This week’s picks column is dedicated to the San Francisco Giants for winning the World Series in four games and getting baseball season over with more quickly than any of us thought possible.
Nothing against America’s pastime (circa 1974). Remove high-definition close-ups of Tim McCarver and I love baseball. See, the thing is, football, be it pro, college or prep — but not Arena — long ago became the big brother in this country. We can’t seem to tailgate enough.
Having said that, pass me the potato salad and rolls, because here are this week’s picks:
Notre Dame 31,
Boston College 13
If the Eagles’ win against the mighty Black Bears of Maine (had to look that one up) earlier this season didn’t get your attention ... never mind. This is a blowout. Two programs barreling down the tracks in opposite directions means the Eagles will be lucky to keep it this close.
Iowa 24, Purdue 17
The Danny Hope Farewell Tour makes a stop in Iowa City, a place the Boilermakers haven’t been victorious in the land of the pink visitors’ locker room since 1992. Want to know how long ago that was? Mike Alstott and current Indianapolis Colts GM Ryan Grigson were on Purdue’s roster.
Wisconsin 34, Indiana 30
The past two meetings, both in Madison, resulted in 142 points for the Badgers compared to IU’s 27. Double ouch. Much as I would love to see the Hoosiers put a 40-point beatdown on Brent “Run ’Em Up” Bielema, the program isn’t yet prepared to do so. The Hoosiers give Wisconsin trouble at home but come up just short.
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson might have 150 yards rushing at halftime based on the way the Wildcats play defense, which is to say hardly at all. Robinson shines in what is his second-to-last game at the Big House.
Penn State 20
Although the Nittany Lions have proved to be better than anticipated, this is a road game for them. Huskers win.
Minnesota 20, Illinois 17
You can throw out the records when this pair of stellars hook up. Sorry, I misspoke. What I meant to say is you can throw out the teams.
Minnesota’s program since 1951 has produced 22 inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame, a number in no way threatened by this year’s Gophers roster. Still, they find a way to win in Champaign.
Based on the way Jaguars’ fans traditionally support their team, management might want to order just one concession stand be open at EverBank Field.
Indy, which needs to take advantage of the soft schedule it’s been given for going 2-14 in 2011, picks up a win in the Sunshine State.
Last week’s record: 8-1
Season record: 74-25