Beerman’s Picks
by Ben Shapiro, 9/20/01

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.  All picks are for entertainment purposes only.  Note that ABC and CBS offer regional coverage, and not all games are available in all areas.

Last Week:

This Week: So last weekend I couldn't handle watching nonstop CNN, and there was no football on of course. I had no idea how productive I could be on a Saturday...I didn't know my house could get that clean!. This weekend we get back to basics. The "Three B's": Beer, Blimpie and Ballgames. Woo-hoo!

Not in Action: #1 Miami, #3 Oklahoma, #8 Tennessee, #11 Georgia Tech, #14 LSU, #22 Oregon State, #25 BYU.


Thursday 9/20
#4 NEBRASKA (3-0) vs. Rice (2-0)
Line: UN (-34)

8:30 PM EST

Rice, it's what's for dinner!
Pick: Nebraska
#16 MISSISSIPPI STATE (1-0) vs. #20 South Carolina (2-0)
Line: MSU (-3)

7:30 PM EST (ESPN)

This one has "pitchers duel" written all over it.  These games can be fun though.  Either it's a tough, hard-hitting, QB-killing defensive clinic ... or it's one of those godawful slogfests where the announcers run out of things to say halfway through the third quarter and start rambling incoherently.  Either way, we're talking quality entertainment! :O)
Pick: Miss. St.
Saturday 9/22
#2 Florida (2-0) vs. KENTUCKY(1-1)
Line: Florida (-31.5)

12:30 PM EST (JP Sports, ESPN+)

Kentucky is proof that even in college football, you can't just buy your way to the top.
Pick: Florida
#5 Florida State (2-0) @ NORTH CAROLINA (0-3)
Line: FSU (-17) 12:00 PM EST (ABC, ESPN+)
As the weeks go on Florida State just piles up the injuries, and North Carolina just piles up the losses.
Pick: Seminoles
#6 Texas (2-0) @ HOUSTON (0-1)
Line: Texas (-31.5) 9:00 PM EST (ESPN2)
Texas may be the poster children for high-talent dysfunction, but Houston lost to Rice.  I don't even have to consult the Magic 8-ball to call this one.
Pick: Texas
#7 OREGON (2-0) vs. Southern Cal (1-1)
Line: USC (-6.5) 10:15 PM EST (FoxSportsNet)
10:15 pm?  For real?  And this is supposed to be a marquee matchup!

Not to put to fine a point on it, but if the left coasters are going to complain about "East Coast Media Bias", then they've got to stop scheduling the big games at night.

Pick: Ducks

#9 Virginia Tech (2-0) @ RUTGERS (1-1)

Line: VT (-27.5)

12:00 PM EST (ESPN+)


If 61 is the bar which Miami has set, then 61 it shall be.

Pick: Tech
#10 KANSAS STATE (1-0) vs. New Mexico State (0-3)
Line: KSU (-25)

2:10 PM

Southern Cal is not that good.   Strictly middle of the road Pac-10.  And boy did Kansas State struggle mightily against them.

I wasn't even aware that the entire state of New Mexico had enough able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 23 to field two Division I-A football teams.  Then again, perhaps that explains NMSU's historical position as a dominant gridiron power in the American Southwest.

Pick: KSU
#12 UCLA (2-0) vs. #21 Ohio State (1-0)
Line: UCLA (-6.5)

3:30 PM EST (ABC)

Another almost-but-not-quite-but-maybe-as-close-as-we're-gonna-get Rose Bowlish kinda game.

If Oregon stumbles, UCLA has positioned themselves as the first alternate in the Pac-10 race.  OK, so we've not really had much conference play yet ... but based on the early returns UCLA looks to be #2.  DeShaun Foster is the man.  Plain and simple.

And tOSU did not impress me with their lackluster win over Akron to open the season.  I know I know, first games and all that wot.  But we are talking about Akron here.

And you know what?  3:30 is about perfect.  Late enough that the home crowd should have no trouble getting there, and early enough that all the tired old sportswriters in New York can stay up to catch the game.  All big Pac-10 games should be played at 3:30 in the PM.

Pick: UCLA
#13 WASHINGTON (1-0) vs. Idaho (0-2)
Line: UDub (-24) 3:30 PM EST
Idaho is to Washington as JMU is to us. Except without the fan contingent. 
Pick: Washington
#15 Fresno State (3-0) @ TULSA (1-0)
Line: FSU (-13) 2:30 PM EST (FoxSportsNet, ESPN+)
It's pretty much all downhill from here.  Colorado State is the only team left on FSU's schedule that looks (on paper) up to the task on challenging the Bulldogs...and I don't think even that's going to happen.  After that, it's pretty much up to the computers.

Grease up them slide rules gentlemen, we're gonna have ourselves an old-fashioned BCS computer controversy hoedown!

Pick: Fresno
#17 MICHIGAN (1-1) vs. Western Michigan (1-1)
Line: U of M (-15.5) 12:00 PM EST (Empire, ESPN+)
Those Krazy Kats from Kalamazoo bring their fantabulous spectacular crowd pleasing road show to Ann Arbor this weekend, to take on the cross-state wish-they-were-a-rival Michigan Wolverines.

Me, I REALLY want to see WMU give Michigan a good game here.  I think the Michigan defense could be a bit suspect, but I don't know that the Bronco "O" has the talent to expoit it.  Pity...

Pick: WMU
#18 CLEMSON (2-0) vs. Virginia (1-1)
Line: Clemson (-11.5)

12:00 PM EST (ESPN2)

White meat.  Nuff...
Pick: Tigers
#19 Northwestern (1-0) @ DOOK (0-2)
Line: Northwestern (-16) 6:00 PM EST
It's round two of the All-SAT football tourney.  Dook has already fallen to Rice, and I don't expect them to have much success against the Wildcats.
#23 NOTRE DAME (0-1) vs. Michigan State (1-0)
Line: Notre Dame (-9)

2:30 PM EST (NBC)

I'm assuming that Michigan State isn't going to allow four blocked punts this weekend.

I'm also assuming Notre Dame is their typical overrated selves. In a weekend starved for quality upset candidates, I'll enjoy picking UNBC to lose straight up.

Pick: Michigan State
#24 PURDUE (1-0) vs. Akron (1-1)
Line: Purdue (-18)

12:10 PM EST

Your computer is infected with the following virus:

W.32 Nimda.A@mm (dll)

This has been the sum total of my existance for the past couple of days.  The nasty bugger just won't die.  This is why I can't think of things to write about games as meaningless as Purdue vs. Akron.

Pick: Purdue.
SYRACUSE (1-2) vs. Auburn (2-0)
Line: Syracuse (-2.5) 7:45 PM EST (ESPN)
Another must have game for Syracuse and for the Big East.  Why is it only Syracuse that has these games?

Auburn should be a good test.  They don't have the speed or the talent that Tennessee does, but they could end up in the top-25 by season's end.

I think Syracuse should win this one.  The defense and the noise in the JiffyPop Dome should keep the game in control, long enough at least for the offense to get lucky.

But if there's one thing that Syracuse does well and does consistantly, it's disappoint me.  So I have to pick Auburn.

Pick: Auburn
Boston College (1-1) @ NAVY (0-2)
Line: BC (-21) 12:00 PM EST
Sure rooting for the service academies is the feel-good thing to do these days.  But let's be realistic here, shall we?
Pick: Eagles
WEST VIRGINIA (1-1) vs. Kent State (1-1)
Line: WVU (-26.5)

1:00 PM EST

West Virginia has only scored 30 points all year, and yet they are favored by almost that much today.

I'll just go ahead and say it.  I'm glad Temple is staying in the Big East a little while longer.  I do not want to play Kent next year.

Pick: Kent
Temple (1-1) @ Bowling Green (2-0)
Line: Temple (-2)

6:00 PM EST

Temple went and laid a big fat egg against Toledo.  Not entirely their fault, I mean by all accounts Toledo is somewhat of a mid-major force right now.  Still, a better showing would have been nice.

This one's on the road, and Bowling Green already managed a bit of an upset over Missouri to start their season.  I don't have a great feeling here...

Pick: Bowling Green
Game of the Week to Watch: UCLA - Ohio's a bit of a slow week.

Last Week: 11-14

Season To Date: 23-29-1

Upset Special: Michigan State over Notre Dame (0-3)


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