Before we even started? That's bad, even for us. What happened?
We neglected to pick the Bearz game. How will Gino cope? And what about all the fair citizens of the Chicagoland area who depend on our utterly biased opinions on such things?
Maybe we can play some Chicago songs:
I don't think that will make Gino feel any better, but I do appreciate the hippy marching band outfits. Very nice -- you were dressed like that in '73, I assume?
Thankfully, there's very little photographic evidence of that time time period available.
Well, that's probably a good thing. Meanwhile, let's turn our attention some football! Watch me work!
Big Ten Championship -- Beloved Wisconsin Badgers (-4) vs. The Ohio State University Buckeyes, in Indianapolis. The Badgers return to Indy, where last time they whooped Nebraska but good, 70-31, in the Big Ten Championship game, causing Gus Johnson to go absolutely berserk several times. Ohio State lost to Sparty last year, so they want to grab the ring. The problem they have is that they are down to their third string quarterback, someone named Cardale Jones. We haven't seen much of Cardale Jones, but he must be good, because he plays for The Ohio State University. Just ask them! You know my feelings about the Buckeyes; yeah, I don't like 'em very much. I would very much like to see the Badgers win this game and they are well equipped to do so. Urban Meyer has to remember that last year he dared Wisconsin to pass the ball. That almost bit him in the butt. I'm not sure the Buckeyes can hold up to the rushing attack of Melvin Gordon. Can Cardale Jones score enough points to win the game against the best defense in the Big Ten? I don't think so. Wisconsin 38, Ohio State 35.
Everything seems to point to a Badger win, which makes me nervous. The Gophers beat up Bucky a little bit last week and Gordon did sprain his ankle late in the game. All reports say he's fine, but you have to wonder a little bit. The Buckeyes were pretty explosive with J. T. Barrett at the helm and while there will be some dropoff, I don't think it's going to be as much as the Badgers might hope. The Buckeyes could sneak into the playoff if they can win. That's a pretty powerful incentive. So while I hate to do this and hope I'm wrong, I'm picking the Buckeyes. OSU 34, Badgers 28.
Old dude, really? I think you need to cheer up. Maybe it's time for another Chicago song:
Okay. So, is Urban Meyer paying you?
No, but I'd not turn down a few donations from him if he were so inclined.
Glad to see that your price is negotiable. Time to move on.
SEC Championship -- Missouri Tigers (+14.5) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide, in Atlanta. Time for the Night Writer's squad to represent! The SEC this year has been brutal -- a lot of evenly matched teams beating the heck out of each other all season long. Somehow Mizzou was able to avoid the carnage and finds itself in Atlanta for the second straight year, this time against Alabama. You figure that Alabama has got this. Vegas sure seems to think so. Not exactly, I say. Alabama has been shaky this year and needed some late game magic to pull out victories, especially at LSU. I figure that, either way, Alabama probably has a ticket to the playoff. Mizzou would like to get in a better bowl game, and often when a team has nothing to lose, they have plenty to gain. Night Writer, this one's for you. Mizzou 56, Tide Rolled 17.
Did you happen to notice that Mizzou lost to Indiana earlier this year? Thought I'd mention that. Mizzou is doing surprisingly well in the SEC, but Alabama has big game in their sights. It should be fun, but I like the favorite here. Alabama 34, Mizzou 24.
New York J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS (+6) vs. Minnesota Vikings. So Percy Harvin's coming back to town, but this time he's playing for the Jets. The Jets? Have you seen the Jets recently? I'd post a video, but it would be totally NSFW. They bring the fail. And the Vikings do not bring the fail. Things are looking up in Minnesota; while they have some things to figure out, the Vikings have played well lately. This is their third straight home game and against a very bad team, I would expect that the Vikings will continue to play well. Vikings 31, Jets 0.
Percy won't even get a sniff of the end zone? Maybe. Seabiscuit is correct -- the Jets are a dumpster fire of a football team right now, but I think they can get ol' Percy in the end zone once. Vikings 20, Jets 10.
Hotlanta Falcons (+12.5) vs. Glorious Green Bay Packers. Another game at Lambeau. Last week, the Packers held off the New England Patriots in what was a pretty epic football game. Now comes the Falcons, who are improving but aren't very good. The Packers have been routing lesser teams in Lambeau all season long. They've even routed a good team, the Eagles. Can Atlanta win, when they have the worst defense in the league against the pass? That doesn't sound very promising. I would look for ESPN executives to bemoan people tuning out another rout by halftime. But I'll watch the whole thing. You bet I will. Packers 63, Falcons 21.
The Packers could score 63 against Atlanta. I don't think they will, but they'll win comfortably. What I want to see is how they do against Atlanta's very good wide receivers. If they can slow down Julio Jones and Roddy White, look out. Packers 42, Falcons 24.
Again, I want to apologize to Gino for not picking the Bears. But we'll make it up to you someday; likely we will before Marc Trestman ever does. Ben out!