Week 12 Picks
Chicago Bears (+3) over Tampa Bay Bucs
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) over Arizona Cardinals
San Diego Chargers (-3) over Washington Redskins
Carolina Panthers (-3.5) over Buffalo Bills
St. Louis Rams (-3.5) over Houston Texans
Pittsburgh Steelers (+9) over Indianapolis Colts
Monday Night: 7-5-0
GAME OF THE WEEK
New York Giants @ Seattle Seahawks
*Here is a perfect example of an aforementioned pivotal game. Seattle is trying to take control of the NFC #1 seed for the playoffs, while the Giants not only try to reel them in, but take control of their own division. Now its a matter of Matt Hasselbeck getting himself and his team over the bump in the road that has kept them from winning big games in the past, or Eli Manning maturing well ahead of schedule and bringing the Giants right into the middle of the Super Bowl picture. Both of these teams have aspirations to make to Detroit in Super Bowl XL, and whoever can pull this one off will be making a big statement that they are the best team and favorite in the NFC.
NFL News and Notes
*The 1972 Dolphins might want to start worrying a little bit. Even though the Colts have tough games remaining against Pittsburgh, Seattle, San Diego and Jacksonville, this team doesn't look like its slowing down anytime soon. The Colts are by far and away the Super Bowl favorites as we sit here in week 12, as they essentially have home field advantage locked up. This means not only will they be able to rest their stars at the end of the season, but including the Super Bowl, the Colts will never have to go outside to win a game in the postseason. In many peoples minds (personally I think they are just choke artists) it was having to play outside in New England that led to their doom every year. Now they have eliminated that factor, making this their year. If they don't win it this year, don't expect for this group of Colts to ever win a Super Bowl together.
*Both Herm Edwards and Steve Mariucci got confirmation this week that their jobs are not in jeopardy, at least not yet. I'll tell you what, they should both be counting their lucky stars that I'm not the owner or GM of their teams because they would be out the door so fast their heads would be spinning. The only one I feel for is Mooch, and its not because we have similar sounding nicknames. He didn't draft any of the players he's got to work with, but at the same time, he has been surrounded with enough talent to put up a more respectable showing. In a perfect world, it would be Matt Millen who would go, the guy who brought in 3 top pick WRs in 3 years, and also was convinced that Joey Harrington would be the QB of the future. Herm doesn't get off so easy. He flat out can't coach. I'm sure he's a nice guy, and he has had a lot of injuries to deal with this year, but when you have to hire a coach that strictly runs the clock for you, there are bigger problems. In my perfect world, Pete Carrol would return to the Jets, and fail again miserably just to bring his ego back down to earth. But that aside, I think its obvious both of these teams need to start from scratch with new coaches and a new scheme.
*Speaking of teams that are disappointing this year, you don't need to look any further than the Philadelphia Eagles. They went from a team that had all the weapons and all the experience to make a return trip to the Super Bowl, to being a team in complete disarray because of the TO situation and various injuries from Correl Buckhalter to Donovan McNabb. If I didn't despise Philly and most of their fans, I would feel bad for them. But alas, I don't, and I'm glad they are getting everything they deserve for thinking they could change TO.
*People still seem to have a lot of questions about the true QB ability of Mr. Ron Mexico, known to most of you as Michael Vick. Even though the Falcons have gone 1-2 the last three weeks while trying to keep Vick in the pocket more, it has less to do with that and more to do with bad luck. Admittedly, Vick is a total enigma in the NFL, and it still may take more time for head coach Jim Mora to find the perfect balance of running and passing in his scheme for Vick, but its getting a lot closer. The only problem is the Falcons don't have the luxury of losing a few games while they try to find the right mix for Vick because they play in the ultra competitive NFC South. But with Vick rushing for 94 yards over the last 3, while passing for 661 yards and a 6:1 TD:INT ratio, I would think that the Falcons QB is hitting is stride at the perfect time of the season. If their defense can hold up, they are not only going to make it difficult for Carolina and Tampa in the South, but everyone else vying for a top playoff seed in the NFC.
*Just in case you may not have been 100% convinced that anyone (including all of you slobs out there) could run for quality yardage in the Denver Broncos running scheme, I present to you the 98 yards on only 7 carries turned in by Ron Dayne on Thanksgiving. Is Dayne back? No. This just lends more credence to the fact that you should never underestimate the RBs in Denver as long as Shanahan has his running system in place. From Terrel Davis, Orlandis Gary, Mike Anderson, and Reuben Droughns, I give you The Great Dayne. Just another average back in the greatest running system in the NFL.
College Basketball Top Ten
1. Duke (5-0) 1
2. UCONN (4-0) 2
3. Louisville (1-0) 3
4. Indiana (3-0) 4
5. Texas (5-0) 5
6. Boston College (5-0) 6
7. Villanova (1-0) 9
8. Memphis (3-1) 7
9. Oklahoma (3-0) NR
10. Kentucky (4-1) 8
just missed: Gonzaga, Illinois, Florida
dropped: (10) Michigan St.