Picks Column 11

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

Yes, it’s the equivalent of Alabama playing anybody this week here at The Alligator: a slow death pocked with pain and embarrassment. Writers are falling asleep in their chairs. Editors are whining about late games. Everything is awful.

Fortunately for us and Gator Nation, a noon kickoff against South Carolina means we all get to go home to our warm cans of beer and take sad-naps.

Before we meet our bedraggled competitors, we’ve got an all-editor debate between the hotly contested matchup between Appalachian State and Texas State. Sports editor Morgan McMullen and assistant sports editor Jake Dreilinger take sides in this… we guess it’s a game?


Texas State (+21.5) will win because…

Let me start by saying Texas State will not win this football game. So the previous statement is misleading.

Instead, I will say without a doubt that the Bobcats will easily cover the spread. I mean, how can they not.

TSU is hot off a two-game winning streak, signaling the end of it’s losing ways. Especially with quarterback Willie Jones III at the helm, replacing Tyler Vitt under center.

Jones has been about as hot as they come. Against Georgia State, he completed 21 of his 26 passes, good for 325 yards and two touchdowns. The week before against New Mexico State, he threw for two touchdowns.

Jones is also a dual-threat quarterback, leading the team in rushing yards at 391 with three touchdowns.

Clearly, I’m on the Willie Jones III hype-train, and the Bobcats will ride that train while covering the spread against the much better Appalachian State.


Appalachian State (-21.5) will win because...

App State has two losses this season. One of them was the opening weekend against Penn State, where the Mountaineers took the Nittany Lions to overtime. The other was a beating they took when their starting quarterback got a concussion on the second drive of the game. That quarterback, Zac Thomas, will be starting against the Bobcats tomorrow.

Let’s look at common opponents. Both App State and Texas State have played Louisiana Lafayette and Georgia Southern. They both lost to GSU, but the big discrepency is in their performances against ULL. App State mopped up the Ragin’ Cajuns by 10. The Bobcats fell by 15.

Thomas’ return should play a huge role in this barnburner, but the big hitter for the Mountaineers is running back Darrynton Evans, who leads the second-best rushing attack in the Sun Belt. Two runners — Evans and senior Jalin Moore — are averaging over six yards per rush. Look for them to run all over a hapless Texas State team.


Now onto the picks...

In first place at 42-38 is Alanis “Door assassin” Thames, who reeeeeeally likes slamming peoples’ doors after they give her rides. Alanis, we see two options here. Option one: Get your own car so we don’t have to drive you out to your secluded hideout. Option two: Just quit it already. Seriously, either works, but we assume the cost of the shattered windows of your victims will far outweigh the cost of a lease.

In a tie for second at 41-39 is Gator Country’s Nick “Why do I do this” de la Torre. Nick was asked by a commenter on Twitter why he does halftime Q&A if he only gives smart-ass answers. Don’t listen to him. Embrace your sarcasm. You’re making us all look better.

Also in second is the Gainesville Sun’s Graham “The face of bad puns” Hall, who just can’t help himself. Graham, you’re a walking source of head-shaking dad jokes. We see why your Twitter profile picture is so significant to you. It’s the only time your girlfriend has unironically laughed at something you said.

Sitting in fourth with an even 40-40 record is Morgan “Sleep deprived” McMullen, who regularly pulls all-nighters every Tuesday night working on a paper. It’s OK Morgan, we’ve all been there. Maybe next week, you’ll be a good student for once and actually finish the paper before you have to head to the library at 3 a.m. Even oldies need their beauty sleep.

Coming in at 39-41 and in fifth place is Jake “What do I transcribe?” Dreilinger, who, much to Mark Long’s discontent, can never seem to remember what section of Mullen’s press conference to transcribe. Jake, it’s clear you’re doing this just to piss Mark off, and all we can do is applaud you for it.

In a tie for sixth at 38-42 is Mark “What time is class again?” Stine, who missed yet another Sports Information Management class on Thursday. Esterline kept asking about you man. We can’t keep telling him it’s because you overslept from your nights hanging out at the Arcade Bar. Eventually, he’ll start thinking it’s because of him, and we don’t want that now, do we?

Tied with Mark is the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar “Two Bits purist” Thompson, who was outraged that a volleyball made its way into the honorary Ms. Two Bits’ routine on Saturday. “You’re supposed to be paying homage to the original, man!” he shouted at nobody in particular when he saw it. The passage of time is meaningless to Edgar, which is good since he’s definitely not getting any younger.

And finally in dead last at 36-44 is the AP’s Mark “Podcasts are stupid” Long, who said since everyone runs a podcast that they’re below him. That’s a nice excuse, Mark. But it’s obvious that you just want to someone to invite you on their podcast. Come on the alligatorSports podcast! We can talk about your last-place record.