Last year I was up in Allendale, Michigan to watch the third round division two playoff game between the Grand Valley State Lakers and the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. At first I just thought that this would be yet another win in Grand Valley’s storied history. What I saw though was a team that came into Lubber’s Stadium on a mission. The Bulldogs stopped the Grand Valley offense cold for much of the game. At the half the score was 7-6 in favor of the Bulldogs. Towards the end of the third quarter Minnesota Duluth scored a touchdown, but the extra point attempt was blocked. That ended up being huge for the Lakers. A late touchdown tied the game at 13 to set up overtime. With just over a minute left in the game the touchdown pass was huge. The crowd really got back into the game. The Lakers ended up losing the game 19-13 in double overtime in one of the best football games I have seen. What made the game great was the odd way that the overtime period went. Grand Valley had the ball first, and missed a field goal attempt. All the Bulldogs needed to win was a field goal. In trying to get better field position though they were picked off. This set up the second overtime. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown, but had yet another PAT blocked. I don’t know that I have ever seen two PAT’s blocked in one game. All GVSU needed to win was a touchdown and a converted PAT. The Laker quarterback Brad Iciek then through his third pick of the game to seal the win for Minnesota Duluth. During this game Grand Valley blocked a punt, two PAT’s, and blew up a fake punt. What ended up doing them in though was the fact that they missed three field goals during the contest. That is to be expected though as the field goal kicker usually does not get many reps in during games up there. This week the teams face each other again, but this time in Minnesota. Both teams have identical 11-1 records going into the game. The Lakers avenged their only loss of the season last week by beating Hillsdale 44-27 last week in the second round of the playoffs. I think that they will avenge last seasons playoff loss this week. It won’t be easy, but Grand Valley just has too much history behind them for me not to pick them.
Predictions: Last week I went 6-3 with my picks to jump to 41-20 on the season. 67% is not bad. My main downfall in picking games is my loyalty to Purdue. I really have trouble picking against them. This week I will be picking the Grand Valley game of course. Their former coach Brian Kelly takes his #5 Cincinnati Bearcats up against Illinois this week. I will also pick the Central Michigan/Northern Illinois game as well as the Kentucky/Tennessee games as there is a slight chance that I will be attending one of them. I also have had this feeling that Eastern Michigan will finally get a win this week. I have nothing to back this feeling up, but I am willing to pick them. Dan Lefevour will be setting NCAA records at home this weekend. That game could be fun to attend. Notre Dame will have to pull of the upset to avoid going 0-4 to end the season. At this point I don’t think that even a win will save Charlie Weis’ job. It will be interesting to see how the Irish respond this week. I think that they will fight early, but in the end Stanford will have their number. Here are my picks for week 13: