Welcome to the Addison Recorder‘s football Pick ‘Em column. Each week Alex and a guest writer will predict the outcome of the most intriguing games on the slate. He will try to be as expert as possible, but we make no guarantees for his guests.
Utah at Michigan
This game is asking for my tears. Michigan has beaten a couple terrible teams with some authority, but got shut out for the first time since the first Reagan administration in their last game against Notre Dame. Utah, meanwhile, is coming off a very unlucky 5-7 season dictated by injuries and has destroyed the first two cupcakes on their schedule. I live in great fear of this game. I can already see Utah blitzing Devin Gardner into mistakes and getting enough big plays to walk out of Ann Arbor with a win. If this game was being played in Salt Lake City I would easily predict Utah. As is…<vomits>…Michigan by 3.
Like the Delicate Arch, Utah is a land of great beauty but also great fragility. And as we all know, Utah is a land of desert and, honestly, I think that’s really going to hurt them going into the later quarters, when their players are looking to hydrate. Michigan has the natural advantage here, being surrounded by lakes, and it will be difficult for Utah to establish a ground game when Michigan, literally shaped like a mitten, is swatting to get them out. Still, they have all that salt, and if judiciously thrown into Michigan eyes — it’s unclear to me if that is legal — that could tip the game in Utah’s favor. Having googled their mascot, I see that Utah are “Utes.” I think it’s nice of them to honor the Native American tribe that was forced from their land by American settlers. Expect many a cry of “Meeker Massacre!” come Saturday. Utes by 3.
Bowling Green at #19 Wisconsin
We got Chris’s alma mater last week, so now it’s my turn. BGSU pulled off the upset against the Big Ten’s resident chaos team, Indiana, last week. So they are looking for another against a much better Badger team. They can run the ball better than almost anyone else in the country an play very sound defense. They just…can’t throw the ball. At all. Even a little. I don’t think that’s enough to let the Falcons win, but I wouldn’t count them out. Badgers by 10.
Bean is right to bring up chaos here, because chaotic space intersects ours at the eighteenth dimensional gradient. Bowling Green, employing falcons, could enter through a trimetric fracture. They’ll need to look out for badger prion mutations in the protein spikes — I don’t need to tell you that — and the microsingularities generated by the shift in chroniton particles might disrupt their bioneural circuitry. But if BGSU keeps the aperture focused on the chrono-kinetic surge through the transwarp conduits, they should be able to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow. Aggies by 10.
#5 Auburn at #20 Kansas State
This game sounds so fucking awesome to me. Gus Malzahan’s Tigers are on the bleeding edge of football innovation. They play at the speed of light, run an offense that has endless wrinkles, and went from 3-9 in 2012 to being minutes away from a National Championship in 2013. On the flip side, the K-State Wildcats are coached by a guy who looks like a Keebler Elf and has held that job so long they named the stadium after him. Both programs have won their conference in the past few years and have experience line-ups. It should be a barn-burner. But it’s being played in Manhattan and I don’t know that Auburn has a secondary that can match up with Tyler Lockett. Wildcats by 4.
Tigers kill Wildcats. That’s science. Tigers by second breakfast.
#22 Clemson at #1 Florida State
Both of these teams had rough opening weeks. Clemson played a close half in Athens before getting buried by Todd Gurley. Florida State struggled with an Okie State team that most (including myself and Travis) thought they would blow to pieces. It took a miraculous Jameis Winston run and a devastatingly unlucky Cowboys’ fumble to seal the Seminoles’ win. Florida State won resoundingly in Clemson last year. They’re more talented. But…I dunno. They’re going to be missing Jameis Winston for the first half because he decided it would be great P.R. for the sport’s most high-profile accused rapist to jump on a table and yell “Fuck her right in the pussy!” They’re gonna lose at some point this year. What better time than now? Tigers by 3.
The key behind any really good college sexual assault is a team that’s willing to carry the individual over his victim. There’s no ‘i’ in rape, after all, and it’s no surprise that the athletic staff and Winston’s teammates rallied to his defense. But what really sets Winston apart is the way the Tallahassee police succeeded in fumbling any investigation that may have jeopardized the Seminoles’ season, heroically dropping leads and bravely ignoring evidence that would have identified him as the assailant — and that’s with video evidence of the assault. But Winston was also able to coordinate with school administration, delaying their investigation by an entire year, long after the sexual assault survivor — a freshman — had left the school. That takes heart; that takes talent. And then learning that another woman sought counseling after a sexual encounter with Winston — that’s dedication. He really is the whole deal. Seminoles by 13.
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks
Super Bowl re-match! What looked like a great match-up last winter, the Broncos’ best-ever offense against the Seahawks’ league-leading defense, became an absolute slaughter. Peyton Manning got harassed all night, the Seahawks’ defense was its usual stingy self, and the Vince Lombardi Trophy’s destination was clear before halftime. I think we’re gonna see the same on Sunday. Yeah, Seattle just lost and Denver is undefeated, but I think the defending champs win this. They will be pissed off, Denver has looked less explosive than last year, and the game is in Seattle. No one wins there. Except Seattle. Seahawks by 13.
This is a tough one, to be honest. I mean, do I think the Seattle defense, to a man, could knock a woman prone with one left hook? Absolutely. But at the same time, I could easily see the Denver offense overpowering and knocking back a line of 4-year-olds, especially if the offense were armed with some manner of weapons. I guess Denver can only hope that Manning doesn’t falter under symptons of early-onset dementia due to brain trauma. Seattle will have to step up and ALL HAIL THE GREAT LORD SUNSPHERE. LONG SHALL IT REIGN OVER THE DOMINION OF THE HU-MANS. SUNSPHERE NEVERENDING.
I loathe that Sun Sphere.