|Extended Pigskin Picks|
|Saturday, September 21, 2013 12:54 AM|
A couple of bums had great weeks in week 2 of these here Picks: regular Bob Weber was an outstanding 11-1 (5-1 in the colleges, 6-0 in the pros — does he KNOW something I don’t???) — moving his mark to 17-7 (8-4 and 9-3) — and guest picker Brian Bassett at 8-4 (3-3, 5-1).
The rest of us peons (myself, regular Dave Boninsegna and second GP Charlie Warnimont went 7-5 and all the same way: 3-3 in college and 4-2 in the pros. My mark is now 12-12 (5-7, 7-5) and Boninsegna is 10-14 (4-8, 6-6).
The GPs are now a combined 26-21 (10-13, 16-8).
The two new GPs are Dave Ditto and Frank German, a sometime correspondent for The Herald.
Here are the Games:
Arizona State at Stanford; Michigan State at Notre Dame; Cincinnati at Miami (Ohio); West Virginia at Maryland; North Carolina at Georgia Tech; Toledo at Central Michigan.
Atlanta at Miami; Tampa Bay at New England; Detroit at Washington; Houston at Baltimore; San Diego at Tennessee; Chicago at Pittsburgh.
STANFORD: Sun Devils won’t get home cooking at the end. The Cardinal won’t need it. They have a very talented and loaded roster.
NOTRE DAME: Fighting Irish lucked out last week and they know it. ND defense too strong for Spartans, especially in South Bend. Spartans are pretty good on defense, too, but their non-league schedule ALWAYS leaves something to be desired.
CINCINNATI: Bearcats favored by tons. I thought this might be better matchup but who am I to doubt the oddsmakers?
WEST VIRGINIA: Terrapins have struggled lately, even though they are 3-0. Mountaineers get it done in College Park.
GEORGE TECH: Defending the triple option attack isn’t easy to pick up in a week, especially when you don’t have the premier athletes across the board. The Techsters have the offense down to a science.
TOLEDO: Should be a good one in Ypsilanti. Going with the Rockets.
ATLANTA: Dolphins — especially QB Tannehill — will find out if they are for real. Pick here says ... Not quite yet. Falcons might not have Steven Jackson but they are loaded on offense.
NEW ENGLAND: With NE’s woes on offense, everyone forgets the Patriots defense is pretty good. As Brady gets more reps with these new receivers, they will get better — and he must be praying that Gronk can play. Even if he can’t walk and chew gum at the same time now, he is a weapon without parallel.
WASHINGTON: Shanahan wakes up and unleashes the REAL RGIII. My guess is they have kept the wraps on him just to convince him he is OK. Lions may not be the hot pick anymore, especially after blowing a home game last week to Cardinals.
HOUSTON: They gave Ravens QB Joe Flacco oodles of cash but in the process, they allowed some other good players to get away. If Ray Rice cannot go and Ed Reed is available for the Texans, look out for Flacco.
SAN DIEGO: Chargers can score — and for me to write that is painful because Rivers has crushed many a fantasy football hope for yours truly. All they have to do is defend just enough.
CHICAGO: Steelers struggle to score. Bears have some nice weapons. Should be a tight one in the Steel City but Julius Peppers is now extremely motivated.
Stanford: Arizona State squeaked out a victory over Wisconsin last week, while Stanford’s two wins are over less than great opponents. The Cardinal are looking to start 3-0 in four straight years for the first time in the modern football era. Although their two wins are over Army and San Jose State, they should have no problem with the Sun Devils.
Michigan State at Notre Dame;
The Irish are facing the “other” team from up north this week after a close win a week ago; the Fighting Irish host unbeaten Michigan State and the nation’s top defense. Spartans have used three quarterbacks: Andrew Maxwell, Tyler O’Connor (LCC) and redshirt sophomore Cook. I am going to take the Irish to rebound and get a win.
Cincinnati: The Redhawks have gotten thumped in the their first two games this season, while the Bearcats thwacked Purdue in week one and are 1-1 since. Miami is just plain awful; the ‘Cats get another big win.
West Virginia: Maryland at 3-0 but no real competition thus far; this week a more equal opponent in the Mountaineers. West Virginia leads the all-time series 31-21 and WVU is riding a 7-game winning streak. If the defense can put together another strong outing and help put the offense in good position, this one could go the Mountaineers’ way. I’ll take the Mountaineers to increase their dominance.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets lit up the Tar Heels for 68 points and 588 total yards last year in the highest-scoring game in Atlantic Coast Conference history, a 68-50 victory. The Tar Heels have lost to South Carolina, while the Wreck have yet to play a worthy opponent. Despite that, the home team should still come away with the win but don’t look for another 118-point game.
Toledo: The Toledo Rockets head to Central Michigan on Saturday to face off against the Chippewas; gotta love the nickname Chippewas. However, Central Michigan is terrible on defense. The Rockets should take flight for their second win of the season.
Miami: The Dolphins are seeking their best start in more than a decade. Miami faces the banged-up Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in their home opener. If the Dolphins win, they will open 3-0 for the first time since 2002. Atlanta won the last two meetings with Miami, most recently 19-7 at home in 2009. However, this is a different Miami team; I am giving them the edge.
New England: New England has won its first two games by a total of five points, while Tampa Bay has lost its two by a total of three. The embattled Schiano knows that his team must find a way to turn that around. Although their wins and losses have been by minimal margins, I think New England has the weapons to get a sizeable victory.
Detroit: Robert Griffin III has been less than stellar in the Redskins first two games, while the Lions are not the Detroit team of old. Reggie Bush has a great game last week and Matthew Stafford has got the Lions looking like contenders. I like their chances against Washington and am picking them to get the win.
Houston: Houston has needed second-half rallies to win both of its games. The Texans set a franchise record by coming from 21 points down to beat San Diego 31-28 in the opener, then erased an 9-point deficit in the fourth quarter to eventually upend Tennessee 30-24 in overtime last Sunday. While the Ravens are also dealing with an injury to a star player. Running back Ray Rice left last Sunday’s 14-6 win over Cleveland; that injury could be crucial. I am liking the way Houston is playing and look for them to win against Baltimore.
San Diego: The battle of the 1-1s but Phillip Rivers is undefeated against the Titans; in fact, San Diego is trying to make it their 10th straight win over the Tennessee franchise, with the Titans playing their home opener Sunday. I am going to go with it and see the Chargers make it number 10 against Tennessee.
Pittsburgh: For Bengals’ fans (and Browns’ fans, too), how great would it be for the Steelers to start the season at 0-3? As the Steelers are looking to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2000, they hope to prevent the visiting Bears from opening 3-0 for the second time in four years Sunday night. With an offense that’s scored 19 points and rushed for 75 yards and a defense that’s yet to record a takeaway, Pittsburgh doesn’t appear to have an easy solution to its struggles. Still, the Steelers won’t write off the season after starting 0-2 for the first time since 2002. But things don’t ever go that well for us fans not of the Steelers. They will find a way to win against the Bears..just because.
STANFORD – The Cardinal have a massive O-Line which assists the running game to average over 200 yards per game. Stanford ranks 7th in the nation in passing defense. The Cardinal will keep two streaks going, having won 10 straight games and 10 in a row at home.
NOTRE DAME – I really like Spartanss head coach Mark Dantonio and local QB standout Tyler O’Connor but I’m going with “Touchdown Jesus” and the Irish.
CINCINNATI – The Bearcats owe me one after their horrible performance against Illinois. The Bearcats didn’t miss a beat last week even with backup QB Brednon Kay starting for injured QB Munchie Legaux.
MARYLAND – Not my most comfortable pick of the week; however, feel positive that the Terps will be able to beat the Mountaineers behind the C.J. Brown-Stefon Diggs combination.
GEORGIA TECH – I look for Georgia Tech’s high-scoring offense to outmatch the Tar Heels’ defense in this one. The Yellow Jackets rank third in the nation in rushing, averaging 356 yards on the ground, and also are No. 3 in scoring with an average of 54 points per game.
TOLEDO – Going with the Rockets in a battle that may feature two freshmen QBs. Losing senior QB Terrance Owens for the game worries me but I feel the Rockets offense will still be too much for the Chippewas.
ATLANTA – The Falcons are loaded on offense even without Steven Jackson. Matt Ryan is completing 72% of his passes this year to great receivers like Julio Jones and the best TE in the game, Tony Gonzalez.
NEW ENGLAND – Tampa Bay is a mess and the last time I checked, the Patriots still had future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady playing QB and Head Coach Bill Belicheck roaming the sidelines.
WASHINGTON – Robert Griffin III and the Redskins will win this must-win game. The Lions may not have Reggie Bush in their lineup with his banged-up left knee. The Lions haven’t won a road game in this series since 1935.
BALTIMORE – Going with the Ravens but very concerned with the pick, especially if RB Ray Rice can’t play. However, the Ravens will not lose because at halftime, former Ravens LB Ray Lewis will be inducted into team’s Ring of Honor.
SAN DIEGO – Phillip Rivers vs. Jake Locker – going with the veteran. The 4-time Pro Bowler went 36-of-47 for 419 yards and three touchdowns without an interception over Philadelphia, earning him AFC player of the week honors.
BEARS – I would love to get in good graces with Mrs. Weber at home by going with her beloved Steelers but I must go with the Bears simply because the Steelers offense has only scored 19 points and rushed for 75 yards in 2 games. Too many injuries for the Steelers and Big Ben has been already sacked 7 times this year.
Well I go up against Jim again. Good thing we are friends or this could get ugly (Editor’s Note: We are??? Chuckle!).
Football is really coming on now that the temperature is starting to drop some in a lot of the country.
Well, here we go for the picks.
Stanford: I have to go with Stanford. They are the better team overall. I think ASU can give them a run if they can get the passing game going but Stanford is just too strong up front in the long run.
Michigan State: I would like to pick Notre Dame but until they can show the defense that they had last year, I just can’t. I go with Michigan State for the win even at the house Rockne built.
Cincinnati: The instate game. I have to go with Cincinnati on this one, they just have too much for Miami to handle. Nothing else to say.
West Virginia: I would like to go with Maryland, seeing they will be playing in the Big Ten next year. However, I will have to go with West Virginia; I just think they’re just a little bit better in the long run.
Georgia Tech: Well, I have been down this road before and this is probably the wrong pick, but a friend of my grandfather played for Georgia Tech, so I go with them. Jim will go nuts if Tech wins this on how I picked them go Tech (EN: No problems here!).
Toledo: I have to go with Toledo, just a little bit better then Central and Toledo has won the last 3 meetings.
The NFL I am trying to enjoy the NFL as much as possible over the next few years before rules get so tight they become a flag football league.
Atlanta: Don’t even have to think about this one; the Falcons. The question is by how much. Just too many weapons for the Falcons.
Tampa Bay: I am going with the Buccaneers since the snow has not flown at Foxboro yet. The Patriots could win but only if the wide receivers have improve quite a bit in just a week.
Redskins: This game might be a tossup but I have to go with the home team with Alfred Morris on my fantasy team.
Houston: I have to go with the Texans on this. I think Baltimore has just dropped a little on defense and Houston’s offense will take advantage of it.
San Diego: I go with the Chargers because the Titans are still trying to decide their identity yet. Maybe one of these years they will get it right (EN: I am not ready for the world to come to an end!!!).
Chicago: I have to go with DA BEARS. The Steelers have some real problems to fix and they have let the offensive line go downhill last few years with no fix.
Good luck Jim on your picks (EN: Et tu, Brute!).
STANFORD - Stanford struggled with Army last week but they did not show the aggression that comes with having a ranked team come into your house. The Sun Devils got a gimme from the officiating crew last week and I am sure that this week’s crew will not make a similar mistake this week. Plus, it will not be close enough for them to make the difference.
NOTRE DAME - Michigan State’s defense will not be ready for the Tommy Reese show. Notre Dame’s defense is not what it was bragged up to be but they will handle MSU’s poor attack.
CINCINNATI - OU lost to Louisville by 42 points. UC’s offense is high powered and can score at will. They destroyed Purdue, who played close with the Irish. The Bearcats will be moving up in the ranks every week. Keep an eye on them. Plus, I have a son and daughter that go to UC. Can’t pick against them.
MARYLAND - The Terps QB CJ Brown has 833 yards passing, 6 TDs and 257 rushing yards. His dual-threat ability will be the big difference in them downing West Virginia.
GEORGIA TECH - The Yellow Jackets’ defense is holding its opponents to half as many points as their offense is putting on the board. I expect the same this week.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN - This should be a close matchup. The Rockets defense seems to be leaving a lot of holes for the opponent and their pass defense is weak. I will go with the home team.
ATLANTA - Miami has (3) DBs on injured reserve and that has got to look appetizing to Matt Ryan. Ryan has a 107.9% passer rating and it will be maintained after this week.
NEW ENGLAND - This is a no-brainer. I have got to go with a UofM man for the win. Brady has looked a little rusty this year but he is still Tom Brady. Gronkowski is questionable to play and that may be the only road block for the Patriots.
DETROIT - This is a big toss up. I will go with the Lions because John Riggins is not making a comeback this week (EN: My, we’re showing our age, aren’t we?).
HOUSTON - The Texans have an edge in every stat category, except for kicking and penalties. Somehow, that does not balance out the odds.
SAN DIEGO - Phillip Rivers holds the key, with a 115.8% passer rating. Not to mention that the Titans only beat my Steelers by 3 points. That cannot be a good feeling this year!
CHICAGO - I find it really hard to pick over my Steelers at home (EN: I have done that against my Cowboys a few times, so I know the feeling!) but no running game in a run offense spells trouble. Big Ben cannot do it all. I hope I am wrong with this pick!