Week 10: MotSaG B1G Pick ‘em and Tidbits

By: Phil Schoch, Twitter me @osuphil95

Each week in this spot, we squint and peer at the college football landscape – the storylines, point spreads and match-ups – and predict each B1G game as well as a few national spotlight games.

Backsliding Again.

After leveling out on the season at 49-49 against the spread, Pick ’em & Tidbits lost its mojo in Week 9 and carded a meager 2-5 against the spread and 5-2 straight up. The PM Stukenburg Fearless Prediction was a flop once again as Penn State demolished the Flailin’ Illini, 38-0. The yearly totals stand at 51-54 against the spread (48.6%) and 79-26 straight up (75.2%).

JT & the Bye-Week Blues.

Twitter, blogs, fan bases, sports radio blowhards and writers across the nation weighed in with their definitive opinions and takes. One extreme nailed JT to the cross and called for Pontius Meyer to name Barabbas as the starting QB. The other extreme dismissed the OVI as he’s just a kid (he’s not) and he made a college mistake. As usual, the truth and consequences fall in the middle.

Best of luck and health to Jerry Kill.

Between the time my Week 9 article was submitted for review and went public last week, Jerry Kill held his tear-jerker press conference announcing his retirement due to ongoing health issues. Kill announced his retirement and two hours later, my article – critical of Kill and the Gophers for underachieving in 2015 – was released. The outpouring of emotion and respect from both the coaching and media communities certainly proves the level of esteem with which Coach kill is held. Due to the timing of the article release, I felt like Michael Richards in his cameo appearance in the movie, So I Married an Axe Murderer. NSFW Alert – Mild Language.

November is for Contenders.

When the leaves began to fall and the first frost coated the Midwestern plains, legendary Buckeye coach Jim Tressel was fond of saying (I’m paraphrasing), ‘October is for beer, brats and Trick or Treat candy, but November is for contenders.’ The calendar has rolled over to November, so let’s take a conference-by-conference look at the glut of contenders, their remaining schedules and project a College Football Playoff foursome.



Remaining Games

Pick ‘em & Tidbits Projection

TCU (8-0) @OklaSt, Kansas, @Okla, Baylor 11-1
Oklahoma State (8-0) TCU, @IwSt, Baylor, Okla 10-2
Baylor (7-0) @KanSt, Okla, @OklaSt, @TCU, Texas  10-2
Oklahoma (7-1) IwSt, @Baylor, TCU, @OklaSt  10-2

Despite the lack of a conference title game, the Big XII is set up for a compelling, four team, round robin playoff. Because of the conference’s aversion to defense, I don’t see any of these four sliding through unbeaten. Baylor is breaking in a new quarterback. Oklahoma lost to 3-5 Texas. TCU had near misses against Texas Tech and Kansas State. Who trusts Oklahoma State’s defense? As long as one of these teams is 11-1 at the end of the season, I think they are getting in this year. Why not TCU?


LSU (7-0)

@Bama, Ark, @OleM, TxA&M, SEC CG

Alabama (7-1)

LSU, @MissSt, CharSo, @Aub, SEC CG

Florida (7-1)

Vandy, @SCar, FlaAtl, FlaSt, SEC CG


The winner of the SEC is a lock (almost) to make the Final 4. The fly in the SEC ointment is 2-loss Ole Miss. The Rebels (and LSU) control their own destiny in the SEC West. Does a 2-loss SEC champ get in? Does a 1-loss divisional runner up (Alabama) get in? Florida has a manageable route to playing for the SEC title with 1-loss. A lot of football to be played, but I’ll predict an SEC title and Final 4 appearance for LSU.


Clemson (8-0) FlaSt, @Syr, WakeF, @SCar, ACC CG 13-0
Florida State (7-1)

@Clem, NCSt, Chatt, @Flor, ACC CG

N Carolina (7-1)

Duke, MiaF, @VT, @NCSt, ACC CG


Barring an epic letdown-loss, Clemson is the safe pick to advance to the Final 4.


Ohio State (8-0) Minn, @Ill, MichSt, @Mich, B1G CG 13-0
Michigan St (8-0)

@Neb, Mary, @OhSt, PennSt, B1G CG

Iowa (8-0) @Ind, Minn, Purd, @Neb, B1G CG 12-1

Barring a repeat of Michigan’s 1969 colossal upset of undefeated and defending champion Ohio State, look for the Buckeyes to roll into Indianapolis and expose Iowa in the B1G Championship game.

PAC 12

Stanford (7-1)

@Colo, Oreg, Cal, NDame, PAC CG

Utah (7-1)

@Wash, @Ariz, UCLA, Colo, PAC CG


Stanford is the West Coast’s last semi-legitimate chance to crack the Final 4. I don’t see it happening.


Notre Dame (7-1) @Pitt, WakeF, BColl, @Stanford  10-2

It’s time for Notre Dame’s preferential treatment to end. Force them to join a conference by cutting off their access to the Final 4!

Wildcard Longshots

Houston (8-0) Cincy, Mem, @UConn, Navy, AAC CG 13-0
Memphis (8-0)

Navy, @Hou, @Temp, SMU, AAC CG


The continents will reconnect to reform Pangaea before an undefeated American Athletic Conference champion makes the Final 4 before a group of 1-loss blue bloods.

Pick ’em & Tidbits Final 4 Prediction… Ohio State, Clemson, LSU and TCU.

Saturday, November 8, 2015

Around the B1G…

Penn State



Vegas says…

Northwestern -2.5

At Northwestern

Pick ’em says… Penn State (7-2) and Northwestern (6-2) are playing for bowl positioning. Christian Hackenburg has found a receiver who can snare his wayward throws and arm punts in Chris Godwin. Nits, 20-17.

From 1966 – 2012, legendary Minster (Ohio) resident, Paul ‘P.M.’ Stukenborg (pictured above) posted his weekly sports predictions in the hometown paper, The Community Post. Each week, Pick ’em will make a P.M. Stukenborg Fearless Prediction and call for an underdog to to knock off the favorite.




Vegas says… Pick ‘em

At Purdue

Pick ’em says… The Boilers 55-45 victory over Nebraska was their first home B1G win in Darrell Hazell’s three-year tenure. Illinois is fading. Boiler up! 24-22.




Vegas says… Iowa -6.5

At Indiana

Pick ’em says… The Hawkeyes have been consistent and efficient on their path to 8-0. The Hoosiers have been injury and turnover-prone on their path to another unmemorable season. Iowa, 27-20.




Vegas says…

Badgers -12.5

At Maryland

Pick ’em says… To their credit, the Terps haven’t completely phoned it in. They just aren’t any good. Badgers, 34-17.




Vegas says… M -24

At Michigan

Pick ’em says… After another blowout loss, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood sleeps with the fishes. Michigan, 38-10.

Michigan State



Vegas says… Sparty -4.5

At Nebraska

Pick ’em says… It’s the too-good-to-be-true point spread of the week. The Huskers are 3-6 and the Spartans are 8-0. Somebody knows something that we don’t know. Spartans, 24-17.




Vegas says… Bucks -23.5

At Ohio State

Pick ’em says… 1 yard. 19 seconds. 1 timeout. The Gophers blew the opportunity for a major feel good/rivalry/momentum victory. Their emotional tank has to be on E. Look for the Buckeyes to rally around Cardale Jones in his return. Buckeyes, 31-13.

National Spotlight Games

 Florida State



Vegas says… Tigers -12

 At Clemson

 Pick ’em says… It’s the biggest game in the ACC most seasons and 2015 is no different. What is different is that everyone expects Clemson to roll. Be careful Dabo. Tigers 27-24.




Vegas says… Frogs -5

 At Oklahoma State

Pick ’em says… The Big XII round robin tournament starts this week. Both Okie State and TCU have one quality-ish win apiece – they both defeated Texas Tech. I just don’t trust the Cowboys on the big-ish stage. Frogs 45-35.




Vegas says… Bama -6.5

 At Alabama

LSU Gangnam Style Les Miles Nick Saban

Pick ’em says… LSU has two quality wins (at Miss State & Florida). Bama has two solid wins (Wisconsin & at Georgia). Alabama’s offense is the weakest of the four major units and it’s about time Les Miles goes voodoo priest-mode on the big stage. Tigers, 23-17.

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