First off, many thanks to fearless leader Ben for being chosen — I mean, volunteering to pick up last week’s picks while life kept me otherwise occupied. He did very well, and no one died, that we know of.
Second, DID Y’ALL MISS THE BUCKS? ‘CAUSE THEY’RE BACK, BABY. Yes, the midwest’s premier conference is back to throw their midwesterny brand of football at your, and it’s about time. Rutgers is here too. We will not have to wait another year to find out how badly Ohio State beats Michigan to extend its streak another year!
Last week’s scores were looking really great.... and then I realized I’d scored Syracuse-Liberty wrong. Whoops! So that brought the overall scoring down to just above average, taking out two people with (seemingly) perfect scores with it. Fortunately, it balanced out, as that meant monorail_yellowjacket and JStew_GT both won the week with perfect scores. It also means we have a new overall leader! With 18 points after six weeks, Trystan Snipes now tops the leaderboard. Enjoy it while it lasts, Trystan, because it might disappear faster than Georgia’s halftime lead.
#23 North Carolina State Wolfpack @ #14 North Carolina Tar Heels (-17.5)
I don’t know exactly how long, but I know it’s been long time since there was a Tobacco Road game this important. (In football. Yes, I know, twice a year every year in basketball. That’s still over a month away!) Mack Brown must have felt like he was in a time warp last Saturday facing Florida State, but he acted accordingly in losing and keeping his winless record against the Seminoles intact. Meanwhile, NC State started 4-1 and looked like they were maybe finally getting over the hump with Dave Doeren..... and then they lost their starting QB. So, uh, good luck with that!
Pick: NC State
Nebraska Cornhuskers @ #5 Ohio State Buckeyes (-26.5)
I just found out Ohio State won’t have a band or Brutus at any of their home games this season, and you know what? I’m out.
Okay, fine, remember when the Big Ten wasn’t going to play football and Nebraska was really mad about it? Seemed like the perfect opportunity to rejoin the Big 12, but if the Huskers made fun decisions like that they wouldn’t have ever hired Mike Riley. Anyway, now that Big Ten football is back, they’re mad about it for some reason. I’m very confused, isn’t this what you wanted all along, Cornhuskers?
Pick: Ohio State
#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-10.5) @ Pittsburgh Panthers
I wasn’t 100% sure how to round out this week’s picks, but then I took another look at the schedule and realized: it was time.... to put Pitt in. The Panthers were off to such a good start this season they were actually ranked, if you can remember back that far. But then reality set in, and three straight wins were followed by three straight losses. What does that mean for Notre Dame? For a wild Pitt is most dangerous when it’s cornered. That’s when..... it happens.
Pick: PITT. SUPERWEAPON.
#18 Michigan Wolverines (-3.5) @ #21 Minnesota Golden Gophers
We can’t discuss the Big Ten returning without mentioning the Little Brown Jug. What’s that? You’ve never heard of the Little Brown Jug, and also I’ve never ever had this game in any of the picks I’ve done? Preposterous! But fine, let’s pretend: unlike a lot of rivalry games that introduced their own, unique, possibly sponsored trophy in, like, 1995, Michigan-Minnesota introduced theirs back in 1903. It was neither brown nor little, but it was a jug, and after tying the Gophers 6-6 to end a 29 game winning streak, the Wolverines left it on the field, it having served its purpose as a water jug. In modern times, such a show would be a clear sign that a fake, manufactured rivalry was over, but Minnesota laid claim to the jug and used it as the impetus to start one. And it worked! It just goes to show that if you believe in something enough, it’ll happen. Unless you’re Bob Diaco.
#9 Cincinnati Bearcats @ #15 SMU Mustangs (-2.5)
In another, darker universe, a football matchup featuring teams from Cincinnati and Dallas is a bar room brawl to determine who is possibly the worst team in the sport. Thankfully, we don’t live in such a timeline, and Cincy-SMU is the marquee G5 game this weekend. Sonny Dykes’s ‘Stangs are the class of the AAC so far this year — a sentence that would sound extremely weird to any Cal fans that had time traveled here from five years ago — and if they can knock of a heralded but untested Cincinnati? It’ll be time to dust off that Stetson and take a ride in the Bronco, because the Pony Express will be BACK. Minus Craig James, thankfully.
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