Lots of fanbases have been freaking out after a loss early in the year. What gives?
They worry. And in the case of a certain professional team we like in this feature, we fear creeping Randy Wrightism. But what's that industrial sound I hear in the background, young fella?
That sound you hear is me sharpening an axe, and I'm not doing it for show. I've got some words for some people, but that will have to wait until the end.
Uh-oh. This could get ugly.
You have no idea. But chill out, Geritol Fan, we have some games to pick. Until that time, I am feeling the HYYYYYYYPPPEEE, and it is time to watch me work.
Minnesota Golden Elite Rowers of the Boat (+2.5) vs. Colorado Buffaloes The Gophers last week ended up winning despite letting Miami of Ohio sneak back in the second half. Colorado is going to be a more difficult game. The Buffs can play some defense, and the altitude at Boulder will present a challenge that Big Ten teams aren't accustomed to. P.J. wasn't happy after last week. I can see why. One word of warning, Gopher fans. Karl Dorrell can coach, even though his record isn't great. His teams are always well-prepared, and they can equalize any talent differential. They also seem to have figured out how to recruit in the Pac 12. Ask Texas A&M, who narrowly survived at Mile High last week. Buffs 21, Row Row Row Your Boat Elitely 10.
It's a tough place to play even if the Buffaloes are down. Gophers have their hands full here. Colorado 24, Minnesota 21.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (+22.5) vs. Oklahoma Sooners If this games doesn't get you amped up, then something is wrong. 50 years after the Game of the Century, a new generation of Sooners and Cornhuskers will battle in Norman. By the way, why is this game an early game? Thanks a lot, Fox. Crap like this is partly why the Sooners and Longhorns are joining up with the SEC. Oklahoma is the early favorite to win the Big 12, while Scott Frost is trying to save a Nebraska program that clearly is a long way off from the 1990s. Tom Osborne ain't coming through that door, and neither are the 1990s Cornhusker teams. However, this game might be closer than you think. Oklahoma usually has one inexplicable loss per season, and Spencer Rattler doesn't impress me at quarterback. He struggled against Tulane, and looks to be all hat and no cattle. I still think Oklahoma wins, but I would bet on Nebraska to cover. Jack Mildren 31, Johnny Rodgers 21.
I see it going the other way. Nebraska is not good. This could be really ugly. Oklahoma 45, Nebraska 14.
Auburn War Eagle/Tigers (+5) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions I criticize the SEC for a lot of things on here. I hate that conference, and especially hate SEC shills like Paul Finebaum and Clay Travis. However, I must give credit where credit is due. Major props to Auburn for being willing to play Penn State in Beaver Stadium, and being willing to brave the Whiteout. I'm glad to see SEC schools willing to play games outside the South against tough opponents. When you combine that with the national title game being played in Indy, teams don't have to go to the West and South for all the big games as much. The Big Ten needs this one badly, especially after what happened last week to A School in Columbus in the Horseshoe against Oregon. I'm not a conference pride guy at all, but Oregon winning has made the Pac 12 playoff contenders, and that has been repeated by the college football media, and not just by Pac 12 journalists. This game is a measuring stick, and I think Penn State can win. They had the big win against my beloved Badgers, and they should be more physical at the line of scrimmage. Look for the Whiteout crowd at night to lift the Lions to a huge win. Ecstatic Valley 50, War Eagle 14.
Penn State has a lot of talent -- that has been obvious. My impression is this is a middling Auburn team and so picking the Nittany Lions makes sense here. Penn State 31, Auburn 19.
Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals The Vikings put up a great comeback against the Bengals, but ended up losing in overtime. Everyone around here is complaining about the Dalvin fumble, but that wasn't what doomed them. The Vikings had too many offensive penalties, and seemingly couldn't get lined up properly at times. Can someone explain to me how you let a guy get open on the 4th down in overtime to set up the game winning field goal for the Bengals? Arizona had probably the most impressive win in the league last week, as they looked great in the early game window against the Titans. This version of the Cardinals is probably going to be a playoff contender, and the Vikings are going to have to play better defense. The Vikings can ill afford to go 0-2 to start the year. One thing to keep in mind, there will be a good amount of Purple in the stands in Glendale. But it won't be enough. Raising Arizona 35, Vikings 31.
I have the sneaking suspicion the Vikings aren't that good, but in their division they may not have to be. But this looks like a tall order. Cardinals 38, Vikings 24.
Detroit LOLions (+11.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers Last week was a horrible game for the Packers, where they got flat-out blitzed by the Saints. And predictably, the conspiracy theories about 12 wanting to tank the season on purpose were making the rounds. Look, I expect the disrespect from the Vikings approved KFAN types, Skip Brainless, and Mike Florio, who clearly lets his hatred of the Packers influence his reporting and his website. But even some reliable NFL experts were arguing that. Look, it was one game. Yes, we looked bad, but we're onto Detroit. The LOLions don't look good, and something tells me we are going to see 12 have one of his games that shuts up the haters. Remember, R-E-L-A-X. Relax. They are going to be fine, and the season is far from over. Packers 41, LOLions 3.
I think the Packers play well, but if you come out flat for the first game of the season, that portends problems. I did not like what I saw last Sunday at all. Packers 34, Lions 23.
And now, it's time for A Very Special Comment.
Do you want some music?
Uh, thanks? I touched on this with the Packers, but it seems like some spoiled fanbases are freaking out over one game early in the season. Ohio State fans want people fired after what happened to Oregon! Ryan Day has only lost 3 games so far in his career. In the last 20 years, Ohio State has won a bunch of Big Ten titles, lots of big bowl games, and 2 national titles. Only a handful of teams wouldn't sign up for that. Packers fans are freaking out after what happened in Florida, and I was frustrated on Sunday. But you know what, I remembered that we have been fortunate to be consistently elite for my entire lifetime, and that we should savor how lucky we are. Look, I get that football is a week to week thing, and losses are going to happen from time to time. It's only week 3 in college, and week 2 in the NFL. Just calm the heck down. It's very hard to win every game, and even the best teams of all time struggle. Nobody is handing out bowl bids and playoff berths this week. Just calm down, support your teams, and remember that it's just a game. Ben out.