Friday, September 23, 2016

Football 2016: Week Four

There are four interesting SEC games on TV this Saturday, just enough to keep me stationed in front of the tube all day if I'm so inclined.
  • The early game (ESPN 11:00 AM) features undefeated Georgia (3-0) at Ole Miss (1-2), with Ole Miss favored by a touchdown at home. What makes this an interesting game? Well, Ole Miss is lurking as a future Texas A&M opponent. College Football News expects the Rebels will win 30-24. UPDATE: Ole Miss blew substantial leads in losses to Florida State and Alabama, but not today. Ahead 31-0 at the half, the Rebels cruised to a 45-14 demolition of the Bulldogs. The Ole Miss offense looks too potent for the Aggies as things stand today.
  • The conference showcase game on CBS (2:30 PM) offers unbeaten Florida at unbeaten Tennessee. The Volunteers are the favorite at 6.5 points, and this game is interesting because, like Ole Miss, the Vols also play the Aggies later this season. The CFN forecast: Tennessee 20 Florida 17. UPDATE: Florida walked all over the Vols to lead 21-3 at the half. Now 21-10 in the third quarter. SECOND UPDATE: Tennessee came alive in the second half in an impressive comeback, winning 38-28.
  • The early evening game (ESPN 5:00 PM) matches LSU against Auburn, with Auburn a 3.5 point underdog at home. Why is this game interesting? Auburn was A&M's most recent opponent, and LSU is their final opponent of the regular season. I want to see how a team the Aggies have already beaten looks against a team they haven't been able to beat since they joined the SEC. CFN thinks LSU will manage a 26-17 victory. UPDATE: This is the first time since A&M joined the SEC that LSU looks like they can be had. Auburn slugged it out with them to win 18-13.
  • Finally, the late game (ESPN 8:00 PM) is Arkansas vs Texas A&M at Arlington. Both teams are 3-0, and the Aggies are a 6 point pick. Arkansas is 0-4 against A&M since the Aggies joined the SEC, but the two most recent games were dogfights decided in overtime. CFN predicts the Razorback OL will be the dominant force Saturday, setting up a 30-27 Arkansas win. I hope they're wrong about that. UPDATE: For the first time since Sumlin arrived at Texas A&M, the Aggies have the appearance of a team that was built to compete in the SEC West. They have a salty defense that can stuff running plays and make stands at the goal line, and they have enough capable running backs to score rushing touchdowns themselves. I hope tonight's performance against Arkansas was a demonstration of what A&M football will look like for the next few years. The Aggies dominated in the second half to turn a close (17-17) game into a 45-24 thumping.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Football 2016: Week Three

Football gets serious again after last weekend's lineup of mismatches. The TV games with potential are as follows:
  • Florida State at Louisville at 11:00 AM on ABC. Number 2 visits number 10 as a slight favorite (3.5), but College Football News predicts Louisville will win 34-30. UPDATE: Louisville demolished FSU 63-20. The SEC East teams should be thankful that Kentucky is in their division instead of Louisville.
  • Alabama (1) at Ole Miss (19) is the SEC showcase game at 2:30 on CBS. The Tide is favored by 10 points, and CFN thinks they'll win the game handily, 34-16. UPDATE: This was an exciting SEC showcase game. Ole Miss built a big lead early, blew it in the second half, then came back late to make the final score fairly close at 48-43. The defenses and special teams contributed touchdowns in a wild game with lots of scoring.
  • Mississippi State at LSU (20) at 6:00 on ESPN2. The Bulldogs are a two TD underdog, but are picked by CFN to lose by a mere 10 points (26-16). UPDATE: Either Mississippi State is better than I thought, or LSU isn't as good. The final score was 23-20, with LSU holding on for a close win.
  • Texas A&M (17) at Auburn at 6:00 PM on ESPN. The home team is a 3.5 point favorite, and CFN thinks they'll cover the spread with a 30-24 win over the Aggies. UPDATE: This game was no work of art, since A&M kicked five field goals after promising drives that should've led to touchdowns. The A&M defense was salty and the Auburn offense was erratic. Final score was 29-16, with the Aggies on top. Maybe A&M is good enough on offense and defense to win a few more SEC games this season. Not Alabama or Ole Miss though.
  • Georgia (16) at Missouri at 6:30 on SECN. The Bulldogs are favored by a touchdown, but CFN thinks Missouri can keep it a shade closer than that in a 23-17 loss. UPDATE: Missouri turnovers allowed the Bulldogs to escape with a 28-27 win. 
  • In the BDF, the featured game is Ohio State (3) at Oklahoma (14). The Sooners can't afford another loss, but they're slight underdogs (2.0) at home, and CFN expects the Buckeyes will cover the spread 34-27. UPDATE: I don't like OSU or OU, but I don't have a problem with the Buckeyes kicking Sooner ass in a 45-24 blowout.
  • This has been a rough week, and seeing the Strong horns ranked 11th has made it worse. They're favored to beat California by eight points, and CFN thinks they'll romp 45-30. The only way I'll watch this shit is if the Strong horns revert to the self-destruction mode of last season. UPDATE: A late game on the left coast, with Cal leading the Strong horns by 2 points at the half. Go, Bears. SECOND UPDATE: The Strong horns fall to Cal 50-43.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sorry, but reality TV ain't reality.

Does America really need a lardass TV reality show performer as president? About forty percent of the American people want the fat fuck in the White House. In my worst nightmares, I never dreamed the United States could get that fucked up. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Football 2016: Week Two

There were several interesting games played over the long Labor Day weekend, and the overall feeling is that SEC teams weren't very impressive after several upset losses or close calls. Alabama stomped USC in the only notable demonstration of muscle-flexing. This weekend offers a typical early September schedule, meaning a lot of non-conference mismatches:
  • Prairie View A&M at Texas A&M (11:00 on SECN): As expected, there's no line set for this mess. Okay, I'll watch it because there's nothing else on TV at 11:00 in the morning. College Football News prediction: Texas A&M wins 58-13. UPDATE: With about 10:30 left in the third quarter, the Aggies were leading 45-0 and turned their offense over to the second teamers. That resulted in another FG and it's 48-0 now. SECOND UPDATE 2:05 PM: A&M now ahead 58-0 in the 4th quarter after scoring on a long punt return. Better save something for Auburn next week. FINAL UPDATE: After a safety, the final score was 67-0.
  • Kentucky at Florida (2:30 on CBS): The SEC showcase game? Florida is a 16.5 point favorite, and CFN forecasts a 27-16 win for the Gators. UPDATE: The Gators crushed Kentucky 45-7.
  • Western Kentucky at Alabama (2:30 on ESPN2): The Tide is favored by 28.5 and CFN expects they'll ALMOST cover with a 41-13 victory. No real reason to watch this mess. UPDATE: Alabama grinds out a 38-10 win in another day at the office.
  • Arkansas at TCU (6:00 PM on ESPN): Two reasons to watch this game: The return of Kenny (Down) Hill as the TCU quarterback, and to scout the Razorbacks. The Christians are picked as a 7.5 point home favorite, and CFN expects they'll win 38-30. UPDATE: The Christians did score 38 points, but that wasn't enough since they lost 41-38 in double OT. Kenny (Down) Hill beat Arkansas in OT when he was still at A&M.
  • South Carolina at Mississippi State (6:00 PM on ESPN2): Two of Texas A&M's future opponents face off with MSU favored by 6.5 points. Both teams were unimpressive in their openers, and the Bulldogs lost in an upset. Still, CFN expects them to bounce back with a 23-17 win at home. UPDATE: Mississippi State gets well with a 27-14 win over the Gamecocks.
  • Arkansas State at Auburn (6:30 PM on SECN): Auburn was able to hang tough against Clemson, and is favored by 11 in this game. CFN prediction: Auburn wins 27-17. UPDATE: Auburn blows out Arkansas State 51-14.
  • Tennessee vs Virginia Tech (7:00 PM on ABC): The Volunteers narrowly avoided an upset last week, but they're favored by 10.5 against the Hokies. CFN says it's a 31-23 win for the Vols. UPDATE: Tennessee is way ahead with less than five minutes to play, leading the Hokies 45-17. FINAL UPDATE: Tennessee gave up a late score, still won by three TDs (45-24).

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Football 2016: Week One

A lot of my time and energy has been spent dealing with death and destruction since Texas A&M slopped through a loss to Louisville in their bowl game. I guess that explains why I barely noticed another football season slipping up on me from behind.

Usually, the first weekend of college football has a bunch of nothing games, with possibly two or three potentially worth seeing on TV. With that in mind, I was surprised to find so many promising Labor Day weekend games this year. As usual, I'm interested in games involving SEC teams, and occasionally games that showcase former A&M rivals from the Big Dumpster Fire (Big 12 minus 2).
  • The weekend games begin tonight with SEC East bottom-feeders South Carolina and Vanderbilt. The Commodores are favored by four points, but College Football News predicts the Gamecocks will win by a FG on the road (20-17). UPDATE: South Carolina won an ugly game 13-10. CFN predicted the winner and the margin, overestimated the scoring capabilities of the offenses by a TD each.
  • The only Friday game I might watch is Kansas State at 8th-ranked Stanford. It's unusual to see K State playing a strong non-conference opponent, and Stanford is a 14.5 point favorite. CFN sees it as a close 26-20 win for Stanford, but I hope it's more one-sided than that. UPDATE: Stanford beat KSU 26-13,  so CFN picked Stanford's score on the money. They're 2-0 so far.
Which gets me to the Saturday lineup:
  • Missouri @ West Virginia: The SEC East against a middle-of-the-pack BDF opponent. I hate Mizzou, and West Virginia is favored by 10 points at home. CFN calls it 27-23 for the mountain boys. I could live with that. UPDATE: West Virginia wins at home 26-11.
  • The other 11:00 AM game has the highest-ranked BDF team, 3rd-ranked Oklahoma, playing BDF wannabe Houston (ranked 15th). Although Cougar High has been impressive lately, the Sooners are favored by 11.5 points, and CFN thinks they'll cover the spread with a 38-23 victory. UPDATE: UH beat OU 33-23, which means they'd own the BDF if they were allowed to be a member.
  • The 2:30 games are LSU vs Wisconsin (at Green Bay) on ABC, and UCLA at Texas A&M on CBS. The Tigers are ranked 5th by AP, and are a 10-point favorite. CFN predicts the Badgers will beat the spread in a 23-17 loss. UPDATE: The Badgers stun the SEC with a 16-14 upset of LSU.
  • UCLA is also ranked in the AP Top Twenty (16th), but for reasons I'm unable to comprehend, the Aggies are favored by a FG at home. In the Sumlin era, an Aggie home-field advantage has been non-existent against ranked opponents, so I'm skeptical. CFN sees a push, with A&M eking out a narrow 27-24 win. I'll believe it when I see it, but I'll take it. It's time for something good to happen at Kyle Field. UPDATE: The Aggies are clinging to a 24-16 lead with 4:19 remaining in the game. This is tense. SECOND UPDATE 6:49 PM: The Aggies collapsed late in the 4th quarter, and blew a 24-9 lead. Then they played tough in OT and won the game 31-24. Shit, I don't know if I'll be strong enough to watch many more games like this one.
  • At 4:30 PM, Georgia (18th) plays North Carolina (22nd) at Atlanta (ESPN). The Bulldogs are only favored by 2.5 points, but CFN thinks they'll give the Tar Heels a 37-17 stomping. UPDATE: The Bulldogs won 33-24, and the SEC needed a good win after LSU, Missouri, and Mississippi State lost.
  • At 7:00 PM, top-ranked Alabama plays Southern Cal (20th) at Arlington. This is an early preview of A&M's nemesis in the SEC West. The Tide is an 11 1/2 point favorite, but CFN thinks the Trojans might keep it close in a 27-20 Bama win. UPDATE: Wrong. On a day that saw OU and LSU knocked off in upsets, Alabama wasn't taking any prisoners. The Tide rolled the Trojans 52-6 and sent a message to the college football world.
  • Finally, at 8:00 PM, Clemson (2nd) takes on Auburn as a 7.5 point favorite. CFN forecasts a 37-30 shootout, with Clemson holding on for the win. UPDATE: They struggled with Auburn, but Clemson finally edged them in a 19-13 win.
On Sunday, Notre Dame (10th) visits the unranked Strong horns as a 3.5 point favorite. I'll despise Texas U forever, so I hope CFN's prediction of a 23-20 Irish loss is wrong, wrong, wrong. UPDATE: Fuck Notre Dame. Losing to the Strong horns 50-47 in two OTs is totally unacceptable and inexcusable.

Finally, Monday night we get Florida State (4th) vs Ole Miss (11th). The Rebels are supposed to be better than the Aggies this year, but they're still a 4-point underdog against the Seminoles. The CFN prediction: FSU will cover easily, 34-24.  UPDATE: Wow. Ole Miss was ahead 28-6 in the first half when I switched from this game to an old movie. When I returned to the game, FSU was ahead 39-34 in the 4th quarter. They added two FGs to win the game 45-34. I think they said it was the biggest comeback win in FSU history. Ole Miss looks good, but the Seminoles look better. Tough weekend for the SEC.