Beermanís Picks
By Ben Shapiro, 10/24/02

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: Okay, that's it.  No more of this picking the way I want the games to end up.  Notre Dame over AFA was the money pick and I knew it, but just couldn't bring myself to make the call.  This is why I don't bet for real.

This Week: Temple. C'est la vie!  It's "go" time for Notre Dame, and some Big Ten heavies bump uglies.  Strap on those radios folks, cause television can't handle the Hokies!

Not in Action: #2 Oklahoma, #23 Florida, #24 Minnesota

Thursday, October 24
7:30 pm EST ESPN
pick 'em N.C. State (#9) 8-0 (Away: 3-0)
  Clemson 4-3 (Home: 4-0)
8-0, only number nine, and not even favored over a mediocre Clemson team!  You'd think N.C. State was in the MAC or something.  Seriously.  I realize they've not played the worlds toughest schedule to date, but even so ... major conference teams normally get the benefit of the doubt there.

To me, that means that the 'Pack has to make a statement.  Well here's their chance.  Thursday night in front of the whole country, they can make their case for the Big Time.

Pick: NCSU
Saturday, October 26
12:00 pm EST ESPN2
-19 Miami (FL) (#1) 6-0 (Away: 2-0)
  West Virginia 5-2 (Home: 3-1)
It will be interesting to see how well Avon Cobourne can run against Miami's defensive line.  Florida State absolutely manhandled the Canes two weeks ago, but I suspect their OL is a good bit better than WVU's.
Pick: U of M
1:00 pm EST  
  Temple 3-4 (Away: 1-1)
-28.5 Virginia Tech (#3) 7-0 (Home: 4-0)

1998 should be required viewing for every player on this team.  You listening to me Frank?  *lol*

For the record, I have no major problem with playing in cruise control so long as we keep winning.  Also for the record, I'm tired of this no television nonsense.  It just seems somewhat depressing for me to sit in my basement early on a Saturday afternoon huddled around my computer listening to an internet radio feed.  Yup, this is my annual "I just don't feel like driving to Blacksburg" weekend.  Oh well, at least I've got a Saturday night game to look forward to next week.  And beer in my fridge.  And in my house the end zones are painted, and there are no bad seats.  I don't actually know what that means, but I'm rambling now so just bear with me.

Shutting down the Rutgers rushing game was no mean feat.  116th out of 117 isn't even a challenge.  Temple has a little more oomph.  Not much, but a little.  Seems like Tanardo Sharps has been playing there since the Cosby days, and he knows a trick or two.  Now the subplot that may actually be pretty interesting is how the Untouchables fare against Temple's 12th ranked rushing defense.  Yeah, that's not a misprint.  No one runs on Temple.  Of course that might be because everyone throws on them.  95th national in pass efficiency defense, it looks like Temple defines the term "selling out to stop the run."

Now the worst part is, Temple is going to bring down our BCS ranking a bit more.  Win lose or draw they hurt us.  For that sin, they must pay!

3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  Penn State (#17) 5-2 (Away: 1-1)
-4.5 Ohio State (#4) 8-0 (Home: 5-0)
It's only October and the whole of the Pac Ten is irrelevant.  The ACC is irrelevant (NCSU SOS = SOL).  If Penn State wins today, the entire Big Ten will become irrelevant as well.  Irrelevant to what you ask?  the National Championship picture, that's what.  But lets not have a playoff, because that would lessen the importance of the regular season.

rabble!  rabble rabble!

Pick: tOSU
3:30 pm EST CBS
-5 Georgia (#5) 7-0 (Away: 2-0)
  Kentucky 5-2 (Home: 3-1)
Even if they win their 6th game, Kentucky still won't be bowl eligible ... NCAA sanctions and whatnot.  But hey, at 5-2 at least they can say that the cheating's finally paying off!
Pick: UGA
12:00 pm EST ABC
  Notre Dame (#6) 7-0 (Away: 3-0)
-10 Florida State (#13) 5-2 (Home: 3-0)
This one's kind of like when China played the Soviet Union in Olympic basketball.  There really are no winners. 
Pick: Notre Dame
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  Iowa State (#18) 6-2 (Away: 1-1)
-13 Texas (#7) 6-1 (Home: 3-1)
re: Iowa State - Oklahoma

could I have been more wrong?


Pick: Texas
12:00 pm EST ESPN
  Iowa (#14) 7-1 (Away: 4-0)
-3.5 Michigan (#8) 6-1 (Home: 4-0)
See, I'm not so sure that these rankings aren't backwards.  Iowa's been playing some terrific football, and Michigan has problems under center.  It's the Big House, and it's a tough joint to play in, but I think Iowa's got the better team this year.  The question is, do they believe it?
Pick: Iowa
12:30 pm EST Jefferson Pilot
-3.5 LSU (#10) 6-1 (Away: 1-1)
  Auburn 4-3 (Home: 3-1)
After a couple of quarters to get into the swing of things, the LSU offense actually looked better without Matt Mauck last week.  Good thing too, because it looks like he's out for quite a while...

Auburn is just hurting.  All the breaks seem to be falling against them.  I'd say that they're due to turn it around, but LSU's defense is not the sort that teams typically break out of slumps against.  And really?  That's fine by me.

Pick: LSU
10:00 pm EST Fox Sports Net
-11.5 Washington State (#11) 6-1 (Away: 2-1)
  Arizona 3-4 (Home: 3-1)
Losers of three straight after a strong start, Arizona is also 0-3 against ranked opposition, and 0-3 in the Pac-10.  Washington State is riding high, and there's really no reason why they should have too much trouble here.  Right?
Pick: Zona
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
-1.5 Southern California (#16) 5-2 (Away: 1-2)
  Oregon (#12) 6-1 (Home: 4-1)
One defensive collapse, and now Oregon are home underdogs?  Bah!

Bubble burst, undaunted ducks drive on!

Pick: Oregon
7:45 pm EST ESPN
  Alabama 5-2 (Away: 1-1)
-3 Tennessee (#15) 4-2 (Home: 4-1)
Talk about two teams going in opposite directions.  Home field is about the only thing the Vols have going for them here.  Bama's pumped, talented, well coached, and have even come up with a way around their NCAA bowl sanctions.  Yup, they close their season with a trip to the Big Island to take on Hawaii.

Not bad.

Pick: Bammer
3:00 pm EST  
-16 Air Force (#19) 6-1 (Away: 2-0)
  Wyoming 1-6 (Home: 1-2)
That first sigh of relief you just heard came straight from the BCS head honchos.  Air Force was one halfway decent passing game away from glory.

The second sigh you heard came from the AFA locker room after they realized who they got to play this weekend.

Pick: Air Force
1:30 pm EST Fox Sports Net (regional)
  Texas Tech 5-3 (Away: 3-2)
-6 Colorado (#20) 5-2 (Home: 3-2)
Guess who's back?  g-g-g-guess who's back?

I was wrong.  Colorado isn't like VT, they're like Syracuse ... or at least how Syracuse usually is.  They've got talent, but can't quite put it all together early enough to matter nationally.  So now they've got two loses and are playing well enough that everyone else in the B-12 is terrified.

Pick: Buffs
3:00 pm EST  
-31 Kansas State (#21) 5-2 (Away: 0-1)
  Baylor 3-4 (Home: 3-1)
If I had to choose between the sun coming up tomorrow, and Kansas State RUTSing some hapless conference cellar dweller ... I'm betting on the Cats.
Pick: KSU
4:00 pm EST  
  Ball State 3-4 (Away: 1-3)
-21 Bowling Green (#22) 6-0 (Home: 4-0)
Bowling Green just keeps plugging along.  Their defense is losing more players every week, and their coach actually took out ads in the student newspaper looking for warm bodies to practice against.

It would be neat to see, but I don't think the Falcons can hold on all year.  Today shouldn't be too bad though.

Pick: BSU
10:00 pm EST  
  Washington 4-3 (Away: 1-1)
-3.5 Arizona State (#25) 6-2 (Home: 4-1)
Arizona State threw for 500+ yards against Oregon last week, at Outzen stadium (aka check your audibles at the door).  Washington comes in with the worst pass defense in the Pac Ten.  Heck, they managed to make Carson Palmer look good last week.

This could get ugly.

Pick: ASU
12:00 pm EST ESPN+, Gameplan
  Boston College 4-2 (Away: 0-1)
-4 Pittsburgh 5-2 (Home: 3-1)
And the battle for Big East #3 is joined.  Personally, I don't care who wins so long as BC can beat Notre Dame next weekend.  You hear that Panthers?  I don't want to see any injuries!
Pick: UPitt
1:30 pm EST  
  Rutgers 1-6 (Away: 0-3)
(off) Syracuse 1-6 (Home: 1-2)
I don't think that it's even hypothetically possible to lose to both Temple and Rutgers in the same season.  I mean I'm pretty sure that it's written into the Big East charter that either the Owls or the Scarlet Knights must finish in last place each year.

The reason that there is no line on this game should be obvious.  Total and complete apathy.  The bookies figure they're doing the public a service by not fouling their betting sheets with this nonsense.

Pick: Cuse

Last Week:
6-12-1 (YTD: 87-89-4)

TV Game of the Week: ND-FSU, then a PSU-OSU chaser.  Good times!

Upset Special: Oregon over Southern Cal (YTD: 6-4)


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