Rankman's picks: Week 8


For a change of luck, some people look to a rabbit's foot, or even a real rabbit. Confession to make. Last week I attended, in person, Stanford's homecoming game against Oregon. I sat in the end zone stands for a game I also had some, um, action on. I had "over" on 58 total points and was whistling like a pick pocket after the teams had combined for 21 points midway through the first quarter. This was going to be easy. But then Oregon's offense stalled and I got nervous, so I sneaked out of my seat, went behind the concession stands and let loose, after rubbing it for good luck, a jackrabbit on to the field. I was thinking it might chase a few ducks into the end zone. Stanford Coach David Shaw addressed the situation later: "I'm convinced it's the same jackrabbit that I see three times a week over by Maples (Pavilion)," Shaw said. "It just kind of hangs out over there and doesn't seem to bother anybody. So I guess he got lost." The rabbit caused a commotion and zigzagged all over the field before being captured, but it could not stir Oregon to a single additional point. To which I may have uttered: "Duck U." Stanford won, 49-7, falling two points shorts of 58, contributing to my 2-4 betting weekend. So this week I'm trying another good-luck charm: my son. He's a grown man so stuff your complaints about child endangerment. How about my childhood? No seat belts, or bike helmets, parents smoking like chimneys in an 800 square-foot home. But hitchhiking to the beach was fine? If a sportswriter can't lean on one of his kids for hunches, why have children at all? What would Oscar Madison have done? So, sitting on the couch Thursday night, watching the Lakers get blown out in their home opener, I offered "Child 2" a chance to pick two of my games this week: one against the line and one "over\under." He grabbed the paper and studied the odds more seriously than anything I'd seen through five years at two private colleges and one state university. Luck, be an off-spring tonight. (Disclaimer: some of the events described above were embellished for dramatic impact. Some of the information was "fake news." David Shaw's quote was taken verbatim from his post-game press conference. The Lakers WERE blown out in their home opener. Information about my childhood is also factually accurate. Hitchhiking to beach was an acceptable mode of transportation practiced in the 1970s.)

Kansas getting 38 1\2 vs TEXAS CHRISTIAN

Oregon getting 6 1\2 vs. UCLA

***Oklahoma State giving 7 vs. TEXAS (child "lock")


***Colorado State vs. NEW MEXICO (58 1\2) (child "lock")

Arizona State vs. UTAH (57)

Colorado vs. WASHINGTON STATE (53)[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

The Games

Kansas getting 38 1\2 vs. TCU

Pick: Kansas

Score: TCU, 40-15

Comment: This "cover" pick was influenced by a piece of information culled from the TCU-Kansas preview. For some reason, TCU has struggled a bit against Kansas. There's no explaining it. Since joining the Big 12, TCU is 5-0 against the Jayhawks but have won those games by 35 combined points. Last year, KU missed three field goals in a 24-23 win.

Oregon getting 6 1\2 vs. UCLA

Pick: UCLA

Score: UCLA, 40-27

Comment: I witnessed first-hand, last week, the ineptness of Oregon's back-up quarterback play. UCLA is in desperate mode again after last week's humiliating defeat at Arizona. If Josh Rosen can't light up Oregon's secondary, he should skip the NFL draft and return to UCLA for his senior year.

***Oklahoma State giving 7 vs. TEXAS

Pick: Texas

Score: Texas, 34-31

"Child lock" pick comment: "Texas has played hard all year." Me: "What about Maryland?" Child: "Texas has played hard all year after the Maryland game. They lost to USC in double OT and nearly beat Oklahoma last week. I like the Longhorns straight-up." Me: "I like that kind of talk."


***Colorado State vs. NEW MEXICO (58 1\2) (child "lock")

"Child lock" says take OVER.  Comment: "Never trust the under in Friday night games featuring Mountain West schools."

Arizona State vs. Utah (57)


Colorado vs. WASHINGTON STATE (53)

Take: OVER

Last week: 2-4

Season: 18-25[/membership]