Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets hibernate; Falcons, Bama roll


Hello, and welcome back to the remains of the college football season, or as Georgia and Georgia Tech fans like to call it: Googling for Motel 6's in Shreveport around Christmas.

(Let your mind wander. Imagine a Dogs-Jackets rematch in the Independence Bowl. Would you not watch that over any other potential Georgia or Georgia Tech fourth-tier, who-cares bowl? Vote yes if you're an evil and possibly dashing sports columnist. Vote no if you have no sense of humor and you still can't think straight because Nick Chubb was told to go eat a sandwich on fourth-and-1. Ignore election results altogether if you prefer stomping your feet, holding your breath and passing out over processing a coherent thought, which seems to work for handsy, polyurethane-haired billionaires. Question: Was Donald Trump a secret partner for the Atlanta Spirit?")

The traffic sign that no college football fan wants to see.

Any way, Georgia and Georgia Tech both have byes this week. (Yeah!) But Business Insider, presumably in conjunction with WikiLeaks, calculated the fair market value of college football players at the nation's 20 most profitable athletic programs. According to this chart, the average Division 1 player has a value of $163,869. Texas players leading the nation with a value of $671,173, Alabama second at $536,485. Georgia State is just outside the top 20.

Georgia players had the sixth-highest fair market value at $479,506. Given the Vanderbilt and Nicholls State games, I'm going to assume the Bulldogs have at least seven players named B.J. Upton.

So this week is cleansing breath time for Dogs and Jackets fans. Fortunately, both have the Falcons, who are not headed to the Independence Bowl, unless Richard Sherman accidentally/intentionally hooks their arms and drags them there like bison carcasses, later explaining he really didn't do anything wrong and, besides Julio Jones slapped him in the head, and it hurts, sort of, not really.

The Falcons do not stink. But this is a dangerous week. They're coming back home after 10 days in hotels and are favored for only the second time this season (they lost the last time to Tampa Bay).

Will they morph into mush? I think not. Punt the 6 1/2 points. Falcons win and cover.

Richard Sherman takes the stand

Sack S ch ultz 2016

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Week 6 update: I went 10-5 last week but sit in 283rd place, probably out of wild card contention. Last week's winners were Dane Watson (Vienna, Ga.) and Troy Weaver (Hewitt, Texas) each went 14-1. Go to  MyAJC.com/go/sackschultz2016 to register for a chance to win prizes.

Alabama and Less Significant Beings

Texas A&M at Alabama: Bama has outscored seven opponents by 213 points, give or take a major organ. If the SEC gets two teams in the playoffs, the second should be the Tide's backups. Godzilla covers 18.

Alabama takes the field

Ole Miss at LSU: LSU's firing of Les Miles was timely because the next two opponents were Missouri and Southern Miss. What better time to make interim coach Ed Orgeron look chemically balanced? But LSU's next five games: Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Texas A&M . Check? I'll take the gift 7 and roll with the Rebels in an upset.

Arkansas at Auburn: The Tigers have won three straight. So Gus Malzahn hot seat rumors are cooled for now. Or at least until breakfast. Auburn wins but take Arkansas and 9 1/2.

Mississippi State at Kentucky: A Kentucky fan phoned into Mark Stoops' radio call-in show this week and asked, "What I’m wondering is if coach (Dan) Mullen at Mississippi State gets fired, do you think he could come to Kentucky maybe?” Stoops didn't answer, the show went to a break, and Mullen hung up before anybody could trace the call. Dogs cover 3 over Cats.

Tennessee-Martin at Georgia State: The Panthers (1-5) started 2-6 last season before improbably winning four straight to make it to a bowl game. So maybe they're just waiting for the leaves to fall again. (Trent Miles looks up at the trees.) Panthers cover 13.

NFL Slots Of Fun Hotel and Casino

(Buy 3 games and win a book of Roger Goodell's  latest book of quotations, like, "We believe gambling impacts the integrity of the game. Oh look, a tape of a player punching his wife. Belvedere, to the incinerator.")

Patriots at Steelers: Bill Belichick became my Get Off My Lawn hero when he spiked his malfunctioning, NFL corporate partner-issued Microsoft tablet during a game, saying later, " I just can't take it any more." New England is going back to paper and old Polaroids. On a related note, New England has hired a court-room sketch artist to steal sideline signals. Pats cover 7.

Raiders at Jaguars: The Raiders appear on the verge of moving to Las Vegas but Goodell has his silk boxers in a bunch because he prefers teams play in idyllic villages like . . . Jacksonville? Take the 1 but Oakland wins straight up.

Rams at Giants: Todd Gurley is averaging 2.9 yards per carry. Things change quickly in Los Angeles. The Rams are out of the theaters and have been moved to cable. Giants cover 3.

Seahawks at Cardinals: Captain Hook Sherman is safe. The league has a policy of not uttering a negative word about botched calls but it continues to assess 15-yard penalties for smiling after touchdowns. No spike for you! Arizona covers 2 1/2.

That Cavaliers-Indians mojo hasn't quite made it to BrownsLand yet. (AP photo)

Browns at Bengals: Cleveland, city of champions. The Browns exist only for nostalgia. Bengals win but take the Browns and 9 1/2 because, oh, what the hell.

Vikings at Eagles: Sam Bradford had 20 turnovers in Philadelphia last season, so when the Vikings offered a No. 1 pick for him the Eagles thought they had died and gone to heaven, or at least somewhere other than Philly. Bradford through 4 games: 4-0, six TDs, 0 turnovers, 109.8 rating. Oops. Minnesota covers 2½.

Profits and losses

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"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people." -- W.C. Fields

Last week: 10-4 straight up, 5-9 against the line.

Bottom dollars: 67-25 straight up, 47-42-3 against the line.

Lilly's pick: Mutt (3-4) lost the Georgia pick last week but she's there with most humans. This week, it's a choice of cheese'd pictures of Matt Ryan or Philip Rivers. Lilly goes left: Ryan. Falcons win.

Lilly is looking for a slump-buster. Aren't we all? (Jeff Schultz / jschultz@ajc.com)

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.