Saturday, December 20, 2008

Week 16-NFL Picks...Do You Believe in Miracles??

Last week, I took to mindlessly picking games, and it worked!! I went 13-3 against the spread and 10-6 overall. So, we'll keep it going. Here's this week's way of picking the games. I'm going to compare this year's records of the competing coaches' alma maters. Best record wins. Also, to make up for quality of competition, one win will turn into a loss for FCS teams, and for D-2 and below, it will be two wins. If the straight up winner and ATS winner can be different teams, I'll take the longest tenured player on each team, and look at their alma maters. Whoever's alma mater has existed the longest will win the game. So, even if you think I’m nuts, you’ll at least learn something…whether it be where certain coaches are from, who the oldest guys on teams are, or how long certain universities have been around. In terms of straight up picks, I'm now 126-96-1 on the year, and my preseason picks are 12 games better, 138-84-1. I need to go 39-4 and 26-16 the rest of the way to beat last year's record. Here goes!! Giddy up!!


Indianapolis (-6) @ Jacksonville
The Pick: Indianapolis
Starting off, I didn't decide to do this until after this pick was due, so I just went with Indy. Let's see how it would have worked out. Tony Dungy was a star at Minnesota which was a much-improved 7-5 this year, but the Jags' Jack Del Rio went to USC, which is 11-1. Under that, I should have picked the Jags. Great start to the week.


Baltimore @ Dallas (-4.5)
The Pick: Dallas
Baltimore's John Harbaugh starred at Miami of Ohio, where the woeful Redhawks went 2-10. Wade "Don't care what goes on, as long as I get paid" Phillips, meanwhile, played at Houston, which is 7-5 at the time. The Cowboys take the hard fought match-up of playoff hopefuls.


Cincinnati @ Cleveland (-3)
The Pick: Cleveland
Most people probably don't know that "Soon to be Starvin" Marvin Lewis was a Bengal long before taking residence in Cincinnati. Marvin was an Idaho State Bengal in college. Another fact some may not know. The last job of the "Voice of the Bobcats", Russ Eisenstein, was with ISU. Crazy. Anyway, the Bengals were 1-11 this year in FCS action, translating to 0-12 with quality of competition. Can Romeo Crennel find a way to blow it against a defeated team?? I could see it. Alas, he didn't this time. Rome went to Western Kentucky, where the independent Hilltoppers finished a terrible 2-10. Two pitiful college records to go with two pitiful NFL records, but Cleveland wins.

New Orleans (-6.5) @ Detroit
The Pick: Detroit (ATS) New Orleans (Straight Up)
New Orleans' Sean Payton was a 10,000 yard passer at Eastern Illinois (Maybe this should be the "Cradle of Coaches" [more on that later]) who went an adjusted 4-8 this season. Detroit's Rod Marinelli seems to me like an Army man, and it turns out, he did do a tour in Vietnam. He didn't play at West Point, though. He played 2 years at Utah and 2 at California Lutheran, so we'll take the Utes' first six games (6-0) and the Lutes' (actually they're the Kingsmen) second six (1-5) for a total of 7-5. That means Detroit covers. So we go to the other tie breaker. New Orleans' longest tenured player is 16 year man Mark Brunell out of Washington. And this is even better than I thought!! We have an Apple Cup showdown! Detroit has 17 year man, Jason Hanson out of Wazzu, Washington State. These guys played college ball against each other, and now the age of their schools will decide the game. Washington is 147 years old, while State is only 116 years old. Detroit covers, but the Saints win to keep the Lionesses defeated on the year.

Miami (-4) @ Kansas City
The Pick: Kansas City (ATS) Miami (Straight Up)
Herm Edwards played 2 years at Cal, one at Monterey Peninsula JC, and one at San Diego State. Cal’s first six games give you 4-2, but the Lobos didn’t list their results, so they get an 0-3, and the Spartans finished 1 for their last 3, for a total of 5-7. How about Tony Sparano?? He attended the University of New Haven, and it turns out, the Chargers played club ball this year, and didn’t list their results. That gives Sparano an 0-12, meaning KC covers. Who will win, though?? Nose Tackle Jason Ferguson of Miami is in his 12th year out of Georgia, which is a whopping 223 years old. KC has UCLA’s Donnie Edwards. The Bruins have only been around for 91 years. Miami, in its usual way, will squeak out another one.

Pittsburgh (-1) @ Tennessee
The Pick: Tennessee
The Steelers’ Mike Tomlin is a grad of William and Mary, who went an adjusted 6-5. Jeff Fisher, though, is a USC boy, so his 11-1 lifts the Titans to victory, securing the number one seed in the AFC

Arizona @ New England (-8)
The Pick: Arizona (ATS) New England (Straight Up)
Ken Whisenhunt played ball at Georgia Tech, and the Ramblin’ Wreck and triple option led the Jackets to a 9-3 record. Bill Belichick, meanwhile, played at Wesleyan. The Cards went an adjusted 0-9, so the Arizona Cards are looking good against the Pats. Arizona’s longest tenured player is Bryan Robinson, a nose tackle from Fresno State. New England’s oldest is USC’s own Junior Seau. The Pats, like the Fins, will win close because USC has been around 128 years to Fresno’s 97.

San Diego @ Tampa Bay (-3)
The Pick: San Diego
Norv “Not the Burner” Turner went to Oregon, home of the 9-3 Ducks. As for Chucky Gruden?? He was a quarterback for the Dayton Flyers, who, with an adjusted 8-4, falling just short of Norv’s boys in San Diego. Can the Bucs pull out a 1 or 2 point win, though?? Turns out, no, and by the slimmest of margins. Tampa has 3-14 year guys, but Joey Galloway of Ohio State is the oldest. For San Diego, long snapper David Binn went to California. Turns out, the Golden Bears beat out the Bucks 139-138, and the Bucks and Bucs lose out in the end.

San Francisco (-5.5) @ St. Louis
The Pick: St. Louis
Mike Singletary went to Baylor, who had a less-than-banner 3-9 season. Jim Haslett, meanwhile, went to Indiana University…of Pennsylvania. The Crimson Hawks were an adjusted 7-4, a winner in this game. As for the actual game?? St. Louis’ Trent Green went to Indiana University…of Indiana, and Isaac Bruce of the Niners (sounds wrong doesn’t it?) went to Memphis. Well, St. Louis is going to take the win because Indiana beats Memphis 188-96.

Atlanta @ Minnesota (-3)
The Pick: Minnesota
Mike Smith attended East Tennessee State University, the same as my aunt and cousin. Unfortunately, the Bucs no longer have football, so he gets an 0-12. Brad Childress, on the other hand, Brad Childress is our second Eastern Illinois head coach, but unlike Sean Payton, the 4-8 pulls out a win for his team.

Philadelphia (-4.5) @ Washington
The Pick: Philadelphia
Andy Reid is from BYU, who is 10-2, and Jim Zorn went to Cal Poly Pomona. Unfortunately for Zorn, the Broncos don’t field a football team anymore, so Philly takes the win, keeping themselves alive with the Atlanta loss.

Buffalo @ Denver (-7)
The Pick: Buffalo (ATS) Denver (Straight Up)
Dick Jauron is an Ivy League man, attending Yale in his college days. The Bulldogs finished an even 5-5 with adjustment. Mike Shanahan is our third head man from Eastern Illinois, and the 4-8 isn’t enough to win this time. Buffalo makes it close, but can they win?? The Bills’ longest tenured man is Jason Whittle from Missouri State. For the Broncs, it’s not surprise that it’s center Tom Nalen, out of Boston College. BC is 145 years old, and the Bears have been around for only 103. Denver wins a squeaker.

Houston (-7) @ Oakland
The Pick: Houston
Houston native Gary Kubiak won me a big one last week. Let’s see what his 4-8 Aggies of Texas A&M can do for me this week. Answer?? Just enough. Tom Cable went to Idaho, and the Vandals finished a woeful 2-10 in the competitive WAC. Houston takes it comfortably.

New York Jets (-5) @ Seattle
The Pick Seattle
Eric Mangini, like his former mentor Bill Belichick, gets an 0-9 from his alma mater, Wesleyan. Mike Holmgren, meanwhile, was a quarterback at USC, so he gets 11-1 and a comfortable cover. Can the ‘Hawks knock Favre and the Jets out of the AFC East race, though?? Well, Favre has a little to say about it. He’s the longest tenured Jet, and his Southern Miss Golden Eagles have been around for 98 years. For the ‘Hawks, the oldest guy is Chris Gray from Auburn. The Tigers take the win and so does Seattle, 152-98.

Carolina @ New York Giants (-3)
The Pick: Carolina
John Fox was once a teammate of Herm Edwards at San Diego State. He gets the whole season’s worth of games from the Spartans instead of just the last 3, so his record is 2-10. Tom Coughlin, meanwhile, played in the backfield with Larry Csonka at Syracuse. The Orangemen pull out a close Giants’ win with a 3-9 record.


Green Bay @ Chicago (-4)
The Pick: Chicago
Mike McCarthy went to tiny Baker University in Kansas, where the Wildcats finished an adjusted 6-6. Lovie Smith went to Tulsa, though, who was ranked for the first time in about 60 years and finished 9-3. Bears win, guaranteeing the Pack, not only their second losing record since ’92, but also their second double-digit loss season in the same period.

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