Man vs. Woman vs. Machine: Week 6

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.

What's a man to do when faced with adversity? Does he lay down and die, or does he keep fighting? Maybe he just needs a pep talk from President Bill Pullman.

OK, so I don't need the pep talk, but I'll listen to it, anyway. It will help me drive the aliens, um, I mean Woman out of the lead here in Man vs. Woman vs. Machine.

That's right, after another 4-6 week from yours truly, and a week in which Woman went 6-4, I now find myself four games back in the standings. I'm not lacking in confidence, though, for I am Man, and Man has shown throughout time that he's too stupid to know when he's beaten.

Southern California (-14) at Utah -- Thursday, 9 p.m. (All times Eastern)

Man - Thursday nights have been a night for the underdog so far this season. If you don't believe me, ask Stanford. Even with that being said, I just feel like USC is going to want to put on a show knowing that it's in the national spotlight. If Matt Barkley wants to get his name back in the Heisman conversation, Thursday night's a good time to do so. Pick: USC

Woman - A huge game for Utah, which hosts Pac 12 rival USC for the first time. The loss of their starting QB, Jordan Wynn, has made this less of a contest. But the Utes will fight their hearts out for the crazed Rice-Eccles crowd and keep it (just barely) within the spread. Pick: Utah

Machine - The Machine isn't listening to the Thursday night underdog trend, either. Perhaps there's a reason Woman is beating us both so badly. Pick: USC

Pittsburgh (-2 1/2) at Syracuse -- Friday, 7 p.m.

Man - Syracuse is bad, but Pitt did lose to Youngstown State and was then beaten soundly by Cincinnati. Which leaves me not knowing what to do. But when I consider that this is a Big East -- and future ACC -- game, and the Big East is the place where nothing ever happens that make sense, I have to take the home underdog. Pick: Syracuse

Woman - Hey, folks, it's time to play Big East roulette! With this conference, it seems most prudent to pick the team whose quarterback's name sounds most like a yoga position. Pick: Pitt

Machine - The Machine predicts a very exciting game for you to ignore while you're out on Friday night, as Pitt uses a late field goal to beat Syracuse 16-13. Pick: Pitt

Northwestern at Penn State (-3) -- Saturday, noon

Man - Northwestern is one of three teams from BCS AQ conferences that is still undefeated against the spread this season, along with Oregon State and Texas Tech. So until that changes, I'm riding with the Wildcats. Pick: Northwestern

Woman - Northwestern has lost five straight to PSU. But that was the old PSU, and this is the new Northwestern. The Wildcats leave Happy Valley 6-0. Pick: Northwestern

Machine - Three games in, and The Machine has taken three road teams. Must be having problems at home with the wife. Pick: Northwestern

Arizona at Stanford (-10) -- Saturday, 3 p.m.

Man - Stanford showed me something last week, and that something was Stanford isn't nearly as good as I thought it was after beating USC. So it's just hard for me to give up 10 points in this game right now. Particularly against an offense that's capable of putting up points like Arizona. Pick: Arizona

Woman - Solid Stanford D bumps into the impressive Arizona spread O. The Luckless Cardinal should win ... but the Wildcats will keep it close. Pick: Arizona

Machine - The Machine thinks Stanford will bounce back from last week's loss, knocking off Arizona 44-21. Pick: Stanford

LSU (-2 1/2) at Florida -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Man - I'm buying into Florida. The Gators have already played three conference games this season and they've covered the spread in all three. I don't see that changing this week. LSU just hasn't looked like a good team in recent weeks, and it will get exposed in The Swamp. Pick: Florida

Woman - The Tigers have a 5-0 record but have looked pretty lackluster. Meanwhile, the Gators are on a 4-0 roll and trolling hard about their superior offense. My heart says LSU, but my head says Florida has what it takes to back up the talk - especially at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Pick: Florida

Machine - How far LSU has fallen in our minds in such a short amount of time. The Machine sees Florida winning 23-21 on a late field goal. Pick: Florida

Georgia Tech at Clemson (-10) -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Man - The blog's Jerry Hinnen gave me a great stat about teams coming off a bad upset loss performing very well against the spread in their next game. I appreciate that stat, and ignoring it might hurt me. But I just can't take a team that lost to Middle Tennessee on the road against Clemson. It's just not going to happen. Pick: Clemson

Woman - Oh, Yellow Jackets, where is thy sting? Such a disappointing year for Georgia Tech, and soon to get worse as Tigers QB Tahj Boyd picks apart their less-than-tenacious D. Pick: Clemson

Machine - The Machine does not care about last week, as its fetish for option teams continues. Clemson wins 31-24, but it's not enough to beat the spread. Pick: Georgia Tech

Oklahoma (-5) at Texas Tech -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Man - As I mentioned earlier, Texas Tech is one of three teams left that remains unbeaten against the spread. That, combined with Tech's recent success against Oklahoma, means I'll gladly take my chances with five free points here. Pick: Texas Tech

Woman - Sooners, I have one word for you: Lubbock. Pick: Texas Tech

Machine - Texas Tech might be one of the best defenses in the country statistically after the first five weeks, but The Machine sees that changing this weekend as the Sooners rack up 625 yards and eight touchdowns in a 56-24 blowout. Pick: Oklahoma

West Virginia at Texas (-6 1/2) -- Saturday, 7 p.m.

Man - The only defense in the Big 12 that's allowing more yards per play than Baylor this season is Texas. Surprising stat, no? Well, while part of that is playing Oklahoma State last weekend, it's not as if West Virginia comes to town with a worse offense. I don't think West Virginia gets close to 70 this week, but I do think it'll score enough to cover that spread. Pick: West Virginia

Woman - "Announcing TNT's newest show, GENO AND ASH: TWO QUARTERBACKS. NO DEFENSE. HERE THEY THROW AGAIN." Pick: West Virginia

Machine - So if you're not entirely sold on Texas just yet, The Machine wants you to know that now is the time to buy. Texas cripples Geno Smith's Heisman campaign with a 38-14 win. Pick: Texas

Georgia at South Carolina (-2 1/2) -- Saturday, 7 p.m.

Man - I'm expecting a very close game in Columbia this weekend because these are two very good football teams. In the end, though, the fact that this is a home game for the Gamecocks, and they have a better defense than Georgia, means I have to go with Spurrier's crew. Pick: South Carolina

Woman - This should be a good one. Both teams enter William-Brice Stadium 5-0. With home field advantage plus a notoriously stingy defense, I'm thinking the Gamecocks leave 6-0. Pick: South Carolina

Machine - It's a clean sweep as The Machine sees South Carolina taking a big step toward Atlanta with a 34-24 win over Georgia. Pick: South Carolina

Nebraska at Ohio State (-3 1/2) -- Saturday, 8 p.m.

Man - The last time that Nebraska left Lincoln, it went to southern California and ran into UCLA and a big, strong and fast quarterback in Brett Hundley. Hundley and the Bruins torched the Nebraska defense all night long. Well, I like Brett Hundley, but I think Braxton Miller is even better, so I'm rolling with Ohio State. Pick: Ohio State

Woman - You can't go home, again, Bo. Especially if you plan on knocking down the House that Harley built. Pick: Ohio State

Machine - Nebraska lets the rest of the Big Ten know that it's the team to beat with a 27-23 upset over the Buckeyes, with Taylor Martinez throwing for three touchdowns. Pick: Nebraska

Season Records

1. Woman 29-22 (6-4)
2. Man 25-25 (4-6)
3. Machine 24-26 (7-3)

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