First, let us see what happened to last week’s Mythical Picks:
I liked Baylor/Ok. St. OVER 67.5. Total score was 71. Yea!
I liked Virginia +6 against Miami. Virginia won outright. Yea!
I liked Tennessee -3.5 over Mizzou. Tennessee lost the game. Boo!
I liked Mich. St. -22 over Rutgers. State won by 42. Yea!
I liked Minn/Nebraska UNDER 56.5. Total was 52. Yea!
I liked Minn +10.5 against Nebraska. Minn won the game. Double Yea!
I liked Maryland/Michigan UNDER 42.5. Total was 39. Yea!
I liked Fla St. -17 over BC. Fla St won by only 3. Boo!
I liked Tex Tech/Iowa St OVER 69.5. Total was 65. Boo!
I liked Ole Miss/Arkansas UNDER 45. Total was 30. Yea!
I liked Arkansas +3.5 against Ole Miss. Arkansas won. Double Yea!
I liked Arizona/Utah UNDER 54. Total was 52. Yea!
I liked USC +4 against UCLA. Not nearly enough points. Boo!
So last week was a strong showing and a mythically profitable week at 9-4-0. That brings the season cumulative record to 100-95-1, which is still not in the mythically profitable zone.
Notwithstanding last week’s success, no one should use any information here as the basis for making a real wager involving real money on a real NCAA football game this weekend or any other weekend. Here is how dumb you would have to be to do something like that:
You would rely on your old dog to teach you new tricks.
This will be an abbreviated form of NCAA Mythical Picks. We have out of town guests arriving on Tuesday for Thanksgiving; we have a family event on Saturday; we have another out of town guest arriving on Sunday and staying through Wednesday of next week. The writing schedule will be sporadic and any Mythical Picks for this week and next week will have to be short.
The Linfield College Wildcats advanced to the “Sweet 16” in the Division III football playoff tournament last week beating Chapman University 55-24. Next week, Linfield will travel about 1700 miles to Belton, TX to take on Mary Hardin-Baylor in the next round. Go Wildcats!
By the way, MIT also advanced to the “Sweet 16” of the Division III football playoff tournament last week…
In terms of a review of last week’s games, I would like to quote a passage from last week’s Mythical Picks:
“Va Tech – 15 at Wake Forest (39): The only thing that would make this game less watchable than it already is would be a driving rainstorm. This is a game of interest for SHOE Tournament consideration only. Do not watch it; do not bet on it.”
At the end of regulation time, the score was 0-0. In double OT, Wake Forest won 6-3. Here are some stats from the game:
There were 18 punts in the game;.
Tech had 254 yards offense; Wake had 234 yards offense.
Wake ran the ball 42 times for a total of 74 yards (1.8 yards per carry)
That is higher than Wake’s season average rushing yards per carry.
Tech averaged 2.8 yards per pass attempt.
Aren’t you glad you missed that game…?
SMU was never in danger of ruining its perfect season last week losing to UCF 53-7.
SMU recorded 4 first downs in the game
SMU’s total offense was 116 yards on 42 plays (2.8 yards per play)
SMU fumbled 3 times and lost the ball each time
Nebraska led Minnesota 21-7 at the half but the Gophers rallied in the second half to win 28-24. Nebraska may get a “more prestigious” bowl bid than Minnesota because Nebraska fans have the reputation of “traveling well”.
Army beat Fordham 42-31. The interesting thing about this game is that each team scored 21 points in the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma demolished Kansas 44-7 on a soggy field. The story of this game has nothing to do with the score; the story is that freshman RB, Samaje Perrine, rushed for 427 yards in the game. That broke the record set by Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin all of one week ago. OU has had some pretty decent running backs in its history; until last Saturday, the school record was 294 yards set by Greg Pruitt 43 years ago. Perrine broke that school record by 133 yards.
Maryland beat Michigan 23-16. Michigan led 16-9 at the end of the 3rd quarter and then came from ahead to lose the game.
It took a field goal at the very end of the game for Florida State to beat BC by 3 points.
Arkansas beat Ole Miss 30-0. That makes two shut outs in a row for the Razorbacks. That completely eliminates Ole Miss from the college football playoff brackets.
Wisconsin beat Iowa 26-24 last week. In response to a comment by a reader last week who pointed out that this game should have been a “Game of Interest”, I said that Wisconsin was favored by 10 points and that line looked fat to me. Nevertheless, I am not counting that as a “successful Mythical Pick.”
UVa beat Miami 30-13. Virginia needs to beat Va Tech in the last game of the year to achieve bowl-eligibility. I wonder if this upset win will be enough to save Coach Mike London’s job…
Missouri stayed in control of its situation beating Tennessee by a score of 29-21. They face the suddenly tough defensive Arkansas team this week. A win there and Mizzou will be in the SEC Championship Game; a loss would send Georgia to that game.
Kansas State beat West Virginia in Morgantown – where it is difficult to win – keeping the Wildcats in a tie with Baylor and TCU for the top spot in the Big 12. All three teams have conference records of 6-1.
Baylor hosts K-State on 6 December meaning one of them will lose.
K-State hosts Kansas this week before traveling to Baylor.
TCU is at Texas this week and hosts Iowa St. on 6 December.
Speaking of TCU – sort of – they have a junior OT on the roster who is a copy editor’s nightmare:
Halapoulivaati Vaitai (pronounced HAL-uh-POO-lih-VAH-tee VIE-tie)
The Ponderosa Spread Games:
Last week, there were 8 Ponderosa Spread Games. The favorites covered in 5 of those 8 games.
Mississippi St., Oklahoma, Oregon, S. Carolina and UCF covered.
Baylor, Clemson and Ohio St. did not cover.
That brings the season record for favorites covering Ponderosa Spreads to 38-33-1.
This week we have only 2 Ponderosa Spread Games:
Baylor – 25 at Texas Tech (79): Baylor can score points by the bushel; Texas Tech allows points by the bushel…
Kansas at K-State – 28.5 (51.5): K-State can still win the Big-12; Kansas might win the Kansas High School Football Championship.
The SHOE Tournament Teams
Here are the eight teams I would have in the SHOE Tournament if I had to make my picks today:
SMU: Just a bad football team
E. Michigan: Lost to Ball St. by 2 TDs last week
Ga State: Another bad football team
Idaho: Not good at all
Kent St. A second MAC team for the SHOE Tournament
N. Mex St.: The adjective you are looking for is “bad”
Tulsa: Golden Hurricane is merely a gentle breeze
Wake Forest: See the stats above for last week’s game…
Still with a chance to stink their way into the SHOE Tournament field are:
Miami (Oh): A third MAC team for the SHOE Tournament?
Games of Interest:
There are tons of huge rivalry games this week. If you are a fan of college football in general, this is the week you have been looking for…
Note that these lines are from very early in the week and there are no lines available for several games at this point. Nevertheless, I shall soldier on…
(Thurs) TCU – 6 at Texas (56.5): TCU is on the fringe of the football playoffs; if that does not motivate them for this game, I have no idea what might. Both teams play good defense. TCU’s offense is more reliable. I like TCU on the road to win and cover here.
(Thurs) LSU – 3 at Texas A&M (49.5): LSU lost at home to Alabama in OT and then got shut out by Arkansas. Question:
Is this team angry and ready to destroy an Aggies’ team that is good but not great – or has LSU come apart at the seams?
I think it is the former. I’ll take LSU to win and cover on the road.
(Fri) Virginia at Va Tech “pick ‘em” (40.5): Virginia can still be bowl-eligible with a win here. Need I say more about how there are too many bowl games and too many mediocre-at-best teams playing in bowl games? Va Tech is about as efficient on offense as your run of the mill West African government. I think that the Virginia players will play to save Mike London’s job so I’ll take Virginia to win the game.
(Fri) Nebraska at Iowa “pick ‘em” (57): I have had enough picking road teams here; I like Iowa at home to win this game.
(Fri) E. Carolina – 16.5 at Tulsa (66): This game is interesting only because the spread opened the week at 22 points and dropped to this level like an anvil in a swimming pool. No, I do not know why…
(Fri) Navy – 9.5 at S. Alabama (54.5): A Navy win makes them bowl-eligible. South Alabama looks like easy pickings for a Navy team that can score points. I like Navy – on the road – to win and cover.
(Fri) Arkansas at Missouri (no lines): A win by Missouri sets them up to play the SEC West Champion. I do not think Missouri is that good. The Arkansas defense has come to life recently with two consecutive shutouts. I foresee a low scoring game and an Arkansas win here – but I cannot make a pick when the game is off-the-board.
(Fri) Stanford at UCLA – 5.5 (50): UCLA is the PAC-12 South champion if they win this game. I see a defensive battle here. I like the game to stay UNDER.
(Fri) Arizona St. at Arizona (no lines): If UCLA loses, these teams are still alive in the PAC-12 South Division. I cannot pick without lines but I do think Arizona State is the better team here.
(Fri) Colorado State – 7 at Air Force (61): Colorado State is 10-1 this year and looking for a bid to a bowl game you have actually heard of before. Air Force is a good team but I do not think they can keep up with Colorado State. I like CSU to win and cover – on the road.
Michigan at Ohio St. – 20.5 (52.5): A win here saves Brady Hoke’s job. I think Michigan’s chance at winning this game in Columbus is about as likely as seeing a herd of yetis sitting up in Section 525 at kickoff time. I’ll take Ohio State to win and cover at home.
Old Dominion at Florida Atlantic – 3.5 (67): If Old Dominion wins here, it will be their 6th win for the season and they could play in a bowl game for the first time. I like that as an incentive here so I’ll take Old Dominion on the road plus the points.
Minnesota at Wisconsin – 13.5 (51.5): I do believe the winner here is the Big 10 West Champ. It has been a while since Minnesota has had a sniff of anything nearly that prestigious when it comes to football. Both teams like to run the ball meaning the clock will run and keep the score down. I like the game to stay UNDER.
Illinois at Northwestern – 8.5 (52): Both teams are 5-6 so this is a play-in game for bowl-eligibility. Wow, maybe one of these teams can play Virginia in a bowl game. Wouldn’t that be special? [/Church Lady]. Do not watch this game; do not wager on this game.
Washington – 3 at Washington St. (65): This is the Apple Bowl game; it is a huge rivalry out in the Northwest. Washington is the better team so I’ll take them to win and cover on the road.
Ga Tech at Georgia – 13 (66): The only thing on the line here is the rivalry. The Missouri/Arkansas game on Friday lets Georgia know if they play in the SEC Championship Game or if they just prep for a bowl game. Tech knows it will play in the ACC Championship Game despite the outcome here. Georgia is the better team and they are at home. I’ll take the Dawgs to win and cover.
Oregon – 20 at Oregon St. (67): They call this game the “Civil War”. A win for Oregon State makes them bowl-eligible. Oregon needs to win if they want to hang onto a slot in the football playoff bracket. Make this a venue call; I like Oregon State plus the points.
Auburn at Alabama – 9.5 (53.5): Remember last year’s game? Remember that look on Nick Saban’s face? Do you think he remembers? There is no way I want to take Auburn on the road here when Alabama has revenge on its mind AND would love to be the #1 seed in the College Football Playoff bracket. I like Alabama to win and cover here.
Florida at Florida State – 7 (52.5): How cool would it be for Wil Muschamp to beat undefeated Florida State in Tallahassee in his last game at Florida? I like Florida plus the points here even on the road. I will resist the temptation to take Florida on the money line at +250, however.
S. Carolina at Clemson – 4.5 (no Total Line): I seem to like the vast majority of the road teams this week and this game is no exception. I like S. Carolina plus the points here.
Mississippi State – 1.5 at Ole Miss (49.5): State needs a win in the Egg Bowl in order to hold onto that #4 slot in the Selection Committee rankings. Ole Miss has no real shot at getting back into the discussion with regard to the seeding there. Once again, I like the road team in a big rivalry game; I like Mississippi State to win and cover.
Notre Dame at USC – 7 (62.5): Here is another rivalry game but I really do not trust either team enough to play the spread here. On the other hand, I do trust that both defenses will give up points. I like this game to go OVER.
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………