The Triple Option: College football Week 11 picks, predictions and eats

Nov 9, 2018 |

Last Saturday night was without a doubt, my most hated day of the year. Yup. Daylight savings.

While most people (my lady included) cheer for gaining an hour of sleep one night a year (while conveniently forgetting they lost an hour earlier in the year), I begrudgingly watch as the clock on my phone automatically falls back an hour.

I hate everything that comes along with this. First, it just means an extra hour of work for me on a busy Saturday night. The golf clubs go back in the closet. But worst of all, it means winter is coming. And while where I live isn’t exactly like beyond the Wall in Game of Thrones, it isn’t far off. Simply put, winters in Atlantic Canada suck.
It sucks is because we only get about 10 hours of sun per day. I know a lot of places are like that in the winter, but there’s just something disheartening about waking up in the dark, going to work, and then leaving work and it’s already dark again. You don’t want to do much and it just saps the energy from you. It’s just the worst.

That being said, the sun is setting earlier than some college football programs would like. Front and center in that picture is the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Penn State may have called it a year after last week’s embarrassing 42-7 beatdown handed to them by Michigan. Trace McSorley is clearly more hurt than he’s letting on and any hopes the Nittany Lions had at a Big Ten championship were dashed.

This week, they host another disappointing Big Ten team in the Wisconsin Badgers. However, the Badgers still have an outside shot at the Big Ten West division title (West leading Northwestern is a big dog at Iowa this week).

Wisconsin has just battered its backers, covering the number only twice this season and it sounds like it may be without starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook, who's dealing with a concussion. Now, this may sound weird, but the Badgers may be better off with backup Jack Coan.

In limited action, the sophomore Coan has gone 25 for 38 for 222 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. But Coan passes the eye test better than Hornibrook, looking more athletic in and out of the pocket with a slightly bigger arm.

And, of course, there is Jonathan Taylor. The Badgers’ back leads the nation in rushing with 1,363 yards at a clip of 6.6 yards per carry while tallying 11 majors. Taylor will face a Penn State rush defense that ranks 79th in the nation allowing 172.2 yards per game.

So, with Taylor primed for a good game and Penn State’s propensity for not being able to extend drives (it ranks 111th in third-down conversion rate), Wisconsin will control the clock and keep this one close.

Pick: Wisconsin +9

TCU Horned Frogs at West Virginia Mountaineers (-11.5, 55.5)

Wow. Will Grier and the Mountaineers saw the sun setting on their season and said "NOPE". Grier’s off-balance touchdown pass with 16 seconds to go was one of the most beautiful and clutch throws this season. And then to have the balls to go for two and convert to win the game against Texas. Just. Wow.

Grier is legit. He's the best quarterback in the country not named Tua.

His gluttony of weapons welcome TCU to Morgantown this week. Now, this is a classic letdown spot for the Mountaineers: hosting a lesser Horned Frogs, coming off a crazy dramatic last-second victory to keep their conference title and College Football Playoff hopes alive. But those weapons are too much for a banged-up TCU defense to handle.

Plus, the Mountaineers probably feel a little disrespected at being ninth in the latest CFP rankings, so they’ll come out with something to prove.

Meanwhile, TCU has had just terrible quarterback play and hasn't covered a spread since mid-September. That doesn’t change this week.

Pick: West Virginia -11.5

Kansas Jayhawks at Kansas State Wildcats (-11.5, 47)

It’s the Sunflower State Showdown!

What a hilariously appropriate matchup to analyze this week. Kansas has said goodbye to David Beaty as its head coach and, while it may seem unthinkable to those in Manhattan, but Bill Synder may be officially too old to be coaching.

Both losers of five of their last six, these rivals have identical 3-6 records heading into the battle for The Governor’s Cup. For Kansas, that actually shows improvement. But for K-State, it’s a much bleaker result.

The Wildcats rank 115th in total offense and 108th in points per game and Synder has received plenty of criticism for his handling of the quarterback situation. The Wildcats also have one of the highest sack rates in the country, allowing 26 and it won’t get any easier against a Jayhawks pass rush that can pressure the quarterback with regularity. That’s when the secondary takes over. The Jayhawks actually rank second in the country in turnover margin at plus-15 (13 interceptions).

A lot of people don’t like a lame-duck coach, but Beaty more than likely chose to finish out the season and should have his squad motivated to send him away with a nice parting gift. Kansas may not win, but it’ll keep it close. Sunrise, sunset.

Pick: Kansas +11.5

Last week: 2-1

Season to date: 17-13


My condolences to those of you who have Heisman tickets for anyone other than Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Lousiana State managed to put some pressure on him and he even threw his first interception (gasp!). But he did lead Bama to 29-0 road win over the No. 3 ranked team in the country.

With a spot locked up against Georgia in the SEC title game and Tua nursing a knee injury, expect him to go back to his routine of one half of football. It doesn’t matter. With 27 touchdowns to one interception for 2,361 yards on 68 percent passing. Yeah, he’s got this locked up.

Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) -900
Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) +900
Shea Patterson (Michigan) +1,400
Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State) +1,600
Will Grier (West Virginia) +2,000
Travis Etienne (Clemson) +4,000
McKenzie Milton (UCF) +6,600


This is hands down the most addictive dish we’ve done this season. It’s an awesome twist on a classic.

You’ll need a steak of your preference (I went with a strip steak), an onion, a green bell pepper, two jalapenos, a block of cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, balsamic vinegar, provolone cheese, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, fresh oregano and some salt and pepper.

Heat up a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add some oil. Finely chop up the onion and the peppers and add them to the skillet. Allow them to cook for about five minutes. Remove the veggies to another dish and add about a quarter cup of finely chopped oregano, and a half teaspoon of garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Stir and set aside.

Prep your streak however you like (I put It back in the cast iron skillet and basted it in butter with some rosemary). Let it sit for a few minutes before slicing it against the grain then giving it a rough chop and set aside.

In a mixing bowl throw the cream cheese, a quarter cup of mayo, a couple spoon fulls of sour cream and balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper. Mix. Then mix in a cup of shredded provolone, the veggies and the steak. Spread in a baking dish and top with another cup of shredded cheese. Put in a preheated oven set at 400 degrees and let bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with a bit more of the oregano and there you have it!

Dip with your dipping apparatus of choice. I sliced up a baguette, brushed one side with olive oil and toasted that side down. It gives the dip a nice crunchy sandwich feel to it.
As always, enjoy! And good luck with your bets!

Andrew Caley is the senior publishing editor at Covers. Fade or follow his betting advice on Twitter @Covers_Caley.

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