Alright. I’m shortening this little feature, just supplying my picks without commentary, at least until the results are posted. Y’all don’t seem to like it that much anyway, and I’m only in it to look like a genius (which isn’t tough), so I can streamline the diatribe-style intro shit for each game, focusing on the picks themselves, and leaving me some mental room to talk about other shit.

Like this.

The other day I was getting my boys ready for school, as I do every day. I’m a full service dad, and you better recognize. Anyway, we had gotten a couple of those frozen french toast and sausage meals for 7YO to experiment with, and I decided to give him one that morning for breakfast. I knew 3YO wouldn’t want one, so I was all set to give him grits (we’re southern), cereal, pop-tarts, grapes, or whatever else he might want. But naturally, when he saw that hot, steaming pile of french toast (which was soggy) and those shriveled little sausages, his mouth watered like Wyle E. Coyote’s, and he demanded to have some.

Me: “But 3YO, you don’t LIKE this. I KNOW you don’t like it.”
3YO: “But I WANT IT, DADDY!”
Me: “Lower your volume. If I give this to you, you better eat it. I’m not kidding. We don’t waste food.”
3YO: “I want it.”
Me (doubting): “Are you sure?”
3YO: “Yes! I want what 7YO has! Please, Daddy?”

So I pulled out another frozen masterpiece, heated it for two long-ass minutes, and served it with a flourish. Victory. I made my baby happy, right? He immediately frowned at the plate. Oh HELLS no!

Me: “Don’t even start. You’re gonna eat that.”
3YO: “But I don’t LIKE this, Daddy!”
Me: “I know. Do you remember 4 MINUTES AGO when I told you you wouldn’t like it?”
3YO: “No. I don’t WAAAAAAAAANT THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISS!”
Me: “Oh, you’ll be eating that, or you’ll be eating a ‘wish sandwich’.”
7YO: “Dad, what’s a ‘wish sandwich’?”
Me: “That’s where you WISH you had a sandwich. Now 3YO, eat.”
3YO: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

This is what it sounds like…when doves cry. I don’t force-feed my boys. If I provide a suitable meal and they don’t wanna eat it, that’s on them. I won’t be the one with a rabid lion in his belly around 10am. However, growing up (and still being) poor, I loathe wasting food. So I did manage to convince him to eat a couple of bites. Afterward, I finished getting them both ready to go, rushing around as usual. I didn’t notice that 3YO wasn’t speaking to me or his brother, not at first. As I drove 7YO to school, he was singing to Hannah Montana or whatever, but 3YO wasn’t saying a damn thing. His mouth was fixed in a pout, and he just stared out the window. When 7YO got out to go to his class, 3YO wouldn’t say goodbye, or even look at him. That’s when I noticed, and I thought he was just being a jerk about breakfast. So I started doing that Black Parent Monologue that you sometimes hear:

Me: “I don’t know who you think YOU are, not saying goodbye to your big brother. He takes care of you, he plays with you…that’s just RUDE, 3YO. You better straighten up. I know that’s right. If you go to school like THIS, you’re gonna have a yellow or red day, and then you’re gonna have a red bottom when you get home. My kids are gonna be NICE, they’re gonna be POLITE, and they’re NOT gonna ignore people when people talk to them. I’m not having it. So whatever your little problem is, I suggest you get it worked out, and with the quickness. I’m not kidding, either. You won’t see Dora the Explorer for a whole week, if you don’t chill out, and now.”

I said more stuff, but this is just a sampling. My head was even moving back and forth. When we got to his daycare, he still wouldn’t talk. I got him out of the car, and usually he’s full of questions about the other parents, the cars, why there’s lights on the building, how come the sun is yellow…but not that day. Silence. I get him to his class, tell his teachers that they might need to call the cops and a haz-mat team, and I go to kiss him. HE WON’T KISS ME! Not really, at least – he gave me this weird, pinched-mouth dry-ass woodpecker-style peck on the cheek. That’s when I took a good hard look at him. His mouth looked…funny.

Me: “3YO, open your mouth.”
3YO: “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

It looked like a crime scene in there. I swear I thought Gil Grissom was about to come busting in with some Luminol and latex gloves. Remember when I told you that I convinced him to take a couple of bites? Well, he did.

He just never actually swallowed them.

So for roughly 25 minutes, my precious, beautiful 3YO son was walking around with saliva-soaked french toast just MARINADING in his cheeks, and he would neither spit it out nor swallow it. I picked him up, held him horizontally over the trash can, and told him to spit. It looked so nasty, the teachers thought he was throwing up. I reassured them, and when I put the lad down, he was 100% again, all smiling and laughing and everything. I just shook my head.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all…

And for the record, I DO brush his teeth. Except sometimes when we’re running late. Then he gets a tic-tac and a lesson on talking away from people’s noses.

Well, on to the picks.

5 vs 17

Yards Per Game: TEX 402.9, NEB 458.4
Points Per Game: TEX 42.7, NEB 37
Yards Allowed: TEX 276.9, NEB 329.7
Points Allowed: TEX 13.7, NEB 13.4

Prediction: 35-28 Texas
Outcome: 22-20 Texas

Nebraska came thisclose to making me laugh like Pee Wee Herman at a going-out-of-business sale at an adult movie store. They had the game WON, but they let Texas march down the field and kick a game-winning field goal. Come ON, Nebraska! I was never a big fan of yours when you were running the option and killing everyone on the field, but you’re kinda downtrodden now, and I really wanted you to pull this one out. You let me down, Huskers. You let me down. But at least I don’t make picks with my heart. I’m no dummy. I win.

Damian: 1-0
vs 10

Yards Per Game: UCLA 346, ND 388.2
Points Per Game: UCLA 25.7, ND 30.3
Yards Allowed: UCLA 272.8, ND 359
Points Allowed: UCLA 15.3, ND 23.7

Prediction: 28-24 Notre Dame (I hate them so much)
Outcome: 20-17 Notre Dame (I still hate them so much)

The game was as tight as I thought it would be, and ND, like Texas, had to stage a late-game comeback in order to meet my demands for victory. If I’m gonna ride you, you better win. That’s all I demand. Excellence. God, I wish they’d lose so I can stop picking them to win.

Damian: 2-0

19 vs

Yards Per Game: RUT 342.3, PITT 418
Points Per Game: RUT 31.7, PITT 37.6
Yards Allowed: RUT 242.2, PITT 303
Points Allowed: RUT 8.3, PITT 13.3

Prediction: 24-10 Rutgers
Outcome: 20-10 Rutgers

Four measley points prevented me from crowing like a retarded rooster during a solar eclipse. I nailed the Pitt score. Locked it down tight. But Rutgers had to go and get all uppity and score some more. I swear, damn upstarts. Rutgers ain’t been SHIT for years, and now that they’ve thrown up 7 wins, they think they can just bypass my wishes? See if I pick them again this season.

Damian: 3-0

21 vs

Yards Per Game: WISC 400.1, PUR 480
Points Per Game: WISC 33.9, PUR 33.1
Yards Allowed: WISC 248, PUR 419.7
Points Allowed: WISC 12.7, PUR 29.6

Prediction: 33-20 Wisconsin
Outcome: 24-3 Wisconsin

NO ONE IS LISTENING TO ME! Please – winning is only half of the formula, folks. Anyone can pick the games straight-up. It’s all about the points. THAT’S where my genius shows, and if you don’t get it right, I end up looking foolish. I never figured Wisconsin would hold Purdue to such a low output, not looking at both team’s stats. But that just goes to show you – some people just don’t listen.

Damian: 4-0

13 vs 12

Yards Per Game: GT 363.2, CLEM 466.1
Points Per Game: GT 28.7, CLEM 43.9
Yards Allowed: GT 282.8, CLEM 249.7
Points Allowed: GT 16.2, CLEM 13.3

Prediction: 35-21 Clemson
Outcome: 31-7 Clemson

Wow. Just…wow. These guys just might be for real. I don’t wanna jinx it by proclaiming them champions of anything, but…this isn’t the Clemson team I’m used to dealing with. I’m used to seeing a team that basically loses its mind when faced with success and prosperity. I’m used to seeing a team start 8-0 in a season, get ranked as high as #5 in the nation, then go out and lose 4 out of 5. I’m used to a team that doesn’t know how to handle the good times, but this…this ain’t the team I’m used to seeing. And I like that, immensely. This team is not playing to the level of the competition, at least not this season. This team is showing the competition that there is a level that they’re not privy to, and that Clemson is on that level, and they’ll let you SEE that level if you just put a quarter into one of those telescopes on the side of a scenic view, you know, like you’d find in the Catskills or the Grand Canyon. All proceeds go toward an 11-1 season and a BCS bowl game. Holla.

Damian: 5-0

Oooooooooooweeee! I was 5-0 this week, bringing my overall total to 21-4. 21 and 4! Negrodamus in the HOUSE! And I’m not just picking creampuff games, either. There were only two games between ranked opponents this week, and I picked ’em both accurately. I’m sorry – I’m just good at this. Someone tell me how I can make some money. For real. If I can pick up a few extra coins, I’ll be better able to provide you the humor and deliciousness you deserve. Help me help you. Oh – and whoever has the best idea for me making some cash, I’ll cut you in on the deal. For real.

Peace.

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