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Football Picks, Sports Thoughts, Etc. – 9/24/2021

Welcome to another weekend in sports! I’m happy to have you reading once again. Thank you.

I apologize for not delivering the goods last week as I went:

  • 1-2 on College Picks, and
  • 1-2 on NFL picks

My Week in IT

I have successfully packaged a Bitnami Drupal 9 image in a Docker container, complete with:

  • Exported nodes from our Drupal 7 instances (in JSON format)
  • Setup script to configure our organization’s custom theme, and import the data from our organization’s Drupal 7 instances. Sweet!
  • Embedded SAML SP support so I don’t have to install Shibboleth any longer. Sweet!

Now it’s a matter of deciding if I want to deploy on OpenShift or a simple VM.

Maestro’s Music Box

It’s “Feel Good Friday”, my friends…

This is one of Baby Girl’s favorites from my catalog, and she wanted me to share it with all of you… 👇

You can get this track from my artist page on Bandcamp.

Carolina Panthers Win / CMC Sidelined

Christian McCaffrey injured in Panthers vs Texans game | Charlotte Observer

Someone mentioned that Christian McCaffrey makes up about 40% of the Carolina Panthers offense, last night on the telecast.

Although I can’t remember who said it, but I cringed because, you know, “kiss of death” things.

Shortly after CMC’s 9-yard scamper early in the second quarter, Troy Aikman casually mentioned, “Christian McCaffrey is in the medical tent.”

I love how Carolina is using Sam Darnold, the kid looks like a confident QB. Imagine that.

Losing CMC hurts, but I think Chuba Hubbard is serviceable/good enough to help keep the Panthers afloat on offense.

My excitement about the Panthers defense (“THAT DEFENSE!!!”) is tempered by the loss of Horn and Burris. Hopefully these two can return soon so Brian Burns and the front 7 won’t be over-compensating…

Finally — Joey Slye missed another PAT. Hmmm… 🙃

Hot Takes from Last Weekend


If I were to predict the playoffs today…

AFC (in seeded order)
  1. Baltimore
  2. Kansas City
  3. Buffalo
  4. Tennessee
  5. Cleveland
  6. Denver
  7. Las Vegas
  1. Tampa
  2. L.A. Rams
  3. Green Bay
  4. Washington
  5. Arizona
  6. Dallas
  7. Carolina

@ me at your own risk

College Football

College Football Playoff:

  • If you wondered what The Alliance was for, you saw it with this “pause” in voting. The SEC (and Notre Dame) almost pulled a ‘fast one’ over EVERYONE — until the Houston Chronicle published the Texas/OU news.
  • Also, ESPN (complicit in Texas/OU/SEC drama) thought it could usher this new 12-team arrangement AND have all of the TV rights. Nope. Fox, or Amazon, and/or some other network will be sharing rights.
  • Futhermore, The Alliance is going to leverage The Rose Bowl Game to the extent it can — likely to force an 8-team expansion.

College Football Playoff / Top 4

  1. Alabama
  2. Georgia
  3. Penn State
  4. Oregon

Florida State… WOW

Florida State has the look of a 2-win team this season.


I stated in last week’s blog that it really seems FSU players are not responding to HC Mike Norvell.

It seems as if his motivational approaches, that worked at Memphis, are not working in Tallahassee. It’s really easy to see when you’re watching talented athletes (and FSU has them) just not look the part.

At one point during the FSU/Wake broadcast, the crew focused on Randy Shannon, and I was shocked to learn that Coach Shannon (“Senior Defensive Analyst”) was affiliated with his former “rival”.

The more I watched Wake dominate, the more I wondered (and even tweeted):

Is it too soon to start the “Randy Shannon as FSU Head Coach” rumors…?


He has more ACC/Power Conference coaching experience than Norvell, and no doubt learned from whatever led to his ouster from Coral Gables.

Let that bug marinate in your head. Especially when you see Syracuse come to Tallahassee in a week.



Sam Howell and “Big Red” (Brendan Armstrong, UVA) are the best QBs in the ACC. It’s a shame we can’t have another game with these two this season.

I think the Heels have discovered their playmakers now – Ty Chandler and Josh Downs.

Defensively, it’s still concerning to see Virginia push ’em around late in the 1st half. However, it’s good to see them respond in the 2nd half.

College Football Picks / Week 4

Last Week: 1-2
Overall: 5-4

Clemson at NC State (UNDER 47.5)

Don’t touch the 10-point spread here, unless you just want a push.

Just so we’re clear and on the same page — this IS the “Get Right” game for Clemson, to the degree they can “get right”.

Given the anemic offenses for both teams (against quality FBS competition), it’s easy to see a low(er)-scoring game on Saturday.

27-17 or 23-13 with NC State struggling early and getting a late TD, as we all say “where was that in the 1st half?”

North Carolina at Georgia Tech (UNDER 63.5)

If I thought Carolina understood the “responsibility of winning”, I could easily seem them scoring 63 on GT.

However, it’s easier to see the Heels coming out flat and eeking out a 30-28 win late.

Kansas at DUKE (-16)

Baylor rushed for over 300 yards on Rock Chalk, and you know what the Blue Devils do well? Run the ball.

I’m a little worried Duke will “play with its food a little bit here” like it did in the 2nd half against Northwestern.

But… Kansas gave up 300 rushing yards, and the Methodists aren’t going to wanna be outdone.

NFL Picks / Week 3

Last Week: 1-2
Overall: 2-4

N.Y. Jets at DENVER (-10)

That’s all the points Denver is giving for this game? Thank you 🤣

Chicago at CLEVELAND (-7.5)

The good news — Justin Fields is starting.

The bad news — Justin Fields is starting, running an offense not geared to his skill set, AND facing one of the best defenses in the league.

SAN DIEGO (+7) at Kansas City

I wanted to take at least one underdog this week. Division games like this are typically closer than 7 points.

Thanks, again, for reading.

I hope your favorite team wins and/or your fantasy players come through for you.

Until next week…