The biggest news of this conference title game weekend is this: we got here without any significant health issues from COVID anywhere in the college football universe.
That is, tens of thousands of coaches, players, and team affiliated personnel have nearly completed an entire football season, and there have been virtually no serious health consequences from COVID anywhere. That’s what all the data suggested would happen, but it’s what the coronabros refused to accept. Yet, here we are.
Not only that, most of the college football games had fans, and those fans were able to go to games without any serious health consequences either. That’s also something the coronabros spent months telling us was impossible.
So that’s great news, one of the most tremendous accomplishments in college football history.
What isn’t as tremendous of an accomplishment?
Our college football picks so far this season. After a 5-5 weekend, we are currently 54-67 on the season. The positive is our NFL Six Packs have been doing quite well. They went 4-2 this week to run us to a 47-31 record there. So we’re a combined 101-98 on all of these games.
The past few years the bowl games have killed us, so it’s time to flip the script and get hot.
First, here’s our NFL OutKick Six Pack this weekend: Bills -6 at Denver, Jacksonville +13 at the Ravens, Patriots at Miami -1.5, Lions at Titans -10.5, Seahawks at Washington the under 45, and the Steelers -12.5 at Cincinnati.
Now here come the college football winners. We’re going 8-0.
But before I give you those picks, if you live in Tennessee, Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Colorado, or West Virginia, new users can bet $5 and win $75 — that’s a 15-1 payday — if you bet on Justin Herbert to throw a touchdown tonight in the Chargers-Raiders game, which is the final NFL Thursday night game of the year. So go get your bets in now. And if you’re planning on being in any of these ten states for Christmas, you need to sign up there as well.
Okay, here we go with the picks:
Iowa State +6 vs. Oklahoma
One of the greatest stories of the college football season would be if Iowa State, which hasn’t won a conference title since 1915, managed to upset Oklahoma for the second time this season and win the Big 12 title.
Here’s why I think it could happen. Matt Campbell has played the Sooners incredibly well since he took over as Iowa State head coach. In fact, Iowa State is 5-0 against the spread vs. Oklahoma with an average cover margin of 16 points in those five games.
Sure, Oklahoma has been on a bit of a roll of late, but do the Sooners really feel like a Big 12 title is that important? This is a team with playoff aspirations that lost those early in the year. And, frankly, I just think this game means far more to Iowa State, who will be energized beyond belief.
Which is why I think the Cyclones keep it close and cover. (And hopefully win outright, if you like seeing long-suffering fan bases finally be rewarded.)
Texas A&M at Tennessee +14
Let’s make this clear: Tennessee isn’t anywhere near as good of a football team as Texas A&M, but this game has all the markings of a traditional college football upset. A double-digit favorite is on the road with everything on the line and the opposing team has nothing at stake. This is nearly what happened last week with LSU at Florida, except the Tigers were the big underdog on the road as opposed to the big favorite on the road.
Now we all know some wacky things had to happen for LSU to win last Saturday — the insane tipped ball interception, a pick six, a thrown shoe extending a game winning drive, a 57 yard field goal — but the Tigers put themselves into position to win by taking this game into the fourth quarter.
I think the Vols have a good chance to do that on Saturday too. They can run the football. They’re going to be relatively vanilla in the passing game because they want to take the air out of this contest. And I think they can do that if they withstand an early storm from the Aggies.
A&M isn’t just trying to win. They’re trying to win by a substantial margin to impress the playoff committee. Sometimes a focus on trying to win by a substantial margin can overshadow the goal of just winning.
And I think that’s what happens on Saturday.
It’s close late and the Vols cover.
Ole Miss -2.5 at LSU and the over 78.5
Lane Kiffin wants to finish his first season at Ole Miss in style. And there’s no more stylish way for an Ole Miss Rebel to finish than with a win over LSU. Especially since LSU has won four in a row by 16 or more points in this series.
That’s especially the case since the Rebels haven’t won in Baton Rouge since 2008.
The Ole Miss offense has been on fire this season, but their defense has been atrocious. Meanwhile LSU has been difficult to project on offense and consistently bad on defense.
So what happens when two bad defenses go up against two offenses that have had success for most of the season?
So take the over. I also believe Ole Miss wins and covers in this game as well.
A double win!
Mizzou -1 at Mississippi State
Week One in the SEC, Eli Drinkwitz’s Missouri Tigers were beaten soundly by Alabama, and Mike Leach’s Mississippi State team went on the road and upset LSU.
Since that time, Mississippi State has won just one game — against Vanderbilt — and Missouri has gone on to win five of their past seven games.
So what happens in Starkville as both first year coaches finish their seasons?
I think Mizzou gets to six wins in season one of Eli Drinkwitz, which is an incredible accomplishment.
Give me the Tigers to win and cover.
Notre Dame +10.5 vs. Clemson
I can’t find anyone picking Notre Dame to win, much less cover, in all of college football right now.
There just seems to be a collective assumption that, with Trevor Lawrence back, Clemson will be much better than Notre Dame in this game. But did those people watch the first game between these two? Lawrence’s back up, DJ Uiagalelei, threw for 439 yards and completed 29 out of his 44 passes.
Do people really think Trevor Lawrence is going to throw for way more than 439 yards on Saturday?
And failure at quarterback wasn’t the reason Clemson lost.
Notre Dame won this game on the lines of scrimmage, where they held Clemson to 34 yards rushing on 33 attempts. Meanwhile Notre Dame ran the ball 40 times for 208 yards.
So why is that line of scrimmage differential going to suddenly change with Trevor Lawrence back? I don’t think it will.
Plus, I’m even more impressed with this Notre Dame defense after watching what North Carolina did to Miami last weekend. The Irish stifled that rushing attack as well.
I think Clemson wins the game — heck they almost won back in November — but Notre Dame keeps it a single-digit game.
Meaning the Irish cover and both teams advance to the playoff.
Alabama -17 vs. Florida and the over 74
This isn’t just the SEC Championship Game. It’s probably going to decide the Heisman trophy too. (Although it’s also possible that Mac Jones and Devonta Smith split votes and Kyle Trask manages to win the award).
And the more I look at this game, the less I believe Florida has any chance at all of stopping Alabama’s offense. Which is why I think the Gators will just have to come out gunning and hope they can find a way to outscore Alabama.
That won’t work either, but it at least could be interesting early.
With a shootout engaged from the opening of the game, I see Bama winning 56-28, the over hitting with ease, and what started out as a tight game — let’s say tied up at 21-21 late in the second quarter — eventually turns into a Tide rout.
Alabama rolls into the College Football Playoff at 11-0, the best conference record of any SEC football team ever, and claims the No. 1 seed.
You get the cover and hit the over.
There you have it, boys and girls, we’re going 8-0!