Beermanís Picks
by Ben Shapiro, 11/14/01

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 Bowl Championship Series Poll. I don't pick winners (that's too easy), I pick against the spread.  All picks are for entertainment purposes only.  If you actually bet based on what I think...well...don't say you weren't warned!.  For the most current TV information, click on over to TV Guide

Last Week: Back to our winning ways.  The Hokies, and myself as well.

This Week: Rivalry week is upon us!  Except for Virginia -- they're just playing that cow college from across the state.

Not in Action: #1 Nebraska, #4 Oregon, #6 Texas, #14 Colorado

Thursday 11/15
#20 Louiseville (8-1) @ EAST CAROLINA (5-3)
Line: U of L (-2)

7:30 pm EST

I've seen Louiseville on TV a couple of times this year.  They've won each time, and looked like absolute garbage while doing it.  I have the distinct feeling it's going to happen again.
Pick: U of L
Saturday 11/17
#2 MIAMI (FL) (8-0) vs. #15 Syracuse (8-2)
Line: Miami (-21)

3:30 pm EST
(ABC, Gameplan)

21 points?  Wow!

Wait, lemme look again.  Yup, 21 points!  OK, Miami is really really good.  And Miami is at home.  And Miami just got their "scare" out of the way last week.

But come on now.  Three TDs over a team riding a hot streak as big as the Orange's?  Nope.  Can't do it.  I think Miami wins, but I can't call cover on a 21 point spread.

Pick: Syracuse
#3 Oklahoma (9-1) @ #22 TEXAS TECH (6-3)
Line: Okie (-8)

3:30 pm EST
(ABC, Gameplan)

A Texas Tech squad that has slipped under the radar all season is now the last best hope of the cross-state Texas Longhorns.  The Red Raiders are pretty much Maryland to Oklahoma's Florida State ... and this one should play out much the same way...
Pick: Oklahoma
#5 FLORIDA (8-1) vs. #19 Florida State (6-3)
Line: UF (-15) 8:00 pm EST
With Florida this week and Georgia Tech the next, Florida State is thanking their lucky stars to already be bowl eligible...
Pick: Florida
#7 Tennessee (8-1) @ KENTUCKY (2-7)
Line: Tennessee (-18) 12:30 pm EST
Kentucky this week, Vanderbilt the next.  That's a pretty convenient scrimmage schedule for the Vols to get ready for the rescheduled Florida game.
Pick: Vols
#8 Washington State (9-1) @ #16 WASHINGTON (7-2)
Line: WSU (-1)

3:30 pm EST
(ABC, Gameplan)

I'd say that Washington has been exposed as a fraud, and that Wazzou will roll right over them ... except that ... umm ... geez ... OK, I guess that about covers it...
Pick: WSU
#9 STANFORD (6-2) vs. California (0-9)
Line: Stanford  (-25)

3:30 pm EST

Cal's worked hard all season to keep their perfect record.  While the pundits say that playing in the Pac-Ten makes it too easy to go winless, Bear backers claim that they can't help who they have to play in conference.  Regardless, Cal is counting on another easy loss this week as they prepare for a season ending showdown next Saturday with preseason national chumpion favorite Rutgers.
Pick: Stanford
#10 Illinois (8-1) @ OHIO STATE (6-3)
Line: OSU (-3)

3:30 pm EST
(ABC, Gameplan)

I'm actually pretty shocked to see the Buckeyes favored here.  Ohio State has not been terribly impressive this season, and Illinois has taken down everyone save Michigan.

Top-15 teams as underdogs = upset pick.

Pick: Illinois
#11 Michigan (7-2) @ WISCONSIN (4-5)
Line: Michigan (-5.5)

3:30 pm EST
(ABC, Gameplan)

Big Blue should take this one pretty easily, as injuries have rendered the Wisconsin defense a shell of its former shell.
Pick: Michigan
#12 Maryland (9-1) @ N.C. STATE (6-3)
Line: Maryland (-2.5)

7:45 pm EST

Maryland's riding high, and NCSU's got to be spent after last week in Tallahassee.  This one has "let down game" written all over it.
Pick: Maryland
#13 BYU (10-0) vs. Utah (7-2)
Line: BYU (-8.5)

7:00 pm EST

BYU finally catches a break, with a team that may actually help their schedule strength.

It's rivalry week, LDS style, and I would not be at all surprised to see Utah pull it out.  BYU's offense is lights-out, but their defense leaves quite a bit to be desired.

Pick: BYU
#17 AUBURN (7-2) vs. Alabama (4-5)
Line: Auburn (-3.5) 3:30 pm EST
Thanks in part to a Mark Richt brain fart, Auburn is almost a stone lock for a repeat appearance in the SEC title game.

Then again, this is Auburn-Alabama.  Bama may be down this year, but that often doesn't mean a whole heckuvalot in this rivalry.

Pick: Auburn
#18 UCLA (6-3) @ USC (5-5)
Line: UCLA (-3.5)

6:30 pm EST

Two mediocre, over-hyped Pac-Ten teams squaring off in what passes for major sports entertainment out in La-la Land.
Pick: UCLA
#21 SOUTH CAROLINA (7-3) vs. Clemson (5-4)
Line: USC (-4)

3:30 pm EST

This year has to be considered a bit of a disappointment for both teams.  USC can at least say that last year was no fluke, but Clemson is fighting for bowl eligibility at this point. 
Pick: South Carolina
#23 Georgia (5-3) @ MISSISSIPPI (6-2)
Line: Ole Miss (-2)

12:30 pm EST

All these middling SEC match-ups tend to go to the home team.  That is, unless that home team is Georgia.
Pick: Mississippi
#24 Fresno State (8-2) @ NEVADA (2-7)
Line: FSU (-19.5)

3:00 pm EST

Hey, look who's back!  It's the Boogie Woogie Bulldog Boys from Valley V!
Pick: FSU
#25 MARSHALL (8-1) vs. Ohio (1-8)
Line: Marshall (-25) 3:00 pm EST
(Some FoxSportsNet)
In another shocking development, Marshall is poised to repeat as MAC champions for what seems like the 40th year in a row.  If I were a Marshall fan, I'd just go ahead and renew those hotel reservations in Detroit during checkout.
Pick: Marshall
(#26) Virginia Tech (7-2) @ VIRGINIA (4-6)
Line: VT (-14.5) 3:30 pm EST
Sounds like an awful lot of Hoos are happy that we're not in the running for the Rose Bowl any longer.  Happy that we don't stand much chance of getting any BCS bid at all.  Happy that we're no longer taking a win over Wahoo State for granted.

Here's one Hokie who still takes UVA for granted.

Oh they might make things a little interesting, and maybe two touchdowns is a bit large for the spread.  But when all is said and done, someone's going bowling, and someone's trotting out a nice fat 4-8 record with them on the recruiting trail.

Pick: UVA
Boston College (6-3) @ RUTSGERS (2-7)
Line: BC (-29) 12:00 pm EST
So close, but yet so far.  That pretty much describes the history of Boston College football.
Pick: Rutgers
WEST VIRGINIA (3-6) vs. Temple (2-7)
Line: WVU (-15.5)

1:00 pm EST

We get one of these games every week in the Big East, and that's just got to stop!
Pick: Temple
Game of the Week to Watch: They're everywhere.  Rivalry week is simply money.

Last Week: 13-11

Season To Date: 111-110-1

Upset Special: Illinois over Ohio State (5-6)


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