And so we have arrived at the final week of the regular season. To our credit, it took this long for someone to be eliminated. They held strong but as of last week Derek, Britt, and David have officially been eliminated. Courtney is still mathematically in the hunt but it would take an epicly bad week from our current leader Mitch and a stellar week from her to take the crown.
David Poole (@VirgoAssassain): 2-4 (33-27)
Mitch Gatzke (@GreatGatzke): 4-2 (40-20)
Courtney McCrary (@CourtMac17): 3-3 (36-24)
Derek Woods (@D_Woods21): 1-5 (32-28)
Britt Zank (@BZank17): 1-5 (30-30)
Tim Bach (@TBach84): 3-3 (39-21)
#8 Ohio State at #10 Michigan
David Poole: This loss couldn’t have come at worse time for Ohio State. As a huge fan of this rivalry, I hope the Buckeyes can compartmentalize last week’s performance and set their sights on the next challenge. I don’t see Michigan slowing down anytime soon. I think the Wolverines will play keep away, using a heavy dose of the run game. I expect this to be a low scoring affair. Wolverines snatch a victory from the defending National Champions. Michigan takes it, 24-21.
Mitch Gatzke: Let me start by saying I tend to think too optimistically when picking my team’s’ games so this might be nothing more than that. Now, had the Buckeyes won last week I probably would’ve picked them to win here too. However, since the Spartans showed me it’s possible to beat the Buckeyes, I believe. This rivalry is unpredictable so I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but it is. Go Blue.
Courtney McCrary: Michigan: Both teams need a victory, but I think with what Ezekiel Elliot said to the media will give Michigan and advantage and they will win.
Derek Woods: Ohio State’s first loss in over a year will fuel them to a hard fought seven point victory on the road against archrival Michigan.
Britt Zank: Michigan will get the upset this week. There is a disaster going on in the OSU locker room and Harbaugh has had this game circled since the day he took the job. He will grind the game down to take away the athletic advantage of OSU and look to win ugly in a 13-10 type of game.
Tim Bach: This could go either way depending on how Ohio State reacts to their loss and subsequent team implosion. Either they’ll come out angry or they’re going to be a dysfunctional mess. The Michigan fan in me is rooting for the dysfunctional mess combined with a Michigan team that’s got as much confidence as any team right now. I’m hesitant to make a pick because I don’t want to jinx it but… give me Michigan.
#7 Baylor at #19 TCU
David Poole: This games hinges on whether or not Trevone Boykin is in the line up. The Frogs gave Oklahoma all they could handle, but not enough in the end. After Baylor’s impressive performance against Oklahoma State, the Bears aren’t going to be merciful. Baylor in a shootout, 34-28.
Mitch Gatzke: Both teams come hobbling into what was billed as the matchup in the Big 12 this season. Baylor’s still got an outside shot at the playoff. I expect them to use that as motivation and come out swinging like they did last week against Ok State. Bears win, 42-24.
Courtney McCrary: Baylor: The Baylor QB situation looks much better than TCU’s does. Baylor will win even though they are on the road.
Derek Woods: Baylor is the overall better team as both teams may be playing with backup QB’s.
Britt Zank: If Boykin plays than they will win in one of the best games of the season. If Boykin doesn’t play than Baylor will win in high scoring game that is closer than the game actually is.
Tim Bach: Baylor showed that they can actually play a little defense when called upon to do so and TCU is down at least one of their best players, possibly two. I like the Bears to try and salvage their playoff chances.
#3 Oklahoma at #11 Oklahoma State
David Poole: Oklahoma goes as quarterback Baker Mayfield does. With his status still up in the air, it’s a tough one to gauge. The Cowboys have a lot on the line this weekend and look to clean up last Saturday’s mistakes with a solid performance in this one. If Mayfield gets the start, it’ll be paramount for the Sooners to keep him upright and his jersey clean. In the end, Oklahoma finds a way and wins the Big 12 championship outright with convincing victory,34-24.
Mitch Gatzke: As of Monday Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield had passed all the concussion tests and was cleared to practice. Assuming he’ll start, I’m going with the Sooners who have played as well as anyone the past month.
Courtney McCrary: Oklahoma: Oklahoma has owned Oklahoma State and I don’t see that changing.
Derek Woods: I’ve said for a couple weeks now that the Big 12 just may eliminate themselves from playoff contention, and an Oklahoma loss would do just that. I’m taking Oklahoma State at home.
Britt Zank: This will be a huge win for Oklahoma St as they knock off their arch rivals and knock them out of the playoffs. It will be a crushing blow for the Big 12 as it will almost certainly knock them out of the playoffs as well, but conference loyalty means nothing in Bedlam!
Tim Bach: I think Oklahoma is the better team but when it comes to other conferences, I always root for chaos. However since we’re picking who we think will win and not who we want to win I’ve got to go with Oklahoma.
#6 Notre Dame at #9 Stanford
David Poole: Last week, Stanford leaned heavily on do-it-all back, Christian McCaffrey. Quarterback Kevin Hogan only threw 12 passes in the route of California. He’s going to need every facet of his game to keep up with the surging Irish. However dominant in the Cal victory, Stanford definitely has some holes they’re going to need to shore up. Notre Dame is a different animal altogether. Stanford gets chin-checked by the Fighting Irish and leave Palo Alto with the W. Notre Dame takes it, 38-24.
Mitch Gatzke: I just don’t see Notre Dame winning a west coast road trip against a matchup nightmare. Stanford is solid all the way around and they’re still potentially in the playoff discussion with two more big wins. This will be the first of the two. Stanford 27, Notre Dame 20.
Courtney McCrary: Notre Dame as long as the fighting Irish can stop Christian McCaffrey then they will win the game.
Derek Woods: With a win, Notre Dame is in the playoff. Thing is, I think this is where their playoff hopes come to an end as Stanford pulls off the upset.
Britt Zank: This will be a last possession field goal but the Irish are just too talented to let their national title hopes slip away. They win a tough game 21-20 almost locking themselves into the playoffs.
Tim Bach: I’m not sure that Notre Dame is as talented as they’re playing. They keep losing players and I think the replacements are playing above their skill levels. I think Stanford punches the Irish in the mouth early and jumps out to a lead that they hold the whole time.
#13 Florida State at #12 Florida
David Poole: I’m a little worried FAU gave the Gators such a tough test last week. I’m of the mindset that Florida played down to the level of their competition. In any case, Florida better pick themselves up by their boot straps and bring their “A” game.The Gators have the home field advantage and point to prove, but the Seminoles have a different plan in mind. Look for tailback Dalvin Cook to get started early and carry Florida State to the win. Seminoles in a slugfest, 31-21.
Mitch Gatzke: The Gators have been awful the last two weeks, playing down to their competition. This week, against a much better opponent, I think they wake up and chomp the rival Seminoles.
Courtney McCrary: Florida State: Harris does not offer much of a passing threat and opposing defenses know that. Florida State knows how to stop them and will win the game.
Derek Woods: I believe Dalvin Cook will be the best player on the field in this game leading FSU to a win on the road at Florida.
Britt Zank: Florida will dominate this game. They are more talented and have more to play for in the Swamp with an outside shot at getting into the playoffs. Florida State is more worried about losing their coach than losing a game.
Tim Bach: Florida was hilarious bad last week which did not look good for the SEC. Florida State has to deal with rumors on their coach getting poached by LSU or whoever else. Basically they’re both just playing for bowls now and Dalvin Cook is pretty good. Not as good as Leonard Fournette was when he played them but still good enough to beat Florida. Florida State wins and Jimbo Fisher gets a nice contract extension.
Spread pick: #2 Alabama (-13.5) at Auburn
David Poole: The 2015 rendition of the Iron Bowl will play like this: Roooooolllll Tiiiide! Alabama easily covers the spread.
Mitch Gatzke: This is a lot of points for the Iron Bowl. Auburn has not been itself this year though, and I don’t expect them to be able to stop the Tide from rolling. I’ll lay the points and take Bama by at least two touchdowns.
Courtney McCrary: I think Alabama will cover the spread. This is a big game for them and I think Alabama will cover the spread against Auburn.
Derek Woods: Alabama blows out rival Auburn by 21 on the road to reach the SEC title game.
Britt Zank: Give me Auburn in the points on this one. Bama gets the win but Auburn has the speed to keep it close at home. 24-17 Bama
Tim Bach: You never really know when it comes to these rivalry games. Games that are expected to be defensive clashes end up with finals of 42-41. You throw everything you know about both teams out the window in a rivalry game. Alabama will still win but they don’t cover the spread.