Tommy got skittish and turned on his boys of Troy last week and it cost him as good old reliable Butch continued to pull away as the season progresses. After much thought and nog, Turncoat Tommy now regrets his decision to eat his own young but it is too late and impossible to regurgitate now, so he has to live with himself and his picks. Not only did Tommy miss the easy win over the Leprechauns but his vision became so clouded by self-doubt that he completely whiffed on the Stanford win over Arizona when he had already got a first-hand look at what a difference Tavita Pritchard made and what they did to his boys a few weeks ago. Evidently, too much nog ate up a larger portion of the brain cells needed for long-term memory than expected. But that is probably because Tommy is new to this nog thing this year and not usually needing it, became easily discombobulated. That is not the case for Butch, who has built up a serious nog tolerance level over the years and can now operate three moving vehicles at once [in video games] when under the influence of nog. So, Butch had none of the problems Tommy had when picking the Trees last week. The year is lumbering toward the final stretch and Tommy is beginning to get desperate so let's see what treat-or-trickeration he has in store for poor, unsuspecting Butch this week.
Tommy: Is it time for Tommy to throw in the towel? This season has confounded the Skirted One, and Butch has played well enough to capitalize. Nah. Tommy ain't a quitter, and he generally does his best work at the end of the season, just like Pete Carroll. Off we go into the biggest weekend of the conference season so far. It looks like some of the top teams are actually going to play each other instead of beating up on the also rans. (Uh, except for Stanford and the Beavs.).
Butch: Confound it, Tommy – it's the nog! You don't think Butch got this way with Winter Rose Punch mocktails, did you? The end of the season is when it kicks in. Feel the nog, be the nog.
USC at Oregon (-3)
Tommy: Wow! The good guys haven't been an underdog in...four years. Last one: the season opener in Auburn, Alabama. That one didn't go so well for the favorite. This is right about the time that the Trojans start to kick it into gear, and Carroll is 4-0 against the spread against everyone's least favorite head coach. This is the week that the Trojans get back in the hunt. Good Guys-30, F You, F You, F You-23.
Butch: Like Turncoat Tommy said, Carroll has not been an underdog in four years and it has been even longer since he has been a Pac-10 underdog – six years – and he covered both times. Carroll has not lost to his best pal Mike Bellotti since that year and the expected thousands of loud people purporting to be pseudo-aquatic creatures do not frighten him. Turncoat Tommy has seen the light – Hallelujah! Testify! – and joins Butch in picking his boys of Troy to win and cover.
Arizona at Washington (-3.5)
Tommy: Tommy's gonna go with tradition here, too. The Destroyer of Notre Dame has owned Mike Stoops, even beating him in 2005. The death march continues for the Hot Head. The Armenian Genocide Was Ty's Fault-34, Maybe Oklahoma Will Hire You Back-28.
Butch: Boooring…what's on cable? Butch feels like a little Kung Fu fighting – those cats are fast as lightning. Willie is 2-0 against Stoops and the average score has been 30-12. Butch believes that says it all and takes the Hussies to win and cover.
Stanford at Oregon State (-13)
Tommy: I don't like the Cardinal to pull another road upset, but Tommy thinks this spread is a little much for a team that has been very competitive the last three weeks. Tommy especially doesn't like it in light of some of the road eggs that OSU has laid over the years (see WSU last year, Stanford and Arizona two years ago). A Chance For A Good Season-24, Already A Good Season-17.
Butch: Hmmm, Tommy…another 13-point spread for the Trees, whaddya make of that? Oh, Butch sees you are changing your tune now [they're the "Cardinal now, eh?]. You wanna be sedated? Butch sees that Mike Riley does not have an impressive record as a double-digit home favorite and the Trees are on a roll so he takes the Trees to cover.
UCLA (-6) at Wazzu
Tommy: Let's test Butch's loyalty, shall we? Under most circumstances, this would be an easy opportunity to pick up yet another game on Tommy. The Bruins are leading the conference, and the Cougs look like the worst team in the Pac-10. But Tommy is going to go with tradition the tradition being that the Cougs own the Bruins, and have given them a hard time in Pullman. Plus the Bruins have saved their worst games for the worst teams. That's right. Upset time. Not Enough To Save Doba's Job-31, Roller Coaster-27.
Butch: Tommy, climb aboard the Nog Dreamweaver Train with Butch, he believes we can reach the "other side". Wazzu has won the last five of six in this series and Bill Doba is responsible for three of those and is 4-0 ATS – but he says it was all "good luck". As long as it is not the "luck o' the Irish" Butch likes those numbers but the visitor has won the last four of five in this series and as much as Butch realizes Tommy would like UCLA to lose the game, Butch only takes Wazzu to cover.
California at Arizona State (-3)
Tommy: It's now or never for the Golden Bears, who have dropped down like Pam Anderson for a hand-held camera. Lose one more, and even the Holiday Bowl will be a pipe dream. Jeff Tedford has absolutely owned the Scum Devils in his career, routing them four times. But that was with the big dummy Koetter at coach. Erickson beat Tedford once as Oregon State's coach, and he's going to do it again. Tedford is 5-9 on the road against the spread in his last 14, and ASU is ready to show the country that they belong. The team with the better defense wins. It's Nice To Have A Good Coach-31, From #1 to Las Vegas Bowl In 15 Days-24..
Butch: The Fightin' Tedfords have never lost to ASU ever since their Tiki God idol escaped from Bobby Brady and washed up in Berkeley – but then Carol-crushed Greg got a hold of it – and that's about to change. Butch takes ASU to win and cover.
Georgia vs. Florida (-8.5)
Tommy: Ah, Butch's favorite: the SEC. The Gators are primed for a stretch run, and the Bulldogs are a mediocre football team. Did I mention that the Gators are 15-2 in the last 17 meetings? Ouch. Too Bad You have Two Losses-31, Now We Have Three-10.
Butch: Cripes, Tommy, put down the SEC moonshine jug, will ya? Butch takes Florida to win and cover again.
Ohio State (-4) at Penn State
Tommy: Tommy's gut an upset to call. The best team the Bucks have beat...Michigan State? The White Lions are ready for White Out part II. The last one: a 17-10 win over Ohio State, which was their last conference loss. The Old Man Can Still Coach-17, #1 No Longer-16.
Butch: Okay Tommy, you can pick up the jug of hooch again. Anything is better than the Big 11 conference. Butch takes the Nitts to cover.
West Virginia (-6.5) at Rutgers
Tommy: That's a lot of points against a good Rutgers team. Sure, they already lost to Maryland and Cincy, both at home. But they've righted the ship, and that's too many points to give on the road. Shoot, Tommy's feeling crazy, so he'll call another upset. Sopranos U-28, We Haven't Beat A Ranked Team On The Road In Five Years-27.
Butch: Butch is not sure how much stock to put in Rutgers' win over the Stoops clone at South Florida so he is going to go with the hillbilly spelling bee champs – West Virginia – to win and cover.
Last Week: 1-3
Last Week: 2-2
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Last Week: 2-1
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