WEEK FIVE--The Skinny
Last week’s 3-3 record was not Skinny’s best performance, but, at 16-8 on the season, if you have been betting with The Skin, you should have made money. This seems to be one of those weeks in which there are a lot of good plays on the board, and I really like my choices this week. If you have been playing conservative so far this season, this is the week to step it up and cash in.
Advice of the Week: Nothing breaks up your work day like a nice, long trip to the can. If you are like me, no trip to “the office” is complete without a little reading material. Which raises the age old dilemma of how to get your reading material in and out of the can without being caught red-handed with tainted reading material. This is especially important when you have to walk by that hot blonde you have been laying game on for six months. Skinny’s suggestion: Print off an article from your favorite website and transport it in your pocket.
Bonus Advice: Hitting on a coworker in the office is a bad idea. Lay the ground work in the office and wait to capitalize at a work function involving a lot of alcohol. For example, wait for that summer outing to Wrigley Field and feed your target lots of booze. Then tell her to meet you under the bleachers. It works every time!
Arkansas at Texas (-27.5)
Wisconsin (-6.5) at Michigan
Pittsburgh (-15.5) at Syracuse
USC (-25) at Oregon State
Tennessee at Auburn (-6)
Lee Greenwood Special: Navy at Wake Forest (-16)
WEEK FIVE--Blatant Homerism
(Last Week: 5-1; Overall: 16-8)
Oh well, 5-1 is the kind week Jim Feist would sacrifice his firstborn for. Plus, this is all for free. When you speak of me, speak kindly.
Troy at Oklahoma State (-17)
For people who aren't familiar with college football in the state of Oklahoma, it's hard to understand just how embarrassing last season's blowout loss to Troy truly was for the Pokes. Also, don't forget that the whole "I'm a man!" debacle actually started with this game last season, when head coach Mike Gundy decided to go with Zac Robinson over Bobby Reid at quarterback. It was the right move, and yet Gundy has been killed for it ever since thanks to the classless way he handled the switch. Wouldn't Gundy like to prove he was right? Somewhere in the back of his mind, don't you think Gundy's insecurities could be calling the shots in this one? Watch for a late TD pass to push the Pokes to a cover.
Homerism Says: OSU, 41-20.
Colorado at Florida State (-6)
Homerism loves the direction of the Buffs under coach Dan Hawkins. Ceterus paribus, Colorado should win this game. There's a lot going against CU here, though.
Let's take a quick look back at last week's upset over West Virginia in Boulder. The Buffs did all of their damage within the first five minutes of the game, scoring two quick touchdowns and putting the Mountaineers in position of playing catch-up all night. CU won, but that's still troubling.
The emotional factors in this game seem to be pointing the Seminoles' way. If Bobby Bowden or whoever now handles game preparation is worth a dadgum lick, they'll have FSU puh-lenty fired up for this one. That was a horrendous showing last week against Wake Forest. Not to mention, the 'Noles should be at full strength this week, as the players involved in last season's stunning academic scandal take the field.
Even more importantly, Colorado takes to the road this week for the first time this season. That’s bad. Worse? The forecast in Jacksonville for Saturday is a high of 90 degrees. It’s gonna be a steamy afternoon, the kind of heat the Seminoles are accustomed to. Not so much for CU. Look for the Buffs to wilt late.
Homerism Says: FSU by 8.
LGS: Navy (+16) at Wake Forest
Wake’s win over Florida St. last week was a classic Jim Grobe-style victory. The Demon Deacons out-fundamentaled the ‘Noles, capitalizing on seven sloppy FSU turnovers. Wake-FSU actually has turned into somewhat of an ACC rivalry game during the Deacs’ recent surge. Of course, that means this is a letdown candidate, especially when book-ended by a matchup with Clemson. What are the Deacs paying for here? Wake will be looking to keep everyone healthy and get ready for a battle for conference supremacy. Also, Grobe doesn’t seem like the kind to pick on our servicemen.
Homerism Says: Navy.
Wisconsin at Michigan (+6.5)
Handicappers have to remember to recalibrate their thinking when teams start conference play. Lines get a little tighter. History runs a little deeper. Teams are a little bit more familiar with opponents’ schemes.
When Homerism saw the early lines this week, this game immediately jumped out. Based on what we’ve seen so far this year, the Badgers looked like a great play here. I mean, Michigan has looked pretty unimpressive. But, then I remembered that both teams were starting in-conference games. That changes things.
Looking back to the Notre Dame game, I thought it was clear that Michigan basically gave it away with all those turnovers in the bad conditions. Michigan outgained the Irish by nearly 120 yards. Maybe Vegas has a better handle on the Wolverines do?
The public is hammering the Badgers. Just seems fishy to me. I love Wisky this year, but there's something odd going on with this game. I hope I’m not over-thinking this one.
Homerism: Big Blue covers, but the Badgers pull it out.
Houston (+10.5) at East Carolina
All that smoke being blown about the Pirates busting the BCS went out the window last week in a disappointing loss to North Carolina State. Now, the Pirates’ endgame is a Conference USA crown. Expect a hangover here for ECU coupled with an unimpressive win over the Cougars.
Homerism Says: Houston covers. (Look for a slow start by ECU, especially.)
Marshall at West Virginia (-14)
Poor Pat White. The guy should go down as one of the top option quarterbacks in college football history. Now he’s forced to carry a coach who appears to be in way over his head.
The Mountaineers have had to hear about coach Bill Stewart’s bumbling all week. It’s true that their coach is unbelievably ill-suited to be coaching a team that used to have national championship aspirations. The future looks pretty grim for WVU football.
But this group still bears some of Rich Rodriguez’s stamp, so maybe we shouldn’t leave this 2008 team for dead yet. After all, White can still do what he does best, and Noel Devine is still the same explosive threat he was before. And don’t forget what kind of effort Stewart was able to coax out of his embattled squad in last year’s Fiesta Bowl blowout of OU.
This one shouldn’t involve any late-game strategery or clock management, so WVU should be OK there. Marshall isn't bad, but White et al will take out their frustrations on the Thundering Herd with a focused, methodical performance.
Homerism Says: Vegas gets “middled.” WVU by 16.