Thursday, September 23, 2010

Weak Four in Big Ten Football

With ten out of the Big Ten's eleven teams in action this weekend, it's time for some exciting Midwestern football action, right?

Actually, not so much. Check out the schedule of B10 opponents this week. Spreads are from here. I'll do something fun with those at the end.

Two of those games could actually be decent. Penn State (-17.5) draws undefeated Temple - the Owls are leading the MAC after a convincing 30-16 win over UConn last week, and an overtime victory against Central Michigan in Week Two.

Speaking of the Chippewas, they are, sadly enough, the second best B10 opponent this week, and should give Northwestern (-9) as much of a challenge as Rice or Illinois State, at least.

The rest of the schedule makes me want to sleep in all day Saturday:

Michigan State vs. Northern Colorado (NL)
Wisconsin vs. Austin Peay (NL)
Ohio State (-42.5) vs. Eastern Michigan
Michigan (-23.5) vs. Bowling Green
Iowa (-28) vs. Ball State
Purdue (-13.5) vs. Toledo
Indiana (-21.5) vs. Akron
Minnesota (-4) vs. Northern Illinois

Meanwhile, the SEC is starting league play, as is the Pac-10. And we can't get a single major-conference opponent, anywhere?

On average (not counting the games without a line) the Big Ten is favored to win by SEVENTEEN AND A HALF POINTS PER GAME THIS WEEK! Can I get a nine-team parlay? (Screw you, Minnesota) Would it even pay me any money if I won it?

09/23/10 Picks I like

In a new column gimmick (maybe I’ll start up weekend watch again), every Thursday I am going to list out my favorite gambling lines for the upcoming weekend of College Football. I will also point our which games I am actually gambling on (legally purchased in Las Vegas). There was no Vegas trip this week, so I have no actual bets.

A few notes about lines in general.

1. Lines are NOT what Vegas thinks is going to happen. The lines are what Vegas thinks will convince the public to bet on the game.
2. Vegas knows big name teams (think Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Yankees, Cowboys, Red Sox) will have more money bet on them because Joe Fan hears about these teams all the time and will adjust their lines accordingly.
3. Vegas is close to Los Angeles and has a lot of visitors from there. They know LA fans will bet on their teams and will adjust their lines accordingly.

Over/Under –A wager in which Vegas will predict a number for a statistic in a given game (usually the combined score of the two teams), and bettors wager that the actual number in the game will be either higher or lower than that number.

Money Line – Bet on one team with no line. Payouts are changed to keep betting equal.


-140: A bet of $140 is place in order to win $100
+140: A bet of $100 wins $140

A quick note, I will pick more college games because I think there is more potential to win money compared to NFL where Vegas only has to forecast 16 games and teams are very close talent wise. Normally I don’t like picking road teams, but I have a bunch this week.

College Football

Friday 09/24

TCU -18 @ SMU

TCU is rolling right now and needs style points to jump Boise State and stay in front of Oregon in the polls. I see TCU rolling this week and winning by more then 18.

Saturday 09/25

Eastern Michigan +44 @ Ohio State

I normally don’t like taking high lines because I am unsure if the team is going to keep scoring or just run the ball out with a big lead. 44 points is a ton, and I see OSU getting up 28-0 quickly and then taking the foot off the gas and winning 48-7.

Oklahoma @ Cincinnati Over 52 points.

I know Cincinnati has not been as good as expected and Oklahoma does play good defense. I See Oklahoma scoring 40 some leaving Cinncy to only needing two touchdowns.

Arkansas +7.5 vs Alabama

I know Alabama has looked great and handled the Arkansas last year. I think Arkansas is currently overrated (really who did they beat to become a top 15 team), but they have a big, expierenced QB who is playing well and they are at home. I don’t know if I see Arkansas winning, but at least covering.

Stanford -5 @ Notre Dame

Notre Dame is coming off a tough loss while Stanford has been pummeling people this year. I see Stanford winning big.

Indiana -22 vs Akron

Akron is awful, IU scores a lot of points this year. I see IU winning in a blowout.



Tennessee +3 @ New York Giants

Giants looked awful last week, and the Titans turned the ball over a million times in their loss. They will have that straightened out and I think win the game out right, but the three points help.

Atlanta +4 @ New Orleans

I actually do not have that much faith in Atlanta this year, but New Orleans played on Monday night, on the West Coast. They didn’t get home until Tuesday at 5 AM. They will have a short groggy week of practice and think Atlanta will take advantage.

Top Chef Thoughts

Congrats to Kevin on Winning Top Chef Washington D.C. I know I had him ranked low, and then “could go either way,” but he said so himself, he was up and down. He found his rhythm when it mattered most and won.

Now I have two purposes for this post.

1. Discuss Top Chef All-Stars
2. Discuss Next Top Chef Filming Locations

Top Chef All-Stars

We all knew it was only a matter of time before they did a full all out All-Star competition, not just a special show. The show is already done filming in New York and will start airing December 1st. I have not heard the line-up, so if it’s been announced, this post is kind of pointless but I am going to guess who are 18 contestant who are going to participate on the show. My only criteria is winner’s are not allowed back.

Season 1: San Francisco

Tiffani Faison
Lee Anne Wong

Season 2: Los Angeles

Michael Midgley
Marcel Vineron

Season 3: Miami

Dale Levitski
Casey Thompson
Howie Kleinberg

Season 4: Chicago

Richard Blais
Spike Mendelshon
Andrew “Tweak” D’Ambrosi

Season 5: New York

Stefan Richter
Fabio Viviani
Carla Hall

Season 6: Las Vegas

Bryan Voltaggio
Kevin “Red Beard” Gillespie

Season 7: Washington DC

Kenny Gilbert
Ed Cotton
Angelo Sosa

This was actually harder than I expected. 18 leaves 2-3 chefs per season and some season defiantly warnted more. Some choices like Marcel, Blais, and Fabio were easy, but finding the last one to cut, Lisa Fernades, cut was hard.

2. Next Top Chef Filming Locations

These are my guesses at filming (in reverse order) of where the next regular season of Top Chef will take place.

4. Hawai’i

Hawai’i would offer a bunch of unique challenges included a luau, seafood and tropical themes.

3. Seattle Washington

Seattle has the world famous fish market, Coffee, Boeing (think airline food) which could produce some good challenges

2. Austin Texas

Really, this is just Top Chef Texas. You could pick Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio or any other numbers of cities. I went with Austin because it is known for having a ton of small but excellent resteraunts. Steak, Rodeo’s and all things Texas will be Featured

1. Atlanta Georgia

The ATL has been represented by a lot of different Chefs. This can feature all the good things when thinking Southern food, spicy, bbq, and deliciousness.

Indiana University Basketball Preview

I know it's still a few months away, but this is awesome.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


As you may or may not know I currently do a radio show for my school. This year a friend and I have decided to do a sports show. We finally have the equipment to record shows so I wanted to post our latest show for you guys to give it a listen. The first 15 minutes are just stadium jams before the actual show. We decided to do a PTI approach to the show and I plugged the ACSS a few times. So without further comment enjoy: Click Here To Download Show

Rick Reilly Does It Again

I used to actually like Rick Reilly's work, but now he seems to have gotten lazy with his writing. He should stick to his short pieces for the four golf majors and then take the rest of the year off.

I this week's column, Rick Reilly makes up a word, Complisults. What is that you ask, well let's look at Rick's definition.

"A 'complisult' is half-compliment, half-insult. It's not until you're driving home in your Prius that a complisult slaps you across the cheek."

Or as the rest of the world calls it, a backhanded compliment.

Rick then goes on to write a column offering backhanded compliments for each team, yet, he doesn't know enough about each team to come up with good ones. I found two amusing and that's about it. Guess the two, Colts and Pats. What a surprise, two teams that get a lot of media attenion. Some of his backhanded compliments are just generic and could be used for any team. Way to do research for a lame column.

Not to be a homer, but I don't get his backhanded compliment about the Bears at all.

To a Bears fan: "Dude, when you talk about a team that's history, you're talking the Chicago Bears."

Where's the compliment in there? Isn't that just a straight up insult? Closest thing I can think of is he's trying to say the Bears are a historic team, not just a team that is already done for the year.

I actually like good Bears jokes, my two favorites.

Q: How do you keep Bears out of your back yard?
A: Put up Goal Posts

Q: Why did it take the Bears so long to get a website?
A: Cause they can't get three W's in a row.

Don't worry though, the Bears aren't the only one who don't make sense, there are plenty of other ones.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bears vs. Cowboys Recap

I hate to say I called it, but I pretty much did. My prediction was a 27-21 Bears victory if the Cowboys were completely healthy. They were. The final score was 27-20 Bears. It's okay to be impressed.

Some things I noticed last week: the Bears offensive line sucked at first, and wasn't even that great at the end. However, some great adjustments by Mike Tice and the line cooling down helped them play well enough against a great pass rushing team. Saying that, I think the o-line could definitely witness some improvements this year, and continue to get better. I don't think they can be dominant, I'd like to draft a lot of young talent there next year, but overall, I think they can be a little above average this year. Which says a lot.

Mike Martz is a genius. The adjustments he made. It was like wow, if this were Ron Turner we'd be running the same damn plays over and over without any adjustments. We would have definitely lost that game.

Jay Cutler is who we thought he was. Over the first two games he has 649 passing yards, 5 tds 1 int, a 68.8 completion percentage, and a rating of 121.2. That doesn't include his gaudy average of 10.1 yards per attempt. That means everytime he gets the ball out he's averaging a first down. While not true, he is putting up massive yards and I honestly wouldn't be shocked if he did get to 5,000 passing yards this year with 35+ tds.

Matt Forte is going to be deadly this year. There is a realistic shot that he could get just over 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. Granted his rushing will have to improve in order to meet the rushing total, but he is certainly on pace in the receiving department with 188 yards receiving already. His current pace: 632 yards rushing 0 tds, 1,504 yards receiving 24 tds. Of course I could see his rushing yards increase and his receiving yards decrease. Which is why I'm meeting halfway: 1,000 rush yards 1,000 receiving yards. He would be only the third player ever to do that.

Wide Receivers look damn good. The tight ends, mainly Greg Olsen, are playing okay but not great. Yeah he had the long touchdown scamper but overall he isn't really getting that many grabs. His blocking has improved though.

The defense is playing well, especially the linebackers. I don't know if it was made apparent how well the linebackers are playing but they completely shut down Dallas' run game. The secondary is out there hitting hard, and so far the defense seems to be very opportunistic with 6 turnovers in 2 games. They are looking good again. My only issue so far has been the play of the d-line. I don't think they are getting as much pressure as I'd like to see. Only one player on the D-line has a sack, and that was against Detroit. Yes, Tony Romo is very elusive but I'd like to see the d-line get more pressure.

Next week, if we see the d-line play better, which I think we will b/c I don't see the Packers line being great, than I think we win the game. It doesn't matter if one team sucks and the other team is on the way to the Superbowl, this matchup almost always comes down to the wire. So, no blowouts here. I think you'll see the Bears win one at soldier field for the division lead. Bears 31-20.