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The Smoking Musket Pick’Em Gauntlet Has Returned!

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Our annual pick ‘em game is back! We’ll be awarding the top fifteen (15!) performers this season with a limited edition The Smoking Musket koozie.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

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 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.

This year, we’re doing things a little bit different than in years past. We understand a large portion of the West Virginia fan base is not a fan of Nike these days, and there’s no use offering a Nike t-shirt again when there’s a chance the winner won’t even want it. Although we personally don’t agree with the take, we understand The Discourse and want to make this game as inclusive as possible. So, instead of having one winner, we’ll be sending the top 15 points earners one of these beautiful The Smoking Musket koozies.

We’re also switching from Yahoo! Fantasy to Fun Office Pools, simply because the 100 participant limit on Yahoo made it a pain in the ass to run two pools as one large pool.


All participants are subject to the Official Rules as determined by SB Nation.

To join us, first go to Fun Office Pools and setup an account if you don’t already have one, then come back here and click on this LINK. If you’re asked for a password, it’s letsgo.

We do straight up single value pick’em against the spread here, and don’t do any of that fancy weighted stuff. An exact score prediction for the West Virginia Mountaineers’ game (or a substitute when there’s a bye) will serve as the tie breaker, with further tie breakers determined in this order:

Picks will generally be available every Monday, but the lineup of games is subject to change until I make the weekly notice about it here on The Smoking Musket, so don’t make your picks until you see this post. Also, Week 1 extends through Labor Day, so expect Week 2 to be available next Tuesday. While the spreads are set on Mondays, the deadline for picks is the kickoff time for each individual game, so if some quarterback breaks a leg in practice during the week be sure to come back and update your pick.

This year, we’ll also be instituting a new rule to help you out if you forget to make any picks for the week. In that event, you will be awarded one point less than the worst score by any player who did get their picks in. This will allow a little bit of forgiveness for those of us who are forgetful. Basically, this keeps everyone in the race ‘til the end.


We will have 25 games to pick as we kick off Week 1 of the college football season, starting with games next Thursday night - August 29th at 7:00 PM ET, continuing through to Monday’s matchup between the No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Louisville Cardinals. Spreads for each game lock on Monday (8/26), but picks for each game lock at kickoff.