Well, last week wasn’t exactly a banner round in the prognostication arts here at The Manofesto. I went 2-5, while Zach was 1-6. The point spread really bit us in the behind, with neither Penn St. nor Nebraska being able to cover the points despite winning their games, and Miami (FL) & Michigan living up to the low expectations of the oddsmakers in spite of our spirited support. Enough said about that debacle. For the season it looks like this:
Your Humble Potentate of Profundity = 23-22
Zach = 19-26
This week gets off to an early start with two big Thursday night college games which is why you are reading this a couple of days earlier than usual. I can actually get myself moving when motivated.
There are some who don’t believe in Baylor, who say that they haven’t played anyone good. Fair enough. Their schedule is backloaded, with Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, & Oklahoma still to go after this game, and certainly their out-of-conference opponents weren’t impressive, so I understand the reluctance to embrace the Bears as a legitimate powerhouse. However, having watched them play a couple of times on TV I tend to lean toward the thought that Baylor is the real deal. The question is are they good enough to destroy Oklahoma like they’ve done everyone else?? The Sooners have been solid, beating everyone except archrival Texas. To be honest if this game were being played in Norman, OK I’d take the underdogs in a heartbeat. Then again if the game were in Norman I doubt Baylor would be favored by more than two TDs. I think one of two things will happen. Either Oklahoma will win and “expose” Baylor, making all the talking heads who’ve expressed doubt about them real proud of themselves. Or Baylor will earn a hard fought victory and gain some measure of respect. One thing that I do not think will occur is Baylor covering 14.5 points. Zach disagrees and thinks Baylor wins this one big.
Oregon (-10.5) at Stanford
This is it. This is Oregon’s big chance to prove that they…not Florida State…deserve the opportunity to lose to Alabama in the national title game. This will be a Thursday night prime time game on ESPN with almost the entire college football world watching (or atleast flipping back & forth between this and the Oklahoma-Baylor game on Fox Sports 1). Stanford has flown somewhat under the radar thus far, but they are 7-1 and ranked 6th in the polls. The Ducks are getting a lot of respect from the oddsmakers. One doesn’t see Top 10 teams being double digit home underdogs very often. Not only is a spot in the national title game on the line for Oregon, but with a victory Stanford could secure a spot in the conference championship game and have an opportunity to get to The Rose Bowl. Oregon has been mowing people down with almost as much effectiveness as Baylor, but something tells me this one won’t be quite that easy. I won’t go so far as to predict an outright upset, but I think this is going to be far closer than most are expecting. Zach calls this one of the toughest games he’s picked but is going with the boys in Vegas and taking the Ducks.
BYU at Wisconsin (-7.5)
In my pre-season Top 25 I had BYU at #25 and left Wisconsin out. That prediction could still come to fruition if the Cougars win out and the Badgers lose this game. Wisconsin ranks 10th in the nation in rushing and has one of the NCAA’s best running backs in Melvin Gordon. And of course they always have a tremendous offensive line. BYU has a rather effective rushing attack themselves. This is going to be an old fashioned ground & pound game, with the lines essentially deciding the contest. I think BYU will hang tough for 3+ quarters, but at the end of the day Wisconsin will control time of possession and get a solid 10 point victory. Zach thinks this’ll be an easy Badger win.
LSU at Alabama (-12)
I must explain something about myself. I am an underdog kind of guy. Plus I can’t stand the idiotic BCS (no matter how many times it does seem to work out in the end). Therefore I am the contrarian who is always hoping & praying for an upset that’ll send the whole process into chaos. On top of all that I…like many others…am getting just a bit bored with Alabama’s dominance. So I have been looking forward to this game simply because outside of Texas A&M back in September I felt like the Bayou Bengals were the only team with even a prayer of upsetting the Tide. Oh I suppose maybe Missouri or South Carolina might have a puncher’s chance in the SEC title game, but in reality the only thing standing between ‘Bama and yet another appearance in the national championship game are the LSU Tigers. So…will the upset occur?? Well, I’d feel a lot better about LSU’s chances if the game were being played in Baton Rouge. And I’d certainly like it a whole lot better if they didn’t have two losses on their record. Truthfully I wouldn’t dare put money on an upset, but I am intrigued by the point spread. A year ago ‘Bama went into hostile territory and came away with a 4 point victory. Two years ago LSU went into Tuscaloosa and won a 9-6 snoozefest. My vibe is that we are in for something like that…maybe a 17-10 or 28-17 kind of game. I don’t think Alabama will lose, but I don’t think they’re going to cover the points. Zach thinks this will be a low scoring brawl between two well coached teams. He’s picking the Tide to roll to a two touchdown victory.
Cincinnati (-1.5) at Baltimore
It says a lot about the Bengals that they are favored in a game away from home, even if it is by the slightest of margins. The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens are 3-5 and actually behind the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Central. If they are going to make any kind of run at a playoff spot this feels like a must win. I am anything but a Ravens fan but my vibe is that they will realize the urgency and take advantage of the home field. Zach is a fellow Steelers fan and is letting his longstanding disdain for Baltimore cloud his judgment. He’s picking the Bengals even if it would likely put the final nail in Pittsburgh’s coffin.
- BCS: Rocky road remains for Baylor (espn.go.com)
- Oklahoma vs. Baylor: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More (bleacherreport.com)
- Oklahoma Football: Sooners prepare for rare Thursday night showdown with speedy Baylor Bears (isportsweb.com)
- Oklahoma-Baylor game takes center stage Thursday (kansascity.com)
- CrystalBallRun.com Power Rankings, Week 10 (bloguin.com)
- College Football Power Rankings for Week 10 (stilesonsports.wordpress.com)
- BCS Top-25: There’s Going to Be a Shake Up (ryandoak1.wordpress.com)
- How Baylor Can Stay Undefeated Against Oklahoma (bleacherreport.com)
- College Football America’s Heisman update: Week 10 (postinspostcards.com)
- Our top 25 votes after Week 10 (espn.go.com)