Welcome back to Don’t Call It A Picks Competition, our weekly column where Matt, Bob and I 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.
We suck, as we are not capable of consistently writing this column. We would say we are disappointed in ourselves and apologize, but sorrow is not an emotion that is on the forefront of one’s mind when one’s beleaguered baseball team reaches its second NLCS in one’s two-decade lifetime. We are happy. We are good.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 14, 2015
In games we picked last week:
- Illinois (+11) went into Kinnick Stadium and gave ranked, unbeaten Iowa (!) a game, which is just about all you can ask. Illinois fumbled on its final drive when down by just six, however, and ended up just barely covering the spread in a 29-20 loss.
- Michigan (-8.5) roasted Clayton Thorson’s nuts over an open fire, compiled of sticks carefully crafted by half-man-half-godzilla Ryan Glasgow. #Also:
- Florida (-5) beat down Mizzou in their own home. Does anybody care about Mizzou football this year? At all? Anybody? They seem like one of the most boring teams in the country.
- Miami (+9.5) almost gave Harry a happy ending in Tallahasse but then Ted Allen streaked onto the field naked and told Brad Kaaya that he’d been… *adorns sunglasses*… Chopped. YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
- THE CUBS WON THE NLDS HOLY SHIT SEE YOU IN NEW YORK
- Cal (+7) turned the ball over six times (!!!!!!) and still somehow managed to cover on the road at Utah. Something tells me the Utes might not be long for the top of the polls…
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||8-7|
And the peanut gallery, where Creed Tucker continues to mop up:
|Winning Percentage||Season Record||Last Week|
Here is this week’s slate. As always, game times are eastern and on Saturday.
#17 Iowa (-2.5) at #20 Northwestern, Noon, ABC/ESPN2
It’s Northwestern and Iowa in…a game actually relevant to the Big Ten West title picture? What a time to be alive, folks.
Harry: I think Northwestern being an underdog in this game is a bit of an overreaction to the absolute beatdown they took from a possibly elite Michigan team last week. Iowa’s undefeated run ends in Evanston. Northwestern +2.5
Bob: The takeaway from last week: Michigan is really really good, and Northwestern had been overrated, as I have asserted since week one. This game looks to more or less be a toss-up, but Northwestern has the decidedly better resume and I simply think Northwestern is the better team. Northwestern +2.5
Matt: I like how Northwestern matches up against the Hawkeyes. Iowa’s offense didn’t do anything particularly impressive against Illinois so I think Northwestern’s D should be able to stifle the Iowans pretty well. At the same time, it also looks like Iowa’s D would be able to contend well with Northwestern’s one-dimensional Justin Jackson attack. I don’t know if there’s any truth to the hangover effect of playing a team as physical as Michigan is under Harbaugh, but that would be my biggest worry about the Wildcats success here. Overall, I see two relatively even teams that are going to pound the crap out of the ball against each other and probably reach at least 15 punts. In what I view as a complete toss-up, I suppose I’ll take the team that didn’t have a demoralizing loss last weekend to win by a field goal. Iowa -2.5
Virginia Tech at Miami (-6), 3:30, ESPNU
Have to wonder how Al Golden’s profusely emitted sweat dripping onto the field and creating a slip ‘n’ slide for his players is gonna affect this one.
Harry: Here’s a classic game where Miami absolutely SHOULD cover this spread, but who knows if they’ll put in the effort level necessary coming off yet another heartbreaking loss to Florida State. Add in that Top 5 outfit Clemson rolls into Sun Life Stadium next week and this seems like a letdown game. I’ll take Miami based on talent alone, but I’m far from confident. Miami -6
Bob: I can’t pick Miami against a not-terrible team until the decisively beat a not-terrible team. Virginia Tech might be terrible, but we don’t quite know yet. This will likely turn into a “okay, we suck” game for the loser. Also, Virginia Tech is somehow above Miami on S&P+. Virginia Tech +6
Matt: This is a very strange line. If Miami comes to play, they’ll cover it. If they do what they always seem to do against mediocre ACC teams with lesser talent, then VA Tech will have a chance at winning. Primarily because the Hurricanes are at home, where I think they’re less likely to put up a total stinker, I’ll pick Miami to cover. But I don’t like it. Miami -6
#10 ROLL TIDE (-4.5) at #9 Texas A&M, 3:30, CBS
Nick Saban went on some random tirade a couple weeks ago about how Alabama was buried by the media and people were stupid to say their dynasty could be over. Turns out, he was right. What a surprise. Look how surprising this is. Are you surprised? I’m surprised. Sooooo surprised. Anyway, Texas A&M has a football team and it’s gonna be there too.
Harry: ROLLLLLLLLLLLLL TAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYD. Alabama -4.5
Bob: I hate that these idiots do this every time we pick an Alabama game, but, as usual, the SEC has a lot of very good teams, and Alabama is its main great team. I’m happy to take a 4.5-point spread against an A&M team that has not really proven much. Alabama -4.5
Matt: Roll Tide? ROLL TIDE! Alabama -4.5
#7 Michigan State at #12 Michigan (-8), 2:30, ESPN
Mark Dantonio brings his seventh-ranked Spar—pppppffffffftttttthahhahahahahaa. SEVENTH RANKED. SEVENTH. THE 6-0 SPARTANS ARE RANKED NUMBER SEVEN WITH WINS OVER WESTERN MICHIGAN, OREGON, AIR FORCE, CENTRAL MICHIGAN, PURDUE, AND RUTGERS, WITH JUST ONE BEING A MARGIN GREATER THAN 13. NUMBER SEVEN! What a time to be alive, folks.
Harry: This line opened at 3.5 before being bet to the heavens. THREE POINT FIVE. Apparently bettors have watched these two teams play football more than the oddsmakers have. Anyway, like I’ve been saying at any opportunity, Michigan State isn’t particularly good. No issues for the Fighting Harbaughs here. Michigan -8
Bob: I agree with these kids that Michigan is an outstanding football team and Michigan State is not. I agree with these kids that Michigan will win this game. I do, however, worry about giving up more than a touchdown against an undefeated team that has owned Michigan over the last half decade and has a quarterback as talented as Connor Cook. Michigan State and John and Kate +8
Matt: Michigan State was playing somewhat poorly when they had their offensive line healthy. Now, the Spartans are probably going to have just two healthy starters in that once proud unit for the Michigan game. The Wolverines have one of the best defensive lines in the entire country. I don’t think that adds up well for Sparty. Michigan -8
#8 Florida at #6 LSU (-9.5), 7, ESPN
Florida had a dumpster fire of a week, losing its starting quarterback to a year’s suspension for performance enhancing drug use. Still, their defense may just be good enough to keep them in it against an LSU team that has completed like four total passes this season.
Harry: Leonard Fournette is on another planet from every other college football player in the country, but Florida’s defense is too good and LSU’s offense too mediocre outside of him for me to lay this many points. LSU wins the game, Florida covers the spread. Florida +9.5
Bob: Both teams have terrible quarterbacks named Harris. LSU has Leonard Fournette. Florida has an amazing defense. LSU won this game by three in Gainesville last year against a far worse Florida team. I’ll just take the points. Florida +9.5
Matt: I have no real clue what to choose for this game. If Florida had their starting quarterback, I’d pick them to win outright. Now, I’m not sure how they’re going to score any points. Their running game isn’t stellar, and the LSU defense is stout as always. On the other hand, the LSU offense is due for one of its signature letdowns, which always occur once an opponent puts up a decent enough fight against the run game that Les Miles is forced to attack through the air. In a game that will be incredibly boring to watch for at least three quarters between two great defensive teams, I guess I’ll take a bunch of points. Florida +9.5