Post I: college football and Peoria Chiefs baseball

Spectator sports has been a nice release from dwelling on stuff that I don’t like but really can’t change (social media, politics). I will talk about it some in a subsequent post though.

Peoria Chiefs Are in the finals! Game 1 and 2 are tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. The way this works in the Midwest League (low A): on even numbered years, the western champion hosts the first 2 games of the “best of 5”; it is just the opposite in even numbered years. The opponent: the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

I fear attendance won’t be great due to the fact that championship series are hard for fans to plan in advance and much of the draw for A league games is “outing” rather than baseball. And in the minor leagues: your playoff team will often not be your initial team. In Peoria’s case: the new players did struggle a bit at first..but there was a ton of talent. And now that talent is jelling so I like Peoria’s chances. But Bowling Green might be in a similar position (they are a Rays affiliate; Chiefs are a Cardinals affiliate).

In any event, these will be the last two games of a very fun season for me.

College Football I had a bad week of predictions last week:

Here is what I said:

Western Illinois at Illinois (spread: Illini by 8, ESPN: 73.8 % prob. for Illini)

WIU isn’t what they were last year and they are just off of a tough road loss. Illinois stinks and just lost their back up QB and best WR. And it could be played in heavy rain.

Nothing between a 3 point WIU win and an 11 point Illini win would surprise me. I’d go with: “similar to last week”; 27-20 Illini.

ND favored by 34.5 over Ball State. 99.1 % ND by ESPN. Why? ND could win 35-3 and not cover. Hard to tell. I’d say
“take ND and give the points” but maybe BSU gets a garbage time TD to cut the spread?

Memphis favored by 6.5 at Navy; ESPN 85.1 % for Memphis. Pains me to say it, but Navy’s defense is suspect. Mids will have to control the ball to keep it close. I am afraid that the Mids lose a shoot out like last week.

Texas favored by 23 over Tulsa: Texas 92% on ESPN. Tulsa beat an FCS program (a good one) by 11 last week; UT lost to a Big Ten team. I think that UT wins..but by how much? TU is better than San Jose State last year (who UT blew out).

Win: Illini, ND, Memphis, UT
Cover: WIU, ND, Memphis, Tulsa.

Last week: 3-1 vs. the spread, 2-2 straight up.

Ironic: the most competitive game of the 4 is..the Illinois vs. Western Illinois. Kind of sad..really.

So, how did I do? Straight up, I got 3 of 4 (Illini, ND, Texas). Spread: 1-3 (only Tulsa was right), though I was DELIGHTED to get the Navy game wrong. The Mids really came through.

So for the season:
Straight up: 5-3 (missed the Navy game both times, once in each direction, and the UT vs. MD game). Spread: 4-4 (which is what one would expect) I missed Navy twice, Illinois once, ND once.

I am really no better than a coin toss. 🙂

So what about this week? Yes, I am going to the Illinois vs. South Florida game in Chicago.

South Florida – 10 at Illinois (Chicago). This is a mismatch from the ESPN power index which gives USF a 65.7 percent chance. Last year: USF was a 16.5 point favorite and won 47-23, covering easily.
Personally, I think that Illinois MIGHT be getting too much credit, being a Big Ten team and USF being an AAC team (non-power 5, technically).

BUT, in their first game, USF cruised 34-14 over Elon (no. 12 in the FCS); they lead 31-0 midway through the 3’rd. So while Illinois also beat an FCS team 34-14, it was 24-14 going into the 4’th with Western Illinois driving. Illini scored on a punt block, set up a TD on an “almost pick 6” (to the 3) and another field goal via a fumble. USF vs. Elon: total yards were 515-234. In the Illinois vs. Western, it was 376-361.

The other game: USF beat a tough Georgia Tech team 49-38 whereas Illinois escaped a terrible Kent State team 31-24, with total yards being 469-453.

Even more worrisome is that USF’s receiving corps is outstanding and the Illini secondary is suspect.

I am excited about the game, but, objectively, well, 41-20 USF looks about right to me, UNLESS they are overconfident. And yes, way back in 2013, Illinois demolished a decent Cincinnati team 45-17 on its way to a 4-8 record. But that team had more offensive punch than this one and a more established quarterback.

So, I have to pick USF to win and cover.

Vanderbilt + 14.5 at ND: ESPN gives ND an 88.8 percent chance of winning. Both teams are 2-0 with ND beating Michigan 24-17 and stopping Ball State 24-16. Vanderbilt rolled over Middle Tennessee 35-7 (MTSU was a bowl team last year..Sun Belt) and Nevada 41-10 (they were bad last year). This might be hard; ND is a step up in competition for Vanderbilt and so ND should win. But Vanderbilt is an SEC team that might well be bowl bound..this game might be competitive.

I pick ND to win but Vanderbilt to cover the wide spread. They are NOT that bad.

Lehigh at Navy: (no line; Navy 96.8 percent) Leigh is a so-so FCS team who had a narrow win over a 5-6 FCS team (St. Francis) in the opener and was dominated by Villanova in their second game. Navy is coming off of an emotional win over Memphis but has too much talent for Lehigh, I think. I see a comfortable Navy win.

USC + 3.5 at Texas (ESPN: 55.9 percent for Texas) Texas lost at Maryland and beat Tulsa, narrowly. USC was dominated by Stanford 17-3 but beat UNLV easily (43-21). This is a big game at Texas with tickets being priced at over 80 dollars (per Vivid Seats). But how will that work; Texas has been very average against bad to so-so teams and USC did get a team that is much better than Texas.

Ugh.toss up. Will pressure to beat an average team with a big name get to UT? I am really unsure.

Let’s say Texas wins by 4? But I wouldn’t bet a penny on this game, either way.

Note: this is BRUTAL.

Yes, TCU is a 13 point underdog and ESPN gives OSU an 86.6 percent chance. BUT…who knows…TCU might pull off the upset. I still remember the Iowa game and TCU is a lot better than Iowa.

My picks: straight up: USF, ND, Navy, Texas (very reluctantly). Cover: USF, Vanderbilt, (no line for Navy), Texas

Workout notes: yesterday, weights and a 2 mile run in 19:38 (5.2 for 3 minutes, upped it then at 10 minutes, 6.7 up to 7.0) weights: different order: pull ups (15-15-10-10), military (10 x 50, 10 x 50, 10 x 45 standing), bench: 2 sets of 10 x 70 dumbbell, incline: 9 x 135 (ran out of gas), decline: 5 x 165 (fatigued), rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110, plank: 2:30 (easy), boat, side plank, twist

today: 3 mile walk in 38:30; 5K in 39:40 prior to fasting blood work.

September 12, 2018 - Posted by | baseball, college football, running, walking, weight training | ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Here is what I said about this weekend’s action: […]

    Pingback by College football comment « blueollie | September 16, 2018 | Reply

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