Thursday’s With Raider: Week 2 Gambling Edition


Thoughts from Raider

Before I lend you my insight in regards to this week’s slate, I will interject what I learned from this little skirmish against Northern Colorado:1. John White was simply being John White.  To quote Coach Bud Kilmer in the classic film “Varsity Blues” “we are a runnin’ team”.

2. Someone in the NEZ made the comment regarding Wynn that he “doesn’t have the arm strength”.  Which is sort of been a problem for him since his sophomore year, I would presume.

3. Oh, Coleman Peterson…watch, there will come a game down the road where he will hit a whole bunch of crossbar and/or upright yet again.  As an aside, here is a question for the experts in our fan base, because we do have a few knowledgeable guys who can extrapolate meaning in certain aspects of Utedom.  Why couldn’t Sean Sellwood kick and punt?  If any of you want to send me an email at or holla at me on Twitter @RaiderUte for an explanation, I would greatly appreciate it.

4. [Insert superlatives about Jake Murphy here].  He may be our Dennis Pitta, where as you recall from 2008 when we went into Ann Arbor and beat Michigan, a lot of media here in SLC thought Pitta’s game against Northern Iowa was much shinier, hence the distraction from them.

Thoughts from MAC

1. Isn’t Varsity Blues a shockingly watchable film.  I mean I could watch it over and over.  The real Friday Night Lights is almost like watching an autobiography, as the year that movie takes place was my senior year.  I pretty much went to high school with those guys and we to lost in the state title game, only to Cheyenne Central instead of Dallas Carter.  Cheyenne Central had black guys so what chance did we have.  (a rule in Wyoming high school football, if one of the teams has one or more black guys, that team will always win).

2.  I enjoyed the Brian Johnson offense, I hope I keep enjoying it against good teams.

3.  I’m told we also have an Aussie who can kick.  Which leads me to ask, did we get all of our good kicking for a decade in Louis Sakoda and as Ute fans we’re required to deal with Ryan Kaneshiro 2.0 because of some sort of curse.

4. Jake Murphy makes me tingle.  I used to hate his dad, mostly because back in the day everyone in Utah pretended to be Atlanta Braves fans because of him.  Now they all pretend to be Red Sox fans, so I’ve moved on.

Utah -7 at Utah St.


Ok am I missing something here.  Utah St. goes 7-6 in their best season in forever, loses 3 players to the NFL and Ute fans have decided to enter into a minor freak out over this game.  I’ll give the 7 and I’d give 8 or 9 at least at this point.  Do you see any reason to worry about this one?


Let me see if I can extrapolate what you might be missing.  USU may have gone 7-6 last year, but could have just as easily won 10 or 11.  The Aggie grads I work with are convinced this is the year that they finally beat us, and as far as I know an Aggie has yet to lie to me—“don’t worry, it happens to lots of guys” isn’t a lie, believe me.  Now, if this is the game where Jordan Wynn either becomes broken or ineffective, will Kyle get a wild hair and say “okay, Wilson, it’s your show now, kid”?  I really hope we don’t have to answer that question.

USC -26 at Syracuse


I assume this will seem more difficult once the season starts but I’d probably give close to 35 with USC.  Syracuse lost to Northwestern at home.  Again do you see anything different?  BTW, I wonder what next years USC team looks like with no Barkley and the sanctions taking hold.  Do you think they’ll still be the favorites in the South?


In my days in Reno, the old gamblers at the sports book(s) would always tell young budding degenerates like myself to avoid the bigger point spreads like this one.  However, 26 points might be too small of a line for this game.  And truthfully, I get this “oh, crap, USC is going to try having the swagger of an SEC school as long as possible until they get caught again”.  Which said pessimism brings me to…

Wisconsin -8 at Oregon St.


I don’t think that there is a chance in hell that Oregon St. wins this game.  And in fact I think they will be very bad.  But Oregon St. couldn’t be worse than Northern Iowa right?  Was that just one of those games?  Is Wisconsin going to come back to earth a bit after they lost their QB?  Would I be crazy to take the Beavers and 8?  A week ago, I’d have taken Wisconsin and given all sorts of points.


To answer your question, yes, I think you would be a little out in deep left center to take Oregon State, points notwithstanding.  Put it to you this way: unless you’re Michigan of yore and you lose to Appalachian State, it’s really hard to gauge a team’s performance in Week 1 of the season.  So for this game, I will dispense my boring old conventional wisdom and say that the Badgers will return fresh from their vacation from themselves and grind out a nice, solid victory.

(By the way, is there some sort of PAC code I’m breaking by thinking that a few of the Big Integer opponents on the conference slate are going to win?)

Oregon -331/2  vs Fresno St.


If the readers could see our private exchange last week about how crushed Fresno fans must be from being inches from a BCS bowl to a decade later a joke, this game would play right into it.  I’ll probably take the points because Oregon screwed me last week.


Okay, let me fill the good readers in on our email discussion from Friday night.  Of all the programs in college football that are the angriest about the recent run of success out of Boise State.  Sure, you could throw in a few programs–us, the Zoobs, Oklahoma, both Oregon schools–but no one program can possibly be more snake bitten about this than Fresno State.  2001 was the year in which Fresno was unbeaten and ranked in the Top 10, poised to be the very first ever BCS Buster.  And then, they proceed to lose at home to Boise State.  My theory on that game is twofold: 1) it was at the time Boise State’s biggest win since they became an FBS school, which propelled them to be the thing that they are today and 2) it set Fresno back about 20 years.  And here is Fresno Fan, still there a decade later wondering what might have been.  You’d be pretty bitter too.

LSU -23 1/2 vs Washington


Ok this brings together two of my greatest hatreds, Washington and the SEC.  And with Washington looking meh vs Sandy Eggo is there a reason to think they’ll give a battle on the Bayou.  Maybe a battle enough to keep it inside of 24, North Texas nearly did that.


Look, SEC fans are…well, full of urine and vinegar, but LSU fans are at least an entertaining kind of urine and vinegar.  Legend has it that a small group of LSU fans rolled through the University of West Virginia campus last season–while classes are in session, mind you–chanting “Tigah’ Bait!  Tigah’ Bait!”.  At least with the LSU variety of SEC fan, you get a hilarious yet crude theater out of it.  Unless Don James comes back from retirement to craft a solid running attack created solely from a Napoleon Kauffman hologram, the Bayou Bengals take this one.

Nebraska -4 1/2 at UCLA


Hey now I’m intrigued.  The UCLA blogger on my network is talking national championship.  And while I’m not there with him, I think UCLA at least won’t suck.  Nebraska had to score a bunch of late points to make the USM game look like a rout.  UCLA won’t wear down in the same way and just might put some pressure on the Huskers.  I sound like I’m trying to talk myself into taking UCLA and the points, I should probably stop that.


Not that I have any ill will toward UCLA or anything, but what happens when a program starts talking national championship based on what seems like pure emotion?  Okay, neither here nor there, but still.  So for this game, I’m going to side with the simple analysis that Taylor Martinez will shine once more and that the Huskers will take this one.  (Hey, that reminds me, as you are a Wyoming ex-pat, did you ever have large swaths of Nebraska fans in your part of the state?  A lot of folks I knew in my end of the state were huge Husker fans, so it would sort of make sense that the Sea of Red would extend westward to the Cowboy State.  Like this time lapse video from last season.

Illinois -1 at Arizona St.


Now as a rule I don’t think much of Arizona St. except for the women.  And I don’t think much of Todd Graham.  The Illinois coach is from Toledo where he took over for the legendary Tom Amstutz.  All pretty much useless information.  I’m guessing this game goes pick em at some point.  Even then I’m not sure who I’m picking.


Really, flipping a coin is the way to go here. And to be somewhat honest, I’m not quite convinced that many students at ASU are going to be that into this one.  Not when there’s casual sex to have and beer bongs to construct.  Priorities.

Okie Light -13 1/2 at Arizona


Now I will be at this game live and in person.  Now I’m bullish on Arizona, because they have talent at the skill positions and the ability to score points.  They lack a defense.  Which is why Okie Light will win this game.  The question by how much?  Do you see blow out?


Per your sentences on this game, neither of these teams are particularly stellar defensively are they?  I’ll have to dig through the interwebs and see what the over/under on this game is and maybe that could be a feature we could add during the season where if a point total is inexplicably large, we can make comments concerning such oddities.  Specifically with this game, I have to think that an O/U of 90 or 100 might be too low.  Perhaps I’m wrong though.

Stanford -14 vs Duke


Ok is there a reason on God’s Green Earth that you would give 14 while taking Stanford against any team from a BCS conference and several from non-BCS conferences?  At least they can argue about which football team has a higher GPA.


My curiosity with this one is not so much the game itself–which the Red Trees really ought to win–but how the two schools will mock each other.  To that end, I am going to be curious as to how the Stanford Band will make fun of us in future seasons and if they choose to make fun of our Native moniker.  Feast on the irony, peoples of the East Side of town!

Finally Raider would like to mention

Sandy Eggo v. Raiders

Philip Rivers is the Veruca Salt of the NFL.  There.  I said it, I’ll say it again if I have to.  I can just envision one of the members of the Spanos family and A.J. Smith sitting around as Rivers screams at the two of them “I want one.  I want a golden goose”.  So, I feel it somehow fitting that in this the inauguration of the post-Mr. Davis era that we flush the “bad egg” down the garbage chute.