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This Year's Next-to-Last Buck the Idiot Picks

Last week's mark, 6-8-1. For the season thus far, 44-58-3. The numbers don't lie: Just buck the Idiot's 15 picks this weekend and enrich yourself at your bookie's expense.

On to this week's ten college and five pro football picks against the spread, leavened, as always, by the Idiot's pithy, oh-so-insightful justifications for his choices.

ALABAMA plus 7 over Auburn. This bitterly fought rivalry between two quality teams will be decided by less than a touchdown.

BOSTON COLLEGE minus 2 and a half over Maryland. Even playing at home, Maryland doesn't have the talent to get within a field goal of BC.

CALIFORNIA minus 4 and a half over Stanford. The odds have moved on this since yesterday because bettors know that Cal is superior to the Cardinal and that there really is no "home" team between two schools just a trip down the highway from each other.

NORTH CAROLINA minus 23 and a half over Duke. When was the last time Duke wasn't horrible? The Tar Heels are familiar with whomping them at Chapel Hill.

NOTRE DAME minus 34 and a half over Syracuse. When the favorite lays this large of a number, I normally go the other way. But Notre Dame is at home, is fighting an uphill battle with the BCS system, and Syracuse is really, really bad.

PENN STATE minus 7 over Michigan State. I love the items in the paper saying JoePa isn't even aware of the BCS standings. If you believe that, there's some oceanfront property in Happy Valley he'd like to sell you.

SOUTH FLORIDA minus 19 over Cincinnati. South Florida has played a brutal schedule, beating Louisville and Central Florida, and losing relatively tight games against Penn State and Miami. And they're playing at home.

TENNESSEE minus 12 over Vanderbilt. UT is like the bully who gets beaten up a few times, and needs to feed his confidence by whaling on the scrawny kid trying to mind his own business. This one won't be close.

FRESNO STATE plus 24 over USC. The Bulldogs are a fine football team motivated by the chance to put their obscure program in the national headlines. They'll put a scare into the Trojans.

And my college "lock"

SOUTH CAROLINA plus 2 and a half over Clemson. A week after beating Florida, Steve Spurrier's team gets points at home against Clemson, who always plays worse on the road.

Now on to the five NFL picks...

CAROLINA minus 3 over Chicago. John Fox and Lovie Smith are two peas in a pod. But Carolina's edge at quarterback is too significant, even with the Bears at home.

NEW YORK GIANTS minus 7 over Philadelphia. The Giants lost a game they should have won last week, and will seek to atone. The Eagles are dealing with injuries and a media circus. They are now officially for the aughts what the Buffalo Bills were for the 90s--a demi-dynasty that never could grab the brass ring.

WASHINGTON minus 6 over Oakland. This is the point in the season when teams separate themselves into contenders and pretenders. It's pretty obvious who is who in this matchup.

INDIANAPOLIS minus 6 over Cincinnati. I love what Marvin Lewis has done with the Bengals, who will be sky-high for this one. But now that Indy's offense is rising to the excellence of their defense, this team is a steamroller.

Last, and least, the pro "lock"

DENVER minus 13 over the NY Jets. Does it matter which hapless quarterback is negotiating the Denver weather in November? Two teams going in opposite directions, and both are in a hurry.

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