I believe had this one right.
If I were a betting man … I’d guess that Dan Guerrero will be sending text messages to the agents of Bellotti, Kevin Sumlin of Houston and Mike Leach in the fourth quarter. I’m a little scared of 5.5 points. If you could tease it to a +.5 and knock the over/under down from 62 to 56, that would be ideal. But in a one-game bet, I would give the 5.5. Arizona is going to get up early and force UCLA out of its comfort zone of running with Franklin and Coleman, and forcing Prince to pass.
I love Rece Davis calling that guy a knucklehad. Awesome.
So far on Thursday night games, ESPN has had USC's thrashing of California, then it had last night's debacle, which got out of hand so fast that re-runs of Jesse Palmer on The Bachelor would have been slightly more entertaining to watch - slightly.
The next primetime non-Saturday game? USC at Colorado on Friday, Nov. 4th.
Um, Larry Scott, will you accept this rose?
Oregon (-31) at Colorado
This is such a mismatch. The longest run Colorado will have is when Ralphie charges out on to the field. It’s one of the coolest things in college football ... unless you get run over in the process
If you’ve never seen a buffalo up close and in real life – they are massive and terrifying. But buffalo burgers? If cooked properly, they are delicious.
Put simply, Colorado is terrible. They were awful before with running back Rodney Stewart and linebacker Doug Rippy. Now both are out, with Rippy done for the season, and the Buffaloes are significantly worse. They don’t have depth like Oregon. Then again, few teams in the Pac 12 have the depth that the Ducks have at their skill positions. When LaMichael James went out, they kept racking up yards. When Darron Thomas went out, they continued to put up points.
I have a random question.
Do you think Chip Kelly screams, “Hey, will you shut up!” to those obnoxious, inebriated fans if it wasn’t Erin Andrews interviewing him?
I mean if it’s Shelley Smith, or Jason Stiles, does he play the chivalrous conquering hero?
“I will save you and this interview my lady!”
But it’s EA, and it’s Chipper to the rescue. It’s like when Mike Stoops wouldn’t tell anybody about Juron Criner’s appendectomy and then he magically spills his guts to Jenn Brown in a production meeting. I can't imagine why. Not that I wouldn't have done the same.
Realistically, I feel like Chip’s personality has him wanting to tell the world to shut up.
Speaking of EA, she’s dating one of the guys from "Cougar Town," which is somehow in its second season. I'm pretty sure it's this guy.
If I were a betting man … I’d give all those points. Yep that’s 31 points, and I will give them all. Say what you want about Kelly, but he and his teams take the remaining shreds of hope and dignity that opponents have in games and crush them under a mountain of yards and touchdowns. He crushes dreams like a bad high school guidance counselor. Colorado might be worse than the 2008 Huskies and Cougars. And I don’t know if they will another game this season. Head coach Jon Embree is trying to change the culture. That isn’t happening over night.
Utah at California (-2)
When Cal comes to Montlake on Saturday, the Huskies will get to see the Bears’ new signal caller who has renewed hopes of legitimacy and bowl berths in Berkeley after last year’s dismal 5-7 season.
Zach Maynard is left-handed, looks skinnier than his 6-2, 190-pound listing on the roster, and he’s athletic. He can run. And the junior probably is a better passer than his numbers indicate.
Most important of all to the Bears and head coach Jeff Tedford, he gives them a chance to use their whole offense and win games.Who pays these idiots to write such nonsense?
Maynard hasn’t won a game since I wrote that, and is completing just 52 percent of his passes in those three straight losses. He was Brock Mansion-esque last Thursday against USC, throwing three picks and zero touchdowns.
Still, he’s better than anyone Cal has, and better than Utah starter Jon Hays.
Utah went to Pittsburgh and somehow got a win. I say this now, having watched a few games. UCLA, Utah and California are better than almost every team in the Big East with the exception of West Virginia, and maybe South Florida. So while going on the road and getting a win is big. Doing it against a perennial under-achieving Pitt team makes it a little less impressive.
The pick: Utah has its best success when Hays is handing the all off to John White. They need to run the ball and take play-making out of Hays’ hands. Cal for all its faults has been decent at stopping the run, except for the Oregon game, which isn’t a surprise. Oregon runs well on everyone, but SEC teams. But the Bears did a decent job against Washington and USC. The Bears can load up against the run and force Hays to beat them. Right now, he doesn’t seem capable of doing it. Maynard is never going to be a high completion percentage quarterback, but he will be better against the Utes and will use his half-brother Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones.
If I were a betting man … I’d tease this game along with USC, Oregon. That’s dollar, dollar bills right there. But in a straight-up bet, give the two points. If Cal gets up early, Hays will have to throw more than Utah wants and it will lead to interceptions.
USC at Notre Dame (-9.5)
Remember when this game used to mean something. It made legends of Todd Marinovich, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn and Ron Powlus. Ok, maybe that’s bad comparison. But traditionally, this game used to be big because both teams were usually ranked and talked about nationally. But not so much lately.
Warning Notre Dame rant coming …
As someone who grew up attending (not by choice) Catholic school, I dislike Notre Dame. I disliked it when the nuns would tell me that I should like them because they are a catholic school. I really disliked it that the nuns still used corporal punishment, which of course I deserved. So maybe that’s where my dislike of the Fighting Irish stems from. Or it could be that some of the Notre Dame fans that I used to deal with during my bartending days in Missoula were some of the most self-righteous, condescending, whiny, pretentious, know-it-all blowhards that I’d ever come across.
Also the handling of the accidental death of Declan Sullivan did little to change my opinion of the program.
Do I like it when they lose? Oh yes. There are two teams that I would watch lose every day – the New York Yankees and Notre Dame.
Sure my dislike is irrational. But until you’ve been whacked by “God’s tool of discipline” from Sister Angela then you just don’t know.
The pick: I think USC is decent. I think they have talent. I think they have some playmakers in Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and Dion Bailey. I think have a head coach, who is … hmm ... well … a head coach. Still, I can't take Notre Dame.
If I were a betting man … that’s a lot of points for two decent teams and I'm taking all of them. Yes, USC is on the road. Yes, the Trojans have issues at tailback.Yes, Lane Kiffin is prominently involved. But I can’t force myself to ever bet on Notre Dame. My grandma always said never bet on games where emotion is involved. She also said if I ever bet on Notre Dame she’d cut me out of her will. My grandma was an interesting lady.
Oregon State at Washington State (-3)
Every week, I seem to write that the Cougs are playing for Paul Wulff’s job. But this will be the last week. If they lose, he’s likely done as the coach. Trying to find three more wins to reach bowl eligibility in the final five games is difficult. And really, there is this assumption that all Wulff has to do is reach a bowl game to be safe. AD Bill Moos has never come out and said that. He’s never said much of anything other than “Paul is our coach.”
You know who else said that, UCLA athletics director Dan Guerrero said the same thing last night about Rick Neuheisel after that embarrassing display by the Bruins. And we all know what his fate what will be.
That being said, I think it isn’t fair to compare either coach’s situation. Wulff came into a completely different situation. To his credit, he’s tried to build it the right way without JuCo quick fixes.
But this is a results based business and good intentions will only last for a few years. Is it fair that Jeff Tuel broke his collarbone in the first game? No. Is it fair that Blake Lively is dating Ryan Reynolds and not Ryan Divish? Absolutely not.
I truly believe Washington State would be 5-1 if Tuel had not gotten hurt. But he did. And they are realistically, a loss away from bowl consideration.
The pick: I’m taking the Cougs. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I hang around so many WSU alums. Maybe it’s because I covered them a few years ago for the TNT. Maybe it’s because I can’t help but secretly root for the underdog. Although according to Vegas, they aren’t underdogs. I do think WSU state will win. Tuel was rusty a week ago. The Cougars receivers couldn’t catch anything. And they were playing Stanford. I am certain Tuel will be better this week. And I'm still not a believer in the Beavers yet. They are getting healthier and playing much better and they aren't Colorado bad. Still, I'm not a Sean Mannion believer ... yet.
If I were a betting man … I’d give the three and hope the Cougs don’t you know ... it.