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2020 FTRS Picks, Week 1: You can stop pinching yourself, it’s real

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College football is back* baby. Awoooo

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

It’s become cliché to say something like “after what feels like the longest offseason ever...” as we begin each new college football season, but.... man, y’all, this really was the longest feeling offseason in history, and that had barely a hint of anything to do with college football. Me, I’m about to finish my sixth month of indefinite work from home. I cancelled at least three trips I’d been eagerly looking forward to, and that doesn’t include DragonCon. The same view of my dining room turned home office is getting really old. Atlanta United has been so bad they fired their manager mid-season. I need something new.

But, finally, thankfully, college football is back. Partially. For now. Instead of spending Saturdays sitting on the couch and working through your Netflix backlog, you can once again spend them sitting on the couch and watching college football for ten hours. So get ready to kick back, relax, and—

——————— I N C O M I N G T R A N S M I S S I O N ———————

FOOLS.

YOU WERE WARNED.

YOU DID NOT LISTEN.

NOW YOU WILL LIVE IN THE ETERNAL YEAR.

YOU MAY NOT GATHER.

YOU MAY NOT MOVE.

YOU WILL WATCH.

YOU WILL CONSUME.

Y O U H A V E N O O T H E R O P T I O N S.

Ę̷̯̋̽́͝ ̶̧̹̮̮̓͒̚͝Ň̴̺̫͍̖͊ͅ ̵̤̖̠̱͎̃̓J̶͙̣̱͓̀͒ ̸̛̛͓̖̥̠̆̀̈́O̷̬͇̘͍̽̾͒ ̷̦̲̐Y̵̛̛͔͈̦̤̓

——————— E N D T R A N S M I S S I O N ———————

....ungh.... what was that? What happened? Why does my head hurt? Something about.... universal domination? Weird.

Right, football picks. I provide them, you try to guess the winners. You are picking against the spread, and pushes count as wins. In past years, the weekly selection was ten games. Then it became a little less, and with *gestures vaguely* the general state of things, we’re gonna stick to five games a week this season, and hope that postponements and cancellations are kept to a minimum. (Trying to even select five for this week in particular was..... an adventure.) Picks are due at noon Saturday, or by the kickoff of any games that start before then. Only your first submission counts; you’ll have to plead your case to me if you want it to be otherwise.

Now that all the boring rules stuff is out of the way, get to picking, and good luck!

Charlotte 49ers @ Appalachian State Mountaineers (-17)

The 49ers and the Mountaineers, both hailing from the state of North Carolina, have a long and storied rivalry. The two schools are just two hours away, up I-77 and over US-421. They represent two very different demographics: the city folk of Charlotte vs. the rugged mountain men of Boone. The stark differences are even evident in their mascots: the 49ers, who left home to try to strike it rich in the California gold rush, versus those who remained and raised families in the same towns they themselves were raised. They fight for the glory of holding the Old Jug of Barbecue Sauce, which represents I’m just kidding, Charlotte has only been playing football since 2013, and has never shared a conference with App State.

Pick: Charlotte

Duke Blue Devils @ #10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-20)

It’s the Duke Blue Devils! It’s the Notre Dame Fighting Irish! It’s.... the ACC on NBC! That’s right, the Fighting Irish are in a football conference for one year only, so get that ACC branded Notre Dame football gear before they become collector’s items! They’re even putting the ACC logo on the field, as I predicted over a month ago. As a rule, I don’t visit any message boards, ever, but I’m sure they were handling such a change perfectly fine on the ND boards. Anyway, the last time the Blue Devils visited Notre Dame, they, uh, actually won, which is absolutely NOT what Notre Dame signed up for when they made their current agreement with the ACC. Sure, they got that win back last year in Durham, but the pain of that loss will live forever.

Pick: Notre Dame

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets @ Florida State Seminoles (-12.5)

The Seminoles are back with a hunger after taking a two year hiatus from football. What? Willie who? No, the ‘Noles just decided to take a break after Jimbo Fisher left for Texas A&M. Totally normal, happens all the time. In is Mike Norvell, late of Memphis, whose first offseason in Tallahassee has gone, you know, as first offseasons tend to go. Their first opponent after such a long time away is Georgia Tech, whose coach Geoff Collins steadfastly refuses to name his starting QB. This is a strategy that has definitely worked out for him and other coaches in the past. Norvell’s answer to all this? “I really don’t care.” That is the correct answer.

Pick: Georgia Tech

#1 Clemson Tigers (-33) @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons

You have to feel bad for Dabo Swinney. No one’s ever believed in his little ole Clemson Tigers, and after losing in the national championship, then winning a national championship, then losing in a semifinal, then winning another championship, he’s finally proven all the haters right after losing to possibly the best college football team ever in Clemson’s 4th championship game appearance in five years. The voters think so little of Clemson they’ve ranked the Tigers all the way down at.... first! Oh! The Humanity! Why, they should prove to be no trouble at all to their hosts Wake Forest, against whom they are favored by nearly five touchdowns.

Pick: Clemson

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers @ Kansas Jayhawks (-7)

The Pac-12 has elected to push football until the spring or later. Which, unfortunately, means there will be no #Pac12AfterDark this season. BUT THAT’S ALRIGHT Y’ALL ‘CAUSE WE GOT #BIG12AFTERDARK THIS WEEK INSTEAD! WHOO! That’s right, holding down the 10pm Eastern kickoff slot all to itself, you have the Kansas Jayhawks hosting the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina. And this is not your typical G5 vs. P5 buy game; no, this is Kansas, who already lost to Coastal Carolina just last year! In their own home! Les Miles better have a whole bag of fresh grass for this one. (Does Les Miles still eat field grass? I hope he doesn’t at Kansas; they’ve had an artificial field for decades. Probably not good to eat.)

Pick: Coastal Carolina

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