The furlough costs us a week of embarrassing picks, so this week, we need to pick up the slack by being doubly bad...
Dan: What a horrible Thursday night. Unfortunately I am correct on my prediction that UNC would cover against Virginia Tech, but I was not happy that it came in a game that VT fumbled away. I, for one, am sick and tired of Virginia Tech’s offense. They spent the entire first half in UNC’s territory and scored 0 points. They did the same thing against Georgia Tech two weeks ago. Pathetic. I remember a few years ago we actually had a good offense. Not anymore. And that nasty defense that we were used to seeing got run over all night last night. So the offense does not even have the defense to bail them out anymore. Just sickening. I am ready for college football to end now so I can stop thinking about how Bryan Stinespring (offensive coordinator) has ruined my fall. I miss the Sean Glennon days. How bad is that? I miss the days where we actually had a QB who could pass. Add in a Phillies loss last night and it was not a good night. Well on to my picks...
Dave: Simple math tells you that picking games should almost always result in a longterm ratio of about 50-50. You could pick teams at random, and over the course of a season, it would be hard to win or lose more than 60 percent of your picks. And yet, Dan and I -- two people who watch a lot of college football -- are picking winners at a combined rate of just 41 percent. Last week Dan picked just two winners, which is a trend I was on for three weeks straight earlier this year. I've had just one winning week. It's inexplicable. Which leads me to my philosophy for this week: I'm going back to using quotes to help decide my picks, and I've chosen them from the most inexplicable character on TV -- Tracy Morgan's character on "30 Rock." After all, I like to live every week like it's Shark Week.
Cincinnati (-14.5) at Syracuse
Dan: I think one the biggest surprises this football season is that Greg Paulus is still the starting QB at Syracuse. How bad must Syracuse’s backup be that he can not even unseat Paulus? Yikes. Moving on, we all know my philosophy on home dogs. If they are getting more than 10 points, take 'em. Well I am adding a slight wrinkle to this rule: Take the points unless Greg Paulus is your QB. That is what I plan on doing -- going against Greg… Cincinnati 42, Syracuse 14.
Dave: "So I said, 'Rick, this chick's got a Adam's apple.' And Rick said to me, I'll never forget this, he said, 'Freaky-deekies need love too... Freaky-deekies need. love. too.'"
I have absolutely no reason to predict this other than that I'm a homer, but hey, freaky-deekies need love too… Syracuse 21, Cincinnati 20.
Miami (-7) at Wake Forest
Dan: Every year there is that team that you can never quite figure out. You bet on them, they get killed. You bet against them, they roll. Well that team this year is Wake. I just cannot figure them out. Two weeks ago, I took them against the Fightin Dabo’s and they lost 38-3. Four weeks ago, I had them getting thumped by NC State, so of course, they win. Job well done, Dan. So it really doesn’t matter who I pick this week because I am going to be wrong… Miami 28, Wake Forest 13.
Dave: "I can't read! I sign my name with an X! I once tried to make mashed potatoes with laundry detergent! I think I voted for Nader! NADER!"
My idiotic picks have seen me take Wake way too many times this season. I'm done betting on the Nader of college football… Miami 33, Wake Forest 10.
Georgia Tech (-13.5) at Vanderbilt
Dan: Another double-digit dog. But another team that just cannot score any points. I do not see how Vandy is going to stop Georgia Tech from putting up 31. And I do not see how Vandy themselves get more than 13. Speaking of Georgia Tech, I guess they are the best team in the ACC. Must be nice to actually have an offense that can score some points even if that means you do not have to throw the ball… Georgia Tech 31, Vanderbilt 13.
Dave: "Doctor Spaceman, when they check my DNA, will they tell me what diseases I might get, or help me to remember my ATM pin code?"
Why is it that some teams -- like LSU last year and Miami and Clemson this year -- seem to know the key to stopping Tech's triple option, but so many other supposedly solid teams look utterly lost? Someone needs to remind them of the pin code on how to tackle. Here's the thing though: Mississippi State isn't very good, but they do have SEC athletes. They kept things close with Tech and forced Josh Nesbitt to throw the ball more than he'd usually like. Vandy also has (albeit lower grade) SEC athletes, and guys like Chris Marve and Myron Lewis are actually NFL-caliber players. Add to that the fact that Vandy kids are smarter than everyone else (including the nerds from GT) and I think there's every reason to believe that the Commies crack the code on slowing Paul Johnson's offense. Throw in a dash of the explosive Warren Norman (my new favorite player with two first names) on the ground and on special teams, and I think Vandy can even post a few points on the scoreboard. I'm not sure I smell upset, but this one at least stays interesting into the fourth quarter… Georgia Tech 33, Vanderbilt 24.
Mississippi (-3.5) at Auburn
Dan: My how times have changed in Auburn. Just three weeks ago people were praising Gene Chizik as a great hire and he had returned Auburn to past great times. And now, three losses in a row and people are calling for his head. Poor Gene. This is why you should never bring to your school a coach from Iowa State. It seems to me that all of the SEC has finally gotten some film on Auburn and now knows how to stop their offense. Winning when no one knows what to expect of you is one thing. Winning when they have film on you is another. And Auburn has yet to show they can do that. I think this weekend Auburn doesn’t win but they keep it within the number… Ole Miss 24, Auburn 21.
Dave: "My genius is come alive... like toys when your back is turned."
I just want to point out a little something I wrote about Gene Chizik, way back when his Auburn team was 5-0.
"I really think Gene Chizik is like Sarah Palin. Auburn announces they're hiring him as head coach and everybody is like, 'Whoa, what the heck qualifies this guy to get a job like this?' People start sifting through his background and wondering what the thought process could possibly be for bringing in Chizik rather than a bigger name. Then a little time goes by, Chizik lays low in the national media but gets his base of Auburn fans riled up, then bursts onto the scene with a bunch of early wins and all of a sudden people are like, "Holy cow… this guy's got a lot of energy. Maybe Auburn knew what they were doing after all." Now the question remains… Does Chizik continue to impress, or does he come across a game that goes about as well as Palin's interview with Katie Couric? I think a Couric moment is coming soon."Genius! Now all that's left is for some sleazy pretty-boy ex-son-in-law of Chizik's to come forward with absurdly wild accusations in order to get a guest appearance on the "Today" show and a spread in Playgirl. So we've got that to look forward to.
On the other side of this game, there's Ole Miss. Where does Jevan Snead's collapse rank among the most inexplicable aspects of this college football season? I'd put it somewhere between Johnathan Crompton's mustache and the fact that the NCAA still allows wins over ACC Atlantic teams to count in the standings.
Regardless, one team has to win this one, and I'm gonna go with Mississippi because, well, I'm an idiot and it's bound to lose anyway… Ole Miss 28, Auburn 13.
Texas (-9) at Oklahoma State
Dan: Deion Sanders is at it again. So first he gets Michael Crabtree to hold out most of the NFL season for little to no money. And now he meets up with Dez Bryant in a hotel restaurant and gets the guy suspended for the year. Good job, Deion! Here is some advice to future first-round prospects. Avoid this guy. He has no idea what he is doing other than he enjoys getting players suspended or costing them money. As for this game I’d love to have Oklahoma State in this spot if they had Bryant. I still think I like them even without Bryant. They will not get the outright but they’ll keep it close… Texas 31, Oklahoma State 24.
Dave: "Heavy is the head that eats the crayons."
Well, with their win against Oklahoma, the Longhorns are officially on the clock for a trip to the national title game. It's a completely clear path, aside from this week's matchup in Stillwater. And how lucky are the Horns? They get Okie State without Dez Bryant and Kendall Hunter. And should Texas win out and Okie State drop one more game this season, that will likely put the Horns in the title game without having beaten a single team with fewer than three losses all season. Seriously, why does everyone always think the Big 12 is so good? Every year, it's two decent teams, one semi-respectable but ultimately fraudulent team, three other also-rans plus the entire Big 12 North. Worthless… Texas 34, Oklahoma State 20.
Mississippi State (+3.5) at Kentucky
Dan: I don’t understand this line. When your three losses are to Florida, Alabama and at South Carolina by 2, why are you only giving 3½ to Mississippi State?… Kentucky 21, Mississippi State 17.
Dave: “That’s not me, that’s the Tracy Jordan Japanese sex doll. You can tell us apart because it's not suffering from a vitamin deficiency.”
Mississippi State stinks but has close losses to good teams like LSU and Florida that make you think there's a hint of life to them. Kentucky stinks but has close losses to teams like Alabama and South Carolina which makes you think there's a hint of life to them. Both teams have QB problems, occasionally impressive defenses and hoops programs predicted to win their respective divisions, thus ending any real fan interest in football season. I think Mississippi State is the Japanese sex doll in this analogy though, due mostly to Rich Brooks' vitamin deficiency… Mississippi State 24, Kentucky 23.
South Carolina (+4.5) at Tennessee
Dan: As I stated a few blogs ago, since my buddy from Atlanta and I did not make our usual bet this year that Virginia Tech would finish 10 spots ahead of South Carolina, that automatically meant that South Carolina would finish within 10 spots (or higher) and my buddy would be angry for not making the bet. Well what do we have here? VT stinks and South Carolina is surging. Sure, they are surging in an ugly manner, barely beating terrible teams such as Kentucky and Vandy, but as a VT fan over the years, I have come to respect this stinkfest called defense and horrible offense. This weekend I think that South Carolina continues the stinkfest in Knoxville grounding out a close win… South Carolina 3, Tennessee 2.
Dave: "I grew up with that guy, he was the baddest gangster in my class. We called him Mean Steve. But his real name was Stephen Killer."
Ah, remember when Steve Spurrier used to be "Mean Steve," dominating the SEC and angering fans throughout the league? It was a golden age, really. Now Lane Kiffin has taken things to the next level. He doesn't even need to actually beat the opposition to make them mad. He's the Steve Spurrier of moral victories. Nevertheless, I tip my cap to Kiffy this week for getting a mention in a Lil Wayne song. I mean, what more could you really want out of life? Spurrier never did that. Of course, you try rhyming things with "Wuerffel"… Tennessee 17, South Carolina 14.
Southern Cal (-3) at Oregon
Dan: Probably the best game of the weekend. It is a shame it is on at 8 p.m. and in direct competition against the Phillies' Game 3. Talk about a change in fate. After Week 1 Oregon was 0-1 and people were calling for Chip Kelly’s head. Their running back knocked some guy out on national TV, was suspended for a year, and it was a horrible situation all around. Now they are 6-1, and if they can knock off USC at home they should be able to punch their ticket to the Rose Bowl. What an incredible turn around. I still am not impressed by USC. And I think this weekend they get exposed. A freshmen QB going into Autzen Stadium is never easy… Oregon 31, USC 21.
Dave: “I almost didn’t make it here this afternoon, but then a very special friend showed me the way. So I’d like to take a moment to thank Victor Cardova from the Sunoco station on Lennox Avenue.”
After an opening-week loss at Boise State, no one would have predicted Oregon would have made it this far into the season with a shot at the Rose Bowl still within its grasp. On the other hand, Southern Cal has already won tough road games at Ohio State, at Notre Dame and at Cal. But while the Trojans have pulled out a few close ones, I've been far more impressed with what Oregon has done during the past month of the season. Add to that a strong home-field advantage, and I gotta go with the Ducks… Oregon 24, USC 20.
Indiana (+17.5) at Iowa
Dan: This is usually where I would go on my rant about how bad the Big 10 is because the team that is currently in first place and ranked 4th in the country should have lost to a I-AA team the first game of the year. How pathetic is that? But then I take a look at how bad the ACC is, how bad the Big 12 is, how bad the SEC is this year and how bad the Big East is and I am beginning to realize that everyone stinks this year. Iowa is no different than anyone else. As for this game I do not see Iowa running it up on an Indiana team that actually has an OK offense… Iowa 28, Indiana 17.
Dave: "The holidays without drinkin' is rough. Turns out football is boring, my wife's sister ain't as cute as I though she was and I can not play the guitar."
This is how I feel about the Big Ten. After sixteen cocktails, sure, it seems like a decent conference. But no sober person mistakes this for real football. Add to that Iowa's loss of its starting left guard and tailback and you get even more excitement! Seriously, didn't we agree to stop picking Big Ten games?… Iowa 24, Indiana 5.
Kansas State (+25) at Oklahoma
Dan: So follow this little trail: Kansas State lost to Texas Tech 66-14. The next week, they beat Texas A&M 62-14. So one would think that Texas A&M should lose to Texas Tech 128–26. Nope. A&M wins 52-30. Man, college football is crazy. It just does not make any sense. Anyway how about Bill Snyder? He comes back from the dead and now has Kansas State positioned nicely as the leader in the Big 12 North. Sure they’ll lose this Sunday but they then have Kansas and Missouri at home. Win those and Kansas State probably wins the North. That is insane. Could you imagine those TV ratings? Hahaha. No one will care. Kansas State vs.Texas for the Big 12 Title . . . get excited! As for this game I think Kansas State keeps it within the number as Oklahoma’s QB with the mustache is only average… Oklahoma 38, Kansas State 14.
Dave: "I hate to see you like this, Ken Doll. It’s like an owl without a graduation cap. Heartbreaking!"
Ah, Oklahoma. I hate to see you like this. With three losses on your resume already, how will Bob Stoops possibly collapse during a BCS game again this year? It's heartbreaking. And giving 25 points in this game? I think a few bettors are remembering the old Sooners… Oklahoma 31, Kansas State 14.
Two weeks ago: Dan 2-7-1, Dave 4-5-1
Thursday game: Dan 1-0, Dave 0-1
Overall: Dan 30-40-1, Dave 28-42-1