Beermanís Picks
By Ben Shapiro, 10/10/02

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.  Television information comes from here.  All picks are for entertainment purposes only.

Last Week: Yeesh.  I got worked.  Let's move on....

This Week: More off-day madness!  Thursday again, but this time up in Bawston.  Dang, there are big games all over the place this weekend.  I'm kinda glad that I'll not have anywhere else to be this Saturday.

Not in Action: Forget it.  Everyone's suiting up this time!


Thursday, October 10
7:30 pm EST ESPN
-9 Virginia Tech (#4) 5-0 (Away: 2-0)
  Boston College 3-1 (Home: 3-0)
Nine points my [hoo].  Domination is the name of the game.

Boston College has lost 22 of their last 23 against ranked opposition.  Last win?  Over Georgia in last year's Music City Bowl.  Last win before this ugliness began?  Over a Jim Druckenmiller-led VT squad in the 1995 (Thursday night) season opener.

The defense is slow, the secondary is undersized.  The quarterback is experienced, but he's no better than Byron Leftwhich, and I daresay his receivers are not in the same league either.  Pittsburgh is a team designed to defeat Virginia Tech.  Much like ours, Boston College is a team designed to defeat Miami.  The best thing they've got going for them is a large offensive line, but even then it is like the Miami Dolphins lines of old ... good pass protection but mediocre at best run blocking.

Simply put, the Eagles do not match up well against us.

Keep those mugs full, and lead the bar in rounds of cheers.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy yourselves folks.  I really think this one's going to be fun :O)

Saturday, October 12
12:00 pm EST ABC
  Florida State (#12) 4-1 (Away: 1-1)
-13 Miami (FL) (#1) 5-0 (Home: 3-0)
In case anyone has forgotten, this should be another good chance to see just how good Miami can be when they're motivated.  Florida State has not fallen quite so hard as Nebraska, but they too are merely "good" this year.  Neither Chris Rix nor Adrian Mc"0-fer"son looks to be the kind of quarterback that the Noles need.  Dare I say this QB shuffle is almost Spurrier-esque?

For anyone keeping track, NFL Rookie Clinton Portis is now starting for Denver.  NFL rookie Phillip Buchanon has returned INTs for TDs in back to back weeks.  NFL rookie Ed Reed made up for dropping what should have been one game clinching INT by making another a few plays later last weekend.  And that's just what I saw watching fifteen minutes of ESPNews Sunday night.

Blah blah NFL blah blah.  What I'm saying here is that Miami's players are so good that they can step into the NFL and not just play right away, but make a difference right away.  That, my friends, is scary.

Pick: U of M
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  Oklahoma (#3) 5-0 (Away: 2-0)
-3 Texas (#2) @ Dallas, TX 5-0 (Home: 3-0)
Red River Rivalry wRit laRge.

And you know what?  As big as this game is, I really don't think it's gong to be all that exciting.  I expect a largely defensive struggle.  Unless Chris Simms falls apart (and what are the odds of that?) this one should be close the whole way.

Pick: Okie
12:00 pm EST ESPN+, Gameplan
  San Jose State 4-2 (Away: 3-2)
-28.5 Ohio State (#5) 6-0 (Home: 4-0)
OK, so now that's two of the last three where Ohio State has struggled against inferior competition.  Has the bloom fallen of the Rose?  No.  Ohio State is still the best that the Big Ten has to offer.  And going up against one of the worst run defenses in I-A as well.

Five games down, and four to go.  That right, San Jose State plays nine road games this year.  Only four at home.  That's just horrendous.  And they look to be good enough to be bowl eligible after all is said and done.  If you're looking for a sentimental favorite "small" school to root for, you could do a lot worse than SJSU.

Pick: SJSU
3:30 pm EST CBS
  Tennessee (#9) 4-1 (Away: 0-0)
-3.5 Georgia (#6) 5-0 (Home: 3-0)
Evidently Georgia is, in fact, man enough to line up and beat Alabama.  Are they men enough to face the Pat Dye challenge two weeks in a row?  This is Tennessee's first road game, and they've looked downright mortal so far.

I say yes.

Ayyyeeeee ... and Casey "The Pickle" Clausen has a broken collarbone to boot.  Might not be able to play.  Get your bets in fast kids, before this line changes!

Pick: Dawgs
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  Oregon (#7) 5-0 (Away: 1-0)
-2.5 UCLA (#25) 4-1 (Home: 1-1)
Top ten team as a road dog = Upset pick of the week.
Pick: Ducks!
2:30 pm EST NBC
  Pittsburgh 5-1 (Away: 2-0)
-9 Notre Dame (#8) 5-0 (Home: 3-0)
U of Pitt is probably the best defensive team that the Domers have faced yet this year.  Now I like Tyrone Willingham, and have not been unhappy with Notre Dame's success to this point.  Until today.  Today, I would very much like to see it come to a stop.

Here we go Panthers, here we go!  Here we go Panthers, here we go!

Pick: Panthers
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  Penn State (#17) 4-1 (Away: 1-0)
-4.5 Michigan (#10) 4-1 (Home: 3-0)
This is the sort of game that sets Beano Cook quivering like a bowl full of jelly.  Both chins are in full shimmy, and those Nuggets-Hawks tickets are yesterday's plan.  The mere thought that this game actually means something, is enough to give the poor guy a heart murmur.
Pick: PSU
12:00 pm EST Jefferson Pilot, Gameplan
-6.5 N.C. State (#11) 6-0 (Away: 2-0)
  North Carolina 2-3 (Home: 0-3)
8 of 9.  That's how completely the Baby Blues own N.C. State.  And when you've got the kind of home field advantage going this year that the Heels have got ... well ... I don't even know why the Pack is making the trip at all.
Pick: NCSU
5:00 pm EST  
-7.5 Washington State (#13) 5-1 (Away: 1-1)
  Stanford 1-3 (Home: 1-0)
Well it looks like the Pac-10 is really shaping up to be a mess this year.  I really don't see how anyone makes it thru conference play undefeated.  Maybe Oregon ... maybe.

Be that as it may, Wazzou gets a bit of a breather this week against a simply bad Cardinal team.  The mighty tree should score some points this week, but their defense has shown no signs of stopping anyone, at any point, before the season's end.

Pick: WSU
7:00 pm EST TBS
  Texas Tech 4-2 (Away: 3-1)
-6.5 Iowa State (#14) 5-1 (Home: 4-1)
I totally forgot about the Texas A&M program flap.  Geez, had I remembered ... I mean that's prime motivation for Texas Tech.  And lookie what happened!  Sorry guys, I fell asleep on the job.  I won't let it happen again.

Meanwhile, we've got a pretty interesting game here.  Texas Tech is a obscene aerial juggernaut.  Iowa State is one of this year's media darlings.  Seneca Wallace is a baaaaaaaaaaaad man ... don't ever count him out.  This one could play out like a classic BYU-SDSU game from the early 90's.  Seriously, watch this game.  It should be fun!

Pick: ISU
7:45 pm EST ESPN
  LSU (#15) 4-1 (Away: 0-1)
-8.5 Florida (#16) 4-2 (Home: 3-1)
So, when's the last time Florida lost twice at home this early in a single season?  Yeah, it's been a while.  I don't know if LSU can do it, especially without Toefield going 100%.  But the Zooks have not been terribly consistent this year, so I don't think that anyone can assume the sort of dominance that the Gators are used to.  In fact, I think I've talked myself into picking LSU to cover.
Pick: LSU
3:30 pm EST  
  Arizona 3-2 (Away: 0-2)
-13.5 Washington (#18) 3-2 (Home: 3-1)
"I would have never dreamed in my wildest dreams that I would lose to Cal," [Washington] guard Elliott Zajac said. "It was horrendous."
Pick: Washington
10:00 pm EST ESPN2
  BYU 3-2 (Away: 1-2)
-5 Air Force (#19) 5-0 (Home: 3-0)
If you listen carefully, you can hear the Falcons trying to sneak their way into the top-10.  BYU this week.  Notre Dame next week.  Colorado State on Halloween.  Those are the three games that the BCS folks are paying the most attention to.

BYU rolled Air Force something fierce last year, and are coming off a HUGE rally last week.  They've got the "mo", but do they have the defense?

Pick: BYU
12:00 pm EST ESPN
  Michigan State 3-2 (Away: 0-0)
-6 Iowa (#20) 5-1 (Home: 2-1)
Iowa = pretty good team

Michigan State = one pretty good player

Pick: Iowa
12:30 pm EST Jefferson Pilot, Gameplan
  Arkansas 2-2 (Away: 0-1)
-6 Auburn (#21) 4-1 (Home: 3-0)
As bad as Syracuse looked last week, I have to wonder just how good Auburn really is.
Pick: Arkansas
12:00 pm EST ESPN+, Gameplan
-13 Port Chester U. (#22) 5-1 (Away: 1-0)
  Indiana 2-3 (Home: 2-0)
See, last week was just one of those weeks when the simple act of my pick seemed to be enough to doom failure.  Sorry Wisconsin.  I'll take the fall for that one.
Pick: PCU
2:00 pm EST  
  Oklahoma State 2-3 (Away: 0-2)
-14.5 Kansas State (#23) 4-1 (Home: 4-0)
Hey well, so much for Kansas State.  They seem to have caught Colorado on one of the weeks they decided to actually show up.  Still, the Big Twelve North can be had, and I'd expect KSU to play up to form in this one.
Pick: KSU
6:30 pm EST Fox Sports Net
  California 4-2 (Away: 2-0)
-12.5 Southern California (#24) 3-2 (Home: 2-0)
Those feisty CalBears!  Just when I thought they we're slip sliding back down into the depths, they go and upset the Washington (probation in T-minus...) Huskies.  OK, well I learned my lesson.  Don't count out the CalBears!


Pick: CalBears
12:00 pm EST Time Warner, Gameplan
-3.5 Syracuse 1-4 (Away: 0-2)
  Temple 1-4 (Home: 1-3)
My theory is that several key Orangemen own stock in  Really.  I can't imagine what else it could be.  Talk is that the talent just hasn't been there since McNabb left, but I don't understand.  I hear Syracuse is positively divine during the winter.

At this point I wouldn't be surprised to see Temple pull off the win.  Ok ... maybe just a little.  But the line's been moving in Temple's favor, so I'm not alone.

Pick: Cuse
3:30 pm EST Comcast, Gameplan
-13 West Virginia 3-2 (Away: 1-1)
  Rutgers 1-4 (Home: 1-2)
I was sooooooo looking forward to watching the UMd-WVU game last week.  At first I thought it was blacked out because my DirecTV downstairs wasn't getting ESPN2.  But the game did come in upstairs.  So there I watched it.  And flipped back and forth to the France-Dook and Florida-Miss games.  It seemed to me tho, that every time I flipped back to the Deuce Maryland was lining up for an extra point.  At first I thought they were replays or something.  Nuts...

The sad thing is, barring an upset down the line, West Virginia probably needed to beat Maryland to go bowling...

Pick: WVU

Last Week:
7-13 (YTD: 68-69-3)

TV Game of the Week: Wow, so many to choose from.  I will forgo the obvious ones, as you'll watch them anyway.  I suggest Texas Tech - Iowa State for your viewing pleasure.

Upset Special: Oregon over UCLA (YTD: 5-3)


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