An Early Look at Some Early Games in the NFL

Eddie Lacy has yet to really get it going the way he did last year.

Minnesota (+9.5) at Green Bay (O/U 50) – The good news for both teams is that they each won games last week. The bad news is that Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater has a gimpy ankle for the Vikes and the Packers gave up three sacks and nearly 400 yards offense.

Green Bay is 28th in defense so with all due respect to Aaron Rodgers and his “relax” comment, there are issues on this team. The Vikings have problems too and that’s why I would expect a sloppy game. As of right now, Bridgewater is a ‘go’ for Thursday night.

Trends: The Packers are 7-2-1 in their last ten games against the Vikings… Minnesota is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games at Green Bay… The Packers are 0-3-2 ATS in their last five home games… The total has gone OVER in five of Minnesota’s last seven game at Green Bay.

The Pick: The Packers are too explosive on offense to lose but I like the Vikes and the points and I like the OVER.

Eli Manning appears to be getting on a roll as the Falcons come to town.

Atlanta (+4) at NY Giants (O/U 49) – The Giants just put 45 points on the Redskins last week and the Falcons are surrendering over 28 points per game. Overall, Atlanta is 30th in the league in total defense and I expect a hot Eli Manning and company to go right at them.

For the Falcons, Matt Ryan is going to have to have big numbers but his offensive line is severely banged up. So much so the Falcons had a tight end playing on the offensive line in Sunday’s game.

Trends: The total has gone UNDER in four of Atlanta’s last five games in New York against the Giants… New York is 1-5 against the spread in their last six games at home against the Falcons… Atlanta is 5-2 straight up in their last seven games on the road against the G-Men… These two have split their last ten games with the Falcons winning most recently at home last year 34-0.The Pick: Take the Giants to cover and take the OVER.

Buffalo (-7) at Detroit (O/U 44) – The Bills announced on Monday that they are making a switch at quarterback as E.J. Manuel will sit while Kyle Orton gets the nod. Manuel has struggled and the switch isn’t a total surprise as the Bills have lost two straight since starting 2-0.

The Lions have their fans cautiously optimistic as they are 3-1 and find themselves atop the NFC North. The biggest concern right now is the health of Calvin Johnson who missed several series in the win Sunday over the Jets.

Trends: The total has gone UNDER in five of Buffalo’s last six games… The total has gone UNDER in five of Detroit’s last six games against the Bills… Buffalo is 2-4 against the spread in their last six games against the Lions… The Lions have lost three of the last four to Buffalo and all three losses were in Western New York.

The Pick: I like the Bills to cover and I like the UNDER as well.

Pittsburgh (-6.5) at Jacksonville (O/U 46) – The Steelers have to be kicking themselves after blowing a sure win against previously winless Tampa Bay while the Jags are 0-4 on the season. The good news in Jacksonville is that rookie Blake Bortles looked pretty decent in his first start and now he goes up against a defense surrendering 24 points per game.

The Steelers will need to ride their offense in order to protect the porous defense.

Trends: The Steelers have won four of their last six games in Jacksonville… The Jags are 1-7-1 against the spread in their last nine games at home… The total has gone OVER in four of Pittsburgh’s last six trips to Jacksonville… The Jaguars have won just one game at home in their last 11.

The Pick: I like Pittsburgh to win but it seems to never be easy so I like the Jags getting the points and I like the OVER.

‘Big Boy Business’ is Exactly What College Football is

Charlie Weis won just six games at Kansas and was sent packing this past weekend.

Saturday saw the end of one rather rotund head coach in college football while the seat underneath another one got about as hot as it can possibly get. While those things are happening there are also some pretty intriguing things on the horizon as college football enters October.

Kansas Cans Weis

The Kansas Jayhawks fired Head Football Coach Charlie Weis following their shutout loss to Texas. Weis went just 6-22 and also won just one Big 12 Conference game during his time in Lawrence. Weis took over after a disastrous stint from Turner Gill but he quickly put his stamp on the program by booting 29 players and Weis has since stated he regrets that decision.

My guess is that there is still a future in football for Weis but I have to believe it will just be as a coordinator perhaps at the NFL level.

No Rest for Hoke

Michigan’s Brady Hoke said after his Wolverines lost 30-14 at home to Minnesota that this is a “Big Boy Business” and he’s absolutely right. Hopefully he remembers this when he is sent packing. It is no longer a matter of ‘if’ but when Hoke is relieved of his duties. His team was physically dominated on both sides of the ball by a Minnesota team that had beaten Michigan just once in the last ten years.

Hoke’s problems initially began and ended with his quarterbacks but now it’s evident there are even more problems as his defense was run over and his offense is as listless as a sailboat without wind. At Michigan however, it’s one thing to struggle on the field but when you can’t put butts in the seats at Michigan Stadium then things really get serious. Right now “serious” is an understatement.

The ol' ball coach is already sitting at 2-2 in the SEC East.

Picks Gone Wrong

At the beginning of the season I said South Carolina would win the SEC East and for all I know they still could but that choice is looking more and more doubtful after they saw Missouri come back and beat them on Saturday night in Columbia. The Gamecocks are now 3-2 on the season and 2-2 in the SEC. They are the only SEC team to have played four conference games.

They’ve defeated Vanderbilt and Georgia but have lost two conference games at home to the Tigers and Texas A&M in the opener. South Carolina still has time but they’ll need help to win the East.

Another team I had winning their division was Virginia Tech and like South Carolina, they still have a great shot at achieving their goals but things need to get better. I thought for sure when the Hokies went into Columbus and upset Ohio State that this Frank Beamer-led team was on its’ way but they stumbled against a good East Carolina team and then lost their only conference game to this point against Georgia Tech.

The Hokies will only be as good as QB Michael Brewer is I believe and that’s a lot of pressure on the young man but there’s still plenty of time.

My Weekly Final Four Predictions:

Now that we are into October, I’ll give you my selections for the four teams that qualify for the College Football Playoff.

Michigan State – The only road block is when the Buckeyes visit East Lansing.

Oklahoma – Baylor visits November 8th.

Alabama – They still face tough challenges from A&M, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Auburn.

Oregon – They haven’t looked as dominant as other Ducks’ teams but who will beat them?

Here are Your Late Game Numbers in the NFL today.

Blake Bortles makes his first career start today in San Diego.

Jacksonville (+14) at San Diego (O/U 45) – A week after knocking off defending champion Seattle, the Chargers went on the road and beat previously unbeaten Buffalo in Western New York. If you take away that blown 11-point lead in the opener at Arizona, then the Chargers would be the talk of the league right now.

For the Jags, Blake Bortles makes his first career start at quarterback after most of us thought this would be a ‘red-shirt’ season for him. I think he’ll play decently but I think he’ll make mistakes too and that will lead to points for the Chargers.

Trends: Jacksonville is 3-13 straight up in the their last 16 road games… The Chargers are 4-1 SU in their last five games against Jacksonville… The total has gone OVER in five of the Jags last six games when playing the Chargers… The total has gone UNDER in four of San Diego’s last five games.

The Pick: 14 is a huge number but the Bolts are clicking right now so I like them to cover and take the OVER.

Philadelphia (+4.5) at San Francisco (O/U 50.5) – The Eagles are 3-0 but have not exactly played a full game yet and LeSean McCoy hasn’t really gotten it high gear yet either. They’ll look to take advantage of a suddenly struggling 49ers’ defense.

San Francisco meanwhile needs to get things right and in a hurry. At 1-2, they can’t afford to fall behind Arizona (3-0) and Seattle (2-1) in the NFC West if they expect to make the playoffs.

Trends: The Eagles are 6-1 straight up on the road in their last seven games… The Niners are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games against the Eagles at home… The total has gone OVER in four of Philly’s last five games at San Francisco… The 49ers are 18-6-1 SU in their last 25 games at home.

The Pick: I expect a close game so take the Eagles and go with the OVER as well.

Bridgewater will also make his first career start today.

Atlanta (-3.5) at Minnesota (O/U 47) – The Teddy Bridgewater era is underway in the Twin Cities and he obviously will have to make due without Adrian Peterson in the backfield so much of the offense will be on his shoulders.

The Falcons are coming off a 10-day break after they whipped Tampa Bay 56-14 on a Thursday night. While the offense is certainly clicking, the defense is picking things up a bit too.

Trends: The total has gone OVER in four of Atlanta’s last six games… Minnesota is 2-4 against the spread in their last six games when playing at home against Atlanta… The Falcons are 3-6 SU in their last nine games when playing on the road against the Vikings… The total has gone UNDER in four of the Vikings last five games when playing the Falcons.

The Pick: Take Atlanta to cover and take the UNDER.

New Orleans (-3) at Dallas (O/U 54) – If this game were outside I’d probably go with Dallas immediately because the Saints just don’t play well outside. That said, they’ll be inside at Jerry World and I expect a good performance from them. The Saints’ defense has to be better and the Cowboys will be a challenge in the air and on the ground.

Look for Dallas to keep getting better defensively and for DeMarco Murray to keep hauling the pigskin in order to keep pass rushers off of Tony Romo.

Trends: The total has gone OVER in four of New Orleans last five games when playing at Dallas… The Cowboys are 1-4 straight up in their last five games when playing the Saints at home… The Saints are 2-8 against the spread in their last ten games on the road… Dallas has beaten New Orleans just once in their last nine meetings.

The Pick: Call me crazy but I like the Cowboys getting the points and I like the OVER.

Stewart Likely to Deal With Ward’s Death for a Long Time

Tony Stewart won't face criminal charges in the death of Kevin Ward,Jr but the story is far from over.

Tony Stewart dodged a bullet this week but that was just the first of a few shots that will be fired his way in the coming months. A grand jury in upstate New York found that there was not enough evidence to warrant charges against Stewart in the death of dirt track racer Kevin Ward, Jr.

The way I see it, the grand jury came to this conclusion for two reasons; first, it was going to be nearly impossible to prove that Stewart acted with malice or intent when his car struck Ward and sent him flying to his death.

Tony Stewart claims he won't be driving his spring car any time soon.

There is only one person that knows whether Stewart intended to “scare” the young driver or not and that’s Stewart himself. It’s my contention that this is what happened. Stewart saw the youngster pointing at him and figured he’d give him a little scare by swinging the back end around just a tad.

The second reason why the grand jury decided not to proceed was because Kevin Ward, Jr’s autopsy revealed that he had very high levels of marijuana in his system. Any testimony would surely state that Ward was not in his right mind and this could have impacted his poor decision to exit his vehicle.

These two factors mean it would have been very difficult for the prosecution to get a conviction so it’s probably the right move.

My feelings on the incident have not changed since I saw the first replay. I have no doubt in my mind that Tony Stewart was trying to send the kid a message and the car got away from him. By nature, these sprint cars will drift to the outside and that’s exactly what happened here.

Stewart let the car drift thinking that Ward would get out of the way but this didn’t happen.

If you follow NASCAR or the career of Tony Stewart then you know why the account I choose to believe is possible. Stewart is a classic hot-head who has rammed opponents on pit row, bumped them from behind on the track and thrown helmets at them.

He’s even gotten himself into some fist-a-cuffs a time or two at the track. Stewart is the classic “don’t question my manhood” race car driver. This is exactly why he put Ward, Jr into the wall and why he was trying to put a scare into him when he came back around.

Yesterday Stewart said, I know 100 percent in my heart and in my mind that I did not do anything wrong. This was 100 percent an accident,” Stewart said. I agree that it was indeed an accidental death but I’ll never buy the theory that Stewart suddenly didn’t know how to drive one of these cars and had no idea Ward was that close.

For the record, the Ward Family isn’t buying it either. They believe that Stewart was the only racer still accelerating during the caution while other drivers had slowed down. Some of that belief comes from a second video that has not been seen by the public.

I expect the family to sue Stewart in civil court but I honestly don’t think it will get there. More than likely Stewart and the Ward Family will come to a financial settlement away from the courts.

The family cannot hide from the fact however that their son was high on marijuana at the time of his death. He was not only putting himself in harm’s way but he was also putting the lives of other drivers at risk as well.

I expect to see Stewart back to his usual self next season and regardless of what I think only Tony Stewart really knows what happened and he’s the one who has to deal with it.

Four Big Games for Saturday

Struggling Michigan hosts Minnesota in the battle for the Little Brown Jug.

Minnesota (+8) at Michigan (O/U 43) – The Little Brown Jug has taken up a pretty much permanent spot in the Michigan trophy case but if there were any year for the Gophers to get it back this might be it. The Wolverines are struggling offensively and Brady Hoke’s job is less than secure at the moment. One of two things is going to happen on Saturday; the Wolverines will rally around Hoke and play well or the status quo will exist.

The Gophers three wins are unimpressive and their lone loss was a beat-down at the hands of TCU.

Trends: Michigan has beaten Minnesota in nine of the last ten games they’ve played… The Gophers are 2-4 against the spread in their six games at Michigan… The Wolverines are 8-1 straight up in their last nine games at home against Minnesota… The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Gophers’ last eight games.

The Pick: I think Michigan finds a way to win but take the Gophers and the points. Take the UNDER as well.

Missouri (+6) at South Carolina (O/U 61.5) –

Bret Bielema brings his Razorbacks to College Station where the Aggies await.

Arkansas (+10) at Texas A&M (O/U 72) – The Razorbacks are averaging 324 yards rushing per game and that’s been an Achilles’ heel for the Aggies in recent years. Since losing their opener at Auburn, the Hogs have ripped off three straight wins. The big question is whether or not Arkansas can slow down Kenny Hill and the Aggies offensive attack.

Bret Bielema will look to get his team running the ball to keep Hill off the field because he knows this offense will be much more talented than Texas Tech whom the Hogs defeated.

Trends: The Aggies are averaging almost 52 points per game in their last two contests against the Hogs… The total has gone OVER in all five of Arkansas’ most recent games… A&M is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games against the Razorbacks… Arkansas is 3-10 straight up in their last 13 games.

The Pick: Take the Aggies to cover and take the OVER.

Stanford (-8) at Washington (O/U 47.5) – Last week, Washington hosted Georgia Southern and trailed 14-0 at halftime. They ended up winning 45-14. Perhaps the 4-0 Huskies needed a wake-up call?

The Cardinal come to Seattle at 2-1 and have a road trip to South Bend next week that they cannot afford to look ahead. This game will likely be decided by the Cardinal defense which has given up just ten points in three games.

The Pick: I like UW getting the points and I like the OVER.

Trends: The last time Stanford played at Washington they lost 17-13… The Huskies are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games at home against the Cardinal… The total has gone UNDER in four of Stanford’s last five games at Washington… The Huskies are 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games.

Florida State (-19) at North Carolina State (O/U 58.5) – Upset alert in Raleigh? The Seminoles have lost two straight at Carter-Finley Stadium. They get Jameis Winston back from suspension and are coming off an overtime win over Clemson.

The Wolfpack are unbeaten but haven’t exactly beaten anyone worth mentioning. Still, I believe this has the makings of a challenge for the ‘Noles.

Trends: Florida State is just 6-4 straight up in their last ten games against the Wolfpack… NC State is just 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games at home… The Seminoles are 1-5 ATS in their last six games at NC State… The total has gone UNDER in five of NCSU’s last six games at home against Florida State.

The Pick: Love NC State getting the points and take the UNDER.

Jeter Plays Final Game in Pinstripes Today

Today is Jeter's final game in Yankee Stadium

“Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you…”

When I hear that lyric from Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” I think of a time when our sports’ heroes were as genuine as you could possibly find. Baseball has always been the most pure sport in the history of sports in my opinion which is why it was so difficult to see the steroid era come.

The point in time wrecked baseball forever for a lot of people and some have never returned to it the way we hoped they would. I can’t blame them one bit either.

Later today, another New York Yankee will play his final game in Yankee Stadium 63 years after the Yankee Clipper played his last game in pinstripes. Derek Jeter will end his home career as Yankee after 20 years with the Bronx Bombers.

When DiMaggio left, there was Mickey Mantle. Who replaces Derek Jeter for the Yanks?

That 1951 season in New York ended with the Yanks defeating the New York Baseball Giants in six games for the World Series title. While it was also DiMaggio’s final season, it was also the first season for young kid from Oklahoma named Mickey Mantle.

As I write this today I cannot tell you that there is another player on the Yankees current roster who will fill Jeter’s shoes the way Mantle did with DiMaggio but who knows? Perhaps that player is in the minors right now awaiting the call.

I’ve mentioned before that Jeter would not likely be what he is had he played for any other team. The Yankees are majesty after-all and as much as I despise them I cannot deny what they mean to baseball. Consider that when the Yankees retire Jeter’s number two jersey, the Yankees will have retired every single-digit number worn in their history.

The relevance and importance of Jeter goes beyond being a Yankee though that certainly does help. There is no player who has conducted himself more professionally from day one of his career through today the way Jeter has.

Jeter never referred to late Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner by anything other than “Mr. Steinbrenner.” It didn’t matter how many titles Jeter had brought to his owner either, that level of respect never changed.

In an era where players hit routine ground balls and rarely get to first base before heading back to the dugout, Jeter ran out every ground ball and every pop-fly. Through 20 years, his two significant injuries, a shoulder and an ankle, both occurred while attempting to make a play.

We will never know what kind of career Derek Jeter would have had had he played in Detroit or Cincinnati or San Diego but common sense tells us it wouldn’t have been as sparkling.

Was he as talented as Ken Griffey, Jr or Barry Bonds? No, I don’t believe he was. Those guys would have instantly made their teams contenders whomever they played. Jeter was the perfect player at the perfect time for the Yankees who were really not built with superstars.

Their five titles during his career were built on good players who played great when it mattered and Jeter was the star who shone most brightly. He is the end of an era in New York and while there are certain to be more, the question is when.

Jeter was the guy who guided purists through the dark ages of the steroid era and that is why there is so much respect and admiration for him.

As he puts on the pinstripes for the final time, I join millions in tipping my hat to him while asking “Where have you gone Derek Jeter?”

Giants at ‘Skins Highlights Nice Thursday Night Football Schedule

Kirk Cousins put up huge numbers last week and may have to again against the Giants.

NY Giants (+3.5) at Washington (O/U 45) – The long-time NFC East rivals clash in a very crucial early season game. Why is it crucial? Because both teams are 1-2 and the loser drops to 1-3. Philadelphia is already 3-0 and Dallas is 2-1. While being 1-3 is not a death blow by any stretch it doesn’t make things very easy heading into the second fourth of the schedule.

The Giants rank 22nd in total defense and 22nd against the pass and that’s not good with Kirk Cousins lighting up the Eagles last week. If New York cannot get consistent pressure it could be a long night.

The ‘Skins currently rank fourth in both total defense and against the run. New York ranks 25th in total offense and 18th in rushing. This is where the G-Men will have to make their mark in order to keep Washington pass rushers at bay.

Trends: The G-Men have won seven of their last ten against the Redskins straight up and are scoring six points more than Washington per game over that span… The Redskins are 1-10 SU in their last 11 games… New York is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games against Washington… The total has gone UNDER in five of Washington’s last seven games against the Giants at home in FedEx Field.

The Pick: Eli Manning was better last week but the ‘Skins pass rush may be too much. Take Washington to cover and take the UNDER.

Mike Gundy's Cowboys welcome the Red Raiders Thursday night to Stllwater.

Texas Tech (+13) at Oklahoma State (O/U 71.5) – Despite the fact that Oklahoma State likes to throw the ball around a good deal, I’m sure Mike Gundy took notice of badly the Red Raiders were run over by Arkansas’ running game.

This reminds me of a typical Texas Tech team. Good offense but a defense that lacks toughness and playmakers.

Trends: The Red Raiders have not beaten the Cowboys since 2008 which amounts to a five-year losing streak… Oklahoma State is 5-0 straight up in their last five against the Red Raiders in Stillwater… Texas Tech is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games at OSU… The total has gone OVER in four of the Cowboys’ last six games at home against the Red Raiders.

The Pick: OSU to cover and I like the OVER

UCLA (-5.5) at Arizona State – So far in 2014, the Bruins have escaped all three of their games with wins despite looking less than dominant. UCAL has defeated three unranked opponents by a total margin of just 18 points.

Heisman hopeful Brett Hundley has had little to no time to pass and now is banged up and questionable for this one. The Sun Devils are also 3-0 against unranked opponents of a lesser variety but they handled all three.

ASU has QB issues of their own however with Trevor Kelly out with a foot injury. Great teams find ways to win when they aren’t playing their best and the Bruins have done that. Can they do it again this week?

Trends: These two teams have split their last ten meetings with UCLA averaging 30 points per game and Arizona State averaging 33… UCLA is 2-4 against the spread in their last six games on the road… ASU is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games against UCLA… The total has gone OVER in four of UCLA’s last five games when playing ASU… The Sun Devils are 10-2 straight up in their last 12 games at home.

The Pick: I think UCLA’s luck runs out tomorrow night. Take the home dog Devils and the OVER.

It’s a Good Time to Talk About a Little of Everything in Sports

Quit messing around MLB'ers! The game can speed up simply because of you.

If it sin’t already obvious to you I enjoy discussing football, both college and pro, more than any other sport. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the other sports because I do. Its just that I’ve always had a special place in my heart for football. Today I’ll certainly touch on that but I also have some thoughts on baseball and that’s where I’m going to start.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced yesterday that he will be forming a committee that will have the sole purpose of finding ways to speed up the game. I find this development very interesting because I’m pretty sure THERE ARE ALREADY THINGS IN PLACE TO SPEED UP THE GAME BUT THEY ARE NOT ENFORCED.

Sorry for the ‘all caps’ there but this is like having water to put out a fire yet you don’t use it for stupid reason. If you want to see games move along then let’s get pitchers back on the hill after talking to the sky for thirty seconds. Let’s get hitters back into the batter’s box rather than adjust their cups and re-velcro their batting gloves for a minute and a half between every pitch.

How about we stop specializing the game so darn much? Why do managers feel it necessary to make pitching changes based on so many factors that a nuclear physicist would get dizzy?

The fixes are already there for baseball but Selig, in one of his last parting moves of idiocy, wants a committee to investigate it. Sheesh.

Steve Bisciotti laid out his case yesterday but according to ESPN, it has holes.

Late yesterday, Baltimore Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti spoke to the media in regards to the handling of the Ray Rice situation and the recent ESPN Outside the Lines report. Bisciotti claims that Ray Rice’s camp manufactured the story that OTL reported. Bisciotti hadn’t even finished speaking and already ESPN reporters were standing by their story.

At it’s core, this is still about a man knocking a woman out cold. The waves that came from that punch are still rippling throughout the league and society in general. What is obvious is that the Ravens did two things; they clearly lobbied Goodell for a lighter suspension for Rice and they had access to the video a lot sooner than they originally claimed. If it can further be proven that the NFL conspired to keep this incident and video in particular under wraps than this is very far from over.

Michigan Head Football Coach Brady Hoke made it clear in his press conference on Monday that he believes this team still has much to play for and that includes a Big Ten title. I certainly don’t fault Hoke for being positive because that’s what coaches have to be when the chips are down. The numbers unfortunately say something much different however.

Hoke’s Wolverines are as bad offensively as it can get. They’ve scored just one offensive touchdown against a power five conference school in their last three games and that was a late TD against Kansas State in their bowl game. Devin Gardner has actually gotten worse in recent games dating back to last year. His decision-making is poor at best and he struggles mightily any time Devon Funchess isn’t available.

Michigan still has trips to East Lansing and Columbus this season among other Big Ten games and I honestly don’t see this offense getting any better anytime soon.

Your Monday Nighter Features Bears at the Jets

Jay Cutler leads the Bears into New York to face the Jets.

Chicago (+3) at NY Jets (O/U 45.5) – The last time the Jets and Bears played was the day after Christmas in 2010 in Chicago. The Bears jumped to a 10-0 lead before trailing 24-17 at half. Jay Cutler would throw three third quarter touchdowns to lead Chicago to the win. While Cutler is still around in the windy city, the Jets’ quarterback that day was Mark Sanchez and we know how that worked out.

Now the Jets play host to the Bears in a week three match-up that’s of vital importance to both teams. Heading into the weekend, the entire NFC North was 1-1 but now the Bears will need a victory to keep pace with the Lions who defeated Green Bay yesterday. Minnesota lost in New Orleans.

Eric Decker has a bad hamstring and that isn't good for the Jets.

For the Jets, they sit at 1-1 and now are behind the Pats and Bills who both 2-1.

The Bears enter with both of their top wideouts still banged up despite playing last week in San Francisco. They’ve also lost cornerback Charles Tillman for the season and will be without center Roberto Garza and guard Matt Slauson. Linebacker Shea McClellin and defensive lineman Jay Ratliff are also out.

New York doesn’t have nearly the issues the Bears do. Cornerback Dee Milliner is doubtful with an ankle and wide receiver Eric Decker is questionable with a hamstring.

Offensively the Jets rank 13th overall and first in rushing while the Bears rank 26th overall and ninth in passing. The glaring stat for each is the New York ranks 30th in passing while Chicago ranks 30th in rushing. In other words, this will be a battle of who can keep doing what they do best and who can do just a little better at what they do worst.

On defense, the Jets rank second in the league overall while the Bears are 21st. Both teams are obviously struggling in the secondary but the edge up front clearly goes to Gang Green. Can the Bears get enough out of Matt Forte to slow the pass rush of the Jets? Even if so, can they protect Cutler?

The Jets will look to establish the ground game early and often in effort to get the play-action game with Geno Smith going. If the Bears can make the Jets one-dimensional then that will go a long way towards their chances of winning .

Both teams will need to put last week deep in the past. The Bears made a fantastic comeback last week in defeating San Francisco on the road. As great as that win was, they have to move forward and focus on the task at hand. New York went into Green Bay and saw the Packers come back from a double-digit deficit on them only to seemingly tie the game but a timeout called by an assistant coach nixed that.

Like the Bears, they have to put the game behind them and focus on the present.

Trends: The Bears are 6-16-1 against the spread in their last 23 games… New York is 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games against the Bears… The total has gone OVER in nine of Chicago’s last 11 games on the road… The total has gone UNDER in seven of the last eight games in which they’ve played the Bears.

The Pick: Everything in my head points to a Jets’ victory considering the injuries to the Bears but I have a feeling that win last week will propel Chicago forward. Take them getting the points and take the OVER as well.

College Football Provides More Talking Points

Fisher Winston
Fisher Winston
Jimbo Fisher and Jameis Winston must have some kind of relationship.

What is it about college football that it seems to provide us with no shortage of great, terrible or just plain kooky moments? Yesterday was no exception as there were upsets, big wins and coaches seats that got hotter. Let’s start with the kooky stuff first.

Earlier in the week, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was suspended for the first half of last night’s eventual OT win against Clemson. On Friday, FSU was not satisfied with Winston’s explanation and suspended him for the full game. So it was with some surprise that as the Seminoles took the field for warm-ups that Jameis Winston was fully dressed and participating.

The video, which I’m guessing you’ve seen by now, shows Head Coach Jimbo Fisher clearly disgusted over his QB’s decision. What I found really odd was that after Winston returned to the field without pads, you can clearly see Fisher apologize to him. My question is why and for what? Just what in the wide wide world of sports is going on at FSU?

How does your QB not know he shouldn’t be dressed for action? How forgets to tell him this nugget of information? Fisher apologizing to him tells me everything I need to know about who runs the team and it sure isn’t anyone named Fisher.

Will Muschamp has to be feeling the pressure as his Gators struggle.

Time to dust off the resumes’ for Hoke and Muschamp

It wasn’t exactly a secret when the season began that Michigan’s Brady Hoke and Florida’s Will Muschamp were both skating on thin ice in regards to their respective jobs. After yesterday’s performances I don’t think either man should plan to do any skating any time soon.

In Tuscaloosa, Muschamp’s Gators hung tough with his mentor’s Alabama Crimson Tide thanks to Bama miscues but in the end lost 42-21. The loss was one thing but the fact the Gators gave up a school record 645 yards and tallied only 200 of their own will not sit well with the Florida faithful. Prior to 2009, the Gators owned the SEC but now they will struggle once again to even reign in their own division.

In Ann Arbor, if were possible for a head coach to be fired during an actual game, this instance may have occurred while the Michigan Wolverines and Utah Utes waited out a storm delay of several hours with Utah holding a 26-10 lead. The frustration on social media was running hot and with good reason. Michigan would eventually lose by the same score.

During the game, Hoke was seen in a verbal argument with defensive coordinator Greg Mattison which will not do Hoke any favors as his team falls to 2-2 with wins against Appalachian State and Miami,OH. Going back to last year, the Wolverines lost five of their last six games and nearly lost games to UConn and Akron as well. Hoke may be a ‘Michigan Man’ but he is not getting the job done in any way, shape or form.

Other Items of Note

Raise your hand if you had Indiana as the one Big Ten team to salvage a significant non-conference win. The Hoosiers, who lost to Bowling Green last week, knocked off #18 Missouri in Columbia 31-27… Michigan State scored 73 in a win over Eastern Michigan and Georgia hit 66 in a win over Troy… Not to be outdone was East Carolina who bested North Carolina 70-41.