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Westsider Rider

Friday, August 29, 2008

Picks of the Week

Picks of the Week is back for its 3rd year, let's hope to continue the success:

Florida Atlantic +24 @ Texas – Rusty Smith is one of 10 returning offensive starters for the Owls who will face an inexperienced secondary for Texas which will allow the Owls to stay in this game.

Clemson -4.5 vs. Alabama – James Davis comes home to Atlanta to take on the Crimson Tide and he will not disappoint. Expect the dynamic duo of Spiller and Davis to have a big day and throw that in with the fact that the Tide are 2-8 ATS in their non-conference games in the last 3 years I like the Tigers to take it.

California -4.5 vs. Michigan State – The Bears ended a disappointing season with a come from behind win in the Armed Forces Bowl and look to bounce back to the form that led to them to the #2 ranking in the country. Kevin Riley is now at the helm taking over for Nate Longshore and Jahvid Best now gets to step in for Justin Forsett. Michigan State’s D won’t be able to keep up with the Cal O and I see the Bears rolling on.

Northwestern -11.5 vs. Syracuse – There haven’t been many teams in the country that have been worse than Syracuse in the past few years and it doesn’t look like it’s getting better when you have recruits decommitting from your program to go to Central Michigan. C.J. Bacher and Tyrell Sutton are back and that should be plenty to get the Wildcats over the Orange.

USC -19.5 @ Virginia – Those of you that know me semi-well know the severe dislike I have for USC and that’s probably understating it. But it’s mostly for the most ignorant and arrogant fanbase I have ever encountered. At the same time I cannot deny the great teams they have been fielding year in and year out and this year is no exception. Although the O isn’t as strong as it has been in the past, the D is exceptional and will be able to shut down anything and everything UVA throws at them. With the loss of Chris Long to the NFL and Jameel Sewell gone for academics I don’t see how the Hoos have any chance, USC wins big.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Preseason Top 25

1. Georgia
2. Ohio State
3. Missouri
4. Oklahoma
5. Florida
6. USC
7. LSU
8. West Virginia
9. Clemson
10. Auburn
11. Texas
12. Kansas
13. BYU
14. South Florida
15. Virginia Tech
16. Texas Tech
17. Wisconsin
18. Tennessee
19. Wake Forest
20. Arizona State
21. Illinois
22. Pittsburgh
23. Fresno State
24. Penn State
25. California


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Calm Before the Storm

For all my loyal readers, all 3 of you, I am not dead, I've just kept myself from getting worked up too soon over college football season, that and the Lakers loss just took too much out of me to write about it. Thankfully the Olympics provided a much needed distraction from the upcoming season and here we are only 2 days away from the first kickoff when we get to watch Vanderbilt take on Miami of Ohio, among other games that I shouldn't, but you know I will be watching. There's a lot of different things I want to touch on so this post will seem very unorganized and jumbled together but here goes:

  • I don't think it will officially hit me that Rich Rodriguez is our head coach until I see him on the sidelines on Saturday. For all the years that I've followed Michigan football I have only known one coach and to see a new man at the helm will be kind of weird.
  • With that said, I can't wait to see this new offense. For years we have been running the same shit over and over, as all Michigan fans know we used to be able to call our plays with frightening accuracy. We are finally going to be on a level playing field as other programs around the country were passing us by with new techniques and schemes that we were unwilling to adopt.
  • I really don't like our new road jerseys, call me old school but I just don't like all the piping and the additional maize on it. Although they're not nearly as bad as the changes that Cal made to their jerseys this season.
  • I believe this will be my most enjoyable season to watch as a fan. With the coaching change I am not putting any expectations on this team. Sure I expect the team to keep the bowl streak in tact but aside from that I am just going to sit back and enjoy the ride this season. Moreso than any other season opener, the excitement isn't just about this season but the change in our program as a whole and I know there will be some bumps along the way this season. Sure we'll probably lose a game we shouldn't but we should probably win a game we shouldn't as well. I could continue on about it but Brian at MGoBlog has already summed it up the best:

And you know what? This seems like great fun. Michigan’s going to run out on the field and play like they’re one of those teams trying to make inferior talent work. They’re going to line up in the shotgun without a huddle. When whichever quarterback happens to be that play’s piñata raises his leg, the team will glance to the sideline and get the new play in. On average, this will be a run that goes for six yards.

At no point will they assume physical or mental superiority over their opponent. Their plan is to raid the endzone as best they can, which may be “not very well at all,” but by God they’re going to try on every snap.

It’s going to be a fiasco. It’s going to be ugly and tantalizing and dispiriting and awesome. I can’t wait.

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