Caller ID indicated it was Glorious Editor on the line. He was not a guy I’d been anxious to hear from.
With more than a bit of dread in my voice, I picked up, “Hello.”
”Hey, Seedy, this is Mike.”
”Well, getting right to it, we’ve got problems. The home office is wondering what’s going on with your weekly football predictions? My boss, not a guy you want to cross, trust me, was not in a good mood, screaming in the phone when he and I chatted, ‘Rutherford, what’s wrong with this guy, Seedy? After the dumbkopf left Alabama out of his preseason CFP, picking Wisconsin and Washington, for heavens’ sake, you assured me he was an expert and knows what the hell he’s doing. That he’d be fine. Well, he hasn’t picked more right than wrong since the second weekend of the season. My beloved calico WoodyBear could do a better damn job, and, despite her name, she hates football. Get this fixed immediately, Rutherford, or send that idiot packing.’ . . .
”. . . yo, Seedy you still on the line?”
”Uh, uh, yeah, Mike, I hear you.”
”Do you really hear me, Seedy? I’m a company man. If the home office is unhappy, I’m unhappy. Your worthless weekly picks and blather, which aren’t nearly as clever as you might think, are not cutting it.”
”I hear you, Mike.”
”Well, Seedy, hear me now and believe me later: Either you start showing some expertise or you are Sayonara. Adios amigo. Arrivederci. Auf wiedersehen. Yesterday’s tweet. Outtahere. Capeesh? You feelin’ me?
”One more thing, Seedy, you have no buyout. Understand?”
”But . . .”
This week’s picks:
Missouri @ Alabama. There are those readers among you, ones who are always willing to pick a fight, who will read the above then look at this game I’m considering and blast me on the fallacious premise that there’s absolutely no possible way the Crimson Tide can lose. That I’m predicting the victor of this battle just to fatten my winning percentage. In the name of journalistic transparency, let me advise that absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. Of course, Mizzou remains ofer the SEC on the season, but it’s early. And besides, I haven’t had the opportunity yet this year to extol the virtues of one of American’s great delicacies originating in Tuscaloosa, Dreamland BBQ. Some of you might point out that not only is the Crimson Tide steamrolling like no college football team ever, but it’s also Homecoming. All the more reason Bama might be tight and ripe for a comeuppance, says I. But, in a tough, closer than expected tussle, Nick wins again.
Army @ San Jose State. There are those readers among you, ones who are always willing to pick a fight, who will have read my lede, look at this game,be aware that The Long Gray Line is more than a two touchdown favorite and blast me on the fallacious premise that there’s absolutely no way West Point can lose. That I’m predicting a winner of this battle just to fatten my winning percentage. As I swear on the grave of Grantland Rice, absolutely nothing could be further from the truth. After the beatdown Georgia Tech laid on my favorite team last weekend, running that old school veer triple option, I’m simply fascinated with teams that rely on said offense, Army under the tutelege of Jeff Monken being one. There’s an article in the latest Sports Illustrated about the schemes and schools that use them, which has me even more intrigued. That Army is a prohibitive favorite hasn’t a thing to do with it. Nor does does the fact that San Jose State is winless against a rather mediocre schedule. On Brave Old Army Team.
Georgia Southern @ Texas State. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Read my opening to the previous two paragraphs. Note my response, to which I reiterate a ditto. You might even point out, if you pay enough attention to such minutiae, the Bobcats -- that would be the home team -- lost its opener, rather handily you would probably point out, to Rutgers. But no, I protest. The Sun Belt Eagles are among the progenitors of that run-centric offense with which I’m currently infatuated. See previous paragraph. So, I’m paying close attention. That the school from Statesboro is a 17 point favorite has nothing whatsoever to do with it, and I’m incensed that you would ever believe I’d be guilty of such cherry picking. GS gives TS the blues. Cue the Allman Brothers Band.
Iowa @ Indiana. The Hoosiers rarely get mentioned around here. At least until hoops starts, that is. But IU is 4-2, with a victory over UVa, which is more than my favorite team can boast. And played both Ohio State and Michigan State strong. At least for a bit anyway. The Hawkeyes are always tough, but never have been quite able to permanently break into the upper echelon. A loss to Wisconsin, atop their division in the Big Ten, is the only blemish for Kirk Ferentz’s squad, coming off a solid W last week over yet to improve Minnesota. The visitors are a better, more talented team. Yet the best team doesn’t always win. Especially on the road in a league game. On the flip side, every time IU gives a hint it might actually be getting better at football, the Hoosiers blow it. Hawkeyes. Yoo hoo, Archie.
Louisville @ Boston College. I have one story about a Cardinal game in Chestnut Hill, and of course I trot it out whenever the Cards head up that way. A year before U of L’s visit in the autumn of ‘91, I’d been hit by a car while jogging. My leg still hadn’t healed properly, and while visiting Faneuil Hall the day before the game, it totally went out. So I spent the rest of the weekend in Beantown on crutches, which did not impede my gang from taking our leave of the game at halftime. Schnell’s Cards fell 33-3 that day, finished 2-9 on the year. I assuaged my depression by purchasing a very hip but very expensive shirt at Louie’s Boston on Newberry Street. It remains my favorite, and I wore it just last week to a concert. Do not feel it necessary to memorize this story. I’m sure I’ll repeat it the next time U of L plays football at BC. As for this year’s game. Let’s hope the Cardinals show better than in ‘91. However they will not win. And two wins on the year is looking like a realistic possibility.
-- Seedy K