2016 Week #5 Picks.

We’re four weeks in, or 1/3 of the regular season for teams that have not had their bye yet. By this point, we should have a bead on most teams and be able to more accurately make picks. You would think, at least. Currently, I’m not all that accurate at 25-19 or 57%, but with a little improvement I can hopefully hit my 60% goal for the season. I’ve got to bear down and get serious.

Let’s varnish this woodshop project…

WildcatsHawkeyes

Northwestern @ Iowa – Noon (not televised). Not even BTN? Strange. The Wildcats have struggled so far and this year is looking mighty dismal with an ineffective rushing game and an inability to put up real points. The Hawkeyes do look better, but not great by any means. That loss to NDSU really took the wind out of their black and yellow sails, and they didn’t exactly roll Rutgers. This could be close, but I give the Hawkeyes the nod as being a bit better and at home. Iowa is a 13.5-point favorite and they win by 14 and cover.

KnightsBuckeyes

Rutgers @ #2 Ohio State – Noon on BTN.  Sorry Scarlet Knights but you’re going to have all kinds of bucknuts in your face come Saturday. This should be a romp for Urbz and his boys. The only question, really, is do they cover? Heck, Washington won by 35. Ohio State is a 38.5-point favorite but they win by 48 and cover.

BoilermakersTerps

Purdue @ Maryland – 3:30pm on BTN. Maryland feels like they are better than Purdue, but who really knows for sure. The Boilermakers put up more yards and convert more thrid downs, but the Terps score more points. The game is in Maryland, so give the Terps three points for home field advantage. Maryland is favored by 10-points but they win by 13 and cover.

BadgersWolverines

#8 Wisconsin @ #4 Michigan – 3:30pm on ABC. This game is huge. It’s huge because I’m praying for the Badgers to knock off the Wolverines in the Big House. I hate Michigan, but you know that. Even though my Spartans lost to the Badgers last week, I have no ill feelings and I actually always pull for the Badgers. Do I think they can do it? Yes. Do I think they will do it? Probably not. Ugh. Michigan is a 10.5-point favorite but they win by three and don’t cover.

IllinoisHuskers

Illinois @ #15 Nebraska – 3:30pm on ESNP-2. The Illini are not looking much improved under the guidance of first year coach Lovie Smith, but this was never going to be a one year turnaround; give them five years at least. The Huskers are looking good and this game is in Lincoln. Nebraska is favored by 21-points and they win by 24 and cover.

GophersLions

Minnesota @ Penn State – 3:30pm on BTN. I don’t trust the Gopher’s defense at all. At the same time, the Lions offense isn’t a huge threat. I feel like Coach Franklin is losing support as his mediocrity becomes more and more apparent. This one has the stink of an upset. Penn State is favored by 3-points but loses by three in OT and does not cover.

SpartansHoosiers

#17 Michigan State @ Indiana – 8:00pm on BTN. Prime time and under the lights but on BTN, kind of an oxymoron. I think the Hoosiers are worse than they look and the Spartan defense will stymie their offense. They’ll sneak off one or two long yardage plays but that should be about it. I believe the Spartans will have their hottest offensive game of the year as they redeem themselves after the no-TD Badger game. Honestly, I think they go off. Michigan State is favored by 7-points but they win by 21 and easily cover. Go GREEN!!!

Everyone plays this week, no byes.

A couple of really good games here, especially if Wiscy spanks the Harbaughs in Ann Arbaugh, that would be soooo great. Go Bucky! But no matters who wins and who loses, let’s always remember to…

Go B1G!

B1G

 

 

 

2016 Week #5 Rankings & Ramblings.

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Four weeks of play and we are finally in to some conference action; things are starting to take shape. The B1G was stable at the top and turbulent in the middle and bottom, but no one entered and no one left.

Ohio State remains at #2 for a second week following a bye.

Michigan remains at #4 for a third week after dominating Penn State.

Wisconsin climbs three spots to #8 after a big win versus Michigan State.

Nebraska climbs five spots to #15 with a win over Northwestern.

Michigan State falls nine spots to #17 after, well, you know, Wiscy.

In the Almost-but-not-quite-ranked category we have Iowa at #33 and Maryland at #40.

20% of the ranked teams are from the B1G, which isn’t bad. It doesn’t feel like there are too many B1G squads poised to jump in to the rankings this year, but things can look very different after a few weeks so let’s not think this is what the final rankings will look like. Alabama is still #1, per usual. I’m not so sure that Louisville will be in the top four by the end of the season. I think they are great but they’ll shit the bed in one game and it will cost them a playoff spot. Michigan won’t make the playoffs either, btw. As always…

Go B1G!

B1G

2016 Week #4 Winners, Losers and the Point Spread.

 

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Yes, the conference play is underway. We have winners, we have losers and seven games worth of picks as we strive to improve to 60% on the season. Let’s dig in shall we…

BadgersSpartans

#11 Wisconsin @ #8 Michigan State – Michigan State is favored by five and they win by a TD and cover. Go GREEN!!! Wow, The Badgers play way, way better on both sides of the ball and flat out dominated the Spartans. Do I like it? Hell no. But that doesn’t matter. This one really stings. Michigan State loses by 24 and does not cover. 0-1 / 21-17

Gophers

Colorado State @ Minnesota – Minnesota is a 16.5-point favorite but they win by only 14 and don’t cover. The Gophers played a slow and steady and did just enough to get the win over the Bison. That second quarter made all of the difference. Minnesota wins by seven and does not cover. 1-1 / 22-17

Boilermakers

Nevada @ Purdue – Purdue is a 6-point favorite but they win by a score and cover. I have learned never to pick the Boilermakers to cover, but I went against my better judgement and backed them. This time, it paid off thanks to a solid play in the second half. Purdue wins by 10 and covers. 2-1 / 23-17

HawkeyesKnights

Iowa @ Rutgers – Iowa is favored by 13-points but wins by 14 and covers. I guess the Hawkeyes are not as solid as we hoped, or perhaps the Scarlet Knights are finally stepping up? Probably the former. Classic B1G defensive battle here. Iowa wins by seven and doesn’t cover. 2-2 / 23-18

LionsWolverines

Penn State @ #4 Michigan – Michigan is a 19-point favorite and they win by 17 and don’t cover. I hate Michigan. It would have made me feel better today with MSU losing to Wisconsin if Michigan struggled or lost to Penn State, but not even. Of course. Michigan wins by 39 and covers. 2-3 / 23-19

Hoosiers

Wake Forest @ Indiana – Indiana is favored by 7.5-points but they win by three and do not cover. The Hoosiers let the Deacs get out in front in the first half  and then come close to catching up in the second half which is the opposite and more lame version of what I predicted. But in the end, I was right anyway. Indiana loses by five and does not cover. 3-3 / 24-19

HuskersWildcats

#20 Nebraska @ Northwestern – Nebraska is favored by 7-points but they win by 17 and cover. The Wildcats are struggling this year and although I feel like they are playing a little better with each game, so is most everyone else. All of the scoring happened in the two middle quarters and the Huskers simply had more game. Nebraska wins by 11 and covers. 4-3 / 25-19

 

I just barely squeaked out a winning record this week after misjudging both Michigan teams and Iowa. At 25-19 my win rate is 57%, so no improvement over last week. But hey, no decline either.

There are some good match-ups next week with Minnesota at Penn State and Wisconsin at Michigan and my gut tells me I’m going to have much better luck making my picks too. But no matter who wins and who loses, let’s always remember to…

Go B1G!

B1G

#8 Michigan State 6, #11 Wisconsin 30; The Spartans are 2-1, 0-1 in the B1G.

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Props to the Badgers, they played a better game in all aspects. Their playmakers made plays and the Spartans were flat. Wisconsin is a very good, very solid team so I don’t feel that terrible about losing, but I do feel deflated in that we never made it a game. Every time that MSU had some momentum, they either stalled out or made a huge mistake. Feels like a classic rebuilding year storyline to me, and maybe that is where the Spartans are at in 2016. Only time will tell, and how they recover and respond is crucial.

A few tale-aways…

  • Michigan State never scored. Michael Geiger contributed all of the Spartan’s points with two FGs. Thank you Geiger, you did your part.
  • The Spartan running game was ineffective with 27 carries for 75 yards. If it wasn’t for a last minute 16-yard scramble by Lewerke, it would have been only 59 yards. I attribute the failure to run the ball to poor line play and the need to abandon the run in an attempt to dig MSU out from the ever deepening hole they were in.
  • L.J. Scotts’ fumble was of the kind that is not really his fault, but the fact that the Badger returned it for a TD is a disaster. This cannot happen.
  • The Spartan passing game was not great with 2o attempts for 250 yards, and Donnie Corley showed some promise, so there is that. Tyler O’Connor went 18-38 with three picks. THREE PICKS!
  • Lewerke looked kind of good, maybe. Whatever.
  • The Spartan defense actually played an okay game. If the offense had done their part, this effort might have been good enough. The defense allowed 195 yards through the air and 122 yards on the ground with one INT and one fumble recovery.
  • The roughing the kicker penalty seemed kind of like bullshit to me since the defense never touched the kicker and it was the kicker whose foot landed on the defenders helmet while he was on the ground, but who really cares with such a lop-sided game. Anyway, failure on special teams.
  • Failing grades on offense, defense and special teams. MSU got what it deserved in this one. They simply must play better than this.

The Spartans shit the bed in this game and they very well may drop out of the rankings although I think they’ll hang in around #23 or so. They were utterly out-classed by Wisconsin and that is just a fact. No hype, no controversy, just a loss at the hands of a team that had better concepts and better execution. Time to take stock, dig in to the tape and come back next week as a better team.

Next week the Spartans are on the road against the Hoosiers under the lights. Sparty needs some redemption to get this season back on track so it’s time to do some soul searching and head to Indiana with some anger and some skill. It’s always tough to take a loss, but it’s about how your respond that defines your season. Buckle-down Sparty, time to get serious.

Go GREEN!!!

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2016 Week #4 Picks.

Week #1 was solid, week #2 was a disaster, and week #3 was a huge improvement. So, a bit of a yo-yo this season but now that we’re moving in to conference play, I hope to find some consistency. I’m 21-16 which is 57%, I’ve got work to do to get to my 60% for the season goal, but it’s very possible at this point. I just need to chip away at it little by little each week.

Let’s unzip this prom dress…

BadgersSpartans

#11 Wisconsin @ #8 Michigan State – Noon on BTN.  Can you believe that this game is on BTN?  Oh well. These two squads look very similar on paper with close stats but with MSU having a slight edge which is probably more a product of the schedules than actual team strength. When all things seem equal, I pull for the better coach and for the home field advantage. I believe the Spartans get the nod in terms of coaching strength and the game is in East Lansing, so Sparty on. Michigan State is favored by five and they win by a TD and cover. Go GREEN!!!

Gophers

Colorado State @ Minnesota – Noon on ESPN-U.  The Gophers wrap-up their non-con schedule with a cupcake in the Rams. Minnie get’s their tailback back after a foot injury kept him sidelined, so maybe we some some uptick in the running attack. No matter, the Gophers have this one in hand I think. Minnesota is a 16.5-point favorite but they win by only 14 and don’t cover.

Boilermakers

Nevada @ Purdue – Noon on ESPN-News.  The Boilermakers will let you down at every turn. But Nevada? Come on, surely they can take care of their business at home versus the Wolf Pack. Maybe I’m getting suckered in again? I know I shouldn’t but…. Purdue is a 6-point favorite but they win by a score and cover.

HawkeyesKnights

Iowa @ Rutgers – Noon on ESPN-2.  The Hawkeyes shit the bed last week and got dismissed from the AP rankings in the process. Last week is history. The Scarlet Knights got behind early but pulled it together and pulled out the win. Last week is History. On paper, Iowa destroys Rutgers, right? But in Jersey? The Knights have some momentum. Nope, not getting suckered in on that jive. Iowa is favored by 13-points but wins by 14 and covers.

LionsWolverines

Penn State @ #4 Michigan – 3:30pm on ABC / ESPN-3.  Oh Lord how I hate Michigan and how happy I would be if they got beat by Penn State. That’s simply not happening though. The Lions are completely out-gunned. Hell, they didn’t dominate Temple, why would they beat the Wolverines in the Big House. Harbaugh will get fueled up on steak, whole milk and boogers, and he’s steamroll Franklin and his Nitterers. Michigan is a 19-point favorite and they win by 17 and don’t cover.

Hoosiers

Wake Forest @ Indiana – 3:30pm on BTN.  I kind of like this match-up, I think this could be a good game. Perhaps a close game. I think the Hoosiers come out strong and take a nice lead, and the the Deacons get back in it in the second half. In the end, the Hoosiers win with a late FG. Indiana is favored by 7.5-points but they win by three and do not cover.

HuskersWildcats

#20 Nebraska @ Northwestern – 7:30pm on BTN. Oh you sad purple bastards, you are gong to get shellacked at home under the lights. Not sure why Vegas thinks this will be close, I just don’t see it that way at all. Nebraska is going to crush Northwestern. Nebraska is favored by 7-points but they win by 17 and cover.

On byes this week are Maryland, Ohio State and Illinois.

There are some good ones this week. Spartans-Badgers is a big deal and certainly the marquee match-up with conference and playoff implications. It’s nice to be back in-conference, I love some B1G match-ups. I’m pulling hard for you Penn State, how about a big-ass upset?!?! But no matter who wins and who loses, let’s always remember to…

Go B1G!

B1G

 

 

 

2016 Week #4 Rankings & Ramblings.

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Somehow I missed putting up a rankings post last week. Maybe because Michigan State didn’t play (and I was traveling and generally super busy), I just skipped it? My bad, it (probably) won’t happen again.

Okay, three weeks of play in the books and that brings us to the week #4 AP rankings.

Ohio State moves up from #3 to #2 with a solid and impressive win over Oklahoma.

Michigan hangs at #4 with win over Colorado. That shaky first quarter and having to come from behind is what opened the door for an impressive Louisville squad to jump in to the open #3 spot.

Michigan State jumps up from #12 to #8 after defeating a ranked and hyped Notre Dame squad and basically killing their season.

Wisconsin drops from #9 to #11 after a close game with lowly Georgia State. That’s not too bad actually, I expected a middle-teens spot after that game.

Iowa free-falls from #13 to unranked after a surprise loss to North Dakota State. I honestly didn’t see that loss coming. Splat.

And a B1G welcome to Nebraska entering the rankings at #20 after beating Oregon. Nice work Huskers.

In the Almost-But-Not-Quite-Ranked category we have Iowa at #30 and Maryland at #42.

Five out of 25 are from the B1G and two in the top five, three in the top ten. Pretty good I’d say.  The conference slate starts next week and that is always interesting and somehow more important. We are still a good while away from selection committee rankings, but they’re the ones that really matter at the end of the day. Stay tuned. And as always…

Go B1G!

B1G

 

 

#12 Michigan State 36, #18 Notre Dame 28 – The Spartans are 2-0.

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With a few exceptions, most TV personalities, experts, sports folks, etc. were saying that the Spartans will come to play hard-hitting, tough, heavy-weight football but the Irish will win. If you look at the week #1 games, I get that. If you look at the last few times MSU played ND, well then I get that too. The Spartans were an eight point dog on the road in South Bend in from of God, Touchdown Jesus, the Catholics and the world on primetime network TV. And they won!

The second quarter was really good, the third quarter was amazing. Yes, the first quarter was not fun and the fourth quarter was tense, but that’s football when two ranked teams with this much history square off.

A few take-aways…

  • Oh, sorry Domers, too soon to use the term “take-away”? My bad. The Irish had an INT, a fumble and they had a botched punt return that resulted in a turn-over. The fumble and botched punt return both resulted in points for the Spartans.
  • ND returned the opening kickoff 100-yards for a TD… oh shit. Thank you to the Irish for a block in the back penalty that killed the TD and brought the ball back to ND’s 10-yard line. Not a great start but we’re okay I think.
  • Tyler O’Connor had a good night going 19 of 26 for 241 yards, a TD and one INT. ToC grew up a huge ND fan in a ND-loving household, so this win must have been something special for him.
  • Donnie Corley knows that when you want something, you have to go out and take it. Rip it away even. Nice TD reception, that’s the way you do it!
  • Also, the Damian Terry insertions don’t really seem to be working. Those plays feel like throw-aways. This needs to be figured out or abandoned.
  • The running game got after it, and busted it loose in the middle quarters. Gerald Holmes had a great game with 13 carries for 100 yards and two TDs, one of which was a sweet 73-yard TD scramble. Great effort there. L.J. Scott ran hard wtih 98 yards on 22 carries and a TD.
  • Overall, the Spartan offense put up 501 yards, 241 in the air and 260 on the ground, and dominated the clock with almost 38 minutes of possesion. This is classic Spartan winning football: balanced offensive attack that eats up the clock. Love it!
  • The Spartan defense shut down the run as ND was only able to get 57 yards rushing. That’s awesome, but the Spartans did allow 344 yards in the air. ND’s Kizer is a hell of QB so I don’t feel too bad about that number.
  • Malik is a beast!
  • Jon Reschke, you are a hero too. You punched out the ball that resulted in a fumble recovery. You picked off Kizer and you were in on plays and tackles all over the field. Great job.
  • The Spartans cleaned up the penalty issues with three for 45 yards (all 15-yarders, ouch) versus 120 yards in week #1. That’s progress.
  • Nice sack for a five yard loss Raequan Williams, that was glorious.
  • I was very happy that ND didn’t go for it on 4th and 7 with less than four minutes on the clock. Kelly had confidence that his defense would get a a three-and-out and he’d have the ball back with two minutes or so left. Yeah, that didn’t happen.
  • It was the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Game of the Century in which MSU and ND were ranked #1 and #2 (or #2 and #1 depending on the poll) in the second to last game of the season. The biggest difference between the two games is at the end of this one, the Spartans were singing Victory for MSU!

The Spartans are 2-0 and they earned a lot of cred by beating a ranked Fighting Irish team in their house in a game they were favored to win. A lot of folks were wrong about MSU, but that’s good. State likes to be underestimated, State likes to be underdawgs, State like to upset ranked teams on the road. It’s all good.

And for Notre Dame, well, their playoff hopes are all but dead. Being 1-2 is not how you get “in”. The ACC tilt they have coming up should give them some wins and improve their standing, but for now I bet they are unranked and unloved.

Next up, Wisconsin at Spartan Stadium. The Badgers are running hot and cold, but they are a good team and it will be a good game as Sparty-Bucky match-ups almost always are. It’s just not the same without Burt there, but it’ll be fun no matter.

Go GREEN!!!

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2016 Week #3 Winners, Losers and the Point Spread.

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Coming in to week #3 I’m 13-13 which is a 50% run rate. Not good and 10% below my 60% goal for the season. Got to pick it up. Let’s dig in to the B1G match-ups this week and see how I did…

Knights

New Mexico @ Rutgers – Rutgers is favored by 5.5 but they win by 10 and cover. We figured this one would be close but then NewMex jumps out with 21 in the first quarter and it got a little uncomfortable. The Knights took care of their business though. Rutgers wins by nine and covers. 1-0 / 14-13

Lions

Temple @ Penn State – Penn State is an 8.5 point favorite but I think they win by six and do not cover. The Lions are just an okay team and I feel like they had some bad ju-ju today by honoring Joe Paterno; the times not right for that and it may never be right. None the less, the Lions got off to a good start and it was the second first quarter score that made the difference. Penn State wins by seven and does not cover. 2-0 / 15-13

Hawkeyes

North Dakota State @ #13 Iowa – Iowa is favored by 16.5 but they win by 10 and do not cover. Okay, maybe the Hawkeyes were looking ahead or had an off day but I expected less of a game than this turned out to be. Iowa loses by two and does not cover. 3-0 / 16-13

Badgers

Georgia State at #9 Wisconsin – Wisconsin is a 35.5-point favorite but they win by 38 and cover. Much like North Dakota State, Georgia State came to play. The Badgers had to score 10 in the fourth quarter to get away with a win. A little too close for my liking. Wisconsin wins by six and does not cover. 3-1 / 16-14

Wolverines

Colorado @ #4 Michigan – Michigan is favored by 20-points but they win by 31 and cover. The Wolverines ended he first quarter down 7-21, and it was a beautiful thing. But like a flower in bloom, the beauty didn’t last. They came back for the win and then they don’t even have the decency to cover. Michigan wins by 17 and doesn’t cover. 3-2 / 16-15

Huskers

#22 Oregon @ Nebraska – Nebraska is favored by 3.5 but they lose by three and don’t cover. This was a good game and the Huskers fought hard, as did the Ducks. Happy to see the Huskers hang with a ranked Pac-12 team and get the win at home. Nebraska wins by three and doesn’t cover. 4-2 / 17-15

Illinois

Western Michigan @ Illinois – Illinois is a 3-point dog and they lose by seven and do not cover. This game was the opposite of the Nebraska-Oregon game. The Illini looked flat and helpless against a MAC squad, albeit a very good MAC squad. Lovie has his work cut out for him. Illinois loses by 24 and does not cover. 5-2 / 18-15

Terps

Maryland @ University of Central Florida – Maryland is an 8-5-point favorite but they win by three and don’t cover. The Terps took this one to OT after a fourth quarter FG allowed them to tie it up. UCF is pretty good and I’ve learned to never get behind Maryland. Maryland wins by six and doesn’t cover. 6-2 / 19-15

Buckeyes

#3 Ohio State @ #14 Oklahoma – Ohio State is a 1.5-point favorite but they win by 17 and cover. This had the makings of being a really good game but it looks like the Buckeyes took control early and never looked back. Heck, they scored 35-points in the first half. Ohio State wins by 21 and covers. 7-2 / 20-15

Spartans

#12 Michigan State @ #18 Notre Dame – Michigan State is a 8-point dog but they win by seven and cover. The Spartans looked really good in the two middle quarters, but the Irish put up a big fight and got back in to it. Thank God (sorry Catholics) but it was too little too late. Michigan State wins by eight and covers. 8-2 / 21-15

Wildcats

Duke @ Northwestern – Northwestern is a 3.5-Point favorite but they lose by three and don’t cover. Oh you purple Wildcats, why do you vex me so. I want to see you succeed and when I back you, you lose. So I politely refuse my love and then you manage to pull out the win and beat the spread. Vexing. Northwestern wins by 11 and covers. 8-3 / 21-16

Well that was a much better showing for me than last week. I went 8-3 in week #3 to bring my running total to 21-16 or 57%. That’s only 3% below my 60% goal for he season, so I made up considerable ground this week and that is awesome.

Nice job B1G, you mostly handled your business (not you Illinois, just sit there quietly and think about what you have done) and there were some quality wins against Oregon, Oklahoma and, of course, Notre Dame. Five squads made it through the non-con with three wins and three more are undefeated with one to go. That’s solid.

Looking ahead, we break the seal on the conference schedule next week which will be exciting. As always…

Go B1G!

B1G

2016 Week #3 Picks.

Week #2 was deadly for me. My picks were trrrrrble. I went 5-8 last week bringing me to 13-13 overall and dropping me from 62% to 50%. I need to make up some ground this week before too many games get stacked up and before the conference season begins and there are half as many games. No pressure though. Really, there is no pressure.

Let’s shank this prisoner…

Knights

New Mexico @ Rutgers – Noon on ESPN News. The Knights are surely not good, but the Lobos are very not good. I do like the Mountain West logo though, so they have that going for them. Basically I expect Rutgers to win this game at home and not let a dog like New Mexico hang in there and make it “interesting”. Rutgers is favored by 5.5 but they win by 10 and cover.

Lions

Temple @ Penn State – Noon on BTN. The Lions really bugged me last week for being to cool to admit that Pitt is a rival. And then Pitt kicked them in their balls. I hate that kind of hubris, it reminds me of Michigan. Anyway, this week they host Temple and they’ve got some JoePa thing planned because they need a distraction. I think the Lions are only a little bit better than the Owls, but then you add in Happy Valley and that’s a little bit more. Penn State is an 8.5 point favorite but I think they win by six and do not cover.

Hawkeyes

North Dakota State @ #13 Iowa – Noon on ESPN-2. This is a tougher game than most folks probably think. The Bison are an excellent FCS squad and the person who scheduled this game should probably be fired. An upset isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. Do I think it will happen? No. Could it happen? Yes. Iowa is favored by 16.5 but they win by 10 and do not cover.

Badgers

Georgia State at #9 Wisconsin – Noon on BTN. State, not Southern. This is important. The Panthers are a much weaker opponent. And the Badgers are looking good. `And at Camp Randall, this is a slam dunk. Wisconsin is a 35.5-point favorite but they win by 38 and cover.

Wolverines

Colorado @ #4 Michigan – 3:30pm on BTN. I truly hate Michigan with all of my soul. But the Buffs are going to get killed in the Big House and they just need to make peace with that fact. I’d love them to upset the ‘Rines, but it’s not happening. Michigan is favored by 20-points but they win by 31 and cover.

Huskers

#22 Oregon @ Nebraska – 3:30pm on ABC. Yes, this is the featured afternoon game and it could be a good one. I’m pleased that the game is in Lincoln, that’s very helpful. I see this as basically a fairly evenly matched game with the Huskers having a slight edge as the home team. It’s all coming down to Neb’s defense keeping them in the game. Nebraska is favored by 3.5 but they lose by three and don’t cover.

Illinois

Western Michigan @ Illinois – 4:00pm on ESPN-News. The Broncos are favored on the road against a B1G squad. Let that soak in. Come on Lovie, let’s right the ship. But you’re going to take your lumps this week. Illinois is a 3-point dog and they lose by seven and do not cover.

Terps

Maryland @ University of Central Florida – 7:00pm on CBSSN. The Knights are going to put up 28 points (at least) on Maryland, but can they stop or slow the Terps offense? I think they can to some degree. Don’t forget, the Terps are on the road. Maryland is an 8-5-point favorite but they win by three and don’t cover.

Buckeyes

#3 Ohio State @ #14 Oklahoma – 7:30pm on Fox. The Sooners are all hat, no defense. And that means no balance so the Bucknuts will teach them a lesson in humility in their house. I’m surprised that the Sooners are ranked and I’m even more surprised that the spread is so small. Ohio State is a 1.5-point favorite but they win by 17 and cover.

Spartans

#12 Michigan State @ #18 Notre Dame – 7:30pm on NBC. It’s the 50th anniversary of the Game of the Century, but this time it’s at ND. I’m certainly not expecting a 10-10 game, even before OT. Both teams have everything to prove under the lhts in Southbend. The Spartans are a bit of a mystery coming off of a bye week and with only week #1 vs. Furman as reference. The Irish lost a hard-fought game vs. Texas and rebounded nicely against Nevada. Look for the Irish to run long routes seeking interference calls (nightmare) and look for L.J. Scott to pound green pound. This will be a good one. Michigan State is a 8-point dog but they win by seven and cover. Go GREEN!!!

Wildcats

Duke @ Northwestern – 8:00pm on BTN. Faded purple. Coach Fitz on the fritz. Retro 1980’s Wildcats? Duke ain’t great but Northwestern is looking bad. Northwestern is a 3.5-Point favorite but they lose by three and don’t cover.

Okay, that’s all 11 picks. Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue have the week off. I’m not resting easy on the quality of these picks but I follow my gut and it’s usually okay. We will see. One thing to always remember…

Go B1G!

B1G

 

 

 

2016 Week #2 Winners, Losers and the Point Spread.

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I’m off to a good start at 9-5 or 62%, but this week’s match-up are tricky. Picking the winner isn’t giving me too much pause, but the spread is killing me. It’s really a matter of confidence and after only one week, I don’t have much of it yet. Let’s dig in, shall we.

Terps

Maryland @ Florida International – Maryland is favored by 10.5-points but they win by 13 and cover. The Terps came out strong and although they tapered off offensively, their defense was solid throughout. Maryland wins by 27 and covered. 1-0 /9-5

Huskers

Wyoming @ Nebraska – Nebraska is a 24.5-point favorite but they win by 24 and don’t cover. It was a one-possession game at the end of the third but the Huskers came on strong and scored 28 unanswered points in fourth to run away with it. Would have been a lot cooler if they only scored about half of those points. Nebraska wins by 35 and covers. 1-1 / 9-6

Lions

Penn State @ Pitt – Penn State is a six-point dog and they lose by 10 and don’t cover. This was a really good game and the Lions fought hard to stay in and damn near caught the Panthers, but alas they lost. Kind of serves them right since they took a page out of Michigan’s playbook and declared that their in-state rival is not a real rival. I hate that egotistical bullshit. Eat it Lions, you deserve it. Penn State loses by three and covers. 1-2 / 9-7

Wolverines

Central Florida @ #5 Michigan – Michigan is favored by 35.5 but they win by 34 and don’t cover. It’s not new news that I hate Michigan, so we can blow past that jive. The Wolverines could have won by more but Harbaugh must not have had his full serving of steak and whole milk, so he decided to not run up the score like he typically does. Michigan wins by 37 and covers. 1-3 / 9-8

Boilermakers

Cincinnati @ Purdue – Purdue is a six-point dog but they win by three and cover. Yep, I should have known better. I can only blame myself. Never take the Boilermakers. Ever. Purdue loses by 18 and does not cover. 1-4 / 9-9

Knights

Howard @ Rutgers – Rutgers is a 44 point favorite and they win by 27 and don’t cover. The Scarlet Knights started slow but eventually got the train rolling; after the first quarter it was all Rutgers. Not much to brag about there, really. Rutgers wins by 38 and covers. 1-5 / 9-10

Gophers

Indiana State @ Minnesota – Minnesota is favored by 23-points and they win by 35 and cover. Please, someone help me out here, I’m bleeding real bad. Okay, the Gophers are my friend and friends help each other. I had confidence in them and they cam through for me. Thanks baby Jesus. Minnesota wins by 30 and covers. 2-5 / 10-10

Wildcats

Illinois State @ Northwestern – Northwestern is favored by 11-points but they win by 17 and cover. Wow, really Wildcats? One TD. In the fourth quarter. Really? Okay, noted. Do not take Northwestern this year, they are terrible apparently. Sheesh. Northwestern loses by two and does not cover. 2-6 / 10-11

Buckeyes

Tulsa @ #4 Ohio State – Ohio State is a 28.5-point favorite and they win by 31 and cover. Seems like the Buckeyes don’t like the rain. God I hope it rains when they come to East Lansing. This game seemed too close for quite a while and then the Bucks did what they were expected to do. Ohio State wins by 45 and covers. 3-6 / 11-11

Badgers

Akron @ #10 Wisconsin – Wisconsin is a 24-point favorite but they win by 23 and don’t cover. The first half was kind of almost a game, but the second half was all Badgers and they ran away with it. Wiscy was more dominant than I expected. Wisconsin wins by 44 and covers. 3-7 / 11-12

Hoosiers

Ball State @ Indiana – Indiana is favored by 18.5 but they win by 13 and don’t cover. The Hoosiers obviously took their foot off of the gas late in the second half and Ball state almost got back in this one. The score looks a closer than this one really was. Indiana wins by 10 and does not cover. 4-7 / 12-12

Illinois

North Carolina @ Illinois – Illinois is a nine-point dog and they lose by 3 and cover. I gave the Illini the benefit of the doubt in this one mainly because of Lovie Smith, but it’s clear that Illinois will be a long term project. Illinois loses by 25 and does not cover. 4-8 / 12-13

Hawkeyes

Iowa State @ #16 Iowa – Iowa is favored by 15 and they win by 17 and cover. The Cy-Hawk remains ate Iowa for another year, good work Hawkeyes. You never know when it comes to in-state match-ups, but Iowa took care of their business in this one. Iowa wins by 39 and covers. 5-8 / 13-13

Perhaps my worst showing (I’ve probably done worse) going 5-8 this week bring my running total to 13-13 or 50%. I dropped 12% in one week. Ouch. Now I’ve got a lot of work to do to get back up to my 60% goal, and each week as more and more games pile on, it’s tougher and tougher to move the needle. We did learn some things this weekend that will help us going forward. Who to get behind and who to never trust no matter what. And I always need to remember to…

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