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.

I’m way too busy celebrating the biggest game in the history of sports to write anything coherent in this space. I hope all of you had the best night of your lives like I did.


In last week’s action:

  • Minnesota (-9) rocked Illinois in a game that was apparently closer than the final score indicated, but I wouldn’t know because I watch enough bad football as a Miami fan.
  • Northwestern (+26.5) came to play, giving the Buckeyes all they could handle in Columbus. Pat Fitzgerald’s team looks legitimately threatening and you really can’t say enough about the ‘Cats steady improvement over the course of this year.
  • Notre Dame (+2) handed Miami two touchdowns with hilarious special teams blunders and the Hurricanes still couldn’t win the game. I’m going back to being a Michigan fan.
  • Utah (+10) gave undefeated Washington a run for its money, with the winning score for the Huskies being a punt return touchdown that clearly should have been called back for three separate blocks in the back.
  • Nebraska (+9) played the Badgers close in Madison like every reasonable person expected after Vegas churned out the most ridiculous line of the week.

It’s the third straight week under .500 for me, so it’s a good thing I built up a huge lead in superdelegates before the bulk of the primaries kicked in. [ED Matt: Harry is still an asshole.] [ED Harry: Matt didn’t actually post the previous ED yet this week, but I kept it in from last week because I assumed he was going to anyway.] [ED Matt: Yes.]

Season Last Week
Harry 27-19 (.587)  2-3
Matt 20-26 (.435)  3-2
Bob 19-27 (.413)  3-2

Another .500 week when we all agree, despite us furiously rooting for those picks just to spite Creed Tucker.

We All Agree 9-9
Bob Alone 3-4
Harry Alone 10-3
Matt Alone  4-4

While Bernie maintains his winning percentage lead on the peanut gallery, Lee still sits atop the mantle for most correct picks by anyone in the competition at 28, one ahead of me. Should be an exciting stretch run.

Winning Percentage Season Record Last Week
Bernie .647 22-12 3-2
Sam .622 23-14 4-1
Lee .609 28-18 3-2
Andrew .538 14-12
Jacob .533 24-21 3-2
Mike .488 20-21
Creed .478 22-24 2-3
Drew .478 22-24 3-2
Julian .439 18-23 2-3
Bobby .375 12-20

As Matt Silich loves to say, LEAVE YO’ PICKS IN DA COMMENTS. Or, as a normal human being would say, please comment below with your picks.


Here are the games this week, all times listed in God’s time zone. Lines come from the ESPN.com college football scoreboard as usual because I still think it’s optimal to not get fired by my employer.

Michigan State (-7.5) at Illinois, 11 AM, ESPNews

Harry: I wouldn’t touch this game with real money with a 1,000-foot pole. But because we have to pick it, I’ll say the Spartans probably cover. Michigan State -7.5

Matt: Screw it, man. I’m gonna take Illinois again. Illinois +7.5

Bob: Once again with the Illinois game, we are basically tasked with picking by what degree of bad one bad Big Ten team is relative to another. I think Michigan State is a reasonable amount less bad. Michigan State -7.5

#8 Wisconsin (-7) at Northwestern, 11 AM, ABC

Harry: While I like the progress Northwestern has shown, it’s hard to rationalize taking them here. Wisconsin’s defense is as stingy as it gets, and I like the Badgers to win by at least a touchdown. Tack on that this will likely be a Wisconsin home game considering the UW alumni base on the North Shore, and this isn’t a tough pick for me. The line would make me think twice at 7.5. Wisconsin -7

Matt: Northwestern has looked like an upper tier Big Ten West team for several weeks now. That’s not a particularly stunning achievement, but it’s still encouraging progress. Clayton Thorson in particular has looked like a real football player the last two weeks instead of the wet noodle he was last season. This line is pretty close and I don’t have a strong opinion either way, so I’ll take Northwestern in a defensive battle. Northwestern +7

Bob: Unlike last week, I think it’s a very tough call this week in the Northwestern game. On one hand, Northwestern has faired well in Big Ten play and could be a nice pick getting a touchdown at home on a team that has only played one game against a real team in which it ended a multi-score game. On the other hand, Wisconsin appears a far better team than Northwestern. Considering that the Wildcats have actually won this matchup the last two seasons and that I attend Northwestern University, I’ll take the ‘Cats. Northwestern +7

Pittsburgh at Miami (-3), 12:30, ESPN3 (lol)

Harry: I…I don’t know.  Miami -3

Matt: A weird but not that weird thing has happened with Miami for the last few years. It seems like once they lose to Florida State, the team just completely loses its fire and descends into suckitude. On the other hand, Pitt has been the nation’s low-key #CHAOSTEAM this season. I view this as a complete toss-up, so whatever man. Pitt +3

Bob: Pitt has had an extremely up-and-down year, while Miami has had an extremely up then extremely down year. This is no easy pick, but I like Miami to bounce back this week at home. Miami -3

#1 Alabama (-7.5) at #13 LSU, 8, CBS

Harry: While no one loves to pick against ‘Bama when Vegas makes them lay an absurd amount of points as much as I do, I really don’t see 7.5 as absurd. LSU has certainly come a long way this year under Ed Orgeron, but the Tide have absolutely steamrolled through their schedule so far without a single close game. I like their chances to win this one by at least eight points. Alabama -7.5


Bob: The advanced numbers love LSU (7th in S&P+!), with the team’s losses coming on the road by a combined deficit of 7 to apparently very good opponents. Both teams come off a week of rest, which probably does not mean much, but here’s what does: Alabama has the top-ranked rushing defense in the country (S&P+, obviously) and has played only one non-blowout this season. I would not be surprised at all if this is a great game, but I think that’s not necessarily the smart pick. Alabama -7.5

#10 Nebraska at #6 Ohio State (-17), 8, ABC

Harry: Is this a real line? Nebraska +17

Matt: Lol, what? Nebraska +17

Bob: Obviously, transitivity does not mean much in sports, but key transitivity points to this being too many points. Nebraska is far better than Northwestern, and Northwestern played Ohio State to a 47% win expectancy. Nebraska looks to be a tad worse than Wisconsin, while Ohio State is about even or a tad better. Either way, recent evidence shows Ohio State likely will not blow out a solid Nebraska team this week. Nebraska +17

Remember to leave your picks in the comments!