LA rockers Guns ‘n Roses often sang of a Cold November Rain, but here in the rock and roll capitol the talk is of the Lead Man's hot November reign, a familiar tune he plays on the man, that rockets up the charts each and every fall in the 440.
The first full football weekend of November 2009 saw that trend continue as the Lead Man knocked down 3 of 4 wagers as he gears up for his per usual late autumn run. He had an easy win with Arkansas, NC State covered by the hook and the Carolina/New Orleans tilt went under the total, as LP informed you it would. The lone blemish saw Tulane finally getting Lead Man, with a cover against UTEP.
A couple of last weekend's games left the Lead Man with a few thoughts that he'll share along with some other observations concerning the 2009 football season to date.
- If South Carolina doesn't get a competent QB on that team post haste, the old ball coach is going to have a coronary. They force their fair share of turnovers on D, only to have the quarterback give back the ball. This has gone on for years now. You would think that position would be the focal point of Spurrier's recruiting efforts. Ask conference giant LSU how easy it is to compete in the SEC with poor quarterback play.
- Purdue, a week after being blanked, hangs 38 on Michigan. Yes players, it's pretty clear Greg Robinson is in the building. If there's been a guy in college football robbing without a gun for years, it's Robinson. Whether it was leading Syracuse to 3 total conference wins in his 4 years there, or driving the Michigan defense off a cliff, he's reaching new levels of incompetence. Look, when you are rocketing past Dave Wannestedt on the incompetence scale, well, that should tell you something.
- The Wildcat offense has its time and place, but employing it as your base offense is foolish - no matter your personnel situation. Unless, of course, you think it's a good idea to have an offense that is useless in the last two minutes of each half, or when you are behind in the fourth quarter. Then it's just terrific. But the situations noted above are the very times that the good teams score.
- The Saints are now the favorites to win the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl. They are still too poor defensively to accomplish either. If these odds inflate much more there is going to be some value in the futures market.
- Lead Man can't help but think that the league that intervened and sparked the recent developments with the Browns situation, much like they did years ago with the Patriots. As some of you may recall the Flying Sullivan family, Pats owners at the time, invested heavily in the "Jackson's Victory Tour," which bombed like an Ashton Kutcher production. The Sullivan's took a major bath, and the NFL stepped in and provided some short term help. In return they "requested" that the Sullivan's waste no time in getting the ship righted. In this case the Sullivan's decided to sell, and, enter Bob Kraft.
It looks to LP that Lerner has decided to give it one more shot instead of selling, with that shot being under the watchful eye of the league office. It is going to be no surprise that the names being bandied about will be mostly good "league men" such as Ernie Accorsi, because of the source of the recommendations. We'll see how this shakes out, but LP would prefer ultimately that it shakes out like the Pats situation did - with new ownership.
To the picks:
Let's start in the professional ranks as the New Orleans Saints travel to the Edward Jones dome to take on the Rams. May as well call the place the Edgar Jones dome as this is about the biggest slam dunk on the board this week. Yes the Rams have Stephen Jackson against a poor rush defense. Yes they are coming off the bye week. Still not enough. The Saints are averaging almost 40 points a game, the Rams have scored 77 ALL YEAR. The Saints are the third undefeated team to roll into the dome this season and the first two outscored the Rams 80-16. The Saints have had some turnover issues lately, but the Rams, owners of only 9 takeaways on the season, are not likely to take advantage. So the Saints will march in, and you will march to the window.
New Orleans -13.5
If you are a real man, like the Lead Man, you always look forward to seeing a little beaver. Well, players, you can't strike out Saturday night if you tune into the Oregon State/Washington tilt. The Huskies travel to Corvallis to take on the Beavers, who are starting to roll and are coming off an upset win over Cal last weekend. Washington has not covered the number against Oregon State in their last 5 meetings. Saturday should make it six. Jake Locker comes in with the hype, but Beaver QB Sean Canfield can play. He'll look to take advantage of a Washington defense that is really banged up, especially at linebacker, and one that is poor against the pass. The Beavers average 30 a game, and Washington gives up that many. Too many points for the Huskies to stay in the game. Look for the Beavers to win this damn game.
Oregon State -12
Lead Man was going to recommend Michigan State at the opening line of +2 against Purdue, but action has swung it all the way to -4 in some places. At that number the Leadquarters is forced to declare this game Unleaded.
The Boston College Eagles travel to Scott Stadium to tangle with the Virginia Cavaliers. Boston College's road struggles will be helped by the fact that they up against a squad that plays poorly at home. The Leadquarters feels that the BC defense is going to make it very tough for the Cavaliers to put many points on the board, especially with some key skill position players not at 100%. Virginia has moved the ball the last two games. However, don't let the play against poor defenses fool you. Virginia may be getting a little more credit than they deserve against this talented BC defense because of those last two tilts. The winner of this game will be the one who is able to control it on the ground. That will be the Eagles.
Boston College -4
Good Luck Players!!!
YTD RECORD: 21-15 (58.3%)