Last week I was very mediocre. In fact, I’m beginning to think that this whole “picking games” idea is a real shot in the dark.
Last week my picks were blown up by the likes of Bowling Green, Indiana State and both the Bears and Colts let me down in very different ways.
This week, I vow to be better! Does that really mean anything? Eh, we’ll see.
Before getting into the picks I need to give a few shout outs. First, to the Wawasee girls golf team. The Lady Warriors won the Northern Lakes Conference tournament this past Saturday by one stroke. Very impressive. Then, of course, to Alexis Manwaring. The Warsaw senior stood tall as the individual champion at the NLC Championship with a score of 81. Nicely done, Alexis. Best of luck to the Tigers, Warriors, Triton, Tippecanoe Valley, Whitko and Lakeland Christian at the sectional this Saturday.
Also, a big congratulations goes out to Troy Carolus of Wawasee for winning his first race of his prep career this past Tuesday. For more details on that, click here to view the story on our site.
One last thing: This past weekend I was able to cover the Purdue v. Notre Dame Shamrock Series game from the press box at Lucas Oil Stadium and it was awesome. I even got to meet one of my sports writing idols (Yes, we have idols too.) in Bob Kravitz. People always say to never meet your idols, well, they can go fly a kite because that was awesome. Mike Deak was on the field and got some amazing shots of the action. Check all of that out here.
Last Week: 5-5
High School Football Week 5 9/19
Northfield (3-1, 1-1) at Tippecanoe Valley (0-4, 0-2), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: Things just keep getting rougher for the Vikings. Last week Southwood took it to the boys 58-29 after holding a mere two-point lead at the half. This really doesn’t get any easier as Valley will host a talented team in Northfield. This is a winnable game as Northfield really does not have a high powered offensive attack. But, neither do the Vikings. The difference here will be Valley’s defense, or the lack thereof. Valley is surrendering 39 points per game, ouch. If the Vikings want to escape with a win they will need to keep is close, and low-scoring for the whole game, not just the first half.
The Pick: Northfield 35, Valley 20.
Wabash (1-3, 1-1) at Whitko (2-2, 2-0), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: Hats off to Wabash! The Apaches snapped a 31-game losing streak last week by beating North Miami. (Wow, how bad is North Miami?) Now that the streak is over, Whitko will be glad to usher in the start of another losing skid this Friday night.
I let Whitko fans down last week as I predicted Tanner Hughes to run for 130 yards and two scores in last week’s win over Manchester. I was wrong. Hughes ran for 192 yards and three scores! The kid is pretty good. Let’s see if he and the offensive line can top it this weekend. Tanner, can you arrange 200 plus and another three scores?
The Pick: Whitko 50, Wabash 10.
NorthWood (3-1, 1-1) at Wawasee (2-2, 0-2), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: I need to start this out by saying that I am not buying into the hype of NorthWood football. I’m not jumping on that bandwagon and I am most definitely not following Nate Andrews (or his visor) to the promised land. That being said, this is going to be a great game this Friday.
Wawasee has given up 99 points it’s first two weeks of NLC play and is currently surrendering 29 points per game. Those two stats aren’t indicative of how Wawasee played against top ranked Concord last week and neither really matter this week.
Last season the Warriors entered NorthWood week after surrendering 83 points in their first two NLC game and beat the Panthers 21-16. I expect a slightly higher score this year, but Wawasee will win because of its defense making a big play late. It’s Lumberjack Night at WHS because they’re chopping down the ‘Wood!
The Pick: Wawasee 30, NorthWood 25.
Warsaw (2-2, 1-1), at No. 13 Northridge (3-1, 1-1), 7:30 p.m. *Game of the Week*
The Scoop: Warsaw got back into the win column last week while Northridge was brought down off of its high. Plymouth beat the Raiders 35-19 in a game that was much closer than the score would indicate while Warsaw shutout Elkhart Memorial for the third straight year.
I’m making this game of the week because it really intrigues me the most and has a lot of makings for an upset. You would expect a big game from Northridge after losing last week but Warsaw is a team that could be overlooked with an over-hyped team NorthWood coming up next week. The problem I have is Warsaw’s offense. The Tigers are not even averaging 20 points a game. Northridge score over 30 a game and has already pitched two shutouts this year.
I really hope Warsaw can shock Gang Green this week, but the Tigers will need a few breaks to go their way. Also, this game is in Middleubury, bleh. Just thought I’d throw that out there.
The Pick: Northridge 38, Warsaw 20
Triton (1-3, 0-2) at John Glenn (3-1, 2-1), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Oh how I wish I could pick the upset here. Triton really continues to improve on a weekly basis but the Trojans are just not up to par with the majority of the teams in the Northern States Conference this year. Glenn is a team definitely near the top of the NSC and has held Triton to a total of 13 points in the past five meetings. I think Triton will score in this game, just not enough to top the Falcons.
The Pick: John Glenn 42, Triton 13.
College Football 9/20
Southern Illinois (3-0, 1-0) at Purdue (1-2, 1-1), 12 p.m.
The Scoop: Remember the Bears game against Buffalo in week one of the NFL season? Okay, that is how I am looking at this contest. I’m going to pick Purdue because it is the obvious choice, but I have this weird feeling that SIU will win.
Here’s the deal: Purdue always ups its play against Notre Dame and looks good but then never gets close to that level of play for the rest of the season. That’s bad. If the Boilermaker team that played Central Michigan shows up this Saturday, SIU wins. But if the fiery Boiler squad that we saw in Indy last week shows up, then it will be a nice day at Ross-Aid. “But, Nick, why would Purdue get fired up for a game against SIU!?!?!” BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE THE BIG TEN IS NOW. The B1G is pathetic because they can’t even beat MAC schools on a regular basis. SIU is better than about a third of the MAC so, this game should be treated like it’s life or death. Sorry, that’s just how I feel. I shouldn’t have to question this game, but because of recent history, I do have to.
The Pick: Purdue 30, Southern Illinois 28
Indiana (1-1, 0-1) at No. 18 Missouri (3-0, 2-0), 4 p.m.
The Scoop: IU lost to Bowling Green this past week and severely upset this Hoosier fan. I’m not even going to say anything else.
The Pick: Missouri 42, Indiana 31.
Ball State (1-2, 0-0) at Toledo (1-2, 0-0), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: The Cardinals dropped a game at home to Indiana State. Home game. Indiana State. Again, at home. Lost. Indiana State.
Where were you Cardinal quarterback Ozzie Mann? What is the point of having an awesome name if you’re just going to lose to a team that has a tree as its mascot? Cardinals live in trees, they make trees their servant! They run that ship. Just pathetic all around.
The Pick: Toledo 28, Ball State 14.
NFL Week 3 9/21-9/22
Indianapolis (0-2) at Jacksonville (0-2), 1 p.m.
The Scoop: First thing’s first, today marks the one year anniversary of the Colts trading a first round pick for Trent Richardson. No further comment on that.
The only thing worse than being 0-2 for the Colts is being 0-2 and having a must-win game on the road at a division rival. I hate this set up. As a die-hard Colts fan, this scenario is scary. While the Colts are a much better team than the Jaguars, you just don’t want to put yourself in a must-win game on the road. Stud defensive tackle Arthur Jones will miss this game, that leaves the Colts D with even more questions.
I’m going to pick the Colts to win big here, but I’m not going to feel good about it until this game is over on Sunday. When I can’t even feel good about the Colts playing Jacksonville, you know it’s a bad week.
The Pick: Colts 31, Jaguars 13.
Chicago (1-1) at New York Jets (1-1), 8:30 p.m. Monday Night Football
The Scoop: Ha! Take that 49er fans! Okay, so the Bears big win last week blindsided me and messed up my picks but it was worth it to see the first game in the 9ers new stadium to be ruined. Receiver Brandon Marshall and corner back Kyle Fuller left San Fran fans crying in their beer and it was glorious.
Anyways, this week is one of those games that I see as another trap game. I like the Jets. I think Rex Ryan is a better coach than he gets credit for and I think that they will win this game due to mistakes on the Bears side. (Somewhere at Eastern High School Cory Schutz just slammed his laptop shut.) Yes, I think we see bad Jay Cutler this week and it opens the door for the Jets to get a win in prime time. Go ahead, Bears fans, let the hate flow right to my inbox.
The Pick: Jets 34, Bears 28.