Come to daddy, hand me the dice, let it ride and get me to the church on time, because Rankman the handicapper is hotter than UCLA Coach Jim Mora’s forehead was during a blistering sideline rant against the officials last Saturday against Arizona.
For what it’s worth, the Pac 12 office reprimanded Mora this week for criticizing, on his post-game radio show, a particular call in the first quarter. Turns out the refs got it right. "The correct ruling on this play was confirmed by the NCAA," the Pac 12 statement said.
Oh, well, at least Mora worked off a little steam? Back to my steam room, after a poor start, Rankman has rallied to go 7-1-2 against the spread the last two weeks. No time to gloat, though, because the gambling gods tend to want to get even. My games this week purposely avoid anything in the path of Hurricane Matthew: USC hosting Colorado, Washington State at Stanford, Arkansas hosting Alabama and one bonus over-under pick.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
The Game: USC giving 4 to Colorado.
The Pick: USC, 34-24
The Comment: Forget the 2-3 record. The Trojans are, simply, a different team with freshman quarterback Sam Darnold and a threat to make life miserable for every remaining opponent.
The Game: STANFORD giving 7 to Washington State.
The Pick: Stanford, 40-24
The Comment: Stanford got embarrassed last week at Washington but there were extenuating circumstances. The Cardinal had to play on a short-week coming off a physical game against UCLA in which several key players were injured. Stanford, and star Christian McCaffrey, will be eager to regain their proper place in the league order.
The Game: ARKANSAS getting 14 from Alabama
The Pick: Arkansas. Score: Alabama, 30-20.
The Comment: The Hogs will be jacked up for this game and may even jump The Tide early the way Ole Miss did a few weeks back. This will require Alabama having to recover from a slow start to win a closer game than expected.
Bonus pick: Texas vs. Oklahoma. The over-under of 73 seems a bit low for two defenses that couldn’t stop maple syrup rolling off the side of a pancake.
Last week: 3-0-1
Season to date: 11-8-2.[/membership]