November is here, along with standard time and that means two things: 1) I feel like I should go to bed when I get home from work and 2) we only have about one quarter of the college football regular season left.
The good news is there are several good games with major implications for bowl projections, the playoff picture, and conference title chances. I’m not going to go into the playoff picture here because, quite frankly, it just doesn’t matter right now. The college playoff picture is like that door in your house that is hard to close when it’s humid in the summer; you feel like you should give it some attention, but you also know it’ll fix itself if you just leave it alone and wait for cooler weather. Last week, the column went 3-2, putting us at 56% for the season. The Tailgate Society is free to read, and you make money from the brilliant picks! Who would’ve thought?
Iowa/Wisconsin under 38: Iowa has struggled to put the ball in the end zone all season, and Wisconsin has a good defense. The Hawkeyes are also a good defensive team and the only team in the nation that hasn’t given up a run of over 20 yards this season. Think that might play a factor against one of the best running backs in the country? Big 10 football in November means run the ball, play defense, and first one to 10 wins. Careful with the spread here, though, just in case it is a 10-0 type of game.
Iowa State/Oklahoma over 68: Both of these teams come in off a bye and a loss. Oklahoma has one tiny hope to make the playoff. To make themselves look good, they have to start passing the eye test fast and win a bunch of games. The Cyclones have another good defense this season, but this game tends to be fairly high scoring normally. Coming off the bye and losses, both teams try to show off here, and we get some fireworks.
Penn State -6.5 at Minnesota: The Gophers have burned me a few times this year, but I just can’t seem to stop touching the stove. They’ve done exactly what they need to do and won every game, gaining some national attention. Penn State has won every game as well. They also have a game against Ohio State coming up. If they were to lose that and miss the Big 10 Championship game, they know they’ll need style points to even have a shot at the playoff. James Franklin wants a national title badly. Here’s a chance to get a nice road win against an undefeated team by a big number.
Colorado +3 vs Stanford: The Cardinal are an unpredictable wreck this season. What is certain is they often have trouble scoring. That shouldn’t improve in a road trip to a higher altitude. Colorado has lost five in a row, but there are signs of life in Montez at QB. This is the best spot to get them at the lowest possible price, and I’m riding with the Buffs to get back in the win column.
Alabama/LSU under 63: I will not bet against Alabama and Nick Saban, but I’m also not willing to believe Coach O is going to go to Tuscaloosa and pull off an upset. How healthy is Tua? Can Joe Burrow keep throwing at an 80% completion rate? There are a lot of questions in this game, but we do know the defenses are good, and it’s very likely Nick will try to play some keep a way so the Tiger offense can’t try to light up the scoreboard. Probably not your 10-6 type of SEC powerhouse game, but I don’t see both teams hitting 30 either . The under is the play here.
Good luck this week!