BY BILL JOHNSON
Well, we return from zone week hiatus refreshed and ready to win.
Northern Illinois -3 vs Bowling Green State at Ford Field
Jordan Lynch and the Huskies have been a juggernaut in the MAC the last few seasons, and they want to get back to the BCS to clear fans memories of last years blowout loss. Take the over if you get a chance too.
Missouri +1 vs Auburn at the Georgia Dome
It's letdown city for War Eagle. The Emperor is dead. Gus Malzahn is dancing with the Ewoks. The last team you want on a neutral field on a letdown is Missouri. Remember, they are just an overtime loss versus South Carolina from being in contention for the National Championship Game. Auburn will need to bring the same motivation to Atlanta this week that they had last week at Jordan-Hare. I don't think they can. Missou by 10
Stanford +3 @ Arizona State
The smart kids have been playing in these big games for years, while Arizona State has labored between Christmas and New Years. Shaw and the Cardinal will use their steady, methodical approach to frustrate and overrun the up tempo Sun Devils. Smart Kids by a TD.
Chiefs -3 @ Washington
Why is one Native American nickname OK and the other one isn't? Good question, not sure. Ask a demonstrator.
The team with the acceptable Native American nickname is now 9-3 and in need of a win to hold serve with the Broncos. I believe that Reid's charges will regroup in Washington as RGIII and the hapless Washington NFL team will continue to flounder. Respected Native American leaders of the 1800's by 10.
Saints -3 vs Panthers
Maybe it's a sucker bet. It feels like a sucker bet. The Panthers are good, really good. I just don't think it's torch passing time quite yet, especially with the Saints coming off of one of their worst beatings ever with Sean Payton and Drew Brees guiding things. I foresee one of those free wheeling, wild, 500 plus yard games from Brees. Dead Religious Heroes by 10.
Seahawks +3 @ 49ers
Sure, there's some personal bias in this. I'm tired of hearing about Harbaugh. He's never won anything, yet he carries himself like Belichick. Bias aside, how often to you get points when you play an 11-1 team? Seahawks by 7.
Have a great weekend, and if you're in the neighborhood, stop in to watch UWM vs Bradley at the Klotsche Center on Saturday. Tip time is at 3pm.
BY BILL JOHNSON
There's no other way to put it: My picks have sucked for about the last month.
Last week, 0-3-1, dropping us to 23-20-2 for the season. A precipitous drop from 17-7-1, but we push forth.
Penn State -1.5 vs Nebraska
It's senior day for Penn State and they can't go to a bowl game, so this is it. Pelini has righted the ship in Lincoln a bit since his post game tantrum became public. This will wake up the "Fire Bo" talk. The Nittany Lions will come out breathing fire and play inspired football. Penn State by 14
Buccs +9 @ Lions
The Buccaneers have played a lot better in the last few weeks. It seems like Mike Glennon is the real deal at QB, but this isn't really about them. The Lions are in free fall. Full out gag mode. America's favorite fantasy football roster understands that their coach is horribly overmatched this time of year. The Honolulu Blue will be looking ahead to Turducken day vs the Pack and totally ignore the resurgent Buccs. Don't be shocked if Tampa wins straight up.
Panthers -4 @ Dolphins
Injustice or not, I BELIEVE!!!!! I believe in the Panthers defense, their running game, and an improved Cam Newton. The Dolphins are offensively challenged against air in pre game warm-ups. They might get shut out at home versus Carolina. Panthers by 17
Patriots +2 vs Broncos
The Pats? A home dog? I'll bite (again.)
Enjoy this football weekend. let's turn this thing around and make a huge late season run!!!!
BY BILL JOHNSON
What happens when you travel on Friday? You forget to write your highly successful picks blog. Wins on Saturday and Sunday salvaged a 2-2 weekend. Amazing how your perspective changes when your Thursday picks both stink.
Anyway, 23-17-1 on the season and in need of a big college winner.
Stanford -3.5 @ USC
The Cardinal hammered Oregon last week, but there'll be no letdown tonight at the Colosseum. Shaw's no nonsense, pound it out offense will stymy Coach O's rejuvenated Trojans. Stanford keeps themselves just on the outside of the championship game. Cardinal by 10.
Chargers -1.5 @ Dolphins
The Dolphins are toast. The Martin/Incognito hubbub has split the locker room, but it's also decimated the Swimming Mammals offensive line. The Chargers have come back to earth a bit and need to travel across the country to play this game, but there's just too much stacked up against the Dolphins. Bolts by a TD.
Saints -3 vs 49ers
So, I only have to give 3 points to take the Saints at home? I don't care if they're playing the '85 Bears, I'm taking Brees and the Saints. Oh, and Niners fans, how's Alex Smith looking these days? Dead Religious Heroes pound JimBO's boys by two TDs.
Patriots +2.5 over Panthers
This line makes me think of James Coburn's line from The Magnificent Seven. "Nobody hands me my guns and tells me to run." The Panthers are improved, but you're going to let Pats come off the bye as a dog? Brady and Belichick will take this as an insult and the Panthers will pay. The American Revolutionaries will party like it's 1776 (or 2003.) Pats by 17.
Sorry for the late posting. Now go make your man cry like T.O. in a Dallas press conference. (That's my quarterback!!!)
BY BILL JOHNSON
Well, last week sucked. The worst we had done all season prior to last week was 2-2. Last week, 0-4, and no heartbreakers either. We got crushed. Now, we must go boldly forth, and we shall!!!!
21-15-1 on the season, the once stellar college picks now 5-3-1.
Let's crank it up early with two Thursday games.
Oregon -10 @ Stanford
The Ducks have been on a mission all season long. A mission to win the National Title, and to do it without the departed Chip Kelly. The Ducks powerful offense is second only to Baylor, but this season the defense is ranked eighth. Mariota currently tops the list of QBs for next season's draft. Under Shaw, Stanford has been one of the nation's best team, but in every game one team has to lose. This year it's the Ducks by 17.
Washington NFL team -2.5 @ Vikings
However they got their win over the Chargers, the Washington NFL team is still very much in the hunt for the NFC East title. Shanahan's decision to start the season with an injured Griffin was potentially fatal, but Washington has survived, and somehow, Griffin has continued to recover. Meanwhile, the Vikings are in operation shut down. Last week's gagarific loss in Dallas solidified that. Big day for Brian Orakpo. Washington NFL team by 14.
Panthers +6 @ 49ers
The Panthers have arrived as a legit contender. The Stick is still a tough place for the road team to win, but Newton and the Panthers are ready. Carolina's running game, with the backs and Newton, will be the difference. Carolina on a late FG.
Broncos -7 @ Chargers
This is just a bad set up for the Chargers. They suffered a controversial loss in Washington last week, now they come home to face Manning and the Broncos, fresh and a daisy after the bye. Denver's focus will be pinpoint, especially with head coach John Fox out indefinitely after heart surgery. Count the number of times Peyton yells "Omaha!!!" It's going to be a lot, because the Broncos offense will dominate the clock and this game. Broncos by 21.
We are confident bordering on overconfident in these selections. Have a huge weekend. Blast your book!!!
BY BILL JOHNSON
Another 2-2 week, this time just an overtime (South Carolina @ Missouri) and a point (Browns @ Chiefs) away from 4-0. Oh well, that's why they call it gambling.
21-11-1 overall, 5-2-1 in the colleges, we go boldly forth with four more bodacious bookie busting beauties. Look out, degenerate book making types!!!
Oregon State -4.5 vs USC
This is another head scratcher. The Beavers aren't Stanford or Oregon, but they aren't far off. Mike Reilly's Beav's are smarting after a tough loss to Stanford last week. Oregon State is one of the team's that's been waiting to pay back the Trojans for rubbing it in during the Pete Carroll era. Beavs by a lot.
Saints -6 @ Jets
The Jets are hard to read. One week they can beat the Patriots. The next, they get pistol whipped by the Bengals. The perils of a team with a developing rookie QB? Mercurial coach breeds mercurial play? Are they just mediocre? As the Rock would say, "IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER!!!!" The Saints only loss was on a last second miracle by the Brady Bunch at Foxboro. Brees and the Dead Religious Heroes will roll into The METowlands and roll Rex's Jets.
Bills +3 vs Chiefs
Either Andy Reid has done a masterful job in revitalizing the Chiefs, or Todd Haley and Romeo Crennell were truly awful. Either way, the Chiefs are 8-0 and in first place ahead of the Broncos juggernaut in the AFC West. This is a road game, though, against an unfamiliar opponent. Thaddeus Lewis has gotten the snot beaten out of him, but he keeps getting up and playing pretty well. Next week for the Chiefs: a showdown with the Broncos in Denver. Look ahead, letdown, over confidence…. It's all in place. Bills in a SHOCKER at Orchard Park.
Raiders -2.5 vs Eagles
Since their opening week 7 on 7 drill versus the Redskins, 2013 has been a disaster for Coach Kelly and the Nike offense. Michael Vick has been up and down, both in performance and health. Nick Foles has also been injured and inconsistent, and Matt Barkley is the third string QB for a reason. Meanwhile, how 'bout the Raiders? They're 3-4 and Terrell Pryor is learning on the job how to be a pocket passer. While he's learning, it helps a lot that he can run in 93 yard TDs. Raiders improve to .500 and cover.
Enjoy the weekend!!! Another Sunday for Packers fans to erin in the majesty that is the NFL Red Zone channel, then catch Bears/Packers on MON…DAY…NIGHT…FOOTBALL!!!!!!
BY BILL JOHNSON
2-2 last week. Disappointing considering the success we've enjoyed this season, plus we lost our first college game of the season. (If you're gonna lose, lose big. We did on Clemson. Never trust a guy named Dabo.)
Anyway, confidence needs to be regained. We're still 19-9-1 for the season. Your man took the juice last week, NOT THIS WEEK, BENT NOSE!!!
Here we go!!
Missouri -3 vs South Carolina
I believe in Coach Pinkel's Tigers ( in spite of the fact that his name is Pinkel.) They're good all around and they make big played on defense. I know that some of you believe that this has to be a bounce back game for the Ole Head Ball Coach's 'Cocks. I disagree. I think the turmoil surrounding Clowney and that lack of a great QB has made them a pretender. Tigers by 17.
Chiefs -7 vs Browns
I don't understand this line at all. The Chiefs are rolling!!! Brandon Weeden was awful, but no one on the NFL or CFL is lining up to start Jason Campbell. In my days in the sports investment industry, we referred to this as a "sucker bet", something that was to good to be true. Call me a sucker. Chiefs by two TDS.
Saints -11 vs Bills
That's a lot of wood, but the Saints are at home, coming off the bye, and still smarting from their last second loss to the Brady Bunch. Thad Lewis has had some success leading the Bills since taking over at QB, but the ravenous Rob Ryan defense coupled with the din in the Dome will be a little too much to handle. Dead Religious Heroes by 24.
Packers -9 @ Vikings
Sure, I have some concerns. It's a division game. Jared Allen's still got it. Adrian Peterson is always a threat, as long as the dummies that call the plays give him the ball. That's the issue, and the reason I think the Packers run away with it on Sunday night. Whomever allowed Josh Freeman to start and play the entire game on Monday needs to be banned for life from all football (including the lingerie league.) If I recognize football malpractice, the players do too. Look forward to the NFL version of the Derek Bell classic "Operation Shutdown" coming to an obsolete domed stadium near you. Packers by 20.
Paraphrasing the fake Ned Shneebly, let's get out there and melt you man's face!!!
There are no games scheduled for today.