McMurphy's Picks: This Week They're Real and They're Spectacular!
Although faking has been going on since the beginning of time – first recorded faking: Eve's third night with Adam – the Oregon Ducks have recently dealt with fakers the most.
The latest example was last week's game at California. After stopping an Oregon run, Cal defensive tackle Aaron Tipoti jumped up, immediately looked to the Cal sideline, saw the "fake" signal and immediately dropped to the turf like he was shot with a tranquilizer dart.
It was the best acting job since Meg Ryan faked an orgasm on "When Harry Met Sally." Although Tipoti needs to work on his groaning.
In honor of Tipoti, here's a link to Alexander O'Neal's old-school jam "Fake" and also some of the more memorable fakers through the years – or at least they faked me out.
• Soccer players. Every single one. Every single minute. Every single match.
• Former Lakers center Vlade Divac, who even made soccer players envious.
• Derek Jeter, who's apparently been getting acting lessons from Minka Kelly, grimaces and grabs a part of his body whenever a pitch comes within a foot of him.
• "Capricorn One," the 1977 movie about a fake manned mission to Mars, featured O.J. Simpson's greatest acting performance until he appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom in 1995.
• The legion of very intelligent, very sensitive and very caring women, who prefer to undergo surgery to get fake, uh, body parts. Special recognition to Heidi Montag.
• Ironically, Thursday night marked the 25th anniversary of one of the greatest fakes of all-time: Joe Theismann faking a broken leg on a tackle by Lawrence Taylor. What? He wasn't faking? Oops, sorry.
• And Tipoti's ultimate role model: George Costanza. Everything about Seinfeld's best friend was fake: his favorite charity (The Human Fund), his job (an architect) and his name (Art Vandelay). Costanza even faked being handicapped so he could have personal access to one of the best handicap toilets in New York City. Costanza would have made the perfect Cal defensive lineman – or latex salesman.
Actually, with all this fake talk, I have a confession. Some of my college football picks I've provided here each Friday were fakes. My overall record of 75-62 actually would be 75-0 if I wouldn't have thrown in the 62 fake picks – all losses. No, for real!
Onto the picks – and this week, by the way, they're real and they're spectacular! Remember this is for entertainment purposes only. Before the season I was staked an imaginary $5,000 bankroll and currently have an imaginary $600 profit. Each pick is for $50, except for the $100 best bets. Point spreads from Wednesday's USA Today.
Rutgers at Cincinnati, Best Bet. Just think: this time last year, Cincinnati was trying furiously to raise enough money to keep Brian Kelly from leaving. No such worries this year with Butch Jones. Cincinnati -13.
Pittsburgh at South Florida. True story: in 2005, Chris Mortensen was on Dan LeBatard's radio show and was asked about Dave Wannstedt, who was 0-2 in his first year with losses to Notre Dame and Ohio. Mortensen said when Wannstedt took the Pitt job, some of his NFL contacts predicted within five years Wannstedt would turn Pitt into the Temple of the Big East. Turns out they were wrong: five years later Temple actually could win the Big East. Pitt -3.
USC at Oregon State. To protest the fact that the Black Coaches and Administrators' annual report on football coaches hiring gave USC an "F" grade this week for its hiring procedures with Lane Kiffin, the USC coach vowed he would go for two points after every touchdown the rest of the year. Oh wait, he already does. Never mind. USC -3.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt. The Black Coaches and Administrators' report gave Tennessee a "B" grade for its hiring procedures of coach Derek Dooley. However, the Tennessee's School Board Association's elementary teachers gave Dooley an "F" for his inability to count to 11. Tennessee -8½.
Virginia at Boston College. In Boston College's past five games, the Eagles have allowed a total of 87 points. In Virginia's past two games, the Cavs have allowed 97. Even Dooley can figure out that difference. Boston College -7.
Penn State vs. Indiana in Landover, Md. This game will be played at the Washington Redskins' FedEx Field. To offset all of the negative publicity for giving over-the-hill quarterback Donovan McNabb a five-year extension worth $78 million, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder offers Penn State coach Joe Paterno a lifetime, $100 million coaching deal with the Redskins. "Just as soon as you're done coaching at Penn State," Snyder says. Penn State -10½
Stanford at Cal. Just another "Big Game" in the historic rivalry between Stanford and Cal. Or as Tipoti refers to each Saturday: drama practice. Cal +6½.
Kansas State at Colorado. On Colorado's official website, the school has posted the head football coach opening. The job description is very detailed, 841 words worth of requirements. Not once is "winning" mentioned. Maybe Dan Hawkins should just reapply? Colorado +2.
UTEP at Tulsa. UTEP has lost 10 consecutive conference road games. The Miners aren't going to stop the streak against the Golden Hurricane. How's that for in-depth analysis? Tulsa -17½.
Troy at South Carolina. A classic example of a "sandwich" game. With South Carolina coming off an emotional win over Florida and with Clemson on tap next week, Troy will keep it close. Troy +22½.
New Mexico State at Nevada. Another "sandwich" game – I hope. With Nevada coming off an emotional win over Fresno State and with Boise State on tap next week, New Mexico State might be able to keep it somewhat close. New Mexico State +37.
Memphis at UAB. This Conference USA rivalry has been dubbed the "Battle for the Bones." The winning team receives a trophy of a 100-pound bronzed rack of ribs. The loser has to eat it. UAB -20.
Colorado State at Wyoming, Best Bet. The winner of this Mountain West rivalry gets a "Bronzed Boot" trophy. Perhaps I should have invested in a bronze trophy making company years ago instead of New Coke. Wyoming -2½.
Ole Miss at LSU. Jennifer Armstrong, a student at LSU, will compete for a $123,000 scholarship from Dr Pepper at halftime of the SEC title game. Armstrong dropped by LSU practice Thursday to work on throwing footballs. Armstrong was successful on six of her 10 throws into a hole in a giant replica of a Dr Pepper bottle – or three more than Jordan Jefferson made. Ole Miss +16.
North Texas at Louisiana Monroe. Todd Dodge's tenure ended at North Texas last month when he was fired after 3½ years and only six wins. Interim coach Mike Canales already has two wins in three weeks. Make that three victories in four weeks. North Texas +1.
Florida International at Louisiana Lafayette, Best Bet. In the program's ninth season, FIU has never won more than five games or been to a bowl game. The Golden Panthers get win No. 5 Saturday and make their first bowl trip next month. FIU -10.
Oklahoma at Baylor. Coach Bob Stoops has four kickers on scholarship and he also has promised freshman walk-on Michael Hunnicutt a scholarship after this semester. That means the Sooners will have five kickers on scholarship next season. And OU fans thought former basketball coach Kelvin Sampson had a problem with recruiting. Oklahoma -7½.
"Cover Me's" Trifecta of Terror: "Cover Me" takes Miami +2 vs. Virginia Tech, Hawaii -29½ vs. San Jose State and his best bet is BYU -28½ vs. New Mexico.
About last night: On Twitter, I picked Air Force -19 at UNLV. Air Force won 35-20.
About two nights ago: On Twitter, I picked Akron +10 vs. Miami, Ohio. Akron lost 24-19.
Lock of the week: Rockler Surface Mounted Pin Tumbler Drawer Lock
McMurphy's picks: 9-9
"Cover Me's" picks: 2-2
Bankroll: Up 600 for season; 5,600 balance
McMurphy: 75-62; +450 (7-11 best bets)
"Cover Me": 18-17; +150 (4-2 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