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2018 Illuminati Picks, Week 1

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A NEW AWAKENING BEGINS

REJOICE FOR WE ARE AMONG YOU ONCE AGAIN

EARTH CITIZENS....... GREETINGS, ONCE AGAIN. IT HAS BEEN A WHILE. FOR YOU. WE HAVE NOTED IN OUR ABSENCE YOUR KIND HAS ACCOMPLISHED DISAPPOINTINGLY LITTLE.

BUT FEAR NOT, FOR WE HAVE RETURNED TO GUIDE YOU AWAY FROM THE DESTRUCTIVE PATHS YOUR KIND IS DISTURBINGLY DRAWN TOWARD. (WE DO HOPE YOU ARE AWARE YOUR CURRENT PATH IS UNSUSTAINABLE. YOU ARE AWARE OF THIS, CORRECT?) THE TIME OF FOOTBALL HAS RETURNED, AND THUS ONCE AGAIN IT IS TIME TO TEST YOUR METTLE.

WE WILL REPEAT THE CONSTRAINTS FOR THOSE OF YOU WHOSE MEMORIES ARE FEEBLE: YOU MUST CHOOSE AGAINST THE SPREAD OF POINTS. FINAL DEADLINES ARE NOONDAY ON SATURN’S DAY. GAMES THAT OCCUR EARLIER MUST HAVE THEIR PICKS SUBMITTED BY THEIR COMMENCEMENT. DUPLICATE ATTEMPTS ARE PUNISHABLE BY UNKNOWABLE PAIN. THE CHAMPION AMONG YOU AT SEASON’S END MAY BE REWARDED WITH THE POWER TO COMPREHEND WHAT WAS PREVIOUSLY INCOMPREHENSIBLE.

WE WOULD WISH YOU GOOD LUCK, BUT THAT TOO FALLS UNDER OUR CONTROL.

Alcorn State Braves @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (uhhh.... a lot, like 31.5?)

It's a new era in midtown Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets, finally freed of their Russell Athletic shackles, realize the true power was inside them all along. Their abilities now untethered, they now are able to demolish all opponents in their sight. Or at least Alcorn State, for sure.

Illuminati pick: Georgia Tech

Northwestern Wildcats @ Purdue Boilermakers (-1)

Well, would you look at that — it’s the Big Ten’s two most beloved coaches: Pat Fitzgerald and Jeff Brohm! They’re beloved because they coach for Northwestern and Purdue and they’re reasonably decent, but shhh. It’s hard to do well at these schools! But here’s Fitzgerald, in his thirteenth year in Evanston, still toiling in relative obscurity. Coaches don’t do well at Northwestern, and the ones that do don’t escape, except for Ara Parseghian. Who’s Ara Parseghian? He’s dead, that’s who. Brohm, you’re just starting your time at Purdue. Get out while you still can. Head to Louisville in the dark of night and depose Bobby Petrino in a bloodless coup. They won’t be mad! They’ll thank you for it! And it’ll be better for all involved! Except maybe Purdue.

Illuminati pick: Purdue

Florida Atlantic Owls @ #7 Oklahoma Sooners (-21)

Lincoln Riley opens up his sophomore season as the head coach of the Sooners, having come heartbreakingly close to the championship game last season. This year, he's got —

[a train whistle in the distance is heard]

...a new quarterback, who will be making more money than he will thanks to a guaranteed MLB contract. Kyler Murray's stock is as high as possible in two different sports, and —

[the train whistle gets louder]

Wait, that doesn't sound like a normal train.....

[it's not]

AWWWW HELL YEAH BABY IT'S THE LANE TRAIN, ROLLING ITS WAY THROUGH THE WILD WILD WEST. THERE'S PLENTY OF BANDWAGON ROOM ON THE FRESHWATER EXPRESS, LADIES.

Illuminati pick: OU

Ole Miss Rebels vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (-2.5)

Is this the first kickoff game to feature a team that’s ineligible for a bowl? (It’s not the first featuring two teams that don’t end up making a bowl, that’s already happened, do not look up which one it was.) Ole Miss is here, several seasons and a coach removed from that brief period when they were actually pretty good! Texas Tech is.... well, they’re Texas Tech, and they’re coached by Kliff Kingsbury, so they’re going to have a lot of offense, not a lot of defense, and be.... extremely okay? I dunno, y’all. These kickoff games are supposed to be star-studded affairs under the bright night lights, and this one is kicking off at 11am Central time in Houston. I think we’re reaching kickoff oversaturation at this point.

Illuminati pick: Texas Tech

#6 Washington Huskies vs. #9 Auburn Tigers (-2)

Woah, hey, what is this? A week one game featuring two playoff contenders? Ugh, you guys are doing it all wrong! You’re supposed to avoid all non-regularly scheduled matchups with other top teams — that way, when the postseason draws near, you can act all offended when someone questions your bonafides. But, fine, do what you what, it’s your life. But hey, Auburn.... this is your third straight game in Arthur Blank’s new Colossus, right? How you feeling about that, buddy?

On the other hand, I did just read Washington only agreed to play in this game if the roof was closed. That alone has changed my mind on this game. You ‘fraid of a little heat, Chris Petersen?

Illuminati pick: Auburn

Tennessee Volunteers vs. #17 West Virginia Mountaineers (-9.5)

Wait, someone put Tennessee and West Virginia together? In a football game? On purpose?? We'd call it the Moonshine Bowl if, instead of Charlotte, this game was held where no one would watch it, like Hard Rock Stadium. Once these two put their hatred of "the man" aside, we'll find out just how far in over his head Jeremy Pruitt is at Tennessee. (Spoilers: a lot.)

Illuminati pick: WVU

#14 Michigan Wolverines @ #12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-1)

Before Georgia Tech-Georgia, before Texas-Texas A&M, hell, even before Army-Navy, there was Michigan-Notre Dame. No, really — this one’s older than all but one rivalry not involving two Ivy League teams. But on the other hand..... the Irish pretty much wrapped this one up when they last met Michigan in 2014, winning 31-0. After that they left for their deal with the ACC, where they could finally lose to Duke again. Is this week 1 matchup horribly overrated because it features two blue bloods, and will ultimately not matter at all in the course of this season? I’ll let YOU decide! (But the answer is yes.)

Illuminati pick: Michigan

Louisville Cardinals vs. #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (-24.5)

This year's Crimson Tide Invitational comes to you live from the sunny confines of the Citrus Bowl! This year's victim — I mean, opponent — is, drumroll please.....

The Louisville Cardinals! Congratulations! The Cardinals are coached by one Bobby Petrino, the lovable coach with a winning personality! They also just graduated a generational talent at quarterback and just hired Brian van Gorder to coach their defense! Good luck, Cardinals!

Illuminati pick: Alabama

#8 Miami Hurricanes (-3.5) vs. #25 LSU Tigers

Hey everyone — it’s Sunday Night Football! It’s Miami vs. the New Orleans Saints LSU Tigers! People keep describing their excitement over the return Miami’s turnover chain, but I’m pretty sure it got snatched some time in December and ended up in a pawn shop in Fort Lauderdale. On the other side of the field, LSU may or may not have a quarterback on their roster by kickoff, but that’s never been an issue for a college football team before; just ask Baylor or Maryland. What might be a problem is an offense that is only described as “multiple”. That was also said about LSU’s offense last year, and the guy in charge of that.... isn’t around anymore. Yeah, LSU fans might like their bourbon a bit more than usual this year.

Illuminati pick: Miami

#20 Virginia Tech Hokies @ #19 Florida State Seminoles (-7)

Once again, college football marks the holiday that honors our nation's labor movement by having unpaid college athletes battle for our entertainment. It's a trial by fire for new FSU head coach Willie Taggart, who in his first game has to play the Fighting Fuentes from Blacksburg. That's never an easy out, especially with a Bud Foster defense—

...I'm sorry, what?

[mouths] They're all gone??

[stares blankly into camera]

Folks, we’re going to have to take a quick break.

Illuminati pick: FSU

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