2017 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 10

Webster defines masochism, in part, as “gratification from self-infliction of humiliation”, and doing another round of bonus picks after last week’s brutal results feels more than a little perverse, but that’s how we roll. I’m far too lazy to check the archives and engage in mathematics, however I feel confident in guessing that my 2-7 record is among the worst I’ve had since the start of these picks several years ago. Zach fared a little better at 5-4 and has now taken over the season lead. So it is with some trepidation that I prognosticate anything beyond the bare minimum this week because I am clearly not very good at this, but I’ll be darned if the schedule isn’t chockful of interesting matchups at both the college & pro level. The College Football Playoff committee announced their initial rankings a few days ago, with Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame, & Clemson at the top…for now. I have no problem with any of that, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. Oklahoma, Ohio St., Penn St., TCU, & Wisconsin are right there ready to pounce, and I believe atleast one of those teams will be amongst the final four. Half of the NFL’s divisions look like they’ve already been decided, but that means plenty of intrigue & jockeying for wildcard spots remains. Buckle up kids…it’s gonna be a fun ride.

My Season:        27-29

Z’s Season:        29-27

 

 

 

 

 

Texas                  at      TCU (-6.5)

It seems unlikely that the Big 12 Champion will get a spot in the playoff, but it is possible. So who will that champion be?? The 7-1 Horned Frogs are one of four teams battling for a spot in the conference title game, and they have a challenging stretch run, beginning with in-state rival Texas. The 4-4 Longhorns have shown signs of life this season, upsetting Iowa St. & Kansas St. and losing heartbreakers to USC, Oklahoma, & Oklahoma St. Texas could easily be 7-1. TCU has the home field advantage and is considered the better team by most, but Texas is…well, they’re Texas, even though it hasn’t seemed like it for awhile. The road back to supremacy in college football has to begin not only in the conference but within the state of Texas itself. They won’t win back respectability until they can defeat the teams they used to beat consistently. Does that process begin this week?? I think it might. Zach thinks TCU will bounce back after last week’s tough loss to Iowa St. He predicts that the Longhorns will stay close for awhile but the Horned Frogs will pull away in the second half.

My Pick:     Texas

Z’s Pick:     TCU

 

 

Virginia Tech (-2.5)    at      Miami (FL)

I still despise these two teams. Their departure from the Big East eventually killed the conference and was a huge domino in all the upheaval we’ve seen in college football in the past decade. Having said that, it seems that both programs have rebounded from rough patches and are back amongst the better teams in the country. The 7-0 Hurricanes are 10th in the CFP rankings but have their two biggest games this week & next. A couple of huge wins and a loss by a team or two ahead of them could vault Miami into serious contention. The Hokies aren’t in the playoff discussion, but they could still get to the conference title game. That’d require a victory over the ‘Canes. It makes no logical sense that Tech is favored here, so I’m not really sure what the oddsmakers are thinking. Perhaps they know something that we don’t?? All I know is what I know, and it seems to me that the home team and the higher ranked team should also be the better team. Zach doesn’t believe that Miami has played a very challenging schedule (he’s not wrong) and will fall to their first legit opponent.

My Pick:     Miami (FL)

Z’s Pick:     Virginia Tech

 

 

Arizona               at      USC (-7)

USC was my pre-season #1, but that hasn’t quite worked out. It’s not that they’re a bad team…they just aren’t as elite as I believed they would be. Meanwhile, no one is talking about the 6-2 Wildcats, who could play themselves into the Pac 12 title game, especially with a victory in this game. My burning hatred for former WVU coach Rich Fraudriguez has cooled a bit over the years, and I have to admit that his Arizona team is fun to watch. This one will be on ESPN Saturday night, which will make my night at work a little less tedious. I still think the Trojans are a better team, but are they seven points better?? Maybe not. Zach takes it a step further, predicting Arizona’s high-powered offense to score the winning TD late in the 4th quarter.

My Pick:     Arizona

Z’s Pick:     Arizona

 

 

LSU                     at      Alabama (-21.5)

At first I thought it was hilarious that the CFP committee (properly) ranked Georgia #1 ahead of Alabama, but then it dawned on me that Nick Saban will use it (correctly) as motivation, which is bad for all of the Tide’s opponents. The Bayou Bengals have had a low-key season after last year’s chaos, with a shocking loss to Troy the only thing that has caused a bit of concern. At 6-2 they still have an outside shot at making the SEC title game, but would need to defeat Alabama. If this game was being played in Baton Rouge I might be tempted to predict the outright upset, but it’s not. Still though…a three TD point spread?? The last six games in this rivalry have been won by the Tide, but only two of those victories have been by 21 points, so I’m going out on a limb by guessing that ‘Bama will win but won’t cover. Zach concurs.

My Pick:     LSU

Z’s Pick:     LSU

 

 

Oklahoma                    at      Oklahoma State (-3.5)

They call this rivalry Bedlam. I have no idea why. What I do know is that the winner of this game will pretty much lock up a spot in the Big 12 title game and have a chance to sneak into the playoff. The 7-1 Sooners have an early season victory over Ohio St. in their back pocket, and it’s pretty solid playoff collateral. The 7-1 Cowboys have a loss to TCU as a mark against them, but there’s no shame in that. In my pre-season rankings I had Oklahoma 11th and Oklahoma St. 3rd, and while the Sooners have been better than I expected I’m going to stick with my original thought process and pick the home team. Zach agrees.

My Pick:     Oklahoma St.

Z’s Pick:     Oklahoma St.

 

 

Baltimore           at      Tennessee (-5.5)

After a solid start the 4-4 Ravens have proven to be just as mediocre as we all thought they’d be. Of course in the NFL even average teams are pretty decent, just inconsistent. Conversely, the Titans haven’t been as good as I predicted, but at 4-3 are still leading an unexpectedly competitive division. So which Ravens team will show up in Nashville?? Either way I think Tennessee is better. It’ll probably be a low scoring, smashmouth type of game, but the home team will probably get a couple of big plays from QB Marcus Mariota to secure the victory. Zach disagrees. He believes the “good” Ravens will make an appearance and get a close win.

My Pick:     Tennessee

Z’s Pick:     Baltimore

 

LA Rams (-3.5)  at      NY Giants

In case you haven’t been paying attention the 5-2 Rams are actually…not bad. Heck, they’re tied with Seattle for the AFC West lead. Conversely, the Giants are terrible. At 1-6 they aren’t getting anywhere near the playoffs unless they buy a ticket, which is quite a fall for team that won 11 games last season. Of course they’d had three straight losing seasons before that, so maybe 2016 was the mirage and this is the real New York Giants. It would be just like the NFL…parity and all that jazz…for the home team to score the upset. However, as tempting as it may be to overthink it to that extent I’m just going to make the obvious choice, and so is Zach.

My Pick:     LA Rams

Z’s Pick:     LA Rams

 

 

Kansas City       at      Dallas (-1)

The Kansas City Chiefs were originally the Dallas Texans before relocating after three seasons in the old AFL. That has nothing to do with anything other than being interesting trivia. The modern day Chiefs are 6-2 and running away with the AFC West. Conversely the Cowboys are 4-3 and going to have a tough time securing a wildcard. Is RB Zeke Elliott playing this week?? Is he suspended or is the whole deal still be decided in court?? I don’t even know anymore. Dallas gets a small home field advantage, but this game is essentially a pick ‘em, which in my opinion is disrespectful to a clearly superior Kansas City team. I don’t think it’ll be much of a game. Zach concurs.

My Pick:     Kansas City

Z’s Pick:     Kansas City

 

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