First, let me address the rumors on everybody’s mind: Neither Jon Bon Jovi, L.L. Cool J nor I will be responding to reports of anything that may have happened back in the 1980s, and the fact is I was only in Alaska to cover the Iditarod for the Santa Monica Evening Outlook, just on the chance that sled-dog racing would catch on at Venice Beach, and besides, I had long hair back then and Sarah Heath had, wow, hair, back then, and she said funny things like, “Oh look, Moscow,” and, “Obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies,” and, “I want to be President!” But then she asked me if I knew Glen Rice personally, and things just got weird, and … wait, where was I?
Oh yes, Michael Vick is back.
No, this time he’s really back. He was here as a backup and here as an injured guy. Now he’s rolling. And the Falcons are — well, what are the Falcons? We think they’re pretty good. But they didn’t look the part last week in Chicago. Most puzzling was offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey’s defense of constant check-down passes, fearing the Bears’ Cover-2 defense.
I’m sorry. I guess I missed all of the Hall of Famers in the Chicago secondary.
So suddenly you don’t trust Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas or Tony Gonzalez to beat anybody one on one? Explosive plays don’t have to be bombs. But please — no more dump-off to guys standing there with concrete blocks tied to their shoes. How about some movement?
I swear I looked down on the field last week and saw Joe Johnson and an iso-offense.
Maybe it’s a wake-up. Can’t believe I’m doing this. Just have a weird feeling. Or is it that after-affects of Motley Crue and Van Halen and Sarah?
Take the 2½, but Falcons win in an upset.
Sarah Heath/Palin could’ve been the next Erin Andrews …
(My Falcons game column last week with the pop gun reference apparently inspired cartoonist/Falcons’ fan Mark Tucker. Here are his cartoons off the Bears’ game and looking ahead to the Eagles.)
Coastal Carolina at Georgia: If you can’t beat the school in Columbia, I guess Myrtle Beach is the logical next stop. The Dogs are 2-5 in their last seven games going back to last season. Here’s some needed comic relief: They cover 33.
Kansas at Georgia Tech:Just read some of Georgia Tech’s response to the NCAA. Let me boil it down: “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” (Thank you, Monty Python.) But here’s the real grudge match: Kansas! Kansas? Jackets cover 15.
Georgia Tech vs. NCAA. (This scene is not PETA-approved.)
Ohio State at Miami: And what was the NCAA’s second choice for a match-up — Iraq vs. North Korea? How about if we just shoot Jim Tressel and Donna Shalala out of a cannon and call it a day? Canes cover 2½.
Oklahoma at Florida State: The Seminoles are considering leaving the ACC. What, not easy enough? Go take Oklahoma’s spot in the Big 12. Sooners cover 3.
Tennessee at Florida: The father of a recruit (Curt Maggitt) says his son committed to Tennessee over nearby Florida because of the Gators’ history of arrests. Also, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn put his foot on the family’s coffee table. It’s a good thing Urban Meyer is gone or he would’ve just had Brandon Spikes gouge his eyes out. Gators cover 9½.
Auburn at Clemson: Auburn has had two narrow escapes. Even the school’s mascot, “Spirit,” is living dangerously. Poor fella crashed into a luxury suite window last week during his pregame flight. All he wanted were some hot wings. Clemson covers 3½.
Who put that suite there?
*** Thursday Night Internet-only Special ***
LSU at Mississippi State: With LSU, South Carolina, Alabama and Arkansas still on the schedule, Dan Mullen really couldn’t afford to blow a winnable game last week against Auburn. Maybe having “Georgia On My Mind” on his iPod is affecting the game plan. Tigers cover 3½.
NFL Snack Pack
Packers at Panthers: Cam Newton threw for 422 yards in his debut but lost. Aaron Rodgers threw for 312 yards and won. Lesson for Cam: In the NFL, nobody’s Ole Miss. Green Bay covers 10.
Bears at Saints: Wonder if Drew Brees will run and hide from the Bears’ Cover 2? Naw. Saints cover 6½.
Chargers at Patriots: Tom Brady made a plea to New England fans this week: “Start drinking early. Get lubed up.” Now there’s someone who has values in order. By the way, Tom: Bridget is on line three. Something about a baby. Pats win but take San Diego and 7.
Rams at Giants: New York became the first team since Vanderbilt to allow Rex Grossman to throw for 305 yards and two touchdowns. Market correction: Giants cover 5.
“Thou shalt not allow Rex Grossman to throw for 305 yards. It is written.”
“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.” — “The Color of Money.”
Last week (not so hot): 5-5 straight up, 6-3-1 against the line.
Regress report (two weeks): 11-6 straight up, 11-5-1 against the line.
Lock of the Week: Master.
“Sack Schultz” update: I’m 25-5, which puts me in 1,801st place. My plan to lull you into a false sense of security is working. Last week’s winners both went 15-0 and nailed Michigan-Notre tiebreaker (35-31): Seth Morris of Atlanta and Heidi Kibirsky of Reston, Va. You can still sign up at AJC.com/go/sack-schultz
By Jeff Schultz