Take it to the Bank: Return of the King!

     Happy Days are here again 

     It's that magic time of year again

     Time to tailgate and drink beer again

     Happy Days are here again.

 

     Yes, that wonderful scent in the air is the smell of football.  Of tailgating. 

     Of victory!

     Not to mention green.  As in artificial turf. 

     As in money.  Just sitting there, waiting to be taken. 

     However, as uncanny as these picks may be, they are not intended to be the easy money picks that will allow you to retire early. 

     As a general rule, these picks will feature the 15 games of greatest interest to KU and Big 12 fans first, and the top games nationally second.  I will usually forego games with spreads greater than 30 points, because the final margin in those games normally depends on what the better team's coach wants it to be, rather than the on the two teams' capabilities.

    The Picks of Week1***:      

    Saturday:

1.  Northwestern St +26 at KU: 

      Don't look for this line in Vegas.  As far as I can tell, they don't have one.  But this is a KU game and cannot be ignored on something called the PhogBlog.   So we have a home made line--one that should give you pause before going either way.

     What, you say?  Only 26 points?  Shouldn't the Hawks be able to name the score vs. a team with two directions in its name?  Or the entire name of San Antonio lawyer North West?

      With KU having little or no experience at QB and much of its D, this could easily be a 24-10 game, even against a Division 1-AA team from the town with the strangely spelled name (Natchitoches), reminiscent of George Bernard Shaw's declaration that "fish" should be spelled "ghoti."   ("gh" as in "cough"; "O" as in "women"; and "ti" as in "nation"--or "notion" or "lotion" or "potion". . .)

      What the heck.  The Hawks take the next step toward replacing the "school" to the west as the "traditional" football power in the state. 

      KU

 2.  La Tech +20.5 at Nebraska

     Why is it that Nebraska gets so much respect, as if they are the Big Red of old?  Yes, they ended last year looking competitive, including a fluky  win over Michigan in the Alamo Bowl last December, but they dominated no one.  And who can forget 40-15?  They are a year older and wiser, which counts for something, but La Tech has played many a good team well in recent years.

     However, the Techsters are starting an entirely new defense and an untested QB.  That is a tall order for a first game in Lincoln.

     NEBRASKA

 3.  SMU +26.5 at Texas Tech

     The Mustangs appeared to be making some progress at the end of last season.  And Tech is controllable--if you have a big time D like KU, UT, or Alabama last year.  SMU is not at that level.  It will be a long day for the Mustangs on the high plains.

     TEXAS TECH

 4.  UAB + 21 at Oklahoma

     Wonder how much difference the loss of Rhett Buyacar had in this game's point spread.  Like the NU game, this is not an automatic walk in the park for one of the country's traditionally elite, but, perhaps, overrated programs this season.  UAB has no chance of winning the game, but they have much more experience than La Tech takes into Lincoln.  Unless OU scores on turnovers or special teams, the Boys from Birmingham should stay within three TD's.

     UAB

 5.  Notre Dame -7.5 at Ga Tech

     The last time I saw Notre Dame, they were getting their helmets handed to them by Ohio St in the Fiesta Bowl.

  Unless they suddenly became a lot faster, they are another good, but overrated, team.  Ga Tech will give them all they want for 60 minutes--or longer.

    GA TECH

 6.  Vanderbilt +25.5 at Michigan

     Jay Cutler has moved on, leaving Vandy less dandy.

     MICHIGAN

 7.  Northern Illinois +18 at Ohio St

     Ohio St could be looking ahead to its date in Austin, where it plans to take 30-35,000 fans, and rent UT's basketball for the day (might as well put it to some good use) for those who can't get in to see the world's largest scoreboard.  Northern Illinois will hang tough for awhile, but fall by the wayside in the fourth quarter.

     OHIO ST

 8.  Hawaii +17 at Alabama

     Can Alabama score 17 points in a single game?  If so, their offense will have made a quantum leap from last season--and how likely is that with grityy, gutty QB Brodie Croyle now plying his his trade in Kansas City?

     HAWAII

 9.  Cal +2 at Tennessee

     Cal gets an early test in its quest to overtake USC as the pre-eminent West Coast Power.  If they can walk into Knoxville and leave with a victory, the Bears will be a force to be reckoned with.

     TENNESSEE

 10.  So Miss +20 at Florida

     The Urban Meyer era begins for real.  It doesn't hurt to have Chris Leak and open your season in the Swamp.

     FU

 11.  USC -9 at Arkansas

     Arkansas lost to USC last year 70-17.  The Trojans no longer have Matt Leinart or Reggie Bush, among others.  And Arkansas on Big Game Day is as maniacal as any venue in the country.  Could be a 50 point swing.  Which means the Trojans will barely cover.

     USC

 12.  Stanford +11.5 at Oregon

     Oregon has the home field and the better team.  Should be good for a two TD spread.

     OREGON

      Sunday:

 13.  TCU -7.5 at Baylor

     Baylor is going to surprise some people this season.  They will be tough, especially at home, for all but the elite teams.  I am not counting the Hawks' trip to Waco as Money in the Bank.  The biggest question is how quickly Baylor adjusts to the gun slinging Texas Tech offense that Guy Morriss plans to run this season.  In the hands of a newbie, it can turn into a lot of quick points the other way.  Assuming they don't gift wrap too many points, the Bears should keep this one close in Dr. Pepper Land.

     BAYLOR

 14.  Kentucky +22.5 at Louisville

     This would be a sweet basketball game.  In football, there is only one team in the Bluegrass State.

     LOUISVILLE

      Monday:

 15.  Fla St +3.5 at Miami

     Somebody's national championship aspirations go down the drain in Week 1.   Which is, of course, why there is no REAL National Champion in football. 

    MIAMI  

     And the Demons crawl back to Nack-a-dish... ___________________________________________________________________

***Remember:  These picks are for entertainment purposes only.  You get what you pay for.  There are no refunds.

 

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