LEO’S LOSERS : WEEK 13
By Leo Haggerty

As usual, I will be dating myself with the next sentence but what the heck.  As the song goes,  “Happy days are her again” and it’s about time.

Week 12 was a barn-burner.  Leo’s Lock was just that (9-3 overall) and put $100 in my pocket.  Leo’s Losers went a very respectable 4-1 (30-30 overall) for another $275 to the black.  Finally, Leo’s Others went a servicable 6-4 (76-43-1 overall) for another c-note to the good.  That totals out to $475 on the left side of the ledger and brings the 12-week total up to $1,620.  Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Week 13 starts the “Amen Corner” of football prognostication.  I kind of like to analogy because now it’s only NCAA Conference championship contests and the NFL for the next five weeks and you know how I hate to have to pick just the National Football League.  Would have better luck with Irish curling.

Well, here goes.  Unlucky, or lucky, Week 13 is below for your perusal.

LEO’S LOCK

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Toledo (+7) loses to WESTERN MICHIGAN

Ok, I’m officially on the WMU bandwagon.  The only other undefeated team, besides the Crimson Tide of Alabama, has it going in Kalamazoo.  HC P.J. Fleck is pushing every right button for the Broncos.  Look for him, along with Houston’s Tom Herman and USF’s Willie Taggert, to be the hot commodities especially if Western Michigan finishes off a perfect regular season by beating Toledo and the MAC Championship along with a bowl victory.  That would include two huge road wins against Big Ten opposition.  Western, 31-17, completing a perfect 12-0 regular season.

LEO’S LOSERS

NCAA

AIR FORCE (+9) loses to Boise State

The Falcons will keep this one close but Boise State just has too many weapons for the the guys from Colorado Springs.  Air Force will try and control the football on the ground and shorten the game.  If that happens, the Flyboys can stay in the game but I don’t think that will be the case.  Broncos just can score in so many different ways that they wear down AF in the second half.  BSU, 35-24, to stay in the running for a major bowl.

Michigan (+6 1/2) loses to OHIO STATE

Here are the facts.  OSU has won the last four and 11 of the last 12.  Wolverines haven’t won at The Horseshoe in so long even Go Blue fans can’t remember.  Problem is, with a strating QB either sidelined or playing hurt, Michigan needs to pull off a miracle to win in Columbus and get to the Big Ten Championship game.  Does HC Jim Harbaugh have that one up his sleeve.  I think not.  Buckeyes, 31-19, and then HC Urban Meyer’s bunch will be looking for some help from Michigan State to beat Penn State.

SOUTHERN METHODIST (+7) loses to Navy

SMU gave USF all it wanted last week in Dallas and the Bulls beat Blue & Gold in Tampa.  Would love to connect those dots but it’s not going to happen.  Midshipmen QB Will Worth is putting up huge numners and doing what he needs to do to win the game.  Against Notre Dame, it was control the football and play keep-away from the Irish.  Against East Carolina, it was score quickly and often.  Middies offense is a chameleon and defense does just enough to win the game.  Look for more of the same against the Mustangs.  Ponies score but not enough.  Navy, 42-34, and win the AAC West.

Florida (+7 1/2) loses to FLORIDA STATE

Gators come to Tallahassee as the best out of the SEC East or should I say IV League South because every team is on some form of life support.  SEC is so bad this year that we don’t know how good Alabama is because of the flat-out terrible football that’s being played in the Southeastern Conference.  FSU is the third-best team in the Atlantic Division of the ACC and I expect them to skin the Gators in a game that won’t even be close.  RB Dalvin Cook has a big last game at Doak Campbell and the Seminoles lead from start to finish.  Noles, 48-21, in a rout.

NFL

OAKLAND (-7) loses to Carolina

I’m still not ready to give Carolina up for dead or believe Oakland is as good as their record.  If the Panthers defense can slow down Raiders QB Derek Carr they have a shot.  If, on offense, the guys from Charlotte can protect QB Cam Newton and, this is a big point, the officials start treating the hits on #1 like they do with Brady and the the other elite NFL quarterbacks, the fellows in Blue & White have a chance.  Also, Silver & Black due for a bad game especially coming off a short week at altitude in Mexico City.  Can’t even believe I just wrote that.  Shame on the NFL.  Carolina, 24-23, with a late field goal in the Black Hole

LEO’S OTHERS

NCAA

WASHINGTON STATE (+6) loses to Washington

Texas Christian (+3) loses to TEXAS

Arizona State (+1) loses to ARIZONA

GEORGIA (-4) loses to Georgia Tech

Central Florida (+10) loses to SOUTH FLORIDA

Duke (+15) loses to MIAMI-FL

IOWA STATE (+7) loses to West Virginia

NFL

Tampa Bay (+6) loses to Seattle

San Francisco (+7) loses to MIAMI

Jacksonville (+7 1/2) lose to BUFFALO