Last week Jim took the term “Zero Week” seriously, picking zero games correctly. David was clearly in midseason form by getting two of three games right. They’re butting heads six times this week, picking three games Thursday and three more on Friday. They won’t disagree all the time, but enough to keep the relationship chippy.
Stillwater at Roseville, 7 p.m.
David says: Rising from relative obscurity to Class 6A tournament semifinalist last season, Roseville is eager to prove itself once again. Quarterback Henry Bensen, slot receiver/running back Tommy Arcand and all-state receiver Jesper Horsted can punish defenses.
Pick: Roseville 24, Stillwater 20
Jim says: The Ponies have a burr under their saddle after losing their last six games in 2013. They have explosive talent in RB Zach Knox, WR Brooks Carroll and TE Matt Anderson. If new QB DJ Skie continues his rapid development, the Ponies will be off and running.
Pick: Stillwater 33, Roseville 21
Blaine at Champlin Park, 7 p.m.
David says: Northwest Suburban Conference coaches ranked both teams near the top of the heap, so this game is critical. Blaine’s spread offense will keep the Rebels off balance and produce a road victory.
Pick: Blaine 28, Champlin Park 21
Jim says: With such standouts as Jack Darnell (DT) and Datrice Mulsumo (RB/DB), I expect big things from the Rebels this fall. A victory over their biggest rival would be nice way to start the season.
Pick: Champlin Park 20, Blaine 14
Eastview at Rosemount, 7 p.m.
David says: Rosemount deserves to be ranked right behind Eden Prairie as the state’s two best teams. The Irish offense, led by QB Jackson Erdmann and Dimitri Williams, is explosive. That said, a rebuilt defense needs to prove itself. I suspect it will succeed.
Pick: Rosemount 35, Eastview 14
Jim says: It pains me to agree, so I searched for at least one legit reason upon which to base an Eastview upset. But I couldn’t find any way to build a solid foundation. Sure, it could happen, but it beats me how.
Pick: Rosemount 27, Eastview 7