Week 12 Football Bets
Two years ago, the team who made me fall in love with football on Saturday afternoons in Boulder barely snuck by my alma mater, who is still finding its footing in D-1 football. CU’s 41–38 escape over UMass in Foxboro was a weird moment for me. I was 100% behind UMass, and was excited at the prospect of talking shit to my friends who attended Colorado, but I couldn’t help feeling really saddened by the whole thing.
UMass, a team still playing FCS athletes, should have beaten Colorado, the 1990 co-National Champions, and perpetual Big 12 North Champs during my adolescence. How the hell did the team who taught me football fall this far? Depressing didn’t even begin to describe it. 62–36 feels like it happened a lifetime ago.
2013 was Mike MacIntyre’s first year at the helm. Given that no matter who coached them, CU spent the last decade in the basement, it was difficult to figure out if there was any hope for the program. A few impressive recruiting classes later, and Colorado fans are basically freebasing hope right now.
The hiring of former CU star Darrin Chiaverini away from Texas Tech to run the offense has turned this year’s team into a serious threat. The bulk of the talent lies on the defensive side of the football, but their breakneck offensive pace allows them to drop 40 on nearly anyone. This team is no fluke.
Today is the biggest game CU has played since the 2005 Big 12 Championship, where Vince Young and Texas truck sticked the program into a decade-long death spiral, winning 70–3 in what I guess was technically a football game.
If Colorado beats Washington State today, next week’s game at home against Utah will be for the Pac-12 South title. A win there would match them up against Washington or Washington State in the Pac-12 Championship. People have been laughing at me for this, but I’m 100% right: Colorado has a plausible path to the playoff.
CU is currently ranked 10th by the committee, and their best win is at unranked Stanford or home versus Rosenless UCLA. This ranking suggests their best win was actually their loss at Michigan, where they were consistently leading until Sefo Liufau left the game. Washington State is ranked #22, Utah #12, and Washington is #6. If the committee thinks highly of them now, just imagine how they’ll feel if CU is able to reel off three wins in a row against ranked opponents, especially if one of them is against the clear cut best Pac 12 squad: Washington.
Louisville’s loss on Thursday makes it look like only one of them or Clemson will make it in, so here is the list of teams that could theoretically make it other than them and Alabama because death, taxes, and Darth Saban.
Ohio State, Michigan, Clemson, Washington, Wisconsin, Penn State, Colorado, Utah, West Virginia, Western Michigan (only if things go REALLY haywire)
You’ll notice that there’s only 1 Big 12 team on there. That’s because the Big 12 is the 5th best conference and they have no title game. They will never get a spot in the playoff with a 2 loss team until they fix this issue. So here’s how CU does it:
Win out, Clemson loses 1 more game, West Virginia loses 1 more game, Ohio State or Michigan wins the B1G Championship.
This would result in a top 2 of Alabama and Ohio State or Michigan. If they play an extremely close game next week, there’s a good chance the loser could still get in with the fourth spot being hotly contested between the Pac 12 champ, Clemson (or Louisville), Penn State, Wisconsin, and the best Big 12 squad. Given that the top 4 in the Pac 12 is deeper than the top 4 in the ACC, and the fact that two of Utah, Colorado, Washington, and Washington State will dramatically improve their standing against each other over the next two weeks, the narrative seems like it will tilt its way out west.
But we’re getting way ahead of ourselves now. We need one game: Washington State. Win or lose, enjoy today CU fans. You’ve earned it. Even if the result is disappointing, there will be many more big games to come. Colorado is back.
Here are this week’s bets
Michigan State (+21.5) vs Ohio State
This is the literal definition of a trap game for OSU.
Oklahoma State (+6) @ TCU
Mason Rudolph is a name you should begin to familiarize yourself with. The Cowboys quarterback could be the first one taken in this year’s draft.
Texas Tech (-4) @ Iowa State
Minnesota (+3) vs Northwestern
Wyoming (+10) vs San Diego State
California (+11) vs Stanford
If you couldn’t tell, I’m a fan of home dogs this weekend. Especially in rivalry games.
Clemson (-22.5) @ Wake Forest
Not all home dogs though. Clemson knows that they have to do more than win now, they also need to impress on the judges scorecard, as the ACC Coastal division will steal a big win away from them in the ACC title game no matter what happens (Virginia Tech and North Carolina are meh at best). With how the Pac-12 schedule closes (#10 vs #22 this week, #6 vs #22 and #10 vs #12 next week, then either #10 or #12 vs #6 or #22 in the Pac-12 title — unless USC or #22 spoils it all, then the Pac-12 is out), and how widely respected Ohio State and Michigan are, I would be very nervous if I were a Clemson fan right now.
Oklahoma (-3) @ West Virginia
UCLA (+13) vs USC
**Cousin Sal Parlay**
We’re swinging for the fences this week. I like home dogs, so let’s bet a couple of em to win outright plus my favorite bet this week. This pays out +6838 (so $100 nets me $6,838. No, I didn’t bet $100, I’m not that dumb #cmonreversejinx)
California/Wyoming/Oklahoma State/Clemson/LSU over Florida
**Crossing the Streams Parlay**
I don’t normally do this, but these are my favorite outright dogs this weekend.
Oklahoma State/Cleveland Browns (+1058 odds)
Funny enough, there’s a decent chance that Mason Rudolph is on the Browns next year. I really like the Cowboys, and I think the Browns are due. They’re not as bad as their record states, and Pittsburgh just throws away entire quarters. They’re the new Chargers of the AFC: a wildly different team from possession to possession.
Jacksonville (+6.5) @ Detroit
Sense a theme here?
Tampa Bay (+7.5) @ Kansas City
I’ve bet 3 favorites.
New England (-12.5) @ San Francisco
OK 4, but this is the last one.
Chicago (+7.5) @ New York Giants
Baltimore (+7) @ Dallas
Cleveland (+9) vs Pittsburgh
The amount of times I have bet both the Patriots and Browns this year is flat out disturbing. I should really talk to someone about this.
Philadelphia (+6.5) @ Seattle
Houston (+6) vs Oakland in Mexico City
Seems like every line this weekend is between 6 and 10. When in doubt, put away the sniper and bring out the LMG, fire everywhere, and take the points. Enjoy the rest of the weekend folks.
Oh, and one more thing.
Last Week NCAA: 4–2
Season NCAA: 36–48–2
NCAA Parlays: 1–9 (would’ve won a +756 one last week if not for stupid Washington)
Last Week NFL: 5–3
Season NFL: 28–19–1
NFL Teasers/Parlays: 7–5