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FTRS Picks, Week 9: Return of the world’s biggest Tiger fight

And guess what, Michigan’s back!

LSU v Auburn
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Of all the glorious stupidity that occurs in this great sport of college football, I don’t know I’ve ever watched a game more stupidly glorious than last weekend’s UNC-Virginia Tech game. Being the first to test the NCAA’s new extended overtime rules is pretty great, but it’s how they got that far that truly amazes. If you want pure glory without the stupidity, well, there’s always Pressley Harvin throwing a touchdown on a fake punt vs. Miami.

The average performance for everyone last week was the literal definition of average. Seriously, the average score was 2.49/5. Congrats to LrW, Yellow51, NoMorACCStudentChildren, and KENNY B who all won the week with a score of 4. RamblinRocketman remains the overall leader for the fourth week in a row, though — honestly, it’s like the rest of us aren’t even trying.

#13 Wisconsin Badgers @ #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (-14.5)

Alllllright! Finally, the Big Ten matchup we’ve all been waiting for — the undefeated Buckeyes vs. the undefeated Badg — wait, just a moment here. Wisconsin did what last week? To who? Illinois?? The Badgers had pitched four shutouts on the season and lost the second they faced an offense with a pulse? Right before playing Ohio State? You’ve ruined everything, Wisconsin. As punishment, you are forbidden from drinking any of your beloved New Glarus during your traditional weekend beerathon. It’s all been replaced with Busch Ice. Do better this week or you’ll get Beer 30 Light.

Pick: Wisconsin

Tulane Green Wave @ Navy Midshipmen (-3.5)

It was tempting to spotlight SMU-Houston for this week’s AAC game — another chapter in the storied Dallas-Houston rivalry — but Houston appears to be actively tanking? A new concept in college football, and one that, unlike other sports, shan’t be rewarded. So we’re shifting to Tulane-Navy, which should be fun has hell, since it features one team that kinda wants to be option (Tulane) and one that’s embedded so deep in the option it would take decades of therapy to get it back out (....Navy, obviously). The Middies have bounced back nicely from last year’s 2-10 disaster and are quietly 5-1 on the year. Tulane redefined art with a last second win over Houston a few weeks back and is having their best season since Tommy Bowden was the coach (yes, that did happen). It’s definitely worth your viewership.

Pick: Navy

#9 Auburn Tigers @ #2 LSU Tigers (-11.5)

Oooooooh, it’s the biggest, meanest, rough-and-tumble tiger fight this side of the Mississippi. (And the other side, too.) Remember a few years ago when one team’s coach was going to get fired as a result of this game? Gus Malzahn has quelled the angry hordes year after year since then, and Les Miles..... well, he did get fired, but his new team did drop 48 on Texas this past weekend, so it’s not all bad for him. Coach O has an offense making a meal of everything this year, as Cajuns are wont to do, so we’ll see if the Second Doctor Bo is up to matching America’s Ass.

Pick: LSU

#6 Penn State Nittany Lions (-6.5) @ Michigan State Spartans

It’s finally time for the greatest trophy....

Okay, the second greatest trophy....

Alright, fine, but at the very least, it’s the thirst greatest trophy in college football. That’s right y’all, it’s LAND GRANT TROPHY time. How important is this game in the grand scheme of things? Maybe not much, because Michigan State is even more Michigan State than usual this year, and it’s not even Michigan State enough to drag its opponents down with them (see: Wisconsin, Ohio State). Is Penn State an easier match for the Spartans than the previously mentioned teams? Possible, but that’s like saying a volcano isn’t as hot as the sun. Penn State’s biggest obstacle is not falling into a Spartan-sized trap between Michigan last week and.... Minnesota in two weeks? Sure.

Pick: Penn State

#15 Texas Longhorns @ TCU Horned Frogs (even)

Since the dawn of time, man has been plagued with a singular question: is Texas back? Coming up on the end of October, the answer is decidedly: ehhhhh? Like, sure, they’ve had close losses to two extremely good teams, and two easy wins over G5 schools. But they also just gave up 48 to Kansas. TCU seems a little more certain, having just lost back to back games against Iowa State (badly) and Kansas State...... buuuuuuut they only allowed the Jayhawks to score 14. Sure, the Jayhawks were on a new offensive coordinator last week. But isn’t it fun to think about how Texas almost lost to Kansas, again?

Pick: Texas.... but the search for an answer to the eternal question continues

Duke Blue Devils @ North Carolina Tar Heels (-3.5)

We got us a Coastal Chaos Victory Bell game! The Heels won 21 of 22 games in the series starting in 1990, then old man David Cutcliffe decided he didn’t like that, and Duke has won five of the last seven. Are these two teams any good at all? Probably not! Both had reasonably strong Septembers before falling back down to sub-decency. Will this be a dumb bar fight of a game? It’s the ACC Coastal, you didn’t even need to ask.

Pick: Duke

#8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ #19 Michigan Wolverines (even)

Look, I told y’all we’d see Michigan again, whether you wanted to or not, and here they are. Having already failed tests at Wisconsin and Penn State, this is pretty much Jim Harbaugh and company’s last chance to stay in my or anyone else’s postseason conversation — nine wins ain’t gonna cut it, even if that does somehow include a rivalry week victory over Ohio State. As for Notre Dame, the last we’d heard from them they were eking out a victory over a beleaguered USC team. We’re halfway through the season and I can’t tell if they’re actually good or not. This game might tell us!

Pick: Michigan

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