GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. THE TIME HAS ARRIVED ONCE AGAIN FOR THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF COMMITTEE TO ASSEMBLE AND CARRY OUT OUR WILL. AT TIMES THEIR METHODS MAY SEEM ARCANE, THEIR DECISIONS INCOMPREHENSIBLE, BUT REST ASSURED THAT THOUGH WHAT TRANSPIRES MAY BE BEYOND YOUR UNDERSTANDING, IT IS ALL ACCORDING TO OUR WILL, AND THAT IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-10) @ Virginia Cavaliers
Halloween was earlier this week, but for me there’s nothing spookier than seeing Georgia Tech going into the Twilight Zone known as Charlottesville as a heavy favorite. Seriously, just think of any time Tech has made the trip to Scott Stadium and ask how many of those four all time wins have been easy. One of them? So when I see a ten point spread for this, I only have one singular thought.
Illuminati pick: Virginia
#7 Penn State Nittany Lions (-8.5) @ #24 Michigan State Spartans
Oh, hey, thanks guys for both losing last week and ruining everything. Penn State, this was supposed to be the final game of your Michigan-Ohio State-Michigan State gauntlet that all but vaulted you into the College Football Playoff. Michigan State, this was supposed to finally be your chance to prove you’re Actually Good this year! But you both blew it, and now we gotta see if Ohio State does something dumb to crash out of the playoff. Like losing to Wisconsin. That’d be awesome, actually.
Illuminati pick: Penn State
Georgia State Panthers (-4) @ Georgia Southern Eagles
The #2 rivalry in the state of Georgia is upon us already, and I have to say, if State and Southern ever want to even entertain thoughts of displacing Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate as the state’s preeminent rivalry, they’re gonna have to do it the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Anyway, this one is still nascent, being just three years old, but it already has some fun stories. Like the fact State has wins, at all, and already leads the series. Georgia Southern doesn’t even have a coach. My, how quickly the tables turn.
Illuminati pick: Georgia State
#4 Clemson Tigers (-8) @ #20 NC State Wolfpack
Is this the biggest game in NC State football history? I’m extremely not familiar with said history, so I’ll say sure, why not? Clemson is essentially the last major obstacle between the Pack and their first ACC Atlantic championship. Unfortunately, Clemson poses quite a bit of an obstacle. Then again, the Pack were just a missed field goal away from knocking off the Tigers last year. Think about that. One field goal to change history. I’m sure that doesn’t bother the folks in Raleigh.
Illuminati pick: Clemson
#21 Stanford Cardinal @ #25 Washington State Cougars (-2)
Wait, what is this? More #Pac12inthemidafternoon? Crazy Stanford band vs. crazy pirate coach screams 11pm Eastern kickoff, and this game kicks at 12:30pm local time. Those Stanford fans from the Bay Area won’t have even gotten back from their hike on the Palouse yet. Mike Leach needs to threaten someone at ESPN for this. With actual cutlasses, because he definitely has those.
Illuminati pick: Stanford
#5 Oklahoma Sooners @ #11 Oklahoma State Cowboys (-2.5)
Man, Bedlam just comes earlier and earlier every year, doesn’t it? This should be an end-of-season rivalry game, and it’s barely November. I know, I know, it’s because the Big 12 has a championship game this year, for some reason, and the conference didn’t want a Bedlam rematch a week after the first game. Designing your schedule with the expectation of who will be in your conference championship game is never a bad idea - just ask the Miami Hurricanes.
Illuminati pick: Oklahoma
Texas Longhorns @ #8 TCU Horned Frogs (-6.5)
UT-TCU is in Fort Worth this year, so this game is in early November, because.... I mean, the Longhorns traveling on Thanksgiving? Unheard of. TCU has won the last three in this series, but the Longhorns do have one thing the Horned Frogs don’t: a win in Ames, Iowa. In any other year, that would sound supremely sarcastic..... but this isn’t any other year, and that win over the now-ranked Cyclones is Texas’ best win in a while. And those Cyclones just held TCU to a touchdown, last week. Might be interesting.
Illuminati pick: TCU
#19 LSU Tigers @ #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (-21.5)
One year, a long time ago - were any of us even alive? - Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide lost to LSU. One year. And never again. Saban’s left a lot of broken teams in his wake since last losing to LSU in 2011 - including LSU, again, later that season, in a championship game we’re all better off forgetting. You all have seen this game enough by this point, and you know there are two things you shouldn’t expect: a lot of points, and - yeah, I’ll say it here - an LSU victory. Sorry, Tigers.
Illuminati pick: LSU
#13 Virginia Tech Hokies (-2.5) @ #10 Miami Hurricanes
This is it: the one true final test to see if Miami is truly Back, or if they’ll go Back to talking about how they’ll be Back soon. Sure, they’re 8-0 now, but every game feels like they inch closer and closer to defeat. But they just keep getting away with it. Well, living live on the edge only gets you so far, Hurricanes. Eventually, you either prove it, or you do what the 2015 Seminoles did.
Illuminati pick: Virginia Tech
#22 Arizona Wildcats @ #17 USC Trojans (-7)
Let’s all be honest here about #Pac12afterdark: it’s bad for us, but we crave it anyway. It’s televised ice cream. And it’s at its worst but most tempting when Khalil Tate is a participant. Now I’m thinking about what flavor Ben & Jerry’s would put out in his honor. Double dark chocolate ice cream with perfect spiral footballs, stars that everyone attempting to defend him sees, and a swirl of rushing touchdowns. And salted pretzel sticks, for some reason.
Illuminati pick: Arizona
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