasch & Griese (who I think has slipped BIG TIME) and don't get me started on freaking Pam Ward & Ray Bentley as the ESPN2 11AM game team.
Peoria Pliers: I can see that, although I like Desmond since he's a little edgy compared to most of the clowns doing pre-game football shows these days. I would wholeheartedly agree that the state of college football announcing on ESPN is poor at best
Scoops McCracken: I like Mark Jones, and their primetime game with Franklin still brings the fastball in the mid 90s, but they're going downhill. Edgy? I don't want edgy. I don't want hip. You sound like you liked it when Poochie came on the Itchy & Scratchy show on the Simpsons.
Peoria Pliers: What can I say, I can only take the general consensus that "Case Keenum is a real football player" and "Rich Rodriguez has something going in Michigan" and that "Miami has its swagger back" and that "Mark Richt is a heckuva football coach" and that "Oregon's win against Cal is huge for their program" or that "Boise State has a real shot at the title game as long as they can win out" I've just summed up 84% of the NCAA football pre-game shows
Scoops McCracken: Well played, sir.
Peoria Pliers: I'm just sick of it. Sure, Poochie sucked, but maybe we need everything to get blown apart and remade. It is the small things that aggravate me the most these days when watching football. Not a single NFL broadcast includes the number of timeouts under the score at the top of the screen, a revolution that made it's way to EVERY NCAA football game three or four years ago. What gives? I'm sick of the old standards of Ray Bentley, Mike Patrick, Mark May, Trev Alberts, Dan Dierdorf, and Al McGuire spewing the same cliches 52 times every weekend
Scoops McCracken: Hey, preaching to the choir. My dad & I have been saying for years that we still measure a first down with 2 sticks & a chain, which probably gets moved 4 times that could affect the inch that it makes it by or misses by per series. Lasers & GPS, my friend.
Peoria Pliers: What does it take to get some fresh blood in the booth? Herbstreit is a good change of pace, and Jesse Palmer would be OK if he wasnt trying to out-analyze Craig James every time he talked
Scoops McCracken: I actually like Jesse Palmer....and I think Herbstreit works well when with Musberger.
Freaking Musberger....I can't get sick of him at all. That guy still is chucking 99mph in my book
Peoria Pliers: I'm just saying its always the same crap. He is a machine, no doubt. Too bad he's about to die of colorectal cancer or contract some flesh eating virus. He looks like a skeleton with skin-colored drapes hanging off the bones
Scoops McCracken: He was the guest on PTI at the start of the season and he was in a racing suit doing the interview from pit row in Atlanta two days before the Bama-VA Tech game. Crazy. Everybody wants to be hip. ESPN just bugs the hell out of me, but I won't go there. At least they haven't hired Thom Brennamen yet.
Peoria Pliers: One NASCAR related note - have you seen that they do a Christian convocation before each race? Not that I'm expecting a huge Jewis/Muslim crowd at a Nascar event, but doesn't that just seem a bit odd? Also, what is the over/under on how long it takes some of the private southern schools to start doing the same thing before football games?
Scoops McCracken: What do they all do? A lot more than just a prayer?
Peoria Pliers: It is a prayer, but it's decidingly denominational, which is a departure from most of the unitarian types of things that other events do
Scoops McCracken: I'd say Nascar knows their fanbase and that's why they knock the popularity game out of the park against everyone other than the NFL
Peoria Pliers: I'm not saying I have anything against it - they can do whatever they want - but if I wasn't turned off of Nascar before, this seals the deal. I'm just more surprised that their approach hasn't bled into other sports. I could see BYU doing it, or even Notre Dame, but they don't.
Scoops McCracken: I'm actually surprised they don't already
Peoria Pliers: I kind of agree with you now that I think about it...maybe Sister Moriarity can help us out with this one. Time will tell. So its 2020, Obama is out of office and a distant memory, Jeb Bush is presiding over the oval office, NASCAR is the most popular sport after the NFL lockout of 2011-2015 kills it off as the worlds most popular sport, and Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt have died in a horrible car crash, which has sent the nation reeling and looking for answers. Here's the question - Is June Jones still at SMU? If so, what is their record for the 2019 season, and whats their outlook for the 2020 season?
Scoops McCracken: HA! I actually thought he was still at Hawaii until you just told me. They'll either be what they always are, and that's mediocre, or some SMU good ole' boys will take things into their own hands, start getting Mustang football going the old fashioned way, and be 11-1 and two years away from a monster probation scandal.
Peoria Pliers: What conference are they in, C-USA?
Scoops McCracken: I would have said WAC, but not sure. You see that Notre Dame's sellout streak dating back to 1973 is in jeopardy. Tickets still remaining for tomorrow. Of course someone like Joliet Catholic or St. Mary's the Virgin Church in Chicago will probably buy them up just to make sure it stays in tact.
Peoria Pliers: Wow! Maybe I'll start driving to South Bend right now and try to pick some tickets up. I guess there is quite a bit of other things to do in South Bend...they have a Taco Bell, a Goodwill, and even an Hardees! No kidding...pass the football-shaped collection plate around
Scoops McCracken: I was thinking about making Washington my first "lock of the week"....+13.5? Don't forget a Bob Evans. South Bend is quite similar to that Lake Michigan port Days Inn you & I stayed at in 2002.
Peoria Pliers: Ohhhh yeah. Bob Evans. That place makes Perkins look like Kincaids mixed with The Mesa Grill. What a pile. That Washington line is too juicy for me, it was so good that I figured it was a myth. And I think I'm like 1-54 in the past two years picking Washington games, so I figured I'd take a step back this week
Scoops McCracken: Good point....beware of the line that seems too good to be true.
Peoria Pliers: Those lines are like a hotdog from a gas station. They look so good, turning over and over in their own grease. Then you taste it and you are more dissapointed than a mortician at a daycare. You've just got to stay away. Stay very, very far away.
Scoops McCracken: True.....I need to go off football for one sec and ask you your opinion on the olympics. Is there a more arrogant bunch than an IOC official? Nobody thinks they're a big shot that really isn't than an IOC official. Check these quotes out: Former IOC member Kai Holm said that the brevity of his appearance may have counted against Chicago. The short stopover was "too business-like," Holm said. "It can be that some IOC members see it as a lack of respect." Get over yourselves. And Madrid's surprising success in reaching the final round came after former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch made an unusual appeal for the Spanish capital, reminding the IOC's members as he asked for their vote that, at age 89, "I am very near the end of my time."
Peoria Pliers: I think that is a GREAT point. When they announce the final decision, do the do the Mussolini hand gesture? The good ol' boy nature of that process really puts the SEC into perspective
Scoops McCracken: I like watching the olympics and go USA USA with teh best of them, but honestly. Get freaking over yourselves.
Peoria Pliers: I've never really cared about where they were held before, but this time I was pretty fired up about the possibility of having some of the soccer matches at The Bank. Alas, the IOC chose "The Calcutta of the West" for their games. Brazil is a HELLHOLE , at least parts of it are. But I guess if China can shield the world from it's squalor, so can the Brazillians. O/U on how many Brazillian players or coaches get shot if they don't win the gold medal in soccer?
Scoops McCracken: I guess I didn't even know that olympic soccer was that big of a deal.
Peoria Pliers: and then compare that number to the same question for Candian hockey players for the games this winter in Vancouver. It really isn't, but most of the big names play, and it would be a sweet thing to see, especially if there was a huge delegation from some goofball country
Scoops McCracken: Best part about olympic hockey.....they're playing on NHL rink about taking away the biggest advantage any of the European teams would have against Canada. Canada not winning the gold would be comparable to Eden Prairie not winning the Lake conference in football. You better freaking win!
Peoria Pliers: Except that the Candian head coach isn't as much of a total, complete, 100% dirtbag as in Eden Prairie. I heard that he was pissed off about the conference realignment so when Rosemount came to play E.P. a few weeks ago he wouldn't let them into any locker rooms. they had to change outside. All class, that one. My favorite part? YOUR tax dollars pay part of his salary AND build his football facility! Huzzah Huzzah!
Scoops McCracken: Rosemont was given a shed which is where all visiting teams go before the game & halftime. whether rosemount got there early and was supposed to be given a lockerroom, I don't know. Do visiting teams actually change at the school on the road now? We always had to ride shoulder pad to shoulder pad on a school bus.
Peoria Pliers: Fair enough...I am basing this all off of the Strib, so who knows what the reality is
Scoops McCracken: I read that too....I think it only got one side of it.
Peoria Pliers: So did we, BUT THIS IS LAKE CONFERENCE FOOTBALL! It still sounds like something he'd do
Scoops McCracken: I don't deny that he probably does a bunch of things to make teams not welcome when they play at EP, but I think there are two sides to it. I remember our locker room being a tackling dummy shed at Tonka. Actually, the nicest visitor place was Richfield. At least they gave you something. I remember an elementary school room at Hopkins, never played Armstrong or Cooper on the road since they were building new stadiums at the time, and Wayzata was at their old high school and it was a dirty gym room
Peoria Pliers: Ohhhh yeah baby, its a proud Richfield tradition. Coddle you before the game, take our loss like men, and then kiss you goodbye on your fancy school bus. Wayzata was building their pantheon when I was there, so I don't really remember much of that whole thing other than getting run over by Jeremy Leuer about 155 times

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Peoria's Picks - Week 5 - It's Nut Cuttin' Time

If I were more cliched, I'd write some lyrics to "Wanna Be Startin' Something" right here to celebrate my triumphant return to .500 with my picks. But that shit would be tired and wrong.

Instead, I'm going to go with some more appropos lyrics from everyone's favorite Viking Death Metal Band, Amon Amarth.

"Charge your horses through the fields...together we ride...INTO DESTINY!"

(Isn't Sweden Great?)

OK, so maybe my results weren't exactly pillaging and burning the gambling scene since I was only .500, but it was a rush nonetheless. Onto this week's lines. Let's keep this trend moving all the way to Valhalla.

Last Week - 4-4
YTD - 11-20

Michigan getting 3.5 at MICHIGAN STATE. No matter what happens, this game should be close, and I like Michigan's talent a lot better than the puds that Dantonio has thrown on the field thus far. Michigan's defense stifles a lethargic Spartan offense (who really, REALLY miss Javon Ringer). Wolverines 28, Spartans 24.

Clemson by 11.5 at MARYLAND. As I already mentioned, the wheels have fallen off of the bus at Maryland. Their talent level is about 1/5th of Clemson's, and Dabo Sweeney has got about four or five weeks left until his high-energy approach starts wearing off. Yeah, I know Clemson is a bigger choke artist than Chuck Knoblauch holding a paintbrush full of oil paint, but this isn't a big game for them, only for Maryland. Tigers 35, Maryland 13.

MINNESOTA by 2 at Wisconsin. Hell, I don't know what is going to happen in this game, especially considering that the T-Brew Crew was out punching people in the face and swinging wooden boards at D-III football players last weekend. This will be a close game, and the T-Brew Crew held off a feisty Northwestern team last weekend in front of about 857 people. OK, so there were 22,0091 people there, but I'm pretty sure that at least 12,000 of them were reading Hemingway while calculating the specific gravity of Mercury suspended in a collodial protein solution. This weekend should bring 51,000+ out for the game against the hated Badgers, which should be a good advantage. Plus, I think Wisconsin is a very, very poor team. All they have is 2 good running backs and a QB doing his best Kyle Orton as a Denver Bronoco impresssion. Ugly. Gophers 31, BADgers 28.

Penn State by 7 at ILLINOIS. Let me "Break it to you Gently" Zooker, you are officially on the hot seat. With Juice Williams playing more like Juice Newton these days, there are some rough times ahead for the Illini. Their frighteningly explosive offense now looks the the equivalent of a SCUD missile launcher firing bottle rockets into the desert sky. As the Juice Flows, so flow the Illini. Penn State has to find an O-Line, but their defense has more than enough mojo to shut down the only weapon that the Zooker has left, Arelious Benn. Paternos Patsies 31, Zookers Hookers 14.

C'mon Coach, let me sing "Queen of Hearts! I can't throw any picks when I'm singing karaoke!"

The OVER at 47.5 on the Navy/AIR FORCE game. As always, a yearly favorite to watch. This got me thinking, other than football, the only other rivalry I can think of between these two branches of the military is who had the best movies made about themselves. Quite amazing if you think about it, since the Air Force is losing this battle about 79-2. Navy has Top Gun, Crimson Tide, Midway, Hunt for Red October, NAVY Seals (possibly Charlie Sheen's best work), A Few Good Men, G.I. Jane, Under Seige (Segal at his finest), South Pacific (for those Musical lovers out there), and The Caine Mutiny. The Air Force? Ha. Let's think... Hot Shots!, Stealth, and Memphis Belle. That's about it. I guess with all of the homos in Hollywood it is no surprise that the Navy has better results at the box office, but I digress, since we are still living in a "don't ask, don't tell" era. Anyway, this game always produces more points than it feels like it should, kind of like Eric Mangini taking a dump after swallowing a bag full of jacks. Get it? Produces more "points"? Ha. Midshipmen 35, Cadets 38.

The UNDER at 50.5 on the Oklahoma/MIAMI game. Until last year this game has always been a close one, and this one shapes up as a defensive struggle akin to the trench warfare of WWI. Remember, this Oklahoma defense blanked Tulsa and Idaho State the last two weeks and Miami's defense is no slouch itself. Without Bradford throwing darts around the field, I see this one as a slugfest that ends with low scoring and a Sooner victory. Stoopsie 24, Randy Shannon 17.

The OVER at 51 on the Auburn/TENNESSEE game. Layno's got a decent defense, but there isn't a D-Coordinator that has figured out how to stop Guz Malzahn's offense regardless of where he has coached. Tigers 38, Vols 28.

Alabama by 16 at KENTUCKY. Am I worried about taking Nick Saban by over 2 TD's? Sure I am. But did you watch that abortion that Kentucky calls a run defense last week? My goodness, I think I've seen better run defenses in the Classic Lake. The Tide is going to run around, through, and past everyone in a blue uniform. The home field advantage didn't help the Domesticated Cats at home against Florida, and I doubt it is going to do much for them this week. Plus, Saban needs to blow out some SEC opponents to get his BCS cred, and this seems like the perfect time to do it. Tide 42, Persian Cats 14.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Last Week: 6-3
Overall: 20-20-1
Win/Loss: + $2.34


With a nice 6-3 record last week, I’m back at the .500 mark. Considering the wager amounts with hitting a Minnesota money line and a large 2-team teaser, I’m back in the positive money flow. A good recovery, I think. But as Mike Holmgren would constantly say after a playoff win, “But we’re NOT DONE YET!”

Which brings us to week 2 of the Big Ten season. A huge swing game for Minnesota & Wisconsin, a much needed game for Northwestern if they want to think bowl game, Illinois wanting to get going in the right direction before all hell breaks loose on the Zooker train, and big brother plays little brother in East Lansing.

Onto the picks:

Penn State (-6.5) over ILLINOIS: Nothing like having Pliers have to shove it. I told him that Iowa doesn’t get blown out. He had Paterno love going, and the results speak for themselves. Iowa dominated that game for the final 3 quarters and I should have been hammering the +340 that the Hawkeyes were carrying. I just settled on the spread.

Which brings us to two teams that are at a crossroads. Penn State’s O-Line got exposed for what I thought they were (copyright Denny Green). But Illinois is in Baloo Tail Spin mode right now. Two games against D-I foes and getting shellacked in both outings? Penn State continues the slide. Scoops says “lay the points, bitches!”

MICHIGAN STATE (PK) over Michigan: Michigan State got somewhat dominated at Madison last week, and their defense is not exactly up to the challenge. They do have a good passing attack going and the problem is NOT Kirk Cousins. Michigan, meanwhile, had to scratch & claw over Indiana at home, which is usually not a good conference tone setter. I think Michigan comes back to earth a bit and MSU finally gets a desperate win.

Northwestern (+6.5) over PURDUE: Northwestern’s defense is shady, particularly their run defense as shown with Minnesota getting good yards on the ground, which may play right into Purdue’s hands. But Northwestern does have a good passing attack to keep them in games. I like the Cats to maintain the cover.

Ohio State (-16.5) over INDIANA: Poor, Indiana. So close to getting a road win at Michigan. And now they get an Ohio State team that seems to be cranking it up on D, with them giving up 18 to USC and tossing 2 shut outs in a row. Indiana is 3-0 against the spread thus far, but 3-1 ATS Ohio State should cruise here.

IOWA (-20.5) over Arkansas State: Letdown city for Iowa? Not with that defense. Their DL is way too quick & their offensive line way too experienced & mature. Iowa continues their hot hand.

Washington (+13.5) over NOTRE DAME: Washington predictably took it on the chin at Stanford last week. Don’t let that fool you though. Their offense can score & 13.5 is way too much for Jake Locker against a Notre Dame team that easily could be 0-3 against the Big Ten.

[**] Washintgon/Penn State/Houston 6.5 teaser: I think Washington should easily keep it within 19, Penn State should beat Illinois outright, and Houston to beat UTEP by 11. [$5 wager to win 9]

MINNESOTA (-3) over Wisconsin: Boy, oh boy! The freaking Badgers. Undefeated freaking Badgers. Oh how I hate the freaking Badgers, Bielema, the Kollege Klub, Mike Eaves, Bo Ryan & their freaking band & people that say “Let’s go, Bucky!”

Is Wisconsin good? They seem to have a bit more balance, for sure. And their quarterback seems to be a bit different than the classic “insert QB’s name” that simply hands off. Where I think they are disgusting is the back 7 on defense, which Minnesota can hammer. The key for Minnesota, once again as it will be every week, is the OL play. If they can protect and give a bit of a running game (not much is needed, but just some), I think Minnesota should have some success.

Defensively, I like this team, despite Kafka going for 300+ yards passing last week. The Gophers pretty much made Northwestern one-dimensional, and they’ll eventually stop that. I like the LB’s, and the DT’s should be good against Wisconsin’s run offense. The key will once again be the safety play.

I like Minnesota jump out quickly as Wisconsin is on the road for the first time, and then it to go to the wire with Minnesota’s special teams being the difference.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oh Pliers Boy, The Pipes, The Pipes are Calling - Pliers Picks Week 3

I've called myself a lot of things over the years, and loser is absolutely one of them (0-9 baby!), but I can't recall a losing streak like this since the first Bush administration was making mediocre policy decisions and pulling out of Iraq sooner than they should have. OK, so I was 11 years old back then, but still, I think I probably made more good decisions during my entire 7th grade year than I have so far this season.

No use crying over spilled covers, however, so we will keep going. I have decided, however, that if I don't turn it around in the next two weeks and average at least a .400 winning percentage I am going to quit handicapping NCAA football games and go straight for the Harness Racing scene. God help us if that happens.

Onto the picks...pray with me, Sister Moriarty...

Last Week - 2-6
YTD - 7-16

Mizzou by 7 at NEVADA. I am 95% sure that Nevada's entire offense is being held by a child molester in the backyard of an affluent California neighborhood. Can we get the FBI on top of this please? Nevada got shut down by Notre Dame and then came out and took a dump against Colorado State. Last year, the future CFL star Chase Daniel and his cronies hung 69 on Nevada, and that is historical precedent that oughta continue. Mizzou 48, Nevada 10.

Minnesota getting 1 at NORTHWESTERN. The last time the Gophers beat Northwestern, the country was still reeling from the re-election of George the Second and "Goodies" by Ciara was introducing the country to the hottest question of 2000's hip-hop..."Is Ciara really hot or just a post-op tranny?" Either way, I say the Gophers are two things:
  • More due for a victory than Phil Specktor's attorneys
  • More athletic than the Wildcats (I just shuddered saying that)

By that measure, I say that this game is a toss up since T-Brew is about 1/3rd the coach that Fitzgerald is, but I've gotta go with my Alma Mater this week. Call it a gut feeling Also, T-Brew, if you are reading, PLEASE THROW THE BALL TO GREEN. He's good. Seriously. Good. Gaffers 24, PurplePoos 14.

Ciara says, "Go Gophers! Does anyone have any more foundation makeup? I'm starting to get a 5 o'clock shadow here."

Washington getting 9 at STANFORD. Guess what, Mr. Harbaugh...Jake Locker is better than you were. And you were pretty stinkin' good. I love Locker, I like Washington's athleticism, I like their coaches, and I really like their confidence right now. Some might say this is a letdown game after bumping off USC last week, but after you lose almost 20 games in a row I don't think you need a letdown week to know how hard you've got to work to win. Washington pulls the upset in the Bay Area, but nobody notices since they are all trying to figure out ways to cripple our economy with anti-business initiatives. Huskies 35, Cardinal 21.

PENN ST by 9 vs Iowa. This is one of my favorite yearly matchups to watch every year. Iowa/PSU is the Big Ten equivalent of South Carolina/Georiga in the SEC, except once the comparison breaches the Mason-Dixon, the concept gets flipped. JoePa and Ferentz have two of the most disciplined and intelligent programs in the nation, the polar opposite of the weekly knifefights that take place across the south each weekend in the fall. Anyway, the difference in this game is Daryl Clark and the PSU crowd. Nittany Lions 24, Iowa 13.

Western Kentucky getting 30.5 at NAVY. Does Pliers know anything about Western Kentucky? No. Has he seen them play? No. Does he know that their mascot is a giant cotton ball dipped in red Kool-Aid? Yes. And he also knows that Navy is not about putting up huge amounts of points when they get up on someone. 4+ touchdown favorite? I'm the child of a 22-year Navy vet and even I think that is ridiculous. This isn't Midway, it's a football game! CottonBalls 14, Navy 38.

The Hilltoppers will run the white flag up the mast and call off the attack early...and I think Navy will oblige.

Rutgers getting 1 at MARYLAND. Sure, Schiano hasn't beaten anyone of note this year, but Ralphie's team looks like it might be better off staying home and playing with it's Red Ryder Carbine BB gun. They lost to M. Tennessee State last week, sneaked by James Madison, and got blown out by Cal on opening night. They just look slow out there to me, and I think it's time to show Ralph the door, he just isn't effective anymore. Rutgers 27, Maryland 10.
Sorry, Ralph, it looks like the dream is over. But in memory of all the good times you have given us, here is your parting gift. It's Italian.

Pittsburgh getting 1.5 at NC STATE. If any team exemplifies "The Ewing Theory" put forth by Bill Simmons more in the NCAA this season, I haven't seen it. We have all been waiting for Pitt to break out with the talent they have and the prudent coaching of Dave "The Bushy One" Wannstedt. So, what does it take? LeSean McCoy to go pro. Now the light goes on. Perfect. NC State is a lackluster program with lackluster talent in my opinion, and I like the guy on the sidelines at Pitt FAR more than the jerk-ass leading the Wolfpack. Panthers 21, Wolfies 9.

Michigan St getting 3 at WISCONSIN. I really hate this pick, but I need 8 and this is the best of what is left. I'm always weary of picking against Wisconsin at Camp Randall, but I think Michigan State is much better than they have played and I'm hoping Dan-Tony-O can resurrect the swagger they played with last year. King Leonidas 17, Stinking Badgers 10.