– Dave Wannstedt death watch? – Pitt was ranked to start the season (for no good reason, but that’s another story), but they did what they have done in the entire Wannstedt era – they disappointed. Bowling Green is among the elite in an underappreciated MAC, and they delivered a real setback to a Big East conference that already struggles for respect. Surely Pitt won’t tolerate the ceaseless mediocrity of this coaching regime for much longer.
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1. Georgia might be first now, but they aren’t going to still be there by January.
2. Matthew Stafford will not be the number one pick in the draft.
3. USC has not been profitable against the spread in three seasons. I don’t expect that to change.
4. Notre Dame’s bug season is not going to materialize this year, and Charlie Weis is going to be in trouble because of it.
5. Missouri is the real deal. Their schedule doesn’t have a lot of obvious losses on it. None, really. Two games should be tough, two more could be a problem if they don’t have their act together, and the rest should be wins. Missouri is a real contender.
6. The winner of the Ohio State – USC game will play in the national championship
7. Michigan will win nine games this year. I wouldn’t touch them ATS, though.
8. West Virginia will not be in the BCS.
9. BYU will run the table ad be in the BCS.
10. Tim Tebow will not repeat as Heisman winner.
11. Colorado will be the best team with a bad record in the country. Their schedule is absolutely brutal, but they will continue to improve.
12. Stanford will finish higher than UCLA in the Pac-10 standings.
13. Nick Saban will annoy me at least 37 times this season. Charlie Weis and Jim Tressel will exceed that total. Steve Spurrier won’t quite make it to 37 times, but he’ll be close.
14. South Florida will win the Big East
15. Virginia Tech will win the ACC
16. Ohio State and USC are absolutel locks to win their conferences
17. Missouri will win the Big 12
18. I’ll take Florida in the SEC, but I don’t feel too good about it
19. Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan will, once again, be the most underappreciated player in the country.
20. Arizona State will lose twice, but will look very good otherwise and will be a tough bowl opponent.
21. It’s going to be a really long year for LSU.
22. Hawaii won’t be very good, but they will be much better ATS than they were last year.
23. Joe Paterno will be forced to retire after yet another frustratingly mediocre season.
24. This is the last season in a long while that Lane Kiffin won’t be a college coach.
It is so, so, so great to have college football back underway. I never really realize just how much I miss it until it is back again. As I said yesterday, I went to the Buffalo-UTEP game. It wasn’t an all-time clasic, but it was thoroughly entertaining. My quick notes:
Later on this evening I will be sitting in UB Stadium at the University of Buffalo watching the Bulls play the Miners of UTEP in what is scheduled to be the first college football game of the year to kick off. I have never been to a Bulls game, and I don’t much care about either team in the grand scheme of things, but I happen to be in the area on a trip, and I love everything about college football, so I figured I would check it out. Besides, despite what may be the first instinct of most people looking at this game, it has the real potential to be an interesting showdown. Here’s a look at the four top storylines:
On Monday I went to a thoroughbred yearling sale. It was the biggest sale in the province, and the second biggest in western Canada. There were almost 200 horses on offer, and many of them were very well bred and well turned out.
The NFL preseason is pretty much a waste of time. The last game is a total farce. There are about a billion reasons why I hate everything about this week’s NFL games, but here are seven to start:
1. No one tries – Pretty much every team has answered their big questions by now. Those that haven’t don’t want to risk getting hurt. The rash of big name inuries in the preseason this year – Osi Umenyiora, Jason Taylor, Shawne Merriman, Chad Johnson, Tom Brady, etc. – will do nothing to help. The starters will start, but they will be on the bench so fast it will be laughable.
As hard as it is to believe, the first college football games of the season kick off on Thursday night. Hallelujah. It has been far, far too long since we have been able to enjoy the greatest sport in the world. In my world, college football is king (and the kings ride around on thoroughbred race horses). A first glance at the schedule this weekend doesn’t giveus a lot of reason to be excited, but when you give it a closer look there is lots of intrigue to be found. Here are ten games I am intrigued by this weekend:
The last couple of years I have touted the Niners heavily at this time of year. That has only partly been a good thing. Two years ago I felt like a genius as they went 6-3 ATS down the stretch and looked like a real team on the rise. They rewarded my faith last year by going 5-11 ATS and looking like a team that could only be improved by folding. I’m too smart to fall for this team again, but I can’t help myself completely, so I will still pay close attention to this team I wish I didn’t like. Because of that, I am particularly intrigued by the ascension of J.T. O’Sullivan, the game one starter for the team.
The best three year old race since the Belmont takes place this weekend at the best track in the world when the Travers goes at Saratoga on Saturday. Big Brown isn’t in this race, and stars have been slow to emerge into the public consciousness from this class, but this is a truly fascinating race. Here’s a look in order of morning line odds:
It is obviously not at all my intention to turn this into a political debate. I just couldn’t help but take a betting lesson from the speculative frenzy around Barack Obama’s running mate this week. As I write this the announcement has not been made, though it seems to have leaked that it will be Evan Bayh (the leak came from a company that was printing Obama-Bayh bumper stickers. Did no one see that coming? Seems a bit inevitable). That’s not of interest to me. Instead, what caught my eye was the news this morning that Rep. Chet Edwards had made the short list and was one of the few (three or four) potential candidates that had had his background checked.