Beerman's Picks
by Ben Shapiro, 9/19/02

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. I don't pick winners (that's too easy), I pick against the spread.  All picks are for entertainment purposes only.

Last Week: Cal?  Are you kidding me?  CAL?!?  Between that and Nebraska's collapse, I thought I was in some sort of bizarro world where we all like Wahoos and baseball matters.

This Week: A Texas turkey trot.  A Gator butt kicking.  Notre Dame on a roll.

Not in Action: #3 Oklahoma, #19 Nebraska, #20 LSU, #25 Colorado State

Saturday, September 21
7:30 pm EST ESPN
  Boston College 2-0 (Away: 0-0)
-26.5 Miami (#1) 3-0 (Home: 1-0)
If we only we could win all of our let-down games by 3 touchdowns ...

Hey, well this was last year's shoulda coulda woulda game.  And I realize that this probably means the Canes won't be taking BC lightly.  And it's at home, at night, and on ESPN.  But you know what?  I think the Eagles are going to make a game of it.  Will they pull off the upset?  Heh, I'm not that ballsy, but I think they'll keep it interesting for a while.  They've got a solid offensive line and a quality quarterback, and they should be able to test Miami's secondary.  I'll say even better than Florida did.

Pick: BC
8:00 pm EST PPV, Gameplan
  Houston 2-1 (Away: 1-0)
-36 Texas (#2) 2-0 (Home: 1-0)
They make everything bigger in Texas, even the blowouts.
Pick: Horns
3:30 pm EST CBS
  Florida (#10) 2-1 (Away: 0-0)
-4 Tennessee (#4) 2-0 (Home: 2-0)
SEC title game as usual?  Methinks not.  Poor Ron Zook...he's about to feel the retaliation for a whole mess of Spurrier's wins.  I'm not talking about just this game either.  Until they can prove they've not lost a beat, no one is going to be afraid of the Gators anymore.  Florida could lose 4 this year easily on confidence alone.
Pick: Vols
5:00 pm EST PPV-FL, Gameplan
  Dook 1-2 (Away: 0-1)
-44.5 Florida State (#5) 3-0 (Home: 2-0)
I don't even have a joke here.  After four (five?) years of writing this column, I'm fresh out of Dook jokes.  It's a shame, and I'm just going to slink away into a corner now ...
Pick: Dook
3:30 pm EST ESPN
-17 Ohio State (#6) 3-0 (Away: 0-0)
  Cincinnati 1-1 (Home: 1-1)
Well it's pretty clear that Ohio State is the class of the Big Ten.  At least at this point.  Their dominating running game more than makes up for a first year starting quarterback, and their defense is first rate.  Unlike us with Miami, OSU doesn't have any conference foes with a truly high-powered offense to deal with.  I think that Jim Tressel is about to be a very well liked man in Columbus.
Pick: tOSU
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
-2 Virginia Tech (#7) 3-0 (Away: 0-0)
  Texas A&M (#21) 2-0 (Home: 1-0)
Yeah baby, ROAD TRIP!

For the first time this season, the untouchable freight train that is Hokie Nation steams out of Blacksburg.  Woot woot!  And here we go...

Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'

Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them doggies rolling
Rain and wind and weather
Hell bent for leather
Wishing my girl was by my side
All the things I'm missin'
Good victuals, love and kissin'
are waiting at the end of my ride

Move 'em on (Head 'em up)
Head 'em up (Move 'em up)
Move 'em on (Head 'em up)
Cut 'em out (Ride 'em in)
Ride 'em in (Cut 'em out)
Cut 'em out (Ride 'em in)

Keep movin' movin' movin'
Though their disapprovin'
Keep them doggies moving
Don't try to understand them
Just rope, throw and brand them
Soon we'll be living high and wide
My heart's calculating
My true love will be waiting
be waiting at the end of my ride

Move 'em up (Head 'em up)
Head 'em up (Move 'em on)
Move 'em on (Head 'em up)
Cut 'em out (Ride 'em in)
Ride 'em in (Cut 'em out)
Cut 'em out (Ride 'em in)
Move 'em on (Head 'em up)
Head 'em up (Move 'em on)
Move 'em on (Head 'em up)
Cut 'em out (Ride 'em in)
Ride 'em in (Cut 'em out)
Cut 'em out (Ride 'em in)
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Yah! Rawhide!

1:00 pm EST  
  Northwestern State (I-AA) 3-0 (Away: 1-0)
(no line) Georgia (#8) 2-0 (Home: 1-0)
northwestern STATE ... nuff ...
Pick: Georgia
3:30 pm EST  
  Portland State 2-0 (Away: 0-0)
(no line) Oregon (#9) 3-0 (Home: 3-0)
Seriously, I've got nothing more to say about these I-AA teams.  What's the point of playing them in week four?  Maybe one of them will actually win this week.  Now wouldn't THAT be something?
Pick: Oregon
7:00 pm EST TBS
  Southern Cal (#11) 2-0 (Away: 1-0)
-3 Kansas State (#23) 3-0 (Home: 3-0)
What?  How did USC get all the way up to #11?  I must have missed a meeting.

As for Kansas State, the more things change the more they stay the same.  The Cats are 3-0 having hosted and toasted Western Kentucky, Louisiana-Monroe, and Eastern Illinois.  Yes I'll say it: Rutgers would be 3-0 against that schedule.

And who's going to remember to look on TBS for college football?  This whole game is all Hoo-ed up from square one...

Pick: Southern Cal
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  Notre Dame (#12) 3-0 (Away: 1-0)
-1 Michigan State 2-1 (Home: 2-1)
Like I said at the beginning of the year: With a little consistency, MSU could be really good.  Well, through three games they've been awfully inconsistent.  Against Eastern Michigan and Rice it didn't matter much, but Cal took advantage of the Spartan mistooks.  Notre Dame likely will as well.

I'm not a domer fan in the slightest, but I really like what Willingham has done with this Notre Dame team so far.  They may not have the greatest athletes in the world, but they're playing smart offense and aggressive defense and doing just enough to win ball games.  Keep it up, and they should take down the Spartans this week also.

Pick: ND
10:00 pm EST FoxSportsNet
  Wyoming 0-3 (Away: 0-2)
-30 Washington (#13) 1-1 (Home: 1-0)
It's another choose-your-own-score game for Washington, as Wyoming is essentially Rutgers in a ten-gallon hat..  At least this year they are.
Pick: UDub
12:00 pm EST ESPN
  Utah 2-1 (Away: 1-1)
-9.5 Michigan (#14) 2-1 (Home: 2-0)
Michigan just couldn't overcome their own errors last week, and it ultimately cost them the game.  Now Lloyd Carr is a good coach, and I can't imagine he'll let his team dwell on this loss for too long.  The Big Ten is still very winnable, and the Rose Bowl that comes with it.

Utah is one referee screw job away from 3-0 right now.  While no great shakes, they could upset the Wolverines if they take this one for granted.

Ha!  Who am I kidding?  Utah at the Big House?  Not bloody likely ...

Pick: Michigan
12:00 pm EST ESPN+, Gameplan
  Louisiana Tech 2-1 (Away: 0-1)
-14.5 Penn State (#15) 2-0 (Home: 2-0)
I stand corrected.
Pick: Nits
12:30 pm EST FoxSportsNet
  N.C. State (#16) 4-0 (Away: 1-0)
-1.5 Texas Tech 2-1 (Home: 1-0)
This is a pretty good match-up, showcasing two teams likely to be playing on or about New Years Day.  N.C. State has been a scoring machine under Philip Rivers, and the defense hasn't been half bad either.  Texas Tech got rolled by Ohio State in their opener, but then again OSU has been eating spread offenses for lunch all year.  This could be one of those 45-42 ballgames, and should make for terrifically entertaining viewing.
Pick: NCSU
12:00 pm EST ESPN2
  Arizona 2-0 (Away: 0-0)
-6 Port Chester U. (#17) 4-0 (Home: 3-0)
I just found out that Revenge Of The Nerds was filmed at Arizona.  That may be old news for some of you, but for me it vaults them instantly into "favorite Pac Ten team" status.  Maybe the 'Cats can finish the job that Northern Illinois began.
Pick: Cranes
5:00 pm EST  
  Montana State 2-1 (Away: 0-1)
(no line) Washington State (#18) 2-1 (Home: 2-0)
So as great as the Pac-10 is going this year, they stand at 0-2 in their big match-ups against the Big Ten.  And no, Cal-MSU was not a "big" match up.  Washington State fell victim to the same hobgoblin that haunts most every spread-type offense.  And inability to run the ball prevented them from controlling the clock, gaining short yardage, and allowed the opponent to drop 7 men into coverage.  It's a gimmick offense, and it rarely wins the BIG game.

Not that I'm implying there's anything big about Montana State...

Pick: Wazzou
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  Colorado 1-2 (Away: 0-0)
-11.5 UCLA (#22) 2-0 (Home: 1-0)
Proof that I read deep into my articles:

Bonus big-school stat: [then] Nineteenth-ranked Colorado not only got pounded 40-3 at home by USC, if you count sacks as passing plays, rather than as negative rushes as college statisticians do, Colorado rolled up one net passing yard.

One net passing yard.  Next person who complains about Grant Noel, Bryan Randal, or both of them.  Just think about that.  One net passing yard.

Pick: UCLA
7:00 pm EST  
  Troy State 1-2 (Away: 0-2)
-17 Iowa State 3-1 (Home: 2-0)
OK, I'll admit that second half comebacks against Florida State and now Iowa have been very impressive.  If Iowa State expects to contend in the Big Twelve, however, they're going to have to stop falling into 24-0 holes.
Pick: ISU
12:00 pm EST ESPN+, Gameplan
  Rutgers 1-2 (Away: 0-0)
-25 Pittsburgh 2-1 (Home: 1-1)
With any luck, UPitt will use this game to get their offense in gear for the rest of the season.  Eking out wins against the likes of UAB isn't doing anyone a bit of good.
Pick: UPitt
7:00 pm EST  
  Temple 0-3 (Away: 0-0)
-14.5 South Carolina 1-2 (Home: 1-1)
Can Temple pull off a win against a floundering Gamecocks squad?  Only The Shadow knows...
Pick: USC

Last Week:
8-12-1 (YTD: 37-39-3)

TV Game of the Week: Well evidently it's BYU-GT down thar in basketball country, but for the more discerning viewer I have a better recommendation.  Start your day with N.C. State -Texas Tech, and follow it up with a flip-flop between our game and Florida - Tennessee in the second set.

Upset Special: Notre Dame over MSU (YTD: 3-2)



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