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.
At the top of this post, I threw up the Top 15 of this week’s College Football Playoff Rankings. Sure, you can quibble here and there and some may be bothered by Oklahoma State at eight, but overall they’re pretty soli—wait a minute. Can we zoom in a bit there?
May God help us all.
In games we picked last week:
- Illinois (Pk) went on the road and beat the crap out of a team that beat Nebraska two weeks ago. Nebraska beat Michigan State on Saturday. Sports are weird.
- Penn State (+3) lost on a last second field goal in Evanston but still managed to cover the spread. This is one of the many reasons why you should never bet real money on sports. [Bob: This was total bullshit from a spread perspective.]
- Florida State (+12) is apparently a college football program capable of losing multiple games per year, though they did cover the spread at Clemson.
- Oklahoma State (+5) somehow beat TCU by three touchdowns despite being out-gained by more than 200 yards. Sports are weird.
- RRRRRRRROOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TTTTAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYDDDDDD (-6.5) [Ed Matt: Hehehehe]
Matt and Bob flipped spots after ying-yanging 4-1 and 1-4 records this week. I maintained my GINORMOUS one-game lead on the field. Still, 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||13-11|
And the peanut gallery. Creed and Drew pulled into a first place tie with Andrew Kelley and this race is getting damn exciting with Bobby just one game back. What a time to be alive, folks. Also, please stop being so mean to Jacob in the comments. YOU’RE INFRINGING ON HIS SAFE SPACE. #ConcernedDCIAB2015
|Winning Percentage||Season Record||Last Week|
Here is this week’s slate. As always, game times are eastern and on Saturday.
#3 Ohio State (-16.5) at Illinois, Noon, ABC
Ohio State has seen some struggles this year against mid-tier competition with solid defenses that kept the score close. Is something brewing in Champaign?!?!
Harry: As I referenced in the description, Illinois definitely has the horses to stay within 17 points of Ohio State. Somehow, they Illini rank 10th in the nation (!!) in Defensive S&P+. I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m picking the Illini against the defending champs. MY HOME STATE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS +16.5
Bob: S&P+ actually puts this game as around a 10-point spread, and I agree with that. Ohio State hasn’t quite pounded many teams that are worse than Illinois this year. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes are finally led by their best quarterback, which worries me, but I shall take the points here. Illinois +16.5
Matt: If Cardale Jones started at quarterback, Illinois would cover. Since JT Barrett almost certainly will, they will not. Ohio State -16
Purdue at #18 (?!?!) Northwestern (-15), Noon, BTN
My thoughts and prayers are with anyone actually waking up in time just to trek to this stadium and watch this game starting at 11 AM local time. [Bob: Sup.]
Harry: Please don’t get me wrong: Purdue is awful. They’re really, really bad. That said, I have a tough time laying this many points with Northwestern’s offense. Can’t believe I’m about to do this, but I’m rolling with the Boilers. Pur—ugh this is really difficult to actually type out—Purdu—come on now, Kroll—Purdue +15 /throws up
Bob: Initially, I agree with Harry here, especially with Clayton Thorson playing through an injury that knocked him out of the Penn State game. A worse Northwestern team quarterbacked by Zack Oliver won 38-14 on the road last year, and Purdue has gotten beaten by more than 15 against a sizable slate of teams that are worse than Northwestern. Northwestern -15
Matt: Purdue is a train wreck right now. Illinois tore them up on the ground, and Illinois has suuuuucked at running the football this year. Northwestern is going to grind out a 28-7 victory here. Northwestern -15
Miami at #23 North Carolina (-12.5), 3:30, ESPNU
Miami heads to Chapel Hill in a critical game for the ACC Coastal with the winner likely heading to Charlotte to face Clemson in the ACC Championship game. The ‘Canes look to improve to 3-0 since firing Al Golden, and no one in the country would have a single issue with any of those wins.
Harry: Sure, Miami is 2-0 under head coach Larry Scott, but what no Miami fan wants to admit is that the ‘Canes still haven’t looked any good. They’ve picked up a relatively close home win against Virginia and a miraculous one against a Duke team that clearly isn’t as good as we thought they were after getting blasted by UNC last week. Miami still racks up penalties, blows defensive assignments and generally plays like the poorly coached team that it is. On the other side, UNC is really, really good. If they had a different name on the front of their jersey, the Tar Heels’ 8-1 record would receive a lot more respect from the national media. North Carolina -12.5
Bob: North Carolina falls just behind Louisiana Tech and Penn State in S&P+. The Tar Heels’ season started with an ugly loss to South Carolina and has since basically been Iowa, who ranks #5 in the CFP poll. That said, I agree with these bozos that North Carolina is a strong team, and after seeing Miami turn in a number of underwhelming performances, I’m willing to say North Carolina will win by at least two touchdowns at home this week. North Carolina -12.5
Matt: The most ridiculous ranking of the CFP in week one was the lack of UNC, by far. This team is really, really good, as evidenced by their domination of a decent Illini squad earlier this year. North Carolina -12.5
#21 Memphis at #24 Houston (-6.5), 7, ESPN2
Houston is the last hope for a Group of 5 undefeated team after Navy took down Memphis last week. However, we’re still picking this game because the other ranked vs. ranked option was Alabama at Mississippi State and — I don’t swear on this site often anymore so please take this with the utmost emphatic emphasis —who the fuck cares about the game?
Harry: Admittedly, I haven’t watched much of Houston and I’ve only seen a game or two from Memphis. So I went to the advanced stats and found these two teams are pretty dead even. Houston is two spots ahead of Memphis in F/+ (27th and 29th, respectively) and six spots ahead in S&P+ (35th and 41st, respectively). However, Memphis’s dirty little secret—which was massively exposed last week—is that their defense is TERRIBLE. I’m happy to lay less than a touchdown knowing I get a Tom Herman offense at home against that defense. Houston -6.5
Bob: Navy and Houston are extremely different teams, but I could see this game going similarly for Memphis. Houston has really impressed week in and week out this year, and I think they’re decidedly the better team here. Houston -6.5
Matt: Tom Herman is the best coach in his division. Don’t tell Justin Fuente I said that, just in case he randomly sparks a passionate love for Champaign, Ill. Houston -6.5
#12 Oklahoma at #6 Baylor (-2.5), 8, ABC
It’s the Game of the Year of the Week in the Big 12! Will a single tackle be made? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT!
Harry: This line opened at seven and has steadily moved down with the public heavily betting Oklahoma. I realize Baylor doesn’t have Seth Russel, but they have OWNED Oklahoma recently no matter who has played quarterback. So if I choose Baylor I get to lay less than a field goal with the better team at home AND go against the betting public. This is a no-brainer. Baylor -2.5
Bob: Oklahoma totally flopped against Texas, but otherwise these two have basically been identical. This one is a toss-up for me, so I’m going to go with my gut here. Oklahoma +2.5
Matt: I’m pretty sure Baylor ended up as my preseason pick to lose to Alabama in the title game, so I’m gonna go ahead and pick them in spite of their quarterback injury. Baylor -2.5