The College Football Playoff selection committee angered a handful of people on Tuesday night when it dropped its first ranking.
The Cincinnati Bearcats should feel like they were given the short end of the stick, as they dropped to No. 6 in the playoff rankings from their No. 2 spot in the AP Top 25.
Cincinnati has plenty of time to prove it belongs in the top four, and there will be games elsewhere in November that make life much easier for the Bearcats' playoff hopes.
Even though Cincy's playoff quest is not over, I expect them to come out with a purpose on Saturday afternoon to prove that they are much better than the weaker teams in the American Athletic Conference.
Cincinnati is my favorite pick of the week, but there are plenty of others I'm riding with, including a few teams that are terrific against the spread.
As for Jon Jansen, let's just hope he doesn't suffer a bad beat, like Florida State, again this weekend.
Week 10 Picks
Joe Tansey (58-47 overall record)
Virginia Tech (-2.5) at Boston College (Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Boston College’s season went into the dumpster after quarterback Phil Jurkovec went out injured and ACC play started.
The Eagles have not scored more than 14 points in each of their last four games. They could not reach double figures against Syracuse or NC State.
The lack of offensive consistency is concerning for a team that has had a backup at the helm for almost a month now.
Virginia Tech is a short favorite for a reason, but it has more offensive firepower than BC right now. The Hokies reached the 25-point threshold in three of their last four games.
I’m making this bet purely based off offensive consistency.
Illinois at Minnesota (-14.5) (Saturday, Noon ET, ESPN2)
Illinois has not done anything impressive in Big Ten play.
Sure, the Illini won at Penn State, but no one will call that nine overtime game a tribute to the game of football. It was the exact opposite.
Illinois followed that up with a 20-14 home loss to Rutgers, who is also languishing near the bottom of their Big Ten division.
Minnesota is quietly moving along well with a four-game winning streak in tow. The Golden Gophers have their sights set on November clashes with Iowa and Wisconsin that could determine the Big Ten West.
PJ Fleck’s team is 4-0 ATS during its winning run and I expect another demolition of a lower-tier Big Ten side.
Ohio State (-14.5) at Nebraska (Saturday, Noon ET, Fox)
Remember when we thought Nebraska was close to spoiling someone’s season in the Big Ten?
That seems like a looooooong time ago.
Nebraska is on a three-game losing streak and now it has to play an on-fire Ohio State side that is building up toward a November 20 clash with Michigan State.
Ohio State is 4-1 in its last five games as a double-digit favorite. Penn State was the only defensive unit that could slow down the Buckeyes.
I can’t see the Buckeyes falling into the letdown trap on Saturday in Lincoln against a team going in the wrong direction.
Missouri at Georgia (Under 59.5) (Saturday, Noon ET, ESPN)
Georgia’s offense is not good enough to score 50 points.
Missouri’s offense is not good enough to score more than twice on the UGA defense.
I feel like I’m stealing money from the books by taking this under. Georgia averages 6.6 points conceded per game and that unit should finish the game by the third quarter.
North Texas (-4.5) at Southern Miss (Saturday, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
North Texas and Southern Miss are both bad teams, but at least one of them comes into Saturday with some positive momentum.
North Texas outlasted Rice in overtime on Saturday, while Southern Miss scored 10 points against an equally as bad Middle Tennessee team.
Southern Miss scored 23 points in its last three games. North Texas produced 30 points in last week alone.
I’ll put my faith in the team that can actually put points on the scoreboard.
Tulsa at Cincinnati (-23.5) (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Cincinnati is about to take all of its anger from the College Football Playoff rankings release out on the Tulsa defense.
The Bearcats struggled a bit in the last two weeks, but they should have a ton of motivation to pummel the Golden Hurricane on Saturday afternoon.
Tulsa gives up over 16 points per game more than the Bearcats and that could be a recipe for disaster against a driven Desmond Ridder and Co.
Michigan State (-2.5) at Purdue (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
Thank goodness Michigan State was not listed as No. 2 in the playoff ranking.
If that was the case, Purdue would have been in upset territory again. It defeated then-No. 2 Iowa earlier in the season and beat Ohio State when it was ranked in the same spot three years ago.
The Boilermakers still can’t be taken lightly, but Michigan State should have enough to deal with Purdue’s upset threat.
Michigan State is 4-0 ATS in its last four games. The Spartans are 6-1 in their last seven ATS and the one loss came on a bad beat at home against Nebraska.
Penn State (-9.5) at Maryland (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, FS1)
Penn State did not complete the upset win over Ohio State, but it did enough to prove that it could rebound from the deflating loss to Illinois.
The Nittany Lions have an opportunity to get right on Saturday against a Maryland team that is fighting with Rutgers and Indiana for the bottom three spots in the Big Ten East.
Maryland gave up over 50 points to Ohio State and Iowa in consecutive weeks and it allows 13.4 more points per game than Penn State.
The Nittany Lions defense is very good and it should allow the Sean Clifford-led offense to open up a double-digit advantage.
Baylor at TCU (+6.5) (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox)
This is a narrative game.
Gary Patterson parted ways with TCU earlier this week. Jerry Kill, who was previously an interim coach at Minnesota, has taken over as the interim man for the Horned Frogs.
Baylor should win this game based off its defensive averages. The Bears concede 19.4 points per game compared to TCU’s 31.5.
However, there are some weird dynamics at play here since TCU has an interim coach in charge and Baylor is in a prototypical look-ahead spot with Oklahoma coming to Waco, Texas next weekend.
Oklahoma State (-3.5) at West Virginia (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
West Virginia served a betting purpose last week, as it knocked off Iowa State in a letdown spot for the Cyclones.
That situation is not in play again on Saturday since Oklahoma State got right against Kansas last Saturday.
The Cowboys have covered in each of their last six games and they have a defense that gives up 18 points per game.
If Oklahoma Stats runs the table in the next few weeks, it will be in a position to win the Big 12 regular-season title in Bedlam. That should be enough motivation for the Pokes to keep going strong.
Mississippi State at Arkansas (Under 55.5) (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network)
Mississippi State’s defense produced a statement last week, as it held Kentucky to 17 points and 66 rushing yards.
The Bulldogs could follow a similar strategy in their attempt to shut down a run-heavy Arkansas offense on Saturday.
Arkansas averages 166.9 rushing yards per game. If Mississippi State holds the Hogs under 100, it should keep Arkansas under 20 points, which plays directly into the under.
UTSA at UTEP (Over 52.5) (Saturday, 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
UTSA-UTEP is a fun Group of Five game to close out Saturday with.
UTSA is 8-0 and it has been a covering machine this season. The Roadrunners are 7-1 against the spread, but the Miners are 6-2 ATS.
I’m taking a different approach because of those numbers. I’ll take the over with two offenses that can put up a ton of points.
If you stay up for this game, UTSA running back Sincere McCormick is the player to watch. McCormick is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and he has nine touchdowns on the ground.
As a whole, UTSA averages 39.4 points and 441.3 yards per game. UTEP’s offense is not as prolific, but it has put up at least 20 points in four of its last five games.
Jon Jansen (9-17)
SMU at Memphis (+5) (Saturday, Noon ET, ESPNU)
I'll still include this bet because I like it a lot.
However, just be aware that quarterback Seth Henigan is a game-time decision and if we don't get word about his status just before kickoff then just stay away.
If he does play though, I'm all in on the Tigers. SMU's pass defense is, well, they don't really have one. Seth Henigan and this Tigers passing offense has been potent and will have plenty of opportunities against this Mustangs secondary. Again, Henigan's status is a concern, but if he plays then it's the home dog here.
Wisconsin at Rutgers (+12) (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN)
Despite what those dorks on the College Football Playoff committee think, the Big Ten West is bad.
Wisconsin looks like it may be turning a corner, especially on offense, which has put up point totals of 27 and 30 in the last two games.
That is likely not going to continue because the Badgers have done this without any sort of passing game at all. Rutgers rush defense isn't all that bad and the numbers are a little skewed because Heisman front-runner Kenneth Walker gashed them for over 200 yards a few weeks ago. I just don't think this Badger offense will have enough to cover a 12-point spread
NC State at Florida State (+2.5) (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, ACC Network)
Do you actually think I would have learned my lesson after Florida State burned me last week?
I'm going right back to the Seminoles this week.
Both of NC State's losses have come on the road and its only road win has come against a miserable Boston College.
When you look a bit deeper too, these teams are fairly similar to each other and there's not really a big gap between them. Think this is a good spot for FSU to get a good home win against the Wolfpack.