I'd like to thank Michigan and Notre Dame. As if I needed another reason to loathe their entire existence, they both gave me my only "L's" of last weekend.
I picked against Michigan. Of course, they crushed San Diego State. Fine, I'll admit: Michigan is improved this year. Brady Hoke--whatever, bro. Just consider me patiently waiting for Michigan weekend.
As for Notre Dame--and I picked them to cover--I've seen little girls protect a Justin Bieber lunch-pale with greater ferocity than with which you protect the football. I hope, when you finally realize the flaws in your hilariously arrogant hubris, that Jim Delaney laughs in your face while he polishes his pinkie ring. Sorry, but the Big Ten's quota on trash-ass teams from Indiana is already filled.
Enough about those bums, though. I'm just glad to see that the national media is finally on the Les Miles War Caravan. I love this man. Did you see his awesome quote last week after his team punked West Virginia in their own stadium?
It was like they had a football party, and they invited us.
Only Les Miles saunters into a place featuring 63,000 drunk West Virginians (who are all cheering for his destruction) and calls that place a "party." At this point, there's no reason to put anybody else's life at risk. Why not just crown this man and hope he spares us and our favorite football teams? (Thankfully, the blood magic of Les Miles has stirred NFL interests. Maybe he will be gone next year).
Now, TO THIS WEEKEND'S SLATE.
LAST WEEK: 7-2
#16 University of South Florida at Pittsburgh (+3) - Thursday 8:00 EST - ESPN
Wow, Pittsburgh. Really? Did you not see how hard those Irish were trying to give you last week's game? I don't think Betty Crocker herself could've crafted a better looking platter than the one you were served up last week at that wretched pit that is Heinz Field. As for this game? *googles up the weather report for tomorrow* Hmm, looks like it will be 65 degrees at kick-off in Pittsburgh, so that rules out a gambling pillar of mine: "Always wager against the southern kids playing in cold weather." Though, I'm not sure Pittsburgh has the tools to hang with South Florida's 10th ranked offense. After last week's display of ineptitude against Notre Dame and their collapse against Iowa two weeks ago, what is there to like about this Pitt team? Also, USF is proven on the road this year (Notre Dame beat-down). And did you know, USF's quarterback, BJ Daniels, may be one of the country's best quarterbacks that you've never heard of? He's completing 62% of his passes this year. He has one interception as opposed to 8 TD passes. Oh, and he also has 215 yards rushing in four games). Sorry, bout'cha Pittsburgh.
#14 Texas A&M at #18 Arkansas (+3) - 12:00 EST - ESPN
Texas A&M's defensive line and linebackers have amassed 13 sacks this year. Arkansas has surrendered 8 sacks on the season. See the problem the pass-happy offense of Bobby Petrino will face this weekend? Texas A&M controlled most (read: 95%) of the game last week against the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. Arkansas one-upped A&M though by getting the snot kicked out of them in all facets of the game against Alabama. Keep a watch out for Texas A&M's freshman strong safety Howard Mathews. (He's replacing an injured SS Steven Campbell, but the freshman has performed in camp and is ahead of the curve). As for the game itself: I think it's a pretty easy call--give me the Aggies, you can take the points.
Air Force at Navy (-3) - 12:00 EST - CBS
Ah, it's just like our "Founding Fathers" drew it up. Two branches of the military slugging it out on the grid-iron while an obese nation pretends to feel patriotic as they shove beer-battered chicken wings down their throat while watching this game on their 105" plasma TV! Surprisingly, Navy isn't the best rushing team in this contest. Air Force comes in averaging a mind-boggling 417 yards on the ground per game, but that stat may be a little skewed since Air Force put up 595(!) yards on the ground last week against Tennessee State. Navy about messed around last week and knocked off South Carolina (before falling 24-21). While Air Force RB Asher Clark is no Marcus Lattimore (who, last week, gashed Navy for 246 yards and three TDs), I think I'll take Air Force and the points in this banger.
Kentucky at #1 LSU (-29.5) - 12:20 EST - SEC Network
Good golly, Kentucky is pitiful. They only scored 14 points against Western Kentucky. They got spanked by Louisville. Then, last week, they got absolutely handled by Florida. To get an idea of how disastrous their season has been, feel free to check their Rivals forum out. It's hysterical. As for LSU (who will soon be getting Jordan Jefferson back), well, I think you know where I stand by now. But, if you have any doubts, feel free to check out the video below to have them alleviated. You think -29.5 is anything at all to this man?
#13 Clemson at #11 Virginia Tech (-7) - 6:00 EST - ESPN2
Clemson will bring their revival tour into Blacksburg, where Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer has made a career out of winning games just like this. In Clemson's last trip to Virginia Tech, back in 2006, they were drubbed by the Hokies 24-7. (In fact, Clemson has lost the last five to VT). About the only thing that remains the same since the last time these two teams met is the aforementioned Frank Beamer. Still, I like what offensive coordinator Chad Morris has done with Clemson; their offense has looked electric in wins against Auburn and Florida State. Who has Virginia Tech played so far this year? Eastern Carolina? And, if Virginia Tech's defense comes in creaky--it's over. VT's sophomore signal-caller, Logan Thomas, has thrown an interception for every touchdown he's thrown this year (four). He's also only completing 54% of his passes--so if the game comes down to his arm, then I'll be willing to live with the outcome. Honestly, I like both of these programs, but in this case, I'm going to have to ride with the side which has proven something this year vs. quality teams. It also helps that they're being spotted a touchdown.
#3 Alabama at #12 Florida (+3.5), 8:00 EST - CBS
How in the hell is Florida ranked this high? Their best win came at home against a Tennessee team in shambles. Their quarterback, the heralded John Brantley, has nearly identical stats with whatever stiff, white, southern gentleman that Alabama has playing quarterback this year. I know, I know: Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps are reallllly fast. I also know the potential loss of Alabama linebacker CJ Mosley could hurt the Tide. But, Nick Saban taught Will Muschamp everything he knows, and it's not like Nick Saban is about to pass the torch to one of his pupils just yet. In my opinion, this game might be the easiest call of the year. Alabama allows 45 yards rushing a game. And it's not like Alabama hasn't stopped Jeff Demps or Chris Rainey before. If Florida can't run, what else will they have? (Other than Chris Brantley dropping back and getting sacked or throwing a dumb pick)? Nick Saban and Les Miles are on a crash-course this year, and it's going to take more than Charlie Weis pulling the strings on somebody like John freakin' Brantley to stop it. Alabama will probably beat Florida worse than they beat that child, Bobby Petrino, last week. You can go ahead and write that in stone, too.
WARREN G. HARDING'S $10,000 PRESIDENTIAL power PARLAY
The 29th (and greatest) U.S. President, Warren G. Harding, was a renowned gambler, golfer, and lover of life. As such, his words are brought to you here through the medieval art of necromancy. Seeing as President Harding ushered us into economic success unheard of in human history (before being tragically assassinated by his jealous wife--which tanked the economy), his words here might as well come to your doorstep in the form of etched stone tablets. (All views and opinions presented here should be considered only those of Warren G. Harding himself, obvii).
LAST WEEK: -$10,000
THE SEASON'S HONEY POT: +$101,157.02
I know there a lot of you mortal men out there in America right now, reading this. I've read the news. I know a lot of you are struggling. Between having a job you hate, having a wife you know is cheating on you (probably with me), and kids you don't understand... all the while living in a house you can't afford... I understand your plight.
Actually, LOL--I can't lie to you. I don't understand that lifestyle at all. (While I could rehash your life and show you exactly where you went wrong, I'm sure there's nothing I could say that the broken-husk-of-humanity-that-appears-in-your-mirror-every-morning hasn't already told you).
What I'm trying to say is... I too travel through mental valleys from time to time. While my valleys usually involve a lack of either coitus or cocaine, it doesn't mean my pain isn't any less real than yours. Take this last week for example.
As you're aware, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, and I tore down the famed King of Diamonds strip club in Miami. (It involved your usual champagne-room trysts and the sprinkling of gold coins on other men's daughters). Then, after shooting automatic weapons off in international waters with Chamillionaire on Friday night, I awoke in my Miami suite, intent on collecting last week's $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay winnings and being fellated all afternoon. After watching Eastern Michigan cover by half point, I figured I was well on my way.
Unfortunately, friends, as I'm sure you know by now--UCLA dicked around and ended up winning themselves a game. I have no idea what I was doing wagering on the crippled-kids fight that was UCLA-Oregon State, but I did. And even though the rest of the games covered--it didn't matter. I had failed the streets for a second week in a row.
Overnight, my life seemed less vibrant. Cocaine, tequila, deviant sex... nothing could rouse me from these sudden doldrums. I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't think about retiring the $10,000 Presidential Parlay while engulfed in the deepest pits of my depression.
After three days of doing nothing but sitting on a bean-bag chair, naked and eating cheetohs, I decided to ring an old friend: the War Chief K'alyaan. He's been some-what of a miracle-worker for me in the past. (Wait, you think I rose up from the heroin-flooded streets of Marion to the White House without help? Hahahaha. I guess that's why you're the one trapped in a cubicle right now).
Twenty minutes after hanging up the phone, there I was, somewhere on the northern tundras of Alaska. I was in the War Chief K'alyaan's hut, wrapped in a bear skin blanket, much like this Indian princess in this picture here. The War Chief K'alyaan had asked that I bring him a vial of a white woman's bone marrow. (I had to call in some markers on the streets of Marion for that one). After he added the marrow to the mixture in his cauldron, he began waiving his hands while muttering in some unknown, heathenish tongue. After fifteen minutes of what I assumed to be a ritual, he knelt down and smelled his concoction. Seemingly satisfied, the War Chief turned to me.
His charcoal eyes were pulsating, "It is ready, Warren," he said in his trademarked tobacco-scorched rasp. He turned back to the kettle and lowered a laddle into the steaming brew. He put three scoops into a small bowl he was holding. After he had dolled out the reccomended dosage, he looked up at me and said, "It's time to dance with the dragon."
I don't remember the War Chief administering his brew, but I soon found myself standing on a cloud of AK-47s, above all of humanity. Down below, I could see a giant dragon, rampaging its way through the landscape. Mortals--as ALWAYS!!--were absolutely useless.
The next thing I know, Bill Cosby was standing next to me while smoking on a cigar.
He didn't look at me--his eyes were cast to the destruction below. He took a tug on his stogie and then, without changing the angle of his gaze, he said, "Warren, do you see those streets down there?"
"Indeed, Bill, indeed."
"They need you, Warren. And only you. Look at this," he said, gesturing to the desolation below. "These people... they're nothing without you."
As I watched the dragon continue on its swath of destruction--it all began to make sense. I looked down at my right hand. I was suddenly holding a sword of fire. Bewildered, I looked back up at Bill Cosby.
"Now handle the business," Cosby concluded, as he offered me a drag on his stogie, which of course, was Cuban.
As I road, wielding my sword of fire, riding a cloud of AK-47s while en route to the earth's crust to save humanity--I felt invigorated. This is why I had been put on this earth. This was my purpose.
After battling with the dragon for over twelve hours, I had finally rendered it unconscious. There it laid, in the rubble of Taj Mahal, on its back, but still breathing softly.
I walked right up beside the beast's head, knelt down, and whispered in its ear: "This is for THE STREETS." I rose up and readied my sword for an execution.
Just as my blade was ripping open its esophagus--I awoke. I was back in my Miami suite.
This is the power of the War Chief K'alyaan.
Now, some of my advisors have told me, if we continue to wager $10,000 a week, even if we lose out, we'll have still churned a profit on the year. But that's why I pay them--so I can disregard their opinions.
This week, my friends--we're making a power move. This week, the $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay temporarily becomes the $100,000 Presidential Power Parlay. That's right--I'm street-sweeping this week. No more children's games. And if you ain't bout this lifestyle.... well, there's the door. (And behind that door? The family you hate and that job you have where you make another man a whole bunch of money).
According to W.A. Titsworth, my Secretary of Collegiate Football Wagering, investment in this week's special $100,000 Presidential Power Parlay will yield a profit of $260,000. This week's banger goes a little like this: Alabama -3.5, LSU -29.5.
I think this should be pretty straight-forward. Florida is going to get knocked. Kentucky may be the worst team in the country, and they're on the road, and then, on top of all that, they're also in Leslie Miles' den of dark magic. Do I need to write this in crayon for you?
NEWAYZ, I'm off to my homeland: Marion, Ohio. I have taxes to pay in The City of Kings. (Yes, even the King of Marion pays taxes). What does The City have in store for me? Even I don't know that, but plz believe, I will be getting up-to-date on all my hoodrat vaccinations.
Until next week, my friends; may peace travel with you.
Minnesota at #19 Michigan (-19.5) - 12:00 EST - Big Ten Network
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill is out of the hospital and has confirmed he will coach the Golden Gophers as they try for their first win against Michigan since 2005. Michigan coach Brady Hoke, on the other hand, will simply be trying to make sure the Wolverines don't implode, as they have the last two years over the course of Big 10 play. While Michigan's quarterback, Denard Robinson, leads the nation in rushing, I'm sure he'll be looking to prove himself as a passer against Minnesota. (The Gophers come in surrendering 278 yards a game through the air). To make matters worse for the Gophers, their poor man's version of Denard Robinson, MarQueis Gray, has a toe-injury and may not play Saturday. While I'd normally be a sucker and buy into the whole "Minnesota rallies around their nearly-fallen coach and covers +19.5"... I'm not falling for that this week. I think Michigan trounces them decisively.
Penn State at Indiana (+16) – 12:00 EST - ESPNU
How much would it take you go to go to this game? For me, I'd need at least $1,000 to watch this game and $5,000 to attend it. Seeing as I wouldn't waste my time watching it, I'm not going to waste my time writing about it. In fact, I'm not even making a pick on this game--that's how disgusted I am with what Penn State and Indiana are doing to the credibility of the Big Ten.
Northwestern at #24 Illinois (-8) - 12:00 EST - ESPN2
Did you know, Ron Zook has the Fightin' Ron Zooks at 4-0, something they haven't done since (roughly) 1886? I think the Fightin' Ron Zooks are the real deal (or at least as much as any team coached by Ron Zook can be the real deal). I also think they're undervalued. Dan Persa, who people tried to convince us was actually a Heisman candidate, will be returning from injury this week. I'm slightly concerned about Illinois' pass defense (74th "best" in the nation), but I think it'd require 500+ yards from Persa (again, coming off injury) for Northwestern to win this game. Northwestern couldn't even run the ball on Army--how will they fare against Illinois' 5th-ranked rush-defense? The Big Ten desperately needs Illinois to be good this year, so what the hell, I'll ride with the Fightin' Ron Zooks once again.
Notre Dame at Purdue (+12.5) - 8:00 EST - ESPN
I hate this game. I wouldn't gamble on this in a hundred years. While the idea of Notre Dame -12 excites me due to the fact they're a turnover machine, the team which I would be taking the points with is Purdue. Yes, the same Purdue team which lost to Rice. (Come to think of it, how pitiful at football is the state of Indiana right now?) Going into last week's game at Pitt, I figured the Irish would use their victory against Michigan State and spring-board it into taking care of the football. They answered my expectations with a fumble and interception. Will they give me the same this week? (I think their position at the bottom of this chart says they will). So, whatever, I guess I'll roll with Danny Hope's mustache.
#8 Nebraska at #7 Wisconsin (-9) - 8:00 EST - ABC
Another game I'd never wager on, although this should be quite the barn-burner. Both these teams have laid claim to the status of "team-to-beat" in the Big 10, with the winner of this game probably assuming that mantle. Wisconsin rolls in after demolishing their out-of-conference schedule by a combined score of 194-34. (The toughest test on that slate came from an abysmal UNLV team). Although Nebraska's out-of-conference schedule wasn't much tougher, at least they had a road trip to Wyoming and a win over Washington. Nebraska, in most of their games this year, has started out slow. If that's the case this week, then the drunken frenzy that is Camp Randall Stadium will devour them whole. Also, if they start slow, Taylor Martinez will have to throw, and we all know what happens when Taylor Martinez has to throw the ball. Wisconsin, behind their offensive line with nobody shorter than 6'4", can now beat you in the air and on the ground. I'm not sold on Nebraska's defense (not that I'm sold on Wisconsin's yet either). However, only one of these defenses will have to play against Russell Wilson this week. It'll be awesome to watch Russell Wilson finally get his moment in the spotlight, against a respected opponent, on national television. It will just suck his stats will go into Wisconsin's column, but such is life. While I could easily see Nebraska covering late (which is why I wouldn't gamble on this game), I'll hold it down for my man Russell Wilson once again. BUCKY, baby!