"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, September 29, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK 5 THURSDAYAND FRIDAY PICKS

Last Week:    21 - 11   65.6%
Overall         106 - 22  82.8%

Thursday:

Connecticut (2 - 2) 16 @ (6) Houston (4 - 0) 37: Last season, Houston traveled to Connecticut needing just three more wins to finish undefeated and possibly give the College Football Playoff Committee a little bit of a problem. However, the Cougars stubbed their toes and lost 20 - 17. This year's game is earlier in the season and Houston is hosting, so I don't see them sleeping on Connecticut again. Too much offense, too much defense and overall just a better team than the Huskies. As their big matchup with Louisville approaches, Houston will need to stay focused to avoid another surprise like last year's.

Friday:

(6) Stanford (3 - 0) 24 @ (10) Washington (4 - 0) 27:  I picked Stanford to go down to UCLA last week and without a last second miracle they would have. My feeling that the Cardinal will lose soon hasn't changed. Apparently Washington is for real and we'll see that against Stanford.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at kevin@pkfrazier.com.







Monday, September 26, 2016

TRIBUTE TO ARNOLD PALMER: I OWE HIM A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES

I join the golf world in mourning the passing yesterday of Arnold Palmer, perhaps the greatest ambassador ever for his or any sport. I was born in June of 1958, just three months after his first major victory, the Masters. His stunning comeback in the 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills came on the weekend of my second birthday. When he said goodbye to the U.S. Open, walking up the fairway at Oakmont Country Club in 1994, I was celebrating my 36th birthday. I can't remember not idolizing him, my youth forever intertwined with his exploits on and off the golf course. Palmer endorsed McGregor clubs, so my first driver was a persimmon headed MT, one that I didn't give up until the advances in technology forced me to do so. He wore those alpaca golf sweaters, so when I could afford it, I bought one for my father, the only man who was above Palmer in my world.

There were other ties to the man known as The King. In 1967, he played an exhibition in Richmond at the Country Club of Virginia. We were living in Roanoke, about four hours away, and my father surprised me with tickets and a day off from school to see my idol in person. At some point in the round, I was still waiting for an opportunity to get him to autograph my program. I was standing near the ropes as Arnie hit his second shot. As he was preparing to walk to the green, he motioned to a marshal to let me inside the ropes and I walked briskly to his side. I handed him my program and he signed as he walked, but it was at a pace too fast for me to keep up, so the security guards at his side each picked me up by an elbow so I didn't slow him down. When he was finished, he handed me the program, I thanked him and headed back to my spot next the fairway. The rest of the day is a blur, but I still have that program, to this day my most prized possession.

Palmer was in Richmond that day to play a round of golf with Lanny Wadkins, a senior in high school and one of the early recipients of Palmer's scholarship to Wake Forest. My sister was already at Wake, a sophomore at the time. Although Palmer attended Wake Forest, he never received his degree, leaving  just before graduation after his close friend Bud Worsham was killed in a car accident. The scholarship was established by Palmer in Worsham's memory and the exhibition was to help fund it. When my sister graduated in 1970, Arnold Palmer also received his honorary degree during the ceremony. I'm still accused of appreciating Palmer's presence far more than my sister's. What can I say? A couple of years later, I started to shag balls and caddie for Curtis Strange, who led our Princess Anne High School golf team to three consecutive state titles. As it would happen, Curtis was also a recipient of Palmer's scholarship.

In 1976, when Palmer was a month shy of his 47th birthday, he was near the lead at the PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club outside Washington, D.C. Once again, my father had arranged for tickets and we made the four hour drive from Virginia Beach. Arnie's Army was out in full force, with most of us realizing that it was probably the last chance we had to see our hero contend in a major. By the time he hit the back nine, the crowds were six deep around the greens, making it nearly impossible to follow him from hole to hole. Eventually, though, he faded from contention and Dave Stockton eventually won the tournament. But the experience of witnessing his charisma and popularity first hand at a major championship has always stayed with me.

Someone asked me once to compare the attraction generated by Tiger Woods with the excitement Arnold Palmer inspired. From a pure athletic standpoint, Tiger was incredible. But that's really where the comparison ends. Arnold Palmer was, as it's been repeated often the last couple of days, an everyman's hero. He came from humble beginnings, never refused to sign autographs and took the time to do it with feeling and appreciation. In 1987, there was a senior tour event in Richmond, and the bank I worked for was a sponsor. Palmer had agreed to play in some events in order for the tour to gain popularity. At an exclusive event hosted by the bank, I again had the opportunity to approach him for an autograph, this time on a plastic visor with a golf ball on it that we'd been given as we entered. With me was the program from that day so long in the past. I was tempted to have him sign it again, but instead just showed it to him. As he signed the visor, he said, "You wouldn't believe how many people have told me this week that they were there that day, but it's obvious you were." The interesting thing about his statement was that he didn't say he didn't believe the others and it was clear that it didn't really matter. What mattered to him was that he connect with me, and he did.

An era has ended, and a very significant one at that. I told my wife last night that it wasn't just that he was charismatic, or that he won a lot of golf tournaments, or even that he seemed like a really nice person. What he inspired by the way he played golf changed the way we thought about the game and the people who played it. He gave hope to those of us who, like him, were on the outside of the country club fence looking in. His ventures and success in the business world, and even his succssful efforts for the tour players to break away from the club professionals, made everyone think that it was possible for them, too. I'm a member of a very large group of people who started playing golf and still do because Arnold Palmer inspired my father to take up the game around the time I was born. What I owe Arnold Palmer are all those special moments I shared with my father on the golf course, the memories of Saturday mornings with the dew still clinging to the grass as we hit our shots into the mist. Or trying to see the flagstick in the dwindling light, hoping to get one more hole in before darkness took over the course until another day dawned.

I hope to see Arnold Palmer one more time, and I will again have pen in hand, as he signs his name, while sitting next to my father. That's my dream, but it doesn't really matter if it happens, because Arnold Palmer has already made dreams possible for so many. Rest in peace, Arnold Palmer. Heaven just became a little better, and the golf world one hole short of a course.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at kevin@pkfrazier.com.




Saturday, September 24, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK FOUR SATURDAY PICKS

Last Week: 26 - 6
Overall:      85 - 11

Conference play begins in earnest this week, with a few interesting inter-conference games on the schedule.  Among the headliners are number eleven Wisconsin traveling to eighth ranked Michigan State, nineteen Florida at fourteen Tennessee and seventeen Arkansas taking on tenth ranked Texas A&M at Jerry's World in Dallas. I seem to be drawn to road teams as winners this week, which probably dooms me to a poor performance.

Saturday:

Kent State (1 - 2) 6 @ (1) Alabama (3 - 0) 40 : I'm a big MAC fan, as opposed to a Big Mac fan, which I'm really not. However, I don't think Kent State can hang with the Tide, considering they lost to Penn State by twenty in week one..

(12) Georgia (3 -0) 23 @ (23) Ole Miss (1 - 2) 30: Somehow the Rebels are still ranked after falling below .500 after their loss to Alabama. Georgia hasn't been particularly impressive and barely escaped Missouri with a one-point win. Ole Miss' loss to Florida State doesn't look quite as impressive now that the 'Noles got spanked by Louisville, but I'm looking for Georgia's coach Kirby Smart to get handed his first loss.

(13) Florida State (2 - 1) 27 @ South Florida (3 - 0) 30: Can Florida State bounce back after getting trounced by Louisville last week? If they want to have a chance against the Bulls, they better recover in a hurry. South Florida is on a roll and no one has come within three touchdowns of them yet this season as they try to crack the Florida State, Florida and Miami triumvirate among the state's FBS teams. 

(11) Wisconsin (3 - 0) 27 @(8) Michigan State (2 - 0) 24: Wisconsin begins the most brutal stretch of games in the country for any Power Five team. Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Nebraska follow in succession. Michigan State knocked off Notre Dame last week, but I think Wisconsin can beat the Spartans, despite a sluggish game against Georgia State.

Penn State (2 - 1) 23 @ (4) Michigan (3 - 0) 30: It's going to be difficult for Penn State to crack the top of the Big Ten East. I just don't think they have enough to beat Michigan in the Big House, even though I don't think the Wolverines are the fourth  best team in the nation.

(19) Florida (3 - 0) 27 @ (14) Tennessee (3 - 0) 16: These are two teams I was not sold on at the beginning of the season. Florida has totally impressed me, Tennessee not so much, even if they have won nine in a row dating back to last season. The Gators' defense has been as stifling as last year, but they now have some offensive punch to go with it. I like Florida to expose the Vols in a big way.

(18) LSU (2 - 1) 24 @ Auburn (1 - 2) 16: I know there has been a lot of criticism of LSU's offense, particularly at the quarterback position, but I also don't think Auburn is exactly headed in the right direction either. Auburn fans would point out that the Tigers' losses were both to top ten ranked teams. I'll give them that, but their offense just doesn't seem strong enough to penetrate top caliber defenses.

(6) Houston (3 - 0) 45 @ Texas State (1 - 1) 13: After an opening win at Ohio, there was probably some optimism that Texas State could show improvement over 2015. Last week's 42 - 3 beat down by Arkansas probably dampened any enthusiasm. This week won't be much different.

Oklahoma State (2 - 1) 37 @ (16) Baylor (3 - 0) 31: I picked Oklahoma State to win the Big 12 this season, and after having the Central Michigan game stolen from them, it looked like the Cowboys might fade away. But they beat a good Pittsburgh team last week and showed signs of being the team I thought they were. Although Baylor has looked good so far, their level of competition has been very poor.

(20) Nebraska (3 - 0) 27 @ Northwestern (1 - 2) 14: After losing a number of close contests last season, Mike Riley's Cornhuskers seem to have figured out how to close out games. This week they face their first road test against a disappointing Northwestern team that finally got in the win column against Duke. I think the 'Huskers are too much for Northwestern.

(7) Stanford (2 - 0) 23 @ UCLA (2 - 1) 24: UCLA's opening loss at Texas A&M isn't looking so bad at the moment. I watched the Bruins' game at BYU last week and was impressed with the poise of sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen. They didn't put up a lot of points, but the offense managed the game and the defense made enough plays to get a big win on the road. Stanford has been tough, but unspectacular. Look for UCLA to slow down Christian McCaffery and grab a big upset.

(3) Louisville (3 - 0) 42 @ Marshall (1 - 1) 23: The Cardinals pummeled Florida State last week and should do the same to Marshall. But this is a little bit of a trap game for Louisville, wedged between the 'Noles and Clemson. Look for a bit of a letdown, but not enough to cost them the game.

(17) Arkansas (3 - 0) 26 vs. (10) Texas A&M (3 - 0) 24 (in Dallas, TX): This has the potential to be a terrific game at a great neutral venue. The Hogs haven't been able to put the Aggies away in recent years, despite holding second half leads. I believe that changes Saturday in Dallas.

(9) Washington (3 - 0) 34 @ Arizona (2 - 1) 27: With virtually no quality opponents and all of their games at home this season, it's difficult to determine if Washington is as good as expected. Arizona had a chance at a good start, but couldn't get past BYU in week one. I have a real urge to take the home team here, but I'll stick with the road favorite.

East Carolina (2 - 1) 17 @ Virginia Tech (2 - 1) 30: The Hokies are 11 point favorites at home even though ECU has won the last two meetings between these teams. If Va. Tech plays offense like they did last week in trouncing Boston College, they should be able to snap that skid. But if they put the ball on the ground and give the Pirates extra possessions, we could see a repeat.

Duke (1 - 2) 14 @ Notre Dame (1 - 2) 31: It's been a tough start for Notre Dame with losses at Texas and at home to Michigan State. Duke is in a rebuilding phase for coach David Cutcliffe and they'll be playing their second consecutive game in the Chicagoland area. The Irish should be too much for the Blue Devils.

Pittsburgh (2 - 1) 35 @ North Carolina (2 - 1) 38: This one is a key early season match between two of the favorites in the ACC Coastal. I haven't seen the Tar Heels play since their opening loss to Georgia, which looks even more disappointing given how the Bulldogs have underwhelmed since. UNC has struggled defensively, giving up 28 to FCS James Madison last week. Pittsburgh hasn't been any better, yielding a total of 84 points to Penn State and Oklahoma State.

BYU (1 - 2) 20 vs. West Virginia (2 - 0) 23 (Landover, Maryland): This is technically a neutral site, but it's a whole lot closer to Morgantown than it is to Provo. The sample size is pretty small for West Virginia so far, but I believe BYU's schedule is catching up to them. A lot of travel and too many tough early games. I'll take the home team, uh, well, there really isn't one, but you catch my drift.

Wake Forest (3 - 0) 27 @ Indiana (2 - 0) 17: Indiana has wins over Florida International and Ball State, two Group of Five programs that combined for eight wins in 2015. Wake Forest's defense is very good, with a lot of speed. I like the Demon Deacons on the road in this inter-conference showdown.

Colorado State (2 - 1) 18 @ Minnesota (2 - 0) 31: Neither team has beaten anyone of consequence, but Colorado State was run over by their instate rivals, Colorado 44 - 7. At least Minnesota has a win over a Power Five team. I'll take the Golden Gophers at home.

Iowa (2 - 1) 34 @ Rutgers (2 - 1) 13: Iowa was embarrassed at home by FCS North Dakota State and I'm expecting them to take it on the Red Storm. 

Boise State (2 - 0) 24 @ Oregon State (1 - 1) 21: Boise State appears to be ready for the national stage after a down year by their standards. The Beavers will be a good test, but I think the Broncos defense will be the difference.

Colorado (2 - 1) 23 @ Oregon (2 - 1) 34: Colorado is definitely improved over the last few seasons, but Oregon returns home after a tough loss at Nebraska. This probably isn't the time for the Buffaloes to be able to surprise the Ducks.

California (2 - 1) 41 @ Arizona State (3 - 0) 45: California can really put some points on the board, but Arizona State played another team like that in Texas Tech and put hung 68 on them. This is a tough pick so I'll just take the home team in a close shootout.

South Carolina (2 - 1) 20 @ Kentucky (1 - 2) 17: South Carolina isn't really very good, but Kentucky is even worse. The Wildcats fans just count the days until the basketball team hits the court.

Vanderbilt (1 - 2) 24 @ Western Kentucky (2 - 1) 26: The SEC, while generally considered the top football conference, still has Vanderbilt to bring the league down a little bit. No Conference USA team should be able to hang with one from the SEC, but it's the Commodores we're talking about here.

Central Michigan (3 - 0) 30 @ Virginia (0 - 3) 21: There's a new coach at Virginia, but it feels a lot like the 1970's in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers are among the worst of the Power Five teams and Central Michigan has already taken out a much better team than Virginia in a controversial ending.

San Jose State (1 - 2) 27  @ Iowa State (0 - 3) 31: Even though I think that San Jose State is probably a little better team, Ames can be a difficult place to play and west coast teams struggle in early games when coming east.

Nevada (2 - 1) 24 @ Purdue (1 - 1) 28: This is another early game for a west coast team. Purdue isn't very good, but they might have enough to get by the Wolfpack.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at kevin@pkfrazier.com.




Thursday, September 22, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK FOUR THURSDAY AND FRIDAY PICKS

Last Week: 26 - 6
Overall:      85 - 11

Conference play begins in earnest this week, with a few interesting inter-conference games on the schedule.  Among the headliners are number eleven Wisconsin traveling to eighth ranked Michigan State, nineteen Florida at fourteen Tennessee and seventeen Arkansas taking on tenth ranked Texas A&M at Jerry's World in Dallas.

Thursday:

(3) Clemson (3 - 0) 27 @ Georgia Tech (3 - 0) 17: Clemson has scored on their last ten possessions over the course of the last two games, an improvement over their first six quarters of offense. Of course, last week's game was against FCS member South Carolina State who is winless in three games against FBS opponents this year. Georgia Tech looks much better than last season as they've already equaled their win total from 2015. If Clemson can generate some offense, they should be able to defeat the Yellow Jackets, but they better bring their A-game.

Friday:

TCU (2 - 1) @ SMU (2 - 1): Not much travel involved in this one, with TCU heading across the Metroplex to Dallas to take on the Mustangs. Despite a loss to Arkansas, the Horned Frogs still have way too many weapons on both sides of the ball for SMU to contend with.

USC (1 - 2) 27 @ (24) Utah (3 - 0) 28:  USC is still attempting to return to glory, but they're having a very difficult time getting there. Utah has squeaked into the rankings with solid but unspectacular wins against non-FBS Southern Utah, rival BYU and San Jose State. I'm just not sold on Clay Helton as head coach of the Trojans, and if they lose to Utah, very few others will be either. I would like to think USC can beat Utah, because college football is just better when the Trojans are nationally relevant.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at kevin@pkfrazier.com.



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK THREE PREDICTIONS RECAP

Last Week:  26 - 6   81.2%
Overall:       85 - 11 88.5%

Not a bad week considering the number of close match-ups, not to mention the Iowa loss to FCS North Dakota State. I still managed to remain above 80% for the weekend and close to 90% for the season.

Thursday Night:

(6) Houston (2 - 0) 31 @ Cincinnati (2 - 0) 17:  Correct: Houston 40 - 16,  missed spread by 10, missed total points by 8

Friday Night:

(21) Baylor (2 - 0) 40 @ Rice (0 - 2) 13: Baylor continues their consistent play and head into the Big 12 season with momentum. Correct: 38 - 10, 1, 5

Saturday:

South Carolina State (0 - 2) 10 @ (5) Clemson (2 - 0) 37: Clemson finally seemed to hit their stride offensively, even if it was against overmatched competition.  Correct: Clemson  59 - 0, 32, 12

(2) Florida State (2 - 0) 34 @ (10) Louisville (2 - 0) 28: I expected Florida State's defense to outplay that of the Cardinals, but the 'Noles just didn't show up on Saturday. It was a big day for Louisville on both sides of the ball, an anomaly for a Bobby Petrino team. No. Louisville 63 - 20, 49, 21

Ohio (1 - 1) 27 @ (15) Tennessee (2 - 0) 34: I'm still not totally sold on Tennessee. They have Florida this week which will be a huge test for their offense. Correct: 28 - 19, 2, 14

North Dakota State (2 - 0) 21 @ (13) Iowa (2 - 0) 30: Not really a shocker considering North Dakota State has won five consecutive FCS titles and now six straight games against FBS teams. No: North Dakota State 23 - 21, 11, 7

Georgia State (0 - 2) 6 @ (9) Wisconsin (2 - 0) 42: A bit of a surprise from the Badgers. Correct: Wisconsin 23 - 17, 30

(25) Miami (2 - 0) 27 @ Appalachian State (1 - 1) 24 : It will hard for App St. to sneak up on anyone after their almost win over Tennessee to start the season.  Correct: Miami 45 - 10, 32, 4

(1) Alabama (2 - 0) 27 @ (19) Ole Miss (1 - 1) 19: After going down 24 - 3 early in the game, it looked like the Rebels were going to make it three consecutive over the Tide.  Correct: Alabama 48 - 43, 3, 45

Colorado (2 - 0) 16 @ (4) Michigan (2 - 0) 31: Colorado kept it close early, but couldn't hang with the Wolverines. Correct: Michigan 45 - 28, 2, 26

(22) Oregon (2 - 0) 28 @ Nebraska (2 - 0) 30: The 'Huskers could make a real run at the Big Ten West title. Correct: Nebraska 35 - 32, 1, 9

(17) Texas A&M (2 - 0) 27 @ Auburn (1 - 1) 23: The Aggies have a big game against Arkansas in Dallas on Saturday to establish a legitimate contender to Alabama in the SEC West. Correct: Texas A&M 29 - 16, 11, 5

Mississippi State (1 - 1) 20 @ (20) LSU (1 - 1) 24: It looked like an LSU rout early, but the Bulldogs made it close late. It's still hard to be sold on the Tigers. Correct: LSU 23 - 20, 1, 1

North Texas (1 - 1) 10 @ (23) Florida (2 - 0) 41: That Gator defense is stout, giving up less than 130 yards a game. No real competition yet, but that's a good number no matter they're playing. Correct: Florida 32 - 0, 1, 19

(12) Michigan State (1 - 0) 20 @ (18) Notre Dame (1 - 1) 27: Mike Dantonio seems to get his team ready to play ranked opponents. Notre Dame appears to be a notch below the last few seasons. No: Michigan State 36 - 28, 15, 17

Texas State (1 - 0) 20 @ (24) Arkansas (2 - 0) 30: The Hogs dominated, jumping to number 17 in the AP poll. As mentioned earlier, they have a big test against Texas A&M this week. Correct: Arkansas 42 - 3, 29, 5

(16) Georgia (2 - 0) 27 @ Missouri (1 - 1) 17: As I mentioned in my original pick, this appeared to be a trap game for Georgia and they played like it. Nothing impressive from the Bulldogs, but they got to 3 - 0. Correct: Georgia 28 - 27, 9, 11

(3) Ohio State (2 - 0) 30 @ (14) Oklahoma (1 - 1) 27: Oklahoma somehow remains ranked after a 1 - 2 start. It looks like a long season in Norman. Correct: Ohio State 45 - 24, 18, 12

Portland State (1 - 1) 13 @ (8) Washington (2 - 0) 34: Not much to learn from a win over a middling FCS team. Correct: Washington 41 - 3, 17, 3

USC (1 - 1) 20 @ (7) Stanford (2 - 0) 28: I'm not sure whether Stanford is that good or USC is still a mess. I'm thinking it's a little of both. Correct: Stanford 27 - 10,  9, 11

(11) Texas (2 - 0) 37 @ California (1 - 1) 31: I watched this one and I'm still not sure how the Longhorns let it get away from them. No: California 50 - 43, 13, 25

Vanderbilt (1 - 1) 17 @ Georgia Tech (2 - 0) 28: Someone on ESPN's College Game Day picked Vanderbilt to win this one. They should lose their seat on the set. There's no way Vandy has the athletes to contain that read option when it's clicking. Correct: Ga.Tech 38 - 7, 20, 0

Boston College (1 - 1) 16 @ Virginia Tech (1 - 1) 24: Hokie fans have to be excited after Tech totally dismantled what was considered a strong BC defense. The Eagles have former Hokie offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler in the same position, and he seems just as boring and predictable as he was in Blacksburg. Correct: Va. Tech 49 - 0, 41, 9

Pittsburgh (1 - 1) 30 @ Oklahoma State (1 - 1) 34: Once again, the so-called experts on ESPN went for the Panthers. Maybe they should watch more football instead of just talking about it all the time. Correct: Oklahoma State 45 - 28, 13, 9

Duke (1 - 1) 20 @ Northwestern (0 - 2) 17: Duke is definitely in a down year, with consecutive double digit losses to Wake Forest and a mediocre Northwestern team. No: Northwestern 24 - 13, 14, 0

Iowa State (0 - 2) 17 @ TCU (1 - 1) 41: You have to wonder if Iowa State can ever get to a competitive position in the Big 12.  Correct: TCU 41 - 20, 3, 3

Temple (1 - 1) 20 @ Penn State (1 - 1) 31: Penn State still hasn't shown significant improvement under coach James Franklin. The fans in State College will start to get impatient pretty soon.  Correct: Penn State 34 - 27, 4, 10

UCLA (1 - 1) 28 @ BYU (1 - 1) 24: Even though they didn't put up a lot of points, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen looked very pro-like Saturday night. They face Stanford this week and how the Bruins fare will tell us a lot about their prospects for the rest of the season. Correct: UCLA 17 - 14, 1, 21

Utah (2 - 0) 30 @ San Jose State (1 - 1) 21: Utah is quietly getting ready for the Pac-12 season. The South is wide open and they will probably contend. Correct: Utah 34 - 17, 8, 0

East Carolina (2 - 0) 31 @ South Carolina (1 - 1) 27: ECU was clearly the better team, but had a lot of trouble punching it in from the Red Zone. It was a frustrating game for Pirate fans. No: South Carolina 20 - 15, 9, 23

Western Michigan (2 - 0) 34 @ Illinois (1 - 1) 30: Western Michigan polished off its second Big Ten opponent of the season.  Correct: Western Michigan 34 - 10, 20, 20

La. Tech (1 - 1) 38 @ Texas Tech (1 - 1) 44: As predicted, it was a shootout and not many non-power five teams can stay with Texas Tech in a track meet. Correct: Texas Tech 59 - 45, 8, 22

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at kevin@pkfrazier.com.



Saturday, September 17, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK THREE SATURDAY PICKS

Last Week: 27 - 5  84.3%
Overall:      59 - 5  92.2%

Week three brings another round of terrific interconference match-ups as well as a smattering of compelling conference games. There are so many close picks that I don't expect to continue my over 80% trend. But we'll see where I stand late Saturday night.

South Carolina State (0 - 2) 10 @ (5) Clemson (2 - 0) 37: Clemson has looked a bit sluggish on offense so far this season, but that shouldn't matter much against FCS South Carolina State.

(2) Florida State (2 - 0) 34 @ (10) Louisville (2 - 0) 28: This is clearly one of the most anticipated games of the week, if not the season, with the emergence of Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. Florida State has a surprise QB of their own, with freshman Deondre Francois playing impressively despite his youth. The difference in this one will probably be Florida State's defense.

Ohio (1 - 1) 27 @ (15) Tennessee (2 - 0) 34: I'll grudgingly give the Vols some respect after drubbing my Hokies last week, but several turnovers and sloppy play by Virginia Tech contributed to the eventual blowout. But Tennessee better not rest on their laurels, because despite a three overtime loss to Texas State in their opener, Ohio went into Lawrence and knocked off Kansas last week.

North Dakota State (2 - 0) 21 @ (13) Iowa (2 - 0) 30: While not as high profile as a few of the other games this weekend, this game is pretty intriguing. North Dakota State has won five straight FCS titles and can certainly challenge a large number of FBS schools. I think Iowa has too much size for them, but an upset wouldn't shock me.

Georgia State (0 - 2) 6 @ (9) Wisconsin (2 - 0) 42: The Badgers should have no problems in running their record to 3 - 0 before their brutal Big Ten schedule kicks in.

(25) Miami (2 - 0) 27 @ Appalachian State (1 - 1) 24 : Appalachian State looked like the better team in week one against Tennessee but didn't close the deal. The atmosphere will be electric in Boone, North Carolina. The Hurricanes have been steady but they'll be challenged on the road. Could App St. pull the upset?

(1) Alabama (2 - 0) 27 @ (19) Ole Miss (1 - 1) 19: Two consecutive losses to the Rebels can't be sitting well with 'Bama coach Nick Saban. Ole Miss just isn't as good as they've been the last couple of seasons, so I'll stick with the Tide, even on the road in Oxford.

Colorado (2 - 0) 16 @ (4) Michigan (2 - 0) 31: Wins over Colorado State and Idaho State probably didn't prepare the Buffs for what they'll be facing in the Big House. Colorado has shown signs of improvement, but it won't be enough on Saturday.

(22) Oregon (2 - 0) 28 @ Nebraska (2 - 0) 30: Nebraska was pretty close to a great season last year, but lost a handful of close games. Oregon is going largely unnoticed and head into Lincoln with a chance to make a pretty strong statement. 'Huskers coach Mike Riley, formerly of Oregon State, is all too familiar with the Ducks, so maybe he has something up his sleeve for his old rivals.

(17) Texas A&M (2 - 0) 27 @ Auburn (1 - 1) 23: Texas A&M has started the season pretty strongly, but they've done that before. Their win over UCLA was impressive and Auburn hasn't really looked all that great yet. I know the Aggies aren't particularly great on the road, but I like them to keep it rolling at Auburn.

Mississippi State (1 - 1) 20 @ (20) LSU (1 - 1) 24: I still think LSU has a good team, despite all of the panic in Baton Rouge following the loss to Wisconsin. With better quarterback play and an active Leonard Fournette, they can still challenge for the SEC West title.

North Texas (1 - 1) 10 @ (23) Florida (2 - 0) 41: I may have underestimated the Gators. They really took Kentucky apart last week and appear to have found some offense. North Texas won't be able to bring enough to the Swamp to challenge them.

(12) Michigan State (1 - 0) 20 @ (18) Notre Dame (1 - 1) 27: Michigan State hasn't played since beating FCS Furman in week one. I'm not sure how that will affect the Spartans, but regardless of the schedule I think Notre Dame has a little too much for Michigan State, especially in South Bend.

Texas State (1 - 0) 20 @ (24) Arkansas (2 - 0) 30: Texas State pulled out an overtime victory over Ohio in their first game after a tough three win season last year. Arkansas did the same against TCU last week and will need to avoid a letdown at home.

(16) Georgia (2 - 0) 27 @ Missouri (1 - 1) 17: This oculd be a little bit of a trap game for Georgia before a big game against Tennessee next week. If the Bulldogs play like they did last week, they probably won't get out of Columbia with a win.

(3) Ohio State (2 - 0) 30 @ (14) Oklahoma (1 - 1) 27: This game is a virtual coin flip for me, but I wasn't sold on Oklahoma before the season and I think Ohio State, despite wins over non-power five opponents, has been more impressive. I'll take the Buckeyes to knock off the Sooners in Norman.

Portland State (1 - 1) 13 @ (8) Washington (2 - 0) 34:The Huskies should enter Pac-12 play undefeated.

USC (1 - 1) 20 @ (7) Stanford (2 - 0) 28: Stanford hasn't played in fifteen days since beating Kansas State. I believe USC is still trying to find their way, so I'll take the Cardinal at home.

(11) Texas (2 - 0) 37 @ California (1 - 1) 31: This is a big test for a Texas team that is looking to build on the first two weeks and head into the Big 12 schedule with plenty of momentum. Their defense will be under pressure today against an explosive offense.

Vanderbilt (1 - 1) 17 @ Georgia Tech (2 - 0) 28: After a disappointing 2015, Georgia Tech should be able to take care of the Commodores in Atlanta. Vanderbilt just doesn't see the Yellow Jackets' style of offense very often.

Boston College (1 - 1) 16 @ Virginia Tech (1 - 1) 24: Even against the Eagles, the Hokies can't afford to continue turning the ball over if they want to open their ACC schedule with a win. We still haven't seen how good Virginia Tech is under new coach Justin Fuente because of the turnovers.

Pittsburgh (1 - 1) 30 @ Oklahoma State (1 - 1) 34: After getting robbed of a victory last week, Oklahoma State will come out with a little extra energy. They face a tough opponent in Pittsburgh that is coming off an emotional win over in-state rival Penn State. The Cowboys are a slight favorite, but they'll need to find a way to slow down the Panthers' running game if they have a chance to win.

Duke (1 - 1) 20 @ Northwestern (0 - 2) 17: In the SAT bowl, Northwestern is looking for their first victory after two bad losses to teams they should have beaten. Duke is down a bit from the last few seasons as well, falling to Wake Forest last week. I'm taking the Blue Devils to prevail.

Iowa State (0 - 2) 17 @ TCU (1 - 1) 41: The Horned Frogs couldn't have picked a better conference opponent to help them bounce back from a disappointing loss. Arkansas shocked TCU in overtime last week, but the Cyclones won't be able to stay in this one.

Temple (1 - 1) 20 @ Penn State (1 - 1) 31: Penn State almost pulled off a big comeback at Pitt, but fell a bit short. Temple surprised the Nittany Lions and the nation by posting a 27 - 10 upset in last season's opener. I believe Penn State will be ready this time.

UCLA (1 - 1) 28 @ BYU (1 - 1) 24: BYU lost their big rivalry game to Utah last week in a tough, close contest. By the end of the season, UCLA's opening loss to Texas might look far better than it did afer week one. I like the Bruins to get it together on the road.


Utah (2 - 0) 30 @ San Jose State (1 - 1) 21: San Jose State got run over at Tulsa in week one and then gave up 35 to FCS Portland State last week. The Utes should be able to get past the Spartans, but it might be a little closer than you think.

East Carolina (2 - 0) 31 @ South Carolina (1 - 1) 27: The Pirates took out an ACC team last week and now look to move onto the SEC. I haven't been impressed with the Gamecocks so I'm going to pick ECU in a big road upset. I almost never get an ECU pick right, so South Carolina fans should be happy with this one.

Western Michigan (2 - 0) 34 @ Illinois (1 - 1) 30: MAC member Western Michigan surprised Big Ten Northwestern in week one and look to do the same thing to the Fighting Illini. Illinois gave up 48 points to North Carolina last week and the Broncos can put points on the board. I'll take the upset.

La. Tech (1 - 1) 38 @ Texas Tech (1 - 1) 44: I'm tempted to take Louisiana Tech, a team that gave Arkansas everything they could handle in a one-point week one loss. But Texas Tech can put up a lot of points and I don't know that La. Tech can stay with them in a shootout.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at kevin@pkfrazier.com.




Thursday, September 15, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK THREE THURSDAY AND FRIDAY PICKS

Last Week:  27 - 5  84.3%
Overall:       59 - 5  92.2 %

Thursday Night:

(6) Houston (2 - 0) 31 @ Cincinnati (2 - 0) 17: After a terrific start to the season, Houston hits the road for their initial American Conference game. They'll have starting quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. available after he missed Saturday's game against Lamar with a shoulder injury. They still defeated FCS Lamar 42 - 0, but his presence will be needed against Cincinnati. The Bearcats are no pushover, but with a healthy Ward, I'm not sure there aren't more than five or six FBS teams capable of shutting down the Cougars.

Friday Night:

(21) Baylor (2 - 0) 40 @ Rice (0 - 2) 13: Rice hasn't played well in both losses and it isn't likely to get much better with the Bears coming to town. Baylor is a little under the radar, at least on the football field, but Jim Grobe has them focused on football and they shouldn't have much trouble with the Owls.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at kevin@pkfrazier.com.




COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK TWO PREDICTION RECAP: NOT PERFECT ANYMORE

Last Week: 27 - 5  84.3%
Overall:      59 - 5  92.2%

I couldn't stay perfect forever, but still had a respectable week of picks.

Friday:

(13) Louisville (1 - 0) 27 @ Syracuse (1-0) 21: Louisville's quarterback, Lamar Jackson, is really turning heads with his crazy performances. But it was Charlotte and Syracuse, so let's see how he does against a big dog like Florida State. Correct: Louisville 62 - 28

Saturday:

Central Michigan (1 - 0) 20 @ (22) Oklahoma State (1 - 0) 26: If you didn't hear what happened in this game, then it will be hard to explain. But the last play shouldn't have occurred, but it did and Central Michigan won. No, sort of: Central Michigan 30 - 27

Penn State (1 - 0) 24 @ Pittsburgh (1 - 0) 27: This one got crazy down the stretch, but Pitt was abla to hold on. Correct: Pittsburgh 42 - 39.

NC State (1 - 0) 30 @ ECU (1 - 0) 27: I should have gone with my gut. ECU is much improved. No: ECU 33 - 30

UCF (1 - 0) 13 @ (5) Michigan (1 - 0) 42: No surprise Correct: Michigan 51 - 14

Lamar (0 - 1)  10 @ (6) Houston (1 - 0) 51: Houston is scary, putting up 42 without their starting QB. Correct: Houston 42 - 0

Nicholls State (0 - 0) 6 @ (9) Georgia (1 - 0) 40: A surprising dud by the Bulldogs. Correct: Georgia 26 - 24

Prarie View (1 - 0) 14 @ (20) Texas A&M (1 - 0) 30: The Aggies look poised to make some noise in the SEC West. Correct: Texas A&M 67 - 0

Charleston Southern (1 - 1) 13 @ (3) Florida State (1 - 0) 47: The 'Noles head to Louisville for a big game with some momentum. Correct: Florida State 52 - 8

Troy (1 - 0) 10 @ (2) Clemson (1 - 0) 38: Clemson looked flat and they'll need to step it up, but not for another week or two. Correct: Clemson 30 - 24

Tulsa (1 - 0) 13 @ (4) Ohio State (1 - 0) 44: It didn't look like the Buckeyes were peeking ahead to Oklahoma. Correct: Ohio State 48 - 3

Akron (1 - 0) 17 @ (10) Wisconsin (1 - 0) 28: Despite a brutal schedule, the Badgers might be for real. Correct: Wisconsin 54 - 10

Nevada (1 - 0) 16 @ (18) Notre Dame (1 - 0) 37: Not a lot of surprises as the Irish seem to have settled on a QB. Correct: Notre Dame 39 - 10

Kentucky (0 - 1) 24 @ Florida (1 - 0) 20: Maybe I've been wrong about Florida. Or is Kentcky just being Kentucky? No: Florida 45 - 7

Western Kentucky (1 - 0) 27 @ (1) Alabama (1 - 0) 45: The Tide looked good defensively, but coach Saban didn't seem pleased with offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. Correct: Alabama 38 - 10

 SMU (1 - 0) 16 @ (23) Baylor (1 - 0) 38: I'm still not sure how good Baylor is, but coach Jim Grobe certaily has them focused on football. Correct: Baylor 40 - 13

Wofford (1 - 0) 14 @ (19) Ole Miss (0 - 1) 51: Not the offensive showing the Rebels might have wanted as they prepare to host Alabama.  Correct: 38 - 13

Idaho (1 - 0) 9 @ (8) Washington (1 - 0) 48: The Huskies might just  be as good as a lot of people thought they would be. We'll see how they look when they play a big boy team. Correct: Washington 59 - 14

Florida Atlantic (1 - 0) 13 @ (25) Miami (1 - 0) 45: Miami is still looking pretty good as they make a rare road trip to a Sun Belt school, Appalachian State. Correct: Miami 38 - 10

La. Monroe (1 - 0) 6 @ (14) Oklahoma (0 - 1) 54: What can I say, was I right or was I right? Correct: Oklahoma 59 - 17

UTEP (1 - 0) 16 @ (11) Texas (1 - 0) 31: Is it time to say Texas is back? Not yet, but we're getting close. Correct: Texas 41 - 7

South Carolina (1 - 0) 17 @ Mississippi State (0 - 1) 23: It's going to be long season for Gamecock coach Will Muschamp. Correct: Mississippi State 27 - 14

Arkansas (1 - 0) 31 @ (15) TCU 28: This was a thriller and a big step forward for the Hogs. Correct: Arkansas 41 - 38 OT

Arkansas State (0 - 1) 16 @ Auburn (0 - 1) 27: Auburn got it going, and they'll need to keep it up if they want to be competitive in the SEC West. Correct: Auburn 51 - 14

Iowa State (0 - 1) 6 @ (16) Iowa (1 - 0) 37: No shocker here. Iowa is the class of the Big Ten West, but they'll need to contend with Wisconsin down the road.  Correct: Iowa 42 - 3

BYU (1 - 0) 23 @ Utah (1 - 0) 20: A great game and BYU was a field goal away from the upset.  No: Utah 20 - 19

Jacksonville State (1 - 0) 13 @ (21) LSU (0 - 1) 41: LSU is still looking sluggish on offense. If they don't look better against Mississippi State, Les Miles might be on the way out.  Correct: LSU 34 - 13

North Carolina (0 - 1) 30 @ Illinois (1 - 0) 21: The Tar Heels rebounded nicely from their loss to Georgia with a strong road win. Correct: UNC 48 - 23

UNLV (1 - 0) 10 @ UCLA (0 - 1) 34: A tough opening loss to Texas A&M seems to be behind the Bruins. Now they have to travel to BYU before opening Pac-12 play. Correct: UCLA 42 - 21

Virginia Tech (1 - 0) 24 vs. (13) Tennesseee (1 - 0) 16 (Bristol Motor Speedway): It's tough to win when you keep giving the other team the ball.  No: Tennessee 45 - 24

Washington State (0 - 1) 37 @ Boise State (1 - 0) 40: Washington State almost pulled this one out on the blue turf, but Boise held on. Correct: Boise State 31 - 28

Virginia (0 - 1) 17 @ (24) Oregon (1 - 0) 51:It looked like Oregon took their foot off the pedal in this one. Correct: Oregon 44 - 26

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at kevin@pkfrazier.com.








Saturday, September 10, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK TWO PICKS

Last Week: 32 - 0  100.0%
Overall:      32 - 0  100.0%

After an awesome and competitive first weekend, colleges give way to the NFL.  There are no matchups between top twenty five teams, setting the stage for another big week for my picks. But upsets are lurking and I'm sure there will be a few this weekend. There are some games pitting Big Five conference teams and a smattering of league skirmishes to make the weekend interesting, especially with a game being played at NASCAR track.

Friday:

(13) Louisville (1 - 0) 27 @ Syracuse (1-0) 21: After Houston's win over Oklahoma, Louisville might be best known now as the "other big game" for the Cougars. However, that game is ten weeks away, so the Cardinals need to get ready for a Syracuse team that is looking to improve in 2016.

Saturday:

Central Michigan (1 - 0) 20 @ (22) Oklahoma State (1 - 0) 26: The Chippewas gave Oklahoma State a good game last year, but that one was at home. I'm a MAC fan, but despite a lot of talent returning on defense, I think the Cowboys just have too much talent to be upset in Stillwater. I think this one will be closer than most think.

Penn State (1 - 0) 24 @ Pittsburgh (1 - 0) 27: Neither team is ranked, but these two schools renew a series that was discontinued when they both joined conferences. I spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh for the US Open and can attest to the excitement around this game. I'm giving the edge, especially on defense, to the home team.


NC State (1 - 0) 30 @ ECU (1 - 0) 27: I'm tempted to go with the Pirates here, especially given the red headed step child emotion they bring to these games against teams that have what they want: Membership in a power five conference. But a lack of returners on defense and running back concern me.

UCF (1 - 0) 13 @ (5) Michigan (1 - 0) 42: Central Florida did something last week they'd failed to do since 2014: win a football game. Okay, it was against FCS South Carolina State, but they still outscored another team. I'm thinking the winning streak stops at one.

Lamar (0 - 1)  10 @ (6) Houston (1 - 0) 51: The schedule is kind to Houston, as they can probably afford a letdown after the big win over Oklahoma and still defeat FCS Lamar.

Nicholls State (0 - 0) 6 @ (9) Georgia (1 - 0) 40: Where do they find these patsies to play?

Prarie View (1 - 0) 14 @ (20) Texas A&M (1 - 0) 30: The Aggies got into the rankings after beating UCLA and should stay there for at least another week before beginning conference play.

Charleston Southern (1 - 1) 13 @ (3) Florida State (1 - 0) 47: And the rompfest continues against FCS schools.

Troy (1 - 0) 10 @ (2) Clemson (1 - 0) 38: Troy has had better teams in the past and has given power five teams some problems, but after a 4 - 8 season, they should have some issues with Clemson. I wouldn't be surprised if the Tigers had a letdown, but Deshaun Watson isn't getting worse after last week.

Tulsa (1 - 0) 13 @ (4) Ohio State (1 - 0) 44: Tulsa shouldn't pose much of a threat to Ohio State. The Buckeyes are just too good and too deep for the Golden Hurricanes.

Akron (1 - 0) 17 @ (10) Wisconsin (1 - 0) 28: The Badgers need to refocus after a big win over LSU. The Zips are coached by former Auburn coach Terry Bowden and his defensive coordinator, Chuck Amato had the same job for Bowden's father at Florida State. But after going 8 - 5 last season, the Zips lost their entire offensive line.

Nevada (1 - 0) 16 @ (18) Notre Dame (1 - 0) 37: The Irish have decided to stick with one starting quarterback until, well, they don't. After a tough loss in overtime to Texas, Notre Dame is looking to rebound at home against an experienced Wolfpack team.

Kentucky (0 - 1) 24 @ Florida (1 - 0) 20: Florida wasn't particularly impressive last week, but at least they won, which is more than can be said for Kentucky, which blew a 35 - 10 lead in losing 44 - 35 to Southern Miss. But the Golden Eagles are an offensive juggernaut. I'm still not sold on the Gators. I smell upset here.

Western Kentucky (1 - 0) 27 @ (1) Alabama (1 - 0) 45: Is Alabama a juggernaut or is USC just a mess?  Western Kentucky was 12 - 2 last season and romped over Rice 46 - 14 in week one. The Tide better not get caught in letdown mode or they could get surprised.

 SMU (1 - 0) 16 @ (23) Baylor (1 - 0) 38:SMU was only 2 - 10 last year, but opened with a win against North Texas. Any optimism will probably be blunted by the Bears, but both programs are tainted by recent scandal.

Wofford (1 - 0) 14 @ (19) Ole Miss (0 - 1) 51: After blowing a big lead against FSU, the Rebels will be looking to take it out on FCS Wofford. This one could get ugly.

Idaho (1 - 0) 9 @ (8) Washington (1 - 0) 48: I'm not quite sure how Idaho is in the Sun Belt, but maybe I'm not familiar with "new geography". Anyway, the Vandals will wish they were on the Redneck Riviera after the Huskies finish with them.

Florida Atlantic (1 - 0) 13 @ (25) Miami (1 - 0) 45: The Hurricanes are poised for a resurgence under Mark Richt. The 'Canes defeated FAU 44 - 20 a year ago and I don't see much reason to expect a much different result this time around.

La. Monroe (1 - 0) 6 @ (14) Oklahoma (0 - 1) 54: The Sooners were thumped by Houston last week and get to lick their wounds against a team that went 2 - 11 last year. Bad luck for the Warhawks, because I doubt OU will take their foot off the gas.

UTEP (1 - 0) 16 @ (11) Texas (1 - 0) 31: Texas will be on a high after slipping by Notre Dame last week. The Miners  return 17 starters from a 5 - 7 team, so they should be enough of a challenge that the 'Horns need to pay attention.

South Carolina (1 - 0) 17 @ Mississippi State (0 - 1) 23: The Gamecocks won ugly against Vandy last week and Mississippi State was surprised by South Alabama. This is a close one, but despite the bad loss, I like the Bulldogs to take care of business in Starkville.

Arkansas (1 - 0) 31 @ (15) TCU 28: Neither team was impressive in getting a win in week one. TCU's defense was exposed by a good FCS team, while Arkansas' new QB Austin Allen struggled against a pretty good La. Tech squad. A partial homer pick, I'll take the Hogs to get a victory and enter the national conversation.

Arkansas State (0 - 1) 16 @ Auburn (0 - 1) 27: Auburn gave Clemson all they could handle a week ago, which should give Tiger fans some optimism. But even after a loss to Toledo, Arkansas State is a dangerous team.

Iowa State (0 - 1) 6 @ (16) Iowa (1 - 0) 37: This is a rivalry game, but it's getting tougher to call it that when the Cyclones have had a tough few years. Iowa is way better than they're ranking and they'll roll in this one.

BYU (1 - 0) 23 @ Utah (1 - 0) 20: Utah wasn't particularly impressive in a win over FCS Southern Utah while BYU won in the closing seconds against Arizona. Logic says to go with Utah, but I'm taking BYU in an upset.

Jacksonville State (1 - 0) 13 @ (21) LSU (0 - 1) 41: LSU head coach Les Miles is on the hot seat after a lackluster offensive effort in a loss to Wisconsin. The Bayou Bengal faithful will enjoy this one, with Leonard Fournette probably running wild.

North Carolina (0 - 1) 30 @ Illinois (1 - 0) 21: North Carolina was hoping to get a statement win last week against Georgia. That didn't happen and now they face a must win situation at Illinois. The Tar Heels are the better team and should prevail.

UNLV (1 - 0) 10 @ UCLA (0 - 1) 34: The Bruins lost a heartbreaker at Texas A&M and return home to face a team they should handle easily. QB Josh Rosen will bounce back against the Rebels.

Virginia Tech (1 - 0) 24 vs. (13) Tennesseee (1 - 0) 16 (Bristol Motor Speedway): What a spectacle this one will be in front of over 150,000 fans on an artificial surface in the infield of the famed race track. Tennessee was underwhelming in barely beating Appalachian State while the Hokies throttled FCS Liberty, but failed to impress offensively. I'm a Hokie and will stick with my heart and Bud Foster's defense.

Washington State (0 - 1) 37 @ Boise State (1 - 0) 40: Washington State was my darkhorse pick for the 2016 season but got beaten by FCS Eastern Washington. I hate to abandon my pick early, but Boise State is tough to beat on that blue turf.

Virginia (0 - 1) 17 @ (24) Oregon (1 - 0) 51:Virginia is possibly the most disappointing power five conference team. Since 2007, the Cavs are 34 - 61 with one winning season and a single bowl appearance. It was hoped that Bronco Mendenhall would turn things around, but FCS Richmond pounded them 37 - 20. It won't be pretty in Eugene.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at kevin@pkfrazier.com.











Thursday, September 8, 2016

THURSDAY NIGHT NFL OPENER: CAN DENVER DO IT TO CAROLINA AGAIN?

Carolina 20 @ Denver 23:  Seven months ago, these two teams met on a neutral field with a diminished Peyton Manning at the helm of Broncos, and the Denver defense overwhelmed Carolina on its way to a Super Bowl title. Trevor Siemian replaces Manning at QB for Denver, Josh Norman exits the Panthers' secondary, but a lot about the teams remains the same from that meeting in Santa Clara. The majority of the so-called experts that I've heard appear to be dismissing any chance that 1) Denver can defeat the Panthers tonight and 2) the Broncos even make a run at the playoffs. Did I miss some cosmic shift in the rotation of the earth that would create such changes in gravitational pull to alter the laws of football in the Panthers' favor? True, Siemian has never thrown an NFL pass or even played a meaningful down.  But Manning was barely functional, at least from a physical sense, by the time the Super Bowl rolled around last season. The defense that totally manhandled Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is largely intact and the offensive line that they ran through and around is pretty much the same one that led the Panthers to a 17 - 1 record prior to the Super Bowl.  John Elway and Gary Kubiak, both former quarterbacks who are extremely knowledgeable of the position seem confident that Siemian can do he job, at least well enough for the offense to complement the still potent defense well enough for the Broncos to continue winning. Additionally, the game is being played in Denver, not at a neutral site where neither team is at a disadvantage relative to the crowd. And Carolina is still considered the favorite? I just love when momentum and fashionability get in the way of logic. I also heard a number of prognosticators picking Carolina to either win or at least get to the Super Bowl. No loser has even reached the Super Bowl the following year since Buffalo did it three times in the 1990's, much less win one, last accomplished by the Miami Dolphins in 1973. So I guess I'm not understanding this immense optimism for a Carolina victory tonight. I'm taking the Broncos. My first college weekend was 32 - 0 shutout, so we'll see if I can continue the unbeaten streak in the NFL.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at kevin@pkfrazier.com.




Wednesday, September 7, 2016

WEEK ONE COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP: SEE HOW I WENT 32 - 0!

For the first time ever, I ran the table on my picks, correctly predicting a number of upsets and staying with the favorites at the right time. It can only go downhill from here, but first the recap from last week.

Last Week: 32 - 0  100.0 %
Season:  32 - 0  100.0%

Charlotte  14  @ (19) Louisville  37 : Not really much to take from this one, except that the Cardinals appear to be on a mission to stay in the race longer than last season. Correct: Louisville 70 - 14

Appalachian State 16 @  (9) Tennessee  27:  I was actually tempted to take ASU in this one, but stuck with the Vols. I'm now convinced more than before that UT is overrated.  Correct: Tennessee 20 - 13 OT

Tulane 17 @  Wake Forest 24:  Still no offense in Winston-Salem. Correct: Wake Forest 7 - 3

South Carolina 23 @  Vanderbilt  17: Why does anyone think Will Muschamp is an SEC caliber head coach?  Correct: South Carolina 13 - 10

Colorada St. 27 vs. Colorado 30 (Denver): Could this signal some improvement by the Buffs? We'll have to wait until the Pac-12 schedule starts. Correct: Colorado 44 - 7

Northwestern State  6 @  (23) Baylor 57: I didn't miss this one by much, but it doesn't really tell us much about the Bears.  Correct: Baylor 55 - 7

Furman 0 @  (12) Michigan State 40:  It looks like Michigan State has some work to do with a young team.  Correct: 28 - 13

Kansas State 13 @ (8) Stanford 28: I almost nailed the score on this one, too. A little too much McCaffery for my taste. Stanford needs to mix it up more. Correct: Stanford 26 - 13

Boston College 17 vs.  Georgia Tech 27 (Dublin, Ireland):  I hope the fans had some good beer, because the football was more like Keystone caliber. Correct: Georgia Tech 17 - 14

Miami, Ohio 3 @  (17) Iowa 38:  The Hawkeye defense needs to play better in Big Ten play, but the team got off to a good start. Correct: Iowa 45 - 21

Massachusetts 6 @ (25) Florida 30: The Gators are still struggling on offense. Correct: Florida 24 - 7

South Dakota State 13 @  (13) TCU  31:  Gary Patterson needs to be concerned after giving up 41 to FCS South Dakota State, a third place team in their own conference.  Correct: TCU 59 - 41

Southeastern Louisiana  10 @  (21) Oklahoma State 58:No surprise in this one, but also didn't tell us much about the Cowboys that we didn't already know.  Correct: Oklahoma State 61 - 7

Hawaii  10 @  (7) Michigan 41:  Games nine games apart in Australia and Michigan for the Rainbow Warriors. At least they got a field goal. Correct: Michigan 63 - 3

Oregon State 17 @ Minnesota 26: Ho-hum for the Gophers. They're still middle of the pack Big Ten team. Correct: Minnesota 30 - 23

Fresno State  16 @  Nebraska  30:  Mike Riley appears to have the 'Huskers headed in the right direction. A season ending game against Iowa will be looming all year. Correct: 43 - 10

Western Michigan  24 @  Northwestern  23: What can I say? Go MAC! Correct: Western Michigan 22 - 21

Bowling Green 13 @ (5) Ohio State 34:  No repeat of a MAC attack in Columbus. Correct: Ohio State 77 - 10

Kent State 10 @ Penn State  27 : The Nittany Lions will get a chance for state bragging rights against Pittsburgh this week. They looked good in taking care of business against Kent State. Penn State 33 - 13

Rutgers 20 @ (14) Washington 38:  The Huskies were impressive but Rutgers will make a lot of teams look like conference champs this season. Correct: Washington 48 - 13

 Missouri  13 @ West Va. 26 : Missouri may be slightly improved, but that offense still needs a lot of work.  Correct: West Virginia 26 - 11

Boise State 41 @ Louisiana 14: Boise steps up in class against Washington State this week.  Correct: Boise State 45 - 10

BYU 31 vs. Arizona 28 (Glendale, Arizona): A close game as expected, but not as much offense. With that defense, Arizona could surprise some teams in the Pac-12. Correct: BYU 18 - 16

(16) UCLA 26@ Texas A&M  27: Neither team was particularly impressive, although it was a close and exciting game. It didn't really give me much reason to jump on either ban wagon. Correct: Texas A&M 31 - 24 OT

(22) North Carolina  31 vs. (18) Georgia 34 (Atlanta, GA): Kirby Smart has the Bulldogs playing well out of the chute. The loss probably hurt UNC at the national level. Correct: Georgia 33 - 24

(2) Clemson  31 @ Auburn  20: Is Auburn better or did Clemson just come out a little rusty? Who knows, but a true road win in SEC country isn't bad. Correct: Clemson 19 - 13

(3) Oklahoma  27 @ (15) Houston 30: The Cougars looked dominant against a team that was picked to contend for a national championship. The question is already being asked: Does Houston have a shot at the playoffs?  Correct: Houston 33 - 23

 (17) USC  24 vs. (1) Alabama  28 (Arlington, TX): Either USC is in total disarray or Alabama is the favorite in the AFC South. I think I'll go with the former for now. Correct: Alabama 52 - 6

La. Tech 17 @ Arkansas 27: At least this slow start didn't end up in an "L" for the Hogs as in prior  seasons. A big road game at TCU looms large for Arkansas. Correct: Arkansas 21 - 20

Liberty 10 @ Va. Tech 31: About what I expected, a sluggish start followed by defensive domination by the Hokies. Things get tougher in a hurry against Tennessee in the Battle at Bristol. Correct: Va. Tech 36 - 13


(10) Notre Dame 23@ Texas 24: This one could have gone either way, but ended up as a statement game in Charlie Strong's third season in Austin. I'm sure expectations are through the roof now, but it's a long season and I'm certain Texas will falter at some point.  Correct: Texas 50 - 47 OT

(4) Florida State 30 vs. (11) Ole Miss 20 (Orlando, FL):  One of the greatest comebacks ever. If the 'Noles play all year like they did in the second half, I'd want a shot at revising my playoff picks. Just sayin'.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM.






Saturday, September 3, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK ONE PICKS FOR THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND


After a couple of days of fried mushrooms and potato skins, we're finally treated to some filet and lobster for the main course. Not only has the College Football Playoff system provided more clarity at the end of the season, it's also produced higher caliber inter-conference matchups as teams recognize the need to impress the committee with quality schedules. Every Power Five conference, but particularly the SEC and Big Ten, has a team participating in a big game to open the season. Can we consider these battles elimination games? Probably not this early in the season, but some of the losing teams will have their playoff backs to the wall, and it's barely Labor Day.

Saturday:

Boston College 17 vs.  Georgia Tech 27 (Dublin, Ireland):  I'm not sure how the tailgating is in Dublin or if the Rambling Wreck will be welcoming the Yellow Jackets into the stadium, but with six wins between them in 2015, the ACC didn't exactly export their best for this game. I'm expecting a lot more from Georgia Tech.

Miami, Ohio 3 @  (17) Iowa 38:  Iowa returns eight starters off a defense that got the Hawkeyes within three points of a playoff appearance. Miami is coming off a three win season. Enough said.

Massachusetts 6 @ (25) Florida 30: UMass might not have been as their 3 - 9 record indicated last year, but they definitely aren't good enough to take down the Gators in the Swamp in early September.

South Dakota State 13 @  (13) TCU  31:  I know the Horned Frogs have Arkansas coming to Fort Worth next week, so they better not sleep on a team from the premier FCS conference.

Southeastern Louisiana  10 @  (21) Oklahoma State 58: I have the Cowboys contending for a playoff spot, so they can't stub their toe against a vastly inferior foe. Too much offense from Oklahoma State for the FCS Lions.

Hawaii  10 @  (7) Michigan 41:  The Rainbow Warriors will look more like the Road Warriors by the end of the season. After getting drubbed by California in Australia a week ago, they now head in the other direction to face a tough Michigan team. You might as well throw them on the barbie.

Oregon State 17 @ Minnesota 26: Believe it or not, this game against the Beavers, winners of only two games in 2015, is Minnesota's marquee non-conference game, all of which are at home.

Fresno State  16 @  Nebraska  30:  The Cornhuskers seven losses last season were by a total of 25 points, with only two by more than a touchdown. Even with just a little better luck, they stand to post a better record in 2016. San Jose State should be a good test to see if they can turn their fortunes around in Mike Riley's second season.

Western Michigan  24 @  Northwestern  23: Teams from the MAC have traditionally been thorns in the sides of Big Five conference teams in the early weeks of the season. The Broncos return eight starters that put up a lot of points last year, including a total of 36 in losses to Michigan State and Ohio State, both better Big Ten teams than the Wildcats. Do I smell the first MAC attack of 2016?

Bowling Green 13 @ (5) Ohio State 34:  Bowling Green defeated two Big Ten teams last season, but neither one was the caliber of the Buckeyes. The Falcons also lost a lot of talent due to graduation, so they shouldn't pose too much of a threat to Ohio State.

Kent State 10 @ Penn State  27 : The good news is that Kent State brings back 17 position starters from last year. The bad news is they went 3 - 9 and scored a touchdown or less in six games with those guys on the field. Can the same players improve enough to give a decent Big Ten team a battle? Probably not.

Rutgers 20@ (14) Washington 38:  There's a lot of buzz around Washington this season, but I'm not buying it yet. That doesn't mean I think they'll lose their opener, though. Rutgers is still trying to get their act together, and heading out west isn't going to help.

 Missouri  13 @ West Va. 26 : Missouri is only a season or two removed from being a good football team. Last year was a disaster both on and off the field for the Tigers, and they only have five starters back from an offense that was among the worst in the nation. That may be a blessing in disguise, but West Va. is used to having to score points to win in the Big 12.

Boise State 41 @ Louisiana 14: The Ragin' Cajuns get to host a big time football program, but the good part will pretty much end there. Boise brings back almost its entire offense from a team that really lit up the scoreboard in 2015. Louisiana gave up a lot of points to far inferior teams than the Broncos last season.

BYU 31 vs. Arizona 28 (Glendale, Arizona): The Wildcats travel an hour or so up I-10 to face BYU, a team that managed to go 9 - 4 a season ago with early wins against Nebraska and Boise State. Arizona struggled, especially defensively, and they'll need to shore that up if they look to make any improvement over 2015.

(16) UCLA 26@ Texas A&M  27: There are some great college football venues throughout the country, but you'd be challenged to find any better or unique one than Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. It's not just big and loud, it's downright intimidating for visiting teams. On a neutral field or in Los Angeles, I'd be likely to pick UCLA. But the Aggies' fans are probably good for at least four points in aid to their team.

(22) North Carolina  31 vs. (18) Georgia 34 (Atlanta, GA): Both of these teams are my picks to win their respective divisions, UNC the ACC Coastal and Georgia the SEC East. From a national perspective, even though neither team is expected to challenge for a playoff berth, a win here would certainly be a big plus if they find themselves as conference champion.

(2) Clemson  31 @ Auburn  20: One thing is certain, the Tigers will win, but which one is the question. Clemson is on a lot of lists to repeat as a playoff team, primarily because of Heisman candidate Deshaun Watson. I agree and their run to another title game begins against a team that is trying to rebound from a lackluster 2015.

(3) Oklahoma  27 @ (15) Houston 30: I'm certain when this game was scheduled, the Sooners had no idea that Houston would have as strong a team as they've been able field the last couple of seasons. Oklahoma will need to hitting on all cylinders to avoid the upset at NRG Stadium in Houston. The Cougars failed to finish off an undefeated season in 2015 and will have a lot of motivation to try and complicate the job of the playoff committee.

 (17) USC  24 vs. (1) Alabama  28 (Arlington, TX): Neither of these teams is a stranger to big opening games. Trojan coach Clay Helton is trying to bring some stability to a program that has gone through coaches like Alabama goes through transfers.  Always talent laden, it remains to be seen if USC can get a big win and put them in the conversation again on the national stage.

La. Tech 17 @ Arkansas 27: The Hogs were surprised by Toledo last year, but I don't see a repeat by the Bulldogs, who are coming off a pretty good bowl season. That said, Arkansas needs to get off to a better start than they have in past years under Bret Bielema.

Liberty 10 @ Va. Tech 31: The Hokies will be unveiling a new offense under Justin Fuente and Hokie fans are hungry for renewed energy. The FCS Flames will provide a good proving game before Tech heads to the Battle of Bristol next week against highly touted Tennessee.

Sunday:

(10) Notre Dame 23@ Texas 24:  I'm not convinced that Notre Dame is a top ten team and even more convinced that they won't end the season there, considering their schedule. Texas, showed a few flashes of promise last year, but will have to be consistently better to satisfy the Longhorn fan base and compete in the Big 12.

Monday:

(4) Florida State 30 vs. (11) Ole Miss 20 (Orlando, FL):  Although technically a neutral site, there will be lot of tomahawk chopping going on in central Florida. Ole Miss will also have to contend with 'Noles running back Dalvin Cook, one of the top three running backs in the country.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM.




Thursday, September 1, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK ONE THURSDAY AND FRIDAY PICKS

First week predictions are always a little tough. Sure, there are the obligatory FBS - FCS matchups that are generally easy to pick, but those are beginning to dwindle as more conferences are mandating games against other FBS teams. Additionally, those games don't really count for anything with the advent of the College Football Playoff Committee structure, so we'll see less teams scheduling them. But for now, we're still seeing schedules that were made several years ago and they'll need to work through the process of moving into a new era. The reason the first week can be difficult is that unlike the NFL, there is a guaranteed turnover of personnel as players graduate and rosters are retooled to accommodate the changes. Does the new offensive line gel? Can the freshman cornerback cover as well as the all-conference guy that's now playing for the Giants? Who knows? But here we go on another wild ride of a college football season.

Thursday Night:

Charlotte  14  @ (19) Louisville  37 : Last season Louisville's hopes for a big season evaporated with three opening losses that in retrospect don't look all that bad. Auburn, Houston and Clemson turned out to be a tough gauntlet.Charlotte, Syracuse and Florida State should give them a much better chance to go no worse than 2 - 1, keeping title hopes alive.

Appalachian State 16 @  (9) Tennessee  27:  There are high hopes for the Volunteers, who return almost all of their key starters from 2015. Expectations are for them to contend for not just a spot in the SEC Championship game, but perhaps even in the College Football Playoffs. Appalachian State will be a worthy test to begin the season.

Tulane 17 @  Wake Forest 24:  A lot of similarities between these two teams, both coming off three wins and expected to finish at or near the bottom of their respective leagues. The difference is that Wake Forest brings back a lot o experience from an ACC team, while Tulane has a first year coach that inherits a fairly empty cupboard in the AAC.

South Carolina 23 @  Vanderbilt  17:  In an underwhelming SEC opener, two teams that combined for seven wins a season ago look to get into the win column early. Gamecock coach Will Muschamp hopes he can do a better job succeeding legendary Steve Spurrier than he did in trying to follow Urban Meyer at Florida. I say good luck with that, but he better find a way to get past Vanderbilt or he could find himself on the hot seat in a heartbeat.

Friday Night:

Colorada St. 27 vs. Colorado 30 (Denver): This is always a little of a grudge match, with neither team having much success on a national scale of late.  I like the Buffaloes to repeat last year' performance.

Northwestern State  6 @  (23) Baylor 57:  Finally, the Baylor football team will get on the football field and put the offseason turmoil behind them. They'll get a good chance against a second division team from an FCS conference. I doubt new coach Jim Grobe will allow the Bears to pile up too many points.

Furman 0 @  (12) Michigan State 40:  The Spartans will have difficulty repeating as Big Ten champs and getting into the playoffs, but they shouldn't have any problems with a lackluster FCS program.

Kansas State 13 @ (8) Stanford 28: This might have been an entertaining game in Bill Snyder's Wildcat heyday, but Kansas State is just treading water and the Cardinal have legitimate playoff aspirations.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM.