NFL: This Weekend's Best Bets

Joel Kramer
Coming into the season, we all knew the Texans' schedule was relatively light. Granted, every team on the Texans' schedule was looking at the Texans as one of their opponents to justify thinking the same thing.

But here we are, two weeks in, and with the Texans at 2-0, the Colts at 0-2, and the NFC East being even worse than we'd thought, suddenly this is getting really interesting.

Check out the latest Super Bowl odds, courtesy of Bovada, with the Texans 2014 opponents in bold:

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Fan Fighting League! LSU Bro Fight Video Is Delightfully Absurd (VIDEO)

Now THIS is how you film a fight. Bravo.
This past weekend, I traveled to Norman, OK to watch the Sooners take on the Tennessee Volunteers with some friends.

Among them was my radio partner Ted Johnson, a three time Super Bowl champion and 10 year NFL player from 1995-2004. Ted and I started doing our show together, along with Rich Lord, back in March, and we were talking about what's been good and bad the first several months of our show.

The first thing Ted brought up was this: "Dude, I just can't believe how serious and 'non-sports' the subject matter is that we've had to discuss. I feel beaten down some days, like everything we talk about is more life-related or crime-related than sports-related."

You know what? Ted's absolutely right.

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Aggies (And Kyle Field) Take Out Owls

John Royal
One of the many divots in the Kyle Field turf on Saturday night
The story should be the Texas Aggies (3-0) defeating the Rice Owls (0-2) by a 38-10 score. It should be about the thrilling play of A&M quarterback Kenny Hill. The story could have been about the Owls trying for their first win against Texas A&M since 1980, or the first time ever that the Owls opened the season with two consecutive road games against ranked teams. Instead the focus is three things: field conditions so bad that the NRG Stadium field looks good in comparison, a bizarre series of plays at the end of the first half that cost Rice a field goal and A&M a touchdown, and the same old thing of Rice beating Rice.


The grass field at Kyle Field is brand new. Brand new as in planted this summer. Brand new as in it had more divots than a golf course being pounded by a bunch of first time amateurs trying to figure out how to drive off of the tee. Members of the grounds crew constantly trotted out on the field between plays attempting to fill in divots and replace dirt, and conditions were so bad that Rice head coach David Bailiff had to receive assurances at the half from the A&M athletic director that steps would be taken to insure the safety of the players in the second half.

"They told us what they were going to do, and I was comfortable with that," Bailiff said of the A&M assurances.

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Where To Watch Out-of-State College Football

Photo by Susan Du
Maple Leaf owner Olivia Blair, who just wanted somewhere to watch hockey 9 years ago, and Ray the bartender, Buffalo fan.

College football fans just can't hold a candle to their NFL counterparts. It's hardly anyone's fault but the alumni associations that charge bars an arm and a leg to host their watch parties, but with Houston's transplant culture the way it is, it's probably harder to get five Northwestern fans in a bar on a Saturday afternoon than it is to find a good tailgate during hockey season. The odds aren't that much better at the actual games, but just short of heaping on the blame on the team itself (just start winning), here are some places that die-hard (read: recently graduated) fans can go to catch that game they suspect no one else cares to watch.

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This Weekends Best Bets: "Cleveland Punter Gets Face Stomped" Edition

Joel Kramer
Finally, a safe haven from TMZ videos of domestic violence incidents and replays of Roger Goodell's sweaty face, lying his ass off to America.

Actual football!

If you're someone who is more the traditionalist, you can say what you want about Thursday Night Football -- the short week dilutes the quality of the product, NFL football is meant to be played on Sundays (and Mondays), Thursday belongs to college -- but if ever there were a week where we needed on the field stuff to wash the horrific taste of the off the field trials out of our mouths, it's this week.

Naturally, of course, one of the two teams in tonight's game is the now former employer of the wife beater in question, one Raymell (yes, RAYMELL) Mourice (sic) Rice. So we can't totally escape Rice talk.

But since the game is on CBS and the NFL Network (historic first ever simulcast!), we at least won't be subject to Chris Berman's less than insightful analysis of the league's handling of RAYMELL Rice:

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Fan Fighting League 2014 Is Underway! Texas Tech And UTEP Fans Brawl

Beauty is probably in the eye of the beholder when it comes to the proliferation of cameras (security, cell phone, or otherwise) in public places.

I mean, I'm guessing right about now, Ray Rice (and to a "walls are closing in" extent, Roger Goodell) probably longs for the days where to take a picture of someone, you needed an actual camera with a flash bulb, and when security footage surfaced, it was grainy and not nearly as plentiful.

Let's be honest -- with no footage of his TKO of his wife, Rice is probably waking up at the team hotel this morning and getting ready for Thursday Night Football.

Me? I love the age of omnipresent cameras, the content whirring of footage being shot everywhere we go. I have nothing to hide. My peccadilloes are pretty boring, and the exciting stuff I do is social media-friendly.

Also, the ever present video camera spawned the Fan Fighting League, and the 2014 FFL season got underway big time late Saturday night in El Paso!

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The Big Ten Is Terrible, So Maybe The Longhorns Would Fit Right In

Back in 2010, when the wheels of realignment began to slowly grind college football's conference structure into the made-for-TV, geography-agnostic menu of fabricated rivalries, rumors abounded that the University of Texas would get the ball rolling by joining forces with the Big Ten.

Largely a Midwest conference at that time (In 2010, Penn State was the only Big Ten school that a geography teacher would've said is not in the Midwest.), the Big Ten would have benefited from Texas' clout, its cachet, its pretty good football, a new gateway to the South, and most importantly, more money.

Lots and lots of money.

As we know now, Texas' move never happened. After flirting with the Big Ten and damn near having sex with the then-Pac-10 (now Pac-12), Texas decided to stay put after the powers that be in the Big 12 allowed the school to create the Longhorn Network and keep all 300 million of its dollars to themselves.

Good for them. Too bad they suck at football now.

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Houston Cougars Devour Grambling State Tigers

At least the Grambling band is good
Another week, another football game for the Houston Cougars. But instead of upstart UTSA, the Cougars faced downtrodden Grambling State, a former small college powerhouse struggling to stay afloat. The Cougars scored on the game's first offensive series and didn't look back. The Cougars were up 10-0 after the first quarter and 34-0 at the half. The question became one of not would Houston win, but by how much? And once the clock hit 0:00, the Cougars (1-1) had defeated Grambling State (0-2) by a score of 47-0.


The Cougars scored on the second offensive play of the game with QB Greg Ward, Jr. running a keeper wide right for the 12-yard touchdown. The score came 38 seconds into the game, a big change from the week before where the Cougars came within 1:03 of being shut out. The running game, which was nonexistent the week before, came out in force. Kenneth Farrow hit his career high when he hit the 119 rushing yard mark, in the first half (he finished with 130 yards for the game). The Cougars had 375 total offensive yards in the first half which was a far cry from the game total of 208 yards in the UTSA game.

The defense continued to stifle opponents, shutting out an opponent for the second time in the last four games dating back to last season. Grambling State had some success early running the football, but with a misfiring passing game, the Coogs finally shut down the rush. The defense continued the trend from last season, forcing six turnovers. Grambling State was limited to 11 first downs with only 238 total yards of offense (63 by rush), and they appeared to be lost and outclassed the entire game.

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Gambling! This Weekend's Best NFL and College Football Bets

Joel Kramer

I love football, but I hate football.

As you may have seen earlier this week, I gave out the Seahawks as one of my top season win total plays for 2014, taking the UNDER on 11 wins. I also, on my radio show, picked the Packers as the winners in the NFC North and an OVER for their win total.

So naturally, in the season opener, the Seahawks made the Packers look the same way Alabama makes a team like, say, Vanderbilt look. Totally outclassed and overmatched. So the season is not even a day old, and already I hate my bets, my picks, and my football watching life.

So there. Now, how about we pick some games, huh??!?? Who's comin' with me???!?

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Cougars Embarrass UH on Supposed Glorious Night for New Stadium

John Royal
TDECU Stadium, not long before everything started to go bad, so bad
Stop me if this sounds familiar. The heavily favored Houston Cougars open up the season at home against a team from Central Texas. But instead of winning the game by double digits, the Cougars are upset by double digits. Just replace Texas State with UTSA and make the final score 27-7. But there's one major difference because this time, the Cougars were opening up their brand-spanking-new pleasure palace, TDECU Stadium, before a record on-campus crowd of 40,795. It was a bad loss, a horrible start to a new season, and one that feels all too familiar under the Tony Levine regime.

Let's take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly from Friday night's debacle.

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