Wic Picks: Week 13

Every week, without you all asking, I send each and every one of you Wic Picks. Kinda like what Brett Favre likes to send to women, but this won’t get me sued for harassment.
Some ranked match ups that we saw last night were West Virginia vs. Oklahoma and Washington vs. Washington State. In the first matchup we saw absolutely no defense, as per usual in the Big 12, and the Sooners take a 59-56 win. Their hopes for the Playoff are still alive, but not really. In the second game, Washington upset Washington State, 28-15. This not only destroyed my dreams of a Mike Leach championship, but also Mike Leach’s dreams of a Mike Leach championship.

#15 Kentucky @ Louisville: UK -16.5
I could not tell you the last time I remember Kentucky being favored over Louisville in football. If we have, I don’t think it was this high. With this year’s Louisville team though, it makes sense. Benny Snell is 206 yards away from the all-time rushing record at UK and I think he gets it today. Louisville’s rush defense sucks. I am genuinely surprised that Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder survived that coach purge, because he is the root of all defensive problems. Kentucky rolls on the road at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
UK: 38 UL: 24

#4 Michigan @ #10 Ohio State: MICH -4.5
Michigan may lead the all-time series, but since 2000, it has been all Buckeyes. Winning 15 of the last 18, Ohio State effectively owns the state of Michigan. But here is why this year is different: Jim Harbaugh is on a revenge tour. He lost to Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan State, and Ohio State last year. This year, he has beaten all of them except for OSU. In the best rivalry game in college football, expect the unexpected. A Michigan win in the Shoe is definitely unexpected.
MICH: 34 OSU: 31

Georgia Tech @ #5 Georgia: UGA -16.0
In order to beat Georgia, you have to be able to throw the ball. LSU did that very well and came out on top. Kentucky couldn’t and got smacked up and down the field for 3 hours. Georgia Tech in no way has the ability to throw the ball. This could be a long game.
UGA: 49 GT: 14

#11 Florida @ Florida State: FLA -8.0
Definitely did not expect the spread to be that small. If I wasn’t so afraid of losing money, I would bet on Florida. Florida State has a serious problem with pass defense. Even Louisville QB Jawon Pass had a good game against them. If there is one thing Florida QB Feleipe Franks can do well, it’s lose to Kentucky, but he is also decent at throwing. Expect a gentleman’s blowout.
UF: 38 FSU: 13

Auburn @ #1 Alabama: BAMA -24.5
Some years, this is the best rivalry in the nation. This year it is not, because Auburn sucks. I like to say that anything can happen in a rivalry game and this is especially true in the Iron Bowl, but the Tigers are some hot garbage. Tua throws for 5 more touchdowns and Hurts plays the entire fourth quarter.
BAMA: 45 AUB: 21

South Carolina @ #2 Clemson: CLEM -26.0
Let’s see if Clemson can beat a middle-low tier SEC school. I don’t think so because I hate them.
SCAR: 33 CLEM: 28

#7 LSU @ #22 Texas A&M: TAMU -3.5
Vegas is putting LSU on upset alert this weekend. Even ESPN is giving the Aggies a 60% chance to win. Did someone get hurt for LSU? Is Coach O just not going to be there? I am having a tough time wrapping my head around why people think LSU is going to lose. The team that beat Georgia can’t beat the team that lost to Auburn and Mississippi State? Okay. LSU rolls.
LSU: 35 TAMU: 17

#3 Notre Dame @ USC: ND -11.5
I like to choose against Notre Dame in almost every game that matters for one simple reason. The Irish choke every single year. Tell me I’m wrong. HOWEVVA *Stephen A. Smith voice* Notre Dame will win this one. I’ll admit that they are pretty good now. That win over Syracuse was impressive enough. But not only is ND good, USC is kinda bad. I know Clay Helton is a good coach, but he just isn’t good for USC. Ian Book is going to be able to do whatever he wants all day long.
ND: 40 USC: 24

Still No Respect for UCF

I have nothing but respect for MY defending NCAA Champions. I have already discussed my hatred for the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, so I won’t bore you all again, but they are hell bent on keeping UCF anywhere close to contention. They should be in the top 4. It is only fair considering how they were snubbed last season.

Danny Kanell actually made some good points about this the other day, I know I’m as surprised as you are. He said, “The biggest argument I have about UCF is, ‘Oh, they’d get blown away by teams like Alabama and Clemson.’ You know who else gets blown away by Alabama and Clemson? Every other team on their schedule.” Great point. Alabama is winning games by an average point margin of 35.9 and Clemson is at 32.1. Everyone seems to be okay with Power 5 teams getting blown out, but hate the idea of an outsider hypothetically getting routed. LSU got shut out by Bama, 29-0. Still in the top 10 even with 2 losses. If UCF got beat by a ranked team, they may drop out of the top 25 all together.

I have been saying this since the beginning of the season: If UCF doesn’t make the College Football Playoff they will go undefeated again and crown themselves back to back champions. Real Napoleon level stuff and I love it. The NCAA will have to recognize it. So what if they get blown out in the Playoff? Let them. Make an example of out them if you want. No one is going to beat Alabama anyway. The CFP committee seems not to think that. Sure. Let’s pretend; it’ll be fun.

If you have read my CFP rankings, then you know I have MY defending champions in my top 4. I have made the point several times that if you let in Clemson with their schedule then you have to let in UCF with theirs. All year, they have been saying that UCF would get crushed if they were to play a ranked team. Well guess what. Not only did they beat a ranked team, they destroyed a ranked team. Last Saturday, the Golden Knights played #24 Cincinnati and dominated them 38-13. People like to say that UCF doesn’t have as good of a defense as they did last year. While that may be true, they held Cincinnati to their lowest point total of the season. Maybe they will give up a lot of yards to a Playoff team, but Georgia gave up 500 yards to Oklahoma last year in the semi-final and again, no one seemed to care.

The most recent College Football Playoff rankings have the defending champs at 9. I am so glad that UCF jumped Ohio State. I am sure Columbus is going nuts right now and that brings me happiness in a way I cannot describe. But, the Buckeyes gave up 51 points to an unranked, not bowl-eligible Maryland team, so it makes more sense than the CFP committee normally does. What still kinda irks me is that Oklahoma did not move at all after giving up 40 points to Kansas. The Sooners still have to play West Virginia in back to back weeks so that should knock them out. 

Bottom line is: UCF should be a lot higher and deserves some respect, but I am glad they are back in the top 10.

CFP Rankings: 11/19/18

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee has not gotten any less corrupt since last week. Thankfully, nobody here at Soft 7 Sports actively works for a program that is currently in contention to make the playoff. I understand no one is completely unbiased. But, at least we don’t have a huge bonus and our jobs relying on the antics we pull. Consistency and maybe a laugh or two are my only goals.

CFP Rankings 11/19/18

  1. Alabama (11-0)- Duh.
  2. Notre Dame (11-0)- Still nowhere near Alabama. They are only ranked second because somebody technically has to be. The Fighting Irish actually impressed me on Saturday with a 36-3 win over #12 Syracuse.
  3. Clemson (11-0)- Unlike ND, Clemson still has yet to impress me. Great job beating powerhouse Duke last week! You all definitely deserved to be at the top of College Football Playoff discussions with all the juggernauts you play! But, the Tigers are undefeated so here is your top 4 ranking.
  4. UCF (10-0)- We’re all going to respect them now right? No, just me? Okay. We said they couldn’t beat a ranked team and then UCF not only beat, but destroyed a top 25 Cincinnati team, 38-13. Consistency, y’all.
  5. Michigan (10-1)- Struggled early this past weekend. If I know one thing, it is that Harbaugh has a tough time playing from behind against top tier opponents. Good job coming back against the Indiana Hoosiers. If only Michigan was undefeated.
  6. Washington State (10-1)- Put up 69 points on Kevin Sumlin and the Arizona Wildcats. Gardner Mustache threw for 473 yards and 7 TD’s. He can do literally whatever he wants against any Pac-12 opponent, except USC apparently.
  7. Georgia (10-1)- Throw some B.S. at us at the end of the season, you’re going to get some B.S. thrown right back you. They played UMass last week and wonder why they aren’t being taken that seriously. I hate how the SEC does this at the end of every season. I am surprised that it hasn’t come back to bite anyone yet. 
  8. LSU (9-2)- Would have dropped for the same reason as Georgia, but as it turns out, Oklahoma and Ohio State suck. I can’t justify it.
  9. Oklahoma (10-1)- The Sooners gave up 40 points to Kansas. KANSAS. They didn’t even have Les Miles yet. I feel like giving up 40 points to Kansas should get you blackballed from the CFP for at least 5 years. I don’t care if it was garbage time, you should be ashamed. 
  10. Ohio State (10-1)- I watched their last game at a Rooster’s (fine establishment) around a couple of OSU fans. I have never wanted to kill myself more over football. These people were jumping up and down, high fiving, and screaming in a family restaurant. Why? Because they just won in overtime after giving up 51 POINTS to an unranked, not bowl-eligible Maryland team. They may call it the best fan base; I call it the largest group of assholes who feel no shame outside Gillette Stadium.

Why Notre Dame should join the Big Ten over the ACC

DISCLAIMER: The only way I can see this happening is if Notre Dame gets snubbed from the College Football Playoff again this year.  Also, while I am also a huge supporter of this movement (since that would mean UCF would make it), it would spell the disaster of Notre Dame’s independent status. 
Basketball and academics are not being taken into account.  But here is why (football wise) it should happen…

A huge issue with the”independent” status now is that your schedule sucks.  Outside of beating Michigan, Northwestern, and Syracuse, Notre Dame is now struggling to claim that USC and Stanford are both good wins (which they are not).  While yes, they may have an easier time trying to justify that over anyone that have played TCU or Florida State are, it is still a mountain that is being unnecessarily climbed.

Another issue is that geography is getting kind of dicey as it is right now with the ACC.  Notre Dame going to the ACC greatly increases a weak football conference.  Yes, the cream of the crop is Clemson, but who is second best?  It’s not a good sign when the argument is between Boston College and Syracuse, and Florida State and Miami (FL) are fighting it out for dead last with Louisville. The Big Ten is a much better football conference historically and presently across the whole of the conference.  While Notre Dame may get a weaker conference in the ACC, they would also get the weaker one in the Big Ten.  You may claim this might equal a wash, but playing Wisconsin and Iowa is definitely better than playing Syracuse and Boston College every year.  Throw in the fact you still rotate between OSU, Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State?  That’s a lot stronger strength of schedule in conference than playing Clemson once every 5-7 years.

Recruiting wise is where Notre Dame should begin to see the light.  If you look at a religious demographic map of the United States, a majority of Catholics are (unsurprisingly) in the Midwest.  Allying yourself with the more Christian states that the ACC associates itself with, and your recruiting base kind of slips from under you.  Yes the hardcores will still enroll, but keeping the moderates in ties into a more grounded approach.  Every coach knows recruiting wise to first secure your state, then to control surrounding areas, then to poach from talent rich areas.  Right now, Notre Dame is making a killing off recruiting from the Catholics and areas like Michigan, Ohio, and Chicago/Illinois.  Those are prime Big Ten territories.  Switching to the ACC may net you places like Florida and some of the other coastal states, but loses the base that the Big Ten states provide.  Might be worth considering.

However, the main reason should be for the money.  As I have said multiple times, the Big Ten Network is independent from ESPN and any other affiliate.  While this may seem bad since (in my opinion) the national media favors ESPN-affiliated conferences (i.e. – SEC, ACC, PAC-12), it is not bad for the coffers.  Northwestern and Purdue just updated their athletic facilities for their schools, with Northwestern spending about one billion on theirs.  These are schools not known for their athletic prowess, yet they are now ranked in the top 5 in nicest facilities in the country.  In fact, both these schools were two of the worst teams in the Big Ten (football wise) 6-7 years ago.  Now they are top two in the Big Ten West.  The Big Ten Network (since it is independent) enjoys not having to pay what I like to call the “pimp cut” to ESPN.  Since the Big Ten is the sole beneficiary of their network, all the money goes directly to the schools, and doesn’t pass through some third party that has made MANY questionable business decisions in the past.  Being in an independent network may appeal more to Notre Dame since they are being shut out of most markets.  I saw (this weekend in fact) multiple Notre Dame fans getting mad that, even though NC State was throttling UofL, NBC/ACC Network could not legally switch from that game to the Notre Dame-Syracuse game.  From what I saw, that cost them a lot of viewers since most decided to watch the last bit of the Ohio State game.  While to some that might not seem like a big deal, when the game was finally allowed to be switched over, Notre Dame was driving, up 13-0, and halfway through the 2nd quarter.  That’s a lot of money a lot of people wasted on ad space/air time.

I mean, in all honesty, will it happen this year?  Not a chance.  Will it happen in the future?  Oh for sure.   Too much money not being made for them not to switch.

Wic Picks: Week 12

Very slow week for College Football. This is mainly because this is the week every year that the SEC schedules some cupcake opponents to beat down on. If I were a fellow CFP hopeful, I would schedule my best game of the season for this week. It would look awesome if Michigan beat OSU this week while Georgia plays the Carolina School for the Deaf (not that deaf people can’t play football. It’s 2018; they can do anything. All I am saying is that they aren’t D-1). While there are very few ranked matchups, all 3 are massively important. Could we see some upsets? I think so…

Game 1: Kentucky vs. Middle Tennessee State– UK -16.0

Not ranked a ranked matchup, I know, but I have to do the Cats game. Kentucky has sucked the past few weeks. We all expected to lose to Georgia, but we ruined any chances of going 10-2 after we got boo-booed on by Tennessee. That was the most Kentucky Football move I have seen in quite some time. We won’t blow this one (hopefully), but another loss would make it more convincing for Benny Snell to return for this Senior season. Silver linings. Kentucky makes this win way too hard on themselves tomorrow.

UK: 28 MTSU: 17

Game 2: Syracuse vs. Notre Dame– ND -10.5

I have been burned picking against Notre Dame already this year, but here I am doing it again. They have been pretty successful in the House of God, let’s see how well they do in the House that Ruth Built. This game is being played at Yankee Stadium which give Syracuse a slight home-field advantage. Eric Dungey is not being giving the respect he deserves. That, being mixed in with fact that ND has a history of playing down to their opponents, is a recipe for disaster. Also, the Fighting Irish need to be taken down a notch. Read why here

SYR: 27 ND: 21

Game 3: Cincinnati @ UCF– UCF -7.0

This is the only AAC game I will be excited for all year. I have been saying all year that UCF deserves some respect and they may just get it here. I will stop respecting them as soon as they lose. This is a MUST WIN game for the Golden Knights. McKenzie Milton (girl’s name) needs at the top of his game if they want to win this. If UCF can slow down Michael Warren II, then they can win this easily. 

UCF: 38 UC: 31

Game 4: Iowa State @ Texas– TEX -2.5

I hate picking the team that has a dude named Lil’Jordan, but here I am. I like Sam Ehlinger too much to pick against him when he is playing some Iowa hicks. Knowing nothing about the Cyclones, I am picking Texas.

TEX: 33 ISU: 21

Game 5: Duke @ Clemson– CLEM -28.0

Hey, Clemson. I hate you.

DUKE: 28 CLEM: 26