Man vs. Woman vs. Machine: Week 4

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Man vs. Woman vs. Machine is a feature that runs every Thursday afternoon. It's here where Tom Fornelli fights against the rising tide of female empowerment and technology to ensure that men everywhere can at least claim that college football is still theirs. He does this by picking a set of games against the spread against his girlfriend, Lynn, and his Playstation 3.

Woman took the lead last week thanks to a 7-3 mark, but my confidence is not shaken. That's because Woman was heard to remark around the house "what's the deal with these [expletive] spreads this week?"

Yes, Woman is feeling the pressure of the lead. It's easy to move out in front of the pack; the hard part is staying there, and Woman knows it. She's looking over her shoulder and she sees me, just waiting for my moment to strike.

And then there's Machine way in the back, patiently plotting to kill both of us and lead the great technology uprising.

BYU at Boise State (-7 1/2) -- Thursday, 9 p.m. (All times Eastern)

Man - It's hard to know what to make of Boise State so far, as it lost its opener to a Michigan State team that didn't look very tough last week and then blasted Miami (Ohio). So when OH MY GOD UTAH FANS ARE STORMING THE POST BEFORE I'M EVEN DONE MAKING MY PICK. WHY ARE THEY EVEN HERE? TELL MY FAMILY I LOVED THEM AND THAT I TOOK BOISE STATE. Pick: Boise State

Woman - Boise is nearly unstoppable at The Blue, with 21 wins in the last 22 games there. But then you look at their last eight home games against the spread (2-6), and a BYU team that seems well-matched, and I think the rebuilding Broncos will end the weekend 22-1 straight up, 2-7 against the spread. Pick: BYU

Machine - While The Machine does not see BYU winning this game, it definitely thinks you should stick around and watch this game because Boise State is going to win a thriller, 38-35. Pick: BYU

Miami at Georgia Tech (-14) -- Saturday, 3 p.m.

Man - Georgia Tech hasn't failed me yet this season, and I'm not jumping off the bandwagon just yet. Though it has just as much to do with the fact that Miami has looked a bit, let's say, terrible? Yes, terrible. Sorry, Miami fans, but both of you need to accept the truth. Pick: Georgia Tech

Woman - First, Miami, the bad news. The average age of your linebackers is 13, and they've seen more spread offense on PlayStation than on an actual playing field. Oh, yeah, and your adversary is third in the nation in rushing and 17th in overall offense. But here's the good news: Your team isn't named after a totally disgusting insect and THIS IS WHERE YOU GO TO SCHOOL. Pick: Georgia Tech

Machine - It's a clean sweep as the Rambling Wreck rolls to a 28-7 victory. Pick: Georgia Tech

Missouri at South Carolina (-10) -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Man - This South Carolina defense has looked downright mean at times this season. And with questions surrounding James Franklin and whether or not he's healthy, I just can't put my faith in the Tigers right now. Pick: South Carolina

Woman - This is a tough pick because the fortune of both teams rests in the hands - actually shoulders - of its two QBs, both injured. Gamecock Conor Shaw looks to be starting, but Mizzou's QB James Franklin is a game-time decision. If Franklin plays, I pick Mizzou to cover. Without him? Still hoping this spread is a bit stout. Pick: Missouri

Machine - Upset alert! Machine has Missouri picking up its first SEC win by spanking South Carolina, 34-13. Pick: Missouri

Oregon State at UCLA (-10) -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Man - The spread seems a bit large to me considering that the UCLA defense has had problems keeping opponents off the board at times. Though Oregon State beat Wisconsin in its last game, it's not like the Beavers lit up the scoreboard. And it's certainly not as though beating Wisconsin is something to brag about these days. Pick: UCLA

Woman - I'd like to take this opportunity to chat with Oregon State fans about their fight song. Every time I hear it, I feel like I should be at a carnival tossing rings around milk bottles to get a stuffed animal. C'mon, Oregon State, why not go with something cooler, hipper? Oh, right, the football game: You're going to lose. Pick: UCLA

Machine - Machine believes in the Beaver! Not enough to give Oregon State a win, but enough that it hangs close as UCLA wins, 21-14. Pick: Oregon State

California at USC (-16) -- Saturday, 6 p.m.

Man - Cal looked impressive against Ohio State last week, particularly running back Brendan Bigelow. That being said, I have to assume USC is only more determined to prove a point following a loss to Stanford last week and the Bears just appear to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pick: USC

Woman - TROJANS MAD. TROJANS LOSE LAST WEEK TO SCHOOL PARENTS COULDN'T BUY A LIBRARY BIG ENOUGH TO GET TROJANS INTO AND NOW TROJANS PLAYING AGAINST SMUG BEARS THIS WEEKEND. BERET-WEARERS WILL NOT KEEP MATTY FROM HEISMAN. TROJANS DOWN MANY PITCHERS AT TRADDIES, THEN GO AND TAKE WHATEVER PARKING SPOT TROJANS WANT. Pick: USC

Machine - While it doesn't make sense, The Machine has always had a soft spot in his heart for hippies. Lane Kiffin will never speak again after Cal beats USC, 27-24. Pick: Cal

LSU (-19 1/2) at Auburn -- Saturday, 7 p.m.

Man - There is nothing I like less than giving up nearly 20 points on the road in a conference game, but Auburn has just looked so very, very bad at the start of this season. Pick: LSU

Woman - Wow, Cam feels like a lifetime ago, doesn't it? It's going to be hard to be an Auburn fan at Jordan-Hare on Saturday. Pick: LSU

Machine - The Machine isn't going crazy with another upset here, but Auburn at least hangs around to cover the spread in a 34-17 LSU victory. Pick: Auburn

Michigan at Notre Dame (-6) -- Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Man - It's not that I don't believe this Notre Dame team is better than what we've grown accustomed to seeing from the Irish -- you might have noticed I've picked the Irish in every week of MWM this season -- but considering what Denard Robinson has done to the Irish in his time, I can't pick the Irish to cover the spread in this game. Pick: Michigan

Woman - Two words: Denard Robinson. Pick: Michigan

Machine - Not even The Machine, which has proven to be quite the contrarian so far this season, is willing to go against the grain here. Michigan wins, 31-24. Pick: Michigan

Vanderbilt at Georgia (-15 1/2) -- Saturday, 7:45 p.m.

Man - Vanderbilt just hasn't shown anything offensively this season to make me think it'll do enough against this Georgia defense to keep pace, particularly in Athens. The Bulldogs are averaging nearly 50 points per game, and the offense seems to get better each week. Pick: Georgia

Woman - Georgia has already been fully tested this season and has shown its mettle. Feeling confident, the Dawgs will take their sweet time with Vandy, and then in the second half. ... Pick: Georgia

Machine - When in doubt, The Machine always rolls with the higher IQ. Pick: Vanderbilt

Kansas State at Oklahoma (-13 1/2) -- Saturday, 7:50 p.m.

Man - I know Oklahoma killed Kansas State in Manhattan last season, and that scares me a bit here. But I also know Bill Snyder's record as a road underdog. The Wildcats were 4-0 as road dogs last season and are 8-2 in the last three seasons. That's a trend I'm not going to ignore. Pick: Kansas State

Woman - Yeah, the Sooners are an excellent team, but they haven't played a serious game yet this season. Meanwhile, the Wildcats have plowed through their competition and are poised to - finally - break the 15-years-minus-one Okie curse. (Or at least beat the spread.) Pick: Kansas State

Machine - Forget your trends, forget your curses, The Machine sees only pain. Oklahoma, 49-20. Pick: Oklahoma

Clemson at Florida State (-14) -- Saturday, 8 p.m.

Man - You do realize that Clemson can't be Clemson unless it wins this game and then loses to Duke in November, right? Then there's Florida State, which can't be Florida State unless it disappoints immediately after people begin believing in it again. Clemson's not only going to cover this spread, but Clemson's going to win. Pick: Clemson

Woman - This season feels like we're all in a time machine sent back to 1993: We're at the Silver Slipper, having a huge slab of prime rib, drinking single malt and smoking cigars with Bobby Bowden. Clemson is not gonna kill this buzz. Pick: Florida State

Machine - While The Machine isn't willing to jump on my Clemson victory bandwagon, it at least sees the Tigers hanging around in a 38-31 Florida State victory. Pick: Clemson

Season Records (Last Week)

  1. Woman 18-12 (7-3)
  2. Man 17-13 (6-4)
  3. Machine 14-16 (4-6)
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