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.
We've got an early edition of Man vs. Woman vs. Machine this week due to Thanksgiving, though there was certainly a part of me that wanted to run this on Thursday simply because you might not see it. I'm not sure I want you to know how, with so much on the line, I went 3-7 last week.
My record on the season is now 63-64-3.
However, not all is lost, because Woman went 3-7 as well. So while I may have a losing record, like someone running a race, my final time isn't nearly as important to me as crossing the finish line first is.
And I can see the finish line. I just hope I can hold these other two off.
Texas Tech at Texas (-4.5) -- Thursday, 7:30 p.m. (All times Eastern)
Man: I don't exactly feel good about either of these teams at the moment, so it's not easy to make a pick. The fact both teams are the definition of average against the spread this season doesn't help matters much, either. But I'm going with Texas. If you want a reason why, let's just say it's because they're at home. Pick: Texas
Woman: Man and I are pretty awesome at picking, aren't we? Part of what got me into this hot mess is the Red Raiders. Yeah, I could be bitter about a team that lured me to a penthouse suite with candy and flowers, then pushed me out an open window but hey, it's Thanksgiving! So I'll remember the good times but stick to the ground floor - and the Longhorns ground game. Pick: Texas
Machine: The three of us will spend our Thanksgiving in agreement, as Machine sees Texas winning 27-17. Pick: Texas
Man: I'm going to feel like such a fool for thinking this come Friday afternoon, but I really think Iowa's coaches finally figured out what offense is during the second half of last week's win. So that plus the fact Iowa is 4-0 ATS on the road this season while Nebraska is only 3-4 at home has me leaning Iowa's way. Pick: Iowa
Woman: Really, what the heck could be better than corn and smash-mouth football? (Maybe smashing corn in your mouth?) Memorial Stadium faithful push the Huskers over the top. Pick: Nebraska
Machine: Remember when Nebraska used to just beat up on Colorado the day after Thanksgiving? Well, Machine thinks Iowa is the new Colorado. Huskers win 41-13. Pick: Nebraska
Washington State at Washington (-14.5) -- Friday, 3:30 p.m.
Man: This spread just feels too big to me, because Washington State has been playing some pretty good football in recent weeks. And even if Washington is at home, it's hard to look past the fact that the Cougars aren't just 8-3 ATS overall this season, but 5-0 on the road as well. Pick: Washington State
Machine: Washington State doesn't pull off the upset, but it does get a backdoor cover when it scores a seemingly meaningless touchdown in the final two minutes and loses 38-28. Meanwhile, somewhere Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti fumes. Pick: Washington State
Man: I wish I thought Michigan had a better chance in this game than I do, because it's more fun when this game is close, but I just don't see it happening. Not with the way Michigan is playing. Plus Ohio State is 4-0-1 in this matchup against the spread in the last five meetings. Pick: Ohio State
Woman: There, there, Big Blue, you'll get through this. Pick: Ohio State
Machine: The Machine sees a pretty good game coming our way on Saturday, as Ohio State pulls out a narrow 21-17 win to head to the Big Ten Championship with a 12-0 record. Pick: Michigan
Man: I love the idea of Duke winning the Coastal Division, but it just doesn't seem practical. North Carolina has been playing well as of late, and some of its early season losses don't look nearly as bad anymore. Although, while the Tar Heels are 5-1 ATS at home this season, Duke is 4-0 on the road. So this isn't an easy pick, but for now I'm going to go with the home team. Pick: North Carolina
Woman: Wait, isn't this supposed to be a basketball game? The Blue Devils will punch their ticket for their first ever conference championship. Pick: Duke
Machine: You can almost hear the Machine slapping the floor. Duke wins 17-10. Pick: Duke
Man: I don't want to pick this game nearly as much as I want to watch it, but since Auburn is 9-2 ATS this season and has covered in eight straight, I'm going to ride that momentum along with 10.5 points in a rivalry game like this one. Pick: Auburn
Woman: Another day, another boring old college football game. Pick: Auburn
Machine: Maybe the Machine knows that in order for Alabama to win a national title it needs to lose first? Auburn wins 31-28. Pick: Auburn
Man: I actually have Georgia Tech winning this one outright as my upset pick this week. Considering how this season has gone for Georgia already, losing Aaron Murray just might be the last straw for this team. Pick: Georgia Tech
Woman: With the Bulldogs Aaron Murray-less for the first time since December of 2009, the spirit of Bobby Dodd is whispering, "Take the points." Pick: Georgia Tech
Machine: Hutson Mason, hello. The backup throws for 320 yards and four touchdowns as Georgia rolls 38-10. Pick: Georgia
Man: I don't feel good about either side of this line, but I have to go with the history here. Steve Spurrier has just had Clemson's number since coming to South Carolina. Pick: South Carolina
Woman: A bloody game between brothers but a tougher Gamecocks schedule this season gives them the edge. As for Dabo and Steve: You boys play nice. Pick: South Carolina
Machine: It's unanimous, as Tajh Boyd will finish his college career without a win over the rival Gamecocks. South Carolina wins 37-30. Pick: South Carolina
Texas A&M at Missouri (-4.5) -- Saturday, 7:45 p.m.
Man: Another game I don't feel good about at all, but I've felt for weeks that Missouri wasn't going to hold on to the SEC East lead. So I guess I'm just putting my internet money where my internet mouth is. Pick: Texas A&M
Woman: Just one game - one measly little game - stands between Mizzou and a trip to the SEC Championship. Poor Tigers. Pick: Texas A&M
Machine: The Machine has not been a believe in Missouri this season, and it usually pays the price. However, it does not care. Texas A&M wins 44-24. Pick: Texas A&M
Man: UCLA lost yet another offensive lineman to injury last week, and that's not a good thing against what's been a good USC defensive line. Plus the Trojans are 5-2 ATS since Ed Orgeron took over, including a 3-0 mark at home. Pick: USC
Woman: A very tough call but I'll bet on an emotional Trojans team trying to secure something even bigger than a win: a full-time job for their beloved new coach. Pick: USC
Machine: Let's just say that if Lane Kiffin hadn't already been fired, he'd be getting fired after this one. UCLA wins 38-7. Pick: UCLA
|Man vs. Woman vs. Machine|
|Texas Tech at Texas (-4.5)|
|Iowa at Nebraska (-3)|
|Washington State at Washington (-14.5)|
|Ohio State (-14.5) at Michigan|
|Duke at North Carolina (-5)|
|Alabama (-10.5) at Auburn|
|Georgia (-3) at Georgia Tech|
|Clemson at South Carolina (-5)|
|Texas A&M at Missouri (-4.5)|
|UCLA at USC (-3.5)|