WEEKLY GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. THE COUNCIL HAS DECIDED TO LET YOU IN ON A LITTLE SECRET. EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE ALREADY SELECTED THE WINNERS OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMES IN ADVANCE, HOW THEY GET THERE IS STILL MOSTLY UP TO THEM. MICROMANAGING ALL OF THAT WOULD TAKE WAY TOO MUCH TIME, AND OUR SCHEDULES ARE BUSY ENOUGH AS IT IS.
THIS IS GOOD FOR US, AS IT MAKES LIFE SOMEWHAT LESS PREDICTABLE AND ALLOWS US TO HAVE THE OCCASIONAL MOMENT OF GENUINE SURPRISE AND AMAZEMENT, LIKE THE ONE THAT OCCURRED DURING LAST NIGHT'S STANFORD-UCLA GAME. SERIOUSLY, DID YOU SEE THAT CATCH BY FRANCIS OWUSU? THAT WAS AMAZING. YOU DON'T HAVE TO THANK US FOR THAT IF YOU DON'T WANT TO; WE KNOW THANKING US FOR EVERYTHING ELSE CAN GET EXHAUSTING.
HERE ARE THE REST OF THIS WEEK'S PICKS, FOLLOWING LAST NIGHT'S UCLA-STANFORD PICK WHICH HAD BEEN PREVIOUSLY POSTED. ATTEMPTS TO CHANGE YOUR UCLA-STANFORD PICK (OR SUBMIT A PICK WHEN YOU DID NOT SUBMIT ONE PREVIOUSLY) WILL BE VOIDED AND RESULT IN BRUTAL PUNISHMENT. AS ALWAYS, YOU CAN VIEW LAST WEEK'S RESULTS HERE.
Pitt Panthers @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-3.5)
Has the quality of the food on campus had a sudden and dramatic improvement this week? Seems totally random but something has definitely changed. Oh, wait. It's Pitt week. Spilly must have taken charge of GT dining. That explains it!
Illuminati Pick: Georgia Tech covers
#17 Iowa Hawkeyes (-2) @ #20 Northwestern Wildcats
We're seven weeks into the season and Iowa and Northwestern share one loss between them. Wait, what? Sometime's I don't understand the council's sense of humor. You'd think they're serious all the time, but no, even they like to pull pranks solely for their own amusement. Northwestern suffered their first lost of the season last week in resounding fashion, but Iowa remains undefeated, and if they win on Saturday they have a decent shot of winning out all the way to the Big Ten Championship game. This thought should terrify you.
Illuminati Pick: Iowa covers
#10 Alabama Crimson Tide (-4) @ #9 Texas A&M Aggies
Yes, Texas A&M is an underdog at home to the Tide, despite being ranked one spot higher. It's probably because when a team beats you 59-0 that loss reverberates for at least a couple years. No matter the outcome of Saturday's game, Texas A&M will be able to say they performed better against the Tide than they did last year. Probably.
Illuminati Pick: Alabama covers
#8 Florida Gators @ #6 LSU Tigers (-7.5)
The Gators are making their biannual trip to Louisiana, the only state where gator is a staple of the local diet. The Gators are without starting quarterback Will Grier after he tested positive for PEDs. If you're wondering whether Louisianians would still eat gator meat that's been pumped full of steroids, the answer is "they've been doing it for years".
Illuminati Pick: LSU wins but does not cover
Nebraska Cornhuskers @ Minnesota Golden Gophers (-2)
The Big Ten is chock full of trophy games (seriously, take a look), but Nebraska, being a newcomer, was short on games. So Goldy Gopher and Faux Pelini, with the help of the Internet, created one: the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy. This is the greatest trophy in college football history and I will shamelessly admit it is the only reason Nebraska-Minnesota is one of this week's picks, because both teams suck.
Illuminati Pick: Minnesota covers
#19 Oklahoma Sooners (-3.5) @ Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State has been the victim of several cruel twists of fate this season. They were jobbed by a totally bogus first down call for Oklahoma State in their game against the Cowboys and saw a 35-17 halftime lead vs. TCU last week slip away. What cruel fates await the Wildcats in their showdown with Oklahoma? Perhaps the cruelest joke of all - a totally fair game called with no officiating screwups. The tension will kill them anyway.
Illuminati Pick: Oklahoma covers
Oregon Ducks @ Washington Huskies (-3)
It's really weird to see the Ducks as underdogs to the Huskies. Oregon has won eleven straight in the series, and Washington hasn't exactly come close in any of those eleven games - the closest they came was a 34-17 loss in Seattle in 2011. Sure, the Ducks are lost on defense, don't have a quarterback, and just lost to Washington State last week, but..... actually, I'm not sure what the positive here was supposed to be.
Illuminati Pick: Oregon wins
USC Trojans @ #14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-7)
USC and Notre Dame fight for the Jeweled Shillelagh. What the hell is a shillelagh, anyway? It's a combination club/walking stick thing, and it's Irish, so it's actually pronounced "shi-LAY-lee". I can't think of any mentions of a shillelagh in pop culture, other than an old Droopy Dog cartoon where Droopy hits Spike the Bulldog with a baseball bat and Spike, being Irish, calls it a shillelagh. 1940s cartoons were kind of weird, in hindsight.
Illuminati Pick: Notre Dame wins but does not cover
#7 Michigan State Spartans @ #12 Michigan Wolverines (-7.5)
The Spartans and Wolverines fight for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. (Not to be confused with Paul Bunyan's Axe, which is what Minnesota and Wisconsin fight for. I really wasn't joking about all the trophy games the Big Ten plays.) It's much nicer to say they're fighting over the statue of a mythical mountain man who worked as a logger in the days of yore, rather than over the dominion of, say, Detroit.
Illuminati Pick: Michigan covers