Last Week: Pac-12 Picks: 4-2; Other Picks: 1-5; Overall: 5-7; Mustache Margin: -11.
Overall: Pac-12 Picks: 9-9; Other Picks: 8-8; Overall: 17-17; Mustache Margin: 0.
Well, that was ugly.
Rivalry Week shocked college football nation, and our Mustache Wallet wasn't excluded. Picked the Pac-12 games well last week (4-2), but of course I mis-Mustached most of the picks, and we ended up down all the Mustaches we had won over the prior two weeks. Am I saying Mustache too much?
Let's look back.
The Pick: Oregon State (+21.5) @ Oregon (1-Stache Pick)
The Result: Oregon 36, Oregon State 35 (20.5-Point Win)
Well, sadly, I was right. Didn't know what to expect from the Ducks here, and as it turns out, we got a team that played down to the Beavs in every phase of the game. But most unexpectedly, Oregon's defense just straight up couldn't stop the run. Glad the Ducks got the win, and it will obviously go down as one of the greatest Civil Wars of all time, but didn't expect it would be so close or take such a toll on my central nervous system.
(Aside: watched this game at a Denver Ducks watch party and was shocked - SHOCKED! - when people started ordering victory shots when Huff caught the TD with time still on the clock. Fat lady, y'all, fat lady.)
The Pick: UCLA @ USC (-3.5) (4-Stache Pick)
The Result: UCLA 35, USC 14 (24.5-Point Loss)
Welp. I give up trying to figure out USC. Down the stretch they've looked well-balanced and mean, but then got outplayed completely in a critical game at home to end the regular season. This game has much bigger implications than merely bragging rights, as UCLA now has a legitimate chance to be the premiere LA program for a few more years. I don't see Sark taking these guys on the road and beating UCLA at the Rose Bowl with Hundley back and a ton of young talent in the wings. What a shocking beatdown this was.
The Pick: Notre Dame @ Stanford (-14) (3-Stache Pick)
The Result: Stanford 27, Notre Dame 20 (7-Point Loss)
I almost wrote in on Friday morning to change this pick, because I had lost all faith in it. But I stuck to my guns and the earlier publication...and went down with the ship. While Tommy Rees WAS undone by a tough Stanford secondary as I thought might happen, the game-deflating pick was in the fourth quarter in a one-possession game and not at the precipice of a Stanford beatdown in the 2nd or 3rd quarter. Notre Dame kept it closer than I anticipated, and those Staches ain't coming back.
The Pick: Colorado (+16.5) @ Utah (2-Stache Pick)
The Result: Utah 24, Colorado 17 (9.5-Point Win)
The game went about as I expected it to. Kudos to Colorado for going on the road and keeping it within a TD. I think the Buffs have a good shot at a bowl game next year if they can steal even a couple of Pac-12 wins.
The Pick: Washington State +14 @ Washington (1-Stache Pick)
The Result: Washington 27, Washington State 17 (4-Point Win)
Wish I would have put more Mustaches on this one. This game went almost entirely as predicted. WSU played great defense in the first half and led 10-3 at halftime. But the Cougs kept getting in trouble in the 3rd quarter, and the Huskies' 17 points in that period were the difference. Wazzu even scored in the 4th to make it a 20-17 game, and the result was in doubt until Sankey plowed in for the TD with just over 2 to go.
(Sidenote: just imagine if the success-at-current-job-to-prestigious-job-opportunity ratio applied to you the same way it seems to have applied to Sark. You'd probably be CEO of Little Debbie, Inc. and own several planes, exotic animals, and islands formerly under control of Venezuela.)
The Pick: Arizona @ Arizona State (-13) (1-Stache Pick)
The Result: Arizona State 58, Arizona 21 (24-Point Win)
I thought ASU would win comfortably, but I didn't see that big of a beatdown coming. ASU was up 27-0 before the Cats even knew what was happening, and the Sun Devils never looked back. The big Territorial Cup win clinched home field advantage for ASU in the Pac-12 Championship game this weekend against Stanford.
The Pick: Ohio State (-14) @ Michigan (4-Stache Pick)
The Result: Ohio State 42, Michigan 41 (13-Point Loss)
What a crazy game. Ohio State scored to make it 35-21 in the 3rd and push the spread, but gave up THREE 4th quarter touchdowns to Michigan. Michigan! A classic in the series, but the result should put up all kinds of crazy warning flags for OSU's defense.
The Pick: Baylor (-12.5) @ TCU (3-Stache Pick)
The Result: Baylor 41, TCU 38 (9.5-Point Loss)
Should have given the letdown potential more value here. I don't know what's more surprising: that Baylor only scored 41, or that Baylor gave up 38 points to a completely unimpressive TCU team. Baylor's shine (like Oregon's) has almost worn off.
The Pick: Texas A&M @ Missouri (-3) (3-Stache Pick)
The Result: Missouri 28, Texas A&M 21 (4-Point Win)
Missouri just keeps doing what they do. The Tigers are now 10-1-1 against the spread, playing incredible all-around football, and in my opinion are way under-appreciated nationwide. Here, while they scored the go-ahead TD with just over 3 minutes to go, their containment of Johnny Football was the difference in the game. JFF had only 195 passing yards, and only got free for 21 rushing yards. Impressive stuff from an unheralded defense that finds itself in the SEC championship game only a year removed from a 2-6 SEC record. Missouri is a freak 2OT loss to South Carolina away from being 12-0.
The Pick: Minnesota @ Michigan State (-14.5) (2-Stache Pick)
The Result: Michigan State 14, Minnesota 3 (3.5-Point Loss)
Good god, Big Ten. Can we skip this one?
While my ascertainment of Minnesota's offensive chances against the buzzsaw that is MSU's defense was correct, I didn't think Sparty's offense would faceplant like that. Well, when you only give up 3 points, I guess there's not a ton of pressure to do much else.
Get ready for a bigtime clash of styles in a real weird B1G Championship Game.
The Pick: Alabama (-10.5) @ Auburn (2-Stache Pick)
The Result: Auburn 34, Alabama 28 (16.5-Point Loss)
To quote Mr. Burgundy: "I'm not even mad. That's amazing."
One of the best finishes in college football history. As Uncle Verne would say: "MY. GOODNESS." What was equally surprising as the crazy FG return finish was how...mortal Alabama looked. Auburn was much better on 3rd down than 'Bama, won the line of scrimmage battle in the running game, and was efficient enough passing to get things done when it needed to. Auburn somehow withstood a 21-0 run by the Tide in the second quarter for the Tide, resulting in a 14-point deficit, and tied the game up in the 3rd quarter. Auburn just looked better than Bama down the stretch. What a shakeup in the national title hunt. And maybe, just maybe, an end to the SEC title streak?
The Pick: Texas Tech (+5.5) @ Texas (1-Stache Pick)
The Result: Texas 41, Texas Tech 16 (19.5-Point Loss)
This is why betting on or against Texas is an awful, awful idea. Just when you think you've got 'em pegged, they give up 1 billion yards to BYU, or shellack a decent offensive squad in Texas Tech.
And oh joy: they're on the slate for this week.
Championship Week Opening Lines:
Here are the opening lines of games we'll look at tomorrow. Given that a lot of results this week have a bearing as to where the Ducks end up in December or January (and because there are only 14 FBS games total this week), we'll look at most of the conference championship games and the remaining Big 12 matchups. And, as always, these lines may move around as time goes on:
--> Pac-12 Championship: Stanford @ Arizona State (-3)
--> MAC Championship: Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois (-3)
--> SEC Championship: Missouri (-2) vs. Auburn
--> ACC Championship: Florida State (-29) vs. Duke
--> B1G Championship: Ohio State (-6) vs. Michigan State
--> The Bedlam Game: Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State (-10.5)
--> [Insert Rivalry Name Here]: Texas @ Baylor (-14)
Check in tomorrow morning to see this week's picks.