Since it went so well last season (unlike the entire rest of last season) for the Guru, the Swami has agreed to continue the now-two-year tradition known as Flipping the Script. This week, the Guru will pick the entire slate of games, while the Swami attempts to find a game where the Guru will be wrong (spoiler alert: there are none). The Swami stepped it up a notch, though, by declaring Thanksgiving Week as Flip the Script Week. So while you give thanks for consuming enough food to last a week all in one sitting (right before fighting everyone at midnight to buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need), you can sit back and enjoy the veritable buffet that is the Guru’s picks.
Thanksgiving Week tends to bring some high-profile movie openings (also, apparently it included every freaking Twilight movie made, according to the list consulted by the crack research team at Guru, LLC), so the Guru decided the theme this week would be the largest Thanksgiving opening box office weekends ever. Every game is matched with one of the top 25 Thanksgiving weekends. Some are prettier than others. But watching football is a reason to be thankful…
To the picks!
TCU at Texas – It seems a bit like a fairy tale for TCU to have been transplanted into a Big 5 conference and within 3 years to have a chance for a berth in the national playoff. Also, the hero likes to wear purple. Connection made! TCU 27, Texas 20
Nebraska at Iowa – Last year’s drubbing by the Hawkeyes certainly made it feel like the Grinch had made his way to Lincoln (fun fact: used to be known as Whoville). One year later, and despite consecutive losses, Nebraska has a chance to keep its hope of a 10-win season alive – if only the Grinch’s heart will grow two sizes in time to bring back the Blackshirts. Huskers 24, Hawkeyes 21
Arkansas at Missouri – The Arkansas resurgence the past few weeks has left both divisions in the SEC a bit tangled. Also, Maty Mauk getting hit in the helmet with a snap from his own center reminded me of when Flynn Rider gets whacked with a frying pan. Still, Mizzou is playing to go to the SEC championship game, and the SEC East doesn’t feel like it should be decided by a team actually winning its way in. Upset alert! Razorbacks 33, Tigers 28
Stanford at UCLA – It has not taken all that long for Jim Mora, Jr. to take the powder blue-and-gold back to their heyday – to the top of the Pac-12. The Bruins just pasted their archrivals and are gearing up for a matchup with Oregon in the Pac-12 championship if they can win this game. Stanford, meanwhile, may be finishing plans for a McFly-level hoverboard* on non-practice days. Bruins 30, Cardinal 17
*not really, but we can dream.
Arizona State at Arizona – This could be the game of the week, which would not have been predicted by anyone earlier this season. The Pac-12 has been catching fire in the desert, but only one of these teams is ready to battle with the aid of a trident. On the side of their helmets. Advantage: ASU. Arizona State 30, Arizona 28
Georgia Tech at Georgia – Everyone knows the Yellow Jackets don’t have happy arms in Paul Johnson’s offense. Sometimes their quarterbacks have looked like penguins trying to throw a football. But they do have some happy triple-option feet. They may win the game, but even if not, together they swarm to closer than a 13-point deficit. Wishful upset alert! Yellow Jackets 31, Bulldogs 30 (GT +13)
Michigan v. Ohio State – Though all of them are on the list, I can’t bring myself to pair more than one game with these “films.” Michigan/Ohio State is still a better love story than Twilight. And Brady Hoke’s tenure at Michigan is certainly in its twilight. Script Ohio FTW. Ohio State 38, Michigan 13
South Carolina at Clemson – I am only using one entry for the 4 Thanksgiving-opening Harry Potter flicks, too. And really, the Ole’ Ballcoach could be considered He Who Must Not Be Named. His wizardry over Clemson, no matter the state of the teams, has been legendary. This time, though, Clemson will find him mortal. Tigers 31, Gamecocks 26
Mississippi State at Ole Miss – MSU is hanging on to the fourth playoff spot right now, knowing a loss in the Egg Bowl will doom their chances. Unless James Bond suddenly suits up to give the Rebels some help, though, lack of depth brought on by injuries will be fatal to Ole Miss, even in The Grove. MSU will have to die another day – specifically the day they find out they are 5th in the final playoff rankings. Bulldogs 26, Rebels 20
Florida at Florida State – Will Muschamp had 4 Christmases as coach of the Gators, but the divorce is nearly final. This is their chance to send him out with a win over the hated Seminoles. It will be a very close game, but Famous Jameis will win it in the end (again). Seminoles 38, Gators 30
Minnesota at Wisconsin – No matter which team hosts this game, there is always a chance the field will look like Elsa was ticked off that morning. Do you want to build a snowman? If so maybe he can stop Melvin Gordon, since nothing else can (though true freshman Oklahoma running backs can take his NCAA record after one week). Wisconsin 28, Minnesota 20
Kansas State over Kansas – After what Samaje Perine did to Kansas last week, I think the idea of one of their players being driven back and deposited over a sideline barrier is an apropos analogy. The Wildcats will hit them from every side, including the blind one, and another rout is on. Wildcats 41, Jayhawks 20
Auburn at Alabama – I want to live in a world where Nick Saban secretly runs around the country trying to find clues on national artifacts. Though in his version, he would probably manage to recruit a 5-star offensive lineman while at the Smithsonian. And it would turn out Gus Malzahn wasn’t the villain after all – Nic(k) Sabancage was. And the villain at least managed to cover the spread. Auburn (+9.5)
The Swami’s Frozen Take
In this topsy-turvy week, you only get one pick from the Swami, but he did it the most scientific way possible. He went based on a the movie, and this guy is TEAM ANNA!!!
Now, the Swami can’t leave with just that, so from all of us here at Random Thoughts Illustrated, we want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! Cherish all of the blessings you have and enjoy the time you have with family and friends.