2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 12

It’s been beautiful here in The Mountain State lately. 75 degree days. Lots of sunshine. Unfortunately that’s about to change, with temps in the 40s & several rainy days in the forecast thru Thanksgiving. I suppose some would call that football weather. Speaking of which, yours truly has regained the season lead after going 3-2 last week. Zach got roughed up a bit at 1-4. Can y’all believe we’re both still above .500?? To be honest doing these picks has been one of the saving graces of the season thus far. All my favorite teams…Marshall, WVU, the Steelers…have been disappointing. All five of my fantasy teams are terrible. Despite all of it though, I still enjoy curling up on Saturdays & watching ball games from Noon til after midnight, then spending seven hours on Sunday watching RedZone. It’s not the most exciting life, but trust me when I say that after all of the things I’ve gone thru those simple pleasures mean so damn much. 

My Season: 36-28

Zach’s Season: 34-30

Central Florida at Tulane (-2)

In case y’all hadn’t noticed, the Green Wave are 8-1, have won 5 games in a row, sit atop the AAC, & are firmly ensconced in the Top 25. That being said, they can’t ease off the gas with Cincinnati & UCF hot on their heels. The Knights are hanging on in the polls themselves & have won their last two games. Everybody knows I tend to be a big home field guy, but I just don’t see UCF being all that intimidated. I think they march right into New Orleans and go home with a victory. Zach concurs.

My Pick: UCF

Z’s Pick: UCF

TCU at Texas (-7)

The undefeated Horned Frogs are in the playoff discussion, but they need to solidify their position by beating a big name program. Yes, I know…they defeated Oklahoma last month, but it’s not enough. If it comes down to unbeaten TCU or a one-loss SEC/Big Ten team for that final playoff spot I don’t trust the committee to do the right thing anyway, but any kind of loss will be the end of the road. Meanwhile, the Longhorns feel like they’re in a holding pattern until Arch Manning arrives on campus, but they do have a legit opportunity to sneak into the Big 12 title game, which would likely be a rematch with TCU. It’s a tall task for the visitors, and I know where the smart money is going, but sometimes I’m not very smart. Zach has concerns about TCU’s defense, but believes it’ll be closer than a touchdown no matter who wins. 

My Pick: TCU

Z’s Pick: TCU

Washington at Oregon (-13.5)

Despite a season opening beatdown at the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs the Ducks have fought back and can see a legit path to the playoff. The Huskies aren’t too shabby themselves, and probably believe they have a shot to play in the conference title game. There’s too much at stake for Oregon to lay an egg on their home turf, but can they cover the points?? Go big or go home, right?? I think the favorites are peaking at the right time & will score a huge win. Zach sees big things ahead for Oregon QB Bo Nix. 

My Pick: Oregon 

Z’s Pick: Oregon 

LA Chargers at San Francisco (-7)

The Niners pulled the trigger on an impactful trade for RB Christian McCaffrey, but still find themselves behind red hot Seattle in the NFC West. The Chargers are battling the KC Chiefs in their division, and last weekend found a way to win without receivers Keenan Allen & Mike Williams. Can they do it again if necessary?? Honestly, I feel like the Bolts are a better team, but with their injuries & the fact that ‘Frisco is really in a must-win situation in order to keep pace with the Seahawks, I’ve got to lean toward the home team. Zach doesn’t think their banged up receiving corps will hurt the Chargers as long as they utilize RB Austin Ekeler to bludgeon the 49ers defense. 

My Pick: San Francisco 

Z’s Pick: LA Chargers 

Washington at Philadelphia (-11)

The Eagles are undefeated & have to be the overwhelming favorite to win the division. The Commanders are below .500 & playing on the road. The Philly crowd will almost certainly show up & show out for Monday Night Football, and I’d be stunned if their team disappointed them. The question is can they cover the points?? These teams played in Washington at the end of September, with the Eagles winning 24-8, and I believe we’ll see similar results this time. Zach thinks Philly has the right stuff to remain unbeaten, but feels like the points are too much & the visitors will stay respectably close.

My Pick: Philadelphia 

Z’s Pick: Washington 

2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 11

The College Football Playoff committee released their initial rankings this week, and I was mildly surprised. Most polls have Georgia at #1, but the CFP folks put Tennessee at the top, with the Bulldogs at #3. Curious indeed. If the playoff occurred right now it’d be the Vols vs. #4 Clemson & Georgia facing #2 Ohio St. That being said, the chances of those four teams remaining in those exact spots are…well, there is no chance. Top 10 teams like Michigan, Alabama, USC, & LSU are still very much in the hunt, while TCU, Oregon, & UCLA need to quietly take care of business and chuckle at the ensuing chaos. I’m not sure how it’ll all shake out, but we will begin to have some clarity this weekend. And by the way…in case you’re curious…Zach bested my 4-4 mark last week by going 5-3, which means we are currently tied for the season. That will probably change more than once in the next couple of months. 

My Season: 33-26

Zach’s Season: 33-26

Baylor at Oklahoma (-3.5)

Both teams have had some tough moments, but they’re both on two game win streaks right now. I suspected the Sooners might not be great this season, but had higher expectations for the Bears. There could be a dogfight between several teams for the second spot in the Big 12 title game, so that’s what is at stake in this one. The smart thing would be to stick with my usual thought process of having ample confidence in the home field, but I’m going to buck the trend & stick with my preseason notions. Conversely, Zach feels like Oklahoma is beginning to find their identity & has better athletes at more positions. 

My Pick: Baylor 

Z’s Pick: Oklahoma 

Clemson (-4.5) at Notre Dame 

What in the world has happened to Notre Dame?? I thought they’d be a solid Top 25 team, but instead they are 5-3 & nowhere near the CFP rankings, which include UCF, Illinois, & Tulane. They even lost to the Marshall Thundering Herd, and I can assure you my alma mater isn’t fielding a great football team this year. Conversely, the Tigers are humming right along as usual. A few months ago, because the ACC isn’t really that great overall, I opined that “the only shot Clemson has (to make the playoff) is to go undefeated in convincing fashion & lay the smackdown on Notre Dame in South Bend”. They’ve got the first part in hand thus far, and now they need to take care of business in this game. Zach likes both coaches, but feels like Dabo Swinney’s experience gives his team a leg up.

My Pick: Clemson 

Z’s Pick: Clemson 

Alabama (-13) at LSU

I’m just hoping for some offense. Remember the 9-6 game in 2011?? Or 10-0 in 2016?? ‘Bama has won 10 out of the last 11 meetings, so I don’t feel as excited about this one as I probably should be, although a night game in Death Valley is intriguing. Can the Bayou Bengals score an upset?? I’m not holding my breath. Can they keep it close?? Let’s hope so. Zach really likes Coach Saban & believes the Tide will roll the rest of the way, clear to the Final Four.

My Pick: LSU 

Z’s Pick: Alabama 

Tennessee at Georgia (-8)

This is it…this is the big one (this week anyway). I’m still surprised by those CFP rankings. I assume a lot of weight was given to Tennessee’s victory over Alabama a couple of weeks ago, but is that fair?? That game was in Knoxville & the Vols still got pushed to the limit. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good…but are they great?? Then again, the Bulldogs don’t have anything close to that quality of a win. We’re going to know much more about these teams by Sunday morning. Who will be exposed?? Is one team overrated…or do both deserve legit playoff consideration?? I really feel like the home field is huge in this situation. If the game were being played in Rockytop the choice would be easy, but I think the home field combined with being ticked off by the rankings will motivate Georgia. Despite not being tested much this year Zach thinks Georgia is the best team in the country & loves their defense. However, he also likes Tennessee’s big play offense & thinks they’ll keep things interesting.

My Pick: Georgia  

Z’s Pick: Tennessee 

Indianapolis at New England (-5.5)

Let’s be honest…these teams are struggling. The Colts have a losing record and aren’t winning their division, while the Pats are sitting at .500 but are in the cellar of the AFC South. We’re only halfway thru, so wildcard berths are still on the table, but this feels like a must-win for both clubs. New Colts’ QB Sam Ehlinger has potential, but he’s going to need some time to get acclimated. Still, benching Matt Ryan was the right call & didn’t surprise me one bit. Meanwhile, New England could have a quarterback controversy brewing themselves, but I’m not sure it matters. It’s a really mediocre matchup of two really mediocre teams, so thank God for RedZone. I don’t know if it’ll actually happen, but I’m rooting for the upset. Zach believes in the home field & foresees the Patriots using their ground game to grind out a double digit win. 

My Pick: Indianapolis  

Z’s Pick: New England 

2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 10

Congratulations to Zach for his stellar 4-1 record last week, although I did best him in a couple fantasy leagues we’re in, so I guess there’s balance in The Force or something. At any rate, I’ve got to focus because not only are we doing a Thursday night game this week, but we are doing bonus picks because the schedule is just that damn good. Happy Halloween Manoverse!! Eat lots of candy & maybe chase someone with a machete. Whatever gets your juices flowing. 

My Season: 29-22

Zach’s Season: 28-23

Arkansas (-4.5) at Auburn 

Whether we like it or not, SEC matchups are compelling. I think it’s the way the games are produced on TV, combined with the fact that most SEC games seem to be sold out stadiums of 75-100k people who are REALLY invested in the outcome. So it really doesn’t matter that these two teams are occupying the cellar of their division & have no shot at catching up to Alabama or LSU. The Tigers are on a three game losing skid, while the Razorbacks are coming off a bye week after beating BYU. Logic & most metrics seem to point to a comfortable victory for the favorites, but The Voices are pushing me to go with the home team. Zach expects a tight defensive struggle, and he thinks Arkansas is a better team.

My Pick: Auburn 

Z’s Pick: Arkansas

Cincinnati (-1) at Central Florida 

Honestly I haven’t paid much attention to these teams this season, but research indicates the Bearcats are 6-1 & still ranked, while the Knights are 5-2 & just got shellacked by East Carolina. Call me crazy, but I think The Bounce House in Orlando is a pretty hostile place to visit, and I’m smelling an upset. Zach concurs.

My Pick: UCF

Z’s Pick: UCF 

Michigan State at Michigan (-22.5)

Okay, let’s cut to the chase. The Spartans are 3-4, while the Wolverines are undefeated & still in the playoff conversation. I realize statistics & common sense are oftentimes thrown out the window in a rivalry game, but come on…Michigan is winning on Saturday. The only question is whether or not they’ll cover the points, and I’m just not comfortable with 3+ TDs. Despite being a huge Michigan fan Zach is on the same page…those points are simply too much. 

My Pick: Michigan St.

Z’s Pick: Michigan St.

Ohio State (-15) at Penn State

The Buckeyes are undefeated & ranked #2 in the nation. The Nittany Lions only have one loss to Michigan and still have an outside shot at the Big Ten title if they win this game. I suppose “style points” are still a thing in the current playoff format, so going into Happy Valley & trucking the opposition is a reasonable goal for Ohio St. Can they accomplish that goal?? A huge part of me wants to pull the trigger on that, but I just can’t. Perhaps they’ll win by 10…but not 15. As a Michigan fan Zach of course can’t stand Ohio St., although he admits they might be the best team in the country, specifically pointing out that opposing teams have been unable to stop them in the red zone. It’s a head vs. heart thing for him, and sometimes the heart wins. 

My Pick: Penn St.

Z’s Pick: Penn St. 

Florida at Georgia (-22)

I’m still calling it The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, even if pansy ass sports broadcasters & advertisers have backed away from it. At any rate, the Bulldogs have been the best team in college football so far, while the Gators are a pedestrian 4-3. Here we go again…the outcome isn’t in much doubt, but can the favorites cover?? If the game were being played in The Swamp I’d envision a fairly competitive contest, but it’s not so I think Georgia wins by four touchdowns. Zach agrees. 

My Pick: Georgia 

Z’s Pick: Georgia 

Baltimore (-1.5) at Tampa Bay 

This is the Thursday night game & the reason I am feverishly crafting this opus of awesomeness right now. I’ve been waiting for Tom Brady to fall off a cliff for longer than I care to admit, and it looks like it could finally be happening. Of course he’s been harder to put down than Freddie, Jason, & Michael combined, so I’m not assuming anything just yet. The Ravens haven’t been all that & a bag of chips either (dear God…did I just say that?!?!? 👀), although they do lead their division. This game puts me in a weird spot because I’d prefer to see both teams lose. Obviously that won’t happen though, so my sense is that Brady will get his shit together for a national audience & his home crowd. Zach recognizes that the Bucs seem to be spiraling, but he doesn’t think Baltimore is that much better. He feel like this may be the beginning of a turnaround for Tampa. 

My Pick: Tampa Bay 

Z’s Pick: Tampa Bay 

San Francisco (-2) at LA Rams 

You may have heard that the Niners just traded for RB Christian McCaffrey. I’m hesitant to give too much weight to that though…it’s only Thursday so it is entirely possible that Run CMC ends up injured before Sunday. Anyway, the NFC West is as tight as I knew it would be, which makes this game rather important. Kudos to ‘Frisco for addressing a need, but at the end of the day I don’t think it’ll make a huge difference to anyone other than fantasy owners, and I think the Rams are a better team. Zach is looking for the Stafford to Cupp connection to be huge for the Rams. 

My Pick: LA Rams 

Z’s Pick: LA Rams 

Green Bay at Buffalo (-11.5)

While I’ve been praying for the wheels to fall off Brady for years I am a little surprised that Aaron Rodgers is apparently following him into the abyss. I knew the loss of receiver Davante Adams would have an effect, but I expected young guys to step up & keep the Packers on top. That has not happened. Conversely, the Bills are humming along atop the AFC East as expected. It’s Super Bowl or bust for Buffalo, but I suppose defeating Rodgers along the way would be nice for Josh Allen. That being said, we’re back to our apparent theme for the day…can the favorite cover double digit points?? Three months ago I wouldn’t have thought so, but Green Bay has not shown me any reason to believe in them. Zach concurs. 

My Pick: Buffalo 

Z’s Pick: Buffalo 

2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 9

Greetings football fans & citizens of The Manoverse. I’m running just a little behind schedule for no real reason, but it’s all good as long as we get this posted for the masses before kickoff. This is exactly why we rarely pick Wed./Thurs./Fri. games, because I know  how I get sometimes. Anyway, before we can move forward we have to tie up loose ends from last week. I was 3-0 in the games I solely picked, while Zach was 1-2. In the four games we both picked Zach was 1-3 while I was 2-2. That means overall I was 5-2, Zach was 2-5, and the season lead has changed hands. It might not last long, so allow me this moment. There are several intriguing games on the college schedule this weekend, but many of them seem to involve teams we just dealt with, and I prefer to mix things up a little. Therefore we are leaning heavier toward the NFL. That’ll probably flip flop next go round. 

My Season: 26-20

Zach’s Season: 24-22 

UCLA at Oregon (-6)

The Ducks are on a five game win streak after dropping the season opener against defending national champs Georgia. The Bruins are undefeated. That means this is a matchup of two Top Ten teams seeking to remain in the playoff conversation. This is going to be a high scoring game (the over/under is 70.5), which could mean a few things: a) special teams might make the difference, b) turnovers are critical, & c) penalties will play a key role. I’m going to roll the dice on the home team being able to cover, but to be honest I wouldn’t be shocked if it was closer than that. Zach really believes in UCLA’s offense and thinks they’ll live up to expectations. 

My Pick: Oregon 

Z’s Pick: UCLA 

Kansas State at TCU (-4)

As a lifelong WVU fan I’d prefer to see my Mountaineers atop the Big 12 standings, but it’s atleast refreshing to see teams other than Oklahoma & Texas battling for the conference crown. The Horned Frogs are undefeated, while the Wildcats only have an inexplicable loss to Tulane blemishing their record. Both teams can put up points, so I believe the thing to watch for is which defense will step up in a big moment. TCU is coming off a huge overtime victory against Oklahoma St., and it’s difficult to reach those emotional highs two weeks in a row, so I’m picking the upset. Conversely, Zach likes the home team to keep their momentum going. 

My Pick: Kansas State

Z’s Pick: TCU 

NY Giants at Jacksonville (-3)

Thus far my preseason assessment of the Giants has been way off base. They’ve already won four more games than I predicted they’d win all season. My thoughts on the Jaguars have proven a bit more accurate, as they are certainly headed in the right direction & QB Trevor Lawrence has shown flashes of potential, but they’re unlikely to be a legit playoff threat. I like the home team this week, but it’ll probably be tighter than I’d prefer. I’ll probably be sweating a bit in the 4th quarter. Zach believes new Giants’ head coach Brian Daboll has successfully changed the culture in his first season, which makes a lot of sense when you look at his previous assistant coaching stops (Alabama, NE Patriots, Buffalo Bills). 

My Pick: Jacksonville 

Z’s Pick: NY Giants 

NY Jets at Denver (-3)

Before the season began I predicted that we’d see clear improvement by the Jets, but they’d still finish at the bottom of a tight division. I’m not backing off of that just yet. I also said the Broncos would be a wildcard contender, but the AFC West isn’t shaking out at all the way I thought, although it’s still early. Is it possible that the trade that sent Russell Wilson to Denver could become one of the worst transactions in NFL history?? I’m not ready to go there at this point, but it’s fair to say that the deal hasn’t paid dividends for either team so far. The home field is a unique edge for Denver, but not insurmountable, so I’m going with the upset. Zach likes the Broncos defense, but doesn’t believe their offensive line is capable of protecting Wilson. 

My Pick: NY Jets 

Z’s Pick: NY Jets 

Pittsburgh at Miami (-7)

Typically we don’t pick games involving our Steelers, but rules are made to be broken, right?? No one expects anything from Pittsburgh this season, but after upsetting “The GOAT” (not 🙄) last week with a depleted secondary, without sack monster TJ Watt, & a tandem effort by quarterbacks Kenny Pickett & Mitch Trubisky, it remains within the realm of possibility that this team could achieve unforeseen success in an inferior division. QB Tua Tagovailoa will be back for the Dolphins, and it’s certainly plausible that he & receiver Tyreek Hill could carve up the Steelers’ defense like Michael Myers in Haddonfield on All Hallows’ Eve, but I don’t believe that’s what will happen. I don’t know how, but I think the Black & Gold will march into south Florida and escape with a victory. Zach has faith in the Steelers’ defense despite all their injuries, and thinks they’ll get enough stops & turnovers to keep it closer than a touchdown and perhaps even lead the team to a huge win. 

My Pick: Pittsburgh 

Z’s Pick:  Pittsburgh 

2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 8

We’re trying something new again folks!! This week we’re each picking three separate games, and there are four games we’ll both pick. I hope that makes sense. The season contest is tight and there are a plethora of really interesting matchups, so why not shake things up a little bit, right?? 

My Season: 21-18

Zach’s Season: 22-17

Mississippi State (-7) at Kentucky 

The Wildcats are on a two game losing skid, while the Bulldogs have won three in a row. Kentucky’s Will Levis, a potential Heisman candidate & possibly one of the top quarterbacks in next spring’s NFL Draft, missed last week’s game with a foot injury, and he may or may not be back this weekend. That puts me in an odd position, because with Levis I like the home team, but without him I agree with the oddsmakers. I’m a big believer in home field advantage, so I’m going to hedge my bets and hope that even without Levis the underdogs stay closer that a touchdown. 

My Pick: Kentucky 

Clemson (-3.5) at Florida State

A decade ago this was a marquee matchup, but the Seminoles have fallen on hard times. At 4-2 perhaps a turnaround is on the horizon, but they face a tall task. The Tigers are undefeated and in the playoff hunt. I don’t believe they’ll finish that high, but, as much as I’d love to pick the upset, I don’t think Clemson’s downfall will occur in Tallahassee. 

My Pick: Clemson 

Arizona (-3) at Seattle

The NFC West  certainly reflects parity in the NFL, which is a nice way of saying that none of the teams in the division have separated themselves from the pack & look much more ordinary than most anticipated. I’m not at all surprised that the 2-3 Seahawks have struggled, but the Cards’ 2-3 start is a bit unexpected. I still believe Arizona is a better team, but Seattle enjoys one of the greatest  home fields in the league, and QB Geno Smith has proven himself worthy thus far, so I’m pulling the trigger on an upset. 

My Pick: Seattle 

James Madison (-10.5) at Georgia Southern 

The 5-0 Dukes are ranked in the Top 25 and undoubtedly would like to stay there. The Eagles have lost two in a row and find themselves cellar dwelling in the Sun Belt. This is a 4pm kickoff on ESPN+, and I don’t think many doubt the outcome. The big question is are the points too much?? Zach doesn’t think so. He foresees a huge, high scoring beatdown.

Zach’s Pick: James Madison 

USC at Utah (-3.5)

The Trojans are ahead of schedule thus far, coming into this one unbeaten & ranked in the Top Ten. However, I predicted they’d lose atleast once and specifically mentioned this game and a late November battle with Notre Dame. That being said, I also expected the Utes to be better than 4-2 at this point. Specifically they are 0-2 against ranked teams. Zach thinks USC is actually underrated, and even though he respects Utah’s team speed he smells an upset brewing. 

Zach’s Pick: USC 

Dallas at Philadelphia (-5)

In the immortal words of the late, great Keith Jackson…whooooaaa Nellie!! NBC has themselves a ratings grabber. The Eagles are undefeated, while the Cowboys look like they have one of the better defenses to come down the pike in quite awhile. It doesn’t even matter that they’re starting an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan at quarterback. Philly has the home field, but it’s possible that Dallas QB Dak Prescott could return from the thumb injury that has kept him out of action the past month. In other words, there are a lot of variables to consider. Zach isn’t sure who’ll come out on top, but thinks the winning margin will be under five points. 

Zach’s Pick: Dallas 

Miami (FL) (-7.5) at Virginia Tech

I’m a sucker for these old Big East battles. Call it nostalgia I suppose. The 2-3 Hurricanes are struggling, but the 2-4 Hokies aren’t any better. I hope everyone is enjoying that ACC money while being an afterthought in college athletics. It’s one of those games that I wish both teams could lose, which obviously won’t happen. Even though my WV Mountaineers beat Tech in Blacksburg earlier this season I still think it’s a formidable home field, so I believe they’ll atleast keep things close. Zach thinks the home team will start hot but cool off on the second half, allowing Miami to pull away for the win. 

My Pick: Virginia Tech 

Z’s Pick: Miami (FL)

LSU at Florida (-2.5)

Even though both teams come into this game at 4-2 and only battling for pride & bowl positioning to a couple of late December games no one will watch it’s still a compelling matchup that ESPN will hype the hell out of to make it seem important. I suppose it does matter to a degree in recruiting, so there is that. The Swamp is a difficult place to play, and the Gators seem to be trending in the right direction after losing three straight in September. Zach believes LSU will be competitive for awhile, but The Swamp is just too big of an obstacle to overcome. 

My Pick: Florida 

Z’s Pick: Florida 

Alabama (-7.5) at Tennessee

We have arrived at this week’s Greatest, Biggest, Most Monumental Game of All Time. The Vols aren’t getting much respect from the folks in Vegas, but perhaps that has more to do with their opponents than anything. ‘Bama is a proven commodity, with a track record of championships & steamrolling opponents…recent history that has actually occurred in this century. Conversely, Tennessee hasn’t won 10+ games in consecutive seasons since the late 90s. But…what about this year?? Not only is Neyland Stadium in Knoxville a daunting venue for visitors, but the home team is undefeated against a pretty solid schedule. The Tide is ranked #3, but struggled to beat Texas A&M last weekend without QB Bryce Young, the reigning Heisman winner who is dealing with an injured shoulder. If Young plays Alabama has a great chance at victory…if he sits again Tennessee should win comfortably. My vibe is that Young plays at less than 100%, leading his team in a valiant effort that falls short. Conversely, Zach thinks it’ll be Alabama’s defense that will lead them to an impressive victory. 

My Pick: Tennessee 

Z’s Pick: Alabama 

Buffalo (-2.5) at Kansas City  

The 4-1 Bills beat the hell out of our Steelers last weekend, but face a much more worthy opponent on Sunday. The 4-1 Chiefs are going to be good as long as Patrick Mahomes is leading the charge, so this game comes down to defense. Will it be a high scoring shootout, or can one of these defenses rise up and prove themselves?? After missing four games with an ankle injury will KC kicker Harrison Butker be active?? I foresee a high scoring game decided by special teams late in the 4th quarter, and The Vibes are telling me the home team will score a mild upset. Zach thinks Josh Allen is actually a better QB right now, and Kansas City can look a little sluggish at times. He thinks a last minute drive to win the game will be led by Allen. 

My Pick: Kansas City  

Z’s Pick: Buffalo 

2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 7

Good news!! We’re both above .500!! After we each went 3-2 in our fun little experiment a week ago it’s back to business as usual. Your Godfather of Cyberspace turns 50 this week, but I don’t have anything too wild planned, and honestly I can’t think of a much better way to celebrate than watching hours & hours of awesome football action. 

My Season: 18-16

Zach’s Season: 20-14

TCU (-6.5) at Kansas 

I almost feel bad for the 5-0 Jayhawks. They’re having their best season in years yet find themselves underdogs at home simply because the 4-0 Horned Frogs beat the snot out of Oklahoma last week. I think that’ll be motivation for Kansas to win comfortably. Zach expects a shootout. He thinks TCU is probably the better team, but believes Kansas will atleast cover the points & may win outright.

My Pick: Kansas 

Z’s Pick: Kansas

Tennessee (-2.5) at LSU

The Vols are 4-0, with wins over Pitt & Florida, while LSU is 4-1, with only a one point loss in their season opener as a blemish on their record. I really like Tennessee, but Death Valley is a tough place for visitors. If this game were in prime time (it should’ve been) I’d really be tempted to pick the underdogs simply because of the atmosphere, but I think the light of day makes it a little less intimidating. Zach views this as Tennessee’s offense vs. LSU’s defense, but, though he has observed improvement, doesn’t think the Bayou Bengals are quite thru taking their lumps just yet. 

My Pick: Tennessee 

Z’s Pick: Tennessee 

Texas (-7) vs. Oklahoma 

The Red River Shootout feels like its being played with cap guns. The Sooners are reeling after two straight losses, while the Longhorns are having a roller coaster 3-2 season themselves. This is a neutral site game at the Palace in Dallas, and I’d really like to pick the upset. However, Oklahoma’s starting QB may or may not play, which is significant. They do have a backup quarterback named General Booty, which is hilarious but not really a factor. Zach thinks Texas is probably the better team, but believes Oklahoma will atleast keep it close. 

My Pick: Texas 

Z’s Pick: Oklahoma 

Texas A&M at Alabama (-24)

Nick Saban & Jimbo Fisher grew up about a half hour away from one another here in northcentral West Virginia, although Saban is about 15 years older. I’m fascinated by this matchup mainly due to the heated words the two exchanged this past offseason and would love to hear what is said during the postgame handshake Saturday night. Unfortunately I don’t think it’ll be much of a contest, as the 3-2 Aggies haven’t found the right combination yet while the 5-0 Tide is rolling, as they tend to do more often than not. The only wild card is the points, and I believe Saban will be particularly invested in embarrassing his old buddy Jimbo. Zach is also looking forward to the postgame handshake, but the points are too scary for his taste. He thinks A&M will keep it respectable. 

My Pick: Alabama 

Z’s Pick: Texas A&M

Cincinnati at Baltimore (-3)

Thankfully for our Steelers the AFC North has gotten off to a pretty bad start as a whole, with the winner of this game taking control of first place with just a 3-2 record. The Ravens lost a heartbreaker to Buffalo last weekend, while the Bengals are on a two game winning streak after losing a couple of close ones out of the gate. I feel like momentum has shifted toward the visitors for the moment, although I expect the division to be competitive throughout the season. Zach really likes Lamar Jackson and foresees him leading his team to a two TD victory. 

My Pick: Cincinnati 

Z’s Pick: Baltimore 

2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 6

Buckle your seatbelts folks…we’re trying something a little different this week. Instead of going head to head and picking the same games Zach & I will each be picking different games. It’s a format I originally pondered a few years ago and ultimately decided against for various reasons, but there are so many intriguing games on the schedule this feels like a good time to shake things up and cover as much ground as possible. We’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming next week. Enjoy.  

My Season: 15-14

Zach’s Season: 17-12

Utah State at BYU (-24)

I ranked the Cougars 6th, and at 3-1 I believe they still have a chance to climb that high if they pull off a couple of upsets & get to 10 wins. The Aggies seem to be a force in the Mountain West with some regularity, but at 1-3 this might be an off year. The points are a bit much…especially for an in-state rivalry…but I have faith in the home team. 

My Pick: BYU

Georgia Southern at Coastal Carolina (-10)

They may have inexplicably lost two straight after the biggest victory in school history (at Notre Dame), but I’m thankful my Marshall Thundering Herd are now in the much more entertaining Sun Belt instead of the pedestrian C-USA. The 3-1 Eagles scored a win over Nebraska a few weeks ago, which is impressive no matter what kind of sad shape that legendary program is in. The Chanticleers might not have that sort of signature win this year, but they’ve won 11 games in each of the past two seasons. I like the home team to score alot of points and get an important triumph.

My Pick: Coastal Carolina 

San Diego State at Boise State (-6)

Unlike previous years no one seems to be talking about the Broncos. Perhaps that’s because they’ve just been average the past two seasons, and at 2-2 that might not change in 2022. The Aztecs are also 2-2, so somebody is waking up Sunday morning with a winning record while the other team…well…isn’t. It’s hard to go against the infamous blue turf, so I’m picking the home team. 

My Pick: Boise St.

Tennessee at Indianapolis (-3)

Something has been off with the 1-2 Titans, who I thought would win their division comfortably. And now left tackle Taylor Lewan is gone for the season with a knee injury, which will make life that much harder for RB Derrick Henry, who’s already off to a slow start. The Colts could easily be 0-3, but have lucked into a 1-1-1 record. I normally have a lot of faith in the home field advantage, but The Vibes are telling me this is the week Tennessee wakes up and remembers that they’re supposed to be a playoff team.

My Pick: Tennessee 

Jacksonville at Philadelphia (-6.5)

I told you the Jags could be headed in the right direction, and right now they sit atop their division. I don’t expect that to last, but their improvement is undeniable. Meanwhile, the Eagles are 3-0 and look like they could cruise to a division title. I’m hoping for an entertaining contest, but I believe Philly wins this one easily. 

My Pick: Philadelphia 

Kentucky at Ole Miss (-6.5)

Isn’t Kentucky supposed to be a basketball school?? I guess the 4-0 Wildcats didn’t get that memo, especially when you consider they were 10-3 a season ago. The Rebels are also 4-0 and could launch themselves into the Top 10 with a victory. Zach likes Kentucky’s defense to keep things close and they’re running attack to eat clock. He’s not sure who might come out on top, but feels like it’ll be closer than a touchdown either way. 

Z’s Pick: Kentucky 

Texas Tech at Kansas State (-7.5)

This might be the sleeper game of the weekend. Both teams are 3-1, with the Red Raiders coming off a thrill overtime win over Texas, while the Wildcats upset conference foe Oklahoma. Can both teams channel that momentum into another positive outcome, or will one fall prey to a giant letdown?? Zach isn’t comfortable with the points & foresees another close contest. 

Z’s Pick: Texas Tech 

North Carolina State at Clemson (-6.5)

In my preseason poll I predicted the Wolfpack would continue their winning ways and finish as a ranked team, while I had Clemson finishing outside the Top 10. Thus far both teams are unbeaten, but the Tigers had to go into overtime to defeat Wake Forest last week while NC St. hasn’t broken a sweat since the second half of their season opener when they took their foot off the gas pedal and scored a closer than it should’ve been victory. Zach opines that Clemson’s defense is terrible and NC St. is a sneaky good team, but in the end he thinks the home team will get the job done. 

Z’s Pick: Clemson 

New England at Green Bay (-10.5)

Is the tundra frozen yet?? Probably not…it’s only October. The divorce of the Packers & receiver Davante Adams hasn’t worked out well for anybody at this point. I thought The Pack would win their division with ease, but it’s been a dogfight. The Pats look like they’re being coached by Cleveland Browns Era Belichick instead of six time Super Bowl winner Belichick, which makes me happy. I’ll hate those bastards til my last breath. Zach still has faith in Belichick and believes they’ll grind it out well enough to atleast keep things interesting.

Z’s Pick: New England 

Kansas City (-2.5) at Tampa Bay 

It’s a battle of alleged legends…ageless Tom Brady vs. still in his prime Patrick Mahomes. Hurricane Ian has been reeking havoc on the Gulf Coast of Florida, but at the moment it doesn’t look like the game will be moved out of Tampa to a neutral site or to Monday night instead of Sunday night, both of which had been floated as possibilities. Zach doesn’t believe Brady will lose two in a row and predicts late game heroics by Tampa Tom will secure a win for the underdogs.

Z’s Pick: Tampa Bay 

2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 5

As has become our annual tradition I want to encourage any non-sports fans in The Manoverse to stick with me. These picks dominate the landscape each autumn, and it doesn’t help that I’ve not been as prolific for…well, awhile. I have lots of things in my head, but motivation has been a huge problem for various reasons. I’ll try to do better going forward. In football related matters you’ll notice that we’re light on college action and leaning more into the NFL, which is unusual for September. I expect that’ll change next week though. 

My Season: 11-13

Zach’s Season: 14-10

Baylor at Iowa State (-2.5)

In my preseason poll I ranked Baylor 7th but noted that they’d need to be road warriors to get there, and now here we are. The Bears have beaten up two cupcakes and narrowly lost to BYU in overtime, while the Cyclones are 3-0 with a close win over in-state rival Iowa. This is probably going down to the wire with special teams & turnovers playing a key role in the outcome, and I’ve got to stick to my earlier thought process. I think Baylor gets a tight road victory. Zach foresees a defensive slug fest, and he likes State’s defense just a little better.

My Pick: Baylor 

Z’s Pick: Iowa St.

Florida at Tennessee (-11)

I consulted multiple sources because I just couldn’t believe the points, but what you see is accurate. The Vols are 3-0 and ranked 11th, scoring two blowout wins against MAC competition & an impressive overtime road victory over the Pitt Panthers. Conversely, the 2-1 Gators appear to be riding a roller coaster, with a huge season opening upset of Utah, a loss to SEC rival Kentucky, and a tougher than it should’ve been escape against in-state challenger South Florida. Still, as impressive as Tennessee has been & as many questions as there may be about Florida, eleven points seems a bit much, even with the game being played in Knoxville. Zach thinks Florida had looked sluggish, but he agrees the points are too much.

My Pick: Florida 

Z’s Pick: Florida 

Buffalo (-4) at Miami 

The Bills are firing on all cylinders right now, and are certainly one of the two or three best teams in the NFL. However, the Dolphins have been impressive as well. Receiver Tyreek Hill has breathed new life into Miami’s offense, and I’ve been shouting from the rooftops for awhile now that it’s way too soon to give up on QB Tua Tagovailoa. The home crowd is going to be jacked for this one, and it would be a major statement win for a Fins team that hasn’t played in the postseason since 2016. Not only is Zach also picking the upset, but he thinks this could be an AFC Championship preview. 

My Pick: Miami 

Z’s Pick: Miami 

Detroit at Minnesota  (-6.5)

I told y’all that the Lions would be the surprise of the NFC North, and so far they’ve looked as good as a 1-1 team can. As a matter of fact, all four teams in the division…including the Vikings…are tied. This will be the beginning of the separation, when we differentiate the contenders from the pretenders. I don’t believe that either club will be playoff bound or even finish with a winning record, but I do think Detroit is the better team. Zach isn’t totally sure he knows the outcome, but he definitely thinks it’ll be closer than a touchdown. 

My Pick: Detroit 

Z’s Pick: Detroit 

San Francisco (-1) at Denver  

‘Frisco lost starting QB Trey Lance to a broken ankle, but, while that’d be a season killer for most teams, I don’t believe it makes all that much difference in this case. Lance may end up being a decent NFL quarterback, but I have my doubts and don’t think he was ready yet anyway. Jimmy Garoppolo might not be the next Joe Montana, but he’s capable enough to step right back into the starter role without the team missing a beat. The Niners should count their lucky stars they didn’t trade him. On the flip side the Broncos haven’t looked as impressive as I expected with Russell Wilson behind center. I feel like both teams are going to need their defenses to carry them, and to that end I foresee a low scoring contest decided by field goals, time of possession, field position, & penalties. Something like a 15-13 kind of game, with the visiting favorites escaping with a win. Zach likes the Jimmy G. story and thinks he’ll lead his team to victory. 

My Pick: San Francisco

Z’s Pick: San Francisco 

2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 4

So let’s talk about the new 12 team College Football Playoff. It will be implemented sometime between 2024 & 2026 and feature the six highest ranked conference champions & six at large teams. One can assume that all of the Power 5 conference champs (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, PAC 12, & Big 12) will almost always be in, as well as atleast one champ from the Other 5 conferences (AAC, C-USA, Mountain West, MAC, & Sun Belt). Occasionally a second of those other conference champions might snag a spot, but it is likely that most of the time the at large berths will be given to teams (most often conference runners up) in the Power 5 (and Notre Dame if they remain independent). The dynamics of the debate will change, but we’ll probably still argue about whether a spot should go to the MAC Champion or the 3rd place team in the Big Ten. The top four teams will receive a first round bye, and both the quarter & semi finals will incorporate existing bowl games. There’s a lot to unpack, but this isn’t the time because that’s not why you’re here.

My Season: 8-11

Zach’s Season: 11-8

Oklahoma (-11.5) at Nebraska 

I’m old enough to remember the Big 8 Conference, which won 11 national titles in less than a half century. Six of those championships were won by the Sooners, four by the Cornhuskers. Oklahoma has mostly maintained a high level of success, although an imminent move to the SEC may change that. Conversely, Nebraska has gotten lost in the shuffle since joining the Big Ten over a decade ago, and now they just fired their head coach after an embarrassing loss to Georgia Southern. I’m not expecting this to be much of a contest, although the home team might put up a fight for awhile. Ultimately I believe it’ll be a blowout. Zach notes that Oklahoma doesn’t seem to be as good as they’ve been in the recent past, but agrees they should win this game easily. 

My Pick: Oklahoma 

Z’s Pick: Oklahoma 

BYU at Oregon (-3.5)

Typically I like to choose games involving different teams from week to week, but we’re going back to back with BYU because their schedule is really interesting. The Cougars got the overtime victory over Baylor last weekend, but things don’t get any easier. The Ducks have the home field and rebounded from getting crushed in the season opener at Georgia by beating up Eastern Washington. One of these teams will solidify their position in the Top 20, while the loser may fall from the rankings altogether for the time being. In my preseason poll I ranked BYU 6th & Oregon 22nd, but specifically stated that I didn’t expect BYU to beat Oregon on the road. Zach believes Oregon might be a bit overrated & thinks the underdogs can get the job done. 

My Pick: Oregon 

Z’s Pick: BYU

Miami (FL) at Texas A&M (-5.5)

I am admittedly biased and still basking in the glow of my Marshall Thundering Herd going into South Bend and defeating Notre Dame in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus. However, there was another huge upset that we shouldn’t overlook…Appalachian St. overcoming The 12th Man in College Station and making A&M boosters question if that ten year, $75 million contract they gave to Jimbo Fisher a few years ago was a good idea. As I mentioned in the preseason, “finishing third in the division simply isn’t good enough”, so his seat is pretty damn hot…to the point that this almost feels like a must win. Conversely, the ‘Canes have cruised in the first two games, but now they venture out of Florida and into the fire. Will the Aggies be pissed off and take out their frustrations on Miami?? Or will the visitors put another nail in Jimbo’s maroon coffin?? Nothing would surprise me, but I think A&M is the safe pick. Zach thinks last week’s debacle will motivate rather than demoralize the Aggies and likes then to get the job done. 

My Pick: Texas A&M

Z’s Pick: Texas A&M

Indianapolis(-4.5) at Jacksonville 

The Colts came out of their season opener at Houston with a tie, but it sure feels more like a loss. Meanwhile, the Jags lost to Washington but likely saw a lot of positives to hang onto going forward. I don’t have big expectations for either team this season, but Indy probably wins this game if they control time of possession & Jonathan Taylor racks up anywhere close to the 161 yards rushing he had last week. Zach foresees a close game and thinks Jax will atleast cover the points or maybe win outright.

My Pick: Indianapolis 

Z’s Pick: Jacksonville 

Cincinnati (-8) at Dallas 

Let’s be honest…the Bengals outplayed my Steelers, but they still lost. Cincy had more passing yards, more rushing yards, half as many penalty yards, three times as many first downs, and dominated time of possession, but lost because of five turnovers & Joe Burrow being sacked seven times. They allegedly fixed their offensive line in the offseason, but it sure didn’t seem like it last weekend. The Cowboys not only lost to Tampa, but QB Dak Prescott is out with an injured thumb. Dallas has the home field, and the points concern me a bit (I could see this being one of those 12-6 games where both offenses are completely impotent), but it’s a go big or go home moment for me, and I’ve got to lean toward the road favorites. Zach thinks Joe Burrow will rebound nicely and have a big game. 

My Pick: Cincinnati 

Z’s Pick: Cincinnati 

2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 3

The NFL season kicks off Thursday night, so y’all are getting bonus picks!! Honestly…it has nothing to do with the fact that I was 2-3 last week and Zach extended his season lead by going 3-2. Nothing at all. Really. There are intriguing matchups in the college ranks as well, despite the fact that many teams are still in the non-conference portion of their schedule. We’ll talk more about the college playoff next week, but atleast in this moment we’re all the beneficiaries of programs chasing those scant four spots by beefing up their early season slate. Enjoy it while you still can. 

My Season: 3-7

Zach’s Season: 7-3

Alabama (-20.5) at Texas 

A decade ago this would’ve been a marquee matchup. The talking heads will still try to sell it as such, relying on the history & tradition of both programs. However, the truth is that Texas has only had one ten win season since ‘Bama beat them in the 2010 National Championship Game. The Longhorns are pinning all their hopes on freshman QB Quinn Ewers and will be making an idiotic move to the SEC in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, Nick Saban opined awhile back that last season…in which they were 13-2 & lost the national title to Georgia…was a rebuilding year for the Tide. So despite any creative PR tactics the fact is that anything else besides Texas getting their ass handed to them would be a surprise. Having said that, the points are kind of eye opening, given the fact this game is being played in Austin (Alabama’s first trip there in 100 years). Can the home team atleast keep it respectable?? Sadly I don’t believe they will. Zach observes that ‘Bama is consistently well coached, disciplined, & fundamentally solid, while Texas is merely mediocre. He thinks that may change when QB Arch Manning arrives on campus next year, but for now believes this will be an easy win for the visitors. 

My Pick: Alabama 

Z’s Pick: Alabama 

Houston at Texas Tech (-3)

The Cougars went into three overtimes before defeating the UTSA Roadrunners in the season opener. Conversely, the Red Raiders beat the snot out of Murray St. Houston is better than what we saw last weekend, while Tech will be facing legit competition for the first time, so I expect an entertaining contest, but I think the home favorites get a solid victory. Zach concurs. 

My Pick: Texas Tech

Z’s Pick: Texas Tech 

Iowa State at Iowa (-3.5)

With all the realignment hullabaloo one would think the powers-that-be could get these two in the same conference, but not thus far. The Cyclones beat up a glorified high school team to open the season (one reason why they’ll not be playoff contenders), while the Hawkeyes barely defeated South Dakota St. in an epic 7-3 battle that was either a masterpiece of defense or set the game of football back several decades. I didn’t see the game or any…highlights…so I cannot intelligently opine. At any rate, this is the first real test for both teams and I’m expecting good things. It’ll be on the Big Ten Network and I’ll certainly check it out. I think State will score the mild upset. Zach believes we’re in for a low scoring defensive battle that the home team will win.

My Pick: Iowa State 

Z’s Pick: Iowa

Arizona State at Oklahoma State (-11.5)

I have lofty expectations for the Cowboys, but it’s a bit alarming that they allowed Central Michigan to score 44 points last weekend. Will their offense need to score nearly 60 points in every game?? Conversely, the Sun Devils’ defense allowed only a field goal in their nearly 40 point season opening win. I love my guy Herm Edwards, but it’s way too early to abandon my bold preseason predictions, so I’m going with the home favorites. Zach notes that OK St. consistently underperforms & doesn’t seem to live up to their potential, which is true. However, he likes the home field in this one and foresees a big blowout win for the Cowboys.

My Pick: Oklahoma State 

Z’s Pick: Oklahoma State 

USC (-9) at Stanford 

Everybody is paying attention to the Trojans once again, and they got things started off right with a 66-14 beatdown of Rice. Stanford also won their prosaic season opener. And now, while some teams are pussyfooting around with clearly inferior opponents & others are trying to gain attention with aggressively scheduled non-conferences clashes, these teams are diving right into the conference scrum. Stanford has the home field, and I think that’s significant. Do I believe the home underdogs will win?? No. However, I foresee a closer than expected contest that Southern Cal wins by only a touchdown. Zach thinks USC will cover with a hard fought double digit victory. 

My Pick: Stanford 

Z’s Pick:  USC

Baylor at BYU (-3)

The Bears beat someone unimportant by nearly 60 points in the season opener. Obviously they’re not serious about being a playoff contender. BYU could go undefeated and still get left out of the playoff conversation, but kudos to them for scheduling decent competition to open the season and getting a solid victory. This could be the game of the week, so if you’re not doing anything on Saturday night at 10pm tune into ESPN & check it out. These were two Top 10 teams in my preseason poll, so I have high expectations. The Cougars have the home field and I predict that’ll matter late in the 4th quarter. Conversely, Zach thinks it’ll be Baylor’s defense that’ll come up big late in the game to secure a win.

My Pick: BYU

Z’s Pick: Baylor 

Buffalo (-2.5) at LA Rams 

The Bills are a solid Super Bowl favorite, while very few seem to be giving the defending champion Rams as much respect as they probably deserve. They aren’t even favored at home. Could this be a Super Bowl preview?? Maybe…maybe not. Either way it’s a hell of a way to kick off the season, and I think it’ll be a close game. Things might go differently in February, but for now I believe the underdogs will defend their turf & prove their title run wasn’t a fluke. Zach agrees, opining that the Bills may be a bit overrated. 

My Pick: LA Rams 

Z’s Pick: LA Rams 

Kansas City (-4.5) at Arizona 

It feels like both teams should be getting more love, but the fact that they compete in the two most stacked divisions in the NFL means they both have difficult paths to the Super Bowl. Have defenses figured Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes out after five seasons?? Perhaps, but the biggest reason people are doubting him right now is the departure of receiver Tyreek Hill. Can a pass catching corps of Mecole Hardman, former Steeler Juju Schuster, rookie Skyy Moore, & veteran tight end Travis Kelce pick up the slack & fill the void left by one of the most exciting players in the league?? The Cardinals are another team being disrespected on their home field, but there are reasonable doubts. Former Raven Hollywood Brown was a nice acquisition for the receiving corps, especially given the six game suspension of DeAndre Hopkins, but AJ Green is 34 years old & not the same receiver he used to be. Having said that, I’m more concerned with Arizona’s defense. JJ Watt has lost a step and Tyrann Matthieu signed with the Saints. I think this will be a shootout, but KC has a little too much firepower and will take over in the 4th quarter. Zach concurs. 

My Pick: Kansas City

Z’s Pick: Kansas City

Las Vegas at LA Chargers (-3)

As previously mentioned, the AFC West is going to be a dogfight, and we might look back on this one a few months from now & realize it was more important than we realized. I’m a Derek Carr fan, and it’s going to be fun watching him throw passes to former Packer Davante Adams. Unfortunately I think Adams is going to face a lot of double coverage, so it’ll be up to the rest of a rather pedestrian receiving corps to step up, RB Josh Jacobs to fulfill his potential, & tight end Darren Waller to return to his Pro Bowl form of 2020 after a subpar, injury riddled season last year. Don’t sleep on their defense, which added former Cardinals’ pass rusher Chandler Jones. The Chargers fell into the abyss a few years ago but have slowly been rebuilding with the likes of QB Justin Herbert & linebacker Joey Bosa, and they’ve added former Raider & Bear Khalil Mack, who can still be a beast despite the fact he’s on the wrong side of 30. If the Chargers can avoid major injuries their defense will be a force and the team could surprise people. Having said that, I’m picking the mild upset this week. Zach agrees. 

My Pick: Las Vegas 

Z’s Pick: Las Vegas