Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Sumo Wrestling - Rankings and Rankings Explained


I am a great fan of Sumo wrestling on TV. This is the kind of one-on-one battle of men's strength which goes back many millennia. Basically, you draw a large circle on the ground, two combatants enter this ringed arena, and one man tries to throw the other man out of that ring, in which case he wins. It is a bit like real life.

A very simple introduction to sumo is a ThinkQuest website entitled "sumo: more than just fat guys in diapers". (This page does not appear to load very quickly).

An excellent more expansive introduction to Sumo is found at Sumo Nyumon. It includes the rules and terminology, which are essential to understanding this unique sport.

A beginner's list of essential sumo terms is also found here, e.g. the term dohyo, "the ring" in which the sumo battle is held.

The actual rankings by name of the professional sumo wrestlers - who are known as rikishi (strong men) - are found at the official Grand Sumo page of the Sumo ruling body, the Nihon Sumo Kyokai.

If you click on the individual names at that website, you can see the biographies of the sumo wrestlers and also a statistical analysis of their winning techniques - there are 72 such possible techniques recognized in sumo - which they have used to win their matches, e.g. yorikiri, oshidashi, shitatenage, sotogake, hatakikomi, okuritaoshi, kirikaeshi, kotenage, sukuinage. These techniques are called kimarite.

At Sumo FAQ - Professional rankings: The Banzuke one can find an explanation of the Japanese terms used to rank professional Sumo wrestlers, which is essential to understanding sumo matches seen on TV, i.e. Yokozuna, Ozeki, Sekiwake, Komosubi, Maegashira, etc.

Also of interest is a general glossary of other terms.
A summary of sumo is found at Japan Omnibus.

Sumo results clear back to 1995 are found courtesy of Masumi Abe.

College Football Predictions, Nov. 1-2, 2003

Here are our prognostications for the NCAA college football weekend of November 1 and 2, 2003

Air Force is favored by 3 over Utah - we call it Utah 31 Air Force 24
In spite of Utah's surprise loss last week to New Mexico, we still think this is a solid team with a great coach and expect Air Force to have considerable trouble winning.

Arizona St. - no line - California - we call it Cal 27 Arizona State 24
Cal made us believers last week with an impressive win

Arkansas is favored by 3.5 over Kentucky - we call it Kentucky 24 Arkansas 21
We think Kentucky could win this after losing several games in the closing minutes.

Auburn is favored by 37.5 over Louisiana-Monroe - we call it Auburn 59 Louisiana-Monroe 7
A mismatch.

Boise St. is favored by 6 over BYU, the home team - we call it Boise State 42 BYU 31
Ryan Dinwiddie had a great Saturday last weekend and appears to coming into top form, bad news for BYU.

Boston College is favored by 1 over Pittsburgh - we call it Pitt 21 Boston College 20
Pitt would appear to have the better team but BC has the home field advantage.

Central Michigan is favored by 8.5 over Eastern Michigan - we call it C.Michigan 27 E.Michigan 24
Except for the home field advantage, this one appears to be a toss-up.

Colorado State is favored by 11 over Wyoming - we call it Colorado State 35 Wyoming 18
This should be a clear match.

Connecticut - no line - Western Michigan - we call it Connecticut 35 W.Michigan 13
Connecticut seems to be the much better team. Whether they show that is another question.

Florida St. is favored by 11.5 over Notre Dame - we call it Florida State 38 Notre Dame 17
Notre Dame just does not have the team this year.

Fresno State is favored by 15 over SMU - we call it Fresno State 38 SMU 14
Fresno State looks stronger than 15.

Georgia is favored by 2.5 over Florida the home team - we call it Florida 24 Georgia 21
Florida has often looked terrible season but looked impressive last week. As the home team, they may shock Georgia.

Hawaii is favored by 12.5 over San Jose State we call it Hawaii 37 San Jose State 17
San Jose State's defense is simply too porous.

Iowa is favored by 26 over Illinois - we call it Iowa 35 Illinois 7
Illinois has no real chance of winning and it would appear that the margin of victory is the only open question.

Kansas St. is favored by 40 Baylor - we call it Kansas State 55 Baylor 7
With their quarterback Ell Roberson back in form, Baylor will be helpless against Sproles & Co.

LSU is favored by 27 over Louisiana Tech - we call it LSU 31 Louisiana Tech 24
We think LSU will have trouble with a good Louisiana Tech team.

Marshall - no line - Akron - we call it Marshall 30 Akron 28
Going with the home team.

Maryland - no line - North Carolina - we call it Maryland 21 North Carolina 17
Taking the home team.

Memphis is favored by 17.5 over East Carolina - we call it Memphis 41 East Carolina 21
Memphis has been in great form in recent weeks.

Miami (Fla.) is favored by 3.5 over Virginia Tech - we call it Miami of Florida 37 Virginia Tech 21
Ordinarily, this would have been touted as one of the great matches of the season, but after Virginia Tech's loss to West Virginia last week, who is to say whether the Hokies are a match for Miami, which we now doubt. However, they do have the home field advantage.

Michigan is favored by 4 over Michigan State - we call it Michigan 28 Michigan State 21
Michigan State has surprised us several times this year, so this game is by no means a sure thing for the Wolverines.

Minnesota is favored by over 28 Indiana - we call it Minnesota 43 Indiana 7
Indiana has no legitimate chance of winning and the margin of victory seems the only question here.

Mississippi is favored by 7.5 over South Carolina - we call it Mississippi 38 South Carolina 24
After an impressive win last week we go with Ole Miss.

Navy is favored by 9 over Tulane - we call it Navy 28 Tulane 14
Navy has been picking up recently.

Nevada is favored by 6 over Rice - we call it Nevada 33 Rice 16
Rice would not appear to have a chance to win this one.

New Mexico is favored by 8.5 over UNLV - we call it UNLV 31 New Mexico 27
New Mexico beat Utah unexpectedly last week but UNLV has a very strong team

New Mexico State is favored by 14 over Arkansas State - we call it New Mexico State 31 Arkansas State 14
Arkansas State was blitzed badly last week.

North Carolina State is favored by 1 over Virginia - we call it N.C. State 21 Virginia 17
The game is a toss-up except for the home field advantage.

Northern Illinois is favored by 15.5 over Ball State - we call it Northern Illinois 27 Ball State 13
After losing to Bowling Green, Northern Illinois will be up against a good Ball State team

Oklahoma is favored by 16.5 over Oklahoma State - we call it Oklahoma 31 Oklahoma State 28
Except for an opening loss to the Cornhuskers the Cowboys have beaten everyone. Oklahoma looked bad against Colorado last weekend, so this might be a closer game than everyone expects.

Oregon State is favored by 22 over Arizona - we call it Oregon State 35 Arizona 24
This spread appears to be a bit too large.

Ohio State is favored by 7 over Penn State - we call it Ohio State 24 Penn State 10
Will the Nittany Lions get within one touchdown of the Buckeyes? We doubt it.

Purdue is favored by 19 over Northwestern - we call it Purdue 30 Northwestern 23
After losing soundly to Michigan, the Boilermakers will be boiling, but Northwestern should not be underestimated.

South Florida is favored by 2.5 over Cincinnati - we call it Cincinnati 27 South Florida 23
Cincinnati on a neutral field has the better team.

Southern Miss. is favored by 22 over Louisiana-Lafayette Southern Miss 38 Louisiana-Lafayette 21
Louisiana-Lafayette surprised last week, but not this week.

Tennessee - no line - Duke - we call it Tennessee 37 Duke 9

Texas is favored by 6 over Nebraska - we call it an upset for our alma mater Nebraska 19 Texas 16
The Longhorns had trouble with the good defense of the Oklahoma Sooners and the Nebraska defense will give them trouble.
The NU offense stinks, so we see one TD and four field goals against one TD and three field goals.

Texas A&M is favored by 9 over Kansas - we call it Kansas 35 Texas A&M 31
We just do not see the Aggies beating the Jayhawks.

Texas Tech - no line - Colorado - we call it Texas Tech 48 Colorado 35
The Colorado secondary will be no match for Symons.

Toledo is favored by 26 over Buffalo - we call it Toledo 40 Buffalo 16

Tulsa is favored by 8.5 over UTEP - we call it Tulsa 36 UTEP 18

UAB is favored by 21.5 over Army - we call it UAB 37 Army 7

UCLA is favored by 6 over Stanford - we call it UCLA 37 Stanford 17
This has not been a good football year for my alma mater Stanford.

USC is favored by 11.5 over Washington State - we call it Southern Cal 35 Washington State 34
This ought to be a great game.

Utah State is favored by 1 over Middle Tennessee State - we call it Utah State 27 Middle Tennessee State 14
Utah State went wild last week and may give Middle Tennessee State more than they can handle.

Wake Forest is favored by 1 over Clemson - we call it Clemson 27 Wake Forest 21
Clemson has been looking stronger recently.

Washington is favored by 1.5 over Oregon - we call it Oregon 31 Washington 27
Except for the home field advantage, Oregon seems to have the stronger team.

West Virginia - no line - Central Florida - we call it West Virginia 35 Central Florida 17
West Virginia will be basking in its win over the Hokies and Central Florida will be up for this one.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

College Football Predictions, Oct.25-26, 2003 Results


Here are the results of our college football predictions for the weekend of October 25/26, 2003. The shocker of course was the 28-7 win by unheralded West Virginia over Virginia Tech, ranked 3rd nationally. The Hokies will fall far in the polls.

This was by far our worst prediction week. Although we called the winners in 36 out of 53 games we went 23-29-1 against the spread. Our cumulative record for the season is 118 winners called out of 161 games for a 118-43 record. Our record against the spread is now 80-78-3. We hope to improve the coming week.

W =win=means we called the game winner correctly
L =loss=means we did not call the game winner correctly
+ means we beat the spread
- means we did not beat the spread
o - means the spread was equalized or there was no spread listed

W+ Boise St. was favored by 25.5 over San Jose St. We called it Boise State 49 San Jose State 21, but Ryan Dinwiddie went wild, with Boise State leading 47-7 at the half and 77-14 after three quarters, and that was also the final score. Obviously, Dinwidde was taken out of the game during the second half. 75 passes were thrown by both teams and only 31 by Boise State, but they threw many long completions. No pass was interecepted.

L+ Boston College was favored by 4.0 over Notre Dame. We called it Notre Dame 27 Boston College 21, beating the spread, but the eagles did win, 27-25 after a great Fighting Irish comeback.

W+ Bowling Green was favored by 3.5 over Northern Illinois. We called it Bowling Green 31 Northern Illinois 24 and in fact, Bowling Green knocked Northern Illinois out of the rankings with a solid 34-18 win, probably entering the top 20 themselves.

W- California was favored by 17.0 over Arizona - the opening line was 18.5 - Was Cal THAT good? Our Call was Cal 27 Arizona 17. Cal is that good 42-14.

W- Central Florida was favored by 7 over Central Mich. We called it Central Florida 17 Central Mich. 16. Central Florida won 31-13.

W+ Cincinnati was favored by 27.5 over Army. We called it Cincinnati 24 Army 14, with Army losing only by 33-29.

W+ Clemson was favored by 13.5 over North Carolina. Our call was Clemson 28 North Carolina 22 and the final score was Clemson 36 and North Carolina 28.

W+ Connecticut was favored by 11 over Akron. We called it Connecticut 31 Akron 27. This was a game won by Connecticut only at the very end of the skirmish 38-37.

W- Florida St. was favored by 18.5 over Wake Forest. We called it Florida State 37 Wake Forest 27. Florida State won 48-24.

W- Fresno St. was favored by 20.5 over Rice. We called it Fresno State 35 Rice 10 but Fresno State had a tough time winning 31-28 and were in fact lucky to win with 10 unanswered 4th quarter points..

W+ Georgia was favored over UAB by 29.5. We called it Georgia 42 UAB 13 and UAB surprised, losing only 16-13.

W+ Hawaii was favored by 27 over UTEP. We called it Hawaii 42 UTEP 17. Final Score Hawaii 31 UTEP 15.

L- Idaho was favored by 3 over Louisiana-Lafayette. We called it Idaho 31 Louisiana-Lafayette 17, but Lafayette surprised greatly, 31-20.

W+ Iowa was favored by 11 over Penn St. We called it Iowa 28 Penn State 24 and the Nittany Lions lost 26-14.

W- Kansas St. was favored by 22 over Kansas. We called it Kansas State 31 Kansas 28. K-State whips the Jayhawks 42-6 and here I thought that Kansas was better than that.

W- Kentucky was favored by 9.5 over Mississippi St. We called it Kentucky 24 Miss. St. 20. After trailing by 10 at the half, the Wildcats dominated the Bulldogs and won going away 42-17.

W+ Louisville was favored by 17 over East Carolina. We called it Louisville 27 East Carolina 21. Louisvile won 36-20.

L- LSU was favored by 4 over Auburn. We called it Auburn 27 LSU 24. This was a surprise as LSU dominated Auburn 31-7.

W+ Maryland was favored by 3 over Georgia Tech. Our call was Georgia Tech 34 Maryland 17. For some reason Georgia Tech is under-rated. You could have won a lot of money in past weeks betting on this team. This week Georgia Tech was good for another surprise, beating the Terrapins by 7-3. The Yellowjackets might be 8-3 by the time they face Georgia at the end of the season.

W+ Memphis was favored by 4.5 over Tulane. We called it Memphis 40 Tulane 13. Memphis continued in top form after romping over Houston last week, thumping Tulane 41-9. One of our better calls.

W- Miami (Ohio) was favored by 21.5 over Kent State. We called it Miami (Ohio) 41 Kent State 10 but Miami only won 38-30, giving up a surprising number of points to an ostensibly much weaker Kent State team.

W- Michigan was favored by 5.5 over Purdue. We called it Michigan 35 Purdue 31. The Wolverines won in surprisingly easy fashion over a very good Boilermaker team 31- 3.

W- Minnesota was favored over Illinois by 14. We called it Minnesota 28 Illinois 13, but the Golden Gophers took the fight out of the Fighting Illini 36-10.

L- Mississippi was favored by 1.5 over Arkansas. We called it Arkansas 28 Mississippi 27 but Ole Miss came through impressively 19-7 over the Razorbacks.

W+ Nebraska was favored by 23 over Iowa St. We called it NU 48 Iowa State 0 and were really not that far off in our prediction. NU freshman quarterback Joe Dailey came into the game and threw four passes, one interecepted deep in Iowa State territory. He also fumbled away another ball on the Cyclone 11-yard line. He also hogged the ball, calling his own number far too many times rather than giving the ball to Isaiah Fluellen who ran up great yardage the few times he got the ball. Is Dailey the answer to NU quarterback problems and Jammal Lord's weaknesses - the answer appears to be no. But I would give Fluellen the ball a bit more often - on offense, you should go with the player who is hot, not the one who is not. The weak NU offense did not score at all under Dailey's direction in the 2nd half. Either you have it or you don't and Dailey has not shown much yet. Why can Nebraska not get a decent quarterback?

W+ Nevada was favored by 4.5 over Louisiana Tech. We called it Louisiana Tech 27 Nevada 23 and in fact it was Lousiana Tech 42-34 over the Nevada Wolf Pack.

W- New Mexico St. was favored by 4 over Louisiana-Monroe. We called it NMSt. 17 Louisiana-Monroe 16 but it was 21-14 for New Mexico State.

W+ North Carolina State was favored by 21 over Duke. Our call was NC State 27 Duke 14 with the Wolfpack beating the Blue Devils 28-21.

W- North Texas was favored by 2.5 over Middle Tenn. We called it North Texas 24 Middle Tenn. 23 but North Texas squaked by 33-28.

L+ Ohio was favored by 13.5 over home team Buffalo. We called it Ohio 27 Buffalo 21 and Buffalo took its home field advantage to a victory 26-17.

W+ Ohio St. was favored by 20.5 over Indiana. Our call was Ohio St. 38 Indiana 17 and the Buckeyes won 35-6.

W- Oklahoma was favored by 24 over Colorado. We called it Oklahoma 52 Colorado 14. The Okies punted only twice but gave the ball away four times on turnovers winning with an unimpressive 34-20 points against a weak Colorado team after leading 27-7. They will have to play much better next week against Oklahoma State.

L- Oklahoma St. was favored by 6 over Texas A&M. Oklahoma State has a weak defense. We called it Texas A&M 38 Okl.St. 35. Definitely one of our worst calls, Oklahoma State had an easy tiime with the Aggies, 38-10.

L- Oregon was favored by 10 over Stanford. We called it Stanford 27 Oregon 24. There appear to be some types of standard-offense teams that have no chance against Oregon, one was Michigan, another is Stanford, which lost embarassingly 35-0. Where Oregon loses is against more modern offenses, where they got beaten badly by Washington State and even Utah.

W+ Pittsburgh was favored by 7 over Syracuse. Our call was Pittsburgh 35 Syracuse 14. This turned out to be one of our better calls with Pitt winning over the Orangemen 34-14.

L- San Diego St. was favored by 3 over Wyoming. We called it Wyoming 31 San Diego State 28. It was SDS 25-20.

W- South Carolina was favored by 17 over Vanderbilt. Our call was South Carolina 38 Vanderbilt 13 but they defeated Vandy only by 35-24.

W+ Southern Miss. was favored by 3 over South Florida. We called it Southern Miss 38 South Florida 27, with the final score 27-6.

L- TCU was favored over Houston by 6. We called it Houston 27 TCU 24 but TCU came out on top 62-55 in a real scoring donnybrook with 1468 net yards rushing and passing total - a day of the offenses. 65 passes - many long - were thrown by both teams but only one interception.

L+ Temple was favored by 6 over Rutgers. We called it Temple 20 Rutgers 17 and Rutgers won 30-14.

L- Tennessee was favored by 3.5 over home team Alabama. We called it Alabama 28 Tennessee 27. Tennessee won in overtime 51-43 (in which 31 and 23 points were scored respectively), i.e. the game was tied 20-20 at the end of regulation, after Tennessee scored a touchdown in the last minute and Alabama missed a 45-yard field goal in the closing seconds. We do hate to lose a call like this one, where we basically were right in calling the game more even than the pollsters. But what a game! - and, overtime is overtime. What can you do?

W+ Texas was favored by 33.5 over Baylor, the home team. We called it Texas 56 Baylor 14 which was pretty close, except that Baylor did not score at all, with the final result being 56-0.

L+ Texas Tech was favored by 3 over Missouri. We called it Texas Tech 38 Missouri 37 and it was indeed another high-scoring game. Texas Tech's NCAA leading yardage quarterback Symons could not move the Red Raiders enough and they lost to the Tigers 62-31. Mizzou obviously wanted to make a point after being thrashed by Nr. 1 Oklahoma the previous week and their quarterback, Brad Smith, ran 20 times for 291 amazing yards rushing as a quarterback.

L+ Toledo was favored by 12.5 over Ball State, the home team. We called it Toledo 31 Ball State 21. Ball State, which lost heavily to Miami (Ohio) the week before, rolls over a good Toledo team 38-14.

W- Tulsa was favored by 17.5 over SMU. We called it Tulsa 24 SMU 20. Tulsa wins 35-16.

W+ UCLA was favored by 3 over Arizona St. We called it UCLA 38 Arizona State 27. Final score for UCLA 20-13.

L- UNLV was favored by 3.5 over BYU. We called it UNLV 27 BYU 17 but BYU surprised 27-20 in overtime.

W+ USC was favored by 10 over Washington, the home team. We called it USC 28 Washington 10, pretty close to the actual final spread and score 43-23 for USC.

L- Utah was favored by 9 over New Mexico. We called it Utah 27 New Mexico 7. New Mexico pummeled favored Utah with a 28-point third quarter (top 3rd quarterts are always a sign of good coaching changes during the half-time strategy sessions) and won in a true upset, in my books anyway, 47-35. I had been a strong Utah touter.

W- Utah St. was favored by 8.5 over Arkansas St. We called it Utah State 21 Arkansas State 14 but Utah State rolled 49-0.

W- Virginia was favored by 22 over Troy St. We think that was too much. Virginia 24 Troy State 23. We called it right on the money for Virginia, but Troy State failed to score. 24-0.

L- Virginia Tech was favored by 13 over W. Virginia. We called it 37-13 for Va.Tech. The Hokies were looking to the Miami game next week and got stomped but good, 28-7, also in the statistical departments. No fluke.

W- Washington St. was favored by 8 over Oregon St. On paper, it looked easy and we called it Wash.St. 48 Oregon State 24. It was not easy. Washington State struggled and won 36-30 only because of 20 fourth-quarter points.

Wo Western Mich. and Marshall - no line. We called it Marshall 35 Western Michigan 31. Marshal wins 41-21.

L- Wisconsin was favored over Northwestern by 10.5. We called it Wisconsin 28 Northwestern 14 but the Badgers were upset by the Wildcats 16-7, hard to believe for a team that beat Ohio State. Miami of Ohio which rolled over Northwestern 44-14 is looking like a stronger and stronger contender for top 20 ranking.

Friday, October 24, 2003

West Virginia quashes Virginia Tech in NCAA football


WVU quashes Va. Tech's national title hopes

Good grief, what goes on in college footbal? Is this a sign of what is to come this weekend? Unranked and untouted West Virginia, a team with a losing record this season, manhandled 3rd ranked Virginia Tech 28-7 on Wednesday, sending the Hokies out of any national title aspirations. I thought this was a strong team. We can err.

Goldtoe LemonNut

Goldtoe LemonNut: "Goldtoe LemonNut" gets included here for his great observations about the Yankees - go to his site and check them out - and for his anecdote about former Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax, who was my favorite baseball idol when I was a kid. Go to his site to read that anecdote.

I also know an anecdote about Koufax, but I no longer remember where I read this - it may have been in a book about baseball.

One of the things that was interesting in the baseball career of Koufax was that he used to throw with 100 percent effort all the time and still found himself in the minor leagues of baseball because he did not have enough control over his admittedly very fast pitching arm.

One day a coach told him that he had to learn to throw with only 90 percent effort - not 100%, which would give him the control he needed, and he would still be throwing the ball hard and fast enough to breeze the ball by the hitters - as he did.

Koufax subsequently became one of the greatest major league baseball pitchers ever - throwing at 90% and not 100%.

If someone tells you in life that you are pressing (and losing) - this is what they mean.

Shift down a gear, get control of yourself - and win. It applies to many areas of life.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

College Football Predictions, Oct.25-26


Here are our college football predictions for the weekend of October 25/26, 2003

Tennessee is favored by 3.5 over home team Alabama. We call it Alabama 28 Tennessee 27.
Toledo is favored by 12.5 over Ball State, the home team. We call it Toledo 31 Ball State 21.
Texas is favored by 33.5 over Baylor, the home team. We call it Texas 56 Baylor 14.
Boise St. is favored by 25.5 over San Jose St. We call it Boise State 49 San Jose State 21.
Boston College is favored by 4.0 over Notre Dame. We call it Notre Dame 27 Boston College 21.
Bowling Green is favored by 3.5 over Northern Illinois. We call it Bowling Green 31 Northern Illinois 24.
Ohio is favored by 13.5 over home team Buffalo. We call it Ohio 27 Buffalo 21.
California is favored by 17.0 over Arizona - the opening line was 18.5 - Is Cal THAT good? Our Call is Cal 27 Arizona 17.
Central Florida is favored by 7 over Central Mich. We call it Central Florida 17 Central Mich. 16.
Cincinnati is favored by 27.5 over Army. We call it Cincinnati 24 Army 14.
Clemson is favored by 13.5 over North Carolina. Our call is Clemson 28 North Carolina 22.
Oklahoma is favored by 24 over Colorado. We call it Oklahoma 52 Colorado 14.
Connecticut is favored by 11 over Akron. We call it Connecticut 31 Akron 27.
NC St. is favored by 21 over Duke. Our call is NC State 27 Duke 14.
Louisville is favored by 17 over East Carolina. We call it Louisville 27 East Carolina 21.
Florida St. is favored by 18.5 over Wake Forest. We call it Florida State 37 Wake Forest 27.
Fresno St. is favored by 20.5 over Rice. We call it Fresno State 35 Rice 10.
Georgia is favored ovr UAB by 29.5. We call it Georgia 42 UAB 13.
Maryland is favored by 3 over Georgia Tech. Our call is Georgia Tech 34 Maryland 17.
Hawaii is favored by 27 over UTEP. We call it Hawaii 42 UTEP 17.
TCU is favored over Houston by 6. We call it Houston 27 TCU 24.
Minnesota is favored over Illinois by 14. We call it Minnesota 28 Illinois 13.
Ohio St. is favored by 20.5 over Indiana. Our call is Ohio St. 38 Indiana 17.
Iowa is favored by 11 over Penn St. We call it Iowa 28 Penn State 24.
Kansas St. is favored by 22 over Kansas. We call it Kansas State 31 Kansas 28.
Miami (Ohio) is favored by 21.5 over Kent. We call it Miami (Ohio) 41 Kent 10.
Kentucky is favored by 9.5 over Mississippi St. We call it Kentucky 24 Miss. St. 20.
LSU is favored by 4 over Auburn. We call it Auburn 27 LSU 24.
Idaho is favored by 3 over Louisiana-Lafayette. We call it Idaho 31 Louisiana-Lafayette 17.
New Mexico St. is favored by 4 over Louisiana-Monroe. We call it NMSt. 17 Louisiana-Monroe 16.
Michigan is favored by 5.5 over Purdue. We call it Michigan 35 Purdue 31.
North Texas is favored by 2.5 over Middle Tenn. We call it North Texas 24 Middle Tenn. 23.
Mississippi is favored by 1.5 over Arkansas. We call it Arkansas 28 Mississippi 27.
Texas Tech is favored by 3 over Missouri. We call it Texas Tech 38 Missouri 37.
Nebraska is favored by 23 over Iowa St. We call it NU 48 Iowa State 0.
Nevada is favored by 4.5 over Louisiana Tech. We call it Louisiana Tech 27 Nevada 23
Wisconsin is favored over Northewestern by 10.5. We call it Wisconsin 28 Northwestern 14.
Oregon is favored by 10 over Stanford. We call it Stanford 27 Oregon 24.
Pittsburgh is favored by 7 over Syracuse. Our call is Pittsburgh 35 Syracuse 14.
San Diego St. is favored by 3 over Wyoming. We call it Wyoming 31 San Diego State 28.
South Carolina is favored by 17 over Vanderbilt. Our call is South Carolina 38 Vanderbilt 13.
Southern Miss. is favored by 3 over South Florida. We call it Southern Miss 38 South Florida 27.
Temple is favored by 6 over Rutgers. We call it Temple 20 Rutgers 17.
Oklahoma St. is favored by 6 over Texas A&M. Oklahoma State has a weak defense. We call it Texas A&M 38 Okl.St. 35.
Memphis is favored by 4.5 over Tulane. We call it Memphis 40 Tulane 13.
Tulsa is favored by 17.5 over SMU. We call it Tulsa 24 SMU 20.
UCLA is favored by 3 over Arizona St. We call it UCLA 38 Arizona State 27.
UNLV is favored by 3.5 over BYU. We call it UNLV 27 BYU 17.
Utah is favored by 9 over New Mexico. We call it Utah 27 New Mexico 7.
Utah St. is favored by 8.5 over Arkansas St. We call it Utah State 21 Arkansas State 14.
Virginia is favored by 22 over Troy St. We think that is too much. Virginia 24 Troy State 23.
USC is favored by 10 over Washington, the home team. We call it USC 28 Washington 10.
Washington St. is favored by 8 over Oregon St. On paper, it looks easy. We shall see. Wash.St. 48 Oregon State 24.
Virginia Tech is favored by 13 over W. Virginia. Are the Hokies looking to Miami? We call it 37-13 for Va.Tech
Western Mich. and Marshall - no line. We call it Marshall 35 Wester Michigan 31.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

College Football Predictions, Oct.18-19, 2003 Results


Was it an easy week to call winners? We called 34 game winners and had only 11 losers. 34-11 is not that bad.
We did not fare that well against the spread going 23 won - 20 lost - and 2 equalized.
Our record this season - we started a bit late - is 82 wins and 26 losses in calling the game winners and we are 57-49-2 against the spread.

This week we called the Oklahoma State game against Texas Tech 52-49 and it ended up 51-49. 1334 total yards. Amazing.
Here are the rest of the games.

W =win=means we called the game winner correctly
L =loss=means we did not call the game winner correctly
+ means we beat the spread
- means we did not beat the spread
o - means the spread was equalized

W- #1 OKLAHOMA (6-0) was favored by 26 over #24 Missouri (5-1).
We called it Oklahoma 51 Missouri 13 but it was only 34-13.

W+ #2 MIAMI (FL) (6-0) was favored by 31 over Temple (1-5)
We called it Miami 52 Temple 7, and the final score was 52-14.

W- #4 Georgia (5-1) was favored by 25 over VANDERBILT (1-6)
We saw it Georgia 44 Vanderbilt 13 but Georgia struggled to win 27-8.

W+ #5 USC (5-1) was favored by 8 over NOTRE DAME (2-3)
Our call was USC 37 Notre Dame 21 and USC won 45-14.

Wo #6 Washington State (5-1) was favored by 10 over STANFORD (2-2)
I went against my alma mater WSU 35 Stanford 14 and Washington State won 24-14, equalizing the spread.

W- #7 Florida State (5-1) was favored by 8 over #38 VIRGINIA (4-2)
We thought we were conservative in calling it Florida State 38 Virginia 17 but they barely squeaked by 19-14.

L- #8 OHIO STATE (5-1) was favored by 3.5 points over #9 Iowa (5-1)
We thought a minor upset in the making with Iowa 24 Ohio State 23 but the Buckeyes win 19-10.

W+ #10 LSU (5-1) was favored by 4.5 over #32 SOUTH CAROLINA (4-2)
We saw LSU recovering from the Florida loss as LSU 42 South Carolina 6. Final score 33-7 for LSU.

L- #11 ARKANSAS (4-1) was favored by 4.5 over #33 Florida (4-3)
Florida's win over LSU a fluke? We saw it as Arkansas 37 Florida 20 but Florida wins 33-28.

W+ #12 NORTHERN ILLINOIS (6-0) was favored by 12 over Western Michigan (3-3)
We went with the undefeated team 31-17 for Northern Illinois, which actually won 37-10.

L- #13 Purdue (5-1) was favored by 1.5 points over #14 WISCONSIN (6-1)
We called it Wisconsin 27 Purdue 26, but Purdue won on a last minute field goal 26-23. It is a matter of inches.

W+ #16 TCU (6-0) was favored by 10.5 over UAB (3-3)
We saw it closer than that as TCU 24 UAB 21 and in fact it was TCU 27 UAB 24.

W- #17 MICHIGAN (5-2) was favored by 27 over Illinois (1-6)
We thought Michigan did not have the firepower, calling Michigan 35 Illinois 14. It did, 56-14.

L- #18 NEBRASKA (5-1) was favored by 10.5 over Texas A&M (3-3)
I was hoping for goodbye Solich in this game and called it Texas A&M 28 Nebraska 20, but the Aggies made more turnovers than a somersaulting circus clown - it was 8 turnovers - and NU came away with a 48-12 laugher. Unfortunately, the victory means that there will be no goodbye, Solich. Next week should be an easy week against Iowa State, before the away game at Texas brings the Huskers back to reality.

W- #19 AUBURN (4-2) was favored by 21 over Mississippi State (2-4)
I thought Auburn was not THAT good and saw Auburn 31 Mississippi State 24, but Auburn already led 38-7 at the half and won 45-13

W+ #20 Texas (4-2) was favored by 16.5 over IOWA STATE (2-4)
I called it Texas 58 Iowa State 7 and it was 40-19.

L- #22 OREGON STATE (5-1) was favored by 10.5 over Washington (3-3)
We called it Oregon State 41 Washington 14. Oops. Somewhat of an upset, with Washington winning 38-17.

W+ #23 OKLAHOMA STATE (5-1) was favored by 3.5 points over #26 Texas Tech (5-1)
We predicted a wild shootout with OSU 52 Texas Tech 49. Well I am proud of this one, since it means I read the capactieis of the offenses and defenses right on the money. I wonder if this game set some kind of a record since both teams had nearly 700 yards each in total offense (rushing plus passing) and nearly 200 yards total penalties. The ball really moved up and down the field - nearly a mile in the course of the game. The actual final score was 51-49.

L- #25 MINNESOTA (6-1) was favored by 6 over #15 Michigan State (6-1)
We thought Minnesota was good for 31-20 through the home field advantage but Michigan State won 44-38.

IN OTHER GAMES, HERE ARE OUR CALLS:

W+ Akron was favored by 5 over Central Florida Our call: Akron 27 Central Florida 20. Final Score Akron wins 35-27.

Wo East Carolina was favored by 6 over Army. We called it East Carolina 35 Army 10
East Carolina won 38-32 - no one beat or lost to the spread

W+ Miami (Ohio) was favored by 15.5 over Ball State.
Miami of Ohio should be in the top 20. Our call: Miami (Ohio) 37 Ball State 7.
Actual Score was Miami of Ohio 49 and Ball State 3.

W- Marshall was favored by. 29.5 over Buffalo. Our call: Marshall 41 Buffalo 6.
Final Score Marshall 26-16 over Buffalo.

W- Toledo was favored by 14 over Central Michigan. We saw it as Toledo 30 Central Michigan 17.
Toledo wins 31-13.

W- Colorado St. was favored by 5.5 over Air Force. We saw a toss up. Colorado State 28 Air Force 27.
Colorado State won 30-20

W+ Wake Forest was favored by 11 over Duke. Our call was: Wake Forest 27 Duke 7.
It was Wake Forest 42 (all in the first half!) and Duke 13 (all in the second half). Strange game.

W+ Bowling Green was favored by 29 over Eastern Michigan. We called it Bowling Green 45 Eastern Michigan 21 and the actual result was Bowling Green winning by 33-20.

W+ Houston was favored by 5 Memphis. We called it Memphis 21 Houston 17. How could Houston be favored? Memphis blew them out in the first half 38- 0 and won 45-14.

W+ Idaho vs. Middle Tenn. was seen as a toss up. Our call was Middle Tenn. 31 Idaho 27 and Middle Tennessee State won in overtime 28-21 after trailing the entire game.

W- Kansas was favored over Baylor by 20. We called it Kansas 45 Baylor 21.
Kansas struggled against Baylor to only win 28-21.

W+ Kansas State was favored over Colorado by 18. We called it K-State 52 Colorado 28.
K-State won 49-20.

W- Connecticut was favored by 11 over Kent. Our call was: Connecticut 31 Kent 14.
Connecticut was lucky to win in overtime 34-31.

W+ Kentucky was favored by 16.5 over Ohio. We called it Kentucky 37 Ohio 14, missing it by two, 35-14 final score.

L- Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii was seen as a toss up. We called it Louisiana Tech 35 Hawaii 28,
but Hawaii pulled it out in the last minutes to win 44-41.

L- New Mexico St. was favored by 8 over Louisiana-Lafayette. We called it NMS 28 Louisiana-Lafayette 14. La Lafayette won in an upset 26-24

W+ Louisville was favored by 14.5 over Tulane. Our call was Louisville 38 Tulane 17.
Louisville won 47-28.

L- Mississippi was favored by 3.5 over Alabama. Our call was Alabama 27 Mississippi 24.
Ole Miss wins 43-28. Alabama surprisingly weak.

W+ NC State was favored by 5.5 over Clemson. Our call was NC State 35 Clemson 31.
NCState won 17-15

W- Arizona State was favored by 5.5 over North Carolina. We called it Arizona State 36-27.
Arizona State scored in the last second to win 33-31.

W+ North Texas was favored by 14 over Utah State. Our call was North Texas 28 Utah State 24, actual 37-27.

W+ Navy was favored by 3 over Rice. Our call was: Navy 21 Rice 10.
Actual final score: Navy 38 Rice 6.

W- Pittsburgh was favored by 15.5 over Rutgers. We called it Pittsburgh 38 Rutgers 14.
Pittsburgh led 42-7 at the half. What a comeback by Rutgers! Final Score for Pitt only 42-32 with Rutgers knocking at the goalposts at the end.

W+ Boise St. was favored by 23.5 over SMU. We called it 49 to 14 for Boise State.
Final Score Boise State 45-3. Ryan Dinwiddie keeps passing that ball.

L- New Mexico was favored by 1 over San Diego State. We called it SDS 35 New Mexico 30. A schock NMS by 30-7.

L- Boston College was favored by 4 over Syracuse. Our call was BC 27 Syracuse 17.
What happened to BC against supposedly weaker Syracuse? Who knows. Syracuse rolls 39-14.

W+ Tulsa vs. Nevada was seen as a toss-up. We called it Nevada 31 Tulsa 21.
Actual Score Nevada 28 Tulsa 21.

W- UCLA was seen as favored by 3.5 over California. We called it UCLA 42 Cal 28 but it was much closer than that and UCLA only won in overtime by 3, 23-20.

W+ Utah was seen as 2 point favorites over UNLV. We called it for Utah, 28-21 and they won 28-10. Utah should be in the top 20.

W+ BYU was favored over Wyoming by 1 but we called it in favor of Wyoming 24-23. it was Wyoming 13 BYU 10.

Friday, October 17, 2003

College Football Predictions Oct.18-19, 2003


We went 26-13 last week in calling the winners and 22-17 against the spread. Here are our college football predictions for the weekend of October 18-19, 2003.

#1 OKLAHOMA (6-0) is favored by 26 over #24 Missouri (5-1).
Missouri beat Nebraska the previous week by taking advantage of four critical NU fumbles and one intereception. Oklahoma will not commit these kinds of inexcusable mistakes, which have become an unfortunate hallmark of Solich coached teams. Missouri was up for Nebraska and will find it hard to be as motivated a second week in a row, especially as the Sooners have the home field advantage. Is Oklahoma THAT good? We will see.
Oklahoma 51 Missouri 13.

#2 MIAMI (FL) (6-0) is favored by 31 over Temple (1-5)
I am quite surprised that there is a spread here at all. Also remarkable is that a few pollsters still rank Miami Nr. 1 in spite of a mediocre season and in spite of impressive wins over top competition by the Sooners.
We call it Miami 52 Temple 7, but think OU is clearly Nr. 1 at this time.

#4 Georgia (5-1) is favored by 25 over VANDERBILT (1-6)
Georgia showed its stuff by beating Tennessee last week 41-14. This game is a yawner against a hapless Vanderbilt.
Georgia 44 Vanderbilt 13.

#5 USC (5-1) is favored by 8 over NOTRE DAME (2-3)
The Irish will be up for this one in a disappointing season, but we call it
USC 37 Notre Dame 21.

#6 Washington State (5-1) is favored by 10 over STANFORD (2-2)
Washington State has not been as impressive this year as expected, but should beat my alma mater Stanford by more than 10.
WSU 35 Stanford 14.

#7 Florida State (5-1) is favored by 8 over #38 VIRGINIA (4-2)
Virginia will feel the wrath of a Florida State which AGAIN lost to Miami. We call it
Florida State 38 Virginia 17.

#8 OHIO STATE (5-1) is favored by 3.5 points over #9 Iowa (5-1)
Ohio State is coming off of a tough loss to Wisconsin and plays an Iowa team which knocked off the Michigan Wolverines last week and has a good chance of beating the Buckeyes this week. Iowa is good against traditional offenses.
Iowa 24 Ohio State 23.

#10 LSU (5-1) is favored by 4.5 over #32 SOUTH CAROLINA (4-2)
How LSU lost last week to an otherwise unimpressive Florida is anybody's guess. Poor South Carolina has to face the wrath.
LSU 42 South Carolina 6.

#11 ARKANSAS (4-1) is favored by 4.5 over #33 Florida (4-3)
Florida is coming off an unexpected win over LSU but should be no match for Arkansas.
We see it as Arkansas 37 Florida 20.

#12 NORTHERN ILLINOIS (6-0) is favored by 12 over Western Michigan (3-3)
We call it
31-17 for Northern Illinois.

#13 Purdue (5-1) is favored by 1.5 points over #14 WISCONSIN (6-1)
Purdue is favored by 1.5 points over the home team Wisconsin, which just beat Ohio State. On paper, Purdue is the stronger team, but we will go with the home field advantage,
Wisconsin 27 Purdue 26.

#16 TCU (6-0) is favored by 10.5 over UAB (3-3)
TCU is in our opinion over-ranked, winning against a fairly easy schedule. They should in no case be ranked higher than most of the teams below them in the top 25 rankings, who they would not beat. TCU may have trouble with UAB so we call it
TCU 24 UAB 21.

#17 MICHIGAN (5-2) is favored by 27 over Illinois (1-6)
Whether Michigan has the firepower to beat the Illini by over four touchdowns is questionable.
Michigan 35 Illinois 14.

#18 NEBRASKA (5-1) is favored by 10.5 over Texas A&M (3-3)
The way we see it, the Huskers will never be the team they were as long as Solich is the head coach. It is surely a reflection of poor decisions made by the coaching staff that would allow 27 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to lose a game that should have been won against a Missouri team that otherwise has wins only over hapless opponents. When the chips are down, in our analysis of past games, Solich coached teams fall apart. Missouri scored twice on trick plays, i.e. NU was not ready for them - that is in our opinion bad coaching, nothing else. Against good coaching, trick plays tend to backfire, otherwise they would more often be used. Furthermore, players trying to field punts at the 5-yard line - as NU did - and then fumbling are an example of special teams poor coaching. This led to an unnecessary Mizzou score and changed the game around. In fact, four fumbles in critical situations - all recovered by Missouri - are generally also a sign of players, as directed by the coaches, of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Calling expected plays in expected situations gives the defense opportunity to prepare to knock the ball out of the hands of expected runners, which expectedly happened. Worse, after the game, one of the Husker players apparently punched a fan who had run onto the field. Where is the discipline and the players that had it that used to mark Husker teams? We see no sign of this in Lincoln, Nebraska in Solich coached teams, where scandals of various kinds have marked the news in past years. Huskerland appears to be a comedy of coaching errors under Solich, thoug we find Pelini has done a good job. Why the NU administration insists on pushing this agony of Solich as had coach on the Cornhusker fans is anyone's guess. As an old NU alum, I now root for Oklahoma. A well-coached team playing football the way it should be played. Texas A&M has an impressive win over Utah and losses to very good teams at Texas Tech, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech. They lost by only 16 to Virginia Tech and we think Nebraska would get stomped this year by the Hokies by four touchdowns, so we see Texas A&M winning by 8 based on comparative and hypothetically comparative scores. Hopefully, Goodbye Solich.
We call it
Texas A&M 28 Nebraska 20.

#19 AUBURN (4-2) is favored by 21 over Mississippi State (2-4)
Auburn is good but not this good. Three touchdowns is a lot against Mississippi State, which out-first-downed LSU in a 41-7 loss in which the score was not a true reflection of the game. We call it
Auburn 31 Mississippi State 24.

#20 Texas (4-2) is favored by 16.5 over IOWA STATE (2-4)
Poor Iowa State. After the 65-13 mauling at the hands of Oklahoma, the Longhorns will try to pulverize the Cyclones.
Texas 58 Iowa State 7.

#22 OREGON STATE (5-1) is favored by 10.5 over Washington (3-3)
Washington lost to Nevada last week and by 30 to UCLA the previous week. Oregon State has what in my books was an impressive win over Boise State - we think they are good - and should have no trouble here.
Oregon State 41 Washington 14.

#23 OKLAHOMA STATE (5-1) is favored by 3.5 points over #26 Texas Tech (5-1)
Texas Tech has no defense to speak of but does have the nations's leading passer in B.J. Symons. Their scores this season are 58-10, 42-28, 21-49 (loss to NC State), 49-45, 59-28, 52-21. The outcome of the game depends on whether OSU has a pass defense. The beat K-State last week but had trouble against Roberson, who may not yet be 100 percent, even though they intercepted 3 passes. Look for a high scoring donnybrook with either team possible as the winner, which we will call
OSU 52 Texas Tech 49.

#25 MINNESOTA (6-1) is favored by 6 over #15 Michigan State (6-1)
Minnesota has the home field advantage, generally calculated as one touchdown, so as far as the teams are concerned this is a toss-up, although Michigan State's loss was to untouted Louisiana Tech, such a loss being hardly the sign of a team which should sit at the top of the Big 10 - which Michigan State does at the moment.
We think Minnesota is good for 31-20.

IN OTHER GAMES, HERE ARE OUR CALLS:
Akron is favored by 5 over Central Florida Our call: Akron 27 Central Florida 20
East Carolina is favored by 6 over Army. We call it East Carolina 35 Army 10.
Miami (Ohio) is favored by 15.5 over Ball State. Miami of Ohio should be in the top 20. Our call: Miami (Ohio) 37 Ball State 7.
Marshall is favored by. 29.5 over Buffalo. Our call: Marshall 41 Buffalo 6.
Toledo is favored by 14 over Central Michigan. We see it as Toledo 30 Central Michigan 17.
Colorado St. is favored by 5.5 over Air Force. It's a toss up. Colorado State 28 Air Force 27.
Wake Forest is favored by 11 over Duke. Our call: Wake Forest 27 Duke 7.
Bowling Green is favored by 29 over Eastern Michigan. We call it Bowling Green 45 Eastern Michigan 21.
Houston is favored by 5 Memphis. We call it Memphis 21 Houston 17.
Idaho vs. Middle Tenn. is seen as a toss up. Our call is Middle Tenn. 31 Idaho 27.
Kansas is favored over Baylor by 20. We call it Kansas 45 Baylor 21.
Kansas State is favored over Colorado by 18. We call it K-State 52 Colorado 28.
Connecticut is favored by 11 over Kent. Our call: Connecticut 31 Kent 14.
Kentucky is favored by 16.5 over Ohio. We call it Kentucky 37 Ohio 14.
Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii is seen as a toss up. We call it Louisiana Tech 35 Hawaii 28.
New Mexico St. is favored by 8 over Louisiana-Lafayette. We call it NMS 28 Louisiana-Lafayette 14.
Louisville is favored by 14.5 over Tulane. Our call is Louisville 38 Tulane 17.
Mississippi is favored by 3.5 over Alabama. Our call is Alabama 27 Mississippi 24.
NC State is favored by 5.5 over Clemson. Our call is NC State 35 Clemson 31.
Arizona State is favored by 5.5 over North Carolina. We call it Arizona State 36 North Carolina 27.
North Texas is favored by 14 over Utah State. Our call is North Texas 28 Utah State 24.
Navy is favored by 3 over Rice. Our call: Navy 21 Rice 10.
Pittsburgh is favored by 15.5 over Rutgers. We call it Pittsburgh 38 Rutgers 14.
Boise St. is favored by 23.5 over SMU. We call it 49 to 14 for Boise State.
New Mexico is favored by 1 over San Diego State. We call it SDS 35 New Mexico 30.
Boston College is favored by 4 over Syracuse. Our call is BC 27 Syracuse 17.
Tulsa vs. Nevada is seen as a toss-up. We call it Nevada 31 Tulsa 21.
UCLA is seen as favored by 3.5 over California. We call it UCLA 42 Cal 28.
Utah is seen as 2 point favorites over UNLV. UNLV beat Wisconsin (in a game actually dominated by Wisconsin, but with UNLV taking advantage of errors) which beat Ohio State, but we see Utah as belonging in the top 20 under their excellent new coach, so we call it for Utah, 28-21.
BYU is favored over Wyoming by 1 but we call it in favor of Wyoming 24-23.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Ubersportingpundit


We have added

1. Ubersportingpundit.com, motto "sports all day, whether you like it or not" at

Ubersportingpundit

to our sport blog roll

and

2. we have also added to the blog roll the SportsBlog at

  • SportsBlog

  • Sunday, October 12, 2003

    College Football Predictions Oct.11-12, 2003 - OUTCOME



    I called 39 games this weak, calling the winner in 26 and losing 13, i.e. 26-13.
    Against the spread I went 22-17.

    A "W"means the game was called correctly as to the winner. An "L" means the game winner was not called. A plus-sign means I beat the spread. A minus sign means I lost to the spread

    W+ 1.Oklahoma was favored by six. My call 31-17 for the Okies . Oklahoma is stunningly powerful and at this point of the season, there is no doubt about the best team in the country. Actual result 65-13

    L+ 2. Florida State was favored by 6.5. My call was 31-28. Actual result 14-22 for Miami. Florida State just can not beat Miami and it is probably pointless to call the game their way. I beat spread.

    L- 3. Ohio State was favored by 2.5 over Wisconsin. My call was 27-24. The actual result was a surprising 17-10 upset of the Buckeyes. Lost to the spread.

    W- 4. Virginia Tech was favored by 18. I thought that was too much and called it 30-14. Actual result was 51-7. The Hokies appear to be ready to beat Miami this year. I lost the spread.

    L+ 5. LSU was favored by 10 over Florida. I though that was too much and called it 37-28. Florida even won 19-7 so I beat the srpead

    L+ 6. Arkansas was favored by six but I thought Auburn had a chance to win, calling it for the Razorbacks 33-30. Auburn upset them 3-10. Still, won the spread.

    L- 7. Georgia was favored by 2 so I went with Tennesse 31-28. It came out much differntly with Georgia thumping the Volunteers 41-14.

    L- 8. USC was favored by 22 but I gave my alma mater a better chance calling it 34-24. USC blew them out in the first half and actually lost the second half, but still won on total 44-21, beating the srpead by 1.

    L- 9. Nebraska was favored by 7 over Missouri on the road, but I called it 24-13. Nebraska had gone undefeated up to this game through a stalwart defense, but this game shows how the offense can lose games as well, fumbling the ball away four times in critical situations. You would think they teach the offense how to hold on to the ball. Without the fumbles, it is an NU win, but with the fumbles and an interception to boot, a 41-24 loss,- NU allowed 27 points to Missouri in the fourth quarter, with such last quarter breakdowns in my opinion always due to poor coaching and inept dangerous attempts to get back into the game. The Huskers still have a long way to go to be among the football elite, and in my opinion, as long as Solich is the head coach, this will never happen. The coach I would have taken to replace Solich last year went from Bowling Green to Utah and they are winning and will have a fine record and team. Lost the spread.

    W- 10. Pittsburgh was favored by 9.5 points against Notre Dame, but I think the Irish may be better than that, so my call was 22-21. But Purdue did beat the spread 28-14.

    W+ 11. Northern Illinois was favored by 17 over Central Michigan. I called it 38-24. Actual result 40-24. I beat the spread.

    W+ 12. Minnesoata was favored by 1 point at home but I called it Michigan 22-21 and the Wolverines scored 31 4th quarter points - again, poor coaching - to win 38-35.

    W- 13. Purdue was favored by 11.5 over Penn State. My call was 20-17. The actual result was 28-14 Purdue, so I lost to the spread.

    W+ 14. South Florida was favored by 1 over TCU. I went with the undefeated team 21-17. Actual result 13-10. I beat the spread.

    W+ 15. Michigan State was favored by 3.5 but I think they have been looking better than that. My call was 26-21 and the actual final score was 49-14. I beat the spread.

    W+ 16. Kansas State was favored by 3, but I called it 28-27 for Oklahoma State and they won 38-34. I beat the spread.

    W+ 17. The Clemson Virginia game was even and we took Clemson 17-14. They actually won 30-27, we beat the spread.

    And here were the other calls and results

    W+ 18. Colorado State 41 BYU 31 - BYU was favored by 2 Colorado State won 58-13. I beat the spread

    W+ 19. Maryland 35 Duke 10 - Maryland was favored by 27 Maryland won 33-20

    L- 20. Washington 27 Nevada 20 - Washington was favored by 17, too much as Nevada upset Washington 28-17

    W+ 21. Utah 30 San Diego State 17 - Utah was favored by 9.5 Utah won 27-6

    L- 22. Utah State 21 Wyoming 16 - Wyoming was favored by 3 Wyoming wins 48-21

    W+ 23. Boise State 47 Tulsa 28 -- Boise State was favored by 23 Boise State wins 27-20

    W- 24. Miami of Ohio 47 Buffalo 16 - Miama of Ohio was favored by 37.5 Miami(O) very strong win 59-3

    W+ 25. Bowling Green 33 Western Michigan 23 - Bowling Green was favored by 9.5 Actual score 32-21

    L+ 26. Kansas 35 Colorado 28 - Colorado was favored by 6.5 Colorado is lucky to win in overtime 50-47.

    L- 27. UNLV 21 Air Force 19 - Air Force was favored by 6.5 Air Force won 24-7

    W+ 28. NC State 38 Connecticut 27 - NCS was favored by 16.5 Actual score 31-24

    W- 29. Mississippi 27 Arkansas State 14 - Ole MIss was favored by 25.5 Actual score 55-0. At the ESPN college scoreboard, somebody hit the wrong button, giving Ole Miss a minus 7 points in the 4th quarter instead of a plus 7 and thus a net final reported score of 41-0, which is wrong.

    W+ 30. Navy 31 Vanderbilt 10 - Navy was favored by 5.5 Navy wins 37-27

    W+ 31. Louisville 24 Army 6 - Louisville was favored by 32 Actual score 34-10

    W+ 32. Alabama 31 Southern Miss 28 - the game was seen as even Alabama 17-3 I beat the spread

    W- 33. North Carolina 24 East Carolina 23 North Carolina was favored by 7.5 North Carolina wins 28-17

    W+ 34. Georgia Tech 35 Wake Forest 28 - Wake Forest was favored by 4.5 Georgia Tech won 24-7

    W- 35. Texas A&M 27 Baylor 21 - Texas A&M was favored by 20.5 - Actual Final Score 73-10. I lost the spread :-)

    L- 36. Oregon 28 Arizona State 24 - Oregon was favored by 2 - Arizona State actually crushed Oregon 59-14

    W+ 37. UCLA 34 Arizona 18 - UCLA was favored by 17 UCLA squaks it out 24-21

    W- 38. Texas Tech 27 Iowa State 21 - Texas Tech was favored by 16 Cyclones are trounced 52-21

    L- 39. Fresno State 33 Hawaii 30 - the game is seen as even - but Hawaii ran wild 55-28




    Wednesday, October 08, 2003

    College Football Predictions Oct.11-12, 2003


    After going 22-2 last week in calling the winners of the selected games, we now go into the seventh college football weekend on Saturday, October 11 and Sunday October 12, 2003.

    Based on Associated Press point spreads on Tuesday and the Yahoo! Sports College Football Pick'em, here are my calls:

    #1 Oklahoma (5-0) vs. #11 TEXAS (4-1) Sat 9:30pm CEST
    Another of the great games on tap this weekend. The Longhorns had a tough game against K-State last week but enjoy the home advantage here . The Sooners will have to work for the victory, but they appear very strong this year, so I call it Oklahama 31 Texas 17, even though Oklahoma is favored by only 6.

    #5 FLORIDA STATE (5-0) vs. #2 Miami (FL) (5-0) Sat 6:00pm CEST
    Miami looked like anything but a world beater last week and Florida State is favored by 6.5 points. Is this the year they knock of Miami? I'll take the spread and call it close
    Florida State 31 Miami 28.

    #3 Ohio State (5-0) vs.#23 WISCONSIN (5-1) Sun 3:00am CEST
    Wisconsin lost to UNLV and has only beaten 5 weaker opponents. But in football anything is possible and Ohio State is undefeated but struggling, and are only favored by 2.5 points. With that spread on the road, I'll take Ohio State 27 Wisconsin 24.

    #4 VIRGINIA TECH (5-0) vs. #41 Syracuse (3-1) Sat 6:00pm CEST
    Virginia Tech looks very strong this year and is favored by 18 points. The Hokies should not have much trouble with Syracuse, which can, however, get up for big games. So I'll take the spread and call it Virginia Tech 30 Syracuse 14.

    #6 LSU (5-0) vs. Florida (3-3) Sat 9:30pm CEST
    You have to be careful here. Florida has been lackluster and LSU surely has an exceptional team this year. Still, you have to take for Florida the 10 points that LSU is favored.
    I'll call it LSU 37 Florida 28.

    #7 ARKANSAS (4-0) vs. #29 Auburn (3-2) Sat 6:30pm CEST
    Undefeated Arkansas is home against an unpredictable Auburn team which beat Tennessee last week. I think this game could go either way even though the Razorbacks are favored by 6. I'll take the spread calling it Arkansas 33 and Auburn 30.

    #8 Georgia (4-1) vs. #13 TENNESSEE (4-1) Sun 1:45am CEST
    This should be one of several great games this weekend. Tennessee is at home after the upset loss to Auburn and Georgia has its work cut out for it, even though they are favored by 2. I call it Tennessee 31 and Georgia 28 in a humdinger.

    #9 USC (4-1) vs. Stanford (2-1) Sun 4:00am CEST
    My alma mater Stanford does not look very strong this year and should be no match for the Trojans, who are favored by 22 points at home, still, that is one more than 3 touchdowns, so I will take the spread in favor of Stanford and call it USC 34 Stanford 24.

    #10 Nebraska (5-0) vs. #43 MISSOURI (4-1) Sun 1:00am CEST
    The Huskers 30-0 win last week over Troy State showed the defense is outstanding. Favored by a touchdown on the road, I remain sceptical about the NU offense, but a good defense is worth two touchdowns so I call it Nebraska 24 Missouri 13.

    #15 PITTSBURGH (3-1) vs. Notre Dame (1-3) Sun 12:00am CEST
    Pittsburgh is favored by 9.5 points but the Irish ought to give them a go , so I'll take the spread, and call it Pittsburgh at home 22 and Notre Dame 21.

    #16 Northern Illinois (5-0) vs.CENTRAL MICHIGAN (2-3) Sat 7:00pm CEST
    Northern Illinois is justly favored by 17 but Central Michigan can be pesky, so I'll take the spread and call it Northern Illinois 38 Central Michigan 24.

    #17 MINNESOTA (6-0) vs. #20 Michigan (4-2) Sat 2:00am CEST
    Minnesota plays at home and is favored by 1 point over Michigan, but I think the Wolverines are ready again, even though Minnesota looked impressive last week. I'll take Michigan and the spread, calling it against the home team,
    Mightly possible: Michigan 22 Minnesota 21.

    #18 PURDUE (4-1) vs. Penn State (2-4) Sat 9:30pm CEST
    Purdue is one of the surprises of the season and is favored by 11.5 over Penn State. I think that is too much and call it Purdue 20 and Penn State 17.

    SOUTH FLORIDA (3-1) vs. #18 TCU (5-0) Sat 2:00am CEST
    TCU was not impressive over Army last week and South Florida is favored by 1 through the the home field advantage. Still, I would go with the undefeated team,
    let's say TCU 21 and South Florida 17.

    #21 Michigan State (5-1) vs. ILLINOIS (1-5) Sat 6:00pm CEST
    Michigan State is flying high and Illinois is a big disappointment, especially for the Illini themselves. Michigan State is only favored by 3.5 since Illinois has a home game. Still I think it will be more than that: Michigan State 26 Illinois 21.

    #22 Kansas State (3-2) vs. #30 OKLAHOMA STATE (4-1) Sat 6:30pm CEST
    Kansas State put up a tough battle against Texas and has to go on the road against Oklahoma State, unbeaten except for a loss to Nebraska. K-State is favored by 3, so I'll take the spread and go with the home team, calling it Oklahoma State 28 Kansas State 27.

    CLEMSON (3-2) vs. #25 Virginia (4-1) Sat 6:00pm CEST
    Bets here are off and it is in fact a tough one to predict. We'll take Clemson, the home team 17-14 over Virginia..

    In other games we call it, using the spreads at tbeck:

    Colorado State 41 BYU 31 - BYU is favored by 2
    Maryland 35 Duke 10 - Maryland is favored by 27
    Washington 27 Nevada 20 - Washington is favored by 17
    Utah 30 San Diego State 17 - Utah is favord by 9.5
    Utah State 21 Wyoming 16 - Wyoming is favored by 3
    Boise State 47 Tulsa 28 -- Boise State is favored by 23
    Miami of Ohio 47 Buffalo 16 - Miama of Ohio is favored by 37.5
    Bowling Green 33 Western Michigan 23 - Bowling Green is favored by 9.5
    Kansas 35 Colorado 28 - Colorado is favored by 6.5
    UNLV 21 Air Force 19 - Air Force is favored by 6.5
    NC State 38 Connecticut 27 - NCS is favored by 16.5
    Mississippi 27 Arkansas State 14 - Ole MIss is favored by 25.5
    Navy 31 Vanderbilt 10 - Navy is favored by 5.5
    Louisville 24 Army 6 - Louisville is favored by 32
    Alabama 31 Southern Miss 28 - the game is seen as even
    Northa Carolina 24 East Carolina 23 North Carolina is favored by 7.5
    Georgia Tech 35 Wake Forest 28 - Wake Forest is favored by 4.5
    Texas A&M 27 Baylor 21 - Texas A&M is favored by 20.5
    Oregon 28 Arizona State 24 - Oregon is favored by 2
    UCLA 34 Arizona 18 - UCLA is favored by 17
    Texas Tech 27 Iowa State 21 - Texas Tech is favored by 16
    Fresno State 33 Hawaii 30 - the game is seen as even

    (No guarantees for any spreads quoted here - check the official sources).

    Sunday, October 05, 2003


    OK, how were my football prognostications for the college football weekend October4, 2003?
    I went 22-2 in calling the winners, including numerous upsets but went only 12-12 against the spread.
    This shows that trying to call the outcome of games by point difference is much harder than simply picking the winners.

    Here are the results, my (AK) prediction ! means I called the winner), the spread, and whether I beat the spread.

    Oklahoma 53 Iowa State 7 (AK 42-14) ! -21 for OU I beat the spread
    Oklahoma may be even stronger than expected.
    Miami 22 West Virginia 20 (AK 51-7) ! -27 for Miami I lost to the spread
    Miami may be even weaker than expected.
    Virginia Tech 48 Rutgers 22 (AK 45-10) ! -24.5 for V-Tech I beat the spread
    The Hokies are playing pretty much according to expectations.
    Auburn 28 Tennessee 21 (AK 27-24) ! even I beat the spread
    Upset prediction correct.
    Iowa 30 Michigan 27 (AK 28-27) ! -3 for Michigan I beat the spread
    Upset prediction correct.
    USC 37 Arizona State 17 (AK 55-21) ! -11 for USC I beat the spread
    Arizona State put up more resistance than expected.
    Georgia 37 Alabama 23 (AK 28-27) ! -10 for Georgia I lost to the spread
    Alabama was weaker than expected.
    Nebraska 30 Troy State 0 (AK 27-10) ! -27.5 for NU I lost to the spread
    The Cornhusker defense may be much better than expected.
    Texas 24 Kansas State 20 (AK 24-23) ! -6 for Texas I beat the spread
    Roberson makes a difference as K-State.
    Wash. State 30 Arizona 7 (AK 52-17) ! -27.5 for WSU I lost to the spread
    Arizona's defense not as bad as expected.
    Northern Illinois 30 Ohio 23 (AK 42-6) ! -22 for N. Illinois I lost to the spread
    Ohio stronger than expected.
    UCLA 46 Washington 16 (AK 31-30)! - 1.5 for Wash. I beat the spread
    Upset prediction correct.
    Utah 17 Oregon 13 (AK 38-28)! --3 for Utah I beat the spread
    Upset prediction correct.
    TCU 27 Army 0 (AK 48-7) ! bets were off I would have lost
    Army better against TCU than S. Florida
    Minnesota 42 Northwestern 17 (AK 28-17) ! -10.5 for Minn. I beat the spread
    Minnesota stronger than expected.
    Purdue 43 Illinois 10 (AK 21-17)! -14 for Purdue I lost to the spread
    Purdue stronger than expected.
    Mississippi 20 Florida 17 (AK 43-45) -12.5 for Florida I beat the spread
    Strength of Ole Miss recognized in the prediction, and Florida offense weaker than expected.
    Michigan State 31 Indiana 13 (AK 27-13)! -15 for Mich.St. I lost to the spread
    Pretty much as expected.
    Boise State 43 Louisiana Tech 37 (AK 48-37) ! -7 for Boise St. I lost to the spread
    Ryan Dinwiddie threw one TD too few.
    UNLV 16 Nevada 12 (AK 38-28)! -4.5 over Nevada I lost to the spread
    Upset prediction correct.
    Oregon State 35 California 21 (AK 21-24) -1.5 over Cal I lost to the spread
    Cal weaker than expected.
    Georgia Tech 29 NC State 21 (AK 27-24)! -6.5 for NCS I beat the spread
    Upset prediction correct.
    Colorado State 34 Fresno State 10 (AK 35-31)! -6.5 for Col.St. I lost to the spread
    What happened to the Fresno State offense?
    Miami of Ohio 45 Akron 20 (AK 41-16)! -19.5 for Miami O. I beat the spread
    Miami of Ohio is strong this year.

    So, I will see if I can do better the coming week.




    Wednesday, October 01, 2003

    Salon.com News | King Kaufman's Sports Daily


    As noted at Salon.com News | King Kaufman's Sports Daily, there are many more baseball blogs than football blogs. What is the reason? Is baseball the more "intellectual" sport?

    Forbes.com: Best Sports Blogs


    Forbes Media at Forbes.com: Best Sports Blogs has just has published (Sept. 29) a - very short - page on their selection of Best Sports Blogs, but as one can tell by the very few sites listed, Forbes admits that sports blogs have not yet hit the web community.

    SportPundit was not considered for this list because we started up SportPundit two days later, on October 1, 2003.

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