Beerman's Picks
By Beerman, 10/5/00

Each week this season, I will be posting a column previewing the upcoming weekend's Big East and Top-25 match-ups. All rankings are from the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Picks are against the spread (that means I'm not picking winners, just the line), and are for entertainment purposes only.

Last Week: Northwestern? No kidding? Turmoil in the top-25, as a number of other teams get sorted out of the MNC picture. It looks like the top-8 is about all that's left, and two of them could go down this week.

This Week: Lots of quality games. FSU's first real challenge, and big games in both the Big Ten and Big Twelve. Not to mention Temple returns to the scene of the crime.

Not In Action This Week: #15 Oregon, #17 UCLA

Top-25 Games:

Saturday (10/7)

#1 Nebraska (-15.5) @ IOWA ST.

At 4-0, Iowa State thinks that they're pretty good this year. As only two(ish) touchdown underdogs to mighty Nebraska, it seems the bookies feel the same way.

Huskers live for this kind of stuff.

Pick: Nebraska

#2 Florida State (-6.5) @ #8 MIAMI (FL)

Boy, I'd sure like for Miami to win this one. I don't think Clemson is up to the challenge of taking down FSU in Tally, and we all saw what happened to Florida last week. Of course, we also all saw what happened to Miami up in Seattle.

If Florida State has any weaknesses, it's the running and kicking games. Even so, I expect them to get the yards on the ground when they must.

If Miami has a hope, they have to take Weinke out of the game. Whether that means literally, or just rendering him ineffective with lots of QB pressure doesn't matter. If he has time to pick apart the Hurricane secondary, he will.

Pick: FSU

#3 VIRGINIA TECH (-31) vs. Temple

Owl, the other white meat!

No, I'm not taking them lightly. I was in Lane Stadium for homecoming two years ago, and I have not forgotten the outcome. I've also seen how much improved they are this year.

I also think 62-7 last year was only half of the revenge.

Pick: Hokies

#4 Kansas State (-23) @ KANSAS

This is one of those rivalry games where you can throw the records right out the window. Brother vs. brother, and neighbors have been known to start blood feuds after bad play calls. Kansas State has a huge edge on paper, but Kansas has the heart, the determination, and is rightly peeved at all the attention the "other" team is getting.

After that, I'm going to need a new shovel for Xmas. The Jayhawks are going to get absolutely killed.

Pick: KSU

#5 CLEMSON (-21.5) vs. N.C. State

Three touchdowns? Geez, looks like a bit of Kansas State syndrome going on here. Beat up on a bunch of lousy teams and all of a sudden you're the '85 Bears!

Pick: N.C. State

#6 Michigan (+2) @ PURDUE

So #6 is a road dog to an unranked team. Cute. It's pretty obvious what it takes for Purdue to win, and that's throwing the ball. When they try to run, they lose. Period. End of story. Why Capt. Tiller can't see this is beyond me. I mean the old adage about running and defense is nice…and true on the pro level, it isn't always the case in college. On the other hand, Michigan's defense is a bit suspect, especially late in games. Could be interesting.

Pick: Michigan

#7 Ohio State (+1.5) @ #22 WISCONSIN

Let's go Badgers, let's go Badgers!

Sometimes I don't get the polls. I mean Wisconsin lost on the road, to a more highly ranked team, by a mere field goal. Why drop them?

Ohio State is still a mystery. They are undefeated, but they have not played anyone yet. After last season's miserable campaign, are they really that much better this time around? I think they might be. The talent pool is deep. While mass defections to the NFL and John Cooper's interesting "coaching" decisions can produce occasional aberrations like last year's sub-.500 record, aberrations is all that they are.

This game is it for Wisconsin. Lose and they're out of it. Win, and there's still a shot at a Rose Bowl berth. It's gut check time in Madison.

Pick: OSU

#9 FLORIDA (-14.5) vs. Louisiana State

Dr. Jeckyl? Meet Louisiana State. The parity bug has hit the SEC, and it isn't pretty.

Pick: UF

#10 Texas (-3) @ #12 OKLAHOMA

Hey, someone's got to face Nebraska in the B-12 title game, right? It's becoming a familiar pattern in Austin. Chris Simms starts the game and is ineffective. Major Applewhite comes in sooner or later, and lights up the scoreboard. Boy, old man Phil must be donating an awful lot of cash to this team…

Pick: Oklahoma

#11 WASHINGTON (-10) vs. #23 Oregon State

And on to the Pacific Ten. Guess I was wrong about Oregon State. Either that or I was more right about Southern Cal than I realized. That Simonton kid's something, eh? Well, the Huskies are something too, and they're playing at home this week. And they're better than USC-West. And those pesky Ducks have got to go on the road sooner or later, which means UDub's still in the running.

Pick: Oregon State

#13 Auburn (+1) @ #20 MISSISSIPPI STATE

Ever wanted to give a bulldog a big, wet, sloppy kiss?

Pick: Auburn

#14 TCU (-37) vs. Hawaii

LaDamian Tomlinson is ever so slowly slipping off the Heisman radar. His team keeps winning, but he's not putting up the gaudy numbers necessary to compensate for playing a weak schedule in a weak conference where you're almost never on television. A lot of that, methinks, is Coach Francionne (sp?) sitting his RB in blowouts. This is good from a team standpoint, and especially with the goal of an 11-0 season…but it ain't gonna get him to New York!

From 0-12 to 8-4, Hawaii will be lucky to split the difference this year.

Pick: TCU

#16 SOUTHERN CAL (-6) vs. Arizona

Quick, what's Arizona's record? BZZZZZZZZZ too late! They're 3-1, with a loss only to #7 Ohio State. Them Cats ain't bad. #16 is a little more in line with where I think SoCal is, so we'll let them slide this week.

Pick: Trojans

#18 SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI (no line) vs. South Florida (I-AA)

This isn't even fair. About the only way USF crosses the 50 yard line, is if USM turns the ball over in their own territory.

Pick: USM

#19 GEORGIA (-4.5) vs. #21 Tennessee

And all of a sudden, Gawgia has a new lease on life. Both UT and UF have fallen once, so the Dogs get a reprieve for that hiccup at South Carolina. Of course, they've still got to actually beat the Vols and Gators…something they simply have not been able to do lately.

Tennessee dug themselves too deep of a hole to get out of, and paid for it. Now they're going to be angry, and now they're going to put a hurting on poor UGA

Pick: Tennessee

#24 NORTHWESTERN (-5.5) vs. Indiana

Scratch that. Reverse it. Northwestern does appear to be going bowling this year. Now we just need to figure out which one. Indiana could actually be an interesting test. They're offense is really quite good…it's their defense that's not so much to speak of.

Pick: Wildcats

#25 Michigan State (-9) @ IOWA

Watching Michigan State is like watching a Tech stock. They're up! They're down…They're up! They're down. Watching Iowa is painful, so barring some sort of catastrophic mental meltdown, this is a week to buy Spartan low at 25.

Pick: MSU

Other Big East Games:

Saturday (10/7)

SYRACUSE (-6.5) vs. Pittsburgh

You know, I'd be soooooooooooooo much happier if UPitt were the #3 team in the Big East, than if Syracuse manages it. Have I mentioned I'm no fan of the Orange? This is a big test for the Panthers though, cause winning in the Jiffy-Pop Dome is never easy. For the life of me, I can't remember why I picked BYU over Syracuse there last week. I must have let my general opinion of Syracuse cloud my judgment. Have I mentioned I'm no fan of the Orange? UPitt's getting it done with a terrific passing attack, and a remarkably solid defense (#8 nationally, in yards per game). Syracuse is getting it done despite the presence of Paul Pasquiloni on the sidelines.

Have I mentioned I'm no fan of the Orange?

Pick: Pittsburgh

BOSTON COLLEGE (-29) vs. Connecticut

This is what passes for a classic football matchup in New England. Boy howdy, could I be any more excited? Hold me back…

Pick: Boston College

WEST VIRGINIA (-12.5) vs. Idaho

Yes Virginia, they do play football in Idaho! They're provisional I-A, just like UConn. Well, not exactly like UConn, (I won't bore you with the details) but they may as well be. For crying out loud, they play their homes games at Washington State!

West Virginia weathered the storm that was the Temple Owls, and now they get their reward. A Big West appetizer to settle the stomach.

Pick: WVU

Game of the Week to Watch: The Sunshine State Spectacular!

Upset Special: Tennessee over Georgia

Last Week: 11-13

Season to Date: 64-56

Upset Special: 2-4


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