Picks

Another week of the college football season is in the books, and it still feels like we don’t know anything about any of these teams.

But we’re about to learn a whole lot about two of them.

The Gators have No. 7 Auburn this week, and the College GameDay crew is in town. That means UF fans can participate live in America’s favorite Saturday morning pastime: nursing a hangover with the soothing sounds of Kirk Herbstreit ceaselessly defending Ohio State, Lee Corso spouting nonsense before picking the wrong team, and Rece Davis doing whatever Rece Davis does.

The excitement on campus is palpable.

But before we get into staff predictions for that game and others, Sports Editor Tyler Nettuno and Online Sports Editor Sam Campisano will debate a battle between independents Liberty and New Mexico State.

Liberty will win because…

The Flames think they’re going to win. That’s good enough for me.

Why would they lie about that?

There’s definitely not a policy at Liberty that prevents students and faculty from criticizing the university, so why would you even suggest that there is?

But aside from being a beacon of free speech on campus, the Flames also have a pretty good football team.

In its first season as a full FBS member, Liberty is off to a 3-2 start behind the strong play of quarterback Stephen Calvert, who has thrown for nearly 1400 yards and nine touchdowns while tossing only three interceptions.

The Flames defense has forced six interceptions and recovered two fumbles this season, so coach Hugh Freeze should be able to solicit turnovers from the Aggies.

See what I did there?

Solicit. As in, like, solicit a prostitute.

You know, the thing Freeze did on a university-issued cell phone at Ole Miss? Good times.

Some may tell the Flames they’re wrong. That they have no chance against the Aggies.

But Liberty’s athletic director is Ian McCaw, and if there’s one thing a former Baylor administrator knows how to do, it’s silence the critics.

Give me the fighting Jerry Falwells by two touchdowns.

— Tyler Nettuno

 New Mexico State (-5.5) will win because…

I’ll be honest here: Tyler told me to do this pretty last minute and I know next-to-nothing about either team.

I’m also not in the mood for writing this and don’t have any intention of doing research for it.

So here’s what I will say:

Liberty coach Hugh Freeze is a pile of garbage.

He oversaw multiple recruiting and academic violations as the coach at Ole Miss, ensuring the school lost 33 victories and would be banned from postseason play for two years.

Freeze then resigned over the whole using-a-university-phone-to-hire-escorts thing.

The perfect hire for an ultra-conservative evangelical school.

I am hereby placing the Campisano Curse on Hugh Freeze and Liberty. New Mexico State? You’re welcome.

— Sam Campisano

Now onto the picks…

In first place at 27-12 is Kyle “Still Had Faith In Student Government” Wood. In response to the news that Donald Trump Jr. would be speaking at UF for $50,000 (which is paid for using student fees), Kyle offered the ridiculous suggestion that students have a say in what speakers those fees go toward funding. You think SG should care about the opinions of students? Preposterous.

In a tie for second at 25-14 is Tyler “Football Beat Writer Who Misses HBO Debut” Nettuno. I mean honestly, Tyler. It’s insane to think how you could miss this pinnacle opportunity for Florida’s program and watch Vice YouTube videos featuring the Westminster Dog Show and Monster Truck Jam instead of a special moment in Florida’s history. We get always putting “man’s best friend” as your No. 1, but c’mon Tyler. At least you’ll have Nick’s tweets to reference when you do decide to give it a whirl.

Also tied for second is Mark “Don’t Tell Me How To Run My Picks Column” Long, who suggested to the alligatorSports crew on Saturday that we use Nick wearing a Dora the Explorer Band-Aid in the press box for his roast. While we appreciate the idea, I’m the arbiter of roasts here. No one else shall decide them. That includes you, Mark.

In fourth at 23-16 is Nick “HBO Reporter” De La Torre, who took it upon himself to live tweet the entire hour of Florida’s HBO special like it was a football game. Nick, I’m sure fans without a subscription appreciated the content, but minute-to-minute updates may have been overkill. On the bright side, at least there’s no halftime Q&A for TV shows.

The first component of a three-way tie for fifth at 20-19 is Edgar “It Happened Again” Thompson, who after turning in his picks late for Week 4 said it wouldn’t happen again. Well, loyal reader, guess what? He did it again. Unbelievable. It’s all good, Edgar. Just don’t let it happen again, again.

Also in fifth is Graham “Concerned Citizen” Hall, who took to Twitter to ask the Gainesville community to give back Emory Jones' scooter. It probably won’t work, but who knows, maybe your heartfelt message touched the criminal who took the Gators quarterback’s ride. Who are we kidding, that plea is going to be about as effective as asking the players to wear helmets when they ride.

The final member of fifth place is Sam “Steal Tyler’s Line” Campisano. We’re honestly just disappointed, Sam. How dare you walk around all proud and mighty knowing you stole someone else’s material. The least you could have done was give him a contrib line. It’s not that hard. Go find your material elsewhere, and quit taking Tyler’s lines.

We have another two-way tie for eighth at 18-21. First up is Dylan “Tampa Bay Bucs Will Never Disappoint” Ruldolph, who for some reason still has faith in a franchise that has been up in smoke since its inaugural season in 1976. We’re happy the Bucs could pull it off for you, Dylan. Really, we are. But we’re still questioning how the franchise drafts kickers so high year after year and yet they still miss kick after kick.

Joining Dylan in eighth is Zach “Green Uniform Hater” Goodall, who questioned on Twitter why UF players loved the alligator-themed uniforms they wore in 2017. Uhh, maybe because they’re awesome? Who wouldn’t want to look like a live alligator while  playing a football game? Take your hate and lack of style elsewhere.

In 10th at 16-23 is Mari “Never Told Tyler About JCA Applications” Faiello, who failed to report to me that the deadline for Journalism and Communications Ambassadors was closing. Even though she knew being a member of such a prestigious organization was my lifelong dream. Whatever, Mari. If you don’t want me in your club, that’s fine. I don’t care. I guess I’ll just sit here and waste away, nothing to do with my life until the spring.

In last place at 15-24 is Brian “How The Hell Are You In Last?” Fox, who inexplicably fell to last place in this week’s standings behind Mari, allowing the embattled assistant sports editor to emerge from the bottom slot for the first time this season. I mean, come on, man. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even watch college football. Aside from her beloved Buckeyes, of course…