This column doesn’t give the G5 as much love as it deserves, but I will say this: Tulane’s game winning drive against Houston was art. It belongs in the Louvre.
When I awoke last Saturday morning and saw a tweet commending UCLA for their win over Washington State, I assumed it was some kind of joke, and not a paean to the glory that is #Pac12after dark. But it was, in fact, true: Wazzu blew a 32 point lead with 21 minutes to go and lost to the Bruins despite scoring nine touchdowns. The best part is this isn’t even the first time a Mike Leach coached Wazzu team lost after scoring at least eight touchdowns. Meanwhile, at the opposite corner of the nation, Georgia did in fact beat Notre Dame, as everyone expected. But, as the saying goes, great teams cover, and — [checks score] — nope, better luck next time, Bulldogs.
You all did pretty well last week — congrats to YellerBug for going a perfect 5/5, the second perfect week this season. No one’s ever gotten a perfect week when there were more than six picks on the board, though. Y’all will get another shot soon enough.
Standings are updated, too, and it appears you all have fallen victim to one of the classic blunders, which is letting me tie for the lead. If I win this thing, I reserve the right to hold an absurdly over the top coronation ceremony. Only all of you can prevent his.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets @ Temple Owls (-9)
I have no doubt Geoff Collins loved coaching in Philadelphia, but I’m sure he wasn’t hoping to have a homecoming so soon. What’s going to be more awkward for him: facing his old team, or remembering the one he just left that team for just lost to the Citadel? (This is the last time I’ll mention that game. Probably.)
Pick: Georgia Tech
Arizona State Sun Devils @ #15 California Golden Bears (-5)
Oh yeah, it’s more Friday Night Pac-12. I was thinking it needs its own theme song, but I’m not good at writing lyrics, and I feel it wouldn’t translate well to a written article. Anyway, this game pits two teams who are — [checks notes] — a combined 7-1, with the one loss by a field goal, just as everyone expected. I know Herm Edwards said he was wary of devil magic at his introductory press conference, but I don’t know how else to explain the Sun Devils being 10-7 so far in his tenure. Meanwhile.... Cal! Is ranked! For the first time since.... last year? Feels way longer than that. Did they need some assistance to beat Ole Miss last week? Perhaps. It’s not my place to say. Could this game actually be important in the Pac-12 race? Gods, I hope so.
#21 USC Trojans @ #17 Washington Huskies (-10)
So yeah, we all thought this was going to be a big Pac-12 game back in August right? USC has been plagued with quarterback injuries this season, and are now down to third stringer Matt Fink. And yet, with each injury, the Trojans appear to be getting.... stronger? I don’t know how to explain this, but as they go further down the depth chart, they appear to be getting better. They did get news of a 5 star quarterback flipping to Alabama earlier this week, but at this rate, Trojans, I wouldn’t sweat it. By the time you get to UCLA at the end of the season Clay Helton is just going to call some rando down from the stands to suit up, and they are going to crush it.
#18 Virginia Cavaliers @ #10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-12.5)
Ahh, yes, the long awaited matchup between mighty Notre Dame and the ACC Coastal leader. Virginia is a perfectly terrible Coastal team that is deeply flawed but remains undefeated due to having even more flawed opponents, including an ODU team they spotted 17 points before winning 28-17. They are most likely going to get blown the hell up by Notre Dame, which is fine, because this isn’t a conference game, and won’t keep the Hoos from getting the five conference wins they need fall backward into the ACC Championship and complete the #ACCCoastalInfinityGauntlet.
Pick: Notre Dame
#5 Ohio State Buckeyes (-18) @ Nebraska Cornhuskers
I am legally required to include this game as College GameDay has deigned to grace it with their presence for this week. Why they are traveling to Lincoln, I couldn’t tell you. Is it because this is a matchup of two heavyweights that has major implications on the B1G race? Nebraska is 3-1 with wins over South Alabama, NIU, and a near-miss at Illinios, so probably not. Is it due to a long, storied history between the two? Not likely. Is it a plot to distract everyone while ESPN breaches the secret vault hidden beneath Memorial Stadium? They haven’t answered my questions about it, but I’m fairly certain that’s the real reason.
Pick: Ohio State
Washington State Cougars @ #19 Utah Utes (-5)
And finally, this week in #Pac12afterdark we have the Pac-12’s unwanted children. On one side, we have Wazzu: home of Weird Coach, who the league would rather keep cordoned off in southeast Washington and whose team literally cannot score enough to win football games. On the other, Utah, who, bestowed with the mantle of the Pac 12’s Last Treat Hope, promptly vomited on it before dropping it on the ground and breaking it into several pieces. Technically, both of these teams still has hope of winning their division, but that will be over the same time this game is, and that’s what college football is really about: staying up late to watch young adults’ dreams die.
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