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Illuminati Picks, Week 7: Wisconsin faces one final Eastern foe

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WE HAVE REACHED THE APEX

PRAETOR SABAN’S WORK CONTINUES TO IMPRESS US

GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. WE TRUST YOU HAVE RECOVERED WELL FROM THE RECENT RAGING OF THE EARTH. REST ASSURED ALL YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS WERE RECEIVED BY US. WE HAVE A RECEPTACLE SPECIFICALLY FOR THOSE, THOUGH IT HAS BEEN SOME TIME SINCE WE LAST REVIEWED ITS CONTENTS. BUT REST ASSURED YOURS WILL BE HEARD EVENTUALLY.

IN THE MEANTIME, WE ARE PLEASED TO SEE PARTICIPATION IN OUR EXPERIMENT REMAINS HIGH. THIS WEEK MARKS THE HALFWAY POINT OF THIS COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON. LOOK AT WHAT HAS PASSED YOU BY AND DESPAIR; FOR TIME ONLY MOVES INEXORABLY FORWARD.

....WE APOLOGIZE. SOMETIMES IT IS EASY FOR US TO CONFUSE TOPICAL ADVICE FOR THINGS MORE EXISTENTIAL.

VIEW LAST WEEK’S DETAILED RESULTS

VIEW THIS SEASON’S TOTALS

Georgia Southern Eagles @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-11)

Does Paul Johnson have fond memories of his time at Georgia Southern? I’m sure he does. He won 62 games and two FCS national championships there in just five years. Will Paul Johnson ever admit to having such fond memories, or, in fact, being fond of anything, ever? No, ohhh no. If he has the opportunity to drop 40 points on his former employer, he will take advantage. Few things make Paul Johnson smile these days. Savage beatings are one of them.

Illuminati pick: Georgia Tech

#20 West Virginia Mountaineers @ Texas Tech Red Raiders (even)

West Virginia has made it through the first six weeks of the season undefeated and none of us even noticed. Having two bye weeks among those probably helped out a bit; spacing out all that victory couch burning let the Mountaineers keep a low profile. Now they get to play eight conference games in a row. They already have a win over Kansas State; more wins is just going to make the couch bonfire bigger and bigger.

Illuminati pick: Texas Tech

Kansas Jayhawks @ #11 Baylor Bears (-35)

Speaking of Big 12 teams that are quietly and mystifyingly undefeated, Jim Grobe’s Baylor team is 5-0 and they’re playing Kansas this week. Looking at the schedule here..... ah, hell, Baylor and WVU meet the very last week of the season. It’s going to be for a playoff spot, isn’t it?

Illuminati pick: Baylor

New Mexico Lobos vs. Air Force Fighting Falcons (-14)

This game is being played at the Cotton Bowl, for some reason. That’s the Cotton Bowl, in Dallas, former home of the Cotton Bowl Classic, etc. Air Force is from Colorado, and last I checked New Mexico isn’t from Texas. Hold on, let me check -

- okay, yeah. New Mexico is from New Mexico. So this regularly scheduled conference is being played at a neutral site, for reasons unknown. This is like when they wore their Bullet Bill uniforms against Georgia State.

Illuminati pick: Air Force

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-13) @ #9 Tennessee Volunteers

We have finally made it to the Third Saturday in October! I mean, we’re actually there, but that’s also what this series is called. It hasn’t fallen on that weekend most of the time since the SEC expanded in 1992, but “A Saturday in October” is an even less exciting rivalry name. Tennessee committed seven turnovers against Texas A&M last weekend and still took the Aggies to double overtime, and have thrived in spite of their season-long ball handling issues. They probably shouldn’t try that against Bama, though. The Aggies are hospitable folk. The Tide... not so much.

Illuminati pick: Alabama

North Carolina Tar Heels @ #16 Miami Hurricanes (-8)

When these two played last year, UNC scored a lot of points on the Hurricanes and Tar Heel quarterback Marquise Lee took the U hand sign and made into his own kind of DX taunt. I’m guessing the Canes didn’t like that much. Hopefully Mitch Trubisky doesn’t repeat Lee’s actions or someone might need to fetch Mark Richt his fainting chair.

Illuminati pick: UNC

#12 Ole Miss Rebels (-8) @ #22 Arkansas Razorbacks

You all do remember this game from last year, right? It was the one where Arkansas pulled off a crazy play in overtime to beat the then SEC West leading Rebels, a decision that caused one of last year’s largest ripple effects: the lost doomed Ole Miss to finishing second in the West behind Alabama, a team they’d beaten, and who went on to win the College Football Playoff. Is there any way this year’s version could also end in a bizarre way that eventually puts Alabama into the SEC Championship and ultimately into the College Football Playoff, where the Tide will win another championship?

Naw, these two already got creamed by Alabama this year. Nothing to worry about here.

Illuminati pick: Ole Miss

Stanford Cardinal @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-3)

I’m sure this matchup looked extremely appetizing in the preseason, when this game was a top ten matchup. But, well, Stanford just got hit by the Washington double-tap and Notre Dame is 1-2 against ACC teams. Which is the same as FSU’s current conference record, and, like the Noles, includes a loss to a North Carolina team (multiple, in the Irish’s case). So hey, positives. Since this is a Notre Dame home game, it’s on NBC, which means you can flip to it once in the evening for a few seconds and then forget about it completely.

Illuminati pick: Stanford

#2 Ohio State Buckeyes (-10) @ #8 Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin is finally at the end of its brutal cross-division schedule, having easily dispatched Michigan State (who, uh, may not actually be good) and lost close to Michigan (who still looks really good). That loss to the Wolverines combined with a narrow victory over Georgia State and their season opening win over LSU make the Badgers one of football’s most questionably good teams. This weekend’s game against Ohio State will probably settle the issue. Probably.

Illuminati pick: Ohio State

UCLA Bruins @ Washington State Cougars (-7)

Wazzu is 3-2 thanks to opening losses to Boise State (respectable) and Eastern Washington (not so much). And yet! A victory over the Bruins would put them in a tie with idle Washington for first in the Pac-12 North. UCLA is fresh off an Arizona Sweep but may have lost starting quarterback Josh Rosen in the process. There are going to be a lot of fireworks in this game, but if he’s out, they might be coming from just one side. Really, I just want to be able to say “Pac-12 North leader Washington State”.

Illuminati pick: Wazzu