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PIGSKIN PICKS: Week 13
By Dannie Oliveaux and John Leggett
LSU and Stanford's losses last week didn't help the Ol' Pickers in Week 12. JL posted a 5-2 mark and improved to 58-22 and picked up a game on DO, who was 4-3 last week and 60-20 overall. Week 13 has several interesting matchups on both the college and pro slate with a few upsets possible.
Washington State at Washington
DO: This is the Huskies' bowl game. After a less than spectacular season with an upset win over USC, Washington should rack up at least 30 points against the lowly Cougars. But you can throw out the records in this long rivalry. WASHINGTON
JL: As much as I hate to admit it, I think the Huskies will probably prevail over my Wazzu Cougs this time around in the Apple Cup, especially since it is being played at Montlake. At least the University of Washington has some semblance of a squad this season under Sarkasian, who in my opinion is the finest coach as well as the classiest representative of the U of W football crew, since the Dawg Father, Don James.
UCLA at USC
DO: No Rose Bowl or national championship game for the Trojans this season, but they'll be ready to play their cross-town rivals. USC
JL: This one is always a lively encounter and this season it seems as though this rivalry rendezvous at Pasadena, will have to suffice as the Trojans bowl game, as it would appear to be as close as the Men of Troy are going to get to that post-season high. This current low ebb in Southern Cal's rich grid history, is the only reason that I feel Tommy Trojan will finally have cause to wield and wave his sword about. USC
Seattle at St. Louis
DO: Well the Seachickens head to Missouri to face the 1-9 Rams. I got a feeling the Rams will post their second win. ST. LOUIS
JL: I must disagree with my prognosticating brother this time around. The primary weapon that the Lambs have in their arsenal is former Oregon State Beaver, Steven Jackson, and despite the fact that Jackson has quietly been putting together a pretty decent campaign statistically in 2009 thus far, I watched the game last week between the Vikings and the Seahawks and I was very impressed with the way that the run defense of the Hawks held one of the more formidable running backs in the NFL, Adrian Peterson, to well under 100 yards rushing. Additionally, Jackson has been listed as questionable for the Seahawks tilt....so ah, well you know. I am of the opinion that if the Seahawks can get any offense going against St. Louis' woeful and porous defense, that they are certainly capable of pulling off the road victory. SEATTLE.
New England at New Orleans
DO: Could this be a preview of Superbowl 44? Perhaps. The Patroits, who have won a few Superbowls, travel to Cajunland to face the much improved Saints, who are looking for their first conference title. In the Monday night matchup, look for the Boys of the Bayou to put on a show before a national audience. NEW ORLEANS
JL: Brees has a knack for playing exceedingly well when he knows the entire nation is watching him and the New England defense is only fair, so for my money it comes down to whether or not the vastly improved, yet currently banged up Saint stop troops can rise to the occasion and keep the Patriots out of the red zone - and more importantly the end zone.
With Wes Welker and Randy Moss as his terrific tandem of receivers, N.E. signal caller Tom Brady seems to have returned to his old form as has for Minnesota Golden Gopher, Lawrence Maroney. The big fella, who was at one time backfield mates with Dallas' Marion Barber III at the University of Minnesota, has been picking up the slack for his running mates Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris, who are still a couple of weeks away from returning to action and Heath Evans, who is done for the season with a torn up knee. NEW ENGLAND
Chicago at Minnesota
DO: The Vikings under Farve seem posed to make a run at the NFC title and perhaps a Superbowl berth. The Bears and Viks have a long historic rivalry dating back to when Minnesota joined the NFL in the early 1960s. Minnesota is at "Home in the Dome." MINNESOTA
JL: You better believe I am picking my Vikings in this one, especially since Percy Harvin (possible R.O.Y in the NFC), will get yet another opportunity to display his blazing speed on the indoor turf surface of the Met.
Chicago just doesn't have the defense it has had in the past and it is my personal feeling that Adrian Peterson is going to run over, under, around and through a toothless Bear defense as he did in Chicago last year as a rookie.
And the Vikings just plain have to many weapons, so if the rushing attack doesn't pan out for the Norsemen, you know Brett Favre will light up Chicago through the air, the way he has been performing recently. It is going to be all the Bears can do to contain Visanthe Shiancoe (Viks TE) and (Viks WR) Sidney Rice. MINNESOTA