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FTRS Picks, Week 12: The Techmo Bowl is back!

One of the teams has been severely nerfed, though

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech
Whatcha gonna doooooo, when Tobias Oliver runs wild on you?
Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

LSU beat Alabama this weekend, and you know, that’s just the eleventh loss for Bama going back to 2011. That’s pretty good! Not good enough for some Tide fans, of course. I think the athletic department should listen to these guys, though. Surely they can do better than Tuscaloosa. But maybe the fans are really just mad about what happened in the visitors’ locker room after the game. The Bear himself once famously said, “When you get in the endzone, act like you’ve been there before,” after all. But to that, I’d simply reply, “OK, boomer.”

Great news on the scoring front: more than half of y’all got a 4/6 or above last week. Extra congratulations to Samination19, thebugman10, and Chris Forrence for achieving that coveted perfect score. RamblinRocketman no longer shares their lead and once again claims sole ownership of first place. I’d say it’s anyone’s game if they just have one bad week, but..... everyone else seems to have bad weeks the same time they do. I think this the seventh week for them now? Watch out for that rubberband AI.

Michigan State Spartans @ #15 Michigan Wolverines (-13.5)

I had this space all nice and read for the big Clemson-Wake Forest game that would “decide” the ACC Atlantic, but then the Deacons went and lost to Virginia Tech on Saturday so now it means nothing, and I had to find another game to fill its place. So why not go with the Michigan Wolverines in a rivalry game? No, not Ohio State — I mean a team the Wolverines have actually had some measure of success in in the 21st century. There are a lot of questions surrounding Mark Dantonio and his future, like: will he retire? Can he find an uglier way to win, or lose, than ever before? Has a recent four game losing streak — which saw the Spartans score a total of 17 points across the first three games, and blow a 21 point lead in the fourth quarter of the fourth — slowly sapped him of his will to live? We’ll probably find out Saturday in Ann Arbor!

Pick: Michigan

#23 Navy Midshipmen @ #16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-9)

It’s time for the annual Notre Dame-Navy game, and do we all remember how Navy was extremely down last year? Just pretend it didn’t happen, ‘cause they’re 7-1 and setting the AAC on fire. (Along with, like, an entire third of the AAC, but hush). Notre Dame? What has Notre Dame done? Y’all don’t get credit for beating up on the ACC Coastal this year, Irish, and that accounts for just under half your wins so far. Bowling Green and New Mexico? Don’t think so. Everyone remembers y’all getting spanked by Michigan, which almost lost to Army, another option team that probably isn’t as good as Navy this year. The transitive property is coming for you.

Pick: Navy

Virginia Tech Hokies (-5.5) @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Ah, the Techmo Bowl. For years this was the ACC Coastal’s premier game; the top teams in the division battling it out, with the winner ultimately reaching the ACC Championship game. What glorious days those were! Now it’s just to avoid being last. Or at least it was, following Virginia Tech’s 45-10 loss to Duke back in September. But that loss appeared to have awoken something deep inside the Hokies, who’ve won their last three conference games and knocked Wake Forest out of an Orange Bowl along the way. (Which, thanks, because we already saw Wake Forest make an Orange Bowl and that one time was enough.) So now even if Georgia Tech wins — which would make it four straight against the Hokies and keep Justin Fuente winless against the Yellow Jackets — they’ll still be last! Hooray!

Pick: Virginia Tech

#4 Georgia Bulldogs (-2.5) @ #12 Auburn Tigers

It’s November, which means it’s time for Auburn to mess up someone’s season. Auburn’s actually really good this year, so the potential for actual chaos is lower than usual, but there are still plenty of seeds of discord ripe for the sowing. It starts with Georgia. Two years ago, the Bulldogs reached the #1 spot in the CFP rankings.... and then were immediately dropped to the bottom of the ocean by the Tigers. (Naturally, Georgia would prevail in a rematch in the SEC Championship.) The Tigers’ previous win over Georgia? You know what happened. Is Georgia a better team than Auburn? Maybe. Are they ripe for the Auburn chaos grenade to blow up in their faces again? Absolutely.

Pick: Auburn

#8 Minnesota Golden Gophers @ #20 Iowa Hawkeyes (-2.5)

Well, I wasn’t expecting this. And neither were most of you — I saw how y’all scored on last week’s Penn State-Minnesota game; it wasn’t good! But here we are. The Gophers, undefeated at 9-0, can all but lock up the Big Ten West on Saturday if they can take care of Iowa at Kinnick Stadium. How did we get here? It seems like only yesterday when they were regularly losing to North Dakota State. I pondered this for a while, when it finally it me: PJ Fleck’s thing is rowing the boat. What better state to do that than Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes?

Pick: Minnesota

#10 Oklahoma Sooners (-10) @ #13 Baylor Bears

It is week twelve and Baylor is undefeated and in sole possession of first place in the Big 12. They have teased losing more times than not, the latest occasion coming last week in a 3OT win over an extremely okay TCU team that featured zero regulation touchdowns. The Bears have four wins by less than a touchdown and a fifth by eight points (against Rice. Rice!!) and yet here they are. That’s annoying! You shouldn’t be allowed to cheat death so many times like this! And yet, they could lose Saturday, and again next week when Texas visits, and still have a good shot of making it to Dallas. I have just willed this into existence, haven’t I?

Pick: Oklahoma

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