Beerman’s Picks

by Ben Shapiro, 11/15/02

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: If someone had read the script from last weeks game to me beforehand, I would have laughed in their face.  No way, no how, do we roll up 500 yards passing and lose.

This Week: I hear BYE is a tough road dog.  Not much on the Tele either.  All you need to know is that Gameday is going live on location at Franklin Penn Field for an Ivy League showdown.

Not in Action: #1 Miami, #4 Washington State, #9 Notre Dame, #13 Virginia Tech, #21 Pittsburgh, #24 TCU


Saturday, November 16
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
-8.5 Ohio State (#2) 11-0 (Away: 4-0)
  Illinois 4-6 (Home: 3-3)
Well Clarett is "questionable".  Dandy.  That helps with the pick.
Pick: Illinois
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
-6 Texas (#3) 9-1 (Away: 4-1)
  Texas Tech 7-4 (Home: 4-1)
Well it looks like Texas has played their way back into contention for a MNC.  Once again the mantra of this silly playoff-less system is proven:  If you must lose ... lose early.  A team that loses early and finishes XX-1 has "grown".  A team that loses their last game suffered a "let down."

Gotta love it!

Pick: Texas
12:00 pm EST ESPN
-10.5 Iowa (#5) 10-1 (Away: 4-0)
  Minnesota 7-3 (Home: 5-1)
One last landmine and then Iowa can sit back and pray for Roses.

Seems that unless Ohio State loses to Michigan or Oklahoma loses in the B-12 title game ... it looks like Iowa will be this year's recipient of the Notre Dame screw job.  Texas is likely an automatic BCS team by virtue of the "Kansas State" rule (#3 or #4 BCS finish), and then it's a matter of the Rose Bowl choosing Iowa or Notre Dame for that last at-large spot.  The upshot of all this is that there are going to be an awful lot of Southern Cal fans in Iowa in a couple of weeks.

Pick: Hawkeyes
2:00 pm EST  
-37 Oklahoma (#6) 8-1 (Away: 2-1)
  Baylor 3-7 (Home: 3-2)
The fact that Texas is now three ranks ahead of Oklahoma is absurd.  The poll voters should be collectively taken outside and flogged with a Logic 101 textbook.
Pick: Okie
3:30 pm EST CBS
-2.5 Georgia (#7) 9-1 (Away: 3-0)
  Auburn 7-3 (Home: 5-1)
Evidently the gambling public thinks this one is primed for an upset.  It's possible I suppose, but Id be surprised.
Pick: Georgia
7:00 pm EST TBS
  Arizona State 7-4 (Away: 2-2)
-14.5 Southern California (#8) 7-2 (Home: 4-0)
I've got nothing here.  Sorry.
Pick: ASU
12:00 pm EST ESPN2
  Port Chester University 6-5 (Away: 2-2)
(off) Michigan (#10) 8-2 (Home: 5-1)
All signs point to a total and utter thrashing.  I don't care what the line is eventually set at, I'd still pick Michigan.  Wisconsin is simply a shell of what they were to begin the season.
Pick: Michigan
12:30 pm EST Fox Sports Net (regional)
  Nebraska 7-4 (Away: 1-3)
-11 Kansas State (#11) 8-2 (Home: 6-1)
It's hypothetically impossible to RUTS on Nebraska.  Except that I guess Penn State did it already once this year.  Still, I think RUTS on Nebraska could be the sort of mistake that Kansas State might end up paying for, for a looooooong time.
Pick: KSU
9:00 pm EST ESPN
-2 Alabama 8-2 (Away: 3-1)
  LSU (#12) 7-2 (Home: 5-0)
Alabama is just causing all sorts of trouble in the SEC.  They could be the best of the bunch, but are of course ineligible to win anything.  That probably puts LSU in the SEC title game, though I think Auburn still has a shot.
Pick: LSU
6:00 pm EST ESPN
  South Carolina 5-5 (Away: 2-2)
-15 Florida (#14) 7-3 (Home: 4-2)
Well South Carolina really fell back down to Earth now didn't they?  I guess Old Man Lou is having trouble recruiting...
Pick: USC
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  North Carolina 2-8 (Away: 2-2)
-32 Florida State (#15) 7-3 (Home: 3-1)
2-8? Are you kidding me?  I had no idea that North Carolina was this bad.


Pick: UNC
3:30 pm EST ESPN
-21 Penn State (#16) 7-3 (Away: 1-2)
  Indiana 3-7 (Home: 3-2)
When you consider the fact that all three of Penn State's losses have come to top-10 teams, by a combined 16 points, two of them in overtime, and two of them on the road .. well geez ... maybe this Nits squad is pretty good after all!

With Indiana and Michigan State to go, I'd say a 9-3 record with a nice bowl game is a very real possibility.  Nope, JoePa isn't surrendering the all time wins title to Bowden just yet!

Pick: PSU
7:00 pm EST Fox Sports West, Gameplan
-12.5 Colorado State (#17) 8-2 (Away: 5-2)
  San Diego State 3-7 (Home: 2-2)
Yes well, I see no reason why this game should go any way other than as expected.  Carry on...
Pick: CSU
7:00 pm EST Fox Sports Net
  Iowa State 7-4 (Away: 1-3)
-7.5 Colorado (#18) 7-3 (Home: 4-2)
Seneca Wallace leads his rag tag band of modern not-ready-for-prime-time players into Boulder, Colorado this weekend, to take on the always tough Buffalos.  You just get the feeling that ISU couldn't handle the hype.  They're fading, and fast!
Pick: Buffs
7:45 pm EST ESPN2
-4.5 Maryland (#19) 8-2 (Away: 3-0)
  Clemson 6-4 (Home: 4-1)
And making a late run for also-ran status, we've got the mighty Terrapins.  They should handle Clemson pretty well, and I don't see any reason why they shouldn't pull off second in the ACC.  Not bad really, and likely worthy of a Gator Bowl trip to face Pittsburgh.
Pick: UMD
12:00 pm EST JP Sports, Gameplan
-7 N.C. State (#20) 9-2 (Away: 4-1)
  France 6-4 (Home: 4-1)
N.C. State today, Maryland next week, and a closer in Blacksburg.  It's looking like 6-7 for Algroh's Legion.  How does one say "Home for the Holidays" en français?
Pick: Le Tas de Loup
3:30 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  Washington 5-5 (Away: 0-3)
-7 Oregon (#22) 7-3 (Home: 5-2)
With a win here, Oregon likely knocks Washington out of the bowl picture entirely.


Pick: Ducks
3:00 pm EST  
  Louisiana Tech 3-6 (Away: 0-6)
-25.5 Boise State (#23) 9-1 (Home: 5-0)
"Boise Boise Boise."  That's kind of neat.  "Boise."  It's like there's a party in my mouth every time I say it!


Pick: Boise State
7:00 pm EST Gameplan
  Bowling Green (#25) 8-1 (Away: 3-1)
-2.5 South Florida 7-2 (Home: 5-0)
The real shame of losing to Northern Illinois (motto: Best Team in Illinois) is that Bowling Green now needs help to get to the MAC title game.  If they lose here they probably don't get a bowl game either.

And Bowling Green probably will lose here.  Back in early September the South Florida Bulls laid a 37-6 beating on Northern Illinois.  USF also hung tough with Oklahoma, and has beaten Southern Miss.  Them Bulls ain't bad, but since they're a I-A independent, you've barely heard of them.

Pick: USF
12:00 pm EST ESPN+, Gameplan
  Syracuse 4-6 (Away: 1-4)
-8 Boston College 5-4 (Home: 4-1)
Well, at least we saved Paul Pasqualoni's job.  It's not like achieving total enlightenment, but it's something.
Pick: BC
3:30 pm EST  
-8.5 Temple 3-7 (Away: 1-3)
  Rutgers 1-8 (Home: 1-4)
I think that my favorite part of this year's "Rumble for the Bungle" is how they're playing in the 3:30 pm ABC regional telecast timeslot.
Pick: Temple

Last Week:
12-10 (YTD: 120-118-4)

TV Game of the Week: Alabama - LSU

Upset Special: LSU over Alabama (YTD: 6-7)


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