Sunday, April 21, 2024

Underdog gridders will feel the Brees

Time is running out. There’s two weeks left for the MSU football team to qualify for a bowl and two weeks left for the prognosticators to be wicked smart. Special K has looked to Chris Berman alter-ego “Swami” for ridiculous guidance on this week’s picks.

Records to date: Arthole: 29-13, Special K: 23-19

No. 9 Purdue (7-2) at MSU (4-5)

MSU has lost three straight to the Boilermakers, including two at the hands of Heisman hopeful Drew Brees. This is the first of two must-win games for the Spartans if there’s any chance for a bowl game this year.

Special K: Coach Bobby Williams matches the Boilers with a five-wide receiver set, confusing the heck out of Purdue, as well as MSU, who didn’t realize they had five wideouts. But the scheme turns golden when freshmen Joe Savage and Josh Lenaburg and walk-on Jeremy Barkey score touchdowns, leading MSU to an upset victory. It’s so exciting, even the student section stays ‘til the end.

MSU 27, Purdue 26

Arthole: After last year’s 52-28 annihilation of MSU, Drew Brees doesn’t plan on wasting his weekend in East Lansing and sends his Brees-o-Matic passing robot, complete with a replica of Brees’ birthmark, to play in his stead. Caught up in all the talk about going to the Rose Bowl, Purdue falls behind 14-7 and the Brees-o-Matic turns out to be ineffective. Things turn for the worse when Brees shows up at halftime. Then, MSU turns in an encore performance from a week ago and watches Purdue rack up 17 unanswered points en route to victory.

Purdue 24, MSU 14

No. 1 Oklahoma (8-0) at No. 23 Texas A&M (7-2)

There’s rumblings of an upset as the Aggies are on a four-game winning streak, including a 26-10 win over No. 16 Kansas State two weeks ago. On the other hand, Oklahoma has an eight-game winning streak of their own - currently the nation’s longest.

Special K: The Sooners have trouble sustaining their recent dominance, and they allow Texas A&M to grab an early lead. But in the second half, Josh Heupel and Quentin Griffin dominate, and Oklahoma takes one more step to the Orange Bowl.

Oklahoma 34, Texas A&M 16

Arthole: Now that Josh Heupel and No. 1 Oklahoma have the college football world by the balls, the hyped-up Sooner quarterback makes his case for the Heisman Trophy. Talk around Texas A&M is the fact that Aggies players aren’t afraid of Heupel’s skills. Just getting used to his newfound fame, Heupel is dismayed to find there are people that aren’t on his bandwagon. Saturday he throws for 500-plus yards and five touchdowns and comes up with the lame line: “Be afraid!”

Oklahoma 45, Texas A&M 20

No. 13 Ohio State (7-2) at Illinois (5-4)

After beating the Spartans last week, Ohio State is in position for a quality bowl game. Illinois, by contrast, needs one more win to qualify for a bowl appearance.

Special K: With their season hanging in the balance, Kurt Kittner and Illinois come out blazing. Although the Illini’s defense is brutal, their offense keeps the Buckeyes’ defense on the field for much of the game. For the second year in a row, the Illini screw up Ohio State’s season and perpetual arrogance.

Illinois 24, Ohio State 22

Arthole: Here’s a matchup between one of the Big Ten’s disappointments this year (Illinois) and another team that’s considered a disappointment whenever it loses (Ohio State). It seems whenever I pick the Buckeyes to lose, they win. For this game, I’m throwing all reasoning out the window and picking Ohio State to win to spite them. Burn Buckeyes, burn.

Ohio State 27, Illinois 13

UCLA (6-3) at No. 7 Washington (8-1)

Washington came from behind to win seven of its eight games this season. UCLA’s done the same in three of its six wins. The question is, who would rather be leading this game as it draws to a close?

Special K: If Washington had beat Miami earlier in the season, they’d be in position for a BCS bowl right now. But, as things turned out, they are fighting for a trip to the Rose Bowl. Saturday, the Huskies will take all their anger out on UCLA’s terrible-ass defense.

Washington 73, UCLA 11

Arthole: Washington’s hopes to play in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day depend on two things - the Huskies’ continued winning and a loss by Oregon. The Bruins, who play all their home games at the Rose Bowl, talk a bunch of smack about how nice the field is, what it’s like to play there, how dope the honeys in Pasadena are and how Washington won’t be making a trip there in January to enjoy all that good stuff. Too bad UCLA isn’t good enough to back up their talk.

Washington 17, UCLA 10

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