I feel the need for a baseball-inspired lead-in to the blog this week after seeing an advanced screening of 'Moneyball' last night in Kansas City, Mo.
Very enjoyable film, especially for baseball dorks like myself. Brad Pitt was a very believable Billy Beane, the Oakland A's general manager who adopted the sabermetric philosophy of Kansas University graduate Bill James. There's even a brief reference to Lawrence in the film, when going over James' rise to baseball relevance. Take note.
Pitt, in true Ocean's 10-11-12 style, is frequently seen eating in countless scenes, which was pretty funny. It was also quite comical to hear the theater applaud the portrayal of the Kansas City Royals comeback against the protagonist Oakland A's in a game toward the end of the 2002 regular season.
I won't get into spoilers. It's a movie that's definitely worth your hard-earned cash, however. Anyone else seen it yet?
You know how much I love lists, so here are my favorite baseball movies of all-time:
Let's move to Conference Chatter's regularly-scheduled programming, meaning it's time for week 4 picks in the Big 12. Here's how my record stands:
Season, straight up: 21-4
Season, vs. spread: 11-8
No. 7 Oklahoma State at No. 8 Texas A&M, 2:30 p.m.
Line: Texas A&M by 4
Pick: vs line: Texas A&M; straight up: Texas A&M
One-line reason: In conference game of the week, the Aggies (41.50 points per game) and Cowboys (52.33 ppg, third in country) should score a lot of points, but Oklahoma State's defense (27 points surrendered per game) hasn't shown much of anything this season.
Kansas State at Miami (Fla.), 2:30 p.m.
Line: Miami by 12
Pick: vs. line: Kansas State; straight up: Miami
One-line reason: The Hurricanes played well last season in beating Ohio State, 24-6, at home, but the 'U' doesn't seem like a juggernaut. K-State should be able to keep it close.
Nevada at Texas Tech, 6 p.m.
Line: Texas Tech by 19
Pick: vs. line: Texas Tech; straight up: Texas Tech
One-line reason: For reference, Nevada lost at Oregon in week 1, 69-20. Texas Tech, coming off a dominating 59-13 performance that saw quarterback Seth Doege go 40-44 (the 90.9 completion percentage was a national record for quarterbacks with at least 40 completions) for 401 yards and five touchdowns, shouldn't have any problems.
Rice at No. 17, Baylor, 6 p.m.
Line: Baylor by 20.5
Pick: vs. line: Rice; straight up: Baylor
One-line reason: Rice lost, 34-9, in week 1 at Texas, but followed that up with a 24-22 victory over Purdue. The Owls have had two weeks to prepare for Baylor QB Robert Griffin (41-of-49, 624 yards, eight TDs, 0 INTs in two games). Griffin may continue to be dominant, but 20.5 is a significant spread.
Missouri at No. 1 Oklahoma, 7 p.m.
Line: Oklahoma by 22
Pick: vs. line: Missouri; straight up: Oklahoma
One-line reason: This is the most interesting line of the week. OU, which carries the nation's longest home winning streak at 37 consecutive games, doesn't lose at home. But yikes, 22 points? MU hung with Arizona State on the road (37-30, OT). Of course, OU is a superior opponent, but I'm gong to give Missouri's defense, which surrenders only 14.33 points per game, a chance to keep the Tigers in this one. For three quarters.
That should be all for now, folks. As always, discuss.