By Tom Z
10:18 AM EDT, September 14, 2012
Screw the clever intros. There’s so much to discuss about this Saturday’s college football lineup, let’s get right to it…
Virginia Tech -10 over Pittsburgh
Virginia Tech isn't the powerhouse I expected them to be this season, but they're a solid top 15 team. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is a train wreck. They can't run, they can't pass, and they're not great at defense. Other than that, they're awesome. I would take the average Texas high school team over this year's Panthers. Penn State must be happy about this. Their team was given sanctions equivalent to the death penalty, and yet they're still not the worst team in Pennsylvania. Speaking of which…
Navy vs. Penn State UNDER 46.5
I never said Penn State was good. Last week they missed 4 field goals and an extra point. That's 13 points left off the scoreboard. And yet they STILL wouldn't have made the over with all those points. When they play Temple next week, the over/under should be 17. I'm not joking about that.
There's so much to say about Penn State this week, I think I need to break it down into bulletpoints.
-Let's take it easy on the Penn State kicker. He thought he would come to school and hone his skills for a couple years while using his status on the football team to bang sorority skanks. Then Anthony Fera transferred to Texas, the team couldn't get into the end zone, and all of a sudden this kid is deciding games. Penn State fans need to chill and accept that the team will be terrible for the next 4 years, regardless of how the kicker plays. Just support the team, win or loss. Show America that Penn State fans have perspective, and other hobbies outside of watching football.
-If the rumors are true, Al Pacino playing Joe Paterno is the smartest movie casting decision of all-time. Watch this clip of Paterno screaming "Come to Penn State!" and this clip of Pacino laughing like a mad man, and tell me these guys aren't kindred spirits.
-Mike McQueary suing Penn State for firing him is one of the ballsiest moves I've seen. When the whole staff is fired for failing to report a sexual predator, and you're the one person who actually saw the predator in action, sorry buddy, but that makes for a pretty weak wrongful termination suit. I mean, Joe Paterno only had secondhand information about Sandusky, and not only was he fired, but the NCAA secretly gave him cancer.
-Penn State moved quarterback Paul Jones to tight end in order to get the athletic Jones more playing time. That's because the Lions have a stud recruit named Christian Hackenberg coming in next year. My friend Karl has a theory that you can tell a good quarterback based solely on his name. If he sounds like someone who belongs in a yacht club, he'll be good. Landry Jones, Kellen Moore, Case Keenum, Robert Griffin III, etc. Notice how Tanner Price, Kain Colter, Tyler Tettleton and Kolton Browning pulled off big wins last week. It's not coincidence, it's the name. Texas should start Case McCoy over David Ash for this reason alone. The point is, Christian Hackenberg sounds like someone you'd meet on a yacht. Maybe there's still hope for Penn State.
TCU -21 over Kansas
Did you know Charlie Weis is the coach of Kansas? I remember he was hired, then I totally forget he worked there until just now. He couldn't get a better job? The guy won Super Bowls and coached at Notre Dame. I'm pretty sure Romeo Crennel would have given him a job as the quarterbacks coach or something. Kansas is a basketball school that's had one good football season ever. They lost to Rice last week. They're not good. TCU is a very good team with one of the nation's most underrated QBs in Casey Pachall. This should be a woodshed beating. Lock of the week.
Arkansas St. +24.5 over Nebraska
I watched Arkansas St. a couple weeks ago when they played at Oregon. They have a good quarterback and they can move the ball. Nebraska is a running team -- I don't buy this "Taylor Martinez has a new throwing motion!" conjecture -- and I don't see them scoring enough to beat the Red Wolves by 25 points.
Uconn vs. Maryland UNDER 40.5
Virginia vs. Georgia Tech UNDER 52.5
You can bet on these match-ups and make money, but if you really want to enrich your life, the best bet is to not watch a minute of these awful games.
(I do think both of these games go under, but this bet is for hardcore gamblers only. Betting the under makes for a horrible viewing experience. You have to root against points, which is like rooting against sunshine and kittens. It's not for the casual fan.)
Louisville -3 over North Carolina
When Louisville was ranked #25 to start the season, I assumed the pollsters were just being nice to the Big East. Turns out they're a respectable team. As for North Carolina, QB Bryn Renner is one strong gust of wind away from being out for the year with a head injury. Louisville 27, UNC 20.
Northwestern -3.5 over Boston College
Look, it's the OfficeMax Graduation Rates Bowl! Mark this down, Northwestern is a good team who will be playing in the postseason. Boston College is… umm, a real class act. Wildcats by 14.
USC -8 over Stanford
As I've mentioned before, I have a crack team -- actually, they're more like a marijuana team, they take days to respond -- who review my picks and offer suggestions each week. All three of us agree this is a strong pick. There's not much else to say here. Bet on the proven winner (Matt Barkley) over the inexperienced newbie (Josh Nunes).
Arizona State vs. Missouri OVER 63
One of my aforementioned "team" members is Dan P. Dan recently moved to Arizona. Here's what he has to say about this one:
“Went to the ASU game last week. The ASU student section is, ummm, scandalous. Todd Graham's offense looks like the real deal. Should be a shootout.”
I should've went to college at a PAC 12 school. Big mistake. That’s beside the point, though. These PAC 12 and Big 12* teams cannot play defense. My prediction: Missouri 37, Arizona State 33. Take the over and enjoy the new defense-free era of college football.
*Note: I realize Missouri is now in the SEC, but they still play the same Big 12 style with the same players they recruited from Big 12 territory. When it comes to over/unders, they're a Big 12 school.
Michigan State -5 over Notre Dame
Michigan State is a BCS team this year. Partially because of their talent, and partially because the Big 10 is so weak. I expect a healthy dose of Le'Veon Bell and a stout defense that frustrates Notre Dame's young players. The Irish actually show a little promise this season, unlike the last 5 years, but they need time to mature. The Spartans, on the other hand, are already in midseason form. I know Boise State has some new players, but that was a quality win for Michigan State. This should be a hard-fought game, and my money is on the bigger, tougher, more experienced Spartans. By the way, has anyone noticed that Alex Flanagan is the sideline reporter for every Notre Dame game now? Is it me or is that kind of racist? They take the woman with the most Irish name ever and give her every Notre Dame game. If there was a sideline reporter named Shamiqua Jones, and she got assigned to every Grambling game, people would ask questions. I'm just sayin.
Alabama -20 vs. Arkansas – STAY AWAY
We were robbed of our game of the week when Arkansas lost to UL-Monroe last Saturday, thus denying us a top ten match-up between Bama and the Hogs. Tyler Wilson is “uncertain” for this game, which means no line is acceptable for wagering. If Wilson doesn’t play, this is a blowout. If he does play, it’s probably a smaller blowout. Ignore this game and watch Florida-Tennessee instead. That’s one of the most heated rivalries in college football, the Knoxville fans should be crazy, and my man crush, future Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyler Bray is going to lead the Volunteers to a long-awaited victory.
Well, that's all for this week. Best bets are Virginia Tech, TCU and USC. Use your discretion for the rest. Ah, who am I kidding? You're a gambler, you don't have any discretion.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @thefaketomz
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