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Illuminati Picks, Week 7: The eye of the tiger fixes its gaze once again




Duke Blue Devils @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-3)

You know, it wasn’t all that long ago when Georgia Tech finished off a whole decade without a loss to Duke. Yep. Ten straight. And then the Blue Devils decided to get good. (Or is that “git gud” in modern parlance?) How annoying! They already poured mountains of money and who knows what else into basketball, now they’re doing it in football too? Ted Roof increased his number of wins with Duke by 50% in the last four years alone. A Blue Devil for life.

Illuminati pick: Duke

Tennessee Volunteers @ #21 Auburn Tigers (-15.5)

Tennessee must be feeling lucky, having Alabama as their cross-division rival, getting Auburn in this year’s rotation, and playing both back to back! Isn’t that great, Volunteers? Thanks to scheduling, this is only the seventh time this century they’ve met the Tigers, and they’ve lost each of the previous six. The last Tennessee victory in the series came in 1999, or four whole coaches ago. (Which means, of course, the only one of those four not responsible for any of the aforementioned six losses is Derek Dooley.) The Vols are going to be in the mood to play some Michael Jackson this weekend.... because it’s October, and that’s peak Thriller season.

Illuminati pick: Auburn

Pittsburgh Panthers @ #5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-21)

Oh no, Notre Dame. This is not what you want. It’s not what you want at all. Sure, you’re #5, and you’re at home this weekend, and who cares about this shrimp of an opponent is, right? But here’s the thing, Notre Dame: that shrimp is Pitt, the giant-slayers of legend. Now, I know you’re thinking, hey, they played Penn State earlier this year and got ragdolled. But that’s because they were playing the long game. They’ve had their sights set on you the whole time. You’re in big trouble, Irish. You should learn from the last time you played Pitt.

Illuminati pick: Pitt

#2 Georgia Bulldogs (-7.5) @ #13 LSU Tigers

Oh my gods FINE I’ll talk about Georgia, finally. They’ve ascended all the way to #2 on the strength of their #3 preseason ranking, but they’re facing a new obstacle in week 7: an opponent of some actual quality! Thanks to college football scheduling nonsense, the Bulldogs haven’t traveled to Baton Rouge in a decade. There’s a new sheriff in town there now, and when he’s not busy coaching football, he’s leading a squadron of the Cajun Navy from his own airboat. The Tigers did just suffer their annual dumb as hell loss last week, but wins over Miami and Auburn still point to them being pretty good. They’ll likely actually give Georgia some trouble, which Georgia’s previous opponents could not say.

Illuminati pick: LSU

#7 Washington Huskies (-3) @ #17 Oregon Ducks

Washington and Oregon go back, man. Chris Berman calling the Home Run Derby back. Where you’re sitting in the lecture hall back. It’s a long time, is what I’m saying. Anyway, shortly after the turn of the century, Oregon decided they’d do away with this losing thing and dropped 12 straight on the Huskies. (This roughly coincides with the beginning of Ty Willingham’s tenure in Seattle. Probably nothing to look into.) But now the Ducks have lost two straight, and, interestingly, just so happen to be on their third coach in three years. I know Mario Cristobal is ahead of schedule in year one at Oregon..... so he might want to keep it that way.

Illuminati pick: Oregon

Michigan State Spartans @ #8 Penn State Nittany Lions (-14)

The battle for the greatest prize in college football has returned once again: that’s right, it’s time for the Land Grant Trophy game! Okay, so that’s a fun image, but it really doesn’t illustrate just how massive the dang thing is. It’s that hideous and it weighs 40+ pounds. Why does this thing exist? To be the most Big Ten trophy possible?

Illuminati pick: Michigan State

#22 Texas A&M Aggies (-2) @ South Carolina Gamecocks

I was all ready to talk about how I am excited to see Jimbo Fisher meet Big Dumb Will Muschamp Football and then I remembered — it’s already happened! How could I forget these two stood across the sidelines as the coaches of FSU and Florida? That’s two familiar faces he’s met this year, and it’s just year one! He’s moved almost a thousand miles away from Tallahassee and still can’t escape his past.

Illuminati pick: South Carolina

#6 West Virginia Mountaineers (-6.5) @ Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State’s back, and my favorite thing about Iowa State is you never know how good they are at any given point. Didn’t they score all of three points against Iowa? Yep, just weeks before punking Oklahoma State at home. Hey, you know how many teams beat both Big 12 championship participants last year? Yep, it was the Cyclones. So when you see a matchup like this with an spread like that, you think “yeah, that sounds about right”. Especially seeing how WVU got all the way to #6 by doing basically nothing and just letting higher ranked teams lose. How else do you beat Kansas by a mere two scores and move up three spots?? It doesn’t make a lick of sense. Just stop playing now and you’re guaranteed that playoff spot, Mountaineers.

Illuminati pick: Iowa State

#15 Wisconsin Badgers @ #12 Michigan Wolverines (-8.5)

Remember like a month ago when Wisconsin lost to BYU? That was really weird, wasn’t it? I mean, Michigan opened the season with a loss to Notre Dame, but Notre Dame seems to be doing pretty good. But Wisconsin lost to BYU! At home! Anyway, things seem to have settled into place for two of the Big Ten’s top four teams. Michigan still has Penn State and Ohio State after this, while Wisconsin could absorb a lost here and still pretty much cruise to the Big Ten Championship. So, since something else is probably going to go wrong for them, they should try to win this one.

Illuminati pick: Wisconsin

#19 Colorado Buffaloes @ USC Trojans (-7)

If you Google “Pac-12 officiating controversy”, you’ll find there’s no shortage of results. As much fun as everyone’s had making fun of the referee quality over on the west coast, at some point you have to wonder if it’s become criminal. Let’s keep the weirdness on the field, where it belongs. And the score line, in this case. Yes, that’s USC who’s favored.

Illuminati pick: USC

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