Franklin and MPF004, making the picks, captured on the laptop webcam, August 28, 2011.
In Group A, Boise is the new kid on the block, the "nouveau riche" who stormed into the established scene, upsetting the traditional powerhouses with their trick plays and rambunctious energy. That is the Franklin of college football if we've ever seen it.
Group B was easy too. Oklahoma State is the little brother to older brother Oklahoma. They have always tried to get into the spotlight that has firmly been on Norman. This year, they have a ton of returning talent, and finally have that chance to show up their rival. That is Franklin's situation for sure.
Oklahoma (right); Oklahoma State (left).
For the C grouping, I asked Franklin twice which team he wanted, since there wasn't an obvious choice. He just stood up, circled, and went back to sleep. I took that as a sign to pick the sleepiest campus town, and from what I know of Blacksburg, that was a pick for Virginia Tech. Moments later he got up, and as I read off the team names yet again, when I got to Virginia Tech, he crawled into my lap and wedged between my stomach and the laptop as seen in the webcam picture above.
Isn't that the Blacksburg of kitties right there?
The group D pick was easy: this is a Notre Dame kitty. After all, he started his life here at our house by reading the ND preview magazine.
Once training camp started, we watched Brian Kelly press conference videos together.
And he jumps on the TV cabinet when the Irish are on. (No photo of that, just picture us yelling "Get Down!!")
On to Group E. Again, I wasn't sure if there was a quintessential Franklin team like other groupings. So again I read off the team names. When I said "Auburn Tigers," he nudged my hand. I thought he would take the Missouri Tigers since they are striped and Midwestern (like him), but he picked Auburn. I will say Franklin doesn't know anything about Cam Newton or Gene Chizik or the SEC. But hey, it's his pick.
For the sixth, I was thinking he would like Illinois. [Note: this was written before the season started. --ed.] Now before you call animal abuse on me, I will say that I seriously considered Illinois for myself. With OSU being down and Penn State not scary, that half of the Big Ten is wide open. But also, Franklin is an Illinois native. And when I asked him, I was scratching his belly and said, "What about Illinois?" He immediately turned and looked up at me and kept purring. It's a high risk pick, we admit. But, Franklin can be kinda crazy. And Illinois:
Now that's the Franklin of coaches right there!
Now that we are six weeks in, his picks have paid off pretty well, as he climbed from 39th after week 1 all the way to 10th last week, and is currently in 12th place. Good luck Franklin!
I'm done reading. Let's watch some football!