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 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.
It's Halloween, and Halloween means costumes, including me.
What's my costume?
Why I'm glad you asked. This year I'm dressed up as FIRST PLACE. Yes, after two consecutive weeks of having a losing record I finally finished over .500 last week, even if it was just barely at 5-4-1. However, even with my mediocre week I was able to extend my lead over both Woman and Machine.
As for Woman, this year she's dressed up as a death spiral. In the last four weeks Woman has posted a record of 9-30-1 and has fallen back to third place, a full six games behind me. I assure you that this has resulted in a lot of dirty looks around the house in recent weeks, but I'm not getting cocky.
Man: My initial read here was to take Arizona State, but the Sun Devils have not been good against the spread on the road this year. Plus there's that whole THE UNDERDOGS ALWAYS COVER ON THURSDAY NIGHT trend I'm not going to ignore. Pick: Washington State
Woman: In case any of you are worried about my mental health after the last four weeks of MWM, I can reassure you, I'm totally fine! Meanwhile, my advice to Cougar players after this game is over: If you're called in to see the coach, make some excuse and get the hell out of there. Pick: Arizona State
Machine: We have ourselves a Thursday night upset in the making, as the Machine sees Washington State winning 34-31. Pick: Washington State
Man: Oregon State didn't look amazing against Stanford last week, but I still think the Beavers are just a better team than the Trojans right now. So it's hard to pick against them at home here. Pick: Oregon State
Woman: After last Saturday, we have some angry Beavers with something to prove. Not to mention 5-1 against the spread versus the walking wounded USC. Pick: Oregon State
Machine: It's a clean sweep as Machine sees Oregon State knocking off the Trojans 27-21. Pick: Oregon State
Man: Oh god I don't want to have to rely on Virginia Tech to outscore anybody by more than a single point. However, these are the Hokies, and the Hokies tend to lay an egg once a season. I'm hoping last week was that egg and we can just move on. Pick: Virginia Tech
Woman: I guess odds makers are picking Virginia Tech as a five-point favorite because they think Boston College can't score. But given the Hokie's offense, they should have considered that the Eagles only have to score once. Pick: Boston College
Machine: Yeah, the Hokies get over it, beating Boston College 35-10. Pick: Virginia Tech
Man: This is the game Michigan State looks forward to more than any other game. And that's why the Spartans haven't just won four of the last five meetings, but have covered the spread in the last five meetings as well. Pick: Michigan State
Woman: A grudge match against the third best defense in the country in their house... Sorry, Brady, not this year. Pick: Michigan State
Machine: Big Brother reasserts his dominance in the Michigan household. Wolverines win 31-20. Pick: Michigan
Man: Both of these teams are banged up, and I suggest painkillers over cocktails, but Georgia is at least getting healthier. Meanwhile it feels like the Gators are losing a player per day. Pick: Georgia
Woman: The Bulldogs are expected to have Todd Gurley back to face a Gators defense whose dismal performance the last two weeks makes a joke of their current ranking as the No. 8 scoring defense in the nation. Without Dominique Easley, that's not likely to change and they'll lose their third game in a row. Pick: Georgia
Machine: We are all in agreement as Machine has Georgia beating Florida 24-13. Pick: Georgia
Man: I'm almost inclined to abstain here. Northwestern has looked awful for the last month, while Nebraska looked horrible last weekend. I might as well flip a coin. Let's see. Heads is Nebraska, tails is Northwestern......it's tails. Pick: Northwestern
Woman: Here's my prediction: After this season, Bo and Carl Pelini will pack it up, move to Long Beach, open up a chain of combination fast food/medical dispensaries called Bo Bo and Scally Wag and get a picked up as a reality show on Bravo. Pick: Northwestern
Machine: We're all on the Wildcats, though Machine still thinks Nebraska gets the 38-35 win in double overtime. Pick: Northwestern
Man: Auburn has had this streak of facing defenses that just cannot stop the run. Well, in four SEC games this season the Arkansas run defense is allowing nearly six yards per carry. So that streak continues for the Tigers. Pick: Auburn
Woman: This would be more entertaining if they just cancelled the game, set up an octagon at the fifty yard line and let Bret Bielema try to take down Gus Malzahn. On second thought, maybe not. Pick: Auburn
Machine: The Machine doesn't talk, but I could swear I heard it say "woo pig sooie" while loading. Arkansas wins 21-17. Pick: Arkansas
Man: I was already leaning heavily toward Mizzou before the Justin Worley injury, now it's just too obvious. Plus Tennessee has just not been good on the road this season. Pick: Missouri
Woman: After last week's excruciating loss, Mizzou needs a sacrifice to appease the SEC Gods. Do we have any Volunteers? Pick: Missouri
Machine: Missouri recovers to knock off Tennessee 28-20, but that's not good enough to cover. Pick: Tennessee
Man: With a spread this small you're basically just picking straight up, and I have to give the edge to Texas Tech because it's at home and its quarterbacks have just been more consistent this season than Oklahoma State's. Pick: Texas Tech
Woman: Here's the plan: Night game. Lubbock. Instead of a black out, every Red Raider fan dresses up as Kliff Kingsbury. Cowboys get lost in the crowd's eyes. Game over. Pick: Texas Tech
Machine: Oklahoma State stays alive in the Big 12 title hunt with a 37-33 win. Pick: Oklahoma State
Miami at Florida State (-21.5) -- Saturday, 8 p.m.
Man: In its last three games Florida State has outscored ACC opponents by a score of 163-31. In its last three games Miami has outscored ACC opponents by a score of 96-74 while turning the ball over eight times. Yeah, it's going to get ugly. Pick: Florida State
Woman: Lots of Chief Osceola and Renagade love here - I have high hopes for a trip to the Big Game in January - but a 21.5 point spread? Heck, I know they could win by forty but the memory of North Carolina State lingers like the taste of a bad Appalachicola oyster. Moreover, feel like the Canes will take the diss personally and play up to their competition. FSU just misses the cover. Pick: Miami
Machine: It seems I'm alone in my thoughts, because even if the Machine doesn't have Miami pulling off the upset, it's got it hanging tough all night. Florida State wins 27-24. Pick: Miami
|Man vs. Woman vs. Machine|
|Arizona State (-11.5) at Washington State|
|USC at Oregon State (-5)|
|Virginia Tech (-5) at Boston College|
|Michigan at Michigan State (-4.5)|
|Georgia (-2.5) vs. Florida|
|Northwestern at Nebraska (-7.5)|
|Auburn (-9) at Arkansas|
|Tennessee at Missouri (-11)|
|Oklahoma State at Texas Tech (-1.5)|
|Miami at Florida State (-21.5)|