Picks Week 12

Fans of that Florida school down south finally got their wish. College Gameday will be live from Orlando to give Knights fans their moment in the spotlight.

UCF folks will still cry foul about unfair collusion between ESPN and the rest of the nation against their meteoric rise to 11th in the College Football Playoff poll. Yes, ESPN, a company owned by Disney, really hates Orlando. It all makes sense…
Speaking of absurd conspiracy theories, your professors do in fact hate you. Your grades suffer for it.

You know whose grades don’t suffer? Those damn Ivy Leaguers. The schools up north are wrapping up their conference schedules, and there’s plenty of action to keep up with Saturday. Chief among those is “The Game,” the annual rivalry between Harvard and Yale. The Game has been missed only eight times since 1875, and this one should be a doozy.

Before we meet our competitors, our online editor Mark Stine and football writer Alanis Thames debate this smarty bowl.

Harvard (-4.5) will win because…

Nothing more than the Crimson D.

Harvard’s defense has surrendered more than 30 points in just one game this season.

Yale averages 29.8 points per game.

It should matchup made in Heaven for safety Zach Miller and linebacker Jordan Hill, who have 102 total tackles between them.

Yale won’t get much going on offense, but the Crimson sure will.

The Bulldogs couldn’t contain Brown’s passing game two weeks ago, allowing 358 yards. And they struggled to defend the run last week against Princeton, giving up 489 yards on the ground. That should bode well for Harvard’s rushing attack, which averages nearly 200 yards per game thanks in large part to Aaron Shampklin.

The freshman tailback is already at 1,000 yards rushing and has nine touchdowns on the season.

He’ll take some of the pressure off quarterback Tom Stewart, who’s completing just 50% of his passes. But Harvard need not worry, he won’t have to do much against an inconsistent Yale defense.

Even though Harvard has lost the previous two meetings, Saturday will be a success for the Crimson in their season finale.


Yale (+4.5) will win because…

Who knows what sort of blood ritual the Skull and Bones Society is drumming up for a Yale win this game?

However, the Skull and Bones is probably planning something with a little extra strength since star quarterback Kurt Rawlings was knocked out for the season with a leg injury against Penn.

So, in Griffin O’Connor we trust.

The freshman quarterback is a baller. He only started two games -- two weeks ago against Brown and last week versus Princeton -- but he’s thrown for 901 yards and seven touchdowns.

Of course, having the best receiver in the Ivy League helps. Klubnik Reed is the only Ivy receiver who’s eclipsed 1,000 yards (1,052), and he has hauled in nine touchdowns in the process. Reed is complimented by the Ivy’s third-leading receiver, JP Shohfi (709 yards, five touchdowns), and second-leading rusher in yards-per-game, Lamar Alan (97.70).

O’Connor, a gunslinger with a full arsenal of weapons, now leads Yale into Harvard’s home for the Bulldogs’ biggest game of the season. Yale’s got a two-game win streak going over the Crimson, and the freshman will find a way to keep it alive.


Now, onto the picks...

In first place with a 49-39 record is Alanis “McMurphy truther” Thames, who really, reeeally didn’t like the latest Brett McMurphy article on Trevon Grimes. “There’s too many holes in the story!” she complains. She’s not wrong, but it’s fun to listen to her go on about scandals. Again, this isn’t a roast. Alanis is unroastable, if you haven’t noticed.

Coming in second with a 46-42 mark is Gator Country’s Nick “Twitter beef-starter” de la Torre, who wants desperately to ignite a powder keg of controversy between fans. He encouraged media members to go after different accounts in an act of retribution, even though nobody was slandering his boy Tommy Townsend. Put the Twitter machine down for a few seconds and just relax, man. Go outside. Punt the football around a little bit.

In third place at 45-43 is Morgan “Late picks email” McMullen, who always sends out the games we are picking this week on Thursday. Morgan, didn’t you know we need more than just a few hours to get these picks in? It’s clear you just want a leg up on the competition by forcing us into rushed picks. Shame on you, man. Shame. On. You.

Alone in fourth at 44-44 is the Gainesville Sun’s Graham “Bubble boy” Hall, who was/is apparently allergic to everything fun in his youth. Dogs, cats, grass, you name it, Graham has an allergic reaction to it. It’s a shame you didn’t have a fun childhood, but don’t drag the rest of us down with you.

In a three-way tie for fifth at 43-45 is the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar “Workout master” Thompson, who has an interesting take on the traditional deadlift. Well, he calls them “deadlift thingies.” Apparently they’re Romanian or Hungarian or something. He tried to explain it, and he’s very serious about it, but you’re burying the lede here, bud. “Deadlift thingies” should be the Merriam-Webster Word of the Year in 2019.

Also in fifth is Jake “Swimming in garlic butter” Dreilinger, who got a delicious mix of the sauce from Leonardo’s. Oh, and he threw in a few garlic rolls as well. Jake, enjoying buttery foods is great and all, but the “food” part is an essential component to that.

Rounding out fifth is the Associated Press’ Mark “Blind picker” Long, who made his picks for Week 12 about three minutes after Morgan sent them out. Did you even look at the teams playing this week? Do you ever? Are these the reasons you’re mired in the bottom of the standings? All good questions.

Bringing up the rear at 42-46 is Mark “Frito connoisseur ” Stine, who is not only a culinary master when it comes to smoked meats, but also in processed corn chips. He threatened to write an angry letter to Frito-Lay to complain about the lack of flavor twists aside from the bar-b-que. Mark, you have stories and assignments due. No time for pontifications on snacks, good sir.