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.
#19 Nebraska @ #10 MSU
At the top of this article is Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany being interviewed by ESPN. Look into his eyes. They see nothing. There is no future. The past is only pain. Delany is only in the present and the present is The Darkness. Everything is The Darkness. This week’s picks from Alex are inspired by The Darkness. They will be expressed via gifs & images from The Darkness’s favorite TV show: Hannibal. All gifs via Tumblr.
To wit, this is a game between Nebraska, who are lead by Bo Pellini’s cat, and a bunch of faux-Spartans who are the best and most morally defensible football team in the state of Michigan right now. THE CAT SHALL TRIUMPH BY 5.
Well. Don’t I feel silly. When Alex told me this week was going to be Hannibal-themed, I thought he was referring to the Carthaginian general from the Second Punic War. Then I found out he meant the TV show, and as a result I’ve researched the entirely wrong thing. Oh, well, time to mix some metaphors.
Anyway, I figured that the historical metaphor worked well — the SEC is obviously the Roman Empire / Republic / Fiefdom. All the teams in the other conferences are trying to prove themselves to be Hannibal Barca; that is to say, make a lot of noise, earn some impressive victories, give all the other conferences some hope, but in the end lose the final battle to Rome/SEC.
The Big 10 has been one giant cluster all season, so I figure we won’t get anything close to an epic general out of this conference. And since a Nebraska win would muddle the Big 10 picture, I can only assume the Cornhuskers will win. Nebraska by 3.5 points.
#6 Texas A&M at #12 Mississippi State
These teams are both quite good. Both coaches have been mentioned as potential candidates to replace Brady Hoke at Michigan. I would be fine with that, but I think I like Kevin Sumlin more. Therefore I cheer for the Aggies and express my anticipation of AN OFFENSE THAT IS EVEN REMOTELY COMPETENT AND MODERN. Aggies by 15.
Yeah, I know my last pick used half-points, but that’s because I prefer betting lines to actual scores. This is probably strange, since I don’t gamble.
As for this game, we have two Roman leaders battling for the consulate. Bean seems to think that their coaches are potential replacements for Hoke, but I think he may need to see a psychiatrist. Coaches seem to prefer to helm bottom-tier SEC teams than top-tier Big 10 teams as of late (looking at you, Bielema). Texas A&M is trying to succeed after the departure of its charismatic leader, who now plays backup for the Cleveland Browns. If you equate playing QB for the Browns to a fate similar to death (et tu, Brute?), then this is a familiar and common trope from Roman history. Thus, I’ll go with the Aggies by 9.
#3 Alabama at #11 Ole Miss
I dislike both these institutions. Bama because they win too much and Ole Miss because they are generally racist. Also, they did not adopt Admiral Ackbar as their mascot and I have a friend (Hi, Doug!) who roots for the Tide. Good enough for me! (Also, Bama is as good as ever and Amari Cooper’s numbers are plain ridiculous). Crimson Tide by 12.
Another battle between Roman (SEC) powerhouses, but it seems like a lop-sided one. Alabama is akin to Sulla, the infamous consul and nemesis of Marius (which would be Auburn). Sulla isn’t going to lose to some lesser general, and I don’t think Alabama will either. Ole Miss can take some solace, though: in history, Sulla succumbed to a grotesque and prolonged death. Maybe the same thing will eventually happen to Alabama’s program? Yeah, probably not. Crimson Tide by 14.
#14 Stanford at #9 Notre Dame
The Irish fucking thrashed Michigan three weeks ago. Andrew apologized to me for that even happening. Last I checked he is not Brady Hoke, but I embrace all pity this Fall. I also embrace all vindictive rage. Screw the Irish now more than ever! Stanford was robbed of a win in South Bend two years ago and they get it back on Saturday! BEAUTIFUL GLORIOUS DANCING REDWOOD TREES BY 8.
Here we go. Here’s where we find our Hannibal. Remember when Notre Dame had that impossible season a few years back, and then was stomped by an SEC team in the championship game? That’s the First Punic War, in this increasingly-belabored metaphor. Carthage’s loss would inspire Hannibal Barca to become the scourge of Rome, compiling an impressive record before Carthage was ultimately smacked down again. Thus, Notre Dame needs to make it to the championship again, and lose again to an SEC team. The third time this happens, the school will be wiped from South Bend and the ground salted so no football program can again grow. Fighting Irish by 4.
What’s that? You want to know how Bean feels about the endless shitshow that the Michigan football program has become?
So… Michigan football is akin to Dido, Queen of Carthage?
This Week’s NFL Pick ‘Em: Seattle at Washington, DC.
I’m not sure how this game fits into my Hannibal Barca / Rome theme, other than the fact that “Washington Centurions” would be a way better team name than their current nickname. Granted, that’s a low gods-damned bar to leap, but let’s not shit ourselves — it needs to be leaped.
Aside from that, this game sees two teams who took franchise QBs in the same draft (2012), but in wildly different positions (Robert Griffin III went to Washington 2nd overall, Russell Wilson over to Seattle way back in the middle of the 3rd round). After breakout rookie seasons, one QB succumbed to injury after injury, the other won a Super Bowl. Seattle ought to make mincemeat out of Washington, but the latter is way better than its 1-3 record would indicate. That said, Washington is hemorrhaging good karma, and it’s only fitting that they suffer further indignity after a week of being thoroughly thrashed by satirists. Seahawks by 13.
The NFL team in Washington names themselves after a racial slur with a horrific historical connotation. Hannibal Lecter must delight in that, on some level, but I do not. They deserve endless reams of bad karma, and the PC-friendly folks of Seattle will be happy to provide it. Seahawks by 22.