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 been a lonely week for yours truly, as Woman left last Friday to head to upstate New York to spend a week with her brother. At least, that's what she told me. Personally I think she just needed to get back to nature like Henry David Thoreau.
She needed to clear her mind to prepare for the stretch run of Man vs. Woman vs. Machine because while she was able to reclaim second place following a 7-3 performance last week, she still finds herself five games behind me in the standings.
Her picks this week were probably made by furry, woodland creatures.
Man: I've actually gone out on a limb and picked Oklahoma to win this game straight up. I could tell you that it's because I think that for the first time this year Baylor is facing a team that is bigger and more talented than it is at some spots, but while that's playing a role, it's not the only reason. The main reason I'm picking Oklahoma is that when three of the remaining unbeatens are all playing top teams this week at least one of them is going to lose. And I just think Baylor is the most likely candidate. Feel free to call me a HATER if you want to. Pick: Oklahoma
Woman: Because I'm in a rural upstate New York cabin with an Internet connection I'm pretty sure George Washington used, this will be short and (not always) sweet. Let's begin, shall we? Campus Corner on Friday morning. Pick: Baylor
Machine: Okay, so at least I'm not out on this limb by myself, as the Machine sees Oklahoma winning this game 41-28. Pick: Oklahoma
Man: I really don't like the idea of having to give up nearly 11 points with Stanford being the home team in this game, but I just don't have a lot of faith in Stanford's offense right now. Yes, I think the Stanford defense will slow the Ducks down a bit, but I just don't know that it's going to matter. Pick: Oregon
Woman: Remember last year when the Cardinal impersonated the 1985 Bears' defense and wrecked Oregon's BCS Bowl shot? Revenge is sweet for the Ducks but it stays within the spread. Pick: Stanford
Machine: So the Machine thinks the national title picture is going to be a lot clearer come Friday morning, as he's going straight upsets on Thursday night. Stanford wins 31-24. Pick: Stanford
Man: I've followed a pretty simple formula when picking Auburn games over the last month or so. Does the team the Tigers are playing have a good run defense? No? Well then I'm picking Auburn. Tennessee does not have a good run defense, unless you consider giving up over five yards per carry to be good, anyway. Pick: Auburn
Woman: If only Adidas had designed an orange version of these uniforms, the Vols would have had a chance. Sorry, Tennessee, it's going to be another long afternoon. Pick: Auburn
Machine: It's a clean sweep as the Machine has Auburn winning this game 28-17. Pick: Auburn
Man: With spreads this small it basically just comes down to who you think is going to win the game, and even though Texas Tech has lost two straight, I still think it's a better team than Kansas State this season. Plus this game is in Lubbock. Pick: Texas Tech
Woman: Not only are the Red Raiders not losing three in a row, they are going to blow up this spread. Pick: Texas Tech
Machine: So the Red Raiders bounce back with authority, knocking off Kansas State 49-13. Pick: Texas Tech
Man: I really like BYU, particularly the defense and Kyle Van Noy, but I think this is just too tall a mountain for the Cougars to climb. Oh, and the fact Wisconsin is 7-1 against the spread, including a 4-0 mark at home, doesn't hurt either. Pick: Wisconsin
Woman: Hey, Cougars, good news: The last time you faced the Badgers at Camp Randall, you won! Bad news: It was 33 years ago. Pick: Wisconsin
Machine: There's a whole lot of agreement going on with these Saturday games. The Machine sees Wisconsin winning comfortably, 31-13. Pick: Wisconsin
Virginia Tech at Miami (-6.5) — Saturday, 7 p.m.
Man: Miami could have survived simply losing to Florida State last week. I don't think they can survive losing Duke Johnson for the rest of the season as well. The Virginia Tech defense is simply too good to not take the Hokies here. Pick: Virginia Tech
Woman: Canes win by two field goals. Pick: Virginia Tech
Machine: Do you think that Woman and Machine realize that they keep picking the same teams I do that they can't catch me in the standings? I'm fine if they don't. Virginia Tech wins 21-17. Pick: Virginia Tech
Texas (-7) at West Virginia — Saturday, 7 p.m.
Man: You know, both Oklahoma State and Texas Tech went to Morgantown as favorites, and while only Oklahoma State actually lost, Texas Tech needed a comeback to escape unscathed. So I'm wary here, but not wary enough. Pick: Texas
Woman: September feels like a long time ago for the Longhorns; if they run the table, they'll actually win the Big 12. Am I crazy to believe in Mack Brown? Actually, it's more about not trusting the Mountaineers past the first half. Pick: Texas
Machine: More of the same, as the Machine sees Texas winning this game 35-21. Pick: Texas
Man: I just feel like Notre Dame will be so happy to not have to face an option team this weekend that it's going to blow up on the Panthers Saturday night. I also just think Notre Dame is a much better team than Pitt. Pick: Notre Dame
Woman: After a whole year to nurse a triple OT Irish grudge, Panthers pay it forward in prime time and keep themselves on the path to securing a bowl game. Pick: Pitt
Machine: Finally, both Woman and Machine go in a different direction in one of these Saturday games. Pitt doesn't win, but it does cover in a 24-21 loss. Pick: Pitt
Man: This spread is just too big in my eyes. If you take out the 21-0 Alabama win in the national title game, the last five games between these two teams have been settled by an average of five points per game. And while I know how well the Alabama defense has played over the last month, I also remember how Alabama's corners struggled against Texas A&M. Well, LSU might have the best receiving corps in the SEC. I'm not calling an upset, but this game will be too close to not take those points. Pick: LSU
Woman: When it's good versus evil, the choice is simple. Geaux LSU. Pick: LSU
Machine: The Machine cares not for recent trends in this series. Alabama wins 37-20. Pick: Alabama
Man: Much like with the Texas Tech-Kansas State game, I'm picking UCLA here simply because I think UCLA is going to win. However, I'm not exactly confident in this pick considering the Bruins have suffered a few body blows against teams like Stanford and Oregon in recent weeks. Pick: UCLA
Woman: This one has me stumped. While I think UCLA has had a much tougher schedule this season and is the superior team, hard to miss that the home team has covered in 8 of the last ten meetings between these two. So, when the home team is getting the points... Pick: Arizona
Machine: Another upset for the Machine this week, as Arizona wins 41-38. Pick: Arizona
|Man vs. Woman vs. Machine|
|Oklahoma at Baylor (-14)|
|Oregon (-10.5) at Stanford|
|Auburn (-7.5) at Tennessee|
|Kansas State at Texas Tech (-2.5)|
|BYU at Wisconsin (-7.5)|
|Virginia Tech at Miami (-6.5)|
|Texas (-7) at West Virginia|
|Notre Dame (-5) at Pitt|
|LSU at Alabama (-11.5)|
|UCLA (-2.5) at Arizona|