So last week, for the first time this season, if you faded my FIVE picks you're a LOSER!!!! (Kidding, you're still way, WAY up if you fade me for the year)
Suck it with my just over .500 finish. (3-2, 11-28-1 for the year)
But hey, that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger (albeit less financially well off) and, despite my better judgement, I'm plowing ahead this week, hoping beyond hope that I can pull this season out of the sizzling fat of failure.
I've got a diverse set of games for the FIVE this week.
1. Old Dominion @ Western Kentucky (-13.5) I would really prefer it if I could get this game at -14 or better, but I'll take a good Old Dominion team getting almost two touchdowns against a less-good than their reputation Hilltoppers team. ODU 24 WKU 30. Old Dominion to cover -13.5.
2. East Carolina @ Cincinnati (-1.5) Yes, the Pirates are on a 4-game losing streak but the Bearcats are in full meltdown mode after a horrible looking 20-9 loss against UConn. Cincinnati had everything going for it in terms of their program, and then they hired Tommy Tuberville. ECU 24 Cincy 20. ECU to win on the ML.
3. Oklahoma (-14) @ Texas Tech. But....the game is in LUBBOCK! you say. That's fine, but the Red Raiders "best" home win so far is against a pedestrian Louisiana Tech team, and last week they got boat raced by West Virginia at home. OU is starting to roll with Dede Westbrook healthy and catching seemingly everything. Tech's defense is still awful. OU 45 Tech 17. OU to cover -14.
4. Ole Miss @ LSU (-6). Before we get into game analysis, a moment of silence for Mike VI.......Thank you. LSU needs to run the ball to be successful, and Ole Miss' defense is pretty decent at stopping that. I think Coach O gets the win, at an emotional Death Valley, but I think this is a field goal game. Ole Miss 21 LSU 24. Ole Miss to cover -6.
5. Arkansas @ Auburn (-9.5). After a rough start to the season Auburn is looking better, and Arkansas two losses are to Alabama and aTm respectively. The higher this line moves toward Auburn, the better of a bet it becomes however. Two pretty good teams facing off here. Arkansas 27 Auburn 30. Arkansas to cover -9.5.
Other games under consideration:
Miami @ Virginia Tech (-6). I like the U to bounce back here. The U 27 Va Tech 24.
BYU @ Boise State (-7). If the light-scheduling Broncos don't lose here, I'm not sure they lose. BYU 20 Boise State 27.
Oregon @ Cal (-3). The loser gets the crown of the most disappointing team in the PAC-12. If Oregon loses Helfrich is all but gone. Might even be if they win. UO 45 Cal 38.
Wisconsin (-3.5) @ Iowa. I almost included this in my FIVE. I think Iowa is a paper tiger. Wisc 21 Iowa 3.
NC State @ Louisville (-19). Another game I almost included in my FIVE, but I don't trust NC State at all. NCSU 14 Louisville 35.
Texas @ K-State (-3). Some are calling this a "must-win" for Strong. I disagree, I think the decision to fire him has already been made. UT-Austin 13 K-State 27.
Colorado @ Stanford (-2). What is wrong with the Cardinal? Buffs 27 Stanford 20.
Memphis (-2.5) @ Navy. The University of Houston will be scoreboard watching. Memphis 28 Navy 24.
TCU @ West Virginia (-6.5). At some point people think TCU will become themselves again. I think we're seeing what they are this year. TCU 9 WVU 39.
Eastern Michigan @ Western Michigan (-23.5). The feel-good story of the year visits one of the best group of 5 programs of the year. Not as ugly as everyone thinks. EMU 20 WMU 35.
Houston (-21) @ SMU. The best thing about SMU is their new "city skyline" logo. UH 42 SMU 14.
Michigan State (-2.5) @ Maryland. The Maryland defense makes glaciers look fast in comparison. Sparty 20 Maryland 17.
Ohio State (-19.5) @ Penn State. Yay, another "white out" game. At some point the Buckeyes are going to get it figured out. I think it's here. OSU 56 Penn State 6.
Washington State (-7) @ Arizona State. Toss up game. Whichever team shows up. Wazzu 56 ASU 54.
The big game of the weekend:
Texas A&M @ Alabama (-18.5). I'm not sure if there's a (plausible) line big enough to make me risk money on the Aggies. That said, I was wrong about them this year, they're a good team. But I still think Bama is going to truck them at home. Texas aTm 6 Bama 42.
The teams I root for:
Colorado State @ UNLV (-3). The Rebels are favored here. This is not a drill. Like last week the NEED this game or all hopes of making a bowl are kaput. I think they get it against a pretty awful Rams team. CSU 13 UNLV 31.
Illinois @ Michigan (-35.5). The lines for Michigan this year have been ridiculous. Sure I think the Wolverines CAN win by more than five touchdowns, but I don't think they WILL win by that much. That said I don't think the Illini CAN score against a motivated Wolverines defense. If they do score it will be in garbage time. Illinois 3 Michigan 38.
Good luck and enjoy the games this weekend.