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Surprise! WSU is a big Apple Cup underdog

The spread may as well be 45

NCAA Football: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. With the Pac-12’s announcement of some initial football start times and broadcast networks this week, we’re one step closer to real live football. While it’s still a long way off, we’re seeing tangible evidence that the darkest hours are behind us. Another sign of progress is the appearance of some betting lines. Many lines for the season’s biggest games - on paper - first appeared in March, so it’s interesting to see the movement after a couple months.

Here are a few of the matchups that have seen the lines adjust rather significantly:

  • LSU at Texas: Opened at LSU -6 (hoo boy do I wish I’d jumped on that) and is down to LSU -3
  • Texas A&M at Clemson: Opened at Clemson -21 and has dropped almost a full touchdown to Clemson -15. The Aggies sure seem to be a preseason darling.
  • ASU at Michigan State: Opened at Sparty -4.5 and now stands at Michigan State -7. The line probably surged toward Michigan State when the world realized that Herm Edwards and Marvin Lewis were on the same college football coaching staff.
  • Ohio State at Michigan: Ok this one blew my mind. Michigan opened -6.5 (!!!) against Ohio State. Try and process that for a minute, after taking a gander at the recent series results. Michigan hasn’t beaten Ohio State by seven or more since 2003. The line has since moved to Michigan -3.

What about the Washington State Cougars? They have a couple games on the board, the 26 October trip to Eugene and the Apple Cup. Despite the four game winning streak (including four straight point spread victories), WSU opened as a 4.5 point underdog at Oregon. Early bettors like the Ducks, as the line has moved to WSU +5.5.

Then there’s the Apple Cup. I don’t know what it is with these odds-makers, but it’s clear that they haven’t learned their lesson yet. The Washington Huskies opened -7, and over the course of a couple months now stands as a nine-point favorite over WSU. Given the fact that all WSU fans can see the future when it comes to Mike Leach vs. Chris Petersen Apple Cups, we already know nine points isn’t nearly enough. Matter of fact, I’d put money down on Washington -20 and not even flinch.

Next week we’ll try and forecast the point spreads for the remaining games on WSU’s schedule.


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This Week in Parenting

When we sit around the dinner table, the boys are required to tell us about the best part of their day, and they’re not allowed to cite something like recess. Every now and again, they’ll ask us about our favorite part as well. Wednesday night, I replied that my favorite part of the day was walking to my car at lunch on the way to the gym, because it got me out of my windowless office. They were perplexed.

The next day turned out to be German Father’s Day, which is always celebrated in conjunction with a religious holiday. I have a co-worker who was born in Germany before moving to the U.S. as a kid, and she informed me that on German Father’s Day, all the dads get together, pile a bunch of beer into wagons (like, this is actually what they do), and walk around the town and into the woods drinking beer all the while. In other words GREATEST DAY EVAR.

My oldest has a teacher who married a German citizen, so she had the class make German Father’s Day cards for dad. Here was the one I got:

On Friday morning, the boys noticed that I was wearing the old school one-piece flight suit. I wear two-piece number most of the week, but Friday means harkening back to the good old days. The seven year-old said, “Dad, why are you wearing that flight suit? You’re not flying a plane today.” Ouch. The 10 year-old decided that wasn’t enough, and chipped in with, “Yeah, dad just has a boring desk job.”

Kids always seem to know how to make a guy feel better about his lot in life.


Best beer I had this week: The trip to Estonia yielded a total of 25 local/regional beers that ventured home to my fridge. And no, I didn’t pack like 10 of them in my kids’ suitcase so don’t ask because I definitely would not consider such a thing ok thank you. The best so far is Põhjala’s Szechuan Bänger. These breweries keep coming up with bizarre flavors, and I’m here to gobble them up.

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I don’t remember how I found this story, but it hits close to home, for a few reasons. I won’t go into those reasons, but I will say that I worked with the author at my last assignment. If you were to take a piece of clay and mold the ideal United States Marine officer, Colonel Milburn would be the result. He isn’t the tallest guy, or the loudest, but he has a stare (and a pair of arms) that could snap you in two. He also has an incredibly dry and brilliant sense of humor. His Aussie accent is the cherry on top.

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In war, the temptation to take revenge is strong. Fighting that temptation is a commanding officer’s job.