Friday, September 9, 2016

FMQ Week #2

Something I didn’t cover (because frankly, I couldn’t locate a good clip of it) on Monday but I wanted to acknowledge from last weekend is something that can only happen in sports.  ICYMI (That’s: In Case You Missed It) the Nebraska Cornhuskers lined up for their first punt of the game against Fresno State and the punter for Nebraska did not take the field.  The reason:  Former Nebraska and Michigan State Punters Sam Foltz and Mike Sadler died in a tragic car accident earlier this summer.  Watch the clip (or no need if you saw on ESPN or BTN coverage:

A classy tribute and fan acknowledgement.  An even classier move was Fresno State declining the penalty.  Tell me again that sports don’t matter and I’ll ask you when you’ve ever got that kind of feeling sitting in a classroom or in an office or any walk of life, for that matter.  Doesn’t happen that often…I expect something similar from Sparty during a big game….

Controversy of the Week!

I’ve been thinking about adding something like this to the MMQ as it seems like there’s a controversy every week in college football.  This one finally pushed me over the edge and I figured, why not add it to the FMQ!  This COTW has to do with officiating and the murky, grey, and completely foggy, touchy-feely area known as “Targeting”.  As you probably know by now, there was a no-call hit in the Texas-Domer game that looked like this:

B. Kelly went to the ACC head of officials to ask for a review.  The ACC Head of Officiating stated that it should have been called “Targeting”.  The Big XII Head of Officials has spoken and he has stated that it WASN’T Targeting.  I’m not even going to debate about who’s right or wrong in this one.  You can decide for yourself.  The point is that even officials from two different conferences can’t agree on what EXACTLY Targeting is. 

Here’s my problem:  Targeting is becoming a hot button issue – and it’s mostly subjective.  I know it was designed and the rule was put into place to protect players.  And I do think that when it’s called, for the most part, the refs get it right.  And if the refs on the field miss it, the booth has the right to call it after they see the replay.  But here’s the thing:  Why are kids getting ejected and made out to be the lowliest of criminals when this happens?  They’re playing at full speed and have been taught to hit hard from an early age.  IF targeting is called, the player is out of the game and the entire TEAM is penalized because of that ejection.   And the player has to sit for the 1st half of the next game as well.  I say BS.  Enough is enough.  Here’s what needs to happen:  Eliminate the ejection for the first offense, make it a personal foul and 15 yards and THEN if the same player gets a 2nd Targeting call in the same game, THEN you are ejected and have to sit the following game.  The rule as it stands is too severe and needs to be modified.  Hence refs may be hesitant to call it knowing a kid might get bounced. 

IF you want to eject someone and have them sit for a game, eject LSU’s Boutte and the this USC Player for his rendition of the nutcracker….




Based on some of the outcomes from last week, ESPN did a bit on kneejerk reactions to certain teams’ performances.  I thought I would do my own here after having a few days to digest everything and hearing some of the overreaction discussion on talk radio and TV.  Because after all,

Knee-Jerk Reactions are what the MMQ does best!

Texas is back!  My take:  Overreaction.  It’s a long, LONG, LONGHORN season.  And these are still the Longhorns….Kelly coached the Domers right out of winning that game.  I think Charlie Strong knows he’s still very much in peril and needs every win he can get.  If Texas makes the Red River Shootout undefeated, I’ll revise my position.

SEC is overrated.  My Take:  Justified.  Many people are defending the SEC stating that the level of competition they played was more difficult. The MMQ has prepared a deep, thought provoking statement for those individuals:   PFFFFT!!!!  If this would have been the B1G losing 7 GAMES to some of the teams that the SEC lost to, the press (and Paul Finebaum – How does he get his head so SHINY!!!)
would have already given the last rites ritual, completed the burial and have the headstones erected for the B1G conference.  However, I like to see how teams bounce back from adversity, so, while you could argue this is slight overreaction, for now I’ll stand on justified.  The SEC is Alabama and everybody else….

Domer fans believe that the Domers are heading for a 9-3 season-or worse!  My Take:  Maybe.  Listen to your coach and Tap the Brakes, Domer Fans!  After taking in a replay of the 2nd half of the Domer game, I firmly believe their defense will get better.  And as long as Kiser is the only QB taking the field for the foreseeable future, I think the Domers will be fine.  Meaning that 10 wins is the floor.  But with Stanford and Sparty on the schedule (and USC is bound to get better), not to mention ACC opponent Miami, well, again, 9-3 is a maybe. 

Michigan is a CFP Team!  My Take:  Overreaction.  I know, I know….But this is The FMQ talking and NOT The MMQ.   The FMQ is the way more RATIONAL of the two personas that call my small cranial cavity home.  As the readers of this drivel, you should really know who you’re reading at any given time!  Hawaii was a team of walking Zombies after 20,000 miles of air travel in a little over a weeks time.  That being said, we have this thing called a “season” where we get to see all the games played.  Nobody knows how good anyone is until everyone plays each other (with the exception of Alabama which Finebaum has anointed as a college team that could play in the NFL and succeed).  Things will sort themselves out soon enough.  But again, I (FMQ) have Michigan going at least 10-2 or 11-1.  So there!

The Seminoles have a Heisman QB on their hands in Dondre Francois!  My Take:  Overreaction.  Yes, that is one Cool F@#$!ing name (add him to the all name team right now!), but Heisman trophy talk after one game where the QB was forced to throw a whole bunch to get the team back in the game?  Cumon!!  We know he’s not going to have 419 yards in every game and he’ll have a stinker sooner or later.   If they awarded the Heisman in September, Denard Robinson would have won 3 of them.  Let’s see where Francois is in November. 

Any Power 5 team with 1 loss is out of the CFP discussion.  My Take:  Somewhere between Maybe to Overreaction.  Granted, a lot of the teams that lost were never in the discussion to begin with, but the Laters proved last season that you can lose badly to a bad team (Texas) and still make the CFP with one loss.  So just Keep Calm and Play Football. 
These things will all sort themselves out.  LSU could win out (doubtful with that offense) and nobody is going to deny them a seat at the CFP table.  Ditto for Ole Miss and even the aforementioned Laters.  But if the Houston Cougars are undefeated…that will make for an interesting discussion.

Houston should be strongly considered for the CFP if they go undefeated!  My Take:  WAY BIG Overreaction.  Granted, making the Laters look silly and having a Kick-6 that went 99.999 yards is nice to have on the ole’ resume, but the non-Power 5 American Conference just isn’t that tough this year.  It’s going to be hard for the Cougars to get style points and their SOS will be absolutely pathetic in comparison to anyone in the Power 5 with one or possibly even two losses that will have played multiple top 10 or top 20 teams.  And Houston still has to win them all…..

The Tom Hermann Sweepstakes have begun at LSU, Ole Miss and other SEC Schools.  My Take:  Probably.  Let’s face it, in the Schools Everyoneknows Cheats Conference, the fan patience, BIG MONEY Booster patience and even the AD and administration patience is quite short.  The Hatter, after receiving a Stay of Execution last season, did NOT do himself any favors losing to Wiscy and could be sent out to the old head coach’s Stud Farm where he and Spurrier get to fight over who will sire the next generation of head coaching lineage by being the first to knock up one of Satan’s daughters….(Too much)?  Hugh Freeze is skating on ultra-thin ice with the NCAA investigation and already has a loss under his belt this season as well.  Not to mention schools like Auburn and Texas A&M might be looking for new solutions at the head coach position.  And let’s not forget that Charlie Strong is also on his last year of grace with the Longhorns. (I know - NOT SEC, but Hermann is right down the road in Houston.  You think Texas wants to let Hermann out of the State?)   IF any of those schools lose more than 2 games before the end of October, then the race for Hermann will be officially on.  But at what Price?

This weekend is going to be a major letdown with respect to watchable games compared to last weekend.  My Take:  Absolutely.  With one exception:  Va Tech vs. Tennessee in the BATTLE AT BRISTOL (MOTOR SPEEDWAY).  I’m not sure whose brain-fart this was – obviously somebody that REALLY, REALLY HATES Michigan being at the top of the largest game in the USA history list.  (And more or less owning the Top 10 games with the largest attendance ever.)  They’ve apparently sold 150,000 tickets and added an additional 4,000 bleachers or VIP seats on the infield because the other seats are too damn far away….In the “End Zone” you’ll be more than two (2!) football field lengths on average away from the action.  Have Fun with that….But they’re gonna’ have beer.  Other than that, bring all the compass point - cupcake schools into the multi Big Stadia for the paycheck.  That’ll give the big boys a chance to fix some stuff on both sides of the ball and pad the stats.  Bristol should be fun to watch (on TV – I wouldn’t want to be there) and a few other games will be worth tuning in. 


So, the first week for the FMQ wasn’t so bad.  6-4 on the games and one team didn’t cover that ruined the parlay (Thanks, Oklahoma).  Why, WHY, WHY do I ever trust Oklahoma to do anything?

Anyway, here’s the summary of where the FMQ is at and how we’ll be betting this week.


Weekly Lessons Learned:

Wisconsin could be better than advertised.  Watch them for future low spreads

Oklahoma overrated, but expect a big game out of them in Week #2

Avoid the Gophers for awhile….

FSU looked solid in the 2nd half.  Can they be trusted in the following weeks?

Seasonal Lessons Learned:

Typically, Week #2 is under-achieving, let down, come out flat week.  Meaning Really High Spreads are vulnerable.  1st week game is in the books and teams have an emotional drain during the week #2 Cupcake game.

So, without further ado, let’s make some bets!

Louisville @ Syracuse (+14)

Louisville plastered somebody from some compass point location last week.  Hanging 70 on anybody gets my attention.  Louisville is looking for style points and this spread is beatable for this team.  Syracuse Football is the first thing that pops up when you type in oxymoron…..This does not fall into my Big Spread Game referenced above.

Take Louisville and lay the 14 for $50

Akron @ Wiscy (-24)

This is a tricky spread.  I believe Wiscy is that good.  But is this the Big Emotional Let down game after beating a much higher ranked LSU team? I say yes…..

Take Akron and the 24 for $50

PSU @ Pitt (-6)

PSU is getting points on the road at a major rival.  Some people are claiming that this game is a “Must Win” for Franklin or the loyal PSU Fan Base will begin screaming for his head….I don’t get it??  Have the fans even looked at what Franklin’s dealt with since he arrived?  Lingering JoPa issues, a QB that he inherited that wasn’t all that, recruits being snatched away…Franklin should get at least another 2-3 seasons to try to get past all that.  I’ll take PSU to cover but lose to Pitt in a close game….

Take PSU and the 6 points for $25

Iowa State @ Iowa (-15)

This game is always closer than that and I have a feeling the Cyclones will be up for it. 

Take Iowa State and the 15 for $25

Va Tech @ Tennessee in Bristol (-11.5)

Hmmmmmm….Va Tech won their first game decisively against Liberty… I know, So What?  Tennessee struggled against App State and the Vols were probably looking ahead to this game.  Assuming The Cremesicles are as good as advertised and new Coach Fuente has some learning curve to go through in Blacksburg....I dunno.  A big part of me is screaming take the points in this one.

Take Va Tech and the 11.5 points for $25

UCF @ Michigan (-35.5)

I don’t get the half point teaser here on a multi TD spread….somebody feels that 5 plus TD’s of separation is worthy of making somebody think it could go the other way???  Supposed to thunderstorm and rain on and off on Saturday making for difficult conditions… After the pasting that Michigan put on the Rainbows, this is another game that if Michigan’s starters play the entire time, 35.5 should be manageable.  But this is FOR SURE a Big Spread game and I should consider going the other way….Nah….

Take Michigan and lay the 35.5 for $50



3 team parlay pays 6-1

Michigan – Akron – Louisville for $50

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