Well, does it?
Can a weekend of sports possibly have more stuffed into it? Three local prep teams are playing for conference titles, two League Championship Series will come to a close in the MLB Playoffs. Boys and girls cross country and soccer teams will be competing for regional titles. USC and Notre Dame renew one of college football’s most prestigious rivalries and some guy named Peyton Manning is back in Indianapolis.
All of that over the next four days. Needless to say, I am excited. Before I get to this week’s picks, I want to share this awesome story from the University of Toledo. It is a short read and just a nice reminder that faith in humanity should not be a total loss.
Last Week: 8-2
High School Football Week 9 10/18
Jimtown (6-2) at Triton (1-7), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: This has been a rough season for the Trojans. There is no doubt about the heart and integrity that Triton plays with but sometimes that is just not enough to get a win. This week is not going to be any easier for Triton than the past seven weeks have been. Jimtown is a big, physical and talented team and should really not struggle too much with a Trojan team that is lacking a lot of depth. Current stats are not on the Trojans side and history is definitely not on Triton’s side either. Triton has not beaten Jimtown since 1969. Yeah, it has been that long. Maybe the Trojans can catch Jimtown sleeping, but I don’t see it.
The Pick: Jimtown 56, Triton 20.
Wawasee (4-4) at Goshen (0-8), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Goshen has only had three season’s in which it has finished with zero wins. Three times in a history that spans 113 seasons and they are staring 0-9 in the face this season. I do not know what has happened to Goshen in the past ten years but it has been bad. The Redskins bring a lot of size to the table but that has not made a difference yet this season and to think it would matter this Friday would be foolish. Wawasee has proven a lot of people wrong this season, myself included, especially when speaking of the offensive line. Wawasee’s “undersized” guys up front have done nothing but prove me wrong this season by opening up big running lanes and outplaying their defensive counterparts. They are a motivated group and will be the linchpin to another Warrior victory this week.
The Pick: Wawasee 35, Goshen 14.
Warsaw (6-2) at Concord (6-2), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Let me start out by apologizing for two mistakes I made. I first apologize for referring to Tristan McClone’s performance against Wawasee in week seven as “pedestrian.” I had the wrong yardage written down, 175 yards is far from pedestrian. The second thing I owe Warsaw and apology for is writing them off after the loss to Northridge in week five. Obviously, I was wrong. This week’s game is for all the marbles in the NLC. Concord has won conference the past three seasons and has home field advantage, which is actually a factor when playing at Jake Field. Concord has had some trouble stopping the run in recent weeks but I really do not see that as a factor this week. It has been a fun ride for Warsaw and there are more wins to come, just not this week.
The Pick: Concord 48, Warsaw 21.
Tippecanoe Valley (5-3) at Whitko (5-3), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: There has been no team that has surprised me more than Whitko. This team has played some great football this year and turned 2013 into a solid season. The Wildcats have one more step to go to making this a truly memorable season. The only problem is that Valley stands in the way and is also in pursuit of the TRC crown. I am excited to say that I will be in South Whitley for the big game Friday night to witness one of these two rivals taking home at least a piece of the conference trophy as Rochester could still claim a share with a win on Friday as well. This game is basically the unofficial Stacey Page Online game of the week. If I could do a production like College GameDay, this would be the location for this week, and I am pulling a Lee Corso and putting on the Viking helmet in enemy territory.
The Pick: Valley 42, Whitko 28.
College Football Week 8 10/19
Purdue (1-5) at Michigan State (5-1), 12 p.m.
The Scoop: Purdue just cannot catch a break. The season looks like it is getting worse for the Boilers every time they take the field. I promise you, Purdue fans, it will get better. It just might not get much better this season and definitely not this week. IU hung with the Spartans last week, sort of, but only because the Hoosiers have an impressive offense and not much else. Purdue lacks an offensive attack, or has so far this year, and the Spartans defense is far from a cupcake. It might be another long Saturday for the Boilers.
The Pick: Michigan State 45, Purdue 10.
Indiana (3-3) at Michigan (5-1), 3:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Indiana beat Penn State. Penn State beat Michigan. Do you know what that means? It means that IU fans, such as myself, will get over-hyped and full of false confidence for this weekend’s game in Ann Arbor. Michigan is really not that good. The Wolverines have struggled against some bad teams and their signature win is over Notre Dame at home, think about that for a minute. Michigan is definitely beatable but the Hoosiers have yet to prove they can play a complete game on the road., I am sure they will score a lot though.
The Pick: Michigan 53, Indiana 45.
USC (4-2) at Notre Dame (4-2), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen sat and pondered what the heck happened to these two teams. Yes, I said this was a prestigious rivalry and it still is. This week’s game is just not one of those prestigious match ups. I think it will be an exciting and close game, even though Notre Dame has the ability to run away with it. The problem is that the Irish cannot seem to reach their full potential pretty much ever, so who knows what will truly happen this weekend. I just cannot see Brian Kelly letting his team lose this game.
The Pick: Notre Dame 31, USC 20.
NFL Week 7 10/20
Chicago (4-2) at Washington (1-4), 1 p.m.
The Scoop: The Bears are back on track heading into the nation’s capitol this Sunday. The Redskins are a dangerous team with Robert Griffin III under center as he presents an impressive skill set that can hurt any defense. But the Bears are a team that is even more dangerous with Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and pretty much the entire defense and special teams units. There is no excuse for the Bears to lose this week. Bear Down!
The Pick: Chicago 41, Washington 27.
Denver (6-0) at Indianapolis (4-2), 8:30 p.m.
The Scoop: It has finally arrived, the return of Peyton Manning. This homecoming for the ages may very well be the biggest sports event in Indianapolis’ history and a preview for the AFC Championship Game. Andrew Luck will welcome in the man he replaced with a much improved team than the one Manning had the last time he wore the horseshoe on his helmet. There has been some negative news surrounding the game thanks to some poorly-timed comments by Colts owner Jim Irsay and some handy work by media outlets like ESPN to blow the comments out of proportion. I am going to be at the game Sunday and despite my efforts, I could not get a private interview with Irsay or Manning…or any players. I will have to look into what went wrong there, do they not realize that I have my own weekly article? Anyways, expect a great game between two great quarterbacks. As much as I love Manning, I feel bad for him having to take his first 2013 loss to his former team.
The Pick: Indianapolis 34, Denver 28.
MLB AL Playoffs Game 5 10/17
Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers, Series tied at 2-2, 8 p.m.
The Scoop: I am bringing baseball into the mix this week to show you all how far my knowledge reaches, sometimes. Jon Lester takes the mound for the Sox while Anibal Sanchez gets the start for Detroit. Sanchez is going to roll in this game. His ERA sits at 2.67 currently and he already has one shutout victory in this series. The Red Sox should really not be in this series, both of their wins were pretty lucky in my opinion and the luck runs out starting tonight. Tiger Town gets one step closer to being Title Town with a win.
The Pick: Detroit 6, Boston 1.