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FTRS Picks, Week 11: The Game of the Century (of the Week of the Year)

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It only happens once in a season, folks

Alabama v LSU
TYGAH, TYGAH, BURNIN’ BRIGHT, I’M FINALLY GONNA BEAT THAT ASS TONIGHT
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

GREETINGS, EARTH CITIZENS. THE TIME HAS COME ONCE AGAIN FOR THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF COUNCIL TO CONVENE, AND.... sorry, didn’t mean to slip into the Illuminati voice there. Don’t know what came over me. Anyway, yes, the initial CFP rankings are out, and, ooooooh, undefeated defending national champion Clemson is the first team out at #5! I’m sure this has resulted in more than a few spicy takes in certain areas of the Internetosphere, and if the net denizens there could hear me, I’d tell them to stay calm; this will shake itself out over the next few weeks, and at the end of the day we’re going to end up with Clemson-Alabama V in January anyway.

Once again everone failed to reach a perfect score last week, with a glut of 2/5s dragging down the overall average. Congratulations to KENNY B, mrbuzz1885, SullyGT, and an unnamed backup punter on leading the week with a 4. RamblinRocketman still holds onto the lead, for the sixth consecutive week, but it’s a title they must now share, as that 4 for KENNY B has vaulted them to a tie for first.

#12 Baylor Bears (-2) @ TCU Horned Frogs

Baylor stands alone as the Big 12’s last remaining unbeaten, as we all expected. What stands between them and a spot in the Big 12 Championship against Oklahoma? Well, not Oklahoma, because that would set up a rematch anyway. So TCU’s gonna try. Baylor, on the other hand, seemingly has tried to lose several of its games this season, but has failed to fail so far. Which religious school will try the hardest this Saturday?

Pick: Baylor

#4 Penn State Nittany Lions (-7) @ #17 Minnesota Golden Gophers

This is the Big Ten matchup we’ve all been waiting for! A battle of two undefeated titans: Penn State and........ Minnesota? Yes, that’s right, the Golden Gophers have started the season 8-0, earning a #17 ranking in this season’s first CFP poll in no small part thanks to huge wins over powerhouse programs like [mumbles into shirt]. That’s enough enough to have earned PJ Fleck a huge extension, and a huge primetime kickoff against Penn State... but the Gophers actually declined to have a late kickoff, preferring a game played during the day. They say it’s because it gets cold in Minnesota? Tough it out, guys.

Pick: Penn State

#16 Kansas State Wildcats @ Texas Longhorns (-7)

Memes come and go, but this will never stop being the Ron Prince Bowl to me. Yes, the current coach of the Howard Bison was a mere 17-20 in three seasons at Kansas State, but he was 2-0 against the Longhorns, a reason the Wildcats still lead the overall series. That could change if Texas wins again this year, but, hey, have y’all paid attention to Kansas State this year? They could have decided they were spent after beating up Oklahoma, but they chose to keep it up by flattening Kansas. And you should flatten Kansas, in general, but you don’t have to if you don’t feel like it. What does that mean for Texas, whose playoff hopes have gone up in smoke? Nothing good, most likely.

Pick: Kansas State

#2 LSU Tigers @ #3 Alabama Crimson Tide (-6.5)

Yeah, yeah, Game of the Century, I made that joke in the title and even I think those jokes are starting to get old. Alabama’s streak since that game — a 9-6 LSU win, if you’ve somehow forgotten — is now at eight games, a span over which the Tigers have scored all of 73 points. So after years of telling yourself this is it, this is the game where that ends, don’t you wonder if this one in particular, with LSU scoring 49 points a game thanks to having an actual quarterback, might be the one? It’s worth watching to find out — because, really, truly, honestly, there is no way this is going to be boring, like all the other LSU-Bama games this decade.

Pick: LSU

#18 Iowa Hawkeyes @ #13 Wisconsin Badgers (-9.5)

Iowa, ruiner of seasons, travels to Camp Randall Stadium this Saturday looking to roll Wisconsin’s season into the grave. We all thought the Badgers had the world’s toughest defense, but that was simply because they hadn’t played any offenses with a pulse. They’re playing another one this week, but Iowa doesn’t care about that. No, they love it. They’ve lost a game 10-3 and won one 20-0. You think stuffing their offense weakens them? No, my friends, it only makes them stronger. The best part is, none of this really matters, because regardless of what happens in this game, the winner will still be second in the B1G West to Minnesota.

Pick: Iowa

Florida International Panthers @ Florida Atlantic Owls (-10)

[standing quietly on a platorm]

Oh, hello, I didn’t see you there. What am I doing? I’m just waiting. [checks watch] Should be here any minute now.

[a train whistle blows in the distance]

Ahh, there it is.

[it’s the weirdest train whistle you’ve ever heard]

wooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO THAT’S RIGHT Y’ALL IT’S THE LANE TRAIN PULLING IN TO THE STATION! Ran into some mechanical issues last season, may have suffered a minor derailment, but it’s back up and running now. Just picked up bowl eligibility at a stop in Western Kentucky last week too! Hear Butch Davis has had bad experiences on it; hopefully it’s a less bumpy trip this time, Butch!

Pick: FAU

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