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Illuminati Picks, Week 2: Racetrack Football and the Return of El Assico

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YOU THINK MERE HUMAN MINDS DEVISED THE FOOTBALL GAME AT A RACETRACK?

FOR US EVERY VIEW IS PERFECT

GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. WE TRUST YOU HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENTLY ENTERTAINED BY THE RETURN OF YOUR BELOVED COLLEGE FOOTBALL. A DISTRACTED CIVILIZATION IS MUCH EASIER TO KEEP UNDER CONTROL WHILE WE TEND TO MORE IMPORTANT THINGS.

BUT LO, IT IS FINALLY TIME TO UNVEIL OUR LATEST CREATION TO KEEP YOU PACIFIED. BEHOLD:

YES, SINCE SO MANY OF YOU NOT ONLY ENJOY COLLEGE FOOTBALL BUT LONG SEQUENCES OF AUTOMOBILES DRIVING IN ELLIPTICAL CIRCUITS, WE HAVE DEIGNED TO BRING THESE TWO TOGETHER. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED BY OUR FOLLOWERS AMONGST YOU ONE MAY SIT AT THE HIGHEST POINT OF THIS SPEEDWAY, VIEWING THE COMBATANTS AS IF THEY WERE BUT ANTS, FOR A PRICE OF NEARLY TWO HUNDRED UNITED STATES DOLLARS. THIS IS ABSURD, BUT REASSURING TO US YOU COULD NEVER HAVE ANY HOPE OF MEDDLING IN OUR PLANS.

AS WE KNOW HUMAN MEMORY IS FAR FROM INFALLIBLE, YOU MAY VIEW THE RESULTS OF THE PREVIOUS WEEK’S TEST HERE. BELOW ARE THIS WEEK’S PICKS; DO CONTINUE TO AMUSE US WITH YOUR PARTICIPATION.

Mercer Bears @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (let's say -30.5, yeah?)

setting: Paul Johnson’s Thursday afternoon press conference

Paul Johnson: Murder University is coming in this weekend; that’s a nice name, Murder University. Might be my new favorite FCS team.

Paul Johnson appears to almost smile

Generic media member: Um, coach? It’s actually Mercer University. With a C.

Paul Johnson’s usual scowl returns

Paul Johnson: Oh. Well that certainly changes things.

Illuminati pick: Georgia Tech

Penn State Nittany Lions @ Pittsburgh Panthers (-5)

After a looooooong hiatus, the biggest rivalry in Pennsylvania has returned. (There really aren’t a lot of rivalries in Pennsylvania.) Seriously, both teams played Temple (from Philadelphia) a combined fifteen times in the interim between the two most recent games. Fun fact: teenagers getting their driver’s licenses this year were just barely born the last time this series was played. Can’t believe it took me until my fourth season of writing to make us all feel old.

Illuminati Pick: Pitt

Arkansas Razorbacks @ #17 TCU Horned Frogs (-8)

The last time these two teams it was a conference game; the series ended when Arkansas left the Southwest Conference for the SEC the following season. That is 100% not made up and just a reminder college football history is really weird sometimes.

Illuminati pick: TCU

Iowa State Cyclones @ #16 Iowa Hawkeyes (-15)

El Assico rides again! And oh, what a backdrop we have this year. Kirk Ferentz just received a six year contract extension from Iowa, which now means he’ll still be coaching there in ten years. Pretty sure he’s getting paid a million dollars per victory at this point. Meanwhile, Iowa State is coming off a loss to decidedly not-FBS program Northern Iowa. All this combines for one of the assiest El Assicos in recent memory.

El Assicoooooooooo!

Illuminati Pick: Iowa State

BYU Cougars @ Utah Utes (-3)

Holy War back, y’all. Well, actually, it was given an early resurrection when the Utes and Cougars were paired together in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl, but still. BYU has replaced fightin’ man former head coach Bronco Mendenhall with a guy who definitely moonlights as a professional wrestler in Kalani Sitake, so that’s some nice continuity for them. Utah has won the past five games in this series, so we’ll see if coach Kyle Whittingham needs to change his fighting strategy at all.

Illuminati pick: BYU

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. #17 Tennessee Volunteers (-12)

The much heralded Battle at Bristol brings college football to a new frontier. We’ve had college football in different countries and continents, and NFL and baseball stadiums, but never before has a game been held at a god dang racetrack. As mentioned earlier, the endzone nosebleeds are pretty much an entire football field’s distance away from the actual field, but that’s okay: Bristol has hung a humongous jumbotron over the field so everyone can see. This thing is bigger than my apartment, and it’s terrifying.

Illuminati Pick: Virginia Tech

Texas Tech Red Raiders @ Arizona State Sun Devils (-3)

We’ve ventured into #Pac12afterdark territory at this point in the evening, so let’s get weird, y’all. Arizona State’s desert environs will have no effect on the Red Raiders from godforsaken Lubbock, so the Sun Devils will have to try to win the old fashioned way with points and strategy. Boring.

Illuminati pick: Texas Tech

Washington State Cougars @ Boise State Broncos (-13)

Yep, we’re stayin’ weird. Wazzu has played 95 games versus teams from Idaho, and only four of those have been against Boise State. And.... the Cougars have actually won all four of those? They were between 1997 and 2001, so that’s before the Broncos became a household name. Things might be a little different this time in Boise. Is this a body bag game for the Broncos?

Illuminati Pick: Wazzu

California Golden Bears @ San Diego State Aztecs (-7)

Let’s keep riding that train of weirdness. This is Mountain West football, played in an NFL stadium, and the Aztecs are favored, ‘cause, well, they might be one of the best G5 teams this year. Having been to San Diego recently, here’s my personal recommendation: go to a brewery and drink a beer, then go to another brewery and drink a beer, and then repeat this six or seven more times because San Diego has a hundred breweries and you’ve got all day before this game starts.

Illuminati Pick: SDSU

Virginia Cavaliers @ #24 Oregon Ducks (-25)

The Pac-12 weirdness ain’t over, and ohhhhhhh boy. See, this was already going to be lopsided before Virginia got their butts handed to them by Richmond last week. Now, hooooo. I feel the question here isn’t who here is going to win, but how much blood is spilled: both from the Cavs being dismantled on the field and from Bronco Mendenhall attempting to beat as many Duck fans to death with his bare hands as possible.

Illuminati pick: set a number and Oregon’ll hit it.