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Jay Greeson

You guys are pick hungry — good and bad. Let's open the bag.

Jay, Thanks for the Packers winner!!! Very entertaining.

You got any more?

AND

Enjoy the ZONE ARE you doing your FAB 5 this year? If so, where do I find? 

Thanks.

AND

Sir, please keep your college picks to yourself — you can't pick games worth anything. Why does David not pick games? He got 80% right in the paper and you missed more than you got correct.

AND

This looks like the year your hot streak stops on your Not Very Fab picks. I think I am going to take the opposite side of the teams you pick and win some money.


Gang —

OK, the NFL started quickly in the preseason. A 16-8 mark against the numbers was very entertaining.

Last week, we'll take the heckling of a 6-7 week. So it goes. (Though, three of those losses ranged from bad to historically bad beats. USC was up two scores and lost its starting quarterback before halftime and was up 31-13 heading to the fourth quarter and failed to cover. The other USC also surrendered a double-digit fourth-quarter lead. And we all know what happened with Stanford and Northwestern.)

So feel free to fade my picks all you want. (Side note: As a bonus information point: If you have to play a game tonight, I like Boise State minus-12 at home, but the biggest takeaway for the weekend could be from the Wake-Rice game. Rice was really bad last year, but was right there till the end last week with Army. If Wake, which is favored by 19, boat races Rice, that could mean that Michigan will flat-out roll Army on Saturday.) 

We're 1-0 on the NFL with the Packers winning outright as a 3-point road dog. Good times.

Let's pick our pro Fab 4. Giddy-up.

Patriots minus-5.5 over Pittsburgh. Why, because you know. Belichick and Brady are the original Killer Bs (at least of this generation). I think I'd take the Pats, at home, laying less than a TD in every game against any foe.

Baltimore minus-6 at Miami. Speaking of picking a horse and ride, not only do I think Baltimore has a chance to be really good, but I think I will pick against the Dolphins as long as they are getting less than seven. Every single time.

Rams minus-2 at Carolina. Here's betting a lot of us will regret not drafting Todd Gurley, who has been laying low and who is as good as anyone when healthy. 

Cleveland minus-5 over Tennessee. Regulars around these parts know I am not sold on Marcus Mariota in general. Now remember that the Titans best O-lineman — and arguably their best offensive player — is Taylor Lewan, who is suspended for the first four games. Lewan's replacement will try to protect Mariota's blind side against one Myles Garrett, who is a D-U-D-E.

Preseason: 16-8 against the spread

This week (so far): 1-0 against the spread

This season (so far): 1-0 against the spread



From Scott

Did you really pick the Packers to get to the Super Bowl?!?! Man, you are a LeBron and Rodgers homer for real.

Scott

Some quick reactions form last night's Packers' win:

> Aaron Rodgers is so much fun to watch.

> If you are a Johnny Bears Fan, you have to be extremely concerned with how Mitch Trubisky looked last night. Egad. Then you remember he was the No. 2 pick in the draft that had Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson picked later in Round 1. Ouch-standing.

> The Bears are going to be a nightmare defensively for fantasy football owners.

> The Packers defense, whether it was Trubisky's troubles or just improved talent, looked ready to take the next step.

> The TV numbers are going to be huge, and according to early reports, there will be some interesting trends to follow to see if there is an increase in the TV ratings for major cities that now have legalized gambling. 



From Matt

I'd just like to refer back to these tweets to show just how correct we were. And now (Max Fried) has a slider? Lord have mercy on the hitters, cause Max Fried won't.

Matt

Hard not to like what Max Fried did last night and what the Braves have done in the last three weeks to distance themselves from the rest of the NL East.

Man, this bunch is cruising.

And Fried's stuff has been electric and erratic. He has 16 wins, which is tied for tops in the NL, because he's getting the most run support in baseball at roughly seven runs per start.

But when he's spinning it like he did last night — seven innings, one hit, nine Ks — he has top-of-the-rotation stuff. Heater in the mid-to-upper 90s. Plus change. Plus-plus curve. And emerging slider. Egad.

And he has to generate confidence in his teammates every time he gets the ball.

He has won seven straight decisions and the Braves have won each of his last nine starts. The Braves are 21-6 in Fried's starts this season. 

That's ace-level stuff right there.



From Chas

Tom Fornelli ranks the Bottom 25.  His #1 (worst team of all) is GA Southern. GA Tech is #9 and Vandy is #10. Mizzou is # 21, and UK foe Toledo is #24. I think he's too hard on all these. What do you think?

Chas

Incredibly too low for Georgia Southern. And for Georgia Tech, which is actually favored over a South Florida team that may deserve consideration for the best of the worst, if that's the proper terminology. 

Heck, I would have UT at 1 before I'd have Georgia Southern.

But it's as much for click value as anything, if I had to guess.



From RC

Seriously? Roethlisberger a pickle? Lol what has this dude done to make you think that other than call out a receiver? Didn't your "crush" Aaron Rodgers call out his receivers as well?! It just sounds like you just don't like Ben. Lol you can't back up this argument.

You guys were talking about AB and LeVeon and how the Steelers would [fare] without him? What the hell does that have to do with the milledgeville incident in 2009, just admit it you hate Ben Roethlisberger. I wonder how many times you or I would be called a "pickle" for some things we did in [our] mid-twenties.

AND

From Mike

I can't believe you were defending Antonio Brown? He should be black-balled from the league like Kaepernick. He would never be on my team! 

RC

One, I think Big Ben is a big fraud. And it has next to nothing to do with him calling out wide receivers.

And he received a monster-sized pass considering his past, but hey, whatever.

And of course I did stupid things that would make folks think I'm a pickle in my 20s. Heck, I probably did some of these things earlier this week.

As for AB, well, not really seeing the Colin Kaepernick comparison but hey, you be you. And if you do not want to deal with the drama that Brown brings, I can see that line of thinking.

But the reason I would want my team to sign him if the Raiders release him is mathematics. 

Try these numbers: 14-185-2. That's the catches, yards, and scores the last time Brown was on a football field. Yes, please.

And who knows what happens in Oakland, but here's betting if they cut him, he's going to be a huge part of the Cowboys making the Super Bowl. 



From Richard

If Pruitt can't get to 6 wins and go to a bowl game this year, what do y'all think the UT administration will do about this coaching staff?

AND

From Wally

After watching for nearly four decades, is there any fan base who can elevate suffering to an art form better than Tennessee?

AND

From G 

I think there is logic in the mismanagement by Pruitt and Co. in terms of preparation and focus. But if you think the ceiling for Leach is 8 or so wins, what do you think Pruitt's ceiling is?

Gang

I was surprised by the number of truly downtrodden UT emails, texts and Tweets I got this week.

My heart feels for you. Truly.

I think unless it gets historically bad — four wins or fewer — I believe Pruitt will survive this, with this caveat.

He has to win Saturday, and it's not about the numbers in the win column. It's about the momentum and the money, and if UT starts 0-2 before the SEC slate gets rolling, well, the stadium will be almost empty when UTC comes calling and will be Red and Black when Georgia comes calling in October.

And the donations will fall and the economics of the situation will be greatly impacted by Saturday's game.

A win over BYU and Georgia State was the nightmarish outlier. A loss to an above-average BYU and who knows who Pruitt and Co. will lose.

The fans? A lot of them. The players? Quite possibly. The donors? Yeah, probably, because home losses are doubly impactful. 

But will he lose Fulmer, the man who hired him? That's the multi-million-dollar question in both directions, because weighing the lost revenue against the buyout is a total sum game.



Final 

Also, while we are here, the tidbit this week about those football movies Delta is surveying folks about on Twitter, I voted for "Friday Night Lights." And for those that love the Pacino "Life is that inch" speech in "Any Given Sunday," Billy Bob Thornton's "My heart is full" speech is way better. That said, I'd have voted for "The Replacements" over "Remember the Titans" and "The Blind Side."

Finally, let's share some hate mail, shall we? I think we shall.

"You are a hateful man who is the reason we have so much hatred in this country."

Good start

"Do you write your A2 column just to [tick] us off? That has to be the reason, and you should be ashamed of yourself!"

Closer

"If you are any of the other liberal media wants a fight for my guns, then come and try it [parental bleeper]! Thank God for Trump and the NRA! Go to [the devil's home]!

Which was followed with this week's back-handed compliment of the week

"It seems you've had at least a moment of clarity. Buying a gun should be at least as hard as getting a drivers license. Screw the NRA." 

And

"Why do I keep reading your [bleepy] A2 [bleep]? I hate you."

Have a great weekend, friends. And go picks.

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