ST Top 10 Poll (9th Ed) & Week 13 Picks

Hello again everybody...

Once again, your Thursday is my Friday, so this is probably the last column of the week. No major movie opening this week, so I don't even have a review for you to look forward to. Maybe I'll just go catch a matinee of Quantum of Solace again. Who knows?

But today we turn our focus to college football. Leading off will be the 9th edition of the Sports Take Top 10 College Football Poll. Quite the statistical anomaly in this week's poll, so be sure to take a look. Then it's this week's picks. One of my pessimistic readers suggested that my naming a worst case scenario on Monday will result in my realization of that exact worse case scenario. Today I seek to prove the doubters wrong! So let's get to it...

"When you battle with your conscience and lose, you win."
-Henny Youngman (1906-1998), comedian and violinist

This is part of why I love doing this. Now I'm getting quotes submitted from readers! Thanks to Lon in Forest Lake for this little pearl of wisdom.

«Read More...»

First up today is the Sports Take Top 10 College Football Poll (9th Ed.). As I mentioned earlier, this week's data turned a little goofy. Thanks to ties in the points, there are actually 12 teams in this week's Top 10. Who are they? Glad you asked!

Rank - Team - First Place Votes - Points - Last Week's Ranking
*Comments in italics are randomly selected from pollsters.

#1) Alabama (7) - 93 - 1
Their "proof game" is fast approaching.

#2) Texas Tech (2) - 89 - 2
For the BCS-haters, you have to ask yourself, who's got a better shot at being upset by Missouri? Texas Tech? Or Oklahoma?

#3) Florida (1) - 76 - 4
I changed my mind. Florida's the best 1-loss team in the country. That might change again if Oklahoma beats Texas Tech, but for right now, the Gators are playing so well it's sick.

#4) Texas - 75 - 3
If you beat Kansas this year, does anybody know you even played a game?

#5) Oklahoma - 64 - 5
I've probably got them rated too low, particularly as I think they'll beat Texas Tech. But until they do I won't put them above. And I don't even know how to put them in my Top 3!

T#6) USC - 38 - 6
Should've beaten Stanford by more, but at least they didn't choke it away like they did last year.

T#6) Utah - 38 - 7
I'd rather both Utah and Boise State make it to BCS games, but if it has to be just one, personally I'd prefer to see Boise go.

#8) Penn State - 32 - 8
If you beat Indiana this year, does anybody know you even played a game?

#9) Boise State - 29 - 9
See comment for Utah.

T#10) Missouri - 4 - NR
I still want to vote the Detroit Lions in here because I find it amusing and because it mildly irritates Dan, but as a back-up, I'll vote for the Tigers.

T#10) Ohio State - 4 - 10
Has there ever been a Michigan/Ohio State game with less hype?

T#10) Oklahoma State - 4 - NR
Even if Oklahoma beats Tech, they have to get by the Cowboys next week to have a shot at the National Championship game.

Others Receiving Votes: Ball State 2, BYU 1, Georgia 1

So there are your Top 10 (12) teams in college football as voted on by a group of loyal ST readers. See anything that looks out of whack? Leave a comment and let us know what and why!

Next up it's my 2008 College Football Picks: Week 13! Lately I've been picking nearly exclusively favorites. This week an underdog or two sneaks into the picks. Let's take a look!

As always, were recreational gaming legal, and were I to have the wherewithal to make a worthwhile wager, these are the games I'd be betting on:


Boise State -6.5 @ Nevada (3pm): The Broncos are 10-0 (6-0). The Wolf Pack are 6-4 (4-2).

The only game Nevada's lost at home was against Texas Tech. That's not exactly a sin given the way the Raiders are playing this year. But when you look at the competition the Wolf Pack has faced, I think the Broncos outpace them by a solid margin.

So I'm going with the chalk here and picking Boise state to win by 10 on the road.

Plus I really want to see them get a shot at upsetting one of the big-boys in a BCS game again this year. And the only way that can happen is if they remain undefeated.


Utah -7.5 vs. BYU (5pm): The Utes are 11-0 (7-0). The Cougars are 10-1 (6-1).

This line is probably a touch bigger than it should be, but I'm pretty confident that the Utes will win this one by 13 or more. When you look at common opponents, TCU jumps off the page. The Horned Frogs worked over BYU pretty good, while Utah beat them.

So even though I'd love to see Boise make it into a BCS game over Utah, the gambler in me has to take the Utes here.

Isn't this game nicknamed the "Holy War"? Isn't "war" a bit oxymoronic for a game played in Utah? I'm just sayin...


Oregon State +2.5 @ Arizona (6pm): The Beavers are 7-3 (6-1). The Wildcats are 6-4 (4-3).

Yes, part of me wants to see a classic USC versus Penn State/Ohio State match-up in the Rose Bowl.

But another part of me wants to see USC really get screwed over for gacking up that game against Oregon State.

So in that vein, if the Beavers win out (this week versus Arizona, next week versus Oregon), they win the Pac 10 and go to the Rose Bowl over the Trojans.

Somehow they're an underdog at Arizona this week. If you assume that the home team gets 3-points automatically, then I suppose you could argue that Oregon State is really a half-point better than the wildcats. But I think the Beavers win outright in this game, so I'll gladly take the 2.5 points and cheer for the Orange and Black!


Texas Tech +7 @ Oklahoma (7pm): The Red Raiders are 10-0 (6-0). The Sooners are 9-1 (5-1).
*This is this week's Sports Take Flier Pick of the Week!

Easily the biggest game of the year so far. It won't surprise me a bit if either team wins. But it would shock me if either team runs away with it.

That being said, favoring either team by a full touchdown seems a bit much.

Just think about how potent Tech's offense has been. Now consider that Oklahoma's defense has given up at least 28 points in their last 5 games. And you're going to give them 7 points? Really?

I'm hoping Oklahoma wins by 3 so the Big 12 South gets all crazy going into the championship game. But I'm picking Tech plus the seven points.

Either way, this one should be lots of fun to watch!

So there are your 4 picks this week. 2 underdogs? Why not? Come back on Monday for the post-mortem.

That's all for today ladies and gentlemen. And probably for the rest of the week. If something huge happens tomorrow and I feel compelled to post from the home offices, then so be it. But most likely I'll be back on Monday. Until then, thanks for reading!


  1. The Vegas over/under line for the Texas Tech - Oklahoma game is infinity, and my gut still tells me to take the over.

  2. My website of choice for lines is:

    They list the over/under for Tech/Oklahoma at 75.5. They also say that it opened at 70.

    So apparently your guy isn't the only one advocating the over!