Happy Thanksgiving Manoverse!! With the holiday season upon us I’m ready to put last week, which included a pricey auto repair & going 0-5 in these picks, behind me. Zach was 2-3, has taken the season lead, & to my knowledge did not have any expensive car issues, so kudos to him. We will be celebrating Thanksgiving at my other nephew’s house, and in addition to tasty vittles we can look forward to an extended weekend of gridiron action. Have fun…be safe…eat as much stuffing & pie as you desire…cheer on your favorite teams…and don’t forget to give a shout out to The Man Upstairs for all your blessings.
My Season: 38-36
Zach’s Season: 40-34
Mississippi State at Ole Miss (-2.5)
The Bulldogs and the Rebels have met 118 times since 1901, with Ole Miss leading the series 64-45-6. Beginning in 1927 they began competing for a Golden Egg, although it wasn’t dubbed The Egg Bowl until 1979. This is because the trophy wasn’t intended to be an egg, but footballs a hundred years ago looked more like a rugby ball, which is kinda sorta egg shaped. Anyway, the home team is 8-3 but has lost two in a row, while the visitors are 7-4 and just beat the snot out of a Southern Conference team, which doesn’t impress anyone. I don’t have much hope of this game being…noteworthy, but I think Ole Miss will get the job done. Zach likes State QB Will Rogers, but he feels like the Rebels have more weapons. Plus they’re led by head coach Lane Kiffin, whose offensive expertise is unmatched.
My Pick: Ole Miss
Z’s Pick: Ole Miss
North Carolina State at North Carolina (-6.5)
I ranked the Wolfpack in my preseason poll, but at 7-4 & on a two game losing skid it seems unlikely they’ll finish in the Top 25. Conversely, the 9-2 Tar Heels have earned the opportunity to get beaten by Clemson in the ACC title game. I admit when I’m wrong, and State has let me down this year, so I can’t pick them now. Zach feels like the Heels have more to gain with a win & believes they’ll be able to overcome State’s formidable defense.
My Pick: North Carolina
Z’s Pick: North Carolina
Florida at Florida State (-9.5)
If you would’ve told me a few months ago that the Seminoles would be nearly double digit favorites in this game I’d have audibly chuckled. Kudos to them for their most successful season in six years. I’m not ready to say they’re back to being elite like the Florida St. teams of the 1990s, but progress is a good thing. In contrast, the 6-5 Gators haven’t quite clicked under first year head coach Billy Napier. Still, I’d give them a fighting chance if this game was in The Swamp, but it’s not so I can’t. The points make Zach a bit nervous, but he has faith in State’s defense to get the job done.
My Pick: Florida St.
Z’s Pick: Florida St.
South Carolina at Clemson (-14.5)
I had the Gamecocks in my preseason poll, but at 7-4 they’re not quite at that level yet. Having said that, they can brag about absolutely demolishing Tennessee last week, ending the Vols playoff aspirations. The Tigers are right about where I thought they’d be, with a shot at a playoff berth but needing a few dominoes to fall their way. I don’t forsee the visitors pulling off a second consecutive major upset, but the points are troubling. I think fans with skin in the game will be sweating as the contest reaches its climax, with Clemson’s defense stiffening after allowing a surprising amount of offensive penetration by the ‘Cocks early on. Conversely, Zach doesn’t feel as though the ‘Cocks will have enough stamina to rise to the occasion two weeks in a row, which would be good news for those laying the points.
My Pick: South Carolina
Z’s Pick: Clemson
*Editor’s Note: Speaking of The Man Upstairs, I probably need to seek Him out for a chat about what you just read 👀.
Auburn at Alabama (-21.5)
The Iron Bowl…enough said. Believe it or not Alabama, even after two losses, still might have a (very narrow) path to the playoff because of course they do. I don’t actually believe it will pan out for them, but nothing would surprise me. The Tigers need a victory to achieve bowl eligibility, and I’d love to see it…but the chances of it happening are slim. Can ‘Bama cover the points though?? It is absolutely possible, but I just can’t pull the trigger. Three TDs+ is simply too much. Zach recognizes that both teams are having down years, and doesn’t feel like this version of Alabama has what it takes to cover the points.
My Pick: Auburn
Z’s Pick: Auburn
Oregon (-3.5) at Oregon State
They call this The Civil War, or atleast they used to until pansy ass, virtue signaling leftists decided to toss the moniker a couple of years ago because they aren’t capable of having fun and ruin literally everything they touch. At any rate, the 9-2 Ducks must win if they want to face USC in the PAC 12 title game, but the 8-3 Beavers have the home field. I’m a little disappointed with the 3:30pm kickoff because this is exactly the kind of game I usually look forward to watching late Saturday night, but it is what it is. There’s certainly ample motivation on both sides, ultimately though I think the Ducks are a better team. Oregon QB Bo Nix could be in the Heisman conversation, and Zach thinks he’ll be the difference maker.
My Pick: Oregon
Z’s Pick: Oregon
Washington (-2) at Washington State
You may or many not already know that the state of Washington has been the leading domestic producer of apples (the fruit, not the electronic devices) for over a century, and that half of all apples grown in the United States come from there. The Apple Cup has been played 113 times since 1900 (with the Huskies leading the series 74-33-6), although it didn’t receive the name or the associated trophy until 1963. The Huskies are 9-2 and could back into the PAC 12 title game with a victory & an Oregon loss. The Cougars are a respectable 7-4 and will be going bowling. This is a 10:30pm kickoff on ESPN, and I might have to try & stay awake. If Oregon loses earlier in the day the motivation will certainly be there for the visitors, but even if the Ducks win I still think we’ll see the Huskies emerge victorious. Zach foresees a blowout victory for the visitors.
My Pick: Washington
Z’s Pick: Washington
Michigan at Ohio State (-7.5)
I already know who Zach will pick to win this one, so it’s simply a matter of whether or not I concur. The winner will be heading to the Big Ten title game & mostly likely the playoff, so there’s about as much at stake as there possibly could be. Both teams are undefeated, with the Buckeyes having barely broken a sweat most of the season, although Maryland was surprisingly competitive last weekend. Conversely, the Wolverines have had a couple of close shaves…also against the Terrapins (back in September), and just last week, when it took a last second field goal to get past Illinois. Will running back & Heisman hopeful Blake Corum be good to go for Michigan?? He’s battling a knee injury, but I have no doubt he’ll be in the lineup. The x-factor is how effective he will be. Given that & the home field I have no choice but to go with the favorites, who will be out to avenge last year’s defeat that cost them a playoff berth. To the surprise of absolutely no one Zach has total faith that Corum will lead his team to a huge victory.
My Pick: Ohio St.
Z’s Pick: Michigan
NY Giants at Dallas (-8.5)
I owe an apology to the Giants after boldly predicting that they’d go 1-16. Instead they are currently 7-3 just like the Cowboys. Dallas has lost three consecutive Turkey Day games, while the Giants have only played once on the holiday since 2009. I like the home team’s chances to win, but those points are a bit much. I think it’ll be a tighter contest. Zach thinks Dallas’ rushing attack will wear down the Giants and it’ll be an easy win.
My Pick: NY Giants
Z’s Pick: Dallas
LA Rams at Kansas City (-14.5)
I thought the Rams had a legit chance to return to the Super Bowl, but at 3-7 & sitting at the bottom of their division that seems unlikely at this point. Conversely, the 8-2 Chiefs have overcome the trade of receiver Tyreek Hill like King Kong swatting away an airplane. Stranger things have happened, but I’d be shocked if KC lost the game. But will they cover?? With the exception of a couple 3 TD+ victories their other wins have all been ten points or less, while the Rams have only been blown out a few times. It’s a gamble considering Arrowhead is one of the loudest home fields in the NFL, but I don’t think the favorites win by more than two touchdowns. Conversely, Zach has no hesitation in predicting a monster win for the Chiefs.
My Pick: LA Rams
Z’s Pick: Kansas City