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ACC Staff Predictions: Week 4

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A rough week kept the standing tight, and a controversy is brewing amongst the staff

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was a rough week for your Tar Heel Blog Staff.

Clearly we didn’t get the memo that the ACC was having a down year, and thus we all gave the conference way too much credit going into their matchups last weekend. Thanks to upsets by Michigan State, Western Michigan, and West Virginia, the results from last week are a real blood bath. I used black ink to mark the sheet just to make it look nicer, but I think the shower in Psycho had seen less slashes than our picks. Let’s relive the horror:

Once all the carnage was done, first and last place are still only separated by three games. In first? Joe, who clearly decided to not drink when making his picks this year...or maybe he did..has first place all by himself. Your humble author is still in last, but also tied with...Evan. Yes, last year’s winner is in last place with me.

While several games gave us trouble the one game that you need to understand to follow the controversy that has befallen our group is Friday night’s Louisville/UCF game. As you can see from above, everyone here decided that UCF was going beat Louisville except Jake, who actually decided to make for real picks this past week.

In case you missed what happened in that game...take three minutes out of your day to watch this. The last three game minutes were ridiculous

That sequence of events gave Jake a one game lead over Evan, and then Jake ALSO got the West Virginia/VT result right, and now has a solid two game lead. Thus, the controversy.

In case you forgot, Jake swore he would not finish in last place this year and decided to just take the option of saying “whatever Evan picks.” I made it clear that he wouldn't win with this strategy and could still finish in last if he and Evan stayed tied. So, he actually braved himself up to make some picks last week. Now he has a two game lead, and this week...

What you’re seeing is a slight change because earlier in the day, Jake only had one game with a “Whoever Evan picks,” and I decided to bring it to the group for an executive ruling as to whether or not this should be allowed. Jake vigorously defended his position, stating that I was Rob Manfred, changing the rules mid-season, and that what he did was no different than Bill Belichick finding the gray area of the rules and going as deep into that area as he could.

Yes, clinging yourself with the Patriots is always going to be a popular move, especially when the site editor is a Yankees fan and another writer is a Falcons fan.

Ultimately, though, Jake is correct. I made the mistake of of not making it clear in the beginning that you had to actually make a pick, and then once I allowed Jake the cravenly way to play along by saying “Whatever Evan Picks” he had the room to exploit it. He’s perfectly fine with the idea of never winning, he just got tired of being called an “expert” and finishing last in our picks that he desperately wanted to avoid that. Thus, he takes a chicken’s way out.

The problem with Jake’s strategy? I allowed “Whatever Evan Picks” to stand. This week, he said “Whoever Evan Picks.” Thus, he’s given me the room to make a new ruling, and since he decided to not stick with his original plan of “Whatever Evan Picks” last week, and he clearly used “Whatever Evan Picks” for all of his picks in our first week, then “Whoever Evan Picks” is not a valid option, and thus, all of his picks are null and void. Sorry, Jake, you’ll go 0-10 this week.

So now that Jake’s strategy has failed, we’ll see if he can come up with something else to avoid the basement after next week. He’ll still have plenty of weeks left to make up ground, and as the rest of us try to fight for the top of the heap, he’ll have room to improve his standing. The rest of us actually put our effort into making picks instead of defending a technicality, and we’ll see if this week is better than last.

Sorry, Jake. You may still not finish in last but I think all the rest of us at Tar Heel Blog agree that when you try to align yourself with Belichick, you get what’s coming to you.