Hey, all. No column this week because I’m on my way to Austin, Texas for fall break. I’ll definitely have a Don’t Call It A College Visit post next week on my time at UT. I hope to acclimate to the community there by getting kicked off the football team by Charlie Strong, like 83% of Texas’s student body. Hook ’em!
In games we picked last week:
- Illinois (+25.5) put up a decent showing against—as Matt aptly labeled the Badgers—a sneaky bad Wisconsin team.
- Minnesota (-4) TRAP TRAP TRAP TRAP TRAP’d Northwestern.
- Miami (-14.5) rolled over an overmatched Cincinnati team.
- Mississippi State (+2.5) crushed the defending SEC champs and picked up the #1 spot in the poll.
- TCU (+8) lost a shootout to Baylor but covered the spread.
Here are the standings. After winning last week, #wiretowire is still in play for me.
And the splits. If I were you, I would pick with me when I go against Matt and Bob together.
|We All Agree||8-11|
Peanut gallery! Starting next week I’m cutting anyone with fewer than 20 picks and then ranking by winning percentage in fairness to those who missed a few weeks but read and pick loyally.
Here are the five games this week. Miami and Illinois are off this week, so we’ll be doing four (!!) national games. As usual, all lines come from Pinnacle and game times are eastern.
#14 Kansas State at #11 Oklahoma (-8), Noon, ESPN
Oklahoma is reeling—coming off a loss to TCU and a very poor performance and lucky win against a depleted Texas team, the Sooners will look to bounce back against some staunch opposition.
#21 Texas A&M at #7 Alabama (-11.5), 3:30, CBS
Anyone else just getting tired of these teams? I’m completely on the bandwagon with the Mississippi excitement, but talking about ‘Bama and A&M is getting pretty old.
#15 Oklahoma State at #12 TCU (-9), 4, FS1
POINTS POINTS POINTS
#19 Nebraska (-7) at Northwestern, 7:30, BTN
Nebraska’s players are looking forward to their home game in Evanston, Illinois this weekend.
#5 Notre Dame at #2 Florida State (-11.5), 8, ABC
A serious note: Jameis Winston will play Saturday and that’s pretty disgusting. Regardless of whether he committed rape or not, a player currently under investigation by the school for an act as heinous as rape should not be playing during that investigation. Period. I almost never say this, but let’s fucking go Notre Dame. Time for the picks.
Harry: For a huge chunk of the season to this point, Oklahoma looked like a juggernaut that would have no trouble waltzing to the playoff. After the last two weeks, that illusion is shattered. That said, this is still a very good team even if the last two performances have made me rethink my expectations for the Sooners. I like the Sooners to bounce back and win this game by 10 points in front of its home crowd. Oklahoma -8
Bob: I’ve always been on #TeamOklahomaIsOverrated, but it looks like the Sooners’ ranking and this game’s spread seem to be joining me. Oklahoma has yet to have a convincing performance on its conference slate, and Katy Perry’s favorite quarterback has been pretty average. Kansas State’s stout defense gave it a real shot to upset a strong Auburn team a few weeks ago, and I think they have a great chance at pulling off the win in Norman this weekend. I’m ignoring my advanced statistics for this one and taking the points. Kansas State +8
Matt: I’m siding completely with Bob on #TeamOklahomaIsOverrated. Kansas State will have a great shot of keeping this within a touchdown. Sorry if my analysis is really short this week– it’s a busy time for me. Kansas State +8 (Oklahoma 27, Kansas State 21)
Harry: As I mentioned above, I’m pretty tired of these teams but we had four open national slots and four games between ranked opponents so it was logical to select it. I’m going to spend the majority of this pick griping about having to pick it instead of just doing it. Here’s my analysis: Texas A&M isn’t as good as we thought. Alabama isn’t as good as we thought. This leads me to select… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Texas A&M +11.5
Bob: After consecutive losses to annoying teams from Mississippi, Texas A&M has fallen to 36th in F/+, just one spot ahead of the fearsome Colorado State Rams. Their defense is pretty mediocre, and Kenny Hill is talented yet mistake-prone. I don’t really agree with the belief that “Alabama isn’t as good as we thought.” They were a play away from beating Ole Miss on the road, and yes, the performance last week was a stinker, but that happens to just about everyone. Also, Arkansas has proven to be a tough opponent this season. This massive spread makes things complicated, but I foresee Hill getting eaten by Kirby’s defense like a character in Super Smash Brothers, and the Alabama offense should do much better against the Aggie defense than it did last week. Alabama -11.5
Matt: The spreads are huge this week. Texas A&M +11.5 (Alabama 34, Texas A&M 27)
Harry: As the excellent Matt Hinton lays out in this piece (which was also a clear overture to join DCIAB based on the title as I noted on Twitter), TCU was quite fortunate to even have a chance to win against Baylor last week despite the fact that they lead by 21 in the second half. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have been quite solid this year and I’ll happily take them while getting more than a touchdown. Oklahoma State +9
Bob: After reports showed that star TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin would be out 4-6 weeks with a wrist injury, sources are now saying he is practicing and totally fine to play on Saturday and Gary Patterson has said there is “no truth” to those reports. Weird. Anyway, Oklahoma State has not played anyone since its respectable opening week performance against Florida State. Obviously, you can only beat whom you play, but the Cowboys have not really had a single impressive showing since the FSU game. Everyone loves to uncreatively point out that TCU blew a 21-point lead against Baylor, but, in the end, the Horned Frogs lost by just three in Waco. They are still a top team (its #5 F/+ ranking supports that), while Oklahoma State has yet to prove much (as indicated by its #30 F/+ ranking). TCU -9
Matt: I really, REALLY like TCU this year. If they’d played Baylor at home, that’s probably a win. That said, Oklahoma State has been solid this year which makes this spread absurdly high. TCU’s offense is really solid, but they shouldn’t be able to beat OKST by ten or more. Oklahoma State +9 (TCU 37, Oklahoma State 31)
Harry: You’re telling me that I get a pro-Nebraska crowd, a complete personnel mismatch and I only have to lay a touchdown with the Huskers? Thank you and please drive through. Nebraska -7
Bob: My tradition of always getting the Northwestern game wrong continued last week, and I hope I’m wrong again this week. I still think Northwestern is a solid team and can definitely beat Nebraska, but this line is surprisingly low. Nebraska -7
Matt: Yeah, I agree with these other two doofuses. Nebraska -7
Notre Dame-Florida State:
Harry: As much as I hate Florida State and everything their toxic program stands for, I have to separate that emotion from my pick. Objectively, I like the ‘Noles behind a raucous crowd and a Notre Dame defense that was exposed by UNC last week. Excuse me while I go projectile vomit. Florida State -11.5
Bob: On Tuesday, Keith Olbermann released yet another incompetent, attention-seeking hot take that claimed Florida State created the Jameis Winston autograph story because the university wants a reason to remove Winston from the program (as if it didn’t have reason already) because his controversy outweighs his talent. So, a football-is-everything school that has repeatedly overlooked a sexual assault controversy wants its Heisman-winning, defending champion, household name quarterback off the team in the middle of an undefeated season and run at a second consecutive championship? What a joke. [ED Harry: I normally think Olbermann is really good; his NFL stuff was great. This is obviously really dumb though.] Anyway, both of these teams remain undefeated but have looked far from untouchable. Every Football Outsiders statistic ranks these two teams as approximately even, though neither has performed at a top-ten level. I don’t like the idea of taking a still-untrustworthy Everett Golson at night in Tallahassee, but the Seminoles have yet to really show us this year why we should give up this many points against an undefeated team. It’s very possible Notre Dame is good-but-not-great like it was when it inexplicably made the championship two seasons ago, but the Stanford win proves they can beat tough teams. I’m upset I’ll be missing this one, though I can’t complain about going to Northwestern’s big game this Saturday for free. Notre Dame +11.5
Matt: This line is re-fucking-diculous. Notre Dame +11.5 (Notre Dame 34, Florida State 31)