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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

For the Record: Week 1 Review and Packer Hate Edition


So let's start this shit with the Bears. How fantastic was that? It was exactly as we envisioned, right? The pass game opened up the run game, Forte looked explosive, Bush looked great, Marshall dominated, and once Cutler settled down he spread the ball out nicely. Plus we now have TWO wide receivers who will catch the ball in double coverage and maybe even three considering how fiery Earl looked. We haven't had ONE of those for... I can't remember. Have we had one of those? The defense gave up a Donald Brown TD, but otherwise looked stout. And Jennings really stepped up.

Yeah. That was incredible. I try very hard to stifle the tiny voice of meatball pessimism in me (the one that’s currently whispering “but the Packerrrrrzzz neverss starts 0s-n-2sssszes. How we hatesss themmsss”), but I’d gotten used to the Bears responding to preseason hype with awful, awful debuts. Like the Cutler opener in 2009. That was the kind of dickpunch I almost half expected, and it opened up like that. I was seconds away from expecting Marshall to tear his hammy and the Bears starting Sanzenbacher by week 3.

Except, they recovered. That whole game plan really shows why Mike Martz should get punched in the mouth. They ran the ball effectively, threw short to get the passing game going, then went deep off of play action and with the tight end staying in to block. The result? A more effective deep passing game than Martz ever managed despite all of his attempts to force it.

God I love Alshon Jeffery. Marshall was everything he’s proven himself to be over his career. Earl was wide open on 3rd down because that’s just what he does. They used Devin effectively as well. The defense looked fine. It was 34-14 and they’d allowed less than 200 total yards when they called off the dogs and pulled Urlacher, Briggs, and Peppers (with Tillman already out). So we know if the Bears lose all four Pro Bowlers from last year they’ll give up meaningless yards. Who cares? Tim Jennings is a good ballplayer. So is Kelvin Hayden. I hope Tillman’s ready to go Thursday, because I’ll feel more confident with those three and DJ Moore matched up on Green Bay’s guys than I’ve felt in a while.

Prognostication Bukakke NCAA Week 3.

#1 Alabama @ Arkansas
Iggins!: It would be the most John L. Smith thing in the world to beat Alabama after losing to Louisiana-Monroe, but Tyler Wilson may be out of this one. Alabama wins.

Code Red: Last season I lost the progkakke because I picked against Nick Saban. I did it again in week one, and suffered once more. Never. Again. Alabama wins.
Mrs. Code Red: Alabama. Roll tide. 
North Carolina @ #19 Louisville
Code Red: Hmm. Louisville is ranked? This is a tough call. UNC just lost to Wake. Louisville is an overachiever with a mediocre offense. I choose UNC.

Iggins!: Good, we disagree on something this week! Shouldn’t that UNC just lost to Wake be a bright red, flashing deterrent? Because if Louisville is an overachiever with a mediocre offense, what does that make Wake Forest? You need to stop this UNC obsession while you’re still able. Louisville wins.

Mrs. Code Red: North...Carolina? I don't know. I tend to take state schools when I know nothing about either school, because, hey, they've got more money, right?

#18 Florida @ #23 Tennessee
Iggins!: Oh joy. Two ranked teams who should not be ranked. Take the home team? Tennessee wins.

Code Red: Fuck, I don’t know. Honor bound, still. Florida, I guess. 
Mrs. Code Red: Florida's been sucking lately, right? Tennessee.

Code Red: Only for about three years now. 
Arizona State @ Missouri
Code Red: That Arizona State offense was very impressive against Illinois, who did, for what it’s worth, have the #7 defense in the country last year. But they’re traveling east for this one, and Missouri’s offense is also explosive. Mizzou wins. 
Iggins!: Yup, just as disastrous as a B1G team heading west is a Pac-12 team heading east. Mizzou takes it.

Mrs. Code Red: Mizzou.

#2 USC @ #21 Stanford
Iggins!: USC has looked a little shaky. I’d imagine this game gets them back on track. USC wins.

Code Red: They’ve looked sort of like a #1 team that’s not coached by Nick Saban, that’ll dick around with shitty teams because they know they don’t have to work. I’d assume they’ll right the ship in conference play. USC wins. 
Mrs. Code Red: USC.

#20 Notre Dame @ #10 Michigan State
Code Red: Oh great. This fucking game. I never pick it right. I guess Notre Dame because they’re more experienced? Enjoy your win now, MSU.

Iggins!: Your picks seem unusually risk-takey this week? I thought we were going to agree on everything! I’ve got Michigan State by a lot.

Mrs. Code Red: Michigan State.

#25 BYU @ Utah
Iggins!: Utah got upset last week by Utah State. I don’t see a team as talented as Utah losing to their two in-state rivals two weeks in a row. Utah wins.

Code Red: But they just lost their quarterback. I mean, Jordan Wynn injured his shoulder so many times he just quit. I have to take BYU here.
Iggins!: Are we acting like losing Jordan Wynn is an issue here? Utah always plays without Jordan Wynn! I imagine having him on the field at this point just confuses them.

Mrs. Code Red: BYU.

Utah State @ Wisconsin
Code Red: God the Big Ten is so awful. I can’t see Wisconsin losing two in a row, though. Badgers win, still fucked. 

Iggins!: This Utah State team is tricky. They pulled a lot of near-upsets last year and I like Chuckie Keeton. Plus Wisconsin sucked against NIU, then got beaten by Oregon State. I’ll risk it and take Utah State to win.

Mrs. Code Red: Wisconsin. 
Virginia @ Georgia Tech
Iggins!: Were it not for one of the worst performances by an NCAA kicker ever, Virginia would have lost to Penn State. That’s enough for me to say Georgia Tech wins.

Code Red: This is true. Georgia Tech. 
Mrs. Code Red: Georgia Tech.

Wake Forest @ #5 Florida State
Code Red: UNC is one thing, Wake. This is a whole different animal. Florida State wins. 
Iggins!: Wake was the team that first reminded the country that FSU was still FSU last year. I’ll take FSU to win but this is a tricky game.

Mrs. Code Red: Florida State.