This weekend is why it’s great to be American, NFL football is returning and college football’s first truly great slate of the year is sure to give us a great Saturday of tailgating and football. Simply put, it’s a middle-aged, balding, and overweight dad’s dream… Yes, even more than a perfectly cut lawn or a grand new grill.*
*And believe it or not, even more than that last second gift you got him for Fathers Day last year. Sorry, but unfortunately I don’t think he cares too much about that Jay Ferrar tie you bought him at JC Penny’s.
I’d even go as far as saying that this is the best football weekend of the year, even better than *gasp* Labor Day weekend or Wild-card weekend. Week one of college football is great, sure. You get to see your team for the first time (hopefully it’s not Tennessee) and watch Alabama beat up on Wisconsin, USC, or Duke. But this weekend is where true football fans and sports bettors rejoice. We have football on for the next five days. Let me reiterate that so it really hits home. WE HAVE FOOTBALL ON THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY, AND MONDAY! You just have to love it, but if you are anything like me, you just can’t beat Saturday’s tailgating in the fall. The only problem is, tailgating can get expensive.
First, you have to get beer and since you are drinking from the start of ‘College Gameday’ at 9 a.m.* until end of that Pac-12 game at midnight, you are going to need at least a 24 pack of booze.* Plus, you are also going to need food** throughout the day and most likely, by the end of the night you are going to end up at a bar that’s going to charge you an arm and a leg for a drink. After all is said and done and you wake up Sunday morning with a hangover-from-hell, you’re going to check your bank account and regret buying those 6’s (maybe 7.5’s after a few shots) drinks. It’s a tale as old as time, but that doesn’t have to be you.
*Preferably Truly’s. Or maybe White-Claws if you are in a bind. **My favorite tailgate food is a nice, sloppy joe. But they have to be “made extra sloppy for ya.”
All you have to do to avoid that dreaded Sunday morning “overdraft alert” is follow my picks. Instead of sweating over every $2 bud light you buy, you will be buying the whole bar drinks and instead of regretting buying those 6’s (7.5’s after a few shots) drinks, you will regret not wearing protection* while you have a 3-way with them. So continue reading and take notes, because you are holding a lottery ticket in the palm of your hand.
*Fun fact: According to time.com, nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017. Yikes! Couldn’t be me! That’s why I am waiting for marriage.
Fats’ Featured Matchup: #6 LSU (-5.5) vs. #10 Texas // Over/Under 55 // ABC at 7:30 PM
If you watched LSU at all last week (or saw the highlights like I did), you would have saw QB Joe Burrow putting on an absolute passing clinic for LSU: completing 23-27 passes for 278 yards and 5 TD’s (LSU school record). If you are anything like me (somewhat stupid), you were surprised to see LSU able to do anything but hand the ball off to a “bell-cow” back like Leonard Fournette or Derrius “All is Well” Guice. But last week wasn’t an anomaly. Joe Burrow is the QB that LSU has been desperately trying to find for the past ten or so years… Someone who can get the ball to playmakers like OBJ and Jarvis Laundry (they played on the same LSU team, but you didn’t know that at the time because they never got the ball). However, Burrow isn’t the only reason that LSU can pass the ball now, far from it. LSU’s new passing game coordinator Joe Brady comes from the New Orleans Saints (think he learned a thing or two from Sean Payton and Drew Brees?) and according to my sources, is an absolute “offensive genius”. Because of Brady & Burrow, I think that LSU’s offense shows us on Saturday night that they are no longer one dimensional and they embarrass the Longhorns 87th nationally ranked secondary on national television.
The one thing that makes me nervous about this game is that “Tom Herman is 13-2-1 against the spread (covering by 13.8 ppg) in the underdog role since 2015 with Houston and Texas, and is 8-2 in the role ATS since joining the Longhorns.” (Betchicago.com) Herman knows how to play the underdog card well, but if there’s one man he can’t outdo when it comes to motivating his players, it’s Coach Ed Orgeron.
LSU 31 – Texas 20.
#12 Texas A&M vs. #1 Clemson (-17) // 64 Over/Under // 3:30 ABC
This game could go either way and similar to trying to find something to watch on Netflix,* I can’t decide who to pick. Jimbo Fisher is 4-4-1 ATS against Clemson in his career and 4-5 straight up against Swinney. I wouldn’t be suprised if Clemson won by 45 and showed us why they are the best college football team in this decade, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if Texas A&M beat Clemson outright behind QB Kellen Mond. That’s why this game is a
stay-away for me “put your balls on the table” bet.
*I recently just saw that Netflix was going to change to the “one episode a week” format, What the f***?
Everyone’s going to point to last year’s game as a predictor for this year, but there’s only one problem; Trevor Lawrence only threw 9 passes in this game last year due to injury and he is the ultimate trump card. On the flip side, I love Jimbo Fisher and when I think of Clemson vs. Jimbo Fisher in big-time games, I think of this (see below).
So in order to decide this one, I am going to flip a coin… Give me one second here to pull it out, okay. Clemson is heads, A&M is tails. *Flip* and heads it is… Wow I don’t like that, you know what I am just going to hold my breathe and take A&M. Clemson 38 – A&M 30.
Cincinnati vs. #5 Ohio State (-16.5) // 56 Over/Under // Noon on ABC
I LOVE CINCINNATI in this one. The majority of the players on Cincinnati’s team are players who “weren’t good enough” to play for Urban Meyer/Ryan Day at OSU. Instead they were sent off to Cincy, the island of misfit toys to play for former OSU interim head coach Luke Fickell. This is the type of game that the Cincy players have had circled on their calendar all offseason, forget having a chip on their shoulder, these guys are going to play with a boulder (I’m not sure what to put here, just something bigger than a chip) on their shoulder. If you don’t think this matters, just look at Dayton’s upset of OSU in the 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament.* I know, I know it’s basketball, but the motivational angle is the same.
*That year was the first year that Warren Buffet pledged $1 billion to anyone who picked a perfect bracket… I was devastated after picking OSU. Devastated.
Oh! And Cincinnati isn’t a bunch of scrubs either, both Gerrid Doaks and star defensive end Kevin Mouhon return from last year’s team that went 11-2 in the AAC. Plus, do you really believe in Ryan Day, already? I’m not quite sold and OSU, despite everyone claiming “they looked really good in the opener” only beat FAU by 24 and Cincy is a much better team than Lane Kiffin’s Owls. OSU survives a scare, 35-31 the final.
Army vs. #7 Michigan (-23) // 46.5 Over/Under // Noon on BTN
Week One, Michigan’s offense and defense looked terrible. Josh Gattis was way calling plays on offense, running jet sweeps and screen passes to back-up QB Dylan McCafferey.* Starting QB Shea Patterson was way too sloppy with the ball, losing two fumbles. Michigan’s O-Line looked subpar and was stopped on the goalie by MTSU’s conference USA’s defensive line. Michigan’s defense couldn’t tackle MTSU’s tiny QB Asher (lol, not a great name) O’Hara. Long story short, It was a less than stellar debut and the Wolverines were lucky they didn’t have Army week one or they might be sitting at 0-1 right now.
*Seriously though, that move made absolutely no sense. Which defensive back sees McCafferey standing across from them and shivers with fear?
Good thing for Michigan, in week 1 wasn’t exactly world beaters themselves, squeaking out a 14-7 victory over Rice last Friday night. But the difference is, that’s what Army does. They don’t blow teams out and they don’t get blown out. They control the ball and there’s a reason they were receiving top 25 votes this week after barely beating Rice, because it was expected. Army is a 10 win team this year and if Michigan doesn’t sure things up this week, they could be blowing their shot at the CFP. Regardless, the -23 line is far to high for almost anyone Army plays and they cover easily. Army 14 – Michigan 31.
Western Michigan vs. Michigan State (-16.5) // 46.5 Over/Under // 7:30 p.m. on BTN
Two things we learned from the Spartans opener vs. Tulsa: 1. MSU’s defense is legit (held Tulsa to a whopping -73 rushing yards) and 2. Brian Lewerke is still terrible (21-37 for 192 yards and 1 touchdown). I have this game absolutely pinned, I can see exactly how this game is going to play out: Punt, punt, punt, FG, punt, FG, punt, punt, punt. Maybe with a defensive touchdown sprinkled in here and there. Western always plays MSU tough (37-24 loss in 2015 season opener) and the -16.5 line is simply too high for any team that Brain Lewerke is the QB for. This is going to a low scoring, grind it out, snooze fest of a game that MSU is in control of the whole way. Ala’ MSU’s 28-7 victory over Tulsa in Week One. The only difference is, I think that Brian Lewerke makes a couple ill-advised throws (similar to the one below) that lead to Bronco interceptions and ultimately touchdowns. WMU 14 – MSU 28.
There you have it, protect those picks with your life and you are going to be a very, VERY, rich man. Or at least I think so anyway, now that I think about I think I am going to take Clemson… Actually, no I’m going to stick with Tex-… But Dabo-… uhhhhh… I have no idea what I am doing.
Good luck and enjoy the weekend, Fats.
The rest of my Card:
- #22 SYRACUSE vs. Maryland (-2)
- WEST VIRGINIA vs. Missouri (-14)
- Vanderbilt vs. Purdue (-7.5)
- CMU vs. Wisconsin (-34)
- #24 Nebraska (-3.5) vs. Colorado
- BYU vs. Tennessee (-3.5)
- Nevada vs. #11 Oregon (-23)
- EMU vs. Kentucky (-14.5)
- #25 Stanford vs. USC (-2.5)