Just how miserable was last week in college football? Well, there was the debacle in Austin, and beyond that exactly two games featuring a team from the top 25 was decided by 12 points or less. One was the Michigan-Connecticut monstrosity, and the other featured Notre Dame. No thanks.
Apparently, though, Jon and I do best picking worthless games, especially when the oddsmakers inexplicably pick Central Michigan as a 26-point favorite and then they go and surprise absolutely no one by losing by three touchdowns to Toledo. Jon made the laughable mistake of picking Kansas to not only win but cover the spread, so I finished one better than him at 7-3 and we're tied overall at 20-17-1.
Regardless of our recent success, this is still For Entertainment Purposes Only, and there should be some actual entertainment this week without the stress of Kansas State's bungled attempts to play defense and effectively use two quarterbacks. Yes, there's still only one Big 12 game and it's kind of terrible, but the rest of the schedule is good enough that I'm even leaving the Alabama-Ole Miss game for Jon to handle tomorrow. You're welcome.
Oklahoma State (-19) over WEST VIRGINIA, 11 a.m, ESPN
Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown WV
AA: This is another one of those games where the line simply could not be high enough. West Virginia got shut out last week by Maryland. That's really all you need to know. We already know the Mountaineers can't play defense, so Mike Gundy can basically win this game by as much as he wants to. Probably in the 50-60 range, if I had to guess.
JM: There are two things here that concern me. One, Oklahoma State's defense hasn't been brilliant. Two, their offense has been... serviceable, but it's not like they're going to put up 70. All that said, I can't bring myself to suggest that West Virginia's going to cover. Take the Pokes, give the points.
GEORGIA (-3) over LSU, 2:30 p.m., CBS
Sanford Stadium, Athens GA
AA: Should we really believe in LSU, or is Les Miles just using all smoke and mirrors again in Baton Rouge. It's a difficult question to answer and you never know when Miles is going to use his deal with the devil to pull off something crazy. I have just enough faith in Georgia's offense to believe they'll win and cover the spread today, but it could be close.
JM: No. Sorry. Dude, there are Alabama fans who think LSU should be the #1 team in the country right now. They've actually managed to figure out how to play offense after all these years, and while the defense isn't remotely on the same level as 2011, it's still pretty damned good. Meanwhile, Aaron Murray is just prone enough to spectacular mistakes to give LSU an advantage here. Take away the Hedges, and even Vegas is pointedly saying they don't know who's going to win this game. Well, I do. Or, you know, I think I do. Take the Bengals.
Oklahoma (-3.5) over NOTRE DAME, 2:30 p.m., NBC
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN
AA: Finally, we get our first real clue as to whether Oklahoma will be a real contender for the Big 12 title or mired in a rare down year the rest of the conference can relish. Sadly, I'm afraid it's going to be the former now that Blake Bell has solidified his starting job and looked like a coherent passer last week, even if it did come against a weak Tulsa defense. Plus, ND's offense just isn't that good, especially without Everett Golson. OU wins by more than a touchdown.
JM: I have little to add here, because you're exactly correct. This is not the 2012 Irish; they're missing their two best players and nobody's stepping up to fill the void. The Sooners' season-opening win doesn't look a tenth as impressive as it did three weeks ago, but never mind that. If Oklahoma's going to get undressed, it'll be in Big 12 play, not this weekend.
OHIO STATE (-7) over Wisconsin, 7 p.m., ABC
Ohio Stadium, Columbus OH
AA: I'm going to do my best to avoid watching any of this game, because these are undoubtedly two of my least favorite teams/schools/coaches. Plus, I'm not convinced Wisconsin is even a top 25 caliber team this year, so Ohio State and possible football genius Urban Meyer might just make this a walkover. The Buckeyes will certainly win by more than a touchdown.
JM: Yeah. Not only is Ohio State going to cover, this may be a bit of a blowout. After what Stanford did to Arizona State, it's pretty obvious that Wisconsin's tumbled a level.
Stanford (-10) over WASHINGTON STATE, 9 p.m., FOX
Martin Stadium, Pullman WA
AA: This game, on the other hand, could be quite fun to watch if you're going to be up late Saturday night. Even better news is alcohol will likely enhance your viewing experience with Mike Leach on the Cougars' sideline. His offense appears to have found a bit of a rhythm against two very bad teams the last two weeks, and in an unlikely turn of events, the Cougars might even have a defense. Stanford is probably still good enough to squeak out a win in this game, but I think Washington State makes it interesting and covers the spread.
JM: Oh, speaking of Stanford... Let's be clear, Washington State is vastly improved over the last, um, decade. They're going to be very interesting and a potential factor in the Pac-12. Next year. For now, though, I can't really see them hanging with the Cardinal; this is a lot like those early Leach teams at Texas Tech who looked really good right up to a certain point, and then suddenly ran into an opponent just good enough to push them over the tipping point. Stanford's offense is, on the whole, pretty methodical and not well-suited to covering a large spread, but I think they'll manage it this weekend.
Tomorrow: Yes, we'll venture into Tuscaloosa. We'll also discuss a bronze pig, how horrible Purdue is, and -- most importantly -- Ahearn is going to have to try and pick a game involving roadrunners.