By Tommy Keeler Jr. - firstname.lastname@example.org
As he typed in everyone's picks for the week, Jeff Nations couldn't help but snicker.
"Tommy, you're being a little conservative this week, aren't you?" he said to me with a smile on his face.
"Yes, I'm always conservative, and now I have a lead to protect," I proudly replied.
However as I watched game after game go against me last week, one of my favorite sayings kept popping into my head. Champions take chances.
It doesn't matter what sport you play, I truly believe that statement is true. Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints would be a prime example. Who knows what would've happened if the Saints hadn't tried the onside-kick to start the second half of last year's Super Bowl.
So I look at my terrible 11-9 week as simply a lesson learned. Don't get me wrong I have no intention of picking nothing but upsets, we can all see where that's gotten Jeremy Stafford. The key is to mix in a few upsets along with some obvious smart picks. I just needed a little wake-up call to get me back to my winning ways.
It's much easier being the hunter than being the hunted, but I don't mind that role. As anyone who knows me well knows I like being a front-runner, and now that I have a new plan of attack I intend to stay in front the rest of the way.
Here are my picks:
Warren County at James Wood
This game is a tough one to call. It should be a really close, well-played game. When in doubt go with the home team.
James Wood 7, Warren County 6
Jefferson at Sherando
The Warriors are looking like the team to beat in the Northwestern District this season. I don't see Jefferson providing too much of a problem for them.
Sherando 35, Jefferson 14
Handley at Brentsville
It's hard to believe the Judges are still searching for their first win of the season. I think they'll finally get it.
Handley 21, Brentsville 14
Millbrook at Fauquier
Much like the Judges, the Pioneers have a brutal nondistrict schedule. The losses early in the season could still help Millbrook down the line.
Fauquier 24, Millbrook 21
Clarke County at Central
The Eagles have picked up right where they left off last year. There's no reason to think they won't keep the roll going this week.
Clarke County 42, Central 28
Skyline at Kettle Run
The Hawks have found a strong passing game, which should make them even more explosive on offense.
Skyline 41, Kettle Run 24
Strasburg at Page County
Coming off a win, can the Rams make it two in a row? Yes, they can.
Strasburg 27, Page County 20
Oregon State at Boise State
Here's another chance for the Broncos to show the entire country how good they are. They won't disappoint.
Boise State 45, Oregon State 28
Redskins at Rams
The Redskins might have a chance to win a weak NFC East.
Redskins 31, Rams 17