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.

[ED Matt: This was the column Harry just wrote because he missed that I already had a draft of DCIAPC up on our site. His punishment will be evident in a moment. Enjoy.]

Hello, friends. I’m going to level with you: I just got a new job, Bob is already a high-rolling financial analyst or something like that, and Matt is lazy. [ED Matt: Yes, clearly I am the lazy one. *continues working 30 hours a week at the school newspaper*] So this is an EXPRESS EDITION up super late that I’m hammering out on my eminently short lunch break.

There’s no column [ED Matt: Well, sorta.], standings [ED Matt: Wrong.], game blurbs [ED Matt: Up to interpretation.] or really any substantiated effort on any of our parts [ED Matt: *quizzical emoji*] this week.

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Just get your picks in and we [ED Matt: “we”] will pick up the pieces with a full edition next week. Probably. No promises.

The games from this week are below, with the lines and our picks. Lines come from whatever ESPN.com is listing on their College Football Scores page because it’s highly against company policy for me to go on any sites remotely related to gambling on my work computer and General Counsel is one cubicle over from me. (I work for an NFL franchise now. #ProtectTheShield) [ED Matt: I don’t know about Bob, but I consider working for the NFL a hate crime against our friendship.]

If you want the kickoff time and network, use Google. Or Bing. Or yell into the ether. There’s a large picture of Ndamukong Suh [ED Matt: Dolphins ownership, please note that Harry misspelled the name of your star defensive tackle, but I fixed it.] in my cubicle and I did not put it there, but I’m not throwing it out either. Oh good god Illinois plays Rutgers this week. [ED Matt: Miami missed an extra point.]

[ED Matt: Please note that the rest of this post actually does exist like normal, because I am not lazy and took the time to ensure your reader experience is optimal. Also:]

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In last week’s action:

  • Purdue (+10.5) covered and won against Illinois on the road in the absolute most frustrating fan experience I’ve had since the last time Purdue visited Illinois. We won’t discuss it.
  • Texas A&M (-6.5) finally gave Tennessee its first loss. It should probably have 2-4. God I hate that team.
  • BUFFS (+4.5) lost. 😦 but covered! 🙂
  • Washington (-9) repeatedly inquired of Oregon if they were familiar with the visage of Marcellus Wallace.
  • Florida State (+3) beat Miami on a missed extra point, because fandom is great and not at all an exercise in feeling repeatedly crushed by an something completely arbitrary. (#ILL) If you didn’t see it, scroll up or down.

After six weeks, Harry is still an asshole:

Season Last Week
HarryScreen Shot 2016-10-14 at 12.21.55 PM.png 21-11 (.656)  3-2
Matt 13-19 (.406)  3-2
Bob 11-21 (.344)  2-3

We are now .500 on the year when all picking together, which means bad things for Creed Tucker. Also, Harry moves to 9-1 alone because Purdue boilergasmed all over Illinois. Here are the splits:

We All Agree  7-7
Bob Alone 1-3
Harry Alone  9-1
Matt Alone  2-2

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And the peanut gallery! Next week you’ll need roughly 25 picks to qualify:

Winning Percentage Season Record Last Week
Lee (if he’s still alive after reading this post) .688 22-10 4-1
Bernie .700 14-6 4-1
Sam .583 14-10 1-1
Andrew .589 10-7
Creed .500 16-16 1-4
Jacob .516 16-15 2-3
Mike .444 15-17 3-2
Julian .444 14-18 2-3
Drew .408 13-19 2-3
Bobby .318 9-18 2-3



Here are the games this week, all lines from ESPN.

North Carolina at Miami (-7)


Harry: North Carolina +7

Matt: I spent a ton of time on these photos so I don’t have much time to explain picks. My apologies. But I know all of you just read Bob’s writing anyway because it’s much better than either of ours. Miami -7

Bob: North Carolina heads to Miami on the back of an up-and-down couple of performances after a 34-3 home loss to Virginia Tech followed a big win at Florida State. That last loss came without running back Elijah Hood, who should be back this Saturday. Miami, meanwhile, pulled a Jack Mitchell against Florida State. I still feel like we haven’t seen quite enough of either team to judge how good each is, and this spread is a tricky one. With most other factors being around equal, by virtue of the gap in play in favor of North Carolina between their one common opponent – not just result, but overall performance and stat line – I struggle to give up more than a touchdown. North Carolina +7

Ohio State (-11) at Wisconsin

Harry: Wisconsin +11

Matt: I’m all in on Ohio State this year. Also, Wisconsin is #bad. If the AP voters don’t find that out this week, they will eventually. This game reminds me of the Big Ten Championship game in 2014. That one went pretty well for the Buckeyes. Ohio State -11

Bob: Fun fact: Wisconsin’s percentile performance in the Michigan result that appears impressive was 35%. Another fun fact: Wisconsin’s percentile performance in the whopping 30-6 win over Michigan State was 41%. A final fun fact: The Georgia State game was as brutal as it looks (though reasonable injury caveats apply). I initially thought there are too many possibilities here to drop 11 points in Madison, but I’ll go for it and predict a commanding win from the Buckeyes on Saturday night. Ohio State -11

Alabama (-12.5) at Tennessee

Harry: Tennessee +12.5

Matt: I’m sure you’re looking for hefty analysis from me on this Alabama game. You’re in the wrong place. ROOOOOOOOOOAOAAAAWOOOWOWOOWWLWLLWLWLLLLLLLLLLL TTTAAAAAAAIIIIIYYYYYDDDDDEEEEEE -12.5

Bob: Conventional wisdom continues to cry that Alabama is amazing and Tennessee is a solid, lucky team. I agree with that. Still, this is A TON of points for any team to lay against a top-ten team on the road. Yeah, Tennessee may not actually be a top ten team in the country, but both S&P+ and FEI have the Vols in the top fifteen. Additionally, Tennessee dropped this game by just five points in Tuscaloosa last year. I worry that Alabama’s having an offense this year will allow them to blow this one open, but I’m okay in taking ALL DEEZ POINTS. Tennessee +12.5

Illinois (-6.5) at Rutgers

Harry: Rutgers +6.5

Matt: I don’t have the heart to talk myself into it anymore. Rutgers -6.5

Bob: Holy shit. I never thought I would take this Illinois team minus 6.5 points in a road game versus a Power Five opponent, but here we are. Illinois -6.5

Northwestern at Michigan State (-7)

Harry: Northwestern +7

Matt: There’s a not-insignificant chance that Michigan State loses to Illinois this year. Northwestern +7

Bob: My intuition here says Michigan State, despite its 2-3 record, must be a ways better than Northwestern… but if you look at the opponents in retrospect, that 2-3 is really not much better than Northwestern’s. S&P+ concurs with that, putting the teams about even. Northwestern comes off a bye week after a nice win at Iowa, while Michigan State plays after three straight losses, two of which were quite bad. Add that both teams are solid defensively and poor offensively, and I like the ‘Cats with the points here. Northwestern +7

That feel when you, the reader, and your friends are on your way to leave picks in our comments:

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