Week 13 Picks: Thanksgiving Edition

November 23, 2007 – 2:00 pm by McD

I’m back after a one-week hiatus because my computer crashed. And to make up for not giving you a little comedy with my suffering and ineptitude, I’m coming out with a special two-part Thanksgiving Week Rock-Solid, Lead Pipe Lock, Guaranteed Win and No Foolin’ Picks! Feel the confidence coming out of the screen? Me either.

I’m picking Thursday and Friday’s games today and Saturday’s picks on Friday. As always, these picks are for novelty purposes only. What else would they be good for? So sit back, relax, have some Turducken and enjoy the football.

After taking Turkey day off, I’m back to update all day Friday through the excellent post-Thanksgiving games in store for us. Currently, I’m watching Colorado/Nebraska, which isn’t all that excellent, but it’s football, right? We’ll be updating all day and laughing at everyone’s significant others (including mine) who are braving the Black Friday madness at the mall whilst we/I sit here watching football in shorts and a “free moustache rides” t-shirt. Okay, I don’t have that shirt, but man, that’d be sweet.

Thursday
Green Bay (9-1) at Detroit (6-4) (+3.5)
I’m just happy the early game on Thanksgiving isn’t a dog for once. This is the “Battle of Good Stories” game. The resurgent Lions are great news because…wait, why is this a good story? Between the God’s Team thing and the fact that they actually suck, we should still be wondering when Detroit fan finally gets to grease up the rail and send Matt Millen out of town on it. I have no idea what that meant. The other great story is the resurgence of Brett Favre. If this were baseball and Favre’s name was Roger Clemens, steroid accusations would be flying. But the truth is that the Packers just stunk the last couple of years and everyone knew Favre would be himself again if he were surrounded by any talent at all.

On a side note, I suck at picking NFL games, as does pretty much everyone else because the games are usually way too close. Except that this is a freaky season with a few dominant teams, a lot of crappy teams and some huge spreads. Did I make a steroids accusation towards Brett Favre back there? Crazy.

Pick: Green Bay. Gotta go with the Favre story.

Update: Green Bay 37 Detroit 26. And it wasn’t even that close. Favre looked pretty much perfect all game, and he seemed as stunned about it as everyone else. You have to love when a guy is having a major resurgence and has no idea why. The Lions are also looking more terrible by the week, which makes sense because by the halfway point in the season, every team left on your schedule has figured out your weaknesses. Well, maybe not anyone on the Patriots’ schedule, but definitely on the Lions’. Detroit’s D isn’t that great and they still can’t play consistently enough on offense to make any noise. There might be a playoff spot opening up in the NFC now that they’ve lost three straight.

Speaking of huge spreads…

New York Jets (2-8) at Dallas (9-1) (-14)
Some people seem to be jumping on the “the Jets could totally cover this one, they even won last week!” bandwagon. Let me just say, um no. Dallas is much, much better and the Mangenious hasn’t been the same since appearing on the Sopranos. We should all be happy this game will be on while everyone is eating because it’ll be unwatchable.

Pick: Dallas

Update: Dallas 34 Jets 3. You could tell the Cowboys were going to cover this one about five minutes into the third quarter. The Jets, as usual, had no hope on offense, and couldn’t stop anyone on defense. If I cared, I could probably tell you what changed from the Jets last year to the Jets this year, but I don’t. They’re just bad and are playing much better teams. I’m sure Thomas Jones will start producing any minute now. Now? … What about now? No? How about now? Ugh.

College Football Special
(11) Southern California (8-2) at (6) Arizona State (9-1) (+3)
Finally, some college football. USC has historically had trouble when on the road at Arizona State, but this game just doesn’t feel like a win for the Sun Devils. The undefeated mystique has worn off and USC seems to have gotten it together after their win at Cal. It won’t be a blowout, but the Trojans should still win this one. It wouldn’t even really be an upset, hence the No. 6 team getting three points at home against the No. 11 team. Sun Devil fan will definitely be fired up, and I expect to see all the hot poon on television that Phillips isn’t seeing in Hawaii. Gotta take those small victories.

Pick: USC

Update: USC 44 Arizona State 24. Another game that wasn’t nearly as close as the score. Arizona State didn’t have a prayer even when the game was tied at 17. They had no answer for the Trojan offense and only occasionally responded when they were on offense. USC’s offense finally looked good last night. They ran the ball well and John David Booty was efficient. How, you ask? They rolled him out and ran play action constantly and the majority of his throws were no longer than seven yards. He’s still comically inaccurate when throwing down the field, but USC seems to be figuring out how to get the ball to their playmakers. ASU only fell for the same playfake/pass to the fullback/tight end, oh, about 87 times. Will it work next week? Who knows.

Indianapolis (8-2) at Atlanta (3-7) (+11.5)
Yet another big spread in an NFL game. I can’t wait until Jets/Patriots later this season. Anyway, Indy is injured to the point of comedy and is playing on short rest, yet Atlanta has virtually no chance of winning this one for two reasons: 1) they’re terrible and 2) Bobby Petrino is a hack. If you’ve been paying any attention to the on-going Steve Kragthorpe drama at Louisville, you’d have seen that Petrino left that program in total disarray. It just so happened they were winning, so no one cared.

Pick: Atlanta

Update: Indianapolis 31 Atlanta 13. Bobby Petrino is officially a man without a country. He left Louisville in a shambles, so the chances of him lasting much longer there were pretty slim anyway. And now his NFL team is equally a mess, only he hasn’t won a bunch of games first. The moral is successful college coaches should never, ever leave for the NFL unless it’s to coach an already good team with competent front office help. It’s why Pete Carroll keeps putting his toe in the NFL waters and recoiling in horror every spring. He knows the deal. But every year, college coaches think they can turn around a bad NFL team like they turned around a college program. Then they end up in Miami (Saban) or Atlanta (Petrino) and find out that they have no idea what they’re doing and no one will help them.

More on Friday.

Friday
Arkansas (7-4) at (1) LSU (10-1) (-12)
WILL LES MILES GO TO MICHIGAN!?!?!?!?! Who cares? He’s not that great a coach to begin with. Dynamic coaches are the wave of the future and he’s still the old-school, scary-intense kind. Plus, he’s the worst game coach of any at a major program. Watch the last 53 seconds of the Auburn game again and see how nothing happens for about 30 seconds of game time and listen to the announcers let Miles totally get away with it. Flynn didn’t make a perfect throw and the game’s over if that’s an incompletion or the DB simply puts his hands up. They got absurdly lucky. I hate this stuff. Run away, Michigan. Run away. What am I saying? They should totally hire him and watch Indiana come in there and shock them periodically.

Pick: Arkansas

(13) Texas (9-2) at Texas A&M (6-5) (+5.5)
Some, uh, “rivalry” here. Dennis Franchione is on his way out and Texas doesn’t start playing this season until the fourth quarter. I have absolutely no reason to watch this game, especially because I have a couple more episodes of season 3 of The Wire to watch. HBO On Demand + No Pants = good times.

Pick: Texas

(19) Boise State (10-1) at (15) Hawai’i (10-0) (-3)
Now THIS is a game. Everyone needs to fire up for some WAC football because the winner will be (hopefully) playing in a BCS game come January. Colt Brennan will be back and Ian Johnson will be able to have a big game and redeem his somewhat underwhelming season. This game’s really going to come down to the defenses, as in, which defense can stop the other team one more time than their opponents’ defense? I can’t help but root for Boise State, since they’re a cold weather team and Phillips is still in Hawai’i. So screw them and screw Phillips. Plus he’s a USC fan. I don’t know what that has to do with anything, but still.

Pick: Hawai’i

Season: 38-41-1

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