"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

THURSDAY COLLEGE AND NFL PICKS

College:

Rutgers (5 -4) 20  @ (18) UCF (8 - 1) 29: The Golden Knights are still in the hunt for a BCS bowl berth, but Rutgers poses a viable threat to get in the way of UCF's run to an American Athletic Conference title. Even with a loss, UCF still controls their own destiny, owning the tie breaker against Louisville and Cincinnati.  A month ago, Rutgers would have looked a lot better to pull the upset, but they've lost three of their last four games, the last one a blowout 52 - 17 loss to Cincinnati at home. Those three losses are to the second, third and fourth place teams in the conference, so it's not like they were beaten by poor clubs. The other loss was in overtime to fifteenth ranked Fresno State and the Scarlet Knights also own a win over Arkansas from the SEC. They're  giving up over 31 points a game and scoring less than 30 heading into a game with a pretty potent defense whose only loss was by three points to twelfth rated South Carolina. This shapes up to be a fairly good ball game, but the home team should come out on top, thanks to that tough defense.

NFL:


New Orleans (8 - 2) 27 @ Atlanta (2 -8) 24: The Falcons have had what is possibly the most disappointing season in the league, starting with a loss to the Saints in week 1. Since then, injuries have mounted and Atlanta has fallen totally out of contention for the postseason. Meanwhile, New Orleans has continued to roll, now posing a credible challenge to Seattle for the top seed in the NFC.  Those two teams play next week in Seattle, but for that game to have real meaning, the Saints need to defeat the Falcons tonight. This is a true rivalry game, going back to their days as expansion teams in the NFL. Fans from both sides travel to the opposing city, creating more of a college atmosphere than the usual professional environment. Still, the Falcons are short on weapons and the Saints have plenty of them. This game promises to be much closer than one would think, given the records. Even though I'm tempted to take the Falcons in an upset, especially because Atlanta is the home team on a short week. But I'll take the Saints to find a way to prevail.