Big D

Big D

Thursday, September 29, 2005

10/1 College Plays

Well the weather here in Texas is finally getting cooler (if only for a couple days), and that is a good thing because we are finally entering conference season across the country. This should be a good week of football with not a ton of unbelievable matchups, but there should be plenty of competitive games. After last week's narrow approach (only 4 games), I'm back this week with a pretty big card. I have plenty of games that I like a little, but not many I like a lot this week. Going to have a busy Saturday adjusting as the day goes on. I'll break it down into 3 categories this week so take this advice for what it's worth = nothing.

Top Plays

@Bama +4 over Florida -- I like Urban Meyer and I like this Florida team, but I also like Bama, especially their QB, Brodie Croyle. I think the key to this game will be Bama's offense against Florida's D. Florida's D (led by one of my favorites Charlie Strong) has put up some sick #'s so far this year including a +9 TO differential, but I think Bama is going to be able to score on Florida's D. The coaching edge goes to Meyer, but this is a pretty big road test and I am hoping MIke Shula can capture some old bama magic this week. This game should be a classic.

@Penn St. +3.5 over Minnesota -- Most people that read this site (well just Cuyler and Dave) know that I love Minnesota. Unfortunately, you can't be a fan when making wagers. I have said all year that this is Joe Pa's swan song season before he rides off into the sunset, and it starts this week. With Michigan and Ohio St. on the horizon, Penn St. has to find a way to win this week. This should be another great game, but I think Penn St.'s D steps up and plays better against the run their numbers indicate so far. Just in case you were worried, this play does not mean i'm off the Minnesota bandwagon.

Navy -6 over Duke -- I know Dave will like this play, and the only thing that scares me is the crazily long layoff Navy has had since their last game. Normally, Duke's surprisingly good run defense would scare me in this game, but Navy has shown an ability to pass the ball so far this year to offset any running trouble they potentially may have this week. While suffering two heartbreaking losses to Stanford and Mayrland, Navy needs to make statement. Duke as usual is just waiting for basketball season in a brutally tough ACC. I'll take the the road chalk and hope Navy can win this one easily.

Iowa St. +3.5 over Nebraska -- I feel sorry for those of you in the Big 12 region who don't have gameplan. You will be stuck with this game on ABC in the 2:30 timeslot. Both of these defenses are good and both offenses stink. I think Iowa St.'s offense is a little more proven and their team in general is more proven than Nebraska. I will continue betting against Nebraska under Callahan until they prove me wrong. Take the points and be happy about doing so.

Medium Plays
@Wake +7 over Clemson -- Clemson is bound to have at least some sort of an emotional letdown after their rollercoaster first month. Wake is trying to find some consistency after a disappointing 1-3 start. I think Wake has the running game to keep this one close. It would be a larger play but I'm worried about Wake's TO problem

@Mich St. -5.5 over Michigan -- Much like the Wake bet, I pegged this one early but something about this game scares me. Michigan is bound to showup for a big game sometime soon and it might be this week. With that being said, Mich St. is playing great football right now and should be able to handle this michigan team at home.

Baylor +22 over A&M -- Okay, I admit. I just don't like this aggy team and I think Guy Morris is doing some good things at Baylor. A&M should win but it will be tougher than experts are thinking. Looking for a game somewhere in the 42-24 range. A backdoor cover is not out of the question here.

Small Plays
@Iowa -17.5 over Illinois -- Iowa is a different team at home. Enough said.

@UNC -3.5 over Utah -- Tailing my guy on Hornfans.

@FSU -21 over Syracuse -- Syracuse will be lucky to score.

I've got some others but this should be enough of a card to pick out some ones you like.

Good luck to everyone this week and let's all hope Texas doesn't screw the pooch against my good friends up at Mizzou.

Monday, September 26, 2005

USA!!!!!!!! and an Unbeaten Weekend

What a great President's Cup this past weekend at RTJ golf club in Virginia. I realize that a lot of people consider the President's cup a poor man's version of the Ryder. I wonder what those same people are saying after watching this weekend. The US team showed a lot of fight and character by a lot of guys who have questionable team competition records. It was very nice to see.

A quick rundown of the weekend

--Dimarco and Mickelson deserve Co-MVPs of the team for their incredible team performance during the week (3-0-1). Dimarco deserves top billing for disposing of Stuary Appebly in the anchor match on Sunday to clinch the Cup (and avoid the tie) for the US.
--Jim Furyk deserves some credit for just having a solid week teamed up with Tiger (who has trouble with the team competition in the past), and Furyk did a hell of a job Sunday winning his match with the talented Adam Scott.
--Freddy deserves a special mention for his unbelievable match against Vijay. His putt on 18 was one of the coolest shots I've seen in years. He was sweating rather profusely through his red shirt on Sunday, but all was forgiven with his putt on 18. It was a special a moment.
--Scotty VP and Leonard also deserve some recognition. Without their team getting a few points, the US probably would've struggled. Leonard even further solidified his captain's pick choice by winning over Tim Clark in the opening match on Sunday.
--International team (With the exception of Vijay) deserves some kudos for bringing a lot of quality players who obviously consider this competition important but they are all class inviduals. Vijay on the other hand, played like crap, whined about the pace of play and overall just had a miserable weekend. My favorite moment of the weekend was after the Couples/Signh match when the US team were all out on the 18th green celebrating with Couples. Singh was caught in the middle of the celebration and most of the US guys seemed to be rubbing in the victory to Vijay a little bit. That scene tells me all I need to know about what guys on tour think about Vijay. Guy is a jerk.

Overall, it was just a great weekend of golf, and the international team are definitely a worthy adversary. It may not have the bitter blood feud that comes with the Ryder Cup, but the quality of golf this weekend was equal if not greater than any Ryder Cup. I don't care what other people say. I'll take the Ryder Cup and President's Cup any day over any other tournament during the course of the year. It at least deserves to be in the same level as the majors.

9/24 College Football Week that Was
I also have to give myself a pat on the back for going 4-0 this Saturday on College Football. While I didn't post my picks on the blog, all 4 of my plays hit this weekend. I'm looking to carry over this momentum into this weekend's games. So be looking out for that...

Here was a rundown of the 4 games that I nailed down before the weekend and how they played out:

4* play -- Wisconsin +3 over Michigan - Riding their momentum from last week's UNC win on the road, I was hoping Wisconsin would come home to face Michigan and sneak out of Camp Randall with a close win. Fortunately, Wisconsin was able to pull out a close victory at the end. Trailing by 4 late, John Stocco was able to run it in for the 23-20 lead with under 1:00 to go. This was just a sign for the incredible good luck I would have this weekend

3* play -- Tulsa Pk over Memphis - Tailing one of my favorite handicappers on Hornfans, I took an upstart Tulsa team over a young Memphis team at home. Tulsa was able to win in OT 38-31. Another one that I escape by the skin of my teeth

2* play -- Minnesota -3.5 over Purdue - Another classic game that Minnesota was able to cover in 2OT after scoring a TD and not allowing Purdue score. Just some great luck in this game.

1* play -- Arizona St. -6.5 over Oregon St. - Easiest win of the weekend for my smallest play. Should have figured.

So with that being said, everything will probably go the exact opposite this week.

Finally, good work by the cowboys going to 2-1 with a 34-31 win over the 49ers yesterday. A great game with some pretty bad defense on both sides. The cowboys needed that one if they are going to do anything this year. AT least now we have a little hope....

Thursday, September 15, 2005

9/17 College Football Plays

I have tried to pace myself this non-conference season and wait until conference season to really get serious. While I don't have any top plays this week, I am looking at about 15-20 games that could be plays. I will limit my list to 10 for this website. If you are interested in any other games, leave a comment and more than likely i have at least some sort of opinion on the game.

Okay, onto the picks...

5 top plays (keep in mind I have no 5* specials this week -- Minnestoa last week against Colorado St. has been my only 5* play so far)

1) Utah -3 against TCU -- TCU has to fall somewhere in the middle between their performances against OU and SMU. Regardless, this game is their MWC opener and is a big game for both teams. I just think TCU is a lot closer to the team we saw last week against SMU then the increasinly less impressive win against OU. Of course, I could be completely wrong. I probably wouldn't even playing this game if it wasn't a Thursday night contest, so proceed with caution. Also, be sure to check out Utah's tailback. He's pretty good and is a Maurice Clarett clone.

2) Bama -2.5 over South Carolina -- This should be a great game (first CBS SEC broadcast) and I feel like BAma isn't getting any respect so far this season. I just think Bama's overall talent level is better than South Carolina. I do expect this game to be close but I feel like Bama's defense will help them win a close won on the road.

3) Wisconsin -3 over North Carolina -- Wisconsin's ground game has been incredible so far this year thanks to CU transfer Brian Calhoun. While UNC is improving, I think Wisconsin's ground game will be too much for a feisty UNC bunch. This is my top play of the weekend but definitely not a 5* play.

4) @BC +2 over Florida St. -- This should be a hell of a game and I like BC because their crowd should be rocking and this is the type of game FSU has had trouble with the last 3 or 4 years. Plus, I need some home teams on my card and this seems like a good spot. Small play.

5) @Kansas -14 over La Tech -- Kansas has struggled so far against 2 subpar teams, and they need a good showing before heading into conference play. This seems to be a soft line considering Kansas will have some incentive play well. Medium play

Others still under consideration:

Mich St. +7 over ND -- I love the domers but Michigan St. has looked good so far this year and ND may have a little bit of an emotional letdown after their first 2 games. I still think ND pulls it out late but this games hould be close.

@New Mexico -22.5 over New Mexico St. -- New Mexico has been impressive so far this year (Win over Mizzou on the road) and New Mexico St. stinks. This is a soft line and should be closer to 27 than 21.

UCONNN +17.5 over G-Tech -- If UCONN (avg close to 300 on ground) can get anything established on the ground, I think they can stay within the number. G-Tech is a solid team so this is a scary play.

East Carolina +13 over Wake -- Wake has been terrible so far (loss at home to Vandy) and probably shouldn't be giving 13 points to anybody. I think East Carolina realizes this and will make Wake fight for a win.

Tennesee +7 over Florida -- Tennesee has too much talent to be getting 7 points against Florida. Public is all over Florida and I'll take my chances with a small play on Tennesee

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

WAY Too Early Heisman Favorites

I figured I might as well go ahead and give my thoughts on the Heisman. Even though it is way too early and things will change for sure before the end of the season. Here is my mid-September top 5 after 2 weeks:

Before I give my list, let me get one other thing out of the way. AS hopeful as I am that this is the year Texas will finally run the table in the regular season and make it to Pasadena, let's enjoy the ride before we worry about going undefeated. A big pet peeve of mine is trying to speculate who is going to lose to who and how we are going to find our way to the Rose bowl. I already see national sites ( getting fans of others schools (besides Texas and US) worried that they are going to be left out of the National Championship game like Auburn was last year. My advice to fellow football fans across the country is to enjoy each week and let the games play out before we worry about V-tech and Georgia getting left out of the national title game. You never know what is going to happen and this is what makes this sport so great despite the imperfections of the system.

OKay, rant over... Onto my top 5.

1A) Matt Leinart -- The defending Heisman winner has to be considered the favorite until proven otherwise. The only thing that irks me about Leinart is that he supposedly has a bodyguard now. I understand that he is basically a celebrity in LA, but I don't care how good of a college quarterback you are for USC. Requiring a bodyguard is a little much. With that said, the guy is easily the best passing QB in the college game right now, and he can pretty much bang any chick (including A-list actreses) in LA or anywhere else for that matter. He has to be the favorite right now.

1B) Vince Young -- If USC does lose or both Texas and USC go undefeated, Vince has a shot to beat Leinart either way because votes could be split between Bush and Leinart. Vince has such a great attitude on the field and his leadership qualities have transformed the entire Texas program. It's hard to believe that one guy can have that big of an impact on an entire program, but Vince YOung has done that with Texas. His win against Ohio St. may go down as one of the greatest moments in Texas history when it's all said and done. And damnit, the guy can pass too.

3) Reggie Bush -- There aren't enough adjectives to describe how Reggie Bush plays the game. Easily the most electrifying player in the game (no offense to Ted Ginn) and he may be even more valuable to the Trojans' success than Leinart. Can't wait to see him on the next level.

4) Lawrence Maroney -- If he was playing for Ohio St. or Michigan, the entire country would love this guy. But because he plays at Minnesota, he flies under the radar. Now that he doesn't have to share the backfied with cowboy Marion Barber (they both had 2 consecutive seasons of 1,000 yards), Maroney has the potential to put up some huge numbers this year. Through 2 games against Tulsa and Colorado St., he looks to be on pace for a monster season.

5) Brady Quinn -- If Charlie Weis can continue working miracles up in South Bend and ND somehow pulls off the miracle upset against USC, then Quinn has to be considered a darkhorse candidate. ND is still probably a couple years away from being a legitimate contender, but through 2 games, Quinn should be at least in the mix.

Others -- Chris Leak (Florida), Adrian Peterson (OU), Brad Smith (Mizzou), Brian Calhoun (Wisconsin), Ted Ginn (Ohio St.)

Monday, September 12, 2005


Wow is all I can say about that game. For those that didn't make the trip (you know who you are), you missed a classic. We may never see Texas play a bigger regular season non-conference game in our lifetimes. I hope Deloss and Mack realize the advantages to scheduling these type of home and home series with the big boys of college football, because this weekend was great for the team and especially great for the fans.

As high as my expectations were for "The Shoe", I have never been inside a stadium that cool. The Rose Bowl, DKR, Notre Dame Stadium, Kyle Field. None of those places comes even close to Ohio Stadium. The atmosphere inside the stadium was electric and that was easily the loudest stadium I have been inside. I have plenty of other places to visit (The swamp, between the hedges at UGA, Neyland Stadium, Tiger Stadium at LSU to name a few), but it will be tough topping the atmosphere in Columbus this past Saturday night.

You cannot argue with the passion of the OHio St. fans even if some crossed the line (mostly drunk students and other idiots). I may be in the minority among Texas fans, but I thought the number of Ohio St. fans wearing jerseys was cool and different.

Overall, it was just a fantastic trip. It was great to see everyone up there (Fall '97 and '98 represented well). This was easily the biggest win for Mack Brown in his tenure and the Horns appear to be well on their way to a return trip to Pasadena as long as they take care of business from here on out.

Could we really see USC vs. UT in the Rose Bowl for the national title? If we are going to end the title drought, there is not a better way to do it then going through Leinart, Bush, and Co. in their own backyard.

Before this weekend, I would say we wouldn't have a prayer against the SC juggernaut. But now, why the hell not?