5-at-10: Fab 4 picks, Dustin Johnson’s Ryder Cup laments, Braves continued brilliance

Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies plays during a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Braves' Ozzie Albies plays during a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Fab 4 picks

Well the Fab 4 roller coaster continues.

Unlike the cash machine that has become the Braves offense, college football week 2 was as unpredictable as a teenage girl.

Well, except for the numbers-crunchers who set the lines.

Last week's Fab 4 picks were neither Fab nor 4. We made our picks on Thursday of last week, and some were easy money and some were doomed from the start. Yes, the Auburn-Cal over could have been 24.5 rather than 54.5 and it still went under.

Yeah, that's on me.

But the lines last Thursday produced a true anomaly, and provided a value lesson. Always shop for the best price, and if you think you can get a better number even by a fraction of point, it can prove to be quite profitable.

We made seven picks last week on Thursday, with the lines we had at the time. We had three dead-even pushes. How surreal is that in a week?

Well, we've been doing the Fab 4 picks every Thursday since the 2011 college season, and to my best recollection we have only had one entire season that had more than three pushes.

Vegas hit the number spot on with Vandy-Wake total of 56 (Wake 36, Vandy 20), Oregon-Texas Tech total of 68 (Oregon 38, TT 30) and Utah minus-7 over Baylor (Utah 20, Baylor 13).

So there's that. Go figure.

As for the others, we lost the aforementioned Auburn total, lost Texas A&M (more on that in a moment) and inexplicably lost the USC over since Lincoln Riley must have started taking knees early in the third quarter because the Trojans turned a 49-3 halftime lead into a 56-10 win. C'mon Lincoln, logs of folks are counting on you. (You got that one, right Spy?)

As for A&M, Jimbo is Paulie, Don Corleone's driver who called in sick when the Turk tries to assassinate him outside the fruit stand, in my Sonny Corleone eyes.

He's dead to me. Like Neidermeyer, Marmalard (how great a name was Greg Marmalard) and Wormer.


Let's do some picking, and as the great Clemenza wisely said, "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

Tennessee minus-6.5 over Florida. I believe UT's offensive sluggishness is as much about playing two games against four-plus-TD-underdogs as it was a drastic step back. And I can't get the visions of Utah shoving Florida around in the opener. I also think Josh Heupel is well aware of the importance of ripping foes who you may eventually recruit against.

North Carolina minus-7 over Minnesota. PJ Fleck's mottos aside, one team has a top-three NFL QB pick, a future NFL RB1 and a pass-rush that dominated South Carolina. Laying only a TD is a gift people.

Alabama minus-31 over USF. Yeah, this has the feel of a Saban steamroller right? Right? Especially in Florida before a slew of recruits.

LSU-Mississippi State over 54.5. The LSU defense was gashed by FSU, which is going to be a big team picture this year. That said, the MSU offense can go and Will Rogers is a great trigger man — almost 72% completion and 5 TDs and no picks in the Bulldogs' 2-0 start. I think LSU is ticked to be honest, but when this game is 31-27 entering the fourth, you can relax and say a silent prayer that Vader does not have a coronary.

For more college football picks, read David Paschall's picks column here

Colorado over 41.5 team points against Colorado State. Deion is like the Honey Badger in heat. He scores when he wants. Now, know that Colorado State allowed 450-plus passing yards to Washington State in week 1. Plus, in Coach Prime's first in-state game, you think he's called off the dogs when his son is slinging it and his two-way star Travis Hunter is lighting it up? Deion loves the idea of either of those cats getting a Heisman invite.

Fab 4 last week: 1-3-3 (25%)

Fab 4 this season: 7-7-3 (50%)

You think so, Doctor?

Yes, that is one of the many random movie quotes that permeate my daily diction. It is a blessing and curse. Ask my wonderful wife, who married my ugly tuckus because I make people laugh but also wants to push me down a hill because I will drop a "Fletch" line at a funeral.

"Using the whole fist there Doc? Moon River."

(Side note: I'm gonna be me. It's the only look I got, Maverick.)

So it goes, and we'll reveal that "You think so, Doctor?" is a great line from the truly great "Boogie Nights."

(Side question: Is there a singular move that could be viewed as the greatest performance from so many Hollywood A-listers? Think about it. I know it's the best acting Mark Wahlberg will ever do. It's almost assuredly the first line item on Julianne Moore's career resumè. And now think that it could be the best work ever done by Burt Reynolds, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, and William H. Macy. Holy bleep, that's an all-time classic.)

Anywell, our "You think so, Doctor" moment this week — and maybe the ad department can get this segment sponsored by the allergy clinic or the Center for Sports Medicine or something? — goes directly to Dustin Johnson.

Dustin Johnson has a great life. Well into a nine-figure net worth, married to an absolute smokeshow who has a nine-figure family net worth. Multiple major championships. Sure fire golf Hall of Famer whenever his name drops on the ballot.

That's the good stuff.

Here's the other side of a very one-sided coin. He underachieved considering he has arguably the best non-Tiger A game of the last 50 years.

And he apparently is more than a touch on the whiny-(bleep)-(bleep) side after reading this interview.

So it just now occurred to you that playing on the LIV hurt your chances for anyone connected in any way to the PGA from picking you for the Ryder Cup?

Seriously. Of course you would help the Ryder Cup team — so would Patrick Reed and maybe Bryson and assuredly Phil Mickelson in a leadership role — but, to quote Hyman Roth, this is the life you have chosen.

But you took the checks and now wondering about the fairness of the fallout now is like wondering about getting divorce papers after visiting the All Smiles massage parlor in downtown Atlanta. (Allegedly.)


You think so, Doctor?

Braves brilliance

Braves played. Braves won. Braves clinched the NL East, much to the chagrin of the Philadelphia fans last night.

Read more: Braves win sixth straight division title but have bigger goals

Several thoughts here.

First, Ronald Acuña is the NL MVP period. Yes, I am vested, but that dude is bona fide. Also, Acuña is developing a love-hate-hate-love relationship with the Phillies fans that is not unlike what Chipper had with the Mets fans.

Second, if Brian Snitker is not NL Manager of the Year, then they need to do away with the award. Yes, the roster is stacked, but this team likely will win 100-plus games, and it's a shame that far too often manager/coach of the year awards are given to guys who 'overachieve' in the eyes of sports writers. And more times than not — and I'm saying this as a sports writer — that designation of overachieving is because the sports writers did not accurately identify how good that team would be before the season.

Snitker has survived more injuries than just about anyone in the NL — especially to that pitching staff — and handled this crew with a steady hand. Heck, he deserves major props for staying steady with Marcel Ozuna, who was hitting close to the BAC of my first junior year at Auburn for the first six weeks.

Now Ozuna is mashing.

Third, John Smoltz is a treasure in the broadcast booth. Especially for Braves fans and folks who have watched him for decades.

Also, did you know the Braves now have 23 division titles, the most of any team in MLB history?

Yes, the changes to the league make that a little bit of a loaded stat since divisions were not established until 1969, but still. That could win you a few bar bets in NYC and L.A. no?

Congrats Braves and Braves fans.

Now let's go Dodgers.

This and that

— Media story No. 1. So Gannett (the company that owns USA Today and all the other big papers in Tennessee) is hiring a full-time Taylor Swift beat reporter and a full-time Beyonce beat reporter. Some folks have an issue with this. I think it's — cue the Guinness beer dudes — "Brilliant." This is embracing what people want to read about. Think about it this way? Time and Newsweek are dead; People and the National Enquirer are still going strong. And while we may bemoan this fact, it's undeniable that way more Americans would rather read about Swift and Beyonce than Biden. (And there are a slew of outlets that are going to cover the White House, so that news is available in a lot of places. If you are the go-to spot for Swifties and the Bee Hive, well, that's a great decision.)

— Media story No. 2: So a Bills reporter for the team had to apologize for mocking Stefon Diggs. Hey it happens. Hope she does not lose her job.

— Aaron Rodgers finally spoke, posting on social media after the news was confirmed that it was an Achilles and his season is over.

Yes, I think he will play next year. No way this is his last NFL moment.

— Man, Hurricane Lee is a nightmare. You should see my son's room. Also, the storm in the Atlantic that shares his name looks like it could be an issue too.

— Also, in a year full of rule changes for almost every sport, the NBA making sure that star players are playing in the high-profile games — especially the national broadcasts — makes a ton of sense to me.

Today's questions

It's Thursday, so AGT — anything goes Thursday — is in play.

Think about the mailbag friends. Think about your family too. Say a prayer for anyone.

It also is worth asking if there's a better nomination in which every accomplished actor delivered all-time performances like "Boogie Nights" gang.

Plus, we'll go here too: Which college football pick this weekend do you like the best?

As for today, Sept. 14, let's review.

On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that would become "The Star-Spangled Banner."

On this day in 1985 "The Golden Girls" debuted on NBC. Does that make the Rushmore of TV sitcoms with a majority of ladies in lead roles?

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