The Smoking Musket Pick Em Gauntlet is an online college pick 'em game where we will try to pick the winners of the weekly Big 12 contests plus Yahoo! editors' selected games (usually the games involving the top 25 teams). We do pick against the spread (when available). There are usually 20-30 games to pick each week and each correct pick is worth one point. The winner (excluding Musket staff) will be the person at the end of the regular season who has the most correct picks/points. Points are cumulative, so don't worry if you happen to miss a week or two. We will award the winner a WVU Nike T-shirt at the conclusion of the games in December.
All participants are subject to the Official Rules (PDF document link) as determined by SB Nation.
In the case of a tie at the end, the winner will be determined by who "won" the most weeks, head to head with the other folks tied. Coin flip will be used in case that method not resolving the issue..
Our game, as in the past, will be hosted by Yahoo! Fantasy. GAME LINK
Group Name: The Smoking Musket
Group ID: 8233
Group password: WestByGod
We have 19 games to pick this week, starting with games at NOON ET Saturday. Deadline for each pick is 5 minutes before kickoff.
Here are the top performers (top 11 and ties) from week 4. Congratulations to marlinton for winning week 4 (all you win for this is kudos).
Here are the overall standings after four weeks:
We will once again also be featuring staff predictions for the weekly WVU game (or game of interest on the off-weeks). Without further adieu (in order of staff ranking, number correct in parentheses):
Fall weddings are terrible. I get that the leaves are turning, the temperature is calming, and the overall pleasant-ness of the season makes it a great time to share your vows. That being said, why would you do this? Why must you force me to struggle with this anxiety? The internal clash between "Should I check my phone and risk looking like I don't appreciate the lovely couple?" and "There could be sheer carnage happening in Norman right now so why I'm listening to someone read Corinthians?" both end in the same way: I'm not paying attention to the ceremony. I'm barely there. An empty shell of a man. A mannequin wearing this suit would be holding attention better than I am at that point. When do we get cake?
Mountaineer Chuck (45)
Our first nail biter comes down to another clutch field goal by Josh Lambert. And after two missed kicks against MD, he'd put in the extra work to be ready.
Man I don't know. Holgorsen teams have come out of the gate so quickly in the past I'm trying to slow-roll on buying in, but then I hear what the CFB Matrix guy has to say on twitter and read that Bill Connelly post......damn those numbers look impressive. I'm just curious to see if a Holgo team can final look tightly put together for a Big 12 road game. The wins (2012 Tx, 2013 TCU, 2014 TT, have always been more about overcoming mistakes with offensive firepower than playing sound, tight football. This squad seems ready, though. As long as they didn't spend the week reading about themselves, I think they break out the storm trooper unis [editor's note: this uniform combo is confirmed] and take care of business.
John Radcliff (45)
I'm not picking us to win because of any tangible evidence. It's just time. The seniors on this team have been close to beating Oklahoma every year. They've had enough.
Winning in Norman is hard and even though this WVU team is improved, I don't think they are strong enough yet to pull this win out.
I still think this defensive unit is out to prove a point. I'm also realistic enough to know that Oklahoma will score and more than once. I also think WVU can get this big road win setting up the rest of the October Minefield to be even bigger.
DE White (43)
I'm buying into this Mountaineer team more than any since they joined the Big 12. A big win Saturday means tons of national attention.
WVU's ascension in statistical categories continues. We are first in the land in defensive yards per point. Opponents thus far have had to travel 40 yards for every point they score. If I told you a couple of years ago that the Mountaineers would be first in any defensive category, let alone that matters quite a bit to Las Vegas, would you have believed me? Me, either. Add to that that our offense has appeared Ferrari-like at time (top 20 in offensive efficiency) and it is easy to start drinking the Kool-Aid. Still, as much as I want to believe, I know that stats are for liars. The Big XII schedule is the Truth. We have had quite a few lucky bounces (case in point, a fumble out of the end zone after a 55-yard run, an INT immediately following a fumbled second-half kick-off, and let's not forget that our 3-0 mark has come against a schedule rated 118th in the land. All that being said: Oklahoma's offense is middling by the numbers, and their defense has question marks (they allowed 38 to a Tulsa team whose offense isn't as explosive as ours). To my way of thinking, 7 is too big of a number. I like our chances to start this October gauntlet with a win.
OU brings a more challenging offense to the table than WVU has faced to date in this young season and will put up a few more points than we're used to seeing. However, the combination of our defense with our offense will prove too much for the Sooners and the Mountaineers will begin their toughest stretch of games with a huge win on the road.
Before the season started, I predicted the Mountaineers would roll into Norman and stun the Sooners, showing they're a force to be reckoned with. I'm standing by that prediction.
The Big 12 and the rest of the nation gets put on notice as WVU emphatically gets the best of the Sooners in Norman.
Matt Kirchner (26)
I'm going off the deep end. Shelton Gibson and Jovon Durante light up Norman in ways Sooner fans haven't seen since the Tulsa game. Karl Joseph is still a Time Lord.
Boomer Sooner still gets stuck in my head so I guess they still win.
Norman will be tough, rough, and loud but a veteran defense stops baker mayfield in his tracks. The real issue will be Perine, Ross, and Mixon. If that's contained there's nothing the Mountaineers can't do. Oh and if Tulsa lit up this secondary....lets just say Howard's in for a coming out party.
Patrick Southern (9)
This West Virginia team has been better than I expected in almost all phases of play. This Oklahoma team has looked shaky at times, despite its considerable talent. But with the game in Norman, providing WVU with its first road game and its first real test of the season, I just can't shake the nagging feeling OU comes out on top. The Sooners have faced the sort of adversity WVU has yet to deal with this season, coming back late at Tennessee and dealing with a tougher-than-expected test against Tulsa. It's that experience in real battles this season that gives Oklahoma a slight -- and I do mean very slight -- edge in this one.
And here's the prediction widget for you to make and track your own prediction: