I just want to start by saying that today is Sept. 11 and that should be a very important day to you for obvious reasons. I won’t spend a lot of time talking about this because there will be much more in-depth and better analyzed information all over the internet, TV and radio today. I just want to say that our country was founded and built by brave individuals. That spirit flows through our country’s history and was as prevalent as ever during the events of 9/11/01.
From police officers to firefighters to military personnel, there are constant reminders here in our local community of the brave men and women that gave their lives 14 years ago and those that are still sacrificing so much right now. I thank those brave people for putting it all on the line everyday in their professions because I certainly could never do it. It takes someone special to be so brave with an everyday job. I just want to offer a sincere thank you to all of those men and women that use their courage to protect their country and communities.
It was a very good week for my picks last weekend, but not so good for most of our teams. I asked basically every team to prove me wrong and it just was not in the cards. But, I think we learned a few things that will help us determine how the rest of the season will go.
Let’s shed light on the greatest news of the weekend before we get to picking.
The University of Hawaii has announced that its football team will wear Rainbow Warrior throwback uniforms for their game at Ohio State this weekend. I’ve provided the photo in the story so you can bask in all of its rainbow-y glory. If someone buys my one of those jerseys, I will wear it to cover a sporting event of your choice. Just to avoid any issues, I got the photo from Hawaii football’s Twitter account.
Good luck to all of the teams competing in conference golf meets this weekend!
If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned Tom Brady yet (since he is what this edition is named for) it’s because I just used his name to pull you in so you can see what else I have to offer. ESPN does it on a daily basis, I thought I’d try it out.
Last Week: 7-1
High School Football 9/11
Whitko (1-2, 0-1) at Rochester (0-3, 0-1), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: My apologies to Whitko for my mistake last week. I listed the Wildcats as 0-2 on the season, when their record was 1-1. Just a dumb oversight on my part.
The Wildcats kept things close with Maconaquah last week but couldn’t quite get the win. Whitko has hit a skid when facing Rochester the past few years, but so has most of the Three Rivers Conference. The Zebras appear to be down this season and I think the Wildcats are ready to serve up some vengeance. I look for Whitko’s defense to be a big factor this week. Turnovers will be huge in this contest and I like Whitko to get the key takeaways needed to help secure this victory.
Nick’s Pick: Whitko 22, Rochester 16.
Northfield (3-0, 1-0) at Tippecanoe Valley (1-2, 1-0), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: Valley made me look really good last week by picking up their first win 32-23 over North Miami. I’m feeling better about the Vikings each week, but this is their first real test. Northfield has scored 34 or more points in every contest so it will take a big effort to slow down that attack. I know there are a few more wins coming for Valley this season, but this is one of those “prove it” games that I blab about so much. I’ve got to go with the Norsemen this week but if Alec Craig is going to have another four-touchdown outing, then things could get interesting.
Nick’s Pick: Northfield 31, Valley 14.
Concord (2-1, 2-0) at Wawasee (2-1, 0-1), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: Concord week. It’s a week that has been unfriendly to Wawasee every season since 2003. That was the last time the Warriors topped the Minutemen in the regular season, a 23-8 victory. Wawasee has not beaten Concord at all since 2004, suffering 12-straight losses (regular season and sectionals). Wawasee boasts a promising defense this season, one that could certainly help in a game like this, but there are still a lot of question marks for the offense. You can’t have question marks going into a game against Concord. The biggest key to beating Concord is putting them on their heels early. They don’t like being challenged. So, if the Warriors make some plays early, Friday night could be interesting. But, until I see otherwise, I have to go with the Minutemen.
Nick’s Pick: Concord 26, Wawasee 17.
Warsaw (1-2, 0-1) at Elkhart Memorial (0-3, 0-2), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: Being a “trap queen” in today’s world is, apparently, a good thing? I’m not really sure. High school kids use the term and I’m pretty sure it’s a compliment. It might not be. I just wanted to use it to wor my way into calling this a trap game for the Tigers. So, to recap, I am young but not young or cool enough to know what a trap queen is, so, now everybody is confused.
Trap game! Warsaw’s game tonight is a trap game. The Tigers showed everyone that they can run with the big dogs by putting up a fight with No. 2 ranked Plymouth last week. That leaves this contest against a struggling Memorial team as a trap. Warsaw should win this game by a few scores, but if the Chargers get a window, they have the ability to make this a long night for Warsaw. I’ve got faith in the Orange and Black to keep that from happening, mainly because I’m leaning on their defense to keep Mmeorial’s offense quiet for the first half. If that prediction holds true, then the Tigers should roll to a victory.
Trap queen (I just wanted to say it again).
Nick’s Pick: Warsaw 24, Memorial 9.
Bremen (2-1) at Triton (1-2), 7 p.m.
The Scoop: Well, I was a little off on the score last week, but it only gets easier from here on out, Trojans. After playing the state’s No. 3 ranked team in Pioneer and surrendering 64 points, I will say that the worst is over for Triton’s season. The Trojans even managed to put up 14 points last week, the first team to score on Pioneer’s defense. I don’t care if it was garbage time or not, it’s still impressive. The road gets easier this week, but not much. It’s rivalry week in Bourbon as the Lions roll in coming off back-to-back wins. Bremen averaged over 30 points per game in those two wins and that’s what concerns me for this week’s game. I’m not sold on Triton’s defense being able to stop Bremen for a full game. Crazy things happen in rivalry games but I don’t know how crazy this game will get this year.
Nick’s Pick: Bremen 34, Triton 17.
College Football 9/12
Indiana State (1-0) at Purdue (0-1), 12 p.m.
The Scoop: Remember that one time all the way back last Friday when I was friendly to Purdue and said that Austin Appleby would be good? Yeah, that didn’t work out so well. Appleby threw a pick-six on the very first play of the season for the Boilers in last week’s game. But don’t worry, it got worse. Appleby then drove the team down the field late in hopes of getting the go-ahead score, but instead threw another pick-six TO THE SAME PLAYER. Ouch. At this point I won’t be surprised if Indiana State wins. You laugh, but it was just two years ago that the Boilers had to hold off a would be game-winning drive by the Sycamores to win 20-14. I’m not taking these college picks very seriously yet, but it’s okay because I don’t think the teams are to serious yet either.
Nick’s Pick: Purdue 37, Indiana State 13.
No. 9 Notre Dame (1-0) at Virginia (0-1), 3:30 p.m.
The Scoop: Two things: 1. Texas is not very good. 2. Notre Dame is better than I thought.
The Irish looked like true playoff contenders last week. Not just because they beat up on a bad Texas team but because the were supposed to beat up on a bad Texas team. If the Longhorns are really as bad as they looked then ND’s beating should still be impressive. There was maybe one stretch of five minutes where the Irish looked out of sync, but the rest of the time it was good football from the Domers. If Malik Zaire continues to play at a high level all year, then ND will be in the playoffs for sure.
Nick’s Pick: Notre Dame 34, Virginia 14.
Ball Sate (1-0) at No. 16 Texas A&M (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
The Scoop: It’s a battle of two undefeated teams in College Station! Texas A&M has three national championships, two Heisman trophy winners, 17 bowl victories and more than 700 program wins. Ball State also has football a team.
Nick’s Pick: A&M 46, Ball State 17.
Florida International (1-0) at Indiana (1-0), 8 p.m.
The Scoop: Indiana needed a last-second deflection of a two-point conversion attempt to beat Southern Illinois last week. The Hoosiers got the win, but it was hard as a fan to feel good about it. At least Austin Appleby isn’t IU’s quarterback?
Nick’s Pick: Indiana 45, FIU 31.
NFL Week 1
Indianapolis at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
The Scoop: Oh I am so happy that NFL football is back, but I am not too happy about this being the Colts first game. Buffalo will be without stud defensive lineman Marcel Dareus, that’s a huge win for the Colts and their questionable O-line. But, the Bills still boast a strong defense and some talented players on offense.
Indy is going back to the playoffs this year, and hopefully the Super Bowl (fingers crossed) but that trip might start out a little rough. I know I should always trust in Andrew Luck, but I’m just not feeling great about this first game.
Nick’s Pick: Bills 23, Colts 20.
Green Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m.
The Scoop: This is going to be a rough season for Chicago fans. The Bears went out and got some help for Jay Cutler this offseason bringing in new receivers via the draft and free agency. So far everyone of those new pass catchers has been injured. Also, the team’s top WR, Alshon Jeffrey, is also nursing an injury and is questionable for the Packers game. I think this is a bad foreshadowing for how the season might go for the Bears, but I could be wrong (I’m never wrong).
Anything can happen on any given Sunday, especially in week one, but it’s hard to bet against the NFL’s best QB (Aaron Rodgers, not Cutler) so I will play it safe and hope for the opposite.
Nick’s Pick: Packers 41, Bears 31.