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.
What’s up, boys and…I doubt any girls read this column but if you do, sup?
I, the real Harry Kroll, am indeed back and better than ever for the first time this season after my neglecting writing this column and then drinking my responsibilities away (just practicing being Irish before I travel to Notre Dame for the Miami game in October) last week, which allowed Matt to roast the living daylights out of me. Now, I could retaliate with some words of my own, but I’m just going to let my picks do the talking after I wiped the floor with literally all of you last wee—PSHHHHHH let’s get to the Roast of Matt Silich, Presented by J.P. McCarthy’s, a subpar dumpster fire of a pizza joint that Matt likes for some goddamn reason.
THE ROAST OF MATT SILICH, PRESENTED BY J.P. McCARTHY’S, A SUBPAR DUMPSTER FIRE OF A PIZZA JOINT THAT MATT LIKES FOR SOME GODDAMN REASON
Seth Rogan: What’s up, everybody? You know, when I first got the call to MC this roast of a not remotely notable college student, I was certainly confused, but I guess Fox Sports 1 really will air anything these days. We’ve got a great panel of hilarious celebrities and also David Spade to slam our good friend Matt here, so let’s get right to it.
Jimmy Fallon: Hey, America! I’m Jimmy Fallon hashtag Millennials hashtag viral content. Go Red Sox! So speaking of hashtags, let’s talk about our friend Matt’s social media usage. Have you seen how often this guy in on Twitter, must be eight hours everyday. Let me tell you, if he had been as interested in reading his class material in high school as he is in reading somewhat notable NBA writer Zack Lowe’s tweets, maybe he would’ve gotten into Michigan! And hey, I know a certain writer of this post also didn’t get into Michigan but—oh heavens what have I done to the fourth wall! God I am so whimsically funny, aren’t I? I’m Jimmy Fallon! Middle-aged women love me! Here, check out this hashtag content where I literally have middle school children spray silly string at each other for over five minutes on network television. That’s some good hashtag content! Go Red Sox!
William Shakespeare: The Ophelia Complex is actually a direct allusion to Matt Silich that has been wildly misattributed to the female gender over the years.
Bradley Beal: Look, I’m not really here for the roast or to make jokes; this is a serious plea to end some madness. I want to say that I appreciate all of our Wizards fans out there, but this guy takes things to an uncomfortable level. His undying devotion to the Washington Wizards—yes, seriously, the Washington Wizards, folks—makes all of us on the team downright uncomfortable, particularly when he wrote an 8,000 word monstrosity on NBA free agency from the bushes outside Kelly Oubre’s house. Furthermore, if he’s going to love a basketball team more than his family, he should probably pick one that can last longer in the playoffs than he did in the Illinois engineering program. Please, stop this madness. Also, my name isn’t spelled “B3al”, you jackass.
David Spade, for some reason: I don’t know why I get invited to these things. My jokes are more stale than the crust on J.P. McCarthy’s pizza.
Like Half of Matt’s Received Texts: I had some jokes written up for tonight, but I’m not going to bother because I know Matt will just ignore me.
Bob Hayes: This column is exceedingly juvenile. In fact, it vituperates my prodigious intelligence bequeathed to me at Northwestern University, a bastion of education that Matt and the uncouth correspondent who composed this drivel could never even dream of attending. Matt’s loquacious disposition only produces an elephantine verboseness that permeates all of our discourse and saturates my audition with superfluous pleonasm.
Last Week’s DCIAPC: I was funnier than this. Let’s move on.
In last week’s action:
- Western Michigan (+5) did their best to literally throw the game away to Northwestern following the Wildcats literally fumbling the game away at the Broncos’ goal line, but the Fightin’ Flecks literally won anyway. Literally.
- Houston (+11.5) not only covered, but beat the tar out of Oklahoma. Wow, an Oklahoma team ranked in the preseason Top 5 with a massive early flop? Who could have seen that one coming? Tom Herman is a national treasure for so many reasons.
- Wisconsin (+11.5) trumped LSU in what was somehow only the third-funniest SEC loss of the weekend, behind Kentucky blowing a 35-10 lead in a home loss to Southern Miss and Mississippi State losing to—wait, no that can’t be right, surely that’s a typo and they lost to Alabama. No? Apparently, the Bulldogs lost to something called South Alabama.
- Blackness grips the world. The end is nigh. As surely as the cold grip of eternal nothingness greets us at the end of our bleak, pointless lives, Alabama (-12.5) will win the 2016 National Title. Pray for your family.
- Looks like Florida State (-5) might pick up as many wins on the field as they do in the courtroom this year. Go ‘Noles!
Here are the standings after Week 1. While I wasn’t quite able to pull it off last year despite my completely legitimate championship over Matt, I’m out to an early lead again in 2016 and the quest for #WireToWire renews.
And the splits:
|We All Agree||0-0|
Alright, peanut gallery time! Last year’s champ Andrew Kelley is off to good start, but fan favorite Creed Tucker is off to a better one. Looking forward to another great battle between those two. Also, I’m an idiot and put Lee at 3-2 initially, he actually went 4-1. Counting is hard. The standings have been corrected.
|Winning Percentage||Season Record||Last Week|
Here are the games for this week. We’re taking a week off from picking Northwestern games (you’re all welcome!) because they’re playing FCS powerhouse Illinois State, so we’ve added an extra national game. It’s a light slate of games this week, but treasure each and every one because come the spring, you know you would murder your second cousin to watch Maryland-FIU. Game times are eastern and the lines are from wherever Bob found them before he went to England ensure he’d be a literal ocean away from me.
Florida Atlantic at #25 Miami (-24), 6, ESPN3
It’s the annual Miami Plays A Not-Even-Directional Florida School Before Their Non-Conference Road Game Affair at
Joe Robbie Stadium Dolphin Stadium Dolphins Stadium Pro Player Stadium Landshark Stadium Sun Life Stadium Hard Rock Stadium! Next week, Miami faces a tough test at—wait, really? We’re going to Appalachian State? Surely next year will be better. A road game at Arkansas State? *nervously glances at 2018* We’re traveling to Toldeo?!?!?!?! I swear I’m not making this up. A source tells me that while it’s not yet announced, Miami has agreed to terms to play at Niles West High School in 2019.
Harry: Miami rolled over an awful—even by FCS standards—Florida A&M team last week, so I’m not taking anything meaningful away from that game. That said, I will take plenty away from FAU only beating Southern Illinois by one score. Miami -24
Matt: I’m a quiet believer in Miami this season. Things were looking prettay, prettay, prettay good for Mark Richt’s team when First Half Ole Miss was Jameis Winstoning the Seminoles on Monday, but I’ll have to temper those expectations a bit after Second Half Ole Miss was Dalvin Cooked by Florida State. Maybe a conference title is going to be a bit harder to accomplish than it looked for a minute there, but the Miami offense should be potent enough to score like 40-plus on the Owls. #BradKaayaForBearsQB Miami -24
Bob: This is a pretty typical coin-flip pick with the huge spread. FAU has had a rough few seasons since the Howard Schnellenberger era ended, with one of last year’s nine losses for the Owls being at the hands of Miami… by 24 points. Still, FAU managed to take 8th-ranked Florida to overtime in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. This one is anyone’s guess; I’ll simply take the points. Florida Atlantic +24
Arkansas at #15 TCU (-7.5), 7, ESPN
On one hand, Arkansas needed last-second dramatics to sneak by Louisiana Tech 21-20. On the other hand, TCU allowed 41 points to Jackrabbits of South Dakota State. Have fun picking this game!
Harry: I’d rather watch a full quarter of a Will Muschamp offense than place a bet on this game with actual money, but I don’t see much separating these good-not-great teams in terms of quality, so I’ll take the points and hope for a close game. Arkansas +7.5
Matt: Both these teams suffered embarrassing victories in week one, but I’m a bit more optimistic about TCU’s future. I won’t pretend to have watched much film of their win over South Dakota State, but I do know that most of the Jackrabbits points came off two Kenny Hill interceptions and a few big plays. Those are two factors that can make a game look much, much closer, and they aren’t necessarily consistent week-to-week. There are a few coaches in college football whom I always trust to figure something out, and Gary Patterson is among them. I predict he’ll show some of his typical big game creativity against the Razorbacks, and TCU will find their way to a two-or-three-score win. TCU -7.5
Bob: There’s a solid chance that Arkansas turns out better than TCU this year – all the complicated acronyms already say so. Both Arkansas and TCU had rough opening weeks as the favorites survived Louisiana Tech and South Dakota State, respectively. We don’t know much about either of these teams at this point, and judging by this past weekend’s struggles, taking the underdog seems like the move. One thing holding me up: This will likely be a shoot-out, so 7.5 ends up not a big difference in a game with more scores. Still, give me Arkansas. Arkansas +7.5
North Carolina (-9.5) at Illinois, 7:30, BTN
Oh look, another chance for Lovie Smith to lose a crucial home game to a team from North Carolina!
On the bright side, I doubt he can do any worse than allowing Jake Delhomme to throw for 319 yards and three scores.
Harry: I wouldn’t say this is a gimme by any means, but I’m shocked that this line is 9.5 instead of 10.5. That’s a big difference, and feels like a free point. Illinois looked surprisingly competent against Murray State last week, but they’ll have to show me that competence against a proven entity like UNC before I’m taking them in DCIAPC. UNC -9.5
Matt: I won’t pretend that Illinois is going to be some football power in the first year of Lovie Smith’s tenure based off a 52-3 win over an FCS team in the home opener. You know which other new head football coach won a home opener against a crappy football team in Champaign, Illinois by a score of 52-3? That’s right, Hitle–errr… Bill Cubit. I’ve been much more negative about this year’s team than most Illini observers… but I have one of those dreaded gut feelings about this game. This is slated to be the biggest crowd Memorial Stadium has had since the 2012 game against Ohio State. Students are legitimately interested in attending a nighttime football game, an improbable phenomenon akin to Harry exhibiting a moral conscience. Farming community members from the surrounding area are returning scores of torches and pitchforks to the depths of their barns. People are rallying around an authoritative black man for the first time in south-central Illinois for the first time in… well… yeah. (LOVIE!!!) I’m starting to believe that, though Illinois will probably still finish outside of a bowl game, they can compete with North Carolina. Yes, this is guaranteed to look idiotic when the Illini lose by 31 in two days. But I just have a feeling that UNC isn’t quite as good as people think. And frankly, this is likely to be the one time this year where I can pretend to believe that my football team can win a relatively important game. GIVE ME THE ILLINI, THE POINTS, AND THE END OF RACISM AMONG ST. LOUIS-BASED ILLINOIS FANS (haha, just kidding, that’s ridiculous). Illinois +9.5
Bob: My pick here is almost entirely a product of a coaching-related thought process. North Carolina comes off a big matchup with Georgia, toward which the team likely spent much of its last several weeks working via practice time, scouting, and even energy expended this past weekend. Meanwhile, Illinois walloped FCS opponent Murray State 52-3 and almost certainly spent far less time and effort on its week one opponent and has already worked extensively on North Carolina. Additionally, these two teams played last year, with North Carolina having a similar team to last year and lots of relevant tape (including Saturday’s Georgia game), whereas Illinois has a brand new coaching staff and hardly any relevant tape. These are really just assumptions, and even if these assumptions are correct, they could mean nothing. Regardless, I’ll couple this preparation edge with the conventional wisdom of taking an early season home underdog. Illinois +9.5
BYU at Utah (-3), 7:30, FOX
Might just have to dig up my Romney 2012 button for this Mormon showdown. This rivalry is always a great time, no alcohol required.
Harry: Full disclosure: I have no idea how good either of these teams are and have no interest in looking it up. Utah -3
Matt: I’m with H(er)arry. I don’t know much about either of these teams, and I’ll take Utah because it’s early in the season when I believe coaching stability matters most. Utah -3
Bob: The only near-certainty for either of these two teams is that Utah will have an excellent defense. With a new coach, BYU had a shaky week one against a mediocre Arizona team, while Utah effortlessly blew out an FCS team. Utah -3
Virginia Tech at #17 Tennessee (-11.5), 8, ABC
It’s fitting that this game is being played at a NASCAR track because Tennessee’s hype is always reaches ear-splitting noise levels but lacks substance.
Harry: If you’re laying 11.5 points with Tennessee against anyone—let alone a decent, might-even-be-sneaky-good Power 5 opponent like Virginia Tech—I can’t help you. VT +11.5
Matt: I am so mad that Tennessee ended up beating Appalachian State. Between the SEC cratering, the cosmic destiny of Mike DeBord losing to the Mountaineers again, and my informal wager with Harry/Bob that Tennessee was ridiculously overrated this year, IT JUST WASN’T SUPPOSED TO END THAT WAY. Anyway, Tennessee is not that good. But they still might win the SEC East, and the honor of losing to Alabama by 6,969 points in the SEC championship game. Ugh. This all feels so inevitable now. I’m not sure how Tennessee scores here unless they can just completely overwhelm Tech physically, which seems unlikely given last week. Virginia Tech +11.5
Bob: After last Thursday, give me the puntos. Virginia Tech +11.5
Remember to leave your picks in the comments, even if you didn’t pick last week. We go by winning percentage around here, so if anything you’ll likely be in front of Bobby Pillote!