Beerman’s Picks
by Ben Shapiro, 10/5/01

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.  For the most current TV information, click on over to TV Guide

Last Week: Ahhhhhhhhhh...quality football across the board.  Gave me a warm fuzzy :O)

This Week: A trip to Morgantown, Red River rivalries, and some good stuff in the SEC and Big Ten.

Not in Action: #9 UCLA, #11 Fresno State, #14 Florida State, #21 Clemson, #24 Stanford

Friday 10/5
#18 BYU (4-0) vs. Utah State (0-4)
Line: BYU(-17.5)

9:00 PM EST (FSW)

Friday college football?  I'm not sure if this is a Mormon thing or a MWC thing.  Either way, it just ain't right!

Oh, and BYU doesn't seem to be missing a beat with the new coaching staff.   Good for them...bad for the Aggies...

Pick: Cougs
Saturday 10/6
#1 MIAMI (FL) (3-0) vs. Troy State (1-2)
Line: Miami (-50)

12:00 PM EST (ESPN+, GamePlan)

Ouch baby, ouch!

Troy State is I-A this year, and they actually gave Nebraska a bit of a fight for a couple of quarters a few weeks ago...but I think Miami squashes them flat.  The Canes look to have a much better developed killer instinct than do the Huskers.  Again, I can't pick them to cover a 50-point spread on principle...but it's going to be ugly.

Pick: Troy State
#2 Florida (4-0) @ #20 LSU (2-1)
Line: UF (-13.5) 3:30 PM EST (CBS)
Holy revenge Batman!  I mean WOW!  I think if they'd really wanted to, The Gators could have hung a hundred on poor old Mississippi State.

LSU played hard against Tennessee, but ultimately they just made too many mistakes.  Florida allows no room for mistakes.  In fact, LSU could play a perfect game and still lose.  But this game is down on the Bayou, and nasty thing can happen there.  I'm not calling upset.   I'm not even sure I'm calling cover.  But if Florida does beat LSU by two TDs...well...The Beerman will be pretty darn impressed!

Pick: UFla
#3 Oklahoma (4-0) vs. #5 Texas (4-0) @ Dallas, TX
Line: Texas (-3) 3:30 PM EST (ABC, GamePlan)
This is exactly the sort of big game that Mack Brown has made a career out of losing.
Pick: Oklahoma
#4 NEBRASKA (5-0) vs. Iowa State (3-0)
Line: Nebraska (-24) 7:00 PM EST (FoxSportsNet)
24 points?  Makes me wonder if Iowa State is good enough that this sort of public disrespect will motivate them to pull the upset. They're 3-0, but they've not played anyone of note yet, and are barely even registering in the "others receiving votes" portion of the poll.

I can't even name anyone on the Nebraska offense besides Eric Crouch.   We're talking Jason Giambi and the 2000 Oakland A's here.  If I were Frank Solich, I wouldn't even dress wideouts and tailbacks.  Go with a five tight end set, and just tell everyone to block.  Of course, that's probably why I'm not coaching football...

Pick: UNL

#6 Virginia Tech (4-0) @ WEST VIRGINIA (2-2)

Line: VT (-15)

12:00 PM EST (ESPN2)

It would be nice if the offense could play just one game cleanly, start to finish...but I guess as long as we keep stoning people on defense we've got some latitude.
Pick: WVU
#7 TENNESSEE (3-0) vs. Georgia (2-1)
Line: Tennessee (-11)

12:00 PM EST (CBS)

Sure, it's tough playing in the SEC.  Difficult opponents week after week and all that.  On the other hand, SEC teams never have to worry about the let down after winning a game like UT did last week.   Georgia isn't bad, but I don't think they can take one in Neyland.
Pick: Vols
#8 Oregon (4-0) @ ARIZONA (3-1)
Line: Oregon (-5.5) 10:15 PM EST (FoxSportsNet)

Oregon has been playing less than inspired ball during the first third of the season.  I mean how do you win a game by 17 points and drop two spots in the polls?  Answer:  By letting Utah State stay in the game for three quarters.

Arizona has quietly been having a pretty good year so far. Sure, they got killed by Washington State last week, but WSU is dropping the hammer on folks like back in the Ryan Leaf days.

Oregon had best put this one away quickly, or that big billboard in Times Square is going to start looking pretty silly.

For the record.  This is another big Pac Ten game being played after most of the East Coast is done with football for the day.

Pick: Zona
#10 WASHINGTON (3-0) vs. Southern Cal (1-3)
Line: Washington (-5.5) 3:30 PM EST (FoxSportsNet)
USC-West's resurgence onto the national scene has a lot to do with Pete Carroll and the years he spent in the NFL. That Super Bowl he coached in as an understudy to Bill Parcells exposed him to just the sort of winning atmosphere he needed to put him head and shoulders above most other college coaches.
Pick: UDub
#12 SOUTH CAROLINA (4-0) vs. Kentucky (1-3)
Line: USC-South (-22) 1:00 PM EST (PPV ?)
South Carolina is hitting their stride.  Coming back and beating Alabama showed a lot of toughness on their part.  Color me impressed.

Kentucky is Rutgers.  Plain and simple.  We're about to find out what Lou Holtz thinks about the concept of RUTS.

Pick: USC
#13 KANSAS STATE (2-1) vs. Colorado (3-1)
Line: KSU (-10)

12:30 PM EST (FSW2)

You know, that loss way back when to Fresno State doesn't look so bad for Colorado anymore, does it?

Close just wasn't quite good enough for Kansas State.  It was a great game, but KSU just killed themselves with stupid penalties, early defensive breakdowns, and special teams miscues.  A mediocre team might dwell on the "what if" for weeks after the fact.  A good team will put it behind them, and channel their frustration into vengeance exacted upon their next opponent.  Time to find out which camp Kansas State falls into.

Pick: KSU
#15 MICHIGAN (3-1) vs. Penn State (0-3)
Line: Michigan (-10) 3:30 PM EST (ABC, GamePlan)
It's speaks volumes about the respect Joe Paterno has earned over the years that Michigan is only a 10 point favorite, and that this is ABC's primary broadcast in the afternoon time slot.

It's a shame that respect is about the only thing PSU has going for it these days.

Pick: U of M
#16 Northwestern (3-0) @ OHIO STATE (2-1)
Line: OSU (-2.5)

7:45 PM EST (ESPN)

Wow.  I mean you have to wonder just how much longer Northwestern can keep winning games like this.  They've been pulling off these last second miracle finishes for the last few years now.
Pick: Ohio State
#17 Georgia Tech (3-1) @ Dook (0-4)
Line: GT (-24.5)

1:00 PM EST

There is no truth to the rumor that 47 Duke players threatened to quit the team on hearing of Carl Franks' revolutionary new coaching technique "learning plays thru CPR"
Pick: Jackets
#19 PURDUE (3-0) vs. Iowa (3-0)
Line: Purdue (-3.5) 12:10 PM EST (ESPN)
The asterisk next to Purdue's third win is as big as the amount of green between Minnesota WR Antoine Henderson's foot and the sideline.  Bad call man.  Horrible, awful, almost unforgivably bad call.  Why does this always seem to happen to the Gophers?
Pick: Purdue
#22 TEXAS A&M (4-0) vs. Baylor (2-1)
Line: aTm (-25) 2:00 PM EST
Baylor at 2-1?  How novel!

Texas A&M is good, but not as good as they looked against Notre Dame.   Still, Baylor is good for maybe one more win this season...and it won't be this Saturday.

Pick: Baylor
#23 Toledo (4-0) @ OHIO (0-3)
Line: Toledo (-13)

6:00 PM EST

Ladies and Gentlemen, the token MAC representative in the top-25.

The interesting thing here is that the Rockets don't play Marshall during the regular season this year.  Don't hold you breath, but the MAC title game could feature two top-25 teams this year.

Pick: Toledo
#25 MARYLAND (4-0) vs. Wahoo State (3-1)
Line: Maryland (-7.5)

12:00 PM EST (CSN, FSS)

UMud and HooU battling for the top spot in the ACC?  This disturbs me to the point of insanity.  There, I am insane now.
Pick: Friedgen
BOSTON COLLEGE (3-1) vs. Temple (1-2)
Line: BC (-13)

3:30 PM EST (ESPN+, GamePlan)

I retract any and all statements I may have once made regarding Temple and a possible bowl bid.  I am currently seeking medical treatment for an as yet undetermined psychiatric condition.
Pick: Boston College
Syracuse (3-2) @ RUTGERS (1-3)
Line: Orange (-25)

12:00 PM EST (ESPN+, GamePlan)

Favored by 18 at home, Rutgers went out and dropped me below .500 on the week by laying a big fat rotten egg at home against UConn.  Can it get any worse?

The sad thing is feeling that I can't pick Syracuse as a 25 point road favorite...even over the hapless Scarlet Knights.  Is there a support group for this kind of thing?

Pick: Rutgers
Pittsburgh (1-2) @ NOTRE DAME (0-3)
Line: Notre Dame (-6)

2:30 PM EST (NBC)

Hats off to the Fighting Irish ... lowest scoring offense in Division I-A!
Pick: UPitt
Game of the Week to Watch: Okie gets the nod again.  This time against Texas.

Last Week: 10-12

Season To Date: 45-49-1

Upset Special: I don't like any of em.   I'll take Arizona over one comeback too few in Oregon.  (1-4)


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