JackSmack: Issue #28

Holy crap Tiger fans, we are favorites in a college football game. Just kidding. I'm glad to be bowling even if it is Louisiana Tech in Boise, Idaho. The oddsmakers have us giving (-7) in the Humanitarian Bowl.

By the way, Clemson soccer fans, we were beaten 2-0 at Indiana, who join Stanford, UNC, and St. Johns in the Final Four. No number one seed SMU, who was undefeated all year. Good season, though.

Nationally in college football, did I tell you that I wouldn't apologize to UT fans for calling them the Lady Vols unless they beat LSU. Well good, because I don't like to apologize. I nailed the game of the week.

The Vols came out in the first quarter just like I expected, but then made a little run in the second quarter, including a nice cheap shot on the first hit to Rohan Davey. So at halftime, with no Davey or Toefield, I figure I'm done. Right? Wrong. I forgot it was Tennessee, who of course had to lose a Rose Bowl invite to a backup QB and RB. And just for icing on the cake, your loss put the Gators back into a BCS bowl.

Did Notre Dame make the right choice with George O'Leary? If I cared about either, I'd probably give you an opinion, but I don't. Congrats to Eric Crouch for winning the Heisman. After Florida lost to Tennessee, I thought they would give it to a senior, Dorsey or Crouch. I think they made a good selection.

Well, with 7.23 BCS points to Colorado's 7.28, the ‘Huskers are going to Pasadena and playing Miami, and I'll already tell you, I'm going to take the points in that game. Nebraska is not a joke, and everyone is talking about them like they shouldn't be there. I understand Oregon's beef, but I don't want to hear Colorado. You lost 2 games, including one to Fresno State, and you didn't reschedule your game @ Washinton State, probably because you thought they'd whip you, but most likely because you didn't have the slightest clue that you would be in the running for the Rose Bowl.

Here are the BCS bowls and the lines. I'm not gonna pick games until the weeks transpire, but here goes.

Rose: Miami (-10) vs. Nebraska (seems like a lot of points)

Fiesta: Colorado (-3) vs. Oregon (both are now stuck to win and root for Nebraska, and then try to whine a split title from the AP.)

Sugar: LSU (-3) vs. Illinois (One of 3 bowls involving the SEC and Big Ten. These are the two champs. Should be a good one.) Orange: Florida (-16 ½) vs. Maryland (We'll see what the ACC champs can bring against what I think is the best the SEC has to offer.)

Other intriguing bowl matchups and lines:
Citrus: Tennessee (-4) vs. Michigan (Big Ten-SEC. Who'll show up on either side?)

Outback: South Carolina (-2 ½) vs. Ohio State (Big Ten-SEC again. Good game.)

Cotton: Oklahoma (-13 ½) vs. Arkansas (How the hell did Arkansas get in the Cotton?)

Peach: UNC (-2 ½) vs. Auburn (ACC-SEC. Should be a good matchup.)

Holiday: Texas (-12 ½) vs. Washington (The best of the early bowls.)

On to the NFL, where last week in my picks, I went (2-1) nailing the pick of the week with the Saints. Detroit was an easy cover, but the Titans folded when I thought they would start playing with some heart.

With college football over until the bowls, I tabulated my picks this year. It was a rough start for both college and in the NFL, but ended up fairly hot in both. While Hammerin' Hank's having a pretty good season, Berman couldn't hold my jock.

With LSU winning last week, in college this season, I went (17-11-1) overall and (3-7) for my picks of the week, but did hit 3 of my last 4 POW's. In the NFL, I am (18-13) overall, but (7-3) on picks of the week with a stellar (toot-toot) 5 picks of the week covering in a row.

Last week in the NFL, St. Louis got to (10-2) after running San Fran to (9-3). Green Bay got to (9-3), winning a big game and owning the tiebreaker over the Bears, now (9-3). The other team that got to (10-2) was the Steelers who never really had any trouble with the Jets, now (7-5). The Raiders stayed within a game of Pittsburgh at (9-3) for homefield advantage by squeaking by the Chiefs. The Dolphins are also (9-3) now after whipping Indy on Monday Night. The Colts look absolutely terrible.

Philadelphia got to (8-4) giving the Chargers their sixth straight defeat. The Pats are now (8-5) getting a big win over the Browns, now (6-6). Tampa is (7-5) after squeaking by the Lions, as are the Saints who blew out the Falcons, now (6-6). The Cowboys knocked the Giants completely out of the playoff race, and it's so funny now that Sehorn opened his dumb mouth and Sportscenter is just ripping him. What an idiot.

Denver got a must win over Seattle to get to (7-6), and the Titan's playoff aspirations were trounced as Minnesota routed them behind backup QB Todd Bouman.

It looks like you're going to have to be (10-6) to get in the playoffs in the AFC. (9-7) might work in the NFC. With 4 games left for most teams, teams with 5 or 6 losses at this point better think about running the table.

With the Saints sitting right on the bubble, here's my top ten this week (last week's ranking in parentheses).

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

Here are this week's big games: (*--who I'd take)

Oakland* (-4) @ San Diego (The Raiders must win with Steeler's toughest game coming this week as well.)

Denver* (-2 ½) @ KC (If the Broncs stumble here, they don't deserve to go.)

Tampa Bay @ Chicago* (-3) (Huge for the Bucs, but I'll take the Bears.)

Miami @ SF* (-3 ½) (Big for both teams, should be a good one.)

Green Bay* (-2 ½) @ Tennessee (The Titans are officially done.)

Philadelphia* (-2 ½) @ Washington (Huge for the ‘Skins, but Philly can't fall here either.)

Sunday Night: Pittsburgh* @ Baltimore (-3) (The Ravens try to sweep the Steelers, and get within one game with the tiebreaker in the AFC Central.)

Monday Night: St. Louis (-6) @ NO* (The Saints are up and down, but seem to have the Ram's number. This is one of the very few times I go against the Rams.)

For my picks this week, I like Green Bay (-2 ½) and Pittsburgh (+3), but my take of the week is Oakland (-4) on Saturday.

Did Van Gundy resign? Oh well, let's talk about real basketball, as in college hoops. Our Tigers are now (6-3) after beating App. State and then getting slaughtered last Saturday by South Carolina. This week, our only game is Saturday versus Elon. In my big 5 games last week, here's who came up big:

Florida over Michigan State
Kansas over Wake Forest
Arizona over Illinois (hell of a game)
UCLA over Alabama
Indiana over Ball State

This week, I got 2 good matchups on Saturday and that's it. (15) Iowa is playing @ (3) Missouri and (7) Arizona is playing @ (19) Michigan State. Maybe Iowa gets payback, but ‘Zona should stomp the Spartans.

Finally, it's on to baseball, where deals and rumors are flying around, it's making Peter Gammons such a happy man in the wintertime. I do believe the Yankees are done now. Giambi's official, they signed Steve Karsay to pitch middle relief, they traded Justice for Ventura (most likely to nurse along Drew Henson for a year) and then they got their outfielder, and not a huge name, but a solid baller, in Rondell White.

The Braves signed up former Brave Vinny Castilla for some offense, while the A's who gave up on Isringhausen signed Billy Koch, a solid closer himself. The Mets got a great 2B from the Indians in Alomar, but Cleveland did get some good young talent along with a good reliever and Matt Lawton is a good ballplayer.

Two rumors that blow me away: Will the Phillies actually let Rolen go elsewhere? Preposterous. Preposterous #2: Brian Giles of the Pirates, one of the most underrated players in the game is reportedly being sought by the Mariners. Pittsburgh can't give up the only thing they have.

Well, let's see if we can get those picks to keep rolling. See you next week.

Agree? Disagree? Any questions, comments, or barbs, feel free to email me at Jacksmackcu01@yahoo.com.

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