It’s finally football season again, and I’m hoping to fare better than I did in my first Pigskin Picks competition.
Last year, after bringing up the rear for the first half of the season, I somehow managed to improve, eventually finishing a respectable third place. Jerome Murphy was never in danger of losing last years contest, leading throughout the entire year. Ryan Weiss took second place, followed by yours truly. Does anyone remember anyone else after that? Me either, although I’m told from time to time that Dan Basso allegedly took part in the competition.
Strange. I don’t even remember.
New to the 2019 competition are Greyson Steele and Brad Minor. Hopefully they can have a succesful enough first year to be competitive.
I was talking out loud in the newsroom last week about how the Romans held sporting events to pacify the masses, and distract them from perpetual war, government corruption, partisan bickering and many other ills of society. They even fed people to lions in the Coliseum in Rome for the entertainment of the plebs.
I asked Tim Robinson, who is leaving to take a job closer to his home, whether we are as easily distracted as a country from similar things by football. As he is known to do, he applied a generous portion of sarcasm, and said something to the effect of people maybe not learning things, even after thousands of years, and overwhelming evidence. Maybe, he suggested, we should have learned our lesson by now.
Who am I kidding? I don’t care a fig. Football season is here and I’m excited enough to forget about everything else. Forget the Romans.
It’s a nice respite from everything else, and a reminder to take the time to watch and attend games with friends and loved ones. Enjoy the crisp fall weather and tailgating.
For some of us fortunate few, we have season press passes to Michigan home games in Ann Arbor.
Morrice and New Lothrop appear to be legitimate threats to repeat as state champs. Michigan has a good chance of winning the Big Ten this year, and maybe more than that.
There’s no such thing as a “bad” football season. I’m ready. Here’s to a great 2019 season.
Owosso at Swartz Creek
It was a rough start for Owosso in Week 1, getting blanked 35-0 by Lansing Eastern. Five of seven newsroom picks were for the Trojans; only Brad Minor and I got that one right. Swartz Creek lost a home game to Hamady, 36-20, to kick off the year. This week’s game is being played in Swartz Creek, which should make it a win for the Dragons. It’s early in the year, and both teams need this win. Pick: Swartz Creek.
Fowlerville at Corunna
Fowlerville won their first game at home over Charlotte, 28-7, to get the Gladiators off to a positive start in 2019. Corunna lost their first game at home to Hemlock, 30-12. Corunna desperately needs this home win to right the ship this season, but I don’t see it happening this week. Pick: Fowlerville.
Durand at Byron
The Railroaders defeated Capac 28-0, and are looking to build momentum for the rest of the season in this home contest. Byron dropped a tough opener to Williamston, 20-14. This one is tough to call but I’m going with home-field advantage. Pick: Byron.
New Lothrop at Mt. Morris
The defending state champion Hornets blew out Lake City 54-7 in a rematch of the 2018 state semifinals. It looks like New Lothrop is on another quest for some hardware. Make no mistake, these Hornets can play, and are a legitimate threat to repeat as state champs. Mt. Morris put away Bath, 42-18, in its first game, and appear to be ready for a successful season. But not this week, not even at home. Pick: New Lothrop.
LakeVille at Chesaning
Otisville got trounced by North Branch, 61-0, in the Falcons’ season opener. Chesaning fared better in its debut, defeating Benzie Central, 31-21. Give me the Indians at home — by a lot of points. Pick: Chesaning.
Burton Bendle at Perry
Burton lost a heartbreaker at home to Brown City, 20-18, to open its season and is looking to turn things around in Week 2. Perry dropped a game they probably should have won, allowing Laingsburg to come from behind for a 31-28 victory. Both teams will be hungry for their first win of the season. Pick: Perry.
Dansville at Laingsburg
Laingsburg is riding high after the Wolfpack were able to steal a win at Perry last week, and are hoping to continue that this week at home. Have to go with the home-field advantage and momentum. Pick: Laingsburg.
Montrose at Ovid-Elsie
The Rams scored an opening win over Cass City. Ovid-Elsie didn’t fare so well, getting blanked at Portland 35-0. This one seems like it should be easy to pick Montrose, all things considered. Yeah, it is. Pick: Montrose.
Mayville at Morrice
The Wildcats were impressive in their opener, putting up 52 points on Bay City All Saints and also pitching a shutout. Morrice appears to be picking up where they left off last year, and are a threat to repeat as state title winners. Mayville may make a game out of this. But it’s like Ric Flair said, “To be the man, you gotta beat the man.” Until someone does that to Morrice, I will continue to pick them in every game. Those boys are good. And they reload. Pick: Morrice.
Army at Michigan (-23.5)
Sigh. Army comes into this game with a weird offense and nothing to lose. Michigan was less than impressive in its opening night win over Middle Tennessee State. I picked the Wolverines to cover last week and it bit me. Against a better quality opponent, they don’t cover the spread. Michigan wins, but doesn’t cover. Pick: Michigan 42, Army 27
Western Michigan at Michigan State (-15.5)
The Broncos might be down a bit this year, and they’re going to hang with the Spartans. For about a quarter. MSU covers and then some. Pick: Michigan State 35, Western Michigan 13.
Lions (-2.5) at Cardinals
This is the one game where I should pick the Lions to win. But I refuse on general principle because I loathe the Lions. Pick: Cardinals 24, Lions 6.