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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Skinner’s Winners: Week 5 picks

Nick Trujillo

Good morning and happy weekend to all reading this! We are welcomed by yet another full weekend of football games after a long and seemingly endless work week. If the week you just went through felt like you woke up Monday and then got flipped around in a riptide for five days and spit out, I am right there with you. 

I plan on recovering by doing absolutely nothing besides watching my bets crumble before my eyes in HD. And guess what? I cannot wait. These are my spread picks for this weekend as I look to pick my fourth straight winning weekend:

Stanford @ Notre Dame (-5.5) – 4:30 p.m. MST – NBC

After coming off of what was last weekend’s most exciting and improbable road win, Stanford has to regroup and head to South Bend where an AP Top-10 Irish team awaits. 

     RELATED: Preview: Wildcats and Trojans clash in key conference matchup

There is just no way I can pick against Stanford after the gambling win they provided me last week, as the karma would be too much for me to bear. I’m taking David Shaw and that weird, slightly creepy grin of his to be able to control the game with his experienced quarterback, humongous targets and the best running back in the nation in Bryce Love. I’m taking the Tree (+5.5).

Ohio State (-3) @ Penn State – 4:30 p.m. MST – ABC

The “Pass The Buck Bowl” is going to be a 3.5-hour, nationally-televised showcase of everything incredible and disgusting about college football over the last ten years. 

Two teams with elite talent at every position with two of the brightest coaching minds in the sport. 

Yet the two programs lining up against each other have been the latest poster-boys for how not to run a football program, with Penn State covering up Jerry Sandusky’s egregious acts towards children, while Ohio State University spent this past August finding out ways to separate themselves from one of Urban Meyer’s longtime staffers who has allegedly been abusing his wife for the past decade. 

And guess what? There will still be a 100,000-plus fans decked-out in all white, packing Happy Valley on Saturday night, while people tune in by the hundreds of thousands. And I, sadly and semi-embarrassingly, will be, too. This is the college football machine at its peak, where all is forgotten if you start winning. I hope both of these teams lose, but I think Ohio State (-3) will sneak this one out. 

USC @ Arizona (+3) – 7:30 p.m. MST – ESPN2

In what looked like a possible ESPN Game Day destination just a few short weeks ago is now the scene of two teams who had high expectations trying to reconfigure their seasons. Arizona got back on track in Corvallis as USC struggled mightily with Washington State, eventually eeking out a win that possibly prevented coach Clay Helton’s head from rolling. 

A win over the Trojans would ease any of the worries and concerns that swirled around head coach Kevin Sumlin and his coaching staff after the back-to-back losses in the first two weeks. Both teams go into this game looking at it as a must-win game, setting the stage for both teams to empty the cupboard and throw whatever they have at each other to find their footing in the wide-open Pac-12 South. I’m taking the home dawgs (or ‘Cats). Arizona (+3).

Oregon (-2) @ Cal – 7:30 p.m. MST – Fox Sports 1

Coming off of a game that takes years, maybe even decades, off ones life, Oregon has to pick itself off the floor and go on the road to play a feisty Cal team that has not lost a contest yet. 

I just don’t think a team that is made up of 18-to-22-year-old males will be able to put the Stanford loss behind them in just a few days. 

      RELATED: WATCH: 3 keys to the Arizona vs USC football game

That kind of loss could send a stronger man than I into a vicious cycle of depression. This Ducks team has to strap up and duke it out against a Cal team that, frankly, is sick of being Oregon and Stanford’s whipping boy for the last couple of years and will come into this game with a serious chip on its shoulder. I’m taking the Bears (+2).

Kansas City (-4) @ Denver – 5:15 p.m. MST (Monday) – ESPN

Patrick Mahomes II on Monday Night Football? Sign me up yesterday. This kid quarterback has become must-watch TV in just 12 quarters of play, throwing for more touchdowns in the first three weeks of an NFL season than anybody who has ever taken a snap in the NFL. 

Pretty good if you ask me, but I’m just some guy who writes words. Mahomes takes the Chiefs’ offense into Denver and gets a first taste of one of the most colorful and passionate rivalries in the NFL, and I can’t wait to see how the young man responds. Mahomes might not be human, and that’s why this is my lock of the week. Chiefs (-4) all day.

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