JackSmack Issue #22

Good day, Tiger fans. Woody played pretty good on Saturday, but I don't think anyone enjoys a 7 point win over Wake Forest. We're ranked 24th right now (still unranked in the AP), and we have a scary final three games.

This weekend, we're (+8) point dogs to FSU and Rix is starting to learn that all he has to do is throw the ball up to his receivers.

The ‘Terps did impress me, even though the final score looked bad. As I told you last week, for any shot at a tie for the conference title, Georgia Tech must beat UNC tonight. I think it's going to be a really good game.

Nationally, the ‘Huskers pulled out a huge win last week over OU. Crouch is solid as hell. I didn't see ‘Cuse whipping up on VT in Blacksburg, but I've thought the Hokies were overrated all year. The Gators didn't cover, but they still looked real solid beating Georgia.

South Carolina played tough and covered, but just didn't have enough in Neyland to get a win.

Oregon recovered against Washington State, and Stanford comes out of nowhere (at least for me) to beat UCLA and send the PAC-10 into a free-for-all.

As for the BCS, I think Nebraska has a low enough point total to lose to OU in the Big 12 title game and still stay ahead of Miami, but we'll see. The Big 12 and SEC are so hard to come out of undefeated as the ‘Huskers will find out this year when they'll probably have to beat the Sooners again. Here are the only tests left for the 5 teams I think are in the mix for a Rose Bowl berth:

Nebraska: (@ Colorado)
Oklahoma: (vs. Texas A&M)
Miami: (vs. Syracuse) (@ VT) (vs. Washington)
Florida: (@ South Carolina) (vs. Florida State) (vs. Tennessee)
Michigan: (@ Michigan State)(vs. Ohio State)

All of these teams, especially Miami, need the teams they have played and are to play to win and keep winning.

This week's intriguing matchups: (*--who I'd take)

(6) Michigan* (-5 ½) @ Michigan State (You never know in in-state rival games, but I like the Wolverines in this one.)

(7) Tennessee* (-8) @ Notre Dame (Travis Henry has a field day.)

(11) UCLA @ (19) Washington St.* (-3 ½) (Without Paus, I'll take the Cougars in Pullman.) (13) Stanford* @ (10) Washington (-1) (Tough place to play, but whose hotter than the Cardinal right now?)

(12) Virginia Tech (-18 ½) @ Pittsburgh* (The Hokies stay down on themselves against a pretty solid Pitt squad.)

(14) Florida State (-8) @ (24) Clemson* (I think the Bowden Bowl's gonna be a tight one.)

(18) Illinois* @ (15) Purdue (-3) (I'll take the points in this grudge match for 2nd place in the Big-10.)

Last week, I went 1-2 in my picks again. Maybe Stanford can play; I gotta admit when I'm wrong. You could have gotten Clemson at (-7) on Saturday and pushed, but I picked them at (-9), and I'll take it as a loss. The only pick I hit was FSU, who didn't cover as easy as the final score dictated.

This week, I like Maryland (-22 ½) at home versus Troy State and Tennessee (-8) @ Notre Dame. My take of the week is Miami (-42 ½) at home against Temple. They know they have to blow out the scrubs to have a shot in the BCS.

Let's move on the NFL, and look at last weekend. There were some really good games, the best having to be the Saints overcoming an 18 point halftime deficit to beat the Rams. (I did say if the Rams lost, it would be to the Saints or ‘Niners.) 8 turnovers, including 4 int.'s by Warner didn't hurt either.

The Steelers and Bears both won their 5th in a row. The Steelers looked real good Monday against the Titans behind a great defense. The Bears made that amazing comeback against SF. Tampa Bay got back into the NFC Central race by running over the Vikes. Miami squeaked it out against Seattle, and Flutie won the war as San Diego also won a squeaker, theirs versus the Bills.

Denver got by the Pats with help from 4 picks off of Tom Brady. Rod Gardner had another good day as the ‘Skins are getting it together and whipped the Giants and I love seeing Fassel pissed. The Ravens and Bengals both stayed in the AFC Central hunt by escaping Jacksonville and Detroit, respectively.

I went 1-2 in my picks last week. I nailed my pick of the week as Oakland stomped Philly. I don't know how Arizona lost to Dallas 17-3, and the Jets won, but couldn't cover against the Panthers.

Here's an interesting note. The teams with the top 6 passers last week all lost: Warner (STL), Collins (NYG), Green (KC), Johnson (BUF), Brunell (JAX), and Garcia (SF). The teams with the top 6 rushers all won last week: Dillon (CIN), Martin (NYJ), Alstott (TB), Thomas (CHI), Davis (WSH), and James (IND).

Looks like a running game and defense are back this year.

Here's my worst five teams in the league:

27) Buffalo (1-5)
28) Detroit (0-6)
29) Dallas (2-4)
30) Carolina (1-6)
31) Kansas City (1-6)
As for my top ten, with the Bucs, Chargers, Browns, and Jets on the bubble, here goes: (last week's ranking in parentheses)

1) St. Louis (6-1) (1)
2) Oakland (5-1) (2)
3) Green Bay (4-2) (3)
4) Pittsburgh (5-1) (5)
5) Miami (4-2) (4)
6) New Orleans (4-2) (UR)
7) Chicago (5-1) (UR)
8) San Francisco (4-2) (8)
9) Philadelphia (3-3) (6)
10) Baltimore (4-3) (UR)

This week's big games: (*--who I'd take)

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh* (-2) (Who has the best defense in the league?)

New England* @ Atlanta (-3) (Both teams are trying to stay in divisional races.)

Tampa Bay @ Green Bay* (-5) (A big NFC Central game.)

Cleveland* @ Chicago (-5 ½) (An interesting game; I think the Browns keep it close.)

Seattle* (-2 ½) @ Washington (Shaun Alexander runs all day long.)

Sunday Night:

NY Jets @ New Orleans* (-6 ½) (I'll take the team with more confidence.)

Monday Night:

Denver @ Oakland* (-5 ½) (Denver needs this game, I just don't see it.)

Ok, here's my picks this week. I like the Chargers (-5 ½) at home against the Chiefs and the Bills (+5) at home versus the Colts. My pick of the week is Jacksonville (+3) @ Tennessee. Brunell should shred the Titan's secondary.

On to the World Series, where after a close game 3, and a few laughs for Arizona catcher Damian Miller, Game 4 last night was a classic. I almost broke my hand banging on the table when Tino went deep with 2 out in the 9th, and then I was running around the bar high-fiving strangers after Jeter went yard in the 10th. A classic game that for whoever stayed around to watch the end will remember for a long time. Tonight, Mussina has to get his stuff back against an underrated pitcher in Miguel Batista. The Yanks don't want to go back to Arizona needing 2 wins against Johnson and Schilling, but doesn't it seem like they'll find a way no matter what?

For Tiger Soccer fans, the men's team is ranked 6th and the women are 10th.

Well, go Tech, go Tigers, go Yankees, and someone please throw McCarver out of the booth before I have to. He says the same things every single game. I hate to say I'd almost rather hear Costas make every at-bat seem like it's life or death.

**--If you have any questions, comments, or barbs, feel free to drop me a line at:


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