Friday, October 25, 2013

FMQ Week #9: What Do You Do With Toothless Tigers Everywhere?????

And I’m not talking about Detroit, LSU, Grambling, or Clemson….But you could consider all of those teams/schools defanged after last weekend’s debacles and/or losses.

I’m talking about the NCAA.  What a joke.  The time it took to hand down the penalty (39 months  - almost 4 years from the time the Yahoo Report came out) to the actual penalty that pales in comparison to what was handed down at USC.  In fact, what was handed down at USC and the Reggie Bush issue was supposed to be only a wrist slap compared to what would happen to Miami.  In fact, PSU’s punishment was only the beginning of the hell that would be rained down on Miami for Strippers, cash payments to players, recruiting trips involving parties and the aforementioned strippers, etc…And then the NCAA screwed it all up.  By ‘paying” Shapiro’s lawyer for all the information regarding his activities, it virtually made all that information “illegally obtained” by the NCAA’s own rules for acquiring evidence.  Meaning:  virtually everything the NCAA learned about Miami and Shapiro was more or less thrown out of NCAA court on a technicality.  And what Miami was actually punished for was not even 10% of what was really uncovered - and admittedly they didn't uncover everything once that source was deemed unusable.  Sad….not that I agree with how the NCAA punishes and have gone on record many times before stating that fact.  What’s sad is that the NCAA couldn’t even manage an investigation that would have imposed at least some hefty monetary fines on Miami.  And Miami’s threat of a countersuit that would have uncovered the practices and procedures of the NCAA was not something the NCAA wanted to have to endure, either.  So, what it boils down to is:  Punish yourself (a little in seasons where it doesn’t matter anyway) and then stand up to the big, bad NCAA and threaten to bring the house down.  That makes the most flagrant cheating of our time worth about 3 scholarships a year.  At least that’s what seemed to work in the Miami case.

I didn’t comment on the Grambling Tigers on Monday due to the simple fact that I had no idea (nor did anyone, really) of the conditions at Grambling or what the facts of the matter were with the exception that the players had to take long bus rides to their away games and there were some “unacceptable” conditions within the weight and locker room and with uniforms not being clean.  Further investigation exposed a litany of issues that can only lead this critic to one conclusion:  Grambling has no business being in the college football “business”.  At least not at the FCS level.  Maybe they can function as a Level III or something….but to expect them to compete with bigger schools with bigger athletic budgets is asking too much.  And clearly the administration is overwhelmed with the negative numbers and cannot make ends meet.  Without an alumni donor like Phil Knight (Oregon), well, I guess there’s no shame in seeing Grambling football go the way of the dodo.  It happens.  It’s nothing to be sad about.  But if there’s no money at Grambling…well, there’s no program.  And maybe that’s not a terrible thing.

The Clemson Tigers have been spinning their wheels since the demoralizing loss at the hands of FSU.  Not only has there been a lot of nervous explanations coming out of the coaching staff, but now there’s (false) accusations of Boyd being $1,000’s of dollars in debt due to gambling.  It’s all BS, but to have to deal with that right after the impact of the blow-out loss to FSU makes me think that Clemson is the Sparty of the ACC.  Always looks good on paper…but can’t every quite get it all together when it counts.

The LSU Tigers on the other hand are also doing a lot of spin doctoring this week and the biggest spin doctor is the Hatter himself.  I don’t know why a school simply can’t own up to the fact that it got its butt kicked.  Ole Miss beat LSU.  It wasn’t a fluke.  They played and executed their game plan better than the Tigers and they beat them…..

And finally, the last of the Tigers to be discussed, Detroit lost its skipper, Jim Leyland, to resignation earlier this week.  Whether or not Jim would have made it to next season anyway is debatable.  I’m not saying I could have managed the Tigers any better in the play-offs, but there’s a lot of arm chair GM’s out there that are putting the blame for the Bo-Sox ALCS loss directly on Leyland.  And I can’t argue with them too much.  Bringing Coke up and then not letting him pitch to Ortiz with bases loaded in Game 2?  Giving Ortiz ANYTHING TO HIT in that spot is a major question mark…I would have rather unintentionally walked him than give him anything close to the strike zone that would have been one run…big deal…….A better manager making better game decisions and an improved closing pitching staff might be the only missing pieces right now…that and a healthy Cabrera and a Fielder that doesn’t disappear in the play-offs….


Well, after last week’s semi-debacle, I feel like I’m a little out of touch with some teams right now.  I’m narrowing the scope and I’m going to roll with the teams on a roll…The trend is your friend…never forget that.

USC @ Mizzou (-2.5):  The numbers don’t lie and in this case, USC and Mizzou are as close as the spread suggests with PF’s and PA’s that are comparable.  But, there’s a little something else here going on:  USC’s starting QB is out and while I like the Ole Ball Coah and the way he can prep a QB, something tells me that being on the road is going to be a problem.  That and the Mizzou Seniors still have a lot of hate to get rid of from last year. 
Take Mizzou and lay the 2.5 for $40

UCLA @ Oregon (-23):  This one’s tough.  I really think UCLA can cover that spread…but WILL they?  I guess that’s always the question and the PF and PA analysis says we should lay some extra steam on the Ducks, but I dunno…I think this could be a squeaker with a defensive TD deciding the spread…
Take Oregon and lay the 23 for $50

Tennessee @ Bama (-28):  Here’s a team that’s really due to lose one ATS.  But I hate to bet against trends.  However, if there is one team that I like enough to beat the spread it might just be Butch Jones and this crew….The numbers suggest taking Bama and laying the points….I dunno..Therefore..PASS
Nebraska (-10.5) @ Minnesota:  I like Nebraska here and the numbers suggest that I’m more than correct in my assumption. 

Take Nebraska and lay the 10.5 for $60
Texas Tech (+7) @ Oklahoma:  Wow…I actually thought this would be more of a pick-em game.  I actually like the Red Raiders here even though they are playing in Norman. 

Take Texas Tech and the 7 for $50

MSU (-10) @ Illinois:  So, I’m glad I didn’t touch Sparty LAST week against Purdue.  I really don’t know what happened but I suspect it was some sort of SOS issue on the offense that kept them from executing and more importantly…SCORING!  The Illini have been good to me getting points at home this year. 
Take the Illini and the 10 for $50

Starting Bank:         $1,424.50
Total Bet:                  $280

BANK:                       $1,144.50

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