Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, right, looks for an open receiver as Rutgers defensive back Avery Young defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Fab 4 picks

Take that Kyle.

We were hemorrhaging entertainment heading into last week. So we brought it Kyle, the Magic 8 Ball.

We went 3-1; Kyle disagreed on one pick and went 2-2.


In truth, Kyle was an old-school throwback tool. And whether he helped or not, who knows.

Maybe, in this day and age of legalized sports betting — wait, in Tennessee we do not have to say hunting entertainment any more that's kind of sad, no? — the relatively new tools in gambling made available to the masses.

For years, your local entertainment brokers would offer sides (one team or the other divided by a Vegas-generated point spread) and over/unders (picks that made for the total points to go above or below another Vegas-generated total).

These days, there are a slew of other options. There's the 10.5, which is Mississippi State's team total for points, and barring a defensive score, there's simply no way a Mississippi State team that was blanked by Alabama will get to double-digits against that Georgia D.

There's also the team total for the Gators, who are facing a game Vandy bunch that has to be running on fumes. The total for Florida is 49.5. I think Dan Mullen coaches and Kyle Trask throws the Gators close to that before the break.  

Take last night for example, on you could have placed an odds-wager on the over/under 5.5 of SEC players taken in the first round of the NBA draft.

Did it make me feel a little dirty to fist pump when Immanuel Quickley went 25th overall and became the sixth SEC player to hear his name called? A little. But nothing a little entertainment can't cure, right?

(Side note: Speaking of entertainment, without a little action on the NBA draft who watched that other than family members? Man, I haven't seen that many tears since Hallmark ran The Notebook marathon. And, speaking of the Hallmark Channel, the cast of players picked felt like the cast of a made-for-TV movie. Sure there may be the occasional Corbin Bernsen sighting or even a Powers Boothe that you may recognize, but the rest of those folks are straight from the Topeka Community Playhouse.)

Where were we? That's right the Fab 4 picks.

Yes, 3-1 pulls us back to .500 at 25-25. Yes, that's still in the hole by the measures of the margins.

But we also hit going against the Zips on Tuesday, which does not count here, it does in the big picture — and with a 3-2 NFL run and the Zips and the NBA hitting — and puts us at 8-3 in our last 11.

Entertaining, people. Enter-DANG-taining.

Let's roll, beyond the MSU Bullies under 10.5 and the Gators blowing north of 50.

Purdue-Minnesota over 62. Bad defenses and one good offense means points, people. Lots of points. As always with November totals, check the weather, but it looks sunny and cold. Score time.

Oklahoma minus-7 over Oklahoma State. Buy the half, and ride with the deeper roster and the better coach. (Yes, they both reside in Norman.) Research alert: OU has won five straight and covered in four of those. OU in the last nine games as a single-digit favorite in Big 12 games is 8-01 against the spread. Mike Gundy is 2-13 in Bedlam. Make it 2-14. And bigly.

Tennessee plus-10.5 over Auburn. Arguably the two teams I have watched the most across all of college football. And, arguably two of the teams that may be the hardest to project, before the game and in the middle of it. For example, UT looked like it was going to walk Arkansas two weeks ago and then folded like T-shirts at the all-night laundromat. Auburn jumped on South Carolina early and then showed the mental toughness of a spoiled toddler. Simply put, Auburn should not be a 10-plus-point favorite over anyone not named Vandy in the SEC. Period.

Texas minus-29 over Kansas. Does anyone know the stinky depths Kansas could reach? Wonder what the Jayhawks vs. the Zips line would be?

Liberty-NC State over 66.5. Man, Auburn transfer Malik Willis is KER-rushing it. Or considering his 700 yards and nine TDs on the ground to go with a 16-to-1 TD-to-Int ratio, should it be ker-RUSHING it. Wow, it's fun to watch a Hugh Freeze (and Gus Malzahn for that matter) offense with a true dual-threat QB. NC State can score too. This one will be close to that total before the fourth quarter starts.

Oregon minus-13.5 over UCLA. I think the Ducks are the class of the Pac-12. I think UCLA is not. Two TDs is not enough.

Washington State plus-2 over Stanford. I think the WSU quarterback is the best player you have not heard of. Washington State was toe-to-toe with Oregon throughout. Plus, this is a bonus pick for the late-game chaser. Good times for everyone.

Last week: 3-1 against the spread (75 percent)

This season 25-25 against the spread (50 percent)


Blowout city, baby

I would not have a problem advising any of my buddies who call for picks and tips to look at the dudes atop the Heisman odds and expect huge numbers. Be it individual prop bets or team point totals.

Side note: One more added tidbit for this week is the extra need for style points, friends. Clemson needs to impress considering the one loss. THE Ohio State has no idea how many games it will get to play, and Saturday vs. Indiana may be the biggest test of the season. We touched on Florida above, and I expect Mac Jones to have a big first half before the Tide cruises in the second half.

Side note on the side note: Wow, 30 seems like too many to give to Kentucky, in my mind. Could it be 31-3 at halftime? Sure. Could it get to 38-3 before a couple of meaningless Big Blue spread-busting scores.

Trevor Lawrence is back for Clemson, and his sure-fire candidacy for the Heisman has been COVID-ed. So he returns this week for a road game in Tallahassee against an FSU bunch that has completely folded and has quit on the new staff. I expect Lawrence to post huge numbers

Justin Fields is playing better than anyone, Trask included. (WARNING: Jules and Alejandro and the rest of the Johnny Bulldogs Fans among us, just skip to the next paragraph. Trust me.) Did you know that Fields has as many TD passes (11) as he does incompletions. Seriously. He's completing 86.7 percent of his throws and has yet to throw a pick.

We covered Trask, but I'm pretty sure there's no coach that enjoys getting north of 50 as quickly as possible as Danny Mullen. (Side question: You think Mullen hates being called 'Danny' because I bet that would generate a serious stink eye.)

As for Mac Jones, the desire may not be there, and the Tide is positioned to be a no-doubt pick for the playoff, even with a loss down the road. Man, that Jones kid has been efficient, and his 95.6 QBR is second in the nation behind Fields.


Speaking of the NBA draft

Let's move quickly, shall we?

Did we see a player who can be the best player on an NBA champ get picked last night?

I don't think so. (Side note: You could say the same about the 2013 draft when Giannis Antetokounmpo went 15th, and he certainly could be the lead dog on a title team.)

Again, as we talked about yesterday, the lack of true connection to these young kids — and the true realization that the NBA is about drafting potential more than productivity — hinders my analysis too.

But I love Isaac Okoro, and if he develops an offensive identity he's an all-star.

I love Anthony Edwards' upside and athleticism, and if he commits to the game and develops a perimeter jumper, he's a perennial all-star too.

Tyrese Haliburton can play but he's frail. Kira Lewis is an athletic outlier.
Loved the Aaron Nesmith pick for Boston because he has the chance to be a legit spot-up shooter sooner rather than later.

Yes, Chaz, UK had two first-rounders, and of the two, I like Maxey's transition to the NBA more because Quickley's game is very Adrian Dantley-esque and not sure that translates in today's NBA for a 6-3 shooting guard.

So it goes, I guess. (Regardless, dang tickled that six SEC players were picked in round one.)


This and that

— Speaking of gambling, can anyone recall a bigger line than the 47.5 BYU is giving North Alabama?  Wow.

— Man, terrible news from Golden State, where the Warriors fear that Klay Thompson has a torn Achilles. Crud, I still enjoy watching guys who can really shoot the basketball and Thompson certainly is part of that team picture.

— Speaking of the draft, did you see that Michael Jordan's Charlotte team drafted one of LaVar Ball's kids last night? Wonder if Ball's claim to be better than MJ came up in the draft eval process.

— You know the rules. Here's Paschall on UT's Velus Jones and his desire to get more involved. (Side note: Velus Jones is a boss-sauce name.) Here is Paschall's weekly picks column, and it looks like he concurs that UT-Auburn will be much closer than Vegas projects.


Today's questions

True or false on a Thursday; I say true.

True or false, Alabama has a mulligan — meaning it can lose a game — and still get into the playoff.

True or false, if you would watch MJ play LaVar Ball play one-on-one.

True or false, Velus Jones is a better name for a Motown singer back in the day than a college football player.

True or false, Meg Ryan had the worst plastic surgeon in the history of medicine. (It's her birthday today.)

Speaking of birthday days, it's also Jodie Foster's. She is 58.

Rushmore of female movie leads in the last 30 years, because I think Foster as Clarice Starling may be far left.

Go and remember the mailbag.