Oh my land, gentlefolk of the internet, the day cometh: a final showdown in what has been a very strong Pick Six class. We've lived and died with the clueless antics of Patrick and his frustrated son Dylan, laughed as Marc revealed parts of himself that we never knew we were ready to see, nodded sagely as Swetha & Sabreena dispensed the wisdom of youth, pumped our fists in unison with Monty's passionate screeds, and wondered aloud at Nick's mastery of statistical detail.
I'm not sure if any of those descriptions are accurate; I just kind of went with the flow after the first few words and plugged in the names later. But let's be real: this has been a fun (and funny) group.
There is one man I did not mention, though, and I feel we should give him special attention here. I'm referring, of course, to Spike.
Ole, wily Spike. He's one of the original stalwarts of the blog, and today will be his last hurrah in Pick Six. It's his third go-round, which means you either win or go home empty-handed, and currently it looks very much like Spike will be turning out the pockets, inventing some sheepish explanations for the wife and kids. So, as a final tribute, let's revisit the highlights of Spike's Pick Six career:
-Wrote one of the great Pick Six rants of all time when he tried to psych Tom out the day before he hit the golf course.
-Finished a woeful 5th (with only 8 points) in the first installment of the game.
-Blew a Week 5 lead in the second installment, finishing second to Mike L. in his only real shot at glory.
-Stunk it up this time around, clearly heartbroken about the previous loss. He's like an old bullfighter, sticking around just for the memories and hoping not to get gored or appear in an Ernest Hemingway short story.
-Almost never turned his picks on time. Increasingly, never wrote rants. True to form, I still have not received his picks as of 9am Friday morning. He's going out the way he came in; a real dick.
Let's all stand and show our appreciation for the man named after a crucial railroad component:
And now we turn our eyes to the future. Tarry no more, young men and women, for we present ye:
VOLUME THREE, WEEK FUCKING SIX!
The Friday Pick Six is an original SCSD! game where six people make six predictions for six weeks. Along with their picks, they're allowed and encouraged to submit a 'sound-off' on any topic, sports or otherwise. When it's all done, the winner earns great honor among the people, while the two losers are exiled in shame and the three middle finishers go to purgatory, with the chance rescue their good name up to three times. To learn more about the rules, and about the current contestants, read below:
-Volume Two champion and intros to the new class
THE HALL OF ANGELS: OLD CHAMPIONS
Here are the standings going into Week 6:
Let's check out the updated standings after Week Four:
1. Marc: 22
2. Swetha & Sabreena: 20
2. Monty: 20
4. Dylan & Patrick: 19
5. Spike: 13
6. Nick: 13
For the first time since Week One, we have a new leader! Marc nailed 5 of 6 picks and smartly avoided the Jillarrie to jump to first, a position Monty had held tenaciously to that moment. But the Mont was tempted by lady-kind, losing three points as he sought to woo the Jillarrie. Nick and Spike met similar fates, and now they're alone at the bottom of the totem with almost no chance to win. But the two duos, S&S and D&P, shied away from the Jillarrie's siren songs and put themselves in a position to attack in Week Six. THINGS ARE GETTING DRAMATIC!
Freaky Jim is back with a freaky docket, and following that there's a special Week Six NCAA teaser thought up by yours truly. In fact, for the first time ever, the entire greater docket is composed of just one sport. Hoops will make you, hoops will break you.
Take it away, Freakmaster J:
1. Baylor's got the big men to take it to the rim vs. Texas, who doesn't need another person laughing at Rick Barnes.
2. Montana v Northern Colorado, Big Sky conference. BEAR FIGHT!!!!
3. Another edition of mascot meltdown, this time with hats! St. Peter's Peacocks vs. Marist Red Foxes.
4. Syracuse vs. Louisville.
5. Pitt vs. Villanova. Payback?
6. Ohio State vs. Wisconsin - This is the truth. Don't hide from it Bo.
And now, the NCAA TEASER. For our purposes, we'll be using all games on Saturday involving ranked teams. There are 15. You can pick as many or as few as you like, but you will be picking a winner against the spread. For each winner you pick correctly, you get 2 points. For each you pick incorrectly, you lose 2.5. Again, pick every game, pick none, or anywhere in between. It's up to you. (Because the odds weren't listed earlier in the week when picks were sent out, I created the lines. I have no experience doing so; all and sundry are welcome to take advantage of that ignorance. If any readers want to see how they fare, check out the challenge at the end of this post.)
We shall begin with our new leader, the man with the sword of Damocles hanging above his head and the pressure of the internet burdening his shoulders. You had to know a dude called "Mr. Intrigue" would be right in the mix at the witching hour. Take it easy, Pick Sixers, but take it:
Well, well, well. Here we are. Or I suppose, here I am in my rightful spot. Weeks of devoted research have led me to this position and I intend to keep it. This week will be difficult as it asks about spreads and shit like that. First, let me write of Duke's amazing victory over UNC. I watched it with a group of friends, only one being a UNC fan and he doesn't even care about sports. So, luckily I was spared any legitimate trash talking during the first half. However, my girlfriend, who happens to be a UNC fan, showed up in the second half. She likes UNC because of Michael Jordan and because she thinks Tyler Hansbrough is cute. When I heard that I almost picked her up and threw her through a window. The jokes on her, because in the long run she has to put up with me until she realizes how retarded I am and breaks it off. For the time being, I get to subject her to my craziness, and she saw all of my crazy last night.
I quickly credited her with Duke's comeback because when she walked in the door it was the beginning of Seth Curry's run of destruction. As the half progressed and as I indulged in more alcohol I grew more and more obnoxious. Through my constant badgering she somehow resisted punching me in the face and took the loss pretty well. I whined and complained with everyone during the first half, it really reminded me of the St. John's game. Our defense was absolutely atrocious and our offense was pretty bad also. That made the second half even more terrific because I really wasn't expecting the comeback. So, hurray for this game, I'll be in a good mood for quite some time! Onto the picks!
1. Fuck Baylor, seriously. I feel sorry for them. Their program was destroyed by a scumbag coach and now they have a sleazy new coach. It was bullshit we had to play them in Houston last year. I'm surprised Texas is playing so well, but I imagine their collapse will happen soon, this won't be the game. Texas wins.
2. Jim, I don't know what it is about your crazy games, but I love it. How else can I feel connected to the little guys if I focus specifically on Duke games. This game is tough to pick but I'm going with Montana.
3. I want to pick the Red Foxes because everyone knows peacocks are assholes. It's a well known fact that Harrison Barnes is a rare basketball-playing peacock. He struts his stuff when times are good, then disappears for the rest of the game when confronted with a zombie-like defender. After watching Barnes play I'm happy he didn't come to Duke. He's a smug prick, and we don't need any smug pricks adding to our reputation of being smug pricks. But, my logic cannot pick Marist, St. Peter's takes this game.
4. Syracuse, what happened? Complete collapse, but it's still hard to pick against them because they have the potential. However, I made fun of Rick Pitino's premature finishes last time there was a Louisville game and he didn't take too kindly to that. With that, Louisville takes this game.
5. Jim, quit it with these tough games. I'm having more difficulty picking the pick six than doing schoolwork. Even kenpom isn't helping me out that much. Ughhhhhh, I'll roll with Pittsburgh I guess.
6. Will this be the game Ohio State finally loses? It's tough, Wisconsin never loses at home, ever, but Ohio State has been finding ways to win this entire season. I'm going to have to consult the music list again this week. Avett Brothers = Ohio State, The Offspring = Wisconsin. Boom kapow bangarang. Avett Brothers - Incomplete and Insecure. Ohio State stays undefeated!
Now comes to the tough part this week. I know people are going to be swinging for the fences. I would too if I was 9 points back (lol Spike, picking at random would probably more successful than you were this volume.) I'm going to have to go big to hold off the hoards of losers trying to track me down. Here goes!
Wisconsin beats the spread!
Iowa State beats the spread!
UNLV beats the spread and might actually win!
Abstaining from Notre Dame USF!
Abstaining Louisville Syracuse!
Abstaining Kentucky Vanderbilt!
Abstaining Tennessee Florida!
Clemson beats the spread!
Going big! Gotta do it! I can't wait to win the trophy, oh victory will be sweet.
1. Just finished watching the Friday Night Lights series finale (amazing, in case you were wondering), so let’s go with the Longhorns. Texas, forever. (I’m aware Baylor is also located in Texas, but the University of Texas is just more Texas, y’know?)
2. We’ve picked Montana before and it never really ended well, so let’s go with Northern Colorado, or imposter UNC, to win this one.
3. Foxes have sharp teeth and peacocks are pretty. Plus, we appreciate alliteration. St. Peter’s Peacocks.
4. Even though they lost twice to Louisville last season, we have faith in Syracuse to bounce back from that awful loss to Georgetown and get a win in the KFC Yum! Center.
5. I think the part that offended me the most about Taylor King praising The University of Spoiled Children for its academics was that he seemed to suggest that Villanova and Duke were somehow equal. Yuck. I hate Villanova. Injuries, shminjuries, Pittsburgh’s gonna win.
6. As much as we adore Jared Sullinger and his ability to take a joke well, Wisconsin never, ever seems to lose at home. Badgers.
Week Six Special - Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Carolina, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Kansas, Texas, BYU, Tennessee, UNLV, Pitt, Utah State.
Go big or go home.
First of all:
2. Northern Colorado
3. St. Peter's
Wisconsin, Kansas, Texas, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Utah, Louisville, Fresno State, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Clemson, Texas A&M, Saint Mary's.
I had just got out of class and was headed back to my apartment when my phone exploded with messages. Phone calls, texts, twitter notices, Facebook , all from my dad, all expressing the same message – “we win, I saw it, call me”. How could I resist. I cracked the last bottle of our home brewed beer, settled in behind my computer and dialed his number. He answered on the first ring…
D: I hoped you would call…
CB: Yea, got your messages. What’s up?
D: We win, I saw it, we win!
CB: Dad what are you talking about?
D: We win the Pick 6, I saw it.
CB: Dad, you didn’t go back to that Tarot card reader did you? Last time she soaked you for like $600…
D: No, no, no…I saw it in a dream.
CB: A dream?
D: Yea, I had this dream last night – all the Pick 6 people were there. Monty, Marc, the S&S girls, Nick, even Spike. They were all dressed in black...they had big heads too, don’t know what that meant. Shane was there, he was wearing a jacket and tie. Boy is he ever handsome...You know, he could be on TV.
CB: Dad, the dream?
D: Oh yea. Well the Pick 6 guys were triyng to break into the Pick 6 shop where the trophy is kept. They were taking turns trying to break down the door with big sledge hammers and Shane was trying to keep them out. It was only a matter of time. Suddenly I come running from across the street, and I chase them all away. I’m wearing a red coat. I don’t think I look good in red but maybre a 3/4 length…
D: Oh yea, I chase them all away and then Seth comes out of the Pick 6 shop. I know it means we win!
CB: Can I ask you a question?
D: Yea sure. Hey where are we going to keep the trophy?
CB: Dad, did you fall asleep at the computer again last night?
D: Yea, about that, I know I said I wouldn’t do that anymore but I was looking at some videos and I guess I fell asleep.
CB: Was THIS one of the videos? You see how those thugs are trying to break into the jewelry store and that old lady IN THE RED COAT chases them away by hitting them with her purse? Sound familiar Dad? Even a little bit?
D: You know, she doesn’t look too bad in red...
CB: Dad, lets concentrate on making some good picks in this final week ok?
1. Baylor v Texas – Texas keeps on rolling in this one.
2. Montana v Northern Colorado – Montana retains its big sky legacy and wins here.
3. St. Peter's Peacocks v Marist Red Foxes – one would think peacocks would have problems with foxes but St. Pete already routed the fox just a couple weeks ago. No reason to think it won’t happen again, the Peacocks stand proud again.
4. Syracuse v Louisville – Syracuse has started their slide as usual and the last gasps of the old Boheim machine are not enough, Louisville wins a squeaker…
5. Pitt v. Villanova – Pitt gets the hat trick this week. They have the rapist as their QB, they lost the Super Bowl and now Villanova puts it to them one more time, Sorry Pennsyvanians!
6. Ohio State v. Wisconsin – Ohio State will not lose their undefeated season to a bunch of Badgers, OSU FTW
In keeping with the spirit of Dad’s “dream”, we decided to go balls to the wall with our picks. We figure that gives us an advantage with 4 balls (sorry S & S…) and 3 ½ legs to stand on so here we go...
Wisconsin, Kansas, Texas, Villanova, UNLV, BYU, Louisville, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Florida, Missouri, Clemson, Texas Tech
Texas, Montana, Marist, Louisville, Nova, Wisconsin
Wisconsin, Iowa State, Texas, Nova, SDSU, Notre Dame, BYU, Louisville, Fresno St, Vandy, Tenn, Mizzou, UNC, Tech, St. Mary's
What is it to lose? What is losing? Are all losses the absence of winning?
Or is losing about really losing? Coming in dead last. I once ran a cross country race where I came in dead last. I wasn't even hurt; I was just fat. Out of 100 people that day I was dead fucking last. And now I face a similar prospect here. To go out on bottom.
Well, I don't much like the idea of losing. So I've decided not to.
My slate of picks above assures as much.
Guarantees? Here's a guarantee. I will not lose my last pick six.
MARK IT DOWN.
Also, Amherst sucks.
I found this pic on the DBR message boards, which was taken at the UNC game:
For those unaccustomed to reading decibel meters, that's roughly the same loudness as a jet engine. I have to say that watching these games now can be a bittersweet experience, as I'm insanely jealous of the kids that get to go for free. Also, welcome to Duke, Rasheed Sulaimon! With Alex Murphy committing last week, Duke is setting itself up for a monster 2012 class with five stars Tony Parker and Shabazz Muhammad still considering.
My favorite part of the Nolan Smith "Showtime" article Shane linked to yesterday - his Dad helped popularize the high five. Awe-fucking-some.
As a measure to be environmentally conscious, the giant copier/printer at work is automatically set to print on both sides, which I absolutely hate. Except I always forget to change the settings before I make a copy. Every time I print a huge document, I invariably get absolutely furious and print again one-sided. Twice, just for spite. Awesome idea, work, now I use 2.5 times as much paper as I did before.
1. What the hell happened to Baylor? Weren't they supposed to be really good this year? Between LaceDarius Dunn and Quincy Acy, they were legitimately terrifying last year, and we probably would have lost if it weren't for a few huge threes off the bench from Dawkins. And now this year they go ahead and lose to Oklahoma, along with a bunch of other middling teams. I don't see them taking down TEXAS in the Barnesyard. That's what they call Texas' home court right? Whatever.
2. Finally, a sweet Big Sky showdown between the tops in the conference. I like NORTHERN COLORADO, if only because they get a warm up game against Montana State.
3. It's not a good sign for your college when you search for it in Wikipedia and it directs you to an adjectival noun. Haha, what losers, with a stupid Wikipedially ambiguous name. Oh....shit. Damn, we didn't even make the top three disambiguations. Whatever, at least we don't have the 330th-ranked defense in Division I. ST PETERS
4. Syracuse was undefeated. Then they lost four games in a row, and then beat Kemba Walked and Uconn. Then they lost at home to Georgetown for the first time in nine years. Sounds like someone has some identity issues. Seriously, do you suck or not, Syracuse? Your capriciousness sucks. Rick Patino angers me too; he thinks he's a badass with his slicked back hair, but really he just looks like an extra from Grease. An his team plays in the YUM! Center. That's another thing I can't stand. Really, YUM! foods? One of the largest companies in the world, you've forming a super conglomerate of evil empire by making Americans poison themselves so death, and YUM! Foods is the best name you could come up with? Ugh. Whatever. SYRACUSE.
5. This post is getting way to long. They just lost at home to Rutgers, but my gut says VILLANOVA. And like Shakira's hips, my gut don't lie.
6. I could try to justify this pick by praising Wisconsin's plodding, methodical style, which appeals to my own lack of creativity, but really I just want Ohio State to lose. WISCONSIN.
Wisconsin, Kansas, Baylor, Villanova, UNLV, South Florida, Utah, Syracuse, Fresno St, Vandy, Tennessee, Mizzou, UNC, Texas A&M, St. Marys.
That's right, BRING ON ALL COMERS! I FEAR NO ONE! THIS IS MY WATERLOO!
Wow. Nobody is playing cautious in week Six, I love it. Here's a quick compilation of what the contestatns said, independently, before making their aggressive picks:
-We decided to go balls to the wall.
-Go big or go home.
-Going big! Gotta do it!
-Here's a guarantee. I will not lose my last pick six.
-BRING ON ALL COMERS! I FEAR NO ONE! THIS IS MY WATERLOO!
Now, for the Reader Challenge. Here are the 15 Saturday games, along with the spreads I created:
Ohio State (-7) at Wisconsin
Iowa State at Kansas (-21)
Baylor at Texas (-11)
Pittsburgh (-3) at Villanova
San Diego State (-7) at UNLV
Notre Dame (-8) at South Florida
Utah at BYU (-17)
Syracuse at Louisville (-3)
Fresno State at Utah State (-13)
Kentucky (-5) at Vanderbilt
Tennessee at Florida (-9)
Oklahoma at Missouri (-9)
UNC (-10) at Clemson
Texas A&M (-4) at Texas Tech
Saint Mary's (-5) at San Francisco
Some of the actual spreads will probably be wildly different. The challenge is this: pick the winner of each game using my spreads. Whoever has the most winners will get pride, a special mention on Monday, and a bonus in the Hot Potato if they play.
Have a great weekend, I'll see you all tomorrow for a preview of Sunday's Duke-Miami game. And now, some saxophone: