Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate Akron

Today there is no debating it.  It is Autumn.  Today I belong walking on a college campus with leaves crunching under my feet, morning beers under my belt, and a bunch of whipped up Rubes surrounding me as I sweat out some sort of heavy wager on a team that I have ambivalent feelings about at best.  Isn't that what college football is all about?  Walking with your girl to see young men you don't know inflict lifelong injuries onto each other for your recreational pleasure?  It's one of the things that made America great, along with Chex Mix, the El Camino, and the musical catalogue of Johnny Burnette.

I have been on a bit of a roll this week with winners in Oregon, Seattle, and Syracuse.  I won't take credit for those on my running total, for as far as you know I am making that shit up to try and appear like I know something.  I don't.  I really don't.  The only thing I know about is public perception, and how it is always wrong.  Not sometimes wrong.  It is always wrong.  Working in media has given me the privileged opportunity to see how little effort goes into reporting facts.  Most of what you see and hear are regurgitated press releases that have been issued by people that have an agenda.  You have to read between the lines.  Who has something to gain?  What is the angle?  Sports reporting is the male equivalent of US Magazine.  "Will Peyton Beat Brady?" is the same shit as "Will Jennifer Take Back Brad From Angelina?" but for dudes.  Why report facts when you can spin a narrative?  Frankly, a good story is better than the likely story, you know?

There are some really good games this week like West Vg v. Kansas State, Florida v South Carolina, and LSU v Texas A&M.  Let me go on record as saying I have absolutely no idea who is going to win any of those games.  I could go down the line and offer West Vg because they are at home and the Mountaineer faithful are going to be out of their minds, Florida because South Carolina is always second rate when push comes to shove, and LSU because most of those players are criminals and don't have anything else to focus on but breaking spines.  These are admittedly nothing but wild guesses.  Allow me to offer you a wild guess with a shred of thought to it.

I like Michigan State today +9.5 over Michigan.  It's very easy to dislike Michigan.  That's not so much because I am from Ohio.  I don't have any beef with the state of Michigan.  Heck, they make fine beer up there and the Lions never did me wrong.  They drive nice and fast there too.  No, I dislike the University of Michigan as their alumni have this smugness to them as if they are a more highly evolved breed.  I believe 40,000 or so people go to school there at any one time, so wipe that aloofness off your face there Bub.  You ain't that special.

Michigan State has always been the school in Michigan that you went to when you didn't get into Michigan.  (Places like Eastern Michigan and other directional schools have been erected for people that would have otherwise been relegated to Cosmetology School, delivering pizzas, or jacking off sailors on videotape for money.  Let's leave them out of it.)  I have always felt bad for Michigan State, because I have played shows in Lansing over the years and the people have always been A-OK.  They just get treated like second class citizens in the press to the darlings at U of M.  So what about Ann Arbor?  Ann Arbor has never booked us because we did not have dreadlocks and I haven't written any songs about "Jah" yet.  There are just too many rich kids pretending to be broke hippies for my taste.  Hey kid, if you can afford to jump into that Volvo, you can probably afford a bath.  Add into the mix an unpaid parking ticket that The People of Ann Arbor keep hassling me about, and I'm emotionally on the side of the Spartans.  

Both of these teams kind of suck.  Michigan State has once again started a season with promise and then lost backbreaking games.  It's what they do.  They have beaten Michigan the last four times these teams have met though.  That's not the way it's supposed to be.  Michigan is supposed to be the Powerhouse.  The story line in this game is "Michigan is back on track and looks to finally beat Michigan State".  It's like the State of Michigan wants to restore order.  I have no faith whatsoever that Michigan State will win this game.  I also could not care whatsoever when you get down to brass tacks.  The only thing that stands out to me is the Michigan State defense is pretty good, and that should keep them hanging around.  These guys all played with and against each other in high school.  I always like these kind of games to stay close.  Take Michigan State +9.5.  

I have no faith in Akron whatsoever.  I have no idea why anyone would go to school there.  Imagine a second rate school plopped down in a decaying shithole second rate town.  Are the kids that go to school there because they couldn't get into Toledo?  What, Cleveland State wasn't taking applications?  The only thing Akron does right is have a May Day party every year where local thugs march into off campus housing and beat the crap out of backward ballcap frat guys when the beer and drugs run out.  The soccer team is good.  Basketball is OK.   Football?  Well, they have some problems...

My well documented disbelief in the ability of coach Terry Bowden will not get in the way of my taking a rather shaky Zips as a seventeen point underdog today.  Akron is at home.  I don't know if this offers any advantage because I don't know if anyone goes to the games.  Most of the students probably went home to Barberton to have Mommy do their laundry instead of dressing up as a Zip (whatever that is) and jumping around in their new nearly empty football stadium.  Still, being at home is good in small time college football.  19 year olds get all out of sorts when they go out of town.  Ever see a school bus trip to New York?  Those kids get overstimulated.

This game is interesting under the surface.  Northern Illinois has had some relatively high profile wins vs Kansas and Army with a close shave vs Iowa to start the year.  The Gambling Nation assumes they are Pretty Good.  Akron is uniformly assumed to be awful, which they are.  Make no mistake about it.  They totally suck.  But the question is, how bad do they suck?  Eighteen points suck?  Is that even a sentence?  The only team Akron has lost to my more than 17 is Tennessee.  I think we can all agree that Northern Illinois is not Tennessee.  Akron has been hanging in there in high scoring games, and that's what I like to see in a big underdog.  Northern Illinois does not have a great pass defense, and the one thing Akron can do is throw the ball.  I love this game as a nice cheap backdoor cover late.  Give me an otherwise meaningless touchdown pass with :43 on the clock to cut the Northern Illinois lead to 13.  Take Akron +17.

Current Record Against the Spread:  4-4


At October 31, 2012 at 12:05:00 AM EDT , Blogger AZ said...

You nailed it once again on all points, especially Sparty and SCum. As for Zips football with according to mom "Hollywood" Chuck Amato they are as relevant today as Jim Traficant and look as good on the field as Terry Bowden does in real life.


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