|One more week of the Pick 'Em Contest? Say it ain't so!|
For the year, my hopes for a top 3 finished were dashed in my disaster week 10 as I missed 4 out of 7 games (season total is now 45 out of 58 = 77.5%). It was my worst week of the year and dropped me down to 5th place. (509)Rat had a much better week in going 5 out of 7 games (47 out of 58 = 81%) to solidify 3rd place but will not be able to catch “desertcat1” who looks like he’ll be going back-to-back as the NWC pick ‘em champ. Rat and I only disagree on one game this week and that’s easily the National Game of the Week as John Carroll’s lights out defense gets to see if they have the goods against Mount Union.
Northwest Conference Games of the Week:
#2 Linfield (8-0) over Pacific (7-2) (at Pacific): (509)Rats Says Linfield: Wildcats -39
Whitworth (3-6) over Lewis & Clark (1-7) (on the Hill): The Keith Welch era of Lewis and Clark Football comes to an end this Saturday as the Pios are on the verge of having their worst season since 2008. It’s been funny because the L&C offense is capable of doing some positive things but the Pio defense has been downright brutal this season. For Welch, his career peaked his Sophomore season when he was surrounded with some talent on both sides of the ball but that program has eroded ever since. I’m not sure what happens to the Pioneers in 2014 but it doesn’t look good. Rats “Tully Ball” all day for the win.
(509)Rats Says Whitworth: I didn't get to see the Whitworth game last week. I was surprised by the box score. PLU absolutely killed Whitworth in almost every stat column. We had -13 rushing yards...That's Al Borges bad! But somehow it was a 1 score game. Anyways, Lewis and Clark is the caliber of team that will allow Whitworth to move the ball with their innovative run, run, pass offense. Welch is a good player but he has absolutely no help. He alone won't be enough to upset the Pirates.
Willamette (6-2) over Puget Sound (1-7) (at the Mourge): The Bearcats salvaged a top three NWC finished last week against Pacific and that sounds a lot better on the recruiting circuit than finishing in 4th place. UPS’s Coach Thomas is wrapping up his 4th year at Puget Sound with what will be a 3-33 record. I wonder how much more rope the Puget Sound administration will give before they go another direction? Bearcats score a solid season ending win.
(509)Rat Says Willamette: It really just doesn't get any better for the Loggers does it? First, PLU runs up the score. Then Linfield does what Linfield does to people, hang almost 80 points. And now a high powered Willamette offense gets their turn. I'm proud of UPS for showing up and playing this game though.
West Region Game of the Week
#8 UW-Oshkosh (8-1) over #10 UW-Platteville (8-1) (at UWO): A few weeks ago I called Platteville “fool’s gold” and Whitewater made that call hold up. This week is no different to me. Oshkosh is just as good as Whitewater and will put a physical beating on the over ranked Pioneers for a non-official post-season play in game.
(509)Rat Says Oshkosh: I followed both games against UWW and Oshkosh is an all around better team than Plateville. I think Oshkosh has plenty of offense to keep up with Platteville, even in a bizarre scenario where Oshkosh doesn't play and D. But they will play defense and that defense will be the reason they win, all but locking up a pool C bid.
National Games of the Week
#1 Mount Union (9-0) over #9 John Carroll (9-0) (at Mount): Just a few weeks ago I wrote that “Mount Union is Mount Union until proven otherwise and I’m not picking against them in OAC play until further notice” While that’s a good rule to follow I have to say that I thought long and hard about picking John Carroll this week. I just can’t ignore what the Blue Streak did against Heidelberg last weekend in a 48-7 win. That made most of the d3 pundits go “whoa.” Heidelberg came into that game averaging 54 points per game and took Mount Union deep before falling 44-34 to the Purple Raiders. That fact that JCU ,who only gives up under 4 points per game, buried Heidelberg by 41 points makes you wonder if Mount Union is going to have enough to hang onto that OAC title. I’m still going to take the Raiders because they’ve only lost 1 OAC game in the last 14 years so the odds say go with Mount Union. We’ll see.
(509)Rat Says John Carroll: I don't believe my own pick for a minute. But I need this to make one last shot at desertcat1 (even though I'm pretty sure I have no shot). I also really really want this one to happen. John Carroll's defense is legit. And while I think Heidelberg was suffering from a rough loss to Mt Union the week before, the Brown Streaks really took ‘em to the woodshed. John Carroll looked plenty good enough to slow down a Mt. Union team without that NFL caliber big play WR. Down Goes Frazier...
Case Western Reserve (4-4) over Carnegie Mellon (3-6) (at CMU): They call this “The Academic Bowl” because the young men on both of these teams are future world business leaders/breakthrough medical research caliber students who are also playing college football. I know nothing about Carnegie Mellon so I’m picking CWRU on the fact they helped bail Linfield out of a scheduling crunch when George Fox left the entire conference high and dry when they pushed out their start date.
(509)Rat Says CWRU: Fun fact: Carnegie Mellon last won a game in this series in 2006. Neither team is very good, but Case Western is the stronger program. Case Western easily has the more impressive group of "wins" (remember this is all relative to the competition) knocking off Chicago and Trinity (TX). I think they will be the more talented team and I think they've won these games that they're supposed to all season. Don't see em stopping now.