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 leaders (top 11 and ties) from week 1. Congratulations to Champ for winning week 1 (all you win for this is kudos). After this week, we'll list the top weekly performers as well.
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):
DE White (13)
The Mountaineer defense is dominant again and pitches another shutout.
WVU rolls again, but a turnover puts Liberty into field goal range and prevents another shutout. Dravon Askew-Henry gets a pick six.
WVU scores at will early and often, and Liberty gets a couple junk scores at the end.
Mountaineer Chuck (12)
Skylar Howard is much more accurate in first half. WVU takes foot off gas at end of 3rd quarter. Liberty scores late.
A late field goal against the third stringers is all Liberty can muster as the Mountaineers cruise to an easy win. Howard makes great strides by hitting several open receivers on the same deep routes he was just missing against Georgia Southern.
Michael Miller (11)
The defense dominates again, and Howard keeps his nerves in check and looks the best we have ever seen him. Durante has a huge game with over 200 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns. Liberty gets on the board in the fourth quarter against the reserves with 2 field goals.
West Virginia 58
Because there's no way we obliterate someone else that perfectly again. I say it's another solid effort - score from Durante, Score from Shorts and a lot of 2nd half ground game. Smallwood scores twice and we see Crest in the red zone again.
WVU defense dominates creating turnovers and giving the ball to the offense and letting them work out their red zone issues. This game is a practice for WVU.
I like the challenge of these first two games. We handled Georgia Southern's triple option, and now the secondary gets a different kind of test against a pass-happy Liberty team. The Flames, which, at the least, are a quality FCS opponent (13th in this week's poll). Liberty is 0-4 under Turner Gill against FBS foes, and I think the Mountaineers will impressively extend that losing streak.
We can expect more of the same from last week. The defense will be stingy, but I'm not sure if late in the game the shutout holds up. I hope it can.
John Radcliff (10)
I can't think of one good reason why Liberty will score other than the junk time points others have mentioned. But I think it means something to this defense to keep the scoreboard clean.
Patrick Southern (9)
It's another easy day at the office, allowing the starters to exit early and head into the off week as healthy as possible.
West Virginia 48
Matt Kirchner (8)
Okay, I'll be that guy. If Georgia Southern couldn't score on this defense, Liberty shouldn't either. I thought about tacking in a late field goal, but our second team defense looked as on point as our first against the Eagles, and against this type of opponent, I'm being the guy who says we're going into Maryland week without a single point against.
WVU's offensive line over powers liberty leading to Skyler Howard having a field day and Wendell Smallwood continuing his junior campaign for greatness.