I searched for a Northwestern-Illinois football picture, and this is the most compelling photograph that came up. I'm not kidding.
I searched for a Northwestern-Illinois football picture, and this is the most compelling photograph that came up. I’m not kidding.

[ED Harry: Bob did a really nice job on the write-up this week, so naturally I’m going to take over the top of this post to promote myself. For any Illinois (or Miami) fans out there, I’ll be broadcasting the Illinois-Miami basketball game on December 2nd (this Tuesday!) at 9 pm eastern, 8 pm central. You can listen live by clicking on this link. Take it away, Bob.]

What’s up, everybody? You may not know this, but occasionally guys not named Harry write the introductions for our fine college football picks program. This week, Bob (hi, that’s me) decided to take a break from shouting vulgar answers while playing Taboo with his grandparents following Thanksgiving dinner. Fun strategy: If you shout something that’s enough colloquially vulgar, the adults won’t even know how inappropriate your answers are (i.e. “jacking off” instead of “masturbating”).

Just like last year, neither Matt nor Harry get around to doing DCIAB over Thanksgiving break, so I have to put the team on my back – if you somehow don’t get the reference, you must click the hyperlink – and whip this together for the first time all year. It’s my time to shine, just like it is Zach Oliver’s in Evanston in this weekend’s premiere matchup.

ICYMI, this week is the holy RIVALRY WEEKEND. Ironically, the most highly marketed rivalry games are played the one weekend when students are home, hence the title of this week’s DCIAPC. Unfortunately, this year, there is not one particularly amazing game because all of the good teams have beaten each other too many times (see: SEC West). This means that the most important game of the weekend is none other than the Land of Lincoln rivalry game between the big state school in Urbana-Champaign and the superior-in-nearly-every-way-despite-having-fewer-students Northwestern. Yeah, shots fired. Just like [redacted Ferguson joke]. [ED Harry: That was bold, Hayes.]

In exciting news, the game in Evanston will be the first ever DCIAB voyage to a football game. For some reason, the Northwestern athletics department declined our request for press passes because they’re scared that DCIAB is better than The Daily Northwestern, so we’ll be enjoying this one with the peasants.

Last week, the unanimously selected Miami (-5.5) and Penn State (-6.5) flopped on the road to mediocre opponents, while we all actually got a game right with the UCLA (-3) win over a condom manufacturer. Northwestern (-1.5) won in a game that I couldn’t even get myself to watch, while Arkansas (+3) shut out a bunch of racists.

Onto the ugly but still tight (hehe) standings:

Season Last Week
Matt 29-36 2-3
Harry 26-39 1-4
Bob 26-39 1-4

Here are the splits:

We All Agree  13-23
Matt Alone  5-2
Bob Alone  6-6
Harry Alone  5-5

And to DCIAB’s dedicated fans:

Winning Percentage Season Record Last Week
Creed Tucker .533 32-28 3-2
Andrew Hunt .525 21-19 2-3
Andrew Kelley .475 19-21 0-5
Mike .420 21-29 1-4
Bobby .382 21-34 1-4
Drew .356 16-29 2-3

Here are this week’s games. As usual, all lines come from Pinnacle and game times are easte – FUCK THAT WE GOIN’ CENTRAL IN HONOR OF THANKSGIVING. The rankings come from the College Football Playoff Rankings.

Illinois at Northwestern (-8), 11 AM, ESPNU

In seriousness, this game matters for both teams, as the winner will be bowl eligible and the loser’s season is done. WIN OR GO HOME EXCEPT EITHER WAY EACH TEAM IS GOING HOME BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS AFTER FOOTBALL GAMES.

#16 Georgia Tech at #9 Georgia (-12.5), 11 AM, SEC Network

The Yellow Jackets get no respect despite their successful season so far. Solid test for a top-ten SEC team.

#4 Mississippi State (-2.5) at #19 Ole Miss, 2:30, CBS

I hear they call this one the egg Bowl bc both teams will lay a egg and score 0 pts folks! (H/T PFTCommenter)

Pittsburgh at Miami (-10), 6, ESPN2

I don’t know.

#15 Auburn at #1 Alabama (-8.5), 6:45, ESPN

Nothing memorable has ever happened in one of these games, so don’t bother watching.

TO THE PICKS.

Illinois-Northwestern

Bob: I would love to see what my record on Northwestern games is the last two years. I honestly would be surprised if I have gotten more than four of its games correct in total. With no Siemian – who was never amazing but overall a better quarterback than fans gave him credit for – I can’t really trust the NU offense, while Illinois is coming off a win over Penn State. That said, Justin Jackson still exists and will likely run all over the Fighting Illini defense, while the Wildcats still have a couple capable quarterbacks. I’ll happily close out the regular season by picking my school, which I rarely do. Northwestern -8

Matt: This game sorta feels like it could go either way at first glance. Illinois has performed decently against the worst teams in the Big Ten (Purdue, Penn State) and Northwestern just lost their starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. One major issue for Illinois: you don’t need a quarterback to hand the ball off 40 times and run for 250 yards. Northwestern has blown out those same bad teams with whom Illinois matched up evenly. Northwestern is the best of the worst in the Big Ten. Not only that, but this is a bad matchup for Illinois. Penn State had a terrible rushing offense; Northwestern will have little trouble running this Saturday. Penn State allowed a couple sustained drives to a running quarterback they hadn’t prepared for; Northwestern will be prepared for Reilly O’Toole, no matter how much he plays. It’s hard to pick a spread this big in a rivalry game between two somewhat similarly successful teams, but I think the Tim Beckman era comes to a close this weekend in Evanston. ALL OF THAT BEING SAID: I’m deliberately going to pick against my belief for this one because I just gotta rep my school in #TheGame. (Yes, that just happened.) Illinois +8

Harry: Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if both teams combined to score fewer than eight points. This spread is simply too large for what should be a close, terrible football game. Illinois +8

Georgia Tech-Georgia

Bob: I don’t know much about Georgia Tech beyond their results and their general offense. This line is as massive as a beluga whale, and Georgia sits just six spots higher (6 vs. 12) in F/+, which doesn’t factor in the loss of Todd Gurley. I’m taking the nation’s #1 F/+ offense to cover. Georgia Tech +12.5

Matt: This game is my weekly “Why is this spread so large?” pick. Georgia Tech +12.5

Harry: To quote the prophetic (at least that week) Matt when Florida State was a 12-point favorite against Notre Dame, “This line is re-fucking-diculous.” Georgia Tech +12.5

Mississippi State-Mississippi

Bob: Mississsippi has lost its last three games against FBS opponents, including a 30-0 loss in Arkansas last week, and they’re getting less than a field goal against a one-loss SEC West team. Mississippi State -2.5

Matt: Ole Miss is cratering now the way I thought they’d crater earlier in the season (see: my pick for Alabama game). Mississippi State -2.5

Harry: UPSET ALERT!! (Kind of.) In a rivalry where the underdog frequently wins, I like the Rebels at home to beat a very good but also slightly overrated MSU squad. Ole Miss +2.5

Pittsburgh-Miami

Bob: Despite how different their seasons have felt, both teams sit at 3-4 in the ACC. Based on game results, recruiting/eyes, and F/+, Miami looks like the far superior team and should get an easy win at home. Miami -10

Matt: In my opinion, the only reason to pick Pitt in this game is if you believe Miami has given up because they no longer have anything for which to play. I’m not a huge fan of platitudes like that. Miami -10

Harry: I believe Miami has given up because they no longer have anything for which to play. Pittsburgh +10 (Just kidding, I have actual reasons for picking Pitt. They’ve been competitive in most games when they don’t fumble on the first five possessions of the game and I think they hang around—though ultimately lose—in a sleepy game in front of at least 17 fans in Sun Life Stadium. Hey look, basketball season!)

Auburn-Alabama

Bob: My two SEC mantras this year have been “Alabama is the best team” and “Don’t give up a bunch of points when the game could very very easily be close or swing the other way.” I’m sticking to the latter here. Auburn +8.5

Matt: My two SEC mantras this year have been “It’s funny how SEC fans have completely disassociated their conference from Vanderbilt now that James Frankin’s gone” and “Ole Miss sucks”. Neither of those two relate to these two teams, and also neither of them has been a mantra of mine this year. I made them up for comedic effect. Did you laugh. Is anybody out there. Roll Tide. Alabama -8.5

Harry: My two SEC mantras this year have been “Liquor before beer, have no fear, but beer before liquor, Bret Bielema comes to your house and gives you a stern lecture on the virtues of attempting to change any rules that you don’t really like because you play a brand of football that was en vogue in like 1953” and “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? A woodchuck would chuck all it could if a woodchuck could chuck wood, but the woodchuck would be unable to join a fraternity if it were African American and attended the University of Alabama”. With those in mind, I think the pick here is obvious. Alabama -8.5

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