- This is it. These are the weekends that we wait for. Sure, we have had a couple of huge college football weekends already (the state of Mississippi coming out party when they beat Alabama and LSU comes to mind) and there were some crazy ‘elimination’ games the past couple of weeks (Ole Miss last week), but it’s November now (technically was last weekend but whatever), and it is about to get real. There are 6 games featuring two ranked teams this weekend. SIX. Of those, four are clear cut de facto playoff games where the loser is done and the winner has an inside track to the playoff: TCU-K-State, Ohio State-Michigan State, Notre Dame-Arizona State and LSU-Alabama. Utah and Oklahoma are likely on the outside looking in even with wins (already having two losses), but for Oregon and Baylor, this week represents an elimination game against a top 15 opponent.
- I got a bit of a pushback when running the “playoff game” thing by some friends, so I’ll explain. Obviously the four teams above aren’t going to be in the playoff just by winning, but it looks like they have at least a good chance to control their own destiny. Sure, Notre Dame, TCU or Ohio State may still need help to end up in the top 4 with a win, but if they get one and win out, it they maintain a very good shot at the playoff. As for the lowest ranked team that I’m including on the inside track category, LSU, a win against Bama will still have them two games behind MSU, but that’s a team that still has to go through Alabama and Ole Miss. If they lose those two, and Alabama wins the Iron Bowl, we have ourselves a good old fashioned 5 way tie. They need some help, but it isn’t the craziest thing in the world, so I’m still including LSU in the picture.
- That bears repeating. Let’s make this a scenario ‘If LSU beats Alabama.’ Tell me which of these things seems that unlikely:
Bama beats Miss St.
Ole Miss beats Miss. St.
Bama beats Auburn
All five of the teams above take care of whatever business they have against Arkansas and A&M.
The result of that would be a FIVE WAY TIE with two losses atop the SEC West, with none of the teams having lost a game to a team outside of the five way tie.
The result of THAT would be something along the lines of heads exploding, a fourth or fifth tie breaker being used, and a possible civil war.
Granted, if you make all four of those games an absolute toss up (I’d say LSU over Bama would be an upset-only slightly in Baton Rouge, but an upset- the Egg Bowl is a toss-up and the other two are more likely to go the way I have them above, so let’s just call it a wash and say they are 50/50 games), there is only a 1/16 chance of all four games going the way they need to, but still.
This is college football. There are plenty of times when the long odds that lead to chaos have a way of working themselves out. Please let this be one of those times.
- So the NFL has floated a proposal that would mandate that if an NFL team is going to host a Super Bowl, they have to play one of their eight home games in London. Now, I don’t want to make this an “and now everyone is outraged” thing, because I don’t know for sure that it is, but there does seem to be at least a small amount of negative treatment of the story. Putting aside any opinion on whether or not an increased number of games in the UK is a positive thing (seeing as it has pretty much been determined that there will be), this seems like a no brainer. I haven’t read any revenue distribution details at this point, but you are trading a regular season home date for a guaranteed home date that happens to be one of the biggest events in the world. Sure, you give up a home game for season ticket holders and from a competitive perspective, but any owner would be a FOOL not to go for that. If the NFL is going to look for an increased presence overseas, this seems like a no brainer win-win.
- It looks like the Cowboys could be a Brandon Weeden loss in London away from being off the rails just a couple of weeks removed from being atop the NFC. And that is how you go 8-8 every year.
- The first rankings came out last week (and the second this week). Here are my top 4s, the first being “if the season ended today,” and the second being what I think it will look like when said and done:
- Mississippi State
- Florida State
Last Out: TCU, Oregon, Michigan State
- Michigan State
- Kansas State
Last Out: Notre Dame, Florida State, Baylor
I don’t even think I believe that, but that is what came out and so I’m sticking with it. I guess I’m predicting K-State pulls off wins against perhaps the three (other) best teams in the Big12. And that Florida State is going to lose to Duke or Miami. I’m probably wrong about both of those things but whatever. I do think that Mississippi State has 2 losses left on their schedule, though.
Couple of notes on games that are worth talking about, but I don’t feel strongly enough to put my name to:
- I would take the points (6.5) in the Alabama-LSU matchup. I think that LSU is firing on as many cylinders as they have right now, and I think that it will be a single possession game. BUT, I think that Alabama wins the game, and I hate picking a dog getting less than a score, when I don’t think they are going to win outright. So, push comes to shove give me the charity, but I think that the Tide roll in the game.
- I think Oregon probably beats Utah handily, probably by double digits. I really don’t want them to, though, so I’m not going to put my name to the Ducks (-8.5) and force myself to root for Oregon (that, and 8.5 is just enough that I wouldn’t feel good about it at all.
- Last week, I basically forgot to do NitPicks (or didn’t get a chance, anyways) and churned out ten potential moneymakers in about 5 minutes. This will surprise nobody, but it could have gone better, and half way through Saturday afternoon, I knew that it wasn’t going to be an awesome weekend for your boy picks wise.
It actually bounced back nicely in the late games, and with a split on the Sunday two, I broke .500, but looking back on some picks that were out there and a couple of the teams that I threw weight behind, it could have been way better.
At any rate, 5-5 has me at 55-46.
10. THE PICKS!
I. Georgia (-10) over Kentucky
Georgia had everything that possibly could go wrong last week. They will 1000% bounce back and rip apart the Wildcats.
II. Baylor (+5.5) over Oklahoma
Is Oklanoma good?
III. Duke (-3.5) over Syracuse
Duke sneaky only has 1 loss. Seriously. Look it up. Cuse is awful.
IV. West Virginia (-3.5) over Texas
I know that Texas’s D has been good, but they are no match for Trickett’s hair and Holgerson’s whole persona.
V. Washington (+6) over UCLA
Pete with points at home. Gimme.
VI. Boise State (-19) over New Mexico
I figured I must be a homer because I pick Boise to cover pretty much every week, which gave me pause, even though I think they win big this weekend. So I went back, and it turns out I’m 4-2 picking as a homer this year. I’m going for 5-2.
VII. Kansas State (+6) over TCU
Game’s a toss up. Take the points.
VIII. Michigan State (-3.5) over Ohio State
I think that Michigan State is the better team. I think that it is clear cut. I don’t think it is by a wide margin, though, so I can’t say I feel great about this, but ultimately I would lay the 3.5.
IX. Steelers (-6) over Jets
X. Chiefs (-2) over Bills