Don't Bet On It!: National Games of Interest

(Author’s Note: As I prepare to post this, the Auburn-West Virginia game is getting underway. I considered liveblogging the contest, but, honestly, who wants to read "I hate Auburn" 267 times in a row?)

O.K., I like to kid around about this segment being called "Don’t Bet On It!" and all, but the fact is that the national game of disinterest managed not to be very interesting, even though it was close, and I’ve done a pretty fair job lately when going around the S.E.C. When it comes to national picks, though, I’m not joking: I genuinely am bad at predicting the outcomes of games not involving Southeastern Conference teams.

Take, for instance, last week’s nationwide prognostications, in which I went a middling 3-2 to strand my 2008 record at 24-18. Since, clearly, I haven’t the foggiest notion what I’m talking about, I’m going to try a couple of things. First of all, of course, I’m going to remind you: Don’t Bet On It!

Secondly, though, I have decided to trust in the wisdom of the ancients from the East. No, not Joe Paterno . . . I mean Asia! Rather than rely upon my own highly suspect judgment, I have opted instead to take my direction from a time-honored source: food. More specifically, cookies.

That’s right: I have assembled a collection of fortune cookie quotations, from which I have pulled at random and upon which I have relied in making my national picks. Here are the games, the fortunes selected for each, and the outcomes to which those snippets of insight initially inscrutably, yet ultimately indubitably, point:

This week’s national picks are brought to you by Confucius. Well, him, or Panda Express.

South Florida at Louisville: "Anger begins with folly, and ends with regret." Bulls.

Southern California at Arizona: "Fame, riches, and romance are yours for the asking." Trojans.

Virginia Tech at Florida State: "Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." Hokies.

Texas Tech at Kansas: "The smart thing to do is to begin trusting your intuitions." Red Raiders.

Admit it . . . you’ve been adding "in bed" to the end of each of these and thinking that makes you clever, haven’t you?

Virginia at Georgia Tech: "Keep your feet on the ground even though friends flatter you." Cavaliers.

Penn State at Ohio State: "You will spend old age in comfort and material wealth." Nittany Lions.

Oklahoma State at Texas: "Traveling this year will bring your life into greater perspective." Longhorns.

We’ll see how Eastern philosophy fares in this week’s picks. If this doesn’t work, we may have to go with Yogi Berra next week. Until then, though, remember: whatever you do . . . Don’t Bet On It!

Go ‘Dawgs!

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