Well, they're off, and so is the contest. Thanks to everyone who entered. We got almost 60 entries, which is down a little from some previous Masters, but hey, everything is down.
Well, everything other than Pfizer stock.
If you are looking for a reason not to pick Bryson DeChambeau, this detail was pretty interesting.
DeChambeau is known as the Mad Scientist. His approach is next-level technical in terms of the numbers and the analytics.
But unlike almost every other tournament, the Masters does not give out detailed green guides.
Instead the great folks in green force players to rely on their personal knowledge and experience.
Yet another reason to love this joint.
True or false on a Thursday, Bryson's in the mix come Sunday.
And we'll repeat these below in our regular question space, but offer up a random prediction for this weekend's Masters.
(Anything but) Fab 4 picks
Just when you think 2020 has reached its limits, now comes this:
This year has made me doubt myself. For those of you who know me, kicking me in the confidence is a tall order. Heck, do we need to remind you about the personalized tag plate for Pete's sake?
Well, after hitting better than 59 percent of my college football picks over the past decade, the wheels have come off.
Last week we went 2-4 and have now fallen 23-26. And last week, I said that if these Fab 4 picks do not get better, I would have to share the space with Kyle the Magic 8-ball from Press Row.
Welp, everyone, this is Kyle. Kyle, this is everyone.
So, I'm going to pick my picks — pickers gotta pick, like Charlie Daniels in "Long Haired Country Boy" — and we're going to ask Kyle if he agrees or not. Let's roll with it.
Before we get there, let's ask some basic questions for Kyle just so we can get a feel.
Kyle, are there going to be any more SEC cancellations? "My sources say no."
Kyle, is Kansas the worst team in the country? "Ask again later."
Kyle, is Jim Harbaugh in his last season in Ann Arbor? "Pretty hazy, try again." (Man, that's a perfect assessment for Harbaugh's tenure, no?)
Kyle, did you ever think we'd get to a place where NC State is laying double-digits to FSU? "As I see it yes"
Kyle, are you scared of underdogs in BC and Michigan State, teams that play Notre Dame and Indiana, two teams off huge wins last week? "It is certain." (Dang, Kyle is good at this.)
Rutgers minus-6 over Illinois. I will ask Kyle his thoughts in a moment, but I think the Illini are the worst team in the Big Team, and I think Greg Schiano will have his team ready to play. Kyle, will Rutgers cover? "Without a doubt." (Alright.)
Arkansas-Florida over 60. Yes, no Kyle Pitts is a concern, but you have to believe that Feleipe Franks wants to play well in his return to the Swamp. Kyle, will this game go over? "Outlook not so good." (Crud.)
Utah minus-3 over UCLA. Buy the half — and no Kyle does not get a vote in that — and this is a pick in complete support of Kyle Wittingham, the Utes coach. UCLA is brutal defensively, and regardless of who Utah replaces Zach Moss with, it will be enough. Kyle, will Utah cover? "It is certain."
Oregon minus-10 over Washington State. I wonder how a team like the Ducks would fare in the Big Ten or the SEC on a week-in, week-out basis. Thoughts, Kyle? Would Oregon be a title contender in the SEC? "My reply is no." Dang Kyle, you're good. But will the Ducks cover against the Cougars? "Concentrate and ask again." (Just what I need, a bossy 8-ball.) Will the Ducks cover against the Cougars? "Most likely."
Liberty minus-32 over Western Carolina. Did you see Hugh Freeze got a monster extension with Liberty? Wonder if there were some special 'pro'visions in that contract. Know what I mean Kyle? "Better not tell you now." Buckets. OK, Kyle, will Liberty cover the monster number as it continues to bolster its national profile? "Concentrate and ask again." Hmmmm Kyle, will Liberty cover the monster number as it continues to bolster its national profile? "Outlook good."
OK, there you go, those are my picks and Kyle agrees with four of them and has the under on Arkansas-Florida.
Good luck gang. (And if you're planning on fading my selections, well, who can blame you at this point.)
Last week: 2-4 against the spread (33 percent)
This season: 23-26 against the spread (46.9 percent)
Must-watch Thursday night
I really want to like this Titans team. Seriously.
I love how physical Derrick Henry is, and I believe Mike Vrabel is really good at his job. (And GM Jon Robinson too.)
And tonight's date with the Colts could not be any bigger for control of the AFC South.
Tennessee is 6-2; Indy is 5-3.
Tennessee has an identity; Indy has a QB issue because Philip Rivers is 108 years old. (Kyle, is Rivers washed? "Better not tell you known.")
The Colts defense has allowed the third-fewest points in the league.
It's a pick 'em game, so take a side, grab your popcorn and let's go.
What's that? Kyle wants to make a pick. (Dear Lord, I thought I had an ego.)
Kyle, will the Titans win tonight at homes against the Colts? "Without a doubt."
This and that
— The AL and NL Cy Youngs were announced. Shane Bieber for the Indians and Trevor Bauer with the Reds won. Bauer will be a free agent in the coming months. Maybe they should change that to CHA-Young Award, cause dude is about to cash in. Also, I thought it was more than a little surprising that he is the first Reds pitcher to win the award.
— As a wise reader pointed out, the artist formerly known as Brian VanGorder is now the DC at Bowling Green. Yes, that's a mighty steep plummet considering where BVG was. Side note: This week in the lovely MACtion, this algebra does not shine favorably on the former Georgia assistant: BGSU's D +BVG = 62 vs Kent State on Tuesday.
— Speaking of MACtion, in between segments on the Country Music Awards last night, the Toledo-Western Michigan shootout was highly entertaining — as a game and for those of us who had the over 58.5. (Take that Kyle.) And how about WMU scoring two TDs in the final 45 seconds for a 41-38 W?
— There are few absolute, no-doubt all-time coaching names out there. Most you can quibble about, but there was no debating the all-time-ness of Clifford Kirk, who died Wednesday. Dude was a legend, and I know that's a word we bandy about with an over zealous and a looseness of sweat pants at a Weight Watchers meeting, but Kirk was that and then some. Rest easy, Coach.
— Here's today's A2 column, which gets me in the crosshairs of some Trumpers who do not know how to spell the word 'traitor' but do know how to spell a variety of colorful curse words.
— You know the rules, here's Paschall's picks column, and his prose on a scheduling oddity for the Vols.
Will Kyle make money this weekend?
Masters predictions, go?
Is Bryson DeChambeau likable?
Remember the mailbag gang.
As for today, well, it's Nov. 12, so let's review.
Wow, some Hollywood A-listers on the birthday roll. Anne Hathaway is 38 today. Ryan Gosling is 40 today. Grace Kelly would have been 91.
Disney's Song of the South was released on this day in 1946.
Not saying it's on the list, but what's the Rushmore of Worst Disney animated movies?
Go, and enjoy the day.