Saturday, September 16, 2006

They're calling today "Separation Saturday" 

But, as I see it, of the seven intra top 25 showdowns in college football this afternoon, only two of them have serious national title implications: LSU v Auburn and Michigan v Notre Dame. Let it not be said that the other games simply don't matter -- on the contrary, they're all good contests -- but in terms of January, these are the two that really matter. I don't think there's much doubt among anyone outside of Lincoln that USC will stomp Nebraska. Florida v Tennessee will be good, as always, but I don't think either team has the quality to pip Auburn (or LSU, for that matter). Miami's season was already struck down after losing to FSU in week one and I don't believe that Louisville has a real chance at the national title -- not with a Big East schedule hampering them. Texas Tech v TCU? Puh-lease. Oklahoma v Oregon is intriguing, but again, I don't think either have much chance at the nat'l title game. The Ducks do have an outside shot at the Pac Ten crown, though, but it means winning AT USC later this season.

In summation, I'm taking:
Notre Dame (much to my own chagrin)

Week 2 of the NFL is set to go. Went a middling 10-6 in my picks last week. Things look a little clearer for round 2, but there's always concern that a team's initial performance for the season may just have been a fluke. Two instances where I don't think that's the case: Baltimore v Oakland and San Diego v Tennessee. The Raiders couldn't have looked like a worse football team on Monday night. It's the kind of dreadful performance that has nightmarish visions of 2-14 dancing in your head. Baltimore looked excellent in their opener and I'm content to ride a healthy Steve McNair and that Ravens defense against my out-manned, underprepared favorite team. Similarly, there's no way in hell I'm picking against San Diego at home with Shawn Merriman and Luis Castillo licking their chops ahead of the Titans rotation of crappy QBs. I like Miami in a tough one over Buffalo. Minnesota continues their unlikely good start against dinged Carolina. Picking the Saints on the road? Yes, they're playing a pitiful Green Bay team. Speaking of the Pack, they're betters in week one, Chicago, will show that Detroit's promising start -- albeit in defeat to Seattle -- will be somewhat of a fluke. I like the Bears to prevail against Shaun Rodgers & co. As for Seattle... possible upset victims against Arizona this weekend? Nah. Best game of the week is Giants vs Philly. I'll take NY in a minor upset. Other selections: Indy, Atlanta, Denver, St. Louis, Cincy, New England, Dallas on Sunday night, and you better believe that the Jacksonville Jaguars are for real. At home, they're pipping the Superbowl champion Steelers with a questionable Big Ben Motorcycle on Monday night.

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