Happy Tuesday Cougar Fans!
So I am going to change things up a bit this week. One of our esteemed readers, David Bach, pointed something out to me on Sunday. He told me my Yahoo Pick 'em league name (Brandon Lang) was actually fired from his company for having three consecutive losing seasons as a handicapper. The movie Two For the Money, which has been the theme for my Tuesday posts, is based upon Lang. So, yes, I am firing Lang too. I am shaking things up, changing the name of the entry and the format of my picks!
This week, I am going to formulate some bets that I think might be of interest to you. Last weekend, the only NCAA loss I suffered was the backside of a parlay, where I thought UCLA would be beat by Houston's back-up QB. Oh well. Continue on for more....
Before we begin, here are a few of my thoughts on the Cougs. This after being 100% sober while watching an entire Cougar football game since I was on social probation while Jason Gesser & Co. knocked off Carson Palmer in '02.
1) I don't know why, but our offensive line is much better at pass protection that run blocking. They still aren't great in pass protection, but they are much improved over last season. With them struggling at run blocking, I am absolutely baffled by some of Todd Sturdy's playcalling. Establishing the run is extremely important early in games and on early downs. That being said, if you can only muster 1-2 yards per carry on those downs, forcing the obvious third down pass, why are we doing that? Why not come out guns-a-blazin' to our wide receivers, and use the run and screen to keep defenses honest?
2) Secondly, our youth is definitely showing in a lot of the penalties. There are a few examples, like a roughing penalty vs. Montana State that kept a fourth-quarter drive alive. And that unnecessary roughness call on Deone Bucannon on a clear incomplete pass, while nice in trying to set a physical tone in the secondary, was the difference in a 3-and-out or a 7-0 deficit on SMU's opening drive.
3) We aren't getting beat on just talent alone. The kids are in position, making the right play for the most part. And this team has definitely progressed each week this year. But the biggest thing I see that the staff is going to have to figure out is how to get this group fired up and ready from the start. While it was better vs. SMU, still, being outscored 213-13 in the first quarter now into year three for the majority of this coaching staff is plain stupid.
But that said, here's to continual improvement the rest of the year and an exciting 2011!
On to the betting action:
Texas Christian -17.5 Over SMU: The Mustangs have done nothing to prove they're as good as advertised. Furthermore, why the hell does June Jones wear a lei on the sidelines? Did he forget he is no longer the coach at Hawai'i? That's like Dennis Erickson wearing an Idaho Vandals hat in his office in Tempe.
Kansas State -7 Over Central Florida: I don't know why I like K-State so much, but it must have something to do with the fact they haven't let me down thus far?
Air Force - 11 Over Wyoming: The Falcons have been dropping a lot of points, while the Cowboys look pretty bad.
Stanford -4.5 Over Notre Dame: The Trees have been rolling and making me money the last two weeks. As Jeffrey Tambor's line in The Hangover goes, "You never walk away from a table when you're on a heater."
Arizona - 7 Over Cal: Did you see what Arizona did to Iowa? Did you see what Nevada did to Cal? Nuff said!
Oregon -11 Over ASU: Yeah, ASU hung in with Wisconsin on the road. The Ducks are not the Badgers though. This Oregon team is so explosive offensively and so sound defensively that I think they pitch another shutout here!
Other lines of note
Wazzu +21.5 vs. USC: The Cougs have improved each week, while we truly know nothing about USC (other than Kiffin is a moron and likes to go for 2-point conversions for no reason). The Trojans slid past Minnesota by 12 points and The Tony Bennett's by a FG. Are the Trojans looking past the Cougs to their revenge-minded rematch with UW the following week? Me thinks Wazzu covers here.
New Mexico State +21.5 vs. Kansas: What the hell is Vegas thinking? The Jayhawks have lost to North Dakota State and Southern Miss, and knocked off a ranked Georgia Tech squad. But 21.5 is way too many points. NM State covers.
Arkansas +7 vs. Alabama: Both of these teams look really good. In fact, too good. I wouldn't touch this, in the words of Bill Murray in Ghostbusters, "with a ten foot cattle prod."
This is all I have for you today Cougar fans! Happy Betting.