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 Noon ET Saturday. Deadline for each pick is 5 minutes before kickoff.
Here are the top performers (top 11 and ties) from week 10. Congratulations to BlueDogTX for winning week 10 (all you win for this is kudos).
Here are the overall standings after ten 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 (110)
Last week I went with my head, and it failed me. This week I have the good fortune that my head and my heart are in sync. WVU wins because our defense stuffs UT's anemic offense.
John Radcliff (107)
We owe these guys big time. I'd tell you about how Texas has had big problems on the road this year, but I don't think it's as big a deal as it was for Texas Tech. This game will be decided in the first quarter. If, as I expect, the Mountaineers get out to a big lead Texas will have to scrap their game plan to play catch up. If the Mountaineers don't get up big early, it's going to be a long slug fest. I'm counting on the former.
WVU is 19th in the nation in rushing offense while Texas is 31st. Both teams have struggling passing attacks that rely heavily on an efficient rushing performance. Expect both defenses to stack the box and force the other's QB to win the game. In other words, this will be the most B1G game that the Big 12 has ever seen. West Virginia will win this game by scoring touchdowns in the red zone while Tyrone Swoopes gets stuffed inside the 20.
I don't like that Charlie Strong has had our number in two meetings (one while at UL). I also don't like that we face his struggling UT team later in the year when his teams start to put things together. BUT...I do like the way our defense has been playing and UT has been bad on the road.
One of these days I'm going to actually look up the numbers, but Holgorsen's squads have been really, really good in noon kicks from what I recall. I think last week was a big hurdle for this team and they play a little better this week. The drive to REMEMBER NOVEMBER continues, and WVU wins their second in a row.
JP Fanshawe (85)
This year's Texas team is nothing like a traditional Texas powerhouse. With barely any offense to speak of, and as bad a road record, the Longhorns get put down by the Mountaineers. In fact, this one could get ugly.
Mountaineers feeling confident coming off a big win over Texas Tech. The defense played very well and they will come up big again versus the Longhorns. It's amazing how good they look when they aren't playing the #1 & #2 offenses in consecutive weeks!
Texas will be looking at this game for bowl eligibility. Lose in Morgantown and they're likely not going bowling this season, because they still have Baylor on their schedule. Unfortunately for the Longhorns they will be sitting at home next month, because West Virginia has found their identity on offense. The Mountaineer defense will continue to impress despite injuries and will shut down Texas' run game.
I feel like this game should be closer than some may expect just looking at both teams, but I can't get over the fact that Texas has scored 34 points in 4 road games, and 10 in three true away games.
DE White (53)
Texas has been horrible on the road this season. That trend continues.
Matt Kirchner (34)
UT is the polar opposite of what WVU has faced the past five games, and it shows. The Mountaineers dominate and hits on plays they've been missing all year.
Skyler Howard and company need more in the passing game to see an undefeated November come to fruition.
Patrick Southern (9)
Here's where you can make your own predictions: