Welcome back to Don’t Call It A Picks Competition, our weekly column where Matt, Bob and Harry pick five college football games against the spread and make appalling jokes at pretty much everyone’s expense. As always, you’re invited to pick with us in the comment section and we’ll post the standings each week.
HI IT’S BOB
In 2014, the Cubs won 73 games, the 24th most in Major League Baseball. In 2015, the Cubs won 97 games, the 3rd most in Major League Baseball. In the past week, Kris Bryant unanimously won Rookie of the Year, Joe Maddon deservingly won Manager of the Year, AND JAKE ARRIETA WON THE CY YOUNG!!!!!!!!!
Pretty good IMO. Now onto college football.
In games we picked last week:
- Ohio State (-16.5) The Buckeyes brought their sledgehammers to Champaign and murdered some Native Americans (not to be racist).
- Purdue (+15) The Boilermakers brought their hard hats to Evanston and didn’t really do much to some cats (not to be animalist) but still managed to cover the spread.
- North Carolina (-12.5) The Tar Heels got their feet out of the tar this time to knock the wind out of some hurricanes (not to be stormist).
- Memphis (+6.5) The cats didn’t murder some other cats because those other cats murdered the first cats but the first cats covered the spread.
- Oklahoma (+2.5) Oklahoma beat Baylor, 44-34.
Bob picked up a game on both Matt and Harry last week to pull within one game of second place and two of first. This race is still tighter than Stephen Piscotty’s buttcheeks with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth, folks.
Here’s a look at the splits:
|We All Agree
And the peanut gallery. For the first time that I can remember in a while, Creed slips below .500 and a new commenter surges into the lead. Still, with just three games separating spots 1-4, there is a long way to go here.
Here is this week’s slate. As always, game times are eastern and on Saturday.
Illinois at Minnesota -4.5, Noon, ESPNews
IN THE HEARTLAND… yeah that’s about the only cool thing I can say about this one.
Bob: These teams are about even, and if I had a drunk Florida man’s gun to my head saying I can live if I tell him which of these two bad Big Ten teams is less bad, I would pick Illinois. We saw what Northwestern’s defense did to Minnesota, and Illinois’s defense is about as good. Illinois +4.5
Matt: Minnesota is going to score between 10-20 points in this game on drives over 50 yards, and whatever else happens is all up to the Illini offense. If they turn it over a few times and fail to sustain a couple drives to give the defense a rest, this will end up a disaster for Illinois. If Cubit pulls his noggin out of his you-know-where and starts to play to the strengths of his offense, Illinois will win. That’s not exactly amazing analysis, but in a game between two relatively even teams it tends to come down to turnover luck and finishing drives. The Illini have been good in the former and the 100% unadulterated embodiment of a pile of flaming dog poop in the latter, so I’m going to pick them to lose and not cover. But they probably will. I don’t know. I don’t care. Minnesota -4.5
Harry: This is a coin-flip game to me. Based simply on recent play and not much else, I guess I’ll side with Minnesota, but I don’t feel good about it. Minnesota -4.5
Georgia Tech -2 at Miami, 12:30, ESPN3
Georgia Tech has three wins… and is a favorite at Sun Life. This will be an early one and a rough one for Kroll and the boys.
Bob: Three-win Georgia Tech is a favorite in Miami?? The Yellow Jackets beat Florida State and have a number of close losses… but have only beaten two FBS teams. They also sit ten spots below Miami in S&P+. There are no indicators of historical trends here, which would theoretically make a difference with Georgia Tech’s unique offense, as the teams have been even in recent matchups, so I’ll take the home team that is probably better. Miami +2
Matt: Why is Georgia Tech favored in this game? Miami +2
Harry: Matt and Bob clearly haven’t watched Miami’s rushing defense recently. Hold onto your butts, folks. This one could get ugly. Georgia Tech -2
#20 Northwestern at #25 Wisconsin -10, 3:30, BTN
A ranked matchup between two 8-2 teams!!!!!
Bob: Wisconsin has two losses, to Alabama and Iowa, who both feature in the CFP top five and are exactly as good as each other. Northwestern also has two losses to good teams, but the losses are… slightly more rough. Wisconsin and Iowa are basically even in my mind, and Northwestern lost to Iowa by 30 at home. Northwestern now travels to Wisconsin, and I fear the result will be similar. Wisconsin -10
Matt: I actually think Wisconsin is more impressive than Iowa at full strength, but Iowa has gotten some timely luck this year and Wisconsin has had a couple of key, debilitating injuries like running back Corey Clement. This one is probably going to be a grind-fest. It pains me to do so given how I feel about the quality of both teams, and with memories of when Northwestern got absolutely pummeled in Camp Randall a couple years ago in a similar matchup, but I’m taking the Wildcats to keep it close and lose by single digits. Yuck. Northwestern +10
Harry: What Bob said. Wisconsin is a marginally good team and Northwestern is decisively average despite their 8-2 record. With the Badgers having home field, I’m not sure how Northwestern can score enough points to keep this game close. Wisconsin -10
#9 Michigan State at #3 Ohio State -13, 3:30, ABC
This matchup has been hyped for months, but Michigan State’s almost weekly struggles mean this one might not be as big a heavyweight bout as we had thought.
Bob: S&P+ says this is about right, if not too few points in favor of Ohio State… and S&P+ doesn’t even know that JT Barrett is good. I also have been on the “Michigan State isn’t very good” train all year while also feeling more optimistic about Ohio State than most people. But ultimately, this is too many points to give up to a team that could very conceivably win this game. Michigan State +13
Matt: Ohio State has been sleepwalking through their schedule thus far, and I think it costs them in this one. They put on a dominant defensive performance against Illinois last week, but that’s no great feat given Bill Cubit’s offense is just Wes Lunt trying to aim various colors and quantities of projectile vomit into the brick hands of various receivers and running backs in the flat. (#EXTENDCUBIT!) Michigan State will lose this game, but keep it close, because they are capable of playing a close game against literally every single team in the country. Including you, Kansas. Even you. Michigan State +13
Harry: Michigan State isn’t nearly as good as they’re ranked, but that is an insane number of points. This should be one of those games where Ohio State is comfortably in control the entire way and never feels like they even have a chance to lose, but the final score won’t be ridiculously lopsided. Michigan State +13
#10 Baylor at #6 Oklahoma State PK, 7:30, FOX
Oklahoma State somehow stands as the only remaining undefeated Big 12 team, and the Art Briles train comes to Stillwater this Saturday to silence those annoying fans with their stupid sticks.
Bob: I seem to lean toward the teams facing off in the other major Big 12 clash this week, so I don’t quite know where to go in an even matchup between two teams I generally pick against in these big matchups. Baylor sports the #1 S&P+ offense in the nation and has not discernibly taken a step back since Seth Russell’s tragic death… but also has a poor defense. Oklahoma State is not particularly great offensively but has a not-as-terrible defense. Frankly, I have been slightly more impressed by Baylor this year. Sorry to pick against Mark Schlabach’s ironclad reasoning here. Baylor
Matt: This is a tough one, because Baylor is probably being underrated on the line because of last week’s performance and they’re probably the better team overall, but Oklahoma State still has a great shot to win. Mark Schlabach is an idiot, and on the strong basis of that analysis I am taking the Bears. Baylor
Harry: I realize Baylor didn’t play all that well against a peaking Oklahoma team last week, but all previous evidence suggests that the Bears are better than they played last Saturday. In my mind, there is one really good team in this game and the other is Oklahoma State. Baylor
Remember to make your picks in the comments!