I’ve been making a half-hearted attempt this fall to pay little attention to our annual Pigskin Picks intra-office, trash-talking competition.
This past week, however, I made the mistake of half-heartedly caring. I tried to pick a few games opposite the leaders in the hope of cutting into what has become a nearly insurmountable lead.
Well, it didn’t pan out. I turned in a Brad Minor-like week of 6-6. Frankly, it was more than a little humiliating to have people chirp about me falling into contention for Brad’s basement room. I don’t want it. I’d have to redecorate, move his crap out — it would be a whole thing.
No more, I swore. I will make a real effort this week. Well, it’s Friday morning and I’m writing this column on deadline, so guess which way I finally went with that decision.
It’s sort of like the Argus-Press fantasy football league. I made the similar mistake of sort of caring about that as well.
It’s mostly a newsroom league, with current and former writers taking part. I’m in third place in my division after my team failed to break 70 points last week and lost by nearly 40. Don’t let anyone tell you owning Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes guarantees any kind of win total.
At least I’m trying. Former writer Joey Hadd drafted all Lions for his team. And that’s working out about as you would expect.
Former writer Tim Rath is leading the way, but he has an annoying habit of proposing stupid trades. For instance, he offered me Miami running back Mark Walton off his bench for K.C. quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Now, Mahomes is injured, but Walton is suspended. And he’s not that good.
I created the #timsterribletrades hashtag just for him.
In the real world, it’s playoff time across Michigan. A lot of teams that made the playoffs on a wing and a prayer are gone. A few teams found out beating a rival twice in one season is more difficult than it might seem. Things are tightening up in the Ford Field chase.
Morrice at Deckerville
I was set to pick Morrice here. Had them circled on the theory that you dance with the one that brung ya. But I looked and Deckerville has played the Orioles tough over the years. And Morrice had that pesky UP road loss. Deckerville over Morrice
Kent City at Pewamo-Westphalia
I didn’t bother checking scores on this one. P-W has been dominant and I just can’t see them falling to a 7-3 team. P-W over Kent City.
Beaverton at New Lothrop
I thought Byron might pull the upset last week. It looked like a good pick for a long time. I’m not figuring on an upset this week involving Beaverton. New Lothrop over Bearverton.
St. Johns at DeWitt
I’m surprised St. Johns is still playing. They played a great game a week ago to pull the upset. I don’t see them doing it two weeks in a row. DeWitt over St. Johns.
Lansing Catholic at Portland
A rematch game that was a one-pointer the first time. Portland’s defense has been better this season and that will carry the Raiders. Portland over Lansing Catholic.
Swan Valley at Frankenmuth
Another rematch. The ’Muth won a three-point game the first time around. Both have been stingy on defense. But I think the home field is the difference. Frankenmuth over Swan Valley.
Sanford-Meridian at Hemlock
The home team has played a little stiffer competition this year. Hemlock over S-M.
Millington at Montrose
These schools both have long playoff traditions. Millington, though, needed an upset win to get here. Montrose continues to cruise. Montrose over Millington.
Illinois at Michigan State (-11.5)
I’m not sure how State is favored in this game, let alone by two touchdowns. Being at home will help, but it’s a lot of points to cover. State may win, but Illinois covers the spread.
LSU at Alabama (-6.5)
A 1-2 matchup to knock somebody out of the playoff race. ’Bama’s at home, but LSU has been rocking everyone this season. I think the Tide is ready to recede so I’m taking the Tigers. LSU wins and covers the spread over Alabama.
Lions at Bears (-3.5)
Blown chances for both teams a week ago when the entire division lost. A game both teams desperately need to remain relevent this season (assuming you think either still is). The Lions are vulnerable to the run, but the Bears are just vulnerable. Lions to win and cover the spread.
Seahawks at 49ers (-6.5)
This game makes me uneasy. I have a hard time believing the Niners are for real this season. It’s been a quiet streak for them. But they have a great defense and they’re doing the right things on offense. 49ers to win and cover the spread.