Well, we’ve reached that point of the season where everyone starts freaking out about hypothetical situations.
“Can Kansas State jump Florida to get into the top two?”
“Will Oregon go undefeated and be left out of the championship?”
“Will Ohio get a BCS bid?”
Everyone is stressing out about the polls. Well, except for Tyrann Mathieu. We finally figured out the reason why the Honey Badger don’t care… because he’s super high. But everyone else is very concerned.
I’m here to quell those concerns. Allow me to explain why there will not be a BCS debacle this season. To do so, I’ll quickly go through the remaining unbeaten teams…
Alabama is the best team in the country. They have the best chance to go undefeated and I think they’ll do it. But it won’t be easy. Their schedule is no cakewalk.
Florida will lose to either Georgia or Florida State, then again in the SEC Championship Game to Alabama.
Kansas State has a killer schedule ahead. Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU, Baylor and Texas. They can win any of those games, but playing them all in a row is a tall order. I like them to lose on 11/10 at TCU.
Oregon is one of my favorites, but beating USC twice with a freshman QB is too much to ask.
Notre Dame. Win this week and we’ll talk.
Oregon State will lose at Stanford and at home against Oregon.
Ohio State is on probation, so they don’t count, but I still think they lose to the newly rejuvenated Wisconsin on 11/17.
Mississippi State plays Alabama tomorrow. Good luck with that.
Rutgers will lose to either Pitt or Cincy before knocking off Louisville in the final game of the year.
Ohio has the second-best chance to go undefeated, thanks to their schedule. However, I’ve seen them play recently, and the Bobcats have shown signs of weakness. Everyone assumes they’ll finish 12-0. I think they lose one game, either 11/17 against Bowling Green or 11/23 at Kent State. Also, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that Ohio has a legitimate shot at the National Championship, even if they go undefeated. Congrats on a great season, though.
And there you have it. Nothing that I laid out above is crazy. In fact, most of those picks wouldn’t even be considered upsets. And that would leave us with an unbeaten Alabama, and a few 1-loss teams. Now, controversy is sure to ensure, as analysts argue over which 1-loss team is most deserving of playing on January 7th in Miami. In my view, the only way to ensure yourself a spot in that game is to go undefeated. If you fall even one game short of that goal, you’ve left it up to chance and you have to accept whatever fate you’re handed down from the Gods (and the pollsters). So yes, as long of there are opinion columnists, controversy will always be a part of the BCS. But this year’s controversy won’t be about having too many undefeated teams.
On to the picks…
Northwestern -6 over Iowa
Iowa sucks. My only concern in this game would be a cheap backdoor cover by the Hawkeyes. But if that’s the best argument for Iowa, I’m betting Northwestern.
Oregon -45 over Colorado
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. One of my most effective money-making techniques this year has been taking the 1st half line in Oregon games. In fact I’m thinking about hosting one of those late night infomercials based on this strategy. I’ll wear a yellow, green and silver suit and scream about how I have a get rich quick scheme that the government doesn’t want you to know about. When you sign up for my brochure, it tells you to take the Oregon first half line. “Call now and I’ll throw in a bonus DVD, ‘Quacking Your Way To Financial Independence.’” The line for this game is 45.5, so the 1st half line should be around 27 or 28. Oregon comes out of the gate on fire every single game. They usually lead by 4-5 touchdowns at half, before Brian Bennett and the B-squad comes in to try to finish things off. They’re the first team ever who has to switch to prevent defense and clock management offense with 47 minutes left in the game. Oregon could score 100 every week if they wanted to. The only thing that stops them is that they don’t want to give Puddles the Duck a heart attack from doing that many push-ups. If you saw Oregon’s game against Arizona State last Thursday night, that’s how a typical game goes for the Ducks. It’s 43-7 at the half, and a 43-21 final. I expect a similar outcome against Colorado, who it should be noted is one of the 5 worst teams in the country. 47-3 at halftime, 62-17 final. If the 1st half line is under 30, bet it.
Rutgers -13.5 over Kent St
I wish this line was a couple points lower, but Rutgers has been dependable. You know what you're getting with them, which is more than I can say for 75% of college football teams. I’m looking at you, Georgia. I think the Scarlet Knights march through Kent State on their way to a showdown with Louisville and ultimately a BCS bowl game. Yes, that is an official prediction. Louisville has been suspicious lately, Cincinnati blew that game to Toledo, and things are lined up perfectly for Rutgers to get a January bowl bid. I know, just last week I said Louisville would represent the Big East in the BCS, but I’ve changed my tune. Picking the Big East Champion is like playing the world’s worst game of Clue. Last week I thought Florida State would kill Louisville in the Orange Bowl with the spread option. But now I think Kansas State will murder Rutgers in the Fiesta Bowl with the power run game.
Boise -16.5 over Wyoming
The Broncos vs. the Cowboys, let’s hope this doesn’t turn into Brokeback Mountain. Boise's young players are starting to come around, and while Wyoming is better than the Cowboys teams of old, they’re still not at the same level as the Broncos. I think a 17-point victory for Boise is very reasonable.
By the way, if you didn’t see the Wyoming coach’s rant from a couple weeks ago, watch the video here (warning: very NSFW language). It’s not at the same level as the Mike Gundy “I’m a man, I’m 40” rant, but as far as coach meltdowns go, I’d say this is the leader in the clubhouse for the 2012 season. I especially like the part at the end where he screams “Wooo!” like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. I’m surprised this clip hasn’t gotten more publicity. I guess a clip that was bleeped out for 20 straight seconds wouldn’t sound so good on ESPN.
Texas Tech / Kansas State OVER 60
Forget about Lance Armstrong, someone needs to test Seth Doege for performance enhancers. He must be taking some of that moose testosterone, cause the guy has been unstoppable lately. I think Collin Klein – or “Colon Klein” as Lou Holtz calls him – will get the victory here and remain number one in the Heisman running. But I think Doege and the Raiders put up a bunch of points in a tight loss. We’re looking at one of those 47-43 games.
TCU +7.5 over Oklahoma State
TCU is surprisingly good with this new quarterback. I love the message this sends to young kids around America. We used to live in a country where talent superseded everything else. Terrell Owens would destroy locker rooms, but he always had a job, because he was a physical freak. Dennis Rodman was an absolute circus, but teams loved him because he was the only guy in the NBA who understood how angles worked. George Foreman had 14 kids and named them all George, but it was cool because he threw a mean right hook. Maurice Clarrett was actually signed by an NFL team.
But nowadays, you not only have to be talented, you have to prepare hard and be a good citizen as well. Vince Young is a freak athlete, but no one will put up with his off-field antics or his single-digit Wonderlic score. Michael Vick is eight months away from signing with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, because, despite his God-given abilities, he puts in zero effort towards learning the quarterback position. Which brings us to former TCU star Casey Pachall. He was a preseason Heisman candidate and had a chance to leave a great legacy at the school, but he chose to drive drunk despite the fact that college campuses have cabs everywhere. Now he’s gone, Trevone Boykins has stepped in and played great, and Pachall is just a footnote in TCU football history. It goes to show, no matter how talented you are, you can’t act like an idiot anymore.
Now, of course, if you aren’t talented, feel free to act like as big of an idiot as you want. I recommend starting with a two-man funnel and some wiffle-bat races, then holding an impromptu rap battle and posting the video on YouTube, before heading out for a pub crawl while wearing a giant sombrero. Just make sure you walk, don’t drive.
About the game: I like TCU to pull off the pseudo-upset and win this game outright. 41-37 final, last team with the ball wins.
Ohio State -1 over Penn State
Obama -200 over Romney
Penn State and Ohio State are both banned from postseason play this year, so this is essentially a bowl game for both teams. The Violations Bowl, presented by Enron, The Boy Scouts of America, Bernie Madoff and Tostitos. (Tostitos sponsors everything.) This is a tough game to call, hence the 1 point line. I have to hand it to Penn State for making this decision so difficult. Who would have predicted, when Penn State was missing its fourth field to lose to Virginia, that they would soon be an even match-up with undefeated Ohio State? Kudos to Bill O’Brien for getting the most out of his players this season. That said, I like the Buckeyes powerful ground game to prevail. Penn State has always had trouble with physical running teams, and Ohio State certainly fits the bill. I think the Beaver Stadium crowd will propel the Nittany Lions to an early lead, but the Buckeyes will come back to achieve a narrow victory. OSU 24, PSU 20.
On a related note, you should all read this article on Slate.com about how college football games influence Presidential elections. Apparently voter turnout is greater when the home team wins the weekend before the election, and greater voter turnout favors the incumbent. In other words, Mitt Romney fans should be rooting for Illinois to upset Ohio State next week. This is awesome news, right? I was getting worried that America wasn’t stupid enough. Thankfully that was cleared up after finding out that our citizens vote based on their favorite football team’s performance. Nice work, America. Mark my words, we are 16 years away from hearing the phrase “Good afternoon, President Tebow.”
Louisiana Tech -30.5 over New Mexico State
LA Tech is this year’s Baylor. High powered offense, no D, great to watch, great to bet on. And, as my good friend Spills once said, “If a team has New Mexico in their name, bet against them.”
Washington +4.5 over Oregon State
Oregon State is like that boy band One Direction. They came out of nowhere, they’ve had a nice run, and now it’s time for them to go away. I like Washington in an upset.
Alabama -24.5 over Miss State
Let it be known that I was the first person on the A.J. McCarron for Heisman bandwagon, way back in week 3. I don’t think bandwagons go more than 15MPH, but this one will be maxing out soon, so if you’re in a school zone, watch the fuck out. McCarron is going to throw for 4 TDs in this game and lead the Tide to an impressive victory, putting him second to only Optimus Klein is the Heisman race.
Instead of trusting my opinion on this game, go take a look at Mississippi State’s schedule so far. They have played NO ONE this year. I know that you can only work with the schedule you’re given, but going from Middle Tennessee to Alabama is like going from tee ball to the major leagues. From hand-holding to hardcore porn. From candy cigarettes to the crack rock. The Bulldogs are in for a shock when they experience the Crimson Tide’s speed, size and physicality in person. This will be one of those games where Bama is up 17-0 before anyone knows what happened. Mississippi State is headed in the right direction as a program, but in terms of this year, it’s going to be tough. Starting this week, their schedule turns insane. At Bama, Texas A&M, at LSU, home for Arkansas and finally at arch-rival Ole Miss. That’s a killer lineup. Watch for Mississippi State to finish the year 9-3 or 8-4. Still a respectable season for an up-and-coming team. This week, however, avert your eyes. 40-7, Roll Tide.
Oklahoma -1000 over Notre Dame
If you’re looking for insightful commentary on the Notre Dame game, you’ve come to the wrong place. Oklahoma is going to blow them out, and it’s gonna be great.
Til next week.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @thefaketomz
[No bonus picks this week, sorry.]