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.
We start with a new feature this week, it’s Matt Silich’s Fake DCIAPC Sponsor of the Week (Not TM)! Take it away Matt:
Let’s take a quick minute to talk about our blog’s newest sponsor: Blue Apron! With delightful new recipes sent each week, Blue Apron is the highest-rated food delivery service out there. I know what you’re thinking — Are they really charging $60 per week for three meals? Yes, they are. But on the plus side, you’ll never go hungry, as the predetermined portion sizes will always leave you so devastatingly famished and wanting that you’ll inevitably make yourself a sad bowl of Cap’n Crunch before bed each night. As we all know, there’s nothing healthier than eating a large meal with a high quantity of sugar right before bed, when your body’s metabolism slows to the speed of a three-toed sloth who is also dead. If that doesn’t sound appealing, get this — You can get your first three weekly meals free if you sign up and enter the promo code, “WHYTHETRUCKISLSURANKED”. After that, I’m sure your subscription just auto-renews week after week, undoubtedly sending you into a crippling spiral of cooking-related stress before your eventual death. No pressure!
Happy Jewish New Year! While I realize that Rosh Hashanah isn’t celebrated by roughly 98% of the United States, that will not stop me from leveraging the holiday into a cheap column gimmick for DCIAPC. I am lucky that there is no Jewish hell.
Whether you are Jewish or not, self reflection and improvement is always a good thing, so it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions. While I will not be making any resolutions because I have no self-awareness and thus cannot honestly reflect on or even recognize any of my flaws, I am very good at talking about ways that others could improve. [ED Matt: Honestly, put that sentence on your LinkedIn page.] In that spirit, here are some New Year’s resolutions for college football teams as we head into the New Year.
Ohio State: We will at least contemplate admitting the obvious truth that Tom Herman was the most important piece of our 2014 National Championship and we’re quite nervous we will never reach that peak again without him.
Miami, Florida, Florida State, FIU, FAU, UCF, USF, Houston: We will move.
Hugh Freeze: I will invest some of my over $4 million per year salary into a burner phone the next time I want to pay for sex.
LSU: We don’t need to make any resolutions because no matter how badly we perform, the AP voters will rank us anyway.
Michigan: We will stop thinking that we are the class of college football until we at least finish better than third in our division.
Notre Dame: This is completely unrelated from this column. I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone that Brian Kelly literally killed a college student and somehow nobody cares.
Josh Rosen: I should have gone to a school that’s actually good at football. Yes, I know that’s not a resolution but we do have less resolve than a Justin Fuente-less Memphis team. [ED Matt: Hold on, hold on, I had something prepared for this one. *shuffles papers furiously* Ah, here we go. *taps mic* “Anybody know if the turf is kosher? Because with that offensive line, Josh Rosen’s gonna be eating it!” *laugh track* *Seinfeld wonky scene change noises*]
Baylor: you know I’d really rather not do this one, who’s nex–
Penn State: NOPE END THIS COLUMN NOW
Here’s a look at the standings and this race is tighter than Stephen Piscotty’s buttcheeks with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth, folks. (We play the hits here at DCIAPC.)
It was a 1-3 week for us all agreeing and we’re back to .500 on the year:
|We All Agree||5-5|
We’ve hit an all-time record 17 people in the Peanut Gallery! Sadly, Matt appears to have scared away whoever greenmonstersite was with last week’s…column? Can we call it that? Please come back. We promise that we won’t say mean things about Curt Schilling again. (Please note that we cannot truly state with any certainty that we will keep that promise.)
|Winning Percentage||2017 Record||Last Week|
Remember to leave your picks in the comments to join the gallery! The number of people participating is getting to be quite time consuming to tabulate every week (which is incredible, honestly thanks to everyone for taking the time to do this with us), so it’s time to winnow the field a bit. You’ll need 10 picks (not correct, 10 picks total) to remain in the Peanut Gallery next week.
Hey, look at this! It’s Week 4 and for the first time this season I get to force all of you to make a prognostication on a Miami game! We’ll have four national games this week (!!) as Northwestern and Illinois both have bye weeks.
Toledo at #14 Miami (-13.5), 3:30, ESPN3
“When will The U be back?” seems to be a common question the college football intelligentsia (h/t Matt for making “intelligentsia” The Word of 2017 [ED Matt: It’s such a good word, you guys.]) ponder a lot and I have discovered the answer: all Miami has to do is just not play a game. The ‘Canes haven’t played an FBS opponent this year and have already jumped four spots in the AP poll. If Miami just doesn’t play the rest of the regular season, The U will undoubtedly sew up a Playoff spot.
Harry: Toledo is undefeated and has scored at will so far this year including a thrilling 54-51 win over Tulsa last week. That said, they haven’t played a defense nearly the caliber of Miami’s and the ‘Canes will be well-rested. Miami -13.5
Bob: What Harry said. Miami is probably pretty good this year but we have no idea, and I like their chances of winning easily at home in this one. I feel very thankful for that half point. Miami -13.5
Matt: When a decent MAC team plays a B1G opponent, there’s always room for a little worry. The difference between high-level MAC athletes and low-level B1G players is juuuust thin enough to occasionally be overcome by solid game-planning and a spoonful of luck. But when Toledo is faced with Miami’s athletic prowess, I don’t see them holding up. Miami -13.5
#16 TCU at #6 Oklahoma State (-11.5), 3:30, ESPN
A surging Oklahoma State outfit faces its first stiff test, at least on paper. What looked to be a tricky road game at Pitt last week turned into a laugher after the Pokes dropped 49 on Pat Narduzzi in the first half.
Harry: The advanced stats say that this line is ludicrously high, but I do not have the cojones to bet against Mason Rudolph and Co. right now. POKES -11.5
Bob: S&P+ says these teams are about even, with Oklahoma State getting the standard advantage of playing at home. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the teams’ respective advanced statistical portfolios is Oklahoma State won its first three games with 100% win expectancies, while TCU won its first two with 100% win expectancies followed by last week’s 20-point win over SMU coming in at a 99% win expectancy. I do not think we have much evidence to separate the two teams right now, though Oklahoma State looks a step better offensively but a step worse defensively than TCU. I would pick Oklahoma State to win outright, but I think the smart move here is the points. TCU +11.5
Matt: I know Oklahoma State is the hot right now, but it’s hard to give 11.5 in any game between two top-15 teams that doesn’t involve Alabama. I’ll take the Alex Hornifrogs. Hornifrogs +11.5
#8 Michigan (-9.5) at Purdue, 4, FOX
Who would have thought that Michigan-Purdue was going to be appointment television? The Boilermakers’ astonishingly sudden resurgence under Jeff Brohm will face a major gut check against the Wolverines.
Harry: I am as much a worshiper at the Church of Father Brohm (this is going to be a thing for every Purdue game we pick this year, get on the Father Brohm bandwagon) as anyone, but something tells me Michigan has some tricks up its sleeve for this game. People are worried about their pedestrian performances against Cincinnati and Air Force, but the Wolverines also showed they can push around a (please don’t kill me) at least decent Florida team when they wanted to. Michigan -9.5
Bob: I simultaneously feel this line underrates Purdue but is also too low given there probably remains a clear, steep gap in quality between these two squads. Like Harry, count me in as a follower of the Church of Father Brohm and His Holy Average-at-best-for-a-Big-Ten-West-team Season. I look forward to watching this one and think we could very well see a close game, but I expect Michigan to leave West Lafayette with a double-digit victory. Michigan -9.5
Matt: As the longest-tenured pastor in the church of Brohm on this dumb blog, I wish I could tell you that I’m picking Purdue. I wish I could loft a hearty “NOT SO FAST MY FRENTS!” and gleefully tug an imaginary train horn as I ride into the sunset. To see my big, beautiful son Father Brohm earn the position at Purdue mere months after Illinois hired a bad NFL coach to lead its football future was incredibly painful. I believe in Purdue. But not today. Michigan -9.5
#17 Mississippi State at #11 Georgia (-6.5), 7, ESPN
Mississippi State’s 30-point rout of LSU last week was eye-opening, but beating Ed Orgeron at home in the SEC is hardly an accomplishment. Let’s see if they can do it BETWEEN THE HEDGES (TM) in Athens.
Harry: This is a week full of difficult picks, and this game is no exception. Georgia is 3-0 with what I am still convinced is a very good win at Notre Dame, but the MORE COWBELL gang has been incredibly impressive–and not just last week. I’ll take Georgia in a squeaker, but laying nearly a touchdown is too many points. CLANGA CLANGA CLANGA +6.5
Bob: Bill Connelly said this week that if he were to remove preseason projections from his S&P+ formula right now, Mississippi State would be the #1 team in the country. Even with the Mississippi State Bulldogs’ tempered projections, they sit at 17th, two spots ahead of the higher-projected Georgia Bulldogs. And honestly, if I had no knowledge of that, given the results and qualitative information we have, Mississippi State receiving 6.5 points here feels like a blessing. Mississippi State +6.5
Matt: Do we know Georgia is good? I see their offense struggling in this game and a bogged-down, 17-16 sort of affair in either direction. Give me the points with a team that just took LSU out back to the woodshed. MAN DULLEN +6.5
#4 Penn State (-12.5) at Iowa, 7:30, ABC
Yes, this is seriously the ABC Saturday Night Football game. At least Iowa has a legitimately cool new tradition to show off in the spotlight.
Harry: As 2016 Michigan can tell you, strange things always seem to be afoot at the Circle K. (Kinnick Stadium is a fitting stadium name for this reference.) Iowa +12.5
Bob: Penn State has looked excellent so far, and Iowa has not done much to inspire confidence the last two weeks. The Nittany Lions dominated this matchup last year, and I am willing to go against my DCIAB brethrens’ anti-Penn State brand and drop all the points on the road. Penn State -12.5
Matt: For my last pick, I want to extend a formal apology to our beloved longtime commenter “thegreenmonstersite” for the… events… of last week. Nobody deserves to have their personal life investigated by Curt Schilling, and especially not two of him. It was a mistake to dive that deeply into my subconscious, and I hope you can find it in your comically large, foam-padded heart to forgive me. Iowa +12.5