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#CheddarBay Week 8: FSU -3 at Clemson.

* THIS WEEKS LINES ARE LINKED HERE.
* THIS WEEK’S ALL PLAY IS FSU -3 AT CLEMSON (8PM SATURDAY, ABC).
* IPAD/MOBILEDEVICE USERS:  THE STANDINGS ARE LINKED HERE.
* DOUBLE CHECK MY ENTRY OF YOUR PICKS ON THIS SPREADSHEET.

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Winston or Beasley, who you got?

Nice little matchup shaping up Saturday night in South Carolina.  Say what you want about the NCAA but they do a decent job presenting their stats.  I decided to check Clemson and FSU out and it turns they’re pretty even.  (Stats are fun when you’re not ruled by them.)

Clemson (national rankings)

  • #1 3rd down defense (23.7%);
  • #14 Pass Completion Pct. (69.0%);
  • #10 First Down Defense
  • #4 (Least) Passes had intercepted (2)
  • #9 Interceptions (10)
  • #10 Passing Offense (342 YPG)
  • #18 (Least) Passing yards allowed (187 YPG)
  • #4 Red zone defense
  • #10 Scoring defense (16.2)
  • #17 Scoring offense (40.8)
  • #1 Sacks (4.0)
  • #8 Passing Efficiency
  • #1 Tackles for loss (10.2 per game)
  • #13 Total offense (515 YPG)
  • #4 Turnover margin (+1.5)
  • #2 Sacks, Vic Beasley

FSU

#CheddarBay Week 7: Jags +27.5 at Broncos.

* THIS WEEKS LINES ARE LINKED HERE.
* THIS WEEK’S ALL PLAY IS JAGUARS +27.5 AT BRONCOS (4PM SUNDAY, CBS).
* IPAD/MOBILEDEVICE USERS:  THE STANDINGS ARE LINKED HERE.
* DOUBLE CHECK MY ENTRY OF YOUR PICKS ON THIS SPREADSHEET.

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Good work Cheddars:  after last week’s 54% performance and 60% hits on essays, we as a group are demonstrably imbued with, at the minimum, the casino prowess of Fredo after his time with Moe Green.  Still room for improvement though.  Just stay away from cocktail waitresses two-at-a-time and Johnny Ola.

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Only six figures?

That 54% win rate was enhanced by one of the worst beats in recent memory, enough said on that.  So fate smiled on the Cheddars (You went 35-16 for OSU.), why not?  It was well-earned after that rocky start.

We had a suggestion from Matt Borcas for the historical all-play this week.  The Broncos-Jags game is the largest opening point spread in NFL history.  The prior biggest was Bucs at Steelers in 1976.  That was Tampa’s inaugural year, 0-14, was the 13th game, and -no- the Bucs did not cover; final score 42-0 Steelers.

Congrats to Architect Art Vandelay on his Lobsterfest.  Nice to see the ballsy “-39.5” pick rewarded although, it was Oregon.  And obviously he benefitted from one of the baddest beats in recent memory but, well, that’s the casino business.

Wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention that one among us has been perfect with his weekly essay and not coincidentally he is enjoying great success in the standings.  One would do well to read this not-named player’s takes.

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@CLEVTA’S SKANKY FISH PICKS.

@ClevTA's Skanky Fish Picks.

A minor setback last week, going 2-3 (although MTSU was a push if you bet it).  The Wake Forest pick was eerie… there sure did not look to be any reason to like Wake in that game but someone knew something.

Year-to-date Skanky is 15-6-1 ATS so take heed when ClevTA throws out this week’s Skankies.  Here they are:

NCAAF:

1. Memphis +9.5 v Houston (Line opened Hou -11.5, now 9.5. 76% of public on HOU) Pick: Memphis
2. UTSA -1.5 v Rice (Line opened Rice -3.5, now UTSA -1.5. 66% of public on Rice) Pick: UTSA
3. PSU +3 v Michigan (Line opened Mich -3, now either 3/2.5 depending on site. 74% on Mich) Pick: PSU
4. KSU +18 v Baylor (Line opened Baylor -20, now 18/17. 71% of public on Baylor) Pick: KSU

Nothing in NFL this week.

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Browns -4 over Bills, #CheddarBay essay.

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The emergence of Joe Haden this year has been pretty awesome.

***SUBMIT CHEDDAR PICKS WEDNESDAY’S POST PLEASE, THANKS.***

In our friendly Cheddar Bay Pickstravaganza, we (or at least I) tend to tie ourselves up in knots with research to validate the pick of the week.  In thinking about tonight’s Bills at Browns game, it occurred to me that there’s no team I have more research on than the Browns.  So if I’m thinking the Browns a good bet to beat the Bills by more than four points, I gotta trust my eyes.  It’s unlikely that I’ll be as expert in the BallSt +5.5 @UVA matchup.  I can’t worry that a lot of other guys in this group have the same pick tonight.

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12 out of 17 experts like the Bills to cover… LOAD UP MY FRIENDS!!

So let’s take this on.  Here’s why I like the Browns tonight.

1.  Still an unknown team (nationally).
Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon might have some cachet in fantasy circles.  But Craig Robertson and Buster Skrine and Mitchell Schwartz are unknowns.  Do you think Phil Taylor or Alex Mack or Jabaal Sheard are known quantities outside of NEO?  No way.  To the rest of the country, the Browns are Joe Thomas and Joe Haden.  Maybe there’s some respect for the FAs Bryant and Kruger but not so much for the talent on the team coming into the season.  As a result, the Browns are good value.  For now.

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Mike Mayock is going to act like he’s known Jabaal Sheard all along but in reality, he just learned his name in this morning’s staff meeting.

But while we’re on the subject of Joe Haden…

2.  Joe Haden has moved to elite.
It’s one thing to look at some stats and say shit like ‘Oh wow, AJ Green only had 51 yards on seven catches so Haden must be really good.’  And while that’s true, what I’m seeing is more.  I’m seeing him daring QB just to try to throw his way.  Hell, I’m seeing him daring teams to RUN his way… his tackling has been intimidating this year.  But what I’m REALLY seeing is him inspiring his mates in the secondary.  They’re ALL playing strong; they’re all bringing Haden swag to their games.  The weakest part of the Browns roster is playing great and to my eye, it’s due to Haden’s play and his leadership.

3.  Competent QB play is, in fact, good-to-very-good QB play.
I well remember when Drew Bledsoe was knocked out of the game in 2001 and Tom Brady took his place.  Bledsoe had the gun and the pedigree but was prone to staring down receivers and jamming throws were they shouldn’t go.  Bad turnovers.  Did not inspire confidence in teammates and so not a great leader.  Enter Brady and he didn’t do anything spectacularly well.  Just ran through his progressions quickly and pretty much always found the open receiver.  Got rid of the quickly and accurately.  Poised in the pocket.  There weren’t any Manning-esque line-audible shenanigans then.  Brady was simply a competent practitioner of quarterbacking.   That’s what I’m seeing in Hoyer so far.  Nothing flashy but poised and competent.  Competent QB-ing is vastly underrated in my opinion. (more…)

Cheddar Bay week 6: OSU -7 at NU.

Here is your happy Week Six Cheddar open thread.  In addition to being way too happy with the Bucks, Browns, and Indians from last weekend, we’re happy because we/Cheddar hit at 52% overall and a very good 61% one essaypicks.

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Raises questions with no good answers..

Clearly the Bobby Brian Hoyer* effect reaches further than Berea.  Could the improved Cheddaring be related to the eerie likeness between Hoyer and our own Cheddar Bay founder?

Maybe this has more to do with my own possible baldism.  But they look like twins to me.

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Other business, congrats and welcome back to ClevelandThatILove (aka CLTIL) on her Lobsterfest.  I had been meaning to remove the jinx I put on her in the August ‘welcome’ post:

… the champ in my mind, the player I watch, is CLTIL and her money picks.  She was an unbelievable 14-2 in 2011 on her essays and followed up with 12-6 last year.  That’s 76% (26-8) winners over two years against the spread on CLTIL’s pick of the week.

Now I don’t have to.

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On the other of the spectrum, sadly I had to fire mom.  It turns put those poor AFA performances my folks saw were versus USU and Wyoming.  (!!!)  Like Dr. Evil, this organization does not tolerate failure so she was on first flight out Sunday AM.  (Awww… just kidding and of course I have access to a schedule which can be used to check data and such as.)

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I wish to acknowledge the requests to move on from the local team all-plays but lookit:  OSU at NU is the best game this weekend.  You won’t see Ohio State again until the Michigan game.  Like Bluto, your Cheddar Bay Sergeant-at-Arms is just doing his duty.

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Your Delta Tau Chi name is Pinto.
Why Pinto?
WHY NOT!

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Drop them picks in the comments below as you have them.  Happy happy happy happy happy happy!  Go Tribe!  Go Browns!  Go Bucks!

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THIS WEEKS LINES ARE LINKED HERE.
THIS WEEK’S ALL PLAY IS OHIO STATE -7 AT NORTHWESTERN.
IPAD/MOBILEDEVICE USERS:  THE STANDINGS ARE LINKED HERE.
AND REMEMBER TO DOUBLE CHECK MY ENTRY OF YOUR PICKS ON THIS SPREADSHEET.

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@ClevTA's Skanky Fish Picks.

@ClevTA’s Skanky Fish Picks.

Skanky fish picks:

From ClevTA’s post below:  … 4-3 ATS last week on the picks with all 4 dogs winning outright. That makes a cool 12-5-1 since inception with an astonishing 10 out of the 12 covers winning outright (8 of the 10 winning outright were underdogs).

  1. Wake Forest +9.5 v NC St (Line opened NC St -9.5, now -8.5, 73% of public on NC St) Pick: Wake
  2. FL Atlantic +4 v UAB (Line opened UAB -7, now -4, 68% of public on UAB) Pick: FL ATL
  3. Middle Tenn St +7.5 v ECU (Line opened ECU -9, now -7.5, 67% of public on ECU) Pick: MTSU
  4. Tennessee +3 v KC (Line opened KC -3.5, now -2.5, 75% of public on KC) Pick: Titans
  5. Chicago PK v NO (Line opened PK, now Chi -1.5, 63% of public on Saints) Pick: Bears

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* Raise your hand if you’re a sufferer of Bobby Hoying/Brian Hoyer dyslexia.  /raises hand.

Cheddar Bay week 5: Wisconsin +7.5 at Ohio State.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE:
Cheddar stalwarts CheddarClay, Probitive Favorite, CapGG, and Brosef seen at Bengals game tailgate.

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^^^ Brings me sheet music for obscure Godfather piano pieces.  (Click to hear.)

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LATE LINE:  AFA +10 at Nevada.

THIS WEEKS LINES ARE LINKED HERE.
THIS WEEK’S ALL PLAY IS WISCONSIN +7.5 AT OHIO STATE.
IPAD/MOBILEDEVICE USERS:  THE STANDINGS ARE LINKED HERE.
AND REMEMBER TO DOUBLE CHECK MY ENTRY OF YOUR PICKS ON THIS SPREADSHEET.

Well that’s a lot of capital letters.

Hey ladies and gents, this is your Cheddar Bay open thread for week five.  Treat it lovingly.

Well done on the LOBSTERFEST to player It’s Only Money.  His winning ticket looked like this:

  • Browns +6 – essay
  • Bengals +6 – allplay
  • Lville -42.5
  • OSU -49.5
  • Wisc -24.5
  • Mizzou -3.5

Oh sure, it looks easy and smart now.

And speaking of the Browns, I seem to have staked out a position on Joe Banner and his plan for 2013 which is somewhat unpopular and that has been challenged on several fronts.  (I see you Zara!)  I apologize for not tending to this with replies or a follow up post… but hey, mom’s in town.  She came out from Colorado to play my piano and see some Seacoast and of course making sure I’m good.  So salty Banner critiques are on hold for just a bit.  Having a morning Matcha Tea with someone playing “the mattresses song” from The Godfather renders one without salt.

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@ClevTA's Skanky Fish Picks.

@ClevTA’s Skanky Fish Picks.

Skank Time:  8-2-1 since inception using Cheddar lines, 7-3 with real time wagers. True to the title of this post, there are a few special “hold your nose” picks below but just remember awful teams cover too.

College:

  1. Idaho +7.5 v Temple (Temple opened -9.5 down to 7, 65% of public on Temple) Pick: Idaho
  2. USC +5.5 v ASU (ASU opened -7 down to 4.5, 64% of public on ASU) Pick: USC
  3. Buffalo +1 v UCONN (UCONN opened -2.5 down to PK, 64% of public on UCONN) Pick :Buffalo

NFL:

  1. Rams +4 v SF (SF opened -4 down to 3, 68% of public on SF) Pick: Rams
  2. Browns +5 v Cinci (Opened Cinci -5 down to 4, 69% of public on Cinci) Pick: Browns
  3. Jax +9.5 v Indy (Opened Indy -9.5 down to 7.5,75% of public on Indy) Pick Jax
  4. Buffalo +3.5 v Baltimore (Opened Balt -4 down to 3, 67% of public on Balt) Pick: Buffalo

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Okay Cheddars, we’re due to regress progress to the mean eventually, but still we batted .417 last week so:

Let’s be careful out there.

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Cheddar Bay week 4: We [are now no longer] goin’ to Ypsi.

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White smoke seen rising above the Basilica of Cheddar Bay.

LATE LINES:

Arkansas +2 at Rutgers;
Toledo -13 at CMU;
FAMU +49.5 at OSU.

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After an emergency session of the Cheddar Bay Executive Committee, the all-play for this week is no longer the sleeper sneaky MAC game between Ann Arbor and Detroit.

We are now asking our pickers to choose this game:

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Packers -3 at Bengals.
1pm Sunday.
Game matchup link.

Three time playoff team and undefeated 1-1 Bengals a home dog?  Residual MNF football effect?  Should be a strong game.

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Week four lines here.

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UPDATE, Thursday PM:  ClevTA’s Rotten Skanky Fishstinky-dead-animated-fish-with-flies
Last week, TA’s formula went 4-1-1.  Let’s see how it goes this week:

CFB:
– SJSU v Minn (opened Min -5, now -3.5. 65% on MIN) ADV: SJSU
– Memphis v ARK St (opened -6, now -4. 69% on ARK st) ADV: Memphis
– SDSU v Oregon St (opened -11, now -8.5. 67% on Oregon St) ADV: SDSU

NFL:
– ATL v MIA (opened PK, now MIA -2.5. 68% on ATL) ADV: MIA
– Buf v NYJ (opened NYJ -1, now NYJ -2.5. 64% on BUF) ADV: NYJ

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———DISREGARD LOVELY YPSILANTI———

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Ypsilanti, MI:  Home to EMU and rumored to be a pretty cool place.

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Other news.

Welcome Swerb.  I granted new player Swerb a late entry bogey of one point.  There is precedent for this from past years, not a biggie, and congrats on coming out strong.

Hell yes we can still accept late entries.  In case you know anyone on the fence.  Get em in touch with me.

Cheddar public service announcement.  If anyone missed yesterday’s post, Be a better bettor, it’s probably worth your while to check it out.  Many thanks for Petefranklin, ClevTA, and Squeekycleen for their insights.  If you know real handicappers, you know discretion and low-profile are two cornerstones in that personality profile… so we appreciate the info they were willing to share.

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Michie Stadium is terrific.  

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The Stanford man.

Army’s home games have been played at Michie Stadium since the 1920s.  You cannot ask for a better venue.  Good people, beautiful scenary, the parking –my god– the parking was executed like a miliatary operation, and Army played their balls off.  Army was hanging in, down 20-13 with five minutes left in the 3rd quarter.  Stanford had to out weigh Army by forty pounds at every position on the line and that eventually took its toll.  But the Army TD with seventeen seconds left was hard-earned and very tasty.

The game was a sell out with many Stanford types at the game and they all looked like this guy.

The only complaint, and it’s minor, was the the Corps of Cadets were in the visitor stands.  Don’t know if this is a new thing but have to say it could have been louder on our side of the field.  The Corps was loud.  Good thing too, because with the camo unis, you’d completely miss them but for the sound.

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Camo works.

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Be a better bettor.

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The picture of Petefranklin in my mind.

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Cheddar Bay is off to a slow start this year.  Our weekly win rate has gone from 48.7% to 44.6% to 44.0% as of Monday night.  Compare to last year (49.0-40.2-49.7) and 2011 (49.5-48.8-45.4) and we’re down a tad.

(Note:  we always figure it out after the slow start.  We closed positive in those last two years:  2012, 50.9%; 2011, 51.0%)

These numbers got me thinking about ‘systems.’  I try a ‘system’ every year.  This year I studied the ATS records of college head coaches.  Last year I forget what it was but it didn’t work.  Year before that it was random blue grass pioneers.  (e.g., Bill Monroe is from near Bowling Green, Kentucky so take WKU and UL-Monroe. I swear it was as good as anything else I’ve tried.)  I keep biting hard on a fail-safe way to pick games but dammit there either isn’t one or I’m not leveraging my resources.

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My ‘system’ starts with writing down games I like on envelope backs.  **thinks**  Nope, this is the max level of sophistication going on over here.

Wait a sec.  “Resources.”

I’m a g.d. Executive Committee member for Cheddar Bay.  I have m.f.-ing resources out my ass.  I know I’ve got one Cleveland-based handicapping maven and another guy who’s Vegas-based now but I wouldn’t be surprised to find he’s got some Steubenville or Youngstown roots.  And then there’s Squeekycleen… he quietly goes his own way and does his own thing but I’ve been booking plays here long enough to know a sharp player when I see one.

So I asked these players to help a brother out.  It went like this:

I view you as top handicappers in our group and just excellent handicappers without any qualification.  This is out of left field but would any of you be willing to give Cheddar a couple paragraphs on ‘handicapping’ things you look at?  Not football-related things, but stuff like line movements, public action, sharp action, consensus, what they mean (if anything) to you, where to find that data.  I know I’d be interested, I’m sure the group would be too.   Like I said, don’t want it to be a heavy lift.  Let me know if you’d be up sharing.

They were up for sharing.  I’ve excerpted their comments below.

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Resources

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Cle-dot-com not a go-to for up-to-date injury news… even for the Browns.

Petefranklin (PF):  As far as resources, Covers I use to track line movements and team stats and that’s about it.  Most of their articles are too generic, the forums are terrible, and their touts suck.  SBR and RX forums I use to see who the pro touts are on (good ones and bad ones).  Sportsmemo.com used to be my favorite show on AM out here but is only on the internet now; they have solid all around info.  I knew the Peedee was bad but there’s still no verification of Weedens sprained thumb at 12:30 AM EST.  I hadn’t been there (PD) for a while and it’s reasons like this that I have stayed away.  ESPN reported on its ticker three hours ago that he was out.

ClevTA (TA):  I love using Covers.com.  It’s a great resource for trends and an easy way to hit up box scores from the current and prior seasons.  I also rely on their consensus betting percentage trends as a guide for public wagering.  As a backup check on the public percentages, I also use an iphone app called iOdds to make sure the numbers jibe.  My third check on the public action is simply using Yahoo! and their NFL and College Pick’em contests.  You can see what yahoo.com users are entering in terms of ‘just win and ATS confidence.  (It’s also a good resource for anyone out there who play in survivor pools.)  For stats, the best site for both NFL and NCAA is teamrankings.com.  There’s a multitude of statistics for NFL and CFB and it’s easy to navigate.  I pay particular attention to yards per play and first downs per play.  But any stat that you are looking for, teamrankings has them.

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Line movement

PF:  My biggest criterion for a good bet is getting the best of the closing line.  I look for at least a point in college sides and more in totals, less so in the NFL.  I also work hard to get those numbers that are good, I made three laps around town yesterday in my truck and pulled a calf muscle sprinting into a casino only to have the # gone.

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Cheddar Bay Week 3: Browns +7 at Ravens.

This week’s lines are posted here.

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Late lines:  OSU -15.5 at Cal; Ole Miss +3 at Texas.

Reminder:  use the “Current” column for your point spreads, not the “Open” column.

NFL Star Terrell Suggs Chooses Ink, Not Mink

Ball So Hard U will be represented Sunday.

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All-play is Browns -7 at Ravens.

We had three solid candidates for the All-Play this week.  My pref, I admit, was the Niners/Seahawks.  A great case can be made for Bama/TAMU.  But the Chairman Emeritus makes a compelling case for the Browns/Ravens:

Who will have the balls to take those points this week is  far and away the most interesting test of Cheddar Bayers this week.  Bama/A&M would be a second.  Niners/Seahawks is a great game, but I don’t think it’s nearly as compelling an All Play.  You’ll get a lot of “Mangini Mangini Mangini (spoiler alert!)” and the rest surely (at least mostly) just bland rehashing of preseason punditry on one side of the Niners/Seahawks debate or the other.

My ‘thing’ is not wanting to have to bet against the team I’m rooting for.  But that’s my thing and I have lots of things that I won’t inflict upon you up to and including an all-play of SunBelt powers WKU vs. ArkySt. at some point.  (Wait.  Actually I can’t rule that out.)

(And besides:  on second look at the schedule, Wisconsin at Arizona State might could be the best game of the weekend.)

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Sketchy updates this weekend.

Your loyal commissioner is usually on top of the scoring throughout the weekend, taking time out Sunday to catch the Browns (at The Riverside Lounge in Amesbury, Mass if you’re in the neighborhood).

But this weekend the scoring may lag as we’re picking off a low level bucket list item and catching an Army game at Michie Stadium, West Point, NY.  The fact of Stanford playing there is incidental   So look for pateslvrblk and me under the big Kanick logo as shown below.

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Not going to West Point expecting to witness the greatest upset in college football in the last 100 years.
Going because, just look.

Dammit just noticed who’s in front of our seats and I’ve already called the Browns Stadium ushers to make the cadets sit down.

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Drop your picks in the comments below and happy handicapping!

Cheddar Bay open thread #2; Irish at Michigan.

Welcome to Week 2 of Cheddar Bay.1942_notre-dame_vs_michigan  This week’s lines are linked here.

Our all-play this week is:

Notre Dame +4.5 at Michigan.
8pm Saturday, Ann Arbor, ESPN.

The Browns’ opener was considered for the all-play but after consultation with the Chairman Emeritus, we agreed Mich/ND is the better game and also that we were somewhat blasé going into the Browns season.

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Attention Ipad users
It’s been pointed out to me that the standings sidebar widget is unseen from mobile endpoint devices.  So here are the links to the Cheddar Bay 2013 trackers for your bookmarking pleasure:

Your commissioner thanks you in advance for double-checking his data entry.  Mistakes have happened and will again; please make sure I get your pick entered correctly. (more…)

Cheddar Bay open thread #1; UGA at Clemson.

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Tajh Boyd’s Chik-Fil-A performance vs. Mingo/LSU was remarkable.

 

The only reality football league where media types and Vegas sharps and a good share of the Cleveland Bar match football wits with the hoi polloi and in all in a judgment-free and supportive community is now off and running.

Week one’s all-play game is Georgia -2 at Clemson (Saturday 8pm, ABC).

The scoring is half points this week:  the total points are four, your essay-pick is worth 1.5.

Submit your picks in the thread below.

Picks should be in an hour before kickoff. (more…)