New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms up before taking on the New York Giants in an NFL preseason football game, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Tuesday NFL poll

Wow, it's here. It's happening.

The NFL season kind of sneaked up on us because, at least in part, we do not have a fantasy team this year. That prep work always made the run-up to the NFL kickoff feel more detailed.

So let's project some team finishes, huh? I say yes. What say you, Alejandro?

Division winners in the NFC: Bucs, Packers, Rams, Washington. Wildcards: Cowboys, Bears, Seahawks. (Man, the NFC West is no joke.)

Division winners in the AFC: Chiefs, Patriots, Titans, Browns. Wildcards: Chargers, Bills, Steelers.

Yes, that leaves the Ravens out of the mix. So it goes.

Give me the Packers over the Patriots in the big one. Yep, I think Belichick is motivated and Mac Jones will be the Rookie of the Year, but we'll share more of that tomorrow.



Rest easy, Omar

Michael K. Williams was found dead Monday in his NYC residence. He was 54.

He was a longtime actor who was in a slew of things, but for a lot of us will forever be Omar Little from "The Wire."

If you have not seen "The Wire," well, that's on you. Without giving up too much of the gist, Omar was a gay, street hustler/hit man who famously said, "A man gotta have a code" and "If you come for the King you best not miss."  

No details were revealed about Williams' death, but I do believe this: Omar Little is the single best character in TV history.

I think Archie Bunker is No. 1 in the comedy category, and JR Ewing and Tony Soprano have cases to challenge Omar, but they fall short.

Rest easy, Mr. Williams. Thanks for sharing your gift.


Under underdog becomes super

OK, the final tally on the weekend wagers for college football were excellent.

The Fab 4 went 4-2. That'll do, pig. That'll do.

Live betting in-game was also very productive, including going under last night and reloading on Ole Miss, because Louisville was no match.

But as we look back — and we need to file this away, friends — two things jumped out.

Underdogs kept most of the huge lines close. Think UT, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Florida and Washington were among the teams laying more than three TDs that failed to cover the number. So it goes.

But we also need to make this: The under was 17-11-1 going into Saturday, and finished the first 10 days of the college season — going back to Saturday of Week 0 — at 56-32-1 after Louisville and Ole Miss scored 67 with a total of 74.

And no one capitalized on that more than a WynnBET gambler who played a 14-leg parlay — all unders — and turned $10 into right at $80K.


This and that

— Holy Schnikes, a $3.5 trillion "social safety net" bill? Someone tell me it's April 1 and not Sept. 7. Please? Looks like they left the "ism" off the first word in the name of the bill.

— Speaking of betting, this from ESPN sports betting beat ace, David Purdum: the American Gaming Association projects that 36% more Americans will bet on NFL games this year. So there's that.

— You know the rules. Here's Paschall on the head dudes at UT and Pitt and their connections.

— Have you offered a nominee for the 5-at-10 bracket? If not, why not? Yes, looking at you, Spy. Go and get your pick in.

— Have you submitted your eliminator pick yet? If not, why not? You know the drill. One NFL winner (no spread) per week, but once you've picked a team you can't use that team again, so choose the Bucs and Chiefs carefully. You can put it in the comments or you can email me at

— Matt Corral was great in last night's Ole Miss win. But was he this great? According to his NIL reps, Corral's going rate for appearance fees is $10,000 an hour. I'll pass.


Today's questions

True or false, it's Tuesday.

True or false, it was really, Really, REALLY weird not having a Braves game on Labor Day.

True or false, you watched more than 15 hours of college football from this holiday weekend.

True or false, Omar Little is the best TV character ever.

True or false, the Patriots are going to bounce back with a vengeance this season.

True or false, you have offered a nomination in the 5-at-10 Bracket Challenge.

You know the drill, answer some T or Fs, leave some T or Fs.

As for today, well, my son is 14 today. Yes, 14. KER-razy.

Rushmore of Lee. Go, and remember the bracket and the eliminator pool.