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Illuminati Picks, Week 10: Nick Saban faces his greatest challenge yet

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CAN HE WITHSTAND THE MIGHT OF A TRUE CAJUN?

WE ARE LISTENING

GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE OUR PLANS ARE FALLING INTO PLACE AS EXPECTED. THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF COMMITTEE HAS DONE A COMMENDABLE JOB WITH THEIR RANKINGS SO FAR ALTHOUGH THEIR METHODS MAY BE ARCANE TO YOU, REMAIN ASSURED ALL WILL BECOME CLEAR TO YOU IN DUE TIME. FOR TO REVEAL OUR PLANS NOW WOULD SHATTER ALL OF YOUR WEAK MINDS AND WILLS, AND AT LEAST SOME OF YOU MUST REMAIN TO SERVE US.

IN THE MEANTIME, DO CONTINUE IN YOUR ATTEMPTS TO PREDICT OUR MOVEMENTS. NONE YET HAVE ACHIEVED ANYTHING CLOSE TO PERFECTION.

VIEW LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

VIEW THIS SEASON’S TOTALS

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets @ #21 North Carolina Tar Heels (-11)

If you like points, this is the game for you. Georgia Tech and North Carolina have been bringing the fireworks in defense-optional games ever since 2012, when Larry Fedora arrived and the two teams combined for an ACC record-breaking 118. Ted Roof’s defense is going to look worse than it already does, which in turn will make Mark Bradley look worse than he already does, so this game is pretty much a win-win for Tech fans.

If you don’t like points, I don’t want to know you and we can never be friends.

Illuminati pick: Georgia Tech

Navy Midshipmen vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-7)

Notre Dame’s 43 game winning streak against Navy from 1964 to 2006 still claims the crown as history’s longest. The only active streak that currently comes close involves the two current leaders of the SEC East, and Kentucky’s still a decade-plus of losing to Florida away from topping Navy-Notre Dame. Ken Niumatalolo is looking to notch his third win in the series, which would actually tie the record for Navy coaches. But the Irish are favored by a touchdown, even though they’re 3-5. It’s really fun reminding everyone of that.

Illuminati pick: Navy

Texas Longhorns (-4) @ Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas-Texas Tech is a trophy game, and the trophy these two play for is a set of shiny gold and silver spurs - an extremely Texas thing to play for. The Red Raiders are currently in possession of the Spurs after taking last year’s game in Austin, so the Longhorns are looking to take them back in Lubbock. Going up to Lubbock to steal back a pair of stolen spurs? They definitely made a B-grade western with this exact plot.

Illuminati pick: Texas Tech

TCU Horned Frogs @ #17 Baylor Bears (-8)

We’ve finally reached the 2016 edition of the Revivalry, AKA “this totally isn’t a rivalry, nuh uh, stop it”. The previous two editions carried major playoff implications in the previous two years, with a Baylor win in 2014 ultimately netting both half a conference championship and zero playoff spots, and a TCU win in the rain-soaked 2015 edition knocking Baylor out of playoff and Big 12 championship contention. Fortunately for both teams, they don’t have to worry about that this year, because Baylor got stomped by Oklahoma State last week and TCU is 4-4. I mean, Baylor could still win the Big 12, but the conference essentially eliminated itself from playoff contention last week. Still got my fingers crossed for a Baylor-WVU de facto Big 12 championship game, though.

Illuminati pick: Baylor

#11 Florida Gators (-6) @ Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas has defeated Florida once, ever - their first meeting, in 1982, almost a decade before the Razorbacks joined the SEC. Those other nine games - all Florida. So, yeah, it’s not terribly surprising Jim McElwain’s Gators are favored this weekend against the Bert Show. Is that fair? Well, their three losses are to Alabama, Auburn, and Texas A&M, who are all top-10 teams. And Florida’s #11, so maybe not. The thing about filling your schedule with quality losses though is, well, they’re still losses. And Arky’s quality wins haven’t exactly held up. This, people, is what we call a “pattern”.

Illuminati pick: Florida

#22 Florida State Seminoles (-6) @ NC State Wolfpack

It’s the four year anniversary(-ish) of Florida State blowing a 16 point halftime lead and losing to NC State in Raleigh, giving us a GIF that will outlive us all. This was a different time, when Wolfpack fans had hope, and hadn’t just given a team its first conference win in two seasons. Going from nearly knocking off Clemson to getting demolished by Louisville to losing to Boston College is..... rough. Really rough. FSU is probably not going to make that better.

Illuminati pick: FSU

Iowa Hawkeyes @ #12 Penn State Nittany Lions (-8)

Do I have to talk about Iowa? I don’t want talk about Iowa, unless El Assico is involved. Iowa went undefeated in the regular season last year and I still didn’t want to talk about them. So let’s talk about Penn State. Penn State is ranked! In the 2010s! They beat Ohio State two weeks ago and could run the table to end the season! (Seriously, their November schedule is garbage.) They already got their 3-decade coach out of their system! I like them more than I like Iowa!

Illuminati pick: Penn State

#10 Nebraska Cornhuskers @ #6 Ohio State Buckeyes (-17)

Last weekend’s matchup between Nebraska and Wisconsin was supposed to prove which of the two teams was Actually Good.... but instead the Badgers earned a victory in a close, low-scoring game. So, we still don’t know anything. In general, but also about this Huskers team. Fortunately, they have another chance to clear things up with a game against Ohio State! We last saw the playoff contending Buckeyes.... uh, losing to Penn State and struggling against Northwestern. Well, maybe we won’t learn anything after all. The lesson here is to never try, kids.

Illuminati pick: Nebraska

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-8) @ #13 LSU Tigers

We’re still doing this with Bama? Okay. Five years ago #1 LSU and #2 Alabama met in a game preemptively dubbed the “game of the century” that was actually terrible. They met again in that year’s BCS championship, and we all know how that turned out, and LSU hasn’t won a game against Bama since then either.

But things are different now! LSU now has DACOACHO, who’s revolutionized the Tiger offense, and they’ve set all kinds of school records on offense while he’s been the head coach, and they’re riding a 3 game winning streak, and-

Look, I can’t do this. I’ve accepted Bama will consume us all.

Illuminati pick: Alabama

#5 Washington Huskies (-17) @ California Golden Bears

As if Washington needed extra motivation to stay undefeated, they received a big boatload of #DISRESPEKT from the CFP committee when they were ranked behind one-loss Texas A&M. So congratulations, Cal, you get to be the target of all their anger and frustration! How bad could that be, you ask? Just go ask Stanford, your neighbors across the bay. The Huskies weren’t angry when they played the Cardinal. Not even slightly annoyed.

Illuminati pick: Washington