2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 13

Perhaps I shouldn’t have said “there’s too much at stake for Oregon to lay an egg on their home turf”, and I should’ve seen Philly screwing the pooch a mile away, but what I’m really ticked off about is San Francisco having the freakin’ ball inside the ten yard line & just sitting on it. Granted, they were up 6 points with only 15 seconds left, but come on guys…kick a damn field goal!! Help a brother out!! At any rate, with his 4-1 effort & my 2-3 disappointment Zach is again tied for the season lead. The NFL has rounded the curve into the second half of the season, while conference titles & playoff berths hang in the balance on Saturdays. It’s a great time to be a football fan. 

My Season: 38-31

Zach’s Season: 38-31

Tennessee at Green Bay (-3)

The Titans are right about where I expected them to be, while the Packers are struggling much more than anyone anticipated. Having said that, I get the sense that maybe a corner has been turned in Green Bay. If Aaron Rodgers finds a couple of receivers he trusts they could go on a second half run and still back into the playoffs. Tennessee’s hopes rest squarely on the legs of RB Derrick Henry & the health of QB Ryan Tannehill, neither of which I have confidence in to make it thru the rest of the slate unscathed. This is the time of year when The Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field begins to be a difference maker, as I believe will be the case on Thursday night. Zach concurs.

My Pick: Green Bay 

Z’s Pick: Green Bay 

Virginia Tech at Liberty (-9.5)

Good Lord what has happened to the Hokies??  After firing head coach Justin Fuente following a couple of subpar seasons they brought in former Penn St. defensive coordinator Brent Pry, but thus far he’s led them to an abysmal 2-8 record. Conversely, the Flames have built upon three straight solid seasons to stand at 8-2. At this point they are playing for bowl position and to vault themselves into Boise St. territory where they are perceived as being capable of defeating well-regarded teams on a regular basis. Tech may be in a down period, but it would still be a big win for Liberty. It helps that the game is in Lynchburg instead of Blacksburg, but wow…the points. That spread makes me anxious. What the heck though…what have I got to lose?? Conversely, Zach isn’t comfortable with the numbers & believes the underdogs will stay close. 

My Pick: Liberty 

Z’s Pick: Virginia Tech 

Iowa at Minnesota (-2.5)

The West Division of the Big Ten is still up for grabs, with the winner earning the honor of getting beaten by Ohio St. or Michigan in the conference title game. Both teams  have won three straight, and I’m expecting this contest to be under-the-radar good. Probably low scoring, power football. I believe it will come down to penalties, special teams, & time of possession. The winner receives a bronze pig named Floyd, which seems appropriate. Minnesota hasn’t won Floyd since 2014, but I think that changes this year. Zach disagrees & thinks a slight upset is brewing. 

My Pick: Minnesota 

Z’s Pick: Iowa

USC (-3) at UCLA

The PAC 12 eliminated divisions, so the top two teams will play in the conference title game. Right now that’d be the Trojans vs. the winner of Utah-Oregon, but the Bruins have an opportunity to jump into the mix with a victory. There is no real home field advantage since the two campuses are less than a half hour apart. USC’s only loss was by one point at Utah, while UCLA lost on the road to Oregon & inexplicably stumbled at home against Arizona. I will probably regret this, but I’ll be pulling for the home team to pull off an upset. Zach thinks it’ll be a high scoring affair that will ultimately be won on the ground by the underdogs. 

My Pick: UCLA

Z’s Pick: UCLA 

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (-6.5)

The term bedlam comes from the Saint Mary of Bethlehem Hospital in London, which treated mentally ill patients in the 15th century. Over time the pronunciation of Bethlehem somehow morphed into “bedlam”, and that evolved into meaning a place, scene, or state of uproar & confusion. As it applies to this particular rivalry, the name is said to have been born on the night of a particularly heated wrestling meet between the two renowned programs, during which a news reporter allegedly emerged from the building exclaiming to people outside, “It’s bedlam in there!”. On the gridiron it really hasn’t been much of a rivalry, with the Sooners winning 77% of the matchups since 1904. In recent years State has won only three games since 2011. The Sooners come into the weekend on a two game losing skid & in the midst of a decidedly down season. I had high hopes for the Cowboys, but other teams have emerged in the Big 12. Still, a victory could potentially propel them into the conference title game, so there is certainly motivation. I try to remain loyal to my preseason though process, so I’m sticking with the underdogs. Zach isn’t too excited by this one, believing it’ll be rather boring. He too thinks the visitors will steal a victory. 

My Pick: Oklahoma St. 

Z’s Pick: Oklahoma St.

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 

2013 Pigskin Picks of Profundity…..Week 10

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.

Oklahoma      at         Baylor (-14.5)

oklahomaThere are some who don’t believe in Baylor, who say that they haven’t played anyone good. Fair enough. Their schedule is baylorbackloaded, 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

photo.stanfordtreeThis is it. This is Oregon’s big chance to prove that they…not Florida State…deserve the opportunity to lose to Alabama inOregon-Ducks 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 WisconsinBadgersBadgers 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)

lsu_logoI must explain something about myself. I am an underdog kind of guy. Plus I can’t stand the idiotic BCS (no matter how many AlabamaCrimsonTide2times 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

Baltimore_Ravens2It 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 Cincinnati_Bengals_Helmetdefending 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.