WEEK 10--The Skinny
(Last Week: 3-3; Overall: 33-21)
The Skin finally entered the 21st century this week. With the help of the good folks at Apple, Skin is now fully equipped with the newest technology. The newest MacBook and iPhone (first music downloads: Kayne West’s ‘Homecoming” and, of course, "Boomer Sooner") have Skin feeling like he has entered a new age of enlightenment. A higher level of existence, if you will. Now let’s see if the new, enlightened Skin can bring you even more winners.
Advice of the Week: I am assuming you are reading this column because you enjoy gambling on a game now and then. My experience is that most gamblers like to dabble in the stock market. While you’re probably safer letting it all ride on black these days, the Skin is here to offer you a can’t miss stock pick, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS). I hate giving money to these arrogant douches--they are the Notre Dame of the financial world. Still, this stock represents great value. If you won’t take my word for it, take it from the Oracle of Omaha. Mr. Buffet purchased shares of GS a month go for $40 less than it is trading today. I know the analysts fear Goldman is on the wrong end of a credit-swap with Chrysler, but if this is true, it will only hold the stock down for a short time.
Bonus Advice: Don’t buy the iPhone. What the obviously over-excited salesmen don’t tell you is that many of the phones often freeze. If your phone actually works, don’t depend on it for reception. If that is not enough for you, typing sucks, and the sound for your music is awful.
Missouri (-21) at Baylor
I will say it again--Mizzou was overrated to start the season. Chase Daniel and the Tigers have yet to beat a good team, but they excel against the Nevadas and Iowa States of the world. As I have said all year, Baylor is much improved under Art Briles and Griffin III will eventually be an all-conference quarterback. They‘re no match for the Tigers this year. This game is easy. Mizzou will put up 60, and the defense will be good enough to keep the Bears in the 20s.
Skinny Says: Mizzou… Lock it up!
Tennessee at South Carolina (-6)
Against my better judgment, I went with Tennessee last week on a hunch. The Skin paid for it, 100 times over. Tennessee is a bad team, especially on offense, with a lame duck coach. That’s the perfect recipe for a 3-8 season.
The Vols head to Columbia this week to face Coach Tee Time and the Gamecocks. Redskin fans may not have liked Superier’s affinity for golf, but he can still coach the college game. The Gamecocks have one of the best defenses in the country, giving up a mere 250 yards and 15 points per game. Spurrier’s offense is far cry from the touchdown-making machines he employed at Florida. The offense has improved under Smelley, but the Cocks’ run game is still bad.
The Skin Says: South Carolina wins on the strength of its defense.
Georgia vs. Florida (-6.5)
Skin admits he has never been to the World’s Largest Cocktail Party. This game just doesn’t seem to measure up to the Red River Rivalry. I know I am biased, but this contest doesn’t seem to have the passion and tradition of the game played in the Cotton Bowl.
The matchup on the field won’t be as exciting as this year’s Red River game, either. Florida is one of a handful of teams in Skin’s running for best team in the country. Georgia, on the other hand, doesn’t make the cut. Moreno and Stafford are symbolic of Georgia’s team--really good players, but not top-five players at their positions.
Skin Alert: Don’t buy into the idea that Florida will be motivated by Georgia’s infamous end zone celebration! That was last year. The players are over it, and you should be, too. The real motivation here is to remain in the national title hunt, which should motivate both teams.
The Skinny Says: Florida, the better team, wins in this game.
Pitt at Notre Dame (-5.5)
Skin has been riding the ND bandwagon pretty hard this season, and I see no reason to stop this weekend.
Skin hates Charlie Weis. His waistline is the only thing bigger than his ego. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). Anyway, the Irish have a nice squad this year. They finally have playmakers on offense, Clausen is developing as a quaterback and the ND defense is deceptively good.
Pittsburgh remains really inconsistent this season, although they have been more bad than good this year, with losses to Bowling Green and Rutgers. At 2-6, the Panthers have been even worse against the spread.
Skin Says: ND wins by two touchdowns at home.
Lee Greenwood Special: Temple at Navy (-6.5)
In the words of one of Skin’s idols, don’t call it a comeback, but Skin has won the LGS two weeks in a row. With this matchup, Skin’s primed to make it three weeks in a row. I like the way Navy is playing. The offensive attack has caused problems for opposing defenses all season, and Shun White is one of the better players you’ve never heard of. You know you’re bad when the TV crew has to resort to showing clips of your washed-up comedian alumnus.
The Skinny Says: Navy wins big at home.
(Last Week: 1-5; Overall: 35-19)
Ah, the comforts of home.
All looked lost last week, as Homerism stood at 0-5 at the end of the day on Saturday. And it wasn't like I was just missing on some of my calls: SMU drilled by Navy. KU smoked by Texas Tech. Iowa State rolled by Texas A&M. Favored Pittsburgh trounced by Rutgers. San Jose State socked by Boise.
The only thing standing between Homerism and an embarrassing bagel was the team from my hometown, the high-scoring Golden Hurricane. With Tulsa favored by 23.5 over conference rival Central Florida, I had the sinking feeling this was going to turn into a tighter-than-expected 14-point win for the 8th Street boys. It just made sense, given the way the week had gone.
No surprise, then, that UCF was up 19-14 at the half. Somehow, some way, though, TU coach Todd Graham ws able to light a fire under the 'Cane at the break, as his squad came out smoking in the third stanza. Graham and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn kept the hammer down all the way until the end, scoring a TD for the cover with less than two minutes left in the game.
Yes, these are the small moments that make the difference between 1-5 and 0-6. Drink it in.
Florida (-6.5) at Georgia
Not sure if you heard, but Georgia pulled some mass celebration stunt in last year's big win over Florida. The Gators are angry. Urban Meyer is vowing revenge.
Who cares? Florida doesn't need some contrived motivational ploy here. The Gators are looking strong to quite strong at the moment. Florida's defense is allowing a paltry 12 points per game this season. The Gators just aren't giving up much yardage, and that's bad news for a Georgia team that has struggled to score at times this year.
By the way, if you happened to watch last week's LSU-Georgia game, were you as uncomfortable as I was listening to CBS analyst Gary Danielson talk about Matthew Stafford? It sounded like he was going to need a smoke after the game was over.
Homerism Says: Florida, 33-20.
Arkansas State (+23.5) at Alabama
If you're Nick Saban, are you more interested in:
A.) Sticking it to the ungrateful LSU fans who have badmouthed your national championship-winning ass since you skipped town for the Dolphins (a team whose fans actually do have a right to kick dirt on your name);
B.) Beating the Indians, er, Red Wolves by more than 23 points.
If you've been watching the Tide at all this year, you know the answer. Slick Nick has had his team laser-focused on the big games all season, treating match-ups versus the Tulanes and Mississippis with about as much interest as he has in his kids. The game plan here will be to get a comfortable lead early and then prop up the feet in the second half.
Homerism Says: Bama, 28-7.
San Jose State at Idaho (+16.5)
"But, Homerism," you say, "Idaho stinks."
Well, first of all, I'm surprised you know anything about Idaho. Second of all, you're right. Third of all, it doesn't matter.
I suspect SJSU kinda stinks, too. Keep in mind that this is a team that barely squeaked by UC-Davis in the season opener. Like Homerism, the Spartans probably thought they had a shot to knock off undefeated Boise State at home last Friday night. Turns out, though, that they were completely outclassed by the Broncos. Had to be pretty disappointing. (At least it was for me.)
A trip to play the Vandals doesn't sound like any reason to get excited coming off that kind of loss. Idaho may be in for a letdown after getting the straight up win last week, and SJSU could see this as its best shot to get bowl-eligible. I'm going to set that aside and make this pick more going against the Spartans than favoring Idaho.
Homerism Says: Vandals cover.
TCU at UNLV (+14)
The Runnin' Rebels don't have much to show for it, but they're not a bad team. UNLV comes into this game at 3-5, having lost four straight. The last two games of that stretch, however, were a one-point loss to Air Force and a last-minute loss at BYU.
Homerism suspects TCU is the best mid-major in the country. Having already waxed BYU, the Horned Frogs will want to prove as much next week when they travel to Utah for a Thursday night game. In other words, TCU will be looking ahead.