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Illuminati Picks, Week 5: Sometimes you feel like a nut.....

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OTHER TIMES YOU FEEL ONLY EXISTENTIAL DREAD. (YOU’RE WELCOME.)

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GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. DO YOU FEEL IT? THE WINDS OF CHANGE ARE UPON YOU. LITERALLY, AS THE AUTUMNAL SEASON APPROACHES AND THE AIR COOLS. WE KNOW THIS CHANGE LEADS YOU TO NOTICE THE SURROUNDING TREES MORE THAN NORMAL. PERHAPS EVEN REMEMBERING MANY OF THEM ARE SEVERAL CENTURIES OLD. WE KNOW EXACTLY HOW OLD EACH TREE IS, FOR WE ARE FAR OLDER STILL. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION. NO, WE WILL NOT DIVULGE IT TO YOU.

Bowling Green State Falcons @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-28.5)

Georgia Tech has been playing football for over 120 years, and somehow they've managed to go this whole time without ever playing a MAC team.... Until now! That's right: for the first time ever, #MACtion is coming to the ATL! The lucha libre of college football is bringing all the yardage, all the points, and leaving the defense at home! And sure, maybe the MAC's brand has fallen off a bit, and Bowling Green may have the nation's worst rushing defense while playing a team that basically only runs the ball, but at least Tech is playing a scheduled non-conference game against someone outside the southeast for once.

Illuminati pick: BGSU

#12 West Virginia Mountaineers (-3.5) @ #25 Texas Tech Red Raiders

Yep, West Virginia is just hanging out there in the top 15. No idea how they got there; a quick glance at their schedule so far suggests their ranking is predicated entirely on a big win over Kansas State last week. Otherwise, what, Tennessee, Youngstown State, and a cancelled game vs. NC State? The Mountaineers aren’t even doing anything, they’re just letting teams above them fall and reaping the benefits. It’s a flawless strategy, really. You can’t lose any games if you don’t play! I’m excited to see WVU vacate their appearance in the Big 12 championship and end up in the Fiesta Bowl at 3-0.

Illuminati pick: Texas Tech

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Texas A&M Aggies (-21)

Aggies-Razorbacks: keeping the memory of the Southwest Conference alive! I mean if you ignore all the teams that are now in the Big 12, And the fact that the ones that didn't still have regular (if not annual) matchups. A&M and Arkansas just have each other. The SWC in the SEC. But you know what that gets them? JERRY [Foster the People] JONES! And if he wants a football game in his giant personal doomsday bunker, that's what he gets. Will his beloved Hogs again dressup like the professional football team he owns? Whoooooo knooooooows?

Illuminati pick: Texas A&M

#18 Texas Longhorns (-9) @ Kansas State Wildcats

Say, what is that number beside Texas' name? Could it be? It is! Those upstart Longhorns are ranked for the first time since... okay, it was just this past preseason, but still. They're making a good case to be the best team ever (with an opening loss to Maryland). They've got one last stop before the Red River Shootout vs. Oklahoma, but unfortunately for them, it's in Manhattan, Kansas. For most teams, this wouldn't be too big of a deal — Collin Kleinhasn't been there for a while now — but as we all know, Texas isn't most teams. For you see, the Longhorns have beaten Kansas State in their own home once. As in once, ever. So where others see an unassuming team from nowhere with a kindly old grandpa coach, they only see one thing: doom.

Illuminati pick: KSU

Florida Gators @ #23 Mississippi State Bulldogs (-7.5)

It's the Dan Mullen special, y'all! After making a lateral move across the conference in the off-season, Mullen finds himself facing his former employer in just his fifth game, and get this: the team he left is doing better than the one he's coaching now! Talk about awkward. Mullen ended Florida's massive winning streak against Kentucky a few weeks ago and I'm still not over that. That really happened! The fine folks in Starkville are going to eat him alive. Or CLANGA him to death.

Illuminati pick: Mississippi State

South Carolina Gamecocks @ #17 Kentucky Wildcats (-1)

What’s this? Do my eyes deceive me? No, it’s true! The Kentucky Wildcats are ranked! In the top twenty, even! It’s a Christmas miracle! How did they get there? Not important! What is important is they have a date this Saturday with Big Dumb Will Muschamp Football, which is bigger but less dumber than fooballs of Will Muschamp past. If the Wildcats can get past that, there’s really no one else that can keep them from being one of the two best teams in the SEC East. No, really. I’m serious. Look at that sad division and tell me why UK can’t at least grab the division silver.

Illuminati pick: Kentucky

#4 Ohio State Buckeyes (-3.5) @ #9 Penn State Nittany Lions

This is the one you should clear your schedule for. Ohio State-Penn State are bringing the country’s two highest scoring offenses together for one giant bonanza in State College. Did either of these teams get there by playing quality competition? Hey, let’s talk about the game! It’s determined the Big Ten champion three of the last four years, and there’s a decent chance it does again this year. (Unless Wisconsin gets ideas. And any state that drinks as much beer as Wisconsin does is gonna have ideas.) Saquon Barkley is gone and the Lions don’t even look like they miss him. JT Barrett is too but their anonymous replacement still has all Barrett’s receivers. It’s one of, like, four Big Ten games that you actually want to watch. Trust me.

Illuminati pick: Penn State

#7 Stanford Cardinal @ #8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-5.5)

Okay, well, if you don’t clear your schedule for that one, do it for this one. Two ranked teams are playing in Notre Dame Stadium. That hasn’t happened since 2005! What were you doing in 2005? I had long hair and was busy being completely unsuccessful at interacting with the opposite sex, and definitely not worrying at all about why on earth Stanford plays Notre Dame every year, and on rivalry weekend during the even years. Why is that, anyway? No one really knows. What we do know is Bryce Love still plays for the Cardinal, and that’s worth the price of admission alone. Notre Dame has only won this game twice since Stanford became good again, but if they can get a win here, there’s really not a whole lot stopping them from making a major bowl. Except Pitt. Pitt always awaits.

Illuminati pick: Stanford

#20 BYU Cougars @ #11 Washington Huskies (-17.5)

Washington and BYU have quite the history together. In 1984 they split the national championship. They then failed to settle things by splitting a home-and-home in 1985 and 1986. Twenty years after that, the Huskies spoiled an otherwise perfect season for the Cougars. In 2010, BYU defeated alum Steve Sarkisian in his homecoming to Provo.

And then there’s 2008. Has there ever been a worse celebration penalty than one that cost your team the game? (Probably. It’s college football.) But at least that didn’t spoil what would have been Washington’s only win that year or anything. Anyway, it’s 2018, and both teams are good again! They’re playing like it’s 1986 all over again... which would actually be a step forward for BYU, but anyway.

Illuminati pick: Washington

#19 Oregon Ducks (-2.5) @ #24 California Golden Bears

Hey, has anyone checked in on Oregon this week? Look, I know they’re still heartbroken over their loss to Stanford last Saturday. People make mistakes. And sometimes they’re big ones, like not taking knees to end the game and continuing to run the ball, resulting in a fumble that allows Stanford to force overtime and ultimately win the game. But you gotta get back out there, buddy. There’s a whole wide world of football just waiting for you. The right game is gonna come across before you know it.

Illuminati pick: Oregon

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