This Weekend's Best Bets: Aggies, Tigers and Utes (Oh My!)
Before we get to this week's best bets (or, as they're back to being called after last week's 2-3-1 week, this week's "best bets to fade Sean"), a moment of silence for Blockbuster Video's retail store.
Rest in Peace and please rewind.
DISH Corporation, the owner of the Blockbuster brand, announced that it's shutting down its remaining 300 retail stores and its through-the-mail DVD service. The latter service I can't speak to as I've never used it, but the former's locations' closing down is a little depressing.
Like many fortysomethings, I grew up in the age of "renting VHS tapes," so Blockbuster was a big part of my social life and entertainment during my teenage years. Back in the day, if you were bored? Well, go to Blockbuster and get some movies! Snowed in? Risk life and limb driving to Blockbuster to get some movies! About the only bad thing I could say about Blockbuster is that they didn't have the curtained-off separate room with the "adult features" that the mom-and-pop video stores had. Trying to quickly peek into that room to see the smut on the box covers of the tapes was a staple of the early stages of puberty back in the day.
Eventually, Blockbuster expanded to include video games and DVDs, but as the years went by, each store became more and more of a skeleton operation, and toward the end going to a Blockbuster was like visiting an aging, sick relative.
You knew the end was near.
So good-bye, Blockbuster. I will miss your microwave popcorn, theater-size boxes of candy and stringent adherence to rewinding rules.
Now, DISH execs, if you need some money to pay Blockbuster severance packages, here are some bets for which you can take the opposite side...
Auburn -7 1/2 over TENNESSEE
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn is in the midst of not only overseeing one of the great turnarounds in the history of college football (Auburn was 3-9 last season, and are now 8-1 and ranked ninth in the nation), but he's also in the process of exposing one of the biggest frauds in college football history, that being any success that Gene Chizik experienced in his time as head coach at Auburn. Because the fact of the matter is, without Malzahn as his offensive coordinator, Chizik was anywhere from below average to awful as a head coach. As for this game, I think it boils down this simply -- Auburn has the best rushing attack in the SEC (6th in the nation), Tennessee has the worst rushing defense in the SEC. The end.
TEXAS A&M -19 1/2 over Mississippi State
After the Alabama game earlier this year, a wise writer for this website said these words:
With the Aggie defense as inconsistent and unreliable as it is right now, it's a virtual certainty Kevin Sumlin's squad will find themselves in a couple "whoever has the ball last" shootouts against one or two (or more) of these underdogs, which is a dangerous way to live as a favorite.
(For the record, I'd pencil in back to back weeks in mid-October as the likeliest shootout candidates with a trip to suddenly-for-real Ole Miss and a visit from suddenly-rejuvenated-by-Gus Malzahn Auburn in back-to-back weeks.)
Oh, that's right, it was me who said that! Well, I bring that up for two reasons: first, it's because I'm insecure with low self esteem, and second, to point out that Mississippi State is neither Ole Miss nor Auburn. Not even close. This is the kind of game where Kevin Sumlin and Johnny Manziel hang a number on the other team.