Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Runway Challenge Week 5

Not much happened in the 24 hours since we left the Huskies, so it was a brief today. The mystery player with the ankle injury is still hurting. A decision will be made today. Edsall still doesn't want to reveal his identity.

Also, Zach Frazer is your backup QB this week. He's looked good in practice the past week and a half. Edsall said the concussion Zach suffered in the preseason may have posed more of a problem with his play than anything. "I told Rob (Ambrose) that he seems different now," Edsall said. "He's back to where he was before. He's more competitive, more feisty, more take-charge."

And few random thoughts before the picks.
  • Are the wild, champagne-soaked locker room celebrations for clinching a playoff spot truly necessary? You celebrate with champagne when you win a title. Sure, players should celebrate a little. Whoop it up with hugs and handshakes on the field. Drink a few extra beers in the clubhouse. Maybe Jonathan Paplebon can bake cupcakes. If you're the Rays, maybe champagne is OK considering what they accomplished and where they came from. But it's so phony and pre-meditated for teams like the Red Sox. They've known they were getting the wild card for a while, and it they underachieved as it stands. Take off the stupid underwater goggles, save the champagne for the real celebrations and act like you've been there before. And no, it isn't sour grapes. I felt the same way when the Yankees did it every year, too.

  • I didn't get misty-eyed watching the pre-game ceremony for the final game at Yankee Stadium, but I was pretty bummed out that the place is going to see the wrecking ball. It needed another overhaul, just wish they could have built it on the same site again. The place means a lot to so many people. I saw my first game there in 1978, when I was 6. Reggie hit one out, and even though it was the only run the Yanks scored that day (they lost to Wilbur Wood and the White Sox 6-1) the way the crowd roared for that shot was the most thrilling thing I'd ever experienced at the time. For weeks I had dreams about that homer, except in my dream I managed to walk to the area in front of the right-center field bleachers and get the ball for myself.

  • Anyone else amazed that Babe Ruth's daughter is still alive? Certainly didn't expect to see her throwing out the first pitch. Pretty cool.

  • My post from yesterday about the "unfair catch" got linked up to a bunch of places, and a few people emailed me with varying opinions. I saw the replay after I posted, and had to make an edit. UConn recovered on the 1, not in the end zone. However, there was no video review. The refs huddle for a second, make the decision, spot the ball, and play resumes.

  • I'm more surprised no one had any opinion on the Tyler Lorenzen/Tim Tebow comparison by Steve Kragthorpe.

On to the picks:

Game 1: Connecticut (+3.5) over LOUISVILLE - To be honest, I really don't know what to expect here (aside from the fact that 40,000 or so Cards fans will be making animated fair catch signals every time Jasper Howard catches a punt).

Game 2: WEST VIRGINIA (-14) over Marshall - Nice job on the buyout clause in Bill Stewart's new contract extension, West Virginia. Guess the 'Neers had so much fun with the Rich Rodriguez saga, they'd like to try it again, if possible.

Game 3: Pittsburgh (-15) over SYRACUSE - Syracuse AD Daryl Gross would like all you ungrateful, whining Orange football fans calling for G-Rob's head to know the men's lacrosse program is still a juggernaut. Oh, yeah! That's right! OK, Daryl. Everything's cool again. I'm sure you won't hear any more complaints.

Game 4: North Carolina (+8) over MIAMI - Tar Heels' quarterback is out. 'Canes will relax. Carolina will cover. It's almost too easy.

Game 5: Cincinnati (-10) over AKRON - Ben Mauk still locked in his bedroom, holding his breath, waiting for the NCAA to overturn its decision and allow him to play. Meanwhile, Tony Pike tossed for 314 yards and four TDs last week. Bearcats still dangerous.

Game 6: NOTRE DAME (-1) over Purdue - Why is it so hard for me to pick against Notre Dame?

Game 7: NEBRASKA (-7) over Virginia Tech - Hokies get exposed in corn country.

Game 8: GEORGIA (-6.5) over Alabama

Game 9: AUBURN (-6.5) over Tennessee

Game 10: MICHIGAN (+6.5) over Wisconsin

Game 11: NC STATE (+9) over South Florida - Great smack talk between the coaches this week. But USF's defensive coordinator shouldn't have preceded his great line by first saying how their program handles things with class by not talking about opposing programs. Just zing him. Hey, it's worked for Don Rickles for over 50 years!

Game 12: Illinois (+14.5) over PENN STATE

Results from last week

1. Gary 7-4-1

Caleb 7-4-1

Pete 7-4-1

Kevin 7-4-1

Den 7-4-1

6. Ian 6-5-1

Stretch 6-5-1

Vinny 6-5-1

Sammy 6-5-1

10. Chip 5-6-1

JZ 5-6-1

Dougo 5-6-1

Dan O 5-6-1

Sean O 5-6-1

15. Rich 4-7-1

16. UConnhuskies 86 2-9-1

Running standings (4 weeks)

1. Vinny from East Haven 24

2. Dougo 23
3. Rich 22
Kevin 22

5. Stretch 21

caleb mandranke 21

Pete 21

8. Chip 20

9. Ian 19

10. JZ 17

11. uconnhuskies86 16
Sammy 16

Den of stupidity 16

14. Dan O 15

15. will 13
16. Sean O 12

17. Gary 7

Get your picks in by clicking "comments" below.

22 Comments:

Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Game 1: Connecticut (+3.5) over LOUISVILLE
Game 2: WEST VIRGINIA (-14) over Marshall
Game 3: Pittsburgh (-15) over SYRACUSE
Game 4: North Carolina (+8) over MIAMI
Game 5: Cincinnati (-10) over AKRON
Game 6: NOTRE DAME (-1) over Purdue
Game 7: NEBRASKA (-7) over Virginia Tech
Game 8: GEORGIA (-6.5) over Alabama
Game 9: AUBURN (-6.5) over Tennessee
Game 10: MICHIGAN (+6.5) over Wisconsin
Game 11: NC STATE (+9) over South Florida
Game 12: Illinois (+14.5) over PENN STATE

September 24, 2008 1:11 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JZ's picks:

UCon
WVU
Pitt
Miami
Cincy
Purdue
Va Tech
Alabama
Auburn
Wisconsin
NC State
Illinos.

September 24, 2008 2:05 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Den is looking for back to back solid weeks. And I need them.....

UConn +3.5 - If for no other reason than to upset Vinny.
WVU -14 - Sooner or later, this team has to show up.
Pitt -15 - I'd be comfy laying 3 TD's in this one. Cuse is bad.
UNC +8 - Don't know if they'll win, but they should be able to cover the 8 in front of a couple hundred family and friends in Joe Robbie.
Cincy -10 - Zips killed Cuse by 2 scores. Not so lucky this week.
VA Tech +7 - I'll take the points.
Georgia -6.5 - SEC football is just awesome to watch.
Tennessee +6.5 - See above.
Wisconsin -6.5 - This one could get ugly.
USF -9 - Bulls can't be as bad as last week. NC St coming off an emotional win....back to earth this week.
Illinois +14.5 - There's only a handful of teams I'd be comfy with spotting the Illini over 2 TD's, and Penn St. ain't one of them.

September 24, 2008 2:40 PM 
Blogger strike it Rich! said...

Rich's Picks

Game 1: Connecticut
Game 2: WEST VIRGINIA
Game 3: Pittsburgh
Game 4: MIAMI
Game 5: Cincinnati
Game 6: NOTRE DAME
Game 7: Virginia Tech
Game 8: GEORGIA (-6.5) over Alabama
Game 9: AUBURN
Game 10: Wisconsin
Game 11: South Florida
Game 12: PENN STATE

September 24, 2008 2:41 PM 
Anonymous Sean O said...

I have to hit .500 one of these weeks...

Sean O's picks
Game 1: Connecticut
Game 2: WEST VIRGINIA
Game 3: SYRACUSE
Game 4: North Carolina
Game 5: Cincinnati
Game 6: NOTRE DAME
Game 7: Virginia Tech
Game 8: Alabama
Game 9: AUBURN
Game 10: Wisconsin
Game 11: South Florida
Game 12: PENN STATE

September 24, 2008 2:41 PM 
Anonymous frank said...

any idea who the mystery injury might be?

September 24, 2008 2:45 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgot the ND - Purdue tilt. Unlike Chip, I find it easy and pleasurable to pick against the Irish. I'll take the point and the Boilermakers.

-Den

September 24, 2008 2:51 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Hate to speculate on this stuff to fuel rumors. Alex Polito went off with an injury against Baylor. He came back later, which is why I don't recall what the injury was.

Unlikely it's Donald Brown, Tyler, Darius, Lunn, Ellis, Gray, Lutrus, Cody, or Julius. They were all appeared just fine at the media lunch.

You never know, though. I regret posting this already.

September 24, 2008 2:54 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete's Picks:

Game 1: Connecticut
Game 2: WEST VIRGINIA
Game 3: Pittsburgh
Game 4: North Carolina
Game 5: Cincinnati
Game 6: Purdue
Game 7: NEBRASKA
Game 8: GEORGIA
Game 9: AUBURN
Game 10: Wisconsin
Game 11: South Florida
Game 12: PENN STATE

September 24, 2008 3:13 PM 
Anonymous Gary said...

Game 1: UConn - picking with my heart, not my head
Game 2: West Virginia - they have to demolish someone, right?
Game 3: Pittsburgh - Robinson gets canned after a 30+ point loss here
Game 4: Miami - somehow Miami has become the most underrated team in America
Game 5: Akron - Costanza logic reigns supreme on this pick
Game 6: Purdue - the Karmic fallout from Laptopgate begins
Game 7: Virginia Tech - Gone are the days of Lawerence Phillips Bugeaters
Game 8: Georgia - Alabama is vastly overrated, Saban is a jerk.
Game 9: Auburn - I'm worried about Auburn covering a 6.5 point spread when they average about 4 points a game
Game 10: Wisconsin - Rich Rod's team still doesn't know how to spread 'em
Game 11: South Florida - Can silence some Big East critics with a sound demolition of the Pack
Game 12: Penn State - Joe Pa vs. Zook, a clash of styles of epic proportion and I bet no one read any of this nonsense I wrote after my picks.

September 24, 2008 6:08 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

I read it all, Gary. Loved it.

September 24, 2008 6:31 PM 
Anonymous Caleb Mandrake said...

Game 1: LOUISVILLE
Game 2: WEST VIRGINIA
Game 3: Pittsburgh
Game 4: MIAMI
Game 5: Cincinnati
Game 6: Purdue
Game 7: NEBRASKA
Game 8: GEORGIA
Game 9: Tennessee
Game 10: MICHIGAN
Game 11: NC STATE
Game 12: Illinois

September 24, 2008 10:45 PM 
Anonymous Kevin said...

Game 1: Louisville (-3.5) over UConn --I think I've been wrong about UConn every week. So if UConn covers, I lose the pick but my team wins. Yay.
Game 2: West Virginia (-14) over Marshall
Game 3: Pittsburgh (-15) over Syracuse
Game 4: UNC (+8) over Miami
Game 5: Akron (+10) over Cincinnati
Game 6: Purdue (+1) over Notre Dame--See #1
Game 7: Virginia Tech (+7) over Nebraska
Game 8: Alabama (+6.5) over Georgia
Game 9: Auburn (-6.5) over Tennessee
Game 10: Wisconsin (-6.5) over Michigan
Game 11: South Florida (-9) over NC State
Game 12: Penn State (-14.5) over Illinois

September 24, 2008 11:05 PM 
Anonymous Ian said...

Game 1: Connecticut
Game 2: Marshall
Game 3: Pittsburgh
Game 4: North Carolina
Game 5: AKRON
Game 6: NOTRE DAME
Game 7: Virginia Tech
Game 8: Alabama
Game 9: AUBURN
Game 10: MICHIGAN
Game 11: South Florida
Game 12: PENN STATE

I'm either going to look like a genius or an idiot after these picks.

September 25, 2008 12:57 AM 
Blogger Dan said...

Danoooo's picks...funny thing is, when I make the picks...I feel I am making such a smart pick....look at the standings...I suck!

Game 1: Connecticut
Game 2: WEST VIRGINIA
Game 3: Pittsburgh
Game 4: MIAMI
Game 5: AKRON
Game 6: Purdue
Game 7: NEBRASKA
Game 8: Alabama
Game 9: AUBURN
Game 10: MICHIGAN-Love the home dog
Game 11: NC STATE
Game 12: PENN STATE

September 25, 2008 7:36 AM 
Anonymous Vinny from East Haven said...

Well, well, well...look who's at the top of the standings? You poor deluded UConn fans had better PRAY that I don't get control of this blog for a day. Just imagine a 60,000 word diatribe about how overrated the Huskies are. I'm salivating already...
However, it's still early. Let's get to Vincnzo's picks:

1. Louisville. Did you expect anything different? The fun's over, UConn fans. The whippings will now commence.
2. West Virginia. The class of the Big East - which isn't saying much - is due for a breakout game.
3. Syracuse. Only because 14 points is too much - I'm not sure these two teams are good enough to score 14 points combined. And I just can not pick Dave Wanstedt.
4. Miami. UNC is due for a letdown, and with the qb out....
5. Cincinatti. Usually I like to pick against Big East teams in these matchups, but Akron isn't impressing me.
6. Purdue. Notre Dame fans are almost as delusional as UConn fans and the teams are equally as overrated. The only difference is that their team has some tradition and history behind it.
7. Virginia Tech. Hokies need this win.
8. Alabama. Georgia is overrated (not nearly as overrated as UConn, but overrated nonetheless).
9. Auburn. Hell, this one's a guess. Even the waterboys in the SEC could run circles around the Big East players.
10. Wisconsin. Michigan, incredibly, is probably worse than UConn right now.
11. NC State. When in doubt, pick against the Big East.
12. Illionois. Coach Paterno is all class and will not run it up. He is a gambler's nightmare.

Not sure why I am offering insight into my picks - I am obviously the class of this whole outfit and shouldn't be sharing my hard-won football knowledge with a bunch of hack UConn fans who didn't realize college football existed before three years ago.

September 25, 2008 9:09 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not mind when teams celebrate when clinching a playoff spot they play so many games day in and day out by the end of the season if your one of those 8 teams who "officially" make it then let them have their night of fun. Two goals I think for most teams 1. Make the playoffs 2. Win the World Series. I know the Red Sox (or any other team with bigger leads) have known for awhile they would get at least the wild card but what would we say if they started celebrating early before they clinched. Take last years Mets for example – that’s why you wait to have your little night of fun until you “officially” clinch.

September 25, 2008 10:23 AM 
Blogger Dougo said...

Game 1: Louisville over UConn
Game 2: WVU over Marshall
Game 3: Pitt over Cuse
Game 4: Miami over UNC
Game 5: Cincy over Akron
Game 6: ND over Purdue
Game 7: VT over Nebraska
Game 8: Bama over UGA
Game 9: Auburn over UT (...sigh...)
Game 10: Wisconsin over MIchigan
Game 11: USF over NCSU
Game 12: Penn State over Illinois (Chip, you really think Illinois can cover? Two tds is, admittedly, a big spread, but A: Ron Zook and B: the Illini struggled to put away ULL...Ron Zook.)

September 25, 2008 11:17 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

"Chip, you really think Illinois can cover? Two tds is, admittedly, a big spread, but A: Ron Zook and B: the Illini struggled to put away ULL...Ron Zook.)"

That's why I'm firmly entrenched in the middle of the pack, Dougo

To be honest, I don't think Illinois is that bad. That Jeff George kid is some QB. A terrific attitude, too. He's gonna go far in the NFL some day.

September 25, 2008 1:08 PM 
Anonymous Wil's picks said...

Wil's picks, Imissed last weeks picks, kicking myself.

Does anyone know who Vinny's team is?

Game 1: Connecticut
Game 2: WEST VIRGINIA
Game 3: SYRACUSE
Game 4: MIAMI
Game 5: Cincinnati
Game 6: Purdue
Game 7: Virginia Tech
Game 8: Alabama
Game 9: Tennessee
Game 10: Wisconsin
Game 11: NC STATE

September 26, 2008 12:42 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sammy
Game 1: LOUISVILLE
Game 2: WEST VIRGINIA
Game 3: Pittsburgh
Game 4: MIAMI
Game 5: Cincinnati
Game 6: Purdue
Game 7: NEBRASKA
Game 8: GEORGIA
Game 9: Tennessee
Game 10: Wisconsin
Game 11: South Florida
Game 12: PENN STATE

September 26, 2008 1:54 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Results of the week:
1. SeanO 8-4
ian 8-4
3. Den of stupidity 7-5
4. Chip 6-6
Kevin 6-6
Wil 6-6
7. JZ 5-7
Rich 5-7
Gary 5-7
dano 5-7
Vinny 5-7
dougo 5-7
13. Pete 4-8
Caleb 4-8
15. Sammy 2-10

September 29, 2008 11:31 AM 

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