Thursday, August 28, 2014

The FMQ!!! I know it's Thursday....

After all the legal crap, all the off-season BS, all of the BS in general that every talk radio program has to make up and continue to drone on about, we can finally say these words:

While I have been anticipating the beginning of this season, when the starting line-up and depth chart came out and I saw that a true freshmen Mason Cole was starting…Well, my heart sank a little.  Either this guy is really, REALLY Good, or Michigan is in for another long season.  But, hey, I can’t let myself get pessimistic this early!  Come on! 

I know this is Thursday, but there is a Big Game tonight worth tuning in for:  Texas A&M at South Carolina.  So, gear up and get the TV set ready!  Columbia will be rocking tonight and I kind of wish I had scheduled a plant trip due to the fact that USC is right around the corner…but tickets are probably hard to get.
I haven’t picked my “Final Four” as has been the norm on ESPN and the BTN this week.  What’s the point?  We have to play the games….What I will do is this:

Here’s who might surprise you and NOT be in the Final Four (in this order):
1.     MSU – The game against Oregon is key.  Yes, they could win the B1G, but a loss to Oregon might make the argument for a “1 loss SEC team” that much easier…Sparty needs to beat Oregon.  And I’m still not 100% convinced Sparty is the new “Elite” in the B1G…Sparty is as Sparty does…

2.    Stanford or UCLA – Pick du jour of the Pac12, and I’m not saying I don’t like it…Just saying that UCLA/Stanford has a stretch of games that, well, if they run the table, it will be very impressive.  Oregon is still a good pick and could be in the Final Four….

3.    Auburn – Let’s not forget that last year’s Auburn team had some incredible luck going for it.  Just sayin’…

4.    FSU – This one is a stretch, with the Seminole’s schedule I really don’t see who can beat them…but if Gatorland can get rolling late in the season, a 1 loss ACC team with that loss to an SEC team wouldn’t look good.  Watch out for opener against Gundy coached Okie State…
Who MIGHT Surprise you and make it into the Final Four

1.     Wisconsin - The only ranked team after LSU should they pull off the miracle in Death Valley against LSU Saturday is Nebraska….Look at the schedule -  it’s ugly - Good…No ohio, Sparty, Penn State or Michigan, but they get BOTH newcomers (Maryland and Rutgers) as their crossovers, fergodsakes…If they beat LSU and get by Nebraska in November, they will easily make the B1G Championship and anything can happen. 

2.    USC  - Sarkisian has talent and USC could be a potential dark horse…even without balcony leaping Shaw on the defense...

3.    Florida – That would really tick off the Gatorland collective that’s ready to boot Muschamp to the curb.  But again, in the weak SEC East, staying alive and winning the SEC championship is possible.

4.    Michigan – Yep.  I’m sticking with this.  IF the defense can win some early games and give the O-Line time to gel, anything is possible with a 5th year QB and the offensive skill players Michigan has.  Don’t believe me?  Auburn wasn’t in the pre-season Top 25 last year and Sparty dropped out of the Top 25. 
Now, that being said, the FMQ had an extremely lackluster season last year and it reminds why I do this for fun and not for real.  Never the less, I reviewed the last 4 years betting the other night and really, last season was a bit of an anomaly.  I had been in the green for two seasons and last year near the end of the season, things really spiraled out of control with some very poor choices.  This year’s three cardinal rules for early season games:
1.     When in doubt in games with HIGH SPREADS, take the points.

2.    When you’re thinking about laying the points, see rule 1.

3.    Be sure to slap myself if I lay a bunch of points….You know, like JLS (unless I'm really sure about it!!  Even then, I should probably slap myself a little!)

This week’s kick-off classics  (Needless to say, after looking at LSU vs. Wiscy, I’m not betting it!):
WVU (+25) @ Bama:  This is one of those games where I really need to follow the rules above.  No one’s played a game.  Everyone THINKS Bama’s offense is going to pick up where it left off without AJ McCarron.  When was the last time Bama started a QB besides AJ?  I’m not saying WVU is gonna’ win, but man, can’t they keep it closer than 25?
Take WVU and 25 for $30

Miami @ Louisville (+4):  Saw this spread and was trying to figure out who thought Miami on the road in an opener would actually be good?  I think Louisville at home under new/old coach Petrino getting points is a gift.
Take Louisville and the 4 for $30

FSU @ OSU (+17.5):  Here’s another one – A Gundy coached team getting double digits against last year’s National Champs…yeah, there’s plenty to get pumped up about and I think Okie State can keep it closer than that…
Take Okie State and the 17.5 for $30

UCLA (-21) @ Virginia:  Okay, I might have to slap myself here.  Virginia finished last year in brutal fashion and lost a lot of games by a lot of points.  UCLA, on the other hand, finished on a roll.  I like UCLA and I will now slap myself as I lay the three TD’s
Take UCLA and lay 21 for $30

Arkansas (+21.5) @ Auburn:  Again, first impulse was to lay the points, but then I remember that Brett Bielema has to win some games at some point, doesn’t he?  And if he wins, well, doesn’t he have to keep some of the one’s he loses close as well? 
Take Arkansas and the 21.5 for $30

App State @ Michigan (-35):  Jeez…App State is not the same team they were when they came into the Big House in 2007, put the BTN on the map, and shocked the world.  There, I said it.  So, based on that and based on the fact that there’s a lot of pent-up frustration on this Michigan team and among the fan base, look for a rout in the Big House.  Slapping myself again,
Take Michigan and lay the 35 for $30

PARLAY:  Arkansas - OSU - UCLA for $20
Starting Bank:   $1,000
Total Bet:  $200
Bank:  $800

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