The Blog Of Football Guesses is a weekly homage to a former Clear Channel iHeartMedia Director of Digital who once informed me, in all seriousness, that "football picks drive web traffic, especially if you toss in a picture of a cheerleader."
These are for entertainment purposes only.
I am going to be painfully transparent with you.
A) I'm actually writing some of this as a game that I'll make a guess for is kicking off.
B) I'm doing this much later than I'd intended because I've been kinda busy.
You're welcome for the update.
BENGALS V. COLTS
I typically don't make picks for preseason games, but I'm doing this today, the Bengals are playing tonight, so what the hell?
Two things, and really only two things matter to me tonight.
1) Will tonight influence the decision-making about kicker?
2) Can AJ McCarron actually, you know, play well?
That the main storyline tonight involves kicking is both an indictment against the turd bowl that is the fourth preseason game as well as a statement about how good the competition has been between Randy Bullock and Jake Elliott and how important it is the for the Bengals to ultimately make the right call.
They have no margin for error. Part of the reason - not THE reason - why last season went the way it did was that the margin for error shrunk because of the lousy kicking.
Whomever doesn't win the gig has a decent chance (although I haven't handicapped this) to catch on somewhere else.
If they get this wrong, no move will be second-guessed more.
One kicker is an unproven rookie. The other is a journeyman whose one pressure kick as a Bengals was no good, ruining Christmas.
The other thing isn't just me picking on AJ - I'd still feel more than comfortable if the Bengals had to turn to their backup in a game, or for multiple games - but he hasn't played well this month, and I do wonder what his mindset is given his desire to start and how he might have felt about his chances of being somewhere else when the offseason began.
Maybe I'm reaching. I just know that I'd like to see him play better. That is all.
Bengals 6 Colts 3
NFL FAN FIGHT OF THE WEEK
Preseason fight. Midseason form.
CINCINNATI V. AUSTIN PEAY
I wrote a little more extensively about the Bearcats this morning. I have them going 6-6 or 5-7. I'd love to be wrong.
I'm more interested in how UC plays this season than I am projecting wins and losses. Last year's team was undisciplined, unprepared, and physically unfit. Granted, the 2016 Bearcats would probably still beat Austin Peay since the Governors' second most recent win came just after Obama won a second term, but still, that team is the barometer.
Bearcats 35 Governors 6 (Governors +46.5)
THE HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK
Ohio State 41 Indiana 17. (Buckeyes -21) Better skill guys, loaded front seven, a quarterback in his 18th year of college football, and an overhaul on the offensive coaching staff. The Buckeyes are the best bet in college football to return to the College Football Playoff. In a good weekend of opening week games, this - a Big Ten Game on a Thursday to open the season - feels weird. The result won't.
Kentucky 34 Southern Miss 17 (Wildcats (-9). Guessing UK keeps its foot on the gas this time.
Miami 24 Marshall 14 (Redhawks (+2.5)
Dayton 63 Robert Morris 0
Wilmington 9 Earlham 7
Mount. St. Joseph 28 Capital 21
Thomas More 14 Franklin 6
FOOTBALL BLOGS FROM THIS WEEK
Have a nice weekend. Enjoy the 1988 Bengals, and the birth of the Ickey Shuffle.