So, I didn't mention this, but, in addition to the with-the-spread pool we're running here at Sippin on Purple - last day to sign up! - I'm also participating in a Big Ten blogger pick'em pool not-with-the-spread at The Daily Gopher. Only four people went 11-0 last week, and, I won't say who it is, but I will say you can all suck it.
Picks and mascot fights gon be right where you expect em. That is to say, after the jump.
South Dakota vs. Minnesota
South Dakota lost to UCF last week, and, amongst my favorite properties is the transitive one.
My guess off-the-top-of-my-head as to what South Dakota's mascot is: I know one of the North Dakota schools is the Fighting Sioux, but, South Dakota? Its probably going to have to do with either Bears or Indians, so I'm going with the Grizzlies.
What it actually is: The Coyotes. Knew it had to be some sort of plains-y animal. My verdict: close enough.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Hooooo doggie, that coyote is going to kick the crap out of that Golden Gopher. Rough start to the season for one of the Big Ten's most timid mascots. Game, South Dakota. (Minnesota mascot death fight record: 0-2.)
San Jose State vs. Wisconsin
Is that a 38 point spread? Jesus.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: A preview of the Wisconsin-Michigan State matchup later in the year, suffice it to say, the Spartan is not just a person - and people can normally dispose of badgers rather easily - but also a Spartan, who can dispose of most people easily, as we'll find later in the year. Game, SJSU. (Wisconsin mascot death fight record: 0-2)
Michigan St. vs. Florida Atlantic
Florida Atlantic: it's like Florida International, except I don't know the difference between the two schools.
Pick: Michigan State
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Remember what I just said about Spartans? I mean, owls have the advantage of night vision, but the disadvantage of being faced up against Spartan killing machines. Game, MSU. (MSU mascot death fight record: 2-0.)
Western Illinois vs. Purdue
The Leathernecks! Sadly I can't remember what the name of their women's teams are, I just know they have a different name from the Leathernecks. Sadly, they also have no chance.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Boilermakers are presumably pretty jacked, since they make boilers all day, but, leatherneck, of course, is a slang term for a US Marine. And they, sir, can kill things. Game, WIU. (Purdue mascot death fight record: 1-1)
Michigan vs. Notre Dame
The most relevant irrelevant game of all time is upon us. And though Notre Dame did whoop various asses in their first week, I rest my faith in Denard. If I have one love in this life, it's mobile quarterbacks who can't throw. And I shall carry the torch of Denard until his braids and untied shoelaces meet at the ankle.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: There was some debate in the comments as to how good of a fighter the Fighting Irish guy is: is it a leprechaun? If so, are leprechauns magical? Or is it just a tiny Irish guy who is good at bareknuckle boxing? Either way, wolverines have claws and fangs. I like them against any leprechaun and most small-to-above average Irish guys. Game, Michigan. (Michigan mascot death fight record: 2-0)
iowa State vs. Iowa
This is one of the saddest... rivalries? I guess? Two major conference schools in the same state, but one of them just completely outclasses the other in every human way possible. Poor Iowa State.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Did I say "outclasses the other in every way?" Clearly, I didn't mean mascot death fights. A cyclone! Cyclones can kill hawks, probably, and therefore, their eyes. Game, Iowa State. (Iowa mascot death fight record: 0-2)
Miami vs. Ohio State
Miami should sweep through the ACC. Ohio State, however, is not your run-of-the-mill ACC team, and Jacory Harris is not going to be able to will his way to this W. I have Miami against the 8.5 point spread, though.
Pick: Ohio State
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: An extraordinarily similar matchup to the one we just saw: a helpless nut against a force of nature. In this case, a force of nature specific to the Atlantic Ocean. Game, Miami. (OSU mascot death fight record: 0-2)
Penn State vs. Alabama
It's weird: Alabama is the consensus No. 1. Yet a lot of people say their ranked too highly... but nobody gives Penn State a shot here? Bama's gotta deal with suspensions and Penn State's as strong as they'll ever be. But they're No. 1 OMG RAMMER JAMMER YELLA HAMMER
Pick: Penn State
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Normally the Nittany Lions are a formidable force: they're friggin lions. How do you beat a lion unless you have a gun or something? But we're dealing with TIDES, here, people? How do you beat a tide? You can't. The tide and its waves will continue to exist as long as there are oceans. The tide sure as hell isn't coming onto land - most likely, the lion would try to fight in the water and end up drowning. Game, Alabama. (PSU mascot death fight record: 1-1)
Southern Illinois vs. Illinois
Illinois showed signs of life last week. They even covered the spread! I expected them to be horrific, but, I'll give them a W over a FCS team.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: A saluki is a big-ass dog. But not big enough to take down a group of Indian tribesmen. Even against a single Illini, they'd have trouble, since they don't have opposable thumbs but the Illini have weapons. The only dog I'll ever take in a fight against a human good at fighting is probably a pit bull, and even then you're pushing it. Sorry, Salukis. Game, Illinois. (Illinois death fight record: 1-1.)
Predicted Big Ten record: 10-0 (CONFERENCE PRIDE)
Picks last week: 11-0 (SHERMAN PRIDE)
Predicted mascot death fight record: 3-7
NU stuff later.