Where we try and help you win some coin. But remember kids, gambling is wrong. We would never actually bet real money (wink, wink)

Friday, October 31, 2003

Back to the college picks...

Arizona at Oregon State (-22)
HmmmÖ how much will OSU blow Zona out by? 22 sounds about right to me. OSU

Arkansas at Kentucky (+3.5)
Three weeks ago, the Hogs would have been favored by double digits. I realize they have hit a rough patch, but this is still Kentucky weíre talking about. ARK

Cincinnati at South Florida (-2.5)
Big fan of the Bearcats. CINCY

Clemson at Wake Forest (-1)
Grobeís been letting me down a little bit, and Clemson has been quietly resurgent, but Iím hoping my Deacons donít let me down, Iíve ridden them this far. WAKE

Colorado State at Wyoming (+11)
Wyoming is flat out terrible. CSU

East Carolina at Memphis (-17.5)
Memphis is still living off that Ole Miss upset, but they havenít done much since then. ECU

Eastern Mich at Central Mich (-8.5)
Wow, a game between directional Michigan schools. Do not watch without adult supervision. CMU

Florida State at Notre Dame (+11.5)
I donít think much of the Irish, but they usually bring their A game for the Noles and should at least make a game of this one. ND

Florida vs. Georgia (-2.5)
The Gators are suddenly hot and the Dawgs are playing poorly. And recent history suggests UF will win big. Go against the grain. UGA

Illinois at Iowa (-26)
Thatís a lot of points to give. Beutjer can score a little. ILL

Indiana at Minnesota (-28)
The Hoosiers are in full-scale panic mode. MINN

Kansas at Texas A&M (-9)
Iím surprised this is even on the board with Whittemore injured. Without their star QB, the Jayhawks return to being, well, Kansas. A&M

Louisiana Tech at LSU (-27)
Spread seems about right. LSU

Miami at Virginia Tech (+3.5)
I really want to pick this upset but nothing leads me to believe the Hokies will pull it off. They might get some big special teams plays and pull it out, but Iím playing it safe. MIAMI

Michigan at Michigan State (+4)
Even undefeated in Big Ten play, Michigan State canít get the favorite nod at home against Michigan. The bettors have it right. MICH

Nebraska at Texas (-6)
Iím not sold on the Huskers. At all. TEXAS

Northwestern at Purdue (-18.5)
Well, now that the Wildcats have their upset of their system and Purdue has their inexplicable bad game behind them, things go back to normal. PURDUE

Ohio State at Penn State (+6.5)
The Buckeyes offense is terrible, but PSU is just playing miserable football right now. OSU

Oklahoma St at Oklahoma (-16)
Now, weíre aware that the Pokes have won the last two Bedlam games? And that Miles and Woods are both really, really good? I think the Sooners win, but that is a massive spread against a legit top 10 team. OSU

Oregon at Washington (-1.5)
Throw a dart at a board. OU

Pittsburgh at Boston College (-1)
Why on earth are the Eagles favored? Habit? PITT

South Carolina at Ole Miss (-7)
The Rebels are undefeated in conference play, but USC brings in a smash mouth running game which should give their smallish defense fits. USC

Tulane at Navy (-9.5)
I canít bring myself to admit Navy should be favored convincingly. TULANE

UCLA at Stanford (+5.5)
Why do people think the Bruins stink? They are unbeaten in Pac-10 play, and Stanford hasnít exactly set the world on fire. UCLA

Utah at Air Force (-2.5)
Utes go in there and pull the upset. UTAH

Virginia at NC State (-1)
A very tough call. Stateís reeling from injuries and Virginia has their star QB finally clicking. UVA

Washington State at USC (-12)
Wazzu keeps it close, but USC will be focused, and when focused, they are unbeatable. WSU

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The good Father gets top billing this week!


I knew if we put a disclaimer on our column that some neo-cons would get in an wreck the karma. We ďjuicedĒ last Saturday, going 3-3. Dull Saturday this weekóno real liberal vs. kookservative holy wars. So we are resigned to going to straight-up football handicapping. Buyers beware: go light this weekend. Let's try anyway...

Minnesota -1 vs. Michigan. Are you kidding me? Fr. 'Shroom's alma mater a FAVORITE vs. Michigan? That hasn't happened since Bobby Kennedy played for Harvard! The world will be on Michigan on this one, so what do we do? Why, we take Minnesota! Final from the Metrodome Friday night: Minnesota 40 Michigan 36.

Oklahoma State +2.5 vs. Kansas State. My buddy Bill ďlosing is worse than having a child dieĒ Snyder and is Wildcats again. This time, they will be on the receiving end of my Upset Special for the week. Okie State is a good club, and I like them at home against an overrated, yawn-inducing Kansas State. Final: Oklahoma State 29 Kansas State 27 (remember, youíre GETTING 2.5 points with Oklahoma St.)

Mississippi Ė25.5 vs. Arkansas State. Mississippi? YES! Letís not forget the literary tradition of the South; next to pecan pie, it is the Southís greatest legacy. (ed note- And please, a message to everyone above the Mason-Dixon Line, stop mispronouncing pecan, it hurts our ears. It's "pe-cahn" not "pee-can". Sorry, pet peeve. Right up there with Biloxi. It's pronounced "Biluxee" okay?) Ole Miss went into Florida and stole one. If the line drops to less than 24, get all over it. Twenty-five and a half is dicey, but I like Ole Miss to continue to roll, and a midseason slouch is perfect after a big road win. No letdown here: Ole Miss 50, Arkansas State 9.

Texas +6.5 vs. Oklahoma at Dallas. Yes, Texas let us down last week, but watch them bounce back. Huge rivalry and playing in ďBig DĒ will fire up the crowd even more. Apologies to Bart on this one, but I like Texas to cover that spread and maybe even win the game outright. Final from St. Landryís Hall: Texas 24, Oklahoma 21.

Texas Tech Ė16 vs. Iowa State. Iowa is one of the good Fatherís favorite states. He has often been in a state of intoxication in that state, as a matter of fact! Ames isnít as much fun as Iowa City, but I digress. ISU really disappointing this year, and Tech looks good. Final: Texas Tech 35 Iowa State 12.

UCLA Ė17 at Arizona. ďAre you crazy, Fr. Mushroom?Ē you might ask. Yes, but thatís beside the point. UCLA has made a great turnaround since getting rid of those jerseys with the ugly numbers and going back to something more traditional. I am a uniform junkie, and I HATED those numbers. Oops, more digressing. Anyway, AZ sends Mack Brown packing, but it makes no difference. Arizonaís morale is lower than Rushís this week, and they continue to go down a path of destruction, much like, say, a radio host popping Lorcet, Oxycontin, and Vicodin like they are Raisinets. Final from the desert: UCLA 44 Arizona 20.

Boy, what a dull column. What a dull week. But if dull gets us to 6-0, who cares! Peace to all of you.
Fr. Mushroom.
Some college picks...

Auburn at Arkansas (-5.5)
The Hogs have played well, but Auburn has been quietly licking their wounds and gearing up to jump back in the SEC race. They do that here. AUBURN

Boston College at Temple (+10)
Neither team impresses the hell out of anyone, but one isnít Temple. BC

Bowling Green at Western Michigan (+9.5)
I like BGSU as well, and Iím on the bandwagon for them to win the MAC (yes, even over Northern Illinois), but thatís a lot of points to give to a team that has played everybody close. WMU

Colorado State at BYU BYU -2
Iím so mad at CSU right now. I finally give up on them and they go out and paste Fresno. Well, this oneís just for spite. BYU

Connecticut at NC State (-16)
Itís time to start criticizing Chuck Amato for some of the Wolfpackís mental lapses. I think they sleepwalk through this game. UCONN

Duke at Maryland (-27)
Duke plays a ball-control style offense. So does Maryland. We may not see 27 points total. DUKE

*Florida at LSU (-10)
After the game, fireronzook.com will announce they are going public. LSU

Georgia at Tennessee (+2)
This is a huge game, as both of these teams have dropped a game to a team out west. The winner is probably going to go to the SEC championship game. Georgiaís finally healthy and should win this one. UGA

Georgia Tech at Wake Forest (-4.5)
I feel like I should give Jim Grobe a cut. WAKE

Houston at Tulane (-2)
Both teams have played surprisingly well, but I think Houstonís turnaround is more legitimate. UH

Iowa State at Texas Tech (-16)
Iíve seen nothing from the Cyclones that leads me to believe they can cover. Tech is rolling right now. TT

Kansas at Colorado (-6.5)
The bottom has fallen out of Coloradoís once promising season. I really like Whittemore as the Jayhawks QB, and I think heís got another upset up his sleeve. KANSAS

Kansas State at Oklahoma State (+2.5)
Two of the biggest disappointments square off. Iím going down with the ship. KSU

Kent State at Marshall (-19.5)
Kentís certainly got the ability to pull the upset. I donít think they will, but their offense will score enough to make it look close. KENT

Kentucky at South Carolina (-8)
USC got blown out by Georgia, but other than that, theyíve been a very tough team. USC

Memphis at Mississippi State (-5)
Memphis is looking for the Mississippi state title. Memphis isnít that great of a team, but MSU is simply awful. MEMPHIS

*Miami at Florida State (-7)
Maybe the game of the year, and the spread is seven points? I like FSU to win this one because Miami just hasnít shown that killer instinct, but 7 points seems rather generous. MIAMI

*Michigan at Minnesota (-1)
Who have the Gophers beaten? They are unbeaten but completely untested. MICHIGAN

*Michigan State at Illinois (+3.5)
Illinois is flat out terrible. MSU

Navy at Vanderbilt (-5)
Navy has actually played fairly decent football. Fairly decent should be enough to beat Vandy. NAVY

Nebraska at Missouri (+7)
Iím not sold on the Huskers just yet, and I think the Tigers will be motivated after the loss to Kansas. This one just screams upset. MIZZOU

North Carolina at East Carolina (+8)
UNC is favored. That should set off warning bells there. ECU

Northwestern at Indiana (+3.5)
In the battle of the basement, take the home dog. IU

Notre Dame at Pittsburgh (-9.5)
The Panthers could conceivably win this one by 20. Their penchant for overlooking opponents shouldnít be a problem against the down-and-out Irish. PITT

Ohio State at Wisconsin (+2.5)
Believe it or not, this is the Buckeyes first road game of the season, and Camp Randall is a tough place to play. The Badgers have been flaky, but they are also talented and should be focused. I like the Badgers to finally knock off OSU. WIS

Oklahoma vs. Texas (+6.5)
Until they give me a reason to doubt them, Iím picking OU all the way. They have looked like the best team in the nation now that they have an offense. OU

Oregon at Arizona State (+2.5)
This is the Sun Devils chance to at least recoup a little of their season. Things are petering out in Oregon as well, so this should be a fairly underwhelming game. ASU

Penn State at Purdue (-11.5)
Penn St has played teams close before collapsing. Expect more of the same. PSU

Rutgers at West Virginia (-17)
Iím not comfortable giving 17 points with West Virginia, even if it is Rutgers. RUTGERS

Syracuse at Virginia Tech (-18)
VT is rolling right now. VT

TCU at South Florida (Pick)
The Frogs are unbeaten, but not very impressive. I think they hold out for another week or so, but the fact they have no points against South Florida shows that nobody believes they are for real. TCU

*UCLA at Arizona (+17)
You are aware Arizona sucks? UCLA

Friday, October 03, 2003

*Minnesota at Atlanta (+4)
Are we willing to admit the Falcons arenít a very good team without vick? There isnít a team in the league that relies so much on one player, and it just hurts to watch right now. MINN

*Cincinnati at Buffalo (-8)
The Bills are a 2-2 team and have scored one TD in two weeks. And they are favored by eight? CINCY

New Orleans at Carolina (-7)
This Carolina team will probably keep winning, but they are doing it with a bad offense and terrific special teams. That means lots of close games. Even against the Saints. NO

*Oakland at Chicago (-4.5)
Itís lines like these that make me wonder if anyone actually pays attention. Who on earth is betting on the Bears at this price? OAK

Arizona at Dallas (-7)
Letís not lose focus here. Both teams stink. Just take the home team and hope it turns out okay. DALLAS

*Seattle at Green Bay (-2)
Who on earth is betting against Seattle right now? I can get an undefeated team as a dog in Week Five? SEATTLE

*Denver at Kansas City (-3)
The worst line of the week. The Chiefs should be ashamed of themselves if they donít rip the Broncos by at least 14.

Tennessee at New England (+1)
Iím not very high on the Patriots, and unless youíre betting on injuries, I wouldnít take the Pats right now in any play. TENN

Miami at NY Giants (pick)
I still think the Giants are overrated because the mediaÖ oh, sorry. Caught myself there. MIAMI

San Diego at Jacksonville (-3)
Both teams are underwhelming, but I invoke a new rule: when in doubt, bet against the rookie QB. SD

Washington at Philadelphia (-5.5)
I donít think the McNabb controversy affects anybody. I just think the Skins win because the Eagles still havenít committed to their run game. WASH

Detroit at San Francisco (-7)
I canít imagine Mooch letting his team lose this game. DETROIT

Cleveland at Pittsburgh (-7)
Out of curiosity, do you think the Steelers management gets out of bed every day and thanks God that they are in such a piece of crap division? PITT

Indianapolis at Tampa (-4)
The Colts wait until the postseason to suck. This game just doesnít have the same meaning to Tampa. INDY
Fr. Mushroomís Pigskin Picks

Well, Iíve made a decision. Once again, we went undefeated in the college games last week, 3-0, making us 5-0 against the spread the last two weeks. But had you taken my pro plays, youíd have given all that hard-earned cash back. SO, from now on we here at Vatican North are focusing on the college game and letting the MUCH wiser pro spy Stephen, the fine editor of Bartcop Sports, deal with the pros (ed note- Hey! Thanks! I've only picked one week of pros and did quite well. I like to sit the early ones out to get a read on teams). As you can imagine, a holy person like myself would have very little knowledge of ďprosĒ anyway. Whoís that laughing in the back pew? I heard that! Bart, is that you? To the nunneryÖ

Minnesota Ė10.5 @ Northwestern. If the Mildcats have 20K at the game Iíll go into a Tresí Generoneís-induced stupor. Do you think the good folks of Chicago will be focused on the Cubs this weekend or NW-Minnesota game? Hmmmm. This one is a joke, a runaway. MN proved they can hang with the semi-big boys on the road beating Penn State last week. LayupóMinnesota 55 Northwestern 20.

Kent State Ė2.5 vs. Ball State. Ball State is one of the lesser teams in the MAC, and Kent is rebounding nicely. One of our favorite liberal schoolsófinal: Kent State 27 Ball State 14.

Texas-6 vs. Kansas State. Koresh, I canít stand KSU Coach Bill SnyderÖhe once said, after a loss, that ďthis was as tough as losing a child.Ē WHAT? Itís a FUCKING FOOTBALL GAME FOR CHRISSAKE! With a sense of proportion like that, heís got to be a GOPer, donít you think? Mention Clinton and he goes into a graní malleí seizure. Iím still making up for my Bush-going-to-Texas gaffÖFinal from Austin (within and outside of the City Limits) Texas 49 KSU 21.

USC-11.5 vs. Arizona State. Arizona State, just like Arizona, in every sport, is overrated. No different this year. Plus USC is hopping mad after last weeks goofy OT loss to Cal-Berkeley. I want USC to win just so they can buy those cute cheerleader girls some sweaters that cover their tummies. How embarrassing for them, donít you think? Every time they raise their arms, their tummies show. Poor kids. Final from California: USC 33 Arizona State 9.

New Mexico Ė14 vs. Utah State. Take your pickówould you rather go to an outdoor art festival in Taos, or see some 40 year old guy marry a 12 year old girl and make her his sixth wife? And NO BOOZE at the reception. New Mex has been a nice surprise this season. Final: New Mexico 40 Utah State7.

New Mexico State Ė11 vs. Idaho. Take your pickówould you rather spend a weekend at a quaint Pueblo bed-and-breakfast, or be liberal target practice for some neo-Nazi militia man with a 30-caliber Thompson in the Idaho panhandle during the ďHeinrich HImmler DaysĒ autumn festival? I thought so. New Mexico State 39 Idaho 13.

Thatís all for this week, my children. See you in Church. Make it the early Mass, so we can be home in time to hear more cultural anthropology by Prof. Limbaugh on ESPN.
Peace,
Fr. Mushroom
Strange week last week. 13-16 overall, but 4-1 in spotlight games. Bizarre.


Air Force at Navy (+14)
Navy got blown out by Rutgers. Thatís a generous line. AFA

Alabama at Georgia (-11)
Bamaís played everyone tough and lok like a hard team to blowout. Even for the Dawgs. BAMA

Arizona at Washington State (-27.5)
Arizona showed some life last week. They get booted back to reality here. WAZZU

Boise State at Louisiana Tech (+6.5)
Two great QBís, lots of offense. Should be a fun game to watch and a real tough one to pick. Take Boise and pray. BSU

BYU at San Diego State (+1)
SDSU played great against Ohio St. But one game does not a season make. BYU

Clemson at Maryland (-6.5)
Itís becoming an annual thing in College Park. Lose early and then win out. MD

*Fresno State at Colorado State (-6.5)
People, CSU is 2-3. They have done nothing to justify six and half points over a good Fresno team. FSU

Illinois at Purdue (-14)
The Bowling Green loss doesnít look so bad now, does it? PURDUE

Indiana at Michigan State (-15)
The Hoosiers are not very good. The Spartans should cover easily. MSU

Kansas State at Texas (-6)
I canít abandon my preseason pick so easily. KSU

Michigan at Iowa (+3)
Interesting matchup. Itís time for Michigan to get serious about winning the big Ten. Their season isnít over yet. MICH

Minnesota at Northwestern (+11)
Remember Northwesternís brief rise as a Big Ten power? That was fun. Nice memories. MINN

*NC State at Georgia Tech (+6.5)
After a slow start, the Pack is clicking. Tech is not. NCSU

Oklahoma at Iowa State (-21)
The Sooners look like they are on a mission right now. OU

Ole Miss at Florida (-13)
Floridaís been unreliable, but not as unreliable as the Rebels. UF

Oregon at Utah (+2.5)
One game, people! The Ducks had one bad game (and predictable as well). Lighten up. UO

Oregon State at California (+1.5)
Reality check? Cal played a great game, but they are merely a decent team. OSU has a shot at the Pac-10 title. OSU

Southern Miss at Cincinnati (-8)
USM is reeling right now. I really like the Bearcats. CINCY

Temple at MTSU (-3.5)
Sounds about right. Temple canít beat anyone right now. MTSU

Tennessee at Auburn (Pick)
Auburnís getting respect again. They found their offense against Western Kentucky, not even Kentucky. Tennessee is loaded. UT

Texas A&M at Texas Tech (+5)
Great offense versus great defense. I just donít think Tech can hang. That Ole Miss game was a one-time thing. A&M

UAB at Memphis (-9)
Iím not even sure Memphis should be favored. Nine points? UAB

UNLV at Nevada (+5.5)
The Rebels are completely unpredictable. I think they overlook Nevada. NEVADA

*USC at Arizona State (+11.5)
ASUís looked downright awful and now, USC is pissed. Cover your eyes. USC

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State (-4.5)
I know itís Vandy, but MSU has looked completely inept. Teams on losing streaks spanning over 10 games donít give points. VANDY

*Virginia at North Carolina (+7)
Schuab is back. UVA

Washington at UCLA (+1.5)
Is Washington over that first game beat down? I think so, but itís no sure thing. WASH

*Wisconsin at Penn State (Pick)
No way. A pick? WISCONSIN

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Air Force at BYU (-2)
This should be a classic. BYUís offense is up on blocks right now as the coaches try and figure out whatís wrong, but they should find their potent passing game to counter-act the power running game of the Falcons. Go with the home team. BYU

Arizona State at Oregon State (-6)
ASU lost to Iowa, a team playing great football. OSU lost to Fresno and barely beat Boise. If they had trouble with the Broncos offense, the Sun Devils should give them fits. ASU

*Arkansas at Alabama (Pick)
I know Bamaís gonna be motivated, but they have not looked like a very well-coached team this year. Arkansasí option attack looks virtually unstoppable, and if it will be stopped, itíll be by a disciplined defense. ARK

Cincinnati at Miami OH (-7)
This should be a good game. Guidigli hasnít found his rhythm yet, and going into the MAC is a tough place to get on track. MIAMI

Connecticut at Virginia Tech (-23)
Thatís an awful big line. VTís playing well, but they arenít a team that tries to blow you out. And UConnís been playing pretty well. UCONN

Florida at Kentucky (+9)
The Gators are mad and should take out their frustrations on the Wildcats. UF

Georgia Tech at Vanderbilt (+7.5)
Is there a tougher read than GT? They lose to Wake, play close to FSU, beat Auburn, and get blown out by Clemson. Iím baffled. GT

Indiana at Michigan (-35)
The spread seems fair. Coming off a loss, Michiganís going to be chomping at the bit. MICH

*Iowa at Michigan State (+6.5)
The Hawkeyes are playing outstanding football right now. MSU beat Notre Dame, but so what? They arenít that good of a team. IOWA

Iowa State at Northern Illinois (-6.5)
Wow. Why not? Wouldnít it be funny of NIU beat Maryland and Bama only to lose to the Cyclones. Donít read the papers, kids. NIU

LSU at Mississippi State (+13.5)
LSUís won 11 of 12 against MSU. Most by blowout. MSU just lost to Houston and Tulane. You figure it out. LSU

*Missouri at Kansas (+10.5)
Mizzou has struggled thus far, and this is one of footballís more unknown rivalries. Whittimore has a huge game. KANSAS

Navy at Rutgers (-2)
Never give points with Rutgers. Even when they play Navy. NAVY

Nebraska at Southern Miss (+9)
Two inept offenses and two great defenses. Why are they playing in Hattiesburg? That should be enough to at least cover. USM

North Carolina at NC State (-18.5)
I have nothing but contempt for this UNC team. NCSU

*Notre Dame at Purdue (-9.5)
Purdue has already played some tough teams, and now they get a reeling Irish team. Does Notre Dame even have an offense? PURDUE

Pittsburgh at Texas A&M (+1)
I think the Toledo game was an example of what happens when you donít take your opponent seriously. The Panthers will respect A&M. PITT

San Diego State at UCLA (-11.5)
UCLA just got humiliated on national TV. SDSU ainít Oklahoma, but they can play some defense, too. They keep it close before dying down the stretch. UCLA

South Carolina at Tennessee (-16)
Tennessee can sense it. They are the front runners in the east. UT

Stanford at Washington (-13.5)
Have we learned nothing about the Pac-10 over the years? Anybody can beat anybody. Thatís a huge spread. STANFORD

TCU at Arizona (+15)
If you listen carefully, you can hear Purdue scoring again. TCU

Temple at Louisville (-14)
The Owls have played fairly decent so far this season. Louisville should put an end to that. LVILLE

Texas Tech at Ole Miss (-1.5)
The game that defense forgot. Or running games. In a matchup of passers, take that Manning kid. OM

Toledo at Syracuse (-4)
The Cuse has looked questionable at best. Toledo wins straight up because, well, they are probably better. TOLEDO

USC at California (+13)
Anything can happen in the Pac-10. Except USC is truly a cut above this year. USC

Utah at Colorado State (-6.5)
What have the Rams done to justify six and half points this year? A whole bunch of nothing. UTAH

Wake Forest at Virginia (No line)
Why not? WAKE

Washington State at Oregon (-4)
They still canít play defense, and Wazzu will take advantage of that in the final quarter. WSU

*Western Michigan at Ohio (+2)
Ohio is a bottom dweller, WMUís not exactly a world-beater, but they have played some decent football. They should win in a rout. WMU.

Wisconsin at Illinois (+2)
Illinoisí just had brutal schedule thus far. Wisconsin keeps the hits coming. WIS

Father Mushroom weighs in below.
Okay, clients and parishioners, we are going BIG this weekend and I mean BIG. We were 3-2 last weekend (2-0 in the colleges, probably because we liberals donít BUY our degrees like SOME Presidents.) First, the colleges, then a new strategy for the pros.

CollegesóSaturday
LSU (-14) at Mississippi State. I like Mississippi as a state. How can it be the birthplace of such talented writers, have such a literary history, yet so many terrible marks against it in the history of civil rights? That state is truly a dichotomy. I hope they turn it around down there. I usually root for the Bulldogs, but this time, take James Carvilleís alma mater (ed note- And the Editor of BartCopSports! And Faulkner may have been a night watchman at MSU, but he was first published in the Southern Review, a literary journal from LSU). Iíve seen both teams play this year; MSU is poorly coached, and LSU is the real deal this year. Final from Mississippi: LSU 45 Miss. St. 13.

Arkansas (pick) at Alabama. Weíll go with The Big Dogís alma mater this week. Theyíve been kind to us before. Final from wherever they play in Alabama: Arkansas 38 Alabama 10.

Wisconsin (-2.5) at Illinois. ďMad-townĒ has a great history of student radicalism, and in his college daze, Fr. Mushroom was treated like royalty there. He was over-served often (this was during the Good Fatherís drinking days, or ďBlurry PeriodĒ as he sometimes refers to the 80ís.) I know itís at Illinois. But I also know that Wisconsin needs a win and Illinois isnít very good. Final from Champaign (oooh, that stuff used to give me a headache!) Wisconsin 31 Illinois 21.

Now, for the Pros.

This week, we are PURELY playing numbers. Pure science hereÖa Stephen Hawking approach to gaming. There are teams that are 0-3 against the spread and 3-0 against the spread. Itís the laws of physics, ScottyÖteams CANíT go 4-0 or 0-4Öit just doesnít happen. And speaking of numbers, we need only hit 56% of our picks to make money. I have a feeling (no guaranteesówe leave that to Nancy on Court TV): The number following a team represents them vs. the spread so far this season. Take them (listed first), plus or minus the points, and they will cover one way or another. Here we go:

Baltimore vs. Kansas City (3-0)
San Francisco vs. Minnesota (3-0)
Detroit vs. Denver (3-0)
New Orleans vs. Indianapolis (3-0)

Now, the ones who will snap out of itÖ
(0-3) Chicago vs. Green Bay (Play of the WeekÖMonday Night)
(0-3) Philadelphia vs. Buffalo
(0-3) Jets vs. Dallas
(0-3) Oakland vs. SanDiego (0-3) YEEOW! This one will be a push. Get a prop bet at 100-1 that it will be a tie, or take Oakland.

Peace,
Fr. Mushroom.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Miami at NY Jets (+3)
OK, Miami lost to the Texans, but did you see the Jets offense? They don't look like they know what they are doing out there. and whil I think very little of Wannstedt, I think he can win this one. MIAMI

Cleveland at Baltimore (-2)
Flip a coin. Both teams look pretty bad. It came up heads. BALTIMORE

*Tennessee at Indianapolis (-1.5)
Seriously? The Colts are favored? After that performance? And I can actually bet on the Titans as underdogs? Life is good. TENN

Detroit at Green Bay (-6.5)
The Lions showed signs of life, but they have not won in Green Bay since ER has been on the air. Seriously. GREEN BAY

Washington at Atlanta (-3)
I don't believe in the Falcons. They beat a terrible Cowboys team. So what? WASH

*Buffalo at Jacksonville (+2)
Did anyone see the Bills game? Why on earth would you think this one would close? BUFFALO

Houston at New Orleans (-8)
Honestly, I think the Texans might win this one with the Saints playing like a bunch of strangers and Joe Horn injured. HOUSTON

San Francisco at St. Louis (-3.5)
Bulger starts, Faulk runs, Rams win. ST LOUIS

Pittsburgh at Kansas City (-3)
The Steelers boast one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. KC should light them up like a pinball machine. Not like the Chiefs won't allow a ton of points, too. KC

*Carolina at Tampa Bay (-9)
The Panthers have a real good defense and outside of some humiliations at the hands of Vick, the Panthers didn't get blown out last season. That's a real big line. CAROLINA

*Seattle at Arizona (+4.5)
Four and half for the worst team in the league? Done. SEATTLE

New England at Philadelphia (-5)
So the Eagles ran into the Bucs buzzsaw. They recoup in a second straight home game. They didn't suddenly begin to suck. PHILLY

*Denver at San Diego (+3)
Take the three points with Plummer going on the road. Denver beat the Bengals, so throw all good things out. The Chargers will rebound in style. SD

Cincinnati at Oakland (-12)
Well, the Bengals earned that huge line. I think they'll play better, but the Raiders are too goof. OAKLAND

Chicago at Minnesota (-8.5)
The Bears stink out loud. MINNESOTA

Dallas at NY Giants (-9)
I'm not sold on the Giants yet. They stood by while the Rams beat themselves. I'm confident the Boyz won't win, but they'll make a game of it. DALLAS

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Greetings, Stephen and Fans.

Well, had you only taken by two biggest blowout predictions last week--Iowa and Minnesota--you'd have been rich. However, I also gave you three losers (New Mexico, however, barely missed covering by 1/2-1.5 points, depending on your lines. Like the fight against the BFEE, we are NEVER deterred, however...we will keep fighting. Here's this week's Key's (to the Vatican) Releases:

Thursday Nite
California +2 @ Utah. The Hippies invade Orrin Hatch's place. The sweet smell of pot wafting in the stands sends U of U Young Republicans in attendance searching for their oxygen masks at the game: Cal 33 Utah 24

Saturday, Sept. 13
Arkansas +13 @ Texas. Bill Clinton's alma mater vs. the place George W. bought his diploma from. This is a Holy War for Liberals. The 'Hogs are up against it, but our distaste for everything W will not let us root for the Longhorns. A cover is possible, an outright victory a stretch. But I'll stick my neck out: Arkansas 27 Texas 24

New Mexico +3 v. BYU. What a tough weekend this must be for a Red State...it's bad enough their state school has to let in a bunch of liberals smoking grass and freely making love in their cheap motels; now they've got to send their best college team to a state that promotes the arts, celebrates diversity, AND has a woman kicking extra points rather than cleaning the kitchen. The Lobos broke our hearts with a near-cover last time. This time they win outright. Final New Mexico 41 BYU 35 (and I hope the Couger bus breaks down in Taos and they have to spend the night with liberal artist types!)

Oregon -11.5 @ Arizona. Our green-minded friends to the northwest should win this in a cakewalk. Ignore the ugly neon jerseys of the Ducks. Unfortunately, the Arizona team has a heart the size of Newt's. Final: Oregon 55 Arizona 16.

Sunday, Sept. 14
Jets +3 v. Dolphins. The home team always wins in this series, unless Katherine Harris is running the scoreboard. Jets 16 Dolphins 10.

49ers+3 @ Rams. Kurt Warner is the kind of guy who takes the "fun" out of "fundamentalism." If he praises God one more time, I'm going to slap a copyright suit on him. Just kidding. Niners 29 Rams 24

Saints -8 v. Houston Texans. My favorite of the day. Texans will have a letdown after their big win at Miami...won't they? Well, they're going to the most fun city in the U.S. (like Vegas w/o the gambling), the place Fr. Mushroom says they should make the Superbowl the permanent home for. New Orleans snaps out of it after a tough loss to a good Seattle team. Final: Saints 40 Texans 10.

Monday Nite
Giants -7 v Cowboys. The Cowboys just plain stink, and it's big money from Big D on the Cowboys in Vegas that gives us gifts like this. Thank you Jerry Jones! You'll be able to turn this one off by half-time. Giants 44 Cowboys 10.

Peace and good luck. Put your winnings to good use.
Fr. Mushroom
COLLEGE PICKS, Week three

I'm winning at a 60% clip. do you trust me yet?

Arkansas at Texas (-13.5)
Houston Nutt always put together modestly talented teams who play ridiculously above their heads. They will compete for the SEC crown, and use a close Texas game as the launching pad. ARK

Auburn at Vanderbilt (+12)
I wouldnít bet on Auburn right now on a dare. And Vandyís not that bad. VANDY

*Boston College at Connecticut (+4.5)
Four and half points? Really? I know I underrated UConn, but BCís a pretty good team. They should win going away. BC

*BYU at New Mexico (+3)
BYU took USC to the brink. New Mexico is a strong team, and I really think they are capable of good things, but come on. BYU

*California at Utah (-2)
Run, do not walk, run to a bookie to bet on Cal. CAL

Cincinnati at West Virginia (-7)
I donít think the Mountaineers can blow out anybody, but playing at home before one of the most raucous crowds in the nation, I think they can do it. WVU

Fresno State at Oklahoma Oklahoma -29
I wouldnít bet on OU to beat anybody by 29 with that offense. FSU

Georgia Tech at Florida State (-24)
Yes, they look like the Noles of old, but GT isnít some chump team. And the Jackets wonít lie down like the Terps did. Theyíll lose, but theyíll cover. GT

Hawaii at USC (-20.5)
As you know by now, big lines make me nervous. But Iíll make an exception for the Trojans. USC

Illinois at UCLA UCLA -10.5
The Illini look like a strong team, and Beutjer should be able to dink and dunk the offense up the field. I like the Bruins to win, but 10 is a lot of points. ILLINOIS

Iowa at Iowa State Iowa -4
Until proven otherwise, ISU owns Iowa. Then again, the Hawkeyes are much better this year. IOWA

Kansas at Wyoming (-4)
The Cowboys are one of the worst teams in D-1. Kansas is bad, but they ainít that bad. KANSAS

Kentucky at Alabama (-14)
Iím not convinced Bamaís offense is all that great, and while Kentucky is clearly outclasses, Lorenzenís a pretty good QB. Screw it. BAMA

Louisiana Tech at Michigan State (-11.5)
I gave MSU the benefit of the doubt once and it burned me. LA TECH

Memphis at Southern Miss (-5.5)
I love the USM defense. Not as much since Cal beat them to a pulp, but home field means a lot. USM

Miami (OH) at Northwestern (-4)
Northwestern should never, ever be favored. MIAMI

Minnesota at Ohio Minnesota -20
You know, the Gophers are quietly putting together a good football team. MINN

*Mississippi State at Tulane (+3)
Three points? THREE? To Tulane? What did Mississippi St do that was that terrible? Tulane has played one good quarter. MSU

MTSU at Clemson (-14)
Clemson is playing terrible right now. MTSU

NC State at Ohio State (OTB)
Why is this game off the board? Was anyone seriously handicapping OSU as if Clarrett was going to play? OSU

North Texas at Air Force (-8.5)
AFA struggled last week, but come on, itís North Texas. AFA

Notre Dame at Michigan (-10)
Michigan is a much better team but this game is always close. Take the points, but expect the Wolverines to win in the end. ND

Oregon at Arizona (+11.5)
The Ducks simply cannot hold a lead. Theyíll win, but donít expect it to be a win going away. ZONA

Penn State at Nebraska (-10)
Yes, the Huskers are one-dimensional, but itís the one dimension Penn St cannot stop. They are terrible rush defending team. NEB

Purdue at Wake Forest (-1)
Weíre charter members of the Jim Grobe Fan Club. We even picked Wake to beat BC in week one straight up. But favorites against Purdue? Thatís a tall order. PURDUE

Rice at Duke (-10.5)
Rice can only do one thing, run. And thatís the only thing Duke can stop. I canít believe Iím actually going to say this, but take Duke and give 10 points. DUKE

Rutgers at Army (+6)
Both teams are awful, but take the home dog to cover. ARMY

SMU at Baylor (-2.5)
Baylor is a favorite? Seriously? SMU

*South Carolina at Georgia (-14)
The Cocks specialize in playing teams close. Thatís a lot of points to give. USC

UNLV at Wisconsin (-20)
Is there a more poorly coached team than the Rebels? WIS

Virginia at Western Michigan (+8)
The Cavs offense looks terrible without Schaub, who will miss this game as well. I think theyíll survive the scare, but I have no confidence in Martinez. WMU

Washington State at Colorado (-5)
What do the Buffs have to do to prove to you they are a really good team? Yes, both of their wins were nail-biters, but both of their opponents were better than Wazzu. COL


NFL picks on Friday...

Thursday, September 04, 2003

COLLEGE PICKS:

Air Force at Northwestern (+8)
Northwestern has not shown it can stop the run, and that's what the Air force does with frightening proficeincy. Give the points. AFA

Auburn at Georgia Tech (+8.5)
Auburn was overpowered by one of the best teams in the country. Georgia Tech was overpowered by BYU. Auburn should absolutely roll over the Jackets. AUBURN

Baylor at North Texas (-15.5)
North Texas will win, but I'm not sure if they will even score 15 points. Both offenses are just inept. So don't expect UNT to cover. UNT.

*Boston College at Penn State (-10)
Penn State looked terrible against Temple, and people are underrating Wake Forest. BC lost to a team that's been to two straight bowl games, and they really should have won. I'd take BC straight up. BC.

Bowling Green at Purdue (-10)
This is the best team in the MAC, but Purdue is a top tier Big Ten team. It won't be a walk, but Purdue has enough weapons to hold off the Eagles. But don't expect a blowout. BGSU

*BYU at USC (-22)
Yes, the Trojans are one of the best teams in the country, and we predicted them to beat Auburn last weak. But part of that win was due to simply atrocious Auburn play-calling. BYU won't be as accomodating and should at least pass with some effeceincy. They lose by about two touchdowns, enough to cover. BYU

Colorado State at California (-2)
Cal's big win was a shocker, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Colorado needed a 400-yard game from a guy who had never started before to hold off the Rams. CSU's still a real good team. CSU

*Florida at Miami (-14)
Berlin still looks shaky. miami is loaded everywhere, but for all of the focus on Florida's QBs, we should worry about Miami's situation. The Canes will win, they have too much talent to lose this game, but it'll be closer than we think. UF

Indiana at Washington (-24)
Indiana lost to UConn. UCONN! By a lot. Washingto gets to take out some frustrations. WASH

Kent State at Pittsburgh (-30)
We're on the Pittsburgh bandwagon, but Kent ain't that bad. KENT

LSU at Arizona (+12)
Arizona shut down UTEP. Whoopee. LSU's still struggling to find a QB, but I don't think the Cats will be able to move the football at all. LSU

Marshall at Tennessee (-19)
This isn't last year's Herd squad. They shouldn't be able to hang with the Vols, who are fresh off a destruction of Fresno. TENN

Maryland at Florida State (-14)
FSU is playing with a chip on their shoulder right now, while Maryland is in disarray. It looks like a carbon copy of last year's game, an FSU blowout. FSU

*Mississippi at Memphis (+8)
Memphis always plays SEC teams close. If Ole Miss struggled with Vandy, they'll struglle with Memphis. MEMPHIS

Missouri at Ball State (+14)
Do you believe Ball St has the athletes to contain Brad Smith? Neither do I. MIZZOU

*NC State at Wake Forest (+7)
Wake wins games by playing mistake-free football, but NC State just has way too much talent. They are the most loaded team in the ACC. Ask yourself, would you take FSU with a 7-point line? NCSU

Nevada at Oregon (-22)
They couldn't put away a bad Mississippi State team, so they should let Nevada hang around as well. And Nevada is passing team, and Oregon still has a porous pass defense. NEVADA

New Mexico at Texas Tech (-13)
Texas Tech wil pass at will, New Mexico will run at will. UNM should be able to stay within two touchdowns by continually scoring. UNM

Oklahoma at Alabama (+7.5)
Oklahoma doesn't have much offense, but they have a killer D. Bama poured it on late against South Florida, but OU is no South Florida. A big defensive touchdown puts it out of reach. OU

Rutgers at Michigan State (-19)
MSU failed to cover agianst Western Michigan, barely winning the game. Rutgers is on a roll, actually winning a game. MSU wins, but they don't appear capable of a blowout right now. RUTGERS

San Jose State at Stanford (-14)
SJSU played one hell of a game again Florida, eh? STANFORD

Syracuse at North Carolina (+3)
The Cuse is a big unknown, but UNC is a known: they stink. CUSE.

UCLA at Colorado (-3)
Colorado suddenly has a passing game and they are playing at home. I really like UCLA, but I'm pretty sure Klatt is for real, so we need to adjust our opion of the Buffs. CU

UNLV at Kansas (+11)
The Rebels are a much better team and should win going away, but they are also one of the most undisciplined teams in the nation. Stupid plays should keep Kansas in it. Take the home dog and hope UNLV chokes it. KANSAS

Utah at Texas A&M (-9)
A&M struggled against the vaunted Arkansas St. Indians. They shouldn't giuve 9 points to anybody right now. UTAH

Virginia at South Carolina (+3)
I'd stay far away from this game. Corey Schaub is hurt, so UVa is missing their top offensive player, but USC barely beat ULL. Bet the under. UVA.

Washington State at Notre Dame (-6)
Wazzu didn't play all that well against Idaho, and Notre Dame may lack big play ability, but they are a solid, tough team. Playing at home. N DAME

Wyoming at Oklahoma State (-20)
Someone must pay. Wyoming doesn't have near the defense that Nebraska does, and are in fact one of the worst teams in Division I. OSU should score a ton of points. OSU

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