|LBC with a chance to have a big day on the Hill.|
Not a terrible week 7 for old Wildcat 11 as I went 4 out of 5 last Saturday. UW-Platteville burnt me twice this season so they can go pound sand for all I care at this point. This year’s been so frustrating because I’ve been smoking hot with the NWC picks but brutal on the Regional and National Game picks. This must what is feel like to be Whitworth's offense running at Linfield's Defense.
On the season, I’m 36 out of 47 games for a sad and pathetic 76.6%. Fellow NWC pick ‘em contestant and former Whitworth football player “(509) Rat” was tweeting me after the game last week that while he knows his team isn’t on the same level of Linfield, he still is feeling good about beating me in the pick ‘em contest for the second year in a row. I have to tip my cap to (509) and say he’s been the better picker and the only thing that dulls that sting is trying to figure out how to get all of the TD’s Linfield piled on Whitworth last Saturday into a manageable highlight clip.
WC11 note (8:26pm 10/19/2012): I asked (509)Rat to add his notes on this week's picks and he obliged. His comments are in red.
To the picks!
Northwest Conference Games:
#22 Willamette (6-0, 2-0) over Pacific Lutheran (3-2, 2-0) (at PLU): Hands down the game of the week on the west coast for Division 3. This game has giant implications for both Willamette and PLU in their chase for a piece of the NWC championship. If PLU loses that knocks them out of the NWC title picture and ends any hope of a post-season bid. If PLU wins, that means the ‘Lutes still have a shot at getting a piece of the NWC title if the Bearcats can knock off Linfield and create a 3-way tie on top of the conference. Win or lose and Willamette is still playing for a shot at the whole NWC title or a share of it. However, with a win this Saturday, the Bearcats put themselves in optimal position for either the auto-bid or an at-large bid.
For the game itself, the action on the NWC pick ‘em board is split about 50/50. While Willamette is highly regarded (rightfully so) people know that PLU is a dangerous team that took CLU and Linfield deep into their games before the outcome was decided. I didn’t spend too much time making the pick here as I think Willamette is going to wind up with the win. I wouldn’t be shocked if PLU pulled it out but I feel Willamette has more than enough talent to set up an epic showdown in McMinnville on the 27th.
(509)Rats says: Willamette's D continues to improve and PLU can't keep up. Track meet breaks out at a football game.
Whitworth (5-2) over Puget Sound (0-5): After getting embarrassed by Linfield the Whitworth Pirates need a confidence boost and the schedule makers have provided the Rats with a confidence clinic in UPS coming to town. I suspect Ronnie Thomas to run wild on the Loggers and for Whitworth to get back on the winning track.
(509)Rats says: (He said that Whitworth wins...couldn't copy and paste what he actually said)
West Region Games of the Week:
#5 UW-Whitewater (5-1) over #10 UW-Oshkosh (6-0) (at UWW): Game of the week in Division III is out in Whitewater, Wisconsin as the defending national champions are squaring off vs up-and-coming Oshkosh. I’ve been terrible with my WIAC picks this season and I think whoever I pick winds up losing so I’d be worried if I was UWW right now. While some people are smelling blood in the water with regards to Whitewater, I still think they’re going to have a major say on the 2012 National Title race. I’ll take the Hawks pounding the rock.
(509)Rats says: Buffalo St. was a miracle but UWW showed vulnerability. It's Oshkosh's year! I don't believe any of that but I need it happen.
#25 Coe (6-0) over Simpson (5-1) (at Simpson): The IIAC has gone all season long without one of their teams breaking the top 25 but that ended last week as the Coe Kohawks broke through at number 25. This game is going to go a long way in deciding the IIAC and playoff berth out of that conference as I don’t think they’ll have a chance getting a Pool C bid. I wanted to take Simpson solely on the fact that Coe’s twitter feed has lifted our “Expect To Win” mantra but I’ll still take them win.
(509)Rats says: Looked at a map, Indianola, IA looks worse than Mac. I know, "no way" but it's ture. Simpson can't be good. Coe in a route.
National games of the week:
#12 Illinois Wesleyan University (6-0) over Wheaton (4-2) (at Wheaton): IWU is a program on the rise in the well regarded CCIW while Wheaton has been a model of consistence in the modern D3 era. There are questions about IWU’s schedule to this point, as it’s been soft, and Wheaton has lost two VERY close games, but I’ve been so bad with these national game picks that I’m going to opposite of my instinct. I actually like Wheaton better but that probably means IWU will get the win. See what I did there.
(509)Rats says: Apparently Whitworth kids love Wheaton's masters in theology program. And I hate those kids. Conference torch is passed to IWU.
#17 Rowan (5-1) over Cortland State (5-1) (at Cortland): I’ll take Rowan in this battle of NJAC schools. I have to confess that the only reason I picked the Profs is so I could link up the highlights of the ‘Cats 52-0 National Semifinal BLASTING of Rowan from 2004. Damn, watching that never gets old.
(509)Rats says: Rowan is really good when they arn't playing west of NJ lol. D wins championships and Profs have the edge there. Rowan slays the Dragons. <---see what I did there?