Jarrod Beckstrom is a globally nomadic sports-addicted renewable energy advocate fisherman. He’s the former communications manager of USA Rugby and has been covering high school, college, and international rugby since 2004. His opinions and picks don’t necessarily reflect the views of USA Rugby or D1A Rugby. Follow him on Twitter (@willcrawlthere). He welcomes well-informed and civil rugby discourse.
BOULDER, Colo. – I’ll tell you it doesn’t get any easier as the season goes along. Last week I whiffed mightily on three picks, going eight for 11. The bad thing was I felt pretty good about most of them. This week the match ups are so close, I felt like I should flip a coin, so I did. But only after I tried to make educated guesses.
So the age-old question “Is JB smarter than an inanimate object?” will finally be answered, but only after three conference champs are crowned.
Ohio State and Wisconsin go at it in Cottage Grove, Wis. for the BTU title, Life and Arkansas State will add another epic battle to the Mid-South history books, and Colorado and Colorado State duke it out for the West title.
Yes, the games this week will be great, but just think that this time next week, it’s going to be win or go home rugby with the play-in round. Hell yeah.
Wisconsin @ Ohio State (Big Ten Championship)
Pick: I’m going with the hot hand here. I think Wisconsin wins, but they’re going to have to fight and claw their way to victory.
Sac State @ UC Davis
Pick: Both of these teams burned me last week when I picked against them, evidently motivating them to victory. Hey, I do what I can. You’re welcome. But really, these teams, after running the California Conference gauntlet, have gotten a lot better. I’m going with Sac State to upset Davis.
Santa Clara @ San Diego State
Pick: San Diego State. The Aztecs hid their stride a little too late for a playoff run, but they’re still a dangerous team and I think they’ll beat Santa Clara.
Cal Poly @ Central Washington (Friendly)
Pick: Poly is through to the D1A quarterfinals thanks to CWU’s departure, but they’ll still want to win this one badly. But CWU is still smarting from a lashing by St. Mary’s and will want to prove to their competition in the VC that they came to play. My bold pick: Poly. You gotta live a little, right?
Arkansas State @ Life
Pick: Oh man, this matchup again…It’s never easy so I’ll just make a pick and hope for the best. I think Life will pull it out at home.
Colorado @ Colorado State
Pick: Colorado. It’s going to be a cracker and I’m sure I’ll get Ram fans all up in my grill, but I feel like the Buffaloes are due for a breakout win and a conference championship is the perfect time to do it.
Northern Colorado @ Wyoming
Pick: Wyoming played a mid-week game and NC is rested. I don’t feel super confident about it, but I think It’ll fall Northern Colorado’s way.
Coin Tosses (2 out of 3):
Wisconsin (heads) @ Ohio State (tails) (Big Ten Championship)
Sac State (heads) @ UC Davis (tails)
Santa Clara (heads) @ San Diego State (tails)
Pick: San Diego State.
Cal Poly @ CWU
Arkansas State (heads) @ Life (tails)
Pick: Arkansas State.
Colorado (heads) @ Colorado State (tails)
Pick: Colorado State.
Northern Colorado (heads) @ Wyoming (tails)