Well, as evidenced by my BlogPoll ballot this week, I’m setting forth a complete mea culpa on both Boise State and TCU. Granted, the Virginia Tech defense on that last Boise State drive had more potmarks than an Edward James Olmos side profile, but it was undoubtedly an incredible display of leadership by Broncos QB Kellen Moore. Now, do I think that Boise State deserves to be in the national championship game as an undefeated team? I’ll be honest – it would be difficult to rank Boise State over an unscathed SEC, Big Ten or Big 12 team with the strength of those conferences this season. However, there’s no reason why an undefeated Boise State team should get jumped by a one-loss BCS conference school.
Looking ahead, we’re jumping into one of my favorite weekends of the sports year: a full boat of marquee college football games on Saturday, the start of the NFL season on Sunday, baseball pennant races getting serious (or in the case of the White Sox, getting killed off – gawd I HATE the Twins), the US Open finals (with hopefully a Federer-Nadal matchup on Sunday) and even some quality golf here in Chicagoland with the BMW Championship. (I attended last year’s tournament in Cog Hill, which seems like 8 decades ago since that was essentially the last time that Tiger Woods looked invincible and there wasn’t any thoughts of him banging IHOP waitresses. The day that I went, he set a course record score of 62 with a 9 under par with an insanely massive and adoring crowd following him at every hole. I’m getting a little frightened that we may start speaking of Tiger in similar tones as Bo Jackson as a freakish “what if” athlete as opposed to Michael Jordan, who completely reached his maximum potential.) Here are this week’s parlay picks for both college football and the NFL (home teams in CAPS, odds from bodog via Yahoo! and note that the Illinois game is offline since the Illini are playing Division I-AA Southern Illinois):
- Florida State (+7) over OKLAHOMA – I’m very surprised that Oklahoma is giving this many points after looking completely pedestrian in what should’ve been a blood money home game against Utah State last week.
- Michigan (+4) over NOTRE DAME – The prospects of a Michigan turnaround this season was a bit more convincing to me compared to Notre Dame following last week. I’ll take the points again in South Bend.
- TENNESSEE (+12) over Oregon – This looks like a classic Admiral Ackbar “It’s a trap!” line – Vegas oddsmakers seem to be banking on people being smitten enough with Oregon’s 72-0 opening performance that they’ll give double digits points even though it’s a road game in a tough SEC environment with over 100,000 opposing fans. I’m just taking all of the points that I can this week.
Frank the Tank’s College Football Parlay Record
Last Week: 1-1-1
Illini Games for the Season: 1-0
Overall Season: 1-1-1
- BEARS (-6.5) over Lions – The Bears are probably going to be about a 9-7 team, which means that they aren’t necessarily going to be that good, but they also aren’t going to be as horrible as a growing number of national commentators seem to believe. I still have some faith in Jay Cutler and am not going to stick a Jeff George label on him just yet. Having Chester Taylor behind Matt Forte will vastly improve the Bears’ running depth and the defense has the ability to harass opposing quarterbacks with Julius Peppers added to the fold. Now, the offensive line (or lack thereof) definitely scares the freaking bejeezus out of me and it wouldn’t surprise me if Cutler is decapitated by week 3, so that’s kind of a negative. However, is that enough to dissuade me from my belief that we can at least pound Detroit at home? Heck no.
- Colts (-2.5) over TEXANS – There’s no franchise that has collectively wreaked more havoc (AKA fucked me) over the past 5 years on my game picks and fantasy football rosters than Houston. I’m staying away from them until further notice, especially when Indy is involved.
- Ravens (+2.5) over JETS – Oh, how I love virtually everything about Rex Ryan. I love how the world found out via Hard Knocks that he’s exactly like his caricature on Kissing Suzy Kolber. I love his speeches here and here. (Just once, I would love to hear Lovie Smith call the Bears a “fucking slapdick team”.) I love this in-depth piece about him that’s going to run in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. I love his family lineage as the son of Buddy Ryan, who is the architect of the 46 defense and the defensive coordinator of the ’85 Bears. However, I don’t love the amount of hype heaped upon a team that went 9-7 last year and definitely don’t love the QB play of Mark Sanchez (20 interceptions compared to 12 TDs last year). Plus, Ray Lewis and the Ravens defensive unit has a mountain of bulletin board material from its former defensive coordinator. So, I really like taking the points here since I believe Baltimore is winning this game straight-up.
Once again, feel free to use this post as an open thread for the weekend’s games. If you want to talk about conference realignment, please continue the discussion on the Big Ten Division-palooza post. Have a great weekend!
(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111)