Happy Friday, sports fans! Before I dive into this weekend’s picks, I’d like to share a funny story. You know I’m full of ’em.

A couple months ago, I was sitting at my desk at work when my cell rang. I’m a popular guy, and my cell rings all the damn time, so this wasn’t unusual. The ensuing conversation, however, was very different. It was my good friend Hail, according to caller ID. I hadn’t heard from her in a while, so I was kinda excited to answer the phone.

Me: “Hey, Hail! What’s shakin’, mamacita?”
Hail: “Hi! May I speak to Jesse McCartney?”
Me (thinking I misheard her): “Do what, now?”
Hail (with urgency): “May I PLEASE speak to JESSE…MCCARTNEY?”
Me: “Are you high? This is Damian.”
Hail: “Yes, I understand. But I’m calling for JESSE MCCARTNEY, OK?”
Me: “You are certifiable. You called DAMIAN!”
Hail (to her son in the car): “Baby, they’re trying to get him on the phone right now, OK? Just hold on. (to me) Listen; it’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that I get JESSE on the phone. Do you UNDERSTAND what I’m SAYING?”
Me (understanding what she was saying): “Ooooooooooooooooh! I gotcha. Yes. Jesse’s right here.”
Hail (to her son): “Here he is, baby. Talk to him!”
Hailson: “Hello?”
Me (with my voice pitched 2 octaves higher): “Hi, Hailson! This is Jesse! How’re you doing today?”
Hailson (not buying it): “Ok. Is this REALLY Jesse McCartney?”

Now I was faced with a dilemma. Do I carry on with the charade, with a 4 year old who was CLEARLY not believing me, or do I drop it and totally disappoint him, and incur the wrath of Hail? I’ve felt the wrath of Hail before. It ain’t pleasant. I did the only thing I could do in that situation.

Me: “Hailson, do you know my songs?”
Hailson: “Yeah…I like ‘Right Where You Want Me’.”
Me (sighing and singing): “BA-BY, take me on a JOUR-NEY, I been thinking LATELY that I could use, a little more time with you…you got me. Right. Where. You. WANT. ME!”
Hailson: “YAY!!!”
Me (after muting and coughing): “I have to go now, Hailson. It was SO good to talk to you! You take care and listen to your momma, ok?”
Hailson: “OK! Bye!”
Hail: “Thank you.”
Me: “Oh, you owe my ass. You owe me BIG.”
Hail: “Bitch, please. I was Britney Spears last week.”

The things we do for our kids.

EDIT: Click here to find out who the hell Jesse McCartney is. Non-kid having folks.

Alright – let’s see who’s gonna win some games this weekend! And may I just say that I’m SO happy to have HDH as a new reader. You all know HDW. HDH is her other half. Make him feel welcome. Let’s do this!

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#13 LSU (6-2) at #8 Tennessee (7-1)
Yards Per Game: LSU 422.4, TENN 411.3
Points Per Game: LSU 35.9, TENN 32.3
Yards Allowed: LSU 221.1, TENN 307.8
Points Allowed: LSU 8.3, TENN 19.1

Prediction: 28-21 Tennessee

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#16 Boston College (7-1) at #22 Wake Forest (7-1)
Yards Per Game: BC 367.3, WAKE 311.6
Points Per Game: BC 27.4, WAKE 23.1
Yards Allowed: BC 336.3, WAKE 330.3
Points Allowed: BC 14.9, WAKE 15

Prediction: 24-20 BC

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#18 Oklahoma (6-2) at #21 Texas A&M (8-1)
Yards Per Game: OKLA 389.1, TAMU 437.6
Points Per Game: OKLA 30.9, TAMU 33
Yards Allowed: OKLA 298.1, TAMU 325.3
Points Allowed: OKLA 15.1, TAMU 18.9

Prediction: 33-24 Oklahoma (Sorry, Metalchick. I don’t think TAMU can stop their new RB.)

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Washington (4-5) at #24 Oregon (6-2)
Yards Per Game: WASH 369.7, ORE 470.9
Points Per Game: WASH 23.3, ORE 36.6
Yards Allowed: WASH 394.8, ORE 317.4
Points Allowed: WASH 25, ORE 23.9

Prediction: 42-14 Oregon

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Maryland (6-2) at #19 Clemson (7-2)
Yards Per Game: MD 310.5, CLEM 429.7
Points Per Game: MD 24.1, CLEM 38.3
Yards Allowed: MD 373.6, CLEM 257.7
Points Allowed: MD 22, CLEM 13.8

Prediction: 45-20 Clemson

Check back on Monday to see how I did. HDH, I only track games involving members of the Top 25, otherwise I’d be all over OSU this week. Tell ’em to hurry up and get ranked.

Peace.

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