Saturday, November 23, 2013

Benster and D Pick Your Games -- Double Border Battle Edition

So old dude, I'm finally an adult. Time to break out this tune:

Except there's one difference between me and Alice Cooper. I know what I want, which is to dominate. And unleash the HYYYYYYPPPPPE!

So subtlety didn't arrive with maturity, then?

When am I ever subtle? I mean, have you been paying attention? Seriously, I am not subtle. It is not in my nature. I am, however, quite good at picking football games. So without any subtlety at all, watch me work!

Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (-16.5) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers. So let's think about this for a second, especially the line from the boys in Vegas. I see two messages in this line -- first, they aren't buying what the Gophers have done in recent weeks, and two, they are giving the BCS a bit of a rebuke for keeping the Badgers outside of the top 14 teams in the country. If the Badgers are a road favorite by more than two touchdowns against an 8-2 opponent, someone, maybe a lot of someones, are saying that the coaches poll and the various competing polls and computers and whatnot need a little reprogramming. That being said, this is a game that the Gophers have been looking forward to and this is the biggest game the Gophers have played since the Michigan game in 2003, where they blew a huge lead in a bizarre game. While the Gophers may be a good outfit, they are about to play one of the big boys. The Badgers have been storming ever since the close loss in Columbus and the blatant screw-up in Tempe. Be afraid, Minnesota, be very afraid. Badgers 42, Gophers 20.

I think you're spot on, young fella. Vegas is telling us something here. Most people who aren't paying attention might not realize it, but this might be the best Badger team of the last five, which is saying something when you realize they have been in Pasadena the last three seasons. The difference with this bunch is that they play very good defense. They may not make the BCS, but they're going to make a statement in January, someplace in Florida most likely. And while the Gophers are improving, this is a significant step up in class for them. Badgers 38, Gophers 13.

Chattanooga Choo-Choos (NL) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide. Pardon me boys, time for another song:

You might be asking yourself, why in the world would I pick this crappy game, in which the Crimson Tide again demonstrate their strength of schedule by playing one of the best teams in the country, the University of Chattanooga Mocs. That's a great name for them, because I'm about to unleash a boatload of mockery on this one. Seriously, why the heck would you play a team that is coming off a loss to Samford, which I believe was an old 70s comedy show starring Redd Foxx:

If you're an Alabama fan, how can you not be hanging your head in shame? Why are you playing down, way down, at this point in the season? I get you had to play a conference game early, but you could find a decent independent if you're looking for a bye week game. Maybe you could have played BYU, which would have been a good test? Or maybe Notre Dame, which would have been a lot of fun, especially if you would have been wiling to travel to Notre Dame. As it happens, BYU is playing Notre Dame this week. But no, the Tide is playing frickin' Chattanooga. C'mon, man! I cannot believe that nobody is calling them on this! Well, I am! And if this was a Big Ten team doing this, there'd be howls of outrage ringing across the land. But St. Nick Saban gets a pass, because he's jolly old St. Nick. My butt. Yo, Saban -- what are you afraid of? Why don't you come up to Madison, or Columbus, or East Lansing? You might remember East Lansing a little, but that was before you were a genius or something. And you know what? You didn't win your national title two years ago, you backed in. And I do hope your prospective victory parade this year makes a point of going through Chattanooga and saying thank you for a free win. Alabama 28, Chattanooga 0.

That was a good rant! Hard to argue with any of it. This is a distasteful practice that a lot of SEC schools use and it's a joke. Alabama 49, Chattanooga 0.

Minnesota Vikings (+4) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. Meanwhile, back at Lambeau, things are getting desperate. Thankfully for the wounded Packers, a giant purple bowl of chicken soup is about to be served. The Vikings are, well, not very good this year. They've shown some flashes of brilliance, but on the whole they have looked pretty awful and might even lose to Irondale. Well, maybe not Irondale, but you know what I mean. I'm sure they'd give Chattanooga a good game, at least. Anyway, the Packers once again go to battle with Scott Tolzien at the helm, who despite some turnovers has given the Packers a chance. I would think that Tolzien is going to need some help from the defense, which has really been the problem the last three weeks. There's a decent chance that Adrian Peterson won't play, or would be seriously limited in this game. Meanwhile, Christian Ponder is a train wreck and I'm surprised that Josh Freeman is not getting a chance at this point. It's not as though Ponder has anything left to prove. He's proven something, all right -- he's the poor man's Gus Frerotte. Packers 27, Vikings 21.

It's pretty simple here -- if the Packers lose this one, the season is over. If they win, they could survive a likely loss to the Lions on Thanksgiving Day and still have a chance for Rodgers to come back for the last four highly winnable games. Can Tolzien make enough plays to win against a horrible Vikings secondary? Yeah, I think so. Packers 31, Vikings 23.

Bear Down Chicago da Bearz (+1) vs. St. Louis Rams. Okay, so this is an interesting game. Da Bearz are again turning to Josh McCown, because Jay Cutler has now injured his groin, his ankle, his hamstring, his patellar tendon, his calf and perhaps the third toe on his foot. Some of those injuries might not actually be true, but it sure seems like that. Actually, the old dude and I feel sorry for Cutler, because he is a tough guy and he's been getting his butt kicked ever since he's been in Chicago. The irony of it is that he's been hurt so much and now, just as the Bears have finally improved their offensive line, his understudy is the one who is benefiting from the improved protection. McCown has been very, very good, and he has been getting help from his teammates. This is a dangerous game for da Bearz, though. The Rams may not look so hot on paper, but they play pretty good defense and they are now figuring out how to use Tayvon Austin, who could be the next Devin Hester, Percy Harvin, Randall Cobb and Wes Welker, all rolled up into one. He's an amazingly dynamic athlete and he's going to be a lot of fun to watch, if he doesn't get killed by some rogue linebacker. Rams 31, da Bearz 24.

Actually, I agree with you, but I have to pick one game differently, so let's play a hunch. Bears 27, Rams 24.

Time for a closing thought. A lot of music in this post, but that was nothing compared to what happened across the pond today. My beloved Everton squad drew 3-3 with hated Liverpool in what was a highly entertaining match at Fortress Goodison. So one more video:

Ben out!

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