Beermanís Picks
By Ben Shapiro, 11/29/02

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: I don't even want to talk about it.

This Week: It's Waterloo time, ladies and gentlemen.

Not in Action: #2 Ohio State, #3 Iowa, #8 Kansas State, #9 Washington State, #12 Penn State, #14 Michigan, #16 Boise State, #20 N.C. State, #25 Auburn

Friday, November 29
12:00 pm EST ABC
  Texas A&M 6-5 (Away: 3-1)
-13 Texas (#10) 9-2 (Home: 5-0)

The Aggies are a hard team to figure. An amazing home field advantage has totally gone by the wayside this year, but they managed to beat Oklahoma when they were #1 in the BCS. The offense has shown itself capable of scoring mucho points, and the defense has been stout at times, but they just can't seem to get on the same page on the same day.

But this is Texas. This is bigger than all of the eleven games preceding put together. This may very well be the game that decides R.C. Slocum's future at aTm. But Texas is good. No, they are not MNC caliber, but they are (on paper) better than Texas A&M. I wish the Aggies the best, but I don't think they've quite got what it takes to win this one.

Pick: Texas
3:30 pm EST ABC
-1.5 Colorado (#15) 8-3 (Away: 3-1)
  Nebraska 7-5 (Home: 6-1)
The Buffs have the Big Twelve North sewn up nicely, but don't think for a second that they're going to come into this game flat.  No sir.  They don't like Nebraska, not one iota.  It's ok though, the feeling's mutual!
Pick: Colorado
2:30 pm EST CBS
  LSU (#17) 8-3 (Away: 2-2)
-5 Arkansas 8-3 (Home: 5-2)
And here we've got an SEC title game semifinal.  Put simply, the winner of this game wins the SEC West.  Well, they're second behind Alabama, but let's not quibble about that ok?
Pick: Arkansas
Saturday, November 30
1:00 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
-20 Miami (#1) 10-0 (Away: 5-0)
  Syracuse 4-7 (Home: 3-2)
Yes, well I think 3 TDs might be a bit of a high line to set in the Carrier Dome.  The Canes have to feel somewhat like they're just entitled to win at this point.  All this talk of Fiesta Bowls and MNCs has got to be getting to them by now.  I'm not calling upset, not by any means, but I do think they will play down to Syracuse's level a bit.  Just enough to blow the spread.
Pick: Cuse
1:00 pm EST Fox Sports Net
-14.5 Oklahoma (#4) 10-1 (Away: 3-1)
  Oklahoma State 6-5 (Home: 5-1)

I'm still in shock that OSU won this game last year.  I think the Sooners will be using that as a rallying cry for years to come.

Pick: Oklahoma
3:30 pm EST CBS
  Georgia Tech 7-4 (Away: 3-2)
-9.5 Georgia (#5) 10-1 (Home: 6-1)
Alright kids, watch this game.  Georgia Tech is probably who we're playing in TireBowl 2002.
Pick: Wramblin Wreck
8:00 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  Notre Dame (#7) 10-1 (Away: 5-0)
-11 Southern California (#6) 9-2 (Home: 5-0)
I don't know that there's a team in the nation playing better than Southern Cal right now.  Not a one.  They're killing everybody.  They're still alive for a Rose Bowl berth also, and possibly even an MNC shot, though they'll need a lot of help for that one.  Interestingly enough, they could conceivably squeak up to #2 in the BCS and still lose the Pac-10 tiebreaker to Washington State.  Not likely, but it could happen.

11 games into the season and Notre Dame finally developed an offense.  Terrific.  Go Rutgers.  Viva la Big East!

Pick: USC
8:00 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  Florida (#11) 8-3 (Away: 3-1)
-4 Florida State (#22) 8-4 (Home: 4-1)
So who's the mental midget responsible for putting this game directly along side of Notre Dame - USC?  Network programming executive must be a lateral move from tree sloth on the evolutionary scale.
Pick: Zook
3:00 pm EST Fox Sports West
  UNLV 4-7 (Away: 1-4)
-17 Colorado State (#13) 10-2 (Home: 4-0)
For the record, MWC champ Colorado State will, without a doubt, be ranked well above ACC "champion" Florida State at season's end.  Their reward?  The Liberty Bowl, December 31st, in Memphis.

Oh boy!

Pick: CSU
1:00 pm EST ABC, Gameplan
  West Virginia (#21) 8-3 (Away: 4-1)
-2 Pittsburgh (#18) 8-3 (Home: 5-1)
So now THIS is the game for Big East #2?

Tis a sad state of affairs.  I'm going to go cry in my beer now...

Pick: Pitt
3:30 pm EST ESPN
  France 8-4 (Away: 2-3)
-7 Virginia Tech (#19) 8-3 (Home: 5-2)
Big shout out to TD Lee and all our other seniors.  You guys have been part of some great teams here at VT, and have made every one of us proud to be fans.  Thanks and good luck to you guys wherever you land!

Now, on to France.  This sorry no-account bunch of cheese eating surrender monkeys may roll over what amounts to competition in the ACC, but big freakin deal.  The ACC is without a doubt the weakest BCS conference around this year.  FSU is about to go to the Sugar Bowl with an 8-5 record.


France is a popular pick here. I understand completely. We're folding something fierce, and they're coming on strong. It's only natural. But you know what? I don't accept that. Nope. We are not about to just give up the mantle of Virginia supremacy to a bunch of upstart Wahoos. We have the tools, and we have the talent. It's about time we get everything sorted out, and I think that this is the week we do it. Today we remind folks who really rules the roost in the Commonwealth.

Go Hokies!

12:00 pm EST ESPN
  Wake Forest 6-5 (Away: 2-3)
-13.5 Maryland (#23) 9-3 (Home: 5-2)
"NC State and West Virginia are in, we beat both of them.  Maybe we're too good to play in the Gator Bowl" - King Ralph


Pick: UMuD
7:45 pm EST ESPN
-12.5 Alabama 9-3 (Away: 4-1)
  Hawaii 9-2 (Home: 6-0)
Probation Bowl 2002!

I've been waiting all year for this :O)  Now Alabama has had a heck of a season.  In a normal year they'd be in the SEC title game next week.  This is, of course, their last game of the year.

Could be entertaining, as Hawaii is not exactly a nice place to play.  Last week's game against Cincinnati ended with police escorting the Bearcats off the field amidst a rain of fan-thrown debris.  The fight wasn't pretty, and there is much talk around the WAC of "island rules" that poor Cinci only just learned about (14 penalties for 117 yards).

Bammer is the last team that I would expect to get intimidated in any environment, but they'd best come heavy.

Pick: [Rainbow] Warriors
12:00 pm EST NESN
  Rutgers 1-10 (Away: 0-5)
-28 Boston College 7-4 (Home: 5-1)
How exactly did BC get the short end of the scheduling stick?  Are they considered to be such a non-factor that they get to close out their season with Temple and Rutgers?  If I were an Eagle, I'd be pissed.
Pick: Boston College

Last Week:
6-11 (YTD: 140-136-4)

TV Game of the Week: WVU - Pitt actually, interests me the most.

Upset Special: Florida over FSU (YTD: 6-9)


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