College Football and NFL: This Weekend's Best Bets
Now that The Office has turned into a big, directionless mess, the title for Most Watchable Thing on Thursday night television (with apologies to It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and The League) is the two-minute "Dr. Lou" segments that run at halftime of the Thursday night college football games on ESPN and star college coaching legend Lou Holtz. Vintage train wrecks, they rarely disappoint.
The Dr Pepper commercial can't be far behind
Last night was the exception. Now, I realize that ESPN has made it part of their corporate mission to wash LeBron James' balls at every possible turn, and that's fine. I've gotten over LeBron: The Decision and decided that I won't let the least self-aware human being on the planet affect my mood. It's almost as if LeBron and I have made an imaginary deal, a mutual restraining order where we'll just steer clear of each other.
I like Dr. Lou. Hell, I love Dr. Lou. Painfully, last night the ESPN suits had LeBron (in complete Miami Heat garb) tell Dr. Lou that he was a "diehard" Ohio State fan and, in turn, ask the good doctor how the Buckeyes would do this weekend or something. I don't even remember the exact question -- I do remember LeBron pandering to Ohio (again, IN A MIAMI JERSEY) and infiltrating my favorite two minutes of the week.
Basically, LeBron reneged on our imaginary deal.
The only thing that can wash the bad taste of LeBron out of my mouth is to embark on another winning week picking games (three in a row!), so as the good Doctor would say....LESH GO!!
Oklahoma -2.5 over Texas
Neither of these two teams have been overly impressive thus far this season, but Oklahoma has at least shown glimpses of being a dominant team (Week 2 versus Florida State). I'm pretty sure, four weeks in, that Texas is just an average (by UT's standards) football team whereas Oklahoma is ready to put a little something together. I'm actually hoping for a blowout win by OU just to see if the Austin American Statesman doles out a near straight-A and B report card to the Longhorns again.
Tennessee +16.5 over LSU
LSU might have the best won-loss body of work in college football so far with four wins over BCS conference teams, and that's with a quarterback who probably would complete barely fifty percent of his passes even if the entire opposing defense walked off the field and said "Okay, go ahead and throw!" Meanwhile, Tennessee was celebrating an overtime win at home against UAB last week as though they just won their side of the SEC. The spread is 16.5 and I'm not even sure either team will even score 16.
UTEP -15 over NEW MEXICO
New Mexico is 0-4 overall, 0-4 against the spread and have been outscored 225-41. More importantly, they're giving serious competition to Washington State as the biggest "bet against under any circumstances" lock in college football. I think we'll ride this one till she bucks us.
BROWNS +3 over Bengals
In case you missed it, Chad Ochocinco had his "Ochocincos" brand of cereal (on sale in Kroger stores throughout the greater Cincinnati area) pulled from shelves this week because the toll free number for the charity that it supported ("Feed the Children") included an incorrect area code, whereby instead of reaching a number that would help feed malnourished youngsters it reached a number that helped undersexed perverts. Yeah, it went to a phone sex line, which to me begs the question -- in this day and age where virtually any type of sleaze, smut, or porn is available completely free of charge on the internet, phone sex is still a thing? Anyway, by my calculations, things like a phone sex line being inadvertently printed on thousands of boxes of your personal cereal brand is usually a precursor to things getting worse before they get better.
TITANS -6.5 over Broncos
Random scheduling quirk -- four weeks into the season, the Broncos will have played three games against AFC South opponents. The Texans (who actually are...you know...IN the AFC South) don't play their third AFC South game until Week 10. The Broncos are struggling against the AFC South thus far this season, which is appropriate given their status as the Texans' feeder system (Hello, Karl Paymah!). And to think that we were probably one more "Vince Young misses team meeting" away from having the two most revered college quarterbacks of the last twenty years (Vince and The Timothy Tebow) riding pine behind Kerry Collins and Kyle Orton.
Redskins +5.5 over EAGLES
Speaking of quarterbacks, aside from here in Houston where we'll all be watching the Texans, during the late games on Sunday the rest of the country will be dialed in on Philadelphia where Donovan McNabb makes his return to the City of Brotherly Love. McNabb said this week that he fully expects to be cheered by the Philly faithful, which I guess isn't that much of a reach -- I mean they did cheer Dallas Cowboy arch-enemy Michael Irvin back in the day. Of course, it was because he had broken his neck on the concrete parking lot that was the Veterans Stadium artificial turf. So as long as Donovan is willing to careen head first to the ground, snap his neck, and then take a slow gurney ride to the locker room, he may be right. He may get cheered. Regardless, I think he'll play well in his return to Philly in a game the Redskins desperately need after their collapse against the Texans in Week 2 and their hangover loss to the Rams in Week 3.
(Reason #415 that disgraced athletes who refuse to just apologize, pay their debt and move on are stupid -- on Facebook, Michael Vick's fan page has over 190,000 fans. Donovan McNabb's has just over 30,000.)
(Speaking of Facebook, my friend Amy texted me last night to tell me that she had a message from Facebook admin saying that someone from Seattle had tried to hack into her Facebook account unsuccessfully. It got me wondering -- why in the blue hell would someone want to hack another person's Facebook account? Bank accounts or credit cards, okay, while I don't condone it, at least you can understand the perpetrator's rationalization of an upside to the crime having some sort of financial windfall. But what exactly is the end game to trespassing into someone's Facebook account? Do you really get your jollies posting rogue pictures under someone else's name? Is it fun clicking the "Like" icon on random gay and lesbian newsfeed items?
Actually, now that I type that out, I could see where it'd be fun to hack a friend's Facebook account and make him a "Fan" of ladies' clothing stores or post pictures of 300-pound women in a folder entitled "Hotties," but let the record reflect that I see no point in going all War Games on a complete stranger. None. One of your buddies? Absolutely. Moral of the story: You suck, random Seattle person.)
Last Week 4-2
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.