JackSmack: Issue #33

Well Larry, I was begging you to continue to disprove my thoughts of your skills as a coach, but I'm here writing on what will no doubt be only the 1st of many (0-2) weeks. I said last week that we had a couple of winnable games, but Wake Forest absolutely demolished us, and then we let N.C. State sneak out of Littlejohn with a 1 point win.

So, at (11-7, 2-3), we play Sunday at Maryland and Thursday @ FSU. Maybe we can win Thursday. At least Tommy B finally realized he needed to dump Herring as defensive coordinator. I don't care who we get, I'm just glad that Herring is out of there.

Nationally in college hoops, the Pac-10 is looking like a fun conference to watch. With USC joining the likes of UCLA, Arizona, and Stanford at the top and sleepers like Oregon, this could get interesting. With UCLA dismantling the no. 1 team, Kansas, and Arizona knocking off USC last night, this is definitely a conference to keep an eye on.

I told you to look out for Oklahoma in the Big-12. Oklahoma State is a joke. It comes down to OU and Kansas who play this weekend. Let's not base things on one game, but this could be fun. By the way, what is Dick Vitale smoking? Who has Texas Tech beaten for him to say Knight's done the best coaching job so far? Dickie and Bobby need to keep it in the bedroom.

In the Big-10, I told you to look out for Indiana, and right now they are setting the pace, and I'm waiting for them to play Illinois. Iowa is still a pretty good team, but Michigan State is terrible, and this league is not as strong as usual from top to bottom.

In the SEC, it looks like everyone is going to be chasing Florida. Kentucky is up and down, and my team to look out for, Alabama, just got a big win @ Georgia, but this may be the strongest conference in the land from top to bottom.

Are Virginia and WF strong enough to hang with Duke and Maryland? I don't think so. There are a few spoilers in the league, but it is pretty top heavy right now, and last night was fun. Jason Williams is the most dominant college player in recent memory.

Well tonight, #14 Gonzaga faces one of their toughest tests of the year (sad) when they have to play @ Pepperdine. I also want to say something about Syracuse. In such a pathetic conference, keep winning and be a 2 seed when the tourney rolls around because teams are gonna licking their chops with you in their bracket. The nicest thing I can say about Big East basketball is that you don't have to watch Shaq throwing whiff punches on a shirtless Brad Miller.

Good games this Saturday:

WF @ Duke (Blue Devils should continue to roll.)

Georgia @ Florida (Florida won't get their 1st conference loss here.)

Oklahoma @ Kansas (Kansas needs to win at home to cement themselves.)

UCLA @ Arizona (One of the funnest games to watch every year.)

The rest of the week:

Monday: Missouri @ OU (Sooners should keep the Tigers in their place.)

Tuesday: Michigan St. @ Iowa (Iowa can't lose here.)

Wednesday: Maryland @ WF (A tough roadie for the Terps.)

On to the NFL, where I went (1-3) in a subpar performance of picking last week. I win the first game with Philly easy. The Raiders played their best game in 6 weeks to cover against the Jets, and I really think Miami and San Fran were a play or two away from making it a different game. Terrell Owens was open for 2 touchdowns and Garcia missed him, while this McKnight kid on Miami lets a bomb to the 5 hit him in the helmet. Are you kidding me?

So dismantle the Bucs, they suck. Good luck Parcells, you cartoon character. At least I can continue to dislike TB. Spurrier is finally official in Washington and I've always respected his offensive genius and I'm as curious as he is to see if it works in the NFL. So maybe Dungy to the Colts, Norv Turner to Houston, and Schottenheimer in San Diego or Carolina? We'll see.

Congratulations to the following players for their AP awards:

Offensive Player of the Year: Faulk
Defensive Player of the Year: Strahan (crap—it should have been Urlacher)
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Anthony Thomas
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Kendrell Bell

This week, there are some very intriguing games. Before I give you my picks, here are the matchups and lines:

Saturday:
Philadelphia @ Chicago (-2 ½)
Oakland @ New England (-3 ½)
Sunday:
Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (-5 ½)
Green Bay @ St. Louis (-10)

I like all the rested home favorites, but one. I like New England (-3 ½), Pittsburgh (-5 ½), and Philadelphia (+2 ½). My take of the week is the Rams (-10). Watching the Packers this week, and as much respect as I have for Favre, I don't think they think they have a shot. That's not good.

So I always said the Yankees payroll was high because they were loyal to people who had gotten them there. Now Braves fans, when John Schuerholz gets the knife out of Brian Jordan's back, are you really happy with the clubhouse cancer, Gary Sheffield? Is he gonna be the answer? I'm not afraid to go ahead and tell you he's not.

So the picks are gonna get back on track this week with some good football, some good hoops, and Michael's return to Chicago. Enjoy.

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

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