Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pick Six Preseason Hype | by Jay

Check out what just arrived via FedEx:

Remember this? The Official Joe Paterno Drink Tray, circa 1977! It's also the prize to last year's Pick Six contest. Our reader "Al" won it but I wasn't able to get my hands on one until now. I tried to buy it on Ebay way back when, but was outbid by a zealous Nittany Lion fan (I thought nobody would go higher than $6.98, but apparently there are a lot of JoePa kitsch collectors out there who got into a bidding war). Anyway Al, I'll be sending it out as soon as I've enjoyed a few beverages on it. Nothing protects your lap from dangerous Dr. Pepper suds like JoePa's visage. (Enjoy a Coke on his Cokebottle glasses! Etc.)

Anyway, this hallowed prize reminds me that Pick Six will be coming up again soon, and we need a prize for this year. Something like this. Or this. Any ideas?

Full rules and entry forms for the Pick Six coming as soon as the AP unveils its preseason top 25. In the meantime, you can always use Orson's methodology to generate your own top 25. Here's what I came up with using the EDSBS crib sheet:

Number one. WHEW! Hard one here. Make things easier on yourself by just putting a.) last year’s champion here if they’ve got the same quarterback, or b.) Grab a team that won a BCS game last year and still has the same quarterback. You won’t look too crazy by doing either. If last year’s champ has lost their quarterback, move to slot 5 AUTOMATICALLY.
1. Ohio State

Another easy one! Remember number two at the end of the year last year? You got it: just slide ‘em in here and keep rolling, rockstar.
2. Southern Cal

Okay, tricky one at three, one that might require one or two GOOGLE SEARCHES. The team that won their big BCS bowl game last year by a shocker? Roll ‘em right in. SPECIAL NEW YORK TIMES PROVISION: this is where you put Michigan. Because you know a guy who went there, and he was pretty smart and cool and all that, and you didn’t really have a good football team where you went to school since lacrosse was really the thing there.
3. West Virginia

Another research one: take a team that’s a traditional power in the top ten. Did they go 8-4 last year? Or something like it? Okay, that’s your pick!
4. Penn State

5. Texas

A really easy one for the ol’ seis-spot: NOTRE DAME. They’re on television all the time and they had that movie with the kid from Goonies in it, plus they score like crazy these days. Even if they fall from the top ten you’re actually creating content for yourself, since you can then write one of your standard pairs of filler columns, the “wake up the echoes” preseason Notre Dame column/ “what the hell happened to the goddamn echoes” post-season Notre Dame column.
6. ND

Time to get bold here. Got a program that’s won a ton of games but never a big one? An offensive juggernaut whose almost beat significant opponents on a national stage but racks up fifty and sixty points on the midgets of the world? Seven is the place for them. It gives you BOLD pundit points and must be accompanied by a phrase of great certainty, like “This is the year they get it done.” If you hedge, just put Michigan in here and move on.
7. TCU

Find out who the SEC champion was last year. Go ahead and put them here.
8. Georgia

This is always a good place to put a Larry Coker-era Miami team. If not, have you considered putting Florida State here? They’re always a nice place holder, too.
9. Miami

Have you put all your Florida teams in the top ten? It’s essential to put them all in your to ten, if only to put them lower in your post-season poll, which then–thinking ahead!–gives you still more column filler in the form of “Sunshine State ain’t so sunny anymore” piece. If you hesitate to do this, again, just put Michigan here if you havent’ used them already.
10. Florida

11-25: A little secret of the trade….no one reads these. No one. The only people who will read them in total are basement-dwelling slobboids who will then write 13 page screeds in response to your critical underestimation of Clemson/Cal/Northwestern/Louisville/Tech/Florida/etc...In reality, you will simply take the next fifteen teams you can name off the top of your head and rattle them off on the page, just listing them in no particular order and tagging each one with the only thing you can remember about them at the time.

Okay, here goes...11. Virginia Tech, 12. Oregon, 13. Florida State, 14. Michigan, 15. Auburn, 16. Wisconsin, 17. Louisville, 18. Fresno State...uhh...19. Oklahoma, 20. Cal...let's see...21. Alabama...shit. 22 UCLA? 23. let's go with Clemson, then...crap, forgot LSU. They should be a lot higher, but oh well. 24. LSU and 25...Oklahoma. Wait, used them already...okay, 25. Nebraska. Done. Whew.

It seems silly, but I don't doubt a lot of "pundits" fill out their ballots that way...and not just in the preseason, but probably every damn week of the season, too.