McMurphy's Picks: The Power of Les
Last week here in my weekly Friday picks column, I suggested Miles would become Dos Equis' new spokesman as "The Luckiest Man In the World." Stay lucky, my friends. Just the mere mention of Miles' name resulted in my picks going 14-3 against the spread – or an astonishing 82 percent.
I, for one, am a believer of the mystical powers of Les. So, that's right, even more Les this week.
Just think about how Miles would have altered history given the chance. Here are a few examples:
Oct. 25, 1986 in New York: Midway through Game 6 of the World Series, Miles, an assistant with the Boston Red Sox, is providing hitting tips to some players in the dugout. Distracted by a kid eating cotton candy in the stands and wondering how he could get some, Miles loses concentration and the bat slips from his hands. The bat goes flying through the dugout and hits Bill Buckner in the head, knocking him unconscious. Buckner is rushed to the hospital, but the Red Sox rally around the loss of Buckner and win Game 6 and their first World Series since 1916.
April 10, 1912 in Southampton, England: Miles, a first class steward on the Titanic's maiden voyage, oversleeps on the morning of the 10th. He's running late, but arrives literally seconds before the luxury steamship leaves the dock. Upon boarding the ship, Miles is assisting with the passengers' luggage when he realizes some passengers brought 13 pieces of luggage, instead of the maximum number of 11. Miles convinces captain Edward J. Smith to turn the ship around and unload the extra luggage. Smith does so, but it causes the ship to arrive to New York two full days later than its scheduled arrival much to the chagrin of the passengers.
Approximately 4000 BC in the Garden of Eden: Miles is strolling through the Garden of Eden, wearing nothing but a smile and his hat. Not looking where he's going, Miles steps on the serpent. This startles Eve, who drops the apple she was taking to Adam. As the apple rolls away down a hill, Miles convinces Eve to instead have Adam try "this delicious nectarine."
Enough history, onto the future and this week's picks. In the past three weeks, I've climbed out of a deeper hole than the Chilean miners, going 31-16 in my last 47 picks against the spread, including 4-0 on the best bets. A reminder: before the season, I was staked an imaginary $5,000 bankroll. Each pick is for $50, except for the $100 best bet. Point spreads from Wednesday's USA Today.
Mississippi State at Florida. Turns out the text message sent from Florida wide receiver Chris Rainey's cell phone to Rainey's girlfriend telling her to die was just one big misunderstanding. That's why Florida coach Urban Meyer reinstated Rainey this week. Meyer justified the move after he found out Rainey had loaned his cell phone to Brett Favre, who then loaned it to Sean Salisbury. Don't believe Rainey? Well, he says he has the pictures to prove it. Mississippi State +7.
Bowling Green at Temple. Who would have thought that Temple's loss at Penn State earlier this season would ultimately be considered a bad loss for the Owls? Temple -19½.
Miami, Ohio at Central Michigan. Who would have thought at the midway point of the season, Miami, Ohio, would have as many victories as Miami, Fla.? Central Michigan -13.
Maryland at Clemson. After a recent loss, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he was "extremely embarrassed. I'm very sorry. This team deserves better. Clemson deserves better. The fans deserve better." Not sure if Swinney was talking about the Tigers' 2-3 start or their hideous purple and orange jersey combination. Clemson -15.
Western Michigan at Notre Dame. The last time Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly faced Western Michigan was in the 2006 International Bowl when Kelly was coaching Cincinnati. That game was played in another country and Kelly was in another tax bracket. Notre Dame -24.
Idaho at Louisiana Tech. Idaho was off last week and it's a good thing. The Vandals needed the extra travel time. You ever try to get from Moscow, Idaho, to Ruston, La., in less than a week? Louisiana Tech +1½.
Oklahoma State at Texas Tech. The official Twitter page for Oklahoma State's library sent out a tweet earlier this week indicating that the mailbox was invented in Oklahoma and patented on April 19, 1904. Al Gore immediately Tweeted that he invented the electronic mailbox two days earlier. Oklahoma State's defense mails this one in. Texas Tech -3.
Air Force at San Diego State. The Falcons are nationally ranked in consecutive weeks for the first time since 2002. Can Air Force stay ranked three weeks in a row? Only if the Falcons aren't looking ahead to next week's monster game with TCU. Too bad, they are. San Diego State +1.
New Mexico State at Fresno State. Exactly 100 years ago today, the University of Illinois staged the first official homecoming game, defeating Chicago 3-0. New Mexico State, which hasn't had a winning season since 2002, knows all too well about homecoming games. That is, being a homecoming opponent. Playing New Mexico State guarantees Fresno State will have a happy homecoming. Fresno State -31.
Louisiana-Monroe at Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers' 25 consecutive losses might be the nation's longest losing streak, but they are actually making progress. They lost their opener by 39 points, their next game by 35, then losses by 17, 12 and last week by only seven. So this week, they're either going to lose by less than seven points or, gulp, actually win. Western Kentucky -2.
Baylor at Colorado. The Buffaloes' farewell season in the Big 12 did not get off to a good start last week as Colorado was blanked by Missouri. Now the Buffs play Baylor and these Bears aren't the bad news variety like past Baylor teams. The Bears are two wins shy of their first bowl trip since 1994. Make that one win shy. Baylor -1.
Boston College at Florida State, Best Bet. ESPN's Erin Andrews has a feature for Saturday's College GameDay about Florida State's offensive linemen and the transformation they've made in the past year. The Seminoles are now in incredible shape and have lost their pot bellies they had last season. In other words, they no longer are getting confused with being sports writers. Thin to win. Florida State -22
"Cover Me's" Trifecta of Terror: Army +7 vs. Rutgers at the Meadowlands, Middle Tennessee +18½ at Georgia Tech and his best bet: Iowa -3½ at Michigan.
About last night: On my Twitter page Thursday night, I took South Florida +10½ at West Virginia. The Mountaineers won 20-6.
Lock of the Week: The Ultimate Lock 4000 Series Commercial Lock. And it's endorsed by Robert Horry, so you know it's got to be good!
McMurphy's picks: 11-3. (That's right, 11-3)
"Cover Me's" picks: 3-0
Bankroll: Up 500 for season; 5,500 left
McMurphy: 33-25; +400 (3-3 best bets)
"Cover Me": 10-9; +100 (1-0 best bets)
Brett McMurphy is a national college football writer for FanHouse. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or please follow at Twitter.com/BrettmcmurphY