Baseball Archives Football Archives Basketball Archives
Week 4 Picks
Home team in CAPS. Rankings are from the AP poll.

Top 25

  • Kent State +43.5 over #1 Alabama
    Saban goes easy on his alma mater.
  • #3 Louisville over Marshall +25.5
    Akron put up 65 on Marshall last week; Jackson & Company can do that even while looking ahead to Clemson.
  • Penn State +19 over #4 Michigan
    Visitor covers in Ann Arbor for second week in a row.
  • Texas State +34.5 over #6 Houston
    Cougars rest ailing QB Ward after gaining big league.
  • #7 Stanford over UCLA +3
    McCaffrey continues his Heisman quest.
  • #8 Michigan State over #11 Wisconsin +5.5
    Badgers go on road with QB uncertainty.
  • #9 Washington over Arizona NO SPREAD
    Not sure why there's no spread on this one.
  • #17 Arkansas +5.5 over #10 Texas A&M
    Razorbacks run ball to keep A&M offense off field.
  • #23 OLE MISS over #12 Georgia +7
    Rebels harass Bulldogs' frosh QB.
  • #13 Florida State over South Florida +6
    Noles bounce back after last week's debacle.
  • #14 TENNESSEE over #19 Florida +6.5
    Vols finally beat Gators, who are starting a backup QB.
  • #16 Baylor over Oklahoma State +8
    Cowboys gave up 38 to Pitt last week.
  • #18 LSU over Auburn +3.5
    Tigers' second road game goes much better than first.
  • #20 Nebraska over Northwestern +7
    3-0 Cornhuskers hit the road for the first time.
  • #24 Utah over Southern Cal +3
    I'm still not impressed by Trojans.

Additional Big Ten Games

  • #13 Iowa over RUTGERS +13
    Hawkeyes bounce back from home loss to FCS team.
  • Colorado State +16.5 over Minnesota
    Gophers tend to play down to opposition.
  • PURDUE over Nevada +6
    With two weeks to prepare new QB, Boilermakers prevail.
  • Wake Forest +7.5 over Indiana
    Expect close game between two weak offensive teams.
Intriguing Numbers - Week Three/Four
4 Consecutive seasons - covering Rich Rodriguez's tenure - that Arizona has pulled an upset over a Top 10 team as the Wildcats prepare to host #9 Washington
8 Consecutive wins by the home team in the Arizona-Washington series.
Sacks by Florida in three games
18 TDs accounted for by Louisville QB Lamar Jackson in just three games
52-9 Combined score by which Ole Miss led Florida State (28-6) and Alabama (24-3) before losing both games.
3 Games this year, counting this Saturday's clash with Georgia, in which Ole Miss has played a team with a freshman starting QB
16 Consecutive wins by Greg Ward as Houston's QB
369 All-purpose yards by Stanford's Christian McCaffrey in last season's 56-35 victory over UCLA
368 All-purpose yards by McCaffrey January 1 against Iowa in the Rose Bowl, the same field where this Saturday's UCLA game will be played.
3 Consecutive seasons Utah has started 3-0
10 Sacks by Utah - by eight different players - against San Jose State last week
66 Consecutive games by Florida State without consecutive defeats, second nationally to Oregon's 70
7 Consecutive home games Auburn has lost to Power 5 Conference teams

Record after three weeks: 46-31-1

Did You Notice? NFL Week 2
  • Not So Terrific Week 2
    There was only one one-point game - as opposed to four in Week 1 - and only seven games with a difference of seven or less (after eleven such the week before). The one point game was Titans 16 Lions 15. (More on that below.)
  • More New England QB Intrigue
    The Patriots' already had the most interesting QB situation with Tom Brady's four-game suspension. But the plot thickened last Sunday when Jimmy Garoppo­lo was knocked out of the game against Miami with a right shoulder injury in Q2 after throwing three TD passes. Rookie Jacoby Brissett led New England to a TD on the first possession of the second half for a 31-3 lead. That proved fortuitous as the Dolphins scored 21 straight points but fell short, 31-24. Bill Belichick has limited time to prepare his new QB for the tough Thursday night clash with Hous­ton.
  • From Senior Bowl to the Senior League
    The 2016 Senior Bowl rosters included these QBs, with their NFL Draft positions:
    North: Cody Kessler, USC (Round 3, Cleveland); Kevin Hogan, Stanford (Round 5, Kansas City); Carson Wentz, North Dakota State (1st round, Phil­adelphia); Jeff Driskel, Louisiana Tech (6th round, San Francisco)
    South: Brandon Allen, Arkansas (6th round, Jacksonville); Jacoby Brissett, N. C. State (3rd round, New England); Jake Coker, Alabama (Undrafted); Dak Prescott, Mississippi State (4th round, Dallas)
    Three of these rookies will start for their respective teams in Week 3. Wentz and Prescott have started the first two games. The Eagles are 2-0 and the Cowboys 1-1. Prescott got his chance when Tony Romo suffered a back injury in presea­son. As explained above, Brissett was pressed into service when Garoppolo left with an injury and will probably start the next two Patriots games until Brady returns from suspension.
    Meanwhile, Cody Kessler is set to start for Cleveland this week after Robert Griffin II I was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury and backup Josh McCown went down in Game 2.
  • Peyton's Successor
    The Broncos are 2-0 with second-year QB Trevor Siemian at the helm. He's a combined 40-for-59 for 444y, 1 TD, and 3 INT. His 222 yd/game are almost exactly what Peyton Manning averaged last year (224.9) in ten games. Trevor faces his first road start Sunday at Cincinnati.
  • Lions Flip Flop
    Detroit fans haven't enjoyed a playoff victory since 1991. They were excited when the Lions defeated the Colts on the road 39-35 in Week 1. Motor City afficianados envisioned a 2-0 start since they were hosting the down-and-out Titans last Sun­day. But second-year pro Marcus Mariota moved Tennessee down the field like a savvy veteran, completing all nine passes on the final drive, including a 9y TD pass to Andre Johnson with 1:13 left for a 16-15 victory.
  • Bad Start in D.C.
    The Redskins, fresh off making the playoffs last year played their first two games at home but against tough opponents. The result is an 0-2 start after falling to the Steelers 38-16 and the 27-23 to the Cowboys and their rookie QB. The talk increases that QB Kirk Cousins has lost the locker room.
  • Not What L.A. Expected
    The Rams haven't scored a TD in two games. Yet they won in Week 2 by holding the Seahawks to a FG while kicking three of their own to the delighted of a sold-out Coliseum crowd welcoming the Rams back after 22 years. Pete Carroll's offense has scored only one TD in two games, but it came with 31 seconds left in the opener to defeat the Dolphins 12-10.
  • Fantastic First Halves
    The Chargers have outscored their two opponents by 42-3 in the first 30 minutes of action. Yet they are only 1-1 as the Chiefs came back from a 21-3 deficit at the break to pull out a 33-27 victory in OT. San Diego has been outscored in the second half 44-23.
  • Winston Flip Flop
    Consider Jameis Winston's stats for Tampa Bay's two games this season:
    31-24 victory at Atlanta Week 1: 23-of-32, 281y, 4 TD, 1 INT, QBR 91.8
    40-7 loss at Arizona Week 2: 27-of-52, 243y, 1 TD, 4 INT, QBR 23.2
Intriguing Numbers - NFL
9-of-29 Seattle's 3rd down conversions in two games
19 Adrian Peterson's yards on 12 carries before leaving Minnesota's victory over Green Bay with a torn meniscus
Times Buffalo Coach Rex Ryan has been 0-2 in his NFL career - this season.
0 Turnovers by Dallas rookie QB Dak Prescott in his first two games
1035 Yardage surrendered by the Oakland defense in the first two games, making the Raiders the first team since the 1967 Falcons to allow more than 500y of offense in both their first two games
103 Rushing yards by the Bengals in their first two games
17 Penalties called on the Lions against the Titans last Sunday
2 Times John Fox has taken his team to the Super Bowl in the second year of his tenure with the Panthers and Broncos - a streak that's sure to be broken with the woeful Bears this year
10 Number of QBs who threw for over 300y last week
59 Carries by the Jets' Matt Forte the first two weeks, a pace for 472 rushes for the season
8 Receptions by Giants rookie WR Sterling Shepard against the Saints on eight targets
17 Catches by former Tiger Jarvis Landry for the Dolphins in two games
20-0 Deficit overcome by the Ravens to beat Cleveland (25-20) last week
4-1 Lions' record in their last five road games dating to last year as they visit Lambeau Field this week
24 Consecutive games lost by Detroit at Lambeau Field before winning there last November
4-0 Rams' record against Tampa Bay - one victory each of the last four years after meeting only seven times the previous 17 years - as they face off for the fifth straight year Sunday
31.7 Yards per catch by San Diego second-year WR Tyrell Williams on 7 receptions
15-5 Sean Payton's record against the Falcons
Did You Notice? NCAA Week 3
  • Bad Day for SEC?
    Consider these results:
    Louisville 63 Florida State 20
    FSU defeated Ole Miss 45-34 in Week One
    Alabama 48 Ole Miss 43
    Tide had to score two defensive TDs and a kick return six to defeat the Rebels, who surrendered a three-TD lead for the second time in three weeks.
    Wisconsin 23 Georgia State 17
    Victors over LSU in the opener, the Badgers hung on against a Sun Belt team.
    Tennessee 28 Ohio 19
    Vols struggled for the second time at home against a non-conference opponent.
    Miami 45 Appalachian State 10
    Hurricanes blew out the team that almost beat Tennessee in Week One.
    Troy 37 Southern Miss 31
    Two weeks after bopping Kentucky 44-35 in Lexington, the Golden Eagles lost at home to a C-USA foe. Troy had lost by just six points at Clemson the week before.
    Georgia Tech 38 Vanderbilt 7
    The Engineers are not considered one of the top teams in the ACC.
    South Carolina 20 East Carolina 15
    Playing at home, the Gamecocks edge ECU from the American Conference.
    Louisiana-Lafayette 28 South Alabama 23
    Jaguars lose their second Sun Belt game in a row after upsetting Mississippi State in Starkville. Former LSU QB Anthony Jennings went 18-for-26 with 3 TD and 2 INT for the Cajuns.
  • Scare for Arizona State
    A week after their instate rivals, Arizona, fell far behind Grambling before winning, the Sun Devils rallied from 16 down in the second half to defeat Texas San Antonio 32-28.
  • Break Up the Broncos
    No, not the ones in Denver. The ones in Kalamazoo. 3-0 Western Michigan scored its second road win against a Big Ten foe by blowing out Illinois in Champaign 34-10. WMU's game at Central Michigan in two weeks looms as a major contest in the MAC Western Division. CMU beat Oklahoma State Week 2 on an extra play they shouldn't have gotten.
  • Sorry, Podnah, But I'm in Cali Now
    Davis Webb grew up in the Dallas area cheering for the Longhorns. But they didn't want him. So he went to California instead. The senior threw four TD passes and finished 27-for-40 for 396y as the Bears beat Texas 50-43. The Longhorns scored on their first four possessions before the offense started to stall a bit. Senior kicker Trent Domingue, a transfer from LSU, missed two FGs.
  • More Big 12 Woe
    The other Big 12 schools usually root against Oklahoma as a matter of principle. But this year, they have an added reason. With two losses (to Houston and Ohio State) before beginning conference play, the Sooners would likely put the conference on the outside of the CFP looking in if they won the Big 12 championship.
More on Tigers-Maroons
I watched the replay of the game on the SEC Network.
  • I strongly disagree with ESPN analyst Ed Cunningham's criticism of LSU for passing during Q4.
  • Leading 23-6, the Tigers mounted a 13-play drive from their 1 that ate up seven minutes. They were able to keep the drive moving with three completions:
    1-10 at 25: Etling hit Travin Duval for 8y. Derrius Guice ran for 3y and a first down on the next play.
    Two plays later, Danny found CJ Chark for 11y to the 47 to move the chains again.
    Later, after an illegal block penalty on Foster Moreau, LSU faced 2nd-and-22 at the LSU 45. Etling fired to Malachi Dupre to set up 3rd-and-5 at the MS 38.
    After Guice gained 4, Fournette tried to get the first down but had the ball wrenched away but recovered by LSU. The replay didn't seem conclusive as to whether he had made a first down before fumbling or not (I agree with Cunningham on this point) but the Maroons took over on downs.
  • My point is that LSU would never have traveled 65y to flip the field if they had just run the ball.
  • We can cite multiple games when Miles refused to pass while sitting on a lead only to have it backfire. The game that still galls me is Alabama 2012 when, leading 17-14, all the Tigers had to do with two minutes to play was get one more first down. But Les called a doomed running play on 3rd down at the Alabama 32 before Drew Alleman missed a 45y FG. Bama then drove 72y in five plays to score the winning TD with 0:49 left.
  • So I see LSU's Q4 offense last Saturday as an indication of Miles learning his lesson from past games. Getting first downs is more important than running the clock.
Saints after Two Games
The Saints have lost back-to-back heartbreakers.
  • If they had played as well offensively in Game 2 as they did in Game 1 and played as well defensively in Game 1 as they did in Game 2, they'd be 2-0 instead of 0-2.
  • Some questionable officiating calls have hurt them in both contests.
  • The much maligned and oft-injured secondary played their guts out against the Giants. To keep Eli and his high-powered offense out of the end zone (although NY could easily have scored a TD in the last minute if they needed to) is a feather in the cap of Dennis Allen's defense.
  • Since the first preseason game, the Saints defense has looked quicker and more aggressive than last year. They sagged in the opener against Oakland after Delvin Breaux went out but bounced back last Sunday by creating three turnovers.

The Monday night game against Atlanta looms as a MUST WIN (make that ABSOLUTE MUST WIN) for the Saints if they hope to finish .500 or better.

  • The first four games of the regular season (ending with a trip to San Diego for Week 4) were considered a relatively easy start.
  • A 3-1 record after four games seemed doable but now the best the Saints can do is break even.
  • Games 5-10 look like this: Panthers, @Chiefs, Seahawks, @49ers, Broncos, @Panthers. San Francisco looks to be the only team the Saints might be favored to beat. Go 1-5 in those six and you're at best 3-7.
  • Our boys would have to go 5-1 in the last six games to break even for the season.

Even at full strength, that's a tough row to hoe.

  • Much has been made of the Saints' leading the league in "dead money," with C. J. Spiller the latest addition to the list of expensive duds.
  • The lack of "cap room" has caused a lack of something else - depth - on the Saints. They have too many undrafted free agents and castoffs from other teams on the roster to be a serious contender.
LSU-Mississippi State Comments -MORE BELOW ALSO
At halftime, I wondered, "Who kidnapped LSU's offensive coordinator and replaced him with an imposter?" I also wondered, "Why does the imposter trust his QB more than the old coordinator?"
  • Multiple formations; passes on first down; empty backfield - numerous wrinkles not seen in the first two games.
  • Danny Etling had a good night: 19-30 for 215y and 0 INTs. He threw a beautiful 37y TD pass to DJ Chark to put LSU on the board.
  • Danny needs to continue to improve game by game for the Tigers to have the kind of season they (and the fans) envisioned since the spring.

Many are worried because LSU did not score a point in the second half.

  • But a big factor in that lack of production was poor field position created by MSU punter Logan Cooke. Consider these starting points for the Tiger drives the second half: 13, 29, 7, 1, 19.
  • Fortunately, the drive that started at the 1 lasted 13 plays to the MSU 34 (where Fournette fumbled while trying for a 1st down on 4th down) and took 7:01 off the clock.
  • So when MSU started its comeback after junior Damian Williams (from Archbishop Rummel) entered four plays later, they had only 4:10 left when they scored to make it 23-13.

LSU special teams get a mixed review.

  • Josh Growden boomed two kicks over 60y, including a 61-yarder with 1:08 on the clock to put the Bulldogs in a hole for their final desperation possession to try to get into FG range. He also launched a 65y rocket in Q1 to the 2. That led to LSU's second TD after they got possession at the MSU 46.
  • But the Tigers also had a PAT blocked and allowed the Bulldogs to recover the onside kick after their first TD to set up a second TD that cut the margin to 23-20.
  • I was happy that Dan Mullin decided to kick deep following that score. I was worried he would try another onside kick and get it to really put the pressure on the LSU defense since all the visitors needed was a FG to send the game to OT. His plan might still have worked except for Growden's 61y missile.
  • Tre'Davious White had only 9y on two punt returns thanks to MSU's excellent punt coverage.

The defense allowed only 270y but need to improve as the season progresses.

  • Four times, MSU completed a pass down the sideline to a receiver who was well covered. But the DB or LB failed to turn and see the pass or was simply outfought for the ball. Just before MSU's last TD, their best receiver, Fred Ross, gained dual possession with Dwayne Thomas. So the visitors kept the ball at the 3 and scored on another pass to Ross on the next snap.
  • But the pursuit speed of LSU's defense is impressive. On numerous occasions, MSU threw a flare pass to a back but a defender was right in his path with two or three more racing over to help.
  • Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has moved to the press box but Dave Aranda remains on the sideline.

One of the best seats I've ever had in Tiger Stadium; rarely used the field glasses.
My Live Game This Weekend: Mississippi State @ LSU WITH COMMENTS
Both teams are a work in progress, with each being upset in Week One (MSU at home) and making a QB change in week 2.
  • LSU could lose the game or blow out the Bulldogs. IT LOOKED LIKE A SEMI-BLOWOUT MIDWAY THROUGH Q4 BEFORE THE LATE MSU RALLY.
  • While much is made of the Tigers' QB situation, the receivers need improvement too. What's going on with Malachi Dupre? He caught three passes against Wisconsin but nary a one against JSU. Heralded receivers coach Dameyune Craig, fresh from Auburn, has apparently screwed up Malachi or at least failed to provide him the coaching he needs to get separation from press coverage CBs. Is Malachi pouting about his declining NFL Draft status? DUPRE WAS MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE OUT OF THE SLOT, WHICH GIVES HIM A DMZ WITH DEFENDERS.
  • Nick Fitzgerald set a Mississippi State record for rushing yards by a QB against South Carolina. The 6'5" 220 lb redshirt sophomore has Maroon fans excited that he may be the next Dak Prescott. But he'll be facing a much better defense Saturday night than the one South Carolina deployed. LSU CORRALLED HIM WELL (ONLY 133 TOTAL YARDS). IT WAS ONLY WHEN DAMIEN WILLIAMS CAME IN THAT THE BULLDOGS CAME TO LIFE.
  • Still, he's the wild card that caused me to take Mississippi State and the 14 points in what should be a wet field game after daylong rain in Baton Rouge. THE RAIN WAS NEGLIGIBLE ON THE LSU CAMPUS, BUT I WON WITH THE POINTS BECAUSE OF THE LATE RALLY.
  • It would help immensely if LSU got off to a fast start. They have yet to score a point in Q1 and have possessed the ball a paltry 4:11 in the two initial periods so far. Wouldn't it be great if the Tigers took the opening kickoff and marched right down the field to a TD to set the tone for the evening? LSU WENT NOWHERE ON THE FIRST POSSESSION BUT DROVE 82y ON THE SECOND ONE FOR A TD AND LED 14-0 AFTER Q1.
  • This is a must win for both teams but especially for the Tigers. So expect the usual rock 'em sock 'em LSU-Mississippi State war. IT WAS ROCK 'EM, SOCK 'EM WITH NUMEROUS INJURY TIMEOUTS.

Top of Page

About This Site
This site is devoted primarily but not exclusively to college and pro football. The unique feature of this site is the publication each fall of the author's rankings of all FBS college football teams and similar rankings for the NFL. I live in New Orleans and am a graduate of LSU and FSU. So I present a Southern and particularly an SEC point of view but one that is reasonably objective. I also publish a monthly Football Magazine with stories from the past and a monthly Baseball Magazine with a similar format. During the winter and spring, there's a monthly Basketball Magazine.

web counter
web counter
Hits since 8/3/12

For Your Reading Pleasure

Rice band mocks Baylor over sexual assault scandal

Golden's 2016 College Football Predictions

Golden's 2016 NFL Predictions

Pro Football Preseason Magazine Summaries

College Football Preseason Magazines Summaries

NEW Golden Basketball
Basketball Short Story I'm Not Stanley Roberts.
Tiger Den Basketball Season in Time: 2005-06 - NCAA Tournament Round 3
Profile The Fab Five - V
Basketball Quiz Colleges Never in NCAA Tournament


RECENT Edition of the Golden Baseball Magazine [8/11]
Cardinals Clubhouse
---Four pennants in a row - 1886
---Cardinals Quiz
The Ultimate Game 1991 World Series - Game 7
Remarkable Rookie Boo Ferriss
How Would You Rule? -
Batter Kicks Foul Ball
Baseball Quiz
- First million-dollar-a-year man
Short Story - "I Decided to Cheat"


RECENT Golden Football Magazine [7/16]
Tiger Den: Dietzel and McClendon - Episode 1 Part 1
Saints Saga: Best and Worst Games
Seminoles Sidelines: #1 Fan
Profile: Bill Walsh - II
Super Bowl II
Short Story: Bobby and Doak - Nearly College Teammates Too
How Well Do You Know the Rules?
Football Quiz

About This Site


Past Articles

Tigers in NFL - 2015 Update


Les Miles and Dale Brown - Two Peas in a Pod?

If Alabama Fans Were Like LSU Fans
I Started Following SEC Football So Long Ago That ...
Future of College Football?

LSU Teams That Supplied the Most Pro Players
LSU Players Who Played the Longest in Pro Football

Biased Football Opinions Archive

Golden Moments in Sports History Archive

Top of Page