Monday, September 26, 2011

P6 2011: Week 4 Shivered My Timbers

Welcome back Pick Sixers. After a Week 2 where Notre Dame and Iowa lost in last-minute, heart-wrenching fashion, I was all:

I don't even watch this show. I watch so little TV programming that I just noticed, after nearly four years on the blog, that we don't have a "TV" tag.

But then on Sunday the sun rose. And in Week 3, I saw ND dismantle the formerly unbeaten Spartans, and Iowa had a comeback for the ages that may have salvaged the season. So then I was all:

Note, the reason why I don't post personally identifiable pictures or last names on the blog are: 1. I don't want employers or future employers to see me writing "fuck" at will. 2. I am weirdly colored red and covered in fur. 

Coming down off that high, and all the realignment buzz, shortened the feel of the week. And indeed it was a short week: we left town Friday morning for northwest Ohio. We intended to scout the Fostoria-Otsego game for any Division I prospects, but that didn't work out. Instead we watched a lot of football (on TV) and then attended a pirate birthday party on Sunday. (Note, it was a 3-year-old's party. Not mine, although that would be cool.)

Games watched:  Meechigan-SD State (snippets), ND-Pitt, Toledo-Syracuse, Iowa-LA Monroe*, Ohio-Rrrrutgers** (computer), Florida State-Clemson, Ohio State-Colorado (geographic requirement), Alabama-Arkansas (computer), Florida-Kentucky (about two minutes...that was enough), South Carolina-Vandy, LSU-West Virginia.

Games ignored: NC State-Cincinnati on Thursday. Man I love college football, but I saw about 5 seconds of this and decided I had a million better things to do with my life.

Overall it was a good week 4: ND stole a victory from the jaws of defeat and Iowa decided to treat a cupcake like a cupcake. My Pick Six results were worse: Florida State's QB is broken, and guess what? The backup redshirt freshman is not as good as the highly touted recruit who is now a junior. That's two losses to ranked teams for FSU, but the team gets punished nonetheless. USC lost to Arizona State. They essentially switched places in the poll. We're four weeks in, and three of my P6 teams are gone. For all of you who thought you didn't stand a chance in this game because you didn't know anything about college football: I read about this stuff year round and I'm tied for 47th place. So there.

About that poll: Bama and LSU spent the early weeks flipping between #2 and #3. Oklahoma's troubles with a not good Mizzou (sorry Tippy and Eileen) was enough evidence to bounce them down to #2. And if you've watched LSU this year, can you blame the voters? Three wins over ranked teams, all away from home. They can outrun Oregon (40-27) or they can smother Mississippi State like a python (19-6). That Bama-LSU game is going to be a monster, a 7-3 type bout with 15 punts.

Who won the week?

We have a first-ever three way tie for best performance of the week. Because it's a cool team name, the best visual, and, ok, because she's the highest ranked of the three, we salute "The A Team" for the best week. The A Team got a boost from Nebraska, South Carolina and Florida, none of which had a great win, but a modest six-point bump was enough in a quiet week. Congrats to co-winners "Flying Cougars" and "The Undertaker" who also jumped six. Flying Cougars used the Neb-Fla combo, and The Undertaker got a bump from Neb and Va. Tech.

Enough jibber-jabber, who's winning?

Eat, sleep, poop (wrong, wrong, wrong --ed.)... lead the Pick Six game?

"Single D" retains his lead, sitting comfortably in his diaper and Husky onesie (ed: I am a moron. Single D is the dad, not the infant son. My apologies.) with 77 points. Same as last week, but hey, if nobody jumps ya...Standings are here. We'll brace for the big Nebraska-Wisconsin game by staring at gigantic swatches of red all week. How about you?

* -- still uncertain whether that "LA" means Louisiana or Los Angeles.
** -- that is not a pirate reference. That is a Scott Clark of WABC reference.

P6 2011: Interruptus

Hello Pick Sixers. It's been a long weekend in Ohio, filled with football and pirates, and a late arrival back home to our furry, attention-starved friends. I'll have an update posted for you later tonight.

The short version: good if you have Clemson or Florida, not so good for Texas A&M, West Virginia and especially (sigh) Florida State.  See you soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

P6 2011: The Ballad of Group D

Oh come around my friends, and listen close to me
As I sing this song to you, a tale to tell to thee
About these five ball teams, as sad as they can be
It's the autumn of their discontent, the Ballad of Group D.*

I've been playing the Pick Six game since 2005, the first year that Blue Gray Sky organized the game. (That's me way down at 32 points. Louisville, Purdue, Virginia? Did I think it was a basketball league?) I'm pretty sure I entered each year through 2009**, when BGS hung it up and I started my own version in 2010.

And in that time, I've seen some unexpected climbs (TCU and Boise, to name two) and stunning crashes. But I can't recall an entire grouping falling so far so fast as this preseason's 16 through 20: Notre Dame, Michigan State, Ohio State, Georgia and Mississippi State.

Actually, maybe this is a better soundtrack: Group D is coming onto something so fast, so numb that they can't even feel.

The pain started early. ND and Georgia faced tough opponents: a motivated, Skip Holtz-coached South Florida and Top 5 Boise State. Although both had home field advantage ('Dogs were in the Georgia Dome), both fell flat. Week 2 did no more favors, with close, high-scoring losses to rivals (Michigan and South Carolina). Both got feel-good beatdowns yesterday to move to 1-2, but both remain unranked.

Mississippi State looked the part of a Top 25 team by crushing hapless Memphis in its first game. But then they lost on the road to Auburn (who themselves had just fallen out of the poll), and on Thursday looked helpless against the crushing LSU defense. They stand at 1-2 and are unranked.

Meanwhile, the Big Ten duo racked up four wins. Ohio State looked shaky against a motivated in-state MAC Attack, but we'd all seen that before. MSU crushed their cupcakes. But that facade crumbled Saturday. A fired-up Notre Dame did to MSU what they'd done to their previous opponents, but this time finished the job. Miami made Al Golden's home debut one to remember with a convincing win over a ranked foe (and a measure of revenge for OSU's 36-24 win last year.)

As of this afternoon's poll, these five, who started with a cumulative 40 points, are all out. You can find them slumming in the "also receiving votes" ghetto. For context, the bottom five who started with 15 points now have 24 points thanks to climbs by Florida and West Virginia (plus Southern Cal).

What does the future hold? Of these five, Sparty and the Irish have the best chances to rebound, and I'm not saying that because I watched them live yesterday. Ohio State has deep flaws that were just waiting to be exposed. As I wrote in my preview:
Ohio State is a litmus test on how important you think Tressel and Pryor are/were. My sense is they will lose at least 2, probably 3, games they would have won with one or the other. So a 10-2/Top 10 season becomes 7-5/unranked. 
I think yesterday showed that those two guys were that important. (The OSU radio team that we heard seemed to think as much.) Toledo laid out the blueprint but didn't have the horses to hang with OSU. I didn't see the game, but Miami clearly took that plan and ran it to perfection. You know that Big Ten teams will be able to do what Miami could and Toledo couldn't.

Ok, what about the rest of the Pick Six game?

Ooof. Our collective scores took a bath. In addition to the three "D"s I mentioned above, Arizona State and Auburn also fell out. Those five represent 42 selected teams in the game. Add in Florida State (14 players have the Seminoles) and a lot of people dropped. The game's average score fell 3.5 points from 62.4 to 58.9.

But there were a couple bright spots:

Oh jeez this is awful. But what can you do... I don't pick these team names.

Moving up from 31st to FIFTH (yes I believe that is a record 26 slots in one week) is "C'mon Irene," the hurricane-themed entry that benefitted from West Virginia and Texas moving up, in addition to minor bumps from the A-B-C groupings. Plus 11 points in one week, nice job Jordan!

Enough jibber-jabber, who's winning?

This is a "Single D" battery. I sure hope the manager for the Single D and Double D teams send me a picture of themselves, because there are too many tempting possibilities online to illustrate those concepts. But one of the game's youngest players steps (crawls? gurgles?) into the lead with what has become near-perfect picks of Oklahoma, Stanford, Wisconsin and Florida.

Standings as always are here ... read 'em and weep.

* If you didn't know (and it's okay if you didn't, as we aim to educate you about folk music in addition to college football), that is Woody Guthrie, who is happy as hell (in heaven) his Okies beat Florida State last night. Learn about him at the official web site.

** For what it's worth, by 2009 I figured out what I was doing and finished with 76 points.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Pig With The Froggy Tattoo

P6 2011: Your Week 3 Game Watch Guide

I'm just going to pretend that Saturday didn't happen and instead look ahead to this weekend's games. You're playing the Pick Six, your teams are winning games ... what do you want to keep an eye on this Saturday?

Here's your guide for what to watch this weekend (other than your chosen six teams of course):

Tonight: No. 3 LSU at No. 25 Mississippi State: a great SEC matchup. LSU stormed over Oregon, then had a cupcake last week. MSU was punished in the polls for losing to Cam Newton-less Auburn. The Bulldogs are traditionally a weaker program, but they have had a resurgence under Dan Mullen, and the home team has a great track record in these Thursday night games. (But LSU will win, handily.)

Friday: No. 4 Boise State at Toledo: the new kids on the national scene invade Northwest Ohio. Toledo put up a pretty good fight at Ohio State last week ... but yeah, don't kid yourself. This is merely a chance to watch a great team on non-blinding turf. (And no I'm not linking to that hideous field.)

Saturday (early): No. 18 West Virginia at Maryland; No. 21 Auburn at Clemson; Penn State at Temple: whatever, it's early. It'll keep you occupied. 

Pittsburgh at Iowa: It feels so hard to muster anything for this game. That dull ache of losing to Iowa State hasn't gone away yet. I won't even be near a TV. So, yeah, someone watch this, and let's talk later about how it went. The ennui is too strong now.

Colorado State vs. Colorado: Nobody has either team except "Rx R Us," so it'll be an intrastate rivalry you can watch without feeling kicked in the stomach.

Afternoon: No. 7 Wisconsin vs. Northern Illinois: College ball in Soldier Field. That's about it.

Washington at No. 11 Nebraska: This is the third matchup in 12 months for these two teams. The Blackshirts will seek revenge for their crappy showing in the Holiday Bowl last December.

Tennessee at No. 16 Florida;  No. 23 Texas at UCLA: anybody remember when these were good games? 

Navy at No. 10 South Carolina: Will the Gamecocks be exhausted after a firefight with Georgia last week? Will they be prepared for the triple option? 

No. 22 Arizona State at Illinois: can Sparky win away from home? What new creative way will the Zooker find to blow a close game?

Louisville at Kentucky: a good basketball game. But it's not basketball season, unfortunately.

Marshall at Ohio: Bobcats go for 3-0. One of the most popular Pick Sixths, so I know this will be followed.

Primetime and later: No. 17 Ohio State at Real Miami: Dubbed the "Ineligi-Bowl", this matches two teams that spent the summer in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. For those of you who picked OSU, this will be their first real test (sorry, I don't count the Rockets).

No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 5 Florida State: the game of the century, this week. When I wrote earlier about feeling conflicted, I was really looking ahead to this game. Three players in the top 5 --"Takin' that Pick 6 to the House!", "QBKatt" and "Cleverer than the Cats"-- all have both teams. So all three will gain or drop the same amount. But several other players have one or the other, so expect a big shakeup in the standings next week.

Syracuse at USC: My team "E" begins their climb back into the top 25. I hope (I guess).

Utah at Brigham Young: BYU continues its brutal September (welcome to independence). My Pick Sixth resumes its march towards the top 25 (I hope).

No. 8 Oklahoma State at Tulsa: on the road, but only kind of. Minimal risk of upset, but Tulsa has a great offense. Should be a lot of points scored.

Hawaii at UNLV; No. 6 Stanford at Arizona: It is late. There is football on TV. I will watch until I fall asleep.

Finally, the Game of the Week for the team: 
No. 15 Michigan State at Notre Dame. The narrative about ND all week has been the stark contrast between the team that marches down the field on opposing defenses and the team that has run out of feet to shoot itself in, and has moved on to calves, knees and higher. Sparty has a strong offensive line and is generally untested in all phases after two cupcakes.

What you think will happen in this game boils down to which Notre Dame you believe in, whether Jeckyll or Hyde makes an appearance in the fourth quarter. Me, I think the coach works out the kinks, gets the team's head screwed on straight, and eliminates the mental errors. ND-Sparty has gone down to the wire (one-possession game) seven of the last nine years. We were there for the 2009 game, and it was a doozy. I don't expect any different this time around, but I also wouldn't be surprised if State laid an egg like their Iowa or Alabama games from 2010.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

P6 2011: Feeling Conflicted

Games watched: Louisville vs. Florida Whichever (snippets); Arizona St. vs Missouri; Iowa vs Iowa State (main TV at bar); Ohio St vs Toledo (small TV at bar); Alabama vs Penn State; TCU vs Air Force (snippets); South Carolina vs. Georgia; Kansas vs. Northern Illinois (very end); USC vs. Utah; Michigan vs. Notre Dame.

Week 2 is in the books. This week introduced a couple players to the sometimes unavoidable pain of the Pick Six game: who to root for when two teams play each other?

"Clueless" faced this when South Carolina and Georgia matched up. Frankly I think South Carolina's close win was the best possible outcome for her: Georgia was already out of the Top 25, and a win wouldn't necessarily have boosted them into the poll. Meanwhile a 'Cocks win keeps their confidence and poll standing high. USC (east) stays on pace for the SEC East title many predicted.

I had a similar problem: Utah played USC (the real, western USC) in their first-ever Pac 12 conference game. I saw this game coming but figured USC needed the win more, whereas Utah could recover and start climbing the polls mid-October. Like Clueless, I think this was about as good as I could hope for: Southern Cal got another win, Utah got a close, understandable road loss.

Elsewhere: Texas, Virginia Tech and Ohio State had "too close for comfort" wins. Only Texas didn't fall, and I think that's because the opponent (BYU) was more respectable than East Carolina and Toledo.

It was a bad day to be: ... me, frankly, or a fan or "M" schools. Both Mizzou and Mississippi State lost and were punished by pollsters. The Bulldogs fell from 16 to 25, and Missouri from 21 to unranked.

Your Week 2 winner*:

Dapper. Stylin'. And your week 2 top performer. 

Tippy had a rough start in Week 1, with Oregon and TCU losing. But Auburn jumped back into the poll, TCU redeemed themselves by thumping Air Force, and Tippy jumped up 10 points for the week's best showing. Honorable mention to "No (Bleeping) Clue" who went from ninth to second place.

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning?

This calm, composed gentleman is Bo Pelini, head coach of Nebraska. His boys struggled with Fresno State, only leading 21-20 in the fourth quarter before pulling away, 42-29. In our game, "Bo's Boys" had four teams rise (the other two held steady) to take over first place from Cleverer Than The Cats. (Standings, as always, right here.)

Next week: ohh, lots of exciting matchups coming. I'll have a preview for you later in the week.

* -- It's not really winning, because you don't get a prize or anything, but it is good to know you had the best week of anyone playing.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Hate Week 2011: ND vs. Michigan

As I said earlier, it's a great week to hate Michigan. I detest pretty much everything about the football program including their obnoxious head coach (more on him later, probably during Iowa week).

For now, let's take a quick stroll down memory lane: the 1980 Notre Dame-Michigan game. The Wolverines lead 27-26 with just seconds left. Irish kicker Harry Oliver lines up for a 51-yard attempt. Here's legendary announcer Tony Roberts with the call.

And here is Michigan announcer Bob Ufer on the same play. He really nails the math.

Go Irish! Beat Wolverines!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

P6 2011: Primera Semana

Despite taking many years in high school and college, I am nowhere near fluent in Spanish. Oh, I can pick words out of a block of text (a skill I practiced at our old church with bi-lingual missalettes). But I've never been able to follow along with Telemundo, much less understand your average person speaking at normal speed. (If you are impatient and don't see where this might be going, jump to the P6 update.)

Friday afternoon I bounced out of work, early on a holiday weekend (with the boss's permission) ready to enjoy a lot of college football, and I heard a Spanish speaker behind me say "something something primera semana." That means 'first week'. Now they could have been talking about the first week of school, or September. But I naturally assumed they were talking about this first week of college football.

Our soundtrack.

Games watched, at least partially: Murray St. vs Louisville (snippets); UNLV vs. Wisconsin; TCU vs. Baylor; Utah State vs. Auburn (2nd TV); Northwestern vs. BC; Tennessee Tech vs. Iowa; South Florida vs Notre Dame; Western Michigan vs. Michigan (2nd TV); BYU vs Ole Miss (snippets); Oregon vs. LSU; Boise vs. Georgia (2nd TV); Ohio vs. New Mexico State (online); Colorado vs. Hawaii (late game, was kinda sleepy); Marshall vs West Virginia; SMU vs. Texas A&M; Miami vs. Maryland.

Big gainers: Not many in a typically quiet first week, but LSU's win over a top 5 team was rewarded with a bounce of two spots. Wisconsin jumped three for dismantling UNLV in prime time, and Mississippi State and Florida jumped four for the same reason. West Virginia didn't need four quarters to jump five positions.

Big losers: Oregon was punished for falling flat in SEC country (again); TCU for forgetting how to play defense. And if you lost ... see below.

Dropping out: Auburn, USC, Georgia, Notre Dame. The Tigers and Trojans actually won their games, but too close for comfort for the voters apparently. Expect to see USC again shortly, but Auburn will need multiple high-visibility wins to persuade people that they are more than a one-hit wonder.

Hello to: South Florida, fresh off being on the same field as Notre Dame's offensive meltdown; Penn State; Texas (I guess one week wthout the Longhorns was plenty) and Baylor, after that amazing Friday night win over TCU.

The week's big mover:

Bonfire took advantage of a Rust Belt-Appalachia swatch of geography in Virginia Tech, Ohio State and West Virginia to gain 10 points, moving up from 23rd to fourth.

Enough jibber jabber, who's winning?

I don't have a recent picture of (or permission from, yet) Cleverer Than The Cats so I guess this will have to suffice. He rode his early lead and this week's minimal activity to stay on top. Standings as always are here. Note: anyone worried about losing to Quigley for a second straight year should check out where "Mr. Q" stands (or sleeps, technically).

Games to Watch: Now that Penn State is ranked, the "Bear vs. JoePa" bowl is a matchup of ranked teams. Seventeen players have Alabama, second-most in the game, and three have the Nittany Lions. That is the only matchup of ranked teams, although popular pick-sixth Arizona State would likely be ranked if they beat No. 22 Mizzou.

Also, this is a very good week to hate Iowa State and Michigan if you are a fan of Iowa and Notre Dame. Respectfully.

Big News, Told With Movie Posters



That's right! So in less than

(less than


and we



Your two biggest questions: the

is late February. Now,

is a

and the kid COULD be born on Feb. 29.

you ask? Well to me: an 80-year-old who can't legally drink alcohol.

And... boy or girl? Well, we are

so we're not finding out and going to


Thanks to everyone for all your wishes and prayers!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Season Predictions

Season predictions are, for the most part, worthless. On the off chance you were right, you can point back to say "lookee how smart I am!" But generally they are meant to be forgotten.

But that doesn't stop those who follow the game closely from trying. Here are my guesses for conference winners and other general predictions. For conferences with two divisions, the overall winner is listed first:

Big East: South Florida
Big Ten: Michigan State, Illinois
SEC: Alabama, South Carolina
Pac 12: Oregon, Southern Cal
ACC: Florida State, don't know who's on the other side
Big Texas: Oklahoma
MAC: Western Michigan, Ohio
CUSA: don't care
WAC: don't care
Mountain West: don't care but Boise probably
Sun Belt: don't care

National championship game: Alabama and Oklahoma

Heisman: Kellen Moore of Boise State

Additional predictions:

* Iowa will finish with more wins than last year's national champion (Auburn).

* Boise State will suffer an Iowa 2010-esque collapse: despite tons of seniors and a favorable schedule, the stars will not align and they will stumble out of BCS contention. (For Boise, this means 9-3 or 10-2, vs. the consensus guesses of 12-0 or 11-1.)

* Despite the talent and schedule for an 11-win season, Notre Dame will finish 9-3 or 8-4. If you divide the schedule into thirds (or fourths), figure one loss for every four (or three) games. For the sake of specificity, the losses will be @Michigan, Air Force, @Stanford and USC as a tossup. The reasoning: Notre Dame can beat every team on their schedule--on paper and in a vacuum. But the college football season is a grind, 12 games over 13 weeks. Notre Dame doesn't have the luxury of a I-AA team or "breather" game. They will have to compete week in and week out to win each game. That will take its toll in terms of exhaustion and injury, leading to a play here or there that tips a win into a loss.

Friday, September 02, 2011

MPF's Picks Explained

Allright, the talk is over, the games are here. I typed this up last week, and intended to post on Thursday when the deadline for the Pick Six game passed. But I got busy with last-minute entries (more on the P6 soon). But as is my tradition, I will post the rationale for my pickset.

A: Every preseason poll I saw had Oklahoma and Alabama 1-2. Even though it is rare to see the preseason 1 and 2 in those slots at the end of the year, these two teams (on paper) are so far ahead of everyone else. Oregon and LSU should be a phenomenal game on Saturday night, but both have had off-field problems in August. That doesn't bode well for a smooth autumn. Boise is still uber-talented but one loss or especially two and they will plummet in the polls. I went back and forth between OU and Bama. I even typed in Oklahoma but reconsidered after noticing they play at Florida State and at Oklahoma State this year. I didn't like the idea of knocking out my A or B in week 3 (spoiler alert) and finally switched to Bama. That defense (10 returning starters) is awe-inspiring.

I've been using the "Saban at podium" picture for a while now. Now that Saban has his own statue .... oh yeah.

B: Aside from thinking this is the year Florida State wins the ACC, this was a process of eliminating the hype. Stanford will not be the same without Harbaugh; I will be stunned if they are Top 10 when they play ND at the end of the year. A&M's drama is all conference-related, but will any of that bleed over to the field of play? I'd already decided not to pick Oklahoma State when I was considering the Sooners, and while they will probably have a very good year, I don't feel like rooting for them. Nebraska likewise is talented but I do not think they will stroll into a new conference and win--too many new variables (new coaches to scheme against, new players to scout, new hotels for road games).
I don't have a Florida State picture, but I do have this 64-pack crayon box from back when FSU was going through a cheating scandal.

C: TCU is ranked based on their defense (good) and last year's QB Andy Dalton (gone). Arkansas lost their star RB for the year and I don't see them managing that SEC without him. Virginia Tech is out cause I like FSU in the ACC. So it's Wisconsin vs. South Carolina, and I just sense Spurrier will have a breakthrough year with all that offensive talent (QB Garcia, RB Lattimore, WR Jeffery). Plus as a married guy I can write "I LOVE COCKS" on the Internet and that won't come back to bite me in the ass, right?

No South Carolina pictures, but given Stephen Garcia's problems off the field, I just assume this is a picture of him as a youngster.

D: Intriguing grouping: two Big Tens, two SEC, and the Irish. Ohio State is a litmus test on how important you think Tressel and Pryor are/were. My sense is they will lose at least 2, probably 3, games they would have won with one or the other. So a 10-2/Top 10 season becomes 7-5/unranked. Georgia too is tempting: if they start 2-0, they will catapault to the Top 10 and be on track for an amazing season. But those first two games are Boise and at South Carolina. With an 0-2 start, they spiral into a lost season, and Richt is fired by Halloween. I don't know enough about Mississippi State's team, but they do have a lot of firepower on that schedule. I'm not picking ND for reasons I'll explain soon-ish, so that leaves me with Sparty. Michigan State went 10-2 last year. Those two losses were huge, but remember this: Dantonio is kinda dick-ish. I think he'll motivate his senior-laden team for revenge on Iowa, plus keep up the gains made last year on rivals ND and Michigan.

New year, new Sparty picture. In any other league without Bielema and Fitzgerald, Mark Dantonio would easily be the most dickish coach in his conference.

E: What an underwhelming quintile. Yes, I know last year's national champion came from E, but I don't see that magic here. Florida is the savvy pick, given the immense talent that Urban Meyer stockpiled. But I don't trust the combination of a first-time head coach and the alleged QB guru Charlie Weis. Missouri and Auburn lost their QBs to the NFL and I don't expect big things there. West Virginia had coaching turmoil in the offseason and I just don't see them improving. So, yeah, I'm gonna grit my teeth and take Southern Cal, with star QB Matt Barkley, Jimmy Clausen's old high school teammate Marc Tyler, and all their surrounding questions. They can't play in the Pac-12 Championship or a bowl, but if they go 10-2 or 9-3, they will finish higher than where they started.

If I have to mention Southern Cal on my blog, I'm going to run a picture of the Song Girls.

F: Texas is the tempting pick. They can't be that bad again, can they? Well, no, but will they be better than OU, OSU and A&M? How highly ranked will the fourth best XII team be in January? Iowa under Ferentz always does well when expectations are low, but in this case, the low expectations are justified. Breaking in a new QB and all that inexperience on defense will cost us some wins. So, yeah, I'm gonna pick Utah. I know what I said about Nebraska having trouble in a new conference, I know I've got a team from the same conference AND division right above there in E. But the Utes have a nice schedule, missing Oregon and Stanford. They play USC early, giving both teams time to recover and climb in the polls. They've got a strong QB in Wynn who was out for all three of Utah's losses. I generally don't like teams coming off a bowl loss, or P6 teams that play each other, so this is a contrarian pick in many ways.

Can you say much of anything about Utah football? Yeah me neither.