Ink? We don’t need no stinking ink!
Okay, so technically all of my picks articles have been “ink free” but this one is extra ink free since it’s the first picking action to be on our new site. It’s also not called the Ink Free News edition because, well, none of what I’m doing here is “news.”
I’m a little confused though, I really thought that the new site would debut with my picks being the first official story on the site. I mean, what else would Kosciusko want? It seems only fitting to have my weekly article usher in a new era of online news in the county! Clearly somebody dropped the ball on all of this.
I’m only kidding, I’ll stop being so self-absorbed and start congratulating people that actually deserve the attention. Starting with the Warsaw and Wawasee girls and boys cross country teams All four squads advanced to Saturday’s regional level, both Warsaw teams won. The Triton boys harriers also advanced, as well as individuals from Tippecanoe Valley, Whitko and Triton’s girls teams. Best of luck to all of the runners in their races this weekend.
Alright, I have a lot of rambling to do this week so let’s get it going!
Last Week: 4-4
High School Football Week 9 10/17
Triton (2-6, 1-5) at Jimtown (5-3, 5-1), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: The Trojans picked up a big win last week when they downed Knox at home. I was able to catch the end of the game and it was a great scene with all of the senior playing their final home game. That good mood is important for any team heading into the sectional, unfortunately Triton could not end the season with its win over Knox.
The Trojans travel to Jimtown this week and I think they will do better than expected, but ultimately this will be another successful Friday for the Jimmies. I look for Joey Corder to score early in this one before Jimtown pulls away.
The Pick: Jimtown 41, Triton 16.
Whitko (5-3, 5-1) at Tippecanoe Valley (1-7, 1-5), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: Last year there was more than just bragging rights on the line for these two teams as both were playing for a share of the Three Rivers Conference title. This year, however, it’s just about bragging rights. Sure, if North Miami pulls an upset over Rochester then Whitko can still earn a share of the TRC, but I don’t see that happening. So, it’s all about bragging rights.
Valley has had its moments this year, but has only closed the deal once. The Vikings will be hyped for this game and if they can force Whitko to pass then things will get interesting. But, I really think Whitko will get the run game going early and take control en route to a big win.
The Pick: Whitko 33, Valley 17.
Goshen (0-8, 0-6) at Wawasee (5-3, 3-3), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Time for a history lesson.
Goshen-Wawasee is one of the Northern Lakes Conference’s lesser-known rivalries. A lot of that is due to Goshen’s 34-12 all-time record against the Warriors. Yes, there is a long list of ugly in this rivalry for Wawasee, but the times have changed. The Wooden Indian (the trophy the two schools play for) has been won by the Warriors the past four years, a series record for Wawasee. Last season’s game was the first Wooden Indian contest for Wawasee’s Josh Ekovich. Only one other Warrior coach found success in his first attempt against Goshen, that was Hal Traviola in 1973.
Why am I giving you all of this random history? Because I had to make this pick interesting somehow. Somebody will need to cover the eyes on that trophy tonight because Wawasee is going to go off. The Warriors have already secured their fifth consecutive non-losing season, a stretch topped only by a seven season span from 1970-76. It’s hard to get up for an 0-8 team, even with a trophy up for grabs, but it’s homecoming week in Syracuse and that is more than enough to get excited about. Wawasee had only shutout Goshen twice in 46 meetings, can Stephen Possell and the Warrior defense pitch number three? We’ll see.
The Pick: Wawasee 37, Goshen 6.
No. 9 Concord (6-2, 4-2) at Warsaw (4-4, 3-3), 7:30 p.m. *Game of the Week*
The Scoop: Yes, I am dubbing the game my “Game of the Week” because it is the only prep matchup I’m picking that doesn’t feature a team with a losing record. (Also because it’s my article and I do what I want. Boom.)
Are you ready for this pick, Kosciusko? Can you handle the wealth of knowledge that I’m about to drop on you!? I don’t think you can. Concord has won four straight games in this series not allowing the the Tigers to score more than 14 points in any of those games. The Minutemen average nearly 30 points per game and are coming off two consecutive losses. Concord hasn’t lost three consecutive game since 2009.
BUT despite all of that, the Tigers are going to win. This is all because of a theory that I call the “Notre Dame Syndrome.” Let me explain.Notre Dame had a rough stretch of seasons from the late 1990’s through most of the 2000’s, I believe this is because the Irish don’t play in a conference. Once ND would lose a game early in the year, it was basically out of the running for the National Championship and the goal for the season was down the drain. When teams in a conference lose early in the season, they can still play towards a conference title. ND didn’t have that option so focus was lost and a lot of players gave up (at least I felt so). Concord has nothing to play for Friday night.
The Minutemen let the NLC slip away and are just waiting to get to the sectional so there is a trophy up for grabs again. Concord is all about winning titles, there is not title to be had Friday so look for the players in green to not be as into the game as Warsaw will be. That’s why I’m leaning on the Tigers to win the 50th meeting between these two teams.
The Pick: Warsaw 27, Concord 20.
College Football 10/18
Purdue (3-4, 1-2) at Minnesota (5-1, 2-0), 12 p.m.
The Scoop: Purdue was ridiculously close to beating No. 8 Michigan State last weekend, a late turnover killed the Boilermakers chances but the effort was still a good sign from Darrell Hazell’s team. I still don’t think Hazell is the answer, but the team is definitely showing improvement this season.
This week the Boilers take on a surprisingly successful Golden Gopher squad. I really don’t believe that Minnesota is 5-1 good and it makes me sick to think that the team will most likely go bowling this year. If this game was in West Lafayette then I would pick Purdue without much hesitation, but it’s up in the Land of 10-gazillion Lakes. Taking that into consideration, I don’t feel as comfortable picking the Boilers here. But, don’t be surprised if Purdue Pete steals another win against a Big Ten opponent this weekend.
The Pick: Minnesota 34, Purdue 23.
No. 8 Michigan State (5-1, 2-0) at Indiana (3-3, 0-2), 3:30 p.m.
The Scoop: I’m a fool. I just need you all to know that now before you see my pick.
Indiana has lost its starting quarterback, Nate Sudfeld, for the season due to a shoulder injury. That really puts a damper on this Homecoming weekend for the Hoosiers. But, IU still has Tevin Coleman who currently leads the nation in running, that’s a nice weapon to have in the arsenal. The key here will be the IU defense. If the Hoosiers can simply make one of two stops against Connor Cook and the MSU offense, then IU is in shape to get back the Old Brass Spittoon.
(Yes, IU and Sparty play for a trophy that hardly anyone knows about. The two teams started playing for the trophy in 1950 after an MSU grad purchased it from an antique shop in Lansing to put up for grabs between the two schools in hopes of his Spartans to avoid a letdown after beating Notre Dame the week prior. The gimmick worked as Sparty won the first eight trophy games and 43 total. Look at all that Nick’s Picks has taught you today!)
Your final fun fact is that IU will be starting Zander Diamont at QB. Diamont’s mother will be known by Seinfeld fans as Jerry’s girlfriend that told the infamous “Tractor Story.”
I’m covering the game this weekend and I’ve never seen IU lose when I’m on the sideline.
The Pick: Indiana 41, Michigan State 36.
No. 5 Notre Dame (6-0) at No. 2 Florida State (6-0), 8 p.m.
The Scoop: Turnovers. This will all come down to turnovers. If Notre Dame protects the ball, then it will score a big win in traditional Notre Dame fashion. This game compares to the 2012 Okalahoma game. The first real test the Irish face this season will be on the road and the defense will have to step-up and make plays to solidify the team’s top-5 ranking. I know ND can win this game, I know Golson can be magic in big games (unless that game is against Alabama) but I still have a weird feeling about this. I believe ND will beat the spread (11.5) and give FSU a run, but I just don’t feel like this is a game that ND will win. Again, this comes down to turnovers and I think Golson makes one that will cost the Irish.
The Pick: Florida State 20, Notre Dame 16.
NFL Week 7 10/19
Miami (2-3) at Chicago (3-3), 1 p.m.
The Scoop: Full disclosure, I did not think the Bears would win last week. The defense showed up and the offense did its part as Chicago would score a big win down in Atlanta.
I expect to see a great performance out of Jay Cutler in this one, something just feels right about that. Matt Forte will do his usual dirty work and the defense will make the plays needed to secure the win. Yeah, I’m picking the Bears this week because it just feels right.
It should be noted that I am awful at picking Bears games this year and that I will probably be wrong on this.
The Pick: Bears 34, Dolphins 20.
Cincinnati (3-1-1) at Indianapolis (4-2), 1 p.m.
The Scoop: The Colts jumped out to a big 24-point lead over Houston last Thursday and still almost lost thanks to J.J. Watt being a super freak. Seriously, that guy is the real deal. Thankfully Andrew Luck and Indy pulled out the win and have now won four straight games after starting 0-2. Lucas Oil Stadium is not as loud as the RCA Dome was, but it is still one of the best home field advantages in the NFL. Andy Dalton will have a tough time making calls at the line this weekend and will be in trouble without top target A.J. Green for the second week in a row. There will be plenty of chances for the Colts to get up big in this one but something tells me that Indy is in for a let-down this Sunday.
I just feel like this game is going to leave me disappointed. The Bengals are a very good team, and so are the Colts. I just think that Cincy is going to make a few plays late that the Colts will not be able to overcome.
The Pick: Bengals 27, Colts 19.