We haven't heard from Frank the FSA in a while. And Financial Freedumb was feeling glum. Go leave him some comments to cheer him up. While you're at it, he'll enter you into his comment contest for an Amazon gift card.
Some news and reading across the Personal Finance blogosphere.
James and Miel have been in the market to refinance their Adjustable Rate Mortgage. They have some great advice for anyone in the same situation.
On to my college football picks of the weekend. I have decided to make this against the spread to see if I am actually any good at this. I had a good record on my picks for the last two weeks, but that's because the favorite usually wins. That's why they are the favorite.
All times Pacific, rankings are LAMoneyGuy College Football Computer Rankings, and point spreads per bodog.com.
9:00am ESPN2 (23)Iowa at (68)Indiana, line: Iowa -19.5. Iowa doesn't play Penn State this year. It's too bad right? I mean, they're clearly the #3 and #4 teams in the Big 10/11. Indiana already played it's nemesis, Illinois. Their win assured them of avoiding the cellar. Iowa win, no doubt. But 19.5? I think the Hoosiers will surprise some folks. Take Gene Hackman's team (I know, I know, different Hoosiers) with the points.
9:00am ESPN (72)Minnesota at (22)Wisconsin, line: Wisconsin -8.5. Minnesota is not so good. Wisconsin is pretty good. Oddly, they both lost to the best team on their schedule, Michigan, by the same spread, 14. Does it mean that the Gophers are as good as the Badgers? No, the red teams wins the battle of the rodents and covers the spread.
10:00am (47)Florida State at (115)Duke, line: FSU -23. Could this game be for last place in the ACC? Alright, FSU has fallen, but not that much. They still have a win over Miami. Duke and Stanford are on a mission to prove that they are academic institutions, not football schools. Truly two of the worst teams in Div 1-A, especially out of a BCS conference. Duke probably wouldn't beat my local community college, but FSU couldn't put up 23 points in Arena Ball. Take Duke and the points.
12:30pm ABC Regional (1)Ohio State at (50)Michigan State, line: OSU -14.5. OSU is clearly the class of college football at this point of the season. They have played the toughest overall schedule, and won most convincingly. MSU, on the other hand, has lost their last three, including a loss to the unconscionably bad Illini. The Buckeyes will cover and then some.
12:30pm ABC Regional (33)UCLA at (20)Oregon, line: Oregon -8.5. The Pac 10 seems to be shaping up like this. The top three are Cal, USC and Oregon, probably in that order. The next four are UCLA, UW, WSU and ASU. What order the middle teams are is not yet clear. ASU is 0-2, but with losses to two of the three best teams, with USC coming up this weekend. UW already beat UCLA. A win here and UCLA is knocking on the door of the top three. A loss sends them squarely into the middle of the Pac. Autzen is notoriously one of the most difficult stadiums for visiting teams. Just ask Oklahoma. UCLA is without starting QB, Ben Olsen, but backup, Patrick Cowen, filled in capably last week. Still, the Ducks cover.
12:30pm CBS (86)Ol' Miss at (38)Alabama, line: Tide -15.5. Halfway into a season, you think you know a thing or two about some teams. What do we know about Alabama? They beat three poor teams in Hawaii, Vandy and La Monroe, but only the last one convincingly. The lost their last two to Arkansas and Florida. We know Florida is good, and we are finding out that the Hawgs are a lot better than we thought. What do we know about Ol' Miss? They're not any good. Their only wins came against Vandy and Memphis. They played Georgia close, but then, who hasn't? I would take the Rebs and the points.
4:00pm TBS (73)Baylor at (13)Texas, line: Texas -infinity. Oh wait, make that Texas -27. Baylor appears to be improved but still cannot matchup with the Longhorns. Texas, meanwhile, has made a game of seeing how much they can beat lesser opponents by: N. Texas by 49, Rice by 45, Sam Houston by 53. Fun game huh? How about Texas over Baylor by more than 27.
4:45pm ESPN (4)Florida at (14)Auburn, line: Florida -2.5. After both teams beat LSU, this was supposed to be THE game to determine superiority in the mighty SEC and a likely SEC Championship Game preview. Then Auburn went and messed things up. They go and give up nearly 300 yards rushing in a surprisingly convincing 27-10 loss to the Razorbacks. Well, now what? Other than WSU's meltdown in week one, Auburn has not put up many points against worthwhile opponents. Florida, on the other hand is balanced, and spreads you out. I just don't think the Tigers of Auburn Hills has enough fire power to keep up. This game will end with everyone wondering why the point spread was so low.
5:00pm ABC Regional (65)Arizona State at (2)USC, line: USC -18.5. Why do the odds makers keep making USC such an overwhelming favorite? Haven't we learned anything yet? Reggie Bush doesn't live here anymore. ASU came into this season with very high hopes. Then Dick Koetter flip flopped on the starting QB spot, senior Sam Keller now wears a Cornhusker practice jersey, and Rudy Carpenter was last heard muttering, "I guess I'm not as good as I thought I was." ASU is reeling, and their defense, which was never good, is still no good. Dick Koetter has never won a game in the state of California. Never. And despite the forecast of rain, and USC's close calls over the last two weeks, ASU's defense is just what the Dr. Bartner ordered. USC picks off Rudy three times and looks like they did against Arkansas, covering the spread.
5:00pm ABC Regional (3)Michigan at (37)Penn State, line: Michigan -6. I gotta say, I don't get why the spread is so small. November 18 might just feature the two best teams in the country when Michigan plays Ohio State. Penn State, meanwhile, has only played two ranked opponents, and lost both of them by a lot. Michigan is without TD machine Manningham (maybe that's why the spread is so low), but workhorse Hart is going to punish the Penn State D. Michigan easily covers.
There you have it. If you make some money, send me some. If you lose, don't blame me. This is just my rambling opinion. I'm not putting any money on these games. Why would you?