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.
Between all of us, life responsibilities are crashing with a vengeance, so the column bits are going to continue to be stripped down a bit. Let me refund you everything you paid for reading this. You’re welcome.
In last week’s action:
- Northwestern (-2) continued its bewildering run of above average play in the Big Ten, comfortably defeating the CHAOSTEAM Indiana Hoosiers at home.
- Alabama and Texas A&M gave us our first push of 2016. I’m just not going to count this game in the standings so everyone’s record isn’t an annoying x-x-1.
- Illinois (+a million) managed to cover the spread at Michigan despite Jim Harbaugh going for it on 4th-and-2 up by 33 points with under three minutes to play.
- Auburn (-11) did unspeakable things to Arkansas and made me look quite foolish in the process for calling Arkansas +11 “the lock of the century” last week. To your mockery I say see the standings below.
- National treasure Mike Leach lead Wazzu to yet another impressive Pac-12 victory, but Arizona State (+7.5) did cover.
Well, it’s the first week of the season where I didn’t finish first. I guess I will have to settle for a probably still completely insurmountable eight-win lead on the field. [ED Matt: Harry is still an asshole.]
Not a great week for any of the splits, where the best we can point to is Bob going an even 1-1 on his own. We drop back to .500 on the year when we all agree after Michigan let us down.
|We All Agree||8-8|
|Harry Alone||10-2 (Still not a typo!)|
There was some turmoil in the peanut gallery this week, as Lee took a terrifying tumble back towards the pack and Creed slipped into what he referred to literally one week ago as “the stink” by falling below .500. Say hi to Matt and Bob for me down there!
|Winning Percentage||Season Record||Last Week|
As my still slightly-on-the-spectrum colleague Matt Silich loves to say, LEAVE YO’ PICKS IN DA COMMENTS.
Here are the games this week, and we’re going to STICK WITH CENTRAL TIME BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT GOD WANTS. Lines come from whatever the ESPN score page says because I’m once again doing this on my lunch break at work and do not want to visit Vegas Insider on the work network lest I fail to #RespectTheShield. Go Dolphins!
Minnesota (-9) at Illinois, 11 AM, BTN
I challenge you to name a single player on Minnesota without looking it up. I sure as hell can’t do it.
Harry: It’s very hard to pick this game without knowing Wes Lunt’s availability, but I could talk myself into taking the Gophers even if he were playing. For that reason, I’ll roll with the favorites. Minnesota -9
Matt: Something about this game feels sneaky. Illinois +9
Bob: Minnesota had a rough Saturday, defeating Rutgers by just 2 points, but overall has had a solid season (5-2, 39th in S&P+). Illinois is really bad, Lunt or not. It feels odd taking a team that just beat Rutgers by 2 points at home to beat another Big Ten team by 9 on the road, but, once again, Illinois defies the odds. Minnesota -9
Northwestern at #6 (LOL!) Ohio State (-26.5), 2:30, ESPN
Speaking of names, let’s remember some guys on this teams. Brett Basanez. Brian Robiskie. Damien Anderson. Beanie Wells. Those were some guys!
Harry: Here’s one of these classic games with a ginormous spread that the favorite could likely cover if they wanted to. After last week, they probably want to. Ohio State -26.5
Matt: Northwestern +26.5
Bob: I honestly think this is a clear pick. Northwestern has had a nice string of performances (while Ohio State has failed to break a 50th percentile performance in each of the last two weeks), and it’s hard to see them getting clobbered to death, no matter how great Ohio State is. Northwestern +26.5
Miami (-2) at Notre Dame, 2:30, NBC
Well, I guess somebody has to be the favorite in this game. In related news, I actually have to go to this game after I made the highly-questionable-decision-in-hindsight to travel to South Bend for it. I’ll just be over here hitting myself in the face with blunt objects; I imagine I’ll feel a lot like Brad Kaaya postgame with his offensive line.
Harry: I refuse to put any logic, reasoning or even critical thought into this game. Miami -2
Matt: Miami -2
Bob: Sure, Miami has had a poor few weeks, but Notre Dame is 2-5 with wins over Nevada and Syracuse! Additionally, S&P+ has Miami at 23 and Notre Dame at 54. Miami should win this game. Miami -2
#4 Washington (-10) at #17 Utah, 2:30, FS1
A genuinely intriguing game in the Pac-12 with real Playoff implications! This is the most exciting thing to be exiled to Fox Sports 1 since the NLCS.
Harry: Utah’s 6-1 record is certainly shiny, but when you peak under the hood you can see some signs of trouble. One-score victories against BYU, USC and Oregon State are troubling, not to mention a loss to Cal. I’m pretty confident in the Huskies here. Washington -10
Matt: Weird things happen in Utah, man. Utah +10
Bob: Washington is a legitimately outstanding team, while Utah has been a shaky 7-1. The S&P+ gap is also enormous (6 to 43). I expect Washington to follow up its outstanding last month with another commanding victory. Washington -10
#7 Nebraska at #11 Wisconsin (-9), 6, ESPN
Is Nebraska any good? Let’s find out! (Spoiler alert: no.)
Harry: In any game featuring Wisconsin, this is—say it with me!—TOO…MANY…POINTS! Nebraska +9
Matt: Nebraska +9
Bob: This game could turn out like Wisconsin’s 17-9 win in Iowa last week. I like Wisconsin to win, but this is too many points. Nebraska +9