So fresh off the heels of Tennessee's first win over a ranked opponent in, um, a while (yeah, let's not talk about it), the Vols get to ....face ...Alabama. Well, okay. It's a rivalry, right? And Tennessee's going to fight, right?
Because those may be the only things we have in our favor.
KEYS FOR THE ALABAMA GAME THAT TOOK WAY TOO LONG TO PROPERLY FORMAT BECAUSE THE EDITOR DIDN'T WANT TO GIVE ME THE LINE BREAK YOU'RE ABOUT TO WITNESS
- Standard downs. Yeah, yeah, we knew this already. Know it, love it. Oddly enough, Tennessee won last week in part because they were more successful than South Carolina in passing downs - viva le pass defense! It seems a little nuts to expect that two weeks in a row, but I won't complain if we win both passing and standard down percentages.
- Get lucky. What, you think I was going to change this one because it's Alabama? Y'all ought to be lucky I'm not reusing the exact same keys from last week since they obviously worked.
- Use the rivalry. There's an emotional component in this game that Nick Saban-bot doesn't know how to compute. I don't really know how this happens, mind - maybe a strong opening play, maybe Alabama gets stupid
and someone gets grayshirted in a blind rage after the game - but there's a reason why I'll be happy if this game isn't a blowout.
- Lo-fi. The more ACC this game gets, the better the chance Tennessee has.
LAST WEEK'S PICKS, IN WHICH I_S DID HORRIBLY SO WE CAN STAND DOWN FROM RED ALERT
Chris Has No Clue What's Going On (4-2 last week, 25-20-3 overall)
- Iowa @ Ohio State (-17.5) - The fact that Ohio State couldn't put away Iowa easily is a mark against Ohio State, not that Iowa's actually any good.
- Iowa State @ Baylor (-33.5) - No, really, Baylor. They're already dead. Yeah, you can kick them a few more times for good measure if you like.
- Georgia @ Vanderbilt (+7) - YEAH JAMES FRANKLIN GO PUNCH SOMEONE IN HAPPINESS
- Kent State (+7) @ South Alabama - And of course, this is the first week that South Alabama - who, it should be noted, may actually be kinda decent - finally up and blows someone out. Not bitter about this NOPE.
- Southern Miss @ East Carolina (-22.5) - Baylor could beat Southern Miss by 100 this season, I'm pretty sure. First 10 people to reply to this post get to form a team and try and beat Southern Miss straight up.
- Northern Illinois (-15.5) @ Central Michigan - Fun fact: I have absolutely no idea about anything related to Central Michigan. This didn't dissuade me.
KidB's "Free Money For Vegas" Picks (2-3-1 last week, 24-23-1 overall)
- Fightin' Spurriers -7 over Tennessee: I hope you learned a valuable lesson about slagging Tyler Bray, kid.
- Akron-7 over Hipster Miami: Welcome to the push column.
- Duke+2.5 over UVA: betting against Virginia is pretty much the easiest way to hypothetically make money on a week-to-week basis.
- Clemson+3 over Florida State: Not content to get burned by Clemson one week running, kid's insane enough to take them again. YOU WERE WARNED.
- Maryland -5.5 over Wake Forest: Not content to learn his lesson about betting on Randy Esdall, kid once again tries to go back to the well only to find it not only empty, but occupied by a reanimated Jim Grobe. Seriously, Wake Forest won this game by 24. And kid's totally panic betting on Clemson this week against Maryland. This'll turn out well.
- North Texas-3.5 over La. Tech: Yeah, sure, why not.
I_S Has Insulted Tyler Bray and His Picks Reflect That (2-4 last week, 23-25 overall)
- Kent State +7 over South Alabama. While I_S displayed the right thought process in copying a pick already on the board, his choice needs some work.
- Indiana +9.5 over Michigan. This was a nice idea in theory, but probably needed more defense. And by that, I mean an Al Borges offense averaged 9 yards a play and Jeremy Gallon finished with approximately $TEXAS yards receiving, so yeah, you still need kind of a defense there, Hoosiers.
- Arizona -4 over Utah. The Pac-12 eats its own.
- Florida -3 over Missouri. While a solid choice back in August, as it turns out the walking wounded don't fare too well wielding claw hammers in Columbia, MO at 11 AM on a Saturday.
- Georgia Tech -7.5 over Syracuse. Much to the dismay of I_S, this doesn't count as multiple covers because honestly, by now he needs the help.
- New Mexico +10.5 over Utah State. ALL HAIL REPLACEMENT CHUCKIE KEETON
THE WEEK 9 PICKS, IN WHICH WE SWEAR WE DIDN'T COMPARE NOTES BEFORE WRITING THEM
Chris Has No Idea What He's Doing
- Louisville (-20.5) @ South Florida - so it turns out South Florida is bad at football, UCF might be good, and regardless, I'll take 3 TDs with a now-pissed off Louisville.
- Toledo @ Bowling Green (-4) - Will doesn't like the Clawfense. Well, do I have news for you, son.
- FAU @ Auburn (-24) - I've been waiting for a time to jump all over the Malzahn train, and FAU is abjectly terrible enough for me to do so.
- Michigan State @ Illinois UNDER 49 - I'm lying in wait. Watching. Waiting. Biding my time until someone throws up a Michigan State O/U above 49. Then I pounce.
- Baylor (-35) @ Kansas - like I wasn't taking this as soon as it was up, even if it's a road game.
- UCLA @ Oregon OVER 71.5 - this game screams Oregon up 38-7 at the half, then garbage time TDs in all directions until the cows come home.
KidB's "Free Money" Picks
Stanford--3.5 over Oregon State: The Beavers are soft, and Stanford loves nothing more than licking soft Beavers.
Clemson-16 over Crabcakes and Football: If Clemson doesn't cover this one, then Tajh Boyd may in fact have some gambling issues he'll need to publicly address.
Northwestern+3.5 over Iowa: This line has left me too confused to even attempt to offer up a clever line. I would scratch my head, but I don't want to give the impression I have lice.
Baylor-35 over Kraptastic Kansas: Five touchdowns? That's all you ask of Baylor, Mr. Vegas Sportsbook Guy? Okie Dokie.
Louisville-20.5 over South Florida: I assume this line is less than three touchdowns because a team of remedial third graders were working around the clock. The only thing preventing South Florida from scoring less than zero points is the rulebook. And jTeddy Ballgame is still Teddy Ballgame even if every ballgame for the rest of Teddy Ballgame's college career is basically meaningless. Actually, let me retract that statement. Beef O'Brady's is beefy and delicious.
Bowling Green-4 over Toledo: Bowling Green are no longer the Falcons. Nah, they're running this thing called the CLAWFENSE, which obviously has huge claws, and also fangs. Like a bear -- a big bear with fangs and claws and stuff. Toledo is just a helpless little bunny.
Know it. The Kid is going 6-0 this week. Cash money, Free Money.
(ed. - hope is such a vain thing to have)
I_S's "Milos Raonic Quality" Picks
- Baylor -35 over Kansas. Baylor can name their score. It makes me a little nervous that they're playing Oklahoma next, but it's not next weekend, so they shouldn't be overly invested in getting out and getting rest. But unanimous picks always lose, so you're welcome, Charlie.
- Oregon/UCLA over 71.5. We continue the "copy other picks" portion of the broadcast with a team that loves the shootouts against a team that can usually score but might look like they can't because they recently played Stanford. The points are back this week.
- SDSU/Fresno State over 62. On the subject of points, these kids play a shootout pretty much every time. Or at least last year. Fresno doesn't mind winning games 52-38, and that's just fine by me.
- Texas A&M/Vandy over 69. Points Part III. Texas A&M can drag anyone kicking and screaming into a shootout. Vandy's defense is not very good.
- Troy +10 over Western Kentucky. Did I miss something here? Some guy named Troy is not that great at football, but it's not like Western Kentucky has shown particular competence. And now they're double-digit favorites? Trojans keep it close.
- NC State +32 over Florida State. You knew this was coming. Team coming off their biggest win of the season, about to play their next biggest game of the season next week, and in the interim facing a bad team coming off a bye? This is basically an auto-pick, no matter how bad NC State is. It has all the ingredients for being unreasonably close. Which may just mean 38-10, but I'd take 38-10 and not complain a bit.