Fightin' Texas Aggies
The Aggies have done pretty well in their creampuff games. Last night was pretty impressive, especially for QB Jerrod Johnson. Three rushing touchdowns and three touchdown passes? Yes, please. The offense has looked very good, the defense has seemed decent, and last night the Ags managed not to get a whole boatload of penalty yards (which was the most frustrating aspect of the frustratingly-close game against Utah State). But next week playing Arkansas at some new stadium you may have heard of--that will show us how much of the Aggies' performance is a result of lousy opponents vs. actual ability.
I don't read as many Aggie football articles as I used to, but one I don't like to miss is "Robert Cessna grades the Aggies." It's always nice and succinct while still giving a pretty good idea of what went down and why. Highly recommended reading for fellow Aggies.
I really, really enjoy making picks, you guys. Here's how I'm doing:
On Facebook, I'm still in the lead among my miscellaneous friends and in the "Kick Frank's Tail" group. It's hard to care too much, though, for two reasons. First, the Facebook application or picks just isn't that good. It has a lot of bugs and it just suffers in comparison now that I'm picking on other websites. It doesn't seem like my other friends on there care too much, either, so it's kind of a snooze. The second factor is that on Facebook, you pick straight-up, and I've discovered that I prefer picking against the spread.
Picking against the spread is fun because it makes the easy picks harder (of course Florida is going to beat Troy, but are they going to beat them by 37 points or more?) and it makes it easier to reap the rewards for picking an underdog (I didn't really think Houston was going to beat Oklahoma State, but I thought they'd get closer than 14 points).
My Yahoo! group, where I'm playing against people from my dad's work, is therefore pretty fun. The first week, when I didn't realize it was a gainst the spread, I came in around the middle of the pack; the second week, when I figured it out, I came in first; last week, I just had a terrible week, dropping me back down to the middle overall; but then yesterday I did pretty awesome, and I'm now back to tied for first overall.
I'm also doing pretty well in my pro football picks (although not many of my morning-game picks are looking very hopeful so far). It's just a shame that I'm only in one group, and it's huge and therefore impersonal. I do like that ESPN tells you what percentile your picks are in, though. (As of last week, I'm at 97.9. Pretty good, eh?)
Finally, in case all that information wasn't dorky enough for you, let me tell you about the routine I'm developing for making my picks. I've put together an iTunes playlist with songs inspired by Barney Stinson's "Get Psyched Mixed," and I listen to songs like "Eye of the Tiger" while I pick the games. You know, to get pumped up. That's right. I'm that ridiculous.
Pro Football Opinions
My miscellaneous NFL thoughts are like kittens, and I'm givin' 'em away.
1: I don't understand what's going on with the Packers.
They looked really good in the pre-season, and I know they have a lot of good pieces, but they're just having a hard time putting them all together at once. Lots of puzzlingly dropped passes, way too many sacks, inability to convert take-aways into touchdowns, etc. They should be better than they are, is all.
Also, as I mentioned on Facebook, Johnny Jolly refuses to say "Texas A&M" whenever they do that self-introduction thing at the beginning of games. He says his high school, which really frustrates me. What is he, ashamed? So I want to be mad at him, but on the other hand, he's been makingn some really awesome plays for the Packers. Why can't he let me be proud of him?
2: Tony Romo has problems.
I am by no means a Cowboys fan, so I'm just saying as a dispassionate observer--tony Tomo has problems. I'm certainly not the first person to point this out, but he has a serious mental block with big games. It's been long enough now that there's no good reason to think he's going to turn it around. If he ever manages to lead a team to the Super Bowl, I will buy a hat in order to eat it.
3: Jay Cutler is intrinsically hilarious.
He's like some annoying, entitled frat boy-cum-quarterback. And it doesn't look like he's ever going to be particularly dependable, either. I saw a Jay Cutler Bears poster in a window on State Street, and I actually pointed and laughed. I dunno, it's just funny.
4: Jets vs. Titans
I picked the Titans over the Jets, but I sincerely would have picked differently if I had known they were going to wear throwback uniforms. I disapprove of the Titans wearing Oilers uniforms (they're not the Oilers), and it just can't be good karma.
Edited to add:
5: The "new" Football Night in America crew
The guys who do the games on Sunday night on NBC are configured so much better than they were before. Tony Dungy does not have an impressive TV presence, but that's the only weak spot. I adore the bluntness of Rodney Harrison, and I don't miss Tiki or The Bus at all. It's less crowded in the studio now that they've shipped Bob Costas out to the game location. And, most impressively, Cris Collinsworth is just an enormous upgrade in the booth over John Madden. Everybody knows that John Madden is a very nice man who loves football very much. But Collisworth is insightful and a skilled communicator. He'll point out something that's happening on the offensive line, and I'm like, "Oh yeah! Now I see how that was important!" He's pretty great.
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