Stuart McNair

Alabama was among teams it was easy to predict winner last week’s crack prediction staff back on its own

We couldn’t understand why we were getting the bad eye from the Head Geek when we wandered back to the Almost Perfect Picks Department Situation Room in the offices of “Something wrong?” we asked.
He said he didn’t want to talk about it, but of course he did.
The Nerds had recruited some football pickers who had moved on to the professional ranks to help with last week’s predictions, and things had gone pretty well — there were high fives all-around when word reached the Geek Gang that the college pickers at places like Notre Dame and Michigan were complaining it was unfair. It had to be a bad feeling to know they were outwitted.
And, of course, it was hard to not have a decent day of predictions with four of the 10 games involving Southeastern Conference teams enjoying Cupcake Saturdays (including Alabama vs. Chattanooga) in the 12th week of the season.
So, again, why the pouting?
“They quit,” said the Head Geek. “They said working here is too intense.”
If ever we were going to say, “Pshaw,” it would have been then. We think of as a happy place.
True, it would be happier if the Almost Perfect Picks Department was a little sharper.
And speaking of happy, the Head Geek perked up a bit in announcing the erstwhile team had gone 8-2, including nailing the four cupcakes. “We picked the Arkansas upset of Mississippi State,” he said, “and we predicted Tennessee and Missouri would be a shootout. I’d say 63-37 was a shootout.”
There were only six games in which there was a point spread and and over-under and the Nerds managed a 3-3 record in both categories.
And so for the year the record for picking the winners improved to 80-21, but the predictions against the line have been only 36-50. Against the over-under prediction of points scored by both teams it’s 46-41.
“One more week,” we warned. “And you’re back on your own.”

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