Programming note: The Blitz is broadcasting live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington today and tomorrow in preparation for the Canelo Alvarez-Liam Smith fight. Michael Pearson will be filling in for A.J. Hoffman, who is preparing for his own fight Friday night. We will have some boxing interviews to sprinkle in, but it will be the usual dose of football, gambling, degeneracy, etc. Tune in from 4-7 p.m. on ESPN 97.5
By FRED FAOUR
The Houston Cougars find themselves back in the national spotlight tonight as they travel to Cincinnati for an early season AAC showdown. And while the Cougars have the flashy ranking (No. 6) and have been the darlings of the national media since upsetting Oklahoma in a Week 1 romp, this game is by no means a lock.
The Cougars are as many as 8.5-point favorites in some places, but Thursday night road favorites tend to struggle, and their recent history against Cincinnati seems to back this up.
Houston has lost four of the last five to the Bearkats, and the last three have been decided by a combined 18 points.
On the plus side for the Cougars, key players Greg Ward Jr. and Duke Catalon are coming off what was essentially an off week in a 42-0 win over Lamar. Neither played in the game and most of the starters got significant off time. Meanwhile, Cincinnati is coming off a nice road win against a terrible Purdue team, but it was certainly a more taxing effort than Lamar.
Expect a close one but the Cougars should be able to escape with a narrow win in a tough environment.
Flipping the script, finally: There’s a line in Dude, Where’s My Car? where Ashton Kutcher has been getting drilled in air hockey by a little girl. He finally wins one, and says:
“YES! I finally beat you!
You… You’re a competitor.
Oh, boy, you got me the first nine, but not number ten.
Not gonna happen!”
That’s how the Astros must feel after finally salvaging a game from the Rangers. The bad news is Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman both left the game with injuries. The Astros’ schedule gets easy now, but they are 3.5 games out of the wild card, starting to get hit with injuries and may just not have enough to get there, especially if Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers are done for the season.
Will J.J. Watt be back? Bill O’Brien certainly seems to think so. The Texans need a big effort out of Watt against a Chiefs team that owned them twice last season.
Some early action: I will try to post a more detailed look at some plays on Friday, time permitting. Not a lot jumps off the sheet this week. As predicted, Vegas has caught up with Michigan, and the over/under is now 57. We will pass. One game I am interested in: Texas Tech -10.5 against Louisiana Tech. LT played Arkansas close in the opener, which is why this line is deflated. TT is coming off a drubbing in the desert and I expect a big bounce back game from them. Will monitor the line but looking at a Red Raiders cover.
Also interested in Oregon getting 3 at Nebraska, and Texas A&M plus 3.5 at Auburn. But so far the Tech game is my only sure play. In the NFL, Saints-Giants over 52.5? Yes please. We will ride those Saints overs until they stop hitting. These teams combined went over 100 last year. The Giants are better on defense, but the Saints can score on anybody. And the Saints D is still a joke. Ticket already punched on that one. Hopefully I will have more detail on possible plays tomorrow.
Are you sick of your job? According to one study, you might be sick because of your job.
And an update from Florida…Because, of course. Running for office? Someone takes down your sign? So this is how you react. Pretty sure in Florida that gains you the love of the voters.
In case you missed it last night….a few cool things to do in the city of Houston this weekend. I will be in on a couple of them for sure.
Should I be concerned? So this is the hotel room they gave me in Arlington.
I am old and slow, but pretty sure I don’t need the only wheelchair accessible room on the floor. And the guy in the room next to me is so sick he has been hurling loud enough all morning for the world to hear. I’m guessing a freak show story or two will come out of this trip. Also, pet peeve: Hotel “bars” that close at 11 p.m. when they are completely full of degenerate media. Shame Bell.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
— Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
(I like to call him Willy).