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 8 pm ET Friday. Deadline for each pick is 5 minutes before kickoff.
Here are the top performers (top 11 and ties) from week 2. Congratulations to EdwardsWVU for winning week 3 (all you win for this is kudos).
Here are the overall standings after two 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):
Don't kick to Will Likely. If you do that, Maryland will end up losing the game on their own.
John Radcliff (36)
Turtle Mother Trucking Soup
Caleb Rowe is going to throw it all around the yard and a lot of it will be to WVU defenders. He'll end up with 1TD (Taivon Jacobs or Avery Edwards) and 3INTs with Dravon Askew-Henry getting a pick six. Skyler has a serviceable day, but his zero interception streak ends with a circus catch from William Likely.
Mountaineer Chuck (35)
Beware, the Terps are far more effective passing the ball with a stellar offensive line and two games under their belt. But the home field advantage can't be overcome.
It's a solid but uneven effort, which is ideal for the circumstances. I'll happily take a non-perfect win to get the team in a hungry frame of mind as they head to Norman.
The defense comes out sharp, looking to make up for the 17 points they gave up to Liberty in their last outing. Offensively, the Mountaineers chuck around the ball at will over the T(w)erps and the second string mops up the 4th quarter to save our big guns for Oklahoma.
DE White (34)
With several big time prospects in attendance (along with one coveted hoops recruit), the Mountaineer defense controls the game. A late afternoon kickoff time also means the crowd will be super pumped for the first P5 opponent of the season.
The defense has something to prove after the "letdown" against Liberty.
Michael Miller (32)
Don't kick the ball to William Likely. The West Virginia defense can take care of everything else. The Maryland game is traditionally a bellwether of how the season will turn out for WVU, and this season is going to be great for the Mountaineers.
The game will be the opposite of what happened last year in that the game will be close at the beginning and WVU will run away with it at the end.
You might not have noticed, but WVU is the best in the nation thus far in Passing Yards Per Attempt (11.6 per attempt). Maryland's pass defense, on the other hand, ranks 83rd on the defensive side of that stat (7.2). Add to that fact the Mountaineers are also 2nd in the land in Defensive Yards Per Point. Translation: WVU will score quite a bit, and Maryland may have a hard time keeping up. I like us, a lot. Lay the 17.
Maryland gave up close to 500 yards passing versus bowling green. They cleaned it up some last week versus USF but then gave way for the opposing teams QB to rush for over 100. Skyler Howard brings a balanced attacked where he can beat you with his legs and arm. Let's go EEERS.
Matt Kirchner (19)
This game will be close through the first half as the teams feel each other out. In the second half, WVU runs away with it due to some untimely Caleb Rowe interceptions. Bring on October.
Patrick Southern (9)
This game is often a barometer of the prospects of West Virginia's season as a whole. This is not one of those years. Maryland is not a good football team, so be cautious about trying to take away too much from this game.