Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Hundreds of years ago, a lot of people sailed on big boats and made sacrifices to help found this land of ours, namely in a land known as Plymouth, Massachussetts. After making the plight to come out there, a few Natives were kind enough to lay the foundation for the feasts we enjoy today. Let's celebrate all the good in our lives with this Thanksgiving Holiday, and then FEAST on
of the Week (chomp!)
Dave's LOCKS of the Week
Week 13: Thanksgiving Edition
Greetings everyone! Welcome back to LOCKS of the Week. I'm here to give thanks to the Lord above, or your deity of choice, then pick the best football LOCKS of Week 13. Speaking of Plymouth, Mass, how about the Patriots these days? They look as good as they've ever been, so let's travel there first.
We go to New England to start our week. The Patriots are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. May both teams give thanks to all the men and women who fought for their freedom and may the Patriots fight to COVER the (-1) spread at home. Yep, I'm so thankful for life that I'm hedging my bet and betting against my Pittsburgh Steelers. I have to.. I'm just glad that there's still football in the air.
There's something ELSE in the air and it doesn't smell good. Whoof! I think it's coming from DETROIT, where we head next. The stinky Lions are home to play the formerly undefeated Titans. Boy are the Titan wheels coming apart or what? Internal sniping, panic, and all the trimmings!
But, on Thanksgiving day, before most of the West wakes up, the Lions will get the job done and lose big! The Titans are (-11) point favorites bound to cover. If they can't cover 11 against the Lions, you've got some REAL problems brewing in Nashville.
And finally, remember the quickie about how the Red Skinned Natives helped furnish the feast for Pilgrims all along the East Coast? Howsabout a trip to the home of the Redskins in Washington? The Redskins are home to face the Giants in a huge fight to stay alive in the division race. The 'skins kept it close way back in Week 1. The Giants have been playing GREAT football, but they seem to be banged up. I'm calling for the Redskins upset, which means a sure cover of the (+3.5) at home. Kind of surprising to see the Redskins GET 3.5 at home, but take it, take it, take it!
And thats how it is in the NFL, and on the Mayflower, the Pinta, the Nina, and the Santa Maria, all on
of the Week (chop!)
Happy Thanksgiving to You and Your Family! Make sure to drink responsibly!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Monday Night Football was intriguing last night, if for no other reason than it showed two teams with potential to make the playoffs. Can either the Packers or Saints get to the 'offs? Let's break it down one by one:
The Packers are really banged up on defense, with Nick Barnett the latest of victims, but if they could somehow patch it up, the Pack might be back!
The Packers have the Fifth WORST rush defense in the NFL, BUT they allow the 3rd fewest passing yards per game. The Packers, going into last night, were +7 in turnovers. They're fairly mediocre in passing AND rushing, but my guess is, Rodgers could recover from his shoulder injury and turn things around. Even now, Rodgers has a decent 94.5 QB rating. That's not bad for a guy in his first full year as a starter.
Best of all, the Pack have two things working for them. First of all, the rest of their division is a joke. The Bears are a mere 6-5 and still have to play the Saints themselves. The Vikings are flat-out LUCKY to be above .500 with their lousy +7 point differential and -2 turnover ratio. They're falling out quick. Secondly, the Packers have a very easy schedule down the stretch. They'll get to play Carolina, Houston, and Jacksonville all in a row. I like the odds.
The Saints looked good last night, and offensively, they are very very good. The Saints lead the NFL in Passing Yards per game, plus they're the 5th best scoring team in the NFL (ironically, four of the top five are in the NFC!).
Unfortunately, NFL teams are required to play DEFENSE. The Saints are rather awful on defense: ranked 18th against the run and 24th against the pass. Let's face it, the Saints aren't fooling anybody.
To make matters worse, the Saints are -5 in turnovers going into tonight's game, and they're only +39 in point differential. For a team that is among the NFL scoring leaders, having a measly +39 point differential is down-right pathetic. For their six wins, that's equivalent to a lousy 6.5 point margin of victory per game. Note: The Packers have a similar point differential.
Finally, the Saints face a decently tough schedule down the stretch. The Saints play at Tampa Bay, vs Atlanta, and at Chicago in consecutive weeks.
On paper, it looks like the Packers have a better shot to make the playoffs. If somehow Green Bay can return most of its injured defense, they could be, *might* be, a dark horse in the playoffs. Frankly, I doubt either team has what it takes to get that coveted playoff spot. We'll see.
Fantastic week in LOCKS for Week 12! The Chargers, being those love-able choke jobs, gagged a potential 3 point cover. Come ON, San Diego! ALL I ASKED FOR WAS A MEASLY 3 POINTS!! Is that too much to ask? Apparently so... you give San Diego good fortune and they squander it away...
That's what I get for ever trusting the Chargers. I promise to never trust them again! Just say NO to Norv.
With the Chargers loss, LOCKS goes 2-1 for the week, bringing the Season Total to 14-18-1. It's time for a huge comeback! Only 5 weeks to go, but if LOCKS of the Week can go 2-1 every week, I'll climb to above .500.
It's gonna be a great finish, folks!
Monday Night Football last night was an AMAZING performance by the Saints, but other than the points scored, not much of a story in New Orleans... although I'd like to congratulate Deuce McCallister for setting a new Saints touchdowns record. Way to go!
Still, not really significant far as the playoff picture. Does anyone really think the Saints OR the Packers are real playoff contenders? ummm... dang I'll have to address that in a moment! That's a good question!!
Anyway, I wanted to discuss the Florida Gators...
The Gators played 11 games so far, with two games to go.
Of the 11, I recall only three meetings vs ranked teams: Georgia, LSU, and South Carolina. All of them were grossly overrated.
Is Florida overrated? Now, from a talent and defense standpoint, I'm confident the Gators are the best team out there, but as far as being "battle tested" they are not that.
USC, as dumb as this sounds, got through much more adversity against tough road opponents. Oregon State is hard to beat at Corvallis, and daggunit, they might win the Pac 10! Florida's loss to Ole Miss was far worse.
It's interesting. I'm not about to say USC is better than Florida, since I literally have no idea how to compare them. On the other hand, I'll never forget...
Florida vs Michigan: LOST in bowl game
USC vs Michigan: Kicked the tar out of Michigan in bowl game.
and it really was the same Michigan team both years. Food for thought...
Saturday, November 22, 2008
LOCKS contributor Andrew Jacobsen, coming off a week when he saw zero football the whole weekend, offers his latest WEEKEND FOOTBALL PREVIEW. Enjoy, folks:
Ahhhhhh…another week in the books and back to the weekend. Unfortunately, the season is winding down quickly…almost too quickly. College football season will be essentially done in less then 3 weeks. That makes me sad. What am I going to do with my Saturday afternoons in December? Clean my apartment? Ummmmm…I don’t think so. Christmas shopping? Forget about it.
Very soon there will be a large void in my life. College football will have left me for another year. I mean, sure we’ll have the bowl games and everything but that’s like breaking up with your girlfriend and then hooking up one last time before you know its all over. Its great…but still sad and depressing.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL SATURDAY
This is called rivalry week in college football and rivalries are great…if both teams are good. I’m looking at the list of games this week, and yeah, rivalry games but most of them suck. Ohio St/Michigan…probably the best rivalry in college football should be a laugher this year. Washington/Washington State…features two of the worst teams in college football. Not all rivalries are great all the time. Looks like we are learning that lesson this week.
Michigan State/Penn St – Luckily for all of us college football fans, Iowa was able to beat Penn State two weeks ago and spare us having to see them in the national championship game. Will Michigan State beat them and spare us from watching them in the Rose Bowl. Wait…what? Ohio State would go to the Rose Bowl if Penn State loses? Screw it…GO PENN STATE!!!
BYU/Utah – Wow. This could be a very entertaining, high scoring, close college football game. I can’t wait to watch this one…wait? What? Its on the Mountain Network? What the hell is that?! Does anyone not living in Utah or Montana actually get that channel? I don’t think so. Unfortunately, this will be one I miss. The highlights should be fun though.
Texas Tech/Oklahoma – Best game of the day. Tech could take a very BIG step with a win here towards being in the national championship game. Oklahoma still has national championship hopes as well. You guys want a college football playoff? Well, this is about as close as we get.
SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!
Jets/Titans – All the sudden, with a win last week over the Pats, the NY Bretts have become the front runner in the AFC East. They visit TEN this weekend and take on the undefeated Titans. Can the Titans make it to Thanksgiving Day undefeated? Oh Lord…I hope so.
Patriots/Dolphins – Early in the season the Dolphins went into NE and beat up the Patriots pretty good with their funky wildcat offense. Everybody thought it was a fluke…especially me. Well, since then, the Dolphins have still been beating people with the Wildcat Offense and all of the sudden are in the playoff hunt. Yikes! I can’t imagine the Dolphins in the playoffs without you know who as their QB…yep…Jay Fiedler.
Giants/Cardinals – Possible playoff preview anyone? Well, it very well could be. Giants are probably playing the best out of anyone in the NFL and they face the Cardinals who really no one knows how good they are. Could Kurt Warner really be this years MVP? WOW. Talk about your lame NFL season…what year is this? 1999?
Colts/Bolts – Nice little Sunday night game for two teams that are in desperate need of a win. Both, right now, are on the outside looking in at the playoff picture and only one of them would be likely to make it. Winners season is still alive…loser…well, start making New Years plans.
There you go boys and girls. Another Friday…another football preview. I’ll actually get to watch some games this weekend. Yay!Andrew Jacobsen
I grappled over this for a few minutes, but decided to go with a Veggie Pizza. I was going to say "Turkey Pizza" but turkey does not taste good on a pizza.
Why veggie? Because it is a bountiful feast of many delicious combinations. Onions and Bell Peppers, tomatoes, and Mushrooms. Mmm, delicious!
For those who can't do without meat, add in some Pepperoni! Pepperoni and Veggie Pizza... boy that sounds fantastic.
Before going on, I'd like to offer my condolences to the San Francisco 49ers, who are about to get slammed by the Cowboys tomorrow. But rest easy, SF. The Cowboys will start thinking they're "back", but they really aren't. Two weeks from now, the Steelers will go out and smack Dallas into the ground. See? It all evens out!
A month ago, I was talking about the big game between UCLA and USC with someone, only to be corrected. I was told that the real Big Game™, the only sanctioned game to adorn the name, is Stanford/Cal.
This is true, but of all the "Big Games" in progress, be it the real "Big Game," Michigan/OSU, Mich St./Penn State, etc, the only real BIG GAME, meaning the one that matters is
Texas Tech vs Oklahoma
coming soon to an ABC TV near you.
It's exciting times for the Big 12. The winner of today's game will dramatically alter the balance of power in the conference. If Tech wins, they're a sure lock to win the Big 12. If Oklahoma wins, it confuses everybody, and possibly puts Texas back into contention. I highly doubt Texas will drop lower than OU in the BCS.
Now, where is all this hype for Texas Tech coming from? I haven't seen defense this porous since the 1983 Denver Nuggets. How are we expecting the Red Raiders to not only give Oklahoma a hard time, but win the game... in NORMAN?!
Certainly, I understand the Sooners defense could be its worst in 5 years. I can see how the Sooners already lost to Texas, a team Tech beat a few weeks ago. But IT'S DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL!! IT'S THE BIG 12!!! Oops, I got carried away...
If you ask me, I think the Sooners are going to win, and win BIG. If the Red Raiders keep the game within 14 points, on the road no less, I will be very surprised.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
You thought you had me! You thought you could pull that junk on me, all three of you picks! How dare you all!! NOT AGAIN!! I'm coming BACK BABY and with a venegance on
of the Week (ZOOM!!!)
Dave's LOCKS of the Week
0-3 last week! It was so embarrassing I couldn't even show my face on the internet. I can't believe how all three picks betrayed me. One of them spoiled late, such as the Titans pick (you SUCK Jacksonville). Another one didn't bother to show up (way to go Eagles! You can't even win OR lose the game!)
So what am I doing? I'm going back and picking ALL THREE TEAMS AGAIN!!
To BALTIMORE we go! Quoth the Ravens, "again? Stop picking against us!"
Ok.. I won't. I'm goin' with the Ravens (-1.0). I'm so mad I can't take it any more. Ravens WIN BY 96!!! against PHILLY. SCREW YOU EAGLES!!!
Let's soar from the battle of the birds out to the Tale of the Titans in Nashville, Tennesee. This week the Titans are playing.... The Titans? Yep, back in the old days, before the Jets (+5.5) were "the Jets" the New York AFC Team was known as the "New York Titans". The "new" Titans have much better uniforms than the old Titans did. Oof... did you see the link? MUCH better!
So I'm a gonna go Old School and pick the New York "old Titans" aka J-E-T-S JETS JETS BRETTS!! Jets win by 508 points. FORGET YOU ALL TENNESSEE TITANS!! I HOPE YOU LOSE EVERY GAME THE REST OF THE SEASON!! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!
Now let's go from that Titanic rumble to our final pick of the week, back West where all the beautiful fishes play. Let's swing it back to San Diego, where we find the final team on the Hit list. The Indianapolis Blokes, I mean COLTS are a lock to cover against the Chargers (-3.0), right? No they're not!! Let's not get carried away everyone. The Chargers' defense is much better and you KNOW SD wants blood from last year's regular... wait they beat Indy in the playoffs. Ah what the hell it's DAVE WHO WANTS BLOOD! DIE COLTS DIE!!! ..at least this week. Chargers dominate and clobber the Colts: Bolts 1,354,768; Colts 10.
Grudge? What grudge? There you have it on
of the Week (splash!)
Revenge never tasted so, so, sweet. Hope your weekend brings good fun and great harmony. Hope you enjoy the NFL this week!
Recap: Ravens (-1) cover at home; Jets (+5.5) cover at Titans; Chargers (-3.0) cover at home
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Just when you thought the Panthers and Jaguars were about to crash the party, both the Lions and Titans stuck to their guns and kept their seasons perfect.
In CHARLOTTE, the Duante Culpepper threw a clutch interception in the 4th to put the Lions game out of reach. The final score: Panthers 31, Lions 22.
In JACKSONVILLE, the Titans, led by three Kerry Collins touchdown passes, came from behind to beat the Jaguars, 24-14. We were so sure the Jaguars would put a dent into Tennessee's record, but it was not to be.
So far... so good. 0-10, meet 10-0. One more week, both teams at home, the Titans playing the Jets and the Lions playing the Bucs. If both teams survive week 12, the two perfect teams will meet each other!
Come Thanksgiving Day, the 0-fer Lions and All-fer Titans will play each other in front of many millions of Americans. It could be a rare meeting of Jeckyll and Hyde IF they don't slip up next week.
A lot of folks might think I'd be writing about the Titans, but I think the Giants are the team to beat in the NFL. The New York Giants are the most impressive team so far in '08. After 11 weeks, they lost only a single game to the Cleveland Browns.
Going into today's game against Baltimore, I was sure the Giants were ready for a big let down game. The Giants were coming off an emotional, rugged, hard earned, albeit defensively lacking, win at Philadelphia. I thought the Ravens defense against the run was stellar. Shows what I know: third stringer Ahmad Bradshaw alone rushed for 95 yards! Brandon Jacobs scored two touchdowns and ran for 73 yards. The Giants as a team rushed for 207 total yards. Goodness gracious great Earth, Wind, and Fire!
I don't think Joe Flacco is a bad quarterback for the Ravens, but boy did the Giants pass rush make him look silly. The signature moment in today's game was when Aaron Ross returned a Flacco interception 53 yards for a score to put the game away.
I still can't believe, in a year rampant with mediocrity, that the Giants have played so well, so hard, and so consistently. Not only that, but the Giants do all this against stiff competition. You try playing the Steelers, Cowboys, Eagles, and Ravens all in a row and come out 4-0. It's as if the Giants are on a mission to prove last year was not a fluke.
Well let me come out and say: mission accomplished!
Meanwhile, in the Music City, the Titans did a good job coming from behind, but I noticed in highlights that on two of Collins' touchdown passes, Justin Gage was WIDE OPEN. There wasn't a defender within 20 yards of him.
To be honest, both the Giants and Titans have played their fair share of cupcakes. A big test for the Titans will be the Jets next week, just as the Ravens were a big test for the G-Men. The Titans' big gauntlet is coming up. First the Jets at home, then in the last two weeks of the season they play Pittsburgh and Indy back to back.
Color me skeptical, but Tennessee's lack of wins against quality opponents sways me as a non-believer. The Giants, after playing some easy teams, imposed their will over the last month. I've been waiting for them to lay an egg versus a big-time team. I'm still waiting...
I think the debate will continue until both teams settle it on the field.
...in the Super Bowl!
I was wondering if the Titans play the Dolphins this year, and if the Lions play the Bucs.
As they both march on to an all-fer and 0-fer season, respectively, we look back to the teams that did it perfectly (along with last year's Patriots).
The Dolphins went 17-0, including playoffs back in '72. Four years later, the Buccaneers went 0-14.
So I did some research and I see a meeting between Tampa Bay and Detroit at Ford Field next week. The Titans won't be playing either the Dolphins or Patriots, unless one of those teams make the playoffs.
Boy I can't wait! Off to the sports bar I go to see more perfection!
Terrific news for Steeler fans everywhere. Dan Rooney has agreed to purchase about 80% of the team, thus keeping Steeler majority ownership with the Rooney family.
Its tough to be a major football powerhouse in a small town like Pittsburgh, PA. Did you know Pittsburgh has a population of only 300,000? That's about the same size as my home town, Oxnard, CA, and neighboring Ventura. I hardly consider the tandem a market large enough for an NFL franchise.
The potential debt owed to Dan was raised in another blog. It's an interesting point. With all the money going to other brothers, Dan could potentially have a tough time competing for free agents.
My counterpoint is this: The Steelers aren't usually about signing big free agents, nor keeping them for that matter. Remember when Plaxico Burress left for greater dollars signs about four years ago? The answer? Santonio Holmes, drafted with the 25th pick of the first round. Almost as good, and much cheaper.
The point is, the Steelers avoid going corporate for the short term. It's going to be a struggle for a little whlie, but with their strong core of defense, and ownership group that cares, the Pittsburgh Steelers will still be... The Pittsburgh Steelers.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The recent Tea Fire postponed the latest WFP, but here it is, seconds after Ohio State's kickoff. Andrew and the WEEKEND FOOTBALL PREVIEW:
The very appropriately titled “YOUR Weekend Football Preview”. Why? Because I will see very little…if any…football this weekend.
Yep, looks like a football free weekend for me. Instead I will be attending a wedding this weekend and be missing everything. Somebody will have to fill me in when I get back (I’m looking at you ESPN).
However, the football gods know that I love them…so they made sure that there was a long list of crap’tastic games this weekend on the schedule in BOTH college and pro football. Really, the best game is Sunday night…which will likely be the only game I watch all weekend. THANK YOU FOOTBALL GODS!! You know I love you!
See, that’s how you do it gentlemen. You praise the football gods all year long…so when the one weekend in the winter or fall that you have no choice but to miss an entire weekend of football action…the gods will bless you with a crappy schedule of games so you miss almost nothing.
Of course, crappy schedule of games usually leads to a brief preview. Let me see if there is a game or two I can find worth mentioning.
South Carolina/Florida – Steve Spurrier returns to Florida again…only to get pummeled by his former team. More then likely, I mean. Florida, to me, has looked like the best team in the country over the past few weeks. Hopefully they can keep it up and my bet on them to win the national championship stays alive! Please!
USC/Stanford – last year, as a 40 point underdog, Stanford actually beat USC just down the street from me. Awesome game! Awesome ending! Can it happen again? No. Damn.
Texas/Kansas – Another possibility of being one of those exciting (meaning no defense) BIG-12 shootouts. Some people see upset potential…although, Kansas has sucked versus good BIG-12 teams this year. Texas might be the best. Texas wins.
That’s if for college. Those last two were even a stretch to make the preview, but I had to put something down, right?
PRO ATHLETE SUNDAY
Bears/Packers – Its been years since it seemed like both these teams were good the same year…and maybe both aren’t that good this year either BUT at least they both are in the hunt for first place in the NFC North (even if the division isn’t THAT good). Its about time one of these rivals had a meaningful game against each other!
Titans/Jaguars – Well, the jaguars couldn’t beat the 0-fer Bengals (although made up for it and were able to take care of the 0-fer Lions last week) Will they be to beat the Lossless Titans? Let the undefeated Titans watch begin! (My guess is it doesn’t last long).
Chargers/Steelers – Both these playoff teams from last year just can’t seem to put it together…the Chargers more so then the Steelers. Even despite both teams struggles, we..I mean, YOU…should be in for a good one from Pittsburgh.
Cowboys/Redskins – The Return of Romo. That’s what this game is being billed as. Will he be enough to help a pretty disorganized Cowboys team? I hope not. The Cowboys falling apart has been one of the best stories this football season. Maybe he’ll break a toe this time. Redskins come into the game pretty banged up…even though they didn’t play last week. Seriously…what are these guys doing on their bye weeks?
Well, that’s it folks. Hope you enjoyed the Thursday edition. Wish me luck this weekend…I will need it. I don’t know which would be better…going to a wedding where you are going to know almost no one…or getting hit by Ray Lewis. I might take the latter…
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
If you're looking for a winner, do see Dave
If your wallet's getting thinner, do see Dave
I'VE GOT PICKS UP THE WAZOO, AND I'LL BET A GARRET'S TOO!!
I THINK YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO, do see Dave!
and here's a special offer on
of the Week (bwap bwaaaap)
Dave's CRAZY Locks of the Week
Week 11, or your money back!
[if you missed the reference, see the link here]
Hey this is Crazy Dave and I want you to come on down to Dave's LOCKS of the Week where I've got some amazing fantastic deals on a used Buick and some football picks. My picks are so money I'll balance myself on my pinky if you don't cover!
Let's go to my big bonanza picks!
Won't you take a look at semi used Donavon McNabb from Philadelphia. I'm gonna give away him and the Eagles for the low, low price of (-9.0) points. Now you know you can't beat that or I've got a bridge to sell you. Aw, hell, I'll give you the bridge too! We got some Eagles action against Cincy at Paul Brown stadium and I'm giving you the Crazy Dave special... (-9.0) point cover, aw you can't GET any lower than that, and I say the Eagles are going higher. They're a gonna win by at least 10.
Now then, let's go down to the other end of the lot in Indanapolis! We got a special refurbrished Indianapolis Colts with a brand new engine, a new heart, new tires, and a new fender. You give this puppy a test drive and watch it fly past the Patriots. It'll mow down the Steelers and this week I'm giving you a special coupon of 50% off. Instead of 16 points, I'm a only gonna give it to you for (-8.0) points against the Texans. I'm CRAZY DAVE and I'm almost giving these games away, so come on down and take a chance with our (-8.0) point stallions, the Indianapolis Colts!!
If you thought I was giving you the bargain of the day you ain't seen nothin' yet. Check out our showroom at the corner of Smith and Coughlin. That's right. I've got a few Jaguars just waitin' for a new home. These Jacksonville Jaguars might be highway robbery everwhere else, but I'm CRAZY DAVE and I'm letting you take them and the spread for the low low price of (+3.0) points. And with that pick I'll even give you the
CRAZY DAVE'S SUPER FANTASTIC GUARANTEE(tm)
Protects againt, dirt, dust, grime, accidents, and the Tennessee Titans, who are at Jacksonville.
That's right, y'all, you can take my Jaguars and cruise down Upset Street because I'm letting them go. You can talk to my competitors but where else are you getting the great crazy deals like you get at Dave's LOCKS of the Week. I'm CRAZY DAVE, and out here you're getting the deal of your life. I'll dunk my head in a bucket of water my deals are so good, so come on down today.
and THAT's today's big bargains at
Dave's (honk! honk!)
LOCKS (beep! beep!)
of the Week (ahooooooooooooooga!)
Whether we're crazy or not, hope you have a wonderful NFL Sunday this week. Walk away a winner!
Recap: Eagles (-9.0) cover at Cincy; Colts (-8.0) cover at home; Jaguars (+3.0) cover at home.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
You never know. Jim Mora would say "you THINK you know, but you don't... know."
The Florida Gators have played exceptional defense over the last three weeks. In those weeks, the Gators gave up a total of 29 points. Not an average, mind you, a TOTAL! In those games they won by a combined 124-29.
Why, then, would Dave and LOCKS of the Week project a nail-biter at the swamp this Saturday?
Simply put, the South Carolina (SCAR, if you will) Gamecocks have a good defense themselves. Witness, for example, September 13th, when the Gamecocks nearly upset Georgia, but still lost 14-7. Imagine, though, giving up only 14 points to a ranked team of any kind from the SEC.
The most points South Carolina gave up in any game was 24, allowed three times to Vandy, Ole' Miss, and LSU respectively.
Strangely enough, the Gators had wildly different outcomes when they played those same teams.
Against Ole' Miss, they blew the game completely, 31-30
Against LSU, they torched the Tigers 51-21
Against Vandy, they smoked the Commodores 42-14
Why, then, are the Gators favored by a whopping 21 points? It seems unusual to award the Gators a huge spread when the Gamecocks gave several SEC teams all it could handle.
South Carolina isn't the greatest scoring team in the land, but don't be surprised if the Gamecocks put a little "SCAR" into Florida's margin of victory. I believe they'll give Florida a much tougher game than experts predict, even if the game is played in Gainsville.
It remains to be seen what really happens. Be sure to find out as it unfolds LIVE on CBS! 3:30 pm ET. Be there!!
So you want to see the game of the Week...
Week 11 presents a big springboard for a lot of teams. In fact, we like to call this Moment of Truth Week. This week features
The Dave Medina Super Fantastic Guarantee(tm)
We'll reveal the guarantee during LOCKS of the Week. Meanwhile, here's our game of the week:
Jets vs Patriots: Part II
Would you believe, the game of the week this week is a matchup on NFL Network?
Their last meeting was in September, when the Jets struggled to score more than ten points. It was an *ugly* game, and the Patriots won that day 19-10.
This week, both teams get a chance decide the division. I think the Bills are on the way down, so whoever wins on Thursday effectively wins the division. As it stands right now, the Jets and the Patriots are tied for first place in the division.
- If NE wins, they'll own the tiebreaker.
- If the Jets win, they'll tie the season series.
It is a huge, huge game!
Dallas vs Washington may end up getting more press, but let's face it, neither of these teams are winning the NFC East. What it is, is a moment of truth for the Cowboys. Are they going to be a real playoff team? Do they have what it takes to weather the storm and make a run for a Wild Card?
For the 'Skins, you wonder if the game last week was a fluke. Certainly there's more drama (and more talent) involved in this game as opposed to Jets/Pats, but I figure it will have less impact on their division. It will however affect the wild card race.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
The Jaguars are in a rare spot. It turns out that not only did they play the two remaining winless teams, but they will also play the one remaining undefeated team, all in a row.
Back in Week 9, the Jaguars traveled to Cincinnati to play the Bungles who, at the time, did not have a win. The Bungles pulled the upset and defeated the Jaguars 21-19
This week, the Jaguars traveled to Detroit to play the also winless Detroit Lions. This time, the Jags took care of business and clobbered the Lions 38-14.
Next week is Week 11, and the Jaguars will be at home to play the 9-0 Tennessee Titans.
It's not the first time one team played both a winless team and an undefeated team in the same season. Just last year, the Ravens, Eagles, Giants, Redskins, and Cowboys faced both the winless Dolphins and the undefeated Patriots, not to mention fellow division mates Buffalo and the Jets.
It *is* however, very rare to play both teams back to back, as the Jaguars will this month. It is even rarer to play two winless teams back to back, and it is supremely rare to play two winless teams and one undefeated team in a row.
The Jaguars' recent schedule is akin to hitting blackjack in three straight hands. If they somehow defeat the Titans, they'll be one of a select few to lose to an 0-fer team and beat an undefeated team all in the same month. Obviously, I am not counting teams that were perfect in September, since most teams can start 0-4 or 4-0.
Can the Jaguars upset the Titans to leave their blemish on perfection? We'll be sure to find out a week from now!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
This is the Santa Barbara Brewing Company, pictured to the left. Every Sunday, this little hub at the corner of State and Haley shows every NFL game on the schedule.
Check out the great HD screens in the picture above. It's just one fantastic setting to meet friends and check out the big matchups.
And yet... it occurred to me this month that if I couldn't make the Brewco, I'd be able to go to Madison's nearby, or Sharkeez across the street, or if it was really busy, Sandbar or Left At Alberquerque's. All of them have NFL Sunday Ticket!
That just covers one street. I discovered later on that our bowling alley in Goleta, Zodos's Bowling and Beyond, hosts its own Sunday Ticket Event. Then at the Camino Real Marketplace, where the little multiplex is, we have the Hollister Brewing Company and Chilis, both with spankin' new HD flat panels and Sunday Ticket.
The kicker is that WOODSTOCK's now has NFL Sunday Ticket. Woodstock's is a venerable, highly populated pizzeria in the thick of Isla Vista, where UCSB's academic faithful check in to have lunch and study for their Physics exams.
...ok not really with the Physics.
I was about to end my observation at that, only to find out that my nearby pub, Derf's, carries Sunday Ticket. Little ol' Derfs! I didn't even cover the Uptown Downtown Brewco over by the Sandman Inn.
The density of Sunday Ticket outlets in my town is staggering. To give you an example how rare this is, consider my home town, Oxnard, CA. In Oxnard, you have to really go out to the corners of the city limits to find even one sports bar with Sunday ticket. Several of them just settle for the local games. Even BJ's, a nice, large brewery restaurant, only shows local games last I checked.
Ventura is similarly barren. I believe there might be a couple of spots in different areas, but nothing like the abundance of bars out here.
Most striking is that Los Angeles, for all its glitz and glamour, doesn't have nearly the same number of Sunday Ticket Bars per capita.
I don't know how it happened or why, but Santa Barbara is the capital of Sunday Ticket. It's a pigskin paradise, and I ain't lookin' back! So when it's 10 am Sunday and the big game's not your TV, come on out here! You don't even have to find the bar, it will find you.
So where am I going tomorrow? Of course, some place in Thousand Oaks. Go figure :-)
Even with a slow week in football, Andrew Jacobsen returns with another WEEKEND FOOTBALL PREVIEW:
What a week huh? We elected a new president and…well…ummmmmmmmmm…hmmmmmm…what else? Geez. I can’t think of anything. Yeah, sure it was a big week because of the election and everything that happen on Tuesday BUT…
It was a boring week in sports. Seriously. What BIG news stories happen this week in football? Yeah, the #1 college football team lost….again. That wasn’t tremendously unexpected though. BIG NFL news? Brady Quinn starts for the Browns and plays well in his first start. Really? That’s the biggest NFL news all week? Ugh! How boring. Looks like we are in a little bit of a mid-season lull. I mean, I can only hear people complain about the BCS for so long before I want to blow my own head off. You know?
Well, with nothing for me to comment on here, lets get to the games.
Alabama/LSU – On paper, this has the makings of a very interesting matchup. Nick Saban returns to LSU…and they still haven’t gotten over him leaving down there. They would like nothing better then to beat Saban and take down the #1 team in the country and likely ruin Alabama’s shot at a national championship. Will that happen? I don’t think so. But still, it would be something if it did, which makes this game a “must watch.”
Penn St./Iowa – I still, despite being at #3 in the latest BCS, think that Penn St. is in control of their own destiny to the national championship game. I still don’t think any team in the SEC or BIG-12 (certainly both) will finish undefeated. Therefore, this could be the biggest test left for Penn State and a undefeated season. Personally, I want Penn State to lose. I still don’t think they are a top 5 team in the country. Go Iowa!
Oklahoma St/Texas Tech – WOW! What happen? How did two virtually ignored programs in the BIG-12 all the sudden ascend to a point to where they are the “must watch” college football game of the weekend? Crazy huh? Must watch…well…not if you live on the pacific coast. Instead, we will have to sit through another USC beat down of a mediocre Pac-10 team (Cal). Oh boy! Once again I will not be able to watch maybe the best game of the weekend. I HATE YOU PAC-10! I HATE YOU!
[Editor's Note: Again with people bashing the Pac-10! This is ABC's fault. They had every opportunity to move the USC game to 12:30 and leave 5pm alone. But everyone loooooves to put down the West Coast. Enough!]
[Editor's Note: Again with people bashing the Pac-10! This is ABC's fault. They had every opportunity to move the USC game to 12:30 and leave 5pm alone. But everyone loooooves to put down the West Coast. Enough!]
One game in the books already (a pretty good game at that) and a good number of interesting matchups this weekend…
NO/ATL – Geez. Who would have thought at the beginning of the year that this matchup would be a pivotal game in the race for division leader in the NFC South? I sure didn’t…nor did I thin the Falcons would have a better record then the Saints at this point of the season. Falcons have kind of quietly been a very, very good team this year. Interesting QB matchup here too with Brees going against the NFL Rookie of the Year (so far), Matt Ryan.
[Second Editor's Note: Am I the only one who thought the Falcons were going to be vastly improved this year? It's not like the Bucs or Panthers posed any legitimate threat to dominate the South. Just saying...]
[Second Editor's Note: Am I the only one who thought the Falcons were going to be vastly improved this year? It's not like the Bucs or Panthers posed any legitimate threat to dominate the South. Just saying...]
BUF/NE – What the hell happen to my Bills? I was drinking the Bills kool-aid two weeks ago (after beating SD) but now they have dropped two in a row. Both teams are tied atop the AFC East and this game could go a long way in determining who wins that AFC East.
TEN/CHI – Welcome back Rex Grossman…ohhhhh, how we have missed you. Seriously, its great to have him back, right? And against the leagues best defense nonetheless…what a treat! I think its going to be good times watching the highlights of this one Sunday night…probably will be the funniest thing on TV all night. Can the Titans remain undefeated?
INDY/PIT – Once again, another one of those ‘must win” games for the Colts. Seriously, how many of those can one team have in a season? The Colts still aren’t right. I mean, they barely beat a weakened NE team at home last week. Now the get the Steelers who will likely be without Big Ben AND Willie Parker. Two teams that are a shell of their former selves. Sounds like a great game to watch to me!
NYG/PHIL – Oh yes…another NFC east battle. Can’t forget this one. Eagles seem to be getting healthier after a tough time of it there in October. It’s a crowded division but the Giants can once again create a good amount of separation between them and the teams trying to catch them with a win here…and on the road. Should be a good one to end the day with on Sunday.
Welp..thats it I guess. Have a great weekend everybody and enjoy the games.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Let's be ambitious! This time on "Weekly Pizza Pick" let's go with a Chicken Alfredo pizza. That sounds so radical, it begs for my tastebuds. In fact, I wouldn't know where to look for one, except Papa John's.
If any of you know of other pizzerias that make a Chicken Alfredo pizza, tell me all about it in the comments, below!
That concludes the Pizza Pick for NFL Week 10!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's Dave's LOCKS of the Week!
(whistling) Hi HO! Hi HO, hi ho...
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall!!
Who has the greatest picks of them all?
Why Dave does! On
of the Week (BOP!)
Dave's LOCKS of the Enchanted Week
Now, once upon a time, in land far, far away, there was a guy who made great NFL LOCKS of the Week. Oh, but the Wicked Witch of Parity set out to destroy him. Little did she know that Dave waved his magic wand and poof! Football spreads were covered right on the dot... it was like magic!
It's been a great ride so far, but in Week 10, LOCKS faces its toughest challenge yet! Many games that have all the makings of a big upset. What can you do to avoid eating that deadly UPSET APPLE? How about seven LOCKS of the Week? Let's do it.
To the picks!
Lock number one: The Economy will improve greatly under President Obama's watch. Why? Because it can't get any worse! WOKKA WOKKA WOKKA!
Lock number two: The Mets will absolutely, positively not sign Manny Ramirez this offseason. If they do that I might as well run down my street naked.
Lock number three: The Lions will, let me repeat that, WILL, win a game before Thanksgiving.
Lock number four: Texas Tech will not under any circumstances finish this month undefeated.
Now to our three game picks.
First, to Minnesota! Land of 1,000 Water Wells. You can already hear the Vikings singing:
I'm wishing (I'm wishing)
For a quarterback
To find us (to find us)
Yes, sir! The Vikings are really struggling this year without a decent quarterback. They tried Tavaris Jackson. HE flopped. They tried Gus Frerotte. HE flopped. Imagine if they try John David Booty? He'll get kicked in the booty, thats what! So here come the mean Green Bay Packers. The Vikings have a great run defense? No problem! The Titans had the same thing and Green Bay gave them all they can handle.
Call me crazy, but I'm going with the PACK (vroom vroom!). Take the (+2.5) points and let Green Bay cover with a lake full of cheese. GO PACK GO!
Now let's slide down the icy path from Minnesota on down to the shore of Lake Michigan. Hey hey! Welcome to CHICAGO, baby! Remember that huge scene at Grant Park last night? That's the parking lot before Bears games. And doncha know, the Bears have a big-time showdown with the Un-defeated Tennessee Titans!
Last week on LOCKS I boldy gave the points to the Titans, then -5.5, but the Titans won by only a field goal.
This time the Titans get a taste of their own medicine: another team that defends the run and feasts off turnovers. This game is going down the the wire and YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST: The Bears are going to whistle while they work the (+3.0) spread!! Thats my pick and I'm stickin' to it, even if Orton doesn't play.
Finally let's truck it down the highway from the Midwest to the Southwest, and on to the Coast. On to San Diego! The Chargers are set to play the Chiefs in front of tens of people!
It feels like the Chargers haven't played in a month, but in fact, they were just on a bye. At last, they're at home, where they haven't played in a month! Their last home game was a 30-10 beat down of the Pats on October 12th. The Bolts are favored by FIFTEEN! And you know what else? They're getting those 15! The Bolts will electrify California with their domination of the Chiefs, covering the (-15). Call me crazy, again, but they're going to shock the Chiefs! SHOW ME YOUR LIGHTNING BOLT!!!
and they lived Happily Ever After...
of the WEEK (bing!)
Is it fairy tale time again for football LOCKS? Wait and see!
Recap: Packers (+2.5) cover at Vikings; Bears (+3.0) cover at home; Chargers (-15.0) cover at home
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I could have gone with a snappy title, but it's time to offer my thoughts straight up tonight.
Barack Obama, at about 11pm ET, clinched the Presidential Election to become our next United States President. It's a huge win for Obama, a big win for Civil Rights, and a great win for the Democrats.
The biggest winner of all is America. Record turnout in many states and precincts. What a great tribute to the spirit of America and to its youth, who responded greater than ever before. America truly came together and raised its voice, shouting "individuals like us truly CAN make a difference."
I certainly hope, in the future, it doesn't take a series of catastrophic events to make the American Populace vote. However, it is touching indeed to see the nation celebrate in joy and glee. Certainly, for the McCain camp, it wasn't all joyful, but for those of you voting McCain, hold your head up high! Your vote, no matter where it went, is appreciated, respected, and wanted.
Let us hope that the mudslinging we normally see in political media can take a back seat for a little while, as America celebrates... America!
#23 Maryland goes out to Blacksburg, VA to play Virginia Tech on Thursday. Take all the money you have and bet TECH!!!!
ESPN is perfect for perfect with ranked team upsets this year, going back at least a month. Observe:
Week 10: Cincinnati beats #23 South Florida
Week 9: West Virginia beats Auburn [no ranked teams]
Week 8: TCU beats #9 BYU
Week 7: #21 Wake Forest beats Clemson... Clemson sucks
Week 6: Pittsburgh beats #10 South Florida
Week 5: Oregon State beats #1 USC
Week 4: Colorado beats #21 West Virginia
Week 3: #19 South Florida beats #13 Kansas [both ranked teams]
Week 2: Vandy beats #24 South Carolina
Week 1: Was there a game on ESPN?
So 10 weeks of ESPN Thursday Night Football and in only ONE of them, a ranked team beats an unranked team. That is unbelievable!! How do you explain it?
Monday, November 3, 2008
What's in a defense?
Six points allowed
and one mean flurry of hard hitting tackles!
Imagine that! In a game that determines the election 15 out of 16 times, the Steelers DOMINATED on Defense and didn't look back. They took a team that hadn't thrown an interception in 12 games and forced TWO of them.
If there was any question who had the fiercest defense in the NFL, it was whisked away in an avalanche of Terrible Towels this Monday. What a fantastic performance by the venerable Steelers defense against the Washington Redskins! The Redskins are no slouch either. Going in they allowed the 8th fewest points in the NFL and owned several statistical defensive categories.
The Titans appear to be the best defensively, but while they manage to beat up lousy teams like Kansas City, Houston, and Cincinnati, the Steelers clashed with all the big boys: Philadelphia, New York, and now Washington. In those three games, the Steelers held its opponent to 15, 21, and 6 poitns respectively.
Hard hitting comes with a price, and tonight it could have been the health of Big Ben Roethlisberger. Hopefully, Roethlisberger's shoulder injury isn't serious, but that said, Byron Leftwich did rather well off the bench. The Steelers are poised to make a huge run, and if they do, it will be on the shoulders of their dynamite defense!
Speaking of elections...
Many of you are familiar with how the Redskins' last home game before a Presidential Election determines the winner. If the 'skins win, the incumbent party wins, Senator John McCain to be exact. If they lose, the other party wins, in this case Senator Barack Obama.
The Obama campaign was sure to set aside its differences and become Steeler fans for a night.
Did anyone get a chance to watch Chris Berman's interview with both candidates at halftime? I thought it was rudimentary, but effective. Berman isn't much of an interviewer, but he asked three basic questions to both men. Both of them gave good answers and gave a touch of their personal side in between.
I think it's important to distinguish these candidates as human beings. Too often we associate a nominee with an ideal or a platform, but we lose sight of the fact that these are people, just like any of us.
Whatever happens, I hope ALL of you make it to the polls tomorrow and cast your vote for President! Don't forget to vote on your local issues and propositions. It is our honor and privilege, earned through the sacrifice of many men and women. Let's do our nation a favor and make a difference. Bottom line: GO VOTE!!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
2-1 in LOCKS for yet another week, bringing the season record closer to .500!
Here's how the LOCKS fared in Week 9:
Lions (+13.0) cover at Bears
The Lions nearly won the game outright, and easily covered the spread at Soldier Field. Detroit got a lucky break when Kyle Orton left the game with an apparent high ankle sprain. The Bears won 27-23, 9 points short of the 13 point spread.
Titans (-5.5) cover at home
This was so, so close! This wound up being a good game. The Packers played very good football today and had a golden opportunity to steal one at Nashville. Unfortunately it didn't pan out. Tennessee stuck to their fundamentals and gutted out a win in OT. That's what great teams SHOULD do, and the Titans were rather impressive in Week 9. However, Tennessee won by only three, 19-16 (OT).
Falcons (-3.0) cover at Raiders
Wow! Did this EVER cover! The Falcons flipped on the jets and never looked back. Atlanta put this game away after the coin flip and defeated the Raiders at Oakland 24-0.
LOCKS of the Week went 2-1 for Week 9, bringing up the season total to...
A tremendous comeback on LOCKS of the Week, which hopes to continue in Week 10.
Like the ol' CBS 1973 Promo Campaign sang "This year, like last year, the best is right here..."
Until next week, that is!
Here are the soon to be shuffled BCS top 5 rankings:
2. Texas Tech
3. Penn State
(Oklahoma checks in at #6 and USC is right behind at #7)
Interesting, isn't it? It seems radical to place Texas Tech at number two so quickly, but not so!
Texas Tech is still undefeated as of November 2nd. Up to now, they beat the number one team in the country, Texas. In addition, Tech beat one time BCS hopeful Kansas 63-21. While the rest of the schedule is lousy, Texas Tech has a strong case for Number 2.
But it's not going to last! Texas Tech faces Oklahoma State next, who already beat Missouri and nearly beat Texas themselves. If Texas Tech survives that, they'll have to go to Norman and try to stop Oklahoma. Oklahoma is unstoppable at Norman, having won every home game by 20+ points.
Alabama is currently #1. They mostly earned it, given their unbeaten record.
But it's not going to last! Very few experts buy into Alabama's strength of schedule, having played two ranked opponents (Tennessee doesn't count!). Their point differential is +183, seemingly impressive, but also buoyed by two blowout wins of dreadful Tennessee and Arkansas State. Next, 'Bama travels to Baton Rouge to face LSU. One would be hard pressed to think they come out of there with a win.
Penn State is ranked #3. PSU had the week off, and as a result, avoided any potential upsets.
How to Get to the BCS Championship Game
In all likihood, Penn State will remain undefeated. That leaves 5 teams to compete for one spot. Alabama can be eliminated right off the bat. Even if they survive LSU, the Crimson Tide could potentially face Florida for the SEC Championship.
First of all, Alabama can be eliminated altogether. No one is convinced they'll finish undefeated, and they will NOT get the nod over any other one loss team, especially Florida.
If Texas Tech wins out, the Red Raiders are in automatically. However, there's a serious possibility of a let-down against Oklahoma State next week, as detailed previously.
As for Texas and Oklahoma, it's as simple as this. If Texas or Oklahoma win the Big 12, they're in, but not without some help. Texas defeated the Sooners and Texas Tech beat Texas, so unless USC, Florida, Texas Tech, and Alabama lose another game it would be a slim chance for the either team.
Florida may have the safest path to the BCS Championship. Suffice it to say, their strength of schedule in-conference helps them dramatically in the BCS standings. If Florida can win out and clinch the SEC title, they will get the benefit of the doubt over every other one loss team in the standings. The odds are highly against Texas Tech and Alabama finishing undefeated.
Then... there is the forgotten team.
USC. SC is the much maligned, deservedly so, powerhouse that plays in the lousy Pac-10. Again, if Penn State finished undefeated, forget about it. But, if Penn State lost a game...
Five teams remain to compete for two spots.
Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech have the cruel fate of being in the same division! Two of the three teams are eliminated automatically while the third goes to the Big 12 Championship game.
Three teams remain to compete for one spot: Alabama, Florida, and USC.
Alabama, it bears repeating, should be eliminated entirely. Florida alone would get precedence, assuming Florida wins the SEC.
Two teams now compete for one spot: Florida and USC.
USC will still get shut out, unless, by some miracle, Florida loses a game between now and January. It could well be the SEC title game against Alabama or LSU.
As of now, USC's title hopes *are* alive, which was NOT the case a month ago.
Aside from that, it's pretty obvious who's making the BCS Championship :)
0-fer watch rolled on Sunday, but the Bungles didn't want to play along. Hosting the Jaguars, the Bungles stormed ahead and didn't look back. Towards the end, Cincinnati had to hold off a Jaguars flurry, but the Bungles managed to win 21-19 despite themselves.
That leaves Detroit as the only winless team left in the NFL. Detroit tried its hardest to ruin 0-fer watch at Soldier Field, but thankfully their stench pulled through to lose 27-23. The Bears had a tough go of it initially, losing Starting QB Kyle Orton for the game. We'll hear more about Orton's leg injury later, but it led to a 20-10 lead for the Lions. Thankfully, we're not writing the obituary for Detroit's "perfect season."
With Cincy out, the Lions now must defend their "donut" in the standings with a home game against Jacksonville. That's right, it's the same Jacksonville Jaguars who lost to Cincinnati this week!!
Can the Jaguars blow back to back games against winless teams? Do stay with us to find out!