The Dogs Have It


It’s official: The Shih Tzu has made her picks.

This is what my short-lived career predicting Mountain West Conference basketball games has come to — matching my opinion against Ellie May, our family puppy.

I finally found someone I could beat this week, though. A coin. I finished 2-2 on the weekday games and the coin flipped its way to a 1-3 record. How weak.

Ellie isn’t much of a talker and didn’t feel like debating who is the league’s best player — Luke Nevill or Lee Cummard? — so to learn her picks, I had to get a tad creative.

My daughter owns a collection of mini Mountain West football helmets, so when determining on which side Ellie would reside for each game, we threw those for the respective teams into the air.

The first helmet she chased and bit was her pick. Pretty genius stuff.

Here we go with Saturday’s games:

NEW MEXICO (plus-4.5) at UTAH: Two of four teams tied atop the standings at 4-2. The Lobos are a lowly 6-51 all-time at Utah, but four of the past five games in the series have reached overtime. I’m still not a believer of Steve Alford and the road.

MY PICK: Utah.

ELLIE’S PICK: Utah.

UNLV (minus-10) at AIR FORCE: The Rebels haven’t won in their last seven trips to Colorado Springs. The Falcons are brutal. UNLV has shown a tendency of late to get down big early. Air Force hasn't led big early since the National Security Act of 1947 became law.

My pick: UNLV.

Ellie’s pick: Air Force.

WYOMING (plus-14) at BRIGHAM YOUNG: Did you see how sharp BYU was against San Diego State last week? The Cougars were coming off a home loss to UNLV. Now, they’re coming off an overtime defeat at Utah and are 3-3 in league. They’ll be sharper than your standard MAC blade.

My pick: BYU

Ellie’s pick: BYU

SAN DIEGO STATE (minus-8) at COLORADO STATE: I have yet to pick an SDSU game correctly, which makes perfect sense given I covered the team for seven years while working in San Diego. Everything in the world tells you to bet the Aztecs here. Hence, I’ll take the points.

My pick: CSU.

Ellie’s pick: SDSU

OVERALL RECORDS

Me: 8-15:

Guest celebrities:

Matt Youmans, UNLV basketball beat writer for the R-J: 1-2.

Bridget Graney, my 7-year old daughter: 3-1.

Coin flip: 1-3.

Ellie May, the family dog: TBD