Saturday, September 27, 2008

2008 Upset Special Week #5

After scouring the sports page this morning I am left to assume the Sacramento Bee made a mistake. Duke is favored by seven points against Virginia. I realize Virginia stinks but Duke has defined the word for my entire lifetime. Just recently Duke was sued by Louisville for breach of contract by backing out of some games. As part of its defense Duke said it was the worst team so Louisville should have no problem replacing them on the schedule with a team of similar stature. That is the Cliff's Note version, find more here. Duke ended up winning the case so I am left to go with the courts on this one. Thomas Jefferson's school will pull this one out.

Last Week: Don't ask. It was better than the week before though.

Season-to-Date: A gross 1-3.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Starting Over

Much like those on Wall Street I am in need of a do-over. My strategy in picking an upset special every week is a complete and utter failure. Choosing a team whose coach I believe to be on the hotseat is not working out, for obvious reasons I know. The only thing worse than my last upset special may have been Oregon's defense but that is certainly up for debate. I do know my upset special pick was better than the special teams play of the Ducks though. A new strategy in picking an upset special has not been defined. I have spent the last couple of days trying to get over just how bad my last two picks have been. The craziest thing is that I almost felt like a winner this week since my pick only lost by 20-something as opposed to 59. Baby steps I suppose. At this rate my pick on October 4th might be in line for an actual win. I will be at the Coliseum watching one team that will be a severe underdog hoping they pull off a miracle. For that reason alone I am not picking the Ducks against USC because that would all but ensure a long drive home for me. This week's pick will be the beginning of a long road back to .500 for me. Probably just as long of a road for the Pac-10 (minus USC) to gain any respect from anyone.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2008 Upset Special Week #4

It is probably a good idea to venture away from the Pac-10 since the last couple of weeks have been tough to take. I have had this pick in my sights for a whole week now. I admit to not being too confident in this pick but at some point the favored team's trash talk about its opponents is going to come back to bite them. Pardon the pun since they are known for waving their arms in a fashion that is supposed to resemble a chomp. I think it looks more like a variation on every two year olds favorite game, pattie cake, but that's just me.

This week's pick is the host Tennessee (+7.5) over Florida. Tennessee did lose to UCLA and, well, that is pathetic but I sense the players want to save their coach's job. This theory nearly worked for my Washington pick until the Pac-10 got in the way and I suspect the SEC officials will be dotting their I's and crossing their T's so let's take a chance on this one.

Last Week: The few people that do read this blog made fun of my pick and they have every right to. A weaker man would quit doing these picks after UCLA's performance but I am going to stick it out. I do stand by my assertion even more though. The Bruins will be back in the thick of playing for second place in the Pac-10 before too long so take advantage now.

Season to Date: 1-2

Saturday, September 13, 2008

2008 Upset Special Week #3

Things are really busy around our place. Trying to get things in order for a little get together to watch the Ducks in HD. As a result, the upset special breakdown is very simple. UCLA over BYU. Earlier in the week UCLA was about a 9-point underdog and I feel good about this one. Lost in all of the referee hubbub is that BYU stinks. UCLA on the other hand, Pac-10 teams better beat this year and next because they are going to be scary good very soon. Or so I predict.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Old White Men Ruin Everything

Once again the Pac-10 officials have shown their true colors. It never ceases to amaze me. Just one week after the conference had a great weekend on the field, the officials steal all of the thunder. And to top it all off the refs jobbed my upset special this week. No one needs to tell me that the game would have gone into overtime with a made kick (BYU had no chance of stopping Locker) and they still had a great chance to make the extra point with the penalty. That is not the point. The point is that Pac-10 leadership is a joke.

As of tonight they are defending the referee for making a call by saying a flag had to be thrown since it was not a judgement call. The defense for this is that the rule says you cannot throw the ball high into the air. Would the old, fat white guy please explain to me how he defines 'high' since there is no definition in the rule? My definition for high is so complex there is no way I would ever be able to throw a flag. I take into account elevation from sea level, speed at which the ball is thrown, when the ball is thrown, where the ball lands, what the follow through looked like, if the guy has a hot girlfriend and a bunch of other pointless variables. Every time someone back east rips on the Pac-10 they have every right to. The refs are brutal, the commissioner is brain dead and the media contract offends me. The product on the field is spectacular, ask Ohio State after next week's game, but everything else seems second rate.

This egregious error in judgement ruined my perfect upset special season, probably ensured Ty Willingham will be looking for a job about four months from now and increases the chances of my sleeper pick (Chip Kelly) being in contention for the UW job. That is the other part that bothers me. Willingham gets a lot of credit, and rightfully so, for being a class act but at some point he needs to show emotion. His team got royally screwed and all he could do was roam the sideline as if it were warm ups and then say the ref made the right call in his press conference. Here are his words (remember to read them in a boring monotone voice), "It's one that they almost have to call. It really should be a no-call, but it's one they have to call when they see it."

Willingham needs to stand up for his team in this instance and didn't. They should have taken the keys to his courtesy car as he left the podium and paid him his severance in pesos. I am 1,000 miles away, never played a down of tackle football in my life and hate the Huskies but somehow cared 10 times as much about that terrible call as Willingham did. My wife should have called an unsportsmanlike penalty on me for throwing the remote too high. I suppose she figured I had reason to lose my cool. If only Pac-10 refs had the smarts of my wife.

2008 Upset Special Week #2

After scouring the betting lines for this weekend's games there were not many candidates. A lot of "no chance at an upset" type games. Then I got near the bottom of the list and one game stood out: BYU @ Washington. Washington is a 9-point underdog so they're the pick. This boils down to one person and he is Jake Locker. I think he is a phenomenal athlete and hope he can turn into a phenomenal quarterback. The guy played some wooden bat college summer baseball and according to Baseball America was the top prospect in that league. I don't think he has even played baseball in a couple of years. The rationale behind this pick is pretty simple and is as follows:
  • The old-timers back from their Mormon missions have no chance of containing Locker.
  • Washington has to win this game to save Willingham's job because they are not beating Oklahoma next week.
  • I do not think Washington will play as poorly this week as last.
Last week: Stanford did beat Oregon State in a great ball game. I've already rehashed this brilliant pick so won't do it again.

Season to Date: 1-0

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pac-10 In Review - Week 1

I admit to watching very little football this weekend. It was not because I did not try though. At the very last minute a long-time friend and his wife invited us to spend the weekend with them at a cabin near Santa Cruz. My very first question was whether or not there was a TV and if it had FSN. The answer was no. I then told them I would talk to my wife and she would decide if we went. Needless to say she thought very little about watching the Ducks game and we went. It was a great time had by all. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology I was able to follow the action on my phone so it was not all that bad. In the end, I accumulated some bonus points that I will cash in at a later point in the season. Not all was lost as I had a fresh boysenberry pie at about halftime of the Ducks game to celebrate certain victory. As for the happenings in the Pac-10 from a very uneducated point-of-view:

Stanford was my hero of the weekend until Monday night. Putting a hurting on Oregon State was great to see. I suppose I have finally been able to forgive Stanford for ruining a perfect season way back in 2001. Man, that was a very long time ago.

Oregon State coach Mike Riley is smarter than all of us. After much thought I have determined he loses early season games intentionally. He sets the bar so low that if Oregon State comes close to beating Penn State this week then he looks like Vince Lombardi. With Oregon State fans only hoping for a bowl appearance every year he has the cushiest job in America. Well done, Mike.

UCLA versus Tennessee was the only game I saw this weekend (unless you count Oregon's game on TiVo). It was a phenomenal game to watch. There is no way UCLA should have been close let alone win. Now I know this next sentence will banish me from any special Ducks, Huskies or Buffaloes clubs but I have to say it. I kind of like Neuheisel. I really don't think he is cheating now but he found a way to win that game with a rag tag bunch of misfits (not including the defensive line). A few more wins like that and he will retire early to become a motivational speaker.

Washington got beat by a far superior team. It certainly will not be the last time this year. I would have guessed they would show up and try to save Willingham's job but that did not happen. If I am a UW fan I have Chip Kelly as my darkhorse for next year's coach. His offense has destroyed the Huskies twice now. Luckily, for the Ducks UW has not had an athletic director for months so maybe they will have no idea who to hire.

California-Berkeley is probably my least favorite Pac-10 team. They are the closest team to my current residence and everyone knows I like to hate the hometown teams. My wife's uncle has season tickets to the Bears so when they struggle it makes it so much more fun to talk to him. Beating Michigan State by a touchdown is lame. According to the paper the game was not that close but Longshore found a way to keep the Spartans in it. What was he doing in the game?

Arizona beat up on Idaho. Wow, very impressive. Who's up next, University of Alberta? There preseason schedule is offensive to me.

Arizona State did not play anybody very good either if I'm not mistaken. All I know about their weekend is that their indoor facility blew down. That is God's way of telling them an indoor facility in Tempe is a complete waste of money and space I suppose.

Washington State needs to be kicked out of the Pac-10 immediately. I do not care who replaces them. The school does not even have to field a football team. Just somebody take their place NOW!

USC manhandled Virginia. I have not seen a single highlight from the game but I gather from the score that things must have gone well for Petey. Everyone knows the true competition for USC comes during Pac-10 play so look for much of the same against the most overrated team in the history of sports next weekend.

Oregon looked great and I am very happy about it. Jake Locker was a non-factor to my surprise. Did anyone else notice the Oregon DBs were tucking their jersey bottoms into their shoulder pads showing off their stomachs? Reminded me of watching Miami play back in Ray Lewis' day. The one thing that does worry me a bit is that Oregon used its fourth quarterback by the second or third quarter of the first game. The Masoli pick up in the summer may have been Bellotti's greatest coaching move.

One last thing, I have been spreading the Duck gospel down here. A couple of weeks ago I asked my coworkers if they liked college football? No one really did. Can't really blame them with Sac State being the hometown team. That did not deter me from talking about the start of the season and the Oregon Ducks. Come to find out I show up to work today and I'm the only one that did not watch the game live. They were all fired up about the Ducks and congratulating me on the win as if I had something to do with it. One lady I work with even told me she got home on Saturday night, checked her satellite and called her provider to upgrade so she could get the channel the Ducks were on. I thought everyone got FSN but who knows. I do have to report that not a single one of them liked the uniforms though. Oh well, I'm sure their kids did.