College and Pro Football: This Weekend's Best Bets

Robert Huffstutter via Flickr creative commons
If you're a Texans fan, and for some reason you decided to take a nap around kickoff last Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts (and I can't imagine why you would, other than that the outcome of Texans games in Indy seems to be predetermined), and then woke up on Tuesday morning, it had to be a pretty jarring experience.

I mean, when you decided to take your 40 winks, Ryan Fitzpatrick was your starting quarterback and Tom Savage was waiting in the wings. When you woke up on Tuesday morning, Case Keenum was a Houston Texan again and you were forced to surf Thad Lewis YouTube videos to find out who in the hell he is.

This had to be how the guys in The Hangover felt when they found the tiger in the bathroom, right?

More »

Fan Fighting League! Packers vs Bills in a Frozen Fat Ass Match

Recently, there was a study performed on binge drinking in the United States, and it yielded some interesting (and perhaps slightly predictable) results.

It turned out that the No. 1 binge drinking state in the country was North Dakota. It was followed closely by Wisconsin. Next was Illinois. Ah, hell, I'll just give you the top ten right here.

They went like this:

More »

The Math Behind the Texans' Improbable 0-13 Streak in Indianapolis

In a league rife with parity, where any team can beat any other team on virtually any Sunday, the element of sheer luck inherently baked into NFL football makes it statistically almost as difficult to "sustain" long streaks of failure as it is to compile long streaks of success.

Just look at the standings this season. Even the ultra-crappy teams in the league have all won at least two games. Hell, in my football-watching lifetime, I've only seen two winless teams in full NFL seasons (1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2008 Detroit Lions). My point is that even a blind squirrel finds a nut.

Unless that blind squirrel is sporting a Texans jersey and playing the Colts in Indianapolis, in which case the squirrel is working a 13-year streak with no nuts.

More »

Cleveland Fans Turn on Johnny Manziel (w/ VIDEO)

Sunday morning began in Cleveland with anticipation, with hope. Hope that a new day was dawning and that the litany of Browns starting quarterback failures since 1999 was coming to an end.

But alas, three hours, one game....that's all it took for the masses in Cleveland, a desperate horde who'd been clamoring for the replacement of Brian Hoyer and the debut of Johnny Football, to turn heel on Johnny Manziel.

Whether 15 years of ignominious football should give Cleveland fans the right to be impatient is up for debate, but there is no denying this -- Johnny Manziel did nothing to justify the giddiness Cleveland felt at kickoff on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

More »

University of Houston Names Tom Herman Head Football Coach

Wikimedia Commons
If you're looking for a barometer on a college head coach's regime, an indication which way the wind is blowing, it's widely believed that a coach's third season provides the most insight.

At a lot of places, consecutive winning seasons and bowl games in years two and three would be enough for a coach to hold onto his job for at least one more year. However, despite those finishes the last two seasons, there were just enough chinks in Tony Levine's armor (some glaring) and just enough risk of the conference realignment ground shifting underneath them again for the University of Houston to realize that 7-5 just isn't good enough.

Losing to UTSA in the game where you open a new $120 million stadium isn't good enough. Four offensive coordinators in three years isn't good enough. Tony Levine, a good man but in a little too deep as a head coach, just isn't good enough.

And thus, on Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman would take over as the head coach of the U of H football program, set to begin his job once Ohio State is eliminated from the College Football Playoff.

More »

NFLPA Sues NFL on Behalf of Suspended Adrian Peterson

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for adrianpeterson.jpg
Mike Morbeck via Flickr Creative Commons
On the heels of a summer where he came across, at best, as completely tone deaf and, at worst, as an incompetent boob, followed by a trouncing in Ray Rice's appeal of his indefinite suspension, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell needed a win.

How bad were things for the embattled commish? Well, his botching of the Rice discipline actually made America somewhat sympathetic toward a guy who blasted his wife in the face with a clenched fist in a casino elevator. Roger Goodell actually made Ray Rice a victim. That's all you need to know about the necessity for Goodell to win something.

So it's no surprise that when it came time for a third party to hear the appeal of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's suspension (until April 15, 2015) on child abuse charges, Goodell planted one of his goons, former NFL exec Harold Henderson, as the arbiter.

And it was even less surprising that Henderson upheld the league's discipline of Peterson last Friday. Same random Price Is Right discipline wheel, just a different guy spinning it.

More »

Case Keenum Possibly Starting for Texans on Sunday

Thumbnail image for Keenum.jpg
Photo by Groovehouse
"Case (Keenum) is going to be the quarterback. We're going to give him a chance to see how he can perform. I think the jury is still out. He's got a lot of ability. He's shown some flashes of brilliance and then he's shown some rookie mistakes. We've got to see if we can improve, eliminate those mistakes, minimize those mistakes and continue some of the outstanding play that (we've) seen and see whether we think that he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL. At this point, we really don't know." -- Bob McNair, 12/6/13

That was Bob McNair a little over a year ago, meeting with the media to discuss the firing of former head coach Gary Kubiak, a termination that was caused in large part by 11 consecutive losses but also fueled by McNair's frustration with Kubiak's yo-yo act at the quarterback position and his seeming inability to totally quit Matt Schaub altogether.

Case Keenum would wind up starting eight games in all, winning exactly none, before watching his season end with an injury sustained in a Week 15 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Through a coaching change, the hiring of Bill O'Brien and an entire offseason and preseason, eventually we learned what McNair insisted we didn't know back on December 6, 2013 -- that Keenum indeed is not a starting-caliber NFL quarterback. He would eventually get cut just before the start of the 2014 season.

So naturally, as the Texans continue to withstand a two-year karmic kick in the collective nuts at the quarterback position, not only is Case Keenum back with the Texans to close out 2014, but there's a good chance he will start on Sunday against the Ravens at NRG Stadium.

More »

Colts 17, Texans 10: 4 Winners, 4 Losers

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for WINNERSLOSERS.jpg
NFL fans marvel, rightfully so, at teams that are able to string together long periods -- games, seasons, coaching regimes -- of sustained success. Performing any task and achieving the desired result with no hiccups or potholes is incredibly difficult.

However, in the parity ridden world that is NFL football, it's equally remarkable (even if unintentional) when a team manages to go consecutive games or seasons with uninterrupted failure, the thinking being that even bad teams luck their way into achieving a desired result by accident once in a while.

So it is with the appropriate amount of awe (mathematically driven awe more than anything) that I give you the following statistic regarding the Texans' ignominious 0-13 streak on the road in Indianapolis to begin the franchise's history:

More »

College and Pro Football: This Weekend's Best Bets

Gavin's Goods via Flickr
So I'm coming off a betting weekend where I'm rounding into midseason form. The only problem is that midseason was like a month and a half ago, so we got some catching up to do!

I went 5-1 last weekend, and now we shift gears to the two-week period where there's no college football to bet on, just the NFL. After going 3-0 on college last weekend, this makes me a little bit sad.

But we can always do better. We can always go 6-0, and if you don't think 6-0 is possible, well, let me give you a little bit of Twitpic inspiration. Check out this crazy parlay ticket from last weekend:

More »

Houston Texans Week 15 Watch Guide

Photo by Groovehouse
It's been a long week for Houston Texans fans. What was supposed to be a week of build-up and cautiously optimistic anticipation was buried under a cloud of gloom after the news that top pick Jadeveon Clowney's follow-up procedure on his knee on Monday was, in fact, microfracture surgery.

If you're an athlete, "microfracture" is a filthy, dirty four-letter word that used to be an athletic death sentence, and has since been upgraded to an athletic game of Russian roulette. As Dr. Kenneth R. First pointed out on Sports Radio 610 on Thursday morning on "In The Loop," 61 NFL players have undergone this procedure. Nine have gone on to play longer than five seasons.

Nine. That's it. So what does this mean for everyone involved?

More »