It’s a Friday edition of Nick’s Picks! Last weekend was so bad, I decided to take another day just to recover. But it’s now a new week and everybody gets to start fresh. We are all 0-0 this week, at least that’s how I’m thinking about it.
Seriously, it was a rough week for prep football in the Kosciusko area. Whitko was the only team in our area to escape with a victory last weekend. Congratulations to coach Josh Mohr and the Wildcats on picking up their first win of the season.
Before I continue rambling about football, I want to recognize 9/11 as most people did yesterday. I’m not going to write a long definition about what it means to be an American or anything like that. I’m just going to honor the day of remembrance by giving you the chance to watch the Star-Spangled Banner be performed by Jim Cornelison. Enjoy.
Awesome, right? God Bless America.
Back to football. How bad was last week for the rest of our local football teams? Tippecanoe Valley scored 20 points, Whitko scored seven (seven points, in a victory) and Warsaw, Wawasee and Triton scored a combined six points. Yeah, it was that kind of weekend.
Adding to last week’s gridiron crap shoot was Purdue, the Bears and the Colts. But more on them later. Last weekend was just bad all around, unless you’re a Whitko or Notre Dame fan.
So, to wrap up my babbling, I pose a question to all of the teams that were on the wrong end of a blowout last weekend. It’s very simple and you can give your answer under the lights tonight:
How are you going to respond?
Last Week: 4-6
High School Football Week 4 9/12
Whitko (1-2, 1-0) at Manchester (2-1, 0-1), 7 p.m. *Game of the Week*
The Scoop: Whitko is on a roll now! Okay, the Wildcats are not quite on a roll yet, but getting over the hump with win number one is certainly a big start. Last season Whitko started out 0-2 and then won six of its final seven games to claim a share of the Three Rivers Conference title. I won’t say that I expect the same thing this year but I definitely expect a win this weekend. Oh, why is this the *Game of the Week*? Because Whitko earned it by winning last weekend (My article, my rules). Tanner Hughes is rushing for 130 and two scores in this one.
The Pick: Whitko 25, Manchester 10.
Tippecanoe Valley (0-3, 0-1) at Southwood (2-1, 0-1), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: Ah, so close! Valley nearly mounted the comeback victory over Manchester last Saturday but were cut just short, losing 27-20. This week the contest is not any easier as the Vikings will travel to take on a tough Southwood team. Southwood was ranked at one point but has since fallen out of the polls, and for good reason. The Knights are just not that good, but Valley has yet to prove itself on the field. I’m going to go out on a limb and call the victory for the Vikings. Not really sure why, just a gut feeling.
The Pick: Valley 24, Southwood 21.
Bremen (1-2, 0-1) at Triton (1-2, 0-1), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: It’s rivalry weekend in Bourbon! If there is any game that the Trojans want to win this year, it’s this one. Triton has lost four straight meetings to its rivals and I think that number will jump to five. Triton is improved from last season and Bremen is not as good as it was last season. However, the reason I am picking Bremen here is because of offense. Bremen only scores 24 points per game but Triton averages right around 18 and has been shutout twice. The good news for Trojan fans is that I’m not positive that I have ever picked a Triton game correctly.
The Pick: Bremen 14, Triton 0.
Wawasee (2-1, 0-1) at No. 2 (5A) Concord (3-0, 2-0), 7:30 p.m.
The Pick: “How are you going to respond” was directed at two teams in particular and Wawasee is one of them. 55-0 is a score that should stick with this team until about 7:25 p.m. tonight. After that it is all about moving forward and responding to last week’s performances. The Warriors have not beaten Concord since 2004, on their way to the IHSAA State Finals.
So, it’s been a while and that streak CAN come to an end tonight! Yes, I said it and I believe it. Wawasee needs to get its offense in rhythm early (stating the obvious). But the biggest key to victory is keeping the ball out of Concord’s hands in the final two minutes of the half. Seriously, it seems like every year the Minutemen have some ridiculous play happen right before half to completely take the sails out of the wind (tip of the cap to Caz Szynal) for Wawasee. But, this is still a pick that has to be earned. Prove me wrong, Wawasee.
The Pick: Concord 31, Wawasee 23.
Elkhart Memorial (1-2, 1-1) at Warsaw (1-2, 0-1), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Warsaw is the other team I was referring to. One thing is for sure about this pick, Warsaw will score 28 points. The Tigers have a three-game winning streak over the Chargers and in those three games Warsaw score exactly 28 points in each contest. Warsaw needs to get back on track and this is the game to help the Tigers do just that. Memorial is coming off of a victory and will be hungry to get its first win streak since 2011. This is a game the Tigers could overlook and pay dearly for but I think Warsaw will be ready to go and hit that 28 points right on the head!
The Pick: Warsaw 28, Memorial 6.
NCAA Football 9/13
Indiana (1-0) at Bowling Green (1-1), 12 p.m.
The Scoop: I’m not spending much time on this. The Big Ten is bad, the Mid-American Conference has plenty of teams capable of beating the crappy B1G teams and this could be one of those occasions, but it won’t be. IU has had an entire extra week to sit back and prepare for the Falcons, a team who beat the Virginia Military Institute and lost to Western Kentucky. IU thinks it is a bowl-caliber team now, bowl teams win this game by 20 points of more.
The Pick: Indiana 38, Bowling Green 14.
Indiana State (1-1) at Ball State (1-1), 3 p.m.
The Scoop: Oh, Ball State fans, how heartbreaking. The Cardinals led nearly the entire time on Saturday afternoon at Iowa, only to lose 17-13. That one stings. But this week Indiana State rolls into town and Charlie Cardinal is going to take all of his anger out on the Sycamores. Quarterback Ozzie Mann (Yes, that is his real name. Epic.) is going to tear apart the Sycamore defense four three touchdowns and 250 yards to give BSU a nice victory.
The Scoop: Ball Sate 42, Indiana State 20.
Purdue (1-1) at No. 11 Notre Dame (2-0), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Both of these teams completely surprised me last week. Purdue managed to embarrass itself at home against Central Michigan, this surprised me for reasons that I’m still not sure of. Shortly thereafter Notre Dame completely embarrassed Michigan in South Bend. This surprised me because, well, it’s Notre Dame. Anyways, no analysis needed here. Purdue will make this a game at the start since it’s Notre Dame but the Boilers just don’t have what it takes to hang around.
The Pick: Notre Dame 45, Purdue 21.
NFL Week 2 9/14-9/15
Chicago (0-1) at San Francisco (1-0), 8:30 p.m. Sunday Night Football
The Scoop: I knew it. I had a gut feeling about the Bills and I went against it and I paid dearly. But, this does answer the question I posed last week. It is possible to have a trap game in week one. The Bears defense is bad, really bad. It’s worse than I thought and I thought it was pretty bad to begin with. But don’t worry, Bears fans. This week Chicago takes on one of the NFL’s top five teams…in prime time…at a brand new stadium…and both Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have missed practice this week with injuries. What could possibly go wrong?
The Pick: 49ers 41, Bears 20.
Philadelphia (1-0) at Indianapolis (0-1), 8:30 p.m. Monday Night Football
The Scoop: Does anyone want to go down to Indy with me and start on the offensive line? Yeesh. The Colts line is as bad as the Bears defense. Indy has a rough start to the season. Last week it was Denver, this week it’s Philadelphia. The Indy defense needs to improve but there were some bright spots last week. I really think the Colts will win this week. Lucas Oil Stadium is a great atmosphere, it’s the home opener and Andrew Luck. That’s it actually, Andrew Luck. Boom, Colts win because of Andrew Luck. One more time, Andrew Luck.
The Pick: Colts 28, Eagles 27.