This is the 4th installment where me & Mr. ADMohr (of ADMohr twitter fame)
Week 6 is here and for the most part everyone is in conference now. This, of course, means that the Big 10's annual inflation begins (when Michigan goes on a 3 game winning streak Purdue, Minnesota, and Northwestern people are going to say they're starting to put it together even though they will have beaten no one) and that there's no more (or very few) cupcake games left.
Hopefully that will turn my picks around. FYI, after a brutal 3-7 week, I had decided not to make any picks this week. Instead, I threw 2 pieces of paper on the ground, each one with a name from a team in a game, and whichever one my dog sniffed first was the one I picked. This strategy showed its flaws when she began eating the paper which must have smelled like food since it was sitting on my counter next to the stove where I cooked bacon yesterday. So I decided to sit down and make some picks. Anyway, here's our records from last week.
Yeah, nothing to see there. Move along.
ADMohr: In honor of Thursday's debate, I will be making random sh*t up that you'll likely accept until someone tells you otherwise.
Penn State (-13) @ Purdue 11:00 AM ESPN
Did you Know? At Purdue, engineering undergraduate students partake in an unofficial pregame tradition known as "Bumpin' the 'Tussin" where competing students drink large amounts of Robitussin cough syrup and then sprint at each other full speed with the intent of intercepting the opposing student's stomach with sufficient force that they vomit upward while falling backwards. Northwestern University students play a derivative of the game utilizing baseball bats and substituting the medication Dimetapp for Robitussin.
Re: the game – Both of these teams bring big-yardage offenses to the contest, albeit Penn State with a better offense and Purdue with a significantly worse defense. Probably the most damning statistic is the Purdue defense giving up some 460 yards of offense to Notre Dame last week with 201 yards coming on the ground. Penn State meanwhile averages 267 yards a game on the ground, and conventional logic suggests Penn State should be in control of this game. Of course, this is a Big Ten 11 am game, and in those games I have performed significantly poorer than what a two-sided coin would tell you.
Verdict: Penn State wins, covers spread.
MM: College football elicits more hatred from me that just about anything but Mario Kart (damn you blue shells!). For some reason, the We Are...Penn State makes me want to punch people. I don't know maybe if you're from there you like it. Next time I get together with Ross I am going to yell "We Are" and make him yell "Immediate Regret" and see what happens. Penn State picks up the win and the cover.
Kansas (-12) @ Iowa State, 11:00 am Versus (in other words, so nobody will see it)
Did you Know? In the 1980's, the Iowa State student body developed a unique post-game habit that put a unique spin on the tradition of tearing down the goal posts after a big win. Frustrated with the state of the program at the time, following home losses Iowa State students would actually tear down goal posts from nearby high school fields in Ames and deposit them in the middle of the field at Jack Trice Stadium. The habit however resulted in there being no goalposts in the oft-cited 1986 Iowa Class A State Quarterfinals matchup between Madrid and Wapsie Valley-Fairbank where there no goal posts on the field, and extra points were counted with Punts instead of place-kicks, where the Field Judge was to determine if the punt reached an altitude of 60 feet. The following season turnstiles were installed at Jack Trice stadium to prevent students from bringing in surrounding area goal posts.
Re: the game – So Iowa State might not actually be a terrible team, which is probably the worst possible thing a Nebraska fan could hear right now. State held their own in score on the road against an underrated UNLV team, and outgained the Hawkeyes in an ugly loss. Even with the loss to South Florida (who then lost last night), I've been impressed with Kansas who I think have a sufficient team defensively to tread with the elite in the Big 12, and who with the Todd Reesing to Meier connection have a likewise sufficient offense provided their lack of the run doesn't hamstring their offense. The line really seems to indicate that Iowa State could expose flaws in the Jayhawk team, but I expect to see KU make a statement in a game where they remind the conference that they're capable of winning the North.
Verdict: KU wins, covers the spread.
MM: I imagine it's hard to be stealthy when Fat Mangino is your head coach (pictured on left), but that's definitely what Kansas is doing. Of course, this is because they already have one loss on their schedule and have at least 4 more guaranteed loses on their schedule (Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas, Missouri) and they play at Nebraska. So 6 losses for them probably. It's all the better though - Kansas fans are some of the more annoying fans in athletics. Here's a tip: you don't go to football and cheer about basketball. That's bush league. As a bonus if you Kansas, they also say "oh yeah? Well my dad can beat up your dad!" and "My coach will eat you for dinner." Even so, they should win and cover against Iowa State.
Oklahoma (-26.5) @ Baylor, 11:30 am FSN
Did you Know? Baylor is not actually an organized University under a chancellor and departments as most schools are, but is instead a confederation of professors who each reside and instruct in lecture halls that are underground in hills that are generally North and West of Waco. Students receive their degrees once professors determine students have matured sufficiently for child-bearing, though a downturn in enrollments have resulted in students being graduated more quickly than is generally accepted at the college level. This high level of turnover has had a detrimental impact on Baylor athletics, which often sees a brand new enrollment of student athletes each year. The state of Delaware does not accept Baylor University as an accredited school.
Re: the game – Well based on nothing more than these unbased, irrational thoughts – Baylor has a hot, hot, hot Frosh QB Robert Griffin and that I think OU (and Texas) will overlook their opponents this week due to the Red River Shootout next week (like I feel like they always do, but I think has actually only happened a handful of times) – I am picking Baylor to cover. And no, I don't think that Baylor is actually a better team than say TCU, or any of the other OU opponents. But last week's games didn't exactly work out rationally, either.
Verdict: OU wins, Baylor beats the spread.
MM: You can't hate Baylor - just about everyone pencils them in as a win before the season starts. As such, this game has a massive spread and some people think OU is in for a letdown game since a lot of the other top teams lost last week. That will not be the case as OU will give the beat down to Baylor win and cover. In any case, Baylor's mascot is a bear, so here's a video featuring bears.
Alabama (-16.5) @ Kentucky, 2:30 pm CBS
Did you Know? While we've recently become accustomed to associating Ashley Judd with her hearty support of the Kentucky basketball program, she was actually conceived during the 3rd quarter of the 1967 Kentucky – Tennessee football game.
Re: the game – Well we've passed the point where we can take anything that I say about Alabama seriously. What an incredible statement by them last week, that I obviously did not in any way see coming. Anyways, there just might actually be something to this Kentucky defense, though the best opponent they've faced was a little-success Louisville team in the opener. Still, I'm going to pin my guess on nothing more than the irrational 'maybe they'll have a post-game slump' much like post-Clemson, and that maybe... just maybe the Georgia defense was overrated, even though I said the exact opposite last week. I don't know. Consider this a hedge towards a 16.5 pt spread.
Verdict: Bama wins, but Kentucky beats the spread.
MM: Apparently the penis/elephant hat was working for Saban as he's dominated the last 2 weeks. There's a lot of people that hate Nick Saban. They say he's sleazy, and he lies, etc. etc. That's all true. All of it. But damnit he can build a football program. He won at Michigan State, won at LSU, and now he's winning at 'Bama. How does he do it? Apparently by breaking out the Cupid Shuffle (get to about 1:30 into this video for a Saban feature).
Ah yes, nothing like white guys dancing. Alabama is in for a let down game. I just don't think it will be this week because Kentucky isn't good enough. Alabama wins and covers.
Texas Tech (-7.5) @ Kansas State, 2:30 pm ABC regional
Did you Know? From 1973 to 1975, the Kansas State football team officially adopted the rules and regulations of the Canadian Football League. The KSU athletic department expected the higher-scoring tendencies of the CFL to catch on in the United States, and the move resulted in a CFL – Manhattan, KS connection that its retains strong bonds to this day. While the rest of the Big 8 conference abided by traditional American football rules, a compromise was reached in 1974 and 1975 to reward all Rouges in KSU conference home games the value of one-half point.
Re: the game – Well 4 games have passed for each of these teams and we effectively know absolutely nothing about either one of them, except for that Texas Tech is for some reason perceived as a Top 10 team. Whatever, the spread in this game is nothing more than a hedge that Texas Tech might be half as good as they're perceived to be, and that KSU probably isn't that great considering the lost handily to a ho-hum Louisville team on the road. Texas Tech of course has averaged 572 total yards of offense a game, but that number is, AS IT IS EVERY YEAR completely meaningless, because a game will come where they put up twice that, and a game will come where they score 3 points on172 total yards. I suppose this could be that game, purely because I really don't know KSU will get up for this game at home, but let's go with KSU beats the spread just because.
Verdict: Kansas State wins, and beats the spread.
MM: I can only think of one thing that Tech does to annoy me - the guns up thing. KSU on the other hand has a plethora of things that I hate:
1) Their mascot has an extremely huge head for his body. When their mascot takes a drink, I envision this happening:
2) The stupid K-S-U chant annoys me
3) They made this video:
OK, so that doesn't make me hate them as much as it does make me laugh a lot. Honestly KSU is like the annoying little neighbor kid that your mom makes you let play in the neighborhood football game. If I didn't hate them, I would feel bad for them. Texas Tech wins and covers (how is this spread so small?) and Ron Prince eats a hamburger on the sideline.
Auburn (-4) @ Vanderbilt, 5:00 pm ESPN
Did you Know? Vanderbilt is located in the "Music City" of Nashville, TN (and which nobody other than the Nashville chamber of commerce and tourists visiting Nashville refer to actually as "Music City" considering nothing more than over-produced, steaming piles of conservative social-platforms have actually been output from the city in the last 25 years). What you may not have known is that Nashville has the highest amount of gas stations/convenience stores per capita in the United States.
Re: the Game – Have the 'dores been outgained in every single game they've played? I think it's been almost every single one they've played thus far. I've maintained all along that Auburn isn't a bad team with a top tier SEC defense, but that's got me nothing but losses the last two weeks. Maybe this time it'll work out right.
Verdict: Auburn wins, covers the spread.
MM: I am so happy ESPN Gameday went to Vandy this week because they could have been at Nebraska. And that would have been bad because SPOILER ALERT!!!!: Missouri is going to beatdown Nebraska /END SPOILER ALERT. In any case, did you know Auburn has 2 mascots? They are called the Tigers, but they chant "War Eagle" so they have an eagle as a mascot too. Here's the crazy thing: the eagle's name is Tiger. Either the people at Auburn are really smart or really dumb. The 2 mascots win and cover. Anyway, here's a picture of a tiger that showed up on the intermist:
Texas (-13) @ Colorado, 6:00 pm FSN
Did you Know? ESPN NFL Analysts John Clayton and Mel Kiper Jr. once got into such a heated argument over the draft position of Auburn guard Kendall Simmons that the two refused to speak or appear on-air with each other for over two excruciating months just prior to the 2002 NFL draft, with Clayton threatening to leave for The Sporting News. The two met at a Fuddrucker's in Boulder, CO, home to the University of Colorado, and settled their differences peacefully.
Re: the Game – Did I already mention that I think that OU and Texas are especially prone to upsets in the game just prior to the Red River Shootout? Texas looked unbelievable during upset week last week, but maybe that's just because their meltdown is off a week. How are you liking the logic/analysis this week? This is what a clusterf*ck upset week does to my analysis – renders it completely worthless. Truthfully, I think Texas is good enough to win the Big 12 this year, but one of either OU or Texas is going to lose this week, so I'm picking both of them so that I can claim the one that did. No actual analysis of any kind with this pick.
Verdict: Colorado wins, beats the spread.
MM: Texas is sneaky good this year. No one is talking about them but they are beating some people down. To be honest, the most annoying thing about Texas is that they sing after every baseball game. This, of course, has nothing to do with football. In any case, Texas is good for one non-Oklahoma misstep per year and Colorado always takes out the big boys. I don't know if they can win, but Colorado should beat the spread.
Oregon (+16.5) @ USC, 7:00 pm ABC Regional
Did you Know? Trojans head coach Pete Carroll is famous for his ongoing maintenance and statuses of his Twitter and Facebook pages, however Coach Carroll still accesses the Internet at his home and office via an AOL dial-up connection, and actually inserts an AOL 8.0 compact disc into the computer each time he wishes to connect to the Internet despite the fact that AOL is already installed on each of the computers he uses.
Re: the Game – This is the anti-KSU-Texas Tech matchup, because each of these teams have played a handful of quality opponents, and yet we know absolutely nothing about either one of them at this point in the season still. The Trojans yielded 176 yards on the ground last week and are facing an Oregon team that lives and breathes by establishing the run with like their 8th quarterback of the season. Oregon absolutely pounded Wazzu last week to the tune of 346 yards on the ground. So we can probably assume some Trojan regression to "good" again this week, but I just don't really have any confidence they can do it to the tune of a 17 point victory.
Verdict: USC wins, Oregon beats the spread.
MM: Here's what I don't get about USC, why do they throw peace signs into the air. I guess it's supposed to be the bottom of sword, but it makes me think that they are all Cali hippies. Anyway, USC apparently needs one loss a year to get their ass in gear. The loss happened last week and now USC needs to feast on someone's blood. Anyway, here's a Will Ferrell/USC movie.
Ohio State (-1.5) @ Wisconsin, 7:00 pm ABC Regional
Did you Know? The state of Wisconsin, well known for their large production and consumption of cheese and American-style lagers, is also the leading state of the U.S. in tube sock production, thanks to the presence of tube sock factories in Appleton for both Hanes and Fruit of the Loom. However, much like their addictions to cheese and cheap beer, the people of Wisconsin actually purchase the highest volume of tube socks per capita in the entire world, resulting in a net deficit in tube sock exports from the state.
Re: the Game – We all did a collective slap of the forehead when Wisconsin did a collective sh*tting of the bed because, we knew all along that Wisconsin really wasn't that great of a team. So now they come into this game with the Buckeyes where the Buckeyes have proven to be solid enough against the run, and meanwhile we've learned that again Wisconsin is pretty much a run only team, with an average defense. And Beanie's back. So how bad was Wisconsin's collapse last week? I'm pasting this because this is one of my favorite drive logs ever:
Michigan Drives 1st half:
And now, Wisconsin's Drives 2nd half:
Those two halves right there – that is the college football equivalent of the flu, with Michigan apparently transferring it to Wisconsin in the same game. Anyways I think tOSU stops the run and meanwhile we watch continued confidence out of the Pryor-Wells offense.
Verdict: tOSU wins and covers the spread.
MM: Remember how I said the annual Big 10 inflation begins? This is a prime example. This game will be close and both teams will be credited for grinding out a hard game against a top tier opponent (even though Ohio State sucks). Side note: I have asked multiple people from Ohio State why they say "the" before Ohio State. Their answer is that it is the only Ohio State University. Great answer douche bags. Strong dislike points there. Wisconsin beats the spread and wins outright.
Missouri (-10.5) @ Nebraska, 8:00 pm ESPN
Did you Know? A long-standing rumor among students at the University of Nebraska is that the Chemistry building on UNL's city campus, named Hamilton Hall, was actually structurally designed to implode in the event of a chemistry-experiment-gone-wrong that would somehow threaten the entire building. These rumors reached a fever pitch immediately following the terrorist attacks of 9-11-01. In an effort to dispel the rumor in November 2006, the University hired the famous Discovery Channel detectives the "Mythbusters" to compose an educational program that explained the origins and debunking of the rumor. The episode, which never aired on the Discovery Channel, successfully debunked the rumor by proving that the external structure of the building would actually collapse towards the north in all building quadrants from a test-model setup. While researching the rumor however, it was discovered that approximately 200 rotting human corpses were present on the tenth floor, the result of a previously-unknown gas leak in the Winter of 1990-1991.
Re: the Game – Last week, in a must-win, crucial first-test the Nebraska offense bombed, the VT offense completely rolled over the Husker defense by air and by ground, and I almost threw my remote control through the television thanks to one Bo Pelini late in the game who found it necessary to further hamstring the already defeated defense. If Nebraska isn't down by 21 at the end of the first quarter and 35 at halftime, consider yourselves witnesses to a miracle. Husker nation – commence meltdown.
Verdict: Mizzou wins and covers the spread.
MM: I have traveled to all but one big 12 stadium and quite a few other stadiums. I have never been anywhere where I felt as frightened for my safety as I have at Missouri. People threw whole cans of beer at my wife and yelled at us like we mortal enemies. It's nutso. I hate Missouri. I hate Chase Daniel. I hate the MIZ-ZOU chant. And I hate their fans - they annoy the hell out of me. That said, they are going to beat Nebraska's ass this weekend. Missouri wins and covers. Side note: last year at Missouri, one of my friends puked in the stands - that was awesome. Anyway, here's a good video of Missouri's starting quarterback.
That's the picks for the week. I hope all the hate talk doesn't make you think I'm a violent person. Really, it's just college football (just like Mario Kart).
Have a good weekend.