Fab 4 picks
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. And with those well wishes, let's pray that a) Spy does not over eat, b) Intern Scott does not over drink and c) our Fab 4 picks do not over stink this week.
Egad, been a hot minute since we took the 0-for, you know?
With that, let's go old-school and make like Spalding Smails and do some really fruitful picking.
Tennessee-Vandy over 1 million. Actually the line is 64, and it feels like a gift. Joe Milton takes the keys to a high-powered and fast-paced UT ride. But Vandy can score, too. Ask Florida. And Kentucky, which is way better defensively than UT right now. I also think if given the chance, Josh Heupel will put 55-plus on his in-state rival.
USC minus-5.5 over Notre Dame. Yes, Notre Dame handled Clemson. Clemson is flawed, especially offensively. USC has a legit QB, an offense with an identity, a locker room with big dreams and a path to the playoff. That path includes putting a whipping on the Irish. Check, and checkmate.
Coastal Carolina plus-14 over James Madison. Yes, Grayson McCall is out for the season. Yes, I am biased because his replacement is Jarrett Guest, who is the oldest son of one of my best friends in the world. But Coastal Carolina is still the class of that league and the team to beat. Getting two TDs is a gift. Heck, I'd be tempted by Coastal Carolina at plus-425 on the money line here, too. Side story: Jarrett Guest was a four-year starter at a Class AAAAAAA school in Cobb County outside of Atlanta. Kid can play. Once he beats back the butterflies, he will beat back the Dukes.
Troy minus-13.5 over Arkansas State. The Butch Jones experiment is about to expire for Arkansas State. Does anyone remember how, when the writing was clear on the wall in Knoxville, how the season ended for the Vols? Yeah, I think Butch has a way of anti-motivating his players -- sorry, his champions of life -- and this Troy bunch can play. Like winners of eight straight and staring at a 10-win season good. Dare I say, they are life champions, too?
Auburn plus-22.5 against Alabama. I love Cadillac. More importantly, I think this team loves Cadillac. That matters. Something else that matters is Alabama has not entered an Iron Bowl as the lesser-motivated team since 2007. Think about that.
Last week: 0-4 against the spread (yeah, that's 0%)
This season: 30-35-2 against the spread (46.2%)
So, today is for the NFL. Heck, everyday is for the NFL from the start of school to Groundhog's Day.
(If Bill Murray is reading, "Heck, everyday is for the NFL from the start of school to Groundhog's Day." And "Heck, everyday is for the NFL from the start of school to Groundhog's Day.")
But as we try to make this snappy -- we always try to make it snappy -- and quicker, what are the days that are singularly related to a specific sport?
Today and the NFL is there. New Year's Day and college football is, too.
I don't count the Thursday and Friday of the start of March Madness because those are vague and not set days, you know?
Father's Day and the U.S. Open golf event is a good one. And the NBA is about to face the real punch of the NFL this Christmas.
Expectations and realizations
So, we wondered aloud Wednesday if LSU wins out and wins the SEC, they get in the playoff, and then the SEC gets two teams in the field of four and cashes huge checks.
But then this popped into my head.
OK, Louisville and UK face each other in a coin flip game. Florida State is a big favorite over Florida. Clemson is an even bigger favorite over South Carolina.
Yes, Georgia is going to crush Tech, but what happens if the ACC goes 3-1 in those games, all things considered. And now remember that one of LSU's two losses is against -- gasp -- Florida State.
The ACC -- especially if Notre Dame topples USC -- has several tens of millions of dollars at stake this weekend.
This and that
-- Today's rendition of the 5-at-10 had to be done super early. So there's that. Check in at timesfreepress.com for Paschall's prose on college football. You know the rules after all.
-- To that end, I'm sure Doug will tell us which SEC basketball teams stumbled against non-SEC basketball teams.
-- I need to remember to add some of the country music options I like every now and then. Feels weird to say a Morgan Wallen song is somewhat of a throwback, but here's "This Bar," which speaks to me. And to Spy.
-- This is the scary fallout of the BS from the extreme right. A record number of children are now skipping measles vaccines. C'mon people. Don't let politics of the now affect the science that has proven to limit measles for decades.
So it's an anything-goes Thursday on Thanksgiving, which happened to fall on a Thursday this year. Who knew?
So our question for the group, and follow along -- in order -- with the Thanksgiving nonturkey food draft. I love the draft. You know this.
With the first pick in our Thanksgiving food draft, the 5-at-10 takes dressing. You may call it stuffing, but you'd be wrong.
I pick dressing. (And it being a holiday, we may not have another comment, but that's cool, too, because then I get to pick again.)
And happy Thanksgiving.