Rankman's Picks: Week 4

What I’ve learned after three weeks is gambling is for degenerates, reprobates, fools and the misguided—so let’s get right to this week’s games!

First, and this may sound naïve, but now I know what Brent Musburger has been screaming about all these years at the end of games.

“Don’t you have to kick the field goal here?!!!”

It’s the line, man, the Vegas line. And I get more suspicious by the week watching a game turn on an official’s whistle, or a coach’s decision.

Rankman hasn’t started so hot this year and a lot of it is because of games like Oregon and Nebraska.

Nebraska was favored by three and won by three, but only because Oregon failed on four consecutive, two-point conversion tries.

What kind of coach doesn’t take free points? Rankman took Oregon and the game ended up a push because one of the teams took three points off the board.

Anyway, on to this week’s games: Stanford at UCLA, Mississippi State vs. Massachusetts, West Virginia vs. Brigham Young and TWO bonus picks.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

THE GAME: Stanford giving 3 at UCLA

THE PICK: Stanford, 28-17

THE COMMENT: I’ve always been told in college football to watch quarter-system vs. semester-system matchups. A quarter system team starting classes this week is at a big distraction disadvantage going against a semester team that started school in August.

So why Stanford and UCLA? Both are quarter schools. Ah-ha, though. UCLA started school this week while Stanford doesn’t start until next week. I may have taken Stanford and the points anyway (the Cardinal has won eight straight in the series by an average score 34.6 to 16.4), so shouldn’t the school factor cinch it?

THE GAME: Mississippi State giving 22 to Massachusetts (game in Foxboro)

THE PICK: UMass. Score: MSU 30-15.

THE COMMENT: Mississippi State, yes, is an SEC school but has already lost this year to South Alabama. We’re thinking UMass is better than this line and actually led Florida in the fourth quarter at the Swamp.

Also: Coach Mark Whipple is a subscriber to TMG and sips his coffee out of a complimentary TMG mug.

THE GAME: West Virginia giving 7 to Brigham Young (in Landover)

THE PICK: BYU. Score, BYU 30-21

THE COMMENT: BYU is battle tested and hungrier for the win after running an opening gauntlet in three, tough, slug-outs against the Pac 12 South. The Cougars won their two-point opener against Arizona before two, emotional and close losses to Utah and UCLA.


This over\under of 82 could have been a thousand for all I care. Arizona State played a 123-point total game against Texas Tech while Cal just scored 50 against Texas and ended the game by taking a knee at the Longhorn 1-yard line. When Cal and Texas last played the score was 48-46. ASU is averaging 48 points a game this year to Cal’s 47.

Take: The Over.

BONUS Pick: Washington giving 10 at ARIZONA

The PICK: Washington, 40-20

The COMMENT: If Washington wants to impress national pollsters after three non-conference stiffs it needs to crush an injury-nicked Arizona team that recently needed to rally from 21-3 down, at home, to beat Grambling State.

Last week: 1-2-1

Season to date: 4-7-1[/membership]