Last Week: 12-2
What went right? Damn near everything, including the Mortal Lock of the Week (Clemson -34.5. We are now 10-1 on the season in such games). It was the best week of the season.
What went wrong: Toledo and, shamefully, Ohio State.
Here’s this week’s picks for you lovely people, beginning with — as usual — the real dogs to avoid.
Not with a 10’ Pole and Stolen Money:
Coastal (+6) at UL-M: The Warhawks are solid one week, turnover machines and dummies the next. Coastal can play some solid D too — don’t rule out the S/U win by the Chanticleers.
Cincy (-10) vs. Temple: The two best defenses and most physical teams in the AAC? If this were in Philly, I’d be all over the Owls. That said, they’re still capable of catching the Bearcats looking ahead. The is a trap game from the netherworld.
Cal (-2.5) at Stanford: Awful, awful game between two awful, awful (and unpredictable) teams. Oh, and it’s a rivalry too? THE BAND IS ON THE FIELD…and my wallet is in my pocket for this turd.
Texas (+5.5) at Baylor: What do you make of Baylor’s heartbreak? They don’t have time to mope about their ghastly choke last week either. On the other side, Mensa candidate Tom Herman has to have this game. Can he actually get it though? Talent-wise, it shouldn’t be close. But you get the feeling this is a field goal game either way. It seems like most of Texas’ meaningful performances have been so narrow ones.
Texas A&M (+13.5) at Georgia: This is going to be a defensive slog between two power running teams with good defensive lines. Aggie can’t throw that well, and UGA has no receivers. Whoever can break that trend gets it done. You think it’ll be the ‘Dawgs, but asking this offense to win any SEC game by 14 points feels like Mission: Impossible. Never underestimate a good ole’ erratic Jimbo sighting or a proper Kirbying.
What I like:
Oklahoma State (-7) vs. West Virginia — Watch: after a great 6 weeks, this will be the one the Pokes wet the bed in. That said, I do think OSU is playing great ball lately. West Virginia is still a work in progress that can occasionally upset some folks…but not on the road and not against Chuba.
Iowa (-16) at Illinois — Stay with the hot hand. Always. The Hawkeyes probably win, but Lovie covers. Feels like a trap spread, dunnit?
Troy (+14) at ULL — This just is not the usual Troy team. Nor is this the usual Cajuns team. ULL and Billy Napier are running roughshod over the FunBelt. Expect another rout at home for Ohh La La. He’ll be at a G5 school before long, and #sauces tell me he’s on the Hogs’ shortlist.
Mizzou (-4.5) vs. Tennessee — Yes, the Vols are playing better of late. But, this is a must-win for the Tigers at home. Pruitt has probably saved his job; now it’s Odom’s turn behind Kelly Bryant and a strong running game to do the same. He will. Well, he still may get fired, but it probably won’t be because of this game.
Wisconsin (-22.5) vs. Purdue — The Badgers are going to do pornographic things to that undersized Boilermakers defense. Jonathan Taylor’s Doak Walker campaign makes another huge case for itself.
Air Force (-22) at New Mexico — The Lobos aren’t as awful at stopping the run as their record would suggest. But the Falcons have been utterly ruthless against mediocre and bad teams. They’ll work over the Lobos like a child in a Chinese shoe factory this Saturday.