LEO’S LOSERS : WEEK 12
By Leo Haggerty

Went from the agony of defeat in Week 10 to the thrill of victory in Week 11.  It’s extremely important in prognostication, as in coaching, that you don’t follow up one losing week with another clunker.  I avoided that, ladies and gentlemen, big time.

LEO’S LOCK (10-1 overall) got back on track with a victory.  That put $150 bank into my bankroll.  LEO’S LOSERS (29-26 overall) started out great with the NCAA and then floundered with the NFL but still finished with a 3-2 mark.  It was the right three because that added 425 skins to the black.  Finally, LEO’S OTHERS (66-44 overall) busted out with a 7-3 log and that was good for 5 Benjamin’s.

Doing the math, that comes out to a positive four-figure week of $1,075.  Add that to the $1,025 of house money that I began Week 11 with and that grows my bank to $2,100.  As Charlie Sheen would say, “winning” and that’s the bottom line.

So it’s on to Week 12.  Here are my selections and here’s hoping that Secretariat has as good a race in him as Silver did last week.

LEO’S LOCK

WAKE FOREST (-2) loses to North Carolina State

OK, it was definitely impressive that Wake dropped 64 on Syracuse last week in the Carrier Dome.  That’s the good news and now the bad news for the Demon Deacons.  Even though the contest is in Winston-Salem, it’s outdoors and the weather will help to keep the score down.  The other factor is the Wolfpack defense has a few more play-makers than the ‘Cuse and that will definitely put a damper on lighting up the scoreboard for the Black & Gold.  NCSU, 34-24, with the Pack pulling away late.

LEO’S LOSERS

NCAA

Michigan (+7) loses to WISCONSIN

Can we stop with the rhetoric that the Badgers play an easy schedule?  In the next three weeks, Wisconsin will play Michigan in Madison followed by a trip to the Twins Cities to tackle a much-improved Minnesota squad and then a jaunt to Indianapolis to take on probably Ohio State at Lucas Oil Stadium for the Big 10 Championship.  If the Red & White navigate through that minefield at 13-0, they’re one of the Final Four.  If they aren’t, every member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee should resign.  Strong words but true and the undefeated season continues at Camp Randall.  UW, 27-16, but it won’t be easy.

NORTH TEXAS STATE (-2 1/2) loses to Army

This isn’t your Dad’s Cadets. Don’t look now but the Black Knights of the Hudson are 8-2, making them bowl eligible, and riding a six-game winning streak.  The biggest win for the West Pointers during that stretch was on the road at Colorado Springs where they grounded the Air Force to the tune of 21-0.  The game won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination.  The Mean Green are 7-3 and still smarting from last season’s Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl 38-31 overtime loss to the Black & Gold.  Plus, it’s Senior Day.  Still, I like the Mules in this one because they’re flat out on a roll. USMA, 35-31, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this one went to extra time as well.

Texas (+3 1/2) loses to WEST VIRGINIA

The Longhorns head north in November.  That’s bad for the Lone Star guys but, to make matters worse, Texas is heading to the mountains of Morgantown where the weather report ain’t pretty if you’re a ‘Horns fan.  Cold and rain and, possibly, snow.  That’s enough for me to take the Mountaineers.  WV, 24-13, in mud and the muck.

NFL

MIAMI (PK) loses to Tampa Bay

If there was ever a must-win for both team, it’s this week in the Hurricane Irma Bowl.  Suppose to be the opener but Mother Nature changed those plans.  Both teams are struggling on offense so, my rule when that happens, take the team that can run the football the best.  That’s the Bucs, hands down.  TB, 19-13, in a defensive battle.

Baltimore (-2) loses to GREEN BAY

I don’t care if QB Aaron Rodgers is on the self for the Pack.  The Ravens are coming to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.  Temperature for Sunday’s game will not get above freezing and Baltimore has no way of preparing for that.  Jack Frost should be good for at least a ten-point swing and that’s all the Green & Gold will need.  GB, 20-13, in a typical Wisconsin November chiller.

LEO’S OTHER

NCAA

DUKE (+6) loses to Georgia Tech

Minnesota (+7 1/2) loses to NORTHWESTERN

TEMPLE (+14) loses to Central Florida

Alabama-Birmingham (+10 1/2) loses to FLORIDA

Virginia (+19) loses to MIAMI-FL

Missouri (-7 1/2) loses to VANDERBILT

NFL

CLEVELAND (+8) loses to Jacksonville

Washington (+8) loses to NEW ORLEANS

Buffalo (+4 1/2) loses to LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Philadelphia (-3 1/2) loses to DALLAS