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Welcome to a better late than never edition of Drop Picks On ‘Em where Jacory Harris Stephen Morris almost lost this week’s picks by way of a helmet deflected interception. Hey, that ACC is a spunky little league, man. If you’re not careful, you can find yourself playing a team wearing alternate jerseys named after a play on words of a successful Navy Seals operation. Zero Dark Thursday? More like Bay of Pigs, AMIRITE?!

In honor of the conference that stretches itself from South Beach to the shores of Plymouth Rock, this intro will be designed to highlight all things ACC not named Clemson or Florida State. Yeah, I get it – it’s the biggest game the conference has going for it so far this year. That’s great! Good for them. #goacc and all that jazz but this conference still has Paul Johnson and the slow, R.Kelly grind of the triple option. This is a place where the adjective spunky applies to three teams and the rest have varying self-confidence and identity issues. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Syracuse and Georgia Tech play each other which means you get to see two of the most horrifying color schemes and uniforms (we see you, Russell Athletic) face off against each other in Atlanta. Virginia still plays football and they do so against Bear Bryant protege, David Cutcliffe, in a battle of the privileged East Coast fan bases. Wine and cheese, indeed! If you want something a little bit more blue collar, Pittsburgh is right up your alley. They play Old Dominion this week and I’m sure there will be a lot of Schlitz and Primanti Bros. sandwiches consumed as a topper to a great win and a fatality free day at the steel mill.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on Maryland and Wake Forest. This is going to be a tough road test for the Terps as they take on a feisty Wake Forest team, who in recent years has played heart breaker to multiple teams. Wait, that’s not right. Sounds like a basketball preview. How about this? Have fun trying to stop anything, Demon Deacs!

And there you have it – the ACC Week 8 preview you’ve been clamoring for. No fancy pants Jameis Winston or Tajh Boyd here. Just some good ole fashioned Mid-Atlantic to barely into the southern most tip of America football. Now that that is out of the way – let us discuss the ranked teams playing, shall we?

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This week’s College Gameday is heading to the University of Washington for the first time ever since the show’s first broadcast in 1987. This is huge news for the Huskies, who find themselves in the middle of a period of resurgence as of late. But if you’re an individual on the East Coast (such as myself), you probably know very little about Seattle, the city that houses UDub. In fact, the only thing you probably know is that Seattle is the home of Starbucks, rain and grunge. And that’s fine. Be prepared to face the unknown. Seattle is strange to you, but don’t fret, it’s not Portland weird.

Also – I am not really sure what the Washington fan base is like. I’ve seen them pop on random message boards from time to time recalling the Don James era, but I am really unfamiliar with how these people operate or how they tail- WAIT, WHAT? THEY TAILGATE ON BOATS? CAN WE GO TO THE GAME NOW? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE.

Enough of this wishful thinking about boatgating – LET’S GET IT.

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If Paul Rhoads is one thing, he’s proud. He’s in a perpetual state of pride. He is your dad whenever you make honor roll or change your own oil. The Iowa State Cyclones put up a damn good effort in running their own small business; it’s not their fault that big corpo is pulling the strings and has all that lobbying money to monopolize the market. Rhoads is still proud, dammit.

In the game of life, you win some, and you lose some. And sometimes you are screwed over by the officials at the one-yard line. You lose some because you are not Texas, but hey, I’m just making excuses. These are hard truths learned by all. Especially by a Cyclones team that, no matter if it’s their first 1-3 start since 2007, you should be proud of. Why? Because Mack Brown is on thin ice, regardless.

So, what else did we learn in a weekend full of near whiffs, alternate uniforms and late night football?

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You’ve been furloughed Ha Ha. Sorry – *you’ve been furloughed, Ha Ha.

It’s shutdown week and at TwH we are all about keeping you informed about how this fiscal crisis will affect your Saturday afternoon:

  • Army, Navy, and Air Force games are were at the risk of not occurring 
  • If you’re a member of our nation’s armed forces overseas, you may not be able to see a game
  • You will not be able to visit any national parks or monuments so you might as well be a shut-in for one weekend, you outdoorsy, patriotic weirdo
  • You will not be able to see Ha Ha Clinton-Dix play because he has been furloughed by the University of Alabama
  • The Department of Defense has been forced to cancel their experiment in Boulder against the Oregon Ducks where the real Colorado Buffaloes were replaced by Buffalo androids to see if they could stop the Oregon offense
  • Lil’ Red will not be in attendance at the Illinois – Nebraska game because of the halt in agricultural subsidies to pay for two Cornhuskers within Memorial Stadium
  • “THE GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN MY OTHER SIGN” at College Gameday (YOU CAN DO BETTER, NORTHWESTERN)

Now that I’ve given you a small run-down on the reach of the federal government into your college football Saturdays, let’s get down to business (that’s non-profit business with little to no federal contracts, government. Please don’t shut down Saturday).

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If getting fired after being pulled off the team bus from LAX to campus isn’t the most Hollywood thing ever, please give me another example. This felt like a seedy termination. A scene, not unlike the one in Dog Day Afternoon, where the main character fails, and the repercussions involve a swift execution. Lane Kiffin didn’t even step foot on the USC’s campus before Haden uttered the words that put Kiffin out of job and Ed Orgeron in control of a faltering program. Now, the hunt begins anew for the Trojans, who have slowly started to slide into irrelevancy as the Pac-12 has started to gain notoriety as the second-best conference in America. Gone are the days of USC and everybody else. USC can’t compete with Arizona State, or even downtrodden Washington State. The whole country says “adieu” to Kiffykins, the man responsible for Tennessee fever dreams and the underdevelopment of all-around awesome Marqise Lee.

While your favorite team’s coach may not have been fired as soon as he exited the plane, his days as head man may be numbered. Look at UConn. Now Earl Campbell’s taking shots at Mack Brown? The coaching carousel may be fired up sooner than expected.

Aside from learning that, yes, the world of college football is on fiiiiiireeeeee, what else did we take away from this marvelous weekend?

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Why are we in Berkeley and the stands are full of Ohio State fans? Can someone explain why Nick Saban is running an up-tempo offense? Why is there a fox running around a football field? Did Joel Stave just put the ball on the ground? Why are these Airheads making me cry? IT’S LIKE THE FLAVOR IS RUNNING THROUGH MY BODY. SWEET MAGNIFICENT MYSTERY WHITE FLAVOR, I HAVE CRACKED YOUR CODE. (YOU TOOK TOO MUCH, DUDE. YOU’RE TRIPPIN’ BALLZZZZZ)

Yes, you were on LSD from Thursday until Sunday morning. No, everything is fine. You didn’t burn anyone’s couch, and you certainly didn’t come close to losing to Akron. But I don’t think your perception of the world is going to be right for awhile. It might be crippled going forward, but that’s what happens when you visit Lubbock and then proceed to stand out in the Arizona desert. Don’t worry – you’re still sane, and you can still call out bad officiating. You just had a bad trip with Jesse Palmer – it’s going to be alright.

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Please come back, Art Briles. The (mental) state of Texas needs you!

James invited me to give a few thoughts on each of the games. I am not nearly the college football addict he is, though few are. My responses will be in italics. – Rory Masterson

Thanks for joining me, Rory! And thank you reader for allowing me to pick a slate of Top 25 games that I am only qualified for by way of too much time on my hands on Saturday. If you haven’t heard, Texas A&M and Alabama is on tap this week (EDIT: as well as some talk of impermissible benefits, y’all). But there are other items of interest in Texas too. Items like Longhorn football. I don’t even know if there is enough ESPN money that can save Mack Brown if things fall apart. Mack Brown schadenfreude not floating your boat? Well then, there’s Texas Tech and TCU. Ah, Kliff Kingsbury – the cure for the common Texas archetype. Not satisfied with that? Then, there’s Bay – wait, they have a bye week? Please play again, Baylor. That would be super (yes, please)! Enough Texas talk. It’s starting to smell like brisket in here – LET’S GET IT!

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Welp, here we are, gang. The second week of college football. The second AP poll of the year has been released and some have dropped (Ohio State, Georgia) while others have seen their stock rise faster than Anacott Steel (Washington, Oklahoma State). This week, College Gameday will be focused on Ann Arbor, Michigan which makes the nonsensical, unimportant historic, traditional rivalry one of the focal points in a week that features other rivalry games such as Florida-Miami and Georgia-South Carolina. It’s also a week of firsts for the Stanford Cardinal who got to sit in their dorms in Palo Alto and watch their eyes melt at the sight of a Lane Kiffin offense on their parents’ hand-me-down 52-inch, LED TV. I am excited because I am going to be at home base in Charlotte and not off on Ocracoke Island trying to watch the game while people waft their savory crab cakes in my face. My excitement will probably crash once I realize that the remaining games consist of match-ups against Tennessee Tech, UTSA, UAB, and Sam Houston State. Oh, brother. In the name of all things holy (REESUS), LET’S GET IT.

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