Found out earlier this week that I had an inner ear infection. This is why I've felt like I've had vertigo and an upset stomach that's been getting progressively worse for a while now. I'd like to blame my previous week's piss-poor FIVE results on this but then I wouldn't have an excuse should I be off again this week.
I just need to accept the fact that I'm in the mother of all slumps early-on this year and handicap through it. As is usual, I feel good about this week's FIVE. I think we might be onto something here.
Then again, if you're fading my selections so-far you're 20-5 so consider that. As always though, these picks are NOT representative of actual wagers I'm making and are for entertainment purposes ONLY. If you're using the analysis of an accountant as a means to determine your real-life wagering please go get some help.
Without further ado, this College football weekend looks tasty.
The Week 5 FIVE:
1. Stanford @ Washington (-3). I get why the Huskies are a favorite here. The public loves them and their coach, and they're playing at home. While it's a good home advantage, and while I think UCLA last week proved how to contain Christian McCaffrey, I also think that Stanford showed they can still win a game if you shut him down. Stanford 24 Washington 21. Stanford win on the ML.
2. Toledo @ BYU (-4). How crazy is it that we're wondering if BYU QB Taysom Hill is still as good as he was after blowing out both knees? Of course he's not, but he's still plenty good. I think that Toledo is plenty good too but I think it's been against weaker competition. I think that BYU's losses against strong competition are better than Toledo's wins over cupcakes. Toledo 21 BYU 38. BYU to Cover -4
3. Northwestern @ Iowa (-12). This is a classic matchup of two teams that I feel get over valued each and every year. Of the two teams,the best win on either schedule is Northwestern's win over Duke. But they also have the worst loss against Illinois State. Iowa lost to the Bison of North Dakota State and then barely beat a hapless Rutgers squad 14-7. Northwestern 14 Iowa 17. Northwestern to cover -12.
4. Arizona State @ Southern California (-10). Pity the House of Troy. Coming in to week 5 they are 1-3 and seem to be nearing desperation. Meanwhile Arizona State, picked to finish last in the division, is 4-0 with an offense that looks to be pretty impressive, and a defense that appears to be total shit. USC can play some defense, but they are a poorly coached team that is self-destructing right now. ASU 38 USC 41. Arizona State to cover +10. (I would go ML but I can't stand that ASU defense)
5. Minnesota @ Penn State. (-3). The Gophers are 3-0 but haven't played anybody. The Nittany Lions are 2-2 and have lost to every good team they've played. The deciding factor here? I think Minnesota can rush the passer and I think Penn State's offensive line is garbage. Still, neither team can light up the scoreboard so I'm expecting a "classic B1G defensive battle"....or something along those lines. Minnesota 17 Penn State 14. Minnesota win on the ML.
Other games of note:
Texas @ Oklahoma State (-2.5). The loss to Cal took a lot of starch out of the "Texas is back" sails and OSU getting trucked by Baylor provided some clarity on the Cowboys as well. As I see it, this is a pretty meaningful game for both of these schools because the loser finds themselves officially out of Big XII title contention. Although, in reality, neither is really in the conversation anyway because neither team is especially good. Texas 27 OSU 28.
Virginia @ Duke (-3.5). This is a game that came REALLY close to inclusion in the FIVE. The problem is that, when running the numbers, I see the result being REALLY close to the line. Too close to have any confidence about. Virginia 17 Duke 20.
Oregon State @ Colorado (-18.5). I feel that I know who Colorado is right now, but I haven't seen enough of the Beavers to really have a grasp on them yet. This line feels funny to me, weighted a little too pro-Ralphie, but it could just be that I'm remembering the Rogers brothers' era. OrSt 24 RunRalphieRun 38.
Tennessee (-3.5) @ Georgia. Finally, in the second half, last week the Volunteers looked like the team we thought they might be. And UGA looked like the team I thought they would be this year in their drilling at the hands of a really good Ole Miss team. Plus, the Bulldogs are going to be missing Chubb it appears. Ouch. Rocky Top 31 UGA 14.
North Carolina @ Florida State (-12). A lot of the analytical sites seem to think that this line is too pro-Seminal. My numbers tell me that it's very close to what this game should be. Too close, in fact, to merit it more than brief consideration. North Carolina 17 Florida State 30.
Oklahoma (-3.5) @ Texas Christian University. A road game to Ft. Worth is never a fun task, but this TCU team is struggling on offense and REALLY needs a win to convince folks that this year is not a rebuilding one. Kenny Hill Jr. is an undisciplined mess at the QB position. OU 31 TCU 17.
Utah @ California (-2). If Cal's season form holds then they'll show up to play this week, but this is the first REAL defense they're going to face all year. Utah is coming off of an emotional win, but they don't have look-ahead worries so this isn't really a sandwich game. Utah 38 Cal 31.
Western Michigan (-3.5) @ Central Michigan. My gut tells me that this is the week WMU seizes control of the MAC and we see just how good of a job PJ Fleck has done building this program. The problem is my stomach this year has been a little upset. Still. WMU 42 CMU 24.
Louisville (-2) @ Clemson. The "ACC Game of the year" for the second time this season as Lamar Jackson and Company head over to South Carolina to play the fighting Dabos. Either Clemson is going to figure it all out, or they are going to get trucked. I don't think a Seminole-level ass-whipping is on deck here. Louisville 38 Clemson 35.
Arizona @ UCLA (-13.5). Every week I want to select Arizona as my "upset special" and every week I shy away. But RichRod is going to bag one of these teams eventually and it just might happen during this #PAC12AfterDark game that's sure to be an offensive showcase. BearDown 38 UCLA 42.
Wisconsin @ Michigan (-10.5). This is the 3rd week that I've been worried the Wolverines are too big of favorites. The prior two weeks they proved me wrong. But this week I think they're running teeth-into a Badgers team that's well coached, and really, really good. I'm expecting a game-of-the-year type tussle in the big house. Wisky 24 Big Blue 27.