The good news is that I hit on every pick last week, a perfect 7-0. The bad news is that many of my picks went against local teams. So, it was a relatively bad week for the local athletes.
The best news, however, is that I was successful in beating Ink Free’s very own Mike Deak in fantasy football this past week. Feels good, feels good.
I want to thank all of the local football and volleyball teams that saw their seasons end last weekend. As always, I feel lucky to get to cover some great athletes and it is always a shame to see a season end in the sectional.
Big congrats to the Triton volleyball team for winning sectional and having a strong showing in the regional Tuesday night.
Best of luck to everyone running at the IHSAA Cross Country State Finals this weekend.
This will be my final picks of the fall season if Triton football loses Friday night. If the Trojans win, I’ll be back next week with another article. So, if Triton loses tonight, I will return the week of November 10 for the start of girls basketball. If Triton wins, you can read some more random thoughts next week.
Before I get to the picks, let me take a moment to contradict myself. Former Southern Indiana and Tennessee head mens basketball coach Bruce Pearl will return to coaching this season. He was dismissed from Tennessee after some recruiting violations. He will take over as the head coach for Auburn, I think this is fantastic. I love Bruce Pearl.
Okay, now to make myself look like a fool. Another coach will be returning to the college ranks this season, Kelvin Sampson, he will be taking over at Houston. Sampson is the sunmagun (go with it) that got into recruiting trouble at Oklahoma and, of course, Indiana. I hate Kelvin Sampson, he should not be allowed to have another head coaching job. I want to egg his house, his car and his stupid head.
Okay, I’ve successfully contradicted myself. On to the picks!
Last Week: 7-0
High School Football Sectionals Week 2 10/31
LaVille (7-3) at Triton (3-7), 7:30 p.m. *Game of the Week*
The Scoop: I think the Trojans have reached the end of the line. Triton has had a wonderful season and I knew I was standing in a heavy minority by picking the Trojans to win last week. But I had faith and so did Triton.
Now, this is not an impossible game by any means for Triton this week. Not at all. But LaVille did trounce the Trojans 31-0 earlier this month. I believe a lot has changed with Triton since then, but not enough to make up a 31-point deficit. I’d love to come back with an article next week saying I was wrong, but I don’t see that happening. However, if the Trojans can score more than 20 points, then the game might go in their favor.
The Pick: LaVille 27, Triton 13.
South Bend St. Joe (7-2) at Plymouth (10-0), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: The Rockies keep rollin’ through the competition and have now ran their record to 10-0. Plymouth will play one of its toughest competitors to date as St. Joe will come to town for a game that will surprise many people.
The Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrockies proved me wrong earlier this season when I picked them to lose up in Dunlap to Concord. St. Joe is better than Concord but the Rockies are a better team now than they were then.
Plymouth has a sound offensive attack that averages over 40 points per game. That offense is led by a young man that probably despises me for mistakenly writing something about him in an article a few weeks back, Jack Barron.
This week, however, I am here to say that Barron is going to lead the Rockies to a very big win over the Indians. I really have a gut feeling that this will not be that close of a game. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid to pick against the Rockies again this year, or maybe it’s because my dad graduated from St. Joe and it’s funny to pick against his school. I don’t know, either way, Plymouth wins big.
The Pick: Plymouth 31, St. Joe 10.
Leo (8-2) at NorthWood (6-4), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: The Panthers welcome in the Lions this Friday in another game that I don’t expect to very close. Leo is a team that, if it can get out of its own way, can go far in this tournament. NorthWood is a team that I can’t figure out. The Panthers don’t look that good on paper or on the field, yet here they are, 6-4 and a game away from the sectional title contest.
I think Leo will come out strong in this game after narrowly escaping Wawasee last week and not leave any doubts as to who the better team is in this contest. Leo just has to avoid getting itself into turnover trouble like it did with the Warriors last weekend.
The Pick: Leo 28, NorthWood 7.
Northridge (8-2) at East Noble (7-3), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: This should be a very entertaining game and Northridge continues its quest for its first-ever sectional title. That quest is coming to and end Friday.
No, it’s not because I don’t like Gang Green or have a negative overall demeanor towards the town and school, it’s simply because East Noble is going to outscore the Raiders.
No other analysis is going into this. The game will be a very good one, but East Noble ends up making more stops on defense and holding on to a very tight win. I won’t be shocked if Northridge wins, but I think East Noble is going to win the sectional, so I can’t have the Knights losing in round two.
The Pick: East Noble 24, Northridge 23.
College Football 11/1
Indiana (3-4, 0-3) at Michigan (3-5, 1-3), 3:30 p.m.
The Scoop: It’s homecoming at The Big House and the Hoosiers are going to spoil the celebration. Why? Because it is time for IU to go back on an upswing to hook its fans back in before ultimately disappointing everyone with another fives wins and no bowl game.
Michigan might not be totally sold on firing Brady Hoke yet, but a loss at home to the Hoosiers should seal the deal. As long as IU gets solid play out of the quarterback position (by that I mean throwing for more than -2 yards) then it should be a good win for the Hoosiers. If the there is once again no passing game from IU, then Michigan wins big. Either way a lot of points will be scored this Saturday.
The Pick: Indiana 41, Michigan 32.
Purdue (3-5, 1-3) at No. 15 Nebraska (7-1, 3-1), 3:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Purdue is looking better and better every week and may be well on its way to a bowl game. A huge boost to bowl eligibility would be getting a win this weekend but don’t count on that happening.
The Cornhuskers quite possibly are the second-best team in the Big Ten and I don’t see them losing at home to a Purdue team that is still trying to find its identity.
The important thing to watch for here is whether or not Purdue comes to play. If the Boilers go out and put up a good fight and make Nebraska earn it, then Purdue faithful can really look forward to things to come from Darrell Hazell. If Purdue gets completely run out of the stadium (I’m talking 56-7 bad) then there might be some more concerns with the direction of this program. Finally, if Purdue wins, then I will take back all of the evil thoughts I have towards Hazell.
The Pick: Nebraska 41, Purdue 24.
No. 10 Notre Dame (6-1) at Navy (4-4), 8 p.m.
The Scoop: Real quick, Notre Dame wins. If the Irish lose, there are no excuses and it’s pathetic. Sure, Navy will put up a fight and make some plays but in the end Notre Dame should cruise to a 7-1 mark. On to Arizona State.
The Pick: Notre Dame 38, Navy 13.
NFL Week 9 11/3
Indianapolis (5-3) at New York Giants (3-4), 8:30 p.m. Monday Night Football
The Scoop: I told you all what would happen last week. I told everyone that the Colts don’t play well in Pittsburgh, but nobody wanted to buy into that. Well, you all believe me now.
The Colts were great on offense and putrid on defense last week, just one week after a fantastic performance over the Bengals. This week I expect the Colts to look truer to form and get their sixth win of the season. I’m even feeling a defensive touchdown in this game to cap the victory.
The Pick: Colts 38, Giants 20.