Beermanís Picks
by Ben Shapiro, 11/23/01

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: Geez, I'm getting killed.  In desperate need of a good week, I may have to resort to throwing darts at the sports page.  Now if only I had some darts...

This Week: The Hokies take one last bye week before taking on the mighty Hurricanes of Miami.  The Hoos begin earnest discussion of next year's recruits.  And on the seventh day, God rested.

Not in Action: #4 Florida, #5 Oregon, #12 Maryland, #13 BYU, #14 Washington State, #16 South Carolina, #22 Virginia Tech, #23 Auburn, #25 UCLA

Thursday 11/22
#8 ILLINOIS (9-1) vs. Northwestern (4-6)
Line: Illinois (-18)

1:00 pm EST

Illinois is one blowout loss to Michigan shy of perfect. Their reward? Most likely the Citrus Bowl against the best SEC team not to play in the BCS.

Northwestern is reeling. The defense hasn't stopped ... well ... ANYONE ... in six straight losses.  And when your offense can't even keep up with Bowling Green (who lost to Temple BTW), you know you've got problems.

Pick: Illinois
Friday 11/23
#1 Nebraska (11-0) @ #15 COLORADO (8-2)
Line: UNL (-10)

3:30 pm EST

I recall fondly, standing on the field after completing our perfect season against Boston College, lo, these many years ago ... waiting with great anticipation as Colorado took Nebraska right down to the wire.  Thus, assuring us a Sugar Bowl berth and a chance at a National Championship.

I really wish I could pick Colorado here, but I think Nebraska's gonna kill 'em.

Pick: Nebraska
#6 Texas (9-1) @ TEXAS A&M (7-3)
Line: Texas (-13.5)

12:00 pm EST

I almost wish Chris Simms would declare for the draft this year.  Just to see if someone would pick Major Applewhite before him.  Alas...
Pick: aTm
#17 Louiseville (10-1) @ TCU (4-5)
Line: Cards (-7.5)

6:00 pm EST

I'm tired of Louiseville befouling my living room.  How many games do they play this season anyway?
Pick: Louiseville
#19 FRESNO STATE (9-2) vs. San Jose State (3-7)
Line: FSU (-28.5)

4:00 pm EST

Geez, and they didn't even win the WAC.  Tough goings for the Bulldogs, who are about to win 10 games and take that to the Tidy Bowl.
Pick: FSU-West
#24 Arkansas (7-3) @ LSU (6-3)
Line: LSU (-9.5) 2:30 pm EST
The Hogs fell off the radar going 1-3 in their first four games (losses to Tennessee, @ Bama, and @ Georgia ... that'll hurt anybody!) but have now won six straight.

So this is how they are welcomed to the top-25.  A road date in Death Valley.  Gotta love that SEC!
Pick: Arkansas
RUTSGERS (2-8) vs. California (0-10)
Line: Cal (-13) 1:00 pm EST
Only Rutgers could be two touchdown underdogs at home to a winless team.


Pick: Rutgers
Saturday 11/24
#2 MIAMI (FL) (9-0) vs. #11 Washington (8-2)
Line: Miami (-25.5)

8:00 pm EST
(ABC, Gameplan)

What can I say?  Miami at home is almost unbeatable.  They've got the swagger back, and to this point they've backed it up.  Barring another four interception day, I don't see Washington standing much of a chance.  I hesitate to pick Miami to cover this large of a spread against this good of an opponent.  But if the Pac Ten is truly overrated, then Washington is probably the most overrated of the bunch.  So why not?
Pick: Miami
#3 OKLAHOMA (10-1) vs. Oklahoma State (3-7)
Line: Okie (-27)

3:30 pm EST

As usually occurs when a football school plays against a basketball school, this one's over before it begins.

I'm expecting something along the lines of 31-0 at the half.  Oklahoma State could make a game of it if OU gets conservative in the second half, but I don't expect the game to ever really be in doubt.

Pick: Sooners
#7 TENNESSEE (9-1) vs. Vanderbilt (2-7)
Line: Tennessee (-25) 3:30 pm EST
Vandy doesn't have the horses to pull off what Kentucky almost managed last week.  As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure they've got a coach right now.  I think their QB just draws up plays in the dirt, and tells everyone "go long".
Pick: Tennessee
#9 STANFORD (7-2) vs. Notre Dame (4-5)
Line: Stanford (-7.5)

8:00 pm EST
(ABC, Gameplan)

When Central Florida joins the MAC next season, they will finally have an opportunity to play for a bowl bid.  This is relevant, because unlike certain other I-A Independents, UCF is about to become bowl-eligible.
Pick: Stanford
#10 MICHIGAN (8-2) vs. Ohio State (6-4)
Line: Michigan (-9)

1:00 pm EST
(ABC, Gameplan)

The Big Game once more. Frankly, Michigan is leaps and bounds better than Ohio State. Expecially at the quarterback position. Jim Tressel can make a whole lot of friends real quick in Columbus if he pulls off the upset here, but I don't see it.
Pick: Michigan
#18 GEORGIA (6-3) vs. Georgia Tech (6-3)
Line: Georgia Tech (-2.5)

7:45 pm EST

Ah yes, once again we've got the top-25 home underdog.  Coming off a big win at Mississippi, I'm rather surprised to be honest.  Georgia Tech has been consistently inconsistent all year, so I suppose anything's possible.  But I like the Dawgs here.
Pick: UGA
#20 SYRACUSE (8-3) vs. Boston College (7-3)
Line: Syracuse (-4)

7:00 pm EST

So three of the top six worst blowout losses by then top-25 teams in the past 20 years belong to Syracuse.  Boy, they must be proud.
Pick: Cuse
#21 MARSHALL (9-1) vs. (I-AA) Youngstown State (7-2)
Line: No line (I-AA) 7:00 pm EST
Youngstown State is to the MAC, as the MAC is to Ohio State.


Pittsburgh (4-5) @ WEST VIRGINIA (3-7)
Line: Pitt (-3.5) 12:00 pm EST
Good lord.  The entire nation is about to find out just how ugly it is in the nether regions of the Big East.
Pick: Pitt
TEMPLE (3-7) vs. Connecticut (2-8)
Line: Temple (-19.5) 12:00 pm EST
Winner gets the last spot in the Big East, loser drinks the Kool Aid.


Pick: UConn
Game of the Week to Watch: Nebraska - Colorado and Miami - Washington

Last Week: 8-12

Season To Date: 119-122-1

Upset Special: Georgia over Georgia Tech (6-6)


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