Beermanís Picks
by Ben Shapiro, 10/12/01

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: Beerman had a good week.  Happy day!

This Week: Some good Big Ten and Pac Ten action.  Some oh-by-the-way game going on in Northern Florida. "Virginia Tech's first test," part three.

This week's column is an homage.  Can you guess to whom?

Not in Action: #14 Tennessee, #23 Toledo

Thursday 10/11
#15 GEORGIA TECH (4-1) vs. #20 Maryland (5-0)
Line: GT (-9)

7:30 PM EST

Can anything stop the mighty Terrapin war machine?  Beerman likes The Turtle.  Take note folks, should we fall to Miami there's a distinct possibility we face Maryland in Jacksonville...
Pick: UMud
Saturday 10/13
#1 Miami (FL) (4-0) @ #14 FLORIDA STATE (3-1)
Line: Miami (-7)

12:00 PM EST
(ABC, ESPN GamePlan)

Seven point underdogs at home.  Beerman thinks that chafes Bobby.  Beerman doesn't want to be the coach making up a game plan to defeat Bobby Bowden when he's got something to prove.  Everyone's writing off the Noles...just like they did in '99.  Beerman doesn't buy it.  Win or lose, the Noles are still one of the top teams in the nation.

This is Miami's first real test.  Two quarters of Troy State notwithstanding, it says something that Miami's schedule is ranked lower than ours to this point.

Beerman's finding a truck with a dish on the roof, and parking his butt right there during the tailgate.

Pick: FSU
#2 Florida (5-0) @ AUBURN (4-1)
Line: UF (-21) 7:45 PM EST
With Mississippi State taking a dive of Nittanyesque proportions here in the early going, Auburn is now Beerman's pick for the SEC West.  So what we've got here could be a preview of the SEC title game.

Beerman's a little surprised at the size of this line.  Favored?   Sure.  By a healthy margin?  Most certainly.  By three touchdowns on the road against a quality team?  Not so sure about that one...I mean someone in the SEC has to give UF a run for it...right?

Pick: Auburn
#3 Oklahoma (5-0) @ KANSAS (2-2)
Line: Oklahoma (-21) 7:00 PM EST
(Most of FoxSportsNet)
Nope, still not sold on Nate Hybl.  Or Justin Smith for that matter.  Although it looks like Beerman could line up at quarterback for the Sooners and still have a pretty good shot at winning.

But that would cut into Beerman's tailgating time.

Pick: Oklahoma
#4 Nebraska (6-0) @ BAYLOR (2-2)
Line: Nebraska (-33) 2:00 PM EST
Nebraska plays Baylor this week, and Texas Tech the next.  They could split the squad, play both games this week (and win), and give themselves a nice off week before facing off against Oklahoma.  This is a good plan.  Frankly, I don't understand why I'm not an AD somewhere.
Pick: UNL

#5 VIRGINIA TECH (5-0) vs. Boston College (4-1)

Line: VT (-20)

6:30 PM EST

Nobody runs on Virginia Tech.   Nobody!  Willie Green is about to take the beating of his life.  In a good way of course.
Pick: BC
#6 Oregon (5-0) @ CALIFORNIA (0-4)
Line: Oregon (-13.5)

3:30 PM EST

Beerman thinks teams take it personally when they are picked as his upset special.  There's no other rational explanation.
Pick: Oregon
#7 UCLA (4-0) vs. #8 Washington (4-0)
Line: UCLA (-12) 3:30 PM EST
ABC, ESPN GamePlan)
Beerman doesn't understand this line at all.  When the last time Washington played in a game that wasn't close? Win or lose, it always seems to be by less than seven points.

That being said, Beerman likes UCLA here...just not by two touchdowns.

These Pac-Ten heavies need to start knocking each other off.   I'm not sure which one to be pulling for here, and I don't have the energy to delve into all the permutations right now.  Besides, that's why we've got our handy Weekend Rooting Guide!

Pick: Washington
#9 South Carolina (5-0) @ ARKANSAS (2-3)
Line: USC (-9) 3:30 PM EST
Beerman likes South Carolina.   But that's probably because Beerman has the well developed sense of humor of a nine year old.
Pick: Cocks
#10 Fresno State (5-0) @ COLORADO STATE (2-3)
Line: FSU-West (-7.5) 10:00 PM EST
Poor Fresno State.   That killer non-conference schedule they had is looking weaker by the game.   Wisconsin is middle-of-the-road at best, and CSU will be lucky to go bowling if (when) they lose this game.  Colorado is looking tough, but that's not enough by itself.

Thanks for stopping by the booth Fresno, and be sure to pick up your commemorative gift box on your way out!

Pick: Fresno
#11 Texas (4-1) @ OKLAHOMA STATE (2-3)
Line: Texas (-17.5)

12:30 PM EST

"This is exactly the sort of big game that Mack Brown has made a career out of losing."

Sometimes folks, it's just too easy.

Pick: Texas
#12 MICHIGAN (4-1) vs. #16 Purdue (4-0)
Line: Michigan (-10.5) 12:00 PM EST
See, now this could actually be an interesting Big Ten game.  Those are few and far between...this one should be cherished!  (In a related note, Penn State has a bye this week ... and is only a 3 point dog!)

I like Michigan here.  They're rolling, and there's no shame in an early loss to Washington.  I'm thinking they're going to finish at 10-1...give or take Ohio State.  Purdue's won all their games, but frankly the Beerman is not all that impressed.  I guess this is their opportunity.

Pick: Wolverines
#17 Brigham Young (5-0) @ NEW MEXICO (2-3)
Line: BYU (-14)

3:00 PM EST
(ESPN GamePlan, ESPN+)

Another day, another 50 points for the Mighty Mormons.
Pick: BYU
#18 Clemson (3-1) @ N.C. STATE (3-1)
Line: Clemson (-3.5)

12:00 PM EST
(JP Sports, ESPN GamePlan, NESN, FSS)

ACC mediocrity is one of Beerman's goals.  To that end ... Go State!
Pick: Tigs
#19 Texas A&M (5-0) @ COLORADO (4-1)
Line: Colorado (-8) 3:30 PM EST
Some FoxSportsNet, ESPN GamePlan)
Trouble at home against Baylor.   Trouble on the road against Wyoming.  Tied late against McNeese State!   Beerman thinks aTm is walking a very thin line indeed.  Beerman was going to call this his upset pick for the week, but evidently that's a pretty popular opinion already.
Pick: aTm
#21 Kansas State (2-2) @ TEXAS TECH (2-2)
Line: off 2:00 PM EST
And just like that, Kansas State is pretty much done for the season.  Thanks for stopping by!

The line is off as of publication.  That means someone of some consequence is hurt.  So this pick is just the winner...

Pick: KSU
#22 STANFORD (3-0) vs. Washington State (5-0)
Line: Stanford (-3.5)

5:00 PM EST

Washington State doesn't win at Stanford, hasn't in their last five trips.  Could this year break the streak?   It's possible.  All Randy Fassini does is win ballgames, but the Cougars have defense ... (wait for it!) ... up the Wazzou!!!

Thanks a lot ladies and gentlemen, you've been a great crowd.  Don't forget to tip your waitresses, and remember...the 10:00 show is totally different from the 7:00 show!

Pick: WSU
#24 NORTHWESTERN (3-1) vs. Minnesota (1-3)
Line: Northwestern (-12.5)

12:00 PM EST
(ESPN GamePlan, ESPN+, FSN)

Yeah OK, Beerman supposes that perhaps Northwestern's offense can be stopped...but not two weeks in a row, and not by Minnesota.
Pick: NW
#25 OHIO STATE (3-1) vs. Wisconsin (3-3)
Line: tOSU (-10.5)

3:30 PM EST
(ABC, ESPN GamePlan)

Lordy be, what's going on in Madison?  Beerman saw the Wisconsin-Indiana score pop up on the screen and thought, "What?  Basketball season already?"

Ohio State may not have much in the quarterback department, but they have a decent running game, and play tough on defense.  The Big Game is shaping up to decide the Big Ten Title.

Pick: Wisconsin
Syracuse (4-2) @ PITTSBURGH (1-3)
Line: Orange (-4)

12:00 PM EST
(ESPN GamePlan, ESPN+)

Beerman's done with Pittsburgh.   They have outlived their usefulness.

Syracuse, on the other hand, is still worth getting behind.  It's important that the Big East put some decent teams in bowl games.  Beerman's not talking about just qualifying, he's talking about being able to compete and being able to win.

Pick: SU
West Virginia (2-3) @ NOTRE DAME (1-3)
Line: Notre Dame (-12)

2:30 PM EST

OK, so West Virginia is just plain *bad* this year.  It happens, right?  But if they manage one positive thing this year, let it be a win over Notre Dame.
Pick: WVU
Rutgers (1-4) @ TEMPLE (1-3)
Line: Temple (-11.5)

4:00 PM EST
(ESPN GamePlan, ESPN+)

Beerman's developing heartburn just thinking about this game.
Pick: Rutgers
Game of the Week to Watch: Miami-FSU, and then UDub-UCLA

Last Week: 14-7

Season To Date: 59-56-1

Upset Special: Washington State over Stanford (1-5)


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