There's probably something to be said for conference championship week. I don't know what it means, because our football season is over, I've had a busy week, and I'm exhausted.
We'll deal with that later. Let's just skip ahead to the near-coronation. How bad has this season been for two of our pickers? They need to rally to catch .500. (That's all I'm going to say about that.)
THIS IS WHERE I_S DROPS SNARK BECAUSE BAYLOR CHOKED ON KIDB
Chris: 2-4 Last Week, 45-36-3 Overall
KidB: 3-3 Last Week, 40-43-1 Overall
I_S: 3-3 Last Week, 39-43-2 Overall
AND NOW ONTO THE FREE MONEY PICKS
Chris Has No Idea What He's Doing (Still, Somehow)
Marshall (-6.5) @ Rice - at this point, six games where I feel good about two of them tops means I'm throwing darts. I landed with Marshall last week, so why not.
Missouri (+2) @ Auburn - Auburn's been literally 0:00 from going 9-3 and the gods they believe in are now dead. Also, Missouri's actually good.
Stanford (+3) @ Arizona State - Arizona State is playing their best ball of the season. Stanford outscored them 28-0 in the first half earlier this season. Why yes, I'll take the slight dog to win outright on the road, but gimme those points.
Ohio State (-5.5) vs. Michigan State - The night is dark and full of terrors that leave in the night like so many coaches.
Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State (-10) - For all the little brother syndrome going on in this matchup, I have a sinking feeling that Oklahoma just isn't very good this year. And by sinking, I mean I'm totally going after Okie Light here.
Texas @ Baylor (-15.5) - /flips coin //tails Well, okay. This is going to be a weird context pick - if Okie Light covers, is either team going to care? - but that's a sure-fire way to go 0-2 on the lot.
KidB's "Free Money' Picks
Teddy Ballgame-3 over CINCINNATI: [Note: my co-pickers will vouch/confirm that this pick was "placed" Wednesday night] Cincy is improving while Louisville appears to be regressing. But I think Teddy Ballgame is a baller, and ballers step up their game on big stages. And for Louisville, a televised Thursday game is the biggest stage they've had in a while. By the time you read this, we'll know whether this rationale is any good. [Editor's Note: Not really. Any time you cover with a favorite in overtime, you can thank your lucky stars. But it's a win]
Memphis PK over UCONN: Memphis has quietly been putting together a surprisingly respectable season. UConn has improved a bit since firing their coach, but are hardly the 2001 Miami Hurricanes.
UCF-10 over SOUTHERN METHODIST: UCF started on fire this year. There wasn't a spread they couldn't cover. And then they beat Louisville and apparently decided that they were good enough to spot their remaining opponents the first three quarters and still come away with the win. This strategy hasn't backfired on them yet, but has backfired on people who may or may not have picked them ATS. But SMU? Come on, they're really really bad at the game of football. I actually think UCF can employ the "spot them quarters 1-3, then commence playing" strategy and still come away with the cover. Eric Dickerson is not walking through that door. CJK5H is not walking through that door. Garret Gilbert is. And he's terrible at football.
tOSU-5.5 over Sparty: 5.5 points? Seriously Vegas? If you take Sparty in this game then you're operating under the assumption the final score will be 7-3. But it won't. No no. The final score will be 31-7 in favor of tOSU. You see, Sparty's defense isn't actually that good. It's just that nobody in the Big Ten can score. Nobody except tOSU. You've been warned.
Utah State+3 over Fresno State: Utah State will win this game outright. And you can quote me on that.
Bowling Green+4.5 over Northern Illinois: Bowling Green will win this game outright. And you can quote me on that.
I_S's "Milos Raonic Quality" Picks
- Michigan State +5.5 over Ohio State. Sparty's defense is good enough to keep this close. The score won't be 31-7.
- Baylor -15.5 over Texas. They've had a rough couple weeks, but Texas is still the name program in that state, and that name will be enough to break the Bears out of their funk for one dominating farewell performance.
- Oklahoma State -10 over Oklahoma. I don't think Oklahoma is actually good at the game of football. OSU is continuing to make me wonder how on earth they lost to WVU.
- SMU +10 over UCF. If UCF keeps spotting their opponents three quarters, that'd be alright by me. UCF doesn't have much to play for, since they're locked into a BCS bowl regardless of the result of this game. And SMU does have really random results sometimes. It's enough hope for me.
- Bowling Green +4.5 over Northern Illinois. When there aren't many games and you're not sure what to do, betting on chaos in the MAC title game is usually a good strategy. Also, I haven't been overly impressed with NIU this year. And the coaching mismatch is extreme. Hi, Will.
- Arizona State -3 over Stanford. Honestly, Stanford dominated Arizona State earlier this year, and while the Sun Devils have improved, I'm skeptical of whether they've improved this much. But when I've succeeded this year, it's been with the contrarian picks, so why not give it another go?