It's almost Halloween and that signals the arrival of scary creatures in costume on your doorstep making unreasonable demands. Trick or treat? Clearly chicanery is the preferred choice of those options. But if you are faced with a bowl full of Reese's peanut butter cups, the human will can only withstand so much chocolate-covered torment. Butch had just such a dilemma last week - trying to pick Notre Dame [trick] or UCLA [treat]. His choice of chicanery allowed the creature they call "Tommy" to arise from the depths he had been occupying for most of the autumn and crawl back into a tie with the newly nog-enhanced Butch. Credit must be given to that plucky Tommy for grinding his teeth down to tiny nubs while picking his new favorite team - UCLA - and also his new second favorite team, California [whose loss in overtime to Washington - had it actually occurred - Butch knows would have broken Tommy up]. That recipe took a tablespoon of mettle and a teaspoon of desperation, but it came out just right. Now Butch and Tommy get to put on the propeller beanie hats and spin them for real again - just like in the first week. This week's egregious errors of eccentricity
Tommy: SCRATCH...CLAW...FIGHT! Tommy has pulled his way back above water, at least in Pac-10 games, and is now eye to eye with Butchie, who finally cooled off. With only six weeks left in the regular season, you know what that means. Time for Tommy to kick it into the next gear and claim three out of four championships in the most prestigious Pick 'em contest in the history of the Rivals network over the Short Haired One. What say you, Butch? I've dropped the gauntlet. We've both sucked for eight weeks. One of us has to suck less down the stretch. RIGHT?...Right?
Butch: No - left! Cooler heads - and Butch has one of the coolest heads around down in the basement next to his catapult - will prevail. For now, Butch is toying with nog recipes to, you know, put him in the right frame of mind.
USC (-13) at Oregon State
Tommy: With that offense, the Beavers are going to need some more fog to roll in to have a chance Saturday. The Bark Rats have the defense to hang around, but 15.4 points per game against Pac-10 foes ain't gonna cut it, and Tommy's guess is that SC grew tired of hearing about how much they sucked over the past few weeks. We're Still SC-30, You're Not-10.
Butch: Back to Bark Rats are they? A few rabbits are pulled out of the hat, he gets even with Butch and the ole Tommy is back [as Butch knew was always lurking]. No argument here - although Butch must admit that there is nothing scarier than USC's offensive play this year unless it's picking against Pete's 10-2 record coming off the bye week. Butch is demented but he ain't crazy - he takes Tommy's boys of Troy to win and cover.
Arizona State at Washington (-1)
Tommy: Last time the Huskies showed some semblance of life, they crashed and burned at home against the Beavs. There is definitely the potential for that this week. Still, Tommy has no confidence in Dirk Koetter. He is 5-17 on the road in conference play. Only one of those wins came against a bowl team, and Tommy thinks the Huskies get to bowl eligible with a win over Stanford and a win over...ASU. Huskies A Bowl Team?-27, Same Old Story-24.
Butch: Koetter is horrendous on the Pac-10 road - again, no argument here - but Washington is playing so far over their heads that they can see China from the Puget Sound. Back down here on Earth, ASU is the better team and Butch takes that point to the bank, opens an account and gets a free toaster with it. Butch takes ASU to win and cover.
WSU at UCLA (-1)
Tommy: Let's end with Butchie's heroes. Hasn't a certain person who wears Cardinal and Gold made predictions all year that the Powders would falter down the stretch? The El Foldo continues this week. This week, the Bruins face a confident team with a balanced offense, a team that in Tommy's opinion would beat the Overrated Irish at six out of ten times on a neutral field. The Bruin offense will overwhelmed yet again. This one is going to be ugly. Only Loses To Top 10 Teams-27, We're Not A Top 10 Team-10.
Butch: If the Cougars have enough leftover duct tape to patch together their defensive line, they should be able to win this game. Any more injuries in that unit and they will have to change to a 1-6 alignment with Mkristo Bruce playing solo on the D-line. Butch takes Wazzu to win and cover.
Tommy's Non-Conference Noogies
Florida (-14) at Georgia
Tommy: The Dawg offense is a dog, an affront to football enthusiasts everywhere. How's that gonna go against a great Florida defense? Not well, I imagine. Add the fact that the Gators own the Dawgs, and I'm think the Dawgs are gonna get owned again. No National Title For Urban-28, You Lost At Home To Vandy-3.
Butch: This is the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party so Butch will take a nog with a nog chaser and a nog back followed by a shot of nog and two fingers of nog. There, that should do it for the first quarter and be an appropriate enough amount of nog to make Butch forget the other three quarters of this forgettable game. Butch takes The Thumb [Florida] to win and cover to.
Oklahoma at Missouri (-2.5)
Tommy: Now, watch closely over the next couple of weeks, as it all falls apart for the Sooners without Adrian Peterson. Four of the last five are on the road, and Tommy's guess is that Boomer drops at least two of those, with the first one coming this weekend against a Tiger team that has won games at home by 40, 27, 25, 15, and 20. Fire Gary Pinkel!-27, Remember When Bob Stoops Was An Elite Coach-20.
Butch: This is the World's Largest Outdoor Anger Management Session. Oklahomans are still mad at Pac-10 refs because they cost them their shot at third place in that tough Big 12. Butch takes Missouri to win and cover.
BYU (-8) at Air Force
Tommy: Tommy's been keepin' his eye on the Cougars, who have killed everything in their path since barely losing to Boston College on Chestnut Hill. Meanwhile the Falcons are floundering. Strange things tend to happen in the Mountain West, but Tommy will still go with what should happen. Turning The Corner-35, Well, You Did Better On Rocky Top Than Cal-20.
Butch: Butch sure is glad Tommy's keeping his eyeballs on BYU - that frees up Butch to use his eyeballs for going all counterclockwise squirrelly and scaring the kiddies this Tuesday evening. But an ogre living under the bridge told Butch that the Fly Boys lost to SDSU - previously winless SDSU - last week. Uh, Butch believes he will take the "other" Cougars to win and cover.
Last Week: 4-1
Noogies Overall: 10-13-1
Last Week: 3-2
Noogies Overall: 9-13.5-1*
* Butch picked Notre Dame and Michigan to lose to each other in Week Four - so the professor says he gets half credit.
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