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 appears getting back to nature for a while was exactly what Woman needed to clear her mind and get back to picking straight. After a horrible four-week stretch that saw Woman go 9-30-1 and fall into last place she has now put together a couple solid weeks, going 13-6-1 to close the gap on my lead.
What was once a six-game deficit has been cut to three, but I'm hoping that now that she's back amidst the hustle and bustle of big city life that her thoughts have once again become cloudier.
Because, seriously, not beating her the last two seasons was bad enough. Blowing a six game lead over the final month of the season would destroy me.
Man: I'm actually going against the trend of picking the underdog on Thursday night simply because this is a Clemson team that's still hoping to get a BCS berth. I do worry about adjusting to Tech's option, though. Pick: Clemson
Woman: The pressure to catch up with Man has been getting to me but finally, I'm headed in the right direction! Here goes nothin': On one hand, there's Death Valley, Tahj and a bye week to prepare. On the other hand, it's a Thursday game. Either way, it should be entertaining: Two-thirds of their previous 18 games have been decided by 5 points or less. Pick: Georgia Tech
Machine: Tajh Boyd may start getting mentioned for the Heisman again after throwing for 460 yards and five touchdowns in Clemson's 41-10 win. Pick: Clemson
Man: When the spread is under three points I tend to just go with the team I feel is going to win, and that team happens to be UCLA because Washington has typically struggled on the road under Steve Sarkisian. Pick: UCLA
Woman: For the sake of this link, could we pretend the Huskies are playing Oregon again? No matter. Ducks, Bruins... the "L" will be the same. Pick: UCLA
Machine: It's a clean sweep as Machine sees UCLA taking care of Washington 31-20. Pick: UCLA
Man: This game is hard to call, honestly, as it's a game that's probably going to come down to one or two plays at most. So since I couldn't actually decide I just figured that since Rutgers is 1-4 ATS at home this season I'd follow that trend. Pick: Cincinnati
Woman: The Bearcats come up with their own high point solutions (see what I did there?) to keep hope alive for an AAC championship berth. Pick: Cincinnati
Machine: One of us believes in you this week, Rutgers, as Machine sees the Knights winning a thrilling 17-16 contest. Pick: Rutgers
Georgia at Auburn (-3.5) -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Man: I've mentioned my formula for Auburn games here quite a few times, but it bears repeating. If the team Auburn is facing can't stop the run it has no chance. Well, Georgia has done pretty damn well against the run this season, and Auburn's defense is pretty average for the most part. Pick: Georgia
Woman: Todd Gurley shakes off his post-injury cob webs and plays his best game of the season but it won't matter. The Tigers' running game is still stronger and the Jordan-Hare horde won't be denied. Pick: Auburn
Machine: The Machine seems to agree with Man, as he has Georgia winning this one outright, 35-21. Pick: Georgia
Man:I feel like the entire world has been picking against Texas for months, yet the Longhorns keep winning anyway. Well, I'm still picking against them this week. Pick: Oklahoma State
Woman: An injured Longhorns team is no match against Cowboys on a mission to save their Big 12 title hopes. Here's some historical game footage that Mike Gundy is using to prepare. Pick: Oklahoma State
Machine: We're all in agreement as Machine sees Oklahoma State winning this game 27-17. Pick: Oklahoma State
Man: Without Taylor Martinez the Nebraska offense has been very dependent on Ameer Abdullah, and I just don't like Abdullah's chances against this Michigan State defense. The Spartans may be playing the best football in the Big Ten right now. Pick: Michigan State
Woman: A preview of Michigan State's defense against Nebraska. Pick: Michigan State
Machine: The Machine isn't picking Nebraska to win, but it's got the Huskers covering at least. Michigan State wins 21-17. Pick: Nebraska
Miami (-3) at Duke -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Man: Listen, Duke, it's great that you're 7-2, but your seven wins haven't exactly been all that impressive. And while I'm very worried about Stephen Morris and Miami turnovers in this game, I just feel like the Canes have a bit too much talent for you to deal with. Pick: Miami
Woman: Not to be outdone by Miami, the Blue Devils have designed a special uniform for this week's contest, making me even more confident of my upset special. (It also helps that this season's Hurricanes have been downgraded to a tropical storm.) Pick: Duke
Machine: Yeah, this isn't going to end well for Duke. Miami wins 38-9. Pick: Miami
Michigan at Northwestern (-2.5) -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Man: Gee, do I want to pick the team that's lost five straight, or the team that has looked awful the last couple of weeks? What a fun decision! Well, one of them at least had a bye last week? Pick: Northwestern
Woman: Who cares? Coin flip. Pick: Northwestern
Machine: Well, at least there's something that still believes in Michigan's ability to score points. Michigan wins 38-17. Pick: Michigan
Man: I'm sorry, Florida, but there is just nothing happening with your program right now that can convince me to pick you against anybody. Surely you understand. Pick: South Carolina
Woman: Hey, chomp chomp chomp chewy ch- Pick: South Carolina
Machine: FULL DISCLOSURE - I did not edit out every single injured player on Florida's roster for this simulation because I don't have three weeks of spare time to work with. Even so, Florida didn't win, but it at least covered. South Carolina 24-13. Pick: Florida
Man: I really am worried about Stanford suffering a letdown this week after knocking off Oregon, especially considering how well the Trojans have been playing against Pac-12 opponents under Ed Orgeron. However, I'm not worried enough. Pick: Stanford
Woman: I love Ed Orgeron and what he's accomplished with USC since taking over. But as good as the Trojan's offense is getting, the Cardinal defense is stronger. (Assuming they aren't distracted by the siren call of their future trophy wives.) Pick: Stanford
Machine: The three of us are in agreement here as well, as Stanford wins 21-9. Oh, and USC got those nine points with a touchdown and a safety. Pick: Stanford
|Man vs. Woman vs. Machine|
|Georgia Tech at Clemson (-10.5)|
|Washington at UCLA (-2.5)|
|Cincinnati (-2) at Rutgers|
|Georgia at Auburn (-3.5)|
|Oklahoma State (-3) at Texas|
|Michigan State (-6.5) at Nebraska|
|Miami (-3) at Duke|
|Michigan at Northwestern (-2.5)|
|Florida at South Carolina (-13.5)|
|Stanford (-3.5) at USC|