My neck is out on the line-- the Detroit Lions better win their opener Sunday at Atlanta.  The Falcons have a rookie quarterback playing his first game and even at that the Lions are mere three point favorites.  They need to get off to a good start.  I think they are better than people believe but of course they can only prove that on the field.

     The Tigers are playing three games at Minnesota where the Twins are home after a two week road trip.  They began the week end a game and a half behind the Chicago White Sox and now we learn that Chicago slugger Carlos Quentin is out for the rest of the season with a broken wrist.  So these are big games for the Twins and the Tigers are merely playing out the final 22 games.  They begin play Friday with 12 on the road and ten at home.  To have a winning season they must have at least a 15-7 record-- that seems like it will be tough to come by.

     Michigan is a big favorite of mine to cover 14 points and beat Miami of Ohio Saturday in Ann Arbor;  likewise Michigan State should cover 21 and beat Eastern Michigan.  I just don't see the MAC schools as being all that good.  Georgia should cover 23 at home over CMU in Athens.

     Elsewhere Notre Dame big in its home opener over San Diego State and Ohio State shuts out Ohio in Columbus with star running back Beanie Wells sitting this one out to prepare for next week's trip to USC.  The top ranked Trojans are off this week.  In the Big Ten the team with the best chance to lose of the 11 is Northwestern-- and the Wildcats play a night game at Duke.  Both are 1-0 and while Duke is usually lousy in football this game figures to be close.


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