The season was already dreadful. Now it’s officially a disaster.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve gone 7-22. It’s incomprehensible. It’s almost impossible.
You would do better. Any random person on the street would. A child would. Even an infant.
So, I recruited some help. Mrs. Profit was busy. Kid Profit couldn’t say no.
Technically, she can’t yet say anything found in an English dictionary, but my beautiful, babbling, soon-to-be 1-year-old makes up for it with confidence.
So, for the third time since buying a printer, I put it to use. I cut out team logos. I placed two at a time in front of The Kid, then waited for her to grab one. Sometimes, it happened instantly. Sometimes, she looked at me as if I were an idiot. Sometimes, she laughed at her new favorite game. Sometimes, she attempted to eat the paper she had picked up. Sometimes, I regretted it.
When she reached for the giant yellow “M,” she didn’t know Michigan hasn’t beaten Ohio State since 2011. She didn’t know Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh is 1-9 against top-10 teams.
However, the Wolverines are undefeated at home this season (30-4 overall in Ann Arbor under Harbaugh) and 5-1 in their past six home games against top-15 teams.
Michigan has won its past four games by an average of nearly 33 points. Quarterback Shea Patterson is peaking. Don Brown’s defense is returning to form. The Buckeyes appear vulnerable for the first time.
I see her point. MICHIGAN (+9) is playing well enough on both sides of the ball to suffer heartbreak again.
SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS (+27) over Clemson Tigers: Though the Tigers have won their past six games by nearly 43 points per game, the Gamecocks are well-prepared, having already matched up with three of the top eight teams in the country, including their upset of No. 4 Georgia.
Georgia Bulldogs (-28) over GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS: “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” hasn’t seen such a lopsided matchup since Herschel Walker was the state’s biggest star. Georgia’s wins by 31 points and 24 points the past two years were just the beginning.
Alabama Crimson Tide (-3½) over AUBURN TIGERS: It is insane that the Crimson Tide’s playoff chances hinge on quarterback Mac Jones’ performance. It is crazy that the committee factors injuries into its selections. The past three months have no bearing? All the other players and coaches don’t matter? Jones has never played in such a massive game. I have no idea how he’ll fare. But I’ve seen enough of Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix’s struggles against elite competition to feel safer with Nick Saban.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+40½) over PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS: Greg Schiano really would have made a massive difference. If he were coaching at Rutgers next season, this spread probably would only be 35.
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (+2½) over Wisconsin Badgers: Last year, the Gophers won this rivalry game for the first time in 15 years. This season, third-year coach P.J. Fleck is even better equipped to take down the Badgers — whose two losses have come on the road — and improbably complete Minnesota’s climb to the Big Ten title game for the first time.
Baylor Bears (-14) over KANSAS JAYHAWKS: The Bears aren’t done yet. Every one-loss team above them could fall. Alabama and its backup quarterback play at Auburn. Georgia faces No. 1 LSU. Minnesota would play No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. Utah versus Oregon for the Pac-12 championship will be a coin flip. If the Bears win out, they will have avenged their one close loss against a highly ranked team (Oklahoma) and will have claimed a conference title.
Oregon State Beavers (+19) over OREGON DUCKS: Oregon blew its playoff shot with a loss at Arizona State. In just over two minutes, the Beavers blew an 11-point lead to Washington State and their chance to clinch their first bowl appearance in six years. At least Oregon State’s goal is still attainable.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-16½) over STANFORD CARDINAL: The Fighting Irish haven’t won in Palo Alto since 2007. Before last week, the Cardinal hadn’t lost to California in a decade. History can’t help a four-win team.
LSU TIGERS (-17) over Texas A&M Aggies: Texas A&M’s brutal schedule ends in Death Valley against the No. 1 team in the country. Last season, LSU lost a 74-72 seven-overtime thriller at Texas A&M. “It’s going to be on,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said this week.
Florida State Seminoles (+17½) over FLORIDA GATORS: The line is high. The Seminoles have won four straight games in The Swamp and have gone 2-0 since giving former coach Willie Taggart a CEO-style parting gift. That sums up everything going for Florida State. I told The Kid I didn’t endorse this one. She drooled.
Colorado Buffaloes (+28½) over UTAH UTES: This confirms she’s my blood. I haven’t picked the Utes to cover since Sept. 28, the first of their seven straight games beating the spread. Maybe the looming, season-defining Pac-12 title game against Oregon will help end this brutal ride.
OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS (+13) over Oklahoma Sooners: Bedlam isn’t just arriving. It has defined the Sooners’ past four games, which have been decided by an average of fewer than four points. The Cowboys’ 13th-ranked offense and the nation’s leading rusher (Chuba Hubbard) should make Oklahoma’s crumbling defense sweat again.
Bets bets: Minnesota, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State
This season (best bets): 86-111-3 (16-23)
2014-18 record: 641-612-10
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