Hello, Week 5! As a reminder, this is a weekly feature, publishing every Thursday during the season. We pick five games each week: the games from each of our schools (Northwestern, Miami and Illinois) and a couple national games. Anyone is invited to pick with us in the comments and we’ll throw the standings of the peanut gallery up each week. If you finish first…eh, this joke is getting pretty old. I’ll think of something new for next week. As always, before we go on to this week’s games, let’s take a snarky and disrespectful look at last week.
I still don’t think I’ve recovered from the flaming garbage pile of a football game that Notre Dame and Michigan State put on in South Bend last Saturday. Remember when Notre Dame and Michigan was labeled as a big time showdown between two outstanding teams with BCS aspirations? Yeah, neither do I. Michigan State (+6.5) coughed and sputtered its way to a win in the spread; Notre Dame threw up all over itself and stumbled to a win in the game. The true winners on Saturday? Those that didn’t watch this stupid game. (Luckily for me I only watched the first quarter. Unluckily for me, it was because I attended the Savannah State at Miami game. Woof. We’ll get there in a couple paragraphs.)
Despite the horrendous showing by both squads on Saturday, Notre Dame stayed in the Top 25, ranked #22 in both the AP and Coaches’ polls. This leads us to our new weekly feature here on DCIAPC that we can hopefully retire some day very soon: it’s WHY THE %#&@ IS NOTRE DAME RANKED?!?!?!?!. This week in WHY THE %#&@ IS NOTRE DAME RANKED?!?!?!?!, we continue our look back at the Domers’ performances this season and ask ourselves why the %#&@ is Notre Dame ranked? In Week 1, they beat a Temple squad that’s 0-3 and lost to Fordham. In Week 2, they were soundly defeated by a Michigan team that beat Akron and UConn (combined record against FCS opponents: 0-6) by a total of seven points. (Side note: the Wolverines are making a strong case for our next annoying feature to be WHY THE %#&@ IS MICHIGAN RANKED?!?!?!?!.) In Week 3, Notre Dame hung on for dear life against a Purdue team that lost to Cincinnati and Wisconsin by a combined 66 points. And finally, in Week 4, the Fighting Irish beat a Michigan State team with offense as nonexistent as Lennay Kekua by a measly four points. I can’t wait until they squeak by a hilariously overrated Oklahoma team this weekend and we have to run this feature again next Thursday.
In the other games we picked, Maine (+30) sort of hung with a Northwestern team that refuses to ever cover the spread against FCS opponents, only falling by two scores. Tennessee (+16) knocked Jeff Driskel out for the season (I’ve cried every night since), but not before he could throw a pick-six and help them cover the spread in a 14-point loss. Miami (-56)…I have no words, guys. I’m pretty sure they’re still picking up bits of body parts from Savannah State players that were strewn around the stadium in Saturday’s 77-7 bloodbath. Being serious for a moment (I know this is crazy, but just follow me for a second), this game was a complete embarrassment that should never have been played. Seeing the utter desperation and humiliation on the faces of the Savannah State players Saturday is not something I’ll forget soon. Thank goodness these types of games should come to an end once the playoff system starts next year because that was just despicable. I really hope the UM athletic department feels great about its win and the SSU athletic department feels the same about its paycheck because everyone involved in organizing this game put the Savannah State players through hell. Lastly, Stanford (-7.5) stormed to a 39-7 lead on Arizona State before going on cruise control to a 14-point win.
The standings to date:
- Bob 15-5
- Harry 13-7
- Matt 11-9
And the peanut gallery! Standings are listed by total wins, not winning percentage.
- Michael W 12-8
- Creed Tucker 11-4 (5-0 last week!)
- Thomas Bechtel 9-6
- mdrose16 3-2
- Arnim Whisler 3-2
- Nik Valdiserri 3-7
- PIZZA CATS 3-12
- Andrew Kelley 2-3
- Ben Greene 1-4
Without further ado, I present the games for Week 4! #17 Northwestern is off this week, so we will pick three national games. #22 Notre Dame hosts #14 Oklahoma on Saturday, but we have picked plenty of ND games lately and, as it isn’t one of the schools we attend, we’ve left that one out this week. As a reminder, the lines come from Danny Sheridan and all game times are eastern.
Miami (No, not that Miami) at Illinois (-24.5), Noon, Big Ten Network
Can anyone explain to me why a public university in Oxford, Ohio calls itself Miami University? After looking it up on Google, it appears the name has something to do with a river nearby. Unless the university is located inside this river, the administrators there need to take a quick look at this:
Yep, 1,161 miles from Miami by car.
#15 Miami (Yes, that Miami; -18.5) at South Florida, Noon, ESPNU
Can anyone explain to me why a public university in Tampa, Florida calls itself the University of South Florida? After looking it up on Google, I’ve found absolutely nothing to justify this. It’s unclear if the administrators at USF have even seen a map in their entire life. Just see for yourself:
Miami University in Ohio? University of South Florida smack dab in the middle of Florida? It’s no wonder American students are so bad at geography.
#6 LSU at #9 Georgia (-3), 3:30, CBS
Yeehaw! We’ve officially reached the Southern portion of our picks! If Les Miles can have his way, he’ll leave Georgia in worse shape he did Oklahoma State! We can only assume he’s continued the same prostitution service for his recruits that he ran at OSU, only this time he just calls up the recruits’ second cousins. To make it easier for him, if they’re from Mississippi he only needs to call first cousins and for those from Arkansas, sisters work just fine. While we’re bashing the SEC, I’d also just like to state that through Week 4, the SEC is now 5-6 this season in non-conference games against BCS conference opponents. But it’s still totally the best conference in college football, you guys. SEC PRIDE!!!!
#21 Mississippi at #1 Alabama (-16.5), 6:30, ESPN
Alabama has looked surprisingly mortal thus far, with their offense exposed against Virginia Tech and their defense exposed by Texas A&M (though this is obviously mitigated somewhat by the brilliance of Johnny Football). Leading Colorado State just 17-6 after three quarters of play last Saturday has led to a small minority calling out for Oregon to replace the Tide atop the rankings. We’ll see if they can quiet their critics against the Rebels. (Wow! I just got through an entire paragraph on Alabama without taking any cheap shots! I’m not sure if I should be disappointed in myself or proud.)
#23 Wisconsin at #4 Ohio State (-7.5), 8, ABC
For everyone who thinks OSU’s offense is better when directed by Kenny Guitton than Braxton Miller, I would invite you to look at both quarterback’s yards per pass attempt and the quality of the defenses Guitton picked apart the past few weeks (here’s a couple hints: Miller’s YPA is higher and the defenses sucked). Miller is the better QB and he’ll play Saturday night. Let’s get to the picks.
MIA (NTM) vs ILL Illinois has certainly earned some respect in my eyes with their win against Cincinnati and respectable loss to Washington. Before the season started, I had them tabbed as the worst team in the Big Ten, but I certainly don’t feel that way anymore. (Purdue Boilermakers, come on down!!!!) That said, after the Southern Illinois debacle in Week 1, I simply can’t lay this many points with the Illini. Miami (Ohio! Wow, sharing a name with a public school in Ohio with an acceptance rate north of 75% really bothers me.) +24.5
MIA (YTM) vs USF Is this line a joke? Not only did South Florida lose to FCS opponent McNeese State by 32, they lost to Florida Atlantic 28-10. Remember when the Canes played Florida Atlantic in Week 1? Oh, you don’t? Can’t say I blame you; you’ll just have to trust me that Miami won 34-6. If I were to pick a stone cold lock of the week, this pick would be it. I’m actually frustrated I can’t bet real money on this one. Miami -18.5
LSU vs UGA While Zach Mettenberger has made great strides from his anemic passing of last season, I’m still quite skeptical that he’s ready to go into a hostile environment and go toe-to-toe with one of the best quarterbacks in college football and the best offense in the SEC outside of Johnny Football. LSU is a different team away from Death Valley, and Georgia will win this one by at least a touchdown. Having the spread be just a field goal is an even bigger gift than getting 16 points against Florida last week (xoxoxoxoxo Vegas dudes that set these lines). Georgia -3
MISS vs ALA Nope, not falling for this one. I don’t care what Ole Miss was able to do to Vanderbilt. Vandy is a great school with a not-so-great football team. It’s the exact opposite of Alabama! Nick Saban will eat these guys for lunch. Or dinner, I guess. 6:30 pm would be a little late for lunch. Nick Saban Pro Factory and Soul Destroyer “University” -16.5
WISC vs OSU No idea, folks. Last year I would have definitely not even thought about laying more than a touchdown with the Buckeyes, but they do seem much improved in 2013. A rusty Braxton Miller playing for the first time since September 7 does worry me, but not as much as Joel Stave on the road. The teams that seem to have the most success scoring against Ohio State utilize a passing spread. Wisconsin utilizes Joel Stave handing the ball off. I’m not very confident in this one, but I’ll take the Buckeyes. Ohio State -7.5
Last Week: 3-2
Now that the famous (or infamous) Wildcat Welcome Week is over, any short responses are not because of laziness, but merely because some of these lines hardly deserve any thought. If you have a problem with it, check the standings.
THE MIA vs ILL Looking at the RedHawks results so far this year, they have gotten crushed by a poor C-USA team and a basketball school, but managed to keep it respectable against Cincinnati last week. In the end, I just can’t get myself to give up so many points with a team that won three games last year. Miami +24.5
Other MIA vs USF Miami is playing another really bad team? I’m sick of this. Miami -18.5 [Edit from Harry: Miami has played a top 20 SEC squad (and won by the way). Bob should be used to playing bad teams considering the best team Northwestern has played is…Cal? Syracuse? Ouch.]
LSU vs UGA Ummmm Mettenberger Between the Hedges or Murray Between the Hedges? Gurley or Hill? The LSU defense slightly edges the Bulldogs’ from what I’ve seen so far, but Georgia clearly has the upper hand offensively and in the stands. Aaron Murray has got to be happy this game is at home because that’s the only place he can beat a ranked team. Georgia -3
MISS vs ALA Those “good” teams Mississippi beat? Yeah, they’re not really good. This game is in Tuscaloosa, and this spread is a little low. If you ask me right now, I vote Oregon over Alabama for number one. Unfortunately, Alabama is not playing Oregon this week. Alabama -16.5
Harry Making Offensive Comments towards Alabama Again Next Week -800
My Wins per Words of Analysis Ratio -300
Matt Submitting His Picks on Time +150
ESPN College Gameday in Evanston Next Saturday -500
WISC vs OSU First of all, Harry, learn to spell Kenny Guiton’s name correctly. My opinion on this is Guiton has fared very well in his opportunity to lead the Buckeyes the last couple games, but there is no way Coach Meyer can take the starting job from Miller, a preseason Heisman favorite. Saying that Guiton’s stats should be discounted in comparison to Miller’s because they were against bad defenses is ridiculous– he actually played better defenses than Miller did. Additionally, he had about four times more attempts than Miller has had, and if Miller had played the “tougher” defenses that Guiton did, there would almost certainly be some regression. If you compare stats, Miller’s YPA is the only thing that is noticeably higher, and that is mostly because of some huge plays against an awful Buffalo secondary week one. What I am saying is, don’t act like the argument is a joke. [Edit from Harry: Miller’s YPA in a FULL SEASON last year: 8.03. Guiton’s this year against San Diego State, Cal and Florida A&M: 6.99. This argument is a joke for talk show fodder.] There is a reason Kenny Guiton is a captain of the team and is now listed as co-starter at QB. However, Miller certainly deserves the job this Saturday and beyond, but it is nice to know that Guiton is there if something were to go significantly wrong. Either way, Stave and a new head coach playing at the ‘Shoe against the Bucks? Oh please. I could have just said that, but instead I had to kill my wins per words of analysis ratio. Ohio State -7.5
Last Week: 3-2
Now that my famous (or infamous) physics homework is over, any short responses are not because of laziness, but merely because some of these lines hardly deserve any thought. If you have a problem with it, check the standings. I decided not to do score predictions this week because I suck and it’s embarrassing.
THE MIA vs ILL One thing I don’t think Bob and Harry realize is just how awful The Real Miami is: “Miami (Ohio) finished with 87 yards of total offense in a 14–0 loss at Cincinnati, leaving the RedHawks with fewer yards for the season (448) than 52 FBS teams are averaging per game. Against Cincy, they were 0-for-11 on third down conversions with eight punts, two interceptions and four turnovers on downs.” That’s from this excellent article on Football Study Hall. The Redhawks are really bad, and if the Illini don’t win this game by 24.5, I’m going to start to seriously doubt their chances of getting another win this year. That, combined with needing to make up some points in the standings, leads me to pick Illinois -24.5.
Other MIA vs USF I really don’t think Miami is as good of a team as their record will likely indicate this year, but it’s nearly impossible not to pick them against these bad teams. Miami -18.5
LSU vs UGA If they played this game fifty times at each stadium, I think Georgia would probably win about 55 of those contests. These teams are almost completely equal at this point in time (in my idiotic opinion, of course), and I’m solely picking the Dawgs because they’re at home. Georgia -3
MISS vs ALA After a disappointing blowout win over Colorado State last week, the Tide will come out prepared for Ole Miss and beat them by exactly 17. Alabama -16.5
WISC vs OSU Bob clearly has enough knowledge about this game for all three of us, so I’m just going to pick a team and hope for the best. If you want to actually read something a smart person wrote, just head up a little bit and look at what they said. I’m tired. THE Ohio State University -7.5 (P.S. Saying Braxton Miller is not undoubtedly better than Kenny Guiton is a joke of an argument.)
Wow our picks are very similar this week. Oh well. Guess I’ll be stuck at the bottom of the standings for a while longer.
Last Week: 3-2