Regular Pick Em columnist Nick is out of town this week - maybe in Las Vegas doing futures on Mountain West basketball teams, perhaps on a Mississippi riverboat playing Cincinnati, possibly in international waters striking bullish deals on dot-com sites. He doesn't tell me his business.
So without Nick's steady hand and worldly NCAA wisdom as your guide, you are stuck with me and my awful, horrible, no good, very bad picks. Feel free to do the opposite of everything I say and feel free to openly question my decision-making (New Mexico and the points against TCU?!?! Crazy pills much?) in the comments. Your Week Eight picks and Week Seven winner are after the jump.
Pick 'Em standings
This is a composite Top 10 from both Yahoo Pick Em groups. Full standings are available on your group homepage. A reminder of what's at stake: The overall winner of OBNUG Pick 'Em receives a real life Boise State jersey of his or her choice as well as a lifetime membership into the OBNUG Widget of Champions. Weekly prizes are awarded as well.
Hugs and handshakes to OBNUG member Moore2moore for winning this week with a score of 18. M2m was part of a four-way tie at the top of the Week Seven standings. Better luck next time, BleedBlue22, givemesomemoore, and blackmamba (possibly the real Kobe Bryant).
Now onto this week's picks ...
Stone cold lock of the century of the week
Thinking I know way more about college football than I really do, I looked at this week's slate of games and saw several potential locks of the century of the week. How's a guy to decide? I went with this one, mostly because I know you guys dislike Wisconsin so much.
No. 15 Michigan State as an 8.5-point underdog at home against No. 4 Wisconsin
I think Wisconsin is a good team, but I also think that Michigan State - especially after its showing last week against Michigan - is nowhere near a touchdown-and-change worse than an unproven, visiting Badgers team. Wisconsin may very well win this game, but I have a hard time seeing the Spartans lose by nine or more. I think MSU could win this outright, too.
For kicks and giggles, my other locks were Auburn as a 22.5-point underdog at LSU (Auburn will lose but not by three touchdowns) and Georgia Tech as a three-point underdog at Miami (the Yellow Jackets should win that game outright).
The rest of Kevan's picks
Reminder: picks are made against the spread. Also, gambling is illegal and you definitely shouldn't do it unless you're fairly confident you can make a couple bucks.
Home team is in caps.
- No. 11 West Virginia over SYRACUSE (+14)
- LOUISVILLE over Rutgers (+14)
- No. 8 CLEMSON over North Carolina (+10.5)
- No. 12 Kansas State over KANSAS (+12)
- No. 6 Oklahoma State over MISSOURI (+7)
- PURDUE (+5.5) over No. 23 Illinois
- SOUTH FLORIDA over Cincinnati (+3)
- New Mexico (+41) over TCU
- Maryland (+17) over FLORIDA STATE
- No. 20 Georgia Tech (+3) over MIAMI (FL)
- No. 19 Auburn (+22.5) over LSU
- NAVY over East Carolina (+9)
- No. 5 BOISE STATE over Air Force (+31)
- NORTHWESTERN (+4) over Penn State
- CALIFORNIA over Utah (+3)
- No. 2 ALABAMA over Tennessee (+28)
- USC (+8.5) over NOTRE DAME
- No. 3 OKLAHOMA over Texas Tech (+28)
- No. 15 MICHIGAN STATE (+8.5) over No. 4 Wisconsin
- No. 7 STANFORD over No. 22 Washington (+20)
- Colorado State (+7.5) over UTEP
- SOUTHERN MISS over SMU (+3)
Not all games can fit into Yahoo's weekly Pick 'Em board, especially not the WAC ones that no one cares about. Well, we care about them. This week's bonus game:
Nevada as an 11-point favorite at home against Fresno State
After seeing these two teams play Boise State in back-to-back weeks, it is impossible for me to believe that the Bulldogs can stay within two touchdowns of the Wolf Pack. The Pat Hillers had a decent showing last week against Utah State, but this conference game against the Pack just screams for a classic Fresno tank job.
In other news, Idaho is a 22-point underdog against its bye. /rimshot
Feel free to share your picks in the comments and/or discuss this week's slate of games. What is your lock of the week? How did your picks fare last time out? Do you have any trash talk to share with that SmurfsTurfAddict guy? Share your thoughts in the comments.