Thursday, August 30, 2007

Upset Special: Week 1

A few years ago I started picking one game each week as my upset special and writing it on the whiteboard at work. The first couple of weeks I was picking some gems but since that great start I haven't had much success. I could care less what my track record has been because this year is going to be a great year for my picks. Since today is the first day of the 2007 NCAA D-1A football season I figure I need to make my upset special known. Generally, I will pick a game where the point spread is a touchdown or greater. And an 'upset special' only counts if the underdog wins the game. Covering the spread means absolutely nothing.

This week, I am having quite a time finding a game with a spread of 7 or more. There aren't too many 'upset special' worthy games this week. Just take a look at your newspaper. USC, Oklahoma, Texas and Penn State are favored by an average of 41 points! With the slate of lopsided games this week I am going to the biggest game of the weekend even though the spread is less than 7.

Tennessee (+5.5) will defeat California-Berkeley in Berkeley. Pac-10 homers will denounce my pick but I do not like Cal-Berkeley and don't want to see them win. I understand what a Tennessee win could mean for the national perception of the Pac-10 but it doesn't faze me. Cal-Berkeley's performance last year in Tennessee gives me no confidence in its ability to win this week. It does not matter that the game is in Berkeley. Have you seen the locals get fired up about anything besides trees and granola? Another thing that bothers me about Cal-Berkeley is that they get a ton of hype and have not won a big game, ever. People love to hype the Bears because they almost beat teams. I can't think of a big game they have won (barely losing does not count) since Tedford has been there and this week's game counts as one.

(Photo from Wade Payne/AP Photo.)

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