Blowin' Smoke Presented by Weston Tobacco
What's more fun than us giving you a chance to mock us every single week? In our new feature, Blowin' Smoke presented by Weston Tobacco, we will do that each and every Thursday. Gabe DeArmond and Mitchell Forde will make five predictions almost sure to go wrong every week in this space. These will range from big games to big picture predictions with a bit of the comedic and absurd mixed in most weeks as well.
Weston Tobacco is an iconic family owned shop located in Weston, Missouri just 30 miles outside of Kansas City. Head on in to see Corey or Zeb hand roll a Weston blend today. They’d love to give you a tour of their massive humidor and host you at the full bar. Make sure to ask about their Aficionado Club Membership. They even have poker nights every Wednesday and Sunday! What are you waiting for? Visit Weston Tobacco online and PowerMizzou.com subscribers can enjoy 10% off at the register by telling the clerk where you heard about the shop.
1) If the Big Ten plays, does a Big Ten team make the playoff?
Mitchell: Let me just get this out of the way first and say the Big Ten is still not totally out of the woods yet. Their restrictions are going to make playing a full nine-game schedule off of five weeks of prep time very challenging. I definitely think it's possible that some teams play like five or six games. And if that happens, I'm not sure you could put one of those schools in the Playoff. I know there's not a prescribed minimum of games you have to play to be eligible, but I feel like eight should be pretty much the minimum to get a representative look at each team. But anyway, for the sake of this exercise, let's say all of the teams play all of their games. How do you compare an 8-1 Big Ten team to an 8-2 or 9-2 SEC team? I have no idea. Ultimately, if Ohio State can go undefeated, they'll make it. I'm not sure I would put a one-loss league champion in, but the committee probably would if the other contenders are non-champions with more than one loss, which seems likely. So I guess I'll say yes. But there's a lot of things that have to happen to get there.
Gabe: Only if it's Ohio State. Nobody else has the preseason cache to get in (or the talent to go undefeated). If you lose a game in whatever truncated Big Ten schedule they're going to try to play, you're out. You have to go unbeaten because you're playing fewer games than everyone else.
2) College picks of the week
Gabe: Syracuse at PItt (-6): I think Pitt is actually good. I think Syracuse is ungood. Go with the Panthers.
UCF at Georgia Tech (+8): I watched Georgia Tech and thought "They never throw the ball and every year they have a freak show athlete at receiver. How?" They have a lot of athletes. Have of UCF's team has opted out. Wreck.
Miami at Louisville (-2): I'll pick Louisville based on nothing but disliking them a little less than I do Miami.
Houston at Baylor (-7): Baylor to the Big 12's rescue, just like it's always been. Bears in a rout.
SMU at North Texas (+14): I don't know much about either team, but I like Wren Baker from his days at Mizzou and he's the North Texas AD so in a very scientific pick, I'll go with UNT.
Mitchell: Syracuse at PItt (-6): I didn't watch Syracuse's game against UNC last week, but they seem to be not good. Pitt.
UCF at Georgia Tech (+8): I'm chalking Tech's upset of Florida State last week to Florida State being bad more so than the Yellow Jackets being better than we thought. Give me the Josh Heupels.
Miami at Louisville (-2): I have to go with my hometown Cardinals. This one could be a shootout.
Houston at Baylor (-7): I have no idea what either team is going to look like. Baylor should be more talented. But if you think I'm picking a Big 12 team after last weekend, you're crazy. Houston.
SMU at North Texas (+14): SMU only beat Texas State by seven and I think North Texas should be better than them. North Texas covers.
3) NFL picks of the week
Mitchell: Atlanta at Dallas (-7.5): Dallas wins, Atlanta covers
Minnesota at Indianapolis (-3): Vikings not only cover but win.
Denver at Pittsburgh (-4.5): Steelers will probably win, but this will be a low-scoring game. I'll take my Broncos to cover.
Baltimore at Houston (+6): I was not impressed by Houston's offense on Thursday. Ravens.
New England at Seattle (-3.5): I think Seattle wins this game. But it definitely has the feel of a close one. I'll take the Pats to cover.
Gabe: Atlanta at Dallas (-7.5): I picked the Cowboys to go to the Super Bowl before the season for some reason. Give me Aldon Smith.
Minnesota at Indianapolis (-3): Two teams coming off huge disappointments. Give me Philip Rivers to always do just enough to lose by four.
Denver at Pittsburgh (-4.5): Rare instance I will root for the Broncos. That means they will lose. Stillers.
Baltimore at Houston (+6): Baltimore is on a different level from every other team in the NFL except two. Houston is not one of the two. Ravens.
New England at Seattle (-3.5): The Seahawks are one of the three best teams in the league. They win and cover.
4) Completely unqualified NBA picks of the week.
Mitchell: East Finals: Miami vs Boston: Boston in seven because I trust Brad Stevens with my life.
West Finals: Nuggets vs Lakers: The Nuggets plan of falling way behind and then turning it on has been fun but it's not sustainable. Lakers In five.
NBA Finals: Whoever wins the west, which since I picked the Lakers, I'll say them.
Gabe: East Finals: Celtics over Heat because the Celtics are the only team left in the playoffs I have watched play a single possession this year.
West Finals: Lakers over Nuggets because the Lakers' two best players are better than the Nuggets' two best players.
NBA Finals: Lakers over Celtics so I don't have to read eight million tweets about how LeBron is overrated. Oh wait, I'll have to do that anyway.
5) Who wins the US Open?
Gabe: I really want to pick Rickie Fowler for reasons unbeknownst to me. But instead, I'll go with another guy who is always in the hunt but hasn't yet closed one out. Give me Xander Schauffle.
Mitchell: Dustin Johnson is just on a different level than almost everyone else right now, and since I don't know that Jon Rahm has the temperament to win a grind-it-out US Open, I think he's the easy pick. But that's boring. I'm taking a flyer on Tony Finau, who seems due to win a major.