[DON'T POST YOUR CHEDDAR PICKS IN THIS THREAD. DO IT HERE.]
When I got over 700 words on this week’s Cheddar Bay essay I decided just to do a full-on post for it.
3. Essay – ***Auburn -2 vs. Mizzou (Atlanta)
I’m looking forward to this game because it’s rare when I’ve really had a chance to watch both teams play. I’m very impressed with Auburn; I’m not as impressed with Mizzou. I think Auburn covers. Here’s why.
In last week’s Mizzou home game, I saw TAMU convert 3rd downs at a 50% clip and I saw Manziel miss a lot of open WRs (and acting like his thumb was about to fall off). I saw a bunch of RBs getting long gains. If you read the boxscore, it reads like Mizzou held down Evans and Manziel, but that’s not how it felt watching the game. It was good defense, but I was expecting ‘great’ defense as that’s the book on Mizzou: great defense, most sacks, most TFLs. Didn’t happen. Maybe Manziel’s pass yards were down but Mizzou gave up over 200 rush yards. Notably and applicable to the Auburn game: Mizzou’s D seemed to have problems with TAMU’s Sumlin-uptempo offense. Malzahn’s offense’s tempo is Sumlin x2.
On offense I was surprised at how ineffective James Franklin was (perhaps because I had just been watching Nick Marshall). TAMU’s defense is soft, (I saw Dak Prescott lay 300+ yards on TAMU and MissySt is not noted for their offense.) Mizzou was 5-14 on third downs … so again, Mizzou’s offense was ‘fine’ (Franklin had ~300 total yards) but not as explosive as I’d expected and not in Auburn’s class. I think James Franklin is the key to the whole game. If he plays as nervous as he did against TAMU, it could be a blow out. If he plays lights out, game will be close.
(Also Pinkel is doing a platooning QBs thing which was, is, and always will be, a disastrous strategy. “When you’ve got two QBs you’ve got no QBs.” (IMO.))
“Auburn’s been lucky.” I hear this a lot. If you look at it differently, maybe UGA was lucky since Auburn owned them for 7/8s of that game before setting up that final play? Was not Bama’s 99 yd pass where Auburn’s safety mistook his teammate for the WR a flukey/lucky play? And I have no idea how a team that rushes for 300 yards ON BAMA can be called lucky. 300 rush yards on Bama’s defense is the opposite of lucky. It’s prime evidence that Auburn controlled the line of scrimmage, BAMA’s LOS. I wondered what everyone else did against Bama on the ground, it goes:
VT 153, TAMU 164, CSU 51, OleMiss 46, GSU 15, UK 94, Ark 165, Tenn 127, LSU 43, Clanga 53, Chat 93, ,,, Auburn 296. I hear and read a lot about Mizzou’s defense but do we really think it’s a better defense than Bama? I don’t.
“Flukey wins.” Hey well someone has to win a close game and sometimes close games are decided on the final play and sometimes the final play is lucky (UGA) or dramatic (but not lucky, Bama). But this is no flukey offense. It’s a balanced offense with talent that maybe is getting overshadowed by the dramatic wins. Nick Marshall is a decent passer who just doesn’t pass a lot. It’s not a one-dimensional team; it’s just that you have stop Auburn’s run game before they’ll pass. Tre Mason is fast and can move a pile. Greg Robinson is currently #15 on Kiper’s big board. The receivers are big (Uzomah, 6-4) and fast (Coates 4.4). I really think the hype has not caught up with the talent on Auburn’s offense and so the lucky/flukey narrative gets pushed in lieu of the awesome talent meets great coaching narrative. Not sure what it will take since beating Bama didn’t do it but that’s fine for me as an Auburn bettor: there is nothing flukey about the talent on this offense. Continue Reading »
- UCF -10.5 at SMU;
- Browns +11 at Pats;
- Falcons +3.5 at Packers.
Weekly lines linked here.
All-play: Ohio State -5 vs. Michigan State at Lucas Field, Indy; 8:15 PM Saturday on Fox.
The Council of Elders evaluated the great games this weekend. The obvious: Auburn/Mizzou, Niners/Seahawks; the also pretty-darn-good: Colts/Bengals, Texas/Baylor, BGSU/NIU, OkST/Oklahoma. But ultimately the ultimate put up or shut up game won out.
Ohio State vs. Michigan State at Lucas Stadium, Indy.
The obvious angle to watch is OSU’s rush attack (#2) versus MSU’s rush defense (#1). That’s like last week’s Auburn offense versus Bama defense matchup except moreso. But also interesting is whether Sparty can conjure an offense and how will the Bucks’ D re-group after some scary moments last week.
Final stop for the revenge tour: MSU lost five Big Ten games by a total of 13 points last season, and the Spartans have paid back four of those teams so far —Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska and Northwestern. Ohio State is the fifth.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner: Concierge.
Dammit DQuatts, one week off. Cheddar newbie Concierge posted a seven pointer (Curse you Terry Bowden!) to claim the weekly award last week. This also places him back in the hunt for the regular season top spot as the top four are forming an interesting bunch for the homestretch.
Two pro games will be delayed due to uncertain QB situations. Green Bay may be starting Aaron Rodgers at Atlanta; Browns may be starting Alex Tanney against the Patriots.
Right, so we’ll post the lines here and in the scoreboard when that’s settled. Continue Reading »
Let’s deal with this subject before it gets done to death through over-saturation by the end of the week and with the knowledge that it has a good chance to be moot by this time next week:
Does undefeated Ohio State have a better claim to the BCS Championship game than the one-loss SEC Champion (for the sake of this discussion let’s use Auburn)?
In my opinion, no they do not.
There’s some faulty logic in use to support the case for the Buckeyes and it’s that logic I most want to address. The pro-OSU argument holds that the Bucks have won all their games and isn’t that what counts most?
Yes, should OSU beat MSU next week they will have won all their games in their league and so be best in their league.
NCAA Football is not the AL Central where you can look at the all-important-loss-column to determine who is winning. Put another way: if the winner of the NY-Penn League went undefeated, you wouldn’t say they’re a better team than the Detroit Tigers because wins are what count most would you? No, you would say, who have they played?
Unlike MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, etc., CFB has five or six other co-equal leagues playing the same sport and the quality of the sport varies from league to league. As result the champion of one league might be worse than middle of the pack teams in another league. For example, drop Minnesota (4-4 in conference) into C-USA and they go undefeated. Would the OSU fans back an undefeated C-USA Minny’s claim? Doubtful.
It happens that the NCAA acknowledges this league disparity and that is why some leagues’ champions automatically qualify for BCS bowls. But even within AQ leagues, the same principles apply: LSU was 5-3 in the SEC and would probably win any other league; SEC 3rd place finisher Alabama surely would.
In other words, no: going undefeated is not all that matters. What really matters is are you the best team nationally, now.
And since it cannot be settled on the field, other metrics get used. Evaluations on strength of conference and strength of schedule are valid for trying to connect these dots.
But my personal favorite evaluation criterion is the eye-ball test and that’s where OSU has a problem. My eyes just saw OSU give up SIX HUNDRED YARDS in their most important game in years to a four loss team. Then I watched Auburn hang 34 points on the undefeated top scoring defense in the country.
Thus, Auburn looks better than OSU to me.
It’s not like the soft OSU road performance was a fluke either. Here’s OSU’s road games: Cal (1-11), Northwestern (5-7), Purdue (1-11), Illinois (4-8), and now Michigan (7-5). Every road game not against a 1-11 team was a struggle. And Cal netted over 500 yards.
My point here is not that OSU is a bad team. They are a good team and two years of no losses is a remarkable accomplishment. My point is that record –any team’s record– is only one of several metrics to be used in identifying the two best teams who should play in the Championship. It’s not the only metric.
All-play point spread: Alabama -10.5 at Auburn; 330pm Saturday on CBS.
We’ve been looking forward to this for at least a month. Auburn-Alabama at Auburn. #1 vs. #4. Gus Malzahn’s offense vs. Kirby Smart’s defense. Or maybe more interesting, Ellis Johnson’s defense vs. the Saban/Nussmeier offense. (Actually that’s quite a bit less interesting but you never know.) Yeldon, McCarren, Moseley, Kouandjio, Drake, and Ha-Ha vs. Marshall, Mason, Ford, and Casanova.
It also took one of the greater acts of God to give this game its magnitude.
Overlooked in the pre-game build-up is that this is also a battle of the #2 vs. #3 best college fight songs as determined by an authoritative source.
That’s “Yea Alabama” at #3;
And sleeper terrific “War Eagle” at #2.
So of course we’re going to Jordan-Hare this Saturday for our all-play. Current line is Bama -10.5 at Auburn, 330pm Saturday. Will post the official Cheddar line tomorrow AM.
Nice work DQuatts, but ChuckKoz drinks your milkshake.
Congrats to DQuatts on his Admiral’s Feast, the only miss being a push in the Dolphins/Panthers game. In the first two weeks of our weeklies that would have been a winner but instead Cheddar veteran, CHUCKKOZ scored his first ever Lobsterfest. Sorry Quatts but good week. I know Chuck has been playing Cheddar at least since I started and may be a charter member. He didn’t go there last week, but know that Chuck is SoCal based and has been making hay in the Pac-12 all year. (13-7 in PACtion with only a brief hiccup on a UCLA essay.)
Did anyone find it beyond strange that the Toledo Rockets trotted out their pink breast cancer uniforms last night? That’s 21 days past Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the ostensible reason for the wretched excess of form over substance that the uniform game has turned into. The shpiel here was that the game jerseys would be auctioned off and something winds up going to something something something.
But hey, it’s all
FOR THE CURE Power in Pink so I thought I’d take a look-see on how that auction was working out.
Not so good really. I count 97 jerseys and bids totaling ~$8400. That’s an average bid of $86. Since regular game jerseys price out at $78 and these are custom, ,,, well it’s hard to see what if anything if going to Komen. Or whatever charity it’s supposed to go to.
And that got me thinking. So many questions:
- What charity exactly? //University of Toledo Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center designated for Breast Cancer research and awareness.
- Just what percent of the proceeds go to a charity?
- Is the charitable contribution based on a per jersey basis? E.g., Kareem Hunt has a bid for $500.
- Will the delta between cost and bid go to charity?
- Or will it be used to offset the cost of the [current count] 40 no bid jerseys?
- What happens to the jerseys that go unsold? Given away? To whom? Who decides?
- What about helmets? Pants? Socks? Shoes? Are they being auctioned? Or were they purchased for one-time use on national television thus mainly promotional both for UT and UA?
- Did Under Armour donate any of this?
- Or was it just a purchase of additional Under Armour gear above and beyond the original Under Armour gear purchase?
- How much did last night’s uniforms cost?
- Who is bidding on these jerseys?
- How many bidders are players’ parents?
- Or players themselves?
- Who’s name is on the back of the jerseys? In many cases UT has multiple players listed with the same number… how do I know who wore the jersey? //No names are on the back of the jerseys.
- What’s up with #64? There’s no player on the roster with that number, but it’s currently bid at $400, the second highest bid.
- There are six jerseys with no player associated with the number. Are non-game-worn jerseys being sold?
And how do Greg Mancz and Jayrone Elliott jerseys go un bid upon?
And if the bidder “TPAIN” on the #43 Trent Voss jersey isn’t indeed Trent Voss, I’ll eat my new winter beanie.
[I have a call into UT Marketing, will update if/when they call back.]
Toledo lost, who won?
Toledo played like crap last night. Four turnovers. Lost their biggest game of the year at home and on national TV. UA puts it all into perspective for here on their Facebook page, though:
Ok, so compared to death and mastectomies last night’s game was inconsequential. I have to wonder if that was a line from Matt Campbell’s pre-game speech because DAMN. Continue Reading »
All-play: Broncos -2.5 at Pats; Sunday 8:30.
Alternate title: CB#13, The Salty Edition.
If this feeling seems familiar that’s because it is. I don’t mean in a landmark devastating “Drive/Fumble/RR88″ way. I mean in an “it happens three times a year to Cleveland fans, that moment when you snap back into the reality of your teams’ national irrelevance.” The Indians… remember August 5th? Just three games back heading into a four game homestand against the Tigers? Great pitching from Kluber, 2-0 shutout going into the ninth?
And then Cleveland sports poops on you.
We could give the Chris Perez Neck Beard Award to the last Sunday’s Browns’ special teams en masse, but if you had to vote for just one player: it’s hard to look past ersatz elite QB, Jason Campbell. Christ, talk about regressing to the mean. THROW ANOTHER THREE YARD CHECKDOWN SWING PASS TO THE RB IN THE LEFT FLAT WHY DONCHA??
Like I said. Salty.
Because we should know better. We as a group clearly don’t: 37 picked the Browns (four essays), ten on the Bengals.
And then there’s the not salty. Continue Reading »
This was going to be a simple comment inside the Cheddar thread and it morphed into a mini-post. Here’s what I’m looking at in today’s Browns/Bengals game.
- I am trying very hard not to be influenced by my fandom nor current 32-8 Cheddar lean to the Browns on this pick. The second is easy since the public is 63% with the Bengals. The former, I just need to own.
- I’m also on record as loving what the Bengals have built in terms of a big/tall/physical secondary; freakishly long edge rusher; Zimmer-run no-frills 4-3 with baller linebackers not combine freaks. The depth at WR and TE is great; the o-line is sound. Need to take this bias out of the mix too.
So let’s do a quick/dirty review of Kanick’s takes for today’s effective playoff game for the Brownies.
Matchups go like this:
Horton >>> Gruden.
Zimmer > Turner.
Green > Haden.
Jones/Sanu > Skrine.
Eifert/Gresham >>> Browns’ seam.
Browns’ front > Cincy Oline.
Gio Bernard + Law firm >> Browns LBs.
Browns’ health >>> Bengals’ Atkins, Hall, Zeitler, Crocker, Maualuga out; Gresham and Cook are hurt. Browns get Pinkston back.
Chud > Marvin.
But the two factors that have me leaning Browns are:
1. Browns run game better with Pinkston.
I know Chud says he’s not starting but that might be coach B.S. Pinkston is active. Lauvao has been a bag of suck (as Kanick correctly identified pre-season). His run block rates out horribly; it’s hard not to think that being anchored next to Lauvao has cause the regression of Schwartz. Lack of run game is a major limiting factor for the Browns. Adding a decent guard and dropping a crap guard will help.
2. Kevin “26-starts-in-a-row” Zeitler, out.
That’s one reliable draft pick the Bengals got in Wisconsin’s Kevin Zeitler. He’s out, who takes his place. Depth chart shows fifth round rookie from Kansas, Tanner Hawkinson as Zeitler’s backup. But Hawkinson is out too. Whoever lines up will be looking at the best/deepest/toughest and becoming meannest interior d-line in the NFL. Taylor-Rubin-Hughes-Bryant-Bryant-Winn. Who’s better?
This will affect… Continue Reading »
Allplay: Browns +5.5 at Bengals, 1pm Sunday, CBS.
Of course the All Play is Browns-Bengals this week. Lookit. I know some of you don’t see Browns-Bengals as game of the week and a lot of you don’t want to be forced to bet on or against your rooting team. I hear you. BUT. This really is the biggest Browns game since that game in Cincy in 2007. (The DA 4 int game; yeah that one; you remember it.) So just want you to know you’re being heard, but there’s no dodging Browns/Bengals this week.
Congratulations to our first weekly winner, CLEinMPLS. Brad is a case study in why we have weekly awards at the end of the year; a case study in Cheddar actually. Guy picked at ~60% through the season last year. THREE LOBSTERFESTS. Was runner-up in the playoffs. This year… not so much. And that is how it goes. I could pick out a half dozen players this year who have changed significantly from last year and in both directions. So way to go Brad.
MAC Specialists among us.
When this season started, I wanted to be The Mountain West guy. Learn that conference and kill that conference. Doesn’t have to be college, you could pick an NFL conference or division. Just own one little section of football betting and make it your well spring of dollars. Welp, my MWC experiment didn’t pan out but that doesn’t mean some among us aren’t capitalizing on specialization.
If you haven’t noticed, November is mid-week #MACtion month. I noticed some “regulars” hopping on the Tuesday/Wednesday MAC games and it got me thinking whether we have specialists among us. Just a real quick look-see revealed that these guys are doing good business with the MAC (weighted records):
- CapGG, 17-9-1 (2-2 on essays);
- FlyHighCharlieFrye, 21-8 (5-1);
- Grand Rapids Rustlers, 15-3-1 (3-0-1).
But the current KING OF ALL MACTION is:
- Martin Rickman, 11-0 (1-0). Continue Reading »
My CheddarBay essay is bit more graphical than DISQUS likes so posting here.
***@Bama -11.5 LSU
“God has made us for civilizing the world. Woe and death to all who resist my will.”
Haha, just kidding that was Kaiser Wilhelm II. But we are under a 4 TD spread at Tuscaloosa, thus Bama covers. The line is about two touchdowns so they cover by three. If it were four they’d cover by four or five. Continue Reading »
Friend of the site –and notable UT alumnus– rodofdisaster was kind enough to write up a piece on recent Browns RB signing, Fozzy Whittaker. There’s more to his story than I knew. Take it away, Rod.
Nearly two years ago, Fozzy Whittaker lay on the field in agony having sustained the third knee injury of his collegiate career. After tearing the medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee, Whittaker’s college career was over. It was the same knee that he injured in 2008 as a redshirt freshman keeping him out of five games that year and three the following year.
It wasn’t that there wasn’t another running back to shoulder the load. Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown could certainly take the carries. It was the character and the leadership that the senior provided that could not easily be replaced. The sixth-leading career rusher in the Texas 5A high school history saw his star-crossed career come to a close on the turf at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri. He never rushed for 400 yards in any season. He never fulfilled the promise of the recruiting hype.
That did not stop future NFL players Kenny Vaccaro (New Orleans) and Marquise Goodwin (Buffalo) from honoring Whittaker by donning his number 2 in remaining contests that year. Whittaker was without a tear. His teammates were without a dry eye.
Fozzy Whittaker showed us enough in his senior year to demonstrate what kind of leader he can be. Down 27-3 against Oklahoma, he promptly took the kickoff and burst 100 yards to a touchdown with the same “refuse-to-quit” attitude that he has conquered every hurdle with. His 2011 highlights are littered with plays where he keeps going after contact refusing to allow the first defender to bring him down.