Sometime later today I'm going to be making my college football picks for the week. I've participated in a college pick 'em league for the past five or so years and after the first year, I've always done really well. I've won the league twice (including last year) and I usually finish in the top five in a 20+ deep league. Now, college football isn't exactly the most evenly matched sport in the world. If we were to just pick winners, everyone would pick the favorite and leave it at that. Upsets are pretty rare in college ball. That's why everyone gets so excited about them. To make it more interesting, the league I'm in picks against the spread, which Yahoo! gets from some Vegas betting group. This makes the game much harder. For example, everyone knows that Ohio State was going to beat New Mexico State, but would the Buckeyes win by more than 44 points? That's a tough decision. Until that game, OSU had not even scored 40 points in a game and they'd played some pretty lousy teams. I picked NMSU to beat the spread. I was wrong. OSU won 45-0. One lucky stop by New Mexico State, a field goal by the Aggies, or even a shanked field goal attempt by the Buckeyes, and I made my pick. Despite unlucky picks like that, I'm still picking at about 56% accuracy.
One of the reasons I usually do so well is that I watch a shit-ton of football most falls. I know to bet against Ohio State because I know that the Sweater Vest is too conservative of a coach and won't score enough to beat the spread. I'm also starting to apply this rule to Tennessee. Lane Kiffin is a cowardly coach, unwilling to take the risks (like going for it on fourth and short in the other team's territory) that inspire the players. Actually, if you buy into statistics or are a fan of Gregg Easterbrook, going for it on fourth and short in those situations isn't taking a risk. It's actually the more logical decision. The problem is that if you go for it there and fail, people blame the coach. If you punt there and fail, people blame the players. Coaches who kick in this situation are hamstringing their team in order to save face. Despite the fact that Kiffin is willing run his mouth off like a jackass, he coaches like a pansy. Tressel is much more respectable, but he's still a pansy.
It's just that this year is actually a let down so far. I usually pick at well over 60% accuracy and I'm currently sitting at 11th place out of 21. My problem this year is that I'm just not getting to watch enough football. I've only had two weeks in which I was able to sit in front of the TV all day like God intended and watch every game available to me. Because of that, I don't understand the dynamics of this year's game well enough to succeed as I should. When I should have been watching the Big 10 Network or whatever game was on Versus, I was playing tennis or going to concerts. You know, living my life. How stupid of me.