Beermanís Picks
By Ben Shapiro, 11/07/02

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: Well I guess that pretty much settles the Virginia Tech debate. Oh well.

This Week: Mourning, catharsis, apathy, ambivalence.  Pick your emotion.  The world hasn't ended.  The sky has not fallen.  There are four games left before bowl time.  Win out, and a BCS berth is a real possibility.  LET'S GO!  HOKIES!

Not in Action: #20 Colorado State.


Saturday, November 9
3:30 pm EST CBS
-8.5 Miami (FL) (#1) 8-0 (Away: 4-0)
  Tennessee 5-3 (Home: 4-2)
Hey now, I was just joking about Rutgers hanging with Miami. That wasn't actually supposed to happen.

Speaking of things that aren't supposed to happen, when's the last time Tennessee lost three at home?

Pick: Miami
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
-10 Oklahoma (#2) 8-0 (Away: 2-0)
  Texas A&M 5-4 (Home: 2-3)
Now this season is Oklahoma's to lose. They're hitting their stride, and rolling through everything in their path. They're not perfect, but they are awfully close. Right now, I'd pick them over Miami.

The Wrecking Crew is doing anything but. After a good start, Texas A&M has been downright mediocre for the last month. Barring something truly miraculous, they should look pretty mediocre today as well.

Pick: Oklahoma
12:00 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
-6.5 Ohio State (#3) 10-0 (Away: 3-0)
  Purdue 4-5 (Home: 3-2)
Yes, Ohio State struggles on the road. Nonetheless, if they have MNC aspirations they ought not to struggle too much against a sub-.500 Purdue squad.
Pick: Ohio State
12:30 pm EST PPV
  Baylor 3-6 (Away: 4-0)
-40 Texas (#4) 8-1 (Home: 4-0)
The funny part about Kevin Steele being fired already (if there IS a funny part) is that there was some talk of him being a replacement for Frank Solich up in Nebraska. Now while that may be somewhat of a stretch, the fact that he's done some good work in an impossible situation can't be denied.
Pick: Texas
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  Oregon (#15) 6-2 (Away: 2-0)
-5 Washington State (#5) 8-1 (Home: 5-0)
One of these days I'd like to actually be able to watch one of these Pac-10 games as it happens. I mean this is some fun stuff! It's like NFL Blitz with commercials!
Pick: Wazzou
12:00 pm EST ESPN2
  Northwestern 3-7 (Away: 1-4)
-27.5 Iowa (#6) 9-1 (Away: 5-1)
Tick tick tick. Iowa inches their way higher and higher in the polls, but it's likely too little too late. Their season is over next week, at Minnesota, and there is nothing they can do to get in Ohio State's way.
Pick: Iowa
3:30 pm EST ESPN
(-11.5) Virginia Tech (#7) 8-1 (Away: 3-0)
  Syracuse 3-6 (Home: 2-2)

Yeah Syracuse is lousy. Yeah the only Big East team that they've beaten is Rutgers. Yeah yeah, I don't care. It's Syracuse, and it's that darn Jiffy Pop Dome. Too many bad things have happened to us up there, and they did to us last year what Pitt did to us last week. In fact the parallels between the two games really bother me. But enough of that. It's time to get back on the horse. There's plenty of good football left to be played, and there are plenty of great bowl games still to play for.  If we're any good at all, then the Cuse is due for a serious trashing.


Pick: 'Cuse
7:00 pm EST ESPN2
  Mississippi 5-4 (Away: 0-3)
-15 Georgia (#8) 8-1 (Home: 5-1)

Georgia is owned by Florida like no other. How you can be this talented, and face the same opponent every year and still lose this often is beyond me.

On the other hand, it made for an easy pick last week.

Pick: Dawgs
7:00 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
(-16.5) Southern California (#9) 6-2 (Away: 2-2)
  Stanford 2-6 (Home: 2-1)
The whole Carson Palmer: Super QB thing is weird. Better late than never I suppose. Or maybe Pete Carroll finally managed to surround him with a decent supporting cast.
Pick: Stanford
12:00 pm EST CBS
-28 Notre Dame (#10) 8-1 (Away: 4-0)
  Navy @ Baltimore, MD 1-7 (Home: 0-4)
So Notre Dame is now pretty much out of the running for a national title. Of course they are all but assured of a BCS at-large berth. All they need to do is to beat Navy, and really that hasn't been much of a challenge for anyone this year.
Pick: Navy
7:45 pm EST ESPN
-6.5 Michigan (#11) 7-2 (Away: 2-1)
  Minnesota 7-2 (Home: 5-0)
Hail to the Victors!

Well maybe not.  Unless they can upset Ohio State to close the season, Michigan could end up in the top-10 and have no hope of a BCS bid.  Not that there's anything wrong with the Citrus Bowl, but that's like us and the Gator.  It gets old, and fast.

Pick: Minnesota
7:00 pm EST TBS
  Iowa State (#22) 7-3 (Away: 1-2)
-11.5 Kansas State (#12) 7-2 (Home: 5-1)
Dang, this just doesn't get any easier for Iowa State! Someone ought to talk to that scheduling computer...
Pick: Kansas State
12:00 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  N.C. State (#13) 9-1 (Away: 4-0)
-6 Maryland (#25) 7-2 (Home: 4-2)
Well UMuD already lost to Florida State, and N.C. State has lucked into facing the Noles without Greg Jones. Geez...could  ACC football be any more boring?
Pick: NCSU
12:30 pm EST JP Sports, Gameplan
-5 LSU (#14) 6-2 (Away: 1-2)
  Kentucky 6-3 (Home: 3-2)

Two weeks they've had to lick their wounds, now with any luck the Bayou Bengals have had a chance to right their ship. Michigan State has totally blown - pardon the pun - past them for the title of "Most Fouled Up Locker Room", so now LSU can concentrate on trying to win the SEC.

The thing is though, Kentucky is alright. No defense sure, but not bad. And at home. In fact, this could very easily go the Wildcats' way...

Pick: Kentucky
2:30 pm EST Fox Sports Ohio
-3.5 Bowling Green (#16) 8-0 (Away: 3-0)
  Northern Illinois 6-3 (Home: 3-1)

NIU is pretty good. I mean that in a MAC sorta way. Not to say that they're all that good really, but they did take Wisconsin the distance. For those of you who don't follow the MAC, I'll tell you that NIU is 5-0 in the conference and tied with BGSU for the lead of the MAC-West. So this game counts. A lot. And it's tough-tough-tough to go undefeated. This could be another upset.

Pick: NIU
2:00 pm EST PPV
-21 Florida (#17) 6-3 (Away: 2-1)
  Vanderbilt 2-7 (Home: 2-3)
Well Florida just made the SEC into a big mess.  They need Georgia to lose once more to have a shot at the SEC title game, but that could happen.  Ole Miss and Auburn are not great, but they're good enough to beat UGA if they play up to their potential.
Pick: Florida
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
-6.5 Florida State (#18) 6-3 (Away: 3-2)
  Georgia Tech 6-3 (Home: 3-1)

Georgia Tech might actually be the better team here. It's awfully hard to win games with a #2 QB and a #2 RB both making their first starts of the season.

So what's going on in Tallahassee? Is Saint Bobby just getting too old? Was it too many years of losing top assistants to head coaching jobs at other schools? Is too much Florida talent heading out of state?  Have (Heaven forbid) Central and South Florida (9-7 combined) been stealing away too many 2nd and 3rd teamers?

Pick: GT
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  France 6-3 (Away: 2-2)
-15.5 Penn State (#19) 6-3 (Home: 5-1)

Free from the ravages of a BCS/SOS induced need to cheer the Wahoos onto victory, I can once again root against France with impunity.

Ahhhhhh ... it just feels so right!

So you know who lives in Western Pennsylvania besides the Nits? The Quakers. You know where the Quakers are from? Germany.

Yup. This one was over decades ago.

Pick: Penn State
12:30 pm EST Fox Sports Net
-4.5 Colorado (#21) 6-3 (Away: 2-1)
  Missouri 4-5 (Home: 3-1)
Chris Brown for Heisman!
Pick: Missouri
12:00 pm EST ESPN+
  Temple 3-6 (Away: 1-2)
-17.5 Pittsburgh (#23) 7-2 (Home: 4-1)

OK, well it's done.

So for my money I'm pulling for Pittsburgh the rest of the way. I don't really care if Miami repeats or not. Scratch that, reverse it. I'd rather they didn't. Too insufferable. And I want that loss to be in conference. Besides, it would look pretty nice to see the Panthers in the Orange Bowl.

Go Pitt!

Pick: UPitt
6:30 pm EST Fox Sports Net
  California 5-4 (Away: 2-2)
-4.5 Arizona State (#24) 7-3 (Home: 5-1)
Hmm.  What to say ... what to say ... Bears vs. Devils?  Nope, nothing there.  Either team in the running for anything significant?  Nope.  Cinderella factor is pretty low.  ASU DE Terrell Suggs is about to obliterate the collegiate sack record, but that's old news for anyone who watches GameDay.  Well, Berkeley has hippies, whereas ASU is known for its hot women ... so I guess I'm pulling for the Sun Devils!
Pick: ASU
12:00 pm EST ESPN
  Boston College 5-3 (Away: 1-2)
-3 West Virginia 6-3 (Home: 3-2)

So if we can't stop Pitt's ground game, how are we going to stop West Virginia? These are the things that keep me up at night. That, and the crack.

Pick: WVU

Last Week:
9-12 (YTD: 108-108-4)

TV Game of the Week: Goodness, they're ALL on somewhere. Take your pick!

Upset Special: N.C. State over Maryland (YTD: 6-6)


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