Lisa chose 15 confident writers to go head-to-head with her in a weekly pick'em contest throughout the college football season. She is sending a list of 10 games to each competitor in his respective week, along with the point spread for each game.
In a move of self-confidence and momentary insanity, I accepted Lisa's challenge and began to familiarize myself with picking against the spread. I had to be ready and prepared for the week when Lisa Horne would take me on.
Well, as fate would have it, I turned out to be the lucky guy in Week Two. I was confident in my newfound ability, but I was still relatively new to the concept of picking against a spread.
However, I was ready to make a statement—ready to make Lisa regret challenging me. I was ready to make my name relevant in the college football world.
With no further ado, here are the results from Horne vs. Morgan—a matchup for the ages.
South Carolina -9 at Vanderbilt
Lisa’s Pick: Vanderbilt
My Pick: South Carolina
Well, I started off the weekend on the wrong foot as the Commodores took down Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks.
Spurrier’s visor-throwing episodes epitomized my frustration of falling behind to Lisa early on in the pick’em contest.
However, I realized that I may have lost the first battle, but I would not lose the war.
Score: Lisa 1/1 – Joe 0/1
Boston College -7 vs. Georgia Tech
Lisa’s Pick: Boston College
My Pick: Georgia Tech
It didn’t take me long to even the score with Lisa, as Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech squeaked out a close win over ACC foe Boston College.
Confident that the loss of Matt Ryan to the NFL would hurt the Eagles’ offense this season, I made a gamble on Johnson and the Yellow Jackets, and it paid off.
Score: Lisa 1/2 - Joe 1/2
Ohio State -35 vs. Ohio
Lisa’s Pick: Ohio State
My Pick: Ohio
This game should have been a boring blowout. Ohio State is head-and-shoulders above the rest of the state of Ohio, as well as Frank Solich and the Ohio Bobcats.
To quote the infamous words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!”
The Bobcats shocked the college football world, taking the No. 3 Buckeyes down to the wire before Ohio State finally woke up, taking the lead early in the fourth quarter.
Ohio State’s poor performance Saturday demonstrated the importance of Beanie Wells to not only the Buckeyes’ offense, but to their psyche as well.
Score: Lisa 1/3 – Joe 2/3
Oklahoma -21 vs. Cincinnati
Lisa’s Pick: Cincinnati
My Pick: Oklahoma
When it came to picking this game, I considered Cincinnati’s success last season and their potential to play with some of the nation’s best.
However, this is Oklahoma, and they’re pretty good. Oklahoma is among the best college football teams in America this season, and their offense is a juggernaut.
The Sooners showed their offensive prowess with their 52-26 beat down of the Bearcats.
Score another point for Joe!
Score: Lisa 1/4 – Joe 3/4
Penn State -16.5 vs. Oregon State
Lisa’s Pick: Penn State
My Pick: Penn State
Well, aside from the fact that I feel like a complete moron for expecting this to be a great game, it made me feel a little better knowing that Lisa shared my opinion that Oregon State would make it close.
JoePa and the Nittany Lions dismissed their issues off the field to pummel the Beavers at Beaver Stadium, 45-14.
Look out. Penn State is a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten this season.
Score: Lisa 1/5 – Joe 3/5
Notre Dame -21 vs. San Diego State
Lisa’s Pick: Notre Dame
My Pick: Notre Dame
Is it just me, or does Jimmy Clausen look like "Sunshine," the quarterback from the movie Remember the Titans?
As it turns out, the Notre Dame faithful probably would have preferred the Disney hero on Saturday.
Clausen looked very inept against a mediocre San Diego State defense, and the Fighting Irish barely squeezed by the Aztecs, 21-13. Lisa and I, as well as the rest of the country, looked foolish in picking the Irish to win by a 21-point margin.
At this rate, the only echoes Charlie Weis will be waking up to will be demands for his firing.
Score: Lisa 1/6 – Joe 3/6
South Florida -13.5 @ Central Florida
Lisa’s Pick: Central Florida
My Pick: South Florida
Well, I certainly underestimated the Knights when predicting this game.
George O’Leary and UCF put up a great fight against quarterback Matt Grothe and the Bulls of USF before coming short on a crucial fourth down in overtime.
When the dust settled in Orlando, South Florida turned out to be just a few inches better than the Knights.
Score: Lisa 2/7 – Joe 3/7
Florida -21.5 vs. Miami
Lisa’s Pick: Miami
My Pick: Florida (of course!)
The Gators played a very sluggish first three quarters on Saturday and the Miami Hurricanes showed signs of promise, playing No. 5 Florida tough throughout the entire game.
While I enjoyed Urban Meyer’s decision to kick the late field goal, the fact that the late field goal allowed the Gators to cover the spread concerned me.
Either Urban Meyer had money on the game, or the field goal was mainly to pad the margin for both the polls and recruiting.
It was obviously the latter, and the first suggestion is laughable. I’m sure that the Georgia Bulldog fans will be all over that one.
Score: Lisa 2/8 – Joe 4/8
Arizona State -14 vs. Stanford
Lisa’s Pick: Arizona State
My Pick: Arizona State
Both Lisa and I picked this game correctly. It really wasn’t too difficult of a decision.
Although Stanford pulled off a great win against the Oregon State Beavers the week before, coach Dennis Erickson leads a very good Sun Devils football team and should do very well in the Pac-10 in 2008.
Arizona State showed off their talent in a dominating 41-17 victory over the Cardinal. Their matchup with Georgia should be one of the top games of the 2008 season.
Score: Lisa 3/9 – Joe 5/9
Texas Tech -10 vs. Nevada
Lisa’s Pick: Nevada
My Pick: Texas Tech
Although I had already clinched my hard-earned victory with Florida’s defeat of the Miami Hurricanes, you have to play out all of the games.
The offensive juggernaut known as the Texas Tech Red Raiders did not leave me disappointed. The Red Raiders pulled away from the Wolf Pack late, winning 35-19 and effectively covering the spread.
Final Score: Lisa 3/10 – Joe 6/10
Well, there you have it. I defeated Lisa Horne in the College Football Pick'em Challenge.
Lisa, I would like to thank you again for selecting me to compete in your College Football Pick'em Challenge!
I accepted your challenge, and I managed to pull out the victory. You are a very worthy opponent and an expert when it comes to the game of college football.
I wish you the best of luck for the rest of your pick’em schedule, but I regret to inform you that I’ll be rooting for the guys!
I had fun competing against you in the pick’em contest, Lisa! I will now celebrate my victory by watching the replay of Florida vs. Miami on my Tivo.
I won’t celebrate too much though. I don’t want to be the next Jake Locker!
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