Weekend Update Sponsored by Amateurism

By D.J. Byrnes on September 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Sorry to interrupt the drone of the media's latest narrative involvingTerrelle Pryor. In the newest chapter of Pryor's three-year crime spree at Ohio State, it features him at a charity event at a golf course, with his body covered in free tattoos, draped in designer clothing, a flashy smile fixed to his face, all the while handing out burlap sacks of cash to his waiting teammates.

As I've come to understand it from various media reports--after Pryor stuffed his teammates' pockets with cash--he hopped into his 2014 Audi and sped away on a road made of puppy corpses. (This, of course, was all while Jim Tressel and Gene Smith surveyed the scene as they smoked cigars on the golf course's clubhouse’s balcony).

As the two titans stood there, surveying their fiefdom and reveling in their good fortune, they clinked their Scotch glasses together and cackled in euphoria. After allowing themselves a brief, albeit uncharacteristic, fit of laughter, Smith turned to his longtime friend whispered, “Why yes, Jim, yes... it’s all going according to plan."

Young people taking money from rich dudes who want to give it to them--at a charity event, no less! This is the kind of investigational journalism that isn’t getting done enough in this country… and dare I say it?... may win somebody a Pulitzer some day!

But enough rambling and thinking about serious things like ethics! My mind is starting to hurt since people my age no longer have a moral compass according to things called “scientists”. (Hell, my generation is having a hard enough time learning to read).

I just dropped by to say: I came within one poorly-worded-Ricky-Stanzi-Immortality-9-11 joke of going undefeated against the spread last week, which I suppose is a deserved fate, since I made a Ricky-Stanzi-Immortality-9-11 joke in the first place. I even called the V-Tech/ECU game--and I had forgotten that it was Skip Holtz’s Ghost coaching the Pirates this year! (I keep telling you guys: these are the fortunes which come from living your life in the grace of Warren G. Harding!)

The other day, somebody told me there weren’t many good games on this weekend, but that guy appears to have been lying to me. There are actually quite a few bangers for you to watch this weekend, as we all hurdle through space at 30,000 miles per hour.

SEASON: 12-3


#3 LSU at #25 Mississippi State (+3.5), 8:00 EST Thursday, ESPN
Surprisingly, Mississippi State, one of the last bastions of academia in this country, has canceled Friday's classes. I presume it's to celebrate the fall of the dark sorcerer known as "The River Boat Gambler" and drag his corpse up and down the single street in Starkville. When we last saw Les Miles in action two weeks ago against Oregon, he was harnessing ancient spellcraft to conjure timely turnovers for his football team.  (Some are beginning to wonder if the grass-eating isn’t some sort of druid ritual). I know Dan Mullen always “seems to be building something out there in Starkville”, but Mississippi State is a team which let Auburn torch them for 41 points a week ago, which is fine, until you realize it was a guy named “Barrett” quarterbacking Auburn and not Cam Newton. And yes, Mississippi State’s Chris Relf has proven he can summon lightning seemingly at will--but the swarming, ball-hawking defense that suppressed Oregon’s play-makers awaits him. Could the +3.5 (or hell, even the +.5), come back to bite somebody who wagered on Les Miles and his blood magic? You’re right, it could. Do I trust Miles' dark magic? Nay, but I certainly respect its power.

CHIRP CHIRP ON THE COUPE ALARMEric Page, elegantly skating down the sidelines of Ohio Stadium.

Boise State at Toledo (+20), 8:00 EST Friday, ESPN
I get it—Toledo is coming off a devastating loss… a game which they probably should have won, they’re on a shortened week, and Boise State is coming off a bye week (which means Chris Peterson got to sit around in his offensive meth lab for an extra week). But Toledo ain't no slouch. And I think them coming off a loss like last week’s actually helps. Toledo knows they could’ve and should’ve won last week’s game. They know if they correct a few things, they can bang with anybody. And who’s coming the week after the Ohio State debacle? Not Akron or Eastern Michigan or some other patsy, but Boise State. You can almost hear Tim Beckman painting this picture of opportunity to his kids right now, with a kneeled Eric Page wiping tears from his eyes as he nods solemnly at his head coach. Boise State is no longer some punchy underdog using smoke-and-mirrors to go blow-to-blow with the Goliaths of the world. Two weeks ago, they lined up against Georgia and punched the Bulldogs' teeth down their throat. Boise is the real deal, but I was impressed with Toledo last week. They do not strike me as a squad that’s going to get whooped at the Glass Bowl on national television by 20+… especially given last week’s events.

#21 Auburn at Clemson (-3), 12:00 EST, ABC
Clemson, a program which could use a win like this, has their offense averaging 260 yards in the air and 200 on the ground over their first two games. Their defense, though, gave up 272 yards and two touchdowns last week to Wofford and their wishbone offense. That’s bad news considering Auburn will be bringing somebody like Michael Dyer to play, (207 yards, 4 touchdowns in first two weeks). Still, I like Taj Boyd, and I certainly do not trust a “Barrett” making his third collegiate start in a place like Death Valley. I think Clemson wins this, but this win won't be nearly as shiny in November when Auburn has three or four losses in the SEC.

#1 Oklahoma at #5 Florida State (+3), 8:00 EST, ABC
And so, Bob Stoops--once again handed a preseason #1 ranking by his friends in the media--comes to Tallahassee to take on Jimbo Fisher, who is in his second year as head coach after his successful military coupe d’état of the fabled Bowden monarchy in 2010. Native Americans, historically speaking, have never found much solace in the Sooner state. Last year's game in Norman was more of the same: Oklahoma efficiently drubbed the 'Noles 47-17. Still, as a child of the 90’s, I’ve wanted to see Florida State returned to their throne of swag for quite some time now, and I think that time is finally here. If the ‘Noles stomp the Sooners like I think they will, I will be able to take the chance to pontificate on how stupid preseason polls are. Sure, Oklahoma was solid last year. Sure, they beat the snot out of Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl. They have 18 returning starters. But then the next thing you know, Oklahoma is down 17 in the fourth quarter in the third week of the season as everybody is rushing to their phones to tweet jokes. But hey, don’t just take my word for it. Take it from one of the greatest thinkers of our times: Darnell Dockett, who (allegedly) drove an ambulance with a hot-tub in the back of it during his time at Florida State:

Anthropologists will study Dockett's Twitter feed for the next six millenia.


No, you do not want to see the other painting Warren G. Harding made yo girl paint of him.Ol' Warren commissioned yo girl to paint this.

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).

THE SEASON'S HONEY POT: +$121,157.02

iHola, mi amigos!

Just kidding. I don't speak Spanish. Why would I learn something like Spanish when I could just have it translated to me by a caramel colored woman who is also hand-feeding me grapes? Besides, these days I am too busy figuring out if I'm going to have to assemble a team of pipe-hittin' goons to go down to Georgia and break Gucci Mane out of The Clink. The esteemed Mr. Mane and I met back in Venice back in 1628 on some Illuminati shit none of you would understand. You'll have to take my word for this (as if that's a choice), but in order for the Milky Way Galaxy to continue to exist... Gucci Mane cannot be imprisoned. So, Georgia, I know a quarter of your people can't read this, so I'm not sure why I'm wasting my valuable time, but just let these streets know: I ain't too busy to come off this pile of money and call up General George Sherman to burn that desolate, wretched landscape you call "home" to the ground (again). Free Gucci!

But let us set aside these petty quarrels amongst Gods and get to this money, shall we? Last week, I flew to Buenos Aires, which is just as majestic as I had been led to believe. I'll say this much: I mess with ol' Argentina! Their prices on whores and hard liquor are quite reasonable.

After Michigan nailed down last week's $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay, my friend, Gaston B. Means, and I demolished a handle of Espólon. From there, we stumbled into some back-alley saloon. At some point, I was being introduced to a "Juan", and I was trading him large amounts of unmarked United States dollars for equally large amounts of South American cocaine.

Long story short: I came to on a beach three days later, wearing nothing but a white t-shirt and a single sock, having consumed enough mind-altering substances to kill a rhinoceros, and having had sex with every woman in Argentina. Not wanting to deal with a whole nation of crying dudes (who were all wondering why their woman would want to be impregnated by a God in the first place), I decided I needed new pastures from which to graze from. The soul-shattering vortex that is my raging libido found its way to Caracas, Venezuala! (What you know about Caracas? Probably nothing, since you're poor and mortal, LOL). But, it's from here, with pink sand between my toes and a seemingly endless train of topless women bringing me drinks, I bring you this week's $10,000 Presidential Power Parlay. Investment in this week's parlay will yield a profit of $60,000, according to W.A. Titsworth, my Secretary of Collegiate Football Wagering. It's a street-certified banger: Ohio State +2.5, Texas -2.5, and Houston -6.5.

Sometimes, when I'm sitting on my throne in the sky, made out of the broken dreams and bones of my enemies, I can't help but laugh at what constitutes a "scandal" in America these days. Hell, in my day, the party didn't start until there was an unwanted pregnancy. And now a few discounted tats get handed out, a jetski gets wrecked, and all of a sudden, I've got to listen to some schlub tell me about the time where he almost schemed up a billion dollars and thought he was balling. (Although, this has all given me the idea to hire Joe Schad to narrate the next 30 women, 1 god orgy at the White House. Just for the jollies. I'm going to offer him $5,000 to do it. If he says no, then I guess Joe Schad's Wife and Mother will be getting a formal invite to my next soiree, which Joe Schad will be narrating for the princely sum of ten thousand pennies).

I love Miami because it's full of a bunch of people trying to pretend they actually like living in Miami. It's where tourists go, in a vain attempt to sample my tropical, jet-setting lifestyle--if only for the weekend. The difference is, on Monday, they have to go back to their cubicle. And they just wasted a weekend of their life in Miami.

Ohio State has been "my team" since my alma mater, Ohio Central College, burned to the ground in something like 1910. Ohio State is about to take this "L" down to Miami and hang it on their football team. I almost decided to jet up there to catch the game, but after last weekend, I didn't really feel like tangling with a wormhole of STD-laden hoodrats. If you're going to the game, I'd advise the use of condoms while cheating on your wife with some trollop, but that'd be entirely hypocritical of me.

The other day, while I was doing my daily reading (and when I say "reading" I mean "defecating on the toilet while the naked woman cooking up some waffles in the kitchen reads out loud to me"), I stumbled upon a story where Rick Nuhiesel berated his team at practice this week, allegedly screaming, "I can't be the only one who cares" at his team. Why yes! I'd like to gamble against a team like that! And yeah, whatever--Colt McCoy's little brother is getting his first start, but it's not like his big brother isn't the quarterback of The Greatest Football Team Ever, the Cleveland Browns. So, it's not "Colt McCoy's Little Brother" starting, it's the "Little Brother of the Cleveland Browns' Quarterback." Are you starting to see this gravy train in the sky? Is it not glorious?

As for the Houston-Louisana Tech banger, I must confess: I've never seen Louisiana Tech play. Honestly, I'm still reeling by the idea that there are colleges in a place like Louisiana. (WHAT IS THE POINT? SERIOUSLY?) While I've done things in the French quarter which could land me in front of an international criminal court, it's still--and always will be--all about Houston's strip clubs. 

Newayz, ol' girl here next to me is tugging on my swim trunks' draw-string and talking about how she wants to teach me "verb conjugation" (but I think it's just a ruse she's using to try to have sex with me). "Heavy is the head that carries the crown," I 'spose.

Until the winds of fortune push our paths acrossed one another, my friends!

b1g games

Penn State at Temple (+7.5) – 12 EST, ESPN
Penn State is headed to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, where they will face what Joe Paterno calls “the best Temple team [he] has ever seen”, which is high praise since Joe Paterno has seen every Temple team ever. (Aside: What would we do without JoePa age jokes? They’re almost as old as Paterno himself). Joe Pa also said Temple will be getting doses of both of Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin, who have collectively driven Penn State up the charts to 110th nationally in passing offense, which is what happens when you only complete 41% of your passes.  Offense, however, isn’t a problem for Temple, who seem to finally be investing into their football program. They whipped Villanova 42-7, and then went to Akron and dumped the Zips 41-3. Temple junior running back Bernard Pierce is coming off a game where he reeled off 150 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. I will enjoy watching this season, as Joe Paterno presides over an inept quarterback platoon in the same symbolic way the Queen of England still sits on her throne. While I was surprised Alabama didn’t beat the Nittany Lions by 55, was that game ever in doubt?  I think all fifteen Temple football fans start drinking at 6 AM on Saturday, and thus, bring the ruckus to Lincoln Financial Field! I also think Temple will win this game outright, but I’ll also take the 7.5 points gladly.

And no, per his "Casual Thursday" policy, Brady Hoke is not wearing any pants.Brady Hoke caught letting his hair down in this 1996 photo.

Eastern Michigan at Michigan (-29.5) – 12 EST, BTN
Fresh off an exhilarating win over a tiny Catholic school off I-90 in Indiana, Michigan resumes its Directional Michigan circuit, with this week’s victim being the 2-0 Eagles of Eastern Michigan. I usually enjoy taking big spreads like this—especially with Michigan coming off the “big win” of last week. Did you know last week the Eagles held the dynamic rushing attack of Alabama State to -13 yards? And that 336 of their 397 yards of total offense came on the ground? Now, I know Denard Robinson will basically be an athletic demi-God on the field—but doesn’t Michigan’s defense only appear just marginally better than last year? Also, noon games are terrible. You wake up, you eat, you shower, and BOOM… there’s only 3 minutes left in the second quarter. Not saying Eastern Michigan will win or anything, but I do think a combination of all these things will allow Eastern Michigan to cover pretty easily. (Also: Brady Hoke said yesterday he expects to have Fitzgerald Toussaint, the running back who started on opening day for the Wolverines, back into the fold this week after he was held out due to injury last week).

#15 Michigan State at Notre Dame (-4.5) - 3:30 EST, NBC Sports
Look at that line. I want you to look at it right now. Are there really people out there believing things like “THERE JUST SIMPLY ISN’T ANY WAY NOTRE DAME WILL START 0-3!” Well, get ready, because that day of reckoning is almost here.  I know, I know… MSU hasn’t really played anybody yet--but I caught a little bit of their game against Florida Atlantic on Saturday and their defense looked terrifying. Kirk Cousins can do some things. Their running game is industrious. (It’s almost as if Mark Dantonio once coached under Jim Tressel).  I don’t like anything about Notre Dame, and the more I watch Brian Kelly throw schoolyard tantrums on the sidelines, the more I think there could be a mutiny brewing in the Irish locker-room.  Say, do you miss the way Tressel used to bend opponents to his iron-fisted will... one field goal and strategically placed punt at a time? My friends and I called it “Tresslization”. Well, with six minutes to go in Saturday’s fourth quarter, Notre Dame will suddenly find themselves strapped to a table in an abandoned warehouse, with the knife of Jim Tressel’s Dark Apprentice hovering above their sternum. They will beg for mercy, but they will not find it.  

Washington at #10 Nebraska (-16.5) - 3:30 EST, ABC/ESPN (Regional)
The streets are finally getting what they’ve spent months asking for: a rematch of last year’s insta-classic Holiday Bowl! Who can forget where they were when Washington shocked the world and beat Nebraska 19-7? (I was on Earth!) I also see Nebraska has fallen into the same trap Ohio State did a few years back. Sure, it sounded good: sign a home-and-home with Washington, and expect to one day be able to stake your team’s early season national title hopes on a nationally televised night game on the banks of the Puget Sound. But now Nebraska is trapped in a game which can only harm their credibility. (At least Ohio State got Jake Locker during the year everybody thought he was good). Did you know, after two weeks, Taylor Martinez is the leading rusher in the Big 10? (It’s true). Nebraska in a route.

#22 Arizona State at Illinois (-1.5) - 7 EST, BTN
Dennis Erickson vs. Ron Zook: a meeting of tactical minds unseen in this world since the days of Bobby Fischer and Deep Blue. Say what you will about Zook, but this line wouldn't be anything like this if it were anybody but Ron Zook coaching the Fightin' Ron Zooks. While Arizona State will have an AP ranking beside its name for the first time since 2008(!?), this certainly reeks of one of those games Zook seems to win every year to extend his employment. The over-under on this game is 59.5, so there should be plenty of fireworks to watch when you're flipping over to this game during breaks in the Ohio State-Miami game. Now, I watched a little bit of last week's Missouri-Arizona State game, and ASU's defense is terrible. (The injury bug got 'em). While South Dakota State is an FCS school--they're actually a very solid program with a proud history--Illinois still managed to put up 300+ yards rushing against them. While I'd never actually wager on any game involving Ron Zook, I do think Illinois will be able to run the ball seemingly at will against the Sun Devils.

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