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The College Football Report Free Range Chicken has stared deep into the feed trough and come up with the following selections for this weekend:
The pick: Middle Tennessee State at #12 Mississippi State (-18.5),
Comment: The Blue Raiders lost stud running back Benny Cunningham last Saturday in a win over Florida International. Cunningham was leading the Sun Belt Conference with 600 yards and 11 TDs, placing him among the top five backs in the country in touchdowns. Mississippi State is off to a great start (6-0 overall, 3-0 in the SEC) but really hasn't beaten anyone yet, as the Bulldogs' conference wins came against opponents who are a combined 0-11 in SEC play and the remaining three Ws were against the likes of Jackson State.
We expect Mississippi State's top dog (ho-ho!) Dan Mullen to dominate MTSU like a basket of buffalo wings. Back in September, Mullen took down 24 wings in five minutes at a local Buffalo Wild Wings which, while impressive, fell well short of the current record of 2 pounds, 2.5 ounces in the "Chicken Wings, Short Form" competitive eating category.
We don't know how many wings are in a pound, but it must be a healthy (or unhealthy, as the case may be) amount. According to his "Bib Sheet," the current record holder, Ed "Cookie" Jarvis, has also set records for Chinese dumplings (91 in 8 minutes), ice cream (1 gallon, 9 ounces in 12 minutes), and - our favorite - pomme frites (2 pounds, 9 ounces in 8 minutes). His stats beg some gnawing (zing!) questions, however, such as: Which kind of Buffalo sauce? What flavor of ice cream? Did the dumplings come with that delicious soy-sauce stuff for dipping? Was the aeoli optional? We are hungry (bada-bing!) for answers.
The pick: #20 Stanford (-2.5) at California.
Comment: We are in a conundrum over this pick. Not as to if we should give the points, but about the relevant grammar. Stanford is the Cardinal (singular), which wreaks all sorts of havoc when writing game previews. Let's just go with "this game," although the matchup is referred to as "The Big Game," which makes it both easier and more complicated to write about.
At any rate, the history of the rivalry involves an axe, Aristophanes, cross-dressing, fraternities (when aren't fraternities involved in these things), bank vaults, getaway cars, and tear gas, which is a really good list for a bunch of nerds. Also, "The Play." So, tune in.
The pick: Virginia Tech (+8) at #19 Clemson, 12:00p.m.
Comment: Why is Virginia Tech (4-3, 2-1 in ACC) struggling this season? The Hokies' offense features the Cam Newton-esque Logan Thomas, an enormous quarterback (6'-6", 262 lbs) who can both throw and run. (Which is good, because quarterbacks who can only stroll and lob don't fare well.) We like Va Tech to hang on and possibly pull the upset on Saturday.
Mike "Chief" Luce is our man on campus. He welcomes your comments.