We’re at T-Minus about 32 hours or so and counting until College Football season kicks off. A couple of teaser picks today before my full assortment of picks tomorrow. Plus, the Dolphins get good news. The Marlins still can’t hit. And on this very historic anniversary, a special comment from a U.S. history major.
Quote of the Day:
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Some big games tomorrow, so let’s dive in with some picks and a couple of thoughts.
North Carolina vs. South Carolina (6 p.m., ESPN)
I gotta go with South Carolina here, but a UNC upset wouldn’t surprise me.
UNC has a very good quarterback in Bryn Renner, but he’ll have to know where number 7 is at all times because if he doesn’t, he’s dead meat.
Number 7 of course being all-world defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
If you don’t know who Clowney is, pick up SI and check out the profile. Remember, he’s still getting better too.
Still, USC has a bunch of unproven running backs, replaces a ton at receiver, but man what a defense.
Don’t expect a shootout, but it should be a slobberknocker.
Take South Carolina, 27-21
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt (915 p.m., ESPN)
An interesting game on a lot of levels.
Is Vandy going to be distracted by four players getting arrested for a rape?
Can Vandy follow up a breakout season while replacing a stud tailback?
Ole Miss had a great year and INCREDIBLE recruiting class in the last year, so what next?
I’m leaning on Ole Miss here because I think Vandy is a wee bit overrated this year.
Take Ole Miss, 31-14
Rutgers at Fresno State (10:30 p.m., ESPNU)
Not much reason to watch this game except for Fresno State’s quarterback.
He’s the brother of David Carr and is a phenomenal passer.
He could make a darkhorse Heisman campaign after putting up ridiculous numbers last year while playing through a serious abdomen injury.
Take Fresno State at home, which is a cool stadium by the way if you ever get a chance to go.
Fresno State 30, Rutgers 10
USC at Hawaii (11 p.m., CBSSN)
The final game of the night, which will actually end on Friday morning on the East Coast.
Look, let’s be honest, it’s a nice trip to Hawaii for USC, but it’s not really a fair fight.
USC should, and I say should because it is Lane Kiffin after all, but the Trojans should walk all over Hawaii.
Take the Trojans, 38-14
Miami Dolphins: (next game, Thursday vs. New Orleans)
Well, the Fins got some good news yesterday when rookie defensive end Dion Jordan returned to practice.
If he can get past his shoulder injury and make an impact on the team this year, it’s going to be a hellacious defense.
I’m not convinced he can just yet, but hopefully I’m wrong.
Think about it, him on the opposite side of Cameron Wake with Odrick and Starks pushing the middle.
Then bring Ellerbe or Wheeler on a blitz.
Let’s meet at the quarterback!
Miami Marlins: (vs. Washington, 7:05, Fox Sports Florida)
I’d like to write something positive about the Marlins offense.
I really would.
I like some of the young hitters and talent on the squad. I think they have a LOT of potential.
Just not anytime soon.
Last night they managed….one run.
That’s all we got was one ***-damn run?!?!?! (Love Harry Doyle!)
It’s really sad because the Marlins pitchers are throwing good games.
An additional 1-1.5 runs per game and this is a completely different team.
Well, there’s always next year.
At least Loria can’t sell off anybody currently on the squad…at least until Stanton is owed several million.
Finally, a special comment on this day in history.
If you didn’t already know, Wednesday marks 50 years since Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” Speech on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Growing up in Alabama, I saw racism at its worst many times.
There are areas still in the state where African-Americans don’t go due to the racism there. It’s the same in other parts of the deep South.
Some still tell jokes on MLK Day that they should change the name of it to James Earl Ray Appreciation Day.
Yes, it’s that shameful.
Not everyone in the South is like that, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still there either overtly, or just under the surface.
And it’s not just a Southern thing either, go back and look at the Boston Bus Riots or riots and sit-ins in other parts of the country.
But one thing people of all races should be thankful to Martin Luther King for is peace.
Looking back at that time and trying to understand the gravity of hatred and racism that African-Americans faced is almost unfathomable.
The killings, lynchings, cross burnings, beatings, turning fire hoses and police dogs on them, etc.
Only one other racial group in American history can understand that kind of hatred, the Native Americans.
But through all of the hatred, despicable language, deplorable actions from people across the country, King pushed for a peaceful change.
He kept the movement from getting violent and turning into a full-fledged race war.
Let’s remember, many people and groups in the situations African-Americans found themselves in at the time would have reacted much more violently had a leader like King not be at the forefront of the movement.
Sadly, he was cut down in his prime and was never able to see many of the achievements he started.
Just as sadly, the nation is still divide over race in almost all areas of life.
We have horrendous voter laws being implemented, much like the poll tax and other racial laws back in King’s day. We have racial bitterness over criminal trials and politics.
It’s interesting though, how sports of today has progressed more than most other areas of life.
African-Americans now dominate most of the major sports outside of baseball.
Sports, interestingly enough has served as a unifying event where people of all colors can join to support their team.
I don’t know how sports can push through such polarizing feelings and unite people in such a unique way.
Martin Luther King’s legacy will live on throughout the rest of American history.
We as a nation should be hopeful that we can live up to the ideas that he preached and eventually gave his life for.
It may be wishful or even naïve thinking to believe we can get there, but is there not a better thing to wish for than society as a whole pulling itself towards a goal of peace and love for all mankind?
Always Remember how King ended his speech:
“When we allow freedom to ring – when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, form every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white m en, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, We are free at last.’”