I’m not sure how this happened, but we’ve got a pretty awful slate of games for the first weekend of November. I’ve decided to blame the SEC because of their underperforming teams and stupid nonconference schedules.
That’s about all I really have to say and I’m short on time, so let’s take a quick look back at last week’s results before moving forward. Also, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve made the decision to ignore Big Ten games from here on out. I have no desire to predict games I won’t be watching.
Jon’s recent dominance continued with a 6-3-1 week to move him to 50-31-5 on the year, thanks to Oregon doing enough and Oklahoma having one too many defensive lapses. I went 4-5-1 to drop to 43-38-5 overall. Ugh.
Here are this week’s picks, For Entertainment Purposes Only…
Georgia (-2.5) over Florida, 2:30 p.m., CBS
EverBank Field, Jacksonville FL
AA: It’s kind of astonishing both of these teams have fallen out of the top 25, but in their defense, they have played very tough schedules. In fact, every loss except for Georgia’s to Vanderbilt last week came against a top 10 team. Still, Aaron Murray gives the Bulldogs something the Gators don’t have: an offense. UGA gets back on track this week and covers easily.
JM: This is really a tough one. The spread is basically irrelevant here, because if you think Georgia's going to win, you have to think they'll cover. (Side note: have you ever stopped to consider how overtime screws up the point spread? If you think two teams are within a field goal of one another, and they prove you right by going to overtime, someone's still getting screwed because the only way one team can win by less than three points then is because someone missed an extra point. Harsh.) Anyway, Florida's defense has proven that they can be scored upon, and their offense has proven they can't score on anyone at all. Take Georgia.
TCU (-13.5) over West Virginia, 2:30 p.m., ESPNU
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Ft. Worth TX
AA: West Virginia and TCU still might be good Big 12 teams someday. But they’re clearly not there yet. The two newbies played an exciting two overtime game last season, and this season they’re fighting to get out of eighth place. Both have serious offensive issues and haven’t been able to find a reliable quarterback. TCU is at home and has a more consistent defense, so I think the Horned Frogs win this one. Still, that's an awfully big spread. Pick West Virginia to cover.
JM: Addressing this game from our perspective here at BotC, one of two things is true. Either West Virginia covers and we can officially stop worrying about playing TCU, or TCU covers and we're suddenly in trouble -- because the only way TCU covers is if Pachall, reinserted as the starters, gives the offense the spark it's been missing all season. He didn't do diddly after entering the game Saturday, though, so I'm going to make a bold assumption and presume TCU's not scoring a bunch of points this week either. Like you, Ahearn, I think TCU wins but doesn't cover.
MISSOURI (-12.5) over Tennessee, 6 p.m., ESPN
Faurot Field, Columbia MO
AA: Missouri simply has to win this game because karma and also because living in Tennessee will be not fun if they don’t. The Tigers will cover the spread because they’re a much, much better team than Tennessee. I don’t want to talk about this anymore.
JM: Hey, remember last week when there were Tennessee fans who thought the Alabama point spread was offensive? Good times. Meanwhile, although he's not James Franklin, that Matty kid's pretty good. You can't make up ground on me by agreeing with you, you know. On top of everything else, this game opened at -13 and at some books has slipped to -11.5, which is just more ammunition as far as I'm concerned. Tigers cover.
TEXAS TECH (-2.5) over Oklahoma State, 6 p.m., FOX
Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock TX
AA: Texas Tech couldn’t quite handle its first test, but this one should be a little easier. The Red Raiders offense should be able to put up some points and they’ll be in front of the home crowd. Yes, Oklahoma State has appeared fairly potent on offense recently as well, but I don’t think the Cowboys are quite up to this challenge. TTU wins and covers, though perhaps not by much.
JM: Oklahoma State's crime this season has not been that they're a bad team. It's that they've been a consistently boring team. That said, I think it's fairly apparent BroTech is the better squad, if even only slightly, and as a result this line is sort of dumb; it presumes that Oklahoma State is the better team and Tech's only favored because it's in Lubbock. I think it's going to be a good game (or, you know, at least a relatively close one), but BroTech covers.
FLORIDA STATE (-21.5) over Miami, 7:00 p.m., ABC
Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee FL
AA: On paper, this is the best game of the week by a considerable margin. But partially because of what they’ve done the last few weeks, and partly because I just don’t see that much talent, I have very little faith in the Hurricanes. Evidently Vegas feels the same way. Their best win, by far, came against Florida, who really doesn’t seem that good anymore, either. On the other hand, Florida State has looked dominant nearly every week and Jameis Winston is a stud. Look for the Seminoles to win and cover, perhaps easily.
JM: 42-20. That's what the combo comes out to here. I would have thought that was totally laughable until the Seminoles choked the life out of Clemson, but now it seems completely logical and sane. As much as I would like to avoid the horrible spectre of you and I agreeing on every single game you chose this week, I just can't do it. Take Free Shoes U and give the points.
Tomorrow: Well, come on. Ahearn already took all the good games, so what do you think is going to happen tomorrow? Lessee, who's Southern Miss playing...