Man vs. Woman vs. Machine: Week 9

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.

There were no changes in the standings this week as all three of us managed to go 6-4, so Woman still holds her lead. Still, although I'm in second place, I'm not exactly upset with my 46-34 mark on the season. In fact, I'd like to petition my bosses here at CBSSports.com to include that mark beneath my name in the Expert Picks so that all the mean commenters will stop making fun of me.

Clemson (-13) at Wake Forest -- Thursday, 7:30 p.m. (All times Eastern)

Man -- I do worry about the Thursday night factor here because Thursdays are when underdogs cover, but I just don't see Wake Forest being able to hang with this Clemson offense for four quarters. Pick: Clemson

Woman -- In the last three weeks, the Tigers have beaten BC, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech by at least 14 points. I think they'll keep the streak alive against Wake Forest. (Side note: is anyone as creeped out as I am by the antebellum anti-Claus known as Wake Forest's mascot, Demon Deacon? Seriously, if I was this girl, I would have gotten up from my hospital bed and punched him in the ... sideburns.) Pick: Clemson

Machine -- If Jim Grobe wants to give his team a "nobody believes in us" speech before the game, well, he could always use this post as an example. The Machine sees Clemson winning 41-17. Pick: Clemson

Cincinnati at Louisville (-4 ½) -- Friday, 8 p.m.

Man -- I prefer my kegs to be filled with beer. I mean, yeah, a keg of nails sounds tough, but what the hell are you going to do with it? Use the nails to hang up some pictures? Big freaking deal. It should be a powder keg full of nails that explodes and sends hundreds of nails flying through the air like eye-seeking shrapnel. Now that would be cool. Pick: Louisville

Woman -- My two favorite 2012 dark-horse teams. After a tough loss last week, the 5-1 Bearcats have something to prove. But they run into the Cardinals buzzsaw, a team playing at home with a perfect season on the line, that has won all but one of its games this year by at least five points. Sorry, Cincy. Pick: Louisville

Machine -- Another clean sweep as The Machine sees Louisville winning 21-10 with neither team scoring in the second half. Pick: Louisville

UCLA at Arizona State (-7) -- Saturday, 3 p.m.

Man -- Last week was the first time Arizona State failed to cover a spread this season, but I think that's because the oddsmakers made the line in that Oregon game way too small. I think they'll get back to their covering ways against a UCLA team that's 1-3 against the spread in Pac-12 play. Pick: Arizona State

Woman -- Two of the better offenses in the Pac-12 but just one of the better defenses. If Arizona State can shake off the ugly Oregon defeat -- and I think it can -- the fans in Sun Devil Stadium should have a lot more to cheer about than they did last week. Pick: Arizona State

Machine -- The Machine doesn't see UCLA pulling off the upset, but a 34-31 loss is enough to get the Bruins a cover. Pick: UCLA

Florida (-6 ½) vs. Georgia in Jacksonville -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Man -- The Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. One of these fan bases will be drinking in a celebratory fashion, and the other fan base will be that of the Georgia Bulldogs. Pick: Florida

Woman -- Let's do the math. This season, Georgia lost to South Carolina 35-7 and Florida beat South Carolina 44-11. Even this lady can add that up. Pick: Florida

Machine -- Maybe it's right, but personally I think The Machine has gotten into the hooch a bit early. Georgia wins 38-14. Pick: Georgia

Texas Tech at Kansas State (-7 ½) -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Man -- Kansas State isn't nearly as good against the spread at home, and this Texas Tech team just keeps proving that it's to be taken seriously. That being said, I can't go against Bill Snyder until he burns me. Pick: Kansas State

Woman -- Texas Tech will have to play error-free ball against a muscular Kansas State defense to stay within this spread because you know Collin Klein will find a way to score damned near every time he gets the ball. They'll battle bravely but the Red Raiders will come up short. Pick: Kansas State

Machine -- The Machine sees another Big 12 classic this weekend as Kansas State beats Texas Tech 56-49 in double overtime. Which is just narrow enough for a Texas Tech cover. Pick: Texas Tech

USC (-6 ½) at Arizona -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Man -- USC has left the comforts of The Coliseum to play four games this season. In those four games the Trojans are 0-4 against the spread. I don't like doing this because I do think USC is going to win the game straight up, but I also think that Arizona's offense is good enough to keep pace. Pick: Arizona

Woman -- In a perfect world, this is what RichRod would do to Lane Kiffin on Saturday. But the Trojan's potent Barkley/Woods pairing and a defense that gives up just 16 points per game will give them what they need to outlast the talented but less skilled Wildcats. Pick: USC

Machine -- Here's your upset of the weekend as The Machine sees Arizona beating USC 27-24. Pick: Arizona

Michigan State at Wisconsin (-6 ½) -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

Man -- I'm not really buying that Wisconsin is back just yet given that their three conference wins are against Illinois, Purdue and Minnesota. Of course, I'm not exactly confident in Michigan State's offense to do much of anything in this contest. So when I'm not really confident in either side, I tend to just go with the home team. Pick: Wisconsin

Woman -- An important message from Montee Ball. Wait, no, Montee Ball's message will be delivered at Camp Randall on Saturday. Pick: Wisconsin

Machine -- It's a clean sweep, though The Machine doesn't see this one being close at all. Montee Ball runs for 215 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 38-13 romp. Pick: Wisconsin

Michigan at Nebraska (-2 ½) -- Saturday, 8 p.m.

Man -- Another game that's incredibly tough for me to get a real idea of. Both teams have quarterbacks that are just as capable of having magnificent games as they are terrible ones. With a spread this small though, I tend to lean toward the home team, and when I see that Nebraska is 3-1 ATS at home that seals it. Pick: Nebraska

Woman -- It's pretty simple, Huskers: When you return to the Memorial Stadium locker room post-game, do you want to be greeted by this? Or THIS? Pick: Nebraska

Machine -- The Machine doesn't see Denard Robinson doing any work on kick returns, but he doesn't need to as he's responsible for 5 total touchdowns in a 41-24 Michigan win. Pick: Michigan

Notre Dame at Oklahoma (-10 ½) -- Saturday, 8 p.m.

Man -- I think that the Notre Dame defense is going to make life tough on the Oklahoma offense this Saturday, but at the same time, this Oklahoma offense is the best unit the Irish will have faced in 2012. Still, even if I don't think Oklahoma is going to score 40 points or more in this contest, I just don't have any faith in the Notre Dame offense to do enough to keep up. This feels like a 24-10 game to me. Pick: Oklahoma

Woman -- Oklahoma has crushed its last three opponents, but if there's any hope of them getting to the BCS title game they need to knock Notre Dame off its perfect perch. Meanwhile, the Irish may have the No. 2 defense in the nation but are only now getting to the really tough part of their schedule. The perfect season ends here in Norman. Pick: Oklahoma

Machine -- Sorry, Notre Dame, but you'll always have the first half of the 2012 season. The Machine has Oklahoma winning 44-21. Pick: Oklahoma

Oregon State (-4 ½) at Washington -- Saturday, 10:15 p.m.

Man -- When I've watched Oregon State this season I've seen a team that keeps winning, even if I have no idea what it is about them that makes the Beavers win, exactly. There is nothing amazing about this team that truly stands out, but it just executes. I don't see that changing this week against a Washington team that just hasn't impressed me much in 2012. Pick: Oregon State

Woman -- They haven't won a game in the month since their Stanford upset, but the Huskies haven't been sleeping (OK, maybe a little), playing hard despite a grueling schedule. Meanwhile, 6-0 Oregon State's toughest game was the first one they played this season. I'll take the points and go with the home team who's been more battle-tested. Pick: Washington

Machine -- The Machine runs on Beaver Juice. Oregon State wins 27-20. Pick: Oregon State

Standings (Last Week)

1. Woman 49-31 (6-4)
2. Man 46-34 (6-4)
3. Machine 35-45 (6-4)

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