Oh hey guys, didn’t see you there. You’re a little hard to spot from up here in the captain’s chamber of this fancy new boat of mine.
The haters said it wouldn’t happen, but last week’s picks went 6-1. The #BuyTheBoat lock of Michigan -18.5 against Nebraska covered by 25.5 points. We didn’t even sweat most of the picks. It was glorious. The only loss? Wake Forest +7 against Notre Dame. Brian Kelly finally realized it’s probably not a good idea to play a quarterback that can’t complete a pass longer than 10 yards and swapped out Brandon Wimbush for Ian Book.
I always throw a cheap parlay on all my picks jusssssssst in case we get lucky. Let’s just say Wake Forest’s patently offensive secondary cost me a couple months’ rent. So it was at my request that Dave Clawson fired his defensive coordinator on Sunday. We can’t have efforts like that, not on The Boat.
You know what’s better than a boat? A second boat. That’s what we’re chasing this week. Getting rich off college football isn’t for everyone, but it can be for you. Follow me to freedom!
Stanford +5.5 at Notre Dame
The Cardinal were nearly run off the field last week in prime time by Oregon, until Mario Cristobal showed us why he’s 30-49 in his career as a head coach (nice hire, Ducks). David Shaw ran circles around Cristobal in the fourth quarter and overtime, and Stanford escaped. The Irish have new life with Book under center, but Boston College torched Wake Forest’s secondary with Anthony Brown at quarterback. I need to see Book do it against a legitimate defense to be a true believer. Stanford’s KJ Costello is the best quarterback no one is talking about. He’s going to be a future first-round draft pick. Stanford 31, Notre Dame 28
BYU +17 at Washington
Where has 2016 Jake Browning gone? In his first year as a started, Browning threw 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 13 games before leading the Huskies to the CFB Playoff against Alabama. Including that loss, he’s thrown 27 touchdowns and 11 picks in 18 games since then. The Huskies’ offense just has impressed me so far this season. BYU’s pass defense ranks in the top 30 in yards per attempt, with 4 interceptions and just three touchdowns allowed. This feels like a low-scoring bout. The Cougars won’t be fazed by the road trip to a top-10 team. They walked into a far more hostile environment three weeks ago and upset Wisconsin. Washington 27, BYU 17
Army +7 at Buffalo
I LOVED Army last week on the road against Oklahoma +31, and they darn near beat the Sooners outright. The game ball went to the random Sooner fan who streamed the game on his cell phone. How the hell is it 2018 and we can’t watch a top-five team without paying $59.95 for an online feed?
Anyway, Buffalo has made me so much money this season they’re co-captains of The Boat. Now comes the time to fade. Last week’s effort by Army was no fluke. Do you really think Army kids are going to have an emotional hangover from a tough loss? The same team that left their locker room spotless after losing a heartbreaker in overtime? These guys have a few more important things than a football game to worry about. They’ll be more than ready to go against a Buffalo team that throttled Rutgers, who lost by 40 to Kansas. The Bulls aren’t THAT good. Army wins outright. Army 35, Buffalo 28
FSU -6.5 at Louisville
I don’t think people are paying enough attention to how bad Louisville has been. There’s no way Bobby Petrino has a job next season. He went 8-5 with the Michael Vick of our generation in Lamar Jackson. Now that Jackson’s gone, this team has cratered. You just can’t lose to Virginia 27-3. I’ve lost money on Florida State a couple times this season, but as bad as it’s been for Willie Taggart, Louisville might be a bigger dumpster fire than the ‘Noles. The Cardinals are completely directionless offensively, and the Seminoles’ defense has been quietly good when the offense hasn’t put them on a short field. Florida State 24, Louisville 7
Tennessee +31 at Georgia
I’m fascinated at how far the Volunteers have fallen. Just for fun, I checked out a few radio shows and podcasts this week from Knoxville and the hosts were legitimately discussing if they could upset Vanderbilt later this year. I never thought Jeremy Pruitt was the guy to save Tennessee, but I’m not holding this season against him. Butch Jones destroyed this program and it’s going to take a couple years to revive it. Having said that, the Vols won’t turn it over six times like they did last week against Florida. Kirby Smart has never had a problem laying the wood to Tennessee, but 31 is a huge number and I don’t think the Bulldogs get to 50 points. I like the ‘Dawgs to cover the first half line, but Tennessee will score a late touchdown or two against the backups to keep it inside the number. Georgia 42, Tennessee 17
LA-Lafayette +49.5 at Alabama
Saban burned me a few weeks ago when he ran it up on Arkansas State, but I’m going back to the well again to fade Alabama against a Group of Five cupcake. The Tide almost never run it up on the little guys. They are 3-8 against the spread in their last 11 early-season games against Group of Five schools. The danger here is that even when Saban turns to the backups, he’s got a former SEC Player of the Year to play quarterback in mop-up duty. Even when they’re trying to take it easy, they can score with ease. I’ll still side with history, and history says fade Alabama here. Alabama 56 La-Lafayette 10
Purdue -3.5 at Nebraska
The Boilermakers were a disjointed bunch through three games, but I never doubted Jeff Brohm’s ability to keep the team from spiraling out of control. They hammered a pretty good Boston College team last week and I think they keep the momentum going this week in Lincoln. Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez practiced all week for the first time since August, but if he’s not 100%, the Huskers’ offense doesn’t have nearly enough firepower to keep up with a high-speed attack like Purdue’s. Purdue 38, Nebraska 24
Ole Miss +10.5 at LSU
LSU might have that number five ranking by its name, but going forward I think the Tigers will be toothless in SEC play. They knocked off an underwhelming Miami team early on (whose already bailed on its original starting QB), and squeaked by Auburn on the road, whose had problems of its own on offense this year. LSU is 103rd in the country in yards per play. If they’re not playing Alabama, Ole Miss’ offense is tough to stop. LSU needs Greedy Williams to step up against A.J. Brown in the best CB-WR matchup in the country today. I like the Rebels to push the tempo and the Tigers’ offense to struggle in a shootout. An upset here would not stun me, but I’ll go with the Rebels to cover. LSU 37, Ole Miss 35
#BuyTheBoat Lock of the Week: Michigan -14.5 at Northwestern
I’m going back to ol’ faithful this week for the lock. Michigan took care of me last week by slaughtering Nebraska as 18.5-point favorites. Northwestern suffered a gut-wrenching loss this week when leading rusher Justin Larkin announced he is retiring from football due to a medical condition. The one thing Michigan has always done under Jim Harbaugh is stuff the run. The next leading rusher on Northwestern has 21 yards in four games. The Wolverines are going to roll the Wildcats. People bailed on the Wolverines after an ugly effort against Notre Dame in Week 1. I still think they have a very good chance to win the Big 10. Michigan 42, Northwestern 17
Texas A&M -21 vs Arkansas
Arkansas already played a team from Texas this season and it didn’t go well — and that was North Texas. No disrespect to the Mean Green, but the Aggies are several steps up from even the best Conference USA has to offer. Texas A&M is coming off a rough loss to Alabama, and the ‘Bama Hangover is typically very real, but I think the Aggies light up the Hogs in Jerry World. Texas A&M 49, Arkansas 17