GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. WE ARE AWARE IT IS CURRENTLY THE PERIOD IN THE EARTH’S CELESTIAL CYCLE DURING WHICH NIGHT FALLS THE EARLIEST WHILST THE PERIOD OF DAYTIME GROWS EVER SHORTER, COINCIDING WITH THE CLIMAX OF YOUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERIOD. DO REMEMBER TIME IS A HUMAN CONSTRUCT AND WILL LOSE ALL MEANING TO THOSE OF YOU SELECTED TO BECOME ENLIGHTENED; DAYS AND NIGHTS SHALL PASS IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, AND PAUSES FOR CORPORATE ADVERTISEMENTS SHALL BE NOTHING AT ALL.
#17 Virginia Tech Hokies (-3) @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Back in the day, the Techmo Bowl was the premier game of the ACC Coastal. From 2005 when the ACC split into divisions until 2011, the winner ultimately made their way to Jacksonville/Tampa/Charlotte. Things got weird after that, with the loser of that game making more appearances in the ACC Championship (two) than the winner (one), and Duke getting in there, all because either one or both teams haven’t really held up their end since. But for all that, they’ve certainly still been interesting games, with last year’s being the first real blowout since 2011. Last year, of course, was the year the Yellow Jackets walked into Blacksburg and blew the Hokies off the field. With a backup QB. And a backup B-back. And, sure, a backup center too. That’s........ probably not happening again this year.
Illuminati pick: Virginia Tech
#12 Michigan State Spartans @ #13 Ohio State Buckeyes (-16)
A couple weeks ago I mentioned how Penn State just had to get through the Michigan-Ohio State-Michigan State gauntlet in their schedule and their path to the playoff was clear. They failed that pretty spectacularly! So now we have this Penn State-Ohio State-Michigan State-Michigan logjam atop the B1G East. That makes for six games played among these four to solve this dilemma, and this is the fifth of those. And both have a really dumb in-conference loss, because, sure. If the Spartans win this, that means they’ve defeated all the other three, and probably are looking at a spot in the B1G title game. If Ohio State wins, the finale against Michigan becomes very interesting. Keep an eye on this one.
Illuminati pick: Michigan State
#15 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-6.5) @ #21 Iowa State Cyclones
Here’s something weird to think about: if both Oklahoma State’s and Iowa State’s games had gone the other way last week, this game would possibly have been for sole possession of first place in the Big 12. (Depending on how TCU does later against OU, but that’s further down the page.) Can you imagine that? Iowa State might be on top of the Big 12 at 6-1. Alas, it was not to be, but the winner here might still have a shot at the title.
Illuminati pick: Oklahoma State
Connecticut Huskies @ #18 Central Florida Knights (-38.5)
The best rivalry in the AAC - nay, in all of college sports - is back! That’s right, it’s time once again for the Civil Conflict, or the Civil ConFLiCT, as it were, and this year there’s.... wait, what? No one knows where the trophy is? What about Bob Diaco, the person who founded the rivalry and bought the trophy with his own money? He.... he’s disowned it? His own trophy?
[stares out into the rain]
God speed, Civil ConFLiCT. You were simply too pure for this world.
Illuminati pick: UConn
Nebraska Cornhuskers @ Minnesota Golden Gophers (-2.5)
Speaking of recently created rivalries with kind of made up trophies, the best trophy in college football met its end last year as both participating schools refused to recognize it, despite massive support from both fans, mascots, and parody Twitter accounts.....
Or did it???
That’s right, the $5 Bits of Broken Chair Trophy is back! Unofficially, at least. And better yet, unlike some other rivalries that sold out and went corporate, this one is all about charity. (I can’t make a CHAIR-ity pun here - they already did that.) So if you want to feel good about college football for a change, check it out and consider donating. And if not, you can still enjoy the fact a trophy born from friendly Twitter banter is now a very real thing.
Illuminati pick: Minnesota
#1 Georgia Bulldogs (-2.5) @ #10 Auburn Tigers
Georgia’s already locked up a spot in the SEC Championship game, and Auburn is the only remaining obstacle between it an an unblemished conference record. Okay, I mean, there is Kentucky, but, come on. Auburn still has a chance to get in as well, but that requires knocking off both Georgia here and Alabama in two weeks. And the biggest problem the Tigers face is recent history. The Bulldogs always seem to bring out the worst in Auburn; their only two victories in the past decade came in years they went to the national title game. I’m just saying, hey, Auburn? Might wanna bring your A game this time.
Illuminati pick: georgia
#20 Iowa Hawkeyes @ #8 Wisconsin Badgers (-12.5)
Remember that thing I said earlier about trophy games? The Big Ten is chock full of ‘em, which is a thing you can do when most of your members joined before the year 1900. Iowa and Wisconsin have played in 90 of those intervening years, but the Heartland Trophy up for grabs here is a spring chicken compared to, say, the Illibuck Trophy. They only introduced the brass bull of a trophy in 2004! None of this is really important, though. What is important is Wisconsin is still undefeated, and if that holds up, they go to the playoff! Also, Iowa just dropped the Big Ten’s other playoff hopeful from 100 stories up, and are more than happy to keep crushing dreams.
Illuminati pick: Iowa
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide (-14) @ #16 Mississippi State Bulldogs
The Alabama Crimson Tide Murdertrain keeps rolling along, and this week’s stop is in Starkville. Unlike the last four teams Bama has played, whose coaches were sitting on seats with varying heat levels, Mississippi State coach maybe possibly might be looking at getting hired away elsewhere following season’s end. Does that have any effect on this game? No. No it does not.
Illuminati pick: Alabama
#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-3.5) @ #7 Miami Hurricanes
Catholics vs. Convicts is back, and the stakes this time are the biggest they’ve been since.... well, since the original Catholics vs. Convicts game in 1988. Although there was that 2010 Sun Bowl to prove which of the two were back. The Irish won to finish 8-5, so..... I guess it was them?
Anyway, that game ultimately decided the fate of the national championship, as both teams ran the table otherwise, but Notre Dame’s victory in ‘88 secured them the title, while the Canes would settle for an Orange Bowl victory and the #2. A loss here doesn’t necessarily knock either out of the College Football Playoff.... but it just might. It’s probably worth watching, even if you’re rooting for the meteor.
Illuminati pick: Notre Dame
#6 TCU Horned Frogs @ #5 Oklahoma Sooners (-6.5)
Yeah, this one’s kinda big. The winner takes sole possession of first place in the Big 12 with two games left, and with one of those being Kansas (OU) or Baylor (TCU). The loser can kiss their shot at the playoff goodbye. There’s not any real interesting #Pac12afterdark action this week (really, I checked), so put this one up side-to-side with Notre Dame-Miami and enjoy the chaos.
Illuminati pick: TCU
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