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 22 games to pick this week, starting with games at 7 pm ET Friday. Deadline for each pick is 5 minutes before kickoff.
Here are the top performers (top 11 and ties) from week 8. Congratulations to Dawgeered for winning week 8 (all you win for this is kudos).
Here are the overall standings after eight 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):
Mountaineer Chuck (90)
WVU keeps it close for two quarters. Then the wheels come off.
These three games have combined for a 98-97 score. Two have gone to OT. WVU has blown a 10 point 2H lead in all 3, twice in the 4th quarter. I've got to believe this game will be tight, and I've got to believe that a TCU team giving up buckets of points is due to come back down to earth (call it a lesson of 2012). Call it pure gut (because facts certainly don't justify it), but I've felt good about this game for a month and I'll stick with that.
John Radcliff (88)
The road team has won every meeting. I'd like to say I believe that trend will continue. I want it to, but I don't believe it will.
JP Fanshawe (85)
I am among the most faithful, but this stretch has taken something out of us. I would like to believe that our offense can keep pace because I think TCU's defense is highly suspect...but...I think we fall short.
Even when WVU has been bad, the Mountaineers have found a way to beat someone they shouldn't have. I don't think this team is as bad as most do. But, I also don't think WVU will win this, but will make it much more interesting than it should be.
While the Mountaineer offense looks better after the extra days off, the losses on defense prove costly. WVU puts up some good numbers through the air and on the ground, but Trevone Boykin has an absolute field day with 400yds passing, 3TDs, and one rushing TD to boot.
As expected, the Mountaineers get wrecked.
If WVU can limit turnovers and get some first downs for the defense to rest, the score may stay down some. However, I've lost faith in our offenses ability to do anything but huck it and chuck it on third down.
WVU has fared well against the run this season, which is the key to slowing down air raid teams. They have struggled against mobile quarterbacks. Both continue. Without Joseph, Boykin wins again.
DE White (53)
TCU's defense isn't as good as it was last season, but the offense may be even better.
A weakened Mountaineer secondary will not fare well against a potential Heisman finalist. A bad performance from Skyler Howard and a fourth consecutive loss will have West Virginia fans grabbing their pitchforks and torches on Halloween weekend, and hunting Holgostein down in Morgantown.
Matt Kirchner (34
You, the reader, will be playing defensive back.
You, the reader, will try your best.
You, the reader, really can't cover Josh Doctson.
WVU scores late to make it closer than it seems.
This gets ugly quick. If Seth Russell and Corey Coleman could embarrass the secondary imagine what potential Heisman finalist Trevone Boykin will do!
Patrick Southern (9)
Results this season suggest TCU might be a bit overrated, and West Virginia enters this matchup desperate to come out of a brutal Big 12 opening stretch with something to show for itself. If the game were in Morgantown, I might be a bit tempted to pick the upset. But on the road, I can't go quite that far.
Here's where you can make your predictions: